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Archive for the ‘crafting’ Category

…because not talking SUCKS!!! I have been dealing with a dwindling voice since Thursday, when I only could sing the notes in my low range, to Friday, when I had no voice at all, to the weekend when it was intermittent but still mostly gone, to today, when I just sounded sort of sick. I have had some permutation of this cold for over two weeks, and it is just passing through my system at a glacial pace. Yesterday I got home around 6:30, had some dinner and laid down on the couch to watch a show on the DVR… I fell asleep and woke up at midnight.

I then stumbled upstairs, groggily turned on my new humidifier and proceeded to hack, wide awake, for two hours before I finally got to sleep. Ugh. This morning was not pretty. I was a snotty, coughing mess all morning, and to add to the misery, my contact lenses freaked out and I had to wear my glasses due to the stabbing pain in my right eye. I seriously considered taking a half day and calling out sick after lunch, but once I make it to lunch the afternoon isn’t that bad. So I stuck it out and even made it through my private lessons tonight. I’m done complaining now.

Sunday I did this fun little project- I got this kit for a gift that contains all the necessary supplies to make your own glass pendants. Totally cool. My friend found the site that sells the pendant kits on www.dailygrommet.com. The website describes itself as:

” …a marketplace of fresh product discoveries, powered by Citizen Commerce™. It’s a revolutionary way to give each of us the information to support the companies, people and products that reflect our own values. Whether it’s a love of innovative design, social and green enterprises, hand crafted goods, a quest for unique gifts, or a desire to support new technologies, Daily Grommet has an inspiring set of stories and products to fill that need.”

So, basically, this website is filled with cool links to unique products from many different vendors. Definitely check it out. Here is a link to www.anniehowes.com if you don’t want to look for the pendant kits.

I wish I had taken pictures of every step while I was making the pendants but I didn’t. First, you have to apply the Glamour Glaze to the back of the glass. Then you stick the paper, pattern side down, onto the glaze.

This has to dry for 30 minutes. Then you apply another, thicker coat of glaze on top after trimming the paper around the edges. Once the glaze is dry, you can apply the bale with the adhesive. The kit comes with the glass disks, pre-cut decorative paper, ‘Glamour Glaze’ and the adhesive for attaching the bale (which also comes included.) It was very easy to do, and now I have six really cute pendants:

I also got my replacement tagine in the mail today, and so far it seems like it is in one piece, with no visible cracks. The color, ‘pistachio’ which looked a little more yellow/green on the website, actually turned out to be an sort of green apple color, which I think I like even better.

I also prepared by getting a diffuser, which had directions which were equally as elaborate as the tagine. Maybe I should just cook these tagines in the crockpot and just serve them in the fancy clay receptacle. Ha.

Well, I’m off to do some knitting on the log cabin afghan and watch a few episodes of Dexter. It’s 7:46 pm now, so I’ve already made it longer than last night.

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I had a delightfully frivolous day because I have been certain all day that we will not be going into school tomorrow either. I started off by making that lemon curd I was talking about. And while I’m sure it could probably be done with less egg yolks (8 egg yolks plus 2 whole eggs!) I feel that I should retract what I said about Martha’s recipe being too eggy. In all fairness, when I made it last time I was trying to make a grapefruit curd and I think that the grapefruit juice wasn’t acidic enough to mask the eggy-ness. Though in my defense, the only reason I tried to ‘mix it up’ was because Martha stated that you could use other citrus juices to do a curd. I’m sure it’s possible, but I would definitely cut down on the egg yolks. The only reason I decided to make it today was because I had six egg yolks already separated from making the meringue.

I did intend to tidy up my guest room- really, I did- (it really isn’t that messy) but instead got sidetracked by the large random collection of yarn I have hanging around. I haven’t tackled any kind of major knitting project in a very long time and I really wanted to find a ‘stash buster’ of sorts to get rid of all of this mismatched acrylic yarn. At first I thought about making sampler squares for an afghan, but what I settled on was a log cabin afghan. Basically, it starts with a rectangle in the middle, then you cast off all but one stitch, turn it and pick up stitches along the side and then knit on that side. You keep binding off and picking up and it forms alternating strips like this:

(the pink and purple area in the middle is the center.) You can do smaller squares and piece them together so they look like a kind of geometric granny square afghan, or you can just keep going around and around, which is what I think I’m going to do. I ordered an extra long circular needle because I’m going to run out of room on these rather quickly. I guess for really large knit afghans the only way to do it is to piece together.

