Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I love Laundry day!

Simple pleasures people. Simple pleasures.
I wait so long to do laundry... weeks...not because I'm gross or anything, I just have a lot of clothes and don't have time to do full out laundry (the way I like it) that often. Plus as a procrastinator I just wait until I get to the last of my unders.

So yesterday was laundry day, just in time for spring! I put away all my wooly sweaters too and brought out the spring dresses. I couldn't be happier! Laundry day begins with the piling of colors: browns, greens & yellows, pinks and reds, blues, whites, greys, blacks, jeans and sheets and towels. Mostly, my towels are bright and fit into the other colored piles accordingly.... unless I have a massive amount of dish towels, in which case they get their own load. Ok, so you're begining to think I'm crazy to have so many piles.... that I'm the only person to break it down to individual colors.... not just darks/lights. Well, there's a method to my madness. But first here is a laundry dance, you can imagine your own music:

So as I already pointed out, I have a lot of clothes. Making these specific piles is the easiest way for me to break it down into small loads. Small loads get your laundry cleaner... which is after all the whole point of laundry day, is it not? The best part however, comes as you begin to fold your laundry. I usually take multiple trips to the laundromat next door. I put in two loads, go home, play computer/dance/clean/eat, bring over two more loads, put my first two loads in the dryer and repeat this cycle as necessary. I do this because I'm nice and don't want to hog all the washers and dryers from those who aren't as anal as I am.

So the best part.... folding! I love folding my clothes into neat little stacks. As I pull out the loads... blue was first yesterday, my folding table fills up with a wash of color- blues, then greys, then came the reds and pinks. You can see the progression of colors in the stacks. Each laundry day is different. I like the random color combinations that pop up. It gives me good ideas for new projects and I just fall in love with my clothes all over again. Here's an awesome color combo that happened randomly yesterday...

I though you might also get a kick out of this, my oldest article of clothing. Believe it or not, I made this tie dyed t-shirt when I was 12. It's totally see through, I've cut the collar off and you can't even tell it was once brightly colored. I only wear it to bed or to dance in and plan to keep it until it disintegrates!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Easter Bunny

This morning I came across this site of cute baby animals check out my Easter time friend here. I think he wants to hug you....

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dance moves you don't want to see Claire legs....I mean bare legs do...

Claire Danes may have taken a modern dance class in college... but it still won't make me buy these pants. I blame the choreographer cause these two are totally cute.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

"Oh, I had to throw out my old face cream, it didn't match my new ORGANIZED, bathroom."

Some of you may know, but I recently 'interviewed' at Martha Stewart Living for a position in the crafts department. After a month of not hearing from them, I was finally told there wasn't a position available. One can't assume that being interviewed for an open position actually means there is a position available after all, what was I thinking?

My spirit for the magazine has been fading over the last few years, especially in light of recent events, but mainly becuse with every new issue, there is some cute new craft project that either I have been working on already.... or was thinking about doing soon. Take this issue's postage stamp eggs.
Was my second blog post NOT about my new obsession with postage stamps? Hmmmmm, my favorite holiday being EASTER, it wouldn't have taken me long to put two and two together. Did I already make a postage stamp egg? No. Will I? HELLS no! Certainly not now. Am I angry? Yes. I'm tired of having such great ideas seem like copy cats of boring conservative crafting housewives who wear cashmere twinsets!!!! I am not a follower! I am a designer!

Is this jealousy? Envy? I'm mostly mad because my ideas are not getting published on those pages to. I wanted the job.

What really did it for me though, was this photo in the article about bathroom organization. I mean, I'm all for beautiful photographs, with insane styling and unique props. I understand that they are to provide inspiration and not necessarily be realistic.... but everything in this bathroom matches! It's all green.... even the toothpaste and fine print on the toiletries!!!!

My eyes practically rolled out of my head. I can't take it guys. Not any more. It's just..... pathetic or something. So unreal. An ideal that I don't feel a part of. My bathroom has hair in the brushes. My toiletries don't match. I actually...... LIVE in my house. You can tell that and to me, it is still beautiful.

