Thursday, December 30, 2010

Go on, I dare you not to say, "awww...."

I know. Isn't she and the sweater just adorable? This is my friend Ella and she's sporting the Lovey Dovey shirt from Spud & Chloe. I made this earlier this past fall but I couldn't post it because Ella's mom reads my blog. And then I had to wait for her to grow into it. But here it is, the middle of winter and she pulls it off with style and flair! What girl doesn't need a little pink top in the winter?

Pattern: Lovey Dovey

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things I've learned while having a hot pink cast on my wrist

1. Complete strangers feel the need to tell me about their injuries. The other day a Santa Claus told me about the ten months he spent in a full body cast. It was very disturbing on several different levels.

2. People do tend to remember the blond with the hot pink cast, so it is nice when say, the lady at the bagel shops asks how I'm feeling.

3. Putting on ones bra is hard work and causes one to break out into a sweat.

4. Despite the hectic/craziness/crabbiness of the mall during the holidays, I received great customer service. Example: At one store with at least 15 people in line behind me, the sales lady took pity on me and took off the price tags on all of my gifts and practically gift wrapped them for me. Then she took my other bag and put everything in one easy to carry bag. She was so sweet! I could feel the evil dagger stares from the cranky shoppers behind me boring into my back.

5. Mastering the art of cracking an egg with one hand would have made making Christmas cookies so much easier. Luckily, and sadly for me, I've still got time to work on that trick.

6. And finally, I've learned that keeping my house clean is really just over rated.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wrist Update 2: My new fashion accessory

That's right folks, I've got a removable hot pink cast! I figure if a girl's gotta get a cast, then get a cast right? It's my doctor's own design - a typical hard cast, yet it can come off for handy things like a shower or physical therapy (which starts in early Jan.). While it is rather flashy, it does make wearing long sleeves and coats a bit of a challenge. Needless to say, I've been a bit cold since it is December in Seattle (read: wet & cold but thankfully no effing ice!!)

While my fingers are able to move a bit better than before, I still can't do some basic things like drive, knit, put my hair in a ponytail (which is crucial for me). So no Christmas crafts or gifts this year. However I decided that I'm going to make up for that on Valentine's Day. And if that doesn't work then I'll start a new trend of holiday crafting and baking for St. Patrick's day or perhaps Arbor Day. Or quite frankly, any damn day I want because, well, I deserve it!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Wrist Update #1

Surgery last Wednesday went well. The surgeon said I had good bones (thanks mom for always having me drink milk when I was a kid because I still love milk!). Now I'm just recovering & taking it easy. Which is hard for a perpetual putterer & knitter/crafter to do. I'm getting addicted to the diy network which could be an issue once I'm healed. My list of home improvement projects has grown immensely.

Should make for an interesting spring!

And I wanted say thanks for all of the support I've received over the past few weeks! It's been really appreciated & needed!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Not what I need...

It's getting to be that time of year. My favorite time of year, when all the craftiness, baked goodies and pretty white twinkling lights come out. I get all crafty & warm & fuzzy. But not this year.  Nope instead, I slipped on ice & broke my right wrist. And tomorrow I'm having surgery. Yeah, I know. It sucks the big one!

So this year, no knitted gifts. No homemade fudge. No cookies with sprinkles. At least I think so. But who knows maybe I can get the hubby to make the Christmas cookies for me.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Yeah! And oh boy....I could be in trouble....

I'm a mixed bag of emotions over here. On one hand I'm doing little happy dance over this news, but I'm also a little concerned for how close this is going to be to me: West Seattle is getting a fabric store. And not just any giant chain fabric store, this is going to be a little cute, locally owned one with the promise of great quality and unique fabric and sewing supplies.

Between this, the two knitting stores in my hood and the fact that we're getting a Trader Joe's soon, I may never leave West Seattle. Except to go to work which is pretty much funding my craft addiction. Oh, that and to go to my knitting group. I love my 'hood!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Every once in a while, I've discovered something enjoys digging in my flower pots. No problems in my garden, just my pots.

