Monday, January 30, 2012

Pizza Night!

Mom & M. adding toppings

Don't skimp on the cheese!

The "Specialty" - complete with pizza stone crust and thin sliced garlic!

My personal favorite combo

Looks good enough to eat!
Last night most of my family gathered at Mom & Dad's for homemade pizzas.  Their big, new island in the kitchen is perfect for getting everyone involved in assembly!  I'm hoping this is going to become family tradition.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Our Wedding

And my last "Wedding" post!

First a few pictures from our photographer, Lydia Photography, showing my dress (and me in it!)

Both my bridesmaids made their dresses too!  Didn't they do a lovely job?  I helped pick the fabric and gave them a list of guidelines (skirt length, general silhouette, etc.) and then I didn't see either of them finished until the day of the wedding!  I was curious, and might have been anxious, but I knew both girls well enough to know they would both finish their dresses (just barely in time), and they would both be lovely!  I was right!

And here I am in the arms of the man of my dreams, on our wedding day...
...I am so blessed!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wedding Gown - Part 4

It's about time to finish up telling the story of my wedding gown!  After all the finish work on the inside, I was ready to glue the little rhinestones on the lace and have my sister help me with the whimsical fabric flowers.

...on my lace!  (Yes, that first one was pretty scary!)

Bags of flower parts, awaiting placement.

Neckline with rhinestones and flowers positioned.

Hanging in the window after figuring out the placement of all the fabric flowers!
I really feel like the glistening rhinestones and the flowers were the perfect final additions, and took my dress from being "nice" to being "complete".

I'm so thankful for my sister's creative flair and eye for the final touch!  I know I wouldn't have had fabric flowers on my dress if I were doing it myself.  My perfectionist tendencies would have completely spoiled the soft and natural touch needed for realistic looking flowers, as well as an asymmetrical cascade of sprinkled blossoms!  Thank you!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sewing with Sister

My sister came over last week to sew a horse jumper.  She's really getting comfortable with operating the machine and using the iron--I'm impressed!
 Working on the straps.

The bodice completed.

And here's the finished project; it came out really cute!  It's denim with little horses embroidered on the main fabric, and horse print cotton for a trim on the straps and the band at the bottom of the skirt.

My Sewing Studio!

Here are a couple quick photos of my sewing space.  I have about two-thirds of a corner bedroom for my sewing things.  The other third is my husband's large desk (no photos as it's storing a big mound of things to sort at the moment!)  My favorite thing about the room is the large corner windows, one facing East, the other South, so I get nearly all-day sun at this time of the year!  The color on the walls is our neutral that's throughout the house, and I love the way the rooms glow with warmth as the sun shines in.
My husband got the shelves up on the wall, after they got a fresh coat of paint.  I appreciate how handy he is with household projects and repairs!  The shelves came off the wall in my old bedroom and are now perfect for storing all my sewing books, and all his and my how-to and reference materials.
The little oak bookshelf was a $6. Goodwill find--the perfect size for all my little shoeboxes of lace, ribbon, zippers, etc.!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wheat and Yeast

Here are a few thoughts on bread making...

I like Wikipedia's comment, "Yeast microbes are probably one of the earliest domesticated organisms." I thought of how my sister-in-law named her sourdough starter, and I talk about "feeding" my starter!

Leavened bread is documented at least 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Until the late 1700s and into the 1800s all bread was leavened with wild yeast (sourdough starter, or by-product of fermenting beverages) and only at that point did commercially produced and packaged yeast become available. Old time cookbooks included beer and bread making recipes together, as the beer yeast was the most reliable form of yeast for light and tasty bread.

I have been enjoying delving into the "how" and "why" of bread making as time allows, and have done some online research about ingredients and processes, as well as working my way through Peter Reinhart's excellent book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Ready to rise

Kaiser rolls for sandwiches

English Muffins
I have married a very thankful and appreciative man, and when he thanks God for providing our food, and the abundant variety we have available to us, before every meal, it helps me see the process of nourishing our bodies in a new light. I see God's provision and blessing in the whole process of bread making. There are only four basic ingredients needed for bread: flour, water, yeast and salt. Wheat is an ideal ingredient for leavened bread; it is full of the potential for developing elastic-y gluten. Yeast is a happy little organism that feeds in that glutinous dough, producing the gases to make all the little air bubbles so that we can have light, soft bread. Salt was given as a preservative to prevent our food from spoiling quickly by slowing the growth of unwanted bacteria and it is also a wonderful flavor enhancer! In bread we want the flavor, but must be careful in how it is combined with the yeast, to stop it from "preserving" our wheat from the growth of the yeast!