Posts tagged cricut

Agradecida

I’m thankful for so many things. To try and begin a list would mean something would invariably be left off and that’s not what I want.  So instead, I’ll catch you up on my latest crafting and cooking accomplishments and let my mind and heart stay thankful for all I have.

I’ll start with Thanksgiving dinner, or in our case, lunch.  We eat our big meal around 1 every year, and then have pie at a normal dinner time.  It’s almost exactly the same meal every year: Tofurkey, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, and mushroom gravy.  We don’t make anything from scratch, except the gravy, and everything is done in 1 hour and 45 minutes.  It keeps up enjoying the holiday (the only one of the two days Chris and I have off together during this time of year), rather than getting wrapped up in making a perfect meal.  This year I made a pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie is not my favorite, but I made one, and I actually liked it (more so today, the day after, now that’s it been sitting in the fridge).

tofurkeypumpkinpieEarlier in the week I baked mini potatoes- red, yellow, and purple.  We topped them with cheese, chives, salsa, and sour cream and had them with a fake Italian sausage.

bakedpotatoesI’ve made 8 more holiday cards. I also came up with a logo for the back of my cards.  I’ll post it later once all the cards are finished.  I’ve got 6 more to make.  Then I’ll have to make envelopes and add inserts to write on.  I’m enlisting the husband to do the inside calligraphy.

xmas4xmas3xmas5xmas6I’m really pleased with all of the card so far.  It’s amazing what a girl can do with a little spray adhesive, a 4 dollar pad of paper, and a Cricut.

I’ve not been as diligent with my yarn crafts as I would like.  I’ve worked a little on my shawl.  My friend at work who has been letting me borrow her knitting mysteries brought me a pattern for a simple hat.  I think I’ll frog my ribbed beanie that I’ve started over three times and try it with this new pattern.  After I’m done updating here, I plan to spend some time on Ravelry, updating my finished projects, my WIPS, and my to-do list.  There’s a stack of books next to me, waiting to get cracked open and pursued so I can choose my next projects.  

Now all I have to do is finish the multitude of projects I’m already working on. . .

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Absent

It’s been an interesting school year so far.  I’m exhausted and feel like I’m on a roller coaster.  One day is amazing and the next is horrible.  I took Friday off to clear my head and rest my nerves.  I feel way better, so I thought I’d come here to to update.

I’m trying to get back into exercising more frequently.  When I do that I tend to cook more often, or rather plan meals to be cooked.  My husband and I have a sort of unspoken argeement that the person who gets home first makes dinner.  Recently, that has been him, because I’m up to my neck in meetings and paperwork.  When I’m trying a new recipe, though I’m eager to come home and cook. We’ve been eating go-to meals for a few weeks now, waiting for things to settle down- spaghetti, veggie burgers, etc.  This week we bought garlic naan at Trader Joe’s to make with those vacuum sealed Indian curries.  The next day my honey made veggie meatball subs on garlic naan.  The bread was chewy and yummy and delicious! I couldn’t resist taking a bite before getting the camera!

meatballnaanI’ve been yearning for autumn weather for a while now.  It’s hard to be thinking Thanksgiving when it’s mid-80s outside.  I’m not complaining, just wishing for a little cool down.  Since this weekend was forecasted to be cooler (mid 70s), I broke out the crock pot today and made potato soup from The Simple LIttle Vegan Slow Cooker cookbook. I stirred in some colby-jack cheese when I served it (so much for vegan) and had a veggie Italian sausage and green beans with it.

tatersoupFor lunches I’ve been having chickenless nuggets, apple slices and grapes, vegan chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s, pita chips, a hard boiled egg, and string cheese. I don’t eat it all at once. It’s spread through the day- snack, lunch, after school snack.

nuggetbentoI’m still reading the Wind-Up Bird Chronicles.  I’m about half way through and I still love it.  I highly recommend it! I’m also still reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  I haven’t gotten too far in it, because I took a break to read a knitting mystery that I borrowed from a colleague.  That’s right, a knitting mystery. It was simple, and quick, and made me want to knit.  It was particularly interesting or well-written, but it’s the first in the series and I’ve already started the second one, so I guess I got suckered.

knit_160bI’ve also been spending a lot of time playing Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir on my Nintendo DS.  It’s a hidden picture game.  I’m totally addicted. I could play for hours at a time. My honey brought it home for me because I loved Professor Layton and the Curious Village so much.

