Unintetional Day of Unaccomplishment...

I was planning on doing things today, but a sneeze ruined my day. No kidding.
I was putting on my makeup this morning - to do so I need to lean in towards the mirror because my vision is terrible - and I had to sneeze. Rather than sneeze directly onto the mirror (gross) I tilted my head to the side.
Bad idea.
I tore a bunch of muscles around my neck, and was in the worst pain. As of now I am still pretty much immobile. I just got back from the doctor at the student health center (she was an awesome little lady) and four x-rays later she told me that there was no permanent damage, just some torn muscles and tendons. Despite the pain, it is still pretty funny. Who sneezes that violently!? Me apparently. Ahhhh well.
The downside to all of this is that I won't be able to participate in the craft fair I was going to do tomorrow. There is no way I am going to haul anything anywhere. I have a John-McCain like limitation of my arm movement, and still have a lot of pain just sitting still. :(
Oh well, maybe I'll list some things on Etsy instead.
Anyways, I did want to share this documentary I saw yesterday with you guys. It was done as a collaboration between Frontline and Sharmeen Obaid and it focuses on children in Pakistan who and how the Taliban is impacting their lives. Sharmeen is an amazing woman - this documentary is one of the best things I've ever seen on television, and people like her are literally risking their lives to good through documentaries. It is such a contrast to the snarkyness that prevails in the Bill Mahr/Michael Moore variety of 'documentaries' (sorry to those out love their documentaries, they've never done it for me...). Please go watch it:

Pakistan: Children of the Taliban

I think some of the strongest messages that this documentary points out is the connection between poverty and violence, and the importance education plays in keeping children from being manipulated by the Taliban. One of the most emotional scenes for me was when Sharmeen interviewed two girls whose school had been destroyed by the Taliban. Because of Taliban rule in their area, they were going to start having to wear burkas and could no longer receive an education. They said that school was like a ray of light in a dark world, and they thought it was unfair they could no longer attend. So sad.

Crustless Spinach, Feta, and Yellow Squash Quiche

My brother in law came to visit us this weekend, and I wanted to make a special breakfast for him before he left. I had been craving some quiche (which is strange because usually I'm not an egg fan) and when I was at the grocery store yesterday I spotted beautiful yellow squash and the rest I just improvised.
Ingredients:
- 7 eggs
- 1 package of frozen spinach (thawed)
- 1 small yellow squash (or zucchini)
- 1 package of tomato-basil flavored feta cheese (or whatever kind suits your fancy)
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 2/3 cup shredded cheese of choice ( I used cheddar)
- 4 green onions - chopped (you could also use 1/3 cup of any kind of onion as a substitute)
- salt, pepper, garlic powder
- bread crumbs (optional - these provide a makeshift bottom crust)
- crisco
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees - coat a 9 inch x 9 inch glass dish with crisco.
2. In a bowl, mix sour cream, eggs, milk, a pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, and a dash of garlic powder. Mix until fairly smooth.
3. Add most of the feta (saving some for the top) and the shredded cheddar to the egg mixture.
4. Slice the yellow squash into thin medallions, reserve some for the top, and add the rest to the egg mixture.
5. Chop the green onions and drain the spinach, add these to the mixture as well. Make sure the spinach is thoroughly drained. You can do this by simply squeezing portions of it in your hand as hard as you can. Mix everything together well.
6. For optional 'crust' just sprinkle about 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs across the bottom of your dish.
7. Pour egg mixture into the dish. Take the reserved feta cheese and yellow squash medallions and top the quiche with them.
8. Put it in the oven for anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven. It is done when it is mildly golden on the top. To make extra sure, you can insert a toothpick into the center, and if it comes out without any egg mixture, it is done!Happy Eating!!

The Dog Days of Summer

I love summer. No lie.
We went to a fabulous barbecue last night hosted by our friends Ann and Christian. Christian has three dogs, I think I am going to steal Slim. Don't tell the other two, he's my fav.
And the food, it was d-lish. Pita pizzas with a ton of topping choices.Ann, whatever is so interesting over there?I had mine with tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil, and red peppers. Actually, I had two. Whoops!
We were gluttons. :)
I was more productive today though. I planted 3/4 of my garden, and am exhausted!!
I've got the beans, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, jalapenos, yellow peppers, zucchini, armenian cucumbers, and chives in the ground. The rest is going in tomorrow. I am tired! :)

Armwarmers, Thrifting

I finally wove in the ends to this fingerless gloves this morning, not that I'll be using them anytime soon! I started them Sunday night, and worked on the bulk of them at my G-ma and G-pa C's house on Monday and Tuesday. It has finally started to really warm up around here. They are made from cotton-ease, in a dark blue/grey color. The pattern is my own, maybe I will write it up someday. Yesterday I went to the studio and then had coffee with miss Ann. I worked on my crocheted lace painting, but I stil have quite a ways to go on it... I want to finish it so I can work on something new. :)
I also did a little thrifting. I got this awesome leather portfolio for $2. It fits my laptop and a few books. It had initials printed on it, but with a little elbow grease, they rubbed right off. Not bad eh?
I also picked up some fabric so that I can make more fabric scarves. I especially like the floral fabric. I just need to find enough quarters now so that I can wash the fabric.
Also, Bo says hi.

