Sunday, May 31, 2009

YouData - Let Advertisers Pay You!

So I recently came upon, through another blog, a program called you data. The concept is that you input your demographic data, the program matches you with advertisers who think you are their target, and they never actually get your info, so no creepy stalking.
Then they pay you to look at their ads. No really, they do. They work on the "impressions and clicks" method. You get paid to see the ad line, and if you decide to click and go check out the website you get paid for that too!
First off, it's very interesting to see what advertisers think I'm their target audience (rent designer purses?). It is also cool to well, discover some new stuff, you may actually have an advertiser that you want to buy from! That is the point of advertising after all. But you never have to buy anything, just look.

It really pays, I had a buck and change deposited into my Paypal account after a few days. Not a scam, not stealing money from you (so far).
It will not make you rich, it does not pay that much!
It is a great way to make a little cash (I intend to use mine to buy advertising of my own for my etsy site)
If you sign up with this link I get paid, one cent everytime you get paid, up to a dollar. Yes I will make money by you clicking this link, but it's not much and I would not recommend this if I didn't think it had some potential...

I think this is a cool concept and I hope it grows! Check it out and see what it's all about.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Knitting Treasury!

Huzzah! Every now and then patience has it's reward...I got a Treasury today! Lovely knitting themed items arranged by color for easy browsing, go check it out and support these deserving artisans!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pink Really Needs a Dress Form

Some years ago I came about a piece of lovely shimmering lavender silk that had somehow made it's way into my collection, and it has been waiting for transformation ever since. I finally bit the bullet and commited this luxurious fabric to the scissors. A corset pattern adapted to be a dress. I simply extended the bottom of each panel down to the bottom of the fabric. Add a little lace...
Voila! That unruly pile of threads is a lavender lovely! I have used this silver and black lace for many projects and it remains one of my favorite fabrics. The trim is all from an estate sale, and I had been saving the last of it for this project. After some false starts with resizing the pattern and sewing half of the lining inside out (seam rippers to the rescue!) I was super happy to see it this far along...
I then open the front again and added the eyelet panel for lacing. Hip Tip - sew the fabric then add grommets, the machine does NOT like going around the metal bits! For lack of dress form I had to pin the tuck-ins and while it was ON ME, and laid it out on the table for pinning the hem... oi. Where's my seamstress assistant?

And here it is finally together. Needs a few more adjustments, and proper lacing (safety pins used in the pic) but as you can see from the look on my face I was totally delirious after a marathon sewing session and stoked to see it more or less finished!
Hip Tip - when you've been trying on your garment, and are sewing naked, your cat will NEED to jump on your lap and his claws need to be trimmed...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Controlled Fermentation - Let's Rot!

Some of the best things are life are rotten. Bread, cheese, beer, wine; seriously good things! And of course Yogurt.
But my kitchen is filled with tottering piles of empty yogurt containers and there are not enough left overs to fill them. I decided to stem the flow of plastic tubs by refilling them with more yogurt. Now the old books (Laurel's Kitchen) suggest building complicated insulating-heat-blanket-keep-drafts-out really complicated widgets for yogurt making. The Modern ones have a simple solution - keep 'em in the oven.

You start out with a spoon full or so of old yogurt. Make sure you use one which says "live and active cultures" and is preservative low. Put milk on the stove on medium-low and turn oven to "warm" (usually about 200F). Boil milk, cool milk to just above body temp. and slowly add to the yogurt. Cover and put in your oven (turn the oven off just before you put it in. Leave 6 or more hours.
It should be gelled, and some liquid will seperate (I used skim milk, lots of liquid!) I pour off the liquid for slightly firmer yogurt... Add flavours (I used maple and vanilla ) and pour into a scrupulously clean yogurt container. Get your probiotic and raw food diet on! (or make rich creamy baked goods, your choice)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

DK - Double Knitting

And no, that doesn't mean knitting twice as fast!
I just completed my first Double Knitting Project... a humble little checkered wash cloth.Double knitting involves using two yarns and basically knitting the front and back of a two layer piece at the same time. It's super thick and will be perfect for sopping up wet messes!

