Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Been to see Little Miss Sunshine yet? If not, whatcha waiting for? Take a load off and prepare for some big belly laughs!

I just want to scoop up that Abigail Breslin and put her in my pocket!

If you have seen it...remember how Olive reacted to the news that she was going to be in the Little Miss Sunshine competition? Well, that was me today when I learned that I WON A BLOG CONTEST! Woo Hoo! A bag o' yan is headed from my way from Danielle. That girl's creative juices are flowing and she's documenting it all on her site!

In other news... I was warned... the Ballband Warshrags are addicting! Only after I picked out all of my colors I realized that the lime green/ hot blue combo is one of the color combos in "the book". I see that they cut their book sample with another green to tone down the "juicy" colors (as Kay likes to call them). I was thinking the green in the book looked a bit like a dark seafoam green, but the closest I could find in Sugar n' Cream was a dark sage. I wasn't too keen on that color, but I happened upon some Lion Cotton in "seaspray". Pretty good. Yet, when I started the seaspray row, I realize that it looks a bit light. Perhaps the sage would have been a better choice after all -sometimes you just can't tell until you put them all together - kind of like painting your walls I guess. Oh well, I'm still delighted with the way the colors are turning out.

And, since I couldn't get enough, I'm about 4 sets in to my blue/red combo. I found some old aluminum needles at the flea market this weekend and I thought they'd be perfect for warshrags. I really like the clicky-clicky sound they make. I'll be getting some good use out of those $2 needles! Here's a shot along with the other flea market finds:

The red/blue combo will go go nicely with the the apron I'm putting together and the lime/blue one will be gifted with the matching towels which I plan on sprucing up a bit with thread or ribbon trim.

This nifty crocheted apron was a steal - I love it - a bit bittersweet, though as I can see someone put a lot of work into it and looks as though it's never been used. Those days are over! The other things were just fun little do-dads. I have no idea why I need a rubber stamp that says "goat", but apparently at around 1:00 pm on Sunday, I couldn't live without it! The card is for my neighbor across the street - she's due any day!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ballband bandwagon

I'm on!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Summer Pasta!

Here's a simple pasta recipe that I've been making for years. It's a riff off a basic Pasta Puttanesca recipe, sans olives and anchovy paste, sub in mushrooms and bell peppers. The recipe is "eyeballed" for the most part - have fun with it! It makes enough for four with some hefty leftovers for the next day's lunch.

2 cloves chopped garlic
1 medium red onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 oz sliced mushrooms
28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup (or so) capers
a couple pinches red pepper flakes
Parmesean cheese, freshly grated
two "handfulls" of dry spaghetti noodles
olive oil for sauteing

Prep all veggies. Start water for boiling pasta. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat. Saute onions for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and peppers. Saute a few minutes more. Add mushrooms and saute until everything is tender, but not mushy. Toss in the capers and red pepper flakes. Set aside until pasta is done. Cook pasta. After you drain the pasta put it back into the pot. Add the canned tomatoes (juice and all) and cooked veggies. Heat through over low heat. Put in your favorite large serving bowl. Garnish with Parmesean cheese and little parsleys, if you like. Serve with a salad and crusty bread with an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dip.

Salad fav - I loves me some wild greens, sliced almonds, dried cranberries, avacado chunks, grape tomatoes and blue cheese, if I have it. If not, Parmesean is good too. A little Annie's or Trader Joes Raspberry Vinegarette tops it off nicely!


Summer Bugs!

See this little guy? Where do you think he is hanging out?

Right on the towel where I was getting ready to wipe off my toothpaste-slimed gob, of course!

Gah! Summer bugs! Gotta love 'em!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Eye Candy Friday!

