Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sweet 'n Knit

There was knitting, sweets, and holiday cheer at Chez Arrow this weekend...the December Sit 'n Knit was a sweet exchange as well, but as soon as guests arrived, I forgot to take out the camera...so no pictures of the gingerbread peoples, toffee grahams, cranberry muffins, pretty sugar cookies, mocha cookies, and other delectable treats.

Here are the party favors...mitten clip magnets, candy cane knitting needles, and sock point protectors...with pom-poms!

Party favors

I made chocolate cupcakes, with a bit of mint in the chocolate ganache frosting.

Candy cane cupcakes

And peppermint bark, with an additional layer of dark chocolate beneath the white.

Peppermint bark

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Bit-o-craft

What a lovely weekend...it just flew by! Dan and I went to our first holiday party of the season, so I made a set of wine charms for the hostess. I also made a set for Dan's sister-in-law, whose birthday we celebrated on Saturday...it was also his mother's birthday...lots of festivities!

Wine charms and coasters

The origami coasters will be part of a Christmas present, I think. I am limiting myself to a few simple crafts that are easy on the hands...how I wish I could knit!

On Sunday we went to the zoo with friends, where we saw reindeer! I like the giraffes...we saw one lower itself down to get a drink of water, and another chewing the leaves and bark from a branch.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Tidbits

Dan made rice pudding on St. Nicholas day. Yummy! No marzipan pig though. Since there is no photo of the rice pudding, how about Santa Paws yawning?

Santa Paws yawns

Make your own penguin! We finally watched March of the Penguins.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

St. Nicholas Day

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas, and I found a plate of lovely cookies this morning. Plus breakfast yummies and little oranges.

Goodies from St. Nicholas

It seems Sinterklaas is also a fan of Tartine Bakery, or at least knew that I am...hm...or perhaps it was Santa Paws?

Santa Paws curled up by the tree
Santa Paws in repose by the Christmas tree

Via not martha: 2005 advent calendar from Leslie Harpold Presents! Make St. Nicholas Bread or try some decorations...a new surprise each day!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Cupcake surprise

Joanne came over last night with a most exciting surprise...cupcake presents! It was as if Christmas had come early...I could barely contain my excitement....she gave me a cupcake pouch, a cupcake doorknob hanger that says "Cupcake sleeps here" and warm fuzzy cupcake slippers...thanks Joanne!

Cupcake goodies

In other (not-so-good) news, I am on a knitting hiatus to rest the hands. So I guess I'll be doing some holiday shopping in the coming weeks, since the handmade gifts I was planning to make may not work out...wahh!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Crochet-me-not

The first Sweet Mary Jane is nearly complete, but the awful lumpy strap is further evidence that I am still struggling mightily with the hook-and-loop...crochet...will I ever learn to do it properly? Of course, using yarn that varies in thickness probably didn't help matters.

Sweet Mary Jane

I did not attach the strap to the slipper yet...how do I crochet them together? Help! Crochet struggles aside, the slipper was fun to knit, and I look forward to stitching the second one after I finish holiday knitting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Holly days

Due to a last minute change of plans, Dan and I spent Thanksgiving in the city. My family came over for barbequed turkey...it was yummy! Dan also made roasted sweet potato cheesecake, and I made pecan pie. My mother brought sticky rice stuffing. We did not have Brussels sprouts, but over the weekend we went to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and I got this!

Brussel sprouts

So we had some roasted sprouts the other night. Didn't do much knitting over the weekend...to give my wrists a little rest...but I did make a few pom poms.

Pom poms

And Arrow sunbathed...

Sunbathing

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pink and felted

It is still unseasonablely warm in San Francisco, and yet I have been fighting a bug for nearly a week now...argh!

But I have been knitting. On Sunday I made turkey cupcakes for the monthly nosh 'n knit. (Where again, like a fool, I forgot to take pictures.)

Turkey cupcakes

I actually spent the entire time unknitting horribly obvious mistakes on my Sweet Mary Jane. I think I'm back on the row where I bound off and start to knit back and forth...I hope so, anyway! I am using Lamb's Pride Worsted in Old Sage.

Sweet Mary Jane in progress

And I finally finished the Sophie bag...yes, the one I started in August. I didn't keep track of rows properly when knitting the bottom, so the sides are bigger, and the handles are thicker, but I do like the way it turned out. I added a button flower pin to offset the pinkness. Why did I choose pink??

Pink and felted

Friday, November 18, 2005

Blogging by Mail 3

I participated in my first blog swap, Blogging by Mail 3 hosted by Cathy, and received the most amazing package from Vivian all the way from London! The theme was Home for the Holidays, and she sent all sorts of goodies for a traditional English Christmas.

Blogging By Mail 3 -- Home for the Holidays

She also made wonderfully rich and crumbly shortbread, which Dan and I finished off pretty quickly.

