Thursday, May 31, 2012

herb garden 2012.

...yet another sign there are just two of us living here this summer - and many nights it's only me. this year's herb garden fits into a single pot. (last year's did too, but there was a bit more variety.)
197:365 herb garden 2012.
oregano, thyme and basil (and purple lantana in the pot behind)
I was glad the thyme and oregano came back, so all I had to do was add basil. and I since I have great plans (see #4 here) to make my own pesto, I planted two.

while I was at it, I also planted purple lantana in the other pots on the deck. and pink and white impatiens in the planters on the front porch and the mailbox.

summer, I'm ready for ya!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

10 for the summer.

coneflower...purposely omitting "goals" from my title today. because that word for me is all tied up with  "planning" and "accomplishments" and "purpose" and what I'm wanting for this summer is light-hearted, fun-filled, inspired delight.

1. finish the hunger games trilogy (I've only read the first one).

2. see a concert.

3. paint my nails a bright, bold color.

4. find a new playlist for running in the park.

5. take a yoga class.

6. plant a succulent garden.

7. have a picnic.

8. watch fireworks on the 4th of july.

9. try a few new cocktails.

10. start my holiday knitting (starting early might be the key to keeping it fun!)

hope you've got good things in store for your summer too!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

the tutu project.

image from here
...did you see this story on the today show yesterday? I did and it was so wonderful it made me cry.

the photos are really amazing. but the story. it's special. check it out.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ten things I wish I liked.

...happy to be back with carole today, but surprised how hard it was to come up with this list. of course the first two were easy.
1. poached eggs. I really want to love eggs benedict, but it's hard when I don't like poached eggs.
2. black coffee. I've tried (on purpose and on accident when we run out of milk), but I just can't do it.
then after that first cup of coffee (with hot skim milk thank you very much), I came up with a few more.
herb garden 2011
last summer's herb "garden"
3. gardening. my mom and my sister are so good at it, and many of the blogs I read are filled with lovely gardens (kym and kristen are two of my favorites). but I can't manage more than a few pots of annuals and herbs. and this year, I haven't even managed that!

4. driving. living in suburban atlanta, driving is necessary. I'd much rather walk, or ride a bike. ...although I must admit the hour plus I spent in the car this morning after I dropped katie at the airport wasn't bad despite the rush hour traffic. because I had podcasts to listen to. the yarniacs, doubleknit, fresh air and craft lit. I was actually sorry to pull into the garage!

5. showering at night. so I could have more time in the morning, but I have hair that just doesn't "do" after a night's sleep.

but these last five were hard.

6. crochet. yeah, I'll do it if I have to, but if I liked it, I'd make this beautiful blanket.

7. non-fiction books.

8. camping.

9. magic loop. so I wouldn't have to worry about my dpn's coming out of my socks. (shoot, why not get crazy and say toe-up socks, too, because then I'd never worry about running out of yarn for the toes...but let's face it, I'm a cuff-down dpn sock knitter!)

10. playing games.

...I'm smiling thinking about the me that would be if I really did like these ten things. very different. and as a package, I'm really not sure how I'd feel about myself. I think I'd be better off taking just a couple than all ten at once!
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Friday, May 18, 2012

turned the corner.

184:365 turned the corner.
...literally. I finally hit the halfway point on baby harris' blanket which means the rows are now getting two stitches shorter instead of two stitches longer.

I have just under 4 balls of yarn to go. and I am very happy this blanket isn't for me, because that glass of wine is making the endless garter stitch a lot easier to bear.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

peach bread.

...quick bread #5 on my fifty for 50 list.
peach bread.
yeah, not the greatest photo, but the best I could do since I didn't remember to even take one til after I'd sliced and served the bread!
I knew I could count on sara to get me back on track with my baking. my bookmark folder is now packed with scone and muffin and bread recipes. but honestly, I think I might need just this one. it's easy. it's versatile. it's healthy. and it's delicious.

peach bread
inspired by emma christensen on the kitchn, makes one loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup greek yogurt (I'll try a bit less yogurt and a bit more milk next time)
1/4 cup skim milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 small peaches, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2/3 cup)

heat the oven to 350 degrees. coat a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

mix dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a large bowl. in a smaller bowl, stir together the yogurt, milk, egg, butter and oil. add to the dry ingredients and stir gently until the flour is just absorbed. stir in the peaches.

spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes. let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and slicing.

