Friday, October 31, 2008

boo (b)

Snagged a few Halloween pics off my cell phone. Please excuse the crappy pictures but this shit is too good not to share.

First up, evidence of convincing someone what a good bra can do for her self esteem, not to mention her cleavage. I texted this picture to her husband and I think he may have actually been speechless - a rare occurrence indeed. Cover your eyes, little ones. This isn't for tender viewers:

and my darling girl-child, discovering her love of false eyelashes. Go ahead and tell me how freakin' adorable she is. :)

And the amazing Halloween cookies my friend Trista made for a knitting get-together. I liked them so much I had her make a few dozen for Ken to haul to work today. They were a HIT! This picture doesn't even begin to show in detail the intricate work she puts in to these cookies. Every Witch has a wart, every eye is perfectly blood-shot. They ROCK! Thanks Trista!

and, as promised, a full-sized shot of a few of the Halloween cards I created. They were a hit too.

happy haunting!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

happy halloweenie

I cropped this picture way down to share just a snippet of some Halloween cards I've made this year. I'll share the whole picture this weekend, after my cards have gone out in the mail. I don't usually send Halloween cards but I was looking through my paper crafting stash and thought it'd be fun to use some of the items I've had for a while - always a good challenge.

Years ago I bought a Halloween paper kit - it has to be at least 6 or 7 years old. Never used a bit of it. It had these neat vellum, Victorian looking Halloween sentiments. I had fun creating different ways to use them. And my rocking new stamp. It's been a while since I played around. I busted out the embossing powder and everything! Needless to say my desk is a mess now and I've done nothing all week toward the craft fair. But it was worth it knowing I'm going to make some folks smile this week. :)

Happy Halloweenie!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

me, me, meme...

4 Things I Did Today:
  1. cured my clap :) -see below-
  2. made spaghetti for dinner
  3. kissed my husband
  4. ate a dairy queen blizzard
4 Things On My To Do List:
  1. put laundry away
  2. including summer clothes
  3. sweep my floors
  4. finish Christmas cards

4 Of My Guiltiest Pleasures:

  1. the internet
  2. knitting
  3. gourmet food
  4. sleep!

4 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I'm afraid of horses but I absolutely love them.
  2. I'm a perfectionist but I'm also quite lazy. It makes things very frustrating at times.
  3. I absolutely hate to fly. I'm not too bad once I get in the air but on take offs and landings you'll find me with a death grip on the arm rest and tears in my eyes.
  4. I rub my feet together when I'm going to sleep. So does girl-child. My mom does it when she's just sitting in her chair with her feet up. I don't know if she does it when she's in bed. It's funny.
Snagged this meme from a rockin' new blog I found: Vintage Glam.
I'm tagging - Susan, Cami, my mom and my brother because he needs to post something FFS!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

finally! cured of the clap

please excuse the messy hair and yesterday's mascara. when this kind of knitting is in progress, beauty waits. or rather, the beauty that is unfolding on the needles takes priority.
I cannot believe I finished the clapotis. I can't even remember when I began, it's been so long. I got sick of it for a while and tucked it down to the bottom of my knitting bag, knit on some socks for a bit before digging it out again. and might I just say it is lovely.
and such a versatile scarf! I had it wrapped around my neck a few different ways and because of it's length, it can go around my head or my shoulders with plenty of room to still tuck around my neck. I love it. I have enough yarn to make either a hat or some gauntlets or maybe a neck warmer as a gift. the yarn is just delicious. I may sleep in it.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

sometimes I amaze myself

I have so many projects going right now I'm actually losing sleep. I'm still trying to get my shit together for the craft fair. That's actually going quite well. I've got 70 (+/-) pincushions, 40 cards with more to come. 9 Santa's in the works and fabric for 20 or so pumpkins. I've been brainstorming (ouch, I know) about my display too and I think I've come up with something uber cute. If I can just get it to translate from my brain to something real.
I'm 4 rows away from starting my toe decreases on my TYDY socks. For you non-knitters, I'm less than a day away from being completely done. And I must say, nothing makes you feel better about your work than having your friends fight over a project. Both Cami and Noemi have claimed the pair as their own. I think one of them even licked the sock on the needles. I said, "Don't think it's yours just cause you marked it with your spit."
(hello Juno fans)
I've even been working on the Clapotis. I'm done with the main part, now to start decreasing the thing until I can cast off the last few stitches. It's getting cold here. I'd better hurry.
Today I pumped out half my Christmas cards for the craft fair:
and I created this for the backs of my paper goods:
sometimes I amaze myself. I was so happy with the way this, what should I call it, my watermark? turned out. Its a business card of sorts on the back of each hand-made card. Fucking brilliant! (sorry mom, I'm working on getting my blog rating up from PG to R. I can't have kid-friendly blog FFS!)
More cards tomorrow and then maybe some sewing with a little knitting in between.
Fun day, huh?
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

comfort food

Does it get any better than mac & cheese? I don't think so.

I never made it from scratch when my kids were young because I never had it homemade as a kid. My kids wanted mac & cheese from the box. It's the cheesiest you know. For all the scratch cooking my mom did, mac and cheese wasn't made from scratch at our house. We had "Kraft Dinners". That's what they were called - the macaroni in the blue box? Kraft Dinner. With stewed tomatoes. I know. Way to ruin a good vision, huh?

