Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gone fishin'

I'm off tomorrow for two glorious weeks in Hungary and Austria - including a night at the Vienna opera! So what I'll be making for the next couple weeks are lots of great memories, and of course loads of photos to chronicle the adventure. I'll post my favourites when I get home.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Welcome home

This is a welcome gift for my dear friend Darci. At last she is back on Canadian soil!

The little elephant I bought at a Guelph street craft festival a couple years ago. I've always loved its rustic finish that looks like rough skin covered with dried mud dried - perfect for an elephant. I didn't realize what wonderful colours it had until I took him outside into the sun for this photograph. I remember what a grey, rainy day it was when a friend and I went to that fair. Although the bad weather didn't stop me from buying a few unnecessary, but must-have items.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Today's secret word: salad

Today I had my family over to celebrate my birthday. I planned to take a photo of the dinner spread, but forgot until after the dishes were ravaged.

On the menu: curry couscous salad, Thai noodle salad, broccoli salad and marshmallow salad. Mmm . . . creamy marshmallow fruity goodness. My parents brought the roast 'cuz they've got a handy dandy contraption to slice it nice and thin.

For dessert: freshly baked chocolate cupcakes with ice cream from Marble Slab Creamery. Oh, and earlier in the day another favourite, nanaimo bars.

I tried a few new recipes (I know, a risky move for a dinner party), and the Thai noodle salad is definitely a keeper. I found it on Here it is:

Spicy Thai Noodle Salad

1 1/2 lbs uncooked thin spaghetti
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 sweet onion, chopped (either red or Walla Walla)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 cup honey roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon sesame seed


4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
4-6 drops fire oil or chili oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
salt and pepper

Cook spaghetti 8-9 minutes in salted, boiling water, drain and have sitting in ice water until ready to use.
Mix sauce ingredients in small bowl and microwave for 1 minute to thin honey and fuse flavors.
Drain noodles and place in large bowl, add veggies, sesame seeds and cilantro. Whisk sauce well and drizzle over. Add peanuts and mix until the coating on the peanuts dissolves.
Additional vegetables can be added such as peas, zucchini, and snow pea pods. The longer this sits the better it tastes. Keep covered in the fridge.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Calling it quits with stretchy cord

That's it for me and stretchy cord. I love the springy bracelets, but I've discovered through bitter experience that it definitely has a limited lifespan. OK, I take some of the blame because of my compulsive tugging. But this is the second time a stretchy bracelet let loose in a most dramatic, and aggravating fashion. Luckily the beads were big, and contained to the small space of a car.

So now this bracelet is on wire with a magnetic clasp. I just love these milky beads - and I don't want to risk losing them in another stretchy cord catastrophe.

This bracelet is sitting on lovely cloth napkins given to me by my wonderful friend Carissa. They will make their debut at the birthday dinner I'm hosting this weekend. They'll be the perfect accent for the table - alongside the dishes my grandparents got for their wedding and brought with them all the way to Canada from Holland by boat.

Birthday baubles

I figured today was a good time to make myself a little treat. These are cool window beads I got in Martha's Vineyard. I think. Well, somewhere on my travels. (I have a stash of pretty baubles that have accompanied me home from all over the world.)

They're sitting on an amazing handwoven scarf given to me by my talented and uber-crafty friend Tara. I just got into spinning, while she just discovered weaving. Coincidence? Or a wonderful future crafting alliance?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Turquoise splash

These are simply elegant earrings. The square turquoise beads immediately caught my attention in the store. And I got similar ones in red. Silver spacers and bugle beads, and of course my ever-favourite crystal beads add nice texture and sparkle.

The earrings are hanging from my perennially disappointing lupine plant. I added one to my front garden after a trip to Nova Scotia, where they grow wild everywhere. I just loved the flowery stalks and wanted some in my yard as a memento of the trip. Every summer it slowly, but surely unfurls its fan-like leaves. But not a single bloom so far. Sigh.

Let's twist again

I love these beads because they have a neat little twist. I played up the splashes of blue and red in them with blue crystals and red beads. It all comes together with a magnetic clasp. The birthday girl - one of my few faithful blog readers - really loved that feature!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Shades of grey

This is a necklace for my mom. She picked out a handful of grey and clear beads and silver spacers at Arton during our shopping excursion to Queen Street West to hit up all the crafty stores. It has such a nice sparkle. My only complaint is that making the three-strand necklace put a serious dent in my supply of crimp beads.