Shortbread

And the food section of her local paper, a Marks & Spencer catalogue, and a little book about London.

BBM3-London

So thoughtful and generous -- thank you Vivian! And after seeing some of the regional yummies that others included in their packages, I felt quite silly for not thinking to put some extra San Francisco items in the package I sent to my partner...hmm...perhaps a sequel to BBM3 might be in order...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Baby knits & soccer cupcakes

Although I am without camera, my sister -- thanks Katie! -- took these photos before the items were gifted at Peanut's baby shower on Sunday. Knitting baby items is rather satisfying since I actually am able to finish them!

One-hour booties

First pair of booties, from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation...took me over an hour, but still pretty quick...I can't crochet to save my life though...the straps are just chain stitch, but my tension is all wonky...probably am not holding the hook and/or yarn properly. First time knitting with Lamb's Pride...exciting discovery, as the yarn comes in so many lovely colors...the green is a new one called Pistachio. Yum.

Two baby hats

More baby hats...on the left is yet another Cascade Fixation stretchy cotton hat...on the right is Rowan Soft Baby, and I used the pom-pom maker...very fun!

Soccer cupcakes

And finally, look at this soccer cupcake compilation! I didn't get to see it in person, but Dan's sister Cecilia sent the photo, and I had to share the brilliant use of cupcakery.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Food for thought

I've noticed a trend in knitted (and crochet) foods lately...or maybe it's just because I love food and yarn and am drawn to both?

Some evidence:

And there's even a knitted digestive system...yech! Strange, but impressive.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Works in progress

The camera is at the shop, so no photos...but, I have many works in progress! Mostly gifts-to-be, if successfully completed...yes, holiday knitting has begun! So even when the camera returns, photos may be delayed...

On the needles:
  • Started a scarf with green Malabrigo...I taught myself a new stitch pattern!
  • Another (neglected) scarf in Rowan Chunky Print is waiting to be finished
  • A couple of baby items in various stages, one in Rowan Soft Baby...so soft!
  • Ready to start the handles on the accidentally-too-big Sophie bag, after getting help from the nice folks at Imagiknit

Thinking about...



So it's definitely time for another Sit 'n Knit (aka Nosh 'n Knit)! Hopefully this beagle will stay out of the yarn...

Arrow with hat

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Halloween mini-break

We took a mini-break to Carmel-By-The-Sea over the weekend. Arrow met two beagles at Asilomar, where we picnicked and went tidepooling. She also got to run along the white sands of Carmel Beach, dine at dog-friendly restaurants, and visit several galleries. We hiked at Garland Ranch Park in Carmel Valley, visited the mission, and I saw monarch butterflies at the sanctuary in Pacific Grove.

Beagles in the sand pit
Lots more pictures on Flickr

I also knitted and got some new yarn at Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove.

Biggy print close-up
Mermaid scarf

Quick scarf:
2 skeins Rowan Biggy Print, in a lovely new color called mermaid
US 19 needles
- Cast on 8 stitches
- Knit one, purl one
- Bind off and weave in ends
- Yay, all finished

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mock apple pie

While researching field trip ideas and trolling for science fair resources, I happened upon the mock apple pie via the Exploratorium Science of Cooking.



Kraft also lists the recipe, and the mock apple pie is tested against real apple pies in this experiment. Intriguing. Has anyone tried it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Nosh 'n knit, with beagle

Chez Arrow was the venue for some stitching and cupcakes this weekend...the beagle went after a few skeins of yarn, but was reprimanded and most wool was left unscathed...she is a yarn hound...I was so caught up in everyone's knitting projects that I forgot to take photos!

Pumpkin cupcakes

Sunday was Farm Day at Terra Firma Farms, our CSA that provides yummy organic produce each week. We went on a hay ride, picked strawberries and tomatoes, and Arrow met resident farm pooch Lulu. My camera stopped working midway through the visit, but there are a few shots on Flickr.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ribbon belt

Made this two-sided ribbon belt for a friend's upcoming birthday...I glued the two ribbons together, then sewed the ends. Unfortunately, the glue is visible on the polka dot side. I hope she does not mind too much.

Ribbon belt

Thimble posted a complilation of projects for her blogoversary, one of which is the yummy tofu salad that Dan and I love. We eat it all the time, though I use zaatar instead of five spice powder. Hm...might make it tomorrow...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Apple Hill

We went to Apple Hill this weekend...ate fresh, hot apple doughnuts at two orchards, drank apple cider, got some Pink Lady and Matsu apples, and picked a pumpkin! And we saw a rainbow.

Rainbow over the barn

Arrow drooled all over the place on the way there, but no leaky faucet on the drive home yesterday. We're hoping she is used to traveling by car now.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tasters

Tee hee hee...from Rhymes With Orange



Sometimes there is a shoe missing from the shoe rack when I get home from work... it is then found amongst the beagle's toys...Arrow has been tasting while we're away! (Luckily she has been a gentle taster thus far.)

