Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Study Makeover and...Venice?

Still not through with that redecoration of my office. But a few snaps for my online diary.

Geraniums are snuggling in for their winter vacation indoors.

New bookcase, desk and side table ready for Scrabble and blogging and reading.

Now for Venice and George Clooney.

This is a picture of my darling daughter (right) when she still spoke to me.

Doesn't she look fairly happy and well adjusted? I thought so then. We were in Venice on a gondola waiting for a glimpse of the paparazzi. We would have had to wait a long while for a Clooney sighting; we departed Venice just a few years prior to the event.

yesterday, courtesy of Google

There is Clooney on a speedboat! Can you see him?  Still not sure what all the fuss is about the union.  What is your guess on the duration of that Hollywood marriage?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Beanie for Alonzo & Zucchini Cake

Babies need hats.  Purl Bee has a cute pattern for a heirloom hat that made up in just a day or two.

Originally, the thought was to make a pair of booties, but after making the first one and realizing it looked too large, I checked the pattern and saw I had cast on too many stitches.  The second one looked lots better, meaning I have to rip out that first stay on bootie and start all over.  Can I get it done in time for Sunday when the hand off is to occur?

And, in the meantime, this is on the needles: Norwegian Shawl or Scarf.

For your culinary pleasure, I was directed toward a  recipe that is excellent; a fairly heavy zucchini cake with lots of cream cheese frosting with zested orange.  Have a look here.  My notes here.

Our neighbor keeps supplying us with his zucchini, and we keep trying new things with them.  Not a single zucchini has been harmed or wasted in the process of experimentation.  We took over a portion of this cake to them as a "thank you", and they upped us by bringing over zucchini brownies.  Not a bad deal.

Leaving you with this bumblebee on a cosmos.  They are busy little things.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scottish Referendum and a Kate Copycat Shawl

Have you been following the Scottish independence referendum with their vote yesterday?  I was breathing a sigh of relief (sorry, Nana if that was not your political inclination) that the vote was to remain in the UK. After 307 years of being in union with the UK, the Scots will remain so.  More articulate and well written articles that are in line with this thinking can be found all over the www and you can look for them if you are so inclined.  P.J. O'Rourke said it well in his article "Up to a Point: A Free Scotland" when he says in one paragraph
The Brits won’t let the Scots keep the pound. The EU needs another Greece or Portugal dragging down the euro like the EU needs another bureaucrat in Brussels. Scotland will be reduced to using the 16th century, value soon equaling the Zimbabwe dollar—to the delight of bean-counters employing journalists who have expense accounts.
But then, he is Irish, so ...

Many saw it as a "heads versus hearts" campaign, with cautious older Scots concluding that independence would be too risky financially, while younger ones were enamored with the idea of building their own country.

On to the arts and crafts and a Fiber Arts Friday, also linking with Natural Suburbia and  Yarn Along and others.  My finished HRH Kate's Copycat Shawl:

Numma numma yarn (doppio) in the wintermint color ran out after 1200 yards, three skeins, while I was on the bind off.  Yikes, what to do?  Well, I brought out my Scottish yarn from Jameson & Smith that I have referenced many times, and then dyed it with acid dyes to finish the bind off.  The greens and blues made for a perfect match to the original yarn (20 percent cashmere, merino and silk so you know how it feels).  Although the Jameson & Smith yarn is 100% wool, you cannot tell the difference since it was less than one row of self dyed fiber).  Did I tell you that I emailed the designer and she said there were over 2300 stitches in EACH ROW of the ruffle?  And how many rows in that ruffle?  I didn't count, but two inches worth.  Finished size, from tip to stern, 7 feet!  *details here*

Giving those fingers a rest, I am off to finish my adult play room/office, or as the husband had dubbed it, "The Official Quarters of the Queen of All Things Domestic."       (except for cooking)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chihuly at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Saw the posted impressive glass art exhibit by Dale Chihuly last weekend in Denver.  For more information on him or the traveling exhibit,  go to the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Seeing these works was an exceptional treat.  We were able to view the glass art during daylight hours and also during dusk time when they were illuminated.

Here are a few of the pictures I took at the gardens, set to music:

Friends and I had great food and a marvelous time.   Dessert below was served at The Market on Larimer Square, delicious!  And we saw a live performance of "Pippin" at the Buell Theatre.  Retail therapy was included.  Also great fun!

