Monday, December 18, 2006

December 11 06 023
Here's how Simon is enjoying the holidays so far and I think he has the right idea. Tonight I will be making my second batch of eggnog this season.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 12 06 005

My second Little Tree, the pink version. Tell me this is not the cutest candy colored christmas tree you've seen lately. Well, maybe not, with all the little trees out there. I actually dyed this fabric a few years ago in a fabric dying phase when I dyed my bedsheets purple. This piece came out pinker. The bottom is green wool felt. I embelished it with a gorgeous piece of handmade art yarn that has a little strand of irridescence spun through that I got via the sampler from Misshawklet. You can't really tell from the picture, all cloudy all the time here, but it is gorgeous stuff! Then I attached a bunch of buttons that seemed christmas-fairyish and that was it. The most ridiculous part is that the whole time I was making this I was fretting that it wouldn't be modern enough for its intended recipient: as though a stuffed tree with yarn and buttons on it could ever be modern. Once I let go of that idea it went much more smoothly. Yay for trees!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12 06 001

My first attempt at a Little Tree. Actually, this is my second attempt: the first attempt looked more like a slanty horn than a straight-up-and-down-tree. Apparently I cannot follow directions because using the beautiful pattern Little Birds provided did not turn out very well for me (well I did tweak it a little for a taller tree which is probably the cause of the problem). For this second attempt I decided to wing it, and made a cone of indeterminate size and attached a circle to the bottom that seemed like it might fit. Much better. Here is a picture with smallish cat so you can get an idea of the size. These are fun and addictive to make, the trickiest part for me is getting the stuffing smooth and not lumpy. Considering my projects lately, 2 quilts and a batch of 10 pillows at once, it was very satisfying to make something in about an hour. This tree is to be a Christmas gift for a work colleague who is having a hard time lately. While I was making it I poured all of my happy thoughts for her into all that stuffing I was trying to cram in without lump so hopefully it will help a little. It looks a bit Dr. Seussish which I think will suit her just fine.

Monday, December 11, 2006

December 11 06 015

This picture pretty much sums up the excitement of setting up our tree this year for little Snuggles (Wesley Snipes officially). I think he had the best time.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

November 11 2006 055

This is an in progress picture of a quilt that I finished, that's right: FINISHED for Christmas! Whoopee! I really like how this one turned out. I've never done anything like this long stripey random pattern before. The theme of this quilt was dictated by it's recipient-to-be and she chose floral batiks. I really like the way the colors seem to bleed together for the most part and the black batik with it's larger scale really stands out. I'm pretty sure I lifted this basic strip idea from seeing pictures around of Amy Butler's designs but it's simple enough that I don't think I'm exactly plagiarizing. I hope Charr loves it as much as I do, there's always the temptation to tell the person that if they don't like it they can give it back, but I don't think that's really in the Spirit of the holiday.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Things that feel good:

petting kitties
a nice hot fire on your back
making quilts
butternut squash soup (yum, we've already had it three times)
flannel sheets with hot water bottle
a long weekend
dreaming about christmas trees
drinking eggnog
considering making your own christmas trees

Monday, November 20, 2006

This Superhero post is a birthday gift for all of us! I've been spending my time lately trusting myself and it does feel good.

We've been having fires in the fireplace every weekend since it hasn't been too cold yet. On a brisk night with kitties, it is the most wonderful thing in the world. Once it gets cold enough to have to use the heater, the central air sucks the smoke out of the fireplace into the house and that is not cozy. This conventional fireplace stuff is for the birds, I've definitely put fireplace insert or wood stove on the list for "must find a way" if we ever move. When?

Monday, November 13, 2006

November 11 2006 008

On the weekend I made Alicia's Sourcream Apple Pie, the second apple pie I wanted to test for Thanksgiving. It was ridiculously well recieved and most of book club had seconds so it was a definite success. The other pie that I tried was also very good and probably my favorite of the two: Molly's tarte tatin. It was well liked by the people at work. The problem is that only two of us, me and Thad, actually tried both pies. I liked the tarte tatin better and Thad preferred the Sourcream version. Oh what a tangled web we weave.
November 11 2006 003

Quilting has been moving along swimmingly. This quilt is a secret since there is a chance it's recipient could read this. So that's the reason for the arty shot that doesn't show much. This one is turning out much better than I had anticipated and could be the better of two I'll be making before christmas, but we'll see.

