Saturday, November 29, 2008

cup trial

It works!

Monday, November 24, 2008

slm- stuffing

No, not that kind of stuffing though it would be seasonally appropriate since Amercian Thanksgiving is coming up. I'm talking about the kind of stuffing you put in pillows or softies.

I don't use alot of stuffing but every once and awhile, I want to make something stuffed. Maybe because there aren't many great options. Poly fil looks and feels terrible. Wool stuffing is expensive and hard to find. Also it seems a little wasteful to buy a purpose made product just to make another product. But I think I have come up with a good solution - frogged wool. By either using an old sweater or one from a thrift store, nothing new in created.

This idea came to me as I was putting together my package for BackTack. Part of my package had a few stuffed items (no further details until Magfly gets her package!). I ran out of the leftover wool roving from my linen legs and was determined to use something I already had. I considered scraps, thread (inspired by Karyn) and lentils. All were rejected for a variety of reasons. Then I started thinking about yarn. I didn't have any but ah ha! that sweater in the give away pile could be frogged and supply the necessary stuffing. It worked really well.

busy 4 - back tack (busy 3 coming soon)

I am so excited to be participating in BackTack this year. I have been so inspired by the dedication, workmanship and innovation of the past swaps. I was thrilled to be paired up with Magfly who lives in Norway. It's been fun getting to know her and thinking of things she would like.

I finished my package and sent it off this weekend, phew. As soon as it arrives in Norway, I'll post photos of what I sent. I hope it gets there in one piece.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

diy ham

There are many tools that are essential for sewing: needles, iron, thread and chalk come readily to mind. One that often gets overlooked is a tailor's ham (and yes, it's called a ham cuz it looks like one). It's basically a firm, rounded cushion that allows you to press curved seams so they retain their original, curved shape.

For some reason, I didn't take mine with us when we moved to Toronto. I've made due for the last little while, piling sweaters or towels under a seam to create the right curve. I plan to make one as most commercially available hams are filled with sawdust rather than fiber and aren't quite as nice to work with. Have I even started on this project, project #257 out of #489? Nope. Le sigh.

I usually use the ham at The Workroom when I'm there to teach. Then one day, it hit me. The large cones of thread and yarn that I can't pass up at thrift stores could work as a stand-in, diy ham. I tried it out and success! While there are not as many options of types of curves, the yarn cone works pretty well. One caveat, I would only use one that has a natural fiber on it (the high heat and steam from the iron could cause a synthetic to melt and go icky) and that is a neutral/natural colour as the steam from the iron could cause the dye to lift and stain your project.

And that strangely shape green piece on my ham? I will hopefully be able to reveal what is it and what's part of by the end of the week.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Danish Christmas Bazaar 3

This weekend LW and her man headed north with Aren and I to the Danish Christmas Bazaar. I love it so. The basement is filled with tables of people eating open faced sandwiches, the second floor has crafts and the attic has a white elephant sale. Heaven!

I found a few things as per usual....

slm - back from the dead

Remember when I ambitiously started a weekly feature on skönalife? Yeah, me neither. Well, not quite. Fear not, I haven't abandoned sustainable living just the documentation of it and that's about to change (even if I'm a day late).

My latest quest has been for resusable coffee/tea cup. Aren and I both enjoy an americano a couple of times a week. Until a few months ago, we both had great resuable cups. They were great; perfect size for a medium americano (10 oz), kept the coffee hot and in the container, not in the bottom of our bags. Then they broke/came apart. Since then we have been on the look out something not too big, without a handle, without a plastic rim, not made in China and not hideous. We haven't found anything locally and resigned ourselves finding something online.

I searched around today and rediscovered this which made the blog rounds awhile ago: design savvy, good size but it might be too fragile and I'm not sure how I feel about drinking hot liquids through silicone on a regular basis. Then I came upon this post on No Impact Man. Of course! it's almost too easy. A resused glass jar with a good lid, it makes sense. We are going to try out our resused salsa jars asap.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

busy part 2 - the workroom

Photo courtesy of The Workroom

I have been also busy teaching classes at The Workroom and have been remiss in not mentioning them here.

The Snap Coin Purse has been a big hit and it's always great to see how differently they turn out- not a single repeat in the last 12 classes!

The Wool Slipper class has been fun as well. The process of turning a blanket into warm, cute slippers is very satisfying.

Next up is the Printing Party on November 23. Karyn and I have been scheming away, coming up with a variety of fun, cool printing techniques to make your own wrapping paper, holiday cards, gift tags and ribbon. Pictures soon!


busy part 1 - linen legs and dimply cake

I have been busy. I am finally finishing projects that I started, well, so long ago it's embarassing to detail the exact date.

First up is the linen legs. A little creepy but so useful. My great boots do not stand up on their own so I made substitute legs out of linen, wool roving, lentils (at the bottom for stability), lavender (to discourage beasties from the lentils and to make my boots smell nice) and my precious ribbon from my 2006 port2port press calendar (the new one available nov 17!).

I also made a dimply plum cake which was so delicious that it was consumed before I could take a picture of it. It looked very close to the picture in the link except I sprinkled powdered sugar over it before serving. I subbed silken tofu for eggs and didn't add the butter as the recipe already called for oil. Yum.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

this morning

Inspired by our neighborhood coffee place (Finally! A decent americano within a 5 minute walk of our apartment. Not having that nearby was really affecting our enjoyment of our new hood. Bougie, I know), I decided to make cornmeal muffins for breakfast. The ones we had there the other day were laden with dairy and eggs and I wanted to make a vegan version. Imagine my surprise when none of my cookbooks or googling came back with anything appropriate! I decided to adapt a bacon corn muffin from one of my most prized cookbooks, Sunset's Favourite Recipes. It was my Nana's.

I subbed grapeseed oil for bacon drippings, silken tofu for eggs and rice milk plus apple cider vingear for buttermilk. They turned out ok, just the right amount of sweetness for morning eats. Unfortunately, the only cornmeal I had was quite coarse so the muffins were a little crunchy. Next time, I will grind the cornmeal a little finer before using it.