Monday, January 25, 2010

Problem solving at our house

What do these
The tools of our cleverness

have to do with this?
Korean Beef

Creative uses for cooling racks. And, my husband would have you believe, the only good use for cooling racks. Apparently he doesn't appreciate cakes that are in one piece or cookies with crisp bottoms.

Steak on the barbie

Monday, January 18, 2010

The books I read

Yes, that's right, I'm doing a 2009 Year-in-Review post more than two weeks into 2010. What can I say? I'm a little behind.

Sometime this spring I started really using LibraryThing (which I've written a paean to before), and if there's one thing it's really good at, it's this kind of nerdy information tracking. So here, without further ado, are the books (at least that I recorded) that I finished in 2009. I should note that I often read multiple books at once, so the time span between finishes is not necessarily reflective of the time it took me to read the book. Each title links to the LibraryThing page. Also, please don't read too much into my choices.

Second Foundation (Foundation Novels) 4/15
Saints 4/28
The President's Daughter 4/30
Moby clique : a Bard Academy novel 5/2
Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis 5/5
Cheaper by the Dozen 5/22
Shopaholic takes Manhattan 6/19
Shopaholic ties the knot 6/22
Shopaholic & sister 6/23
The complete chronicles of Narnia 7/15
Invasive Procedures 8/5
The warmest room in the house : how the kitchen became the heart of the twentieth-century American home 8/9
Biting the dust : the joys of housework 8/30
The cellist of Sarajevo 9/7
Script and scribble : the rise and fall of handwriting 9/12
Chocolate : a bittersweet saga of dark and light 9/20
Krakatoa : the day the world exploded, August 27, 1883 10/3
The wizard heir 10/9
Dragon Heir 10/12
The other queen 10/15
Great with child : letters to a young mother 10/20
Chasing Vermeer 11/2
A crack in the edge of the world : America and the great California earthquake of 1906 11/9
The Bookfair Murders 11/19
Devilish 12/7
The Jewels of Tessa Kent 12/17
The lost throne 12/19

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Twelve Personas

A Baker
Originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant
Finally, I'm finishing the twelve days of Christmas (I'm sure you all are relieved)!

A.'s older cousins stumped me this year (they're not older than him, just older than the ones who received the
My husband says the only toys kids really need are a ball and a stick. But I feel like some good clothes can be worthwhile too. I found a trenchcoat, some scrubs, and some business clothes at Goodwill along with random hats and accessories. To round it out, I found a
tutorial for an adjustable chef's hat online. I think next time I would use a fabric with more body, but it's still pretty fun.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whoops! Eleven Ounces of Cinnamon

Eleven Ounces

Last summer my mom, my grandmother and I all went to the Knoxville Quilt Show. While we were wandering around, I saw this flamingo fabric. It was perfect for something for my mom. I had just finished and brought home my Emmeline apron. Mom wanted one too. So I managed to convince her that she should buy the kit with the flamingo fabric and I would make into an apron for her as a gift. But really, it was a gift for me too. Every time I pulled out these fabrics to work on this apron they just made me happy.

Enjoy Mom! And you can use that cinnamon to make something for me any time you want ;-).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Eleven .... well, it's still a surprise!

Obviously I didn't think this through well enough! Since we go to California for Christmas, we celebrate with my parents a little later. Since my birthday is in early January (all right, it's Friday), this works out perfectly (except for the whole I'm-sad-to-not-see-my-family-on-Christmas-Day thing).

So they get here Friday. And sometime after that I'll reveal exactly what eleven represents in my own personal holiday countdown (countup?).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ten Lords a Leaping

Yep, that's right, I'm actually referencing the song. What are you going to do about it?

At this stage in our life, Christmas events and traditions get pushed aside in favor of "cave mode" (intense law school study sessions), though we always find time to decorate the house somewhat. So this year, my husband treated me to the Nutcracker while we were in California (thus after all exams were over). It was simply beautiful. And in the first act, there aren't even very many men in tights for A. to roll his eyes at!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Nine vacation days

Pier 9
Originally uploaded by aspiringameliorant
No, no, this was not something that I made, but something that I was fortunate enough to enjoy this Christmas. We left for California the day after A. finished his last exam (actually a final paper), and I headed back home Sunday night/Monday morning after Christmas.

It was a wonderful holiday. Unfortunately, I hang around too many students so I occasionally feel resentful that I have to come home early to go to work, but I like my job, I get paid, and I've got plenty of mini-vacations planned in the next couple weeks, so there's really nothing to complain about.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Eight Pattern Repeats

Whew, I'm back! Sorry that I've fallen behind on the twelve days of Christmas posts (though I'm cheating and backdating them so they'll appear in their proper order in my editing software). And it's been the weekend, so it's not even like I have a good excuse!

Last Christmas I purchased a skein of Rowan Calmer to fashion into Shedir. I loved the feel of the yarn, wanted to knit something, thought the periwinkle yarn would look great with my sister-in-law's blue eyes, and the pattern called for one skein. Score! I worked on it diligently until....wouldn't you know it....I ran out of yarn. This is entirely my fault, as the pattern cautions that the yardage is extremely close and I failed to check gauge. Anyway, the hat went into the holding bins for a while.

This year, I rediscovered it, but I had already decided that L needed an otter quilt. But my sister has blue eyes too, so the intended recipient shifted. I found an online shop that carried the right color, and ordered, crossing my fingers that the dyelot would be close enough. And it was!


I love the way the twisted stitch cables flow into a star on the top.


Now I have almost a full ball left, which I'm turning into a baby Shedir for some friends, who I am assuming will not mind matching my sister.