Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The Businessman took the kids camping over the weekend, which left me free to eat oreos for breakfast, watch girlie movies, and go shopping with my mom. My goodness that woman can shop. I'm still exhausted.

Among 3,347 other stores, we stopped at a yarn store we had been wanting to visit. I had heard that they have lots and lots of yarn, but the service is so-so, and I have to agree, but I was okay with that. I meandered around, not terribly inspired and it was too hot outside to even think about buying more yarn, but then I saw her.

This tiny little newborn kitten. A smoky gray one. New kittens are so soft and sweet and just snuggle in your hands.

My mother pointed out that I don't wear a whole lot of gray, but Macanudo was just so sweet, curled up in my hands, acting for all the world like we belonged together. Besides, as I pointed out to my mother, there weren't any green ones.

Later, we ended up close to my mom's regular yarn store so we went in. I ambled around the store (petting the little furball in my purse):

Mountain Mama: Are you kidding me?
MM's Mom: What?
MM: Look at this!
MMM: Where did you find that?
MM: Here with the Dale or Norway. At my eye level. Mocking me.
MMM: *bursts into gigglefit*

See? You can already tell Cohiba will grow up to be a sass. I couldn't even get her to face the camera.

Filatura di Crosa Golden Line Superior. 70% Cashmere. So Soft.

What I Made:

I made my mom laugh. Seriously. I think she's still giggling.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Tribble. And A Cat Story

I had my bedroom window open and while I was making my bed and putting away my laundry...

Oh who am I kidding? I was flopped on my bed reading and finding all sorts of excuses to not go to the gym

...when it gradually dawned on me that the birds were awfully noisy. I looked out my window and saw this:

Can't make it out? How about enlarged (but pixilated):

Of course it couldn't possibly be my indoor, declawed (we got him used and he came that way) cat. He would never defy the rules. I called his name. The beady black head turned, looked at me and:

Literally high-tailed his tooshie back home.

*huff* Boys.

What I Made:

I went shopping.

More about this acquisition tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Best Margaritas. Ever.

This post is for Sweet Mama Jones, who seems to be in want of frozen beverages.

Two years ago, we were attending a BBQ and as I walked through the door I was greeted with the best question a hostess could ask: "I'm about to make margaritas. Would you like one?"

Watching her make them, I was skeptical. Tasting one, I was converted. I've tried to find the recipe online so I can credit it. She got it from her brother's wife's sister's...Actually I was so sloshed I sort of forget. They were that good.

You will need:

Frozen limeade concentrate (NOT frozen margarita mix)
Club soda
Tequila--Don't bother with good stuff
A can of beer--Yes, yes, Miller Light. I know. it's leftover from my Podracing incident (Also, good beer is wasted, just like you will be)

Step one: Dump limeade into a pitcher. Do NOT destroy carton to do this.
Step two: Fill limeade carton with club soda. Dump.
Step three: Repeat with Tequila (yes, that's 12 ozs tequila.)
Step four: Crack beer and pour in.

That's it. Just salt your glasses, pour, and drink. It won't take long before you have a rosy summer glow and slur your words. It's a lovely feeling.

Just make sure to share with your neighbors or they might start talking about the day you decided to try walking on a tightrope in your short PJs.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm not sure what happened, but I was inspired to write some lovely limmerick poetry for today's post.

I apologize in advance.

Look, I'll even add pics of Unfinished Objects (UFOs)

A creative we'll call Mountain Mama
Worked with all media, including llama.
Paper, fabrics and lace
Duct tape had it's place
In her world of stay-at-home drama.

The Businessman feels he's in peril.
My diet is making him feral.
Though veggies are healthy
(And don't forget the vasectomy!)
Lack of meat might render him sterile.

The creator of this blog wishes
To call her kids Yummy and Vicious.
They play alternate parts
On the strings of her heart:
Yummy's moody and Vish is delicious!

My kitty cat is quite the honey.
You'll find him in places sunny.
In spite of his age
Our house is a cage.
He escapes to hunt mice, birds, and bunnies.

Beaded Peacock Shawl
Dragonfly Tunic
Seattle Sky Top
Woven Measuring Tape Handbag

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bakerella's Cutest Ever Burgers

Have you seen Bakerella's Blog yet? I mean, I'm sure you have because, like, the whole universe reads it right?

What I Made:

Her Fast Food. This is my kind of vegetarian burger.

