Things I Have Made Lately

– Medieval-style men’s shirt from oatmeal-colored cotton gauze with contrast dark blue suiting fabric at cuffs and placket and silvery buttons
– 16th century women’s shift from muslin
– red wrap skirt, floor length
– custom-made canopy for wagon with organdy ribbon ties
– a chainmaille bracelet
– “fairy ring” made from brass ring and an assortment of ribbons

Currently in Progress
– black men’s pants
– pink “princess dress” from satiny fabric, backed with cotton

In the Hopper
– scalemail shoulder armor
– matching bracer (s)
– an assortment of bags and pouches
– various other accessory items


oh god so busy

(I sew by hand, remember. That’s a crucial point here.)

Goals for this week

– Catch up on Reader and resume Web Roundups

– Make more Kinstones

– Finish setting up Art Room


– Sort, organize & post books on Craigslist (we’ve got a lot of books we don’t want)

– Clean fishtank and post on Craigslist

– Finish SnarkArt projects, post.

– Mail out collab project!

– Cleaning house, etc, blah.


Haha, yeah right.

Basic Recipes Everyone Should Know

I’m giving a friend a sort of “lesson” in shopping for and cooking food this weekend. Now, I’ve been married for nearly 6 years and cook most nights, but I’d never sat down and made a list of my go-to recipes, and I wish I had.
I’ve been attempting to compile a list of such basic recipes for our friend, but I kept going blank, feeling like I was forgetting things. The internet wasn’t helpful. Googling kept turning up short lists that I already had on my own list, or lists that were too advanced or too basic.  I finally found a decent list that had the right idea, but it was on a UK site, and tailored for British tastes (fish pie?).
Clearly, the internet needs this list. New graduates and newly marrieds need this information! So, after much thinking and googling, here’s the list I’ve compiled.

Random picture of Ingredients from Google.

Recipes Containing Beef:

Spaghetti (can be made without meat)
Lasagna (can be made without meat)
Sloppy Joes
Pot Roast
Chili (can be meatless)
Shepherd’s Pie / Cottage Pie

Recipes Containing Chicken:

Chicken Spaghetti
Baked Chicken
Roast Chicken
Bake-fried Chicken
Chicken Salad
Chicken and Rice
Chicken Parmesan
Chicken Pot Pie (can also be made with other meats or no meat)

Recipes with Other Meats:

How to substitute ground turkey for beef
Turkey Tetrazzini
Eggs, fried and scrambled
French toast
Tuna Salad or Casserole
Sausage and peppers
Stuffed Bells

Meat-free Recipes:

Baked Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Pizza / French Bread Pizza
Salad (can be made with meats)
Mac and Cheese
Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheese
Potato Salad
Pasta Salad / Baked Pastas
How to cook vegetables

Baking Recipes:

Dinner Rolls
Yellow Cake
Pie Crust
Banana Bread

Wow, this list ended up being longer than I expected. I think I’d consider this list fairly complete. It does, of course, reflect my own tastes in food, and a list compiled by someone else might be very different. That’s okay!

Some of these are what I’d call “first recipes” – recipes that people should learn first, because they are super easy and basic. Spaghetti is one of these. They’re great for nights when you don’t want to have to think, haha. The ingredients are typically cheap. They’re perfect for singles or newlyweds with a tight budget and a small kitchen and not a lot of experience.

Some of these are more advanced. I suppose we could call them “second recipes.” Some of them build on the foundations of the “first recipes” – you wouldn’t make Turkey Tetrazzini unless you can make spaghetti. They’re typically more complex than the others, but still basic enough for anybody to be able to make.

I think a lot of people would completely omit the baking section from this list, but I disagree. Firstly, baking has an undeserved reputation for being difficult. People – baking is EASY. Nothing elevates a meal of sloppy-joes-from-a-packet like fresh cornbread to go with it.

I know there is a huge lack of vegetable/vegetarian recipes here. Very regrettable. I thought of including things like Eggplant Parmesan, but I have to admit that we rarely eat meals like that. We’re not total carnivores – we try to eat a veggie with every meal. But it’s usually just plain peas or a salad. Sometimes we go totally meatless, and that’s where the dried beans usually show up. So I don’t have a lot of experience with veggie-only entree meals (I do love eggplant parm, though), and I also know that a lot of people just don’t like vegetables (my husband doesn’t like the texture of eggplant, for example). Sorry vegetarians. I’d love to see a veggie-focused list like this!

Now that I’ve written this lovely list, I’ve got an announcement. Let’s consider this list to be the Table of Contents for my resurrected Food section! I haven’t decided yet on a schedule, but from here on in, my food blogging will stem from this list. I haven’t even decided which recipe I’ll feature first – would you like to make a suggestion?

Organizing, Downsizing, and New Things

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been realizing that I’m very unhappy with the layout and working of my home. I can’t do much about the physical form of the building, of course. But I feel like my furniture is wrong and that the “flow” of the house just isn’t working. The main symptom of this is that it’s very very hard to keep it clean and organized, because it just doesn’t WORK.

I’ve been talking to Jonathan about it over the past couple of days, thinking and talking and passing ideas around. Trying to come to some decisions and conclusions about how to improve it.
Also playing into our discussion is the knowledge that we will be moving later this year – knowing that we have to pack, we have a desire to downsize and pare away the excess, as well as organize things now so the packing is easier later.

Here is a list of what I’ve got running in my head, about what I want to do with my house:
– rearrange the living room (but it’s long and narrow so I don’t know how)
– buy an e-reader and begin to pare down the books and clean the shelves
– better organization of our movie collection
– buy shelves and baskets to create “hidden” storage for the stuff that accumulates around the rooms (dining and living rooms, specifically)
– find a way to incorporate a “landing strip” where keys, wallets, mail, etc, can be dropped on the way into the house (no room near the garage door where we generally enter)
– organize the vast amounts of paperwork we possess. scan and shred as much as possible.
– downsize some of the dishes, upsize some others (I know that makes no sense)
– decor is not satisfying – change it!
– get a coat rack or two
– down size the “stuff” – is it important to me? If not, why do I have it? If yes, then is it being used to the best advantage?
– install shelves in various places (above microwave, in bathroom) for storage and display
– purchase large airtight containers, so we can buy large (warehouse-size) amounts of staples like flour and sugar

That’s all I can assemble in my head at the moment. I’m constantly scouring the internet, so I have a ton of ideas in my head for new decor, new organization, etc, and I am looking forward to beginning. (When we get our income tax return, I’m hijacking part of it for specific use on these projects.) So you can consider this list to be a preview of things to come on this blog.