Friday, November 10, 2006

November 11 2006 006

Wonder of wonders, I have been knitting lately. I am mostly done with a scarf for Christmas in a three stitch basket pattern. As usual when I knit, my mind is filled with grand schemes of all that I will make. Texture seems to be what I like most about knitting since you don't get the instant color gratification that you get with sewing. I am very drawn to this beautiful technique for that reason. She explains that you drop down and knit stitches from a previous row into the current stitch, very cool.
Another installment in my salads for posterity series:

1/2 head of frilly lettuce, torn
1/2 fennel bulb sliced very thinly
1 clove of garlic minced
about 1/4 cup crumbled good quality feta
juice of 1/2 lemon
drizzle of good olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper

This was very good but in the future I would increase the fennel and use the whole bulb (minus the fronds stalks of course). I got the fennel + lemon combination from Orangette.

edited to add: We tried this again with more fennel and the addition of a couple of slices of good bacon fried up crisp, chopped up, and scattered over the top. The extra saltiness made an incredible difference and turned this into serious business. With bacon it's easily a fancy company kind of salad.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

October 30 2006 022

This is my first attempt at shrinky dinks since I've been allowed to use the oven without adult supervision. I'm the adult now! Anyway, you can see my skills have not improved in the years I've had to subconsciously mold my craft. I got two types of film to try out, black and clear. The black seemed like it would lend itself to interesting shapes since a drawn design would not stand out very much. My shapes are not interesting so far and the stars really want to curl up and not lay down even though I tried the tip they give you to put a piece of parchment on top while baking. I like the little rectangles with words on them the best so far. All of these are meant to be little earrings maybe with tiny crystals hanging from the bottom. They are a blatant rip off of the basic construction shrunkencathead uses, though nowhere near as nice. Today I will try to print words onto the clear sheet with an inkjet and see how that turns out.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

October 30 2006 001

Recipe for how to cure a bad day: here's how I do it

Step 1. Call your best friend and tell her everything. This may be all you need to do. However, if it's really bad or if she happens not to be home, proceed to step 2.

Step 2. Have a long hard cry, really get to heaving and snivelling. Do this by yourself or you could upset people. Please don't skip this step even though it's the most embarassing because it is critical to the success of the project.

Step 3. Take a nice hot shower and wash everything. Wash your hair, shave your legs, exfoliate anything that might need it. Use all of your best smelly items, the ones you save for a special occasion. This is a special occasion, see step 2.

Step 4. Put on snuggly pajamas and pour yourself a glass of champagne.

Step 5. Order your favorite take-out food and watch your favorite dvd. By this time you should be feeling much better, or at least I do. You can commence cuddling with whoever happens to be handy: husband, cat, whatever.

Monday, November 06, 2006

This year I am getting my Christmas shopping done early so I can really enjoy the act of giving. I love the slippers I ordered from the sweetloveablegoods etsy shop. They are to be a Christmas gift but they are so adorable and comfy (I slipped one on to make sure it would fit because it looked a little small but no worries there). They are sweet, and loveable, and good goods. I've been cruising the shop pretty regularly since to ogle the other items now that I know how nice they are. The flower pins are really pretty too and would like so nice with a ladylike wool coat and scarf.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

There will be a Soulemama book! I have been reading this blog almost religiously lately as a tiny wish for what my family might be like when we have babies.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween at home was a new experience and very delightful. I think I would like to make it an annual tradition. We got a handful of trick-or-treaters but none past 8 p.m. I made a delicious lentil soup (but skipped the pancetta because I didn't have any and it already included bacon) and we watched the first long episode of Firefly that Thad got for his birthday.

Monday, October 30, 2006

October 30 2006 007

This is a little hot water bottle holder I made this weekend. It's very grandmaish but my feet get cold since I am not capable of producing heat with my body. And anyway, I'm pretty grandmaish to begin with so no use fighting it. I saw the knitted hot water bottle holders around and liked them but didn't see myself actually knitting so I did it this way with a little quilted cover, lined, and leftover snaptape from my duvet cover for the closure. Here's the back.

