Sunday, July 31, 2005

Pink Lemonade

Whew, in just under the wire! Here's my submission for this month's Tie One On challenge. Not sure why it's blurry, but had to get it posted today regardless. I wanted something that felt fresh and fun, and I used the opportunity to practice applique, and to learn how to sew godets! This challenge offers the perfect canvas on which to experiment. My initial concepts included something gauzy, and I thought maybe a sarong might be fun. I considered making something low-slung slinky or a jersey knit, or something with cobbler pockets. But I ended up designing the idea around a skirt pattern (Vogue 7832). I ended up with white because I wanted clean and sheer and something like organdy. The store didn't have organdy, but this is really close,and only $1 per yard! I mean, how could I go wrong? I considered using citrus fabric, but decided it was too obvious, so opted for stripes and polka dots ($2 yard!). I considered a trip to a local quilt shop for luscious Kaffe Fassett or even Amy Butler fabrics, but my pocket book said no. I'm just having fun and allowing myself to experiment anyway, so this is all good, you know? I couldn't get these images to load onto one post, so scroll down to check out the details on the appliques. The appliques are the best part!

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And yes, all these little tiny scraps of fabric had the edges turned under, then were pressed, then were stitched down. Each little tiny piece was also embellished with stitching to simulate the fruit pulp or texture, or whatever you want to call it. The stitching is purposefully wavy and irregular to add a whimsical quality. I'm pleased with how this turned out, though it was quite tedious and time-consuming.
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Half lemon with a blue button for fun. There are also translucent red buttons at the sash, where the top edges of the waistband have been folded down, to create a decorative element. Really it was a mistake, but it ended up (as mistakes often do) to be a good thing. I like how all the buttons sort-of tie the design together, and add their own whimsy along with everything else.
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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Thoughts for today

Well, I finished my apron, but didn't get to my sock monkey this month. Oh well. I'll post my apron tomorrow, which also happens to be the deadline. I got my mail at my post office box today, and I received a lot of four vintage apron patterns that I purchased on ebay. One of the envelopes was torn and open, so just as I was getting to my car....the wind picked up and WHOOSH, all the pattern pieces went flying across the parking lot. I searched and searced, but never found all the pieces. At least I did recover the envelope and the instructions, but what a shame.

Check out this awesome homemade smores idea on not martha (July 15 post).

Ooh, chocolate zucchini cupcakes at 101 cookbooks (July 27 post)

Adorable clutch bags on Rick Rack Ruby

I have to work at 5 am, and it's past 11 I'd best stop cruising blogs and get to bed!

Sundress apron

I thought it might be fun to randomly share some of my vintage patterns, so I'll do that every so often. Here's another vintage apron. This is a mail order flower transfer and wrap around sundress apron. The postal mark on the envelope is hard to read, but may say 1966. This was an ebay purchase--the sundress type aprons are my favorites. Posted by Picasa


Valentine apron

Heart and scallop pattern--aren't these fun?!. No envelope, so no date. Ebay purchase. Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Look at that handsome boy!

Wow, blogger bot is working again. Thank you to the little elves in the computer who fixed it somehow :) Posted by Picasa

The serious nature of nature

I had to stop here and be serious for a moment. The thing about life is, it's multi-faceted. You can't just ignore the negative stuff. Actually, it really is true that the difficult situations are the ones that mold our characters, teach us lessons, and act as a gauge to our ethical quality. Then there is that side that we'd just as soon pretend isn't there--the part with violence and hatred and natural selection. I was awakened early this morning by what turned out to be a coyote attacking one of our kittens. I'm mentioning it because the situation has held its grasp on me all day (I even called in sick to work today, because I literally did not sleep at all after that. Any little sound and I would dart to the window). And because a blog is place to chart one's thoughts and feelings and ideas...good AND bad. Positive AND negative. I mean, I can't blame the coyotes--poor things are being forced out of their territories by urban sprawl, and they have little to eat. (Read Barbara Kingsolver's excellent book, Prodigal Summer). But what I don't understand is the cruelty of nature. It has me asking God, "why?", and that is never a good thing. It's just all so terribly sad. And it's not so simple as being able to bring the cats indoors. We have wild cats that we feed here. We have thought about calling the feral cat coalition so we can trap them and get them spayed, but there are some other circumstances that get in the way. We do the best we can. We try to welcome all forms of life. As much as this country fears and misunderstands Islam, my understanding is that it is Islam that teaches that God is in all things. In the rock, in the plant, in the treat the earth and its inhabitants well. I do follow that philosophy. It is also my understanding that the reference to God giving "dominion" to man over the animals in the Christian bible actually means "care for", but has been blurred over the ages. I just feel so horrible. I can't help with the what ifs. What if I would have gotten there one second earlier? One second later? Would it have been better? I just would have preferred to remain blind to that side of life. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep tonight?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Japanese Craft Book #1

