Archive for May, 2009

A few days at the beach

The kids and I took a much needed little trip to the beach this past weekend.  We flew to Boston to see my family and then drove down to Rhode Island to stay with our best friends and to welcome the start of the summer season.  The beach is such an inspiring place to be – I could walk along the water and search for sea glass and rocks all day long.  It makes me want to design a whole line of beach clothes in aqua and sand. Yummm.

Here’s a taste:

Searching through the tide pools at "Pirates rock"

Searching through the tide pools at "Pirates rock"

I wish I could figure out a way to spin all this algae and seaweed into cloth.

I wish I could figure out a way to spin all this algae and seaweed into cloth.

wearing all the Hazel Anne layers we have (including pj pants!) to keep warm on this blustery day at the harbour

wearing all the Hazel Anne layers we have (including pj pants!) to keep warm on this blustery day at the harbour

Uncle Rob rows all the kids out to the boat in the dinghy

Uncle Rob rows all the kids out to the boat in the dinghy

An abandoned lighthouse - so romantic.  I want to print this image onto T shirts.  Maybe I will!

An abandoned lighthouse - so romantic. I want to print this image onto T shirts. Maybe I will!

figure heads on the front of Blue

figure heads on the front of Blue

these colors! I'm in love! I can see beautiful dresses dripping with seaweed!

these colors! I'm in love! I can see beautiful dresses dripping with seaweed!

Sweet Augustus in his Hazel Anne pants and well loved Bunny Tail Blanket

Sweet Augustus in his Hazel Anne pants and well loved Bunny Tail Blanket

I am soooo ready for summer now.  Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up the sewing room before I left, and I have to go do that now, if I want to act on any of my inspirations.  Wish me luck! I’ll need it, believe me…

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

I feel like you need a good recipe.  And frankly, nothing’s better than a good chocolate chip cookie.  It seems like a staple food, but when it has to be gluten free, you loose a lot of that chewy, crispy texture.

Search no more! I’ve been tweaking this old recipe of Bette Hagman’s for so long, and here’s a great version:

Really! They're Gluten Free!

Really! They're Gluten Free!

GFCCC:

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/3 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. white sugar

1 teasp. vanilla

1 egg

3/4 c. white rice flour

1/2 c. sorghum flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

dash of salt

1/2 c. oats (quick cooking or regular)

1/4 c. shredded coconut

1/2 c. white chocolate chips

1/2 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. slivered almonds (or other nut)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla.  stir in all dry ing, then mix in chocolate and nuts.  I use my kitchen aid mixer, because the dough can be a little stiff.

drop dough onto lightly greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 11-12 minutes, until lightly browned and set.

Cool on a cooling rack if you can stand to wait!

This recipe is super versatile, use different nuts, types of chocolate ( m & m’s, anyone?), take out the coconut, whatever! Make a double batch, while you’re at it.  These don’t last long around here…

Self Promotion

Looky here at this cool local blog! Howard Street Handmade.  So nice of them to give me a platform, and post some of my creations.  Come on out Saturday from 11-5, and see what I’ve made!

Lots of sundresses, skirts, corsages, bracelets, and more!

The fabrics are so color saturated and vibrant, I want everyone to wear these summer clothes!

Howard Street Handmade

Lucky me! I applied and got into Howard Street Handmade as a vendor! This means I get to sell my clothes directly to the people of Asheville, which is always fun.  It also means that I have a lot of sewing to do in one week!!! I’ll be making some fun sundresses for girls, some skirts for girls and women, and some other special pieces – but they are a secret.  You’ll have to come on May 16th, a Saturday, from 11-5 to find out what I have for you! It’s right next to Short Street Cakes in West Asheville, which is a destination in itself, but add an indie craft fair to it, and you can have your self a “nice little Saturday” (as Will Farrell said in one of the funniest movies ever, Old School).

So, put it on your calender NOW, come on down, have a cupcake, and buy some local art! Can’t wait to see you there…

All Natural Pattern Weights

How many of you have tried to make clothing from those tissue patterns?  You try to pin the tissue to the fabric before you cut, but stuff shifts, the tissue tears, messy messy.

Want a solution? Years ago when I worked in a production room for a handbag designer, I noticed that on tuesdays, when the cutter would come in, he used these heavy weights to hold the pattern to the fabric as he cut the design out.

But you don’t have to pay for the commercial weights! Here is the super simple solution:  ROCKS!!

Last summer when we were camping near the Cherokee reservation in Western North Carolina, we were playing in this gorgeous, wide, rocky river, and I found the most beautiful flat stones.  A light dawned, and I borrowed a handful of my favorites to take home, scrub down, and use to hold the tissue patterns that I make to my fabric.  Makes cutting easy, and pretty! Have a look:

cutting out stretchy pinafores for Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater's Spring show

cutting out stretchy pinafores for Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater's Spring show

pretty, round, flat, helpful rocks

pretty, round, flat, helpful rocks

Let me know if that tip helps anyone!

WNC Magazine

I’m so proud! WNC Magazine featured 5 local designers in their lifesyle page for the May issue, and I am one of them! I’m so lucky to be on a page with these talented women – truly they are all such great designers, and wonderful people, too. Have a look at us:

wnc-lifestyle-pageIf the captions are too hard to read, my dress is the red one, the Camden Wrap dress in Japanese cotton. The other designers are  Meredith Law (70’s disco gown), R. Brooke Priddy, (the black one with the gorgeous back view), Moe Donnelly, (teal knit), and Stina Anderson, (zipper dress).

Good company, huh?

Short Street Cakes

West Asheville just got sweeter! Short Street Cakes opened this spring, and to try it out, I took my sister and her 2 cuties out for cupcakes to have a birthday tea party.  We all put on our Hazel Anne finery, and had such a fancy time!  And the best part? If you call ahead by just one day, Jodi will make ANYTHING on the menu gluten free!! Since 4 of the 7 of us have Celiac Disease, gluten free cupcakes that you can buy from a bakery are just a total phenomenon.  What a treat.  Have a look:

Declan in his surfer shirt - his fanciest thing!

Declan in his surfer shirt - his fanciest thing! My sis, Kathleen, has on the orange wrap skirt and cotton T in the back, Ruby wears a favorite pull-on skirt I made years ago, and keeps getting passed down.

Gluten free white chocolate rasberry - perfect

Gluten free white chocolate rasberry - perfect

Chocolate!!

Chocolate!!

Chocolate berry ganache, and a very cool vintage tablecloth

Chocolate berry ganache, and a very cool vintage tablecloth

finger lickin'

finger lickin'

Bliss!

Bliss!

So if you find yourself here in 28806, swing into this shop for a pick me up.  It was a great way to celebrate Ruby and Anja’s birthdays while they were in town.  Everyone loves a tea party!

Whose birthday is next? Can I take you out for a cupcake?