Monday, July 14, 2008

wee distractions

You know that moment when you've been knitting, wreaking havoc trying to sew clothes, and looking at a to-do list of sewing for the house? It's precisely the moment when you say to yourself, "wow, I really feel like doing a bit of embroidery". I had that moment on Saturday and suddenly two wool cat rattles appeared.

Truthfully, I do have baby gifts on my to-do list which usually means knitting up a hat. But I've had my eye on this hand dyed embroidery floss I found in Paris and I think part of me has been missing using wool. And making wool softies. Definitely this shape is an easy step back in, but I thought the ears turned out particularly cute and that in itself might push me to fashion arms and legs next time. Though in the world of rattles, if adults could have them, one of these would be my choice. I keep picking up the ivory one and just holding it in my hand. Really, I like the size of it better...and it's mouth line and the fact that there isn't a grosgrain ribbon loop hanging out its' side (that's not my best idea and it leaves the poor peach kitty in gift-giving limbo). Oh, and there are little bells safely tucked inside both, completing the whole rattle picture.

Now I really must get to that home sewing. Shinzi Katoh fabric push-pinned into window moulding and held open with clothes pegs just isn't the look we're going for around here. Five months is kind of the limit.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

baking therapy

When the hot weather hits, I forget all about baking. But yesterday it was argument central around here and when Jay and I were smart enough to stay out of each other's path, Sadie had a suggestion: "let's make muffins Mommy". That girl had the right idea. We put on our aprons, turned up Willie Nelson and tried a new concoction that was essentially a vegan-ized version of an Ina Garten recipe with an extra helping of chocolate. By the time they were ready the bad vibes were history and we all sat outside with our warm treats and shared them with the neighbours. Here's the recipe:

No More Bickering Muffins

1 cup Bran cereal (I used All Bran sticks)
1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup non-dairy margarine (PC Celeb has one)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/c cups flour (wholewheat or all-purpose)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips (Loblaws No-Name are the only ones around here)
1 ripe banana, chopped into small chunks

Combine Bran cereal and soy milk and set aside for at least 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream margarine and sugar together, then add the very ripe banana and combine really well. Next add the molasses and vanilla. Finally add the Bran cereal mixture and mix well. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingrediants to the wet in two stages and mix until just combined. Fold in the raisins, chocolate chips and banana chunks. Using an ice cream scoop drop batter into muffin cups. This batch made 15 muffins for me, but I could probably have squeezed the batter into 12 cups. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Especially yummy when eaten warm.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Very serious note to self: When you are a full-time worker, cook, laundry mistress, wife and mother, never, ever think that you can sew without a pattern. What will result is a complete and utter build up of wasted time as you start making a skirt, turn it into a shirt, back into a skirt and then finally a tank top. Curse words will abound and you will have nothing to show for your efforts, turning your blog into a space where you only write about books (which you finish after you've thrown polka-dotted fabric across the room for one last time). This isn't 1991 and if sewing clothes is important, for goodness sake, rely on the structure and predictability of a pattern. And stop making things that make everyone around you think you're pregnant. There's a fine line between fashionable empire waists and a gather or two too much. Patterns are aware of these nuances. Use them.

(But hey, that's a pretty cute bunny in the background. And perhaps the gingham challenge for Tie One On is worth a little effort?)