FOTAL Show

As I prepare for my third annual show put on by the Friends of Alpharetta Library things start to be all over the place again. I have beads, jewelry, yarn, scarves, baby hats, price tags, tablecloths, display boards and all the other “stuff” that I carry to a show. The tent and tables are not in the room that I assemble bits and pieces in preparation for the show.  However, altogether, these things will quite fill up the boot and the backseat area (thank goodness for drop down seats that help extend trunk space!). This year, in addition to what I have taken to shows before, I am also taking some handmade silk cuff bracelets in gorgeous colors and copper and brass scarf ties made by a long time friend and metalwork artist Rhonda Waters. Plus, I will have some of my favorite traditional, artisan made lac jewelry that a friend sells but is unable to do so any more! Here is how lac jewelry is made.

Details on the show:

WHEN: Saturday, 4th May 2013

TIME: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

WHERE: Alpharetta Library lawn, Mayfield Road, Alpharetta

WHAT: Jewelry, scarves and baby hats

It is a great time to be shopping with Mother’s Day and teacher appreciation gifts as the school year comes to a close. I do hope that you will stop by, look through some of my material and support other local artists. In addition to my booth, in the past there have been a couple of other jewelry booths, a lady who makes quilts, doll clothing, a potter and the monthly Book Fair. It, hopefully, will be a lovely day out there. Stop by for a chat and say hello! I would love to see some familiar faces there!

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Scarves on sale

My house is now overflowing with yarn – all that, added to the beading supplies I have has lead to a VERY full house. I keep telling my kids that at some point I might have to have them sleep in the kitchen as I am running out of space.  With the 20 odd scarves I have made so far, I decided to put them up for sale. So, I popped them onto my facebook page at Designs by Anupa – take a look at them and tell me what you think! There are new ones not found on this blog. I have many colors of the black mesh scarf in yarn, and hope to finish them up by the end of the month. Then, on to making baby hats – something that is cute and practical. That post will come another day along with thoughts on how I find working with the different types of yarn.

More scarves!

The crochet bug has caught me and I just keep making more scarves now! Here are the latest ones…I have a few others in the making as well…one in a gorgeous purple, but it has taken so long to make it, I am unable to do more than a row or more at a time!

Click on the images to get a larger picture.

es and green delicate yarn

Blues and green make up this delicate, lacy scarf.

Green, pink, maroon, khakhi and deep red ruffled scarf

Greens, pink, maroon, khaki and black ruffled, lacy scarf

Maroon and pink with a touch of silvery glitter

Maroon and pink ruffled, lacy scarf with a touch of silvery glitter

Black eyelash yarn

A mesh-y scarf made with black eyelash yarn. The picture shows both the mesh-y nature of it and how it can look solid against some backgrounds.

My latest project

All of a sudden, after a space of several years, I have started up with crochet. Those lovely, twisted, ruffled scarves with delicate lacy threads that have been around are in my radar and I decided to try to make some. This week alone, I have made six of them and am trying to work different ways to make them (still using my crochet hook) right now. Meanwhile, here are some photos.

Which one is your favorite? Vote for your favorite and tell me what you like or don’t like about them!

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Lacy, light yarn scarves with a metallic border…green and gold to the left and pinks and grey to the right.

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Lacy, frothy sea-foam blues and white on the left and a heavier yarn with sequins and teeny tiny pom-pom border in browns and creams to the right (for some reason, my camera picks up the dark brown as a gray).

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A very interesting yarn in greens and black with a multi colored pom-pom border. A heavy cotton feel to this one.

Recipes to try

I am always on the lookout for new recipes. Easy ones are an added bonus. This week, I have found at least three that I would like to try soon (as in sometime this year).

  • 30-minute pizza dough by Not Just a Housewife sounds so easy. This might be a quick dough when you don’t have a couple of hours to wait for a decent homemade pizza crust and hungry hordes await. However, I would have to try it with modifications like using a healthier flour, though I am aware that this might change the timings a bit.
  • Thai Chickpea Pizza on a Cauliflower Crust by Clean Eating Veggie Girl is more time-consuming, but both the crust (low-calorie!) and the topping (more protein ideas for vegetarians) are a winner though I am not sure my kids will savour that Brassica smell! I also need to see what I can do to replace the egg with something else (yogurt? more flour? flax? I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-egg if there is such a thing??). Somehow pizza and egg don’t work for me.
  • Overnight Oats by Travels with Mary in which you don’t cook the oats but soak them overnight with moisteners like yogurt, milk, juices etc. might be a way to have breakfast almost ready with minimal work on rushed morning. Will have to try it first with quick cooking oats as the recipe calls for and then see how it goes with my preferred steel-cut oats. I am still a bit haunted by the time I soaked steel-oats overnight and left them on the counter. They were a sickly greenish tint the next morning and saw only the inside of the garbage disposal bin! So, the thought of overnight soaking isn’t really appealing though I know the cold from the fridge will retard the green stuff!

