Tuesday, February 27, 2007

painting and packing

since we closed on the house last friday, i have been alternating days--one at the new house painting, the next at our apartment packing. i have (with help) managed to get a coat of paint on the living room and kitchen and to finish painting the dining room at the new house. at the old house, i have caught up with laundry, packed six boxes of books, and knitted half the front of a baby sweater. oh yeah, i also went to the grocery store and made dinner for sunday and monday, lunch through tomorrow, and breakfast each day.

this is so weird, to be disassembling what has been my home for four years, the first home i shared with the hippie, and simultaneously nesting like a mama bird at the new house. it's an emotional roller coaster--let me tell you.

i LOVE the new house--i am SO excited about it! while i am there, i plot and plan, and spend thousands of dollars in my head. i picture it filled with firends and our things. i imagine paintings i will finally have the room to create. i can't wait to have a housewarming party. i am having a GREAT time arguing with the hippie about colors, and i adore painting it and making it feel like my own. i think we will be in this house for a long, long time.

and then i come home, and i am so sad for the little kitchen i have become so accustomed to, and for all the trees i am moving away from, and for the flowers in my yard. i am sad that the cats won't have all the squirrels and birds on the front porch to watch. i am loathe to leave my upstairs neighbor, who is a fabulous woman and who doesn't yet know that we are moving away. i drive up in front of our little house and i want to cry. and the packing--well, that's always something of a sentimental journey.

i guess this is normal. i am definitely a person who gets attached to a place, and i am a person who also loves to dream and think about the future. anyway. i have no real point here--i just wanted to share how awesome and how hard of a time i am having.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


yep. got the key, and am getting ready to head over the the new house to start painting. yesterday we did a walk-through and then went to lunch with our fabulous realtor, then closed without a hitch. we met jenn and gabriella afterwards for a tour of the house and some paint swatch viewings. i have picked out colors for nearly every room, and gotten approval from the hippie for my choices. now, it's off to lowes to buy a gajillion dollars worth of paint and get movin'. it's gonna be a busy month year, people.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


the bella filati haul:

pippi kneestockings yarn
this brown sheep nature spun isn't my yarn. well--i gues it's SORT OF my yarn. i bought this for the hippie because he's obsessed with making me some pippi kneestockings. not that i am complaining--i will LOVE some pippi kneestockings. i just think it's funny that i am picking out yarn for him to use to knit somehting for me. seems like cheating. anyway. i thought i would choose brighter colors, but bella filati didn't have a ton of choices in this particular yarn. plus, once i saw it, i really liked this combo. i think it'll be awfully cute with some black mary janes. :)

embossed leaves socks yarn
i will be copying THK with this liisu wool and mohair yarn in solid stealth black. she's been making the embossed leaves socks from inteweave knits using this yarn, and i am jealous enough that i plan to make a pair of my own. nothing like stealing your ideas from someone else! i hope she's flattered and not annoyed, esp since i am also sstealing her latest trekking socks colorway--it just came in the mail today (along with another yarn that's not for me).

lorna's laces jeans sock yarn
i took one look at this colorway from lorna's laces, and thought--that would make an awesome pair of socks to wear with jeans. and lo and behold, that's the name of the color--great minds and all that. i have no particular sock pattern in mind for these. i just know they're going to become fabulous socks. there was another color i liked just as much, but alas--my purse would only allow for one. i chose this one over the other in honor of project spectrum's blue and grey colors. maybe i'll start something out of these in march. we'll see. if there's one thing i have learned. it's not to promise anything with regard to the timing of my knottong projects. it'll happen when i get around to making it happen.

debbie bliss pure silk
and last, but not least, here are two wonderful skeins of debbie bliss pure silk. i have been looking around for some reasonably priced silk with which to make some little lavender sachet bags. this is a weightier silk than i originally wanted, but i LOVE how it feels. this is the one i HAD to knit with immediately. as you see, one bag is made and is in severe need of blocking. i am planning to hit ornamentea, a wonderful local bead shop, for some cool silk ribbon to tie this little bag up with. and then i just need to make a little muslin pouch to fill with lavender and slip inside the bag. this one's for me, but i am going to make the purple one for my new guest room. and i THINK i may be able to get two bags from each skein--if that turns out to be true, i will probably include the extras with some of this year's baby gifts.

