I just thought you should know. In college I was an extra in an episode of “Touched by an Angel” with Della Reese. Della Reese was in “Beauty Shop” with Kevin Bacon. And that is how I have such a low Kevin Bacon number. I know, you think I’m way cooler now than you did before, right?
So, my roommate in college had a cousin who did a lot of extra work. He told us to come along with him one day. It was a sweet gig. It was right before finals, so we figured we would study during all the sitting around time and make a little money while we were at it (it beats selling platelets)! We did do a little bit of studying, but mostly we enjoyed the free lunch, ate our body weight in snacks from the Kraft Services truck, and messed around. It was so interesting to see how much goes into the filming of a television show, and to see all the logistics of it. Very cool! My parents have the episode recorded somewhere, but it’s on a VHS tape, so very few people in the world have the ability to view it ever again. I consider it a sad loss! But at least I get to tell you that my Kevin Bacon number is two!
I’m sorry I haven’t been around! I told myself no more photo sessions this year. But sure enough I took three more sessions and agreed to make five dresses for the Nutcracker. I think part of my brain is missing – the part that can say no when someone asks me for something. Oh well, on to Christmas preparations!
First of all, I’d like to thank 1984 for this awesome shirt! We bought it at Goodwill a few years ago and it has made many a costume amazing since then (pirates, pilgrims, and now Thomas Jefferson all owe at least part of their glory to this shirt). It is lovingly referred to in our home as the puffy pirate shirt. Ok, enough about the shirt. Just know that if you ever see one for sale you should snatch it up without hesitation. You won’t regret it.
The knickers were made from his old church pants that were too short. I made the vest from some fabric I purchased long ago to recover a chair- one of the many projects I’ve given up on over the years. I bought the fabric for the coat, as he was adamant on that particular shade of green. The coat had so many buttons that it forced me to learn how to use the automatic buttonholer on my sewing machine (it only took me 11 years)! He also really wanted real pockets that actually work, so I spent 45 minutes on the internet one day learning how to make welt pockets. This was the best tutorial I found, and this was the best video. The wig is an ’80s rocker wig from Amazon that we powdered with baby powder and tied back with a ribbon. Of course, he needed buckles on his shoes. We bought buckles at the fabric store and attached them to his church shoes with black elastic. The stockings are a pair of my trouser socks, consequently they fall down a lot – sorry, Thomas. Finally, I made him a trick-or-treat bag using this fabric that has the Declaration of Independence printed on it, just to try to help people know who he is. Sadly, there are very few people who know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, so it didn’t really work. I used this pattern for the vest and coat (although I had to use the pattern pieces to make my own vest pattern, because theirs was made to go with a dickey, and was lacking important parts like the shoulders).
One of the reasons I like to make my kids’ Halloween costumes is that I push myself to learn new techniques. The other reason is that they look better. This year I received my biggest reward ever when Josh, who has an incredible attention to detail told me that he loved his costume and it was exactly as he had imagined it. Coming from a little boy who has a slight fascination with Thomas Jefferson, and knows everything there is to know about him and the time period in which he lived, this was an incredible compliment! I almost cried!
I’ve been taking a typography class at Nicole’s Classes for the past few weeks. This is a mock invitation I did for my homework the first week. The class has been great and I’ve learned so much about type! It has been really fun. Plus, it’s nice that I can do it at my own pace and be connected to instructors who can answer my questions via e-mail. If you’re wanting to learn something new, check out Nicole’s Classes and see if there’s something there for you.
I made this tart for dinner a few weeks ago. I figured my kids would hate it but they actually liked it, and let’s not even talk about how much I ate! Here’s the recipe for the Pâté brisee (that’s the dough). This is a pretty standard recipe and I use it for sweet or savory tarts, plus pies and quiche.
2 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
8 oz (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into pieces (the recipe calls for unsalted butter, but I’ve used salted with no problem) 1/4 to 1/2 c ice water (I use 1/2 cup)
Pulse flour, salt and sugar in food processor until combined. Add butter and process until mixture resembles coarse meal or small peas (about 10 seconds). With the machine running, add water in a slow, steady stream until mixture just begins to hold together.
Shape dough into two disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour to 2 days (or freeze for up to 1 month; thaw in refrigerator before using).
For the tart I rolled one disk of the dough out and placed it in a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom and chill for 30 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes (to reduce bubbling, put a piece of parchment paper and pie weights or dry beans on top of crust). Remove from oven and remove parchment paper and pie weights. Top with crumbled goat cheese, sliced heirloom tomatoes (ours were the last ones from the garden) and caramelized onions (place 1 sliced onion in pan over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes with 1 Tbsp butter).
Enjoy! It’s yummy- I promise!