Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've been busy listing some naturally dyed silk shawls on my etsy store. It's getting cool, and time to break out the lovely warm silks and shawls!

I've also started listing some furoshiki - I have quite a few, 12 or 15, which I will be listing (again, in my etsy store) over the next week or two. They are mostly cotton, but some are silk. (the one shown above is rust-dyed cotton). I'm quite in love with the art of furoshiki and have been buying fabric for dyeing and sewing into assorted sizes of furoshiki.

Here is one of our cotton squares wrapped around a book.

And another one wrapped around a wine bottle. I just think they're so elegant, functional, and, best of all, totally reusable and recyclable. SO cool. Visit to learn more, and get great wrapping information.

Thanks to John for both is fantastic photography skills (he took all those pictures) and his mad furoshiki skills!!!

In other, unrelated news: I created a really interesting cake recipe last night. I hacked the "Beet Bundt Cake" recipe from, to suit my tastes, and what I had on hand. Here's what I did:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
  • 2 cups pureed cooked beets
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
Bake beets; puree them. Melt chocolate and oil together over low heat; add eggs, sour cream, sugar, vanilla, olive oil, cocoa powder. Blend well, and add other dry ingredients. Pour into greased bundt pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until done. Cool. Serve with sweetened raspberry puree, OR, raspberry jam thinned with brandy or congnac.

In my opinion, the raspberry (esp. the jam/booze mix) REALLY tie the cake together. It is really quite a heady mixture of tastes. I think it would be divine with black coffee or espresso, after dinner.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Very cool tutorial on how to use old greeting cards to make cute little gift boxes.
I usually save my cards, cut the words out, and use them that way, or cut them into funky shapes and use them as gift tags. But even with doing that, my stash of "used" cards keeps this is another great idea.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yesterday, I learned to sew a french seam, thanks to this fantastic tutorial. I stretched my sewing skills a bit, helping construct this. Which is good, I really want to increase my sewing skills. Although I must say - I never thought I would be working with lame!!!

I also made this fantastic "Apple Pied" - A delicious apple-cider based liqueur, perfect for cold, windy, rainy/snowy afternoons like yesterday. (Just rain yesterday, no snow....but snow will be here before we know it). I did make some modifications - here's the recipe I used, based solely on what I had on hand:

1/2 gallon local apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks
3 large sliced candied ginger
5 cloves
a generous pinch mace bits
2 tbsp. local honey

Place all ingredients in pan, bring to simmer. Let simmer until it smells really divine. Cool; add 1 cup vodka. I would have added more booze but, all I had on hand was really cheap vodka and I didn't want this to taste like, well, apple cider with cheap vodka. I'd love to try this recipe again with brandy. And, I WILL be making it again, as it is delicious and really does go down very, very smoothly. I like it warmed, in a small mug, with a cinnamon stick. YUM.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

I spent, like, 3 weeks knitting the pair of socks on the left - just striped ones, using some Knitpicks yarn, for me. they're nice and tall, and will go great under my boots this winter. Knit on size one needles. did i mention they took me forever?

The little booties i knit for my sister's soon-to-be-born baby. They are knit in size SIX needles, and took me about an hour and a half, max.

I think i better knit more booties.

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