Friday, February 29, 2008

Proof really is in the pudding

Redwood Highway, nearing Crescent City, Ca

We recently celebrated the husbeasts birthday (a little belated) with his family. They're uber cool people, real down to earth, and his mum is one of the most delightful cooks I know. So makes a fantastic Persimmon Pudding with a traditional English hard sauce. Just to die for. No really. Sometime I must share her recipe, but I have to make sure I can still find it! By the by the pudding is steamed for almost 2 hours, and it comes out thick and dark in color, not like Bill Cosby's crappy pudding.

So I know I talked all this talk about my fabulous and lovely millinery class that I had been going to, and have yet to procure any picts. Well there's a reason, see the hat I had created while the class was going on, as well as the 2 for the class, were in MHO just rubbish. Simply dooky on a stick. So I've been busy combining both the style I used to do with the wire frame and a bunch of yanking and pulling things tight, and the buckram framing that I was taught to incorporate under the fabric.
Wanna see just the buckram frame style alone, ok, brace yourself for it is hideous:
I told you, it's flat, and shapeless and looks like a form cut from a dye cast or something mass crap made. It's stiff and has no real motion. The construction isn't half bad, but honestly it should be either burned on the spot or better yet destroyed and reused. And please remember, "a passion for destruction is also a creative passion" ~old dude in the first movie Slacker (indie from the '90's)
So in between knitting the still unseen by all y'all log cabin squares, which I am currently on the seventh out of 9! I've been fusing my construction styles into something that is cohesive and readable, and much more me! And I believe I've had fabulous luck in my endeavors. And here we have it ladies and gents, the proof from the pudding:

Just click on the images to make them bigger by the by.
Here is the construction of the back:
It's so flat and has a straighter than normal seam that doesn't bulge or create an awkward shape! I'm flabbergasted that I've finally figured it out (well for now at least).
And here's a comparison shot: Do you see that difference, not only in height, but the depth and motion that the less used buckram framing has created. And the refined bias tape edging, which I will have you know that I made myself.
So I'm stoked, the new hat isn't quite finished since the cluttered picts, but I should have it done and off to it's new owner by next week. Just in time for the husbeasts company party, yes another! They're kooky people over there. This one is a hoedown in honor of their shed (a very large shed) being torn down. The company is currently constructing a new building and some more parking, and is just tickled pink to be growing. After all just a few years ago they were a small start up on a little island in the bay.
This morning I've been dreaming about turning this fabric into a cute little pair of bloomers, but I'm afraid to. I'm afraid to cut it, I'm afraid they won't be big enough, or that it would be better as a can-can skirt. Oh I just don't know. Just like I just don't know what the hell this fabric is! I was told by a friend years ago, but since have forgotten. Here's a hint, when it is washed and dried all those lines scrunch up into one bitch of a crinkle that takes a really long time to iron out. And I got it the oh so missed, Poppy Fabric in Oakland bask when I was still in Art School over there.
So there's most of all the proof, of the wonderfully fun things I've been up to.
If I finish the squares for the blanket soon, I shall show them all. As a hint I've been knitting them out of Noro Silk Garden in hoards of colors, but I believe I've already spilled that bean...
Cheers till then.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adventures in Cayenne

Wow, I'm writing this dinner recipe down before I forget all that I put into it.
Let's call it:
The Cayenne Co-Op Special

So since there are just so many ingredients, I'll just go into it w/out a proper list.