I've often wondered which woodland critter does this. We live near a wooded area but over the past year, I've only seen a squirrel less than a handful of times, spotted three large raccoons in my front yard once (in broad daylight mind you) and on one occasion a fox was trotting down our alley like it was his every day strolling route.

But this morning, I finally saw him. Caught him with his hand in the cookie jar so to say.

I watch him hop from not one, but two pots before making his way boldly up onto my porch to inspect my precious pumpkins and then into my herb pot.

Exhibit A
After snapping a few photos for evidence, I knocked loudly on the window and tried to shoo him away. But he only looked up at me, his plump little body sitting squarely in the middle of my basil, and game me a look that I swear said:

"Excuse me lady, but you're disrupting my breakfast."

And with that he was off.

Exhibit B
I have a feeling he'll be back tomorrow though.

 Any ideas how to keep these pesky perps out of my pots?

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Good Shot

The other day I took a photography class at the Fiber Gallery. Franklin Habit was in town signing books and he offered a photography class one night. If you don't know who Franklin Habit is, he's a great person to learn some photography tricks of the trade. Not only is a great cartoonist and photographer in his own right, but he's also a knitter. And he's pretty darn nice and funny. So it makes taking a class from him rather entertaining.

The first part of the class was about photography basics: lighting, the colors of light, different angles, depth of field and shutter speed.

The second part was all about experiment. He wanted us to try different settings on our camera now that we had learned about light, shutter speed, etc. He had brought along the makings for a light box, different backdrops etc. We were encouraged to walk around the shop and take pictures trying to capture the texture, color, etc.

Here's Ariel setting up her lovely socks in the light box.

Here's a few examples of different shots I took throughout the Fiber Gallery.

This is my Snapdragon Tam that I've been working oh so slowly on.

And this is Franklin Habit. As Jessica said, when she picked him up, she realized he had assimilated into Seattle just fine. Sporting his combat boots, a new hat and his new utilikilt he had bought at what he referred to as "the mothership" (meaning the Utilikilt store) he was clearly enjoying our city. He probably had a latte as well.

Franklin will be teaching at Madrona in February. If you get the chance, sign up for his photography class. It will be one of the highlights of your weekend. Trust me on this one.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Garden Gems

These little guys were the last things I pulled out of the garden this season. I've never grown pumkins before so I didn't know what to expect. The starts I bought were these little pathetic looking things for only $1. I had my doubts from the beginning. While they're not Jack-O-Lantern size, I think they're perfect and a lovely way to start the fall season at our house.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick Hits Tuesday

  • I seem to be averaging two blog posts a month these days. Trust me, this is not a trend I hope to keep up.
  • From the blogs that I follow it seems I'm not alone in this trend. Is anyone else wondering what in the world is making us so crazy busy these days?
  • The garden has come to a sad end. Lots of rain, little sun, and the sad reappearance of the $&*%#(% slugs pretty much put the nail in the coffin for this years project.
  • I haven't had time to rip the garden out. It makes me sad to see all the wilted, holey (damn slugs), and unripened veggies out there.
  • However I have three little pumpkins. I love them very much. They are totally worthy of a blog post.
  • I finished the cutest baby project for a friend! I can't wait to share it with you...once I give it to her of course!
  • I'm half a skein away from casting off on the Boneyard Shawl. If it wasn't so stinkin' humid around here these days, I'd be really excited to wear it for the fall!
  • Yesterday was the most humid day on record for Seattle in years. We hit 100% humidity at one point and it wasn't raining!!?? What's with that?
  • I have several other projects ready to be cast on and calling my name. I'm excited to get to them and share them with you!
  • I took a photography class specifically designed for taking pics of your knitted projects. Again, totally worthy of its own blog post. Will do that later.
  • I met David Gregory from NBC's Meet The Press. The man is 6'5. That's tall. You don't see that on Meet The Press. I tried really hard to be professional and not utter...."Wow, you're tall." I'm sure he gets that every freakin' day. Seriously, very tall.
  • After reviewing this list, it's clear I need to post much more often. I miss it. Very much. As of Thursday my big work project will be over. And my life will so much less stressful. And it'll be a new month. Ripe for new adventures!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Canned Salsa

The other day I got together with a few Purly Girls for a little canning instead of knitting. We hit the farmers market on a rainy Saturday morning for the fresh local ingredients, then headed into the kitchen for some serious chopping, blanching and stirring. And of course some chatting and laughing.