Monday, October 23, 2006

article about e.coli and industrial meat by Michael Pollan
Wendell Berry once wrote that when we took animals off farms and put them onto feedlots, we had, in effect, taken an old solution — the one where crops feed animals and animals’ waste feeds crops — and neatly divided it into two new problems: a fertility problem on the farm, and a pollution problem on the feedlot. Rather than return to that elegant solution, however, industrial agriculture came up with a technological fix for the first problem — chemical fertilizers on the farm. As yet, there is no good fix for the second problem, unless you count irradiation and Haccp plans and overcooking your burgers and, now, staying away from spinach. All of these solutions treat E. coli 0157:H7 as an unavoidable fact of life rather than what it is: a fact of industrial agriculture.
This weekend I was very proud of myself! I took care of many chores and made a few savory and healthy soups for us to have for lunches through the week. My biggest triumph was cleaning out my vegetable garden and harvesting all of the tomatoes that had been languishing including a couple pounds of Sungold cherry tomatoes and several giant sized Amish Paste plum tomatoes. These are great varieties for this region and I will plant both again, they succeeded incredibly against insurmountable odds: no water and almost complete neglect. It was basically a Tour de Force. I ground up all of the ripe tomatoes in a food mill and cooked them up with some chicken broth I made last week (from the leftovers of our organic free range roasted chicken) seasoned with rosemary from the front planter. I threw in a can of some garbanzo beans (would have done dried but I didn't know I had so many tomatoes left) and it was good and made me feel like a soup making goddess! Thaddy and I have agreed that next weekend we will do absolutely nothing since we were so productive this weekend to celebrate the end of daylight savings time.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I liked to read this blog post about how it feels to finally have a home. Waiting to move I have been maintaining a static status quo that no longer gives me that sublime feeling of home. There are small things I could do though, to spark some happy at home feelings like burning incense or lighting more than one candle. I will work on it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Picture 113

I confirmed that Venice is still the most magical city I've ever been to and discovered an abiding love of the cafe latte, the coffee my grandma made for me as a child given legitimacy with an Italian name. It was nice to know that I can still use most of my Italian and could probably get very proficient with a teeny bit of study next time. Good to be home though and we've roasted a chicken, also confirmed that our bed is the most comfortable place I can imagine. I made a big stride already upon homecoming by finishing a project that had been languishing for a year: put snap tape on the duvet cover I made for the couch snuggling blanket. Project completed and snuggles in progress!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

At least when we come back Fall will be here and I plan to celebrate and get over jet lag with Thomas Keller's roast chicken, I already cleaned my oven and everything! Ms. Orangette's salad looks like the perfect thing for leftovers and I'm sure we'll be craving salad after traveling.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Well my weekend was not blissful or relaxing but very annoying. It seems that Thad's car is now well and truly dead so we have to decide what to do and where the money will come from for a new house and a new car. This is not how I like to feel when getting ready for vacation.

Friday, September 22, 2006

A blissfully relaxing weekend awaits and I intend to celebrate with champagne and picnic food, maybe a bitter greens salad with goat cheese. We will watch many dvds and I hope to can something, either tomatoes or another kind of jam depending on what looks good and cheap at the farmer's market. This is my last weekend since I am afraid summer will be over when I get back from Italy. I can make some cookies for the flight.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

We have been having fun watching dvds of the first two seasons of Battlestar Galactica in preparation for the third to start next month. It is great sci-fi and very addicting. My sweet Thadeus enjoys using the swear word they've developed for the show. There is some pretty sexy content too to keep things spicy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Last night I cleaned the kitchen and even scrubbed the stove top. Then I took a long shower and washed my hair and exfoliated with my extra special body scrub that smells like the most yummy coconut ever. Afterwards I watched a Jane Austen (novel inspired) movie and felt quite a bit better than I had before I began the whole exercise.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Great article about the "food divide" in the Bay Guardian: " how do you make shopping in farmers markets and cooking for your family more of a way of life rather than a lifestyle."