For one in my crafty life I learned a new skill on a little managable piece instead of a big extensive involved project (see my shawl project). Took a little while to get used to the technique, and my stiches look messy as hell, but I'm itching to start a bigger piece now!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Garden Time Again!

Here in the Rockies the seasons are often skewed, we had summer back in February. A month and a half ago, I hauled a load of manure and spread it across the garden. Then it rained every weekend since. Last week we finally had it dry enough to turn over and rake down, and it is well past planting time!

My beans are coming up already, good and hot all week so I guess they knew it was time. It should be rainy all week so I prepped beds for more seeds. Okra, Swiss chard, beets, cukes, squash...yum yum yum! These little dicots are the green beans (and purple beans, and yellow beans...) they come up a little quicker than the Anisazi beans. Very few of these ever make it to a table in my Apartment though, I eat lots of them right there in the bed!

The perennials are all on time, the strawberries are strong and will enjoy this cloudy weather to make big sweet berries. No store bought red block will ever compare with a warm-from-the-sun ripe on the vine sweetness of the homegrown type. If you've ever gone wild berry picking you know what I'm talkiing about!

Next to the berries is the Garlic patch (companion planting BTW). I just seperated the clumps left from last year and spaced them out, that's why they are all laying down, I'm not that bad of a gardener... Nothing like coming home with your hands smelling so fresh ^.-

The blackberries and raspberries are also sprawling away. On the list - get all that grass out of the berry beds!!! The Buffalo Grass has a way of winding around the roots of perennials you like and being rally difficult to get rid of...

And here is Neko, sticking her tongue out, she's annoyed that I found her hiding place in the tall grass. Tough luck kitty, you need to stop flicking your tail around if you want to stay incognito...

And naturally the snow peas, the joy of the weather here, is the little seedlings will have to weather two or more snow falls, and then hurry and make peas before it gets too hot in a few weeks. Delicate season crops are not for the Mile High City!
We keep them in the black bucket so that the soil will warm up sooner in the spring.

And my reward for slaving all day in parents yard? (Besides the fresh wonderful produce I will be gathering all summer that is..) A wonderful flower stem, deep purple irises! So dark and velvety... and the smell!
So what are you growing this summer?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quilting Experiment Continued...

So after the quickness with which the little squares went I figured that the rest of the quilt would be a breeze! Not quite, took longer then I expected to pin the binding in place over three layers - top, batting, back - and a few places missed one or more layer and had to be stitched over... ugh. But it's super cute!
Now I am doing the actual quilting part, by hand because I have a ton of quilting thread I need to use up. I used a nifty chalk wheel dodad that is totally awesome (clover product...) to mark a leaf motif across the back, and started stiching. One row down, 4 more to go. At my current pace that's 8 hours...
This kid had better love the shit out of his baby quilt!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One for the Books

For the rest of the summer, I'm looking forward to working for the family business - A book store. Unfortunately it won't be just sitting around reading, we're moving the shop from it's retail location to a house by parents bought just for this purpose. That's right, we now own a book house.
Now, we think we will have enough bookcases being moved, and the placement post move has been carefully charted on graph paper, but one never knows. I have already filled up both the cases in my apartment. I may need to head the Gypsymarket and look for some storage space, square footage not included...

As we move further in to the computer age you may ask, do we still need books?Debbyaremdesigns knows better, and thinks that the computer and the bound printed matter can co-exist perfectly well thank-you-very-much. Eco-friendly, hip decor, useful, what's not to like?

And what to do with books too crummy to read? Use them to secret your booze of course... Pommesfrites has a number of cut book hide aways, good for matching your book collection! My mother has found many a strange thing secreted in a book, but to my knowledge never anything drinkable

Or you can just gut them and but better stuff inside. Pigseyart doesn't mind taking the razor to an old worn out piece of bibliophilia, and then giving you the opurtunity to fill it up with something more relevant.

