Baking, Crafting

Involuntary Thoreau Break

Uh, yeah . . . okay. . . . I really think certain features of my dorm suite need to be altered, for instance, thicker walls would be nice, or even having the gaps between certain “walls” and the ceiling being filled in. Please, I’m begging you! I’ll pay for it to happen, just make it happen! I DON’T need to be hearing these conversations in the middle of my Thoreau reading; it’s hard enough to concentrate in complete silence, so the addition of these “conversations” is just not working for me. I really wish I could find earplugs that actually worked.

Okay, well, on to happier news. I made a really yummy macaroni and cheese tonight. Well, actually, it was rotini and cheese because I don’t have any macaroni at the moment. I like using rotini just fine though, so I might not even bother getting macaroni in the future. I don’t have the slightest clue how much cheese I put in this thing . . . but it was a lot. There was shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, small curd cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, plus some sour cream and a small amount of butter/flour roux with milk. I basically tried to use up all my cheeses from my last mac and cheese attempt, and I mostly did. I also had ground beef defrosted in the fridge that I needed to use, so I browned that up and tossed it in to add something else to the mix. A dash of salt and pepper completed the gooey mix, and a sprinkle of Parmesan completed the pan.

I baked it in the oven at 375 for a little over half an hour, and when I went out to check on it, it was sizzling . . . perhaps I should have drained the ground beef better, since the leftover grease was reacting with the insane amounts of gooey cheese. I took it out and let it rest on top of the stove, where it continued to sizzle. . . .

Since this wasn’t my actual dinner for the night, I only sampled a couple bites, but from what I tasted I’m a fan of this “throw random amounts in a bowl all willy nilly” approach. I don’t think it would always work, but in this instance it was a big success. There is a greater cheese to rotini ratio than my previous attempt, which is very important to me as a mac and cheese fan. I just hope I can replicate this result when I next try my hand at it.

In other baking news, my spooky ghosty cake was a hit at Folk Group on Monday night. We managed to eat most of it, which was good, since I hadn’t even cut into it yet (even though I made it Friday night) and I didn’t want it to just sit and become stale. All that remains of the little ghosty is a small bit of his little ghosty head, which was supposed to be eaten by my roommate and her boyfriend, but for some reason wasn’t.

In crafting news, I NEED to finish knitting up a scarf I started this summer. It’s starting to get really cold here, and this scarf is promising to be super warm and comfy once it’s finished. I just need to dig up that pattern to remember how to do it.

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Crafting

Productivity Abounds!

The past 24 hours have been filled with completing projects that have been hanging around for a while. I first decided I wanted to finally finish the second hat I had been paid months ago to make for the teacher with whom I work. Seeing as how this is the last full week of NYC’s public school, it was now or the fall, and I just wanted to get it over with. My original concept for it was completely dreadful, so I cast that pathetic excuse for a hat aside and started again. This time I didn’t try to over-complicate it, and I am MUCH happier with the final product.


It’s not perfect, and it’s not "exactly" what she wanted, but it’s what I was able to do with my skill-level and quantity of dark brown yarn. I was not going to spend $4 on another skein just for 4 or 5 more rows, partially because she wasn’t going to pay me anymore money.

Next on my list of completions was a pink knitted square for another bunny. The most I could do was finish knitting/purling it because I STILL don’t have fiberfill. . . .

I then finished this "Love Bunny" I had crocheted a few days ago but hadn’t yet stuffed it because there was nothing to stuff it with. I ended up using the yarn from the first hat I started because I wasn’t going to be using it for anything else, and the bunny was crying to be finished.

And finally, earlier today one of my suitemates had said that my other suitemate was super stressed about a final project for her class that’s ending this week, so I thought I would make a little flower for her since she thought the other one I made was cute. It just so happens that the yarn I have almost perfectly matches the color scheme of all of her personal belongings.

I think I might next tackle finishing the remaining pieces for my big surprise project; it seems the most logical option. Although, I don’t know when I’ll be able to do that because the next couple of days are going to be super busy for me. . . .
  

Crafting

Critters, Critters, Critters!

Last spring/summer when I first began knitting, I wanted to make these cute little bunnies out of a knitted square, but the link to the instructions was broken. I thought I could just figure out how to do it myself, but that never happened because I wanted to use a really thin, soft yarn and smaller knitting needles, which I never went out to get, even though I went to the craft stores countless times while I was at home. However, all has finally changed because I stumbled upon the directions a couple days ago and became a happy happy knitter. I don’t think I ever would have figured out how they got all folded and formed without this website, even though it’s extremely simple and I’m now saying to myself “You couldn’t figure out how to do THIS?” Oh well, I now know, and I’m not going to be forgetting anytime soon. But now I think I want to actually go find some luxurious yarn and make more super soft ones because I finally have some smaller needles.

Celtic Thunder, Crafting

Phases

I’ve noticed that I tend to go through phases, especially when it comes to music and crafting. I can go for months just listening to the same artist(s), Celtic Thunder, for instance. The have been, overwhelmingly, my main source of musical entertainment for over a year now. They make up all of my most-played songs for iTunes, at least they did before I had to replace my computer and subsequently lost my play-counts. It’s the same for crafting. I know I only started all of this last May, but I devoted myself to it for the entire summer. First knitting, then softies, then counted cross-stitch, then other little felt and fabric sewing projects. In this instance I had phases within a phase, but it all fell under the category of crafting. During winter break I added crochet to this list of phases, and it has surprisingly stayed my main source of crafting pleasure since then, give or take a few practical sewing creations.

In terms of my creations, I try to find practical projects so that I can actually use what I make, rather than let them fall between my bed and my wall and onto the dusty floor (sorry little pillows, I’ll rescue you soon). But the thing is, I’m running out of stuff I can make. I can only make so many cozies to put my technology in; I really don’t wear hats; I don’t need scarves in the summer; and I just don’t have room for a large assortment of softies, no matter how cute they might be. And I hate giving my stuff away, as selfish as that may be. I devote time and love to these creations, and I hate parting with them unless it something like a simple garter stitch scarf–I can deal with that.

And even when I keep what I make, and it serves a purpose, I don’t use it. The two crochet hats are squished up and collecting dust on my shelf; I haven’t used my felt and fabric clutch since that one day at the mall; and my assortment of granny square crochet thread necklaces are getting tangled up on my top of my dresser along with other necklaces I’ve made. I feel like I should use at least one of the above within the next week, but I know that’s probably not going to happen. Maybe I can coordinate my outfit to match this necklace tomorrow, but we’ll see how I actually feel when my alarm is going off at 6:40am.

(I finally realized how to re-size my pictures so they’re not absolutely gigantic.)