So..... M. Stew, I'm kinda over you. It's time for spring cleaning and I'm pretty sure what I'm throwing away first.

Musings of the day

This morning I noticed that advertisors think a song will make us buy sour cream. Two compaines, Daisy and Frienship, have ads on t.v. that use cheesy jingles. They also think we should put sour cream on EVERYTHING, including muffins.

Then I looked on my bed and saw this...

Louis and Dinah dog just chillin and messing up my bed. After I took this photo, I set my camera down on my desk. When I saw this next image, I had to take it. Sometimes, actually, most of the time, color looks different through the camera lens. The color here looks nothing like the jar of colored pencils sitting next to me now. I collect these kind of photographs for future color references.

I drew this picture for a friend I thought could use a little city.

Finally, it's a beautiful spring day, so I went for a beautiful spring outfit.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Trash Camera

So lately Ii'[ve been bummed because my awesome camera, my partner in crime for the last year, is on the fritz. I have to send it in for repairs. Who knows how long it'll take or how much it will cost. Ok, but the real bummer is not being able to take photos of new work and keep up to date on this blog!

I was thrilled the other day when my friend Fran offered this camera to me. He found it in the trash!
Thank you Fran and thank you trash camera!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Kidland Mix

I just finished a marathon baby-sitting day: 7:45 am -7:15pm! The usual suspects: Miss Eleanor in the morning and then her bestie Luke joined us in the afternoon. These are the only two children I take care of and I've been doing it for two years now, wow! They are now three, fastly approaching four... great ones...Here's the cool necklace of Eleanor's I got to wear all day! But I digress...

There's something really special about spending such a large chunk of time with kids. It's not easy by any means, but you get enough time to just exist together. You have your ups and downs, your tears, your quarrels, your 'rules', your fun... you learn and do stuff and you just chill. This is my absolute favorite favorite part, just sitting with a child, chillin and chatting, Bill Cosby style. (total hero with the children and new addition to my team, btw)

Needless to say, this afternoon I was a little pooped, so I sent the little bffs off to Kid Land while I hung out in Grownup Land. I described Kid Land in a previous post, but it's the place where the kids 'go' to play however they want, without me around, as loud as they want, as messy as they want and I don't wander in unless I hear something in need of intervention. I actually keep pretty close tabs on them... and you think I'm just in it for the extra knitting time! It's been a really great system for me, especially when I need a little grownup land time and I think it's good for them too.

But today, before sending them off to Kid Land, I made them some Kid Land Mix:

In a big ziplock bag mix hand fulls of: crackers, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, cheerios or any other "trail mixy" items. Really it doesn't matter, it's more about the presentation. Shake up the bag so it all gets mixed evenly. This is your master bag and must be marked KIDS ONLY!!!! Seriously, no grownups allowed. (Sometimes you can get a kid to share with you though...)

I gave each child his(her) own little ziplock bag, with his(her) initial on it. This is very important, to keep them straight. I'm going to be picking them up this whole week after school, so this is their snack bag for the week with me. I told them not to eat all the chocolate chips today, or else they'd be all gone on Friday. Of course they could if they wanted to and maybe they'll learn to trade items for their favorites as the bag gets thinner? I'm curious to see what happens. Each day I plain to add a little something extra. Today, a couple of carrots got tossed in. Tomorrow? Not sure yet, but some healthy vegetabaly thing.

I can't tell you how into this they were! They carried around their bags all afternoon announcing each new item as they munched it. They also couldn't wait to show their parents. It made me really glad to see them carefully close their bag and set it down in a safe spot while they played. We have a designated time period that is ok for snacking, basically up to an hour before dinner, and then the bags go away until the next day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow...

Here are the kids enjoying their Kid Land Mix

Monday, March 19, 2007

To sheet or not to sheet...