First of all, thank you to the forum at Picassa for telling me how to post pics without Hello. It's slower, but at least it's something. Unfortunately, my computer is so old and so slow, that uploading and downloading requires an insane amount of time. So two posts for one day is quite enough, let me tell you. Besides, I haven't even started yet on my apron or my softie. I used to cart my old sewing machine along to pet-sitting jobs, but there was just too much wear and tear involved on the old cabinet. My machine is a White from 1945 or so, and it is housed in a wooden cabinet. It only sews backward and forward (no zig-zag or anything fancy!). I love it. But, not having a portable really is cutting into my sewing time. I just house-sat for my beloved Duke for two weeks, so I'm super behind now. Too, I spent waaay too much on ebay, but that's another story....

Those of you who read my blog know that I recently purchased five Japanese craft books at Mitsuwa, a local Japanese market. This is one of those five.

Cute Seahorse Softie

Ooh, Velvet Bag!


Vintage Homemaker Book

I Want To Be A Homemaker, 1961
It's hard to believe how much society has changed in a short period of time. I want to make it clear that I am neither pointing fingers nor wistful thinking. I just find these images idealistically pleasant. Yes, I am thankful that women today have more choices (sometimes too many), and I realize that the ideal family is often in reality dysfunctional...but I do lament our loss of innocence.

This page says:
"Please come in and see my house."
"How fresh and clean it is, " said Mother.
"I sweep and dust and wash and iron, " said Jane. "I try to be a good homemaker."
"Can you cook?" asked Mother.
"No," said Jane.
One day Tom hung over the fence and said, "I'm going to be a pilot when I grow up."
"I'm going to be a cook, cleaner, nurse, teacher and an artist," said Jane.
"You can't be so many things," said Tom.
"Oh yes I can," said Jane. "A good homemaker is all of those things."


Saturday, July 23, 2005

Ice Cream Pizza

I was trying to comment on Kath's blog about her clown cupcakes, and in the process I discovered this cool recipe for ice cream pizza. But I can't get the link to work on her comments page, so I'm going to post it here.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The importance of photographs

Before I forget:
If any of you knitters missed this wild chicken hat on Aloha Media (as posted on ThreadBared), you've got to check this out!

I love vintage photographs. Reading the lovely Naive Knitting has me thinking too much. I recently purchased a photograph on ebay, featuring a woman from "the 1910's", standing in front of an old car. She is wearing an apron, and is holding a cake. Unfortunately, my post office lost the package. Yet another lost package. If I were to insure all my purchases, it would just be too expensive. So I only insure fragile or expensive items. But when things are lost (where ARE they, anyway?), I am told it is "the price of doing business". That is actually the line I was given when I received a beach towel in a shredded bag, because it had gotten caught in their machines at the post office. One part of the towel is damaged, but I will be able to fix it with a patch of matching fabric (lucky for me, I can sew). But how lame is that?! But I digress. I want to talk about how strange it is to find old photographs, and wonder why they are available for sale. I mean, is there NO family or friend who remembers? Like this post from Swapatorium (be sure to click on her link about the boxes for all the information. I like the comments here, so that's why I'm starting here).
More thoughts:

  • I was in a thrift store recently, and came across a large frame--the type that was especially popular in what? the early 90's? the type with the mat cut into all these little ovals and squares so one can highlight a bunch of pics at one time. Am I making sense? Anyway, here's this frame, still filled with photos, sitting in the aisle of the shop. I thought, how odd. Why is this no longer important?
  • When my friend bought her house, someone left behind an entire album of family history. Just a pile for the trash. My God.
  • Did you know that in early America of the 18oo's, the only record that some women even existed is the signature on their quilts? Women were not counted in the census at that time.
  • I always thought it would be fun to open up a romantic get-away...a Bed and Breakfast where the walls are papered with vintage wedding photos. On ebay alone, it is amazing the quantity available.

