Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The American Dream

Sunday mornings, I get up, make my chai (tea), and sit down with the newspaper in front of the ABC political shows.  This past Sunday, there was a lot of discussion about the American Dream -- Does it still exist?  Has it been redefined?  It was so interesting how each commentator was actually being quite upbeat about the topic, in large part due to the DIY movement.  One commentator remarked on how there is less materialism and more individualism, that more people are seeking a financial safety net rather than "financial success," that broader social relationships drive us, and that each of us has more freedom and opportunity to develop our own personal dream.

When I turned to the newspaper, there was an article by Emily Matchar exploring the meaning of the "new domesticity" and the DIY movement, especially among young women.  I think the author gets it right when she emphasizes that 1) the new domesticity is a reaction to concerns arising about our chemical-laden world and how DIY might be the best or even only way to ensure safety and well being, 2) that extreme domesticity is a refuge for educated women who have left the workforce, and 3) women are enjoying domestic projects again because they represent a choice not a duty.  But, she ends the article with a worry about whether such choices will once again become obligations for future generations.

I guess that's where I would put the emphasis -- as long as a person, female or male, is able to choose whether or not to crochet and that choice is respected, then it's all good!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I really hope everyone is having a healthy and happy day!  We finished all of our cooking last night so that we could get up this morning, relax, and watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade (just love it, even after all these years!)

An update:  my friend Jocelyn is now in Patagonia and still sending fabulous pictures (isn't technology amazing?!)

Mmm, imagine being able to sit and look at that vista with such beautiful yarn and hook in hand!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Yarn in Chile

My globe-trotting friend Jocelyn and her husband are traveling around South America, and I just got a picture of a yarn shop she came across:

I can always count on Jocelyn to send me great pix of crafty sightings!  She also found this great link with some wonderful home design ideas, using crochet to create a comfortable and beautiful environment.  I'm itching to make another pillow covering for myself, but I've got a few other projects that just must be done first...  I hope to be posting some photos of my own soon :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Windy City

Yup, I just got back from Chicago!  The weather was beautiful, and I got a chance to walk up and down the Miracle Mile.  The reflection "bean" is really cool:

I also got to visit two yarn shops -- Loopy, down on West Polk, and We'll Keep You in Stitches, up at East Oak.  What a contrast in atmospheres, but both really interesting and chock full of beautiful yarns.  Loopy is located off of South Michigan Avenue, in a down-to-earth neighborhood.  It's huge, with two floors and multiple rooms (there was a knitting class going on downstairs), and an amazing selection of yarns.  I was really tempted by the buffalo yarn, and, although a very generous hank, at $45, I decided to skip it this trip.

We'll Keep You in Stitches, on the other hand, is located off of North Michigan Avenue, in quite the upscale part of town.  It's up on the fourth floor of a small building wedged in between some swanky stores.  I didn't get a pic :-(  It's in one small room, but a whole wall was well stocked with yarns and needlepoint supplies.  Now, here I did splurge and get two French crochet and knitting booklets by Anny Blatt. 

So, I had a great time, but it's always great to come home.  As I heard someone say "Chicago is like New York, but the people smile."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Renwick Handi-Hour

My, my, what busy times we are living in!  But sometimes you just have to put it all aside and have some fun!  I got my chance last Thursday night at the Renwick Gallery.  Such a beautiful and interesting museum, across from the White House, that is part of the Smithsonian Institute.  Well, they have been having these happy hours where they offer crafting materials, live music, and, hee, hee, craft beers!  All in one of the huge exhibit rooms upstairs.  I saw people making the loveliest tile coasters, felt flowers and cup cozies.  Janie from Looped Yarn Works and I were there to demonstrate knitting and crocheting.

Aren't we cute?!  We had such a great time!  I really want to send out a special shout-out to April who stopped by to show us these beautiful pop-top bags that she's been making.

So, if you are in the DC area on Valentine's Day, sign up for the next Handi-Hour!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Flat as a...

Pancakes!  Mmm, mmmm.  We were really craving some this past weekend, but had no Bisquick or prepared mix.  Why should that stop us?!  I did some research on the 'net and discovered that it's probably as easy and certainly healthier to mix up my own batter.  Here's what I came up with and wanted to share.

In a blender, combine the following ingredients:

1 to 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/4 cup of quinoa flour (or plain quinoa flakes)
1/4 cup of oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk (you might want to add a little more as you start mixing)
1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp sugar

Start blending and see thickness and consistency and add a bit more milk so that resulting batter can be poured but isn't too thin.  Hard to describe, but after a batch or two, you'll be a pro.  Enjoy!