Simplicity

I love sweet potatoes and salmon, such a great simple dinner.
The recipe for the mashed sweet potatoes is:
-1 large sweet potato
-Parmesan cheese
-milk
-garlic powder
-salt

1. Microwave the potato until cooked through.
2. Cut into small chunks (leave skin on). 3. Put into a small pan and add about 1/4 cup of milk, parmesean cheese, a pinch of salt, and a dash of garlic powder. Bring to heat on medium high.
4. Mash potato by hand, and add more milk as it becomes absorbed into the potatoes until it is the consistency you like. I like mine on the creamier side, so I added more milk. Add more salt or parmesan cheese to taste - one potato yields two large servings. Sometimes I am extra decadent and I pour a tiny bit of ranch dressing on top of the potatoes. Yum. :)

Great Nights, Great Friends

I am so thankful to have such wonderful and creative group of friends. When I was in undergrad, I lived on the art and music floor in the dorms, and met so many amazing people. When I moved out of the dorms, Nate and I lived with three guys from that floor as well. It was a wonderful experience, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything else. Yesterday we met up with Johnny, one of our former housemates, and Mark, another one of our good college friends. John is on tour as a solo musician and Mark is accompanying him on his tour to film a documentary.
Nate and Mark looking dapper.
Johnny played with the Flame Sharks, and Fancy Contraption. The show was great. Here's Johnny (on the right) singing with one of the members of the Flame Sharks helping out with some harmonies.They played at Studio 303a downtown. It was raining and lightening outside, and with the windows open during the show, you could hear the thunder and the rain. It was such a wonderful night.
The Flame Sharks:Links:
John Statz
The Flame Sharks
Fancy Contraption

Repetition

I've been busy cleaning the apartment the last few days, but I've managed to fit in some 'project time' between folding massive amounts of clothes and vacuuming all of the forgotten nooks and crannies. I've been wanting to make some stamps for a while now, and finally sat down and did it.
This is the same lace pattern that I'm painting in oil. It is burned into my memory now, so recreating it again was fairly easy.
I also made some other stamps as well. My goal is to use them with fabric paint on scarves and handbags. I'm doing a small craft fair at the end of the month, so I wanted to have some easy-to-make items to whip up for it. I think the fishes are cute. They remind me of illustrations from the 40's. I used both some EZ-cut rubber stamp stuff from Blick, and part of a 4x4" sheet of Mastercarve, the Blick stuff was a lot harder to use, the mastercarve rocked my socks off. :)
I tried them on paper first with some old ink pads. That's why the stamps are so light.
We'll see where this leads. :)
Also, I sewed a really cute scarf yesterday. I've got to iron it so I can show you, but for now, you'll have to take my word for it.
Sorry about the lack of garden pics too, as of now the plot is sitting empty. Our landlord had promised us it would be tilled by the beginning of this month. It is still not tilled, so I can't plant anything yet or they will go over what I plant. I am kind of sad because by the time they get it done, I don't think my spinach and radishes will take because it will be too warm. :(

Tying Up Loose Ends

I am so glad summer break is here despite feeling a little bit under the weather. It was a rough end of the year, I'm not really sure why, but it seemed like there were a bunch of little things that were bogging me down. I'm ready to get past that now, and move on to happier things!
I've been cleaning my apartment the last few days, along with trying to relax and finish up some projects that have been on hold for quite some time. The first thing I wanted to finish was my Ripple Blanket. I love how it turned out.
I only modified a few things. I used a larger hook size and made it a lot larger than the original. Also, I thought it looked a little boring with the straight edge, so I crocheted the two rounds around the outside through the back of the loop only, and then for the last row, I decided to add a little picot edging.
I also started working on some quick little projects for baby shower gifts. These are simple garter stitch bibs loosely based on KrisKnits' pattern. I made three of them with one skein of kitchen cotton yarn. I used size 8 needles instead of size 6, and cast on 25 stitches for the base. Also, the strap is thinner, and I added two button holes so they can be adjusted.
I still haven't figured out how I want to decorate them, or if I even want to decorate them...
Lastly, I picked up this fabric shaver yesterday, and I LOVE it!! I had been really frustrated with our couch because it had been getting little pills all over it from our cat's hair, and we had been trying everything to get rid of them. I was so sad because it is a pretty new couch and it looked like crud with all of the little pills on it. So I found the fabric shaver at the grocery store, and figured for $5 it was worth a try. It worked amazingly!! Our couch looks brand new. I know it sounds corny, but it was such a relief to have it looking nice again. I also took all of my ratty old handknits and totally rejuvenated them! I could not believe how awesome it made my old knits look. I should have taken a before picture, becuase these things were really ratty looking, now they look brand new. Seriously, every knitter should have one.
In other-than-knitting news, I am excited to have a social life again this summer! Although I am a little freaked out about going in to my last year of grad school. Lets not think about that just yet....

Hope you all had a great week!

Jane Ryder - MFA Thesis Show - Flux Biota

Last week I had the privilege of going to my friend Jane Ryder's MFA Thesis show, these are some shots of her wonderful work!


The lovely miss Jane!Jane, Ann, and I have been having weekly coffee dates this semester, and it has been wonderful fun. I'll miss Jane next year! She's off to Iowa mid-summer, and she's going to have an artist's retreat there. I plan on going and painting with her later this summer! :)