Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Marshmallows. Courtesy of Coconut and Lime.*
Did you know you can make your own marshmallows!?!?! I was pretty thrilled when I found out. How did I find out? Oh, Martha. You know, the magazine with the pig pattern had a recipe.**
Anyway, YUM. Go forth and make marshmallows. It's fun. They taste just like the real thing. And they're BIG (as big as you want them to be. why? cuz YOU made them, that's why!)
*Thank you Coconut and Lime, for making a recipe for marshmallows that did NOT require my going out and purchasing a candy thermometer. I don't need to own ANY more stuff.
** A recipe, mind you, that was WRONG. Not only did it completely confuse me (I was to add water twice, but there was only one measurement for water offered, and I ended up adding the gelatin water to the syrup mixture--she was calling the gelatin mixture "water" as well as the water "water" and, again, there were TWO waters in the written directions and only ONE water in the list of ingredients) but it had me use a thermometer--and I used the meat thermometer and ended up burning the syrup into a smoky, sticky mess.
(PS...meat thermometers and candy thermometers are NOT the same. who would have thought?)
My sister made a request of Ms. Claus (apparently that's me): a hat for B. So, off to ravelry I went, in search of the perfect toddler hat pattern. Toddlers, who live in Alaska, I thought, might need ear flaps. And, I thought, ear flaps make lovely handles for strings! And strings tie...and tying keeps the hat on the toddler. Huzzah.
Off to the yarn store I went, and found this lovely washable wool (a must with a toddler...they can be a bit sticky...at times) in red and blue.
Off to the knitting I went. In fact, I loved this pattern so much, I knit it twice. Okay, not true. It was not for the love. It was, in fact, to get the gauge right (yes, I knit a swatch before I started, but it LIED to me, I tell you).
I finished the hat (first try) in Tampa (conference time) and ended up frogging the whole thing upon my return home. A little (okay a lot) of math, and I tried it again.
Perfection. 18" circumference, just what the mum ordered. I had lots of yarn left, so tiny tiny mittens were made to accompany. Huzzah!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Row Three: Frank the owl by cordiakitten; Jasmine, a pocket fairytale by lapommestories; Hand felted shapes by Alchemyfiberarts
Friday, December 26, 2008
Felted a sweet little argyle vest and made this dainty pig. Thanks to Martha Stewart for the recipe (in her latest holiday magazine...) which finally explained to me in words and pictures that I understood (I'm not the most spatially-oriented gal) how to craft and sew a belly/leg gusset that works.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I can safely post these today as they have arrived to their respective hosts!
I'm of the opinion that each year you need to receive or purchase at least one ornament--hopefully with the year somewhere on said ornament, so as to bring memories to mind when you unwrap them the next year and for years to come.
If I get the urge, I like to provide those ornaments to my loved ones. And this year, I found this sweet little tutorial from pimpstitch and was pleased to find all the materials needed to make a set of these already in my possession! (I heart a stash-buster.) More houses from other people across our sweet globe can be found here.
I had so much fun with these. Picture me on my pillow-top mattress of luxury in my Marriott hotel in Tampa, Florida, after a long day of conference meetings, watching HBO and embroidering away. I added tiny beads in the center of the flowers and on the front doors, as well as on the bottom of each house with the year.
This last one (one of a kind) I made for my Secret Snowflake at work (Yes, Snowflake..it's gender neutral. It's holiday-neutral. And when I named it that, I thought it was funny--it's funny to be so PC as to make things ludicrous.) My snowflake loves a hummingbird, and I just happened to have a screenprint containing one! Huzzah! A few silkscreen passes, some cutting, stuffing, sewing, threading, and beading, and TADA--I give you hummingbird and bumble bee ornament.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Row 1: chicken pocket by snappyshop; retro hen by rainsend; barred rock hen by rogee
Row 2: lucky sal by frostline; wool chicken by violastudio; screaming chicken by LicoriceTree
Row 3: bantam rooster by sugarsusan; they never knew what hit them by franticmeercat; mini tweet by loveartworks
As always, for more SLS, stop over at FancyPicnic
Thursday, December 18, 2008
11:00 am. snow is quail-head-feather deep.
12:30 pm. where is the quail?
2 pm. what quail?
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
And during our PDX stay, we were witness to a number of astounding things, namely:
1. The coolest hotel in town (see Room 411, below)
I got to tell you...if you can attend one of these, either to participate--or, as we did, to walk around and view, it's a pretty sweet thing. I'm telling you. These Internets are the bestest.
4. SantaCon (as in, a convention of Santas) Despite the frigid weather, a good hundred or so Santas turned out to walk the streets of Portland, spread Cheer and mirth, and play reindeer games by the waterfront. There may be nothing more wondrous (or surreal) as SantaCon.
Plus a few sets of photobooth shots. And some coffee from Stumptown. And hot toddys at the bar.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Top Row: Red velvet felt food cake slice by BeckyM; Kitty no. 76 by penguinandfish; Crocheted and Felted Mouse pattern by thebirdsandbees
Second Row: Gnomes by dreamchildstudio; Elegant capsule necklace by pirilamporiscado; Cone dog by pinkbabymouse
Third Row: Dotty Scarf by godottygo; PolkaDot Felt Bird by tokyobirds; Baby blanket by olofsdaughters
As always, for more SLS, stop over at FancyPicnic
Monday, December 8, 2008
So it should not surprise me that I love a Christmas tree. But I forget. We often go home (home...such a funny word for a place you left over 10 years ago) for the holidays and when we do, we don't bother with buying and trimming a tree.
