Friday, July 29, 2005

Fridge Jewelry

lookie lookie what I made! I do indeed to other crafts other than knitting! I mentioned before, knitting seems to take most of my time, but I do feel the need to branch out now and again. I've been trying to come up with ideas for custom things out of photographs me and my husband have taken - mostly for gifting something personal, but then the mercenary side of me does pop out - in order to offset some of our other hobby costs, we want to sell some of our custom images in the forms of cards, shirts, calendars...that sort of thing. But since we're still hunting for a reputable vendor and trying to decide how to move on those things, I decided to stick my toe in the water with these.

So yes, you heard right. I'm thinking about becoming commercial. Gotta pay for that yarn somehow, right? And since my spinning is somewhat slow...I'm startin' easy with these instead. If you're interested - do let me know. I'm thinking of starting the big ones at $3.00 ea and the little ones at $2.50 ea. Leave me a comment if you're interested...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Perfect Timing!

I've just finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix...and also received notice that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is awaiting me at the local Library! Hooray!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Library Expansion

Somehow, every time I have a spare moment when I am traveling for work, I manage to drift into a Japanese Bookstore in search of books. I already have a dreadful issue with regards to collecting books (mostly cookbooks in my case) but then I stumbled into the world of Japanese Craft books. The new additions?

Food Wrappin' - ISBN: 4388058114

This book is loaded with beautiful photos - of food and how to creatively wrap it! What better than lovely food and lovely wrapping combined? :D

Next up, we have:

Amigurumi Collection Volume 2 - ISBN: 4388058114

This books completes my series of three :D. How shameful. I don't even know how to crochet yet. I better get started...especially since the last book to join the library (this time) is another crochet book!


Title Unknown - it's the Cat book that inspired Matcha!
ISBN: 4391130122

I love that book. Not only is it a pattern book, but it shows all colors of cats up to all kinds of mischief!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Eggs - not just for breakfast!

Last Month's IMBB was hosted by Seattle Bon Vivant and it was all about Eggs! IMBB has continued to grow amazingly - and the Egg issue had 81 entries rolled up in two summary posts! If ever you needed inspiration for different ways to prepare eggs of all sorts, go have a look see :D

And in case that isn't enough, there's also the EoMEoTE - #8's summary was just posted!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Leafy Lacework

Continuing with my fascination with knitted lace, I decided to knit Knitty's Branching Out as a hostess gift for a friend who's putting up with me and a mess of other crew in a month or so while we run amok at a local (to her) trade show - and no, it's not a fiber related trade's an outdoor gear trade show. Anyone who knows me knows I'm a little bit of a gear head when it comes to outdoor gear and equipment - but then it seems I'm the same way when it comes to my fiberly pursuits.

Anyhow, I've got enough yarn to do another...or I might use the yarn to do this dayflower scarf...Details (and another photo) on my Branching Out can be found here.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Socklets or full Socks?

I've got some Sock weight Karaoke I'm evaluating - I've cast on for a pair of socks (whoo hoo - two socks on two circs!) photos, because there isn't much to look at yet - I've cast on using the Pom Squad Toe-up anklet pattern...but I'm not certain what I think about wool-silk anklet socks - I guess I can just keep right on knitting the leg of the socks if I don't want anklets - these will be my first socks, so I'm not sure how sound that logic is.

Then again, if I knit just the anklets, I might have just enough yarn for two pair....maybe.

What do you guys think?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Am I the Only One...

...who was not sucked in this weekend by Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince?

I was sorely tempted to go and get my hands on a copy - but I held back - I checked my local library queue and I'm currently #13 on the list...In order to bide my time, I've also gone and put Order of the Phoenix also on hold so I can refresh my dreadful memory as to just what happened in book 5. How dreadful that I can't remember...I spent a good portion of one evening this past weekend trying to recall what all happened in book 5 and was embarrassingly unsuccessful....I could easily recall books one through four, but not five. Oh well, timing should work out perfectly - I think I'll be able to pick up Order of the Phoenix, read it through and Half Blood Prince should be ready for pickup just as I finish :D Hooray!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Speaking of Tea...

Looks like July's IMBB is all about Tea. Go visit a la Cuisine for details!

But back to that Matcha thing. I've a whole mess of wool yarn that needs to be dyed...and a small herd of KoolAid packets with which to enhance them...but the idea of having Matcha hued yarn intrigues me. Does anyone know if 1) Matcha can successfully be used to dye wool yarn 2) if so, what ratio is used - matcha powder to ounces of wool to get a saturated color and 3) is it prohibitively expensive (since matcha powder demands a much higher price than KoolAid!)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Matcha Madness!