Oh how I love you, Farmer’s Market

One of the best things about living on Beacon Hill is that we are close to the Wednesday Columbia City Farmer’s Market. This is a weekly ritual for many Seattleites in their respective neighborhoods. There is a strong sense of community with both the regulars (chatting it up with the vendors and other neighbors) and the newbies (looking at everything, delighted by it all). I love seeing the kids wandering around with their mommies and daddies, mouths full of whatever delicious fruit is in season. And I love the seasoned farmers who will whip out their razor sharp pocket knife and cut off a piece of cucumber or peach or tomato or whatever you have your eye on and let you sample before you buy. Which brings me to THE PRODUCE! Freshly picked, mostly organic. And THE PRICES! So inexpensive and the money goes directly into the pockets of the growers - small family farms. (Those yummy sunflower bouquets are only $5!) If you have a farmers market in your town or city, I highly recommend checking it out!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just say NO!

If your pedicurist comes at you with something that looks like this:

please, oh please politely decline! Yes, folks, this is a foot shaver - meant to make your feet silky smooth by removing callus build-up. I was always fine with the gross-out factor of the "shavings" in exchange for a fab set of toes and feet but after the nasty experience I had two weeks ago, I've sworn off the shaver for good! No need to go into the gruesome details, but I will say that a "chunk" of heel the size of my pinky fingernail (top to bottom) was "shaved" right off my foot. Today is the first day I've been able to apply full pressure to my foot while standing and not have it hurt like hell. Caught up in the drama of it all, I google'd all sorts of horror stories about pedicures and all of the germies hanging out in salons and of course, the shaver. OMG! I should have put two and two together (shaver = razor = razor blades = shouldn't be near your foot), but in my quest for hot-toez I never really thought about it. I think I'll stick to a simple pumice stone from now on, thank-youverymuch. The drama has subsided and twice daily baths in peroxide and Neosporin have kept any signs of infection away. But what a pain! Oh, and I've noticed my feet hurt in general lately - why? - because the protective calluses are gone. Who knew?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Knitta at Bumbershoot!

Just came across this Datebook blurb in Seattle Magazine...

Knitta is part of the High Tech vs. Home Ec exhibit at this year's Bumbershoot Festival over Labor Day weekend. Also attending will be the one and only Yarn Harlot, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching and many other heroes of the arts and crafts movement. I can hardly wait! Come on down and visit us at the Hilltop booth!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What a difference a year makes!

About a year and a half ago our pal Scott bought a cute little house in a north end neighborhood. Scott loves to entertain and he was drawn to this property by the fenced in yard, the nice, low maintenace landscaping and the GIANT oak tree that anchored the NW corner of the yard. This tree kept everything well shaded in the summer and Scott's lawn did not suffer in the summer months like many lawns in Seattle do.
It stayed green and lush and was perfect for BBQs and pinata entertainment.

Then last winter in a freak but severe windstorm the tree split right down the middle - half landing on Scott's roof, the other half on his just-paid-off car. Scott has his fifteen minutes of fame when the local news channel came out and did a little piece. It was all very exciting, but after it was all said and done the tree was gone. All that was left was a massive stump in the ground. The fence eventually had to come down all around the house as the damage was so great it couldn't be repaired. Scott has been very busy at work and the yard has languished in the summer heat. This weekend he called in the troups to help him get it ready for replanting this fall.
This pile represents where the giant oak once stood:
And here's Flynno on the bobcat:
After much hole filling, soil moving and leveling we've got this yard in pretty good shape to receive new sod. Soctt, we're all looking forward to watching your garden grow! In the meantime, I need to figure out how to deal with my own private hell of a backyard!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Sky Candy!

This picture was taken along I-84 near Yakima, WA. I was driving by myself and was caught in a quick but intense rain storm. The rain drops were fast and fat but the real kicker was that the bright rays of the setting sun made the road shine like a mirror. There were a few scary minutes of driving and then the clouds departed as quickly as they came.

I recently came across this blog: Creature Comforts - I've been whiling away the hours following all of these great links!

I just joined the Fetching KAL.

Fingerless gloves have been all the rage for Knittlesticks this week. I started and finished the second glove in this pair last weekend while waiting in the ferry line to (and from) Vashon Island.

