Thursday, May 27, 2010

Knitting And A Recipe

My dearest friend Cornelia is a new grandmother. I'm late with a gift because I just couldn't decide what to give the baby. I know her daughter has been inundated with gifts so I've really been struggling with a gift idea. Yesterday I finally decided that I would knit the baby a little summer sweater out of cotton. I love the colorI think the color will be so pretty on her.
I also want to make a sweater for next fall and a journal. I'm hoping to get all of it finished this weekend so that I can send it off next week.

I also have a recipe for you. I don't think I've given this one to you before.Warm Chicken And Vegetable Salad
4 servings
3/4 lb New Potatoes, each cut into 8 pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 lb Fresh Green Beans, trimmed, broken into 2-inch pieces (2 cups)
2 (4 oz) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Halves
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Purchased Caesar Salad Dressing
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
3 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Oregano or 1 Tbsp dried Oregano leaves
1. In large saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add potatoes and green beans, cover and cook about 8 to 10 minutes or just until vegetables are tender.
2. Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat until hot. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breast halves with salt. Add chicken to skillet , cook 6 to 10 minutes on each side until golden brown and no longer pink in center. Remove from heat; set aside to cool slightly. (I cut the chicken up into pieces before I cook it in the skillet - it cooks faster and I don't have to cut it up after it's cooked)
3. Drain vegetables; rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool quickly. Drain well; place in large bowl. Add salad dressing, onion and oregano.
4. Chop chicken (if you didn't before it was cooked). Add chicken to salad; toss gently to coat.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.
I love it cold the next day. I've made this a lot and all of my kids like it. Try it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Glass

I went over to the college and picked up the glass last night I was pretty happy with it. It's crazy how different the pieces look after they have been fired. This one had a piece of white glass on the left side that completely disappeared into the green base. I'm disappointed with this one. During the class everyone loved this one. It was very retro looking, but after it was fired it lost it's pizazz.
I still like these two.
and look, the same white on the same green in the bottom right one didn't lose it's white. What's up with that. I'm thinking that the other white piece must have been put in the box with White when it was actually clear. Oh well.
This one completely changed too. That light purple stripe was a really dark purple when I assembled it but after it fired it became pale and transparent.
So that's it for the glass. Pretty happy with it I guess.
Kellie's class went to Longwood Gardens for a class trip last week and ever since she has been working on this journal she made about her trip.
I thought that was a pretty clever flower on the cover. She loves to write in journals. I hope she never stops - it's fun to look back on the ones she made when she was 4. She's getting quite a large library of journals - she's been making them for almost six years! Maybe she'll grow up to be a famous author and you can say you knew her when... :O) Happy Tuesday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reorganizing

I pulled out my glass kiln over the weekend to fire my ceramic buttons and decided that I want it to be out and available all the time. So I moved all of my bead storage(blue boxes) and all of my buttons and sequins (white boxes) from here
to here. This is a very full area now!It makes me a little claustrophobic because it's stacked so high, but it was the only solution to all of those boxes. I like everything sorted by color - and the beads to also be sorted by size - and this system has been great.


Moving all of that gave me the space on the cabinets for my glass kiln. It is right next to my desk so when I'm using the torch for beads I can put the mandrel right into the kiln without having to get up and walk to the kiln-very important.
So I loaded the kiln with all of my dry buttons and beads and was all set to fire them when I realized that the glaze I want to use needs to be bisque fired to cone 04 (1940 degrees F) and my glass kiln has a maximum temp of 1900 degrees F. Hmmmm.I can buy new glaze with a cone 05 orrrrr....I could beg Mark for a Ceramic kiln for my birthday! BRILLIANT! Oh Marrrrrk, dearest love, please please please can I have the kiln for my birthday? and can we order it today instead of in August so I can use it right away? So, because he is so fabulously fabulous he said yes! So I am now just waiting impatiently for the ceramic kiln to arrive (hopefully in a few days because it is coming from South Carolina). It's new home is going to be right next to the glass kiln.It's almost the same size. My glass kiln is 9"x9"x9" and the ceramic kiln is 8"x8"x9". I didn't have enough ceramic tiles so I'll have to get one more - I don't think it's really necessary because it comes on a stand and it's intended to sit on your counter, but it makes me feel better knowing that it's on a base that can take heat. The good thing about this reorganization is that it has given me a chance to clear out some things that I no longer want.