Monday, September 18, 2006

yesterday at the farmer's market I picked up some fresh black-eyed peas. They made a nice soup last night loosely based on this epicurious recipe.

I omitted the red wine vinegar becuase I forgot. Instead I just sauteed the onion and garlic, threw in 4-5 chopped up roma tomatoes leftover from sauce making, then dumped in a storebought carton of chicken stock, the black-eyed peas (a regular sized baggie-full), oregano and chili powder, and simmered for maybe an hour. Later it looked too chicken brothy so I threw in some quinoa and that made a very nice mushy soup for an almost fall Sunday evening.

Friday, September 15, 2006

craving the next step:

Pouring over books, photos of beautiful houses painted in bright colours, with kids and dogs running through them.

move to Uruguay?

new home in Astoria

I am not good with liminal times. Everyday I wonder if I should plant seeds for a winter garden.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I like these two hanging lights from Dutch by design, especially the Icarus with it's giant angel wing. Very cool name too. The Delight would make a nice bedside hanging lamp but you have to use an energy efficient bulb. I would want to make sure they had some besides the compact flourescents because you cannot use those with a dimmer, which is a deal breaker in the bedroom.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

So far 3 people have been by to see the house. Not that many. Meanwhile I am starting to doubt how badly I want to sell. As autumn approaches my instincts tell me to dig in and get under a blanket for winter. I will not be able to buy a better kitchen for roasting chickens or simmering stock. This is the time of year when Thaddy first came into my life. I remember our first date when I leave the windows open day and night and my feet want slippers in the evening. Not too hot, not too cold, just right. I wonder if I will recognize this feeling in another house.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I am obsessed with having a place where I belong. I want a home where I wake up every morning and think yes, this is it, what a beautiful place. Now I will grow something in the garden or make dinner or a quilt or a fire. I will belong there always and years from now remember things as they happen there. Now where is this place, should I make it myself or take over someone else's memories? It must be in a location close to my family and under a lot of trees. A small orchard would not hurt. Am I asking too much? Perhaps the orchard is a bit much.

Monday, August 28, 2006

we had a good salad on the weekend which I will record here for posterity. It included:

1 heart of romaine, chopped
1 shallot chopped up very fine
1 lemon cucumber from the garden
some of orangette's red wine vinaigrette
1 can of tuna packed in olive oil
tons of chopped up cilantro and salt & freshly ground pepper

Apparently tuna and cilantro love each other. This was the perfect salad for coming home from a week of wedding festivities on a day when we had neglected to eat breakfast: light and nutritious but substantial.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

raped by color = scientific proof

The New York Times has an article on how color in the home can make you happy:

"a maximalist, color-saturated approach to interiors is a secret to happiness — maybe even the secret"

it goes to the root and makes hair grow

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Well the realtor's list was not bad at all. I love his outlook on how people buy houses and hope to god he is right. His take on the craptastic backyard: people want something of their own to personalize when they buy a house, so they will like an unfinished pit of a backyard. Handy for us because our backyard is just such an unfinished pit. The most daunting of the tasks is to clean up the garage, but we would've had to do that to move anyway.

I have started to keep a journal where I can write down my little ideas about our new home and dream away to my heart's content. This has kept me from trolling the house listings so I don't get my heart broken by falling in love with something we can't buy until we get an offer.

In minorly related news I love these coffee cozies popping up here and there. Something similar is what is needed for my kitchenaid. Of course I have to wait to see how we will decorate the new hypothetical kitchen before I can make one. You see how sick I am?

Friday, August 04, 2006

We have chosen a realtor to help us on our journey. He won my heart forever by telling me our home has "pizzaz." I also really like how every time he talks about how we will handle offers he says "when we get an offer, and we will, . . ." to reassure me that it will indeed sell, we will really get offer(s). Tomorrow we get the to-do list for everything that we should do to get the house ready to show people. I am braced.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thaddy and I have decided to put our house on the market so we can move downtown to be closer to our family and part of a real community. Suburbia has been good to me but I am feeling it's contraints more every day. I am of course obsessed with putting down roots, roots, roots, and I hope the new place will be our family home for good. It should take our current house a good long time to sell but I already have the whole garden planned out for the new house, wherever it may be. I hope we will be there to rake the leaves this Fall and to make eggnog for Christmas but it could take even longer than that. Remind me to be patient.

