Friday, November 30, 2007

Post 104-Pie, Paper and Pie

What do you do with left over Thanksgiving Turkey, you make a homemade Turkey Pot Pie!

Ummm, Turkey Pot Pie!

I followed a recipe from my Fannie Farmer cookbook, aka the bible. I didn't have enough turkey to make a full sized one, so I decided to lay the crust down, layer the ingredients inside and pleat the crust over the top. I used fresh peas, cut up baby carrots, and celery. The recipe calls for chicken broth, but I used some of the consume that I made from the turkey stock, added some fresh cracked pepper, parley, rosemary and thyme to the sauce, well I am very happy with the end result.

So tasty-

According to my friend Rachael I am very weird and the only person she knows that takes photos of their cooking, blah to her, I got the habit from my dad. I would never buy a frozen pot pie, I can't imagine those tasting good, I imagine all the fillers and chemicals, yuck.

I made my yearly trek to the Christmas paper department in the Container store. I easily spend over an hour choosing just the right paper, ribbon and label combo, I get hardcore on this stuff. I swear that next year I will wear a shirt that will say- Don't Bother Me, I'm Choosing My Theme and I'm Very Picky. The poor sales people there try to help, but they continue to suggest the ugliest combos of paper and ribbon, beside I don't want their help, I go by intuition. I put alot of thought on my theme and I'm very particular, I don't like thin paper that won't take the crease of a corner very well, I hate poor quality printed paper where the the color layers are not registered well and linear patterns. I only need one roll so I like to make it count. This year I am very happy, I was going for an old fashion 20's/Victorian feel since so many of my gifts are hand made.

This years holiday wrapping paper-

The ribbon was a great score, the color is a little unorthodox, but it still really matches, has a beautiful sheen, took to bow tying well and is English.

The ribbon and paper, interesting combo but really works!

Yes I'm a freak, but I get GREAT joy out of this stuff and am no longer ashamed to admit it. And in case your wondering, I only use double sided tape and love the double inwards folding method with little triangles at the corners, very cute and professional.

The final result-

The other night I started on John N's Urban Hat. I was all cozy in my chair watching the Lord of the Rings saga when Piewacket jumped on my lap and got all cozy.

My little Pie-Pie using the yarnbra as a pillow.

This is why so many knitters have cats, I think yarn and felines go hand in hand. Had it been any earlier in the evening (not 1:30 a.m.), and if the yarn had more interesting than black wool she would have played with it. It's really funny when she gets all close up to string, you can really see how much her eyes are crossed.

None of the Above
Debbie Stollers new book came out, Son of a Stitch and Bitch, it's very cute.

I'm not sure what her publicist was thinking booking her at the Barnes and Noble in Lincoln Park, she should have been at the Borders on Michigan Ave, or at least on State St. She has a big enough name, is well known in the knit community, there was hardly anyone at the signing, I don't think it was her fault, I saw very little advertising.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Post 103-The Next Day

So on Black Friday Rachael and I went downtown, it wasn't as stupid as that may seem. We started out at Loopy, she had to meet a friend and I went along to pick up some Koigu for a scarf.

Pretty trees outside of Loopy.

I really want to make this chevron scarf in the Last Minute Knitted Gifts book. When I was in NYC with Linda in the spring, it was she who told me about it, so I bought the Koigu there, but only two skeins because that's what she told me I needed. I really needed 4, two of each contrasting color, blah! So if you've ever tried to match Koigu or even try to get another of the same color but in a whole other city, well good luck. So I picked out at Loopy two more colors that I thought would look great together even though Rachael did not agree. I'm not going to post pictures of them yet, because I'm not sure if using four yarns at the same time are going to work and I don't want to publish pics of yarn for a project that may not work out. (but really, I haven't loaded the pics yet, that's the truth). After a little yarn therapy we went off to Macy's. I needed one thing, face wash, and wanted to look for a new coat. After mush trying on, debating and patience, I think I found a winner, but I'm not completely sold. After living in Chicago for awhile I know the requirements for a new and warm coat, and honestly, some times you get what you pay for. The coat I did buy at Macy's is cute, trendy looking, but not the finest quality or best woven fabric and I can feel the wind through it already. The coat I really had my sights on is only being sold on their website, and it wasn't as discounted as much as the ones at the store, but I bought it anyway and when it comes in I will try it on and see which one I like the most. I did all of this in an effort to stretch the life on my pink coat. I love that pink coat and get lots of compliments every time I wear it, I think people like a splash of color in the sea of black winter coats. I noticed last winter that pinky was getting alittle worn around the edges, it needs to be dry cleaned soon, so maybe they can spiff it up, but all the same, I don't want to wear it out.
So back to black, friday that is. After Macy's we skipped the ice skating and thought we would take in a visit to the Kristkindle Market. I knew that was the opening day, but didn't know it was also the day they light the tree at Daley Plaza, it was VERY crowded.

