Thursday, July 30, 2009

Loom Knit Selvage Bag

If you've read some of my posts you already know I hate to waste anything that possibly has another use left in it. With that in mind, I've been collecting selvages. I serge the ends together and wrap the 'yarn' into a ball. With no give at all it isn't all that easy to loom knit with it, but I was determined to try and carry out the vision I had of this.

Using the long purple Knifty Knitter loom I made this cute, artsy bag. I'm still up in the air on the handle, though. I'm seeing some sort of chain wound with the already present selvage. What do you think? Chain/selvage or just selvage?

Next Week: Pillowcases for Charity

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Upside Down Tomato Plants Anyone?

Those little green plastic bags you see advertised in magazines and on TV had caught my spouse's eye. There was no way I was forking over ten bucks for another piece of plastic junk that was going to end up in a landfill at the end of the season...or maybe two if it was durable enough to last through the first use.

I studied a package of these 'marvels' at the store, then did a little reading up to see if my idea had merit. Sure enough it seemed to. In fact there were folks who had successfully grown tomato plants before in what I was thinking - jeans legs.

With my supplies cut and at hand, I took to assembling them with the help of my sewing machine. I sewed the long strips all through the inside of the bag, for extra support. I certainly could have finished the edges better but remember, this is a tester so I'm not putting too much work into it. Next year's model - likely for Father's Day gifting - will be neat and pretty.

Once I had the bottom sewn up into an opening big enough to put my already sprouted plant roots through (Mom & Dad had given me some of those 'tomato tree' plants they got from another one of those ads) but small enough to keep the soil inside, I was off to the porch to do my planting.

And here is the first one. What do you think? We're having fun watching the plant turn up toward the sun. We're also hoping to bring these in when the first freeze is predicted in order to extend the growing season.

Wish us luck!

Tomorrow at CrunchySews: Loom Knit Selvage Bag.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beautiful CSA share food.

This was our first week's bounty. It is so beautiful I've been using it as the background on my laptop and just now felt inspired to share it...with you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Did You Know That Beet Leaves are Delicious?

No? Never tasted them you say? Well then I'm happy to report they are. Although you may have to get them from your CSA share or a Farmer's Market in order to get the crispy, earthy, delicious ones I have been fortunate enough to enjoy for two farm seasons now. They go great on sandwiches and in salads. The salad you see above was my lunch today. To give my own twist on what Mythbusters always say - DO try this at home.

Very Delicious Vegan Lunch Salad, Courtesy of our Very Adored CSA Share

1 can TJs organic Garbanzo Beans
the leaves and stems of 2 farm Beets, chopped
1 farm Salad Turnip, cut into small pieces
chopped fruit of your choosing (today all I had was an apple, so in it went)
a small sprinkle of Sea Salt
1 clove fresh garlic, chopped

Enjoy the heck out of it!

FYI, I don't believe I'd ever had fresh garlic until last year when we were finally lucky enough to make it from CSA waiting lists to CSA Shareholder. Let me say that the extra effort it takes to peel garlic whose outsides haven't been dried into little bits of paper is well worth the taste. Yum.

Chop, mix, enjoy the heck out of it!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pandora Radio.

Since getting rid of Sirius (which, by the way, has been calling us pretty regularly trying to get us to come back) I have discovered, through the recommendation of one of my children, Pandora and have fallen in love. This may cement my decision to give up my sweet and tiny little Samsung cell and go with a more weighty (and powerful) Blackberry.

Give it a try.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Betty Crocker Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix

Yes, that title does include the words Betty Crocker. It is amazing how far celiac has come in the last ten years, isn't it? We gluten free folks are starting to hit the mainstream.

We ordered the yellow cake mix from Amazon on a six month subscription. My adult daughter prepared it, subbing applesauce for the butter and eggs to make it vegan. She added some chocolate chips to the mix. We found the batter is so thin they just sank to the bottom of the cake.

It was nice out of the oven, but even better out of the refrigerator. Should you experiment with this new mix I'd love to hear how it turns out for you!

Update: Version 2, made with honey, vanilla & applesauce is spongier. Chocolate chips stayed on the top instead of sinking to the bottom.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pay It Forward meme

I'm not really big on this kind of thing but it really sounds fun so when I saw this on Clevergirl's blog I knew I had to participate. She already had five replies so I went to the blog of someone who replied to her and commented to that person, My New Thing. Now to the meme:

I am entering into the following agreement with the first 5 people who comment on this post and then commit to doing the same on their blog. Just read below and if you feel up to the task copy the following into your blog and leave me a comment.

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I send you. But you may be pleasantly surprised. It will definitely be sewing/craft related.