Pattern: Hand / Wrist Warmers - Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Tahki Stacy Charles New Tweed Yarn - color 46
This pattern is a simple twisted rib stitch - move your rib stitch pattern over every 4 rows to get a cool spiral.

And now, off to enjoy the weekend!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Waterloo... couldn't esape if I wanted to...

I've been listening to the audio CD series of The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay. I'm nearly finished - I have no idea how long I've been listening but there's something like 16 CDs. I love, love, love this book. Except for the parts (which are frequent) where the story refers to the battle of Waterloo. Then that damn Abba song starts dancing around in my brain and I can't break free. I just caught myself humming the song while sitting at my desk at work. OMG! Well, at least I'm learning a whole new vocabulary of early 19th century slang. I can't wait for an opportunity to call someone a "rat scallion"!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Eye, Saturday?

A day late... Friday was a bear!

The completed shower!

We still have to seal the grout, but for all intensive purposes, the bathroom is done. I snapped this shot before the sink was put in, but it's just a basic pedestal sink with brushed nickel fixtures. Much better than this...

See that Sierra Nevada beer on the toilet tank? That became the vessel for the time capsule we put in the wall. We added a few pictures of us and the house and our purchase date of the house (we are only the second owners of this 1954 "Boeing Box.") We got the idea when we found this in the wall during demo... a vintage Rainier Beer bottle!

Here's a detail of the tile - our friend Tony did a great job, eh?

In knitting news, the trellis scarf has been cast off, ends woven in. I'll be taking it to Hilltop East today to block it on the blocking table. Pics to come when it's all flattened and detailed. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted now that the trellis is done!

Oh, and for good measure, here's a pre-felting shot of the "Fuzzy Feet" I'm making for my mom for Christmas - no worries - she has no idea I post from time to time.

Yarn: Nashua Wooly Stripes - 01-Viva - Just a little over two balls
Pattern followed exactly, with some length added for size (total 13" long)

I have made these slippers several times over the last couple of years. They are a quick knit and make a great gift. My mom had her eye on my sister's pair last Christmas, so this year she gets her own. One holiday gift down - this year I've vowed to avoid the frenzied November and have my projects done early - the holidays can be spent knitting things for ME!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Eye Candy Friday!

A great way to motivate me to post is to join a ring. I love the Eye Candy Friday theme started by Purlywhites. This picture is of the planter on our front step. It's really grown together - much better than the tired pansies that occupied that space in the springtime. The planter has "Creeping Jenny", a tall grassy type plant, some chartreuse coleus, some multi-color coleus and a hummingbird plant - I don't know the official name, but I do know the hummingbirds like it. The other day I came busting out the front door and nearly ran right into our buddy "Rufus", the Rufus hummingbird that lives in our back yard. Scared the begeezus out of the both of us.

While I'm talking about the front yard, I'll present some before and after pics of the front of the steps. When we moved in to our humble abode two years ago, we were left with some nasty juniper and cypress bushes in the front yard. Sadly, I don't have a picture of the before - just the aftermath of my "trimming" last summer.

We decided to raise the bed and make a fun, circular planting.

And ta-dah! Here it is! I'm so pleased with the way it's turned out so far and I can't wait until the bushes in the back get a little bigger to hide the giant concrete steps! The little Japanese maple is really coming along - the nursery was honest in telling me that they were afraid it would die last winter, but it's survived a full year, so I think we're safe. Oh, and I need to find a better spot for my little Budda buddy - you can see him above, but now the plants have engulfed him!

On the knitting front, the trellis scarf continues to haunt me, but now the ball of Kidsilk Haze is looking really leggy, so I'm near the end!

This weekend is the big SeaFair hydroplane races at Lake Washington. The Blue Angels have been buzzing our house for their practice runs - I'll be outside watching for them on Sunday. On Saturday though, I'll by at my LYS - they are having a HUGE one year anniversary sale. Come on down! (This is for the EAST side store in Bellevue...)

Have a great weekend!