February 28, 2011

Week of Crafts: Introducing Roald Dahl

My arm is not doing me any favors these days. Accordingly--I am sad to say--I will be taking a break from crafting and extended time on the computer. Instead, I will be watching copious amounts of television and beginning my odyssey through Roald Dahl's world of incredibly wonderful stories filled with fantastically marvelous, endearing, and disgusting characters.

I love Roald Dahl. I always have. As a kid I read nearly all of his children's books, listened to The Fantastic Mr. Fox on audiotape too many time to count, and fell in love with him through his non-autobiographies. Recently I was reminded of this favorite author of mine and promptly decided to read his oeuvre, every written word I can get my hands on.

I'm starting with his non-autobiographies of Boy and Going Solo. Then I'll move onto his works for children, adults, and everyone in between. I'm not quite sure if I'll stick with my initial plan to read through his works in chronological order (by publication date), starting with children's fiction and ending with short stories and adult fiction. Or maybe I'll just pick the titles willy nilly. Who knows. Who cares. I just know I'll be having a ton of fun either way.

I'll make sure to keep you up to date with my progress. Expect to see posts with pictures, memorable quotes, observations, and such.

p.s. I have to say that I'm a big fan of Quentin Blake. And I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that Blake's illustrations are nothing short of genius and 100% synonymous with Dahl's work. I have a feeling I'll be reading up on his life and work as well...

image sources: Roald Dahl, The Twits, The BFG, Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Celebrating 100 Posts

I just logged in to post a quick note about what I plan to do this week and saw that I've reached a milestone: this will be my 100th blog post! In celebration here is a little bit of fun for all of my followers and readers, official and otherwise. Thank you for reading my words, checking out my photos, and letting me share my crafty doings with you. Enjoy!

How fun was that?!? More crafty, artistic, silly, quirky, informative, and all around awesome video posts to come. Promise.

February 27, 2011

This Week in Crafts

Week of February 21, 2011

OK. So, I had pretty lofty goals for myself this week: embroidery, embroidery, and more embroidery. I got a good deal of it done:

Sacra-tomato piece for this week's Iron Craft Challenge

Stitches I Know. I don't have a picture of the finished piece, but it's done. Though I'm not 100% happy with it...probably because I didn't do a good deal of it right. Grrr...

And yet I still feel like I fell short of my goals which included designing and stitching a fruits and veggie scene for my farmers' market tote. But I have a good reason: according to the doctor I saw this week, I've developed some sort of nerve related inflammation (or something) in my left arm, most likely caused by repetitive actions, such as typing. It's not painful, but it's irritating and pretty constant...especially when I'm typing and stitching. So I've been trying to take things easy this past week. I can feel it getting worse as I'm typing right now. I should probably wrap up this post.

But before I go, this week I also:

* Ate a really tasty cheese roll for breakfast. (I know it's not crafty, and I didn't make it, but it was really good!)

* Walked for Choice on Saturday. (One of my pictures from the walk was featured in a Buzzfeed post, too!)

* Finished another page. Now you can access each and every This Weeks in Crafts post from one centralized location. Check it out; let me know what you think.

February 26, 2011

Walk for Choice 2011

I walked for choice today.

I also took a bunch of pictures. Here are some of my favorites. Check out more on my flickr page.

Farm Fresh Diary

February 26, 2011

I woke up this morning and jumped out of bed (sort of) because it was sunny and I knew that Panorama would be at the farmers' market. We've been out of sliced bread for a while and I passed up buying a loaf at the super market this week because I wanted to try one of Panorama's. Imagine my disappointment when they were nowhere to be found. Oh, well. Instead I picked up some other goodies:


There was lots of this stuff at the market this morning.


These weren't on my radar but I saw them and thought that they'd make good guacamole for Oscar Sunday.


2 Yukon Golds (they're under the onions) along with the asparagus. I needed them for the Spanish tortilla that I wanted to make for breakfast:

It turned out ok...not as good as the previous 2 times I've made it. The potatoes took forever to cook and for some reason there didn't seem to be enough egg. I don't think I did anything different, but some days the cooking gods just aren't on your side.

At least it looks tasty...right?

February 23, 2011

Iron Craft Challenge Wednesday

This week's Iron Craft Challenge theme: Hometown.

While thinking about something that
would best represent my hometown of Sacramento, Ca, I remembered that many folks lovingly call it "Sacra-tomato." Don't ask me why, they just do. (The only reason that I can think of is that tomatoes are produced in the area, and that "mento" sounds similar to "mato", thus Sacra-tomato.)