I came home to paint and refurbish my study.  More on this tomorrow, or soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Red Door

Just painted, our front door!  It went from green to red.

Looking much better than this two days ago...
My back is a bit sore, but think it was worth the effort.  Also spruced up the entrance with a coat of paint on the barrel that holds cosmos about ready to bloom.  The yellow mums came from Home Depot.  The husband and I disagree about it needing another coat of paint on the door.  That red is not covering 100 percent, so must do another coat for adequate coverage.  Sigh.

These references were used for
The red I used was made by Behr, Ruby Ring # 5853, exterior semi gloss latex

Come visit!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rolled Dumplings for Peach Cobbler

Ripe, lucious peaches are everywhere in western Colorado this time of year. Sweet, juicy fruit picked straight from the tree was used to make our latest peach cobbler.  Freshly grated nutmeg and cardamom make those juices zing.

The best recipe for peach cobbler can be found at Cook.Com, in my humble opinion. Here it is:

8 or 9 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. self-rising flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 c. butter, melted
*add cardamon and nutmeg, optional*

Cook peaches in water until tender. Mix flour, salt and sugar. Add to peaches. Mix. Add melted butter.

1 c. self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. shortening
4 tbsp. sweet milk, or enough to make a stiff dough

Blend flour, salt, and shortening to coarse meal texture. Add milk. Roll on floured surface. Pour half of peaches in 9x13 inch pan. Cut some dumplings and push dumplings down into the peach juice. Pour remaining peaches in and top with lattice strips. Bake in a 350 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. I like to sprinkle a little sugar on top before baking. This should be juicy cobbler, not dry.

The rolled texture of the dumpling and the self-created thickened sauce is similar to that of an apple dumpling.

A little vanilla ice cream doesn't hurt the taste!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Love Me Some Linen

The following is an unsolicited advertisement for an online store that sells quality linen.  No bribes or money has been transferred to garner the following endorsement for this store.

Linen, medium weight, color: cardinal.
All Purpose Linen, IL019
and here are just a few more of their colors from this site:

This is the finished garment.  It has good drape and can be worn either as a blouse or as a jacket over a tank top or tee.
Loving it so much I ordered more fabric in this color to make the same Jac Shirt:

Pattern: Jac Shirt from Tsutti in Melbourne, AU
Details here

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What They Said, What They Shared

Without other people in our lives pointing us to new things to read, new things to cook, new reasons for "why things happen", new things to view on tv, and  new knitting techniques and patterns, our lives would not be near as diverse.  So here are a few of my new favorite things that have lateley been pointed out to me.

...as relating to online games, this article is well worth a read about Granny Chichi who lives in Belize and is whupping her journalistic grandson in the most charming of wordy ways  (Severo Avila said it)

...as relating to cooking, here are a few absolutely delicious recipes my friends and husband have made over the past few months. I was a lucky recipient of their good eats. (Gene, Natalie, and Dottie said it)
...as related to why it rains in the fallthis is what Simon said

...as related to streaming movies, this summer I have watched and enjoyed the following older movies, new to me (Pam mostly said it)
  • The Chorus
  • Haute Cuisine
  • Found Memories
  • Stories They Tell
  • Midsomer Murders with new episodes just released
...as relating to knitting, (Esther Budd  said it) the Her Royal Highness Shawl, which I am knitting for the second time because I am a glutton for punishment, tells me I am currently knitting, in the round, several thousand stitches just on one round for the ruffle on this shawl.
Above is Kate the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011 in a knitted green shawl that caused a stir in the fiber world. If you click on the source link, you will see where it could have been purchased back then.  Esther Budd came up with a pattern for the knit shawl that you can purchase here.  So now you can make your own shawl similar to that of the Duchess.  You can see why Budd calls it the "suicide ruffle" in her pattern if you have ever knit this many stitches in just one pattern repeat
(started on the suicide ruffle a day ago, apologies for poor quality of that green color)

this is the yarn for the HRH shawl I'm working on:  numma numma in wintermint and a truer color shown, referred by The Knit Girllls
What have YOU been pointed to lately?  What have you learned?  What can you recommend?  Tell, tell!

Linking as usual with Tami at Works in Progress Wednesday and Yarn Along and Fiber Arts Friday.

and Natural Suburbia.