Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Month End Report

The month was pretty much a bust.  I went a bit insane at Black Sheep Gathering and spent more than I budgeted, but I don't regret anything I bought.

I also broke my yarn diet and purchased a skein of yarn.

I did not finish any projects and was even hard pressed to knit or weave or sew this month.  Part of it was travel and the other part was losing my mojo.  I did gain a bit of my mojo back after the awesome fiber gathering and was able to start the Tour de Fleece on the first day with my spin group.

I think I am back on the wagon again.  I think I am pretty well set on supplies although I do have a commissioned work in progress and might need to buy a pre-warp for my Wolf Pup loom in the next month.

No purging or organization occurred either.  I have been eating pretty poorly and my exercise has been non-existant.  So I must work on that for the coming month as well.

There is always redemption next month.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Perfect Buttons

My sweater, the tea leaves cardigan has been languishing looking for buttons and I was super lucky to find just the right ones at Black Sheep Gathering.

These buttons are hand made of ceramic and are a perfect fit for the color of my sweater.
One of a Kind's Candace Wilson helped me pick up enough buttons for this sweater.

My pal, Jude, also bought me a button from the same vendor which perfectly describes my relationship with my furry babies.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Black Sheep Gathering

I attended the Black Sheep Gathering in Oregon and had a great time with my peeps.  I decided not to sign up for classes as I did a couple of years ago and just absorb the judging of fleece and fiber arts.  I also stimulated the economy quite a bit with all the vendors.

The trip started with an all day drive to Sacramento where I stayed with my parents and we went to the Elephant Bar for dinner.  Early the next morning, after meeting up with Jude, we all piled in the car with all our luggage and headed up to Oregon.  It was a pretty tight fit with three people and an assortment of luggage.

Eugene was cool and rainy when we arrived in the evening and we settled into our hotel and went down the street a bit to Chingu Korean Restaurant.  I had the stone bowl bibimbop which was delicious.  The girls had the beef bulgogi and the jap-chae.
The next morning was the open bell for the vendors and I got to my first purchase of a sheep pelt from Whipple Creek Sheepskins for my loom bench.  It is super soft and thick.  While, Jude hit the Abstract Fiber booth.
I was able to show them my SOAR socks which they took pictures of.  Their fiber colors are still vibrant.
The day continued with purchases interspersed with viewing the fleece judging by Judith MacKenzie and fiber arts judging by Cynthia Herron.
I also was able to hook up with some pals from my local spin group as well as some gals from the Texas Fiber retreat I attended in March.  Fun group of friends and all enablers for more tools and fiber.

We also hit Poppi Anatolia for dinner and I had the gyros platter which was way too much food.  We sat outside since the weather was so nice.
The last night we also found a mexican taqueria - Belly where I had a delicious lamb and quinoa dish over zucchini.
It was a great weekend with lots of fun and fiber.
The charge card finally gave a sigh of relief when the weekend was over and the long road trip home began.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Random Pepper Poses

Pepper has been providing some great poses from her random beds.  I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Zippered Up

Zipper success!  I followed along with Bonne Marie Burns on attaching a zipper to a knit garment.

I carefully followed her instructions and my zipper adventure was not as traumatic as it could have been.

Then I had to figure out on my sewing machine which foot to use (F foot) and how to set it up.  After a few test pieces, I started with my zipper.  There are a few places where the knit touches the teeth of the zipper at the bottom of the sweater so it takes a bit of futzing to get it to work, but once this baby is zipped up, the sweater is great.
Here is my finished zipper - ready for judging at Black Sheep Gathering.

Monday, June 17, 2013

This into That

I have been sort of in a minor fiber funk and have been spending quite a bit of time watching TV instead of fiber pursuits.

The last spinning I did was at spin group last month and I decided that I wanted to spin some more of the green polworth/silk.

I pulled out the second fiber bump and did some pre-drafting and came up with this awesome bump.
Here it is up against my face so you can see the volume of 2 ounces of this fiber.
This bump will end up like this bobbin.
The first bump was already spun and the second bump is ready to go.  I can't wait to ply the two together.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sweater Chains

I had written a while back about my Old Man and the Sea sweater and my minor disappointment that the front of the sweater was not enough.  I was trying to puzzle out a fix when I saw a reference to a sweater chain on a podcast.

I sent a message to the seller - Terri Sims and sent a picture of my sweater color and asked if she could make one to match.