The end result is a ton of jars of homemade salsa that smells and tastes delish! The summer salsa season will live on in our house as the gray, cold and rainy winter approaches! Pass the chips please!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quick Hits Thursday

  • My last blog post on knitting here at the Knitting Knot was on July 2. And it was about my frustrations with my current projects. As the lack of blog posts - even knitting ones - show, there hasn't been a lot of creativity around here this summer.
  • After many misses, I've finally hit on something good! I'm back to knitting with a lovely little project. It's top secret as it's a gift, but stay tuned, pictures are coming soon.
  • I got a fabulous new camera for my birthday. I've been playing with and loving it so much! Expect more pictures soon of all sorts of stuff.
  • I'm finally heading out of town for some much needed R & R! A road trip beckons to see family, friends and Yellowstone! I've never been there so I'm really excited! Also another reason I'm excited for my new camera!
  • I think my garden is confused. You see the weather here in Seattle has been quite confusing/frustrating these days. We go from weekends where it's 60-something, no sun and rainy. To the next weekend of 90-something record breaking temps. And back again. I have lots of green little tomatoes but I have my doubts they'll ever turn red. Unless it's this next week when I'm out of town. 'Cause that's just my luck.
  • I've been trying to eat local this summer. My current addiction is blackberries. I can't get enough  of them.
  • See you in a little while - with lots of great pics!  I know you're excited! I am!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Well crap.

Last night I was updating my computer and freeing up drive space on my C drive (where I tend to dump all of my photos - thus the need to clean it up every once in a while.) I was all proud of myself for doing this without any help from my tech support (a.k.a. the hubby). However, while most of transferring of files from drive C to drive D was quite successful, I seemed to have "misplaced" about two months worth of photos. Which for me, is a lot.

They aren't on the C drive anymore. They didn't make it to the D drive. I'm about 85% sure they weren't in the recycle bin (which has also been emptied). They are somewhere on my computer.

It kind of stinks because some of the missing pics I hadn't had a chance to share with you all yet. While I'm not sure what exactly is missing, I do know the following are M.I.A.:

- pics of my great canning adventure the other weekend (did manage to post about that)
- pics of my weekend getaway to the Washington Coast (didn't post about that). Guess I'll have to go back.
- pics of the West Seattle Garden Tour which was really lovely and inspirational. I even snapped a photo of two baby hummingbirds in their nest waiting for mama to come back with lunch! That's a shame it's lost.
- pics of my mom hanging with her college roomies recently. Good thing I emailed those to her after the trip. Hopefully she saved them. I can here her muttering...oh no....right now......
- pics of my canning class with Amy Pennington. (did post about that. Plus I took the class with uber shutterbug Rebecca so I can just poach her pics if needed.)

That's about all I can remember that I had. I'm sure there's more garden pics....oh, and a really amazing sunset photo that I snapped a few weeks ago and meant to share. Damn...that was a good one. I guess I should just be blogging a little more often. And perhaps not get too cocky when it comes to my oh so savvy tech know how. Hopefully my tech support can find them for me!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

GL challenge: To you, it's just a zucchini...

But to me, it's a freakin' miracle!! You see, people say anyone can grow zucchini. They say, you'll have zucchini coming out of your ears. But for the past two summers I've planted. I've watered. And waited. And then they all died. I've never been able to pull a zucchini out of the garden. And then eat it. Never. Ever. It's very sad for me.

Until now.