2. What I send will be made just for you, with love, by my own hands. You’d be surprised how much of our personalities does come through online.

3. I will complete all 5 gifts this year – 2009.

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world, that you can touch and feel, and not something cyber.

5. I reserve the right to do something strange. It may be weird or beautiful. Or it may be monstrous and annoying. If you find it truly horrendous, just let me know. Perhaps you’ll send it forward to someone who will absolutely love it.

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your blog post.

7. Send your mailing address – after I contact you to confirm. I am willing to ship internationally.

If you’d like something handmade by me, be one of the first 5 to post a comment and to post this offer on your blog, too!

Please join me, Leigh and Antoinette in spreading some bloggy love and beautiful things around the world…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Delicious, Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free Breakfast...

...entirely from Trader Joe's.

When I was first diagnosed, what an expense and hassle it was to eat. Now, nearly ten years later it is so much easier. This morning's breakfast was a delicious one that was quick and easy to make.

Toast 2 TJ's GF waffles.

Spread with TJ's Cashew/Macadamia Butter

Spoon on TJ's Apple Sauce (the Chunky Apples & Cinnamon would make it even more delicious)

Sprinkle with TJ's Walnut Halves and Pieces

Pour on TJ's Grade B Maple Syrup if desired.

Dig in!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Frustration at the Farmer's Market

Today I went to the Farmer's Market. Our local market is quite small but always worth stopping by. I got my hubby some nice dry Italian sausage at one stand.

At another I inquired as to whether the beautiful gluten-free items were also vegan. I was quickly told no, all items had both eggs and butter. I smiled, said 'thanks anyway' and started to walk away. The vendor stopped me to hand me her card. I told her I appreciated the effort but I am a vegan, and my daughter (who was not present), while still eating eggs, is an otherwise animal-ingredient free vegetarian. She seemed to become short of patience with me when she started to tell me she could make cupcakes that were vegan. I nodded and told her that baking vegan/gluten free was not easy, was a challenge I'd been up against for years and that I understood. She persisted in telling me how hard it is to make cookies vegan/gf, etc. I finally extracted myself from the situation wondering what she had hoped to accomplish. Did she expect me to suddenly not be sensitive (morally or physically) to animal products?

As I made my way back to my car I spotted nice quarts of sour cherries for $3. Stopping to buy some I experienced frustration #2 of the local market. I asked the woman not to bag them, since I had bags in the car. She nodded vacantly at me and picked up a plastic bag. I held out my hand and said, 'no bag necessary' thinking that maybe she hadn't heard me the first time, but she continued to bag them, then set them in front of me and asked 'is that bag, ok?' I gave up, it wasn't worth trying to explain when she clearly wasn't listening. So I hand her a nice, crisp $10 and apologize for not having a smaller bill. She hands me back two singles. I stop a minute, waiting for the $5 but she starts to go back to her chair. I politely tell her I gave her a 10, to which she says 'and I gave you back 7'. Meanwhile I'm standing in front of her dangling two singles from one hand and one single in the other hand which had originally held $11 till I gave the $10 to her. She stood there a moment, then begrudgingly gave me a $5 bill.

I guess I'll stick with my CSA, despite the fact that I don't get much fruit there. The people are such sweethearts I must be spoiled by them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Do You Commute? How do you pass the time in the car?

I've been commuting to a job I adore for a few years now. I don't mind it too much, the job is worth it. But as you read last week my satellite radio gave up the ghost and I chose not to replace it. How do I pass the time in the car now? With something I used to do often before I got the satellite in the first place - books on CD.

You're thinking this is an expensive habit. And you're right, if one were to purchase these books it would be a very expensive habit. I don't purchase books on CD, I get them a few ways. First, my old standby, the library and interlibrary loan. Second most often is through Paperbackswap. Occasionally I'll find one on the share table in the vestibule of the library where folks leave their discards for fellow patrons.

It makes the time pass so much more quickly. What do you do to pass time in the car?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Excerpt: 'Always Looking Up' - ABC News

Excerpt: 'Always Looking Up' - ABC News

Shared via AddThis

I just finished 'reading' this via CD on my daily commute. I enjoyed Michael J. Fox's earlier book, Lucky Man, and looked forward to reading this latest book. I highly recommend borrowing it from your library just like I did.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Love Books.

You may have noticed I love books. But we have so many that I am reluctant to purchase more of them. I've been slowly shedding the ones we no longer have interest in. I do that several ways. Some are left on the share table at the library. Some are left on the share table at work. Most, however, are swapped. I adore Paperback Swap. I've been with them for quite some time, having joined through a friend who I can't thank enough for telling me about the site. If you're a fan of the anti-clutter approach of for each new thing brought into the house one or more old things must go, this is the book site for you! - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.