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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I *Heart* Button Eyes

Several of my obsessions are revealed in this picture — there's an inside joke, too. Can you find them?* It's a scary happy coincidence that the movie Coraline is coming out this weekend, just as I start my creepy craft theme.

*See bottom of post for answers.

As part of my New Year's resolution to take scary craft photos I got in the closet with a flashlight, a tripod, and a recently-made, faux fur blanket. It's surprisingly fun...

to make scary — I had forgotten.

There are several fun things to check out on the movie website: the Button Your Eyes feature (in the Other Mother's Workshop); movie poster downloads like the one below (click on the picture on the right wall of the living room); and don't forget about that Coraline sweater download in Coraline's bedside drawer.



*The obsessions:

Big hair
The Cure
Neil Gaiman
Dia de los muertos
Vintage buttons
Button eyes

The inside joke:
"I see a heart."


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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I *Heart* My Readers

gingham_detail with pearl floss
Seems like a good time to give thanks to everyone who hangs out over here at Green Kitchen. It wouldn't be nearly as much fun without you.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

I *Heart* Red & Aqua (pt 2)

The purse is the result of a fascination with graygoosie's crochet bolero. I was wondering how the hell to crochet something with motifs and no real pattern. Then, I sat down and actually read a book, instead of a computer — I know, wacky stuff. I turned to the section about Irish Crochet and had my answer: first, motifs are basted onto fabric templates; then a crochet chain is basted to the edge of the fabric; finally, random lace is worked from the outside toward the motifs.

So, I tried that with this purse, but the lace was *too* much. I had made a spider's web connected to the flower. The weight was too bulky and loose — I knew I'd be catching things on it all the time. So, I frogged the web and embroidered on some western-style loop decoration.

The real breakthrough for me was making a bag. I know, y'all make bags all the time. But, I haven't wanted to make one since my first attempt, which was a sorry lopsided thing made with a reclaimed polyester patchwork quilt, vinyl backing, and polkadot lining. It was a mixed-media nightmare and I never finished it. (see picture at right)

The other blue and red goodness, from left to right: metal bird ornament made by Regina at Creative Kismet; handmade pincushion and imported gnome-ish ribbon from Kristin at Kleas.


Just found this great series of tutorials for making modern clothing with Irish Crochet. Wish I had found this first, but, then, if you don't even know what it's called, it's hard to google.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

I *Heart* Databases

There's something about Ravelry that feeds my inner-OCD — it's the enormitude (made up word) of interconnectivity in an online database — I love it. It satisfies my deep need to connect all people that I know, sort of know, should know, will know, etc. Bethany suspected that I was lost over there, hence the no posting here.

While I've been "gone" I've been searching through other fiber folks' finished objects, queued projects, misc patterns, etc. I saw that Fricknits is thinking about yarn while she's on blog break — that made me happy. I bought my first yarn for socks from Emily. Hopefully, I'll carve out the time to do it. I've never worked with double pointed needles, and wonder how the project will live with so many busy little hands around here. I'm a sucker for pink and red.

An informal focus group showed only one, of three people in my LYS, is up and running with Ravelry. Come on people! Get over there already, so we can connect.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

I *heart* futuregirl

Futuregirl Purse
Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
If you haven't checked out futuregirl go do it now. Alice is a talented gal. She has some great tutorials and a series of softies based on German film directors. I first commented on her blog because she made this fantastic felt octopus named Sigmund. Her guy, Andrew, took a most excellent photo of Sigmund in a cool setting with cool lighting. Alice also has a stuffed animal named Neville, named after the Gashley Crumb Tinies. Since I seem to collect friends with softies named Neville we were destined to be friends. Most recently she was part of an ornament swap that I organized. To reprise her most excellent octopus she created Octophrost: Santa of the Sea. I think she spent like eight hours per ornament. The detail is great. And, he's fun to hold — the tentacles are all wiggly.

Alice also makes and sells crocheted handbags. I am the lucky recipient of one, as shown in this photo. I sent Alice a drawing for sizing and she sent me a bag that fits me and my lifestyle perfectly. The super cool design is inspired by the fabric that she used for the lining. The details are great. There's a cell phone cozy, a key hook thingy, and an adjustable strap. You all should check out her Etsy shop. If you don't see something that you want, I'm sure she could do a custom order. Thanks, Alice.