Friday, July 21, 2006

proof of dorkiness:

07-09-06 025
kitties love quilts and I love them both!

In other dorky news, I am super excited that I get to stay home from hanging out with friends to instead paint trim in my house and repair the kitchen floor. How to make this weekend complete? Soak some chickpeas for soup.

Monday, July 17, 2006

words of the Pie Queen ring true:

What is this life I'm living here? It feels like I'm just marking time, somehow, waiting for the life I really want to start.

Friday, July 14, 2006

My new favorite thing in the world is this Strawberry Frozen Yogurt from Mr. David Lebovitz's website. It is the most delicious and refreshing, most summeriest, wonderfulest thing in the world. I've made two batches this week with plans for more this weekend. Thinking about doubling the recipe and putting some in little popsicle molds.

Monday, July 10, 2006

07-09-06 048

This is the abomination pieced together (decided to go with it to be practical, it's my new middle name!). I think the main problem is the small stripe fabric. Any opinions? I was trying to go with a style I am not comfortable with but I think I went too far. I hate that little flowered fabric, I'm actually pissed to have the leftovers in my stash now. Actually something in deep purple would look cool for the small stripe.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I decided to do my sister's wedding quilt like this beautiful and classic squares design instead of that modernist abomination. Well, it's not that bad but just too boring to make. I think the recipients will like this squares design in the pale blue plus cream and beige color scheme I had already planned. But now I will have to scrounge a bunch more creamy-beigey fabrics, looks like she used about 10 in the inspiration piece. Somehow don't have any in my stash, sort of like I never use those colors. . .

Monday, July 03, 2006

Experienced a very unpleasant crafty block this weekend. After getting my crafty room into tip top (well, pretty good) shape on Saturday, I then had trouble crafting anything on Sunday. Here's what happened:

1. I have decided to do this type of modern quilt for my sister's wedding present. The style of her home is very restrained so, to say the least, it is very difficult for me to come up with something which I will be happy to make and that they will be happy to use. The bulk of the quilt will be beige with a larger blue print at the top and a strip of some little flowery stuff separating them. The problem is I hate working with big pieces of fabric. Shouldn't take long to put the top together, but I'm not looking forward to it.

2. I made two skirts and wanted to finish the hems on both this weekend. Unfortunately one is pretty tight and makes an uncute crease at the top of my thighs so I may have to pitch it. (Or I could hold onto it until I lose some weight in my butt, Hah!!!) The other is a half circle skirt in some squirrely fabric with a muslin lining sewn into the side seams. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to hem this thing with the outter and the lining, one keeps bunching when I try to do them together and I can't do them separately because of the side seam situation. Maybe I can get Thad to pin it while I am wearing it but he was busy playing Dungeons and Dragons at the time.

3. My Mom made the brilliant suggestion that I should put a quilt up over the mantel where I need a nice big piece of art but have no budget. Perfect, just my style and free! So I pulled one million scraps out of the scrap bin to make this wall hanging quilt but felt so guilty about the other two projects that I didn't even work on it.

Friday, June 30, 2006

I am feeling rather poorly today because I started a kickboxing class on Wednesday. Of course, I was trying to be tough, but I've kickboxed myself into a state of near total paralysis. Laughing and sneezing are completely of the question.

Monday, June 26, 2006

This past weekend was the first one in a long time that actually felt like it was two full days. I got to work on projects, cuddle with my husband, eat at my favorite restaurant, lounge for hours in front of the tv (the next season of project runway starts next month!), hang out with friends, and oggle kitties. Heavenly! Plus it was nice and hot, ok maybe too hot at 109F, but it felt like a real summer vacation. That's a feeling I've been chasing for months.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Apartment Therapy: Week 3

I ran into a little momentum problem in week three. Since our home started feeling so much better I became less motivated to work on it and more motivated to relax in it. Have to stay focused!

1. Vacuumed all the floors again, so addictive. This makes your home feel so clean and happy.

2. I already have a working system instead of a landing strip so I nixed that idea. Instead I decided to knock down all the cobwebs in the outter entrance to our home, replant the succulents from their broken down plastic pots, and sweep that area and the driveway to cut down on tracking crap into the house. It is very nice now.

