Monday, November 30, 2009

Podcast 006 - Christmas Is Coming, Part 1

Total length of this podcast: 22:36 (yes, it's a short podcast this time!)

CLICK HERE to listen to Podcast 006. Right click on the link and save it to your hard drive, or better yet, so you don't miss future podcasts, subscribe using one of the links to the right.

You can download the MP3 audio file (which can be played in iTunes or other multimedia players) and skip to whatever segment interests you -- check the minute marker for each segment.

Today's bumper music is the traditional Advent hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. The lyrics for this hymn come from the "O Antiphons," an early Latin hymn.

Here is our Advent wreath, and in the center is the candelabra that we use to observe the O Antiphons for seven nights, beginning December 17th.

CLICK HERE for a link to Jacques Pepin's Pumpkin Gratin recipe -- a wonderful savory recipe rather than our traditional pumpkin pie!

Here is me with my wonderful son Teddy after the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club Fall Concert at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He sings bass.

CLICK HERE to view a video of the UMMGC performing director Paul Rardin's composition, Sound Off. Teddy can be seen at seconds 36-37, lower right, with glasses.

CLICK HERE for the free Alice in Wonderland downloadable redwork pattern, The Caterpillar.

THE FIBER ARTS SEGMENT [Podcast minute marker: 7:15]

Midi with the Vintage Knitting Needle Mitten Caps

Supplies to make the needle caps

My version of the Vintage Knitting Needle Mitten Caps

CLICK HERE for the Vintage Knitting Needle Mitten Caps project sheet.
THE PAPER ARTS SEGMENT [Podcast minute marker: 10:19]

Christmas Cone Ornament

 The original cone designed as a wedding favor

Supplies to make the cone

The finished cone

CLICK HERE to download the Christmas Cone Ornament project sheet.

THE RECIPE [Podcast minute marker: 13:50]

Koulourakia - Greek Sesame Twist Cookies

The ingredients

Rolling the dough and shaping the cookies

Glazing the cookies with egg wash

Fresh out of the oven -- very lightly golden

CLICK HERE to download the recipe for Koulourakia Greek Sesame Cookies.

THE GRAB BAG [Podcast minute marker: 17:14]

Oka Moka - Coffee With Chocolate and Peppermint

The Ingredients

CLICK HERE to download the recipe for Oka Moka - Coffee With Chocolate and Peppermint.

And remember . . .
Creativity isn't a race . . .
it's an adventure!

Project Sheets Are All Done, and a Prayer Request

I had fun today testing my Grab Bag project (I'm not going to spoil the surprise!). Everything's a go to record tonight, and if I don't finish tonight I will finish tomorrow evening and publish the podcast before midnight.

I am singing at a funeral tomorrow morning -- what an honor to be asked. The family had to search for me, and eventually found me on Facebook. I was the soloist at their church when I was young (35 years ago!). They requested that I sing their father's favorite song, "Joy Is Like the Rain." Please keep Mr. Thomas and his family in your prayers. It's always difficult to lose a loved one, but it's particularly difficult during the holidays.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Podcast by December 1, I promise!

Oh, boy -- now I've promised! Life has been crazy around here, what with both of The Teds underfoot for several days. So I will definitely not release a podcast on the 30th. Time just got away from me this past week. I promise to release one on the 1st. It's all planned, but I need to write one more project sheet and finish the show notes. Oh, and record it!

I'm excited about the grab bag special project -- Teddy had a fantastic idea that ties in with my bumper music. Tomorrow I need to do some experimentation to get it right, then take photos and write the project sheet. I don't think you 'll be disappointed!

Ted The Elder is still underfoot tonight, so I can't spend any more time blogging...

Let's hope I get a lot accomplished tomorrow!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Teds are fast asleep and I am watching America's Thanksgiving Parade on TV (it's broadcast from downtown Detroit). Soon I'll be making the dish I'm taking to my family's Thanksgiving dinner. I'm making Jacques Pepin's recipe for Pumpkin Gratin, a savory dish that's sort of like a souffle. Of course I'm also taking my Parker House rolls, which turned out so well. I found out yesterday that Teddy has invited three people to our little family dinner Saturday, so I made a second batch of rolls last night.

