Monday, June 30, 2008


I think I've mentioned before that I worked at a real, old fashioned mom and pop bakery when I was in high school. It's where I cultivated a serious donut addiction and ruined myself for anything other than the perfect and carefully crafted bundle of fried dough, which is to say ruined myself for pretty much every other donut out there.
Now, there are doughnuts in my town that I could make do with in a craving pinch, but scoring any means getting up and leaving the house early and that's just not something I've ever really been able to muster the knack for even under the most extreme doughnut-craving circumstances.
So making my own according to my own leisurely Saturday night and Sunday morning time line became my only option:

Suddenly (or more accurately, after really a lot of messing around), I was swimming in more donuts than a two person household should ever have to face, and this was not counting the several holes that we ate practically straight from the hot oil:

Those naked ones there in front? My all time favorite donut, the one before which I become a quivering, salivating, donut jonesing freak, is the custard filled long john with chocolate icing, so while I was waiting for the shaped donuts to rise, I whipped up a batch of pastry cream and some chocolate icing to try and score a fix. So they're waiting for filling and icing. I'm calling them the pudgy johns.

Anyway, as you may have gathered from the photos, I used the Joy of Cooking yeast donut (or doughnut, which blogger spellcheck says is wrong) recipe because you can pretty much always count on the Joy. In this case, however, I must say I was slightly disappointed. Not that I have a lot of homemade donut experience (or any) but this wasn't quite what I was expecting. They were like a weird cross between a raised and a cake donut and sort of didn't really work for me. Not that I didn't manage to eat ...several.
And Boy also pointed out that they were missing that dirty fryer oil taste which I definitely agree with. Turns out a donut fried in fresh canola oil is like a soy bratwurst. It sort of hits the right notes but it's just not anywhere as good as the real deal and it makes the whole thing seem sort of pointless.

Sadly, I guess this leaves me only two options, neither of which are all that attractive. Buy a deep fryer and perfect my donut making skills or learn to love getting up early and live with the pathetic-ness that is the gas station donut. Fortunately for our waistlines, I'm likely to do neither :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Visitation Rights

Quite possibly the cutest bag ever to leave my sewing machine:

I know I've said it before, but this time I really mean it. I'm so in love with this summery little number that I think I'm going to try and get whoever buys it to agree to visitation rights:

Similar but slightly larger than the flap bags I've done in the past, this one's got a strap that works for cross-body or around-the-waist wearing done in the awesome shiny pea green leather that's been one of my recent obsessions, and lined with the same dotty print as the inside of the bag. I am CRAZY over how cute it came out!
It's going in the shop today....consider yourselves warned.

So we're on week two of our CSA, and wowee did we get some amazing stuff this week:

The box included tons of super fresh salad greens, baby bok choy, more of the tasty radishes from last week, kohlrabi, broccoli, cornmeal, and the most amazingly delicious snap peas this pea hater has ever tasted. So once again, I feel like I've won the vegetable lottery. So far the greens have gone into a big salad, and I did up the baby bok choy in a spicy Thai stir fry with chicken last night. YUM!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Fur and Drool

We definitely got our lounge on over the weekend. Or at least the pet part of "we" got their lounge on:

It's no wonder I feel like I spend half my life cleaning cat hair off of stuff where cat hair just should never be.

When it comes to PupCake, it's the drool puddles. He can lay gazing around, unmoving except for his eyes, in one spot for so long that a puddle of condensation forms on the floor under his nose. I try not to think of all those spots on my floor as dog snot, but I guess that's what they are:

Ever noticed how pictures of PupCake tend to all look alike? It's a Greyhound thing :)
He was so pooped after the GPA picnic and the morning of meet and greet that he slept and slept and didn't even want to go for a walk after dinner which is absolutely unheard of around here. We had a great day oogling lots of gorgeous hounds and sniffin butts (again, that would be the PupCake part of "we") and trying win cool stuff, but the best part of the day for us was seeing an adorable girlie hound wearing a collar I sold to her mommie a year and a half ago! I was like "...hey?...... hey... heeyy!! I made that collar! " It was the first time I've seen any of my stuff out in public other than with peeps I know, so I was pretty psyched. I keep thinking it will eventually happen with a MOOPocket and when it does I'm sure I'll go completely crazy acting like a blabbering fool. And then I will have lots of fun thinking of some kind of award to give the person. Like in the movies when the one millionth customer walks through the door and confetti flies and horns honk and they get told they win a million dollars. Except without the confetti and horns and million dollars ;)

Today I'm still groovin' on the leather+fabric idea for just about anything, and my favorite new item, the Moleskine covers, are no exception:

These make me want a whole shelf full of Moleskine notebooks just for myself!

