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1  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / pointless but pretty: the cozy mason on: March 25, 2009 09:38:48 AM
yesterday I got the beginnings of an idea, and suddenly the notion of jam jar cozies is irresistibly charming.  Not as an actual cozy for an actual jar of jam (I still think that's a little ridiculous), but as a prettied-up pencil jar or a row of them as tiny planters.  C'mon, picture this with a little african violet nestled inside:

This turned out pretty much exactly as I'd pictured it in my head, and that always makes me happy!

There's no big mystery to the construction: make a circle, then go up, attach fabric + add trim.  The hardest part was crocheting onto the strip of fabric, crocheting off the fabric was easy as pie. It took me one episode of Mad Men and almost to the credits of To Wong Foo (so, about 3 hours).   Grin  Almost all of my craft materials are recycled, so of course it's made with secondhand crochet thread and vintage fabric.

 Now I have a need to see a row of these, all lined up.  I'm off to make some more!
2  KNITTING / Knitalongs / Knitty's Henry knitalong? on: November 17, 2007 05:48:00 PM
who wants to Henry with me?

of course i should be cooking dinner, but i got my yarn in the mail today (laceweight from handpaintedyarn.com) and i couldn't resist casting on...

(big) pic of the yarn i'm using -->
it's beautiful.

will anyone join me?
3  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / easy + DELICIOUS squash/onion galette on: October 23, 2007 05:24:16 PM
this was SO. DAMN. GOOD.  squash and cheese and caramelized onions, mmmmmmmm.

when i saw deb's post on smittenkitchen.com about her "buttercup squash and caramelized onion galette," a hunger struck me.  i had to make it.  it was a NEED, and therefore a RESPONSIBILITY.


of course, i'm me, so there were a few liberties taken with the recipe (noted below) but sweet holy crackers, people.  this is GOOD.  this is hardcore warm-you-up winter deliciousness.  i want this galette to be my new boyfriend.

things i changed (mostly cos i'm a lazy cook as well as an ambitious one):
- buttercup squash instead of butternut, pre-roasted in advance and then cubed (cube raw winter squash? HELL NO.)
- manchego cheese instead of fontina, 'cos it's what i had
- frozen puff pastry instead of a homemade crust
- and of course it's kind of huge, about 40% bigger than the original.  more leftovers for me!

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

For the filling:
1 small butternut squash (about one pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons butter (if you have only non-stick, the smaller amount will do)
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced in half-moons
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
3/4 cup fontina cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), grated or cut into small bits
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1. Make pastry: In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Prepare squash: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel squash, then halve and scoop out seeds. Cut into a 1/2-inch dice. Toss pieces with olive oil and a half-teaspoon of the salt and roast on foil lined (for neatness sake) sheet for 30 minutes or until pieces are tender, turning it midway if your oven bakes unevenly. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. Caramelize onions: While squash is roasting, melt butter in a heavy skillet and cook onion over low heat with the remaining half-teaspoon of salt and pinch of sugar, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir in cayenne.

4. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Mix squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs together in a bowl.

5. Assemble galette: On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Spread squash, onions, cheese and herb mixture over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold the border over the squash, onion and cheese mixture, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open.

6. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / laceweight malabrigo -- AAAAAAH!!! on: October 05, 2007 08:06:32 PM
last week i lost my LYS cherry (i'd never been in one before!) and managed to only walk out with one skein of gorgeous malabrigo laceweight for myself.

except now i'm sitting at home with grand ideas of winding this thing up into a center-pull ball, and WHERE THE HELL IS THE END OF THE YARN?  and it's mildly felted and a wee bit knotted at one spot in the skein, so i'm generally having a hell of a time.

any pointers, o ye gods of knitting? 
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / vintage jacket recon - in progress on: August 29, 2007 10:56:08 AM
i found this rad vintage lightweight jacket at a thrift shop a little while ago, but it had to hang out in my closet for a while before i realized it was just too 1970's-tastic for me to really wear it. 


i'd just finished my new dress (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=193066.msg2032910;topicseen#msg2032910)
so  you know what that meant...   RECON AHOY!