Hamburgers: Brownies (from a mix)
Buns: Corn muffins (from a mix--she used cupcakes)
Fries: Sugar cookies (from a mix)
Ketsup and Mustard: Frosting from a can.

I love that Bakerella used mixes. It makes the world feel a little more attainable.

Do check out her blog, I'm fairly certain you can't consume calories from reading it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Little Duct Tape Love

I listen to NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me to get my weekly news. Don't get me wrong, I get most of my headlines through the internet and word of mouth, but I find TV news to be obnoxiously depressing or just plain obnoxious.

Anyway, a few years ago, I learned from WWDTM that a study was done which indicated duct tape has one application that it does not do well, and that is fixing ducts.

As any man will tell you, it works just about everywhere else.

What I Made:

Did you know duct tape comes in colors now? Lots and lots of them.

A roomy carry-all. Perfect for wet swimsuits, picnic lunches or impromptu sledding.

See? Useful for just about any other application.

I wove the front, the back is black and I lined the whole thing in lime green. The only thing I'm not 100% satisfied with are my handles, but I'm working on that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Relief

Ah summer. Of the four, it's my least favorite season. I'm so not a sun worshiper. I do not like being hot. And, although I enjoy the occasional hike, I'm not an outdoorsy kind of girl (unless I'm in Hawaii, where the occurrence of snakes is virtually nonexistent).

I do like fresh summer produce.

What I Made:

Ridiculously simple, yet so so yummy. The mini watermelons were on sale for a buck this week. I refrigerate them, then scoop out the flesh into a blender and puree, frappe, and annihilate away. The resulting beverage is just the thing for hot summer days.

I realize I've been very much relying on the photogenics of fresh produce lately. Bear with me and know that I have several projects awaiting completion and, subsequently, blog posts.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Dear John Letter

Dear Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar,

We have had a long standing affair of the heart for several years now. You were there for the date nights and the break-ups, the slumber parties, the all-night crams, the PMS, the pregnancies, and possibly even a conception. Even so, sometimes a girl wants more variety.

In the past, I've gone for the cheap liaison out of desperation, but I have always come back to you. Your creamy coffee ice cream, combined with those chunks of Heath were always waiting for me with open arms.

I didn't mean for it to happen.

It started with the Blood Orange. It was a hot night and creamy didn't sound right. The sparkling sorbet made me feel...different. Lighter, like butterflies. Then I tried the Malted Milk Ball, on a night when creamy was just right and I felt satisfaction. Now I'm completely addicted to the Blackberry Cabernet--I just can't get enough--and I'm lusting for a taste of the White Chocolate Green Tea.

It's not you, it's me. I just need some space to think. I hope we can still be friends.

Mountain Mama

P.S. The Blackberry Cabernet blended with ginger ale was just an experiment. Please don't hate me. You never did enjoy the blender. It's not your thing. I understand.

What I Made:

Finally! I got a reasonably sized salad from my garden. This:

Mixed with a sliced plum, some strawberries, pinenuts and goat cheese:

Makes a decent sized side-salad.

Friday, June 19, 2009

An American Summer Top

Some people enjoy a good read about the journey of making a garment. If you're one of those, then by all means read on. If not, just scroll through the pictures.

What I Made:

When I got my VK SP/SU 2009 I eyed this top immediately. I loved the star motif and I immediately thought it would be cute in white and blue. Not that I ever have any big plans for the 4th, but now I have something to wear regardless.

I had a few concerns upon starting this pattern. Mostly stemming from knitting a garment in a circular fashion, making a VK pattern in a larger size, and worrying that it would look slutty once it was finished.

My original yarn, was some leftover Rowan Denim, which looks, feels, and fades exactly like denim jeans. I chose yarn in an antique white and thought, if I wanted to add red detail it would be a dried-blood red. But then I was one ball short of my blue yarn (and later learned I would have been two balls short) so I had to find an alternative. The best blue I could find was a bamboo wool blend, but the blue wasn't rustic anymore.

When I was finished with the knitting, I got even more concerned because the ladies at my SnB wondered what I was going to wear under it. It's not that I object to layers, but it is a sleeveless top, the blue yarn has a little wool, and I didn't want the look to be distracted by a bunch of excess strapage.

