Friday, December 18, 2009

Wait! Wait!...

Don't tell me. Let's play a game.

Today's my sister's birthday. There's a "Schubilation" party in her honor tonight in Philly. Unfortunately I can't make it, but I thought it'd be fun to start the day with a little mind teaser ~ it's the limerick game from wait wait don't tell me.

Kris ~ the answer to the limerick is my gift to you. If you guess incorrectly, then you better brush up on your NPR.

You might have heard, Kristin's a looker,
but definitely not a hooker.
When she's not reading books,
she's sharing what she cooks.
For Asian fare she needs a _____ ________!

Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oh no.

roadtrip.jan08 - 54
Originally uploaded by Pairaschut
I ran out of yarn near the top of knitting some sleeves that are important... or else the sweater would have become a vest with some awesome arm warmers. Luckily I was able to scrounge around the yarn shop and find another in my dye lot!... lucky for the store, I ended up walking out with yarn for a whole other sweater! Christmas has been saved after all.

As I'm getting gifts ready, and planning for the Christmas visiting, I remembered the knitted gifts C's mom gave us last year. A beautiful bunch of felted mobius baskets. Here's the full collection before they were gifted.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soundtrack Monday

... with a dash of Christmas. These are going out in the mail today to be used on that big tree we captured over Thanksgiving break ~ one for everyone in the house. I forgot to include some perspective in the picture ~ they're about 4 inches long from cuff to toe. Just big enough to be filled with a couple of sweets or a tiny surprise if the elves are being sneaky.

Most of the patterns I made up as I went along, but the Christmas tree and blue zig-zags came from here. I'm particularly happy with the holly and berries ~ I made little knitted bobbles for each of the berries. And finally, the backdrop is an old sweater knit by grandmother, showing the signs of a well-loved sweater: the seams starting to unravel, and it's more felt than knit.

On to the day's music. I listened to this album on repeat yesterday while grading exams. Happy Monday*

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Signs of the Season

Christmas magic is definitely in the air... and it kills me that I can't share all of the crafty projects going on over here.
This is what will happen:: I'll stay mum, my fingers will stay busy crafting, and then, I'll forget to share half of these projects and the fun details of their creation once they are gifted. BUT here's to trying {as we clink our glasses of eggnog in good cheer}.

Before the gift frenzy started, I knit up a new Thorpe for the season:: This one is without the garter stitch border, but with a chin strap. It sort of looks like a cross between an old, leather football helmet and a flying cap that Amelia Earhart* would where, right?

Now, assuming I know my audience, the receiver of this next hat won't be the wiser. It's Botanic, a fun and quick knit. This one with a combination of Malabrigo worsted {lovely and soft merino wool} and Kathmandu Aran {a wonderful silk, cashmere, wool blend}. So soft and warm, I want to keep it for myself, but that's not in the spirit of the season, now is it?
And finally, I've been keeping such odd hours lately. As a result most of my foliage viewing is happening under the moon {and street lamps}::

*wouldn't it be more appropriate to spell her last name Airheart?

Monday, December 07, 2009

A Wintry Monday Soundtrack

A study of winter browns and whites::
We did get some snow in Boston, but not this much.
These photos are from our Thanksgiving trip into the mountains.

And some wardrobe browns and whites::

My felicity hat from last year and a new wool coat. Its big collar is almost making me give up my scarf addiction {almost}.

And now, some festive black and white for this week's Monday Soundtrack! enjoy*

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


Berkeley sunset::

LA night::

Boston morning::

Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

Even though the holiday's over, here's to hoping that you're having a great Monday. Today's music: Days Like This by Van Morrison. Click here to hear. Enjoy*

I'm traveling east today, not to return until the holiday gifts are finished and the lights are on the tree!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's to hoping your day is full of delicious treats, good company, and buckets of fun.

We're enjoying the last, icy paddle of the season::

And the first bone-chilling snowball fight::

Finally a little photo for someone who's fond of peace and grey::

Monday, November 23, 2009

Back in Action

Sorry for the week+ hiatus there. While the blog was silent, my mind and body were scurrying around making lists & gifts, working, and preparing for a little trip west. So I'm back! Back to the blog and back in California for a week!

First order of the day, our Monday dose of music. I downloaded a new album right before I left and listened to this song for most of the flight. Unfortunately I couldn't get a video, so you have to click here to hear The Be Good Tanya's and their version of the Lakes of Pontchartrain. Enjoy*

Those lists and gifts I mentioned? It dawned on me last week that Christmas is coming faster everyday! So I decided that there's nothing a busy girl needs more than bigger, more extreme gift-making goals. I would love to talk about the projects here, but you know, with such a small readership, the majority of my readers are the recipients. But soon enough, all will be revealed {both the craft blunders, and there have been a few in the past week, and the successes}.

