Friday, September 21, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love- SUPERSIZED

Hey friends!  I missed Links, Likes, and Love last week because of the tendinitis in my shoulder.  I thought for today's I would share some EXTRA with you.  These are still all things that I find super awesome and I totally think you should check them all out.

Links- all the links I'm sharing this week are sites that I visit if not daily at least several times a week.  They provide a huge amount of inspiration for me, especially that last few weeks when I haven't been able to craft as much as I'd like to, they've given me things to think about and plan.

  • Be Up & Doing- This is my friend Allie's blog.  She covers a huge variety of topics, which is why I love it so much.  My interests are wide and varied as well, and they often overlap with Allie's blog.  She recently has gone full-time freelance and I know she is going to rock it because she is so awesome.
  • The Zen of Making- Haley Pierson-Cox is a crafty, granny-glasses wearing, Brooklyn gal with a crush on all things DIY.  And to be honest, I have a huge crafting crush on Haley (she's aware).  She tries her hand at a little bit of everything, and her geek crafts are the best (TARDIS EVERYTHING).  She's awesome on Twitter too.
  • Craft- My interest in Craft is highly influenced by Haley, but there is a serious amount of great projects of all shapes and sizes culled from all over the internet.
  • Ravelry- Ravelry is an amazing community of knitters, spinners, crocheters, etc.  There is an endless amount of patterns, forums, groups, and users on Ravelry.  I don't use it as often as some people, but is definitely a great source of information that I consult on a very regular basis. 
  • I have probably read more in the last 5 weeks, than I did in the last five years.  For a long time I had chronic headaches.  They had a lot of different causes, and one thing that has helped is cutting my dreadlocks and having short hair.  Nothing is squeezing my head anymore at least.  This past week I read Diving Into the Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. I have become well versed in science fiction television since becoming ill five years ago, but this has been one of my first forays into reading the genre.  Diving Into the Wreck is the first in a series and so far I am loving.  I knew about halfway through the book I was enjoying it, and now I can't wait to read the next in the series.  Bonus points: I'm getting it them from the LIBRARY.  Libraries are so cool.
  • Greuyere cheese-  This is my favorite cheese ever.  I think it's important to have a favorite cheese and I love it's rich gooeyness.  I've been eating more than I probably should when I go to Stauf's for lunch I get a turkey, bacon, Greuyere sandwich on gluten free bread.  SO TASTY.
This probably isn't a secret but I LOVE YARN!!  I love the feel, the color, and even the smell of yarn.  Much of my life for the past five years has been surrounded and comforted by yarn.  I wrote on Monday that I am the proud owner of a spinning wheel.  Even before acquiring said wheel I was spinning with a drop spindle.  I'm still setting the twist on yarn from my wheel, but here are some pics of handspun yarn from my drop spindle. 
This is a mixture of Alpaca and Merino wool, I crocheted a pretty great fuzzy beanie with this.
This is Mohair and Romney Wool.  The left skein is two ply and the other two are single ply.

This is Mohair and Romney Wool single ply, one of the favorites I've done so far.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Wool Gathering 2012

On Saturday I was able to venture towards Yellow Springs, OH to "A Wool Gathering" at Young's Jersey Dairy.  The farm itself was impressive and it would be interesting to see all the activities without an event going on at the grounds.

"AWool Gathering" was a collection of animals, demonstrations, and vendors.  We seem to just miss some sheep sheering as we were arriving.  Although it's not necessarily the time of year for such an activity they appeared to be using one or two sheep for demonstration and sheering just small bits of wool.  There were also some llamas present who tried their absolute hardest to ignore me while I took their picture.

The vendors had a large variety of raw wool, beautifully combed and dyed rovings, and already spun yarn.  Also there was every configuration of spindles and other tools you could ever imagine.  Everyone was very friendly and eager to show you their craft.  My first purchase was a beautifully hand carved crochet hook.  Crocheting being my first crafty love, one can never have too many crochet hooks.

I was waiting till after I had seen all that was available to buy my fiber.  I've been drop spinning for awhile now and I pretty much wanted to buy everything I saw.  I was also looking for a new spindle, when we came across a used wheel for a reasonable price.  The husband surprised me by saying he had prepared for such a thing, and I was able to come home with my very first spinning wheel.

By the time I made it back to the first bunch of fiber I had wanted to buy the particular color was sold out.  I was bummed but consoled myself by getting some great colored merino.  I'll be posting about those separately as I go through the process of learning on my new wheel.

It was a really beautiful day and my health seemed to hold up until I was done shopping.  I think Ryan enjoyed himself as well, even if it was just getting to make me happy by purchasing my spinning wheel.  I hope we can make it a yearly tradition.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Add It To the List

I have another diagnosis/injury to add to the list.  I think I've mentioned my shoulder pain here, but I certainly have been talking about it on Twitter and Facebook.

It's been going on for about six weeks now, and hurts especially when I crochet, knit, type, etc.

I went to the doctor this afternoon and she has diagnosed it as rotator cuff tendinitis.  She said it's a pretty common injury, and happens with many professions.  Basically anything that I do in front of me aggravates it.
She gave me a shot of cortisone in the joint and I plan on resting it for another week or so.  Been doing the icing and the constant taking of NSAIDS.  Also important is to keep movement in it and doing some shoulder exercises, so I plan on being vigilante at that as well.