Friday, June 20, 2008

In Lieu of Sunglasses

The mosquitoes are off the hook insane around here this year. At least twice as thick and swarmy as I ever remember them, even in the hot sun of midday, and roughly the size of pterodactyls. And that I live basically surrounded by water and wetland only makes it that much worse.
They spray and spray and I can't tell that it's doing anything for the bugs but I've no doubt that one way or another I'll end up with some bizarre disease because of one of those two things.

So anyway, I have like eight bajillion bites on my body and I think it's making me cranky because they all itch at once and I can't get anything done because I'm distracted by the incessant itching. Oh yea, and I sleep like crap because without fail there is always one buzzing around in the bedroom at night and it wakes me up.

Also on the crankiness front, you know when you're in one of those situations where you're witnessing a trainwreck and can see the outcome from a mile away but are helpless to do anything but watch it unfold? Check. Got that covered too.

Maybe a little PupCake will help:

I swear he learned this from M-Ah.

And speaking of PupCake, it was brought to my attention that I was on the verge of receiving a citation from the hound dog union on the grounds of abject neglect of wardrobe. And I admit, it's been at least three or four whole months since PupCake got anything new to wear. Just like the cobblers children having no shoes, my darling PupCake was slumming it a collar and leash set that were completely, utterly SO last season. But, motivated by the threat of wardrobe revolt and the fact that tomorrow is meet and greet day AND our local GPA's annual picnic, I managed to whip him up something fresh and smart looking:

lined in what else but blue leather?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


One reason why having a house with concrete floors is good? When the UPS guy brings your new inline skates, you can give them a good trying out without having to leave the house: (or...ahem...changing out of your work clothes...I mean pajamas. shhhhhh)

Them's my new Rollerblade Marathon Carbon skates. Neato, eh?

So, I haven't inline skated since the eighties, but we are on the hairy edge of having a new paved 14 mile trail right in our back yard, so I figured I might as well add that to my list of cross-training activities.
And I also haven't bought a pair of skates since the eighties, so yes, we had a good laugh when I pulled out my old pair for evaluation. They look a lot like eighties sportbikes...low tech and pink and turquoise ;)
So I went in search of a new pair and chose these because a. they have a lower, shorter boot and most of the models I tried on hurt my shins because the boots came up too high on my short legs and I don't think I'm all that in need of that much ankle support anyway, and b. they have BIG wheels and which means they go fast. and c. they look super cool. yes, I'm a poseur that way.

As it turns out, they do seem like they'll go super fast, but they also don't turn very well at all. Um, yeah. I guess that would be the speed skate-y-ness part of them. So I'm not sure how I feel about that and I'm tempted to order a pair with a shorter "wheelbase" and the 90mm wheels (these have 100mm) and see how those feel.

I'm not sure yet how the dog is going to like this new sport being that he's barely running partner material much less a skating-mate. I hate to leave him so much that I actually looked into getting one of those pet strollers which I never even knew existed until about a week ago, but as it turns out, there's only one model that seemed like it would even come close to being big enough for him and it's a little insane both size-wise and price-wise. So that is a no, and yes, I am a crazy dog person for even considering it.

Anyway, if I should happen to turn up with a broken arm or something one of these days, you'll know why without me even having to tell you, right?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Vegetable Holiday Season is Here!

We've just gotten our first CSA box of the season, and it might as well be my birthday I'm so excited! I feel like I just won the produce lottery.
Here's a bit of the loveliness for this week:

Not pictured are some of the nicest leaf lettuces I've ever seen, some other assorted greens including tatsoi which I've heard described as Asian spinach, and that lovely pot of herbs there in the background that we decided I would be the caretaker of for the season (we're splitting our share with Ms. Knit-Whit). Those will be going into the ground in the sunny spot where our spiral stairs (that we can't afford yet) that will take us up to the greenroof (that we also can't afford yet) belong to keep my two heirloom tomato plants company.