No doubt, photographs have the abilty to move us emotionally in profound ways. We surround ourselves with artistic images by Ansel Adams or other photographers who speak to our souls. We display images of people and places that we love, and hold dear the proof of memories. Each tiny rectangle is a captured moment; a visual reminder of what is most important. How then, can some be tossed to the side? Who will value my photographs when I am gone?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pig Xmas

Pig Xmas

I thought it might be nice to belatedly publish a pic of my friends--the subjects of my poem that I posted recently. I already had this uploaded on flickr, so I was able to post. I wish I could get blogger bot working again. Anyway, this was taken Christmas 2003. Janice (you recognize her from the mosaiced flower pot pic), Tracie (the black belt), and debs, my soulmate female version.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Dreaming about chocolate

Oh my gosh, blogger bot stopped working again, so I can't post pics right now. And my flickr account is full for the month. Grrr...what to do?! I guess you will have to settle for text only until I can sort this out. And I can't get Haloscan to work still. Their support isn't very user friendly. If anyone can lend me a hand, I'd appreciate it.

I have all sorts of cake recipes that I want to try using Ibarra Mexican chocolate, after getting the idea on Heidi's phenomenal site. For those of you not familiar with this, the chocolate comes in tablet form, and it has a hint of cinnamon. It's usually used to make hot chocolate drinks, but evidently you can bake with it too.
Here are some recipes I want to try: cake, brownies, cookies (the cookie recipe doesn't use Ibarra, but replicates that flavor) .

And I'm going nuts trying all the Dagoba organic chocolate bar flavors! Yummy! Right now I'm eating the lavender bar. And I still want to make that brownie recipe I mentioned a few posts ago, but I'm going to try Heidi's suggestion, and use Dagoba versus Vosges. I have no doubt whatsoever that Vosges is amazing, but I don't know where to buy it locally, and online it's $6 per bar. So I'd need $18 worth of Vosges to make the brownies, and "only" $10 with Dagoba. I'll want to try both versions eventually. Dagoba's Xocolatl bar is listed as being 74% cacao content with chilies, cacao nibs, maca and nutmeg. The company says the bar is "The perfect way to add a little heat to your life. Based on the Aztec royalty's original cacao concoction--and Montezuma's love potion." It's soooo good once you get used to that bittersweet tinge versus the standard Hersheys.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lessons for Today, and other thoughts

Lesson for the day: I need to remember not to post here that I want to buy something before I buy it, or the price will balloon up to an unreasonable amount. Of course it may have had nothing to do with that. But it's really odd. I posted that I want the Career Girls game. That has come up on ebay numerous times, and most of the time for less than ten dollars. Today it's over $40. Mystery Date, on one auction, is right now at $85! Wow, don't you just wish you could go back in time and save all that stuff? When I was in elementary school, I had a friend who had an entire closet devoted to board games. We're talking walk-in closet. A baby boomer's dream! All that stuff is popular again. Remember click-clacks? And I used to love this thing called Footsie, that was a yellow plastic ring with a red bell-shaped piece attached on a rope or cord or something. You would place the ring over one ankle, and then jump over the bell with the other. Hours of youthful entertainment! If only it were so simple now. Of course I just ruined my argument for not posting before I buy by posting again...but, whatever.

I think I may have to switch over to Typepad. I paid for a service to email me me when comments are posted (the only down side of blogger is that they do not offer this service), but it's not working. Blogger is free, and Typepad is a small fee, but I'm thinking it may be the way to go. I like the idea of being able to archive by categories, set up additional stuff on my profile page, etc. I don't know.

Off to work on a Saturday (grrr....). I had really best get started on the apron challenge and the softies challenge. Eek.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cherry apron, 1948

Figure I'll motivate myself to get started on this month's Tie One On challenge. I bought the fabric, but that's as far as it has gotten. I'm not going to be making this one yet...I've got an idea for a half apron using a skirt pattern instead. The pattern above and the one that follows are from my own collection. This one was an ebay purchase. Can't remember what I paid.


Coffee apron, 1955

This one was a rummage sale find! Some quantity of cents, I can't remember how much I paid. Cute, huh? I really like wrap styles.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Vintage images...