there are not enough hours in the day for all the knitting i want to do! nor are there enough dollars in my wallet for all the yarn i want to buy. i guess this is a pretty common problem among knitters. *sigh*

ok, i gotta shut up and get my butt in the bed. we're closing on the house tomorrow--i need all my beauty sleep so i look good for the lawyers. :)


boob cake
last night at dance class, there was a boob cake. i'm not sure i really need to say anything more about that--it kind of speaks for itself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

what's up?

bella filati, wall of sock yarn!

noro lust
spent most of this past weekend thinking about yarn. and you tell me, folks--when's that ever a bad thing? first off, THK and i made a little road trip down to bella filati, a yarn store in southern pines that specializes in high end yarn--my favorite. i've been trying to make it down to this store for an age or so, and now that i finally got there, i can tell you first hand that it ROCKS! i will definitely be going back. i have failed to take any pictures of my new yarn (one skein of which has already become a finished object--more on that in another post), primarily due to my failure to clean off my camera card before we went down there. oops. but anyway--we had a very pleasant drive, a wonderful experience at the yarn store, which was filled with wonders and very friendly and helpful people. i came VERY close to coming home with this entire bin of noro kureyon (#188), with which i desperately want to make a lizard ridge blanket, version two. but luckily they were 3 balls shy of a full blanket (heh--that sounds funny, like i just said, "not te sharpest tool in the shed" or, "not the brightest star in the sky"--but that's not what i mean!), which saved me from having to buy it right there on the spot! i admit i am now scouting around for this yarn cheaper on the web. and leave it to THK--she found a place that has 20+ balls in stock for about $6/50 a ball. i am still scared to click "purchase" given that i am makine many other major purchases in the very near future. but i digress... anyway--the store is way cool--y'all should go.

sam's green bag
meanwhile, at home, i FINALLY got my shit together and mailed the sam what is possibly the latest christmas gift in recorded history, which contained the second latest. *sigh* i am so bad, y'all. i have all these great ideas, and i am even good at executing them. and i love giving stuff to people--probably 80% of my knitting goes to other houses when it's done. but for some reason--and i have no IDEA why this is--i just can't get the shit in the mail. sam, i hope you know how much i love you. you can't take my slackness as a sign of no love, people--it's just the way i am. and i really AM sorry! but all the same, i LOVE this bag i finally mailed to the sam (christmas gift 2005), in which i packed a lovely wrapped gift (christmas gift 2006). notice how the wrapping paper on the gift matches the bag? that was an accident, but how cool! next up--maybe meredith will get something in the mail i gave to her--oh--over a year ago. it's been ready to mail for a long, long time. *sigh* hopefully i will do better this year!

garter stitch baby cardigan (1 of 2), wip
and last, but not least, did i mention that my friend kimmie is having twins this year? well--she IS. and how exciting and scary is that, people! i am overwhelmed for her. esp considering she will have a newly walking toddler about the time these babies are ready to come out. whew! anyway--this requires a knitter to get her shit together early! i will be making not one, but two garter stitch baby cardigans for these babies--one in green and one in blue. these colors are chosen since kimmie's electing not to discover the genders of the babies--i tried to pick muted colors either gender can wear with pride. i started with blue in honor of project spectrum. i am a little less than half way done with this one--it's ready to divide for the neck and the front portions. whoo hoo! my baby count is up to eight for this year. this makes for a long toDo list for this knitter. good thing i LOVE it!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

stupidity--it's what's for breakfast

i woke up this morning to discover that the fabulous huge pot of chicken stew i made last night for dinner and for lunches this week, which i left on the counter to cool before i put it in the fridge, was, in fact, still on the counter.

few things suck worse than the realization that you are an utter moron. and also that you have nothing for lunch for half the week when you thought you did. which means you will have to cook something else. in your copious free time. *sigh*

Friday, February 16, 2007

a fine dream, indeed

last night i had a dream that we moved into the new house, and on the first morning i woke up there, i found that a mysterious stranger had left a basket of 32 balls of noro kureyon on the front porch for me. and i gotta tell you, people--short of a hot sex dream, that's about as good as it gets.