But this year we put in an early reservation for a Seattle Chirstmas. Just the two of us. A stress-free, make-your-own-new-tradition holiday for our tiny family of two (plus two--very hairy dogs).
We rented a tree from IKEA on Saturday [one of my favorite marketing schemes ever--you go pick up a tree on a certain weekend in December (for $19.95) and then return it to IKEA on a certain weekend in January and receive a gift certificate for $10. All said and done and everyone wins: you get a tree for $10, you get an excuse to shop at IKEA, you know where to take your tree at the end of the holiday season, and IKEA turns the tree into wood mulch].
Since we went home last year, it has been two years since I'd laid eyes (and hands) on our collection of ornaments. And I had forgotten the pure joy that can be felt at unwrapping each ornament, one by one, that the mister and I have collected over the years together (and even before we were together)...each with its own story connected to it--a year, a giver, the curcumstances surrounding the time...
There are the handmade ornaments--the star embroidered by my grandmother, the solder and hand-beaded wire bent into a heart by a dear family friend, the tiny stuffed loon my third grade teacher (Ms. A) sewed by hand. And the collection of dogs and moons we painted two separate years with the Meissners and their jig saw and plenty of mulled wine.
The silver cupid we received the year we announced our engagement.
The sugar plum fairy my great grandmother bought me when I first saw the nutcracker, at something like age six.
The yearly Rothko ornaments (they're Polish, you know!): The champagne bottle for 2000. The peace dove with her red ribbon swirling around a glittered earth--the thickest part folded atop of New York--from 2001.
Even the silly orange balls--which we bought that first year in Anchorage at Fred Meyer because we didn't have enough ornaments to fill a tree.
So many tiny memories on tiny strings and hooks.
The tree seems like a lot of work when I think about it in October...the driving, the choosing, the tying it onto the car roof, the needles all over the floor, the watering, the having to reverse the whole process after the shine has been completely rubbed off the holiday...but let this be a reminder to me that once that tree is in my house--unleashing its evergreen musk--I love the tree. And its ornaments. And their stories.
all because of the magic of facebook. so. say what you will about social networking. but it sure is an awesome way to reconnect with long, lost friends and acquaintances.
(Not to mention...ahem...a great place to play word games with them.)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
2. the yellow dog. who is so so hairy, but who follows me around and lays at my feet. my constant snoring companion.
3. the little dog. who is too skinny, but who snuggles in her old age. and you can't beat that.
4. the family. both blood and chosen. and those people we call friends but who are better than that.
5. my house. and home ownership. and living in the city. and my tiny back yard that takes only six minutes to tend but is the perfect place for a glass of prosecco after a day at work.
6. the job. that lets me work from home. in my studio. looking out at all the stray cats and crows.
7. the city. and its miraculous spaces and awesome artists and wonderous vibe. even with the five months of rain, I do love seattle.
8. the internets. from whom i have learned so much. and with whom i can share things like...links to pictures of the things i am greatful for, and also lists...with the people i love (see number 3)
*Thanks to Operation Nice, for the assignment.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
She wore it out today on a walk, and was quite pleased with it, I do believe. In fact, there may have been a new spring in her step.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
BUT. There were no cranberries--neither fresh nor frozen--to be found. STUPID. Apparently it's not quite time yet. So. I used cherries. Same same. (almost.)
Monday, November 3, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
And today, I'd like to talk food. Remember food? If you're my age or younger, you might not. You might know mostly food-like products (Lucky Charms anyone? How about Velveeta?). I was a vegetarian for five years not because of the plight of the animals kept in nasty cages and treated terribly (though there's something wrong about that too) but because of how wasteful, ridiculous, and costly--both to our health and to our ecological well being--the western meat production system is.
However, there's a lovely tide coming--one where we eat locally grown food, we know our farmers, we eat things that were grown in season, using sustainable methodologies...etc. We take care of the soil and it takes care of us. We eat when we're hungry. We eat with others, sharing stories and savoring flavors. We stop when we're full. We spend a larger percentage of our income on food, as do the Italians, the Spanish, and the French.
Whole Foods and PCC used to be where the greasy hippies shop. Now it's where we all shop*. But I propose taking it one step further--go to your farmer's market. Talk to the guy who milks the cows on Saturday for market on Sunday. Meet the woman who bakes the bread. Talk to her about where she gets her flour. Ask her if she uses eggs from pastured chickens.
So. Here's my spin on Blog Action Day: let's not let ourselves live in poverty of nutrition. Did you know that for the first time in history, pediatricians are seeing obese children with major nutrition deficiencies? That's a serious, serious problem. We've created cheap food so that we all have plenty to eat...but we've stopped thinking about WHAT we're eating. Empty calories don't do anyone any good.
Let's get back to knowing what we're eating; participating in our own nutrition; cooking and sharing food with neighbors, friends, and family--and in the mean time, we'll all be richer. But I'm not talking about money, ya'll.
Check these out:
1. A book you have to read
2. A movie you have to watch
3. Where to get good food
4. Where we buy the best lamb, raw milk, and hairy pig in town
5. Why you want to buy local
*Okay, I admit, I'm living in Seattle, and though many of us wear suits, we're all pretty much greasy hippies on the inside.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
a picture of Piper wearing the adorable hat I made for her while she was still in utero, now that it fits!
(photo credit goes to the mister.)