Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring is near

Seedling time again. This year I am doing parsley, sweet peas, carrots and radishes. The last three you are supposed to just sow outside because they don't transplant well, but I am going to give it a go and feel very optimistic about the outcome. We shall see. I took the advice of my friend Jennifer and used 2 year old seed packet of parsley, which have been kept in a dry, dark place. Didn't work. So I will go out get some new ones and start anew.

Not sure if my seedling exchange buddies will be interested in any of these plants, but I will offer them up nevertheless. Usually we all go and pick out seeds together, but this year snow storms, wedding planning and babies got in the way. It will be a fun surprise to see what everyone has grown come May when we exchange.

Nothing pretty about this, but it does the job. Steve hard wired our old bathroom vanity light as a seedling grow light. He affixed a board to the back, screwed in hooks reused a chain from an old light to hang it from our foosball table in the basement. We put the old door there to make sure the carpet doesn't get wet/dirty. The seedlings are growing like crazy and it has only been a 2 weeks since I planted them! I think it's going to be a good growing year.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Granny sweater

This little set was knit by my grandma who used to be very creative and crafty. She made these for me when I was born.

A little close up of the hat and some very chubby cheeks..

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Firkin Fest

I joined my friends Matt, Stacy, and Ian at St. Paul's Happy Gnome for their Firkin Fest yesterday. We paid $35 for unlimited samples of beer from over 80 firkens. A firken is 1/4 barrel of beer.

There was a line around the block to gain access when general admission opened at 1. VIP folks came an hour early. I thought paying an extra $10 for a VIP ticket was dumb. But I noticed several beers were out before 2PM and the crowd swelled big time after we got into the tent. So perhaps it was a good call.

Here is a good review I just read of the event. I decided to tweet my entire time there. Here is a list of the 21 beers I tried via my twitter feed:
1st beer @ Firkin Fest: Surly abrasive
Lift Bridge di's nuts
Flat Earth grand design > smells like smores!
Odell red ale
Big Sky lyndale brown > stingey pour
Furthermore fatty boombalatty!
Avery joe's premium pilsner getting crowed in here
By far the slowest moving line here... food line! > Brisket sandwich and onion rings.
Crispin desert noir
Victory headwaters pa
SUMMIT gold sovereign ale
New Belgium super cru
Fulton sweet child of vine > oh, oh oh. Sweet child of vine.
Great Divide bitter and twisted
Tallgrass buffalo sex sweet chocolate and cherries > Guy had to tip the firkin to serve me.
Left Hand good juju > they already ran out of the milk stout. Tear.
Lagunitas the hairy eyeball > just as I imagined it would taste.
Pee break. TMI > Portable trough!
Dark Horse oatmeal IPA
Boulder planet porter
Two Brothers northwind imperial stout
Brau Brothers sumatran moojoos oatmeal milk stout.
Rogue amber ale

Friday, March 25, 2011

Christmas wreath in March?

By now, many of you know of my obsession with felt. I came across a felt ball wreath (similar to this, but about double the size) back in December. Here is the post on the Norwegian blog Pickles (love the name, despite actually hating pickles). This seemed like a fun and easy project to tackle. Little did I know I would still be completing it in March due to a supply shortage. Apparently other people had the same idea and the balls were all backordered for 3 months so I just received my second batch a week ago. In total, this cost quite a bit more than I had initially imagined, so I'm hoping it will last a really long time.

I thought 100 balls would cut it, but it ended up being more like double that. I only realized this after organizing and sewing my first batch of 100 of them on and then only getting about 1/2 of the way around the wreath. I used a foam wreath form and then wrapped ribbon around it to spruce it up a bit in case you could see some of it through the balls.

Above, I laid them all out so that I could evenly distribute the colors throughout. Had to redo this once I got the new shipment and did rows of 5 instead of 4.

New batch is organized and ready to go.

I strung the balls with a needle and nylon fishing line. Through a bit of trial and error, it worked best to stick a pin in every inch or so and tie the end of the line around the pinhead. You know how the Scandinavians always say that you can tell the quality of something by looking on the back to see how it was finished. Hoping this will hold up.

I'm very pleased with how this looks even though I wish it was about triple the size.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Needle Felting

Last night Kristen and I took a needle felting class at the Textile Center. It was our first time taking a class here and we will definitely take another. I didn't know much about needle felting before we took the class, but it is very easy and it requires few supplies. Also it continues to fuel my love of felt. One small drawback is that I will most likely end up in urgent care since the likelihood of stabbing myself is fairly high.

I made this Scandinavian dala horse in a matter of about an hour. I think I might sew it into a little christmas ornament. Pretty sure my fellow daughters of Norway will be jealous.

Our first project was a bird. You can see the foam underneath that you stab the needles into in order to adhere the felt roving to your fabric. Now anytime I see a bird on craft projects I think of this from Portlandia.

Here's what the underside of the project looks like. You can see the pricks of where the needle went through and a bit of the felt, which is how the design is held in place.

Here's what the felt roving looks like before you apply it to your design. Apparently you can use many different things besides roving like yarn, alpaca fur and dog hair — which just seems gross. The instructor made some really amazing things that basically looked like watercolors. She did a lot of animal portraits for people. Very impressive.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Homemade creme eggs!

Perhaps you are wondering why would I try to replicate perfection when Cadbury already makes a mean creme egg? I guess the answer is curiosity. I came across this recipe and decided to give it a go. I got a mold at the Kitchen Window, but they only had one so I could only make half eggs. A full sized egg would have been a bit unmanageable to eat.

They didn't take too long to make and they are quite delicious. I didn't make the yellow yolk because it seemed silly since it's just for looks.

Next time I would probably make about half the creme than the recipe calls for since I have a ton leftover. Also I would put about a half cup less sugar which would make it a little creamier, but all and all-- success!