If you like to journal you will need a lovely tome to scribble in. May as well make it a colorful hand bound piece since you will likely want to keep it around for many years! This tome by Swirlingtree is sure to satisfy with bright colors and adorable owls....

Or for the all weather doodler, this laminated little book. There are many cute critters in this world but few cuter then the Hedgehog, and Crownbindery's piece is no exception. This little guy is just waiting to be in your pocket!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quilting Experiment

Last week at Craft Night at Fancy Tiger on of the wonderful ladies gave me a stack of nicely cut squares in a variety of prints which just screamed "quilt me!" Mind you they're all cotton and polyester pastels with flocked flowers and flourescent printing, ick.

Need less to say they would all have to be used together, I don't have many fabrics that wouldn't clash terrifically with these. I'm going to date them to 1978 or so...
It actually took me about as much time to clean off the table so I could lay them out as it did for me to sew them. Now I just need to find some fabric to be the quilt backing, dig out the box of blanket binding and begin my first quilt. It's only lap quilt size, but much bigger and I might get overwhelmed. I just consider this practice for the ginourmous tree quilt I'll be producing when i have a table big enough to lay that out on!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lace Shrug, Nearly Done!

So last week I got a bag of wool yarn for 1$, Mom's thrift store finds remember? I set about searching Ravelry for a pattern which required exactly 350 yds (I extrapolated that number using the old tags and a postal scale BTW) of worsted weight yarn. I arrived at the Posh Wedding Shrug.

A week and a half later (no, I don't knit that slowly, but I've had lots of school work for finals week) Here it is! Mind this is unblocked and without tucking in the ends, I may not get to that until I've worn it a few times... (my knitting gramma winces). Easy lace pattern that looks good! But, there is a problem....

Look at how short those sleeves are! I panicked a little at the prospect of running out of yarn and ended them a little soon. The pattern calls for a picot edging on the shrug, but I think I'll opt for a picot edge on the sleeves. So know I'm off to ask about the forums for the perfect edging...

My First Treasury

So I took a little break this morning from final papers and studying to check out the treasury, lo and behold the number was at 333! (half the number of the beast...what you doing etsy?) I wait a few minutes and for the first time ever I saw the magical make your own treasury button! So I went to Poster Sketch and fetched my carefully created Turtle collection. Go click on some pics and support these artist, most of these items are very low priced!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's Bike Weather, It's Skirt Weather... It's Bike Skirt Weather!!

The weather has finally started to straighten out around here. After a winter of 60degree days, and a spring of snow, seems like we might get a summer that's just sunny and warm. Which means I have absolutely no excuse for not riding my bike all the time, and it's skirt weather. With the death of the skirt guards (make your own!) a sweet mini is in order, let's see what we can find...

It's important that bike skirts have pleats. Lets the legs move to pump those pedals! And being my favorite colors and plaid doesn't hurt... GoreGoreGirrl has lots of cute skirts with little metal rings perfect for hanging keychains or locking your self to things... Not to mention, it takes class to pull off riding bikes in tights.
Now what would a blog post be, on That Crafty Bitch, with out some eco-friendly goods? Like an Upcycled Skirt from HotPinkandSequins. Pleats, a pocket added (this girl knows what makes clothes good), and purple lace. Can you go wrong with lace? Adds a little class to every thing. Not to mention she obviously made the skirt to match the chair for the photo, good bussiness practice ^.^

If you're looking for truely distinct, how about a One-of-a-kind hand painted piece from NYIllustration ? Exotic Tropical flowers on green corduroy, and I do love corduroy! Just a little bit of pleats to make riding possible, but still showing off the decor.

Now, what better to ride bikes in, then a skirt with a bike on it?! This colorful piece from patchworkunderground has it all, a pocket for tools, rich blue corduroy, and a penny farthing cycle applique! Even the cute modeling in the picture makes me think of summer...