See! I not only pulled one, but have actually pulled another one out of the garden too! And later this week I'll have about three more! Plus I finally picked my beans and I'm thinking there's about 2 pounds there worth of pure yumminess!

Usually, my zucchini look like this:

They begin to grow only to rot at the end. I've still had 6 or 7 of these happen so far. Anyone have any idea why? I've heard it's because I water too much. And because I don't water enough. So ya, still scratchin' my head over that one. I welcome all suggestions and your favorite zucchini recipes!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

This past week I turned 35. I felt that it was a milestone birthday for some reason, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because it's farther away from my 20's? Maybe because it's closer to my 40's?

I don't know. All I know is that it was a good day, filled with family, friends, some pretty flowers and a fancy chocolate cake from my fabulous hubby.

Then, two days later I got carded buying PBR's at the grocery store.  I guess it doesn't matter that I'm 35 as long as they still want to see my id!

Here's to another year filled with fun, crafty and tasty adventures!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Canning

This summer, my canning friend June & I decided we needed a plan. Last summer things got a little out of control as we canned a a ton of jams in one crazy nine hour canning day.

This year, we decided to simplify things a bit and do more seasonal canning.
So this summer, it was all about the jams: raspberry, blueberry, blackberry & a mix of blue/blackberry. For fun we tossed in a Lemon Vanilla jam.

It was a very sweet afternoon.

The blackberries in their jamming glory (or gory?).

Final tally:
26 - 1/4 pints
13 - 1/2 pints
7 - pints

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Jane Austen's Fight Club

It's so wrong, yet so funny.....

Jane Austen's Fight Club All the proper ladies are doing it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Go Local Challenge: I'm the guest blogger this week!

Head on over to Living Senses this week! I'm the guest blogger for the Go Local Challenge! This year I wrote about the resurgence in canning. Plus there's lot of informative link for those who are  interested in learning more about canning.

Oh, and there's a link for super cute download-able PDF canning labels. And they're free. Go on, check them out, you know you want too!

Monday, July 19, 2010

GL Challenge*: Canning with Amy Pennington

Last week I took a canning class from gardener, canner, cookbook author & uber savvy business woman Amy Pennington. She's recently written a cookbook called Urban Pantry, Tips & Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen. It's about growing what you eat, eating local and preserving food. It's a delightful book full of great recipes and a lot of inspiration.

During the class she made a quick batch of raspberry jam and brandied cherries. I learned a quick and easy technique for water bath canning when one doesn't have the official water bath canning equipment (shes says to put a clean dishtowel in the bottom of big old pan to keep the jars from clanging around together).

Here's Amy looking all Seattle suave with her iced drink and hot pot! raspberries cooking down for jam!

All prepped and ready to go!

If you're in the Seattle area, Amy is teaching a canning/preserving class one Thursday a month (day and evening classes) through October at Cupcake Royale on Capitol Hill. Each class she'll can something different and seasonal so if you take more than once class, you'll learn something new! I'm thinking of signing up for the October class to see what fall goodness she comes up with!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer baking

For some reason, when the temperatures heat up outside - and inside my un-air conditioned kitchen - I seem to feel the need to bake. Because 83 degrees inside isn't hot enough, I break out my bread pans, muffing tins and cooking sheets. Why you ask? I blame the summer fruit. Fresh picked blueberries from the farmers market seem to want to become warm, gooey blueberry muffins.

And who am I to stand in their way?

Although, I think next time I may try to make Popsicles. There would be less sweating involved in those.

Monday, July 12, 2010

GL Week 3*: Our go to meal

Our go to meal this summer has been steak salads. I've never really eaten them too much before. I figured if I'm going to have a steak, than have a steak. And the same with a salad. While they're on most menus they've just never really appealed to me. Until now.

On a whim I bought some steak from the farmers market at work. It was from a farm  in Carnation, WA. The steak was a smaller cut and thinner than most in the grocery stores. Since it was smaller, and I'm not much of a meat eater, I suggested the idea to the hubby since we had so much lettuce in the garden. (Plus, I'm already getting a little tired of salads with everything. Not a good sign as it's barely the second week in July).

