Archive for June, 2010

Wrapped in Gems by Mai Sato-Flores with Jesse Flores

When all else fails, grab a book! In truth, I would much rather be talking about something crafty today, but I haven’t done a single creative thing since last we spoke. I plan to change that tomorrow afternoon, but until then I really need something to say, so……….

Wrapped in Gems Let’s pull out Wrapped in Gems. The first thing I have to say about this book is that it is simply beautiful. That shouldn’t be very surprising, given the title, but there are some truly stunning pictures in here. Secondly, the book intimidates me. I don’t think I am nearly skilled enough to be working with real stones. Which doesn’t mean that I can’t practice some of these designs with glass stones, while I build my skills!!

One thing I really liked about the book is the explanation of the different stones in the front. For example, did you know that a ruby is a red sapphire? That one and the pink-orange padparadscha are the only ones with separate names, all other colors are just referred to as sapphires.

In the back, you’ll find a tool glossary and all in between you will find patterns and techniques. Since I was beginning to explore wire wrapping when I packed my bead stuff away, this book really appeals to me. Definitely an inspiration to pull out my toys and play a bit. But I must chisel out some space in this crowded house first, LOL! I like to work on beading with all my stuff spread around me :mrgreen:

Book Review: Robin Rescues Dinner by Robin Miller

So, I think I may have shared here, but maybe not, that I am not doing a whole lot of cooking these days. I mean, it’s not like I need a Garmin GPS to navigate my kitchen, but with me working now, and three other people in the house who are capable of putting a meal on the table, I have slacked off a bit. OTOH, I am still on the lookout for new recipes, because I like to learn new techniques, and also, they think Hamburger Helper is an adequate meal, which it is occasionally, but not every day. I’m thinking this book will be a big help in that regard.

First, the recipes are fairly simple. Second, they are mostly quick to prep and cook. Third, they rely on ingredients that are actually available here in BittyBurg. Robin Rescues Dinner is a clear winner in these three areas. We’ll probably be cooking our way through it, at least partially. There are lots of full color pictures, and each week of recipes begins with an optional prep session that you can do to help save even more time during the week. There are also hints on cooking a bit extra of this or that ingredient to use in other recipes for other weeks, and tips on how to use leftovers in the same way.

I just have one complaint about this book and it is relatively minor and petty. The cover says that there are over 350 recipes in the book. Being a great mathematician, when I picked it up, I expected to find seven dinners times 52 weeks. No, not so much. What we do get is three great looking main dishes, and some sides to go with them. It’s all good, just not what I expected. OTOH, I wouldn’t be as likely to actually cook my way through the book if it told me what to cook every. single. night.

All that said, you could easily use this book, and the week or so of menus in every month of Rachel Raye’s magazine to cook for a full year and never have to come up with a single idea of you own. Or eat Hamburger Helper more than once a month 😉 That’s a winner, ladies!

Has anyone seen my mojo?

Wow, how many bloggers have said THAT in the past 24 hours alone? But mine has gone missing, and today, I am setting about to reclaim it. I’ve been muddling along okay with the blogging, but the knitting is faltering. I’m just tired. Or hot. Or distracted. Or not able to count. MOJO, COME BACK! I swear, one day, I shall have to get a d-o-g and name him Mojo, just so I have something that will obey when I say that.

Anyway, because I have learned over the years to eat and elephant one small bite at a time, I finally managed today to pin the sleeves on the BSJ. I am not sure why this particular project is a holdup for me. I’ve made several of them, and I know that the sleeves are slightly aggravating, but not difficult by any means. I’m giving this one as a baby gift, but I know the lady I am presenting it to will love it, so………? Yeah, I dunno either. But here is a picture of the one side, all ready to seam. The other one looks very similar, which I suppose is a good thing, right?

IMG00078 20100617 1833

BTW, I am not waiting for the baby shower invitations to go out. She’ll get it as soon as it’s washed and blocked, along with the matching hat. The baby is coming in September and I am estimating this is about a size 6 months, so it should be just right for cooler weather.

And, oh yeah, please excuse the crappy cell phone picture. SOMEONE thinks my camera belongs to them.