And last but not least, the local shout out! Vital has screened many a bike on many a garment in many a color; these guys are productive! But here, in pink no less, is a skirt, with a bike on it, perfect for biking in! And that's what this post is all about!

So get out there in the lovely early summer sun and ride!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thrift Store Finds

My Mother the Thrift Store Queen! Last weeks deal was several cakes of wool yarn for a dollar, This time it was an awesome pile of fabric samples, ring bound for salesmen.
Why, you may ask, is this so awesome? For three dollars I got 80 rectangles of colorful mid/heavy -weight cotton with pre-serged edges. Read -> pockets for less than .04 each.
This means for several weeks i wont be searching for scraps large enough to cut a pocket sized square, hemming the top, folding and pinning the sides... nope! Just pin and sew!
Most are bright, in modern colorful prints. Some like these ones are embroidered, these were fancy dish towels they were selling!
P.S. I saw the Star Trek Movie last night, awesome! Live long and Prosper

Monday, May 4, 2009

Getting Culture (no, not talking about yogurt)

Last night I went to school. No, not for finals, still a week til that madness starts. Nope, a different kind of madness. My mother and some other members of the Denver Philharmonic were called in to flush out the orchestra, I was thinking - do they not have enough students to make a full stage?
WOW! Not that full! About a hundred musicians, and more then a hundred in the chorus, they even had a children's chorale to fill that back balcony. They were amazed at selling out two performances, but if every performer invited two family members well...
A wonderful concert at Metro State - Carmina Burana - quite a piece! Good to see college students can still be cultured.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Farmers Market Ravioli...

This post is short on pics as I was cooking last night, and pics without natural light are not so good. Why was I cooking last night? To warm up.
First you must go to a Farmer's Market, wake up at six, drive 45 minutes, set up a booth in the misty cold and huddle under your tent for 6 hours. The whole time eyeball all the delicious things people keep walking by with. Sell two items, you've made your booth fee so now you can go buy groceries. But you can't stray far from your booth, so only go to the two farmers booths you can see from where you've been sitting all day. Pack up, slave over a stove in order to thaw out your hands.
The booths I could see from my tent happened to be Haystack Mountains Goat Cheese and Hazel Dell Organic Mushrooms (grown in organic poop?). Yeah for supporting local growers! So ravioli is the order of the day.
First peel the rind off the goat cheese, you can eat that on crackers as you cook. Mash it in a bowl with bread crumbs and enough liquid (I used cream, how decadent) to make a creamy mash.
Dice onion, garlic, leek, and Oyster Mushrooms in to tiny little bits, sauté until tender. Mix with the cheese mash. Season as needed.
Take pasta pieces, I'm using gyoza wrappers, but any similar pasta product would do. You could be tech and make your pasta from scratch. Put a dollop of filling in the center, wet the edge, lay another one in top and close with a fork. Try to squeeze out all the air of they will float when boiled.
Cook them just long enough to be warm all the way through and enjoy with your favorite pasta sauce! Isn't it nice to be a gormand?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Volvo Roll Call

Today I go out in the wet cold weather to load up my goods for tomorrow, the first Farmers Market of the Season at the Longmont Farmer's Market at the Boulder County Fairgrounds. And no vehicle is better suited, than the Volvo 240 Station Wagon! My sister calls them "pick-up trucks for girls" I will be putting my tent, tables, racks, chairs, crates of bags, yarn and pottery and still have room left over! Unlike a truck I don't have to lift things as high, and I can load through the back doors. My goods will be covered from the weather, protected and secure. If I didn't display in a brick and mortar I would just leave it all in the car!
Ok, I admit it, we're Volvo Addicts. The two family vehicles are Volvo station wagons 6 and 7. And why not? As kids they were great for long distance snowboard trips and sleeping in the back. In High School there was no better way to move band equipment. And now I know the true value of the vehicles for craft fairs!
Above is the Pink Mobile, 1986-2008 RIP. Below, my sister and her beloved Vo... She's planning volvo tattoos!