Saturday, December 31, 2011

Yummy Pakora!

Although Pakora is an Indian dish, there are variations of this throughout Asia.  You can deep fry any vegetable.  Here I fried kale and beet greens:)

2 cups of chickpea or besan or gram flour
2 tsp salt
1 T turmeric
1 T ground corriandor
1 T chile powder
1 T garam masala
1 T onion powder

Add 1-2 cups of water to the above ingredients and whisk to a semi-thick batter.  Coat veges well and drop into hot oil.  Fry each side about 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Easy Naan Bread

 I have had Naan bread many times and really liked it.  It's kind of like a thick, stiff tortilla with tasty seasonings.  I came across this Naan bread recipe in Modern Indian Cooking and adapted it to the bread machine.  I have had a lot of luck using the bread machine for kneading and rising bread dough.  There is a bread dough feature on my machine where all I have to do is add the ingredients, set it, take out the dough in a few hours to put in the oven.  If you don't have a bread machine, don't buy a new one.  The second-hand stores are full of them.  Apparently they make really bad loaves of bread so a lot of machine owners chucked them.  I picked up my Oyster for $10 at Goodwill. 

1 1/4 Cups Milk
1 egg
3/4 Cups plain yogurt
1/4 Cups of fresh rosemary, chopped. (If you don't have fresh, use 2 T dried)
4 Cups of flour
1 package dry yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Place the ingredients in your bread machine in the order listed and set.  When done, knead dough on well floured surface and divide into 10 portions.  Roll out dough into 7 inch diameter and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 8 minutes then turn over and cook for 8 minutes more.  Easy!  I ate this with Keema, an easy but good indian recipe which you can use any ground meat of choice or textured vegetable protein for vegetarians;P  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


FO's are 'Finished objects' in case you aren't up to date with crafting lingo. To differentiate between these and UFO's, FO's happen on purpose, with crafting materials.  UFO's happen by accident, when running out of alien space craft fuel over Roswell, New Mexico;P  I know, you weren't expecting that, were you?
 The first FO is The Hitch Hiker by Martina Behm from Germany.  This is a pretty popular pattern on Ravelry and on many Knitting Podcasts.  It's as if everybody else is doing it so I have to do it too! Right? Where have I heard THIS before?  I guess we really never grow up.
 The next project finished actually only took me a few days to knit it.  I could actually do it in one day if I had about 6 hours to knit.  This was part of Vickie Howell's KAL (Knit A Long) from the previous post.  I LOVE this pattern.  It's easy but not boring, same as the Hitch Hiker actually, works up fast and is super soft.  It's also quite stylish, kind of like making a fashion statement using neck wear.  I had 3 silver type buttons from one of my fun button jars but kinda had a plain fourth one so I glued a Wyoming Quarter to it with a cowboy on it.  I like improvising.  It challenges my imagination....
David finishes things all of the time.  He is extremely prolific.  Here he has a beautiful Amherst Pheasant Feather Sierra pen made of chrome.  I really like the unusual media he uses.  The feather pens always turn out amazing!  He also has a clock fetish with these little clock faces.  This one is made of tulip wood which has a warm, almost coral like color.  Each piece of tulip wood is very unique as evidenced by these three pieces of tulip wood he used.

Other than his Etsy Craftiness Store, you can find David's functional art at Austin's Lyric Opera showing of The Magic Flute or at Christmas At The Caswells.

Craft On!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vickie Howell's Knit-A-Long

Because I am a clever person, I was able to trick, entice, encourage a friend to participate in this Knit-A-Long with me.  This KAL is Vickie Howell's pattern from her line of yarn at Caron yarns.  This is going to be a quick project because it is double stranded on large needles and works up quickly.  I like her philosophy of making quick projects so that you can feel like you have accomplished something.  Also, for longer projects, make sure you really like your yarn, you will be with it for awhile.  You can join in on Facebook for this KAL or Ravelry, although I still can't find the Ravelry KAL for this.  If anyone knows, send me a message please:)

The Cowl Knit-Along schedule from VH's Facebook page:

‎10/19: I'll post an image of double-stranding, we'll cast-on and begin ribbing.--Remember to reply with where you are, any questions, etc.

