Saturday, June 27, 2009

When crafts collide...

So, for those of you who regularly follow The Crafting of the Snark, you'll know that the craft of the week was tiny yarn animals by Tamie Snow. Well, I present to you the first of many tiny yarn animals:

All together now, "Aaaaawwwww!" Yes, he/she is pretty darn cute. Still needs a name, this lemur does (not to mention a gender), but we decided to let shim help us with another craft, the bottling of our latest batch of beer. At first, things were going swimmingly:

However, we seriously underestimated this lemur, and things quickly got out of hand once s/he found out booze were involved.

By the end of the night this lemur was passed out cold:

Word to the wise: if a lemur sidles up to you and offers to help you with your homebrew, check its ID.

*No lemurs were harmed in the making of this post (but they might have a headache tomorrow).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shiver Me Livers: Honey On The Brain

Two gallons of the syrupy sweet, illicit bee sweat, magical goodness with one purpose only: FERMENTATION; from bumbley buzzing to stumbling buzzed, worth every epinephrine dollar and swollen childhood tear, the hive knows best, this journey began on the longest day of 2009...

We held the raspberry blossom honey, Irish moss (for clarity), and a pound of freshly grated ginger root at about 150 degrees F for a half hour to kill off alcoholic amoebic Charlies, but preserve the unique character of the best liquid nutrition ever, after mother's milk of course.

Papazian, the Jesus of homebrew, held our hand on this first ever mead journey, his guide was crucial. Also yeast nutrients to give our microscopic saviors a healthy kick in the metabolic ass, and a test tube of liquid yeasts

Erin adds the nutrients
to fill their yeasty bellies
after a long, hard winter
spent sleeping in the fridge
by the cheese (the yeast was
in the fridge, not Erin)

Our first born mead froth,
still pure in this embryonic
state, soon to be writhing
and churning with activity
filling the atmosphere with
CO2 and the carboy with

And what craft would be complete without its own gang sign; for all my yeast thugs...keep up the good work

Note: mead take about 3 years to mature. A forty says we sample it before this damn fiscal year is over. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thrifty Buttons!!

My new obsession:

I just love the old packaging. Unopened. And they were .25 cents each at the Senior Center Thrift Store.

I also found a whole box of old crochet patterns. I'll be listing them on this blog and I'll be happy to send a pattern (or two or three) to anyone who wants one. I paid a dollar for the whole box and I don't really need every pattern. Part of the thrill of thrifting is finding good homes for things. A place where they will be used and loved.

There was a street vendor in the Junction Inn parking lot hawking his wares. I had to stop because there were boxes overflowing with stuff. My kind of scene. The vendor was solicitous and full of it but I tuned him out while I went treasure hunting. I rustled up 2 sandwich sized zip lock bags of buttons. He said his wife wanted $5 per bag but since he was such a generous and affable fellow he would sell them for a dollar a bag. He named that price after I started to put them back. Who would pay $5 for a bag of unsorted buttons mixed in with straight pins, old spools and various other detritus? Most of the buttons were plastic anyway. But still, for a buck, I had fun sorting them out and cleaning them up into the buttons they were always meant to be. Here are some of my favorites from the bags:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ghosts of crafts past

So, we all have that spare room or closet full of some kind of project that we started, oh, maybe a year and a half ago, maybe longer, that we got so enthusiastic about, and got all the gear for, and then got busy with work, or other stuff, and that project just lingered, getting dusty, feeling neglected, making us feel guilty...
So today I finally put one of those projects to rest. I finished spinning the yarn that I started from scratch in February of 2008. Scratch being freshly shorn goat fleece (see the above link for the whole gruesome story). Since I had to give back the carders that I was using, I decided to spin what I had already carded. That task has finally been completed. Here is the final product:

Hmmm...sure doesn't look like much for a year and a half's worth of work. I feel like I need a medal or something. Anyway, I still have three bags or so of uncarded fleece, staring at me and asking, "what about me?" So I'm giving it away. Anyone want some uncarded goat fleece? Guaranteed to make your life more complicated.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New Camera

I just got a new digital camera for my birthday. Thanks Kelly! As soon as I figure out how to use it I'll be posting like crazy. Really.