Sunday, April 1, 2012

Miscellany.

Yesterday, the rain was actually coming down sideways. Our roof was leaking (happens every year, sigh) and the back yard was a sodden bog after several weeks of off-and-on torrential downpour. Trying to look at the bright side, I was hoping that all of this rain will hopefully mean no drought water restrictions this summer? (Don't count on it, double sigh.)

But then today, the sun came out! Hello, Spring! It's nice to see you again! Make yourself comfortable.

Please, stay awhile.

So we did a little puttering in the garden. Steve and Joe mowed our new sod lawn for the first time. The rain has done wonders for our little patch of grass, turning it emerald green and ankle high!

Mowing the lawn.
Rocking the push-mower on our tiny patch of lawn.

I planted our first tomato starts in our new raised beds.

First tomato plants in!
This is one of my favorites - Green Zebra.

There's not a whole lot to photograph in the vegetable garden right now, but it's coming along. Here are some pea sprouts. I made a simple trellis using bamboo and cotton yarn. I expect it to disintegrate by the end of the year.

Peas.
Snow and shelling peas.

I also did a little sewing. With my stretch needle and walking foot still on my sewing machine, I decided to whip up a couple of t-shirts for the bambina in my belly.

Envelope tees.
These are pretty big, so it might be a while before bambina gets to wear them.

I've now made a lot of these Envelope Tees (from this book), so there's not much to report. But I couldn't help but notice how much better my neck binding looks using the walking foot!


I took a photo of two of my tees side by side so that you can see. The neckline on the left was made using the walking foot, whereas the one on the right was made without it. See how much less wavy and stretched out the walking foot version looks?

Envelope tees.

What a difference. Like I said in my last post, I'm converted! (I'm assuming you're bored by these by now, but if you want to see more photos of the new tees, click on one of these photos and check out my Flickr stream.)

In other totally random (and not that interesting) news, Harpal and I recently discovered that our local Asian market (we live on the edge of Chinatown in Oakland) has an amazing selection of sauces and treats, some really decent produce, and un-frickin-believable prices. There is a little bit of a language barrier at the cash register, so I always think I'm hearing the cashier tell me that our total is an amount that would be pretty reasonable and expected, and then it turns out it was only a fraction of that! Today we filled two hand baskets with food, including desserts, sauces, and prepared foods, and I was sure we had spent at least $60. Nope. $28, people. This place is a revelation! I'm never going to buy canned coconut milk, soy sauce, mochi ice cream balls, or tofu anywhere else.

So this is how my neighbors eat well on a budget!

Please share any great Asian cuisine recipes you may have.

April is a big month for us. We will find out soon whether Joe was admitted to our preschool of choice (I'm so nervous!). And in a couple of weeks, Joe will be getting assessed by our local school district to see if he qualifies for continuing speech therapy services. And there are other things (some hopeful, some good, and some downright challenging) going on as well that I am not quite comfortable blabbing about on the blog at this point in time. So anyway, think good thoughts for us this month!

Off to make spring rolls and stir fry ...




16 comments:

  1. I just love the owl shirt with the red trim. Your bambina is going to be a very fashionable girl! Oh the fun you will have :) I have thai recipes if you are interested!

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    1. Thank you! I'm definitely interested! The market we've been going to caters more to the local Chinese population, but there are also Vietnamese and Cambodian markets nearby that would doubtless have plenty of Thai ingredients. Yum!

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    2. Neat, I'll dig some up and send you a message.

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  2. Okay, that's it, I need a walking foot. I hope this nice weather sticks around, winter showed up way too late in our neck of the woods, meanwhile everyone else has been going on about hot weather. Hooray for sunshine! I have Asian market envy, although we do have a pretty great mexican market.

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    1. Yeah, it has been the weirdest "winter" ever. Very cold, but bone dry, then lovely and warm, but still dry, and now the heavens have opened and dumped a whole winter's worth of rain in a couple of weeks. I'm ready to move on to Springtime, now, thank you very much.

      We have great (and inexpensive) Mexican markets too. Oakland certainly has its problems (um, understatement of the century), but we are certainly blessed in amazing ethnic cuisine and markets.

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  3. Yeah, I probably need a walking foot too. I may already have one in my box of Unidentified Objects that came with my secondhand (but very swish) sewing machine. The preschool looks lovely. My sons went to a co-op here in Southern California with a similar philosophy. We loved it. It was the perfect place for him so my fingers are crossed you get in. And best of luck and good thoughts for the other worrying stuff. Whichever way you look at it, being a parent is fun, inspiring and amazing, but never easy.

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    1. Thank you for your good thoughts! We need them! So far, 2012 has been a challenging year for us (though we are very blessed to be expecting a dragon baby!).

      I love this little preschool SO MUCH. It's too bad that most of the really lovely co-ops in my neck of the woods are VERY competitive (probably because they are relatively inexpensive). So I'm really nervous! You'd think I was waiting to hear if Joe got into Cambridge or something! Eek!

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  4. Very cute shirts!

    I just had to comment and say that I went to PeterPan Coop when I was a toddler (about 20 years ago)!!! Our family loved it, and I have so many wonderful memories of the school and of Gail, the director...I hope your little one gets to attend!

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    1. Whoa!! That's awesome! I've met a couple of Peter Pan "graduates" now, and everyone has wonderful things to say about it. I really do think it would be just perfect for Joe. Trouble is, they have far more applicants than spots. Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers crossed!!!

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  5. Good thoughts coming at you (concentrates hard sending vibes in general north-easterly direction)....
    The walking foot did make a big difference didn't it? You inspired me to get mine out for a project I was just finishing up. Really, it looks so un-promising, that little gadget, yet it does just what it needs to.
    Love the owls :)

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    1. And it seems like it's going to be a massive pain to install, etc., but it's really not that bad and it does make a big difference!

      I'm now down to just scraps of owls. Jane, any ideas for using small scraps of knit? Let me know!

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  6. Love the tshirts - all so cute!
    Sending lots of good vibes your way - hope all goes well!

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  7. These are fabulous, and a)WHERE did you get all those awesome knits?! and b)tell me about hemming with a walking foot! I don't know about it, but I want to!

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    1. Thank you! These came from a variety of sources. The gray owl print is from Spoonflower (their organic knits are pricey but to die for), the grey floral was a women's top in its prior life, and the giraffe print was purchased at my local independent fabric store.

      Hemming with the walking foot AND twin needles is pretty much the bomb as far as looks, but it's a bit of a pain to get it all set up. I did it on the giraffe top, but not the gray owls (where I used the walking foot and a zig-zag). The walking foot definitely helps to avoid that stretched out, wobbly look that often happens when you sew on knits.

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  8. Green curry from scratch. With swags of basil and cilantro. http://thaifood.about.com/od/thairecipes/ss/greencurry.htm

    Love the shirts.

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