Start some meatballs in the oven, while those roast, in a frying pan melt 1T butter, and a little olive oil. Add 6-8 buttons of mushrooms, chopped in fat quarters, 5-6 cloves of garlic chopped fine. Stir down a until mushrooms turn color, add 1 zucchini, cut long. Stir down until turns color. Add fine ground pepper, course ground pepper, a little salt, some garlic salt, and about 1/8t. 90,000 BTU Cayenne (this is the hot! stuff from any natural grocer DO NOT SUBSTITUTE), add some thyme. Add frozen roasted corn (yeah Trader Ho's) and asparagus cut small. By this point you'll need some more liquid, so throw in enough white wine (I prefer $2 Charles Shaw ~edited from Schwab thanks guys.! - Sauvignon Blanc). Let all this cook at a high simmer. While that's simmering, start the pasta, what ever is preferred . Cut up 2 patty's of mozzarella, some white sharp cheddar cheese, and a mix of 3 Italian cheeses (you know the parmigiana, Romano...), melt all that down. To this add the zest from a sweet meyer lemon, and then all the juice. (this is the important step that added with the wine will cut the main part of the cayenne, and just be really yummy.)
Once the pasta is done, throw that into a big bowl, top off with the simmered veggies, and daub off the oil from the meatballs, and throw on top of all the yummyness.
Toss and enjoy with some of the left over white wine.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Looks like I forgot to mention that some of the roving I got may have actually come from Tactile Fiber Arts, a booth that was sharing space with A Verb for Keeping Warm. Still a little confused on who's was who's but they were all really lovely women. And helpful to boot.

Ya got me in Stitches!

No really, rolling... okay maybe not really, but Stitches West was a wonderful convention, that my lady friends and I really indulged ourselves in. The vast number of booths was overwhelming to say the least. And I fell in love with one booth in particular, the Ribbon, button, and Trim shop from Rhode Island. To describe the booth, imagine with me if you will, shelves sectioned by color filled with little jars of buttons, old wooden spools of trim and ribbon, lace encased in glass charms, and bins everywhere categorized by color. It was heaven, a very expensive heaven. I got some delightful trims and a few cute little buttons, 2 called frogs eyes, and 2 Victorian embossed flowers on a black background.
I also picked up some lovely mohair/wool in my favorite color of blue. Now what to make with 400 yds? I believe it's sport weight. Don't ask me where it come from all I know is that the women had strong southern accents and the company started with a B. Helpful aren't I.
But the biggest and best thing that I did, I purchased some roving. I know, actually roving to be spun up into something delightful. It was from "A verb for Keeping Warm" a newer shop, but the gal is local, and she uses natural elements to dye her yarns, a major bonus in my book. I picked up 4 oz. of Alpaca, 4 oz. of Bluefaced Leister, 2 oz. BFL, and 2 oz. of Polworth (nice long staples in that one!). And to boot the husbeast fixed the broken leather piece in my wheel last night, and commenced to pointing out that indeed the wheel was warped from some particular event in his parents garage, it involved water. Also pointing out that the center wooden piece, some part of the axle, was broken and a new one should be ordered, but perfectly fixable. And the bobbin just needs a decent spacer to keep it from falling off of it's holder. So a few issues but nothing really major, and everything he can fix (except the wonky wheel). It'll work, and I'll try my best at spinning, and if that doesn't work for me, I'll utilize those lovely fibers and make myself some felt that can be shaped into some cloche like hats.
All in all a fabulous weekend. Especially when I discovered that my Narcissus had bloomed while I wasn't looking. And especially since I hadn't even realized my mum had given me narcissus in all those bulbs she gave me. I'm just stoked I actually planted them in time for their blooms to shower my garden this spring.
Happy knitting, I'm currently on the 6th log cabin block.
And yes I realize I said I would show picts of the lovely courty side when we went up North, but they just look like vacation picts, and well I was bored when trying to put them on the blog, go figure, I'll put something lovely up soon. Maybe a sneak peak at the lovely roving's I stashed in a drawer in my living room. And to the husbeast, sorry I lied when I said, 'a craft room, now I won't have to do projects in the living room.' Yes, shameful they're everywhere. But at least I'm keeping my hands busy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Betcha thought I forgot about ya, huh.

