Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar

23Feb/190

a tiny light in the darkness

I don't want to jinx anything, but I may be ascending from the depression. At least slightly. At least, I made a craft project and have cooked a couple of good meals. I am putting in some effort!

Let's do this in chronological order, shall we?

Valentine's Day marked mine and Sparks' 13th dating anniversary. I know we have a wedding anniversary, and we celebrate that too, but we still celebrate the first anniversary. I decided that I wanted to make scallops for dinner. Fresh Market complied by having some gorgeous sea scallops. I seared those and made a beurre blanc. I sort of lazied out on the beurre blanc though and didn't strain it. We both like shallots though, so I didn't see it being a big deal. And it wasn't. I also roasted some asparagus and made a quick couscous. At least this time I didn't brown the butter while making the sauce. While I was making dinner, Sparks cleaned off the end of the table so that we could eat at the table "like fucking adults" (my words, not his). The beurre blanc was so good that I just ladled it over the whole plate. It's good with seafood, it's good with asparagus, and couscous always benefits from a sauce. Scrumptious! Followed it up with tiramisu from the bakery counter of Fresh Market. I love Fresh Market!

Then, while the table was still mostly cleaned off, I decided to finally start on the quilt I'd been wanting to work on for a while. My cousin was about to become a grandma! If she wasn't already older than me, this would seal the deal. It's been a while since I was excited about a craft project, but cousin's daughter is a barrel racing cowgirl and was about to have a little cowgirl of her own. I wanted to do a cowgirl themed quilt. I found some fabric on Etsy that fit the bill. So, this past weekend, I threw together a Trip Around The World quilt. Here's the photos over on instagram! I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I dropped it at the post office on Tuesday and it arrived right after baby girl did!

I moved the sewing machine and stuff so that we could eat at the table like adults again. Last night, I was feeling steaks. That always means another trip to Fresh Market, their butcher counter is lovely! I got a couple of chateaubriand cut filet mignons. Filet is my steak of choice, I won't eat fat and get grossed out if any of it touches my tongue, so I just avoid it as much as possible by doing filet. I cook them simply, just sear both sides and slide them in the oven with a meat thermometer. It seems that if I cook them to 135, they carry over just enough to be a good medium. That would gross out my mom (she likes hers well done) but it's perfect for Sparks and me. While the steaks were in the oven, I made balsamic mushrooms. I'll copy the recipe below, I definitely don't want to lose this one like I have some others on the intarwebs. And kismet! TFM had organic baby bellas for $1 a package! While the steaks were resting, I made a cognac cream sauce to go over them. It was good, but made way too much. I think next time I'll just add enough cream to the pan to make sauce, not the whole carton. It also wouldn't take as long to cook down that way. Add to all this a couple of bakers with butter and sour cream. The steaks were so good that Sparks threatened to weep. *laughs* No fancy dessert this time, but we had some Entemann's chocolate doughnuts in the kitchen.

I woke up this morning excited to come update my blog. Maybe I'm not dead, after all.

Balsamic Mushrooms and Onions

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white button mushrooms halved
1 onion sliced
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

- In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and onion; sprinkle with salt and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until liquid is released from mushrooms, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms and onions are softened and browned, about 3 -5 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar and stir until mushrooms and onions are coated evenly and the vinegar is heated through.

11Sep/110

A new direction…

I've been busting out the Trip Around the World quilts for years now. They're super quick and easy and make a pretty, colorful quilt. However, I'm tired of the design. Each quilt is as pretty as the last, but I'm just ready to move on to something new. On the other hand, I didn't want some super detailed pattern that would take hours to make one block. I found a cute, easy pattern the other day while browsing the craft blogs and thought it would be fun to try.

My color choices for this one were inspired by a quilt by Rachael Adele creations, otherwise known as my dear cousin Mindy.

Here's the finished top:

The pattern was easy to follow and not terribly time consuming. At least, I didn't notice the time passing. Here's the pattern I used.

As for the back, I'm still thinking about what I want to do there. I've found myself really drawn to quilts without a plain backing. I've been really drawn to the ones with a row of small rectangles across the back. That may be what I do, but for now, I'm going to let it sit while I consider my options.

5Sep/110

a long hiatus from creativity

I've let the depression rule my life for the last several months. However, in August I started feeling better and cleaning the house. Now that I had a nice clean craft table, I decided that it was time to put it to use.

Several months ago, my cousin mentioned to me that her youngest child would love one of my baby quilts, even though she is hardly a baby anymore. She told me that the kiddo loves pink and yellow. I found the perfect fabric in my stash and as I dug through I found that I had already put a top together with just that fabric. Joy!

Tonight, I finished it up. This is also the first quilt I've done on the Viking Rose that I bought from my auntie. I have to say, it's a danged nice machine. There's some puckering in the back, but that's more due to me using a basting spray instead of pinning everything really well. I don't think I've had a quilt not pucker in the back ever. It's the nature of the beast.

I was quite pleased though with NOT having to fight with a machine for the first time ever. I may not have figured out all of the bells and whistles, but this thing sews a straight line like a dream!

Here's the finished quilt:

I hope the recipient likes it as much as I do.

Next up - I think I'll work on a sock monster! But first, I must sleep.

Filed under: Crafts, Quilts No Comments
21Jan/110

I think I have a little problem

So, I have been thinking for the last few days about starting a new quilt. Digging for fabric in the closet led me to digging out all of the fabric in the closet. But this is not all of the fabric that I have. There is some in the cedar chest of doom, but I knew it wouldn't go with the fabric I'd already chosen as my inspiration.

First surprise, I found an already assembled top in the Trip Around the World pattern, using the exact yellow fabric which was my inspiration. Obviously, something had drawn me to it.

I kept digging to see what else I could find. Oh kiddies, your Ysha is quite ashamed of herself. I sorted the fabric into non-quilting, cotton and flannel. And like I said before, this isn't all of it. I know there's half a bolt of the green dragon flannel left from MY quilt in the cedar chest and the fabrics that I used when starting Boo's quilt are in a bin.

I spread the flannels out so that I could see what was there. I couldn't fit it into one photo on wide angle (ok, I was sitting in the floor right next to it, I might could have if I'd backed up). It took three frames and I still may have missed a few. In my defense, I bought most of this several years ago at JoAnn on Black Friday for $1 a yard. But this is still a silly amount of fabric.

I didn't even spread the cottons out, I just left them in their nice little pile, there's not nearly as many of those.

This doesn't even count fat quarters and other such things.

SomeONE (me) needs to get cracking on some baby quilts this year. Even if I never branch out from the Trip Around the World, I need to work some of these up and find homes for them.

16Sep/050

latest project

and a close up so that you can see the fabrics

now i just have to go purchase some fabric to go around the border and on the back, most like either a white or pink solid, but i'll decide for sure when i get paid and go shopping.

yesterday i made the mistake of thinking that i could eat a joe b's breadstick. top that off with pot roast and brownies (chocolate bad to the ysha-tummy) and you wind up with a sick ysha. at 3 i was up hurling, and i'm still feeling like crap. i tried going to work, but since i was still puking, i only stuck it out for 3 hours. now i'm still wishing i were about 2000 miles away from my stomach.