In the meantime, you'll get plenty of foliage pictures.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wittling down the to-dos

....oh my bad bad spelling. extra points to those who picked up on my earlier mistake!

New blog header? check!

Mom's birthday gift knit and received? check!

Looking ahead to long, chilly nights huddled under the afghan, mom requested a pair of fingerless mitts, as any good crafter would ~ so she can keep on sewing, knitting, typing well into those winter evenings::

Pattern:220 Fingerless mitts {ravelry link}

Yarn: bits from my stash

Comments: Just a few great things to say about this pattern, it's very easy, fun for making up your own striping pattern and throwing in a random color or two, and finally, they're SUPER STRETCHY! Which means one pair can be shared by many different sized hands, and you can make them from afar without worrying about them fitting the recipient!

And finally, getting outside to enjoy the changing foliage? check and check

Monday, November 09, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

I love this song, and it's great for kick-starting a busy week. Here's to hoping this week is as productive and balanced as last. Some of my crafty projects from last week are after the video. enjoy*

I'm so happy with this scarf::

It's the mustard scarf{ravelry link} by Jane Richmond. The pattern itself fulfills a general idea that I've been trying to find - a short scarf or cowl that's bulky but airy. If that makes sense...I have an idea for another version that I want to try out and then I think it's time to be done with knitting for myself {ETA: as soon as I finish up those knee socks and add a pompom to my new winter hat!} and on to knitting for gift giving!

And what thrills me just as much as the pattern is the yarn I used. This is some Nature Wool that I bought a couple of years ago at Article Pract. It's a variegated combination of shades of green and greenish yellow. I bought three skeins and then they sat in my knitting basket "looking ugly". So I thought that I'd use one skein for this project and then dye it after I was finished knitting, but as soon as I put it around my neck, my affection for this color returned. So experimenting with dying will have to wait for another day.

And, the Christmas crafting has fully begun! I'm working on some new edible and drinkable treats. This is the first phase of limoncello making, letting the zest soak in the vodka::

And after one night, the vodka had already turned a brilliant yellow!::

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Nature all the way.*

So I have a minor re-use/re-new project to share, and it made me think about how if I had to pick a side {Nature vs. Technology}, I'm going Nature all the way. But we'll get back to that.

A week or so after moving into my new place, I found this lovely item out with the neighbor's trash:
It's a small desk, just the size I was looking for to go in my small room. Something big enough for my computer {or two, but we'll get back to that} or sewing machine, but not so big that it's in the way.

As I saw it, the top of the desk looked beautiful, there was nothing wrong with the finish or the wood. The legs, they were a different story, it still seems funny to me that this top was paired with such rickety legs. But really, a new paint job would hide so much of the juxtaposition between the two and no one would be the wiser.

So, a new coat of paint and this is what I have: Although, you'll notice that the desk is missing a drawer, but I was thinking of just putting a bottom where the drawer should be and using it as a little shelf or opening to store papers in, no drawer necessary.

And in that last picture, it almost looks like I have two fully functioning computers? The picture lies. To write this blog post, I had to upload pictures from the mac on the right (the one set up to sync with my camera... the camera which only works with a fresh set of batteries.... which only takes one picture before it turns off because it's out of batteries... that camera). After pictures are uploaded, I move over to the computer on left, the one with a full set of functioning keys, to write the post (maybe you're wishing at this point that I didn't write and just stuck with the pictures?, maybe you're not on my team?). But then, say I were going to share this blog post with you through a projector? It's back to computer #1 (no lie), because computer #2 wants nothing to do with projectors, and immediately freezes in the limelight. Fun times.

BUT I still have a functioning ipod, and I still love it. It's the beautiful wooden desk top to that set of warn and weary desk legs.

While technology has puttered out on me, fall in New England keeps piling on the charm. Nature, you win.

Here are some pictures (with the f'in camera) from a hike two weekends ago in New Hampshire:

Next up, some new knitting & the start of the Christmas gifts!

*Full Disclosure - The author and a stray cup of coffee may be responsible for the keys on computer #1 not working, but they take no responsibility for the G.D. camera.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Soundtrack Monday

This might be a repeat? I can't remember. I'm going to spend the rest of the day trying to whistle. enjoy*

And stay tuned, there's lots of fun little projects sprouting up around here... I promise.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get out your pots and pans ~

I have a treat for you!

Roasted Squash and Beet Soup {it's a fan-freaking-tastic new recipe I developed over the weekend}

ETA - for the perfect Halloween meal, serve this with a side of Meat Hand, and you can thank Nik for passing that along!