We marinated the meat, then the hubby fired up the grill as I got the salad fixin's (there's a nod to my Southern' days) ready. In the end, it was a delightful treat full of our lettuce, snap peas, carrots, local blueberries, a sprinkle of local cheese and of course the steak.

But the recipe I want to share this week is that of the dressing. It's not local, but since it goes on a local salad, I'm calling it close enough. It's my mom's balsamic vinegar. And as many times as I've tried to recreate it, it's just never as good. She was here this weekend so I got out all the stuff and an empty jar and asked her pretty please to make me some. It's quite tasty! Enjoy!

Joy's delightful summer balsamic vinegrette
- some balsamic vinegar
- some olive oil
- a teaspoon or so of dijon mustard
- a dallop of honey
- juice of 3/4 lemon
 - pinch of salt & pepper

Dump all ingredients into a jar and shake. Taste and season to your preferences. Feel free to add more of other spices if you prefer.

*GL stands for the Go Local Challenge. It's technically week 6, but I'm a little behind as Mother Nature didn't quite cooperate here in the PWN.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A sunny day in West Seattle

Today was the lowest tide of the year. I started my day at Alki Beach to take a peak in the tide pools.

I saw lots of critters and learned a thing or two from the beach naturalist.

Later that night, we took a stroll through Schmitz Preserve Park. It's hard to believe you're about 5 minutes from the beach and less than 10 minutes from downtown Seattle all while being in the middle of an old growth forest.

On the way home, I spotted this. Someone else was out enjoying the day as well. Tea time, what a lovely way to end the day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Garden discoveries

A funny thing has happened in the garden. You see, this bright orb has made an appearance here in the Pacific Northwest and with that my garden exploded! It's as if the plants are afraid the sun is going to disappear so they are sucking up all the warmth they can while it lasts.

Our first artichoke has shown up.

I am in love with my snap peas. And they are quite tasty!'s all big and pretty! Even the marigolds are thriving!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Ode to a Power Trimmer



(The vines on the new trellis are three kiwi plants which apparently grow rather well here.)

Bushes tackled: 1
Trees trimmed: 2
Vicious Blackberry vines ripped out of the ground: 5
The power trimmer is my new favorite toy.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Happy 4th!

Hope your Fourth of July was a festive and tasty one!

Friday, July 02, 2010

The sweater conundrum

I have been really wanting to knit a sweater lately. A big girl sweater for myself. I've never done that before. In all my years of knitting, it just hasn't happened. It's such a big undertaking. It seems so permanent.

But I've recently cast those fears aside and cast on for not one, but two sweaters. The Vine and Trellis sweater from Interview and the Minimalist Cardigan. They were pretty and lovely and like all young crushes, started out so innocently.

However, once the butterflies in the stomach settled, the excitement each time I picked up the projects. The love stopped. Literally. And in one case was slightly painful.

The Vine and Trellis was challenging. It was a lace and cable pattern. But I got a little confused and it got a little messed up. Then the project needed a little space of it's own. And well, you know how that goes. While the project was in time out it seemed to have gotten even more messed up. Unable to get back on track, I ripped it out.

Then there was the Minimalist Cardigan. I love the simplicity of the project - it's the in freakin' name. The project was all seed stitch. That stitch, combined with the worsted wool yarn actually made my hands hurt. Really hurt. So out that project came as well.

Now I've got plenty of sweater yarn, the desire to make a sweater. So I just need a little push. Got any sweater suggestions for me? Perhaps some advice? I've got a summer of great knitting time planned. I just need a project  or two. Or four.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

GL* Week 2: Opening Day

I am lucky enough to live in a good eat-local-foodie city. And when the weather warms up (please, please let it warm up soon) the farmers markets seem to spring to life throughout Seattle. Case in point: Downtown.

