I cut the sari to make Simplicity 2893, but I realized that the border is not going to work for the collar and the waistband, they really need to be contrasting and plain... so I can't go on until I buy some white silk, which who knows when will happen. The pattern calls for fusible interfacing for both the collar and the waistband, but I'm not so sure, I'm afraid it will make it too stiff, but I've never used any other kind... maybe I'll buy extra fabric to account for possible interfacing disasters.
Another WIP to the pile. I should take a picture of all the projects I have going on.
My previous attempts have never worked. But those were monthly menues and they included recipes that my son couldn't eat forcing me to plan something else just for him. Well, that's in the past, now I'm going to try to work around my family's challenges while still trying to educate them to eat a healthy and varied (and as Spanish as possible) diet. Will I succeed? Time will tell, for now I'm going to commit to posting them here every Monday and reporting on how the previous week worked out.
I find my family very challenging to cook for, it seems that most of the dishes I grew up with and love to cook and eat the most cannot be eaten by my son or will not be eaten by my husband (the baby is like a garbage truck, I have yet to find something he will not eat). But, as I said, my goal is to use some of those things my husband will not eat (chickpeas, lentils, peppers...) in small quantities or as side dishes to see if I can bring him over to my side while still cooking for him (after all my mother in law still can't believe I put onions in practically everything I cook, apparently he has never touched them in her presence). My other goal is to try to find substitutes for milk and eggs (the allergy culprits) so I can still cook my favorite childhood meals for my boys.
I'm still working my way up to serious planning, I have a folder with organized magazine clippings of recipes and three books I use often to draw ideas from (although it needs improvement, I like Luisa's idea). Little by little I will work out a "master list" and will start cooking double batches for freezing like I used to before I lost track of the three freezers in the house. Once the freezers are completely reorganized, a veeeery slow process that I hope will work, I'll include a weekly freezer meal (likely Wednesday, when I work late).
Anyway, enough babbling, here's the menu for this week:
Vuelvo a intentar preparar menúes, creo que es la tercera vez, a ver si es verdad que a la tercera va la vencida. Esta vez voy a intentar evitar algunos de los errores que cometí antes: los voy a hacer semanales en lugar de mensuales y que los podamos comer todos. Además sólo voy a preparar una comida diaria: la cena de los mayores que será la comida de los niños al día siguiente; la comida nuestra que cada uno se apañe como pueda y la cena de los niños entre restos y comodines de momento me vale, ya veré si me hace falta escribirlo.
Las otras veces me empeñaba en usar muchas de las recetas que me encantan a mí y con las que crecí y me gustaría que creciesen mis hijos (cazuelitas de bechamel, potaje de garbanzos, croquetas, lentejas "viudas"...), sin contar con que tengo un hijo que es alérgico a la leche y el huevo y un marido que la primera vez que vio garbanzos en una cazuela no sabía lo que eran. Así que el plan es sustituir ingredientes para el primero e ir convenciendo al segundo en pequeñas dosis.
Más o menos me pongo por objetivo un día de legumbres, uno de pasta y mínimo uno de pescado (pero ojalá sean dos), no más de un día de carne roja (o ninguno), no más de dos días de pollo (que se me va la mano), y que en general sean comidas completas: un carbohidrato, una verdura/fruta y una proteína.
Aquí va la primera tanda, el próximo lunes os cuento qué tal me ha ido:
I made the baby's birthday crown with scraps of wool felt I had from some Christmas ornaments. I had never made one and it is as simple as it looks. I made a search for images of "waldorf birthday crowns" for inspiration and set to work.
First I tried to figure out the best size so that it will be good for as many years as he will be willing to wear it; I simply wrapped a piece of paper around his brother's head and eyeballed where I would like the main (felt) part to be. It came to about 16 inches. Then I figured that the elastic should be barely stretched now that he is little so that there is plenty of room to grow. I cut it to 5 1/2 inches, allowing for a 3/4 inch seam allowance.
