Archive for June, 2010


Umm, ya’ll, forget the bubble gum. Apparently, I am unable to walk and *talk* at the same time. I sprained my ankle today gabbing with my 6 year old as we headed to the car! Times like this, I wish I had one of those new electronic cigarettes. Since I never smoke inside, it’s a hobbly habit for me!

On the bright side, I can’t do much standing, so perhaps there will be knitting in my immediate future! I’m still enjoying the clapotis, and if I sit directly over the air conditioning vent, I may just be able to work on it awhile. Good grief, it’s HOT!

Chic and Simple Sewing

Chic   Simple SewingSometimes, you have to step back a little bit from personal experience and evaluate a book on it’s own merits. I have in front of me just such a book in Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes.

This book is a great introduction to basic sewing techniques. The garments are trendy and sassy without being overly complicated. There is plenty of discussion about choosing prints and textures to make harmonious garments that flatter almost every body type. There are great explanations of basic tools and tips on setting up a sewing are. And there is a little envelope in the front to hold all the patterns. You could, by using a few of the variation tips, build a pretty complete wardrobe using this book, and the purchase price is well below what it would cost to buy so many patterns in the fabric store. In short, I would be very comfortable handing this book to one of my teenage daughters and saying, “Let me know if you need any help.”

That said, there’s not a whole lot in here that I would make for myself. The patterns are young and breezy, and while that’s not a bad thing, it’s also not necessarily my basic style. And at this point in my crafting career, I am generally looking for something at least marginally challenging. If you’ve put together several Daisy Kingdom designs, as I have, then this book is liable to leave you asking “and?” as it does me.

OTOH, since few of my clothes fit properly anymore since I’ve lost weight, I might press the book into service just so I can clothe myself quickly and easily. Efficient does have it’s place, after all!

And that wraps another book review. It’s a craft blog, were you expecting acne treatment reviews?

Digital and Physical Keepsakes

Here is another guest post on storing your digital photos. This author recommends FaceBook for storage. Have you used it that way? I’ve lifted photos of friends from there, but never really considered for storage of my own pics.

This is a guest post by Eryn Vaun

Photos are very important keepsakes that I don’t want to lose if my computer goes down. I take a lot of pictures of my daughters. I then use my hughesnet Clinton LA to post them to facebook. I also post a few on snapfish to order copies of them for myself. Snapfish saves them on the site and then I can order them as pictures. You can also order the pictures on a mug or similar item if you want for a gift.

Facebook is where I keep most of my pictures. By posting them on here, I can keep track of them and look at them anytime I want to see them again. It is also a great way to keep them in case my computer ever crashes. They will be saved there and I can download them again for myself.

I love having the pictures up on social networks because my family can see them. My parents are able to save copies for themselves and see new pictures of the girls that I take with the camera. It is a great way to share them with the other important people in our lives.

Dessert Fourplay

Today, I am drooling over Dessert FourPlay Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef by Johnny Iuzzini and Roy Finamore. Just the cover, with it’s lucious delicacies and that handsome face could do a girl in, before she ever opened the book. Just sayin’ Dare to open it, though, and the problem just gets worse!!

9780307351371 So here’s the premise: instead of one large dessert, Johnny gives you recipes for four complementary desserts which are meant to be served together in smaller portions. Now, I am going to tell you straight, the play on words in this book’s title is well earned. For a foodie, looking at the array of possibilities here is gastro-orgasmic. Let me give you an example–he has a section on strawberry and rhubarb and it includes strawberry-rhubarb consomme, fromage blanc panna cotta, pink peppercorn meringues with white chocolate ice cream and rhubarb sorbet, and rhubarb flan tarts.

And, uh, did you know you can make dessert from tomatoes? Yeah, you can, combined with figs and and cherries!

The book is broken down into five chapters: one for each season and then chocolate. Each chapter contains three fourplays. In the back is an extensive section of recipes for sorbets and cakes and cookies and such, which can be served with the recipes in the fourplays, or stand alone, or be used as he suggests for garnishes and extras and such.

The thing that makes this book so very dangerous, though, is the pictures. I mean, if were just a pictureless book of recipes, I’d be safe, but the pictures, they are all so luscious looking and the presentations are so lovely that I have invited a friend over to cook with me. That could be interesting indeed!