Very Crowded!

Our timing was good and we got there 15 minutes before the lighting, just in time to hear some carols and get a good spot for the tree lighting.

Ohh and Ahh (before the lighting, I couldn't get a good steady shot after it was lit)

While searching for the hot spiced wine and surfing in the crowds we were starting to get stuck and realize that there was a great big log jam due to the city blocking off sections of the market so they could make 'drinking' areas. Rachael couldn't handle the crowds so she skipped out, but I was determined to get my liquor and collectible mug. I was really looking for the guy in the booth that sold the ornaments and holiday decorations made out of straw and read ribbon, but he was MIA as was the Russian booth with all the stacking dolls and hand painted trinkets, blah.

Well, enough of this. I am officially almost halfway finished with my holiday knitting, yea! Just one more hat for John, another scarf for one of the sister's, grandma's bag, and I added two head bands for the sucky cousin that may or may not be there for x-mas (she's might be getting either the Calorimetry headband or a crochet flower headband made out of the left over Tili Thomas silk yarn)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Post 102-Gobble

Happy Turkey Day! I write as my lazy ass sits in a chair and I recover from my turkey coma. Boy Rachael and I done good, that turkey was mighty fine. Last night she came over and we brined that organic baby and today before we roasted it we patted it down, slathered it in butter, stuffed it with an apple and some celery and cooked it to perfection. As much as I wanted to constantly baste it, I was persuaded not, and they are right, the skin was crispy.

Fresh out of the oven!

Rachael getting ready to kill it a second time.

Pretty pics of the table all set.

This morning I woke up to snow, it barely counted but was noticeable, so I guess it was the first offical snow of the season. Oh so pretty.

It always amazes me that days of planning, lots of money and hours of cooking comes down to a feast eaten in 30 minutes. Nothing went to waste, leftovers were bagged up, extras given to neighbors, turkey carcass boiled down for soup, we are uber handy. Nothing on the table was pre-made, manufactured or store bought, everything was made from scratched. (Ok, technically the pumpkin pie crust was already made and rolled up, I'm not that crazy) Heck, the wine was even mulled with spices, ahhhh. We watched a couple of movies, some good, others bad, tried to knit with a buzz and basically just chilled, pj's and sweats were worn, even the dog joined in and was wearing her pajamas. Tomorrow we might meet up with Chicken Linda and dare to go downtown. I have no x-mas shopping to do there, just a visit to Loopy for post-coma yarn, maybe some iceskating on Michigan Ave, a quick purchase in Macy's and then to round it up, the Kristkindle Market!
Now I'm going to chill some more in my Laz-Y-Boy, pop in a movie and try to finish up my sis's x-mas scarf. Toodles!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Post 101-Ahh and Gold