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Today I worked on my holiday cards.  Since we’re looking at moving in a few months, my husband and I are sending homemade Christmas cards out as gifts, rather than getting anyone anything.  Just sending our love through time spent on crafting.  Here are the first four I came up with with a little help from scrapbooking paper, charms from the dollar store, and spray adhesive from the Japanese market.

xmas1xmas2I spent a good part of the morning updating my ravelry account.  I’m not even close to filling out all my projects, WIPS, ideas, and stashes, but I added a few things, including my finished Windy City Scarf! I love finishing knitting projects.  They just go so slow, it feels like a big deal to finish something!

windy1I’ve also made some progress on my shawl. It’s increasing pretty quickly. I’m not sure how long I’ll make it. I bought enough yarn to make it LARGE, maybe it’ll be more of a throw.

knitshawl2I’ve been doing a little crocheting this weekend, as well.  We’re currently obsessing over the TV show Jericho. We’ve had it on DVD for a long time and never watched it.  We started it a few days ago, after finishing Painkiller Jane. So I’ve been trying to crochet during the new box set, but it’s one of the few shows that I’ve seen recently that has kept my attention. 

I haven’t cross-stitched or embroidered in a while, but I never posted my most recent pics of the big cross-stitch project. It’s starting to look really nice, but I’m out of practice with counting my stitches and the last time I sat down to work on it, I made a ton of mistakes.

xstitchI’m still working on my ribbed knitted hat.  I started it over and made the rib smaller. But I think my focus for the next few weeks will be crocheting and making cards.

Next post will be after Thanksgiving, so have a happy holiday. I hope you get to spend time with family and friends and delicious food.

 

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Catch Up- Ketchup- Catsup

Hi!  I’m back from vacation with a few things to show you.  I didn’t get much crafting done, because I pretty much just sat around and ate cheese and drank beer and homemade wine. Tough life, huh?

I did want to post some pictures of cards I made before I left and an embroidery gift I finished the night before flying out.

This is the card I made for my mom’s birthday.  It’s my first counted cross-stitch project.  I bought the tri-fold card in Solvang when we went wine tasting. I colored the outside to look like a wooden frame (it didn’t really, but that was the idea).  I loved doing this project, I really enjoy cross-stitch.  When we were in Wisconsin I got to see a bunch of amazing projects my mother-in-law has done- teeny tiny canvases with elaborate angels and backgrounds.  SO cool. But here’s mine and maybe someday I’ll be as good as her.

I made this card for Maggie to celebrate her finding the Tiniest Studio Ever ™ in Berkeley and the Card Positioning Template that inspired it.

 


And this card for my friend Raina (sent with cookies and a book).

Also for Raina and her husband, who just bought a house, I’m making these embroidered place mats.  these two are finished with just small birds in the corners.  I’m planning two more with a larger lovebird scene in the middle.  The pattern is from the Sublime Sketch Pad that I mentioned in my last post.

For my birthday, my in-laws gave me two crochet sets.  I made this star pot holder in one evening while watching the Olympics.

They also bought me a set to make a star shaped baby blanket that has one color fading into another.  It’s a beautiful project- my mother-in-law got herself one and finished it while we were there.  It will take me months! I worked more on my blue baby blanket and it almost done! I also started another project, but I can’t show that until December.

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Sands Through an Hourglass

Summer is slowly slipping away from me. I know because rather than crafting, I’ve been planning for the start of school.  On Wednesday, Hubby and I fly to Wisconsin, where I thought I’d have copious amounts of crafting and reading hours. From recent talks with the in-laws, we’re learning about all kinds of plans that have been made for us. I’m sure I’ll fit in some crochet, cross-stitch and reading somewhere, though!

I’m up to 23 small circles for the Galaxy top, but I need more yarn to keep going.  I finished off the first skein for my blue baby blanket, so it’s about half way done.

I made a card for my dad’s birthday from a template from Card Positioning Systems.

This week we’ve had some yummy dinners, courtesy of various magazine recipes.  One was breakfast pizza from Family Circle. As you may know from reading this blog, we’re big fans of breakfast for dinner in my house. I used veggie sausage and added chopped onion and pepper from the farmer’s market. Otherwise, it’s reduced fat crescent roll dough, with shredded hash browns, 3 eggs scrambled and some cheese. It was tasty.

Also from Family Circle, I made corn fritters. I’ve never fried anything before in that much oil, except when I was a kid and my mom used the fry baby. But wow! Now I get why Americans are so obsessed with fried food! We served the fritters with a salad, as if that would off set the fried yumminess.

 

Then last night I made a Korean BBQ marinade from Vegetarian Times for some tofu.  The recipe called for 6 cloves of garlic. I put in 5, and the house still smells like garlic. It was tasty, though.  I used garlic and pepper flavored tofu because the store was out of extra firm. I sliced it and froze it and made the marinade.  When the marinade cooled I let the tofu sit in it for 30 minutes.  Then I seared it over high heat and we served itwith our left over salad. The tofu tuned out so delicious, I had two slices and Chris polished off the rest (yes, my meat and cheese husband ate 3/4 of a brick of tofu).

 

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Sushi Pack

I think I’ll start with crafts.

I’ve made a commitment to finish 5 rows each day on my blue blanket.  This lasted for one day. Then I didn’t do it yesterday, so I may have to do 10 rows today to keep up.  We’ll see!

