ru: (book and flower)
And now, some random updates and tidbits. <3

While I am still, of course, still all about the knitting, lately I feel like I've been having an affair with my spindle. I got ahold of multiple samples of different blends of yarn, and I have been a spinning fool as a result. In the evening I would want to rush home so I could pull out the spindle and try a new fiber out. It's been great practice, and I have lots of teeny selections of yarn that I could use on little projects. I do wish, however, that I could spin a yarn with an even weight. Maybe that will come with more practice. Don't worry, knitting, it all comes back to you, you'll have lots of new yarns to play with soon. <3

When I have been knitting, I have been all about the hats. I'm expecting something of a minor baby tsunami later this year, due to my parents' coworkers apparently all feeling the need to procreate all at once, so I've been using this as a good excuse to make baby hats. It's actually kind of fun, and nice for instant gratification. I've made a stripey hat, a milk hat that came out WAY too big and will probably go to my cousin, and an eggplant hat. Yep, an eggplant hat. It's a hat that looks like an eggplant. I'm going to need to make the recipients aware of the fact that I'm going to want pictures of babies in hats. I demand to see eggplant hat in action. I've also still been working on the Citron shawl. I'm hoping I'll have enough yarn to make it the size I want it to be, as I think the yardage is starting to get low, but I'll need to get a bit further into it before I can be sure.

On the cooking front, yesterday Eien-chan and I got experimental and we made what basically amounts to avocado pudding. To those of you in Kingdom, amazingly, this is not something Alice dreamed up (although I wouldn't put it past her XD). It's actually Brazilian, and it's surprisingly good. Basically it involves taking avocados, mashing them up, mixing in lime juice, and letting the mixture sit in the fridge for at least half an hour. During that time, the acid in the lime juice breaks down the avocado, making it smoother and creamier. You serve it up with sugar so people can adjust the sweetness accordingly. It really doesn't taste all that avocado-y, and comes off more like a lime pudding. I think the next time, I should try adding some whipped cream. Mmm, whipped cream.

In the realm of the garden, we're starting to gear up for the growing season. The tulips I planted last fall are coming up, and we've got some new plants to go into the front yard, including some daisies, a lilac, and a couple rosemary plants to replace our huge rosemary bush, which tragically up and died over the winter. I'm still not entirely sure what caused it. I've started thinking about what to put in the beds for growing. I still want us to construct a fourth box for pumpkins and cucumbers so that they can fight it out, gladiator-style, and we can have delicious cucumbers and pie pumpkins. I'd love to add dill and lavender to the herb box, the former because I like it, the latter because I could use it in soaps and the like. I also really want to try out growing some edible flowers. I got a cookbook a couple months ago that has lots of recipes that use flowers and other more peripheral edible plants, which I would love to try out. We'll see how that goes.
ru: (knitting)
Okay, I whipped out the camera, and proceeded to run about the place taking knitting pictures, so I can finally show you all what I've been up to, knittery-wise! I'm gonna try to post them up on Ravelry as well, so if you're on Ravelry, you can look at them there, if you want to.

Yarrrrrn! There be pictures here! )
ru: (Default)
Good grief, I've really been slacking off on the journaling front lately. Lots has been going on, and I've been meaning to post about it, but I just end up never getting around to it. I blame work and obsessive knitting.

But anyway, it's time for the bullet train!

