Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garlic Croutons

I was craving these today. Not that I got any...I don't have any bread made up. Boo! I thought that I'd share the recipe, though, in case some one else can enjoy them in my place. =)

-day-old crusty yeast bread (baguette, French bread, etc.), I like to use home made yeast rolls; one large roll makes enough croutons to top about 6 salads
-two cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
-two to three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Mince garlic and, in a large bowl, stir it into the olive oil for several minutes. Remove the garlic from the oil and swirl the oil in the bowl to coat the sides. Set aside.

Slice the bread 1/4" thick; cut into bite-sized pieces. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in a preheated, 325 degree oven for 5-8 minutes.

Transfer the toasted bread to the bowl of oil and toss. When the bread is lightly coated with oil, take it back to the baking sheet. Toast an additional 5 or so minutes, or until golden brown.


In Process...and NSFW

I haven't been finishing off many projects lately, but I haven't been totally idle. I started six more journals and finished half (so far). The quilt I started years ago, as a gift for my husband, is almost finished. I have another octopus amigurumi well on its way to being finished, half a ball of roving spun up, and an embroidery project started.

The embroidery is, by far, the most interesting project I have going right now. I'd post an in-process picture, but, my photo hosting site doesn't allow naughty language. I'll have to do some clever editing to get it up when it's finished. All I can do, for now, is tell you that it's a naughty word (obviously) surrounded by a pretty, 18th century-style floral scene. One of a series I designed and plan on embroidering. I have some florals that aren't naughty at all, but where's the fun in that? I'm attempting to simulate the techniques of silk embroidery, though I'm just using DMC cotton floss. I've used three plies to do the lettering and border design, and I'm doing the filled areas with two plies and satin stitch. It took me about an hour to do one of the larger flower petals, but the results are so cool!

Totally off-topic, but, I love Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure! I just saw Napoleon throw a gutter-ball and get kicked out of a bowling alley. Classic.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Driven to Distraction

I've been horribly distracted for the last three weeks...well, more so than I usually am. My mother is staying with us, trying to get back on her feet in this terrible economy. Having been mostly without her in my life for the last ten years, the adjustment is a large one.

The worst of it is that I have had little time and less motivation to do the things I find most relaxing and rewarding...crafting, cooking... However, I've been pretty insistent about getting out on the trail with my husband and our rollerblades. I even went out, by myself, for a walk, and ended up jogging...and liking it! If you know me, you know that this is just plain odd behavior. I've lost three pounds so far.

I did manage to get this sketchbook finished, though.

This big sketchbook is about 7.25 inches tall, 5.75 inches wide, and 1.5 inches thick. It's filled with mixed media paper that'll stand up to nearly any medium you'd like to throw at it. I used waxed Irish linen thread to do the stitching as it holds up well to humidity changes and the inevitable wear on exposed stitches. Using suede in the same shade as the thread, I appliqued a crescent moon and star on the cover. I guess it's a little early for Halloween-ish stuff, but it's my favorite holiday and the purple-black combo begged to be well-explored.

Monday, July 4, 2011


I had a ball of hand-dyed wool languishing in my stash that turned into this little guy over the course of a few evenings. I couldn't find a pattern that gave a realistic enough result, so I just made it up as I went along, working off of my sketches and some photographs. His eyes are needle-felted, so he's really soft and cuddly. Now, he just needs a name.

Edit: He has a name! Waterbaby (of hit upon a great one. The octopus shall be known as Jacques!