Friday, 18 March 2011

Beam me up, Scottie

Sorry if I got any trekkies out there all excited – this post has nothing to do with Star Trek. Just can’t resist a pun, even if the connection is pretty tenuous.

But I bring you – rather belatedly – February’s finished quilting project. Ta da! One cute scottie dog:

I saw a picture of one of these on a quilting blog somewhere (can’t remember which one, sorry), so I went hunting for a pattern. Found this one and whipped it up in a day or two. (Stop laughing! Two days is lightning fast for me.) If I was being strict about such things, it wouldn’t even qualify as finishing a UFO, since it jumped straight to the top of the queue, over all the genuine UFOs that have been languishing in the cupboard. But a finish is a finish, so I’m happy. And it’s just so cute! How could I resist?

I made it in reds to suit Demon Duck’s to-be-renovated room (if the long-awaited extension ever starts). She was very particular, and requested a proper collar with a dog tag. I was just going to tie a ribbon around its neck, but no, that would have been too easy.

I considered making a dog tag out of shrink plastic but got lazy. So I took her to the shops and let her choose a real dog tag and had it engraved. I should have gone with the shrink plastic – the tag cost way more than the dog! I nearly fell over when the guy handed me the engraved tag and said “that’ll be $15 thanks”. Ouch! That’ll teach me to take the easy way out.

The S stands for Scottarina, in case you’re wondering. Demon Duck has never been big on creative names for her stuffed toys. Her very first favourite was a blue rabbit called Bunny. Then Bunny was cast aside in favour of a purple koala called … wait for it … Koala. Finally Koala was superseded in her affections by a little brown bear called – yes, you guessed it – Little Brown Bear. “Scottarina” is positively inventive by comparison.

But none of them had a name tag worth more than they were ...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Italian cooking: now with random green stuff

I had a craving for bruschetta – but do you think I could find a recipe? Heaven knows why I didn’t think to consult the Almighty Internet. Google is a girl’s best friend! But after ratting through several cookbooks I came up empty-handed. Maybe bruschetta’s too easy for cookbooks to bother with?

Anyway, I figured I could work it out. Bread, tomato, a little balsamic vinegar, and that yummy green stuff. Convinced the thing I needed was oregano I went to my local greengrocer to buy some.

My local greengrocer doesn’t label his herbs. It would be entirely possible for someone to come home with a bunch of mint only to discover it was actually basil. This may or may not have happened to me …

So I had a good sniff and came up with the one that smelled like bruschetta. Brought it home and made something that tasted just like the real thing (if you ignore the fact that it was slightly soggy in the middle – but my tummy didn’t care). It looked a treat too.

Only then I did find a recipe and discovered that the thing that smells like it belongs in bruschetta is actually basil, not oregano. I have a vague memory now that oregano has smaller leaves. As you’ve probably guessed by now I’d be the first one out the door in any cooking contest. It’s probably a good thing my greengrocer doesn’t label his herbs, or I’d have bought the wrong thing.

Hmmm. What do you think, internet?

Is my random green stuff really basil?

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Colour my world

Feeling a little blue today. (No offence, blue, I think you’re a lovely colour.) The world seems kind of grey and miserable. (I know, I know, grey – you must get sick of being equated with misery. And you don’t even get to be a colour. You’re just a shade.) So I’m adding a shot of colour for your viewing pleasure.

Ta da! The Mighty Internet has taught me to crochet. One stitch, anyway. I’ve been having fun throwing colours together, the brighter and more clashing the better. I love the way they make each other glow, all jumbled together like this. Maybe one day these will be a blanket, like this beautiful one at Attic24 that inspired me. Or knowing me, I’ll run out of puff and they’ll end up just cushion-cover size. They’ll still make me smile, though.

Another thing that’s making me smile lately is this pretty cyclamen sitting on my kitchen windowsill.

The flowers are so delicate but, frankly, a little weird, like butterflies balancing on top of poles.

I love the way they gradually stretch and unfurl. Nature comes up with some doozies, that’s for sure.

If you need more colour in your day, go check out Loretta Grayson’s blog. Wall-to-wall gorgeousness! I used to read her blog regularly a few years ago, when I was into scrapbooking. She always did the most amazing scrapbook pages, so artistic. Now, it appears, she too has the crochet bug. Or maybe she always did, I just didn’t know about it. But when I rediscovered her blog today it felt as if crochet had taken over the world. Go, hookers! I mean, um, hooky-type crochet people. You ain’t seen colour till you see what Rett does with it!

Do you have a favourite colour? It’s so hard to pick just one – it’s like choosing between your children! They’re all beautiful in different ways. Most days I say green out of habit, but really, I love them all.

Except maybe red. Sorry red, you’re just too … in your face. Although I have been using quite a lot of it lately in quilting, as you’ll see when I get around to posting a photo of February’s finished quilting project. So I’m learning to embrace red’s brash charms.

What’s colouring your world lately?