While we do have Pike Place Market, it's usually filled with tourists this time of year. Not exactly the ideal place to pick up your locally grown veggies and fruits when people are constantly taking pictures of your veggies. Luckily Pike Place Market created Pike Place Market Express, a smaller version of the famed market minus the loud fish tossing guys right in the heart of the Seattle business district. And even luckier for me, it's right outside my office door. Literally.

Today was first day. I ran outside at 10 a.m. eager to see what was in store. There's plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, and of course the famous market flowers. New this year is a local honey vendor and meat booth. While I passed them up this time, I am going to try them both out this year. This week I couldn't pass up the raspberries or the apples. I have to say, I love the apples from the farmers market so much more than the ones at the store. Not only do they taste better, but they are the perfect size! I can't stand the super sized apples from the grocery store. Too big for me.
I took this pic with the phone on my camera. It was a pretty quick pic because I didn't want a coworker coming into my cubicle asking, "Why are you taking pictures of your food?"

The only downside to this market. Getting your bounty home on the bus.
* GL = Going Local. If you haven't seen it, check it out.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ian & the Oz Vest

Remember a few months ago when I was working on the Oz Vest pattern for a friend? It was a simple pattern that gave me more troubles than I care to remember. Even after sewing it on all twisted, ripping that out, sewing on two different sets of buttons because I didn't like the first set, I still managed to get it all done and ready to go before the little guy arrived. There was minimal OK, a lot of swearing while working on this project.

But in the end it turned out pretty darn cute.

And you know what? Ian seems to give it the thumbs up.

And that's just what I wanted to see.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

#%^! Slugs: Part Two

I have to thank you all. I put out a call for help when the slugs infested my garden again.
I received several comments. Many suggested the beer traps. I got one for Slug-O. And an eco-friendly friend suggested a plant wash.

The hubby decided to take matters into his own hands and that wasn't eco-friendly. At first I wasn't so thrilled with that plan, but frankly, the stuff said it was OK for a garden and I was tired of seeing the damage done from those slimy buggers.

But at 10:30 p.m. the other night, the hubby grabbed my headlamp and decided to see if could track them down. And he did. He quickly came back to report that they were in the lawn and heading towards the artichoke. And that they were pretty big.

So I had to check them out for myself. And he was right. Four of them were heading towards the artichoke and they were big and clearly on a mission. I got a little defensive towards my plants. I channeled my inner 8-year old boy and I took care of the problem. With salt. Yeah, that's right. I salted the hell out of those little buggers. Peta fans just step off now because I enjoyed it a little too much.

I managed to stop these four but I know there are others out there. Too bad for them I picked up my salt at Costco.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Three Years

June 16, 2007
The adventure begins.

April 2010 (take on a weekend get-a-way at Lake Quinault)

Three years later,  the adventure is still going strong.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Going Local 2010 (and getting a late start)

Once again this summer I'm taking part in Living Sense's Go Local Challenge. The theme this summer is Using Your Bounty. I'm really excited to take part again this year and I'll even be a guest writer on her blog in July (I'm excited about my topic but you'll have to wait and see it for yourself!)

Each Monday (OK, I'm late already but are you really surprised here?) I'll be posting on my site about my local gardening/eating experiences and sharing links to others in the program. Be sure to check them out!

I have to admit that so far my local eating and gardening hasn't been so great. The cold, wet spring hasn't been too kind to my garden, especially with my slug infestation! But I'm hoping this challenge will help get me motivated to look for some good local food at our area farmers markets. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

#%^! Slugs!!!

They're back!
Towards the end of the summer last year the slugs found my garden. Apparently they've been waiting for me all winter.

It didn't take them long to feast on the veggies I've got in the ground. I haven't even tried anything in the garden and they already have.

They even got to my little baby bean sprouts! Is there no justice in the garden?!

So....what do you think? How do I get ride of them? I'm not a fan of putting chemicals in the garden. Last year I tried an organic treatment and I think I could hear the slugs laughing at me as they still slithered and munched away.

Any ideas? Anyone?