Friday, September 28, 2007

dont ever change.

So Laurel had a birthday and neglected to tell me this. I am the world's worst birthday rememberer...I even have a birthday calender and THAT doesn't keep me from remembering important days...but in my defense, Laurel hadn't ever told me when her birthday was. Well, being that she's the best pal ever, she needed a handmade gift and I needed to make it fast. Now that she's received it, I can tell the story of making it, because it was one of those wonderful crafting moments when time stopped, all of the pieces fell into place, and I was in the zone.

It started with the desire to make a pouch. I had lots of thrifted linen and I've been digging linen lately (must be the 40,000 Japanese craft books I have lying around at home). I don't know why, but red needed to be involved. And so I began digging through my notions stash with the serious thought: I really hope I have a shortish red zipper. Now, I don't really have THAT many zippers. And most of them are in some neutral or dark tone. I can't remember picking up a shortish red zipper, but there is was...a 5 and a half inch red zipper. This was a sign.
Once I knew the zipper was fairly small, I knew this was to be a change purse. I thought about how Laurel is such a perfect friend and "don't ever change" popped into my head. YEEESSSS...a don't ever change purse! It was all coming together. But how to get the words onto the linen? Embroidery would take too long...I started this after work and I wanted it in the mail the next day. I didn't have any fabric paint or pens. Stamps? I thought. But what were the chances that I'd have a stamp pad that worked on fabric? I don't remember ever having stamped on fabric before. Alas, all of my stamp pads were for paper except for the LAST one I came across: meant for fabric. Cue the Twilight Zone theme song.

So I've got stamps (no apostrophe, but for some reason, that seemed appropriate to me...which also shows what a zone I was in, usually I freak out about stuff like that), great fabric, a faboo zipper. Except for the slight delay due to the fact that I had a total brain freeze and forgot how to make a pouch for a little while, the pouch just cranked right out. It's a little wonky in some places, and I closed up the seam at the bottom with some fancy machine stitch rather than hand sewing it because by the time I got to that part, it just had to be DONE:)
Andrew knew something important was happening up in the craft room because he didn't even bug me about crafting right through dinner, and my belly didn't complain either. Three cheers for being in the Crafting Flow!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Freeze Tag

Well, some sneaky chica has tagged me! As I understand it, that means that I tell six things about myself and then tag six other blogging folks. I try to avoid too many tiny, silly details about me on my blog for fear that it might scare people off. So although the purpose of a blog seems to share things about me, I suppose being tagged is to give me space to share the random minutiae that makes me tick. I promise to think long and hard about people to tag, but as I'm pretty new to the scene, I'm a little shy about tagging. I'm glad there are brave peeps out there who are willing to continue this, but I'm a wuss. So this will be a game of freeze tag for now until I can decide who to tag. But I'll still share:

1. When people talk and it sounds like their tongue is stuck in the back of their throat, or their throat is really dry or excessively moist, it totally grosses me out. There are a number of reporters on NPR who I can't stand to listen to because of this. Often, Carl Castle is one of them. Dan Gottlieb: almost always so.

2. Apparently, I have mouth noise issues because when my partner chomps his teeth when eating something that doesn't require chomping (like, say, jello) it too drives me nuts.

3. I stand at 5 feet 2 inches and 3/4. The 3/4 is terribly important.

4. I can do a mean back bend in yoga.

5. I hate mums. Really hate them.

6. I only eat grass-fed meats which makes me a bit of an awkward guest at barbecues.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bonus Photos

It's true. Fall has here. I truly love this season. I love the crispness in the air and the fact that I no longer sweat in odd places like the back of my knees (seriously, why on Earth do we need sweat glands there?!) I love that way the tart tastes of the harvest match the way the cool breeze feels on my skin. I love the color of the turning trees and I'm happy to see the mosquitoes die what I can only hope is a painful death. If it weren't for the fact that Fall = back to work, it really would be the perfect season. But the fact that it means revving myself back up for another school year (fulfilling, yet exhausting) means that it takes me some time to admit that it actually is Fall.