I know it's been awhile, but at least I can say I've been mentally blogging. Let's start with the season, this is my favorite time of year, between October and December 24. I like festivities but not commercialism. We were lucky this year and had lots of rain and for the first time in a LONG time, we got some great color change in the city. I drove up to Devon Ave last week, Devon Ave is the area also called little India and is where I like to pay 5 bucks to have my eyebrows threaded. I parked on a side street and was amazed with the gold I saw. I don't know my trees very well and didn't have my camera with me, I wish I had because I hadn't seen anything like it, big beautiful trees covered in a bright and pure vivid yellow. As I walk my dog around the neighborhood I'm seeing color like never before and am saying silly things like, wow, that's the color of a nectarine. In the previous years our barely green trees went straight to brown before you even noticed they had leaves to begin with. For the last day or two it's been misty and rainy out and I am in my prime. I downloaded some new music, all Celtic, the weather and music just make my desire to nest and hibernate in my cage even stronger.
Well, I've done it, I bought an airline ticket for x-mas. Every year I go and visit my grandmother and aunt in Hot Springs and have the most relaxing and calming time. The year I'm more stressed out, there is a slim chance that the aunt I hate and believe is evil might be there. I feel if there is someone in your life that you do not like and being around takes all the air out of the room and could damage your soul, just stay away. I've always had x-mas with grandma, that's our tradition and is usually the only time of year we get to see each other anyway. And for goodness sakes, it's not like we're religious anyway! Anyhoo, I was looking for tickets on Sunday and the times and dates I wanted were 261 w/out tax, yesterday they went up to 281 and 2 hours ago they went up to 321, AGH! I was about to settle for that when I remembered I had a voucher for 250 on my refrigerator from last year when I gave up my seat. I'm glad I took a closer look at it because it was about to expire in December. I had hopes of using it toward my flight to Europe, but that fell through. So as I was talking to the airline agent on the phone the ticket price dropped back to 281, yea! Just when I was about to give her my credit card number I opened another screen and searched again for the flight amount and it jumped back up? WTF???? I hate the airlines and the games they play, why would the flight amounts fluctuate that much at 1 in the morning?? I got the ticket for 281 plus tax and with my voucher I'm actually only paying 51 dollars. My roommate thinks I'm weird by being so possessed about getting the best deal, it's not about the money, I just don't like the games the airlines play and don't want to get screwed.
Now that I've got my ticket I need to go to Quiltology and pick out a quilt that my grandmother is going to show me how to put together. Truth be told, I really could do it myself, it's just that I thought it would be good bonding time with my g-ma, and face, she's 83, and while she's a very active, hip and modern grandmother, we all can't live forever.
Now for turkey day plans. Racheal was persuaded to come over to my house, it's just going to be the two of us, all of our friends our out of town. There was some debate on whose house to have it at, and while she does have cable, I have a much larger kitchen, like almost 4 times larger, so I won! I'm all prepped and ready to go. I went to the grocery store and dropped a pretty penny on food, but I'm making cranberry sauce (homemade), pumpkin pie (homemade), Martha's Mac and Cheese (homemade, it won out over mashed potatoes, it wouldn't be right to have 2 starches) and for my own private dining pleasure, a 7-up salad. yum! I was practicing this evening and made my neighbors, the Johns, a delish pecan pie, it was one of my best looking ones, just perfect. For some strange reason I've had this really strong desire for enchiladas and mole sauce, so I made some, tonight, after knitting guild. Don't know why I needed to a 10pm, but now I have a quart size Le Cruset in my fridge with homemade mole sauce, it might prove good with the turkey since I hate gravy.
I could type a bunch more but I'm tired and the animals are wanting to get to bed. Real quick on the knitting front, Guild was tonight and we voted for new board members, fun was had by all. I got some more done on a knitted/beaded scarf for my sis's x-mas gift, that's all.

Bella is still blue, just not as bright.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Post 100-!!!!!

I've got a secret, but I can't tell anyone, not until next year. Ohh, this will drive me crazy, but come January I will be having a premier party at my house!

This is my cousin Jason, his brother is Adam who is the band The Academy Is. Mark my words, Jason is going to be a famous, soon.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Post 99-To Rock?

It's that time of the year, yup the Rockin Sock Club is open for business. The big question is, should I join. Pros-I like socks, Cons-I don't always like mystery sock colorways, Pros-First chance to sign up for the Sock Cruise, Cons-Sock club $220, cruise $1000(plus at least 300 for airfare). The final decision will be to wait and see. I have finally admitted to myself that I don't think I'll get to the UK next year. I had really high hopes and heck, my aunt is still planning and saving money, but if she falls through Rachael was going to be my backup travel companion for part of the way. I was watching the news the other night and it was not good. The dollar sucks, and is getting worse, maybe next year after the democrats have a landslide victory and the world starts liking us again the dollar will get the boost it needs, UK 09 or Bust? So, in my head I am planning trips for next year the involve staying in the US, which brings me back to the sock club. I've never been on a cruise, let alone a sock knitting cruise, it sounds like a perfectly lovely lazy vacation, plus I've always wanted to see Alaska. Perhaps. So the cruise in the late spring and perhaps Rhinebeck in the fall, sounds like a good start, eh? The cruise would be a go if I can find a partner in crime to share a cabin with. Any takers???

Working on my second x-mas gift, John R's hat, I just have the brim started and haven't got much work done because I've been doing a lot of babysitting and jewelry making. I did get my ass out of the house long enough to pick up another ball of Rowan Kidsilk Night at Knitting Workshop and some beads at Caravan to make the two sisters x-mas gifts, even though they barely deserve them. Since I'm being lazy this evening and have nothing to do but watch TV, I'll photo the new yarn and put it in my stash and finally finish entering the info on my needles, I can't believe I didn't do that earlier.

The search for the perfect humidifier is over. The first candidate I purchase was in the perfect price range (i.e. cheap), had a removable filter and was even made of anti-microbial plastic, very good. No, very bad! I got no sleep that night, it was like having an idling car next to my bed it was so loud. So back to the store it went, my only other option was a not-fancy whimsical humidifier that was only 5 bucks more than the first, ultrasonic (looks like smoke is coming out but is actually a mist) and super quiet, or go up to the 100 dollar range. Um, I really want/need a TV for the bedroom so this model from Bed Bath and Beyond won out at the low price of 34.99 minus the 20% big blue coupon.