Nah, I've just been a slacker enjoying life, and the ensueing Spring.
Last week my first feecia bloomed, a cute little red one. And the rest of the Iris and Freecia I planted in the ground in October have popped through the ground, little blooms hang waiting for just that right amount of warmth and sun so they can perfume my little garden. My bff just emailed me stating that she's planting clover and chamomile seeds in her yard. Maybe I should do the same, but in the garden area where there is already a bunch of crab grass threatening to take over the bed again. Hmmm, that's not a bad idea.
And I want poppies and cosmo's and lots of wild flowers all out front. In the back I want some vegetables and herbs. Tomatoes, sage, dill, beets, beans, zucchini, squash, carrots!, and garlic to boot. Ahhh the lovely lovely spring planting. It's coming. Today it's sunny, but raining also, so strange.
Hope you're also getting in the mood for the lovely wild flowers and green grasses to start populating your homestead.
The drive up north along the coast was wonderful. As Californians, we really are lucky to have such a diverse and gorgeous range of coastline. I don't mean to make anyone jealous, but it really is breath taking, especially with the top down on the husbeasts little convertible. Even in the fog of Humboldt county it was really rad. Actually I prefer to see all the trees hidden in the fog. I got some really lovely shots I plan on showing just as soon as the husbeast will let me onto my computer again (he's been updating his webpage with all his vanagon photos, it's cute he's documenting how he's getting it running again ~new engine and all) But just let it be known, the yellow flowers seem to be the first wildflower to set to blossom in the hills on the coast. They were everywhere, just whole fields of yellow happiness spreading wide.
Our sorjourn took us from our home here in the East Bay, up to Point Reyes Station in Marin county, where the CowGirl Creamery is located. We grabbed some cheese and organic coffee, and fled farther north. The hills rolled by us, Hwy 1 twisted and turned. And the seats were thankfully heated! A couple of hours later after driving the little twisty 2 lane road looking down at the waves crashing on the coastline we arrived in Fort Bragg. The skunk train wasn't running, but we had us some beers at the North Coast Brewery there, and walked back to our B&B. Very cute little place, very midwestern also.
The next day we toodled over to Mendocino and checkout the shops there. The knitting shop in Mendo is wonderful. So many luxurious yarns, and good prices, but I bought a button (stitches is this weekend!). I also fought off the urge to buy a linoleum print from a local artist, it was a bit affordable, but I suppose a bit pricey also. After a bit we hopped in the car again and headed even further north.
This time we landed in Eureka, drove through to Arcata and subsequently didn't want to afford their intown hotel. So we headed back over to Eureka and settled into a Hotel that was rather reasonably priced. The next day we explored Arcata's downtown fell in love with tons of lovely furniture, and ended up purchasing a few Noran (Japanese room dividing curtains). I did buy some cheap sari silk yarn in a hippy shop, in white, periwinkle and a soft purple.
We headed out of town even farther north and ended up in Crescent City, a border town to Oregon. Having mistaken it for a cute town, we grabbed a quick bite and headed back down the coast. On our way up there though, the fog was at it's finest, whisping in and out of the trees playing hide and seek with the sun, and well impressing my camera lens to no length. Hwy 101 there also rides along the coast but also passes through some lovely Redwood groves. We saw elk, and lots and lots of Hawk, and a giant headless Babe the Big Blue Ox. Poor little blue ox, he looked like a middle eastern bride with a big blue tarp over where his face would be. You'll see.
Driving back from Crescent City, we stopped back in Eureka at the last Co-op in California, grabbed some 90,000 btu Cayanne pepper (it's realllllly hot cayanne from Africa) and finally found the cute area that is downtown Eureka. And off we were back home in 4 hours.
So that was my weekend. I got a little knitting done, but with the top down it was so lovely I just couldn't knit. I did get half a side done on the husbeasts God Save the Queen mohawk hat, but I could have strangled the designer. No seriously. First there was a mistake in the first part of the instructions, yeah yeah not her problem. Then I just couldn't believe the sheer # of balls of yarn that were hanging off of the work. And the cast on was way fiddely. But what ever. I switched to reading the charted pattern and swore a lot, and everything was gravy.
On happier knitting fronts though I casted on for another log cabing square for the FIL's blanket. So that makes the 4th. Ah slow but a really nice and simple knit.
That's it for now. Since the husbeast is off to the Sony Party in the cityt w/ his little brother tonight, ps ladies he's single and really cute, and makes quite a bit of money, and looking to settle down, ahhhem. So what I was getting at is I'll have lots of free computing time, and I'll post a butt load of picts for ya'll to see.
Cheers till then. Wow, not a spelling error to speak of! Shock.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Blogi...oops missed it.!