3. No repairs were done this week. Minus 16 points!

4. The only subscription we have was a gift from my mother-in-law. I decided to take this to work every month to share on the coffee table in the office instead of letting it languish somewhere because I feel like I should read it.

5. Apply the 80/20 color rule. Yeah . . . this is not really for me. My Apartment Therapy partner (Hi Mom!) commented that I use the 80/20 rule backwards, meaning I have 80% color and 20% neutrals. This is how I like it, it's my personal style. See week two for ambivalence on whether this personal style can be considered stylish or not.

6. This week I made lamburgers with tons of herbs from the garden. They were very delicious and Thad claimed he loved it (his comment was "I love this"). I also made arugula pesto which was quite pungent, but I still ate it all and really enjoyed it.

7. I failed to design an invitation for my housewarming, but I think I'll be doing photo postcards from a service. Does that count?

Friday, June 16, 2006

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Since I know at least one of you is into this kind of debauchery, here's another installment of kitty porn.

Monday, June 12, 2006

06-11-06 037
Last week and on the weekend I made some pillows for the futon. My theory was that if the futon was more comfortable we would start using that room more and improve the flow of our home. I was right! We flop on the futon constantly since the pillows came and Thad even napped on the futon this weekend. There actually may be a couple too many. As you can see, he is rather surrounded.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Apartment Therapy: Week 2

This week I finished doing the grout on the kitchen counter! A mere one year after remodeling the kitchen and tiling the counters, but running out of grout and the store running out of the right color of grout, only 1 linear foot from being done, I am finished! This is a wonderful weight to have off of my shoulders. Here's the rest of week 2:

1. Fix one thing yourself, this is my grouting triumph.

2. Clean the whole kitchen. I got rid of two big grocery bags of food (crappy crap) and pulled two big bags of cookware type stuff out for goodwill. Hung up an upside down flute holder for our tall champagne glasses and reorganized a lot of stuff off of the counter so there is more space and less clutter. Still waiting on a few more repairs to the kitchen since this was a big remodel with a lot of little loose ends left.

3. Bought a big Brita water filter dispenser. Nice to drink out of, but we'll see how much I like filling it.

4. Cleared off outdoor table which was in the kitchen area and moved to outside. Now that it is in business we have eaten a few meals on it.

5. Have not had much use for the outbox. I just put it wherever it goes including in the trash or goodwill pile.

6. I cooked this warm chicken salad this week and we loved it. Good for me too because I pretty much never cook meat.

7. I have chosen 7/14/2006 for the housewarming, but not quite decided what kind of party it should be yet.

A couple of things left out this week, but I'm kind of ok with that. Still very happy with the program. I will not be doing much of the style stuff because I already have a very strong style that I'm happy with, whether it's good or bad is another story . . .
what would make me happy:

bossa nova music
going in water
being tan
getting rid of lump in tummy
true love cafe
hair cut
good book
trip to tahiti

seems like I could manage a few of these this summer

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Apartment Therapy Week 1 is complete!

Here's what I did, or how I earned the nickname Crapsterminator:

1. Made a complete list of repairs. This is the part of the program I am most afraid of since our remodeling never really gets finished: a lot of loose ends here.

2. Vacuumed and mopped all the floors including busting out the vaccuum attachments to get in corners and under things. This felt very refreshing when complete.

3. Instead of removing one item, we took two big loads to the dump! We also cleaned up the porch including removing all spiders and their webs. This has been awesome. For my offering to the world I put an old butcher block cart out on the street and it was taken by the next day. I offered and the world accepted! Then the world gave us two more gifts: 2 donation pick ups in one week. I put out almost all of my books yesterday and have a big trashbag to fill for pickup tomorrow.

4. Bought two bunches of white Gladioulus that look stunning.

5. I sat on the futon in the outer kitchen area. This made me realize that this space is very important for my goal of entertaining. Since I don't have a budget right now to buy better seating, I think I will make a bunch of throw pillows to make the futon much more comfortable to sit in.