I started the Galaxy top that I’ve been so excited about.  And when I say I started it, I mean I crocheted 5 of the 60 or so pieces needed.  Here are those pieces with the shirt.  I think you’ll be seeing a lot of the progress of this shirt.

I also decorated another planner.  This one I found at Target for a dollar.  They had a whole bin of teacher planners and record books, with the wrong covers.  The lesson plan book had a cover that said “Record Keeper” so they were all only a dollar.  I knew I’d be using my Cricut to rescue THAT.

The different papers are all glittery and foil embossed.  They were part of the big trip to Joann’s a few weeks ago.

In book news, I finished Malinche and Taxonomy of Barnacles, which I realized I never summarized. It’s broken into two parts- nature and nurture.  It follows a family of 6 daughters, all with B-names, as they attempt to win their father’s money by making a lasting name for their family. Hilarity ensues.  It wasn’t great. but it was okay. Malinche was also okay.  Esquivel’s beautiful writing definitely saved the plot.

I began Julie and Julia and love it so far.  I think she’s brilliantly funny and real.  So much of what she writes are one liners that have run through my own head.  I love the side story about the Joy of Sex and that it all started as a blog.

Middlesex is waiting patiently on the end table.  I feel like that might be a book I have to give my full attention, so I’m planning to finish Julie and Julia today and move on to Middlesex tomorrow. I know I’m reading all these books that were hyped so long ago, but who can keep up?

My husband helped with dinner last night.  He’s quite the sushi roller.  When we lived in Arizona, our neighbor was married to a Japanese woman, who would invite us for dinner and teach us how to cook Japanese food.  From her we learned about rice vinegar, Japanese curry, and the love of mayonnaise and sweet red bean desserts. At the farmer’s market and Japanese market I picked up shiitakes, cucumbers, avocados, and nori. I had mine with a soy ginger sauce from Whole Foods and a little wasabi.  Chris is a purist and goes straight soy sauce and lots of wasabi. We paired it with my favorite wine, guwertzraminer.  This one I picked up at Firestone in Los Olivos. Oh! The chopsticks are very special. Chris’s sister was in the military and was stationed in Okinawa.  Chris wanted real chopsticks with an interesting design.  So she sent us lovely enamel chopsticks with naked women. It’s a treat to eat sushi at our house!

All that yumminess got me craving inari, so made myself a nice little Japanese lunch today to follow up. Soba and brown rice inari, miso soup, and dried okra…that’s right dried okra.  Remember my dried mushrooms?  Same thing- dehydrated okra with seasoning. So weird and so delicious.

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Cricuts, Buffalos, and Comics

A few months ago my mom sent me this machine called the Cricut.  It’s kind of like a die-cutter, but MUCH fancier and easy to use.  I had seen them on infomercials and had not really thought twice about them.  My mom is also a teacher, and someone she works with has one at school and the teachers love it for making posters and bulletin boards and such.  So when she found a really good deal on one, she sent it to me.  She knows I teach at a school where we don’t put up store bought posters and things and she thought it would help out a lot.  i had kept it in the box until last week.  I was hesitant, because I’m not a scrapbooker  and wasn’t sure how much work I was willing to put into paper crafts. Well, the husband and I picked up the house and since I had room to play with it, I broke the Cricut out of its box and made my first project.  It’s not very elaborate and took me forever to make as I was playing around, getting to know the machine. It totally sparked my creativity and I began planning other things I could make and design. So, here it is, a thank you card for my mom- Thanks for adding yet another craft obsession to my growing repertoire!

After I played with the Cricut, I sat down to read the first Kabuki graphic novel, by David Mack. It’s a collection of the first six comics, plus the single run of the prologue to the comic.  It focuses on a woman in Kyoto, whose mother was an Ainu comfort woman during WW2.  She performed Kabuki theater foe the general, who took pity on her.  His son raped and killed her in jealousy.  The attack spawned the main character, Kabuki, who the general remade in her mother’s image and trained as a martial arts and weapons expert.  Kabuki, along with other female assassins works to rid Japan of the mob boss Yakuza.  The art is gorgeous and the story is interesting enough.  I plan to get the rest of the rest of the series.  The way David Mack changes artistic styles throughout the book to match the story line is fantastic.  There are a number of pages that I would love to find prints of.  So, for a change of pace, try a graphic novel and support your local comic shops.

And lastly, I had a huge breakfast yesterday and was no where near hungry until around 5pm.  Reheated huevos rancheros seemed way too heavy, so I threw the last remnants of the the farmers market (lettuce, carrots, heirloom tomato, avocado) together in a salad and topped it with chopped veggie buffalo wings and Ken’s lite Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing.

I also worked on my blanket.  I think you’ll be seeing the finished product very soon. Don’t you love productive weekends?

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