A whole different kind of shoe that can wreak havoc on the morning commute....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fall fun

Went to the Filoli Harvest Festival on Saturday and sampled many varieties of grapes, apples, and pears...even quince. Lots of dahlias in bloom, and bees a-buzzin'...

Dahlia with bee

I also finished a second baby hat....same pattern, but in a green, lavender and pink yarn. (I forgot to take a photo before giving it to baby Carina.) On Sunday Dan and I visited the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park...we liked the new space and viewed part of the collection...then we went up the tower to admire the views.

I went to Britex on Monday, and there was a sale! Luckily I only had a bit of time and limited myself to a few ribbons and fabrics...am working on a belt that I hope to finish soon...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Saint Francis Day

On Sunday we took Arrow to Duboce Park for the blessing of the animals. Pastors from the self-described "radical" Lutheran church around the corner were there in honor of Saint Francis Day, who is also the namesake of our city. The beagle proceeded to eat mud after being blessed.

After a low-morale Monday, Dan took me to a new-ish pizza spot in the neighborhood, Delfina Pizzeria. Even after yummy figs and cheese, clam pie, and broccoli rabe calzone, I still felt like quitting my job. Wahh!

See many dishtowel aprons in the September Tie One On gallery.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Nervous traveler

Arrow drools a lot in the car. Her mouth becomes a leaky faucet. See the many towels being used to catch the leakiness in this photo that Andy took on the way to the Blockhead Party.


The towels are soaked...eww!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Summer in autumn

It seems the late summer weather has finally arrived...it was a beautiful weekend around the San Francisco Bay. Arrow and I went with my parents and visiting aunt to Sausalito. My aunt was quite fascinated by the balancing rock sculptures.



We also walked partway across the Golden Gate Bridge. Arrow seemed a bit nervous and kept sniffing along the rails. On Sunday we went to the Blockhead Party in Santa Rosa! More photos here of a few Charlie Brown statues...there were 55 of them! And I made raspberry nibby muffins, with pumpkin liners.


Next time, pumpkin muffins!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Tie one on

Behold: a dishtowel apron for Tie One On...the pretty dishtowel is from my friend Cheya, and the idea from an old issue of Real Simple. I sewed on two buttons and tied ribbon to each...wrap the ribbon around your waist, and voila, a lovely hostess apron!



Detail of the button and ribbon, which seems to be fraying already!




Thursday, September 22, 2005

Dog Lover's Companion...munch munch

We're thinking of taking a mini-break in October, so Arrow and I went to the bookstore and got The Dog Lover's Companion to California. I was flipping through it last night, then left the book on the couch when I went to brush my teeth. A few minutes later I discovered pieces of the book cover chewed off...argh...the irony!

Oscar of ljc had pupcakes for his birthday...maybe we'll make them for Arrow next year! Anyway, my next post will be crafty. I have aprons on the brain.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Birthday beagle

Last week was Arrow's second birthday, so she got a mini cupcake from Babies. She seemed to enjoy it, although at first she was more interested in the wrapper than the treat itself.

Over the weekend we also went to Hog Island Oyster Company, up in Tomales Bay, and for a hike with my family in Los Gatos. Arrow went swimming in the reservoir! More photos here.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sunbathing

This is quickly becoming a beagle blog! Yesterday we ran into a couple of beagles on our walk...and learned about a Beaglefest coming up next month in Sausalito...hm...

Shadowy picture of Arrow sunbathing...more photos here

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pooch walk

Arrow chewed up my bamboo knitting needles and tangled several skeins of yarn, so I decided to enlist the services of a dogwalker a couple of days a week while I am at school. Not just any dogwalker, but Julia of Dogwalks.com, who used to take Harley out for playgroups. She sent me this great photo of my little guy from way back when. He was such a cutie!



I hope Arrow enjoys her first day as much as he did!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Photo Friday

I think today is the grand opening of Octavia Boulevard...Arrow and I saw a news crew during our morning walk to Hayes Green. Go see the temple sculpture while you can! Not sure how long it will be here.

Also, I finally uploaded photos from travels to Japan and China, the Straus Dairy tour, and the surprise 20-10.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Speaking out, helping out

MoveOn is organizing a Don't Blame the Victims, Get to Work petition. Here is a timeline of events, and here are ways to help.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Meet Arrow

We adopted her through Northern California Beagle Rescue.

She's a real sweetie. Will be taking lots of pictures.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Terra Firma

The latest news:

  1. School has started! It looks to be a good year...I hope...
  2. We love our weekly box of organic produce directly from the farm. Yum! We are thinking of upgrading to a large box. Terra Firma includes a recipe each week too, and the ones we've tried so far have been very tasty.
  3. Crafters United has set up a shop for the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund.
  4. We adopted a dog. Hope to post a photo tomorrow!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Surprise

Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate my 20-10! I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends...all the planning and hiding of shoes to surprise me! Will post photos when (if) my computer recovers...it stopped starting up again. I am blogging from the library!