Just what is this Matcha anyway? Well, Matcha is the name of a rather adorable crochet cat - and while he has his own following, I'm referring to a specific type of Green Tea. The literal translations I've found for "Matcha" include "liquid Jade" and "rubbed tea." It is a brilliant green tea powder that is typically used in the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Chanoyu. Interestingly enough, it is also used to dye foods such as soba noodles and mochi green, and is used in the making of Green Tea Ice Cream. Matcha is made from gyokuro, a green tea that is shaded during the weeks prior to harvest to ensure their deep green color. Post harvest, the leaves are steamed to prevent fermentation, and are processed to remove their veins - at this point they are laid flat to dry - and are now known as "tencha." The tencha is then ground into a fine powder and is then known as Matcha. There are two types of matcha - koicha and usucha, with koicha having a milder and sweeter flavor than usucha.

Anyhow, Matcha green tea is all the rage these days. Starbucks now offers a Matcha Creme Frappuccino as well as a Matcha shaken iced tea. I've not yet had the opportunity to try either....what I have tried is one of the new Matcha additions to the Jamba Juice lineup...while they offer several Matcha blended smoothies, I opted for a Matcha Shot - paired with soymilk. Interestingly enough, it tastes like Lucky Charms. I kid you not - and it had me perky all morning long :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Keen What?!

Quinoa! It might look like birdseed, but it isn't. Well...if it is, people eat it too...and they have been for thousands of years.

Just what can you do with Quinoa? Well, it can be used to substitute rice in many dishes, it can be turned into salad similarly to taboule, and it can be ground into flour! In my case, I turned it into a tasty more here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Meme me up, Scotty!

Imagine my surprise, when another Stephanie tagged me for Delicious Days' cook next door meme! I find it pleasantly surprising that people stumble into my blogs - especially my companion blogs since they see so few updates! In any case, if you'd like to see my answers, please go visit my woefully neglected food blog. Perhaps I should update it with my recent and somewhat embarrassing craving...guess what's for dinner...Spam & Pineapple Fried Rice. That's right. Spam. How frightening is that? I even went to the trouble of making rice last night so it would be of the proper consistency for frying...

Monday, July 11, 2005

a little Greenery

Lookie lookie, a soft and lovely green scarf with a climbing vine or trellis work motif...

Incidentally, it is another test knit for SouthWest Trading Co, based on the motif on one of their Karaoke Pullovers.

Though not intricate in the way of elaborate lacework, this scarf would be a great way to learn to read your stitches, in my opinion - it looks a lot more complex than it actually is, and it's very easy to spot mistakes (like a misplaced yarnover).

I'm still trying to decide if I think the scarf will suit men & women equally well...I'm trying to decide if I will cast on for a pair (or three!) of these on a set of needles for holiday knitting...

Bigger photo and a bit more information is available here.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Good as New!

After playing with my crayons and wearing them down while preparing my orange and green paper to wrap that bunny into a carrot I found myself lamenting the poor flattened tips. New-fangled colors or not, all crayons deserve to look perfect and newly cast. Those dreadful sharpeners that come in the box of 96 (or at least in my box anyway) just don't do the job right - oversharpening the tips to a sharp point that no self-respecting crayon wants. To the rescue? our friends at X-acto - not only do they make nice sharp knives for crafting, but they also make a crayon sharpener that re-tips your crayons good as new! Available in both hand held and battery operated! I don't have one yet, but I suspect I might just have to get one to re-perk those crayons of mine.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I can't read

em, but I can still appreciate them! Behold! My first ever Japanese Craft Books!

Fullhearted Wrapping - ISBN: 453720088X
Amigurumi Crochet Collection Volume 3 - ISBN: 4309267610

And for the record, I do not read Japanese, nor do I crochet. I do plan on starting though - after all, I can't very well have a crochet craft book and *not* learn how to crochet!

In order to learn, I expanded my library by adding the following to my collection:

Crocheting School and Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. Both have lots and lots of photos and seem clear and easy to use - though I have not actually done any crocheting with the exception of some slip stitch joining on a Triceratops.

My enabler? Amy of course :D

Incidentally, I have another craft book acquired via a swap with Amy - that complements my Amigurumi Vol 3 book - it's the original Amigurumi Collection! ISBN 4309265723 - there is an adorable kitten (I don't see her on this cover shot) I intend to make :) once I decode the pattern that is...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Get yer Party Clothes On!

Once again, I find myself lacking small human models, so I have to resort to dressing my stuffed animals. Behold, my Butter Cream Vermont Teddy Bear, all dressed and ready to party in an Anouk destined for a friend. If I could just size it down, it would make an adorable frock for Skimima. For the details, and a shot of just the pinafore, go here.