Thursday, September 30, 2010

woolly bear caterpillar friend - tutorial

oregon woolly bear
are you familiar with the woolly bear caterpillar? (aka isabella tiger moth) as a kid growing up in missouri, i remember seeing these little guys everywhere. i loved them (still do), and their fall colors are just perfect. i was absolutely thrilled to find one on our hike last weekend. (thank you for the birthday love!) there is a myth that they are little predictors of the coming winter. more orange than black means a mild one, and the other way around means harsh weather. i think i see more orange, how bout you?
piece of pipe cleaner
this morning, inspiration struck. i took a small length of pipe cleaner and curled the ends in (so they wouldn't be poke-y) - to do this really well, i'd recommend pliers.
felted sweater fuzzy yarn
then i cut some felted sweater into a fuzzy textured yarn. i've seen lots of people using felted sweater and turning it into yarn in this matter, but i haven't seen anyone texturing it like this. try it for knitting and crochet too!
tying it on
i actually planned on crocheting it on, but wrapping and tying worked better. i just made many loops and pulled the end through. i also tied the black to the orange to the black. (and then, after it had been played with for a while, i discovered the need for some sewn reinforcement. the 'textured' sweater 'yarn' has weak points that will break with love, so running some thread up and down the body close to the pipe cleaner helps hold it together and keep it safe.)
woolly bear caterpillar
here he is! a little bendy autumn friend. you could also buy wool to make this guy if you don't have the proper sweater colors on hand. enjoy! please let me know if you make one!

p.s. i wanted to pass along this coupon code for diane's upcoming 'craft blog tune-up' course. i loved taking the course, and it's helped me provide better content here. with that in mind, i'd love to know why you visit - is it the craft? the curls? do tell! and the coupon: type IKNOWPEOPLE in the box at checkout for the course and get $5 off. cheers!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

birthday weekend

today is my 30th birthday, and we have been celebrating!
fudgey cake
marc special-ordered a gluten-free dairy-free cake from dessert labs. it tastes exactly like fudge.
beach bunny
we spent saturday morning at cannon beach, digging a bunny hole. and lots of good times knitting in the car.
elk creek hike
the afternoon took us for a hike along elk creek. and we spent lots of time playing with my new camera (thanks to marc's folks and mine for the gift)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

equinox: balance

i saw meg's post this morning, and after reading that link to rhythm of the home, i knew it was time to dig up our potatoes. it's our first potato harvest - yukon golds and purples, so thrilling!

digging potatoes
i'll be updating my banner for equinox, but not quite yet. i loved reading sheryl's article above and thinking about what i might like to do to mark the 'season of letting go'. i love the ritual she describes. another bit i read on the equinox said now is a good time to note what is out of balance, and think about how to bring it into balance. i recently dug out this hourglass sweater i began long ago, but really i never had enough yarn for it anyway. i'm letting go. i would like to commit to making myself a sweater though. that is out of balance.
lola and hourglass
the yarn is already moving on. i splurged on a pattern i saw a while ago over at the purl bee (although i bought it from paradise fibers, shipping was so much less!) that's a step in the right direction, actually. i've been thinking about that pattern for months now, and i finally got it.
wallaby knitting
colden is connecting a circular knitting needle to the piano keys and into another wooden musical instrument. very innovative.

Friday, September 17, 2010

this moment

golden colden
inspired by soulemama's this moment

p.s. a couple other moments on my flickr stream...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

four years

happy anniversary, my love.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

labor day -> more jamming

we took full advantage of sunny labor day and got out blackberry picking again. we wondered if there would still be berries, but boy, were there! (i'd even love to go again...)

photo by marc
colden's mini-basket was accidentally left on the way out the door. we made an impromptu one using his finger-knitted bracelet and a bowl i had found at the goodwill for his play kitchen.
i also managed to make a whole load of apricot jam when we purchased a case through our buying club. back in my college days i spent a summer abroad in france, and my french host mother made enough 'abricot' jam for the whole year. she even sent a jar home with me. i am nostalgic every time i eat apricot jam, and even more so making it. i used the vitamix to make the texture more homogeneous and measured batches as i mixed. eventually i couldn't fit any more in the pot, so i dehydrated the rest. dehydrating is fairly new to us too, but we also dehydrated blueberries and cherries this year.
avert your eyes if you think you might be receiving a gift from us for the holidays or any time in the near future. i have yet to make more rose petal jelly, but thanks to an online tip somewhere, i've been freezing the petals as they come to bloom.
i still have lots of empty jars. the forecast is up in the air for tomatoes around here, but i have hope.

Monday, September 6, 2010

embroidering perspective

this too shall pass
these past few days have left me in tears more often than not. marc is rehearsing a show, and i missed some faraway friends i was hoping to see. - both leaving me feeling extra lonesome. i remember feeling this way when i was pregnant with colden too. strange how you could be lonely with another little person inside you, isn't it? brightening my days: i finally picked up a copy of buddhism for mothers from the library (heather recommended it, several times i think). and finally, i picked up needle and thread and made this little mantra. i washed out the disappearing ink, and hung it to dry on the towel rack. but then, i got a good laugh out of it being in the bathroom too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

gluten free sourdough

i discovered nourishing traditions and wild fermentation shortly before i discovered i was reacting to gluten. so, i had to scrap my rye-based sourdough, and hadn't really gotten into bread baking since. maybe it's that coolness in the air, or perhaps it stemmed from a desire to find an organic gluten-free loaf. it may have even been another mama's mention that homemade sourdough would be her 'one small change'. in any case, i've started. i ground some organic brown rice in our vita-mix, and i've been feeding it like a regular sourdough starter. then i poured off four cups a few days ago, and mixed it with two cups of organic millet flour (also vitamixed). i left it out over night, covered with a towel, but it didn't do too much rising with the cool outdoor air coming in. so i mixed up a guestimate combination of these two recipes: a la gluten free girl, and our local cook awakening. here's my first version:

4 c. starter (organic brown rice)
2 c. organic millet flour
left out overnight under a towel, then added:
1 c. organic coconut 'water' (this was what had separated in a can of coconut milk)
2 c. organic tapioca starch
3 tbsp. chia seeds
3 eggs
1 c. organic sorghum flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. honey
1/3 c. organic coconut oil

it was more of a 'thick cake-like batter' (as shauna describes) than a traditional bread dough. at this point i turned our oven to it's lowest setting (170 F), and popped the bread in there with the door ajar. had i the patience, or the warm kitchen to leave it to rise unaided, that may have been better. but in an hour, it was ready and i turned the oven up to 375 F and baked for one hour. and it's totally yummy!!! more iterations to come!