Monday, March 31, 2014

Spending Time With Your Food

I am taking an online art history class that is making me challenge myself a bit each week in my preconceptions about art.  This week we covered how artists can show the passage of time and movement within a piece.  And our sketchbook assignment was to use a series of photos to show time or movement. 

I immediately thought about some sort of felting project to show in various stages as I was making it but then I realized I wanted to think about food in relation to time.  I spend a lot of time making food and taking photographs, hopefully in as perfect or as appealing a state as possible, but us food bloggers don't spend much time telling you to slow down and enjoy your food or even to think much about the part about eating it.  I joke all the time that I spend an hour and a half making something for dinner that we could easily inhale in 10 minutes if we don't pay attention. 

So, for lunch today, I decided to pay attention.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Bird Visitor Keeps the Pets Entertained

 This morning I was drinking coffee, checking my email and suddenly there was such a ruckus from the cat and the dog over by the window.  I ignored it for a bit but then Vincent's yowling drew me to the window to take a look.  A Flicker!!  A Northern Flicker, to be more specific. 

Vanilla Sugar

Among the souvenirs I brought home from my vacation was this packet of vanilla beans that were grown on Maui.  Vanilla Beans are the seed pod of an orchid (Vanilla Planifolia) whose flowers have to be pollinated by hand.  The beans are then harvested by hand, and then cured for several months before they can be used for cooking and baking.  No wonder vanilla beans are so expensive!

I have not used vanilla beans before so I decided to start with an easy project:  Vanilla Sugar.  So easy to make that I'm adding it to my to-do list for this year's Christmas gifts. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Painted Lampshade

 A couple of months ago we finally bought a new sofa.  We had been living with a small, beat up leather sofa for the last 10 years and while it worked in our old house, it was far too small for both the living room and for us.  We upgraded to a sofa that could fit both of us and the dog and the cat, all at the same time!  

But I found I wasn't using the new sofa much.  Instead I would curl up on one of our small arm chairs with ottoman across the room.  I realized it was because I had no proper reading lamp for the new sofa.  And much of the time I spend in the living room I am reading.  We weren't sure what kind of lamp to get (another decision!) and then some friends of ours came over and offered to give us a big modern lamp that didn't work in their house anymore.

Yay!  It fit perfectly!  But there was only one problem.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Returning From Paradise

Aloha!  I've just returned from a beautiful, albeit windy, week in Maui.  While I'll miss the spectacular sunsets, I am so happy to be home, and itching to get started on some projects around the house.  Oh, dear.  I see I've forgotten to introduce myself -- how rude!  

Monday, March 17, 2014

Refreshing Kale Mint Smoothie

A friend of mine just gave me the largest bag of kale you have ever seen.  It is probably the equivalent to 8 bunches of kale if I had bought them at the grocery store.  Her husband is of the super gardening type and manages to keep fresh produce coming all through winter while most of us give up and let the weeds take over until spring.  I took it on to try and use all of this splendid kale and not just in the normal, add it to a saute or soup kind of cooking.  I decided some smoothies were in order.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Felt Yardage Equals Just A Felt Pillow

I am trying to make some larger felt yardage and despite the fact that I have a pretty big studio, I have been struggling.  Wool shrinks around 30% from layout to finished product so to get anything in a large size (like enough for a cape, like I want) you have to start really, really large.  And you can make two layers at once using a resist but I didn't want to try that yet as I am still experimenting with pre-felts and layout in general. 

I started by making a smaller, test piece on a small table for a sample.

Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself

Hello all. I’m feeling a bit like a debutante arriving to her coming out party. I’ve spent entirely too long debating on what my first blog post should be about and the result is I’m freaking myself out. So, like any self respecting adult, I Googled it. Apparently it’s a bit like any other social interaction in the world. I should tell you my name and a little bit about myself. Duh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Contributors for HouseInsideOut!

Hey folks!

I am shaking things up here at HouseInsideOut and have brought on two new contributors, Ann and Kimberly!  Oskar (above), will not be contributing any more than usual because he wants to sleep all day.  You can read all about Kimberly and Ann on our new Contributor page.  This way we will be able to provide more cooking, arty, garden, and Tacoma stories for all of you! 

Be sure to also check out our new recipe and tutorial archives listed at the top of the page.