This morning I finally finished Ted's brocade vest. I made him one for Christmas last year, but either I measured his chest wrong, or the pattern was wrong, or maybe the SEAMSTRESS (me!) was wrong. At any rate, the vest was way too small, but too big for Teddy, so it sits unworn in its box. I promised Ted I'd get another brocade vest done for Thanksgiving, so this morning I sewed the buttonholes and the buttons. Here's a photo.

I've made many vests for The Teds over the years. Teddy is known for his vests. The pattern I use for his is Folkwear 222, the Edwardian vest. It's beautiful, but is quite a complex pattern. The one I used for Ted is Vogue 8048, and is much simpler.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving day!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Parker House Rolls - DONE!

Today I baked the rolls for Thanksgiving. I used the recipe for Parker House rolls in the current Holiday Baking issue published by Cooks Illustrated magazine. Parker House rolls are what Pillsbury rolls try to be. The rolls I made far surpass any store-bought or ready-to-bake rolls I've ever eaten. Here are photos of the process. I must say, this dough was just lovely to work with.

This photo shows the dough after the first rise and
separated into 24 portions. Each portion is rolled
into an oval, buttered, and folded over.

Here are the rolls after the second rise -- 
puffy and touching each other.

Here they are right out of the oven. Beautifully golden.
The house smells heavenly!

And here is the finished product.
They are so tender and buttery!

Unfortunately Ted and I could share only one roll because the others are needed for my family's Thanksgiving feast, and our little family feast. Even though we'll be eating at my sister-in-law's Thursday, I'm making an entire Thanksgiving dinner for just the three of us on Saturday so we can have leftovers.

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going well!

Gobble, gobble!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finally Getting Back in Gear!

This morning I documented and baked the cookies for the November 30th podcast. These are The Teds' favorite Christmas cookies, although they can be made any time of year. They're Koulourakia, or Greek Sesame Twist cookies, and here's a sneak peek:

You know me, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I love these because they're not overly sweet. I'm sure if you give them a try, you'll like them, too! Look for the recipe in the next podcast.

I'm half way done stitching the Alice in Wonderland redwork I'll be sharing. I have a story to go with this one, in defense of Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll. Not telling which character it is yet! I'll also share a picture that Teddy painted from memory of this image when he was about seven years old. Alice in Wonderland was the first real book I read, and it was one of Teddy's, too. We each read it when we were six years old or so.

I still need to decide on a fiber arts project for the upcoming podcast, unless I make my Bonus Project the fiber arts project -- since it involves sewing and embroidery, I think I'll do that. I still need to decide on the bumper music. I think it's just too early for a Christmas song. (We observe the entire Advent season, so we don't decorate or play Christmas music until a couple days before Christmas Day.)

OK, so now that I'm back in the saddle, I'd better get those show notes written!

Later, 'gator!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

This isn't a crafty post...well, I guess it really is!

This is Titus Andronicus on our living room bookshelf. I think he's plotting (check out the book's title). For some reason, Titus has taken over this little space. It's where I have a sashiko mat and some little stuffed "chubby guys." He likes to climb on this shelf and, one by one, knock all the little chubby guys onto the floor. He doesn't go on any of the other shelves, only this little space.

So you know what I'm talking about, here's the space the way it's usually organized. The mat is an easy sashiko project I promise I'll share some time, and the "chubby guys" are from one of Kumiko Sudo's fantastic fiber art project books. If you've never read one, check them out! She has at least 10 books, and I have most of them.

OK, so regarding my next podcast, I'm sort of behind. Funny, because last time I was about a week ahead of schedule! I'll definitely publish a podcast, but it might not be as chock-full of creative goodies as usual. But that's OK, you're all probably overwhelmed anyway, what with the holidays. I promise my Alice in Wonderland redwork, of course, and I'm going to share an incredibly easy Christmas ornament paper project. And of course I'll share the "bonus" project I mentioned in a previous post. But that's all I actually have planned at the moment!

Teddy's been bugging me to make his favorite Christmas cookies, so maybe I'll give in, make a batch, and share the recipe with you.

Stay tuned!