Hello all you boys and girls, welcome to my inside world...
My my my it's been a year and a day since I began this silly little blog. Yeah I kinda missed that one yesterday, much better now though. I just jeesh I have no idea what happened there Sunday, for Monday was horrific. Oh well let's just not dawdle on that now shall we.

So since it's my blogiversary (wow that's long to type out) what shall we do today? Oh talk about knitting you suggest, yes well perhaps we shouldn't. I've been a very bad knitter, in that I knit not a knot nigh on a week. I know how terrible, c'est tres pauvre. Well I have a solution for that yes I do. The husbeast and I are escaping on a 4 day weekend Thursday, and I will be able to knit my hearts content. I believe we're heading for Fort Bragg on the Coast out here, and then heading up to Arcada and Eureka and that area. Hello Redwoods! The weather looks like it's going to hold out, and I'm hoping to get some lovely picts along the way.
Now all I have to do is clean the house so that when my bff stops by to give our cat a belly rub that she won't see the horror that is our house. In the aspect of cleanliness let's just say that I have a bit of ADDHD and well there's crafting crap all over the house. I'm terrible. It's going to take me until we leave just to get the big things tidied up. Or maybe she'll read this and clean my house for me then I won't have to be embarrassed when she comes over this weekend. There now that's a plausible idea (not!)

So with great sadness I must say that I have no more Millinery classes left and that this Sunday was my last. Do you see my meloncoly sadness. It is true. I didn't even want to leave on Sunday even when it was 4 o'clock quiting time. But that's ok, I will move on and find new ways of entertaining my hands, and make more hats. I wish I had picts, but alas I do not at this time. My hats are um, cute. Yes and well honestly different. I made a nouveau tricorn hat form straw and adhered a pirate ship, and a skeleton key and a little skeleton broach I had constructed wrapped in copper wire and some beads. It's cute but not really wearable day to day. The other hat is still not quite finished. It's a hat where I made the frame, it looks like a sailor hat, in that it has a flat crown, and a bigish brim. I'm not crazy about the hat, but it gave me such great opportunities to improve my other hats. I even made a new little topper, but it's not perfect in the shape, and well you'll just have to see. I will trudge on. But I love that I had such a fantastic opportunity to learn so much about millinery.

Cheers for now, and off I go.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I am trying

But I'll spare you the details of last nights one too many glasses of wine, only with the promise that I'll be back tomorrow!
Cheers til then.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Oh how silly...

So here I was just reading January One's blog entry, about her new Monkey socks, and it all came rolling back to me. I'm not sure if it was this last night, or a few nights ago, but are you ready for this? I had a knitting dream.
So there I am meeting my mummy and her friend 'for coffee?' and the friend is one of her dog club chums, someone I'm familiar with. And then turning with her cup in hand, it was Cookie A. I turn to my mum, and indicate in whispered excited tones, it's Cookie, you know the Cookie. You know that crazy sock maker.
I'm not terribly sure what happened from here on out, but it was seriously silly. I've met her a few times since she is a local...but I've never dreamt about another knitter. That's almost stalkeresque. Oh, I should so write her and tell her I dreamt of her, how creepy would that be.

Life's a little boring around here lately. Again the husbeast is sick, and again he's gotten me sick ~ as of today!
My second Millinery class was woooonderful. So much great information, and everything that is just what I needed.
The log cabin blanket is progressing slowly. Very slowly.
Ta for now, I wish everyone the best.

ps wow, an entire post sans spelling errors.!