Saturday, May 30, 2009

Craft Happenings

Cleaning out my craft room to make space for Helen's nursery was definitely an undertaking. Luckily sweetie is now letting me share his cello practice space, and I have begun organizing all of my wares to be both efficient and accessible.

The biggest challenge has been trying to go from a huge space with lots of storage to very limited space and nonexistent storage. I set up this shelf today which will soon have a small sewing table in front of it. On it I am trying to organize my most basic tools that I access regularly.

I have labeled the bins with the following categories:
  • Needles and Hooks
  • Threads and Floss
  • Quilting and Embroidery
  • Buttons (small jar on first shelf)
My current works in process are stashed in the rust basket, and other miscellaneous supplies (chalk, scissors, pins, etc) are in the floral sewing box on top. I still amazingly have one empty bin which will be designated at a later date.

What has happened to my huge yarn and fabric collection? It is now living under the bed in our master bedroom in large under-bed boxes. So far, so good.

Tons of Zucchini

Friday I found myself the happy acceptor of a huge bag of giant homegrown zucchini. This was wonderful considering that our own small garden not only did not produce any this year... but it wasn't planted at all! What fun it was to have such a gift and get to play "what to do with all the zucchini" even though we didn't grow it ourselves.

First I made two loaves of loaded zucchini bread. A mix of white and wheat flour, cornmeal, and several spices made these loaves just fabulous... and as you can tell we had to taste test even before taking the photo!

Second, I whipped up some squash stuffed pasta shells with shredded zucchini, yellow squash, onions, and orange bell pepper. That paired with the mozzarella cheese and fire-roasted tomato sauce made for a really fresh supper... even though by this time the oven had definitely over heated the kitchen.We still have about four large zucchini and one large yellow squash left, so we shall see what other cooking I can come up with!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Helen's Rabbit

Helen's Rabbit began it's life as a baby outfit... a baby outfit gone wrong when I cut it out incorrectly! Oh well, so since this beautiful fabric could no longer be an outfit, I had to find something else to turn it into.The rabbit pattern had small enough parts to cut out of the outfit pieces, so Helen gets her first stuffed bunny!The cutting and machine sewing bits took only an afternoon, but all of the stuffing and hand sewing dragged out over a couple of weeks. Luckily, this little toy is finished - except for needing a tail and eyes (forgot those) - and just about ready to grace the nursery.

Squash Goat Cheese Burritos

Inspired by my sister's tales of delicious squash tacos, I decided to try some of my own. I found the recipe in Everyday Food Magazine.

Instead of the frozen winter squash suggested by the recipe, I used 2 small yellow squash and a medium zucchini as well as half of a delicious looking orange bell pepper.

After cooking down the veggies, I mixed in a couple handfuls of baby spinach and some blackbeans.

These we piled on top of our whole wheat tortillas, fresh goat cheese, and salsa.Paired with sweet potato fries this turned out to be a definitely make again meal. yum.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Helen's Nursery: Beginnings

Our plans for Helen's nursery have evolved several times over the past few months. We started out with plans for frogs, then gardens, then birds... now it is a garden/bird theme... though any little creatures are welcome.I have cut out the pattern for a little stuffed rabbit and a turtle to go in Helen's room. And, sweetie and I have been looking at all the garden art in the stores for ideas and things we think would look nice decorating her room. We also have big plans to recover the old yellow rocker with fabric that is a bit less goldenrod.

I have really enjoyed pulling out all of my favorite books, and thinking about when I will be reading them to little Helen.
Sweetie helped me hang the curtains, and pick a spot for the vanity that we hope will serve as our changing table. Now we just need to purchase a crib and dresser, then finish hanging the pictures. I am happy with how cozy and cheerful it is starting to be.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lama Day

How could I pass up a day of lama shearing and spinning with my Wednesday knitting group? We all met today at the Berry's lama farm just outside of town. The Berry's host a yearly shearing open house where families from all around bring their lama's for haircuts.

Lamas arrive and wait patiently to be sheared.

Before and After.

Amazingly, some owners do not want to keep or sell the wool, so the local fiber arts maniacs come out to collect the unwanted to card and spin to their hearts content.

I even got to try my hand at spinning, though it was very temporary... about the length of time to snap the photo!

All of the lama's were just beautiful, and many were for sale.

The spinning and carding definitely drew a lot of attention, and many owners tried their had at carding, though most just wanted to watch in awe as their lama's wool became yarn.

Overall, Lama's and people alike had a great day of socializing, cooking out, shearing, and spinning. I even made some good progress on one of my sweaters for little Helen. Next year, I might just have to bring home some wool for myself.

I have now realized the utter misspelling of Llama. oops.
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