And much overdue, here is Don Don the dog lamp modeling my first knit hat. I finally sent the hat last week to Veronica...hopefully it will not be too small by the time she receives it...I did use a stretchy yarn, Cascade Yarns Fixation.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Nosh 'n knit

These cupcakes were made for my first sit 'n knit on Sunday. I added cacao nibs to the vanilla buttermilk cupcake recipe from the May issue of Sunset, but unfortunately they were tough cupcakes. Hard as rocks, really. Luckily, the chocolate ganache from Orangette helped us choke them down. And, Pamela brought sweet and moist banana cupcakes so all was not lost. Oh, we also knitted. See?

Caution: A rock lies beneath the chocolate

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Summer tomato goodness

I've been eating a lot of tomatoes. Nearly everyday, it seems. I love big juicy heirloom tomatoes with basil and fresh mozzerella. The tomatoes come from Perry's in Fremont, where I also found my first fresh chickpeas...so cute and green! After trying several sources of fresh mozzerella, Cowgirl Creamery came out the winner, though one batch was particularly heavenly in its creaminess...still hoping that experience will repeat itself...


I've been rather lazy with knitting and crafting, considering that I'm on summer vacation. Not much progress on my list of projects, ahem. But I did finish reading The Secret Life of Bees last week. I find myself eating more honey.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Lambtown

Saw lots of lambs, sheep, knitters and spinners at Lambtown...and even a few alpacas and angora bunnies. See more pictures here.

Wensleydale sheep, I think?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Cupcake in my hair

I couldn't resist these felt cupcake clips at CandyStore.



In other news, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Now I just have to wait for the seventh and final volume.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Two kind of Cheese

From the breakfast buffet at the Narita Hilton in Japan...can you see the print?

Two kind of Cheese

But what kinds of cheese are they?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Abbreviated travels

Thanks to Caille's husband for bringing my computer back from the dead, while we were away. He is a miracle worker...now I need to try installing my digital camera software again. I am hesitant, as that was what led to the initial crash.

Dan and I are back from our Asian travels. We're disappointed that our trip was shortened, but he is on the mend, which is what matters most.

Craftyness: I got three craft books in Japan, never mind that I cannot read Japanese. I wanted to buy them all and had to exercise extreme self-control in limiting myself to three. (I could have stayed at the bookstore for hours, but the menfolk were hungry for dinner.) I also knit my first hat! I knit in the round! Though I had some trouble finishing and still need to weave in the ends. Photos soon, I hope, if the aforementioned software installation is successful.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Musique

I finally finished the green and lavender scarf yesterday on the drive home from Sacramento. I got several skeins of Crystal Palace Musique in December from a cute yarn shop in Cambria...Ball and Skein...tee hee hee.

Pretty Musique yarn...maybe I'll have a photo of the actual scarf soon.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Last day of school

Yay! But I still have to pack up my classroom...so I'll be back tomorrow and next week.

I ran out of dried apricots, so I used dried cherries instead to make these cookies for my book club meeting last night. They were still pretty tasty...the tart Montmorency cherries seemed to go with the caramelly sweetness of the brown sugar. We swapped books for summer reading...I got The Confessions of Max Tivoli and The Amateur Marriage.

This green kitty is the cutest...must learn to crochet this summer!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Advanced beginner

Look at this cute green bag! Via Knitting-Sushi in AZ. I must learn to knit in the round. I am only a beginning beginner.

Felted knit bag

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Therapeutic baking

Long weekend of unpacking, and yet, we're not finished. We need shelves.

Baking provided a brief respite from dealing with all the boxes. I made more pistachio-apricot oatmeal cookies...mm...and a cherry apricot crumble. The crumble was enjoyed with cherry fudge truffle ice cream. Light ice cream, from Haagen Dazs. I am always skeptical of so-called light/lite products, but this was not bad with the crumble.

...Cherry Apricot Crumble...

Fruit
8 apricots, halved
Aprroximately 2/3 lb cherries, halved (I used Rainier)
3 T vanilla sugar
1/4 C slivered almonds

Crumble topping
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C almond flour
1/3 C sugar
1/2 C butter, cold
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400° F. Combine the first four ingredients in a baking dish. In another bowl, mix flours, 1/3 C sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into pieces and incorporate into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. (I used a pastry cutter.) Pour on top of the fruit. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the crumble is golden brown. Enjoy with ice cream. (Or yogurt, if you have it for breakfast!)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Moving day

I moved! Lots of boxes, and a big mess everywhere.

Our new place! We live upstairs.