Tuesday, October 30, 2007
...and it only took two and a half weeks. Awesome job, Flickr...or not.
But anyway, it's just in time to wish y'all a happy Halloween. Here's the extent of my costuming efforts this year:
I'm sure the folks at the party we attended thought I was insane, and that was without them knowing that I'm inclined to go out on a crazy eyeshadow limb any time of the year, even when it's NOT Halloween.
And I just had to show you this little PupCake. Not, my PupCake, mind you. I think I used up all my doggie dress up passes during our recent dog coat pattern drafting event, about which I will tell and show you shortly. Anyway:
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Invention and Frustration
New invention to show you today, along with a whole caboodles' worth of other crafty and DIYish stuff in the pipeline...or as soon as I am restored to photo-host worthy.
But for today, I bring you my latest handy little invention, the MOO-lo-dex:
The light bulb for this came on last night while I was trying to sleep (as is often the case), and I just had to run right up to my studio this morning and whip it up. Because peeps keep sending me MOO cards...which I love, but then I am constantly finding them laying around and felt like I wanted to do something with them other than stash them all away where I couldn't enjoy them. So I collected them up and slipped them into these clear vinyl sleeves I cut and stitched and grommeted and then put them all together on a bead chain for easy access. I'm totally loving the idea that now my visitor MOO's will have a home to go to when they arrive, and that I can leave this out on my coffee table or desk as a bit of interactive chachke. Kind of like the photo album of the double oughts.
I have a couple up on Etsy now and I'll also be offering individual packs of refill sleeves shortly.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Comfort Food Sunday
Anyway, as I said I had their lovely free issue in the car with me and as it turns out it was the perfect solution to what to make for dinner last night.
I've been craving good old homemade mac and cheese, and my handy free issue of Cooks had an excellent version that seemed like the perfect Sunday dinner dish that I could gather for on the fly:
The recipe is called Baked Four-Cheese and Pasta Casserole, and it uses four types of cheese and a very tiny bit of roux mixed with heavy cream for a weak bechamel. What makes it a standout, for me anyway, is that the pasta ends up in the perfect state of al dente instead of overcooked and mushy like is so often the case with other mac and cheese recipes, a bit of magic executed by undercooking the pasta (mine got 7 of it's required 11 minutes in the water), tossing it together with the bechamel and cheeses and then letting it finish up cooking with a quick, seven minute blast in a hot (500) oven. Even better, it was really simple and quick to throw together unlike other, delicious yet labor intensive mac and cheese recipes I've tried. Like this one (amazing and OH SO rich) or, if you're feeling really, really naughty, this one which I think I've raved about before and is one of my holiday stand-bys.
As I said, the Cooks recipe calls for four cheeses: 4oz. of Italian Fontina, 3oz. Gorgonzola, 1oz. Pecornio Romano, and 1/2oz. Parm, and both Boy and I found that Gorgonzola was definitely the predominant flavor. It worked great for us blue lovers, but I think if I was making this recipe for guests or other non-stinky, moldy cheese eaters (of which there seem to be many...something I completely don't understand), I'd rearrange those proportions a bit to sub out all but a little bit of the Gorgonzola.
It looks like the recipe is available on the Cooks Illustrated website if you're willing to register for a 14 day free trial.
Monday, October 15, 2007
In the mean time, I'm left photo hostless and it's making my crabby.
Boy: "yes, but you're the cutest text-only blogger I know"
Thanks, Boy ;)
Friday, October 12, 2007
YAHOO, you are EVIL!!!!!!!!
You didn't really just tell me that, did you??
Do I need to tell you (AND THEM) that this is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE? We're talking YEARS worth of photos, here, and if someone doesn't get their shit together and fix this in short order, I think I will blow a gasket.
Like FOR REAL.
And the part that really freakin torks me is that I HATE YAHOO with a passion, and I never, ever would have become a Flickr user if they had been affiliated with Yahoo way back when when I first started using them. But now, in order to be in bed with Flickr, who I never had any issue with prior to now, I am also forced to be in bed with Yahoo who has perennially caused me WAY more trouble than any virtual place ever should.
I'm just so pissed. I seriously cannot believe my photos might be gone. And better yet, and I'M PAYING for them to now be gone!!!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
What's For Dinner...
I started yesterday with good intentions, really. But then time got away from me and I had to put off the meal I had planned until tonight.
So, a day late, I bring you what can't qualify as cooking, but meets the requirement of something new:
Bacon, Arugula, Tomato and Egg Sandwiches:
The tomato component of the recipe is actually tomato chutney which I made from scratch using this recipe. It's so fabulous that I think it would probably make an old sneaker taste good, but being that I'm fresh out of old sneakers this week, I'm looking forward to enjoying the leftovers with some brie someday soon. It would also rock the steak or chicken sandwich world, I think.
