Well, it seems the howling winds have departed my neck of the east bay and I finally have relief from my painful sinuses. I’ve been distracted by this and that this January but have been productive in one way or the other.
Goodbye Bloglovin. Hello Feedly.
Today I deactivated my Bloglovin account. My blog is still listed on there but I am tired of spammers of inappropriate websites following me and leaving spam on the blog. Til this day Bloglovin hasn’t figured out a way for us to block those accounts like one can on other social media platforms. I Google’d a bit and found Feedly as an alternative to follow blogs.
I stopped watching holiday shows earlier this month. Many were okay. I recently saw Enola Holmes which was highly entertaining. I like how Enola looked at you and talked to you in the camera. Helena Bonham Carter was perfect as her mother. I hope to try reading the series one day.
I’ve also started the last season of Great British Baking Show. Do you watch it? Does it make you Google desserts you’ve never heard of or eaten? Chocolate week had me craving brownies.
Speaking of Brownies…
Can we just flash the word, decadent, in neon lights? I used Hershey’s dark chocolate, cocoa powder and there are no shy amounts of butter and sugar in this recipe.
Gateâu aux Pommes
My husband couldn’t stop raving about it. Sadly, the cake gets eaten up fast as it’s only nine inches and one layer.
Third Time’s the Charm!
Remember I told you about those two failures of trying to make the cranberry jello mold my mama makes every Thanksgiving? The third try was not a strike out!
Ain’t it a beauty? Now I didn’t have big packs of raspberry jello nor orange juice. How’d I still have success? I used orange jello and cranberry juice!
Here’s the recipe if you’d like a go at it:
- 1 pkg (6 oz) raspberry-flavor gelatin
- 1 pkg (6 oz) orange-flavor gelatin
- 2 and 1/2 cups boiling water
- 2 and 1/2 cups orange juice, chilled
- 1 large orange
- 1 pkg (12 oz) cranberries
- 1/2 cup peeled, chopped apple
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Frosted Grapes (My mom and I skip this.)
- Small clusters of green grapes
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- Orange Dressing, below (We skip this also and I don’t think it’s listed on the scan.)
- Parsley (We skip this too.)
- In large bowl, completely dissolve raspberry- and orange-flavor gelatin in water. Pour in orange juice; mix well. Chill until consistency of unbeated egg white – about 3 hours; or place over a large bowl of ice water (This is the option I chose.), stirring occasionally, until thickened – about 30 minutes.
- Grate enough peel from orange to make 1 teaspoon; set peel aside. With sharp knit, remove and discard remaining peel; section orange. Cut orange sections into 1/2-inch pieces.
- In blender or food processor, chop cranberries. Fold orange peel and pieces, cranberries, apple, and pecans into thickened gelatin. Spoon into a decorative 8-cup mold. Refrigerate 3 hours, or until mixture is firm.
- Meanwhile, make frosted grapes: Brush grapes with beaten egg white; then sprinkle on all sides with sugar. Place on wire rack to dry. Make Orange Dressing (Uh, not sure what this specifically is as it’s not listed.)
- To unmold and serve: Loosen edge with small spatula; shake mold gently. Dip mold in warm water for 10 seconds. Invert. (Recipe scan stops here.)
I used my bundt pan because when I looked at jello molds online, they were ridiculously expensive and since I was probably only going to make this
oncfe once a year…I sprayed my bundt pan with nonstick spray and it that did the trick.
The soundtrack of Enola Holmes is frequently played as I like instrumental music in the background while I do this and that.
I found another Harry Potter podcast! It’s called Harry Potter – Soundbooks by Cristian León. Stephen Fry reads a chapter while Cristian does the sound effects. Only the first, five chapters have been done.
Johann Sebastian Bach is a composer I listen to a lot as well. Do you have a favorite, classical composer?
This occurs in spurts. I cleaned out the black cart of my cardmaking supplies. I recycled or threw out items I didn’t want and was never going to use. I thus was able to hide everything in furniture – from the buffet to the media cabinet to the end tables.
My sewing paraphernalia is growing. I got a Brother serger from my parents for Christmas and need to start playing around with it. I also recently received a pack of comic poster boards that I’m going to wrap fabric remnants around and hopefully store them okay in the carts.
Fellow sewists, how you store your fabric?
In addition, I cleared off the buffet of items, some going into the wet bar niche that is never used. Now in all of this shuffle I can’t find some things!
With everything being shuffled around I have lost the Cross-Eyed Cricket’s Autumn pattern!
I’ve looked everywhere from newly organized places to under furniture, even under the couch cushions. No luck whatsoever. I’m going to have to order a new one.
From the last post on this project, I finished the apples and moved onto the letter, T.
I’ve been slowly ordering bullet journal supplies:
- vintage stickers
- mini, washi tape
- notebooks with kraft covers that I had the 13 yo decorate for me
- modern stickers
- vintage, washi tape
My perfectionism has my creative flow stuck in the mud for the monthly/weekly bullet journal I want to start, so I went to Michael’s yesterday with the dames and boy, it was a disappointing trip. The store doesn’t sell many of the Tim Holtz Ideaology doodads anymore. I had wanted to pick up ephemera.
Last night on Etsy I found a stationary shop up in Washington that sold some mini photographs for bujo’s. I ordered those and some Valentine-themed ones.
I need to practice my calligraphy again, items I had requested for Christmas. I tried learning brush lettering but got bored and thought calligraphy would be a good substitute.
I’ve been knitting swatches after doing some research on swatching. What started me off was one IG knitter saying she swore by Julie Hoover’s method of knitting an 8″ swatch. I was going to try this but dragged my feet in the mud so I Google’d it some more and found the swatching articles by Patty Lyons.
What particularly interested me was her method of swatching in the round. Knitting patterns are supposedly swatched flat; however, kniting the purl stitch can use more yarn and/or be taller in size, thus throwing off your gauge. Also, knitting a garter stitch border around your swatch can make it lie.
Each swatch in the picture above averages six inches each. It’s said by many that a 4″ swatch doesn’t show you accurately how the yarn and fabric behave. I found the one inch gauges (stitch and row) for each pattern and multiplied the numbers by six to figure out how many stitches I needed to cast on and how many rows to knit.
The pink and marled swatches are knitted in the round because they’re for sweaters; they have four, extra stitches (two, twisted knits + two purls) on the left and on the right to help stabilize the loosey goosey ends.
The blue one is flat and in brioche. Yep, I learned the mechanics of brioche just by knitting that swatch. I had to frog the first one and restarted because I knew I had messed up. The yarns, BTW, are from my legwarmers WIP that’s been long frogged; the first one had worn snug over leggings.
When I had tagged Patty on IG with pictures of my swatches, she suggested I not pin them. I left the pins in because I know I’ll be thoroughly blocking my sweaters with wires and pins in the end.
Two of the swatches had close gauges to their patterns and one was off. I’m going to have to adjust needle size when I start the WIP’s. I plan to start the neon pink and the blue patterns first.
I learned a new tip from celestialknitter on IG. I usually forget to note down the US needle size I knit with when making a swatch or I screw up the information and get all confused when I go back to my notes.
Yes! My mom showed me a trick of tying knots in the cast on tail to indicate the needle size. Five knots = size 5 needle and so on.”CelestialKnitter
So I made sure to do this in these new swatches.
Okay, I think I’ve included everything but the kitchen sink here. Off to finish my Sunkist Pink Inside Cara Cara Orange; my husband has been picking up a bag of these oranges from Costco every Friday. They’re really sweet and juicy. TTYS.