Three little girls (and their mama) came over for a little afternoon tea the other day, so I thought I'd whip up some of this pink lemonade I've been liking lately. I make it in the same hodgepodge way as my standard lemonade, except when I'm making the simple syrup, I throw in a handful of smashed strawberries (6 or 7 good-sized ones should do the trick for a liter pitcher/carafe.) Strain out the strawberry-pink sugar syrup when you're adding to the lemon mixture, and there you go!
I find it's a really good way to use up those last stragglers hanging around the bottom of the strawberry basket. I mean, certainly not furry or rotten ones. But ones that might've seen better days.
The resulting lemonade is a really pretty coral color - not at all like the pale pink of the store-bought kinds.
(Two differnet types of orange geum, "Borisii" (the single) and "Red Dragon" (the double) nestled with white yarrow and peach foxglove)
I mentioned in my last post that I've been keeping my first flower garden (well, a shade garden and a sun garden) this Spring and Summer. Everything's starting to bloom like crazy, so I need to take photos of them in their actual outside beds. In the meantime, I realized I've accumulated a lot of photos of my very favorite flowers on my camera.
(Top Left: Mango Lassi Geums, Top Right: Dwarf Peach Geum (I'm not sure of the name) with Astilbe buds and leaves, Bottom Left: Red Dragon again (from a plant that blooms true red) with crimson Ranunculus, and Bottom Right: A petite bouquet for a friend's birthday, more little Mangos mixed in with some golden/orange Ranunculus)
Geums (also called Avens, and Grecian Rose and probably lots of other things) are the sweetest flowers I've ever seen. There are double and single petaled types, different sizes and colors, but all their drowsy heads bob on the same sort of slender, fuzzy stems. I fell in love so hard, I've ended up with at least 5 varieties
(Geum Lady Stratheden wtith beautiful purple-black Diablo Ninebark)
I'm so glad to have learned about them now - they make me so very happy. From poking around the internet, it seems like they're much more common in England than in the U.S., and I'm coveting lots of the varieties they have across the ocean.
For now, I'll just keep staring dreamily at the little collection I have!
- I've been really lucky with new/old book finds in the past week or so (also pictured above) the prize jewel being Mermaids & Mastodons. I'm always looking for old cryptozoology/peculiar natural history books, and this one is the best I've found.
- Also been quietly keeping my first flower garden this Spring/Summer. At the risk of sounding maudlin, it's one of the best and happiest pursuits I've ever begun.
Firstly, thank you so much for the extremely kind response to the Alice originals! There's only one left in the shop (as of this posting) (update: it's sold, too! All twelve are spoken for.) I'll be adding the prints very soon.
Secondly, a couple days ago, I got a bee in my bonnet to duplicate a simple blouse I own. I realized I was wearing this blouse about once a week, and I had some beautiful yardage of 1930's floral cotton voile just waiting to become something. It seemed like it would be very happy as a blouse.
It's always equal parts scary and exhilarating to cut into fabric that very well might be one-of-a-kind. But I also believe that pretty, special things are meant to be enjoyed, so I made my pattern and then cut & sewed this little garden print right up.
The fabric has the prettiest colors in it - strawberry coral, marigold yellow, ice blue & jadeite green. Oh, I just love it so.
The blouse I traced is a simple shift shape with minimal shaping (I added some darts so it wasn't a total sack) but most importantly, it has the perfect little tie that can become a bow, or just knotted, as above.
I added a collar underneath the tie (a scooped peter pan sort of deal) to add more versatility to how it could be worn, but truthfully, I think I might leave it off next time, since you can barely see it.
To determine if I think I'll be capable of drafting a pattern from something, I usually sit down with it for about 5-10 minutes, turn it inside out, examine the seams, figure out how things are attached. I look for things I'd like to change and figure out how I'd change them. Then I draft the pattern on butcher paper, and go to work! Happily, this one worked on the first try, which feels so good.
The blouse is different from the original in a lot of ways...it's shorter, has the peter pan collar, different sleeves. You'd probably only know they're related from the tie.
I wore it yesterday, and it's really so nice under my always-present cardigans. I can't wait to sew one in black/white gingham!