10/20- Work on ribbing, share pictures of progress. Yay!
10/21: CABLE DAY! We'll start on the first cable repeat of the cowl. I'll upload a video how-to for the 14-st cables used for this project.
10/22-24: Work the 7 repeats of the cable section of the cowl. I'll be checking in throughout the weekend to answer any questions, if you get stuck. Showing pictures of mistakes is helpful for me, so keep your camera phone handy!
10/25: Move on to 2nd ribbing section and discuss button hole row. If you guys would like, I can post how-to photos for that as well.
10/26-10/27: Weave in ends. Attach buttons & finish! Share photos. I wanna see your FO's! If you want to model them, even better!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Sierra Club Trip; Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sept 2011


7 Days, 40 Miles, 10,700 feet*

Limerick by our fearless Co-Leader, Christine**

There once was a backpacking group
Thirteen men and women, the troop
Signed up, one and all
Joy of Being, the call
An Ansel Adams Wilderness loop

Clover Meadow is where they did meet
Set up camp, had a meal and a greet
The tarp went up quick
The hail mighty thick
A foreshadowing start to the week

Day two, we drove over rough road
To start Isberg trail with our load
We hiked through some rain
Did I mention, the rain?
Cora Lakes: Destination Wet Mode

That night, Gene and Alex went out
T’was dark, so was quite a long route
And Stan found a view
From a knoll above, true
We could see, for some moments, to tout

Lake Isberg, the journey next day
A stunning display, I must say
My goodness sake
An infinity lake

But windy as hell, and skies gray
A glorious day sure did follow
Two passes, descriptors ring hollow
Spectacular, they
Breaths taken away
Minor troubles seem so very shallow

Pleased we all were to see Packer Chick
Horse and Mule too - it was quite a kick
The bear cans you see
They are right by a tree
“You can’t miss them” was like a bad trick

While the Great Bear Can Hunt seemed to fail
Not the rain, thunder, lightning or hail
Morale remained high
Not a whimper or sigh
No rumblings of those seeking to bail

By now, we were pros on the fly
Give us rain, hail, wind or clear sky
Rain gear went on fast
The tarp tied to last
Say we: Only wimps must stay dry!

The Reedy Lake, t’was nothing there
Of bear cans, it was very bare
Pophry, too
Nary a clue
“It’s a ways down” was Lord knows where
To Ron and to Tina: Thank you
And to Stan and to Tim: What a crew
The cans, they were found
As told, by the ground
Just five lakes down, who could have knew??!!

So, hunger, wasn’t to be our fate
Our lunch on layover day was great
Igor led folks to
A waterfall view
Then once again t’was a hailing tarp date!

With morale amazingly gay
We continued on our merry way
To the Lakes, Flat
And Lady, after that
Enjoying scenery more lovely each stay

One morning we lost Tina briefly
But Tom, true to form, remained Chiefly
In the dark, gone to pee
Her way back, couldn’t see
She did good and made breakfast. Relieved, we!

Thanks to Ann, Mary Ann and to Stephen
You tempers were wonderfully even
And Stephen helped first
When leftovers were worst
That’s less weight, that re-quired heavin’!

Hike and meals have been social and fun
Deb and Stan bestowed gifts to every one
We’re each a new friend
So, Happy Trails without end!
May your future hikes have lots of sun!!!!

Thanks to my new friends! Stan, Deb, Stephen, Mary Ann, Igor, Alex, Gene, Tim, Tom, Christine, Ann, Ron:)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Charity Crafting

This is from The Stitch Lab:


The devastation of the Central Texas wildfires has left many area friends, families and their pets homeless. We all want to help those who have lost everything, but how?

Quilter Heather Grant and the Modern Day Quilters snapped right into action with a quilt drive. Their goal is to give a quilt to provide comfort and warmth to every child who has lost their home in the fires. They are encouraging twin bed size quilts, but any quilts 45"X60" and over are being accepted. You can ship quilts to:

Valli & Kim Quilt Shop, Attn: Wildfire Quilts

700 West Highway 290, Dripping Springs, TX 78620

If you live closer in to Austin, you can bring them to us at the Stitch Lab and Heather will happy to pick them up.
Stay tuned for more opportunities to help out.

