Monday, June 28, 2010

House Plants - A Round-Up

This succulent assortment was actually a gift for a friend, so it only spent a couple weeks hanging out on our window sill before it moved on to its new home.

"String of pearls," another succulent variety. I've always loved these from afar and recently finally got one in my clutches.

I love that little clay mushroom dearly (as I do all my ceramic mushrooms). First there was one, then there were two, and now I can't stop collecting them! Excepting the first, they're all from the same local potter who often has a booth at the Barton Creek Farmers Market.

This spider plant came with us all the way from Portland, and I recently stuck it in a vinyl record bowl I got free at a yard sale. It hasn't grown much, if at all, in the few years that we've had it, but it keeps on truckin'.

Next up, orchids, which never fail to amaze.

This plant is actually also not with us anymore. It was on loan only and has since been swapped out for a white one (which is also lovely, but not as unique as this particular one).

And, lastly, this little succulent grouping which I've had since April. It was actually a wedding decoration leftover that the bride and groom sweetly brought me (the round thing is the top of another little mushroom!).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Brownie Camera + Overdue Updates

This little brownie camera is another recent garage sale find.

I don't really know much about them but have heard the name mentioned before by my dad. It might still work but I'd have to order the film it takes (127) on-line, which I'd like to do at some point. But at the least it is interesting and cute just to look at, and can serve as a play camera for Zoë (who is donning Dress #3 here, by the way).

Now, for some very overdue updates. Nothing particularly interesting; just tying up some loose ends (the updates have been added to the posts themselves):

Friday, June 25, 2010

This Moment (II)

Again, I'm joining Soule Mama in a Friday "moment" post. In her words,

"{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. "

If the flower does not look quite normal, it's because I fiddled with it (added some color) in Photoshop, but I can't quite tell if I pulled it off. I feel like I have a grasp of maybe .002% of Photoshop. I should really take a class. Anyhoo, so much for a wordless moment!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Little Blanco River

The other day was the second time this year I've enjoyed a swim in the Little Blanco River in Blanco, Texas.

Lucky for me this lovely and private spot is just right out the front door of a good friend's house.

It reminds me that I need to be doing more swimming in general right now. It's summer, after all, and it's really one of the only enjoyable outdoor activities in the heat of a Texas summer.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This Moment (I)

I'm taking Soule Mama up on her invitation to join her in posting a "moment" on Fridays. In her words,
"{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. "

Expect more "moments" on Fridays to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Legume & Grain Salad with Asian-ish Dressing

This is the second time I've made this salad in the past few weeks and it is awesome. I came across the recipe here and, after my first experimental batch, now have it better customized to my particular tastes. There is definitely room for change, but it is pretty dang good like this.

Salad (no amounts for this part, sorry—just use your good judgement!):
Garbanzo beans, cooked & chilled
Wheat berries, cooked & chilled
Green beans, cooked & chilled, cut into 1" pieces
Fresh cilantro (lots of it), chopped
Fresh red bell pepper, chopped
Fresh green onion, thinly sliced

1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
1-2 limes, juiced (use 2 if they're not very juicy, which mine weren't)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I turned them to paste with the help of a Microplane)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated (again, Microplane)
1/2-1 serrano pepper, minced (optional)

Just toss it all together, and then, lastly, Gomasio—for sprinkling on top (the salad is still great without it, but this is a nice finishing touch). And that is it. The first time around I used a lot of cabbage, along with some baby spinach, cucumber, and brown rice. It was good, but I liked the second batch far better, and it holds up much better as leftovers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More Octopuses (Apron #2)

(My head was not feeling a Kodak moment.) This apron, like the last, is also a gift (which I might be ruining the surprise of right now).

I just finished it up and am really happy with the outcome. (Or did I? I was originally planning to put something on the bib—a pocket or applique from the same octopus fabric. But then I got to this point and think I might prefer it as-is. What do you think? Should I go further with this? Anyone?) The solid fabric is a linen/rayon blend, and the patterned is cotton quilting fabric (another from Heather Ross's Mendocino collection). I made up the pattern using a vintage apron as a guideline, and it all came together really well. The stitching looks really nice and consistent (with just a couple tiny iffy spots), the fit is good and it's all quite symmetrical, and there are no exposed raw edges, even on the inside, which is nice. Making this apron really made me want to make one for myself already. Although I've been fantasizing about a dress, too, which just might have to come first. Oh, or a purse! (And the list goes on...) I'm so glad I've been sewing more lately. I feel like I'd been talking/thinking about it forever, and now I'm finally making some headway. Each project I've been working on I learn a little more, and feel just that much more prepared for the next. It really is sew fun and rewarding!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Alpaca & Octopus

I drew both of these from illustrations in an old children's dictionary ("Macmillan Dictionary for Children, Revised Edition" Copyright 1987 Macmillan Publishing Company).

I want to do more like these, except in a way that avoids possible copyright infringement (I wouldn't care if I were just hanging them on my own wall, but I'd like to try selling some). I'm not the type that can draw like this straight out of my imagination; I really need something to look at, and I'm still figuring out what that can/should be. I also may want to switch to watercolor (these I did with colored pencils). I'm a little torn. Watercolor feels like more of a challenge than colored pencil, but I also find it really appealing. Maybe I'll just work with both for now, and eventually a favorite might win out, or not, and that would be okay, too.