Yesterday I got out of work a little early because I have to be here so long today.  A 10.5 hour shift...eww.  I didn't do much with my extra time...ran by the grocery store and took a nap.  I had a headache and thought sleeping would help, I don't think it did.

I tried making a new dish yesterday, leek soup.  I have wanted to try making leek soup since I first saw Bridget Jones' Diary and hers turned blue!  That was years and years ago and since I know nothing of leeks I've always been afraid to buy them at the grocery store.  Last week at the farmers' market there was a bundle of leeks for $1, so I thought it was about time to try it.  Last night I did, we didn't eat it for dinner just in case it didn't turn out...but I think it turned out very fine.

I used this Potato Leek soup recipe from Allrecipes.com as a base for my soup and taking some advice from reviews added a few extras, celery for one was added to the potatos and chicken "broth" (I used buillion cubes since it is what I had on hand".  While that boiled, I cooked the full pound of bacon (thinking bacon would make this dish at least a little interesting to Brad) in the oven because I have more success that way rather than on the stove.  Then using the bacon grease, I sauteed the 4 leeks that came in the bundle with mushrooms.  I ended up needing more oil, so I used Land o'Lakes butter/olive oil spread for that and let it all saute.  Before adding this stuff to the soup, I used our cool emersion blender that we got as a wedding gift to smooth the soup out a bit.  I did want some chunks but the blender was too quick!!  Anyway, I added the bacon, then the leeks and mushrooms and blended again...then added a little left over rotisserie chicken we had (as not to waste it) and besides needing a little seasoning, it's pretty much good to go.  I forgot to add the cream until the very end, but did half skim milk and half heavy cream to cut some of the calories.  I thought I'd end up freezing some of it as I ended up with probably 6-8 cups of soup and I don't think we will eat all of it this week. 

Because I have an excess of potatoes, and because the weather is cool enough I think next week I'll be making Zuppa Toscana, which is the reason we frequent Olive Garden as often as we do.  I made the recipe last year and it was delicious!

In edition to kitchen witchery, we finished watching Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version)  and I put a straw hat that I think is the right shape in water in order to soften it up so I can try to reshape it into something I can use for Saturday.  That went very well because the water softened it alot.  Then I set it down to dry.

Afterwards, I pulled out an old drapery panel to make a mock-up of the cloak pattern I'm using.  I cut this fabric in the dimensions of the wool I have available to see how it would turn out with so little fabric, and it looks full enough so I cut my red velvet and didn't get much further than that before I decided it was time for bed.  Hopefully I'll feel productive after my long day and get the wool cut and at least get the two seperate pieces sewn together.  I forgot to mention I want to *try* to make this a reversable cloak, but I'm having problems thinking of how to make the big clasp not funky if turned to the inside.  Hmm.
 
 
 I am invited to a Victorian Ladies' Tea at the Northstar VSA President's house on Sunday  with my dear friend Debbie.  We will be getting dressed at Debbie's then heading over to Sarah's for tea and cookies! 

Because it has gotten cold and because I've already planted the seed in my head, AND because I have been wanting my own little cloak for years, just never gotten around to it, my aim for this week (besides trying to get a little reorganized after the sewing marathon) is to get a capelet made for myself.

I bought a beautiful cream colored wool in 2006 thinking I'd use it for a project that didn't work out, so it's just sitting in my stash and I didn't have any idea what to use it for until the last couple of weeks.  I don't have much, just enough for a short cape or cloak, and really I'm guessing its enough for one at this point.  I also have a beautiful red silk velvet in the same situation, not much to use but as much as I have of the wool.  So though they don't know it yet and though these two have never met my plan is to pair the together for eternity.  Well that is unless I decide I want to take the capelet apart to make something else but that's not likely to happen since this is destined to be one of the most beautiful things I own (if I can actually get around to making it). 

Firstly, I started to check out some Victorian fashion plates to see if women wore capelets with hoods (does this make it a cloak?) because I'd like to have a hood if there is enough fabric for it.  I did find some examples.  Also, I would like this to be something that I can use for both Renaissance Festival and my Victorian events, so I can't make it too Victorian looking though I can use Renaissance-esque trims, etc. because the Victorians did have a fondness for the Renaissance aesthetic.  I plan on using a clasp that I found at the thrift shop last week that has an arts and crafts feel to it.  It's very pretty, I'll try to get a picture soon. 

Also on the agenda, but less likely to happen, is a hat!  I have a hat for this outfit and maybe I'm wrong, but because it's straw I think of it as a summer hat...I haven't had any success with making it stay put on my head though so that makes it a useless hat, so far.  Anyway, I'm going to try to get something that works for Sunday...but we'll have to wait and see what happens

And, one good cloak leads to another...I owe my friend Jeromy a cloak and I don't think it will take too long to make so I'm hoping to get that done soon.  Also, I bought fabric to make Brad a cloak last year.  A brown on brown chevron patterned wool...I'm thinking I may pair this with a brown velvet I've had in my stash for years, but I might have another option though I can't remember what it is at the moment.  This will be a Victorian cloak..though I'm not sure if there's much difference...this is just a more Victorian fabric, in my opinion, which