The next step was to figure out what shape I wanted. I made a few templates and finally settled down on the simplest one; I folded a 16 inch long piece of paper in half and used my set square's 90º angle to draw the central triangle and then add a lower one to the side, making sure it hit the edge at about 1 inch, to leave space for the elastic. The center triangle is 4 1/4 inches tall and the side ones are 3 1/2. I rounded all the angles with a french curve.
Next I basted the two layers of felt together (I generally prefer to baste, I find it gives me a lot more control and it avoids swearing in front of the children when I prick myself every 5 seconds), placed the template on top with a couple of weights and cut around it.
To cover the 3/4" elastic I cut a piece of light blue corduroy 11 inches long and 2 1/4 inches high; folded it in half lengthwise and stitched it with right sides together, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance (too big but not so important). Turned it inside out, threaded the elastic through and stitched both ends to the ends of the casing.
Then off to the sewing machine to put it all together. I sewed the top first using contrasting thread (blue on red and viceversa). To attach the elastic I used a zig-zag sitch just for safety, although it was probably unnecessary but I always feel that the straight stitching back and forth will end up by cutting the elastic; I didn't use contrasting thread for this step. And finally I straight-stitched the bottom with contrasting thread.
Easy and cute. I originally intended to embroider his initial but I'm not really sure what this baby is going to be called in the end, whether by his first name of by the nickname his brother is currently using (and that I really like). So maybe next year.
La corona de cumpleaños que le hice a mi morsa es de las cosas más fáciles y más resultonas que he hecho. Hice una búsqueda para inspirarme y me puse manos a la obra.
Lo primero fue tomar la medida con un papel alrededor de la cabeza de su hermano, que es capaz de quedarse quieto cinco segundos, y decidir a ojo hasta dónde quería que llegase. Me salieron unos 40 cm. La goma la corté de 14 cm contando con 1.5 cm de márgen de costura, para que le dure lo más posible (me cabe a mí, pero éste es cabezón).
A continuación hice dos o tres patrones a ojo, y terminé por usar el más sencillo. En un papel de 40x11cm doblado por la mitad, dibujé el triángulo central con una escuadra y añadí el del lado un poco más abajo, cuidando de que la intersección con el borde fuese lo suficientemente grande como para meter luego la goma. Lo desdoblé y listo para usar.
De ahí hilvané las dos piezas de fieltro juntas (prefiero hilvanar a prender con alfileres, que siempre me pincho y muchas veces se me mueve todo) y con el patrón encima las corté a la vez.
Para cubrir la goma (de 2cm de ancho) corté una pieza de pana finita a medida: 28x6cm, la doblé a lo largo con el derecho hacia dentro y le hice una costura dejando un márgen de unos 15mm. Le dí la vuelta, metí la goma y cosí los bordes de la goma a los extremos de la "funda".
La corona la cosí con hilo del color opuesto en cada lado (azul para el fieltro rojo y viceversa), primero la parte de arriba, luego inserté la goma y la cosí con zig-zag (siempre tengo el miedo de que las puntadas rectas terminen por romperse o cortar la goma) esta vez con el color "correcto" para que no se notase el zig-zag; y ya por último la parte de abajo.
Lo último fue cortar los tres círculos para decorarla, uno un poco más grande que los otros, para ponerlo en el centro; hilvanarlos en su lugar y coserlos a punto de lado teniendo cuidado de no coger más que una capa de fieltro.
¡Y eso es todo! Os animo a que se las hagais a vuestros peques. Yo tengo pendiente hacer una para mi grandullón y otra para tener en mi clase para los cumpleaños, y creo que un par para la caja de los disfraces, a ver si encuentro fieltro de lana barato, que con el de mezcla le hice unas zapatillas a la morsa y no sé si le duraron dos horas.
Well, on a happier note than the last post: The baby turned one this week! And we celebrated yesterday in the park.
We had to skip lighting the candle because it was too breezy, but he still insisted on eating it.
