Dolls, Bibs & Where’s The Food?

I packed up the handmade goodies for my new niece earlier this week :

I’ve had the bibs & dolls done for a while, but wanted to wait to finish some other little bobbles before sending them off. You can find many great tuts in blogland on how to make bibs yourself. It’s a great beginner’s project and you can fall into a rhythm and once all the cutting is done, you can whip out a few sets.

I just traced one of Guppy’s old bibs for the pattern, but didn”t want to do a tie bib because I they always got caught in Guppy’s hair, and wanted to avoid buttons because of the choking hazard. Amy Karol’s book Bend The Rules Sewing has an easy bib pattern and she uses snaps, so I tried that. Not sure how I feel about it – some of the snaps didn’t go on so well and it was a little stressful. I think next time I’ll try some velcro action.

I of course also included with the Animal Friends cloth book- I’ll be making another one soon as we’ve friends who are expecting and I think it makes a special gift.

We’re experiencing technical difficulties chez Fish, and I’ve got a load of foodie pictures to share, but am unable to do so because of the evil computerness of a little glitch that will be worked out soon. Have no fear, I’ll be sharing the delicious goodness as soon as I can!

Feel like wasting a little time? playing with yet another net-survey? A few days ago, Melissa at Creating Nunde had a link for this Martha quiz : What’s Your Crafting IQ? I scored way higher than my actual crafting abilities should have let me – 8/10 – but I think if you’ve got some good general culture under your belt you’ll probably surprise yourself with your ultimate crafty knowledge!

W.I.P. Wednesday

Hola Amigas! (Y amigos tambien, I know a few of you are hombres).

I was feeling a bit sad that “On My Desk…” Wednesdays were over, but at the same time didn’t want to be all stuck in the past, refusing to let go and move on, inciting disapproving looks, pity, finger wagging and comments like “oh, how sad, she didn’t get the memo that it isn’t ‘cool’ anymore.”

Ok, I might be exaggerating a hair.

So that’s where W.I.P. Wednesdays come in. Work in Project (W.I.P.) Wednesdays will be an opportunity to showcase and share what I’m working on (or wish I were working on as the case may be), in addition to W.I.P. progress and completed projects. Maybe I’m stitching like mad to get holiday gifts together, or perhaps someone sent me a new crafty book that I want to share with you – that’s what W.I.P. Wednesday is all about. W.I.P.s aren’t limited to textiles, it’s whatever your work in progess happens to be. Please feel free to join in the fun!

If I had photoshop or was all HTML savvy I’d design a groovy button for my sidebar, but I’m not. So let’s pretend I have a very cool graphic to go with this idea, okay? Thanks, sistahs, you’re the best.

Last week I showed you the bits and bobbles Tacha sent me. Look at how adorable this project is :

It’s a cloth book for kidlets! In French we call it a livre d’éveil – because it “wakes up” the senses of a child. There is a squeaker and the pages rustle like crinkly plastic, not to mention that the animal clothing is made with a variety of textures from different fabrics. It’s for newborns to about 18 months, but Guppy keeps playing with it to teach her dinos the names of the different animals. Good thing her dinos are herbivores.

tada

Good news to any hesitant or newbie crafters out there – this isn’t difficult and it’s really quite fun to put together. I learned some new techniques (fun), and now have a sweet little holiday gift for my new niece!

Feeling crafty? You can purchase this epattern at Tascha’s Etsy shop. No time (or inclination) to sew? No problemo! She’s got some very cute finished books for sale as well (and some other cuteness, too)!

Smashing Grain Casserole (It’s got red wine in it!) & PIF Update!

Oh the glory of casseroles! I love them because they mean : less dishes to do, left-overs to eat (or freeze), and let’s not forget the fact that they are oh-so-low maintenance, which is vital when you’re busy, or hobbly, or both! This one is particularly fun because it calls for wine. Now, you can totally use that fond de bouteille (last of the bottle) that’s been hanging out in your fridge for an embarrassingly long time (promise, it’ll be ok), or you can seize the occasion to go buy some wine and just pour a little into your dinner! How fun!

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Gratuitous Wine Shot

I know I’m spoiled because we can get quite fab wine for cheapo – like 3E a bottle, but if you’re not concerned about drinking the wine, just buy a cheapy bottle for cooking!

I tend to make hearty casseroles as my post-long run fuel because of their perfect protein/carb ratio, and because of how easy they are to prepare. After a long Sunday run I can throw everything (gently) into the roasting pan, and have time to shower, dress, stretch and rehydrate. Without rushing or much effort, I can have a warm, hearty meal for lunch. A crunchy, fresh green salad would be so perfect with this, too!

Granted, my long Sunday runs have been temporarily transformed into long Sunday sits, but that doesn’t negate the ease and practicality of the casserole!

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Blurry Close Up…Must Be The Wine

This combo is one of my favourites for the autumn and winter months because it’s “earthy” (in a good way) and satisfying. And it has wine in it. I love wine. Don’t you? Have a little glass as you prepare your casserole…red is good for your health as well as your soul. It also has fonio, an African super-grain which is so good for you, and good for communities on the African continent who are trying to build up a sustainable economy (difficult to do after hundreds of years of colonization, when will we learn?). Some people are turned off by its strongish taste, which is why I don’t use much here. If you don’t have any fonio, or are reluctant to use it, just skip it or replace with bulgur or cracked spelt or whatever makes you smile!

Smashing Grain Casserole

*In an effort to make this accessible to Imperial and Metric users alike, I carefully noted the conversions in cups…and totally forgot to write down the Metric measures. Sorry guys.

Set your oven for 350F and put all of the following except the veg broth in a large roasting pan or casserole dish with a lid:

  • 1 cup brown rice (dry)
  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup fonio (or bulgur or just skip) – dry
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 red pepper, peeled & roasted
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • approx. 2.5 cups veggie broth or bouillon & water (possibly more, it will depend on how much is absorbed)
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper

Give it all a good stir and add about 1/2 cup of the veg broth. Put it in the oven for about 45 minutes or so. Take it out, stir, and add more broth. Basically, this will need to stay in the oven four about 90 minutes, so I just take it out & check it every half hour or so, it’s pretty forgiving. You just don’t want it to dry out too much.

Great add-ins are sautéed mushrooms or chopped tomatoes, anything goes, really!

Check it out! People are Paying It Forward!

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Go visit Tacha and Natalia for more chances to win some handmade love! I would just be so excited to have something from them…I may have to re-enter myself!