Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eli: Squash Photos

This is a squash we got from the farmer's market. Photos by Eli.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jane: Yet more useless crochet

I've never been interested in doing filet crochet, you know, this kind of stuff.

Too tedious and sweetly lacy.

But when I saw a pattern for this filet crochet window-hanging, I couldn't resist.

Plus the timing was right, as Halloween is next Friday! I made it out of some midnight blue cheap acrylic worsted from my stash.

Find the pattern in Stitch and Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker, also a great resource for crochet techniques and stitches.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jane: Gardening Advice?

Would anyone like to give me gardening advice for my backyard?
Check out the movie, and leave a comment or email me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jane: Timely Useless Crocheted Items

When I saw these patterns in the Lion Brand Yarn newsletter, I couldn't resist making them!

Photo's a bit blurry, but I think you can tell who they are . . . The (free) pattern is easy--works up in about 2 hours or less for each candidate. I used scrap yarn from my stash.

Bruce said "I'm going to have to borrow those." I said, "I made them for your office!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jane: Easter Island Head movie

This is the movie I made about our trip to see our neighbor's big art project. Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jane: Apple Season

My neighbor Ann gave me a big bag of apples this weekend, so I'm making applesauce. It's a great way to use windfalls and otherwise "unsprayed" free apples. You can just chop out the bruises and codling moth larvae tracks and use the rest. I found a recipe to make it in the crock pot so that's what I'm doing. It'll make the whole house smell great!

It's not really a recipe, more like instructions: 10 apples, chopped and 1/2 c. H2O in a crockpot on low for 4-6 hours. They say to add sugar 3/4 c. at the end and cinnamon as you serve. I don't think I'll need sugar, and I'll add a cinnamon stick, too.

The apples are really nice ones, from a century farm (the farm where Steve is building the Easter Island head--Ann is Steve's wife). The apples are dark, dark red, almost purple, which doesn't really show in this photo. They have Delicious-type bumps on the blossom end, but they're more round in shape. They're hard like Delicious, but much more tangy and flavorful. They kept their shape so well that when I made applesauce with them last week, I had to mash them a bit. With a potato masher.

I'd love to know the variety. They seem to be resistant to disease.

I saved out a half dozen of the big ones. My plan is to make a pie with those tomorrow.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jane: Big Head

Our neighbor Steve is an artist. He has a day job, too, but he makes sculptures when he can, and his sculptures are awesome. There's a classical head in his garage, along with some other pediments and such. There's a wire deer next to the house and sometimes huge, funny-looking yard-art birds turn up, too. I think those yard art things are his pot-boilers: not his favorites to make, but stuff he knows will sell.

He's been telling us about his biggest sculpture yet-get this:

a 14-foot-tall steel Easter Island Head.

We went out to the place where he works yesterday to see it. I took my camera, and Robbie took the video camera. We're going to do a slide show or video about it once we have the chance to sit down and edit. But for now, here are some pics.

This is the back of the sculpture. It's hollow, and you can go inside. He's going to close it up with one more panel.
Here's Steve in his art shed. It has a forge where he makes bronze.
Here are some scraps from old cars. "Those are free," he told us. He uses the old hoods to make yard art birds. Here Steve is demonstrating a roller that shapes fairly thick metal. The boys were fascinated with this.
Here's the head one more time. It's almost done! Just about time for a big head party!

Jane: There Used to Be . . .

"Do you know what happened to Grandpa's bible?" I asked Bill on the phone the other day. "Did you find it when you sorted through Grandma's stuff?"

"Was it that big Abingdon Bible Commentary?" Bill asked. Grandpa H. was a life-long Adult Sunday school teacher at the Methodist Church.

"No," I said. "It was a black bible, and it lived on the end table in the living room, near that big greyish chair he used to sit in, the one that Grandma had recovered after he died. Don't you remember it sitting there? It had lots of bookmarks in it."

We talked about it for a while--about Grandmpa and his study in the upstairs of the house with Grandpa's big desk (Bill has that now, in his office at work), and the two shelves of commentaries and books of 19th century sentimental poets.

Bill didn't remember the bible on the end table--he was 5 or 6 when Grandpa died. He didn't see it when he sorted through stuff.

"But I know where it is," he told me. "It's in your memory. And it's sitting there on the end table. And you know you can always find it there."

And he's right. It's right there, and Grandpa's right there, too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jane: Pesto Party

It's supposed to frost tonight, so I went out to my little basil patch. It did OK in our new backyard, but not as well as it did in our old sunny yard. I had some in a pot and some in the ground. It's all about waist-high, as usual in October, but not as full. Still--enough for pesto!
Here are some of the pesto ingredients. Yes, I use walnuts instead of pinenuts. I like the taste better, and they're a bit cheaper.

Robbie and I made a cooking show video with the HandiCam I bought for our department last week. We'll get it edited and post it here later.