Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Recycled Tshirt Scarf

I got a lot done today!  Went grocery shopping, ran to the post office to mail my graduate applications (eek!), took down my Christmas tree, and decluttered my apartment a little bit.

Plus, I made this scarf using three old tshirts and the braided scarf tutorial from Put Up Your Dukes that I found on pinterest!

love it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm Back!!!

And finished with all of my coursework for the semester.  Now I can happily focus on grading final exams, applying to graduate programs, and finishing True Blood and The Big Bang Theory.  My "fun" to do list for Christmas break is what powered me through the last three pages of a seminar paper.  

On the list:

hanging out here...

and here...

doing this...

and maybe some of this...

Thank goodness for Christmas break!!!  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crepes with Pear, Ricotta, and Honey

Latest recipe.  I actually made these a while back, but blogger has been obstinate about loading my pictures lately.  

I found this recipe from Smitten Kitchen and had to try it.  I couldn't find any sugar plums, so I followed her advice and tried pears.  And I did indeed double the honey and butter.  Delicious.  Making crepes reminded me of the good old days in second grade when my French teacher would make crepes in the classroom and let us watch Muzzy videos.  :)

Ignore the brown spots.  They were still delicious.


Not perfect yet...

Ice cream completes every dish.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's get out of this town...

I desperately needed a day away from everything, so over Fall Break I headed out of town with a good friend for some shopping and sight-seeing.  We headed north to Mentone, AL to check out the changing of the leaves and to stay in a historic inn for a night.  On the way we had to detour off the interstate, so we stopped at Noccalula Falls and walked down the gorge trail.  I haven't been there since I was a kid.  Every year my family has a big family reunion around the time of my great-grandmother's birthday, so I have some great memories of that place.

We stayed in the Mentone Springs Hotel and had the most incredible experience.  We booked the Mountain Laurel room.  It came with a cozy fireplace and was very comfortable and relaxing.  After we checked in, the proprietor showed us around the hotel and gave us a little background on the town (the building down the street was apparently once the town brothel).

That night we walked over to the Wildflower Cafe and had an amazing gourmet meal.  Then we walked back and played checkers in the incredibly picturesque parlor.

In the morning we got up and the proprietor made us a homemade, southern-style breakfast, complete with grits and sweet potato biscuits.  After we ate, we went into the White Elephant Antiques shop next door, and after browsing in there for a while we drove to Fort Payne for some more shopping.  We came across some papers from the late 1800s and early 1900s in a gun shop, and we found some antique mason jars in an antique shop.

We even got to tour around the most amazing old building that used to be a sock factory.  

It was the most relaxing vacation I've had in a long time. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In need of a Jane Austen fix...

I want to curl up on the couch and re-read Persuasion today.  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Acrylic and clay

Latest craft night project!

Anna found a tutorial for making homemade Christmas ornaments from Fimo clay. We had so much fun. :)

We did Christmas shapes and circles, but I also had to make a little teapot with one of Anna's cookie cutters!

Sneak peek at my latest project for meeee :)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Neighborly by JCasa--Finished!!!

I sewed on the perfect big, wooden button a few minutes ago, and now I'm officially finished with my first (albeit child-size) sweater.


I first came across the Neighborly on Alicia Paulson's blog, Posie Gets Cozy.  She posts about it here, along with the most adorable French dress.  You should definitely go check out her blog.  :)

So I followed the pattern around blogland, from Posie Gets Cozy, to its very own Ravelry pattern page (where it's available as a free download), to Jennifer Casa's blog.  She writes a lovely post on being neighborly, and encourages those who use her pattern to make an additional sweater for charity.  So now that I've finished one for the hope chest, I think I'll cast on another for charity.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Girls' Night In

I had another awesome craft night with my friend Anna last night.  We both had to take the Foreign Language Proficiency exam on campus at 3, so we carpooled to that, and then headed to her place to unwind.  (She's pretty sure she passed, and I HOPE I did!)  

It was so great to chill out and throw together an easy meal before vegging out on the couch and watching Project Runway (yes, I've finally gotten sucked in :).  We also watched an episode of Househunters International that was AMAZING.  An American couple with 6 kids looking for homes in Normandy.  I have a few new dream homes now.  :)

While we watched, we worked on our latest projects.  Sneak peek!

Anna had a recipe from Ina Garten for Orzo with Roasted Vegetables that was so delicious, and while we were waiting for the vegetables to roast we made Little Fellows (her great-grandmother's recipe for lemon tartlets).  I rolled out the pastry dough while she made the filling.  I don't know why, but there's something incredibly satisfying and relaxing about rolling out pastry dough.  (Not so for cookie dough, for some reason I find rolling out cookie dough to be so frustrating).  

I found the recipe for the Orzo here.  And I'll post it below.