now i want to make a lizard ridge blanket even worse than before! *sigh*

Friday, February 09, 2007


i have long gazed fondly upon the fabulous, often vintage embroidery over on jane's site, and wondered if i would be able to do it myself. i love digging through the embroidered table cloths and tea towels and pillow cases at antique stores, and i always wish i could make them myself. so why don't i? i would definitely have to start from scratch--i did a tiny bit of embroidery as a child, but have not really tried it since i was maybe 10 years old. so the other night, i met my friend emily for tea and knitting, and it's been so long since we managed to get together that she surprised me with a christmas present! now i have this beautiful little kit, which was recommended on someone's blog ages ago (i can't remember whose--if it's you, speak up!), and i can't wait to try it. i am thinking of something maybe for project spectrum, one of the goals of whish is to try a new craft with some color focus--this seems perfect for that. a new embroidered tea towel for my new house perhaps?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

quick and dirty pasta (for you, denise)

so i was making this pasta the other night (for lunches this week) and talking to THK on the phone, and she made me PROMISE to show pictures and tell her how to make it. i actually have this recipe in the cookbook that's part of my actual website--the one that needs overhauling and is currently living on a somewhat dysfunctional server. so--i guess i will post it again. but first, a disclaimer: i measure NOTHING while making this, so you know, consider it fluid.

this is a basic tomato sauce that i make all the time and then add stuff to. it takes 3 pots, and is done in 4 steps:

roasted red peppers
step one: roast two red peppers. i do this by putting them in the oven under the broiler and turning them every few minutes until they are black all over. you can also do this on the burner of a gas stove if you are lucky and have one, which i don't. when they are all black and charred-looking, put them into a paper bag and roll it up and let them steam in there until they are cool enough to peel and chop. meanwhile...

tomato sauce in progress
step two: throw the following into a pot: 1 large can of progresso crushed tomatoes (i am brand loyal on some things), 1 small (8-oz) can of tomato sauce, and many piles of dried spices. it's about a tablespoon each (or maybe a little more) of basil, oregano, and parsley; 1 bay leaf; 3 shakes of cumin and 1 of turmeric; salt and fresh black pepper. turn this on med-high until it comes to a boil, and then simmer it for the rest of the time you are cooking, stirring occasionally. this will be done when you're ready for it, and you really can't overcook it, so just let it go. meanwhile...

step three: put water on to boil for the pasta. i use whole grain kamut pasta from eden organics, which is great and has more protein in it than whole wheat. however, you can use any pasta you want for this. have at it. cook according to package directions. and you know, drain it when it's done. meanwhile...

garlic and olive oil



step four: mince some garlic and put it into a large skillet with some olive oil. (note: normally i make this with hot italian turkey sausage, which i would take out of its casings and saute first in the skillet with the olive oil and garlic. however, this time, they were out of it, so i tried some aidells sundried tomato chicken sausage instead. since it was already cooked, i just sliced it up and sauteed it last--it's good, but lacks the spicy flair i want. i should have added some crushed red pepper. but i digress...) saute mushrooms until they begin to release liquid, then add them to the tomato sauce. saute sliced sausage, and add that to the tomato sauce, too. add the red pepper last. salt and pepper to taste, then toss the tomato sauce with all the add-ins with the pasta. voila--you are ready to eat, or in my case, you are ready to pack it into containers for lunches.

the beauty of this "recipe" is step four. in step four, you can basically saute whatever the hell you want and add it to the tomato sauce. here are some suggestions:
  • fresh veggies like zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, etc for a primavera thing
  • chicken, rosemary, and a little cream for a pink sauce thing (also good with spinach)
  • ground beef and pork for a bolognese thing
  • skip the saute altogether and just add some fresh basil and a bunch of different cheeses for a marguerita thing
get wild, people--use your imagination. make good pasta.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

awesome friends

so i am online, YM-ing with my friend meredith, who just spontaneously bought a plane ticket to come out here and help me paint the new house. how tremendous and awesome is that!?

meanwhile, the hippie sent email out to some of his boys that said "time to move heavy shit, bitches!" and now they are coming out of the woodwork to help us move. from places like pennsylvania. and DC. and right down the road.

we have some fucking great friends.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


today is the first day of project spectrum, and i have been thinking about it since early this morning when i looked out at the grey winter sky. it's cold, we had some snow, and now it's wet and rainy. grey was definitely the right choice for february. i went looking for grey photos i had taken, and then i learned to use some flickr toys in order to make the mosaic you see before you. a baby step perhaps, but now i have a new creative tool at my disposal. and isn't that what it's all about, people?

be sure to check out the project spectrum photo pool on flickr--there's some cool stuff to see.