Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
So I'm getting started on the whole Christmas thing. Earlier this year than most, but I guess that gives me permission to take on a whole lot of stuff that I wouldn't ordinarily try to do. Last January one of my New Years resolutions was to learn to crochet, which I have done to a certain extent. And, as the picture demonstrates, I'm now learning to crochet socks. My sister pointed out that I could BUY socks if I wanted, and is worried that the economic crunch in Seattle is worse than she thought. It's the hand-made thing, though, and I hope to get three pairs done for Christmas presents - matching socks for my sister-in-law and my neice, and then a third pair for my other sister-in-law. We'll see. If I have more time, I'll do more.
Then there's the Fabio BVM that I'm cross stitching. It's actually a Mirabilia Design "Madonna of the Garden", and it's a fairly complicated piece by my standards. It's also very pretty, like, if this is what Jesus and Mary really looked like, then Joseph must look like Fabio. Or something like that. It's cool to work on such a challenging piece, but it's not really to my taste. I'm thinking it'll be our school auction donation item this year. That gives me till May 2nd to get it done. Well, sooner than that if I want to get it framed.
And then there are the bookmarks. A friend secured a table at the St James Cathedral Advent fair, then asked all her crafty friends to make something to sell. Figured we'd all get credit without each of us having to make enough to stock a booth. My goal for this is to get a dozen bookmarks made. I plan to sell them for $8 each and donate the $$ to Operation Nightwatch. Am using Hardanger embroidery patterns that I designed (well, they're so basic that "designed" is a bit presumptious) although it's fun to play with the colors to tweak each one. They work up pretty quick, like, two evenings of stitching per bookmark. But then they have to be done by the first week of December, so I don't have all the time in the world.
There's lots to do. The house needs cleaning, and there's a stack of books that I'd like to read, but the cold wet weather makes me want to stitch. So for now, that's what I'll do.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
The picture above is a loaf of Challah bread I baked a couple of years ago. It was my first attempt at Challah bread, and I was so pleased with how it turned out that I took pictures. I haven't tried Challah again, but I do try to bake regular old wheat bread for the kid's lunches. It's nothing special, but my daughter tells me she likes it when her school lunch is made with fresh baked bread. I use organic wheat flour, but then standard white flour because it gets too expensive to use the good white flour. At least I know they aren't getting any preservatives or anything in their bread. The peanut butter may be full of weird stuff, but the bread is good.
It's not hard to bake decent bread, especially since My Dear Friend gave me a stand mixer last Christmas. The way my life goes, it's almost more about timing and scheduling than anything else. Take today, for instance. I worked night shift last night but the babies behaved and I got a couple of hours of sleep. I mixed the bread this morning and it'll rise while I take a nap this morning (very soon!). Then I have a 1pm meeting back at work (which I might sleep through, although it'll mess up the bread). Before the meeting, I'll set it up in bread pans, but then put it in the fridge because I won't be home before it'll be ready to bake. When I get home (after son's soccer practice), I'll set it out to rise, then bake it this evening. Or the husband can bake it if I have to leave for work before it's ready. It's not always this complicated, but sometimes it seems that way.