--The biggest thing is that about two weeks ago I piled Eien-chan into the car and went on my first real live vacation in about three years. And it was good. It was verrry good, in fact. We went to Wilmington, NC (Have to put the NC in there, because apparently everybody, including Google, seems to think you mean Wilmington, DE if you don't specify the state), where we ran about and lounged about and I said good morning to the USS North Carolina every day. We ended up going to the aquarium at Fort Fisher, where I spent a lot of time going eee! at fish and skates and turtles and bobwhites. Sadly, the octopus exhibit was closed, which is a pity, but it was made up for with watching a box turtle attempt to dig its way out of the aquarium. I also got a chance to try out my new camera, and even recorded a couple videos! At some point I need to find some way to upload the good ones. Hmm.
And we did other things as well, including walking along the beach (I went into full beachcombing mode, where the conversation at hand is stopped with "Ooh, what's that? <3"), and eating cupcakes from a jar. Cupcakes. From a JAR. JAR CUPCAKES. <3 But yes, it was lovely and a good time was had by all.
--On the note of jars, I made jam! Not full on canned jam, sadly, as I don't have the equipment, time, nor patience for full-on jam. So instead I made my first batch of freezer jam. Freezer jam is awesome, because you completely skip the canning segment, and can store it in the freezer for up to a year. My first attempt was a blueberry jam. Taste-wise, it's really good, but consistency-wise, well. It's blueberry soup. I need to read up on how to balance the pectin with the fruit, so that I end up with something that has a little more body to it. But hey, it's a place to start!
--I've started reading the Fables series, and oh man it is lovely. Gotten through the fourth volume now. I'm sucked right into the plot and the characters and the whole nine yards. I thought there were some things in the fourth volume that were a little weak, but I'm hoping it'll pick up again.
--I've also started experimenting with cocktails. I've had a long time fascination with them (probably because between the recipes and the bottles and the ingredients involved, they're a lot like alchemy), but I've never really delved into them until now. To date I've managed to make mint juleps and pina coladas, with varying degrees of success. The mint juleps need more mint in them, which I think will be helped by having me trade up the weaker mint in the garden for the knock-you-down-and-kick-you-in-the-head mint growing out there. I really want to expand out, though, and try some other recipes. Aaaaand, if I ever get awesome enough at it, I'd love to try my hand at making my own recipes. It might be kinda fun to try and make drinks that reflect Kingdom characters (Like, I imagine an Alice cocktail would be really sweet and bubbly, and an Ian cocktail would...be nonalcoholic. Or have tequila in it that is masked by the other ingredients). More on this as it develops!
--Still knitting like a mad woman. Now that I have a bit of time on Friday nights I've started up Dalek assembly again. With any luck I'll have #5 done in a few months. <3

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but hey, if so, that's what new posts are for, right? <3
ru: (Default)
I'm partially posting this as a reminder to myself, and partially because I have to share.

Top 20 Unique Cupcake Finds of 2010

I don't know that I would call them the top 20, particularly since we're not quite halfway through the year, but DAMN I want to try just about all of these. The cherry Coke cupcakes, the cider cupcakes, and the margarita cupcakes look especially intriguing. I think trying them will have to be spread out pretty widely, though, else I turn into the Goodru Blimp.

In other news, I have a drop spindle now! I'm excited about this, as I've been interested in learning how to spin, but I didn't want to invest in a wheel, at least not right now. Not to mention there'd be no room for one. This promises to be hilarious, frustrating, satisfying, or all of the above. The instructions look pretty simple, but there's NO way it's as easy as it looks, I just know it. But I also have some silk roving that I'd looove to get spun into yarn. I figure I'll need to start with some wool roving first, though.

On the gardening front, stuff continues to grow! I'm very pleased with just about everything (and was pleasantly surprised to discover that a passionflower I had planted last year is still hanging on, and even thriving despite being bullied by some wild honeysuckle), although I'm starting to think the cucumbers I planted are Mongol cucumbers. They're trying VERY hard to take down all the other vegetables, particularly the corn and the tomatoes. I may need to teach them some manners if they don't behave. Alternatively, I think maybe next year we should consider a box just for Cucurbits, so I can plant pumpkins and cucumbers, and let them have epic battles for supremacy on their own without molesting the other plants.

The herb box, however, is thriving. I'm thinking at some point I need to make sauce and use some of the herbs, particularly the oregano. Actually, I could make it thesis sauce! i.e. Sauce that is monumental in the time it takes to make, but allows for time for other things, like working on the thesis. Hmm, I'm liking this idea!

On the RP front, Sushi and I have been poking at the idea of resurrecting Cosmic Windjammers. It wriggled its way into my heart, and I'd really love to see it reopen. If anyone's interested, I've started a brainstorming doc here. I've compiled a fair bit of things that were present before, but I'm also trying to add some new things in as well. If anyone has any suggestions, do toss them my way! <3

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