If you're like me and don't have the immediate time to make a quilt from start to finish alone, consider working on one as a group or donating fabrics from your stash for others to pick up and work with. The Stitch Lab will keep a free fabric bin dedicated to wildfire relief quilts on our front porch. You can donate or pick up fabrics at your convenience.

You can also help in many other ways: Austin Humane Society (currently housing many Bastrop pets), and here is a comprehensive list from the Austin American Statesman

Reusable Lunch Bag

I recently acquired new craft supplies in the form of yarn and fabric. I found some beautiful fabric, including laminated fabric (similar to oil cloth but thinner), from The Stitch Lab on So. Congress. I made darling daughter a re-usable lunchbag, lined with the laminated fabric and closable with a velcro tab. If you look closely, the fabric got caught in my feed dogs on the lower right. It's a reusable lunchbag, I am not worried enough about it to rip it out and risk tearing this fabric. Apparently there are tricks to sewing with laminated fabric and oil cloth that I am unaware of. There is a book out there that has some reportedly great techniques for sewing with this type of fabric. The author's bio is quite interesting:

Kelly McCants is the go-to girl for working with oilcloth. Known online as both Oilcloth Addict and Modern June, Kelly stays busy running her blogs and operating her online stores where she sells handmade housewares, accessories and oilcloth yardage.
Kelly has been sewing and making patterns since she was a teenager. After a career in costuming for films and theater, Kelly opened up Modern June in 2005. Kelly put her BFA in costuming to work by redesigning her favorite vintage aprons for the modern woman. Kelly quickly discovered oilcloth and created a line of housewares and accessories with the slick stuff. Kelly and her Junies make the handmade housewares for Modern June in Richmond, VA.  Kelly McCants, believes that there is still a bit of a 1950's housewife in all of us, even if we have left the days of June Cleaver behind--we all want a comfy place to call home. After all, our homes are where we make our memories, and it's where life's celebrations begin. Her Modern June goodies, Oilcloth Addict tutorials, and her new book "Sewing with Oilcloth," are all meant to help you create a bright and happy home that's easy to care for. Oilcloth, laminated cotton and chalk cloth items are her specialty, but helping you to make special memories is her goal.

If you have experience with this type of sewing, leave a comment. I would love to hear your experience, good and bad. I hope to conquer this fabric as it is beautiful and so practical.

Now, off to my next adventure! Pictures to follow, in about two weeks;P

Craft On!

Monday, August 29, 2011


Congratulation BlessedNJoyful on winning the dymondwood Nostepinne!

Carpe Yarnum!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Knit Girllls Give-Away!!

You may earn a chance to win Dave's nosteppine on The Knit Girllls podcast:) Laura and Leslie gave a wonderful shout-out to Dave's Nosteppine and we heart them very much** Just leave a comment on TKG's Ravelry group page for a chance to win!!

If you aren't a member of Ravelry and you knit, crochet or spin, then shame on you! Being on Ravelry is life-transforming experience;P When you are a member, you get a home-page where you may show your works, both finished and in-progress, cross reference the pattern or yarn you are working on with one-click, and see how the pattern is being worked on by other ravelers. You also get some insight into patterns before you ever cast on. You can find free patterns and patterns for purchase, yarn, knitting accessories etc. If you listen to crafting podcasts or love your favorite LYS (Local Yarn Store), you can follow their happenings too. I know Gauge Knits, by my house, announces new shipments of yarn, craft night, sales etc on their page. Ravelry has more features than I use so I am not the best advocate for them, just check it out yourself at

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Warda's Algerian Soup

I wanted to share this recipe that I cooked last night, absolutely delicious! I got this recipe from another blogger, Warda of 64 Square Foot Kitchen. She grew up in Algeria and her creations are both traditional and reinventions of that area'a cuisine. Everything that I have made from her blog has been delicious! The recipes are not complicated, the ingredients easy to find and the food full of flavor but not hot. I have picky eaters and her recipes have been very handy:) I used her recipe but exchanged spinach for the peas and asparagus. I would have preferred her version over mine but, picky eaters;P I added the spinach to the onions and cooked them down before adding liquid. I used an emersion blender but if I had more time a food processer would have worked better. We ate this with buttermilk biscuits but any bread would have been just fine. Trying foods from around the world gives a fresh perspective on cuisine, matching new ingredients for a unique dish that you normally wouldn't try. Try this one, you will probably like it! Did I mention, it was really easy?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Craftiness Update**

