Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Seems like after a year or so of waiting, my patience has paid off - I've finally cleared the waiting list for the Hello Yarn Fiber Club!

Image from HelloYarn

I've always loved Adrian's work and I never seem to be on top of things when she updates her shop, so I'm excited to be on the receiving end of her fiber then, I should probably make nice with my wheels and spindles in preparation...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Speaking of Preserves...

Seems like a whole host of folk that I follow in blogland and Flickr are talking about their gardens - so far, I have not been brave enough to try to put in a raised bed garden in my back yard - the yard is quite small, and currently landscaped liberally with cactus. Also, having grown up in the northern Midwest, I can't seem to wrap my brain around the growing season down here in the desert. For those that don't have gardens, I've been enjoying hearing about their local farmers markets as well.

The abundance of produce, inspiration from others has made me more intrigued by preserving foods - the only method that I have tried my hand at is dehydration (mostly due to the hiking and backpacking activities - though I have to admit to really enjoying the convenience of prepackaged freeze-dried meals).

Well-Preserved appears to be a nice introductory book in trying one's hand in small-batch preserving. The book touches on several varieties of preserving fresh foods including canning, pickling, freezing, preserving in oil and curing/smoking. The book is further broken into sections for fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and fungi, and meat, poultry and fish (the last six being grouped together into two separate groups of three).

Within each of the chapters are several recipes, followed by three recipes in which to use to the master recipe as an ingredient. In most cases, the putups for the master recipes range from 3-4 pints once prepared. While not all of the recipes include a photo, the photos that are present are beautifully done and certainly make me want to give several of the recipes a try...perhaps I should join the local CSA after all!

Friday, July 17, 2009

What to do...

When berry season arrives and you can't seem to stop yourself from buying more berries than you could possibly consume before they go past their peak? could bake a delicious cake layered with berries...

or you could try your hand at preserve making :) read on for the recipe. I can tell you that this tastes absolutely fantastic served warm over dark chocolate mousse cake and vanilla ice cream...just sayin'

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


In addition to all the wildlife, we got a chance to observe a wide variety of weather patterns move in and out of the Canyon all day.

Our hike in started with shifting rain clouds - they'd move in, veiling the view of the canyon, then shift and offer some clear tantalizing views.

As the day progressed, the sky would clear, then cloud back over in seemingly random intervals. Often times the clouds would be accompanied by a very welcome brisk breeze, other times, they would drop some cooling rain.

Hiking in the Grand Canyon during the summer certainly poses some additional challenges - especially with the temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. We opted to hike in early, stopping for a midafternoon siesta in whatever shade was available during the heat of the day, finishing the evening with an additional hike out to a viewpoint with hopes of catching some sunset photos (sadly, the cloud cover was too thick to make for a brilliant sunset).

If you've got a hankering to vicariously visit the Grand Canyon, and happen to be in the Phoenix Metro Area tomorrow night, you might want to check out the slideshow by Gary Ladd at the Glendale Public Library.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Grand Visit

It's been a long while since I've visited the Big Ditch in northern Arizona - I'd nearly forgotten how glorious it can be...of course, I personally think it is more glorious when visited in the shoulder season...and when hiking outside of the main corridor...however, the corridor trails do have their uses...mainly, when record setting heat is forecast, there is much to be said for having easy water access at each 1.5 mile point on the way out ;)

Plenty of wee rodents and brave birds to observe - the rock squirrels are a boisterous bunch - brave, and highly accustomed to seeing people, visitors are reminded to not feed or otherwise coax or entice the wildlife. In addition to plenty of rock squirrels and birds (they were not cooperating with my photography, I'm afraid - but in addition to the wrens and ravens, I also saw a few hummingbirds and a condor!), we also saw some mule deer, a few bighorn sheep, several spiny lizards, some whiptails and an elk with an impressive rack. The rodents and birds can be especially brave in established areas, so much so that while our back was turned preparing dinner, I heard a small thunk in the darkness - it turned out a rather portly mouse managed to vault into our open ammo box (provided for storing food and other smellables) - luckily, as soon as we shone our lights upon him, he lept back out!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Dyejob of another variety...

...or's not just for old ladies ;)

I recently got a haircut - had to do something to get my hair up off my neck what with the 110+ (~45 C) temps here in the desert (yes, I know we have air conditioning, but still, any time spent outdoors is simply broiling!) Anyhow, I thought I'd do something different and add in some blue and purple (the matching shirt was just an unplanned bonus).

It isnt really a dye-job, rather it's a set of extensions - the salon suggested those instead of real colorwork because they are lower maintenance and a lot less stress on my hair. Indoors, they aren't terribly visible...

...but the color does pop out a lot better in the sun! In case you're wondering, these should be able to stay in 2-3 months, and they are seamless/weftless. The biggest thing I've noticed so far with them is the texture of the extension does not closely match my own hair - it's more fine and definitely more coarse (but I suspect that might be due to the color treatment). It took a little while to get accustomed to the join, but otherwise, it's been a relatively low fuss way to get some color into my hair :)

Friday, July 03, 2009

So... about that jumpity

Well, unlike last year, I actually remembered to bring my camera to TNNA. As the camera is not allowed on the show floor, I mostly forgot I had it with me - and then simply felt awkward asking people if I could snap photos with them. So the only photo I have is the jumpity in the hotel room - how undignified ;)

I shared a room with Marie and we meet some great folks this year and bumped into some of the knitterati again. Amy and Jillian from Knitty, Julia and Kate from Twist Collective, Cookie A (who has a new book coming out soon), Anne Hanson, Guido, the Ravelry Crew, Miriam, Laura, Janel (whose next book is due out soon, and the patterns look just as wonderfully original as in her first book - go to her blog to check previews)

We of course went to North Market and the short north district to partake several times of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. And they are indeed splendid - if ever you are in Columbus, you should make sure to get some :)

While I did enjoy seeing all the yarn and knitting goodies, I had the best time meeting with and connecting with all the people - it's always a good time - though I find now I'm pining for reasons to find myself in Portland in time for Sock Summit, even though I know the classes are all sold out!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

An Ode.

To Malabrigo yarn.

Speaking of Malabrigo yarn, I've restocked the Malabrigo lace and brought in Malabrigo Sock into the shop...and it is lovely :)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Birthday!

As we roll into the 4th of July weekend, celebrating the Independence Day here in the United States, I'm going to also celebrate Spritely Goods' launch with a wee sale - it was July several years back that I got the shop up and running on its own domain and it's been a wonderful adventure since then. Pop over and have a look and see if you find something to your liking :)

Thanks to all of you, for making this small part of my own Independence "dream" become reality!