Okay, enough already with all the serious posts. Time for some good ol' fluff! This is a cool postcard that I just received. What's up with the lady in the red apron? She looks terrified, like the world is going to end. Are they burning the hamburgers? What's going on? Why are the men so chummy? And check out those slacks! And that atomic print fabric. Ya gotta love it. And the ladies in their pumps. These vintage ads fascinate me. The world appears so innocent--as if today we are missing an ingredient. Of course life is never so simplistic, but it's interesting nevertheless.

Sally Stitch

I finally remembered that it was on Amanda's site that I had seen all the references to vintage home-ec and retro women-themed items. Shall I say pre-feminist movement? She has pics of the Career Girls game, and I want to get that now too. I just started collecting vintage homemaker-related items, especially in a sewing theme. I'll post here and there as I collect more. This is an adorable little booklet about the basics of sewing and constructing garments. Perhaps 1950's. I just find it all innocent and interesting, versus a political thing. But I'll talk more about that later.


Check out that sewing machine!

Isn't this wild? The entire booklet is in comic book form and each chapter gives information on how to: sew darts, buttonholes, pleats, etc. Useful, actually. But it's all so Dick Tracy...even has the whistling kid in the background. And she's "tops" alright, right down to her black gloves and corsage. He is dapper with a handkerchief in his breast pocket and suit of red, white, and blue, but with a tan hat. Hmmm...


Golly, gee, isn't this fabulous?! Funny thing is, I actually have (and use!) a little black sewing machine that is housed in a wooden cabinet, and I have a buttonhole attachment. I love my old machine.

Are you out there?

I don't know why so few people post comments here, or why it bothers me so much that they don't. I get emails about posts (many favorable ones), and I have a site meter, so I know people visit. Is my sense of worth tied up into extraneous details like this? Why is it so important to feel validated, versus just using this as a venue for self expression for self expression's sake? Why have I been so damned introspective lately? Sigh. I guess I want to be like Sally Field, and gasp, "You LIKE really LIKE me!" One would think I'd be past that by now. I guess none of us ever are. On an up note, I did land an amazing freelance gig yesterday, that might turn into a mighty fine opportunity. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

My Poem...but why stop there?

Heaven forbid I could ever take a simple task and complete it in a simple manner. I guess that's just not 'me'. It's not who I am. I wasn't even able to keep within the constraints of the number of items to list. I tried, but I guess it's okay to color outside the lines. I keep coming back to it to re-edit, but hopefully I will at one point call it complete. The concept of this poem (see previous post) has been haunting me. I have been obsessed with digging through the cobwebs of my memory for the "perfect", most-fitting words. In actuality, one could write several of these. My "assignment" regarded revealing childhood elements within my family history that formed my character. So my first poem here is one attempt to describe family. Like I said, I could write several. But I won't. I did, however, choose to write an additional poem about my friends. It was not my lot in life to have a close family, and I don't have a husband or children of my often times, my friends have been given a more important role than perhaps would have been the case were the circumstances different. I have been very fortunate throughout the years, and have had many long-term and rewarding friendships. I thought about writing about childhood friends. I may do that. But right now I just wrote about my three closest friends--friendships that are still growing after more than 20 years. First the one about family:

Where I am From
I am from a circle of worms beneath the metal watering can, saltine soup for my Barbies, an Easy-Bake Oven, and too much Coca-Cola.
I am from tobacco-stained walls, a clothesline gymnasium, a wishing-well, and a fish pond. From Pixie-Stix eaten out of canisters in the attic, shoe-skating around the block, and wearing saddle shoes while I slept.
I am from "pickle weed", fuchsia bulbs that would pop under the pressure of tiny fingers, and calla lilies growing wild by the stream.
I am from disappointments veiled in alcohol, but always with kindness and the best of intentions. From one grandma named Novella, from the Barnums, from Charles Preston and Mary Jayne.
From drunk men singing "When Irish Eyes were smiling," and too many words unspoken.
From "do unto others as you would have others do unto you", and "spiders are good".
I am from the Presbyterian church that looks like a little Victorian house, where my brothers were ushers, but I only visited wearing Easter dresses or adult-sized shoes.
I'm from docked Navy ships, and mountains of periwinkles on the beach.
From chocolate pudding in a pie shell, beaters to lick, licorice in the candy drawer, and the pop!pop!pop! of percolating coffee.
From a Gramps who lived to tell about Pearl Harbor, but who was forever changed by it, and a Nanny whose flowers stretched so high that she sat on a ladder to be photographed beside their blooms.
I am from the image that was stolen from my car, of my dad standing beside a bi-plane, from cardboard boxes filled with damp snapshots that stuck together and were thrown away, and diary pages in a shed that rats chewed to scraps of nothing.

