Monday, June 29, 2009

A hint of things to come

I'm. still. studying.

I motivate myself to get through this exam, and make the most of it, by browsing Etsy for ideas such as this and this.

Please do not think that I ever mean to (ever!) say I can make these types of things better. I just have a lot more time than cash. I also see the making of a thing as almost a hunter-gatherer endeavor... finding great fabric in a bargain bin or bringing a once-loved item back to life. I support artists and craftspeople when I can... handmade/well designed things made with care and love are wonderful. I also think they inspire care and love in all aspects of our lives.

Oh, and there is this one, too...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One more down

Site Planning exam was this morning at 8 am. Next week (on June 30, the last possible day) is Building Technology at 9 am. That one is at least 5 hours long and the test site is an hour and a half away! I'm making progress and getting closer to reaching so many goals... so can't complain about the crazy schedule. I feel good about this morning, so hopefully my grade/score will reflect that!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Crafty inspiration

I happened by a crafty blog that I like and found this most-inspiring photo. Her little craft room is way neater than my space... and even though some of my mess can't be helped (tiny house!), I really love the tea cup pin 'cushion' and the juxtaposition of the white china with the earthenware. Maybe someday I'll have brightly colored spools of thread to keep in a jar, too!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I promise to add photos of my projects later tonight, but in the meantime...

My secondary goal for taking the Wardrobe Refashion Pledge was really to not spend any money on clothes or fabric for the term of the Pledge. I have a bunch of stuff waiting in the stash, and if I can get it to a more manageable size, that'll be the pay-off... not to mention the 'new' clothes! I spent maybe $15 in May, on items for projects. To celebrate passing the LEED exam, I found a $5 scarf that I've turned into a top and found a couple of things on a lunchbreak walk to Father & Son. I've been working on a couple of pillowcase projects, which I'm finding to be so easy and fulfilling! I am still waiting to finish a tunic top for my friend's 3-year-old and then make a similar one for my goddaughter (the 3-yo's little sister). I also took a larger decorative pillow sham case and turned it into pj capri pants for myself. I'm super excited about those. I ended up finding an adorable skirt at Goodwill last week... unfortunately it doesn't need any work, but it is thrifted and cost a whole $3.39. I love that store. My only other purchase for the month of June was from etsy and it is adorable artwork.

I'm going to have to put the sewing aside for a bit, though, because I have two more exams to take before the end of June. I'm really not looking forward to spending the next two weeks on the computer all night, studying. The up side is that if I pass these I can make an easier transition to the new format... as my dad would say, I'll be in the short rows.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Decemberists and the rain

My cousin and 'best girl' Jen took me out for a girl's night to see The Decemberists at Memorial Auditorium. The show was awesome and the adventure had just begun... we left the building to find a downpour and then to find the entrance to the parking deck LOCKED! We found the other entrance, but not after tramping through the rain for a few blocks. Good times!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ricotta Gnocchi

My baby brother is always inspiring me with his delicious cooking knowledge! He recently graduated from culinary school and works at an awesome restaurant. He's no food snob and enjoys to sit back and let me (or our dad) do the cooking whenever he gets the chance.

So, the gnocchi story... so baby bro stopped by a while back and made us all dinner... pan-seared flounder with roasted potatoes and spinach with fresh cucumber salsa. YUM!

The inspiration part came in when I mentioned I'd picked up a carton of ricotta and didn't know what to do with it all. I will admit, who buys 2 lbs of ricotta cheese if she knows NOT what to do with it? I am a creative and resourceful type and his first recommendation was ravioli. I lamented that I'd have to make my own pasta and that sounded hard. I've seen Mario and Giada and Alton do it, but they have help and better-equipped kitchens. He assured me it wasn't that bad and I know how to make biscuits from scratch, so that's a start.

So I cleaned off my meager counter and dumped out flour, followed by eggs, a pinch of salt and a little bit of olive oil. After it rested, I rolled it out, split it and mixed some of the ricotta with chopped spinach, herbs, an egg and some shredded cheese. I then proceeded to make the cutest little round raviolis. But it didn't end there...

I had leftover dough and leftover filling. In my search for more ways to use the ricotta (there's always lasagna and calzone), I found a recipe on for Ricotta Gnocchi. I know these aren't "real" gnocchi because there's no potato, but for a first-timer, why not? So I mixed the remaining fresh dough and filling and a little more flour until I got the consistency right, then rolled them out, sliced and shaped the little pillows of dough. Mmmm... I may never go back to the pasta aisle! Potato gnocchi are for another time.