CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES

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Peppermint Delights

Here is my contribution to the Christmas potluck being held tomorrow at work.

I made yellow cupcakes and frosted them with mint flavored frosting and then crushed peppermint candies for the topping.

Christmas Cupcakes

They look delicious to me; too bad I’m off desserts.

I’ve been off sugar for so long that just the little bit of frosting that I licked off my fingers sent me into a sugar overload… really it did. :)

I hope you all are having fun preparing for the big day.  Wishing all the best of best holidays!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Remembering a Musician and Artist

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Lori Presthus

Lori Presthus

I read this morning about the passing of Lori Presthus.  I knew of her from years of attending baroque concerts around Portland; I always appreciated her as a musician.  I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly a couple of times in relation to our common interest in art and I remember her being warm, funny and very down to earth; meeting Lori felt more like bumping into an old friend than meeting a local celebrity.  She was an amazing musician and artist and while I feel sadness at learning of her passing, I am happy she left behind her wonderful legacy of recorded music and fine art that we can continue to enjoy and remember her by.  Rest in Peace.
View Lori’s gallery of fine art set to her music.

Sewing With Vintage Patterns

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Sewing With Vintage Patterns

RemnantWorks Vintage Patterns Shop 

I remember when this dress pattern first came out.  I was completely taken with the design; it seemed so fresh and unlike any of the dress styles I was used to seeing.   I made it up, but don’t remember wearing it very much.  My sewing skills were somewhat limited in those early days and the dress probably didn’t turn out to look quite as nice as the picture on the pattern envelope.

Simplicity 5562

Simplicity 5562

Now that I have begun to sell off my old patterns, I find myself struggling with letting go of this one.  Most patterns are very easy to part with once the decision has been made, while others, not so easy.   I found myself thinking about making it up in a contemporary fabric.  I know it would be cute even though I couldn’t possibly fit into it anymore! :)

Make the Clothes that Make the Woman

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Kerri:

Take a look at this wonderful ad campaign from the 1950′s from PatternVault.   The designs are delicious!

Originally posted on PatternVault:

The slogan for McCall’s Patterns in the mid-1950s was “Make the clothes that make the woman.” The advertising campaign with this slogan shows two identical women, one dressed in McCall’s pattern pieces, the other in the finished garment. It’s a charming campaign from the Golden Age of Advertising. Here’s a selection, in roughly chronological order:

This ad from 1956 shows the model enjoying a fresh strawberry at a party. (Could it be a strawberry social?) The pattern is McCall’s 3562:

McCall's 3562 - McCall's advertisement advert 1956.

McCall’s advertisement, 1956.

The September ad shows the model (Dovima?) on a trip to Paris, before a mustachioed gendarme. The pattern is McCall’s 3785 by Givenchy:

1950s Givenchy pattern, McCall's 3785 - McCall's advertisement advert September 1956.

McCall’s advertisement, September 1956.

Another travel-themed ad shows McCall’s 3790 with some whimsically stacked luggage:

McCall's 3790 - advertisement advert 1956

McCall’s advertisement, 1956.

This 1957 ad featuring McCall’s 3952 shows a well-dressed tug-of-war:

McCall's 3952 advertisement advert February 1957

McCall’s advertisement, February 1957. Image via Allposters.com.

This Valentine’s Day-themed ad appeared in Vogue’s March…

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Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

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Sewing- mini tutorial – CHANEL JACKET TRIMS

Creating A Unique CHANEL-style trim

Last year I made my first Chanel-style jacket.  Finding a suitable trim, a hallmark of a Chanel, proved to be challenging.  I decided to try making my own.

I began with a skein of ribbon yarn and number 9 knitting needles.  Four stitches provided a nice width and using a basic stockinette stitch  I created a long strip.  Stockinette stitches tend to curl at the edges which works to advantage for hiding  hand stitching when applying the trim to the garment.

Creating a trim from ribbon yarn

Creating a trim from ribbon yarn

I would recommend making individual strips for each pocket and a continuous length for the center front and neckline.  By doing this it will reduce the chance of the trim unraveling at the edges during application and can more easily be tucked in at seam lines or pocket edges.  Otherwise, apply Fray Check or a fabric glue to secure the edges.

Once the trim is completed it can be attached by hand-stitching into position along the pockets, center front,neckline and sleeve edges.

Creating a unique trim for Chanel-style jacket

trim applied to sleeve edge

Lebanese Cuisine – Where the Sun Rises

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Recipes from the Levant

A couple of days ago I was searching the internet for something interesting for dinner and came across a recipe for Lebanese Chicken and Rice.  I decided to give it a try.

I began by cooking a whole chicken with onion, garlic, carrot, parsley, lemon, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

preparing the chicken

preparing the chicken

After cooking, I removed the chicken from the bone and cut it into bite-sized pieces.

chopped chicken

remove chicken from bone and cut chicken into pieces

Next, I browned cashews in olive oil. Be careful not to scorch them like I did.  The recipe called for cashews, but I think I would prefer to use pine nuts next time.

brown cashews in olive oil

brown cashews in olive oil

After browning, I set the cashews aside to drain.  The recipe called for vermicelli to be added and browned, but I used angel hair pasta broken into small pieces instead.

brown vermicelli or thin pasta

brown vermicelli or thin pasta

Once browned I added basmati rice and a portion of bokharat spice mixture and pepper.

vermicelli, rice and bokharat

Then I returned the cooked chicken to the pan and added liquid.

add chicken and liquid

add chicken and liquid, cover for cooking

While the rice dish simmered, I prepared fresh green beans with chopped roma tomatoes and garlic tossed in olive oil for roasting.

green beans with tomato and garlic

green beans with tomato and garlic

I decided to make a Lebanese-style tomato sauce to go over the chicken and rice to add flavor and substance.  The sauce can be prepared quickly and easily by adding fresh lemon juice and bakharat spice to taste to canned tomato sauce.

