Wednesday, January 28, 2009

First Cloche Attempt

I made my first cloche, seen here, out of scraps on the cutting room floor. I was trying to get basic construction down and sort of work out the kinks. I'll be making some real ones to sell and to wear in my So Called Vintage Life!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Eat The View

Eat The View is a very cool little organization trying to promote turning our suburban lawns back into useful food growing lots. They are currently focusing on having a portion of the White House Lawn turned into a fruit and vegetable garden with the produce going into the White House kitchen and surplus going to area food banks.

My local farmer, Charlie Collins of Victory Farms, has been nominated to be the White House Farmer. Having eating Charlie's produce as a CSA member, I can gladly vouche for the wholesome goodness he provides for our table. Please go to the website to learn more about this initiative and vote for Charlie. Voting ends on January 31, so please hurry and go do it right now.

With a troubled economy, we can learn from our American history and turn our useless lawns into sustainable produce for each family. Remember Victory Gardens? Even urban dwellers can grow an amazing amount in a small space.

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Vintage Fantasies!

So I've always loved the historical. When I was a teenager reading Harlequin romances, I always chose the historical romances. I loved Gone With The Wind, Emma, Sense & Sensibility, and Titanic. I've always wanted to bring back the 50s in dress and rosy nostalgic bliss.

I've been noticing that others share this same longing and passion to re-create the romance and dignity of past days. So I decided, for fun, to make myself a Regency style dress. I wore it to church a couple of weeks and absolutely loved how gothic it made me feel!

Last year, I made a couple of 50s dresses to wear anywhere. My husband says he can't figure me - well I can't either, but I'm having fun! About a month ago, we went to a vintage shop in Richmond and a telescoping cigarette holder from the 20s/30s and well, let's just say that I caught the fever.

I decided that some of my lady friends should have a vintage night out with our husbands. I've been searching for 20s cloches in my gigantic head size and really couldn't find anything less than $100. I bought a pattern for a 30s Hollywood Glam dress and found an original reprint pattern for cloches - so soon I will be on a vintage sewing frenzy!

I might make some of these historical/vintage dresses in fine fabrics to sell. How fun would that be for a themed wedding or night out on the town?! Going on themed cruise? It would be awesome to have one of these dresses made perfectly to fit your own proportions. I'll be sure to get some photos up after they're done.

Recipe: Frito Pie

I've never had Frito Pie before, but I saw it on the menu at Galaxy Diner and had to try making it. So I made up this recipe myself and the fam went crazy! Here it is (side note, done as organically and close to earth/unprocessed as possible):

Ingredients (You may substitute with items in parentheses, but I can't guarantee it will be as tasty or nutritionally sound)

Serving for 6

1 cup each of dried beans - navy, great northern, light red kidney (1 can 15 oz. can of each type)
1/2 to 1 lb. pasture-raised ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves of fresh garlic, minced (2-3 tbsp. jarred minced garlic)
15 oz. tomato sauce
1 can of Enchilada sauce
1 can of Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chiles (1 can of diced tomatoes and 1 4 oz. of green chiles, diced)
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. chili powder (less if you don't like spicy)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. real butter
1 large jar of Cheese Whiz (Velveeta, small block has more preservatives than Cheese Whiz)
1 bag of Frito's Original Flavor Corn Chips
1 cup shredded cheese, (cheddar, monterey jack, colby, or fiesta blend)

Slow cooker
Stock pot
Cutting board
Can opener
Pyrex pie pan or Pyrex casserole dish

1. Sort beans and rinse. Cook on high in the crockpot for 6 hours.

2. Melt butter in stock pot on medium high. Saute chopped onion, peppers, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Remove from pot and place aside in a bowl while still crisp.

3. Brown ground beef. Repeatedly break apart beef as it's browning.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Add onion mixture to beef in stock pot. Add Ro-tel, tomato sauce, enchilada sauce and all spices. Add drained beans. Stir and mix well. Lower heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. In Pyrex dish, cover the bottom with Fritos. Add whole jar of Cheese Whiz to the simmered chili and mix thoroughly until all cheese is melted. Pour chili onto Frito base. Add extra Fritos around the edges to simulate pie crust. Put shredded cheese on top of exposed chili.

6. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Serve with sour cream and chopped scallions if you like.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Teaching begins again

I'm really fortunate to have a great homeschooling community. I am part of a homeschool center that provides classes taught by homeschooling moms and some enrichment professionals. Richmond Enrichment Studio is in its 2nd year and is a great model for other homeschooling communities.

Sessions run for 8 weeks and the school year is from September to May. It's sort of like a co-op and is a great way to supplement the at-home program. This session I'm teaching on Thursdays: Intermediate Math, Pre-Algebra, Mythological Creatures, Latin, and Human Body Systems. It's a packed day, but we do get a lot done!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Miranda's Birthday

Miranda enjoying her Princess card which was Handcrafted by LaMar and definitely enjoying her cake! She turned 9 on Dec. 25. Yes, my Christmas angel :)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My First Customer Appreciation Photo

I'm so happy I got this photo! Please go to my Gallery to read the full story and see additional photos of this project.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ronan's birthday

He turned 6 on Dec 20 and had a great celebration at Nana's house.

Friday, January 9, 2009

January Blues

My kids have cabin fever. It's cold, it's wet, homeschooling is boring, why do we have to get out of bed?! Well, I can't help the cold and the wet. Schoolwork isn't boring; they just aren't motivated after taking a holiday break. And I don't want to get out of bed either, but I have to make money and feed my lazy beasts. Does anyone have a cure for the January blues?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Callidora's Closet is open

so go see what she's got in there! There's a Spring Shopping Poll and the Deal of the Week. If you want to get the Deal of the Week right in your inbox, be sure to subscribe to my new blog.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back from the Holidays!

I hope you all wonderful holidays and time with your families! We celebrated 3 birthdays and Christmas with both my mother and mother in law. My sister came from California for a VERY short visit with baby Jillian. But I think I ate most of her up in a 24 hour period. Just dahh-leeng!

I finished a couple of personal projects for my closet :) and I've been hard at work on the drawing board. I have been formulating my business goals for this year. In that regard, this blog will be strictly my personal blog with ALL my fabulous opinions, reviews, and great finds. I am starting a Callidora's blog on Wordpress. There will be announcements of what I'm doing in my shops, Deal of the Week spots, photos of my custom work, and upcoming items.

I'm very excited for what 2009 will bring!

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Put even the plainest woman into a beautiful dress and unconsciously she will try to live up to it. - Lady Duff-Gordon

Please visit my online shop, Callidora's, for clothing and accessories. I'm adding new items all the time and I'm always happy to do custom work in any price range. You can email me with any requests and we can create your unique, handmade item together.

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