I'll always give a big thumbs up to down comforters. Soft, fluffy, warm, just the right amount of weight on you... but I'm torn about the whole sheet or no sheet thing. I've always treated duvet covered down comforters as any other blanket or quilt, the top layer of the sleepy sandwich. You pick your one beautiful cover and your done.

But now I've met all these people who skip the middle man... they drop the flat sheet and just change their duvet cover! I can sort of see the reason behind this, but what about all your beautiful sheets? Is there really a true advantage to this?

Advantage no, pleasure yes! I just got a new, fluff in every area, down comforter and decided to try this approach. It's kind of the best. Mostly because the darn thing feels so good on you, why put anything else in the way? It's all you need.

The other thing is that it moves easily with you and the sheets don't get all bunched up. I love curling up into a little ball with mr. downy all mooshed around me... then with one swift kick-o-the legs.... she's down around my ankles again, like the perfect bed of my dreams. None of this could be done if there was a sheet in there. It'd be getting all stuck and folded and I'd feel inclined to adjust it.

I sleep really well sans sheet, who knew?

I guess I'll have to make some more duvets with all my favorite sheets. Then again, I'm sure I'll need them in the summer.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

So smart, it's stupid!

As I was browsing the interweb this morning, I came across this awesome idea.

It might just be me, but I often am at a loss as to how to best sew on a four-holed button... like a box? Like an X?
Neither has ever satisfied me, but what more could I do?

Check it out:

How abouut a beautiful little flower? Why didn't I think of this?????

Needless to say, my buttons will look like this from now on!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The best meatballs EVER!!!!

With the help of friends, I've developed the best meatballs EVER!!

It all started when Niegel and I decided to make meatloaf one night. I mentioned our plan to someone... "Oh, you've gotta use this..." she said and so it began. I'm totally stealing the best parts of all these family recipies and secrets.... but I guess that's what this is all about, so enjoy.

I'll tell you my way, because I think it's pretty jiffy. I'll do the whole meal, it makes more sense ingredients wise.


Preheat oven to 400


1lb ground sirloin
1 lg hot Italian sausage
1 lg sweet sausage
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg (beaten)
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 can whole peeled tomatoes

Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Coarse salt
Your favorite pasta...
Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl mix onion, parsley, sirloin, sausages (remove casings), 1 clove garlic, some salt, 1/2 of the beaten egg, bread crumbs, some parmesan and a little of the juice from the can of tomatoes (about 2 Tbl). Mix with your hands until just blended. Don't over mix or the balls will be tough. Mix just enough so that sausages are incorporated, the breadcrumbs are spread around and every ball has a bit of everything in it. Roll into 2" balls and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Place meatballs in oil and cook, flipping until at least three sides are browned, about 3-5 min. per side. Remove from heat and pour meatballs into baking pan, juices and all. Place the pan in the oven to bake until everything else is ready, or about 20 min. (Meatballs should be cooked through)

Using the same frying pan (don't worry about brown bits etc. it adds flavor!) add a little more olive oil, and place over med heat. Add remaining onion and garlic. Cook until onions are tender. Add can of tomatoes. Simmer over medium heat. Do not boil. Stir occasionally. (I use my spoon to cut up the tomatoes and press them a little bit while they cook.) Add salt and basil to the sauce to your liking. The salt will help draw out more liquid in the tomatoes, plus it tastes good.

Now is the time to make the pasta.
Once pasta is done, pour a little bit of the pasta water into the simmering sauce. (This adds a little starchiness to the and helps it grip to the pasta better)

Basically, you're done.
Put all the pieces together and in your tummy!!!!!

You can cook the sauce anywhere from just ten minutes to an hour. The longer you cook it, the thicker it'll get. I like it more on the less thick side... so that's more of what you'll get here. If you want it to cook longer, wait to make your pasta and keep the balls warm in a low temp. oven.

Have fun and tell me what you think!
It's totally worth a try!

Monday, March 12, 2007

When life throws you lemons...

Make Lemonade...

Or in my case, Banana Bread.
I'm a bit bummed today and am not in the spirit to dig to deep into making things. I needed something simple and satisfying.
Luckily I just happened to have three, very ripe bananas lying around.