...the variation possibilities are endless, and emma lists 10 at the end of the recipe...next, I think I'm going to try a savory version. maybe parmesan rosemary walnut?



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

wordless wednesday.

182:365 wordless wednesday.

picture today.

...yesterday, I took ten photos to capture my day, participating in a project to document a day in the world. I only learned about the project on monday, and I've been a bit surprised that I haven't seen more about it in the blogs I read. in fact, only one blog (the very fun fatmumslim, from australia) posted about it. I guess the blogs I read are more about knitting and cooking!

in any event, I love the idea. and of course I love taking photos with my new phone. here's my contribution.
5:15 am. morning devotion time.
7:45 am. lots of spider webs at the park.
8:15 am. walking home from the park.
9:15 am. filling up (gas prices have dropped a bit).
10 am. knitting at starbucks (and the only photo not taken with my phone).
4 pm. knitters at the shop (and what I love most about working at a yarn store!)
6:30 pm. the evening walk. note my change in outfit from the morning.
7:15 pm. finally getting my computer backed up.
8:30 pm. sara makes salad for dinner.
10:15 pm. bed. chapter 2 of the swan house before I turn out the light and go to sleep.

Monday, May 14, 2012

enjoying.

vsco cam photo
...two dozen pink tulips, very artfully arranged (thank you katie & sara!)
...a new iphone (sara and I both upgraded to the 4s - woot!)
...a new iphone photo app (probably the best $0.99 cents I've spent in a very long time)
...time with both girls. home together for a week. (sara leaves for europe next monday and katie flies back to LA the next morning). sadly, marc leaves for asia tomorrow, so he has a lot less time to enjoy. but I love that he loves it all the same.
177:365 all home.
marc's message friday evening after we picked up katie at the airport

Friday, May 11, 2012

FO friday.

...whoa, I knew it had been a while since I shared an FO post here, but I had no idea it was over three months (there was a post in early april that featured photos, but really, it was more about knitting than finished objects). so that's 13 FOs and nearly 7,000 yards of yarn ago. whoa...

I did title this post FO (in the singular) friday, so you'll have to visit my ravelry page to see the details on the other twelve. because this post is (mostly!) about element.

element finished.
raveled here
my third sweater in a row knit from shibui's raw silk heichi.

and my first one from the heichi book (that's the one I intend to knit my way through over the next few months - truly, every single piece is a must-have).

I knit the smallest size as written. which meant I had two sides to seam. those two seams and a dozen plus ends to weave in took up all my knitting time on tuesday. and made me forget why I'd made the decision to not convert it to be seamless.
element finished.


today when I wore it for the first time, I remembered. it was to give the body structure. it's a tunic and I added a few inches to the length which  means I'm completely sitting on it when I sit (like driving, or knitting :-) and I was happy when I saw these photos, after three-ish hours of sitting...no sags! I love that seams are good for something. because they are definitely a pain to do!

the heichi yarn is lovely. the colors, the texture, how it softens once it's blocked, I do love it. but it's rough on my hands. so for my next few pieces, I'm going to use a different yarn. that swatch for trace worked great; I think the texture will be a nice mix with the simple lines of the tank. ...more to come...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

10 favorite comedies.

...another look at favorite movies. this time it's comedies. I struggled a bit with "what's a comedy?" I read somewhere that it's a story that ends with a wedding (contrast with a tragedy which is a story that ends with a death). sara told me "yeah that's a fine definition...if you're an english teacher. mom, just pick movies that make you laugh." so here goes:
image from here...and yeah, you're smiling aren't you?
1. finding nemo. this movie makes me happy every time I watch it. "just keep swimming, just keep swimming...."

2. beauty and the beast. and not just because it ends with a wedding...but it is a very pretty wedding and lumiere and cogsworth do make me laugh.

3. aladdin. marc and I took katie and her girlfriends to see this. the girls would've been about five or six. and I remember noting that they laughed at completely different times than marc and I did. I love that disney manages to appeal to multiple generations in ways that are appropriate - and funny - to all.

(yes, my list starts off with three disney movies. I wonder if anyone else's will?!)

4. ferris bueller's day off. this is one of those movies we'll stop to watch whenever we see it's on.

5. julie and julia. the real julia child was very funny and meryl streep captures that beautifully.

6. juno.

7. amelie. especially now that I've been to paris. (and the soundtrack is especially wonderful).

8. men in black.

9. wedding crashers.

