Saturday, April 18, 2009

Calvin & Hobbes Bento box

I found this amazing Bento box when I was looking for images of the cartoon strip.
Bento #33: Calvin & Hobbes Bento!
Originally uploaded by AnnaTheRed

Yesterday my youngest son (21 yrs) was talking to me about Calvin and Hobbes. I had forgotten how much he loved them when he was younger, he reread each collection countless times over and over again. For years his room was decorated with a huge mural that I painted of Hobbes in pursuit of a grinning Calvin. The mural remained there for years until my son changed bedrooms and it became my workroom (I wish I hadn't painted over it).

So yesterday my son asked me if I could make him Hobbes.
This made me happy for a lot of reasons. First.... he still remembered how much joy this mischievous boy and his tiger had brought to him and that they still had meaning in his life of computers and video games. But I was also happy that he had complete faith in me that I could recreate his favorite childhood memory. I'm looking forward to the joy and the challenge of tackling this project in crochet....I want to get it just right, it will be a labour of love.

Back to the Bento box.....if you find her work as amazing as I do check out her blog
(she also made Where the Wild Things Are). They are delightful works of edible art!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Finished: Wall-e in crochet

blog size

blog size

He is only 2 1/2 inches high.
I adapted
this great free pattern from sunshineravioli.

My changes:
I put poster board into his main body so that he would be more rigid.
I made the wheels larger and put them under his body.
I added black embroidery to his hands.
I made a base for the eyes using polymer clay then crocheted a outer layer of yarn.
His neck is make of wire covered with yarn so that I could change the position of his eyes.

Here is a work in progress of him...you can see a bit of foam board sticking out of his base.

Wall-e wip

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blocking a knitted sampler pillow

Today I thought I would tackle blocking for the first time.

In knitting class we were given 2 different techniques from 2 different instructors.
One involved blocking each individual piece with steam and then sewing up the seams. It also involved inserting some cool wires to keep the edges straight but they weren't cheap.

The second method seemed easier so I went with it.
I sewed all my pillow pieces into 2 panels: a back and front. Then I wet the panels in a sink and gently squeezed out the water by placing them between a dry towel. Next I spread them out on a dry towel and pinned them to their proper size (16 " for my pillow) and let them dry.
(Not a great photo .... the sun is hiding).



I'm happy with the results except for one unexpected side effect.
I used Ultra Berroco which is 50% alpaca /50% wool.
When the yarn was wet it stunk! Not sure if it is the alpaca or something they added to it but it was not pleasant.
I sure hope it disappears when it is dry.

Edit: On Ravelry I asked why I was having this problem and I got some useful and funny stories. Apparently this is perfectly normal. Most people suggested that I add
a touch of Eucalan to the water before wetting the wool.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A pledge.......I will teach someone how to......

I signed up for something interesting the other day.
It was a pledge, started by
KnitLuck, where she promised to teach someone how to knit if 10 other people would do the same. ....12 people have signed up so far.
(Crocheters have now also been included).


I think this is a wonderful idea, I have often heard people remark that they learned these crafts from a neighbour, grandmother or friend.
What a wonderful way to
keep these crafts alive but more importantly its a way to build lasting memories.
If this appeals to you, you can still add your name here to the pledge...the deadline is not until May 1 st.

KnitLuck is also posting links to each participant's blog and who they intend to teach.
I'm hoping to teach my sister how to crochet.
She is about to become a grandmother for the first time so it would be the perfect time for her to learn and a lovely way for us to spend time together.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My daily crusty bread


"The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in it's evocation of innocence and delight...."
M.F.K. Fischer, The Art of Eating


This is the type of recipe that you almost want to keep to yourself. You know the one where everyone loves it and it looks like it is a lot of work when, in reality, it is ridiculously easy.
The only reason I am even sharing it here is because no one in my family knows about this blog. Right now it is known as my bread and I'd like to keep it that way.

In fact it is so easy to make we have been eating it for supper almost every night since I first made it.The one pictured
is an artisan style loaf that brings back memories of the type of bread we ate in Italy together with cheese, olives, wine and figs. But you can easily change it by adding whatever mix of whole grains and seeds you'd like...healthy food at its tastiest.

There is next to no work involved in making it... 5 minutes mixing it up the night before, a couple of minutes to punch it down the next day, then another minute to pop it in the pan. That's it,

The reason so little work produces such a beautiful bread is twofold.
....First is time....
Between these small moments of work you give the bread, or more specifically the yeast, the time it needs to do it's own thing...eat and grow . It does quite nicely without our interference.
.....The second reason this works is how you bake it. Professional bakers have the luxury of having expensive ovens that deliver the right amount of moisture to the bread which results in a perfect crust. You can try adding moisture by spraying the bread, putting pans of water in the oven, all sorts of tricks. But trust me, they don't work as well as this simple method, you put it into a preheated heavy covered pot for half the cooking time.

Okay, enough jabbering..here is the link.

Use the covered pot method and choose a smaller loaf.
Trust me, you will get a perfect loaf even if you've never made bread before.
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