-1 medium butternut squash
-1 bunch golden beets (6, give or take)
-beet greens ~ remember to pick beets with greens and save them when prepping the beets
-1 medium onion, diced
-2 large carrots, diced
-2 cups potatoes, diced
-6 cups stock, vegetable* or chicken (I didn't really measure, so use your best judgement)
-1/3 cup olive oil, and a little extra
-3 large garlic cloves, crushed

Roast the squash and beets:
Cut the squash in half and remove seeds. Peel and dice the beets. Cover a cookie sheet with some olive oil, place the squash cut-side down. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, place them on the cookie sheet with the squash.
Roast at 425 until the veggies are soft and the beets are slightly browned, stirring the beets to help them brown evenly.

Saute the carrots and onions in a 1/3 cup olive (use more or less to meet your needs) until the onions are clear. Add the potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Add the roasted beets and squash. Let simmer until all veggies are fully cooked.

Take soup of the heat, and blend in batches in the food processor. Remember to use caution when whirling hot liquids.

Beet Greens Garnish:
Saute the crushed garlic in olive oil, being careful not to let it burn. I find that adding a little more oil than I think is necessary, and keeping the heat a little lower than I expect helps to keep the garlic from burning. Wash and chop the greens, allowing excess water to remain on the leaves to help the steaming process. Add to the pan and cover to let the greens steam, adding a little more water if necessary.

Serve the soup with a garnish of greens. Enjoy*

*I have a new brand of veg bouillon that I really love, next time I'll remember to share the details.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

I love this song, you might recognize it because the Dixie Chicks made it popular {and their video for it is a bit scary}. It's a sad one, but a good one. enjoy*

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baby Knits

As Nik mentioned, we had a fun, relaxing craft weekend about a week ago. My goals for the weekend were minimal (some knitting, some sewing), and really, all I did was this*:
A set of baby booties to match the baby sweater that I started back in August. That's EZ's February baby sweater in Lorna's Laces with a matching pair of Saartje's booties - that link takes you directly to a PDF of the pattern.
Both were well received at a baby shower last weekend!

*But I'm definitely not complaining for all the crafting I didn't do, there sure was a lot of visiting that doesn't get done often enough!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

This song has been on repeat all weekend, so it's only right that I share it with you::
Soldier by Ingrid Michaelson

I was lucky enough to be at the Boston show where this video was taped. It was a great show and she's definitely worth seeing in person. yay!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall Preparations, Part III

Go Outside!!

Stop by the local, homemade ice cream shop for a combo pint of Pumpkin Custard & Maple Walnut. YUM.
Stock up on veggies from the market for a week of fall meals {cabbage, leeks, beets...}
And of course, for some extra flare*, plant the mums:

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fall Preparations, Part II

New fall hat? check::
Fall knitting? workin' on it::
Fall meal of the week? Leek, spinach and tomato quiche::
...and yes, there's been some candy corn.

This weekend it's Craftapolooza '09. I'll be rockin' the knitting & sewing.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Monday Soundtrack

Keeping with the autumn theme, enjoy*

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fall Preparations, Part I

Step 1:: Move in with three cuddly cats {the top one's my buddy}

Step 2:: Finish up a new pair of socks

Step 3:: Start cooking {and remember that food is so hard to photograph}
Meal #1: Collards and such
For fun, here's the plan, in my plain jane, probably not correct use of cooking terms, but you get the idea ~
Saute 1 leek in olive oil until soft, but not browned. Add one carrot & one sweet potato, cooking at medium to low heat with a lid on to keep the steam in, but still not browning the leek. Add some water if necessary to keep things moist, but really not too wet, just not sticking to the bottom of the pan. I then added a spice mixture of equal parts juniper berries, whole cloves, coriander, cardamom, and dried rosemary that I ground together with a mortar and pestle.

After that mix cooked for a few minutes, I added the rinsed and coarsely chopped collards - with the water from rinsing still on them to help the steaming process.

Once the greens were steamed and the potatoes & carrots were soft, I served this over brown rice, topped with some herbed goat cheese. Thus the lovely picture you see above.

Meal #2: Bok Choy, Eggplant, and Tomatoes

Again, start off with a leek, softened, but not browned, in olive oil {there's a pattern}. Add the eggplant and chopped tomatoes. At this point, I generously salted everything and added two dashes of balsamic vinegar. Let this cook for a little while with the lid on, or off, depending upon your moisture levels. Once the eggplant is mostly done, add the bok choy {again, with some water to help the steaming process}. Once the bok choy was steamed, I added soy sauce {about two times the amount of vinegar}. Serve over rice, and smile.

Happy October!