From my Sacra-tomato revelation everything fell into place quite quickly. I decided to use embroidery because it would be much quicker than trying to knit or crochet a tomato. As I was brainstorming the design of this project I came to the conclusion that stitching one lone tomato was not very exciting. And then it hit me: the bear. How great would it be to have a tomato riding a bear--much like the one represented on California's state flag--with a star in the background? Really freakin' awesome, I said to myself. And so off I went into the virtual world, looking for reference material on the Internet.

I was able to get everything--the researching, layout, and stitching--done in one sitting and I am quite pleased with it.

February 22, 2011


Specialty Cheese Roll (with feta, spinach, and herbs) from Arizmendi Bakery. Really good; too good.

February 21, 2011

Week of Crafts

This week I want to focus on embroidery. Ideally, I'd like to:

Finish the "Stitches I Know" piece and affix it to...something. Perhaps a bag.

Work on my project for Iron Craft Challenge 8: Hometown. I've already drafted the design and started stitching. I'm also thinking of taking this challenge's theme one step further and making another piece to represent my new hometown. We'll see...

Here's a peek. Can you guess my hometown?

Design, stitch, and sew a fruits and veggies scene for an extra large canvas bag that would make a great shopping bag. Embroidered fruits and veggies + large canvas bag = super cute trips to the farmers' market.

And...it's not embroidery, but I plan to publish 2 more pages.

February 20, 2011

This Week in Crafts

Week of February 14, 2011

Let's see...

On Monday I made yummy treats for Valentine's Day.

Chocolate covered strawberries and hazelnut biscotti.

On Tuesday I whipped up a sparkly barrette for Iron Craft Challenge 7: Midas Touch.

On Wednesday I picked up embroidery again and nearly finished the piece that I began a looong time ago. All I need to do now is complete the "Stitches I Know" portion.

On Thursday I whipped up a aromatherapy sachet birthday present for my friend. To be honest I had intended on turning this project into a tutorial post, but I abandoned my original design for a much simpler one and I didn't feel up to documenting the whole process. It didn't turn out as polished as I had envisioned but I like it just the same. (I even made one for the cabinet where we keep our kitchen trash and compost bins. Latest stroke of genius by far.)

Filled with dried lavender. Smells heavenly!

I didn't do much on Friday or Saturday (except blog about my trip to the farmers' market and Lucky Ju Ju's).

Today, I at mac n' cheese. Glorious, glorious mac n' cheese. I arrived at Homeroom--along with my friend Christina, my brother Tristan, and his girlfriend Kelly--a little before noon. Homeroom was already full of locals eating up cheesy macaroni, but thankfully our wait was minimal (about 15 minutes). Seating was cozy and the mac was cozier. I'll just let the pictures speak for me:

Christina's choice: Classic Mac--good ol' cheddar cheese sauce. So yummy!

Spicy Mac (today's special) for Tristan--a traditional mac n' cheese with a spicy jack cheese instead of cheddar. Lots of spice of all kinds that gradually changed in composition as it lingered on the palate.

Kelly got the Trailer Mac--mild cheddar sauce with bits of hot dog topped with potato chips. (To anyone from Sacramento: this tastes exactly like a grilled cheese dog sandwich--potato chips and all--from Vic's Ice Cream.)

And I got The Exchange Student: Cacio e Pepe--Homeroom's take on the classic Italian pasta featuring a sauce of pecorino cheese and cracked peppercorns.

I also got some roasted carrots (gotta eat my veggies!). They were a little oily, but were roasted perfectly.

The kids split a homemade oreo for dessert. Sorry, no picture: I was quickly slipping into a mac n' cheese induced coma. Next time...next time. Promise.

want more? read my yelp review of Homeroom.

February 19, 2011

Cure for a Rainy Day

a photo essay

Lucky JuJu/Pacific Pinball Museum
Alameda, Ca

Pinball all around. Pinball wall art

Gigi, 1963

Gigi, 1963

Hang Glider, 1976

Hang Glider, 1976

Hang Glider, 1976

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Road Show

Pinball wall art

Beat Time, 1967 (what?)

Beat Time, 1967

Royal Flush, 1976 (one of my personal favorites)

Bally Circus, 1957

Bally Circus, 1957

Bally Circus, 1957

Retro Coke machine. Look closely.

100% Pinball. Pinball wall art

Shoot the Moon

Shoot the Moon

Pinball wall art

Sweet Add-a-Line, 1955

Sweet Add-a-Line, 1955

Surf Champ, 1976 (another one of my favorites)

Surf Champ, 1976

Cactus Jack's, 1991

Cactus Jack's, 1991 There's sunglasses-wearing catci characters...

...they dance