Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You really have to see this if you love animals....

No, it's not an animal rights ad. Though I have nothing against them. This is something I saw on Bonnie Hunter's blog....a small youtube video that is absolutely unbelievable.

Click here

I wish I knew how to embed those videos on my blog like she has on hers, but I don't. So, do yourself a favor and go over there and take a look. While you're there, look around at her wonderful quilts ~ she is very talented, and she repurposes thrift store shirts into many of her quilts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Adventures in bread making....

This was the first time making the NYTimes No Knead Bread in the new dutch oven. I made the dough and let it sit covered for 18 hours til it was roughly twice the size (and then some, I think).
After forming the loaf and letting it rest covered for another 2 hours on a cornmeal sprinkled tea towel, it was ready to go into the Dutch Oven which had been heated in the oven at 450 degrees.

Careful! I was fearful of dumping the dough into the sizzling hot dutch oven, but all went well and I think the reason is that the cornmeal dusting on the tea towel allowed it to just fall off into the dutch oven. I quickly put the lid on and into the oven it went for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes I cracked the lid on the dutch oven and let it bake for another 15 minutes. I took it out of the oven and inverted the dutch oven over another tea towel which I used to handle the loaf and get it onto a rack where it rested.

(actually, I don't own a rack, so I used the steamer insert to my sauce pan (inverted) and it worked just fine.)

Isn't it beautiful?

After resting for 15 minutes I couldn't wait another minute and cut it in half and took half over to my neighbors across the hall. I'm so lucky that they are willing to be my guinea pigs on all my kitchen adventures.

Then, I came home and tore off a piece. Oh just YUM!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dutch Oven Beautifulness.....

When I moved from North Carolina, in my hurry to get packed up and on the road, I forgot about my little Dutch Oven in the drawer under the oven. It wasn't until I started looking for it here that I realized it never made the trip with me. I made do until recently when my friend Ann sent me the recipe for no-knead bread, and that was followed up by another one that called for being cooked in a dutch oven....sigh...

So, I bit the bullet today and found this enamel over cast iron beauty. I think it's lovely. I need to put it to the test. But I wanted to show it to you first.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Isn't this cheery? I love it.

Now that I've got the ironing board out, I'm going to catch up on that and then press some other fabric for a couple of other small projects.
No quilting yet, but soon I think.

It's a start.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I've been meaning to take a picture of this Lamp Jewelry that my friend Annie-Bannannie's Hunny Bunny made for me. He is actually a craftsman who makes musical instruments ~ mandolins and such....but he does some incredible beadwork too. When I was getting ready to move from NC back to California he made me a little hanging doo-dad that I thought I might hang in the car, but I already have too much stuff hanging in there. When I got this bedside lamp, it is utilitarian as all get out and contemporary to boot, but it needed a little something. Now it has bling......Perfect!

Thanks Rick.

I'm sewing this evening. (Gasp!!!)

You'll see what it is tomorrow....but since I haven't sewn in months, I'll tell you what got me moving. Wanna hear about it goes!

I have been wanting another duvet cover for the bed...the two that I have are both really light and I thought something darker for the winter months would be nice. Short hop over the river to IKEA and I found one that was plain .... charcoal gray on the backside and that's the side I liked, once I wrestled the down comforter into it. So it's on the bed, and I'm liking it, but it needs just a little something.

Then I remembered a little treasure that I had put away. I bought it from a fabric printer on ETSY, and don't throw bricks at me, but I can't remember her name. It only came in one color if I remember correctly, blue, and I'm not a big blue fan but I knew the day would come .... so I tucked it away where I could retrieve it when I needed it. "Welcome" it says.

That would be nice to see when I go to bed at night, so I pulled it out and started playing with fabric from my stash. I found a nice paisley that went well with it. And I'm ready to go.

Maya says she'll just watch. And guard me.

It's what she does best.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blog Buddies, Part Deux

Victoria, whose blog "Bumblebeans" has had me loving her long quilts, lives the life I've fantasized in a fabulous NYC Loft, has her own Harley (and rides!) and generally is a joyous spirit. She has music on her blog with a new artist and playlist every week, so she is introducing me to music I mightn't have ever heard without this thoughtful feature. There's a delay to the start up of the music, though, and I've been startled into full wakefulness when it comes on while I'm reading. Her quilts reflect her own sense of playfulness and confidence in her style sensibilities. I love that they are an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary.

Victoria also appreciates good food (see I told you we were kindred
spirits!) and has another blog ~ "Try This Yourself", an anthology of home made food. There are some interesting recipes there, and last night I had guests over and served them 2 dishes I got from her blog. Cassoulet (from Jacques Pepin) andCarmelized Brussel Sprouts.

Both of those dishes were to die for!! Trust me. Thanks Victoria!

In addition, I tried out Rustic Artisan Bread with a recipe from Ann who is in my quilt group in Boone, NC. Even though I'm clear over on the left coast now, I still consider myself a member of that group......those quilty girlz are the best! The bread was a hit, and while it didn't raise up as much as I'd anticipated, it was crusty and good! It was easy and I can see myself making this again and again. Thanks Ann!

We had a spinach salad with vinegar and oil dressing, and for desert we enjoyed a selection of sorbet from Ciao Bella ~ Passionfruit, Mango, Lemon, and my favorite Blood Orange.

It was heavenly. Great company, good food, and lively conversation. Ann and Victoria were there in spirit ~ their contribution to our evening's pleasure evident in our satisfied smiles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Intentions....

I love my blog buddies...I especially love those bloggers who post regularly. I know when I log on and run over to their blog, they have something there that gets my motor running. Wanda, whose blog Exuberant Color, is the most faithful. And she's probably one of the most prolific quilters I read. So, no matter what everyone else is doing or not doing, she's always got a new post up. I aspire to be that kind of blogger. I want to have something here for you to read, but I've never been strong at self-discipline and no matter what my intentions...the reality is that when I come check out my own blog ~~ Surprise!! There's nothing new there/here.

Dang, I hate when that happens.

For those of you who check in here regularly and find that I'm missing in action...thanks for coming back. I can't promise I'll get better at blogging. But I can promise that when I have something to say, or something to show you....this will be the first place I come.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

How I Wake Up in the Morning...

I don't need an alarm clock.

I sleep on my stomach on the edge of the bed, facing out and am awakened every single morning with a wet kiss from my dog ~ which I hate....which makes me go ecccchhhhhhhhh! I turn away from the edge of the bed, wipe off my cheek, and turn in towards the center. She jumps up on the bed and settles in with her back against my front, spooning, ~ she immediately falls sound asleep.

I, on the other hand, am awake.

Usually I lay there a while, figure out my next move, and then slowly I ease out and get on with my day. She backs up until she's in the warm spot I left, and stays there until I make her get down so I can make the bed. That's how it is in our house.

What gets you moving in the morning?

Happy New Year!!

Welcome 2009!!!