Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things that went to the county fair

It's that time of year again! I had an evil plan to show the fair people that they needed to get a new textiles judge, but they foiled me by getting a new judge this year. Rachel gave them Shelia January's name and she agreed to do it. She knew what my plan was and held off seeing all the shawls done. (A bunch of us did the same shawl pattern, with the same yarn base - differences - knitters (beads/no beads) and colorways.)  You saw my Crimson Haruni back in January.

Haruni Shawls out of Stitchjones Titanium Sock yarns
Knitters (Bobbie stood in for Noriko)
I had knitted the body parts for a teddy bear, but then was stymied by sewing them all up. I got started this last Friday and finished up Saturday so I could turn it in on Sunday. I think it came out cute. I also went crazy and knit up in a few hours another dishcloth so I could turn in a set of three. I pulled from things done this year and a few that were done in the last few years. (Items had to be done within the last five years and couldn't have been entered in the fair previously.)
Alpaca Teddy Bear

Double Flower dishcloth

I'm behind on getting things done each month. Here's June's shawl, my hand spun camel yarn in the Fan Shawl pattern.  It's deliciously soft!
One other completed project for the month, a bag that I can use at SCA events as its based of extant remains. It's a pouch, bit longer than I expected, but will be nice to use this weekend:

I'll have to see how things do and go over the State Fair listings to see what goes on to that event. Do you enter any of your knitting or spinning in your local fairs?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Meet Meme!

Nicole came over with Meme, a two year old spayed Pug-Miniature Pinscher. She has a pretty severe underbite issue where her bottom teeth show, but it doesn't inhibit her eating at all!
Nicole and Meme in her Angel Shirt (it has wings.)

Meme in one of Leeloo's t-shirts

That spot in the grass that smells good enough to roll around in....

Checking that Leeloo is just watching and not going to try to take her spot...

Doggie bliss
Meme came to stay a week with us to see if she and Leeloo would play with each other. Leeloo tried really hard but at first Meme's barking scared her and then they both just kind of shutdown around each other. Norbert kind of snarked at her over food issues and so she spent much of the week snuggled up against me sleeping. Leeloo would come bark at her and bring toys to try to get her to play and when she was ignored, bark at me in frustration - Make her play with ME!

Brandon also stuck to his rule of only two dogs that we own, so since it wasn't a perfect fit, Meme went back to Nicole. Nicole picked her back up from me Friday night and we could all see how happy Meme was to see her again. She's back where she belongs. Though if the perfect home became available, Nicole would let that happen. Meme has a luxating patella in her right knee. It doesn't pain her or really slow her down. She just lifts it up and goes on with the other three. Meme would make an awesome agility dog, if she had the surgery done. It's not something that Nicole has the money for, and since there isn't pain, not a priority.

Norbert showing off his fresh haircut

Does that look like the face of a 9-1/2 year old dog?

She loves her back yard
Meme is a smidge taller than Leeloo, she's all legs!

Little puppy baking in the sun

Hair in the face, showing mom she needs a trim. She loves laying out on the patio in the sun for a bit while waiting for a bird to chase out of her yard.

Leeloo has been very affectionate since Meme has left. I'm not sure if she's trying to show me how happy she is that things are back to 'normal', or if she's worried that she might 'go away' too. Lots of kisses and requests to snuggle on my chest. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

How my garden grows.....

We kind of cheat with our garden and put in starts. The last weekend of April or the first weekend of May the Tualatin Valley Gardners Association has their annual plant sales. We've been going for many years now to get our veggie starts and sometimes blueberry plants, flowers or trees for the yard.

We have been having a rather wet spring and early summer. So things were slow to get started. In fact I had to get new zucchini and winter squash plants because the slugs got to them and killed them. Home Depot's garden center fills in what we don't get from the plant sale.

This is what it looked like before we went to An Tir-West War:

Shelia got a whole bunch of the Swiss Chard (I planted them because they were supposed to be rainbow colored.) Spinach went into bags for the freezer (you can see them at the far right in the photo below.) I used some in the quiche we had for breakfast at War. (Yes, I planted nasturtiums in the veggie box.)

This is the pepper box with some nasturtiums planted here too. The ones on the far right are still small due to the slugs, but I think they'll have a chance to come along and do something in time.

Last year we had broccoli but they were kind of small wimpy heads. This year I got two HUGE heads to make some broccoli-wine-cheese soup out of. I also got two HUGE heads of cauliflower, with a third coming along (it was being overshadowed by the others). The two red cabbage plants are finally acting like they're going to produce heads.

The other one looked like this too.

Wonder if purple cauliflower starts were nearby? Notice the purple tints to the head? The other one didn't have much purple.

Artichoke. I've never grown one before. No idea what I should be looking for other than it seems to be healthy.

Roma tomatoes now taller than I am! Along with the cherry tomatoes, yellow again.

This one is a little slower but starting to grow tomatoes. I can't remember what it is, just not what the other two are. ;-)

Second zucchini plant and winter squash. There's some potatoes and onions in there also. The lemon verbena came back in the back right corner. The sage didn't come back but Brandon admits he could have accidentally ripped it out.
Both cherry trees provided lots of fruit. The asian pear and the Chehalis apple tree are both loaded with fruit. The blueberries are starting to ripen and the strawberries are still ripening. There are a few gooseberries, but I cut them back pretty heavily last year. The summer squash has starts and flowers loaded down and the zucchini not far from it has a bunch of flowers, so some of that coming soon.