I'm going a little bonkers however.  My pain first flared when I was working on a knitting project, and since then have not been able to do much.  For the last 5 years I've been crocheting or knitting almost daily for several hours a day.  It's what kept me sane in my sickest months, and has provided some great gifts and even a little bit of income.

I really don't want this to become a chronic problem, so here I am, resting it as much as possible and trying to find other things to do.  I've been reading a lot, and I guess that's what I plan on doing for a few more weeks.  Will be getting to the library very soon.

Will try to keep creating blog posts, and hopefully I can come up with some kind of creative content while my crafting takes a rest.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Links, Likes, and Love- Ithaca Edition

This week I am spending time at my sister's house in Ithaca, NY.  I had made plans to be here during the summer but didn't make it until now.  My nephew went back to school on Wednesday, so I've had the days mostly to myself.  Here are Links, Likes, and Love for September 7, 2012.

  • Ithaca Bakery- Yesterday and today I headed to the Triphammer Marketplace location.  They also have a location in downtown Ithaca.  My iced lattes have been amazing.  Not only do they have a tasty menu, they carry gluten free bread and bagels!!  The website is pretty interesting too.
  • Visit Ithaca- If you've never been to Ithaca, you can check out their official tourism site.  I had hoped to have a much more in depth blog post written about what Ithaca has to offer, but this body just wasn't up for being a tourist this week.  So check it out and find out why Ithaca is Gorges! 
  • J.R.R. Tolkien- Over the years I have started The Hobbit several times but never really got very far.  I read it this week and can't wait to read The Lord of the Rings.  We had picked up a new paperback copy of The Hobbit recently because Ryan wanted to read it again before the upcoming movie.  I haven't seen The Lord of the Rings movies and I'm missing out on sharing that experience with him, so I wanted to make sure to share this one.  Looking forward to the movie and being a fan of Wifred, I can't wait to see Elijah Wood.
  • Cayuga Lake- Although I haven't actually spent time at the lake this summer it's visible while driving and it takes my breath away.  The sights are beautiful and the activities around the lake are amazing.  I'm sure you've heard of The Finger Lakes wine tours.  This is a picture I took last summer from Stewart Park, as you can see it's a big lake. 


My Nephew!!  I love my sister and the rest of my family too, but my nephew is growing into such a great kid.  He's intelligent, and funny, and he loves hugs.  How could it get any better.  He has the best one line quotes as well.  This week alone my favorites are: "Especially considering my extensive library" and "I ran out of onomatopeoeias!"  I made him sit down with me for a few minutes and take some pictures with my webcam.  He's a lot of fun!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Frugal Foodie Mama Giveaway!!!

My friend Carrie over at Frugal Foodie Mama is celebrating her birthday with a Handmade/Homemade Giveaway.  Your's truly is participating by giving away a handmade crocheted cotton market bag!  It's purple and pretty awesome!  The rest of the items are great, and winner takes all!!

You can enter by doing many very simple things, and the rest of the ladies giving away handmade items are pretty talented.  So head on over and check it out!!

You can find the post by clicking here!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Marvelous Monday

My friend Carrie at Frugal Foodie Mama is co-hosting a Marvelous Monday party.  It's only Sunday night and there seems to be a great collection of links.  Be sure to go and check it out!

Also, I'm participating in a giveaway for her birthday, will post more tomorrow morning but there is one going on at this very moment in her sidebar, you totally want to enter!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Saturday's Spinach Smoothie

For the last few weeks I've been enjoying spinach smoothies as a snack and sometimes as a meal replacement.  With my gastritis I wasn't eating a whole lot in general and it was becoming clear to me that I was not getting enough vegetables in my diet.  I did a bit of googling and found a few tips on making spinach smoothies.

I don't really think there is a particular science to smoothies, more of a personal preference.  So I thought I would give you an idea of what I have been doing to make my spinach smoothies, and maybe you can try too.

We have an immersion blender that I love, it makes smoothie making quick and easy with very little clean up.

To start, Ryan and I keep frozen fruits in the freezer pretty much all the time for the purpose of smoothie making.  We always have frozen bananas, as well as what's on sale in the grocery or we are often given berries when they are in season.  What Ryan does is cut them up (if they are larger fruits) and sets them on a try in the freezer to freeze.  Once they are hard, he pours them into a zipper bag and they are individually frozen pieces of fruit.  You can also buy pre-frozen fruit at the grocery.

What I put into today's smoothie:

  • One large handful of spinach
  • Between 1/2 and 1 cup of cold water
  • I then blended up the spinach and water to make sure it is evenly blended
  • 2 tablespoons of unsweetened apple sauce, I find this gives it a little bit of sweetness, a small amount of juice would work as well
  • About a half of a frozen banana
  • A few chunks of frozen pineapple
Then I blended it until it was a smooth consistency and poured it into my glass.  I've gotten to the point where I can eye ball the ingredients in the mixing cup to know just how much I need for one glass, but if you have leftovers I think they may last ok in the fridge for a little while.  Also I like to use a straw, I always feel like I have a smoothie mustache other wise.

If you are worried about not liking spinach, I can tell you that for the most part this smoothie tastes like the fruit that you put in it.  I suppose that if you have a serious aversion to spinach it may be a turn off, but I don't think spinach has that much flavor when it's uncooked.  Don't knock it until you've tried it.

So I'll hope you'll give it a chance.

For those who are already in the know, what are your favorite smoothie ingredients?