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)