10. the blues brothers (oh my 1980. really??!!). admittedly I haven't see this in a few years, but I feel like the aykroyd/belushi team will surely withstand the test of time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

next up.

...I took a photo of my queue two weeks ago. just after I realized it had become a mess that was beyond cleaning up (and just before I pulled that page off the board and put up a blank one).  I wrote down the projects on my needles and those I was committed to doing (shop KAL and a monthly hat for charity). and starting thinking hard about what (else) to knit next. I talked with my sweater and lace students;  chatted a bit with theresa about what KAL we might do next at the shop. and today I finally committed it all to paper.
173:365 next up.

this is a "kind of" new approach for me in that I'm "kind of" planning separate queues for the different kinds of projects I knit. charity hats, sweaters, lace, KALs. you can see I haven't quite figured out where baby projects fit - I hate to make another queue because I've got three babies coming up (which is a very fun thing, but also a good bit of knitting...and I only have so much knitting time). and I haven't committed to knitting more socks (how convenient if I could finish this pair soon and replace that project with babies!)

so I was feeling pretty good about having all this "kind of" figured out. and feeling very good about not starting anything new til I finish something.

but I wanted to knit something new. swatching isn't starting. right?!
swatching trace

Thursday, May 3, 2012

rosemary walnut scones.

...quick bread #4 on my fifty for 50 list.
169:365 rosemary walnut scones.
today was the last meeting of my women's circle til the fall and we had a potluck lunch to celebrate. of course I decided to make a quick bread (because no one really wants a "healthy" potluck dish, do they?!). the walnuts in my cupboard were calling out to be combined with rosemary (which is growing in abundance in not one but two mailbox gardens on my street. I feel obligated every so often to snip a twig or two or three just to keep the stuff healthy!) I googled rosemary walnut scones and found a few recipes...and decided to use this one because it called for light sour cream and I wanted to use non-fat greek yogurt.

I tweaked the preparation to follow the food processor technique I learned back in march. as mentioned above I substituted non-fat greek yogurt for the sour cream, and I used two tablespoons of chopped rosemary for all the herbs (including the chives).

the dough was really wet and as I was shaping the rectangle and cutting it I thought "I really should just be making drop biscuits". I only got 12 blobs wedges...in varying sizes...

I checked them about 15 minutes into the baking and worried when I saw lots of bubbling butter on the parchment paper... but no worries, five minutes later the butter was absorbed into the scones, they were nicely browned and done.

put them onto a plate - photographed :-) - covered loosely with foil and set off to the meeting. by the end of the meal, all but one were eaten. they definitely tasted fine. what's not to love about butter, rosemary and walnuts. but I wish the texture had been a bit more...scone-like...(i.e., not so much biscuit-like). and that I was more confident in my baking skills...to know they'd been eaten because they were good, and not just because I made them. my circle is super-nice. and I'm going to lead it next year. does anyone out there know where I'm coming from?!

in any event, the one remaining scone is wrapped and refrigerated. and awaiting sara's expert baking analysis. tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

10 things taped to my inspiration board.

...carole's prompt today is about things pinned to bulletin boards. my board is actually a framed shanna murray decal and I "pin" with tape (especially pretty washi tape). here's how it looks this morning.

167:365 my inspiration board.


just a bit different from how it looked a few days ago.  it doesn't change very often, mainly because I have high standards for what I'll put here. "high standards" in terms of content - it must be inspiring or it must be important. obviously not "high standards" in terms of format - post-it notes and scraps of paper abound. I'm thinking I want to get better about that! but then part of what I love about the board is being spontaneous. when I come across something I want to put here, I don't always take the time to make it pretty!

1. the current month's calendar (always sits center left)

2. next month's calendar (always sits lower right)

3. april 29, 2011 and 2012 photos of me and holly...they make me smile

4. other photos that make me smile - sara's first birthday, sara wrapped in the afghan I knit her for christmas and my mom, holding holly

5. (fairly) recent postcards from katie and sara

6. sitting atop the frame, my one little words for 2011 and 2012, gifts from honore - love having these reminders so visible

7. and in the lower left corner, a card from vanessa highlighting the scripture verse that chose this year's one little word

8. the beatitudes and psalm 100

9. a c.s. lewis quotation about friendship and one from jack layton (found via kal's blog a few weeks ago - thinking this is going to end up in project life, or on a postcard, or - more likely! - both!!)

10. orchid care instructions - I've been following these diligently and have managed to keep the orchid that martha and carter gave me for valentine's day alive...and blooming!


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