Where My Friends and I are From
We are from sequined gowns, tiaras, and long skinny Virginia Slims in menthol flavor.
We are from satin bridesmaid dresses, waiting rooms outside delivery, and the upside-down cage of the Zipper.
We are from white tulips, red and green jewel tones, and elephant skin. We are from a sand dollar, a sewing needle, sweet potato pie, and a chunk of dark chocolate.
We are from chicken bones hung on a Christmas tree and romantic tears. From BQ's, and pig snouts, and a high-pitched "YOU!".
From hearts and souls wide open, bathed in twinkly lights, from magical moments and the need to share time.
From "friends are like precious metals: keep the golden ones and leave the silver and bronze"; we are truly golden.
We are from the Rock and the Light or something more obscure, but always wrapped in kindness and laughter.
We're from Coyote Nights and slippers shuffling through the alley, bowls of M&M's, Tasty Chips, foil-wrapped cheese devoured on a train, and cafe mochas spiced with conversation.
From Wonder Woman in a black belt, and a broadcaster of news, a lover of words, and one with whom age makes more beautiful.
We are from photo montages on video tape with a backdrop of songs, and strips of paper that are moments frozen in time of giggling girls stuffed in a Fair booth, making faces

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I am from...

Once again, Pea Soup comes through with some thought-provoking stuff on her site. I will have to write a poem now. Here's a template to work with. A little bit of nostalgia. I have some writing to do....

And more things that I have taken note of today:

The amazing merger of paper and quilting that I just now discovered by Naive Knitting

Well written article about the London tragedy, as posted by Susie Sunshine

I don't knit yet, but I do love folklore. This book looks interesting, in that it combines both. Oh my can browse through Japanese craft books at Amazon Japan in English!

I want to make these brownies. And this odd combination of flavors in a cupcake intrigues me. Similar to this cupcake. The cool thing about having a blog is that I can make notes to myself like this, and I'll know where to find the information. No more little scraps of paper everywhere.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Musings and Perusings for the day...

Ah, more lists. I will bury myself in lists. I like the idea of Suse3's tentative explorations ( hence this post). These are some of the things I am thinking about and reviewing today.

Kath's comments and links to Self Portrait Tuesdays are amazing. I need a digital camera...

The idea of secrets and introspection as written by Millennium Hippies

I spent several hours this afternoon, not able to pry myself away from the pages of The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst. I do have to remember to be thankful for the fact that I have so much freedom in my life, that I am able to choose to lie in bed and finish a novel if I so desire. My friend Jen wrote to me to say she reads this blog to "live vicariously through you". That comment gave me pause. Jen, wife of a doctor, stay-at-home mom to the perfect boy and perfect girl; Jen living the American dream that I wish I were living. Funny how we all wish to step into one another's backyard every now and again. But I digress. I just need to remember to be thankful for what I have, versus continually longing for what I do not. So, back to the original intention of this post, in regard to what subjects my mind has lingered upon today. The book is a marvel of words that add texture to my own at this moment. I adore how words are put together. My books are dog-eared (I so want to add an extra 'r' there, as I want to place an additional 'l' in traveling. I must read too many books from the UK), with sentences underlined, and notes in the margins. I cannot help myself--for this reason I rarely am able to read library books. I find myself needing to pick up a I go out and buy the book instead. My friend debs, who has been a writer by profession for over 20 years, told me today that she likes writing well enough, but doesn't value words the way I do. I am the more natural writer, she said, for it creases my soul in an unusal way. Too bad my career path has yet to stray in that direction. But I digress again. Anyway, one of the characters in The Dogs of Babel is an artist--the maker of exquisite masks. She is called upon to make a death mask as a mourning memorial to a 19 year old cancer victim. She makes a mold of the actual face, but the realism stops there. She paints the mask not with the features of the deceased, but with the markers of her soul--the essence of this individual. She paints scattered wildflowers, blowing in the breeze. Only when one looks closely, the bump of a nose is still present...the indentation of eyes, the roundness of mouth. The mask is so beautiful, that she is called upon to make several more. Her husband describes one of the masks, saying, "For an old woman who had been a seamstress, a patchwork design covering the entire face, each square painted in a texture of a fabric from a loved article of clothing--here a wedding gown, there a baby blanket. And always, in every mask, the face hidden beneath the painting, adding its poignant topography." That moves me somehow. Maybe because mourning articles fascinate me so. Maybe because memory art moves also. To capture an essence of someone. What would my own mask look like? I think I may add a regular feature to this blog, of favorite excerpts from books.