Here's my family recipie:

3 mashed bananas
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
2T melted butter
2 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Mash it all up together and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Oh yeah, grease the loaf pan.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Inspired Knitting: One

In my quest to identify, isolate and illuminate areas that inspire us, I've come up with the following triggers:

Be it a favorite coffee shop, a street, the beach or an entire city, place can be an extreme influence over us. How does a place or better still, a sense of place inspire you? Your trip to India... your Grandmas house...your bed?

Sometimes just looking at a skein of yarn is enough to inspire. Silk, cashmere, twine.... but what about beads, buttons, ribbons? I have a bundle of little red buttons, just begging for a sweater to show them off.

Friends, family, strangers, celebrities... they can all inspire us to make things. My favorite thing is trying to imagine just the right sweater for a particular pal. How do they move? What would they wear? What would make him or her feel like a king?


Inspired Knitting: One

In my quest to identify, isolate and illuminate areas that inspire us, I've come up with the following triggers:

Be it a favorite coffee shop, a street, the beach or an entire city, place can be an extreme influence over us. How does a place or better still, a sense of place inspire you? Your trip to India... your Grandmas house...your bed?

Sometimes just looking at a skein of yarn is enough to inspire. Silk, cashmere, twine.... but what about beads, buttons, ribbons? I have a bundle of little red buttons for example, just begging for a sweater to show them off. We can design projects specifically to highlight and utilize our awesome materials.

Friends, family, strangers, celebrities... they can all inspire us to make things. My favorite thing is trying to imagine just the right sweater for a particular pal. How do they move? What would they wear? What would make him or her feel like a king?

It be be one color or a combination of colors that jump start your engine. I love the muted color in this photo, which was a total accident by the way, because it feels other worldly. I could design using these colors or try to re-create the mood it suggests say, in a rooms decor....

Obviously, the trends and style of the times play a very important role in what we make.

Most commonly we make things for a particular purpose like.... I'm cold, I need a sweater. Or my sister is having a baby, I should make her a gift. Filling the needs of others or even ourselves, is an important reason to make anything and perhaps the most satisfying.

I'd say most things we make are a combination of the above ideas. I like to include my "inspiration story" when writing up patterns because I think it's often more motivating than the project itself. If we learn how others are inspired, we too, can begin to notice what gets us in the mood to make.

Look for experiments with these ideas in the future....

Monday, March 5, 2007

This Morning...

So this morning marks the first day of my new plan: working.

Well, I'm always working on something, but I need to get it together to make my day more productive and official. I work at home and it's really easy to get distracted by making cookies or cleaning something. I've decided to give myself a 10-6 working day. Luckily for me, much of that time will mean sitting and knitting with my favorite programs (pronounced progums). Did you know that Queer Eye is now on NBC morning television? I've yet to watch it at this time slot, but I'm looking forward to it. I used to look forward to the Cosby Show, it's kinda the best show, but it's not on anymore. So, I'm listening to public radio, which makes me feel smarter and is actually helping me with my computer tasks.

My work day is about to begin. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 1, 2007


Just some photos of my dance performance In February....
Huh? was performed at the Tang at Skidmore College, February 1, 2 & 3 2007.
Dance by Melinda Ring. Sculpture by Martin Kersels.
Dancers: Kim Hamlin, Sari Nordman, Karl Rogers and Gali Wexler.

God made me tall just so you could hit on me....

If you're a woman in this town, you will be hit on, period. You don't have to be pretty or made up, just female and even that is questionable at times. There's something about being as tall as me, that invites even more remarks. I'm not going to complain because I don't want to spend any more of my day thinking about it, or wondering why men feel a need to do this and that it makes me feel kind of crappy.... I just want to share the one I got today on my walk home....

" Hey tall lady! You look so nice I have to say it twice..."

I guess he'll get me again the next time I walk by.

At least it was better than the guy who yelled "HEY BIG LADY!"