An SCA friend is going to Italy for a year and so I got a bunch of her canning jars. I think I'll be putting them to good use this year! I think I'm going to miss the raspberry season, so may have to substitute in Marionberry and Blackberry jams in its place. Very good substitutes!

So while things I think could be producing more, the cloud cover and humid days don't seem to be hurting the garden terribly. How does your garden grow?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

To War and Back

After the World Wide Knit in Public event, I spent the following Sunday pre-preparing our camp food for the end of the month. Dawn-Marie planned to camp with us, so I offered to provide the food and she helped by providing help in getting it all ready.

Here was our menu:

Lunch – Calzone (ended up being our dinner)
Dinner – Shepherd’s pie (defrosted and shared with the Murphy family) & pudding tart

Breakfast – Panchetta & Spinach quiche/ fighter biscuits
Lunch – handpies
Dinner – chicken curry with quinoa & lemon tart

Breakfast – Scotch eggs& hash/ fighter biscuits
Lunch – handpies/leftovers
Dinner – Lombard Soup and rolls & lemon loaf

Breakfast – oatmeal bake
Lunch – leftovers
Dinner – Pasta shells & sauce & lemon loaf

Breakfast - Oatmeal

I need to remember to pull out the first night's meal out of the freezer in advance and defrost. Keep it on ice to keep cool of course, but frozen solid, with no microwave to help you defrost before you warm it up, takes forever!!

We ate well as you can see. Brandon tried out some Portuguese Fry Bread as our rolls with the pasta shells. I'd tried my hand at making some homemade ricotta (very easy you should try it out!) and so cooked up a box of pasta shells and then stuffed them with my ricotta mix. We had a dinner that night out of the shells and I froze the rest of them on a cookie sheet, then bagged. I tried taking a German sausage package I had on hand for the Scotch eggs (not the link I was given, but will give you an idea of how to do it) and discovered that popping the sausage in the food processor and pulsing it back into a ground consistency wasn't going to be enough for this recipe. We tried to keep the sausage on the eggs, but they kept falling apart. Not enough fat in the sausage to help hold them together. So it became a 'hash' with the addition of potatoes. It all mixed well and was hearty in camp.

We tried our hand at making a 'weak mead' from a recipe shared here.  It came out sweet and very carbonated. Lisa liked it so much that she put in a request for a bottle of her own at the next event. There really was very little alcohol content and could very easily be drank as a 'pop'.

I let Brandon have the camera for the weekend, and for some reason no pics of the pavilion were taken. I'll fix that at the next event. I did get some undocumented spinning time on Friday in camp spinning for Tour de Fleece. Saturday I took Leeloo down and we watched the War scenarios going on. She was very fascinated by all the action going on and didn't appear to be intimidated by all the men in the various amour.

 Shadow Wolf Wood in his mask, you can kind of see the tattooing (if FB allows you to view) on his left arm.
I had Brandon take this photo, because I was just so impressed by how he rocked his look. Armour, hair, tattoo. I wouldn't want to take him him on.
Snuggling Leeloo in her pirate sweater, with Dawn-Marie and Larissa in the background.

Asim in his armour. He's looking good too!

Brandon knows what's going on here, but looks like its just one-on-one combat

Pretty shields and helmet


Don't you just love his helmet with the mohawk? I think these were some of the Spartans, but I can't say for sure. The Spartans we had as neighbors last year didn't come up. They were from the West and were not the host kingdom this year.

Dawn-Marie in my loaned apron dress. I'm in a simple gates of hell over dress walking Leeloo and heading through the merchants.
Shannon, Draven and Barry Murphy (Merrie and Joseph de Merrick). We were camped with them again this year. Draven is showing a cool scroll he got from a gentleman for correctly translating some runes on a tent in one of the encampments. Not an easy feat for many and most just ask. He impressed the owner who gave him part of another special tent to honor him. Pretty special and cool.
Here's a link to the event. I was a little disappointed, I'm sure there were some Arts and Science activities, but they weren't well advertised and I didn't see much going on in that area when I went to visit the Merchant's area. I know that there was the Hosen War like I did last year, but I had zero interest in making another pair for Brandon. I did bring some yarn for it in case I became inspired. I did get a pouch started and showed Shannon how to get started with using two circulars for doing socks and stuff. This helped me to at least cast on the second sock for my May socks. Yes, they aren't done yet!!  So behind.....

Overall, we had an enjoyable weekend. I learned I'll have to work with Leeloo and not reacting to big dogs. Sigh. I also learned that I want to pare down some of the stuff we're bringing and reorganize things. So that's been going on.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday night quickie

I used to do Scout training with Sue when we were both I was involved with the Boy Scouts. I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across Sue in Ravelry and have been following her since. I really do need to go to Forest Grove one month for her knit night at the Grand Lodge.

Sue is also a quilter, (I have a few that I need to sew up, so I read her blog to get inspired) and has a lavender farm. She's doing a lavender bundle giveaway to those in the United States. Go check out her blog and if you'd like some lovely lavender sent your way possibly, enter to win.

I plan to do a regular blog post tomorrow, but wanted to get this out to as many friends as possible. Love the lavender!