Once prepared, serve and garnish with cashews.   Bon Appetit!

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Eat Greek And Be Merry!

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Eat Greek And Be Merry!

BASKING IN THE WARMTH OF A PDX AFTERNOON THE OPA WAY

I look forward to the Holy Trinity Greek Festival all year long.  It is held every October and by July I start anticipating the smoky fragrances of roasting lamb on the spit, and the hot oil fryers of the pastry tent.  We’ve been going for so many years I’ve lost count.  We’ve watched it grow and expand over time to accommodate the ever-burgeoning crowds in what appears to be a hugely successful fund-raising event for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Our annual pilgrimage takes us to the lovely tree-lined streets and vintage homes of Laurelhurst, one of old-Portland’s premiere neighborhoods.  Finding parking on the residential streets can take a bit of tenacity, but we always manage to find a spot without too much trouble and walking through the neighborhood is a part of the pleasant experience.

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tree lined streets of Laurelhurst

Laurelhurst

A beautiful Sunday in Portland, Oregon

As we make our approach to the church, we are first greeted by the delicious aroma of lamb roasting and the sounds of  bouzouki music.  I always have to exercise a certain level of self-restraint when I hear Greek music as it tends to make me want to extend my arms, start snapping my fingers and exclaiming opa!

the aroma of roasting lamb

roasting lamb

A large tent is set up where the ladies of the parish sell their homemade pastries… all Greek traditional  tasty treats like baklava and other things I can’t quite spell or pronounce the names of, but all delicious, every one, I’m sure.

Greek pastries

Greek pastries

Loukoumades, which I suspect means little-fat-pills in Greek, top my list of Greek savories.  They are basically doughnuts, fried and dipped in honey or a sugary syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon.  They are definitely a must have every year and very popular.

At the loukoumades booth

Living proof that loukoumades make you smile!

Help yourself!

Soooo good!

But, before dessert, we head for the the dining hall where we feast on a traditional Greek chicken dinner.  Tables are set up in the gymnasium and people are seated family style.  I really like this part of the festival, because invariably we meet nice people.  It is not an everyday thing to dine with people you don’t know, but it works in this situation and seems like a very Greek thing to do.

Dining family style

Dining family style

Dinner begins with a Greek salad with feta cheese, olives and tomatoes.

Greek salad

The main course consists of roasted chicken, orzo, green beans Greek-style of course, and a kourabiedes cookie for dessert.

Greek chicken dinner

Greek chicken dinner

After dinner, we take a trip through the market area where various Greek imports are sold.

Greek marketplace

Greek marketplace

I always try to stop in at the Ethos bookstore to pick up an icon for my refrigerator icon collection.  This year I found a rather stern image of Christ; I like it, it’s different from any others than I have and will be a nice addition to my growing number of magnets.

Ethos  bookstore

Ethos bookstore

my refrigerator icon collection

my refrigerator icon collection

Next we go to bask in the afternoon sun for awhile and watch the children dance in their traditional costumes.  It is nice to see them learning and carrying on their traditions.

traditional dancing

traditional dancing

We always like to visit the church; it is very beautiful and peaceful and while typical of orthodox churches, quite different from western churches I am familiar with.   I always begin by buying a candle.

Buying a prayer candle

Buying a prayer candle

And what is one to do with a prayer candle, but to light it and say a prayer, of course.

Sending up a prayer

Sending up a prayer

We go into the church for a few moments of reflection in the quiet under the gaze of the icons which line the walls.  It definitely feels like a holy place and quite a contrast to the party atmosphere just beyond the front door.

In the narthex

In the narthex

the Nave, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

in the Nave looking toward the Iconostasis

And for the finale, we make our obligatory visit to pasty tent for a dessert and  Greek coffee

Greek Festival, 2013

Greek Festival, 2013
Until next year!

 

Dress-ups

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Kerri:

I’ve been following “Looking Good Girls” for a while now and the long-legged beauty responsible for this blog never fails to intrigue and amaze me with her wonderful sense of style and ability to put together an amazing look on a dime. For High Fashion on a budget check out lookinggoodgirls.com  She is a breath of fresh air!

Originally posted on Looking Good Girls:

Played dress-ups for church today, pairing a blue Garfunkle dress with a bubble-gum pink leather jacket.

Pink jkt, blue dress 1

I was hanging out to wear these embellished beige platforms so I started with them and worked the rest of the outfit around them.

Jewel encrusted Nine West strappy platforms 2

These jewel-encrusted babies were a super bargain a couple of years ago from a Nine West factory outlet.

Pink jkt, blue dress 2

I scored this Garfunkle ruffle dress for $3 in an op shop on holiday last week. Thrift shops can be scary looking at first glance (I think I’ll never find anything in all the junk) but if you roll your sleeves up and start rummaging I guarantee you’ll find something great.

Pink jkt, blue dress 4

Pink jkt, blue dress 3

Capped the outfit off with this bright pink faux-leather jacket, colourful raffia clutch, and some turquoise-stone accessories to match the heels.

Raffia clutch, blue dress

Speaking of pink leather jackets, one of my fabulous readers, Kerri – a woman of style and substance – is…

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