it's not finished (obvy from the unfinished sleeve + hundreds of pins Wink) but i still wanted to show it off and get some feedback.   Wink
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / embroidered... bracelets? on: August 29, 2007 09:14:36 AM
i was completely torn between the Embroidery and Jewelry categories, so i went for the middle ground...

i'm so inspired by embroidery but i've always been kind of irked with the uselessness of it.  then i was cutting up old shirts for a quilt and had a eureka! moment with the leftover button placket, and it was all downhill from there....  Grin 

freeform embroidered cuff bracelets!  these have totally become my new excuse for watching teevee.

the nitty-gritty:  each one took me about a week of nightly stitching (while watching Deadwood on DVD, so not like i was bustin' ass or anything) and is made up of recycled fabric, a bit of linen, a handful of vintage shell buttons and a whole lotta floss.

i impressed the hell out of myself with these (seriously, i was not expecting so much awesome) so of course i have to show 'em off!   Grin
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / no, it's not a tacky shell necklace on: August 29, 2007 07:56:12 AM
this was commissioned for a friend from arizona, so she can remember the waves.

she picked up the shell at the beaches here, and it already had a hole, perfectly placed.   Cheesy
i sent it off last week and i just heard back that she loves it, yayy!   Grin
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / thoroughly addicting on: August 29, 2007 07:45:18 AM
it started as a frumptastic thrifted  ankle-length "resort dress" with a nasty red anchor stitched on the breast pocket - but the cut was great (and hey, can't beat $3.49!).  my fiance made a face when he first saw it, but he couldn't see the massive potential...

- of course, i was so excited about the recon that i completely forgot to take a "before" piccie. so let's just imagine it's here, ok?  ankle-length frumpy seersucker dress... GO!  got it?  now, on the the AFTER!   Grin

(scarfy head = fresh from the shower.  clean hair is unmanageable hair!)

- about a foot off the bottom
+ super-rad cherry-blossom appliques (from recycled vintage napkins)
+ a belt i made from the leftover dress scraps, assorted secondhand fabrics and antique lace (ties in back + removable) (versatility ahoy! i really <3 the belt)

= omfg my new favorite dress.  i just started wearing dresses this summer and now i don't want to ever take it off.
9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / meet miss matilda millicent mapplethorpe (lots of pics) on: February 20, 2007 11:16:02 AM

miss matilda millicent mapplethorpe is my very first soft toy ever.
i think i'm in love.

her apron pocket holds a little book that is all about her garden. she is very proud of her little book.

ah yes, her stamp of approval.  also: couching! i have a new crush on couching.

detail! her pretty brooch is removable, so that she can share it with friends.

once upon a time, miss matty (as she is also known) was
a bit of thrifted barkcloth, an old dress, a handful of scraps and a few vintage buttons.
her lovely eyes are genuine mother-of-pearl (when she is excited, they flash blue-green)
and she is often seen fidgeting with the tiny glass-button pendant on her ruffly collar.
a lady must look put-together, you know.

10  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Discussion and Questions / of fabric and fleas on: January 04, 2007 02:03:43 PM
This is only kind of craft-related and only sort of pet-related, so I'm hoping this is going in the right place.

All of my craft supplies, including everything from cases of beads to oddles of fabric, are in a room of their own. None of the pets are allowed in there, and I'm stringent about not using perfumed sprays, incense, etc in that room. 

Problem is, all that went to hell (to make a long story very short) and now the craft room has fleas.  I know this means CLEAN EVERYTHING! but there's a few of the finer points that I'd like some help with.

1.  Will laundering & drying the fabric be enough to cleanse it of the fleas & their eggs? Is there anything else I can do?

2.  What can I do about non-washable fiber items, like yarn?

3.  Any idea on how a flea bomb or fogger would affect craft items? Do they leave a residue?

The rest of the house has been cleaned top to bottom, all pets are treated and all the humans are wearing long socks and eating lots of garlic.  The craft room has been left for last because it's the worst, and also the trickiest to deal with because of the vast amounts of fabric & other hiding places.

Any & all advice is greatly appreciated!  Grin
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