Canadian Search Engines

Ok, this really is knitting related, so just bear with me. As you probably figured out from the picture I posted, I am knitting another Clapotis. This time, I am again using acrylic yarn, and it was so hot in my house yesterday that I was sweating on my leg where the yarn was. Also, the knitting was damp enough to squeak while I worked it. YUCK! And folks, the a/c ran all day long!! It’s crazy hot here!

Now, I read the Yarn Harlot, and I know she knits with wool year round, and yet, she complains of it being hot there. Granted not nearly as much or for nearly as long as we southern gals do, but still. How does she do it? Seriously? I mean, I am considering going to lace weight just to be able to knit, and most of my stash is already fingering weight! I guess in order to draw Canadians here to answer my questions, some search engine optimization canada might be in order. It would sure be a hoot to rank on the top couple of pages for “knitting blog” up there, now wouldn’t it? I’m pretty sure a plan like Search Engine People’s Organic Search Engine Optimization Services could help me do that. I don’t know what terms Canadian knitters search on, but I bet they do! I’m fairly sure that “hot acrylic clapotis” doesn’t top the list.

On the other hand, I might just content myself with my current standings and go drool again over the Shadow Tonal laceweight at Knitpicks. I love, love, love that Queen Anne colorway, and you know it doesn’t take much of an excuse to get me to buy yarn. Kinda like the Yarn Harlot, LOL!

A Tale of Knitting Weirdness

So, Sunday, I decided I was going to finish the little BSJ and then cast on a Clapotis. I made *knitting plans*, people. And then, like a good little knitter, I proceeded to execute them. Everything was chugging along nicely until I got up to get the buttons for my little sweater and discovered that I didn’t have any that were suitable.

I kinda had a wee knitting meltdown at that point!

Call me crazy, but it took me 20 minutes and a phone call to convince myself that it was OKAY to go ahead and wind the yarn and start the Clapotis even though the BSJ wasn’t finished if I had taken it as far as I could with what I had here at home. Because I was absolutely NOT getting dressed and driving 20 minutes one way and then agonizing over buttons and then driving back home and sewing them on on Sunday. Not. Sometimes, I think I get a little too rigid with my plans. Just sayin’

My best friend once looked at me and said, “Cass, you are a little anal.” Well, Joan, it hasn’t gotten any better, apparently. But at least now I can laugh about it. Later.

Anyway, here is the BSJ, finished except for buttons:


And here is the caston Clapotis, in shades of pink:


Now then, now that the knitting is out of the way, let’s talk about a shiny thing. That One and I always say that when we abruptly change subjects in the middle of something we really ought to be finishing a discussion on. It’s apt, because we are both easily distracted, each having a great love for the sound of our own voice. Specifically, I want to talk about how one gets ready to buy gold bullion. If you’ve done it, were you more interested in the beauty or the investment value? Did you buy coins or ingots? And did you sell it later or do you still have it? If you sold it, were you pleased with the earnings growth, or do you wish you had held it a little longer? If you haven’t sold, why not–is it because of the market, or are you holding out because you have certain plans for that money and the time is not yet right? I mean, I know it’s gorgeous, and it’s sparkly and useful for decorating one’s self with, but what else do I need to know? What’s your personal 411 regarding it?

Reducing Picture Clutter

As some of you probably know, I take a lot of pictures! I scrapbook some, but not all of them, and I am woefully behind on even that. I thought we all might gain something from this article.

Guest post from Alex Morslen

After years and years of taking pictures and getting my pictures developed I have ended up with many plastic storage bins filled with photographs and the bins are almost over flowing. It is so hard to actually organize such a large amount of photographs into albums because of the sheer amount of photographs that I have. When I found out that there were online photo sharing websites where I could upload my photos using hughs net I decided to make the change and switch over from printed photographs to the digital version. This has proven to be the best decision I have made in a while. I can archive all of the photos online so the photos do not take up too much space and if there is a really special one that I feel that I just need to have a record of I can print it out on photo paper and keep it that way. All of my friends and family can now see the photos that I take in album form on the internet so I can share them with more of the people I know without the bulk and space that physical photo albums take up. Flickr is one of the best ideas I have seen on the internet in quite a while and I thoroughly enjoy using the website.

Note to self

Dear self:

It is time to start another Clapotis. In fact you need to start two of them. In shades of pink. For the purpose of the one you have already made. You need to so this as soon as you finish the BSJ. Unless, of course, you have already done it by the time this post auto publishes on Monday.

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