Monthly Archives: April 2013

Show and Tell Cards II

checked overalls on the line

I’ve spent some time recently on two special cards.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, this first card will look familiar.  It is a clothesline with cute little paper clothes hanging out to dry.  The first time I made a card like this it was for a colleague and his wife, honoring the birth of their son, born on Mother’s Day two years ago.

Well, that two-year-old boy has a little sister.  I decided to use the same design for this card, honoring her arrival on the first day of spring.

Onesie and Bib

Her dad is an aquarium aficionado (or should I say a-fish-ionando?) so I decided to give her a “got fish” onesie.  Cherry-print paper was perfect for a little bib.

got fish?

When he was younger he worked at the San Francisco Zoo.   I thought little cargo pants looked cute with the zoo t-shirt.

SF Zoo T-shirt

Polka-dot footie pajamas’s and a pink flowered Hawaiian shirt.

Footie PJ's

I indulged in a flowered skirt, pastel sweater and matching booties.

Flowered Skirt & Cardi

On the little baby sweater I added a small, self-adhesive jewel.  Other buttons are either paper dots or just drawn on with a pen, but I added dimensional glaze to make them stand out a bit.  Other details are drawn on with silver or black pen.

I used to have a cloud template that went out when I did my big craft clean-up last year.  I made a new one using the lid from a tub of cottage cheese.

Cloud Template

Using the top one – the cloud-shaped hole, I sponged white craft ink onto the background.  I then used the bottom one, the cloud shape, and sponged blue ink over the white, to create a pretty, sky effect.

The posts for the clothesline are cut from wood-grained paper and the line is bakers twine.  The clothes are adhered on pop-up foam dots so they look like they’re hanging from the line.  Small folded bits of brown paper serve as clothespins.

Inside of clothesline card

I made one more little paper garment for the back of the card: a pair of overalls.  I found this piece of blue, patterned paper and it looked like fabric.  I used silver ink to make the buttons and buckles and orange ink for the stitching.

Denim overalls

Last week I completed a different card, one I struggled with.  It was a sympathy card for someone I’m close to who had lost their mother.  How could I assemble something out of paper, ink  and glue that could speak to their loss?

Patchwork Squares Sympathy Card

I tried to think what words would be of comfort and read through cards I had received after my dad died.  I experimented with different designs but resorted to a simple tried-and-true scheme.

Of course I realized that connecting was what was important.  As I looked through my paper, I thought about my friend and thought about what she might be feeling.   I wrote a brief message and signed it.

A sympathy card and a new baby card.  One took extra effort for the small embellishments and details, while the other took an emotional output.

Heart Overalls

As always, I appreciate the visit.

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What I Ate In One Week, Part II

Fried Egg

Welcome to Part II of my photo journal of the food I ate last week.  This is the more indulgent portion of the week, what with an extra day off and a great trip to the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace.  It kind of balances out the first part of the week.

Friday morning: Fried Egg Friday!  I used to eat whole eggs 3 or 4 days a week but in the interest of my health, I now have one fried egg per week.  This week: 1 fried egg on a toasted, whole-grain sandwich thin, sauteed chard, with a dish of sliced apples and bananas.

Drippy Egg Yolk

Sampling tasting olive oil at McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil, at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

Bread 'n Oil

Lunch: Spring Rolls and peanut sauce from Out the Door.  Yummy.

Spring Roll

Now, more samples while walking around the Marketplace.

Delicious almond brittle with dark chocolate from Alfieri Fruits & Nuts. We bought some to take home.  The gentleman who was handing out samples gave me a bemused look when I stopped to take a picture before I would take a taste.

Almond Brittle

A handful of kumquats from Farm Fresh to You helped me feel like I was eating something healthy.  Have you tried kumquats before? The skin of a kumquat is the sweetest part and the flesh can be quite tart. I like them but these ones were a little more tart that I prefer.  But good.

Kumquats

At Cowgirl Creamery they gave out samples of Effie’s Oatcakes, a little cookie that reminded me of a cross between graham crackers and shortbread. I just looked at the site for the oatcakes and saw a picture of s’mores made with them.  Oh, my.  That sounds like a perfect combination.

They were giving out milk too, for that cozy milk ‘n cookies vibe.

Milk & Oatcakes

As if all this snacking wasn’t enough, we had some soft serve vanilla ice cream from Gott’s Roadside.  Luckily for me, Rem was willing to share a few bites so I didn’t have a whole serving of my own.