I am going to cast on for the shawl 'My Wish' by Laura Linneman:) This will only be my second attempt at a shawl, my first is still a work in progress. The first pic is Lemonhalf's shawl with the cream edging and the second is Laura Linneman's with Tempted's two colorways. This shawl pattern is available for purchase here and is a fundraiser for the Make A Wish foundation. Laura of The Knit Girllls designed the shawl and offers the pattern to support this fabulous foundation and the crafty team, Cupcake Mafia I am going to knit this out of Madeline Tosh fingering weight in the Ruby Slippers and Composition Book colorways. I 'acquired' these pearls from Gauge Knit in Austin, Thanks Karli for your help! I did finish a baby blanket a month ago but forgot to take a picture of it :P It was a basket weave pattern with Lion Brands Vanna Choice. I liked the neutral blue color and the durable acrylic it is made of. It doesn't feel like acrylic when you knit with it.

Dave made me a custom barometer/hydrometer for my birthday:) It is made of Cocobolo and is double sided. The weather in Texas can change in a heartbeat and I thought it would be fun to watch the meters go nuts!

Dave also made me a beautiful bowl which he put little wooden apples in it made by Boyd Wright. Boyd taught Dave how to make kaleidoscopes:) Thanks Boyd! He made these gems out of dymondwood which is an art in itself. The dymondwood blanks are dyed wood, usually Birch, sliced thin, glued together so that woodworkers, especially wood turners, can make beautiful art!

Dave is starting to get interested in Intarsia, which is interesting since this is a knitting consept also. He made this dolphin for darling daughter which she ADORES! She was so motivated by this that she started to learn Intarsia herself using the scroll saw!

Craft on Y'all!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I actually completed some crafts...

I bought a flour sack from Lehi Roller Mills and framed it using stretcher bars artists use to make their own canvas. I like that it's a historical flour mill from a town that we visit whenever we can. It will remind of us of our Utah adventures past and future. Stretcher bars are useful in crafts because they come in four pieces. You pick the sizes of the pieces that are delineated by the inch and thus can make custom frames for craft projects relatively cheaply compared to trying to find a frame in the size you need which are usually expensive. I buy mine locally at Jerry's Art O Rama. For this project I just stapled the flour sack, uncut onto the back of the frame I made from the stretcher bars. It took 15 minutes from start to finish and a lot of that time was spent finding an industrial stapler and dusting it off:)

The next project I finished was a banner for my kitchen. I hung it over my antique mirrors for a nice, finished touch to a semi-bare wall. The idea came from my sister-in-law who made a similar one for the 4th of July family reunion on the previous post. I really like hers especially since the colors were red/white/blue but not distinctly 4th of July. She can use that banner for birthday parties or any festive occasion. I took that spirit with this banner and made it double sided. The other side has warm, winter colors that suggest christmas. I used bias tape for the string which is easy, peasy to use and I hung it on two nail heads. I hot-glued vintage buttons onto the nail heads for a little detail. I plan to make more of these.... It only took about 1 1/2 hours:)

This dishcloth is apparently a very old, traditional pattern called Grandmother's Dishcloth and is familiar to many. I knitted this up pretty quickly and I find it a great project to knit while watching TV with hubby. The pattern is simple enough to knit while half paying attention to the tube. I knitted this in 100% cotton with aluminum needles. The pattern can be found here. I have knitted 3 already and printed a coupon so that I may buy more cotton yarn at 40% off over founders weekend. If you frequent JoAnns then it may be worth it to sign up for their newsletter. They send electronic coupons you can print out a few times per month. They are usually 40% off.

I have a few (several) more projects in the works. I will share when I have more pictures. Craft on!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


'Nuff Said.....