Seed Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all of you who commented on the  Seed Giveaway and followed the blog.

The winner has been picked and it is — drum roll, please… Beatriz. Congratulations! Your packets of seeds will be on their way as soon I get an address to mail it to!

Be on the lookout for more giveaways as I hope to do at least one or two more this year!

Seed giveaway contest!

Ends Friday, March.01.2013
Want to win some vegetable and herb seeds to start your garden? Here is how!
Follow my blog OR leave a comment to this post.

If you have a blog and you link to mine, post that too. It will count as a second entry for you! On Friday, March 1st, I will announce a winner from those who have done both. The winner will receive a seed packet each of :

  • Cabbage, Garden Leader Green Monster
  • Squash, Table King (Bush Acorn)Seed Giveaway Contest End 1 Mar 2013
  • Thyme, Common
  • Tomato, Heirloom Aunt Ruby’s German Green
  • Tomato, Heirloom Box Car Willie
  • Tomato, Heirloom Mortgage Lifter

Winner will be contacted by the e-mail ID provided.
Good luck!

Open only to US addresses.

DIY Plant Marker Labels

It is that time of the year again. Time to start plant seeds indoors and be ready right after the last frost. This year, thanks to an agent with the city I live in, I have many new varieties of vegetables I would like to try. But, before I start, it is time to go out and get some planting trays. I am still debating whether to go out and buy the plastic greenhouse trays with the compressed soil pellets or to use old egg cartons (and, I have many of those saved for a small farmer from whom I get farm fresh eggs in the summer) with soil starter. While looking through my supplies, I realised that I was low on plant markers and was looking around to find something new. I now have a wonderful resource to make at least 20 different plant marker labels and wanted to share with you what The MicroGardener has on their site. Take a look if you want some neat ideas! Here are a few images from their site to tempt you into looking!

Plant Labels using Colored Rocks Plant Label using Pop Sticks Plant Label using tin lids

Soup Stock (how to)

This summer I have re-started making soup stock with vegetable peels. I do this every couple of years for a few summer months and then reap the harvest all through the winter as it tastes fresh for 6 months.

Step 1: Save vegetable peels and bits in a tightly covered container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Any more and it starts to break down.
Step 2: Put them all into a large cooking pot with water to cover and then some. Bring to a boil. Simmer at least 30-40 minutes till reduced by half or more.
Step 3: Cool. Strain. Pour into an ice tray.  Freeze. Pop out of ice tray. Freeze in tightly covered container in freezer.
Step 4: Use as many cubes as you want when you make soup, rice, stews or whatever you fancy using a broth!

Picture 1: Green bean ends, onion peels and ends, garlic peel and ends, sweet potato peel and ends, beet peel and ends, Red cabbage stalk and a couple of outer leaves, Green Kale ribs, Green Celery leaves and ends, a snip or two of rosemary, basil and thyme trimmed from garden plants and oodles of water. I do not use salt or any other spices in my broth.

Picture 2: Red stock in ice tray

Picture 3: Golden stock being made of  peels, leaves and / or ends of garlic, onions, celery, green cabbage, red kale ribs, celery, asparagus,  sweet potato, yellow beets, dried basil and a couple of sprigs of rosemary.

More fun with Kale!

Today, I had two bunches of kale delivered in my weekly produce delivery from Natures Garden Delivered. One is a lovely purple frilly kale and the other a frilly grey-green kale. I opened my fridge to make lunch, and wanted to use the kale and also some feta cheese I had in the fridge. As I was making tortillas for the kids’ lunch, I decided to make a similar bit for my lunch. So, I took a Trader Joe’s Whole Grain tortillas with whole flax seeds and put it on a plate. I spread out one slightly overlapping layer of green and purple kale leaves (roughly torn by hand), sprinkled a couple of tablespoonfuls of black beans, a tablespoon or more of lightly thawed frozen corn kernels and roughly broke two slices of feta cheese into a few pieces. Covered it with a second tortilla and microwaved it for 1.5 minutes. Let it cool for a few seconds and cut it into 4 pieces.

Voila! A quick, satisfying and reasonable healthy meal in under 5 minutes. Next time, I might have to try it with more kale and perhaps a dribble of salsa for added flavor. Try it and tell me what you think!

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