Soft Serve

Curiosity convinced us to try “Mo’s Dark a Bar“, a bacon-dark chocolate bar that we picked up at Farm Fresh to You earlier.  It was a very small bar (1/2 oz.), but for me, a big disappointment.  Neither of us could taste bacon.  Now I know and I don’t need to try it again. Whew.

Bacon Bar

We left the Marketplace and took the ferry back to Marin.

Amazingly, I got home hungry.  So, I had 1/2 a banana and a delicious roll picked up at the Marketplace, which held me over until dinner.

The roll, from The Acme Bread Company was called Edible Schoolyard, made from 100 percent stone-milled organic whole-wheat flour, rye pumpernickel flour, honey,  and salt.  I will look for the Edible Schoolyard loaf another time – it is a winner.

Bread & Banana

Dinner: Leftover rice noodles, tofu and chard with red cabbage, apple, fennel and carrot slaw.

Tofu & Slaw

Saturday breakfast: Cereal, banana and 2% milk.

Cereal

Snack: A little handful of nuts.

Handful o' nuts

Lunch (with mom): Big green salad with cucumber, tomato, carrot & avocado topped with turkey-ham salad and hard boiled egg.  On the side: whole grain Ritz crackers and a little fruit salad of grapes, tangerine & blueberries.

Saturday Salad

And Mom’s homemade oatmeal cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies

Later that afternoon: jellybeans.

Jellybeans

Dinner: Delicious grilled hanger steak picked up on Friday at  Golden Gate Meat Company, sauteed kale, steamed green beans with lemon, cherry tomatoes and Acme Bread Company herb slab.  All the more delicious because Rem cooked (thanks).

Steak & Greens

Snacking while blogging: Chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

Seeds. Chocolate.

Dessert: Greek yogurt with blueberry jam.

Yogurt 'n' jam

Last day!

Sunday breakfast: Egg white-veggie-tofu scramble with baked tofu, chard, cherry tomatoes and cilantro with toasted herb slab & honey plus prunes.

Tofu veggie scramble

Snack (just home from the Farmer’s Market): Kumquats – better than the ones at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

More kumquats

Trader Joe’s taste: Tater tot and sausage.

Tater Tot & Sausage

Lunch: Juice! Kale, chard, cucumber, celery, fennel, apple, orange, grapes, lime & mint.

Juicie

Green Juice

Snackies: Ritz 100 calorie snack mix and fresh peas.

Snack Pack

Peas

Dinner: Halibut with lemon and whipped butter, toasted herb slab, Greek salad and an artichoke with lemon/olive oil mayo dipping sauce.

Fine Fish Dinner

Dessert: a piece of that heavenly Almond Brittle with dark chocolate.  I ate it before taking a picture so here is the picture from Friday.

Almond Brittle

That is it, every bite.

On Sunday morning I did a big shopping at the Farmer’s Market.  I hadn’t been in weeks and it was wonderful to walk the aisles, picking up fresh, delicious produce for the week ahead.  I’m all stocked up for the week ahead.

Market Basket

Thank you for coming on by.

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What I Ate In One Week, Part I

There was something about getting my craft desk clean and organized last week that helped me get organized in other areas of my life.  I’ve been trying to be better about weighing and logging my food because it helps me to stick to healthier choices when I eat.

I decided to take a photo of everything I ate in one week and post it here.  I started on Monday morning, April 8.

Breakfast: Kale, mushrooms & egg white scramble with toasted Pane Siciliano.  Tangerine & raspberries.

Breakfast Monday

Morning snack: Cherry tomatoes.

Cherry Tomatoes - snack

Lunch: Black bean soup, with yogurt, lime & cilantro, Ry Krisp crackers, red cabbage & fennel slaw.

Monday lunch

Afternoon snack: cucumber and celery sticks.

Cucumber & celery

Dinner: Chicken breast, brown rice with lemon zest/rosemary olive oil, and asparagus with mushrooms.

Monday dinner

Dessert: jelly beans!

Jelly Beans

Tuesday breakfast: Oatmeal with apple, dates & cinnamon.

Tuesday Breakfast

Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries.

Yogurt & berries

Lunch: Leftover chicken, brown rice, asparagus & mushrooms + edamame and a side of celery sticks.

Green lunch

After lunch: Ginger Mints.

Ginger Mints

Afternoon snack: roast parsnips and carrots with orange glaze.

Parsnips & Carrots

Dinner: Fried tofu, rice noodles, chard and mushrooms with soy/cilantro/sesame oil & honey.

