Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nom Fest!

I absolutely love this time of year. There is a fair or festival every weekend straight through to Halloween up here in charming New England. The kickoff for us is the Big E. It's basically a state fair, but all of the New England states participate, so it is HUGE. Joe and I love to go & look at all the crazy gadgets, wonder mops, window washer tool kits, and this year's biggest gimmick, the Sham Wow:

We didn't get one, in case you're wondering. I was hoping to meet the guy with the wonky eye that's in the commercial, but he wasn't around. Oh, well. Then we headed to what we call "Nom Row." We pigged OUT on corn dogs, london broil sandwich, sausage sandwich, boneless chicken wings, apple fritters, and my favorite thing there, the millenium chips:

We had turkey leg and fried pickle envy, but were too stuffed to get any. Hopefully the Apple Harvest Festival will have some this weekend. As we were just licking the powdered sugar off our fingers from the apple fritters, we heard a guy on a loud speaker saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for TIFFANY!!"

OMG, I freaked out. I LOVED her when I was in middle school and would always stick up for her in a Debbie Gibson/Tiffany argument among my friends. Us redheads have to stick together, you know. I only made Joe stay for a couple songs, but we could hear her from the street while we were stuck in traffic on the way home. So awesome.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In Which I Blatantly Copy Karen

I saw some yummy looking home made salsa on Karen's blog the other day & figured I'd give it a try. The company I work for leases some of our undeveloped land to farmers each year and we employees have been tomato "poaching" all summer. (We don't really steal them, we ask the farmers nicely if we can have some and they always say yes.) So Friday I went out for the last chance tomatoes of the season & found a whole section of romas that I swear hadn't been there before. Maybe they just weren't ripe yet. Anyway! I turned this:

Into this:

And this:

I did extensive research on the subject of canning tomatoes on the internet & boy, it is serious business. You have to follow strict guidelines & safety precautions or you could get very sick or even DIE from eating bad canning. I was nervous to try it, but I sucked it up & went for it. Turns out, it is really easy and the 'precautions' are basically to add lemon juice to each jar of tomatoes. So for the tomatoes I just did tomatoes, a little water, one tablespoon of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of salt and boiled the jars for 40 minutes. For the salsa, I followed the same recipe Karen did, but I made a couple mods. Now, making mods of canning recipes is strictly forbidden unless you follow a few simple rules (see page 3 of this pdf), which I did. I used 1.5 cups of jalapenos and 1 cup of green pepper to make it a little hotter, omitted the sugar, and added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each jar. I also added 1/2 cup of cilantro near the end of the cooking. I wasn't sure what kind of vinegar to use since it doesn't specify, so I used white. Next time I'll use cider vinegar though because I like the flavor of it better in general. It was a lot of work, but when you hear those jar lids seal one by one, there is no greater feeling of satisfaction.

In other Karen-like news, I too saw a turtle on my daily walk (she saw hers on her run, but I don't go that speed). I have to say my turtle sighting was a little scarier than hers because this thing is A. huge, B. covered in pond scum, and C. I think it's a snapping turtle. I thought it was a dinosaur or something at first. It scared the CRAP out of me because I see it every night swimming in the pond at the park, but it suddenly decided to cross the street to get to the creek right when I was walking that way. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but this thing is almost the size of a car tire!

OK, I'm done ripping off Karen's blog fodder. I'll try to be original next time! ;)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Monkey Parts

I'm not sure if I mentioned that Aimee's nursery theme is monkeys. Ever since I saw her registry, I have been obsessed with all things monkey. I saw the crocheted one on Pam's website, and knew it must be made. The website that the pattern is on has all kinds of copywright warnings, and I'm not sure if I am even allowed to link to it, so here is the Ravelry link.
My progress:

So, most of the easy part is done. Now comes the stuffing. Ugh.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Toy!

I know I have said before that I won the mother-in-law lottery, but I have to say it again. Look what she gave me this weekend!!

It's a Husqvarna Viking embroidery machine that does pretty much everything except for the dishes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, she just wanted the new fancy pants model that's out now, so she went for the upgrade. I am not all that into embroidery, but the thing sews a straight line of stitches, which is way more than my old machine does. ;) I'm going to play with it a little more, but I'm pretty sure my old machine is getting donated to the girl at work that desperately wants a machine but can't afford one. I of course got right to work making more baby gifts for Aimee. This time I made a baby sling from this pattern:

If you look in the next picture, you can sort-of see my model is a giant tub of pretzels:

Joe had a light bulb moment here & decided he wants me to make him a baby sling FOR his giant tub of pretzels. In camo fabric. Help me.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More Baby Stuff

OK, nobody panic. I realize this is post #2 in as many days. Joe is out of town. I'm bored, OK? I finished two more pressies for Aimee last night. These are nursing covers or nursing aprons, whatever you want to call them.
In a Michael Miller print:

And an Amy Butler print (love this one):

They have boning in the top hem of them so you can see the baby when you're nursing, but no one else can. Here's that view; you can just see Scarlet's black bra here:

ETA: The pattern for these can be found here and they are a knockoff of these, if you just want to buy a finished one.
I thought about having the monkey demonstrate how they're used, but that might have been a little weird. Speaking of a little weird, this is how I found Rocco when I got out of the shower this morning:

He's a special boy, for sure.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Baby (gift) Making

I had planned to make my friend Aimee some baby stuff this weekend, but I didn't get anywhere near done what I wanted to. Joe has some unidentified elbow pain that he is trying to self heal (God forbid we see a doctor; they might say to stop weight lifting). Anyway, he's trying the Advil and heating pad method for now, and he was commenting that it would be nice if I could make a cover for the heating pad since ours went missing. I had the burp cloth fabric all washed and everything, so I cut Joe a couple rectangles along with the burp cloths & made him a little cover:

I had to hand sew the heat resistant snaps in place, so I better be getting a prize or something for this. ;)
And, I even had the energy to whip up the burp cloths:

I have a couple other things that I made that should be true FO's by the end of the night that I can show tomorrow. Joe is in Charlotte for District Manager assessment interviews, so when he comes back, we might be moving to San Diego! We'll know more soon, so I'll keep you posted!