Trying to find balance

I know I have only been back in Texas for two days but it has been difficult.  I was enjoying the autumn weather of home.  I was able to wear a sweater and a shawl at the same time.  It was one of my favorite combinations:  a ratty cashmere cardigan and a quivit shawl.  I know it does not sound like it should be enough but quivit is WARM!

Work has been good as far as being work.  But it is not working at home.  Someday, yes?

I started the day this way.  I lit the oil lamps I had made and got to stitching.

I finished another 1911 top and two nine squares.  I am trying to make a nine square a day and put it in a quilt.   Somehow, I do not think this will happen.

Did you know that a circle with a radius of 7.97 feet will give you a circle of approximately 200 square feet?  I am playing with ideas for homes and out buildings even though I am trying not to hope too hard.  No word yet.


Going home!

We went on vacation to Washington state last week.  It was nice because there were no have to do's.  I did not even pull out the computer.  It was a good week, even though there were some interesting twists.

 We drove a lot between here and

and here.  And why do you ask?  Because this is the area we would like to live in someday.

We put an offer on this piece of land.  It is on top of a ridge at the north end of Black Mountain and in sight of Canada.  I am trying to not hope to hard because it is so lovely.

The rest of the time was very quiet.  We drank tea, talked, walked, drove, and just spent time together.  We also enjoyed autumn which we do not have where we live.  I got to wear sweaters and shawls everyday!  That made me smile.  We had to run the heater and have blankets on the bed.  Simple pleasures are the best!

I spent a little time crocheting. 

And this is where I crocheted.  It is one of my favorite spots for that activity but I do not get to do it here often.

Now, I am trying to get back to my normal routine.  It is hard. 


deconstructed ratatouille

We have eggplants.  With more eggplants to come!  I actually really enjoy ratatouille but I do not feel that I really have to follow the normal recipe.  This is my autumn style one.

I take some winter vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and eggplant.

I peel the potatoes and slice all the vegetables.  I roast them at 450 degrees Fahrenheit with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.  I give them a bit of a stir part of the way through.

You want golden bits through out.

Hours before I started a red sauce.  One can of whole tomatoes dumped into the crock pot.  Some onion.  Some garlic.  Some swiss chard that needed using.  Fresh basil from the garden.  Salt.  Pepper.  A little honey.  I put it on low and let is simmer away.

And then I whirred it.  That is the technical term in our house.  Makes me smile.

Now this is why it is called deconstructed.  Russell was hungry so instead of putting it in a casserole and layering the vegetables and sauce.  I made the roasted the vegetables on a plate and poured sauce over them.



success! vegan chocolate crinckles

I re-engineered the whole recipe and came up with vegan chocolate crinckle cookies that taste like they have butter and eggs in them!

Vegan Chocolate Crinckles

1/2 cup sugar

2 2/3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup hempmilk

2 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate

1 tablespoon tapioca flour

3/4 cup flour

3/8 teaspoon baking soda

3/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

powdered sugar for dredging

Put the chocolate and oil in a medium sauce pan.  Put over low heat and stir until chocolate is melted.  Add the sugar and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add the hempmilk and tapioca.  Mix well.  Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt and mix well.  The batter will be very thin.

Put the batter in a container and refrigerate.  I use pyrex.  You want to refrigerate at least one hour if not overnight (I actually did days.  Forgot it!)

After refrigeration, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Take a teaspoon of chocolate cookie dough, roll into a ball, and dredge in powdered sugar.

Bake 10 minutes or until firm but not hard to the touch.

Pretty fabulous!  I only had to try three times but these are keepers.


new top

I have been feeling like crud.  Having allergies feels like having the flu at times!

Before the allergies hit, I cut all the fabric from yesterday.  One of the things that I cut out was a new top.  Blouses and tops was one of the reasons for my purchase of all the Sense and Sensibility patterns.  I have been having problems finding tops I like and patterns of tops I like.  They are either too big, too short in the sleeves, too frilly, too tailored, too unstructured.  I could go on but you get the picture.  Yes, I am picky and it is one of the reasons I sew.

I took the bodice from the 1911 kimono dress from Sense and Sensibility.  Changed the neckline, shortened the sleeve, flared the waist, and made it shirt length.  This is me following a pattern.  Russell laughed at me and said I just use patterns as guides.

This is the muslin I made up.  It does not look like much but I really recommend a muslin when you modify as much as I do.

Then I put it on.  Would you be surprised if I said I do not like t-shirts?  And this was so comfortable and soft that it may definitely become the "t-shirt" in my wardrobe?  I have already cut out two more.  If I have time, I may add some embroidery or ribbon trim or wait until the next batch but I can say:

I finally found that top that works for me!

What a relief!