Monday, June 22, 2009

new toy!

flip ultraHD 120

this little video camera is my new favorite toy. i wish i had had it sooner! the hippie asked me when the critter was born if i thought we needed a video camera, and i was all--nah--i'll never use it. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG! i have a friend with this one, and as soon as i saw it i was beside myself with jealousy. and now--i have one too! yay! this thing came just in time for the weekend, and i think i made like 25 videos in a day and a half. HIGHLY recommend. this one is my favorite so far:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

and now for a little something different...

last night i blew off all responsibility after the critter fell asleep and retreated to my studio to make a spontaneous birthday present. i haven't made any jewelry in ages, but one apparently doesn't forget how to do it. i am pretty pleased with how this came out, and kerstin LOVES it, so WIN! this is a stone pendant ( i think it's jasper) and many many glass beads (the leaves may be smokey quartz actually--i can't remember), with matching earrings. analysis in 3 parts:

1. the necklace is on beading wire with crimped ends. sadly, my crimps are a bit assy. turns out that my crimping pliers a little too large for my tubes, so i am a little concerned that the crimps aren't going to hold--we'll see. could be i'll be re-stringing this in a week.

2. the earrings, which i basically made as an afterthought, are my favorite part--for once i am actually really proud of myself: the wraps are beautiful. this is a tiny detail that no one who doesn't make jewelry would ever notice, but to me, getting them right is absolutely crucial.

3. i am a fan of a) making necklaces adjustable in length, and b) adding a little fob detail to any open chain end. this is what my friend rita, who is a phenomenal jewelry designer, always does. i think if i take my cues from her, i can't go wrong.

so yay for some pretty jewelry! now i want to make more stuff. stuff begets stuff, people. it really does.

Monday, June 15, 2009

progress report (aka, third time's the charm)

hoodie for kieran, WIP_sm

one of my goals for the year is to knit kieran a sweater. i tried once already, and ran out of yarn due to a mistake in the pattern i was using. boo. so i decided to go for this children's hooded pullover, which i have made before, as it would be reliable and simple,and useful. silly moi--little did i know i was going to have gauge issues out the yin yang! i started and ripped this sweater twice due to gauge problems (i swatched, i swear!), and had to put it in time-out for a little while before i wanted to work on it again. however, i really want the sweater, so i thought--ok, one more time... and so far, so good.

i love the color, although dark heathered charcoal grey proves to be remarkably difficult to photograph. the yarn is mas acero from brooks farm--i bought it at SAFF specifically for this hoodie while i was still pregnant. it's listed as worsted--it's not. this yarn is DK, or i will eat my hat. however, i find that i like it knitted at the worsted gauge--i am on size 10 needles to make that happen. it's a little looser of a fabric than i usually knit, but it's giving it this lovely, beachy feeling. and in NC, that's not such a bad thing--it just means he'll be able to wear it more. i am concerned about colorfastness--my fingers turn corpse-grey when i knit this yarn for more than 20 minutes. i think perhaps a vinegar soak will be in order before it gets officially washed. but anyway--so far, i am loving it. links and details are all in ravelry for you knitters who might be interested in those. otherwise--isn't it pretty? still have a ways to go...

Monday, June 08, 2009

new farmers market--whoo hoo!

WARNING: i am a farmers market evangelist.

western wake farmers market
everything in this picture is labeled--just click on it to see the notes.

the western wake farmers market is changing my life. it's one of a handful of new farmers markets that have opened in our area this summer, and it's the closest one to us of any size. we missed the first weekend it was open, but we've been every other saturday for the past month and a half. it's impacting our weekend and the way we shop for food, which i think is a VERY good thing. we are getting to know the vendors, who have come to expect us--also a VERY good thing.

i have long been a fan of the raleigh farmers market, but a) it's HUGE and sometimes a little overwhelming, and b) it's far away. we still go--just not as often as we did when we lived downtown. and there's something to be said for a smaller marketplace--it's more intimate. the farms represented here seem to be fairly modest in size, and the farmers and sellers seem knowledgable and enthusiastic about what they do. it gets us all excited about the food we are eating, and it has definitely made me more enthusaistc about cooking lately, too! it's a little more expensive than going to the grocery store, but i feel so much better about the quality of the food and about the types of farms we are supporting that i think it's worth every cent.

so far, we've bought the following things from the new farmers market: arugula, radishes, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, swiss chard, a basil plant, whole wheat and seeded breads, stuffed baguettes, carrots, radishes, squash, eggs, ny strip steaks, breakfast sausage, lamb bratwurst, ground beef, a whole chicken, pork chops, goat cheese in various forms, camambert, mozerella cheese, broccoli, savoy cabbage, spring onions of every color, elephant garlic, asparagus, flounder, swordfish, trigger fish, scallops, shrimp, sunburst tomatoes, grape tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries. i am probably forgetting some things...

