sweetfigs   s w e e t   f i g s


                in pursuit of a fruitful life


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Crown me!

Another photo from the northwoods...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Summer in the northwoods

I was going through my photos and realized I forgot to post some of my favorites from this summer's treks in the Upper Pennisula.

I took these in July during our impromtu drive from Watersmeet to the Sturgeon River Gorge wildnerness and Lake Superior. It was a leisurely day trip and quite different from our usual pell mell rush down the highway to get to our next destination.

This shot is supposed to capture some of the grace of a concrete bridge spanning the middle branch of the Ontonagon River. A commemorative plaque told us the bridge was completed in 1929, just before the stock market crashed. Shots like these make me wish for a better camera, but hopefully you get a sense of how peaceful it was.

This railroad trestle bridge is just a few yards away. Again ... the camera's not big enough to take in the scene.

The 4th shot is the Ontonagon rushing below the bridges.

Since these bridges are out in no where, I wondered what it was like to be on the construction crew, and did a little searching on the internet. I think the iron bridge was constructed in the late 1880's, by a crew that slept and ate in the railcars that brought them to the site. After the rail lines were laid, the loggers (Finns, Swedes, and French) moved in.

On the walk back to the car, we found this evidence of a pileated woodpecker. Hopefully I'll get a picture of an actual bird next summer. They're mostly black, with some white patches, and have scarlet mohawks.

A few weeks after this trek, an artist friend helped us sketch our impressions of the northwoods, and I tucked a few pileateds into my trees.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gimme Your Stuff!

A lot of great food and beverage companies make their home in Chicago. Some of my favorite corporate residents are Intelligentsia coffee and Blommer chocolate.

Intelligentsia is sold in my neighborhood grocery store, but I sometimes make a special trip to the Intelligentsia coffee shop because the place smells so great and they sell beans that were roasted like yesterday.

And if you've ever been in downtown Chicago and thought the air smelled like ... chocolate ... well, it does, thanks to Blommer! Their Chicago factory is located just northwest of Chicago's Loop. It's fun to step off the bus or train in that part of town and realize that it's bean roasting day at Blommer. Ahhhhh.

I'd love to share some of these Chicago goodies with a Gimme Your Stuff! participant. I'm offering to send some locally-roasted coffee beans and chocolate, and would like to receive some loose tea or drink mix and some cookies. Send me an email!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dogs love cheese!

I'm glad the heatwave broke because I've been wanting to get in the kitchen to make some cheese dog crackers.

I make cheese or peanut butter dog treats a few times a year, esp. around the holidays and when the man in my life needs "cookies" for a bakesale.

This time the inspiration was the two little guys that live with my KSKS swap partner.

I use the good stuff for these homemade treats -- whole wheat flour, fresh cornmeal, real cheese, butter, etc.

Here's my squirrel-shaped cookie cutter in action.

Libby was happy to be the taste tester.

Monday, August 14, 2006

FO Report -- A Sewn Handbag

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I'm back!

I got a little overloaded from the heatwave, lack of sleep, and too much to do, so I took a little break from blogging. I still need a few more nights of solid sleep, but I'm feeling better.

I managed to finish this handbag! It's a little sweet /twee /Laura Ashley for my taste, but I won't mind carrying it from time to time. The exterior is a remnant of cotton upholstery fabric from the sale table, the lining is cotton duck, and the corners and strap are pleather.

I like how the zipper extends upward into the handles, and gives the top of the bag a little structure. I dropped it off at the cobbler's so that he could put the brass rivets in the strap, which added $6 to the final cost, but I think they make the bag look more finished.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Taking a Breather

The power went off some time last night and I woke up at 1:30 in stuffy hot air.

I never got back to sleep.

I spent a few hours watching TV, waiting for the air conditioner to catch up, then tackled another sewing project.

I could take pictures this morning, but I don't really feel like it. Hopefully I'll get a full night's rest tonight and be back online Wednesday.