Thursday, August 27, 2009

Counting Sheep

When I saw the pattern for this bag in I (Heart) Felt, by Kathleen Taylor, I knew that I had to make it and I knew just who I had to knit it for. My mom loves sheep, she even had a pet ewe once (I am so serious about that she loved that Ewe), so this is the perfect book bag for her.

I also feel really on top of the world because her birthday is not even until the END of September. How cool is that I finished her gift a month ahead of time.
The handles are lime green and I lined the with a coordinating blue calico print that I had lying around. Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the lining.I did make a few changes. I increased the size of the blue sky, because my mom really like blue... and well... I allowed me to buy one less ball of yarn. I really wasn't about saving money because the Knit Picks Yarn the pattern called for is really inexpensive, I just didn't want to end up with any more scraps than I had to.
I also added a pocket with one lone little lost sheep to jazz up the plain side of the bag. I sewed the pocket on before fulling the bag to the pocket should be pretty sturdy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Into the frypan and onto the plate

I had a little extra time today so I decided to make fresh tortillas for our burrito dinner. The thing about fresh tortillas is that nobody cares if they are funny shaped, because they taste so damn good.

Here is my recipe:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon salt
.25 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil
.5 cup warm water

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add the oil and slowly add the water until the dough comes together up isn't too sticky to handle. You may not need all the water and if the dough is too stick just knead in a little more flour.

Make sure you preheat your skillet to almost smoking hot (I use my cast iron skillet for this job).

To make burrito size tortillas divide the dough into 4 to 6 pieces forming each piece into a ball. The recipe will make about 12 smaller snack size tortillas.

On a well-floured surface roll the thing as thin as you can. I know I should provide some measurement here, but honestly it just takes some practice to get the hang of it.

Oil the skillet (used spray oil to make things easy) and slap the tortilla down. If your skillet is hot enough the tortilla should bubble relatively soon. When it bubbles turn is over to cook the other side.

While you are cooking the rest of your tortillas wrap the finished ones in a kitchen towel.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Side effects

This morning when I got up and headed to the bathroom, I realized someone was spying on me. That is one lone googly eye in the corner of my bathroom. How does one end up with a googly eye on the bathroom floor. I have to say that I have know idea, but I suspect that it is a side effect of encouraging one's daughters to be creative artistic people.

On the other hand sometimes encouraging them to be creative has its pluses. This weekend I was treated to this lovely breakfast, made by none other than one of those lovely artistic daughters. Puff pancake and fresh strawberries. Yum! I guess I'll take the random eyes (and messes) around the house as long as I get yummy food too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The garden provides

As August wains our eggplant plant (is that just me or is that sound so fun) has gone into over drive. We picked this three beauties to make eggplant parmesan. I just love how eggplants look and I never tire of picking them, which is good because I have a bunch more to go and pick today.
Of course, the garden does not provide all that we need, for instance, biscotti. These cookies were for Hubby's dad for his birthday. I used the recipe from Baking with Julia, which is one of my favorite recipe books.
We also have to have cookies for ourselves. French Macarons from Pamplemousse in Redwood City. These are rose and violet flavored. Soon, I want to try making some of these for myself. The process it quite involved, but I am sure that it will be worth it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Supporting small businesses...

....or by another name adding to my stash. While we were traveling I stopped in at two different yarn stores. At Wildfiber in Santa Monica, Ca I picked up the lovely purple yarn to use in a project that I will be showing off soon and the green leather handles that I now have to make a bag to go with. At Yarns at the Adobe in SLO I picked up the Debbie Bliss pattern book Simple Living and some cotton blend Noro yarn that I have never tried out.

The book had some nice patterns that I might like to try, such as, these pillows.

Or maybe this throw. It sure looks like it would be cozy to cuddle up with.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Travel knitting

Since our recent trip to Hearst Castle involved many hours in the car it allowed me to finish up a few knitting project.
I finished two more washcloths for the new bathroom. I have made several of these and haven gotten tired of the pattern yet. The yarn for these is organic and from KnitPicks. I just machine washed and dried one of then and it held up very well, so, I think that I may order some more of the yarn.
The other project that I was able to finish was a throw that I have been working on since December 08 for Lena. I thought about adding a border to it, but she says that she likes it the way it is. I can't complain because I really was sick of knitting all that garter stitch. The other nice thing about this throw it that all, but two skeins of the yarn we leftovers. That's right I had enough leftover pink and green Cascade 220 to almost make a blanket.... I wonder what that says about me!

