Cobalt Blue Ballgown Skirt

I finished a blue skirt this afternoon for one of my friends.  It’s made from McCall’s pattern M3436 using a cobalt blue taffeta that has a hint of stretch.  When I bought the fabric I meant to make it for myself, and then when I got home I realized I got the wrong size pattern.  Rather than adjust it for my size or go back to the store for an exchange, I figured I’d make one for a friend instead.  I didn’t have a hook-and-eye closure and wanted to finish it today, so the tab above the zipper uses a snap.  Classy!  The photo below, the only one I have so far, was taken at her place with an iPhone.

Cobalt Blue Ballgown Skirt

July 12, 2009. Links, Pictures, Projects, Words. 2 comments.

Curried Cauliflower Sweet Potato Soup

Soup is simmering on the stove, filling the house with a delightful aroma.  It’s drifting out to the street, too, because I opened the garage door in order for neighbors and passers-by to say, “My goodness that smells good!  Whoever lives there must be skilled at cooking in order to make such a delicious-smelling dinner!”  I like a lot of positive reinforcement.

Here’s an approximate recipe recreation of how to make it.  Change the vegetables based on what you have on hand or what’s on sale at the store, adjust spices to your taste.  Next time I’ll add a can of pumpkin.  Tonight’s batch doesn’t have any cumin because I used it up last time and forgot to add it to the grocery list.   I’ve really enjoyed this soup with sourdough bread, and it was great to take to work for lunch with a salad of spinach, cucumber, tomato, and avocado.

Let me know what you think if you try it.  Did you make any changes?  What do you serve with it for dinner?

Curried Cauliflower Sweet Potato Soup

1 onion
4-10 cloves garlic
2 yams or sweet potatoes
2-3 carrots, or 1/2 pound baby carrots
1 head cauliflower
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable broth
~2 cups water

1.  Chop onion and cauliflower, mince garlic, dice carrots and potatoes. It doesn’t have to be too small, it’s going to get blended up later.  I cut baby carrots in half, and slices of sweet potato into 2-6 pieces depending on the diamater of the slice.

2.  Saute vegetables in oil over medium high heat in large pot until there’s some light browning, adding spices during last 2 minutes. You can saute and chop at the same time, adding each vegetable as you cut it.  With chopping, this step was about 15 minutes for me.  I added about 1/2 tsp salt too to make up for the low sodium veggie broth.  Others might want more, I don’t like my food very salty.

3.  Stir in broth and water.  Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.  Stir occasionally. Add more or less water depending on how many vegetables you used and how thin you want the final product.  Vegetables should be fully covered with some floating-around-room.

4.  Cool 5 minutes.  Blend soup in batches in food processor or blender until smooth-ish and creamy. I blend one batch, pour it back into the pot, stir, and then put more in the blender.  It takes about 4 times for it to be the texture I want.

July 5, 2009. Recipes, Words. 1 comment.

I can’t wait for my next Craft Fail!

I came across a funny craft site, Craft Fail.  I laughed out loud at the Fat Dog in a Little Coat post.  I’ve made some things that went horribly wrong, if only I had pictures.  Next time…  There’s also Cake Wrecks, which is basically Cake Fail.  Finally, there’s the Worst Quilt in the World Contest, and I’m pleased to see that my quilts wouldn’t even get an honorable mention.  Funny commentary and pictures about crafts, sewing, quilts, and cakes?  That’s right up my alley!

July 4, 2009. Links, Words. 1 comment.

Sleep-folding-of-the-laundry

Does it count as a sleepwalking episode if there’s no walking involved?  In the middle of the night I woke up to find myself sitting up, leaning over and digging through the pile of clean clothes at the foot of the bed.  I don’t know how long I’d been doing it and I don’t remember any dreams.  I do remember thinking at the time, “Oh no I’m doing weird things in my sleep again.  No wait, this is perfectly reasonable because”  — now I can’t remember why I thought it was reasonable, I was still using sleep-logic — and then I lay back down and continued sleeping.  It clearly wasn’t reasonable, and I’m not even 100% positive it really happened; I had the house to myself so there’s nobody who can confirm.  It sounds like something I’d do, though.

The first time I can recall any sleepwalking — or sleep-laundry-folding as the case may be — is from when I was about 15 and had a bad fever.  The past couple years the instances usually involve sitting up and pointing to the closet or corner in apparent terror and then lying back down when told that everything’s fine and I should go back to sleep.  In the past year I woke up once when he asked me what I was doing rifling through the clothes in the closet at a pre-dawn hour (“Um, nothing, just checking the pile of your jeans I guess, not really sure, sorry about that…”) and another time I was out of bed near the bathroom door, just hanging out, passing the time on my feet.

It’s unnerving to know that while I’m asleep I’m still capable of action.  Shouldn’t part of my brain be busy keeping my body paralyzed during these phases of sleep?  There doesn’t seem to be as distinct a boundary between being asleep and being awake for me that there should be.  I sometimes have lucid dreams when I know I’m dreaming and can fly or rise from the dead, or wake myself up from a nightmare.  There are the moments when my eyes open and I have visual hallucinations and while I know that there’s probably not somebody rappelling down into our bedroom through the ceiling fan opening I can see it with my own eyes and despite all sensory evidence to the contrary it’s just a dream and any moment now I’ll shake my head and feel the sensation of waking up and of course there’s nobody else in the room and the image will fade the way dreams do.

Then there are the episodes when I wake up to find that I physically acted out what I remember dreaming (Dear college roommate: sorry for turning off your alarm causing you to be late to a final exam, I was dreaming about a bomb that I had to defuse, you see….), and still other times like last night when I discover that I was doing something without recalling either dreams or actions.  I think it’s somehow related to being such a heavy sleeper — I can sleep through anything, including my own bizarre actions.

July 4, 2009. Words. 1 comment.

Sometimes, when you have a dog…

Sometimes, when you have a dog, she’ll get herself stuck behind the dryer and you’ll be late for work.  During your morning routine you note in passing that you don’t hear her clicking as she paces the hardwood floors and you assume that she’s eating breakfast or has settled down on her blankets.  Just as you check the clock to see that you’re running right on time, you hear, “Bark!” from across the house.  It is a single, alarmed bark and not a shriek of pain, which is good at least, and you run through the house to find the dog.  When you reach the kitchen you hear another single “Bark!”, this time sounding like an alert or announcement; you expect to see her staring at a large scorpion on the floor or out the window at a cat in the back yard.  You don’t see her in the hall, the kitchen, or the dog room.

Aha! you say, it came from behind the mostly closed laundry room door, she must have gotten closed in accidentally.  But you don’t see her in there either and start to get worried.  You look under the dog blanket pile, and next to the laundry basket, and behind the closet door, and between the wall and washer, which finally leads you to look behind the washing machine.  There you find her, wedged in the corner as far behind the dryer as she can get, unable to move forward or backward or turn around.

Sometimes, when you have a dog, you’re glad that you’re petite and also have developed some muscle during the previous six months.  Sometimes, when you have a dog, you have to wedge yourself in the six-inch space between washer and wall, then shove the washing machine until it moves forward a few inches.  You tilt yourself to the side and reach down and you’re just able to reach the dog enough to pull her back a bit, then you lift her up one-handed hoping the awkward grip doesn’t hurt her old-lady-dog back, using your other arm to clear a path through the tubes and cords.

Sometimes, when you have a dog, you realize that you need to keep the laundry room door closed.

July 1, 2009. Dog, Words. 1 comment.

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