Does this restore the yummy vision dancing in your head? This here is Cami's rocking mac & cheese. Boy-child couldn't get enough. "I blame it on Cami." Said he. It's that good. Hope she doesn't mind me sharing the recipe with the internet. Here we go:

  • 1 1/ c pasta cooked and drained, rinsed in cool water
  • 4 T butter
  • 3 T flour melted/cooked together

add 1 1/2 c milk, cooked stirring until thickened a bit. add:

  • 4 oz cheddar
  • 2 oz velveeta, shredded

melt cheeses in roux, pour over pasta in a greased baking dish. top with 8 saltine crackers crumbled and mixed with 1 T melted butter. Bake at 375° 20 - 30 minutes until bubbly at the edges.

Think I'll go make some.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

K is for. . .

When I was little, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. Even back then I was always playing house, taking care of all my babies. Later on, when Ashley was born I was scared, knowing I couldn't prop her head between my knees to get her pants on. That's what I always did with my dolls and no one protested. And no one was going to pick her up at midnight and give me a few bucks. This was for real. Scary, amazing, wonderful, heartbreaking. The toughest-damn-job in the world.

a portrait we did for Ken's birthday back in 2004

K is also for Ken.

The most amazing man I've ever met besides my dad. Isn't that the way it should be for girls? :) He's -so- damn smart. He can do anything. He's compassionate, generous and takes good care of me. Wow. It must be a good day. :)

taken in February 2004. A birthday ride.

and K is for knitting.

I love this craft. It will never cease to amaze me, taking sticks and strings and making something that wasn't there before. Something functional and beautiful.

Knitting has broadened my world. Besides being a wonderful outlet for creativity, I've met some really amazing people. Folks I wouldn't have even met otherwise.

Knitting. Good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

oh for cute

this is a smackerel of the little pumpkins i'm making for an upcoming craft fair. no, these photos weren't taken in a field of tall grass, these little darlings are impossibly small. and isn't everything just so much cuter in snack size?

tutorial here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

step right up

and take a gander at melly, the contortionist! have you ever tried to take a picture of your own foot? no easy task, i assure you. but i did want to share the progress of the knit one, crochet too TYDY sock. i shared one a while ago but after trying it on, decided it was much too big (and on my foot that's huge!) and decided to rip it out and begin again. knit twice for the same price! now that's a bargain!

i -love- this yarn. it's soft, dyed beautifully and is making one rocking sock!

Friday, October 3, 2008

perfect potstickers

My camera isn't taking it's best pictures lately. A nosedive on a ceramic floor will do that. I'm working on figuring out if it's the camera or just the lens. Hang tight, would ya?
But till then, how do I not share photos of the goings on here? If a picture is worth a thousand words, it would take WAY too much typing for the same effect, doncha think? And even bad pictures are better than none so here we go...
Girl-child and I had a date yesterday - dinner and a movie (and some laundry). We got the dinner part done and the laundry finished but the movie got put off because perfect potstickers are a lot of work! But, being girl-child's 'favorite thing in the -whole- world', (goodness, I hope not!) we dove right in, me with the wrapping, her with the camera. Though I did make her get her own hands dirty. This is one of those recipes where you have to dig in with both hands. Keep a towel nearby and you'll be fine.
Let's get started.
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated 2008 Fall Entertaining issue.

For the filling:
3 cups minced napa cabbage leaves (MINCED cabbage! This step took FOREVER!)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
ETA: 12 ounces of ground pork (how did I forget this?!)
6 tablespoons minced scallions (about 4 medium scallions, white and green parts)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
24 round gyoza wrappers (or wonton wrappers)

  1. toss cabbage and salt in colander or mesh strainer. Let stand till cabbage begins to wilt, about 20 minutes; press cabbage gently with rubber spatula to squeeze out excess moisture. Combine cabbage and other filling ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Place 4 wrappers on work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered so they don't dry out. Place a bit of filling in the center of the wrapper, how much depends on your selected wrapper. You don't want them too full or they'll split. Keep a small finger bowl of water nearby and after dipping both index fingers in the water, gently wet the outer edge of the wrapper, all the way around. Fold each wrapper in half; starting in center and working to the outer edges, pinch edges together to seal firmly, pressing out any air pockets as you go. Position each dumpling on it's side and gently flatten, pressing down on the seam to make sure it lies flat against the work surface. Repeat with remaining wrappers. My mixture used a while pack of wrappers - 48 dumplings. I worked in batches of 12.

They look a little brainy but don't be scared. They're tasty brains, I promise.

  1. add 2 teaspoons of oil to non-stick skillet, making sure the whole bottom of the pan is oiled. Add single batch (depends on your pan size, I suppose) to the pan laying flat on one side with all the seams going in the same direction and place over medium-high heat. Cook without moving until dumplings are golden brown on bottoms, about 5 minutes. (You can move, just don't move the dumplings!) Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover immediately. Cook, covered, until most of the water is absorbed and wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Uncover skilled and bump the heat back up to medium-high and cook without stirring until dumpling bottoms are well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Tasty stuff. And nothing thrills me more than making a dish I know someone loves. Girl-child was uber happy and all it took was a little time in the kitchen. And a sharp knife. ;)

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

and the wishes, they continue

What a great birthday! My gifts were so generous and the celebrating continues into next week. I'm one lucky girl. Blessed with good friends, good family and good genes (thanks mom!). I even got carded the other day, which at this point is just annoying. :) Both my kids are old enough to drink!

I was gifted with dinners out, lots of cake, gift cards, that beautiful pen from Cami and this from my dear friend Rhonda:

The sheer beauty of these needles is breathtaking. And my instructions were to "go knit something". And you can bet I will. I'll knit lots of somethings. Even Ken said, "Wow!" And he doesn't know needles. They're that nice.

Thanks friend. This is the kind of gift that keeps on giving.