Thursday, February 24, 2011

Having it All

I just finished reading this blog post and when I tried to add a comment it kept getting longer and longer so I decided instead to just talk about it here.

Gretchen was one of the inspirationalists (a name I just made up!) at the Palm Springs sewing workshop I attended last month. I've been following her blog since then, and really looking forward to reading her book, out later this year I think.

Anyway, I was reading one day that she works full-time and I was amazed, how does she keep up this blog AND work full-time AND do all those other things that life requires? She answers in her post today.

It made me feel better that she isn't going without sleep or totally stressed out all the time but it made ME wonder, why am I totally stressed out all the time and I don't even have a big major blog following or a book deal, huh??

Well, it might be the age factor, darn it. OR, more likely I think it's the fact that my job wrings every ounce of energy from me, leaving me spent and catatonic by the end of the day. I just wasn't smart with money when I was younger so I kind of have to keep my job.

I don't have anything monumental to say about this, just sharing and I will continue to wonder how some women are able to "have it all". I'd be happy just having some of it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Dreammmmm, Dream Dream Dreammmm

So, I would love to have my own fabric and sewing shop. I've been thinking/obsessing about this for the past year. Recently I connected with Lauren the new Sew Modern shop in LA, I think it was through the Heather Ross Palm Springs workshop mailing list, anyway, she has opened the shop of my dreams and I found a video spot on Lauren and the shop that I wanted to share. 

Oh and near the end of the video, you can see Leslie on the long arm machine, she was at my Palm Spring weekend!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Making Gravlax

It started when I was reading Lotta Jansdotter's book Handmade Living. I have a love for all things Nordic and I saw her recipe for gravlax and well, cured fish is just so Scandinavian and it's been so frigid here I just had to try it. (Note: I did ask Lotta about it in Palm Springs, she said it was really easy to make and her only tip was that she liked the tail pieces of the salmon best.)

Anyway.... so I bought some salmon and fresh dill and put my salmon curing sandwich together last Friday. It takes 3 days minimum to cure so I opened it up today. The process produces a liquid which you see in the first picture above.

The first step upon unwrapping your cured gravlax is to wash off the salt/pepper/sugar/dill mix. I just ran it under water and kind of rubbed until it all came off. The pepper takes a little more time but it's not too hard.

Next step, which wasn't very specific in the book (or from googling online), was to cut off the skin. I have a very sharp knife but it was kind of hard. I left some good chunks of salmon on the skin. More about that later.

When I was done, I had some nice pieces of fleshy, cured salmon, yum. It was hard to not want to eat some but I waited.

What to do with the skin pieces? I fried them up in a pan, skin and leftover flesh together, and when it was done and cooled, cut it up and fed it to Rosie! She LOVED it. I didn't give her all of it because it does have a lot of salt in it, but I kept some to give her a little each day. Salmon is really good for dog's skin, especially the long haired breeds like mine.

We didn't have any bagels or rye bread or appropriate crackers so I just plopped a nice piece of the gravlax (aka Lox) on a cream cheese smeared saltine and topped it with a sprig of fresh dill. YUM. Later, I made a spread using diced red onions, sour cream, chopped dill and dry mustard, it was wonderful!

And now, back to sewing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From the NEW North Pole

Lotta Prints on my quilt wall

Yes, that is the actual temperature when I got up this morning. One of my co-workers told me that if you heat up a cup of water and throw it up in the air, ice crystals come down and smoke rises up. So of course I had to try it. Um. It happens REALLY fast. I didn't see anything but water being thrown, maybe when I'm more awake I'll try it again. Rosie thought I was a little nutso.

It has been declared 'dangerously' cold, all the schools are closed and I have a two hour delay for work, which means a great excuse to get in another blog post this week!

When I finally unpacked from the weekend, I put my creations up on my quilt wall wannabee and they look so nice I just keep admiring them! I have all sorts of ideas now about printing.

I used to do lots of printing on fabric
but I used a brush and painted complicated scenes

and then I tried linoleum block printing which was fun but the designs were super labor intensive NOW I have learned from Lotta, keep it simple.