Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Catch-up Post #3: #MeMadeMay

For those who follow me on Instagram, you know I (kind of) participated in the Me Made May project, in which crafters are encouraged to wear homemade items every day in May. I took the opportunity to make some new garments. Hopefully I'll make even more at Sewing Camp this week.

A tank and a romper made from the same batik. A nice batik makes any piece beautiful.


Work-appropriate top with hounds tooth and lace. 

Simple, no pattern chambray skirt. 

Refashioned shirt into tank with a great-grandmother lace overlay. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Catch-up Post #2: PSAT Camp

As I alluded to in my last post, I've spent a big chunk of my summer getting ready for PSAT camp. For the past six years, our theme has been Hollywood, but this year, we're going Around the World. My co-teachers are crafty, but I'm not sure they enjoy it as much as I do, so I usually take the lead on the decor. Here's a post about Hollywood. Pretty impressive, right? We go big. Here's what I've done so far this summer: 

Painted flags on candy buckets. Kids love candy. 

Made four Brazilian fruit hats. We bought hats for each of our groups and could not find inexpensive and accessible hats for the Brazilian group. So I made them. More photos available on my Instagram. I like to pose.

Drew a bunch of signs. Inexplicably, I did not photograph the giant airplane I made, but these are the group signs, and photos of the kids will go in the head spaces. I am in love with these.








So suffice it to say, I'm excited for camp!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Catch-up Post #1: Tie Dye

This July I'll be teaching my usual summer camp. This will be the 7th year I've done it, and while you'd think we'd be good to go this year, we have a brand new test, brand new theme, and brand new school. So, yeah, not good to go. But we still have a month to get there.

Our theme is "Around the World" (a post on that later), and we'll be reading and doing activities from four countries. We have to find things that appeal to kids but can still involve learning. One of the activities we are going to incorporate is tie dyeing. Who doesn't love tie dye? And there's gotta be a math lesson there, right? In preparation for leading forty kids in a tie dye lesson, I needed to practice, and practice in bulk.

So, long story short, that's how I came to be tie dyeing here on the Patti Wagon. I spent one day last week trying out different methods and dyes on over-sized t-shirts. Not really having any use for a bunch of over-sized tees, I refashioned them into swimsuit coverups and tanks.

Annnnnnnddd, you can buy these tanks on my Etsy! That's right, Patti Wagon Designs has an Etsy.

This purple one is my favorite tie dye design.



But this macrame is my favorite shirt design.

I'm not a huge fan of this tie dye, but I would like to do more with the weaving macrame. After I hone my six pack, that is.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Spargelzeit!

Spargel is German for asparagus. And this is how Spargel usually appears on German plates:

What's that you say? You'd like to learn more about Spargel? I thought so.
  • Germans go gaga for white asparagus for the two or so months that it's in season. What the tomato is to Ripley, TN in August, the Spargel is to Germany in May. 
  • White asparagus is actually the same variety as green; it's just grown underground to prohibit the chlorophyll (or something science-y like that). 
  • Asparagus was brought to Germany by the Romans and has been used as both an aphrodisiac and contraceptive over the years. 
  • Germans love Spargel so much that they even shape their (vanilla) ice cream into asparagus spears. 

To celebrate the commencement of Spargelzeit, I made a new asparagus recipe. I followed the recipe here, but it's very simple. After washing and trimming the spears, dunk them in an egg mixture and then in a bread crumbs + parmesan cheese + corn starch mixture. Bake for 12-20 minutes at 400 degrees, depending on how narrow your spears are. I baked these for 12.

After they cooled a bit, I ate them dipped in a mayonnaise + lemon juice + S&P mixture. Delicious! (But if we're being honest, an old piece of leather would be delicious if dipped in mayo and LJ.)

I liked them so much, I decided to do the same treatment to some cauliflower florets. Again, yum! I'm thinking broccoli would also work.

Happy Spargelzeit!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Big Break

My school was featured on one Memphis's local news stations as the "Cool School of the Week." Lucky me, I got to be interviewed, and I thoroughly appreciated the 30 seconds of notification I got. I'm generally terrible in front of the camera, and the more time I have to think about it, the worse I get. I think I did a'ight here. If the video doesn't play, you can go to this link for another view. And if that doesn't work, sorry, this is a low-tech blog.


In other school news, we are changing the theme of our summer workshop to "A Trip Around the World." For the last three years it's been Hollywood, as seen here. So my beloved MGM and Hollywood signs need to be replaced by maps and airplanes. I started work on a world map, and it's even bigger than Hollywood, clocking in at 8' by 14'. I'll keep you updated on my progress on what's beginning to feel like my life's work. 



Monday, April 6, 2015

How I Spent My Mourning

The undefeated were defeated, and I felt simply deflated. In order to soothe my fandom suffering, I threw myself the perfect Pattiwagon day today. Easter Monday was school holiday, and the Charleswood air improved my mood and got me psyched for summer.

My agenda: 


1. Sleep in, drink coffee and linger over my favorite crossword puzzle. 


2. Get to baking. While I haven't made very much sourdough lately, I've kept my starter on life support. I got two loaves of bread going, and with my discard cup, I made pineapple/carrot/banana/coconut muffins. LOVE that combo! The muffins are a little strange but a lot edible.


3. Go for a run. 5 miles. Not too shabby. 

4. Make a completely easy and completely inauthentic arroz con pollo.


5. Refashion a shirt, make a skirt, and top with great-grandmother lace.


The shirt started out as a giant long-sleeved top, which I turned tank. The skirt was a new creation. I bought five yards of this versatile chambray denim a few months ago, and a gathered skirt seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it. I wanted to incorporate some lace into the outfit and debated between making side cutouts or putting a patch on the back like I did here. I settled with just putting on this mini lace vest over the top. I love the juxtaposition of prison chic and delicate antiquity. I might end up chopping the skirt off a few inches, as I have a well-documented love of short skits, but at least now, I can wear it to work. 

6. Watch the championship (maybe) and cheer for Duke (maybe). And begin the countdown until next season. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Book Club Round Up

I hosted book club last week and for my literature buddies, I cooked some old favorites and one new one. If you frequent the Pattiwagon, you will have seen these before, but you're not mad, are you? 

Appetizer: Cream cheese with homemade catsup and crackers. Recipe can be found on Studio Adventure's website here. While it is some (no, more like A LOT) of work, plan ahead, get some friends together, and have a canning party. No fancy equipment needed. This was my last jar of the season. I must really love my book club. 


Main Course: Chorizo and sweet potato skillet. So good and so easy and so economical. Recipe here

Because it contains rice and beans and sweet potatoes, I just had one side. This is a new favorite for me. I had the recipe for the first time when I was home at Thanksgiving. Cauliflower has never been one of my favorite vegetables. Steamed, it's inedible. Raw, it needs a mountain of dip. But roasted, I can get behind that. 


I've been trying it all sorts of different flavorings, and this Mexican variety is my favorite. Cilantro haters, go Italian and try pesto and parmesan. Recipe here

And for dessert, Molly's chocolate pie. Why would I ever bake any other pie? Recipe here.  



While food/wine/company are the number one priority in book club, we did read a book. I chose All the Light We Cannot See, and I can't recommend it more. It is beautifully written and conceived. It tells the story of the Nazi occupation of France during WWII through multiple story lines. There could be a waiting list of 200 at your local library, but you should go ahead and put your name on it.