Success: Chicken and Dumplings

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Chicken and Dumplings
This chicken and dumplings brought to you by SmittenKitchen. Tasty, and a decent chunk of effort just as I expect chicken and dumplings to be. This meal was good, but I don't think I'd make this exact version again.

Chicken and Dumplings

Finished Rebel Quilt

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Rebel Quilt Wall-hanging

After having an unfinsihed quilt top hanging over the fireplace for months, I finally got some motivation to finish it off before work gets crazy busy again. The quilt is Libs Elliott's Rebel Quilt, heavily inspired by Tara Sews' interpretation. The gray backing with solid colors were great - I like her color choices more than my own!

Rebel Quilt Wall-hanging

I winged this without a pattern, as all the blocks are fairly simple. The original pattern was automatically generated by a computer algorithm, so I didn't mind going in and changing a few things to suit my needs. First off, the quilt is half-sizes, intended to just fit above the fireplace. Through some miracle, it just barely works (after having lost a couple inches off all sides in the washing/drying process). Secondly, I wanted to tone down the bright white blocks a tiny bit.

Rebel Quilt Wall-hanging

For the quilting, I did straight lines, changing direction 90-degrees at a 'V' shape in the middle of the quilt. I did not do the correct thing of switching starting sides for each line, and so I ended up with a lot of stretching of the fabrics in one direction or another. Even the washing/drying process didn't fully help it recover. But it still works alright.

And for once I actually did what I've been saying I'd do for awhile, and attached the binding in reverse. This way the binding folded edge is attached to the front of the quilt, and the second seam line that usually goes around the quilt edge is on the back. So it doesn't matter if it's not perfectly straight, since it's hidden back there. 100% recommended to future self.

Attaching Hanging Sleeves to Quilt
Rather than embed hanging sleeves into the quilt so it would also be a wall-hanging, I chose to attached sleeves after-finishing, so they can be removed at any point. This turned out to be a wise idea, as the quilt shrunk quite a bit and this way I can adjust the quilt sleeve to be at the perfect height. As it is, I think I put them in an inch too high. The quilt would look better in its tight place if it was a bit lower. I followed Quilting Weekly's instructions for attaching hanging sleeves, here.

I attached two separate quilt sleeves in order to leave space for the curtain rod's central support hook, this seems to function as desired. The quilt sleeve is not just a fabric tube pressed down, you need to provide a little give for the depth of the curtain rod to not stretch the quilt, so following actual instructions on this front is wise.

Yogurt Cake with Homemade Blueberry Jam

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Yogurt Cake w Homemade Blueberry Jam

It's been awhile since I've made a yogurt cake from TheKitchn, but with guests coming over and some leftover blueberry maple jam, it seemed a good thing to do. Simple cakes are a great way to use up opened canned goods.

Yogurt Cake w Homemade Blueberry Jam

How to find the same product from multiple retailers

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Let's say you're boycotting a company. But you find a product, like, say a wallpaper you really like. You know this retailer changes the name of all their products so they're harder to find elsewhere. But all you have to do is a speedy little Google Image search:

  1. Get the URL of the image (i.e., right click the image, select 'copy image location' or something equivalent)
    Step 1. Get the URL of the image (i.e., right click the image, select 'copy image location' or something equivalent)
  2. Head over to images.google.com.
  3. Click the camera icon on the search bar.
    Step 2 & 3. Click the camera icon on the search bar at Google Images.
  4. Enter the image's URL from the first step, and search!
    Step 4. Enter the image's URL from the first step, and search!
  5. Now select from a few different retailer options for your product.
    Step 5. Now select from a few different retailer options for your product.
  6. ...and then purchase from the least evil of the retailers available.
    Step 6. ...and then purchase from the least evil of the retailers available.

Now you're searching the Internet like a pro!

Success: Vegetable Dumplings

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Vegetable Dumplings - inside
I made these veggie dumplings from SmittenKitchen on a whim, after returning from 2 weeks of work travel and wanting the meditation of chopping veggies forever and the satisfaction of a tasty meal. I doubled this recipe, because conuring up 2 tablespoons of red pepper, a half cup of shredded cabbage, etc. is ridiculous. Even doubling the recipe, I barely using 1/8 of the cabbage! I need to find another recipe that needs cabbage and cilantro...

The dumplings are quite flavorful without a dipping sauce, although the sauce definitely adds tastiness.

In doubling the recipe, we also ended up with many leftovers. After leaving them to 'cool' in the warm oven for a bit (so they don't dry out), they can be tossed in the freezer to cool for awhile and then thrown in ziploc bags for tasty future meals. The authors recommends always freezing them, not refrigerating. I think we got about ~5 meals from doubling the recipe.

Vegetable Dumplings
Vegetable Dumplings - frozen leftovers
Vegetable Dumplings

Sea Glass Mosaic

Sunday, November 3, 2019

On our southern Spain trip, I'd collect sea glass on the beach. I'd never seen so much, and I picked up every piece I could find! When we returned, I cleaned it all and placed them in a giant mason jar, where it promptly sat for 4 years. But when brainstorming for the downstairs bathroom, I finally figured out what to do. And so here we are with a sea glass mosaic.

Finished Sea Glass Mosaic

I followed this sailboat sea glass mosaic DIY from Beachcombing Magazine, although it's pretty straight forward: use clear silicone caulking to attach the frame's glass to the frame (wait a day), draw out your design on paper & place behind the glass, use clear silicone caulking to attach sea glass to frame glass, toothpicks & q-tips for cleaning up errant caulking (I did not do a good job of this), and then let dry for a couple days.

The pattern I chose is loosely based off this mini-quilt masterpiece which was very helpful in making the free-form waves of the triangle quilt back. It's sort of meant to look ocean-y, although the colors of glass aren't that distinct, I think it comes off close enough to that feeling.

  1. Attach frame-glass to frame with a small bead of silicone caulking. Let dry overnight.
  2. Organizing Sea Glass By Color
    Organizing Sea Glass By Color
  3. Testing Out Mosaic Design on Paper
    Testing Out Mosaic Design on Paper
  4. Using Silicone Caulking to Attach Sea Glass
    Using Silicone Caulking to Attach Sea Glass
  5. Toothpicks + Pliers for Adjusting Design
    Toothpicks + Pliers for Adjusting Design
  6. Let dry for a few days.

Downstairs Bathroom Refresh Downstairs Bathroom Refresh

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