6. I didn't need to get earth friendly cleaning products since that is already what we use with the exception of bleach for mildewy shower grout.

It was a great start to the project and I feel very energized.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

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Recent Favorites:

Apartment Therapy the book - we will be doing the "cure" starting this week!
Strauss Family Creamery Plain Whole Milk Yogurt - "tastes like pudding"
Red Wine-Mustard Vinaigrette - perfect for warm weather salads
Veggie plants from the Tomato Man
In My Kitchen Garden blog, very inspirational!
I like this Rebecca Normal Silver jewelry

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Update: Sacramento Region's Bike Commute month. So far I have commuted a total of 21 miles or a total of 7 days home and back. I am aware that it doesn't sound very impressive but I live in SUV central, it's very subversive!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

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This is a great page about raising chickens, including about butchering! I do not think I have the guts for this but I wish I did. The girls are here! Eggs should start coming in October.
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Now that I have upgraded to flickr pro I just don't know if you guys will be able to handle the cuteness in my life! I am truly blessed. Cheesy but true.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

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By popular demand! Ok, only one person asked. This is the baby Wesley Snipes (some people call him DAYWALKA). Actually he's about a year now but we still call him the baby and he still acts like it. He prefers sparkle balls to the Total Gym but my sister thinks he bears quite a resemblance to the movie star Wesley Snipes. He is easily one of the cutest cats you will ever see. Please note the white puffball on his tail.

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This is a more accurate representation of Wesley Snipes' head. He has a very small head.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Last night I made a soup that I was immensely proud of while cooking. It included:

Homemade chicken stock that I made using the leftovers of an organic free range bird that we roasted;
Ranchogordo flageolet beans which I made on the weekend and have been loving this week;
zucchini that came in the box last week from Capay which I caramelized for maximum flavor;
rosemary from my garden

I think you see where I'm going with this. Could the ingredients be anymore fresh or local, should I not feel like an extreme goddess of the hearth?

It tasted like you took your Thanksgiving stuffing with a ton of gravy on top and whizzed it up in the food processor and ate it as a soup. And not in a good way. It was edible, but pretty gross. And for the warmest day of the year so far it was not exactly refreshing.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Very nice Spring weekend, we:

Painted my new room 'manilla tint' sounds horrifying but it looks like pure sunshine mixed with butter.

Shelled, and shelled again, and ate fava beans. Yum.

Tried to get chickens two more times to make a total of three. I don't remember this being so difficult before. Also, apparently you cannot arrive two hours late to an auction and expect to win anything.
Made the heaviest doorstop of an attempt at sourdough bread ever.

Planted berrgarten sage, golden sage, chives, italian parsley, fernleaf dill (sorry Julie), and only one sweet basil plant.

Used my thriving mint to make a spritzer. It was very spritzy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

How wonderful:

Between the overripe berries, the outdoor showers, the droning of the bees, the wisteria-covered arbor at sunset--are we really going to pretend that gardening is not an inherently lascivious activity?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Notmartha bought a house and I am jealous. Even though we are really settling into our space and have some fun projects coming up I can't help but envy that feeling of liminal stage and extreme clean slate.

In other news May is the month of the Eat Local Challenge and the Sacramento Region's Bike Commute month. I am declaring it my own little hippy party month.

Monday, April 24, 2006

We need some chickens. The City Chicken is the best info I've found so far about how to have chickens in the city/suburb. I love the chicken trailers, perfect for five chickens or less in a mild environment like the Sacramento area.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Now that it's Spring we will have:

special cake held on outstretched hands.
barbeques at dusk with that cut grass smell
shiny eyed snuggles in the grey when the day has plenty of time
good showers after getting very dirty planting
smooth sheets, not fuzzy anymore
strawberries soon
sandals and no socks

Friday, April 14, 2006

I got a KitchenAid as a wedding present! In color Ice, as in bling bling! But I don't want to be ostentations, nor do I want it getting dirty while it sits out on the counter ready to make cookies at a moment's notice (did I mention I'm getting fat). So I'm thinking it needs a cover. I was planning on sewing, but look how cute is this little rainbow knitted number. For a teapot of course, but same basic idea.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

And speaking of unctuous potions, I've really been enjoying Luckyscent. You can buy samples of most of the perfumes and I got the coconut body scrub which is incredible. Also they recently opened a store called Scent Bar! Now why didn't I think of that name? Oh wait, I did.
I've been getting a tad fat lately and I'm really enjoying it. After all of the wedding stress and wedding working out I now have the luxury of becoming quite fat and lazy. My bottom is always big so I don't notice that too much but my belly and breasts are growing. Between you and me I think I'm pretending that I'm pregnant, that's what you do after you get married right? And pregnant people are entitled to lay around eating rich foods and slathering their round bodies in unctuous potions, no?