A lot of people find log cabin knitting to be boring, but I like that I don’t have to use a pattern and there is still a little variety because I have to change colors a lot. Speaking of the colors, it’s going to be interesting- I have such an odd collection of leftover yarn, as you can already see.

The blue is from an afghan I crocheted back in college (well, that’s when I started it- I didn’t finish it until almost 8 years later.) It was actually my first real crochet project  and I turned to my paternal grandmother for help (both of my grandmothers were extraordinary crafters… I wish I could have learned more from them) I chose a granny square pattern for this afghan that had six colors (I didn’t know then about the joy of weaving in loose ends) and when I showed it to Mom-Mom she asked me if I was sure I wanted to do something that complicated. I figured, ‘Go big or go home,’ so I picked out the six snazziest colors of Red Heart acrylic yarn and got to work. By the time I finished it, the colors weren’t really my style any more, but damned if I wasn’t going to display it proudly. Here is the finished product, hanging on a quilt rack.

Anyway, back to my log cabin. The variegated yarn to the right of of the center rectangle is another Red Heart special… I believe the color was called ‘Monet’ and I used it to make another crocheted blanket that I gave as a gift. Not my best work, but I hadn’t done much at that point. I guess I had a lot of this stuff left over because I also recall making my first successful knit swatch out of this yarn, and I think it also may have been on a snow day. By the time I decided I wanted to learn how to knit, both of my grandmothers had passed away and I had no choice but to learn from books and the internet, which I did- after much swearing and frustration.

The pink and purple variegated yarn was part of a gift I received years ago, and I’m not sure where the green came from. Maybe I made a hat out of it? The strip of brown at the bottom is from a big bag of- you guessed it- acrylic yarn I inherited from my Mom-Mom along with some hilarious pattern books from the 70s. One day I would like to try to knit up something from one of them.

So, that was my main project of the day. The only other thing I did today was make myself some dinner. I would have just reheated some leftover soup, but the nonstick pans I ordered from QVC came unexpectedly early and I wanted to try and sauté something. I actually sort of wanted to throw some caramels into the pan and see if it wiped clean as easily as it did on TV. Ha. Instead, I opted to cook up some chicken sausage, tomatoes and roasted red peppers. I also threw in a little leftover Don Pepino (the world’s best pizza sauce in a can) a few capers and some fresh mozzarella cheese. I cooked a little pasta and enjoyed a nice dinner, none of which stuck to the pan. Well, it’s now 8:45 so I suppose I’ll go knit a little more… or maybe read… or wait for the automated phone call that will hopefully come tonight and not at 5:00 tomorrow morning.

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Am I stressed out?

That was the question of the day from WordPress for the ‘post a day’ challenge. At the moment, I would say no. In general, that’s probably another story. Right now I’m not stressed out because I actually got to go home after work while it was still light out. No lessons to teach, no errands to run… just me, a cup of coffee and another one of those damn AFS bars. And tonight for dinner, I’m actually meeting up with some of the people from Godspell at a hibachi restaurant… so that will be fun. It was super lucky that they actually chose a day that I have free (since this is usually my only free day of the week. Wahoo!)

I’m not sure what my feelings are on hibachi restaurants… if I go once a year, that’s a lot. I guess I would rather be eating sushi or something that’s not going to make me smell like a griddle for the next six hours. I also think it’s important to sit in the middle of the table, because if you sit on the end and you’re the last person served, you get a little shortchanged when it comes to your overpriced bean sprouts and mushrooms. I dunno… it’s all about the company anyway and this is the right type of group to go to a hibachi place with.

Supposedly there is snow in the forecast for the end of the week and I know we just got back from Christmas break, but I would not be sad if I didn’t have to go to work on Friday. We’ll see. This will probably be one of those ‘snow events’ that never materializes into anything, and then we’re just left with a school full of over-tired kids and cranky teachers. At least if there’s no snow, it’s still a Friday.

So, I haven’t really made much headway with my New Year’s Resolution list, but I did finish two scarves that I had been knitting. That’s a start, right? I would like to whittle down my collection of random yarn and I feel like the only way to do it is with scarves. And maybe hats. Knitting is good because it’s impossible for me to be shoveling food into my mouth while I do it. Though my friends and I did talk about rigging up one of those beer helmets so I could drink while I knit. I can’t imagine it would result in any quality projects, but it would probably be fun! Here are pictures of my new scarves:

This scarf was supposed to be a gift a couple of years ago… I’m not sure if she would still want it. It’s pictured next to my hamburger phone.

Here is the scarf I made with mostly random leftover yarn. I wanted it to be one of those ‘infinity scarves… mostly because I like the fact that it can’t slip off.

It also looks kind of cool looped again:

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