It's fun and whimsical and we need more of that in our lives anyway. I picked up a dark brown stained short bar stool at Joann's on sale and plopped it in the middle of my room. I can't have it on my dresser or side table because when turned on high all night it leaves a little moisture surrounding it. So I thought it best to let it breathe in the middle of my tiny room. Hopefully my skin and I will stop fighting each other and be much happier this year.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Post 98-1/6.5

I am one sixth and a half of my way through my x-mas gifts. I decided to try to make as much of them as possible this year, that is for my non-knitting friends and relatives. Yes Nora, your hat is done and here is the tease:

If it gets horribly cold before X-mas and if you ask nicely, you might be able to get it early. For my neighbors John and John, aka the 'Johns', I am making hats for them too from a little pattern I designed for a friend, it's called The Urban Hat. If I recall, not to long after I make the original, the Panopticon decribed a very similar hat that he designed, perfect, that means its freat for a man to wear. So that means two more hats in the works and the yarn for it I bought on the road trip to The Fold. It was hard picking out the yarn, for my original I used Cascade 220, so I wanted something of a similar weight. One of the Johns wanted a plain black hat, easy, the other wanted something grey or oatmeal in color, harder than you think to find, but I think I got the perfect color, its a pretty heathered grey, but unlike any heathering I've seen before. Last year I swore I would not do the christmas gift thing with my sisters. In the past I've alwasy been good to them, but I am ofter overlooked because I live so far away and they have like a million kids to buy plastic shitty toys for instead. But I can't not give them a gift, especially since Kim has had a particularly hard year. I decided to knit them each the Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, it's fast and easy and just perfect for the Texas winter. One ball of kidsilk I already have, kind of a beigy-putty color, so I need to pick up another, I think it would be lovely to some beads to the pattern, to glitz it up a bit and I'll get to try the crochet hook method of adding beads. So that leaves finishing the Habu paperbag for my grandmother and if I have the time I'll use the Karabella blue/silver mohair and make my aunt a big loose scarf, she's like a ferret and is easily dazzled by sparkly things. So that's it in a nutshell of what I have to make in less than two months, shouldn't be too hard.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Post 97-The Call of the Wild

Road trip! The Fold! What a weekend, coffee, wool and comradery, what else could a girl ask for? Bright and early saturday morning Adrienne, Linda Rachael and I headed out to the country to visit the Chicago Knitters Mecca, THE FOLD! It's part yarn, part sheep, it's really about the experience and the smell of the country. I was a good girl and got out with spending less than 60 bucks, and most everything was x-mas gift knitting.
Color changing in the country:

So much fibre it was coming off the shelfs:

Adrienne and I brought our wheels to do a little spinning:
It's really not that bad, Linda has 4 bags of chicken feed under all our goodies:

After spending the afternoon with Toni we were off and on our way back to the congestion of city life we stopped off at a cute little gallery/studio also in the country and not far from The Fold. There we bought lavendar soy candles, more fluff and took the tour of a barn circa 1840's. I swear, Linda can see two sticks sticking out of the ground and somehow sees a chicken coop, that's all she had on the brain.
A pretty little vingiette:

So very charming:

What really got out attention were the animals, llama and small herd of Icelandic sheep. Those sheep were so cute and so tiny just past your knee.
A Llama (pronounced Ya-Ma, not La-Ma according to Linda):

The Herd:

An Icelandic Sheep:

Just a bit of Americana:

I'm one of those people who gets joy out of using a pen until the ink runs out, or sharpening a pencil down to a stub. Basically I like to get my money's worth out of the things I buy, and now my tv is dying. I bought the tv in my bedroom when I went of to college, it's so old and cheap(though not a reflection of my age) that it doesn't have the red/white/yellow plugs in the back the modern tv equipment has. If it was going to happen, the timing couldn't have been better, I guess, I'm sure if I can wait until the day after Thanksgiving I can get a really good deal on a flat screen during some crazy sale that I have to get up at 5 in the morning for. Problem is, I'm having a hard to thinking about seperating myself from a couple hundred bucks. Agh!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Post 96-Blue

I love kool-aid, I think we all can agree it makes a great last minute dye job for yarn, and apparently dogs. I thought I would get into the spirit of the holiday season and dress up the dog, she became a blueberry courtesy of a little packet of blue raspberry Kool-Aid. Unfortunately, she will remain that way until it washes out, so for the next couple of months she will be getting weekly baths and be the cleanest sweet smelly dog on the street, oh well, it's kinda cute.

The cat wasn't so happy about having to wear the dogs costume, but since I'm the master of the house I didn't give a damn.

I did alittle make-up job on my self, I thought it would be fun to channel my inner pixie/Frieda Kahlo.

And now I need to leave the coffee shop and get some work done on the jewelry I have.