One lady also asked me about where the red was going to go. By this point I had decided to skip the red altogether. For one, there is one spot that has just enough contrasty interest:

And for another, I can wear this throughout the summer as is. If I add red, I'm limited to one or two days a year. And as the back turned out so nicely:

There is no concern about slutty-ness anymore. I've tried it with two different bras and all straps are hidden perfectly. The Businessman stated it looked nice on me (high praise from Mr Honesty himself) and I daresay it looks better on me than Violet, as I don't have a two inch crack running down my center.

Star Camisole bt Mari Lynn Patrick
Plymouth Earth Oceanside
RedHeart Eco-Ways Wool Bamboo

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hail To Thee My Alma Mater

I am a CSU Ram. This is vital information if you are going to journey with me through this post.

You also should know I love my Vogue Knitting magazine, gourmet yarn, baths and anything from Trader Joe's. Actually, you don't need to know about my TJ feti$h for this post, but you should remember this if you ever need to send me bribery hush money tokens of appreciation.

As a Ram, CU Buffaloes are my mortal enemies. It's sort of like Twilight's Vampires vs Werewolves subplot, except the whole country knows CU Buffaloes exist and no one, not even the Buffs admit knowledge of CSU. Throughout my college days, my mom and I became quite the Ram activists. If someone was selling a buffalo sculpture, ornament, book, etc. we asked if they had any rams. We were determined to equalize rams and buffaloes, one crafter at a time.

It's a tough job, being such an advocate.

Step it forward a few years, when I am enjoying one of those baths where the water is the perfect temperature and I could stay in there forever. I had my new issue of VK and I was reading the entire thing, including the ads.

Which is when I saw a prominent ad for yarn made out of buffalo hair. My first thought, at seeing this buffalo yarn...

Have you ever had a moment when you thought something so stupid, you were glad you didn't say it out loud?

Usually, I do say it out loud. It figures the one time my mouth was smarter than my brain, I decide to let my typing fingers take over. Of course, if I had spoken, I would have been talking to myself.

..."What?! Buffalo? I wonder if anyone makes yarn from rams?"

*crickets chirping*

Don't worry if ewe don't get it. I may have just pulled the wool over your eyes. Just be a lamb and forget you ever read this.

I know, I know. That was Baaaad.

What I Made:

When I moved back to Ft Collins I wanted to commemorate the occasion of taking a step backwards in my life by making an accessory I could wear to the football games. I hunted around and found a local designer who had designed a pattern for a felted cowboy hat.

So I redesigned the brim and made one. It was perfect. Until the day it had shrunk far too much for my head. I keep meaning to make another one.

Yes, the yarn comes from sheep. Undoubtedly, some of them were rams.

Green and Gold ones.

Felted Cowboy Hat by Pat Feeley
Cascade 220 100% wool

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hide And Seek

I started to knit something earlier but I got about a third of the way into it and was distracted by something shiny...or cashmere. Now, I'm almost done with a different project and thought that rather than weave in ends and finish edges, I'd let it gather some dust and pick up the aforementioned project.

Actually, if you were to warp that above paragraph (more) and add iterations which resulted in about 25 unfinished projects, you would have a fairly accurate description of my life.

Anyway, I needed to find the pattern. Close your eyes, count to 20, and then we'll seek.

This is the shelf where my magazines should live:

Filed loosely by year.

This shelf is an acceptable alternative for those times when I don't have time to file:

These obviously fell during a recent earthquake:

Didn't you hear about that? I'm pretty sure my house is directly on a fault line.

It would explain this:

Oh, those shelves used to be neat and tidy.

Well, the pattern doesn't seem to be living in My Sewing Room. Maybe it's in this bookshelf:

That crocheted monstrocity is a scrap blanket I'm making for whichever kid I like better on the day I finish it. For now, the cat sleeps on it.

Still no pattern. Maybe the shelves behind the couch:

Nope. Maybe in my makeshift end table, on the couch, or under my pretty chair:

Still don't see it. Where could it be?

In my knitting bag?

That's not it. How 'bout my other knitting bag?

No, not there.

Wait a minute...

What's that?

Ah ha! I found you!


...What did I do with the yarn?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The First (and second) Harvest

This year's hot thing is garlic scapes, which I will try to grow next spring, maybe this fall.

Microgreens were the hot thing last year. I feel the need to tell you this, otherwise the following pictures are a bit underwhelming.