Tuesday Dinner

Dessert: Chocolate covered almonds.

Aw, nuts!

Wednesday breakfast: Fresh juice.  Carrot, sweet potato, apple, orange, celery, beet, tangerine, lime & ginger.

Juice stuff

Rosy Juice

Snack: Apple, Ry Krisp crackers & babybel cheese.

Apple & cheese

Lunch: Panzanella – bread salad with leftover Pane Siciliano, butter lettuce, tomato, cumber, edamame, and cilantro in a vinaigrette, topped with leftover chicken.

Panzanella

Afternoon snack: banana & peanuts.

Banana & peanuts

After work, another snack (cold, in front of the fridge): leftover orange glazed parsnips & carrots.

Orange glazed veggies

Dinner: Tasty frozen dinner from Trader Joe’s – cod, rice & ratatouille.

Fish Dish

Dessert: Chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

Seeds

Thursday breakfast: Banana dog (whole grain tortilla spread with peanut butter, wrapped around a banana) with a tangerine.

Banana Dog

Snack: Carrot sticks and edamame.

Green & Orange

Unplanned snack from the office stash: peanuts.

Peanuts

Lunch: Black bean soup, yogurt & cilantro and green salad.

Bean soup again

Afternoon snack: Light graham crackers and dark chocolate with raisins & pecans.

One more thing

Dinner: Chicken breast with yogurt and green tomato chutney, rice medley, cherry tomatoes and sauteed kale

Chicken 'n chutney

Dessert: I crave something warm and sweet and make a single serving apple muffin-in-a-mug in the microwave.

Muffin in a mug

Apple Muffin

Coming soon: What I Ate In One Week, Part II.

Thanks for the visit.

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San Francisco Ferry Getaway

Ferry Building

It was Spring Break this past week at the community college where I work, so students and faculty were off, but the campus was still open and the staff were still at work.  Until Friday.  After four quiet days of catching up on undone tasks including typing evaluation comments, filing a towering pile of paper and reorganizing my filing system, I decided to enjoy a vacation day.

I’ve been wanting to take the Larkspur Ferry to San Francisco and wander the shops in the Ferry Building Marketplace, and Rem was game.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was so nice being off work on a week day, I enjoyed it all the more.  Hooray for last minute days off!

Our destination, the Ferry Building Marketplace, is a beautifully renovated, landmark building with lots of little shops, cafes and restaurants with a major focus on food, plus beautiful and useful things for the home and garden.

First stop, Sur La Table, where I saw these little cake stands, or maybe cupcake stands.  They were very sweet and also very small.

Cupcake Stands

I love the artwork on this tin of Merula olive oil from Spain.

Merula Olive Oil

I admit, I wouldn’t have known that Pioppini and Nameko were mushrooms.  They are only two of the many, many mushrooms we saw at Far West Fungi.

Mushrooms

A beautiful set of nesting bowls made from olive wood was only one of the many items  at The Gardener that I would be delighted to have in our home.

Olivewood Bowls

You can pick up a cute little knit critter.

Little Knit Critters

Or a book on how to knit your own.

Knit Your Own Dog

We already have our own little dog, LLP (Little Little Pup), which is good since I don’t knit.  He came along on our adventure and met a small crocodile.

LLP

Succulents – I like their pretty soft greens and purples.

IMG_0028

The high ceiling of the Marketplace is topped with skylights.  A few pigeons have wandered in and made themselves at home, adding to the Farmer’s Market feeling.

Skylights

We sat outside on the esplanade to eat our lunch, overlooking a docked ferry and the Bay Bridge.

Golden Gate Ferry Boat

My spring rolls and peanut sauce were from Out the Door, the take-out counter for the Slanted Door restaurant.

Spring Roll

Rem enjoyed a hot BBQ Pulled-Beef sandwich from Golden Gate Meat Company.  We went back later and bought some steak to bring home and grill.

BBQ Beef

I could have done more shopping but I didn’t want to schlep it all home on the ferry.

Pretty Produce

Bright, colorful produce at Farm Fresh to You.

Radicchio

Pretty shopping bags caught my eye.

Shopping Bags

As did this striped and ruffled pasta at Village Market.

Striped Pasta

After more strolling we stopped at Gott’s Roadside for a cup of soft serve vanilla ice cream to share.

Soft Serve

Back outside into the sunshine, this time we sat on the street side of the building to people watch.