Our first week back to school was very hot and summery which - -when combined with the fact that some wacko didn't put air conditioning into the building when it was constructed - - made me feel as if it was still summer and I was just playing school. But a cold front has moved in and this weekend was spent trying to soak in the last glimpses of our thriving garden. It's really coming to an end. We grow mountains of basil each year and then make lots of pesto and freeze it. There is nothing quite like the fresh taste of basil in the winter to lift your spirits. And so today I put on a long sleeve AND a sweater and cut down the basil plants. It was cathartic, a fitting goodbye to the relaxed summer season, and a satisfying way to plan for the darker, colder weather. We started with this:

And ended up with this:
It's quite a process, but well worth it in the end. We find that a small snack baggie is a good size for a bowl of pasta or to spread on a pizza crust. We fill our food processor (the smallish sized one) with basil leaves, packed in pretty well. Then we drizzle a fairly generous amount of olive oil, dump a handful of pine nuts and a few cloves of garlic and blend. Sorry I can't give more precise amounts, but I don't cook like that. The only ingredient we omit before freezing is the grated cheese...once it's defrosted and ready to eat, we just grate a bunch of fresh cheese on there. Insanely Yum.

Besides dismantling my garden, I spent some time planning out crafts this weekend...well, more like thinking about crafts. I'm fairly behind in my holiday crafting, so I need to get on that. But this weekend I did finish some special scrapbooks and am working on making vinyl covers for smaller albums that will house the photos that didn't make the scrapbook cut. I'm embroidering "bonus photos" on the vinyl before I sew it up because...well, just because.

Oh, for my San Francisco contingency out there (are you reading my blog...if so, why not leave a comment or two to let me know you're alive?), here's something I think you should participate in. Heck, this is such a stupid-easy way to save the planet, we all should do it no matter where we live.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Please Sir, Can I Have Some More?

This will be a quickie since I've just finished my first Monday back to school and if I don't get to knitting soon, I'm going to hurt someone. My parents went to the Mushroom festival in Kennett Square yesterday and OH MY these tater chips they brought back were mighty fine. I have not always been a mushroom fanatic, but in my late 20s I developed a taste for the kingdom Fungi and I was sad that I couldn't participate in a day spent in adoration of the yummy things. But Mom and Dad came through, bringing me these chips which the bag says were only made for this event (memo to Herr's: make some more freakin' mushroom chips), which probably made them 10 times better. Now that I'm on a school schedule and taking photos is more complicated since I'm not home all day, it's going probably going to take me a while to post about the sweater I'm knitting for Andrew right now. It's the Cobblestone Pullover from the latest Interweave and you can see it here (just scroll down). I actually am using the yarn it calls for since I found it cheap, but the BEST part is that I finally broke down and purchased this needle set from knitpicks. Oh man. They rock my knitting world. There is this grumpy lady at one of my local LYSs that always tries to bully me into buying a Denise set whenever I come in for needles. One of these days I'm going to grab her by the shoulders and tell her: look lady, I can't stand knitting on plastic needles, and I KNOW the wire in between is going to be all wonky and twisty like every other stupid plastic round needle I've knitted with and WHY CAN'T THEY JUST MAKE AN ADDI TURBO SET AND BE DONE WITH IT??! Well, folks, they have. Nickel-plated goodness with a low memory wire for a decent price. I am in love. I may just bring my new set into that LYS so that I can smugly show off my fancy-schmancy set;) Oh, and they just came out with interchangeable wooden needles that are even PRETTY, for pete's sake, and so I'm going to have to drop some dough on them, methinks.

Oh, and I've decided that in order to deal with Mondays, I shall bring sushi for lunch and then Mondays will be something to look forward to. So there.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Women I Love

Today we went to see our friend Megan (get your own blog, already) performing during the Philly Fringe Festival which is going on right now. This is my professional actor friend who is gracious enough to see me in my warts-and-all community theatre productions, and patient enough to listen to me complain about how I have to figure scenes out where I have to mime being on the telephone for 10 pages of script (best advice ever: just act like you're on the telephone). She's also the woman I'll be spending lots of time with in the coming months as I do the choreography for Urinetown at our school, which she'll be directing. Anyway, she bravely participated in an unscripted theatrical event and did a faboo job...which was totally expected, of course.
And as if the women in my life weren't already great enough, Laurel sent me a back to school present which was just perfect. If you know me well, you know that my earlobes are turning old lady-ish right before my very eyes. My mother let a certain "free-spirited" babysitter pierce my ears when I was younger and they ended up crooked. So the hole in my right ear is lower and with all my heavy-earring-wearin' it's losing its fight against gravity. Damn. So over the past year, I've pretty much moved to post earrings only....for which Etsy has proved a veritable treasure-trove. So Laurel got me these guys. The birds are lovely-sweet, and the acorns are perfect since our school symbol is the oak tree.

So there you have two women I love.

made. by k.d.