So I'm thinking of starting a new game called "What did you do with your CSA stuff?" Feel free to chime in at any time throughout the season because I'm sure we're gonna need all the inspiration we can get!

Tonight, I used the big bunch of rapini in a spicy pasta with Italian sausage and onions which took a whopping 15 minutes start to finish and was absolutely delicious. Boy and I both had seconds even:

And it qualifies for a WFDW, too, since rapini is something I know I've probably seen Lidia Bastianich or Biba cook on TV at least a few times but never prepared or eaten myself just because it's not something that's typically available to me. But I've never met a cooked green I didn't adore and this one is no exception. And that is exactly what I love about the whole CSA box thing. Besides the fact that it's like a once a week Christmas, it also forces me to cook and eat things I might not normally have, like rapini which, for the record, is a slightly spinach-y, brocolli-y kind of sharp tasting green that kept a nice chewy texture after a quick saute and was perfect with the sweet sauteed onions and sausage.

So, what are you doing with your CSA stuff this week?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I've been hard at work on a custom order for my homegirl Claire in the U.K. She was one of my very first ever MOOPocket customers and the other day she came to me with a request that I had a ton of fun working up. She wanted a mini-messenger bag and matching Moleskine cover, both in leather and lined with the absolute very last of a fabu fabric:

Made from a really cool looking oil tanned heavyweight brown leather, the bag took rather a lot of arm muscle to get to cooperate with the sewing up portion of the project, but I think both it and the Moleskine cover turned out super duper cute.

And the best part is the bag is perfectly sized to fit the Moleskine. Her fabulous idea, and golly how I love matching accessories. Her request to have the cover made from leather instead of fabric has me inspired to make a few more for my shop with some of the outrageous colors of leather I've been obsessed with lately.
I just love doing custom stuff because I love how it forces me to figure out new designs and construction methods....expanding my horizons n'all. And it always leaves me inspired to make lots more new stuff! So thanks Claire! I hope you love your new swag!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Road Work..., something:

Welcome to my town.
Better yet, welcome to the prevailing mentality of my town.

On the other hand, Boy and I were the ones who turned the car around to go back and get my camera so I could take a picture, so I guess we fit right in, huh?
He was actually the one that noticed it. We were on our way to get a Red Cherry, which seems to be the midwests' knockoff answer to pinkberry, and I was busy anticipating and contemplating what toppings I would get on mine. Of course, not being a resident of either coast, I have no idea what the deal really is with pinkberry but I remember the good old days of real yogurt-y tasting frozen yogurt, and that's what Red Cherry is.
And it's really super freakin good.
Like addictively good.
As in drive 10 miles just to get it kind of good.
And when it comes to me and treaties, that is the highest of compliments.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Holy cow, where is the time going? I can't believe that June is already 1/3 gone, and that my last post was 10 days ago? How is that possible?

I feel like I've been doing a lot of spinning my wheels lately. I dunno if it's because the weather can never make up its' mind or what, but it seems like I'm having a larger problem than usual making decisions or committing to one thing or another on any given day. And I feel like I have all these important big projects that need my attention but that I can't seem to get motivated to get started on.


So, as I spin the wheel in the human Habitrail that is my life of late, I end up working on projects that aren't particularly pressing or useful, but that offer a satisfying diversion from having to get real stuff landscaping and shade sail constructing and shed building and guest bathroom and bedroom finishing.

ugh again.

Bring on the handbag medicine, I say:

Because there's nothing like crazy bright blue leather and some Amy Butler fabric to make me feel better!
Isn't that color just insane? For some reason it reminds me of blue popsicles, but I think it's nicely tempered by the completely awesome AB print.
Is there anything that wouldn't look better with a little Amy on it?

And despite the fact that I started this one hell bent on making something just for me (because I'm still shlepping around the same MOOPocket and wallet from a year and a half ago and because yes, I design bags and no, I don't have one to use myself), now I'm completely torn between keeping it or putting it in my Etsy shop. Because I can always make another one for me, right?

Did I mention I was having a problem with indecision?

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