My first handpicked greens:

I once dined at a circus dinner theatre that served several courses in between acrobatic acts. The salad course was described as a mache salad served with a fillet of salmon. What I got looked a lot like the above picture, if everyone else at my table had put their servings on my plate.

Two leaves of mache and a sliver of salmon the size of a postage stamp does not a salad make.

The next day produced a slightly more substantial snack;

Fresh greens, with blueberries and shaved Parmesan. It was only two bites, but it was divine.

One thing I love about salads from my garden: I don't need dressing.

What I Made:

I'm still trekking on this one, but it's almost finished. I had to find different blue yarn and reknit all the blue bits.

I only need to knit the small blue piece that goes on the right armscythe (polite term for armpit) and then a band of blue around the bottom.

Then I will probably stare at it for a few weeks in the hopes that the ends will weave themselves in and the thing will block itself.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Depp-ity Do

I've noticed something about my little Vicious.

He could be the love child of Johnny Depp's hair.

Hold on while I create that fantasy...

...Okay. I'm back.


What I Made:

This purse:

I made it last fall. It's survived rather well, but recently someone (I won't name names but his hair is looking Fleet Streetish) stepped on one of the shell rings and now I'm holding the straps together with a binder clip--all sorts of classy I'm sure.

I'm trying to brainstorm a way to fix it. The best I can come up with is break all the rings and use some of the leather cord to tie all the straps.

I'll stick with the binder clip for now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daring Cooks Challenge-Potstickers

This month's Daring Cook's challenge was Potstickers. We are hosted by Jen from Use Real Butter.

I'll freely admit right now I very much riffed. In fact I hardly used a recipe at all. I think potstickers (and fried rice) are freely used in China as ways to get rid of leftovers. It all comes back to the housewives.

For my Dough:

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup bread dough (for the extra gluten)
pinch salt
3/4-1 cup boiling water.

For my Filling:

A wedge of cabbage
A couple handfuls of spinach, wilted
Half a brick of tofu
Green onions
Sesame oil
soy sauce
salt, pepper
A pinch of cornstarch to bind it up a bit.

You can go to Jen's post to learn the techniques needed.

Here are my fat chubbies, frying away. I added my water after this and covered the pan to steam 'em up.

Meanwhile I made dipping sauce.

Equal amounts soy sauce and rice vinegar. Some chili sauce (or chili oil) to taste.

Don't buy premade sauce. There is no point.

And Voila!

Why are they funny looking? I don't have a round cutter (does this shock you as much as it does me?) so I used a flower-shaped cutter.

They still taste good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WorldWide Knit In Public Day

What I Made:

This little amulet bag was created circa 1992. It's traingular in shape and about three inches tall. The entire pattern was free-form.

When I was in high school, I was a bead artist. I was even commissioned a couple times to make some pieces. But I stopped. There was a loss of free time that comes with being an adult, but more than that, people seemed so shocked by my creativity that I felt uncomfortable expressing it. And I had enough issues in high school thank you very much.

I've mellowed since then. I still struggle with the attention I receive when I've made something truly outstanding, but I'm more willing to be proud of my work.

Which is why I have mixed feelings about WWKIPD (see post title). I always knit in public. I'm not sure I like the idea of creating a day around it. It makes knitting seem like something we should do in the privacy of our homes.

I knit. I knit in public. I've received second glances. I've started conversations. I've made friends.

By all means, if you feel the need to celebrate today, do so. For me it's just another Saturday.

I will probably KIP today. I usually do.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cheaper Than Camp

The Businessman is home! He is home and today is my official Starbucks day and the world is right.

My kids are discovering all sorts of wildlife in our yard.

What's that? Where? Oh. Hello Gorgeous!

After finding this beauty, the Businessman took my kiddos down to the pond and collected some tadpoles. I haven't taken the kids there because I wanted the Businessman to have this moment there are snakes there. The boys brought home a several tadpoles, and even more salamander larvae. So, we're observing some critters for a bit and then we'll let them go back in their pond, where nature is far better suited for their care than I am. Though they are cute, though not so photogenic.

In researching to discover what kind of critters they caught. I learned there is only one species of salamander in Colorado (the tiger salamander), and two pages of snake species not including the venomous ones.

You can imagine my joy.

What I Made:

At the dollar store I bought a package of brightly colored paperclips. They kept Vicious occupied for 45 minutes.

We made special necklaces for daddy, who proudly wore them all evening.

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