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Everything But the Kitchen Sink

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.

Netflix

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.

Baking

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.

French Apple Cake by Once Upon a Chef

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!

Cranberry-Crunch Mold from McCall’s 1986

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
    • Sugar
  • Orange Dressing, below (We skip this also and I don’t think it’s listed on the scan.)
  • Parsley (We skip this too.)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

Spotify

Background Music

The soundtrack of Enola Holmes is frequently played as I like instrumental music in the background while I do this and that.

Podcast

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.

Classical

Johann Sebastian Bach is a composer I listen to a lot as well. Do you have a favorite, classical composer?

Organizing

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!

Cross Stitch

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.

BuJo

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.

Knitting

1. Pink Swatch: Knitted Wit Sport, 2. Blue Swatch: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes & Aloft, and 3. Marled Swatch: Miss Babs Yowza & Moonglow

Research

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.

Swatch 411

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.

Tip

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.

18 thoughts on “Everything But the Kitchen Sink”

  1. So sorry to hear bloglovin has failed you. I have had quite a bit of spam comments coming in my blog and therefore, monitor ever comment before publishing it in my comments. I will look into feedly. At this time I have all the blogs I follow listed on my bloglovin feed.

    Hubby and I enjoyed the Enola Holmes movie too.

    Your French apple cake looks very yummy. I have several apples that need to be used. May need to look up the recipe and have a go at it.

    Jello salad is one of the things I do not make or eat. When my dad passed away 45 years ago, every church lady gave my family a jello salad. We ate those for MONTHS. To this day I can not eat jello salads. I will eat plain jello though. I know, I’m strange lol.

    As for classical music…….I was trained on the piano with classical music for 13 years. I fell in love with J S Bach, Ludwig Von Beethoven and Chopin.

    Have fun with your organizing. I love reorganizing areas. You can find some lovely treasures doing that.

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    1. Good composers. Their playlist are favorited on Spotify. I don’t blame you about jello salads. You aren’t strange at all. Yeah, I would get all this spam. It was filtered put but then I’d have to delete it and then copy/paste the 411 to block it in my settings. A hassle.

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    1. You can use dollar store ones or some ppl have used the ones that are for kids to play upon. These pink ones are DAISO ones. I do have a set of nine from Knit Picks which are thicker.

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  2. What a great catch-up post. You’ve been busy, girl. Your jello salad is beautiful. My MIL was known in the extended family for her jello salads. The topic even came up at her funeral last summer. lol She would have been tickled. 🙂

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  3. That’s interesting about Feedly, I still use Bloglovin’ but one of these days I’ll look into it. I have heard Enola Holmes is good and hope to see it sometime. My fabric is all stored on shelves and bins and…. it’s a mess. I need to do a tidy up! Good that the sinus has cleared. I know that can be very painful.

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    1. Sigh, I wish I had a craft room. Still need to tackle the fabric but the sweater is calling to me right now. With Feedly it’s supposed to help filter out the white noise. I easily added on ppl’s blogs by copy/pasting URL’s.

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  4. We really enjoyed The Great British Baking Show and I was so pleased with the winner! The brownies look delicious as does the apple cake. I had forgotten about the jello mold! I loved it but then it kind of disappeared. I should try making it.

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