Monday, November 20, 2006

I Heart Posole

Originally uploaded by Green Kitchen.
Posole is good, real good — It will cure what ails you. The chiles will kick a cold right out of your head and the whole mess might even get you past the wintertime blues, at least while you are eating it. I made some of this yummy Mexican soup this weekend to help get us through my son's birthday party, which included a day at the amusement park and lots of sugary treats. Posole is a comforting food, a grounding food Kids whacked out on sugar Parents chaperoning a wild kid-party need it.

Now, I know you can make posole with canned hominy — I've tried this, but, it is not the same as making it from scratch. For better texture, appearance, mouth-feel, and taste you need to use the dried dent corn called maize blanco. When you buy maize blanco you also need to get some lime, not limes, but lime, called cal in Spanish — this stuff helps take the hull off of the corn.

Here are some detailed instructions for cooking the corn with the lime. The way I did it was to boil a big pot of water, add three rough tablespoons of cal, stir till dissolved, add about 2 lbs of maize blanco. I boiled it until I could see the hull starting to soften and slough off. Then I dumped the corn into my sink colander and rinsed with water while stirring. The yellowish hulls wash off pretty easily. At this point you can add the corn to your soup-in-progress, but, if you want the corn to cook faster and "popcorn," or flower, then you will need to remove the little brown pointy part of the kernel, it's called de-heading. You can either pick it off with a thumbnail or slice it off with a knife. It took me about an hour and a half to do two pounds of corn with my kids "helping me." Two pounds of corn was enough to make two large pots of soup.

The rest of the soup is pretty easy and there are many variations. I make it a little different each time, always with satisfying results. Here is the ingredient list from my last batch of posole.

The corn:
Dried hominy (maize blanco)
Slaked lime (cal, for preparation of the corn)

The soup:
Pork shoulder roast (in the past I've used pork butt and/or chicken)
Mixed dried chiles (New Mex, Negro, California or whatever you like)
Tomatoes (I used a small can of diced)
Chicken broth (I like Pacific organic with salt)
Bay leaves
Olive oil

The toppings:
Cabbage (thinly sliced)
Monterey Jack (grated)
Cilantro (picked of stems)
Radishes (thinly sliced)
Onions (diced)
Lime wedges
Jalapeño (sliced)
Tortilla chips (homemade is a must)

While prepping the corn get the meat cooking since it's a tough cut that needs a long, slow cooking (like two or three hours) to tenderize it. In the large soup pot start with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, adding a diced onion when the oil is hot. Cook awhile till the onions soften up, then add the pork roast cut up into large chucks, about 3 inches cubed. Brown the meat if you can, or not, either is good. Throw in some minced garlic, stir, and let it cook a couple minutes. Add a box of chicken broth and/or some water. A few bay leaves and some Mexican oregano can go in now.

Heat a cast iron skillet and add the chiles turning them to warm them. I forget why I do this — I think it softens them. I didn't want too spicy a soup this time so I pulled off the stem ends and tried to remove most of the seeds. I then put about six or seven chiles into the blender with some water to make a basic chile paste. I've made more elaborate mixtures before, but this worked fine.

Add the chile paste to the soup and a can of fresh tomatoes if you wish. I think the tomatoes are not authentic to posole, but I like the depth of flavor they add. When you are done with the corn add it to the soup. If it looks like you need some more liquid add water or broth. When the corn has cooked an hour or you can add some salt. Keep tasting it and adjusting the flavors to your liking. Sometimes I make mine spicy hot and sometimes mild. j

Top with your favorite toppings from the list above. You must make your own tortilla chips to make this a truly scrumptious soup. Just cut up corn tortillas and fry them up in a pan, add salt, and then hide till dinnertime because they will get eaten up otherwise.


P.S. I forgot to mention that the whole process takes a good 3 to 4 hours, but it's worth it. While you are at it you might as well make a lot and freeze some.

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