Monday, September 16, 2013

Catching up

Hello, darlings! So much has happened in the past two weeks! Let me tell you all about it!

My friend Angela and I went on our cheese-making adventure the weekend of the 7th and 8th. We left Friday afternoon to set up camp (I camped!!) at Rock Cut State Park, which is beautiful and HUGE!! We asked for a tent site on high ground because there was rain in the forecast. Truth be told, we got a light rain as we were having a delicious breakfast of Nutella and bananas on whole wheat English muffins, but that was all the precipitation we encountered.

Saturday morning we headed to Angelic Organics Learning Center in Caledonia, Illinois, to take our class in making soft cheeses. April was our teacher. She's enthusiastic and informative and very friendly. We really enjoyed ourselves, and we learned how to make six kinds of soft cheeses!! We also milked a goat.

It was awesome! When we got back to Rock Cut with our fabulous array of soft cheeses and some fresh produce from the Kitchen Garden, we went kayaking for an hour. I just adore kayaking! Afterward, I called my Habibi and said, "I learned how to make six kinds of cheese, milked a goat, and went kayaking today. What did you do?" He chuckled and said, "Nothing!"

Sunday afternoon was our hard cheese class. Don, a local farmer and cheese ninja, taught that class. We made gouda and feta. These are being aged, and will be waxed and mailed to us in about a week and a half.

After class, I met my favorite goat, Azabache.
She's a princess, and she runs that goat enclosure! She also jumped two fences in the snow (goats hate precipitation) to get to the Billy goats when she was a mere one year old. So she's also a bit of a tart. She's my best friend now.

I wanted to test out my new cheese-making skills right away, so I made ricotta in my kitchen at home Monday evening. It was good. Next time, I'll add more salt and a ton more basil from my mom's kitchen window and it will be GREAT!!

Thursday I got my hair done. I love my stylist, Patrick Fuller, at Robert Jeffrey Salon. He makes me look like this.

Friday afternoon, I went home to Batavia to accompany my mom to my Uncle Bud's 84th birthday party. I love spending time with my crazy, funny, loud, energetic family! It makes me feel so good!!

Saturday Kath and I went to the Batavia Farmers Market. It was my first time there. It's very nice! And there was a woman there who was selling soaps that look like cupcakes. Love her!!

 My next project is this cowl.
It's a challenge because it's a smaller hook -- an F hook -- than I'm used to. We'll see how my patience holds up!!

And lastly, I've lost 10.5 pounds and twelve inches on the Flat Belly Diet in the past eighteen days. I feel great!! And I eat awesome food! I don't even crave ice cream and Oreos anymore!!

So that's the news for now, darlings! No more Stitch 'n' Bitch at the Glenwood, but stay tuned for a new night and location very soon!! As always, Peace, (radical) Love, and Yarn!! XOXOXO

Sunday, September 1, 2013

New Project -- Just for Me!!

Happy Labor Day, everybody! I hope your barbecues are safe, your adult beverages are icy cold, and your charred meats are delicious!! I'll be at the beach with my buddy Yvette.

I've challenged myself to do more difficult projects. I just moved into a new apartment, for which my awesome mother, who firmly believes in spending my inheritance on me while she can watch me enjoy it, bought me a love seat and a sofa (and a kitchen table and chairs, AND a dresser. Don't get me started on how spoiled I am!!). Although I am taller than my roommate Miss Sarah, I have taken up residency on the love seat because it resides in the bay window. I love the bay window. So I needed a little lumbar support for when I curl up on said love seat. I needed a throw pillow. Truth be told, I need several. But every journey starts with one step.  I began shopping for throw pillows. Throw pillows are ridiculously expensive, darlings!! And, thanks to my dear friend Dr. Emily Roben, I have acquired a new mantra. It goes a little something like this: I can make that myself!!

I decided it would be cool to crochet a basket weave pillow cover. I decided it would be cool to make each side a different color and stitch it together with a third color.  I was right -- it's cool! I splurged a little on the pillow form -- a 16" square of goose down for $15 -- because the yarn I used was already in my possession. I did 35 rows of basket weave, 50 stitches wide. I stitched the pieces together with two double crochet in each stitch around, four in each corner. Here's how it looks.

I'm so. Very. Happy with the result! And look how gorgeous those colors look on my cool red love seat!! Now to determine what kind of pillow Miss Sarah would like to start with for her sofa.

Oh, and also, Sarah wants me to design her a basket weave skirt! A SKIRT!! I've never done CLOTHES!! The plot thickens!!

That's the news for now, darlings!! No Stitch 'n' Bitch tonight because of the holiday. But as always, until next time, Peace, (radical) Love and Yarn!! XOXOXO