I received the high temperature wire that I ordered to make pendants so since I can't fire the beads today, I'm going to just set them aside and work on some new clay items. I also want to make my own stamps to use with the clay so I'll be working on those designs in my journal as well. This clay is addictive. Molly and I have big big plans for this summer with the clay and the glass kilns. I'm so excited. It's great that she is 17 now. I don't have to worry about her being around the glass anymore. I want to teach her how to make some lampwork beads too.

I pick up my glass stuff from the class I took last week tonight. I hope I like some of it. It's tricky when you have to use what's provided by the teacher and you are all picking over the same glass. I'm keeping my fingers crossed - I'll be happy to have just one piece that I like out of it!

As for stitching, I have this project still in the works. I'm trying to decide if I want to make this a bag or a journal. Decisions decisions... I'm leaning toward a journal. I have some sheets of watercolor paper to make the pages and I'm thinking of sewing decorative paper or maybe fabric to the edges of each page. I think that would be pretty cool. And I want to use one of the big buttons I am making as the closure. So for now I don't have anything finished to show you, but there is a lot in the works.

That's what I'm up to...what are you doing? I hope you are enjoying your Monday. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baked Bread...yum, Steamed Artichokes...rash.

I have had this book for months and hadn't made any bread
I love bread. It's my biggest weakness. I make bread in my bread machine all the time, but I decided it was about time I got around to making some in my oven with a recipe from this book. So I went online to King Arthur to buy the bucket thing for bread dough to rise in and as soon as it came I got to work.

I used the master recipe that makes 4 1-pound loaves.
And just like the book says, it was really easy! crazy easy. So easy that I will be making this a lot!
Bread...yum.
And I decided that I would try steamed artichokes. I've never had steamed artichokes and neither had Mark. So a few days ago I steamed some.
easy peasy. really yummy. But then the rash came. Steamed artichokes...not in this house ever again.
And the glass fusing class. It was fun, as I knew it would be. She didn't really teach me anything glass related that I didn't already know, but she did answer my kiln questions which was really why I took the class. I made about 6 to 8 (I can't remember) pieces but she was going to fire them this week. I need to go back on Monday to pick them up.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Recipe, A Prom, And A Theme Song

I wanted to share this recipe with you. It's not amazing, but everyone seems to like it. When I say we are having it for dinner NO ONE complains. Four kids and a husband all liking the same thing!!! That is worthy of sharing I'm thinkin'. It's a recipe from RealSimple magazine (couldn't find it on their site anymore). It's called

Kid Friendly Pasta With Chicken Sausage and Broccoli.Serves 4
12 ounces Rigatoni
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, sliced
6 Ounces Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage Links, sliced (I can't get chicken so I use Turkey Sausage)
1 Small Head of Broccoli, cut into florets and stems sliced
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan

*Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
*Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onion, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes (it usually takes more like 5 or 6 minutes for me but I think that could be because I double this recipe so there is more sausage to brown). Add the broccoli and 1 1/4 cups water and simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
*Toss the pasta with the sausage mixture and any remaining liquid and the Parmesan. (I have to tell you, I stirred the Parmesan into this the first time I made it and the Parmesan clumped and was disgusting so from then on I put the pasta mixture into the bowls and then I sprinkle the Parmesan on top of each bowl. Much better.)

The prom was this past weekend. I think this is my favorite photo!
I loved Molly's hair, I wish I had a better shot of it.
And I love the expression on Jason's face in this photo as his date is stabbing him with a pin while trying to pin on his boutonniere.
I thought her hair was really pretty too...
They had a great time. There was an after prom party at a rented sports facility with all kinds of moon bounce things like bull riding and other crazy things and the pool was open for them, too. It was all run by the school so they could celebrate and be safe at the same time. It lasted till 4AM. They had so much fun.

And I've found a new theme song for myself! I want Mark to rewire our house so that every time I walk into a room this song starts to play... (of course it's a lot funnier when you can actually see me walk into a room to this, but I'm posting it anyway)
my new theme song
I think it might be the funniest darn song I've heard in a long time.

I have a class in glass fusing tonight that should be really fun - I've fused glass in my kiln before, but I'm in the mood for a class and hope this woman has something new to show me. I'm really looking forward to it. It's been a long time since I've taken any classes. Speaking of the kiln, my clay beads still aren't dry! So nothing new to show you there.

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Three Hours Of Fun!