And here is a close up of the blanket. I also was able to work on the pair of socks that I am currently knitting, but since I did not finish them and they are not that exciting I'll save the photos till I am done.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our first time.....

.....well, our first time visiting Hearst's Castle together. Hubby and I recently took a trip there to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. It had been a long running joke between us, I always wanted to visit Hearst's Castle, but he refused to take me. It all started over ten years ago when we were living in Los Angeles and making the drive to Northern California several time a year to visit our family. Every time that we would drive by the signs for Hearst Castle I would whine, beg and plead to go there. He, however, remembered being dragged through those opulent halls, as a kid, and he refused to be bored that way again. What seemed like a fun little side trip to me, wasn't anything of the sort to him.
I have to say that I had a great time on the tour and really enjoyed looking at the over-the-top splendor of it all. And how did Hubby like it? Much to his surprise he really enjoyed it. It appears that he might actually be a grown up and enjoy doing "boring things." Now for the pictures.
Here is the outdoor swimming pool, which is just huge (as you can tell from those people how rudely got in to my picture in the upper left-hand corner).
Here is the view of the "ranch." I would dearly love to have a few acres of that Central California Coastland to call my own.

One of the THREE guest houses.

The inside of the one of the guest rooms.
Yes, those two statues really are from Ancient Egypt and yes, they really are outside.
The front of the main house.

Another main house view.

Inside the main house were some really wonderful tapistries, but they were hard to get photos of because no flash was allowed. That didn't stop me from trying.

This if the fabric that he had designed from a tapistry to cover all the couches and chairs in the great room. I would love to get my hands on some of that fabric.
This is the diving platform in the indoor pool.
Those gold tile really are gold

and a marble pool ladder to top if all off.

After our tour we found our way to a lovely winery/ B and B called Summerwood Inn in Paso Robles. This is the view from our room. It was an anniversary celebration to remember.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Catching up

After a four day weekend I am trying to settle back into my routine and get back up to my blog. To make it easy on myself I'll show the bag that I just finished knitting for my mom. After a trip through the washer it should be nice and sturdy.
And on another note something that I totally did not make although they are hand made by one of my favorite potters, Nancy Quickert. We had her make us some tea cups with handles, we already had teacups without handles, but one can never really have too many teacups.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I think that I have a problem...

I know that many other knitters have the same one. I'm leaving for the weekend and I spent waaaay too much time deciding what knitting project to take. On the plus side, I should have some finished project to show on Monday for all my hours in the car this weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crafts with the girls

With summer winding to a close and school just around the corner I am trying to take one day a week to do something fun with my girls. This week we make books. In January I posted about making books with this a Books By Hand kit. We made Japanese Stab Binding Books which were a lot of fun to make and involved the use of a hammer and an awl. Now we just have to figure out what to put in our books. These kits are really lovely and very high quality.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bathroom Knitting

Finishing up remodeling our bathroom has inspired me to do a little bathroom knitting. No not knitting in the bathroom (although I have been known to knit in the tub), but knitting for the bathroom. I used this pattern and Knit Picks organic cotton yarn to make a little hand towel for the bathroom. After I see how it washes up I might make a few more of these because I really like how it looks. Hmmm, they might also make very nice hostess gifts in the future.

I also have knitted a small stack of matching facecloths in the top drawer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bathroom storage

I am not sure that anyone is interested in how we organized all our bathroom stuff, but I took photos so I'll go ahead and over share.

The medicine cabinet contains only thing that are used on a daily bases. Once I edited down to things that are used on a daily bases I found that we had extra shelf space in our new medicine cabinet.

We have four large shelves in our bathroom linen closet. I gathered up all the empty storage bins that we had around around the house. On the floor of the closet we have room for a basket of first aid supplies, a bin of cleaning supplies, a basket for dirty laundry and our bathroom scale. On the next shelf I placed bin with medicines, extra towels and bathmats.

After a empty shelf on which I think I will use for our sheets. I have three more bins. The largest bin has all the extra stuff that we use very infrequently. The medium bin for extra lotions and supplies. Smallest is for nail supplies.

The vanity has three drawers. The bottom has hand towels and a few rolls of toilet paper

The middle drawer has all the hair do-dads that an eleven year old can use.
One more drawer for washcloths and a few other things, like Efferdent for my daughters retainers!