It was a nice, low key celebration for the big guy. We had a really good and relaxing time (which the grown-ups in the family were in great need of), strolling, picnicking and playing in the cool spring breeze. And mostly just enjoying each other's company.
I made him a birthday crown with some wool felt scraps, and vegan cupcakes that we all could eat (big brother has several food allergies) for a change. It was the first time I baked anything vegan and it was a big success! This recipe is delicious and couldn't be any easier. Next time I think I will cut back on the raisins and maybe even the sugar a little bit, but really, it is great as is.
El martes fue el cumpleaños de mi morsita. ¡No me puedo creer que ya ha pasado un año desde que nació!
Lo celebramos ayer de picnic en el parque, con corona y magdalenas "vegetarianas": sin huevo ni mantequilla, que su hermano no los puede comer. Usé esta receta y salieron riquísimas, aunque la próxima vez voy a poner menos pasas y creo que hasta menos azúcar, pero en cualquier caso estaban muy buenas.
El cumpleañero se puso ciego, hasta las velas se quería comer. Y sorprendentemente tardó muchísimo en quitarse la corona que le hice, así que tengo un montón de fotos. Esta semana os cuento como la hice, que es muy fácil y les gusta mucho, no sólo para los cumpleaños, para jugar están muy bien también.
En fin, que lo pasamos bien, y los mayores nos relajamos que nos hacía mucha falta; así que empezamos la semana con las fuerzas renovadas.
It's been a quiet week on this blog, but not so much due to lack of ideas as of an excess of them. My mind seems to be going in a thousand different directions and I'm having a very difficult time focusing and just being present.
What a concept that of being present, just concentrating on the task at hand, on the moment that is happening now, on the actual process of living... without letting the tasks that await to be completed interfere, the worries of what could happen if you make one decision instead of another, of what is going to happen next. Without being scared by the ever present shadow of change.
I find this very difficult to do when it comes to my family. When I am at school, I have learned to just be, I'm there with the children; observing, responding, helping. Everything else disappears from my mind; there are no doctor's appointments that need to be made, no bills, no laundry, nothing but the children and the space that we inhabit.
But at home everything interferes, there is always something else that needs to be done, and while my 2-year-old can be involved in many of the chores, the baby can't. And worse: my mind is always preoccupied and somewhere else (how are we going to pay for preschool?, what did I do with that bill? --let me look for it--, I forgot to get oatmeal again --let me write it down before I forget... oh no! I left a dirty diaper lying around, let's put it away... Wait... what was I doing?--).
And it seems that when I do manage to let go of everything else (being outside helps with this) then all of a sudden it's 6:30 and there is no dinner, everybody gets suddenly cranky and things get nasty (I get nasty).
Ugh. Not good when that happens. It bothers me to no end that so often I can't deal with my boys with the calmness that I deal with my students; it just doesn't happen that I yell at one of them, it doesn't even cross my mind. Yet I have found myself screaming at my two-and-a-half-year-old like a total witch. When it happens it always seems like a nightmare: I can see I'm headed down that road, almost like I'm trying to pick a fight with him, but I am not stopping myself, I know I should, I know it would be so much better if I did, but I just don't do it. And I don't know why, it's like I'm steamrolling myself.
Not that it's our usual dynamic around here, most times I enjoy my kids and even though I'm not as fully present as I want to be I don't let things get to the point where I'm screaming and being unfair and infantile. But lately stress has been higher than usual around these parts, lots of decisions to be made, little time and energy to sit down and deal with it all... and... well, my self-control is definitely weaker.
Phew, that was not easy to write, but it's been on my mind, and I think that things like these need to be out there too. We all like to focus on the positive when we write on our blogs, but a little reflection on our difficulties can only make us better. Or at least I hope so. Writing this down forces me to put it in perspective, to see myself in those situations in a cooler frame of mind and maybe find ways to avoid them in the future.
So there it is. Do you find yourself in those ugly places often? How do you deal with them?