I made a ton of buttons, earrings, and pendants with low fire clay yesterday afternoon! I was able to demand 3 hours of fun for myself! And this is what I have to show for it...
It was a good good day! I can't wait for these to dry so that I can fire them and glaze them. It should be a few days before they are dry. I will need to clean them up before they go into the kiln too because there are some rough spots but I love them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Quiche

Hi friends. I thought I would talk about the quiche I made for dinner last night. Actually I made two. The first one is Clark's Quiche. I've made it before, but this time I used a lot less cheese. It's good, but not great. I actually think it's better the next day reheated.
The second one is Canadian Bacon and Potato Quiche Recipe from Betty Crocker. Everyone really liked this one. I had a little reheated for breakfast this morning and it was still really good.

The only issue I had was that I started making dinner at 5:15 and we didn't eat until 7:15! I was exhausted by the time I got dinner on the table. I will definitely make the quiche ahead of time next time. A lot of prep work for these - it wouldn't have been nearly as bad if I hadn't made two different ones, but I was trying to make everyone happy. We had it with a salad so it made a nice dinner.
I haven't been stitching anything lately. I've been busy with the kids and Mark. Prom is this Saturday and both Molly and Jason will be going. Molly had some last minute gown alterations that needed to be done. I didn't do the alterations (that is not my thing) she had them done by the mom of one of her friends at school. Really nice woman - she did a fantastic job. Molly is gone this week - she's a counselor at the nature camp (the same one Jason did a few weeks ago). I dropped her off yesterday morning at 7:30 - she called after I got home to let me know that she had forgotten her cell phone and could I please bring it to her. NO. I think it's good for her to go three days without texting anyone! They are only allowed to have it for 10 minutes a day - I think she'll live. And did I tell you that when Mark went to the doctor he was told that he needed to stay home for two more weeks and that he needed to go back to work slowly so he will only be working two days a week at first? so...yeah...not much sewing/knitting/painting...getting done around here. It will be a few more weeks before Mark is back to his normal schedule and did I mention that Jason's last day of school is May 25 and then he will be home all day with me? Starting to twitch a little at this point. I'm seriously missing my alone time! I have just a few errands to run this morning and then I am going to hide in the basement (note to self - put a lock on basement door!) and work on something I WANT to do for the rest of the day!!!! I hope you are having a nice day.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Have a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This Should Have Been Howard...

Yes, we are pretty darn excited about this movie coming out in June!





You know what's really funny? I have wanted a mini cooper forever and thought Howard wouldn't fit -- looks like I was wrong! :O)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Little Knitting...and Howard

Do you remember this cowl?I started it way back in November but set it aside at Christmas. Well, I pulled it back out yesterday and finished it late last night. I love the pattern. It still needs to be blocked, but I love it. I love the blue.
Cathie, you will like this story. I was telling Kellie about our first dog, Fred. He was a lab/dane mix and the sweetest dog. We bought him 1 month after we got married and he was like our first child. Anyone not a dog lover will not think this is so great...Anyway, I was telling her about how I would put a dog treat between my teeth and how Fred would take it from me without ever touching my lips. Kellie says... OH! See if Howard will do it!!!! all excited. Okay. So I get a treat and hold it by the very tip between my teeth. Here comes Howard and COMPLETELY slimes me - Chin, mouth, cheeks, nose - he didn't miss a thing! It was hilarious and disgusting! I should have known - the dog is not the sharpest tool in the shed so I don't know why I thought he would have any skill or technique with this but I didn't expect the level of slime!

Monday, May 3, 2010

It Was HOT - But Fun.

Oh how I love the Md Sheep and Wool Festival! Even this year when it was 90 degrees and H.O.T! So hot in fact that I ran out of purchasing steam. My niece did meet me so that was fun. And crazy but true...I didn't buy any roving! I know-I can't believe it either. I went to my favorite places, but I just didn't see anything new. I had wanted to buy some funky roving to make some big funky yarn but no one had anything like that. And I'm always on the lookout for hand dyed felted wool, but no one had that either. I'll have to go to Etsy or Ebay for the funky roving I guess. I did get lots of sock yarn. I love knitting socks and gloves more than anything else so these purchases made me happy. This group is from my favorite sock yarn people Blue Moon Fiber Arts (you have to stand in line to get in their booth and then stand in another line to pay, but it's definitely worth it!)
And these two skeins I purchased from a vendor that was new to me. Creatively Dyed Yarn - Hand Dyed Yarn & Fiber -
The lighting in my house is horrible so these photos do not do this yarn justice. It was all so pretty that I had a really hard time choosing!


I think they will make very cool socks! It's a shame it was so hot this year but it was still fun.

Mark went to the doctor this morning to see how the fusion is going. He'll find out today when he can go back to work. Hope your day is a good one.