Thursday, April 29, 2010

Etsy purchase - Misty Dawn

Sometimes, a girl needs a little something new.

New earrings

Last week, for me, it was these earrings. I found them on Etsy, from Misty Dawn Designs.

New earrings

They're hammered silver, but I have to admit, they're just a wee bit tinier than I'd like. I still love them, and will definitely wear them regularly.

I'd love to hear about any etsy shops you enjoy; there's always room for another on my favorites list!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Before and after

It's been almost three years since I bought my townhome.

Sewing Corner: Before
Before

My sewing corner has long been in need of an improvement. The light in the corner is excellent, but other than the table my sewing machine sits on, I have no open space to work on sewing. I usually end up piecing and pinning on the floor, which is bad for my back, and makes sewing more of a chore than I'd like.

To remedy this, Elliott and I took a trip to Ikea (his first, and most likely, his last for a long time!) to find a workspace.

Sewing Corner: After
After: I know the kitties like it!

After looking at several of the options available, I settled on an unfinished top with red legs (to match my awesome red curtains!). It was easy to put together, and only cost about $65. I may finish the surface at some point, but for now it's just what I needed. In hopes that I'll find time to sew soon, I picked up some lovely fabrics in the last month.

Joel Dewberry fabric

Joel Dewberry fabric

First, from Fabricworm, some new Joel Dewberry choices.

Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Fat Quarters

Also, just last week from Fabric Shoppe, I bought some Mind's Eye for Riley Blake fat quarters.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

From my fella

Eating a "critter"

Elliott sent me a very sweet gift on Friday. Literally and figuratively. He sent me some Critters from Divine Delights. He knows I love little animals, and they're just so cute! They are petits fours, and there is an assortment of animal shapes (each one is a different flavor). There are kitties (I can't bring myself to eat those!), piggies, frogs, chicks, fishies and moose.

Critters

I still have a few left (in the fridge to help them last a bit longer).

Critters (petits fours)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do yourself a favor

Creme brulee

Make Creme Brulee now. It's super easy and delicious.
Do it. You won't regret it.
I used this recipe from the New York Times. Creme brulee always seemed rather intimidating to me, but it's got a tiny number of ingredients, and if you follow a few simple rules, it will turn out amazing.

Creme brulee
1) I debated about using milk or a lighter cream, but in the end, I went with the heavy cream. If you do use a lighter cream or milk, you may lose out on some flavor, and there's a better chance of burning the liquid when you heat it.

It's worth it to splurge on the vanilla bean instead of extract. The bean brings so much flavor to the dish.
3) Turbinado sugar worked really well for the topping; it burned more evenly than when I tried granulated sugar.
4)Finally, be sure to temper your eggs by adding the cream slowly, and stir as you do.

Impulse buy

This dessert was the result of a Target impulse buy. I will be making creme brulee again soon. I've got visions of adding lavender to the cream mixture (and I may try a combination of half milk/half cream to reduce the fat content).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Words cannot express

Hey, remember how I just showed you the lovely purple shawl I'm working on for my mom? Here's what it looks like currently.

Olias FTW

I love Olias, my little trouble cat, very much, but he really tests my patience sometimes. He did this. I couldn't even take a picture of what this mess of yarn and knitting looked like when I came home. I have a two-story townhome, and the yarn started downstairs and went all the way upstairs into one of the bedrooms. It was wound around the couch, around some of the dining room chairs, and around the banister. It was wound around the legs of my sewing table. I had to (I am sobbing internally as I write this) cut the yarn in some places, because I don't even know how he got it in all the places he did. If I was a paranoid person, I'd think someone came into my place and arranged the yarn, because it was that ridiculous.

I don't know how much of the yarn is salvageable, and I don't know if any of the knitting I'd finished was ripped out. I can't even look at it anymore, so for now, it will go in a drawer, where, really, it should have been in the first place. I made the mistake of leaving it in a bag on my dresser, where Olias was able to scoop it out and begin his decoration of my place.

Knitting = 0, Olias =3

Really, though. I love him. I just wish he would stop destroying my shit.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I lied + progress check

Remember when I said I was going to wait to cast on for something new? Well, yeah. I should never say things like that. Starting a new project is such an awesome process that I just couldn't resist.

I actually have two projects to show you. One was started before I made such a silly statement, but the other was started just this weekend.

Progress: Noro Stockinette Scarf

Using Noro for the first time, here's my Noro Stockinette Scarf using Chirimen, a silk/wool/cotton blend. it's so lovely to work with, and I love the color changes. It feels less scratchy than most Noro yarns. I'm just knitting a simple stockinette scarf with a two-stitch garter border.

Progress: Noro Stockinette Scarf
The exact date of cast on has escaped my mind, but it was sometime in February. The scarf will be as long as two skeins will take me, and I'm already well into the second skein.

Progress: Smoky Purple Clothilde

This weekend, I cast on for Clothilde, using some stashed Stricken Smitten sock yarn. I've been dying to knit Clothilde, but wasn't sure which yarn to use. This lovely purple shade called out to me as I was headed out of town. My mom saw me knitting this weekend, and she has since claimed this shawl as her own; she adores purple.

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I got a new job about a month ago, and it's been a difficult, albeit good, transition. I have more responsibilities, and I'm working longer hours, but it was a good move. I've still got some DC pics to share, so I'll work on getting those posted soon.

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