2010 Holiday Catalog

I'm thrilled to show you the new Holiday Catalog by the members of the Etsy Artists of Color.  Check out this fabulous guide.  One of my items is inside.  :-)

The Merger

I've officially merged my blogs.  Some of you may have remembered my other blog, El Viaje de Vida that focused on my journey first with jogging, food, and the exploration into food photography.  Then I moved my craft blog to this location.  Now I've finally merged my blog posts from El Viaje to this blog so that I can officially delete the old blog, email account, and just manage this one.  Streamlining is a really good thing.

Holiday Fashion Help

I need your help.  Within the next two weeks I am to attend this holiday dinner.  Think country club. 

Hors d'Oeuvres:  
Crab Bundle/Sweet Potatoes
Spring Roll/Chilies Sauce

Mixed Spring Salad, Balsamic Vinaigrette

Filet of Salmon broiled with white wine lemon butter, capers, and orange segments
Served with Potatoes Au Gratin and Sauteed Vegetables

Creme Brulee, Coffee, Tea

You get the idea?  Anyways, you know I'm around kids all day and now I get to hang out with adults.  I'm not really sure of the fashion etiquette, it's been a while, but someone gave me this skirt recently (still has the tags on it too) and I thought it might be a starting point.

The label says it's "marine blue", which looks an awful lot like green to me, and the fabric is some rayon/silk blend, but my first thoughts were something like crushed velvet.  What really caught my eye was this belt though.  I love those glittering jewels.

Now my friends, if I choose to wear this skirt, anyone have any ideas of what to match it with?  I'm pretty sure it probably originally had a matching top, but I know me; I wouldn't have worn it then for sure.  That bottom fabric would overwhelm me.


Chinese Chicken Stew

For the recipe, hop on over to Alessandra's blog.  The recipe is posted there.

Now, I think you know me well enough to know that I almost always modify recipes, except for baked goods.  So, my main modification for this recipe was that I didn't use a crock pot; I used my Dutch Oven instead. I also added red and green bell peppers and rearranged the order I added the ingredients since I wasn't slow cooking.  The one thing I'll do next time is add a little salt to the chicken first.  Most of my spices/seasonings are salt-free so that I can control the salt-intake, so yeah, I should have added a little salt to the chicken.  :-)

Hands down, this recipe is so good and flavorful!  I had everything but two ingredients on hand (the chicken thighs and mushrooms) and I have been waiting a long time to find a way to use Chinese Five Spice.  That spice is so aromatic, I can't wait to use it again.

Ok, no more talking, just photos now.


Served over a bed of jasmine rice and topped with fresh cilantro. 

Bon Appetit!

Stumbling Block

So I've hit a stumbling block in my so-called quickie crochet project.  When I try a new pattern I always give it a complete read-through, then visualize what is being said before I begin.  If it's a Ravelry find I'll also read over comments made by people who've made the pattern before in case there are tips.  Saves time that way. 

Anyways, I've finished the beanie part of the hat and now I'm ready for the long earflaps, but the pattern is written in a misleading way.  I now see why some of the Ravelry projects had twisted flaps by mistake.  Can't have that now can we.  I'm sure (or at least I hope) it won't be too much trouble to adjust the pattern, but I feel the purpose of buying patterns is so you can make it as written.  If you really wanted to make your own version then you could just write your own pattern.  But I digress...

How Should You Feel

...when you look for something you know is in your house in the same bag that you received when you purchased it, only to discover after like weeks of looking that it's where it should be, not in the bag after all, but in the bin of fabric in the craft closet that you thought know you already looked in?

 I have an idea for a bag with that top print.

...when you haven't crocheted in so long that your hands ache from the attempt?  You press on because crocheting is just like riding a bike - you just don't forget, because you're glad to use up yarn stash and add to your FO collection.

...when no matter how much chaos you have going on in your life, you know that this one, simply decorated room continues to remain clean?

Yeah, I have ideas for wall, table/chair decor, but one room at a time, right?

...when your work-in-progress conversion between a formal (unfurnished) living room to a craft space takes one step to becoming a reality when the things that once occupied this side of the room are thankfully removed from your home, thereby making a true craft space more of a reality?

...when you choose to try out this pattern even though you're not a fan of the puff stitch?

Using up more stash yarn.

Harrell-Slaughter Family Reunion 2010

I know a lot of time has slipped by since the traditional "Family Reunion" season, but I finally finished editing these reunion pictures from ...uh hum, August and I thought I'd share with you a piece of my family's traditions.  This side of my family has a three-day family reunion.

On Friday night, we meet at an uncle's house and have a very casual drop-in dinner.  On Saturday morning there are several different breakfast opportunities:  single ladies, single men, young couples, and mature couples.  Kids have to go wherever their parents go.  Then we have a catered dinner and program.  On Sunday family members attend church with those who live in the area.  Usually I only attend part of Saturday, but this time I was able to go on Friday night and all day Saturday.

Here's a taste of the 2010 Family Reunion:

The Yarn Diet Revisited

If you recall, last December I put myself on a yarn diet for 6-months, which was a good thing.  From that 6-month experience, I would like to believe I learned a little bit more about self-control - at least where yarn is concerned.  The interesting thing is that I think I learned that oftentimes "less is more" and (in theory) that a true test of creativity can be seen through the art of resourcefulness. 

Now that those 6 months have long gone by I find myself many days staring into my yarn closet imagining things that could be made from what's left.  And believe me, there's still a lot in there, it's just a matter of finding the right weight and color combination; there's one of this and one of that.  Then there are those yarns that call for something truly special.

I will admit that I would love to see that yarn closet stash depleted and replaced with a different color assortment, but for now I think my challenge is to find ways to use what I have.  I've been trying desperately to avoid granny squares and large projects, but it might be inevitable at this point.  The wheels in my head are churning, for sure, but as is typical with my personality, to see the fruits of it I need to clear up the cobwebs; declutter, if you will, so that the creative side of my brain can work properly.

So, what am I doing?  The menial, yet necessary, task of making yarn bobbins....

The Presentation Look

So I didn't take this photo the day of the presentation, but I wanted to show you the outfit I wore, minus the hat of course.  In the last year or so, my Mom has gotten really good at picking outfits that I love - on sale.  She found this dress at JCPenney's for $12!  Then I took a suggestion I saw on Manecoarse's blog to button the bottom couple of buttons on a cardigan to give it more of a shrug look.  So that's what I did.  I had planned to wear my hair in the cinnabun do but I was running short on time so I wore an afro puff instead.  The boots came from Santa last Christmas.  :-)

This is the look I wore today...underneath the hat.  Tried a new twist/braid style.
Yeah, I switched clothes.  It's really cold around here these days.