So, this morning

So, this morning, I knew it was time to put my “back to home” plan in to action. I started by the tabs I have had open in Firefox for over a week. Well, actually, I started by playing Frontierville on facebook, but that is neither here nor there, unless you want to add me as a neighbor, which would be awesome. I also play Farmville, for the record. Anyway! Two of the tabs had to do with freelancing, and two had to do with life lists. And I made one. A life list, I mean. There are some crafty items on it, but since it is not a *mostly* crafty list, I am going to be posting it over on my personal blog. It will be my reward for actually doing the stuff I was supposed to do today, and would have finished hours ago, if I hadn’t gotten side tracked. Several times.

If you haven’t heard of a life list, I recommend you check out the links above to see what I am talking about. After all, it’s like giving yourself one of those personalized gifts, except it’s free. Well, the writing is free, but some of the stuff will likely cost you a penny or eight. But you are worth it, aren’t you?

Back soon with actual knitting.

Gullah Gullah Island

This is a guest post by Christine Duda

Want a television show that makes your children more accepting of other cultures in the world? Then I highly recommend “Gullah Gullah Island” for your enjoyment. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching “Gullah Gullah Island” with my own children on our direct tv Mississippi. This show is inspiring for its use of a variety of educational tools and ability to combine educational value with a bit of entertainment value.

I think this show is great for children with an interest in art. It truly encourages the creativity of children and motivates them to excel in whatever they do. I think this show is great for the way it exposes them to other world cultures as well.

In one episode I watched with my children, they were able to learn the craft of bead making. The show depicted the way beads are created from start to finish and was truly fascinating. While I don’t expect my children to someday be bead makers, I do expect that they will value the hard work of other people. I think they also learned how to appreciate true craftsmanship and originality from this episode. The show made my children work harder in their own endeavors and work to do an excellent job in being open to new ideas. I really enjoy watching Gullah Gullah Island with my kids and think you will too!

Little Bitty Baby Steps

So, no, I haven’t knitted yet. But I did stop by Walgreens today. I needed some hair mousse, which they didn’t have. I’m assuming that, like all other hair products I have loved, this one has been discontinued. I did buy something, though. Nope, not acnepril. I saw a pack of those itty bitty jaw clips that I talked about in my last post, and so I bought them. Look out, BSJ, your time is very, very near.

I’ve also been thinking about Hocks. It’s been stored in the top of my closet for some time now, and I was considering if maybe I wanted to take it down again and maybe move it to the living room. It’s interesting enough to keep me intrigued, but not so complex that I can’t watch tv or talk with the kids while I work on it. And it is also like a majorly old UFO. Like, a couple of years now, I think.


That’s me the last few days. It seems like I have been constantly jumping from one blaze to another, trying to put things out before they just explode. I lost my asbestos under-roos, too! Ok, it’s not as bad as all that, but I am caught in that cycle where the stuff you have to do expands exponentially to occupy every available moment. I know you know what I mean, because it happens to all of us.

So, it’s Wednesday. And I haven’t done a crafty thing in over a week. Though I did manage to cook yesterday between appointments. But I am purposing now to get in some quality time with some fiber-y thing by Sunday evening. Which may prove tricky since I have a full day today, work and a cake to bake tomorrow, work and a party to throw on Friday and work on Saturday. If my free time had life insurance, I’d be cashing it in about now. Not that I should complain, because I like cooking and the party is for ME!

Anyway, I saw an idea the other day for using those tiny jaw clips like you use for hair to hold the seams of garments together, and since the next thing is the seams on BSJ, and part of the reason I haven’t done it is because that always aggravates me, I am going to pick some up today. I’ll let you know how it works. Soon. And this time I mean it.


No plan yet. I have spent the day blogging, and discussing the plumbing, the fam, the increasing largeness of my hair without water and what’s for dinner. The plumbing should be good to go tonight, the fam is what the fam is, the hair still needs wetting and pizza is for dinner.

Oh, and I knit a little bit on a hat. So, I still need to figure out about the yarn thing, and I also need to get my UFOs to a place where I can talk on the phone/watch a movie while I work on them. Or just start another new something….. which would be akin to taking the best prenatal vitamins during menopause. That’s how badly I need another knitting project right now!

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