some of the more amazing meals we've made featuring these things?
  • grilled cumin-rubbed NY strips, sliced and served with a two part salad. part 1: baby arugula tossed in a french vinaigrette with sliced radishes and shaved goat manchego; part 2: chopped sunburst tomatoes and purple spring onions with basil tossed in olive oil, balsamic, and lemon juice. (we've made this a few times, because we love it so much!)
  • pan fried trigger fish with cheese grits and sauteed swiss chard with soy and lemon.
  • diver scallops sauteed with garlic, butter, lemon, and white wine over pasta with sundried tomatoes, spinach, and baby portabella mushrooms tossed with cream and parmesan.
  • roasted herb-stuffed chicken with sweet potatoes and steamed asparagus. (made stock from the carcass.)
  • lamb bratwurst with roasted rosemary potatoes and savoy cabbage slaw. (see recipe below) (see also picture)
  • flounder soaked in buttermilk, breaded in cormeal and 3 peppers, and pan fried in peanut oil and butter with the leftover potatoes and slaw from the above meal. (see picture)
  • and last but no least, lunch after the farmers market run has become 1/2 a mini stuffed baguette from la farm bakery with a salad made from whatever fabulous veggies we got that day.
here's the recipe for the fabulous savoy cabbage slaw i made my messing around in my fridge this weekend:
1 sm. head of savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 white or purple spring onion, thinly sliced
1 clove fresh elephant garlic (could use 1/2 a clove of cured elephant garlic or 1 clove regular garlic as well)
~1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
~2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
juice from 1/2 a lime
1-2 tablespoons good vinaigrette (i used briana's traditional french vinaigrette)
2-3 tablespoons miracle whip (yes i know--hush! i grew up eating this, and have not yet found a replacement for it in salads. i like the sweetness and the creaminess
mix it all up. chill. eat.

and now, i leave you with one more picture. here are the blueberry scones i made at 6:30 this morning just because i wanted them. the berries in these are from right down the road, and are second in flavor only to the ones on my pseudo-in-laws' farm. so good!

blueberry scones

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

catching up

it's been so long since i have written that i feel like i need to catch the blog up on my life. kind of funny how this thing that's mainly cathartic and fun can sometimes put pressure on you. or well--i guess that's really ME putting pressure on myself, a thing you would think i would get used to after almost 40 years. lol.

so anyway. let's start with the kid, and then later i'll get around to mama.

kieran turned one. the fastest year of my life! it's almost impossible for me to believe he's one, to tell you the truth. i am still adjusting to the fact that he's actually MY baby and that i am not playing house with someone else's child. but i guess we'll keep him. :)

hatchling 5
for his first birthday, the hippie and i took the day off and took him to the zoo (pictures here), which was great fun for all, in spite of the fact that this kid is NOT a stroller napper. thank goodness he does ok without naps once in a while--he fell asleep in the car before we even got out of the parking lot on the way home.

then we had a birthday party for him (pictures here), which was just a simple cookout at our house with our friends and their kids. he had fun watching all the other kids, but was a bit confused by the singing and the FIRE on the cupcake. he got to have his own cupcake, with predictable results. he's a fan of the cupcake, it turns out. not too big of a shock--he IS my son, after all. i gave all the kids bubbles and beachballs and turned them loose in the back yard--much fun. :)

learning tower

standing around


dinosaur, deconstructed

in the month since his birthday, he's somehow stopped being a baby (although we still call him the baby), and started being a little boy. he has developed all these opinions about food all of a sudden. i LOVE avacados! i hate avacados--what the hell is that green mess you are trying to kill me with?! yay, strawberries! but not cut up like that please--i will take a whole strawberry mother, and i want it NOW! blueberries! oatmeal is my favorite, but i prefer to eat it myself with this spoon, which i will hold upside down and then fling. no mama--what are you thinking? YOU feed me! whew! i just offer the kid everything in the house, one thing and one form at a time, bot with and without utinsils, until something sticks. if he flings it, pushes it away, knoocks it out of my hand, or violently shakes his head, i take the thing away. if i try 10 things without succes, i give up and release him from the confines of the high chair. some meals he eats it all. some hardly any. welcome to toddlerhood. i know this is all perfectly normal, and that it is, in fact, important for his development, but it sure can try the patience at 7am. lol.

all that said--he's so freakin' cute! and lovey and affectionate and fun--he definitely makes up for it all. he continues to sleep well, develop at an alarming rate, grow like a weed, and make us both (all three if you count aunt jenn) fall in love with him 10 times a day. he's a joy.

observe the diffrence one year makes:
daddys hand 0-1