I enjoyed the line of pedicab drivers as they hustled to get customers.  These two were at the end of the line.

Pedicabs

We made a relaxed visit to Book Passage where I picked up one new and one used book.  The new one is An Everlasting Meal, Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler.  What an appealing title.  The used one is Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes, a book I loved and read several times included while on a trip to Italy that was inspired, in part, by the book.

I lost my well-thumbed copy and hadn’t thought of getting another until I saw this one. I started reading it right away while sitting on a bench in the marketplace.  It was like sitting down with an old friend.

Soon enough it was time to board the return ferry and head home.  I went out on the deck and took one more shot of the building as we departed.

"San Francico"

We had a splendid day!

R&D

A day like that reminds me how lucky we are to live where we do.   I am grateful.

Leaving SF

Thanks for coming by for a visit.

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Big Craft Clean-Up Revisited or Old Habits Die Hard

Crafting is a stress-reducer for me and something I really love and look forward to.  My time for crafting is limited but I try and do it as often as possible. Lately I haven’t been crafting as much as I’d like and it’s my own fault.

The reason? I’ve been falling into old habits and not keeping my craft space organized.  I have to admit it: I let my beautiful craft desk get buried in stuff.  I worked hard to carve out this space for myself last year when I took on and completed my Big Craft Clean-Up.

This is what my desk looked like the other evening.

IMG_0012-001

I want to make the most of every minute of craft time and don’t want to use those precious minutes for putting stuff away.  It doesn’t take long for things to pile up.

That polka dot book is my address book and it has a very nice home in the bedroom.  The heat gun lives in a drawer and I don’t even have to stand up to put it away.

Address Book

Paintbrushes and pens all have their place.  A receipt I don’t need?  The wastebasket is within convenient reach.  Glue and Fluid Matte Medium (used in my Art Journal and on some Easter Eggs) also have homes.

Brushes & Pens

An egg carton?!  OK, it was right after Easter and I’ve been blowing eggs to decorate, but this particular carton was empty.

When I started putting away this pile of supplies, I found paper from cards I’d made for Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and yes, Valentine’s Day.

Egg Carton

More receipts! A calculator, which has a place in the green bin right next to the address book, and a pile of mail. I’m shaking my head at my own disrespectful treatment of my craft space.

Receipts & Calculator

Not surprisingly, the mess had crept over to my craft dresser..  More egg cartons, at least there were some eggs in evidence, and stamping supplies.

Eggs on Dresser

And overflow onto the floor next to the dresser. My bag of needle felting supplies has a less visible place behind the couch. But it had been sitting in this corner since February, when I felted hearts onto the sleeves of  sweaters.   A bin of 12×12 paper was open and the paper inside was sagging in the gap..

IMG_0018-001

I realized, as Easter approached, I was feeling the sadness of another big family gathering and holiday without my dad.  It sometimes feels like all I can manage is to get to work and home again and I have no energy for anything but lying on the couch with a magazine after dinner or looking at Facebook.

However, I also knew that looking at the mess on my desk was only adding to my depression and keeping me away from the crafting that I love.  Piles of supplies had shrunk the available space until once again I was crafting on the dining table.

With cards I wanted to create in mind, it was time to clean up my act and occupy my desk. I was keeping myself from the joy of crafting and the very real benefit of stress relief I find in sitting with my art supplies and making something.

Clean Desk

That’s much better!

I updated my cork board with some new, favorite cards.

Cork Board Cards

I put things back where they belong and gave this new tin I picked up recently in Chinatown a spot in the corner.

Very Special Tin Box

Inside the tin are some stickers, jewels, washi tape and other embellishments that I love to use in cards and my art journal.  Having them in one container makes it easy to bring them along when I go crafting with a friend or up to Sea Ranch.

Contents of Tin

The pens and brushes I use most frequently are in mugs – others have been put away.

Mugs with brushes & pens

Without all the supplies and stuff covering it,the desk is inviting and spacious.  There is room to notice the small things like this little feather I picked up on my walk yesterday.

Little Feather

I seemed to find a lot of them in the weeks and months after my dad died and that was comforting to me.  I hadn’t found one for a long time but yesterday, this small bit of grey plumage caught my eye.  It was on the trail and it made me smile.

It would be great to say I will always keep my desk nice and neat but I know myself.  For now, it is clutter-free and it has been restored as a place where I want to sit and spend time. I even sat down this morning and did my taxes!

Happy Happy Joy.

Thanks for coming by.

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