She was super nice and I ended up with four different ones.

This one matches my sweater.
I had to get a green one.
Pearls will go with everything.
And black is always a winner.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Reheating Roasted Pig

When my parents visit me, they always bring roasted pig as a treat.  The last time, we didn't get a chance to eat it all and I was able to vacuum seal up a few pieces.

I pulled out one of the packages from the freezer and reheated it.  It takes a little finesse to make sure the roasted skin is crunchy which is the best part.

I turned the heat up on the toaster oven to 475 degrees and let it warm up over 10 minutes.  I then placed the pig meat skin side up on a foil tray.  After placing the tray in the oven for 5 minutes, I turned off the heat and let it sit for another 10 minutes or so.
Crispy skin and no hint that it was frozen.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

I saw an ad for a sale on bell peppers.  Red ones were 3 for a dollar and the yellow and orange ones for 4 for five dollars.  I haven't made stuffed peppers in a while so I went searching and found this one.

After getting two of each color, I browned up some organic ground beef from costco with some jasmine rice and two cans of tomato sauce.
Instead of having things in batches, I just mixed all the ingredients together in a bowl and stuff the six peppers.  The red ones were kind of lopsided so one did fall over during backing.
No basting and I let them bake for an hour.  Before eating, I did peel off the skin from the peppers since they were so tough.
Pretty good seasoning and filling.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bertolli's Ricotta & Lobster Ravioli in a Seafood Bisque

After coming home from being on the road, I dug out my last Bertolli meal and cooked it up with 1 cup of milk.
The pot had to be a bit larger to accommodate all the frozen pieces, but the consistency was just right.
The soup was very tasty and I would have this again.
I think Von's may be having another sale on these meals so I may stock up.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


In Nebraska, a stop was made at Cabela's for some uniform gear.
I was looking for a belt to replace the one that I have been using for almost ten years and I'm sad to say that although it is still in good condition, my middle has expanded to the point that I am on the last hole.

I found a great belt, but they did not have my size so I had to order and have the belt shipped.  I did find a nice fleece cover up and a new holster that does not dig into my hip preventing another bruise.

My favorite holster of all time has been banned because a couple of people ruined it for everyone else by shooting themselves.  User error makes the rest of us suffer.

They had a great display of preserved hunted animals and the exhibit was very lifelike.  I'm not a fan of hunting and the gun display at this shop was extreme. I know that California will never have one of these stores.
Polar bear with seal and arctic fox.
Musk ox - quivut in animal form.
Deer and mountain goats.
More deer.
Wild turkey.
Real sea bass.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Field Trip - Nebraska

My first trip to Nebraska started with a connecting flight through DFW on American Airlines.  The weather was fairly pleasant when I arrived in the afternoon.  Hotels were hard to come by in Omaha so we stayed across the border in Iowa.  It reminds me of the boundaries in Rhode Island where within a blink of an eye, you are in another state.
The Hampton Inn in Iowa was connected to a river casino and the room had a view of the river.  Being use to Las Vegas buffets, the cost of the casino buffet was pretty steep.
The next stop was Lincoln and a meet up with the local cops.  Crime is very low with only 5 murders a year.  The town center was very green and clean.  
The Embassy Suites in Lincoln was right in the down town area and had a great water fall with an indoor creek and gold fish.
There was some rain as the drive due east on I-80 to North Platte for some additional interviews and a stop over further east in Sterling to pick up an interview that was missed on the last field trip to Colorado.  There was alot of time in the car as the countryside was flat and green.  We saw this bridge type deal but we didn't stop.
Dinner at the Whiskey Creek was delicious with a huge grill.  I had the prime rib special and it was almost as good as my Dad's preparation.  For dessert, they had a great s'more at the table which was pretty fun.
Right around the corner was a free museum devoted to Buffalo Bill.  He definitely was a buffalo killer.
As the week neared an end, the trek back to Omaha commenced with more time in the car.  It takes about a day to traverse the entire state.  We visited downtown and ate at the Rock Bottom Brewery where I had a lunch special of seafood quesadillas with a side of mac n cheese. 
Outside the restaurant was a yarn bombing which I thought was awesome.
A visit to the Union Pacific headquarters was interesting and I picked up a couple of kitchen pot holders in their store.  Looking at the building, training rooms and cafeteria, UP is definitely earning a profit.
Another stay at the original Hampton Inn and another buffet dinner rounded out the tiring trip before heading back home.