I'll ask Anna if she'll do a blog post for her great-grandmother's Little Fellows and I'll link to it.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

  • Ingredients:
  • small eggplant, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb orzo pasta or 1/2 lb rice-shaped pasta
For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice  (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

To assemble:

  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pignolis, toasted (pine nuts)
  • 3/4 lb good feta, 1/2 inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne
  • Directions:

    1. 1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
    2. 2.  Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan.
    3. 3.  Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
    4. 4.  Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender.
    5. 5.  Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
    6. 6.  Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.
    7. 7.  For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables.
    8. 8.  Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil.
    9. 9.  Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

      Yum :)

    edited to add:  
    Anna's already posted about her lemon tartlets here!  Check out her blog too, I love the Marie Antoinette decor.  For last night, we actually used a sweet pastry crust recipe from  It was fantastic.  Thanks, Anna!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Homemade Christmas Initiative Update

To date I have finished TWO Christmas gifts, and I'm working on a third!  I wish I could post pictures, but you never know when those sneaky friends might be peeking in blogland. :)

Also, I finished blocking my Neighborly sweater by JCasa, and all I have to do now is sew on the perfect big, wooden button!  A reveal is coming soon. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Throwing paper in class...

So today we started our critique unit.  

I threw a ball of paper at a student (I asked first), and they drafted a critique essay in groups evaluating the style, speed, overall effectiveness, etc of my throw.

It was a blast. :)

Then, I went to Firehouse Subs for lunch, and this picture just jumped out at me as a prime example of a criterion and its standards.  Lol.

Critique: Hot Sauce
Criterion: Heat Index
Standards: 1-10 (Mild to Hot)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Homemade Christmas

I watched the new Jane Eyre with a friend on Thursday night.  I highly recommend it.  I briefly entertained doubts about Michael Fassbender's ability to capture the brooding deliciousness that is Mr. Rochester, but he came through in the end.  And Jamie Bell as St. John Rivers?  Madness, but it worked.  I had the best time hanging out with a new friend, and while we were watching Project Runway after the movie, we did a little knitting together.  :)  So we decided that we're going to institute a Thursday night Craft Night.  Our first project will be Homemade Christmas.  For a while now I've been wanting to transition to homemade gifts, decorations, and treats for the holidays.  Maybe if I start now, I can actually finish a few projects before December 25!!

A new Michael's just opened near my apartment complex.  (I could literally walk there if it didn't involve fording a drainage ditch and climbing through shrubbery.)  The grand opening is tomorrow, but I went for a look around today.  It is AMAZING.  I just wandered around in a stupor.  And for a treat, I bought this yarn and these bamboo needles.  I'm going to turn it into my first Homemade Christmas project.  Hopefully it will make a nice gift for someone special. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sugar Cookies

recipe from I Am Baker


An hour in the freezer and...

a bit of icing.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lights Out!!!

The power went off briefly last night around 9:30!  No storm or wind or anything, the apartment complex just lost power suddenly.  Luckily, after the tornado I stocked up on candles and flashlights, so I grabbed a flashlight and went around the apartment setting out votive candles.  I actually kind of liked the effect, very heartwarming and homey.  Normally I hate losing power, because there's nothing to do!  But last night my laptop had a decent charge, so I watched a netflix while I waited for the power to come back on.  Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham was the night's selection.  I'm into foreign titles lately, so if you need a Bollywood fix, give this one a try.  

Also, I finally blocked my latest knitting project!  A few finishing details, and I'll be all done!

I love it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back in the habit?

I haven't been cooking at all lately, so I decided to get back into the swing of things tonight and try a new recipe.  I love squash and zucchini, so when I came across this recipe on Pinterest (new favorite site) I knew I had to try it.  

Verdict: yumm!!!  
And I actually ate some vegetables.  Which is good.  Cause it's been, like, a year.  :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sewing in a Straight Line

I set aside my latest knitting project for a while and decided to try something that I've wanted to do for a VERY long time.  

Like my skirt...?

Beeeecause...  I made it!!!

All on my own, in a single evening, with the help of Brett Bara's fabulous Sewing in a Straight Line.  
Her book is beyond easy to understand, and the projects are clothes that I can actually see myself making and wearing.  Some that I'm definitely planning on making include two great skirts (one of which I made tonight!), a cardigan, a dress, and some cute home decor and gift projects.  

I can't tell you how accomplished I feel!  I'm totally wearing my new skirt tomorrow.  :)


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Increasing Stitches (kf+b)

I love learning new things!  I was so intimidated when I started this project, but I just took a breath and worked through it step by step!  

It actually looks like something now!  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Another work in progress...

This is the first time I've tried knitting in the round with circular needles.  Plus, I learned how to pick up stitches, place markers, and hold stitches on scrap yarn.

Look, it's a heart. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finished Embroidery Projects!

I haven't had as much time for stitching this summer as I'd like, but I did manage to finish some embroidery projects!

This is a thread portrait of my sweet friend K's daughter.  K taught next door to me while I was substituting at P.W.B.H.S.  I definitely couldn't have made it without her, she is so much fun and such a great person!

I framed it in a black frame and gave it to K as a thank you gift for all of her help during the semester!  She was amazing!!!

Then, I saw this project featured on the feeling stitchy blog and knew I had to make it for my sister and her family. :)  

I don't know why, but I especially like this picture. :)

I'll try not to stay away so long next time!