Post script: I have considered the appearance of my own mask. I think it would be collaged in bits of handmade and recycled paper, scraps of fabric, and a mixture of various found objects like diary keys and pieces of wire. It would be embellished with charms, stones, and broken seashells. Across the eyes would be cursive writing, perhaps random words without meaning.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I hope Janice doesn't mind my posting her pic here with the flower pot I made. This photo doesn't do her justice, as she's drop dead gorgeous! I cut myself out because it was just too scary. Posted by Picasa


Revised image: Janice's Mosaic'ed Flower Pot

Yay, I got a better image of Janice's pot (I posted about this project recently/previously, but the photos were super blurry). You can see how many pieces of slate are layered here now. Fun, huh? Check the previous post for info on the materials I used.Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

How To?

I discovered 100 Things About Me lists first by reading the "about me" area of Heidi's blog. Now I've noticed them elsewhere, and they fascinate me. I have started my own list, but I'm not sure how to link it here. Does anyone who uses blogger know how to do this? Thanks. Until then I'll keep coming up with things. One hundred is a surprisingly large amount of things to list about ones self. I'm the type of person who enjoys reading trivia about people. I even like surveys. My friends and I used to create personal surveys to give one another around Christmas time, as a means to get ideas for gifts. It's remarkable that you can be friends with someone over twenty years and still there is so much more to know and learn about them. Anyway, they grew bored with all my questions, sigh, so we had to give it up. I really do need to be a research assistant or something, because I love scrounging around for info.

Homemade Cake!

Yes, I know you can't tell this was made in a six inch pan (so I got two cakes out of one to give and one to keep). And you can't see the yummy lemon filling. But maybe you'll at least inquire about the recipe (it follows here, so give it a go). I got inspired to try a smaller cake pan after reading about it on Not Martha. She used four inch pans, and I can't wait to use those next. Six inch makes one perfect cake, and one a bit smaller. For the gift, I placed the cake atop an eight inch cardboard cake circle (should have added a doily or something, but I was short on time), tied it up in cellophane and ribbon, and voila! Perfect gift for someone who appreciates the time and effort that goes into baking from scratch. I find baking therapeutic, and I love having "groupies" who can't wait for me to get back into the kitchen again! Posted by Picasa



This recipe is handwritten in a journal that my mom has. The book is dated 1936. She ripped out all the diary pages, but the recipes remain. She kept this in the 40's and 50's, and those are my favorite kind of recipes. I use real butter, real sugar, and love to keep tradition alive. No box baking for me! And stuff like artificial sweeteners and genetically engineered food just seem wrong. This is a white cake with a boiled icing and coconut garnish. The lemon filling is amazing.

Coconut-Lemon Layer Cake

Set oven to 375 degrees. Grease two 8" round cake pans.

White Cake
Measure and sift together:
2 cups sifted cake flour (or regular flour less 2 Tbsp per cup)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, cream until light and fluffy:
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar (add the sugar gradually)
2 eggs (add one at a time, beating well after each addition)
To above, add flour mixture alternately with 3/4 cup milk (begin and end with flour, beating well after each addition)
Stir in:
1 tsp vanilla
Pour into prepared pans and bake 25 minutes or until sides pull away slightly from edges of pans. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes before removing from pans. When cooled, spread filling between layers. Cover tops and sides with frosting, and sprinkle with coconut.

In top of double boiler, combine:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
In small bowl, blend:
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten (set aside whites for frosting)
3/4 tsp cold water
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Stir egg mixture into sugar mixture. Cook over boiling water 15 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in:
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Allow mixture to cool, then spread between cooled cake layers

Fluffy Frosting
In top of 2 quart double boiler, combine:
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
Cook over boiling water, beating constantly with rotary beater (if using electric, be careful with cord so as not to create fire hazard), 7 to 10 minutes, or until mixture forms stiff peaks. Remove immediately from stove. Stir in:
1 tsp vanilla
Frost top and sides of cake, and sprinkle with coconut as desired. Either angel flake or shredded is fine.