The sandwich is great, although that's pretty much a no brainer with anything bacon and egg for this breakfast lover. I actually used watercress instead of arugula and the peppery bite was a perfect foil for the richness of the main ingredients. In fact, I ran across this recipe on a hunt for watercress-containing recipes simply because I had a bag of that nifty hydroponic stuff left over from a week or so ago and it was so gorgeous that I couldn't bear to see it go to waste. And I just have to go on record (again) as saying I think that the hydroponic watercress and it's cousin, the hydroponic butter lettuce that I've raved about before are about the greatest inventions ever. They keep practically forever because they're still attached to their root balls (meaning they're still alive) and they're so much nicer and simpler to use because you can pluck the nearly perfectly clean whole plant from it's package instead of spending a bunch of time cleaning mud and dirt off the traditionally produced versions.
Anyway, a fantastic and super quick to make recipe. I served ours with a little spinach salad on the side because it was dinner, but I think it it would work great for breakfast as well with some skillet potatos or hash browns or something.
Definitely talking hangover food there...
Monday, October 08, 2007
Step One Is Admitting You Are Powerless
I had successfully resisted with the exception of snagging a couple of yards of the Kashmir several months ago,but last weekend I took a quick, offhand detour into a local quilt shop and found myself unable to exit without some of the Gothic Rose print in burgundy in hand. Nevermind that I completely didn't need more fabric, and that I had no idea what I would do with it. IT HAD TO BE MINE, and I spent all of last week admiring it there on my worktable, trying to decide if I should eat it or sew it up into something.
And then, finding myself with a bit of free time this weekend and having been long-ago inspired by my pal Knit-Whit and the awesome pillowcases she makes, I decided that whipping up my own pair of pillowcases would be the perfect project for my new acquisition:
I have queen size pillows and it drives me absolutely nuts that most of my current pillowcases are a bit too short so I made sure to generously size these, with a cuff from Michael Miller's Mirror Ball Dot for a little pattern contrast.
But there's one slight problem.
As you may know, I've been pondering on a plan for our bedroom decor for a loooong time and as I looked to my newly created pillowcases for color inspiration, I felt it necessary to really take a good look at what else is available from Amy's line to coordinate.
So now I'm thinking I may have to switch to the turquoise/orange/kahki/olive colors of the Sun Glow color group and that I MUST ACQUIRE IMMEDIATELY the Oxford stripe, the Acanthus, the French Wallpaper and the Gothic Rose in that colorway and base a quilt, more bed stuff and the whole room on those colors. I'm such a sucker for orange these days. OTOH, I absofreakinloutly adore the Full Bloom AND Earth and Sky colors, too.
So much color deliciousness, so little ability to make a decision.
Welcome to my world.
P.S. I should also mention that the picture above does zero justice to the loveliness of this fabric. In reality, the color is much brighter and fresher looking.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Anyway, despite being one of the first peeps in the door there were no art supplies to be found, but I did score the nearly brand new flat file I knew she had for a measly $75. Since that's about a $400 savings over buying one new and it was something I had been desperately needing, the whole adventure was totally worth it
But there's more...
After I laid my claim to the flat file, I started poking around to see if there was anything else I liked, and discovered an old Singer sewing machine all dusty and tucked away inside it's table.
Now, I had been looking around on the net for a while, casually keeping an eye out for any random, well build old machine suitable for sewing really heavy stuff, but also half thinking I would just bite the bullet and fork out for a new Juki heavy duty industrial machine. And I hadn't made enough of a commitment to pursue either option at that point, mostly because I was still trying to figure out just WHAT old machine I should look for specifically and if it would be worth the trouble and wait over buying new. So like I say I wasn't really looking for a sewing machine that day and when I happened upon this one I didn't exactly go crazy. But then I looked at the price tag:
I figured even if the thing didn't work I could sell it as is or sell just the table alone for that price, so I bought it.
Turns out it's not just any old Singer, but a circa 1946 model 201-2, otherwise known as perhaps the best old sewing machine ever made and about the greatest accidental find I could have hoped for in an old machine. A quick check reveals that a reasonable price for a working 201-2 would be in the neighborhood of at least a couple of hundred bucks. And this one came with what I think is every possible attachment AND the original owners manual.
And although I didn't know it when I took it home that day, after a little cleaning up the thing works the bomb, sewing through heavy leather and other really thick stuff like buttah. Quite the worthwhile investment for $35.
Today, it made this possible:
...something my very expensive Viking would have choked to its death on.
(leather wallets to match MOOPockets...going up in my Etsy shop shortly!)
The manual has about four pages in it directing one to all the oiling and greasing spots and states this should be done yearly at a minimum.
I guess I had better get on that since it looks like it's been a while :)
Labels: sewing crafting wallet singer