Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Explorer

Hit 77 yesterday, learned cold weather flying and finished off the 'chieve! Hey some of us play for more than just killing Orcs..

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Moving Books... Again

/sigh... Anyone remember last summer, when I spent the better part of it helping my parents move their bookstore? Well in the fall there was a little snafu with the zoning laws, and they realized they couldn't have their store in the hose they had bought. So they began looking for a new location. Last week however, there was the zoning hearing. For some reason the zoning commission had a hair up their butt, and the neighbors also raised a fuss. Who knows why neighbors would complain about a quiet neat well kept house with a bunch of books inside? But really, the issue is that they went to the city and held meetings about it without saying anything to my parents (not very neighborly btw). So instead of getting the commonly allotted six months, or even the reasonable 90 days, they were told to get the books out in 30 days. And of course we are moving them to a property that my parents haven't gotten full ownership of yet, it's still in the paperwork faze! So I haven't been updating my blog or my etsy much, and I won't be for a few more weeks. I'm afraid that moving books and going to school will occupy a good bit of my time. Until February, peace!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Delicious Omiyagi

So tonight was Kaiwa club - a local Japanese conversation group. A member had just been to Japan and brought back traditional omiyage (souvenirs) which is almost always local specialty food. Over the years we have had fancy rice cracker and wasabi flavored things, but my favorite is the mochi daifuku. Usually it is a sweet red bean paste covered in mochi - rice pounded to a fine squishy mass. I can buy some locally, even a variety with marshmallow filling in with the adzuki beans, but these were the best type ever... white chocolate filling! Creamy, buttery sweet goodness in squishy mochi shell - umai! So if anyone knows where to get these locally I am searching...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Holiday leftovers...

I stumbled upon a most fabulous breakfast food this morning... I grabbed the eggnog out of the fridge and noticed it was past it's date, I gave it a sniff. Seemed ok but I thought it would be best to cook it before consuming. So I made eggnog french toast. OMG wow! super yum! If you have any nog left in your fridge try it out... otherwise you'll have to wait until next year!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Butternut Soup, warms you from the inside!

Ward off the winter chill with some hot soup! I used lots of well keeping local ingredients (well, except the red pepper, that came from Mexico) To make a hearty colorful seasonal soup.
First is the squash du jour - Butternut. Sweet and mild, not to mention colorful! Halve and de-seed it, keep the seeds for toasting, and put it in a pan of water to bake. At the same time Put a cup of beans in a pressure cooker (white navy beans were my choice, not too strong flavored)

Then I gathered my veggies. Onion and garlic of course, carrots and their tops, fennel and...
Fresh Parsley! The "jungle" or herbs in the window sill is still thriving and I forget to cut it back from time to time. Best culinary investment you can make is a few small pots, some packs of seeds and good soil. I have been cutting off the same basil and parsley for 8 months now and cilantro and dill are coming up again!

Saute the diced veggies until tender, then add to a pot of water with barley and salt. One could add broth or stock, but I find a pile of veggies makes a fine broth for it's self. So colorful! Fennel makes a nice tangy alternative to celery, but really serves up about the same - crunchy and green!

About when the beans are tender and the squash is soft the barley will be plumping. Mush the squash a little and leave it on simmer for a good long while (no really, go do your dailies, don't watch it. The longer it simmers the better it will be) I added lemon juice and orange zest for a little tang and voila - a deep orange soup with hearty beans and grains. YUM!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sun and Snow

Today here in Denver we are experiencing a Colorado weather phenomonon - yesterday was blue skies and sunshine on fields of snow, and today it's falling like there's no tomorrow.
So in celebration of Sunshine on January's snowy fields here's a post with my two favorite things to love about winter. Sunshine and Snow, two great taste that go great together! We'll start with BDLeatherDesigns fabulous belt. Snowflakes and a scene of Mt. Hood on a clear day. What better to hold up your snowpants than a view of everyone's favorite coastal volcano?

And what better weather for riding than a bluebird sky? This photo from BeanTreeDesigns sums it all up. That's right, here is Colorado the whole state is veiled in white, even when enjoying one of our 300 days of sunshine a year. This photo could have been any mountain road, any plains farm, but it's not of course. It's the photographers beautiful property in VA!

Just because it's winter time doesn't mean I have a car all of a sudden... when we ride bikes it's like the postman "neither rain nor sleet nor hail nor dark of night..." This shirt from FullSail is printed on a recycled thrift store shirt in an awesome design to remind us that two wheeling can be year-round (this sellers in Minneapolis, if they bike in winter then they are really hard core!) So show yourself and your friends that you aren't afraid of a little snow... a lot maybe... but not a little...
And now for another eco-friendly option in this post, this colorful bag from BbkBags made from recycled plastic polyester! Reminiscent of kindergarten coloring time it's got all the requirements. A shining sun, tall mountains and snow. This bag would be perfect for a sunny day when you need to bring four extra layers to stay warm after the sun goes down.

What about a vision of the solstice you can wear? This silver pendant from Soulyyours tracks the suns low path across the sky in perfectly antiqued metal. At this time of year the sun trails across the treetops on it's angle arc across the sky so even on the clearest of days it's not that bright. (This is why we have winter BTW, in case any of you slept through earth sciences...)

And at the end of a chilly January day (4:30 in the afternoon around here!) the colors of the sky and the snow just reflect on each other... Like this lovely painting from BettyBaumann our whole neighborhood has scenes like these, and up in the mountains it's just wonderful! Hopefully as the days get longer we'll see this later and later, but the colors just aren't the same as a January sunset. Original art from an original artist captures the landscape for all year...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Planning Knitting Projects for the New Year...

First order of business (well, after wrapping up all the WIPs) will be several knit Murloc Tadpoles. SOOOOOOOO Cute! I am going to start with the More than a Fish pattern and try out a few in different colors. Felted perhaps? We'll see...

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Clearance Sale in my Etsy Shop!

New years means it's time to start getting the creative juices going, but that also means we have to make room for the new stuff! I am having a sale in my Etsy shop with my older stock only $10.00 and with reduced shipping!

All week look for more sale items to show up as I dig through the "vault" (also known as crates and crates of stock!) These items are all quality made and backed by the same lifetime guarantee as all my work. I just need some more room...

The links are House Bag the colorful Blue Swirls and a funky Carrot Hobo Bag. Check out Green Jeans and pick up some great deals to get the year started off right!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Colorado Green Spaces

Well last night I hauled some bags down to Green Spaces Colorado for a little opening event with several other eco-conscious crafters, many of whom were familiar faces from the local craft scene. From broken skateboards to pine beetle kill furniture there was all sorts of re-purposed goods and eco friendly products. And cupcakes from the shoppe... YUM!
What about the space? An old (I mean really old, hand hewn cross beams and the like) warehouse that serves as a co-op office space for "Green" start up companies. More info at the website Green Spaces. Success can be eco-friendly and enviromentally responsible can be profitable, that's the idea anyway!