Monday, April 03, 2006

this is one of my favorite feelings and something I think about constantly with my own home:

Everything soft and gradual. And the rain falling down. And strangely, my sheets and covers even felt like Swedish ones. Sheets and covers always feel a specific way to me in Sweden. It’s like they’re all some uniform weight and texture there, that they are not here. My body feels different under them. I had shaved my legs recently and the smoothness felt different. I felt a bit like a child. Protected and calm, the way I felt at my grandparents’.

I think back to my friends’ houses when I was little and even friends’ houses now. They all have such a specific feel to them. It's neat how everyone's space has its own feeling. And it’s not that I would choose to furnish my house the way my grandparents did. But I still loved the feeling of their house because it felt like them. It was filled with them. I’m sure sights, smells etc. will remind me of them and the feeling in their house, like the way my room reminded me last night.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

this is nice:

I'm calling my theory the Goldilocks Theory, in honor of that other searching girl, and it's about finding a thing, a size, that is just right for you. Whether it's a house, a yard, a city, a store, a group of friends, a number of blogs, a job, an amount of work, a number of emails you can answer well, a number of handbags, a number of new product lines for spring, even when people are yelling at you for more, and for more faster. There's just got to be a size, a pace, a place that's "just right," within all these genres, don't you think? And if we try to find the things that are just right, do you think that adds up to happiness and peace?
I'm not sure. I might just pretend that it does and see what happens.

Good to remember when you feel like a lot of things went wrong.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The classic question: Kirk v. Solo

Han might have been like "hey, Leia ain't so great, I can snag any babe now that I'm outta that carbonite. I'm freakin Han Solo!" Then he gets sorta trapped by that revelation that Luke & Leia are siblings, she tongues him, he takes the sure thing, and agonizes through that ending bonfire like the rest of us. Kirk would have tapped her on Cloud City and cut her loose before he got froze.

see full comments here

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I can't believe that in 32 days my life will be bound to a boy. A boy who's favorite topic is bowling, to be superceded only by video games. This is a lesson in be careful what you wish for: I always said I wanted a dork and now I'm in love with a real one.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I just realized I have a friend in nursing school, doctoring school, lawyer's school, and business school. I must be very attracted to budding young professionals.
I really don't know what I was talking about yesterday. I have no time right now for delving into my crafty recesses. There is one very important crafty item, though, that I need to complete in the next couple of weeks for my wedding so at least I will keep my hand in a little. Pictures to come in my usual slowpoke fashion.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I like this post at loobylu about how important projects are and blogs. Mine has been neglected lately as have my projects in real life. Reminds me that I am an artist and should start acting like it. Planning a wedding and starting a life with someone are important things but so am I. Times in my life when I have ceased to be crafty are not, upon reflection, the moments I am most proud of. I think this weekend will be time to return the crafty closet and the crafty table from the refuse bin.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Yesterday I went out to breakfast, changed the bed, rented a tuxedo, bought wedding rings, went to the gym and jogged my little heart out, made chocolate gelato, had green beans, leeks, Humboldt Fog cheese, and orange fizzy water for dinner, followed by a candlelight interlude with my love, and then The L Word!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

2006 promises to be a wonderful year. This year I plan to:

1. get married

2. make 4 quilts!

3. organize all of my crafty materials so they will make me happy instead of sad

4. be terribly in love

5. eat vegetables and bake

6. go to the gym at least 17 times per month (the most times I went any month in 2005)

7. frame and hang all of my beautiful pictures

8. fix the front yard (I mean it this time)

Monday, January 02, 2006