Taken years ago in a different July, in Holy Cross in the Lower Ninth Ward.
Taken years ago in a different July, in Holy Cross in the Lower Ninth Ward.
1. Our neighbors gave us some figs off his tree for the second time this summer. Last time, we ate them out of hand. This time, I might look through some recipes to see if I find something interesting.
2. Cat drawing next to a cat cartoon. My niece did the drawing, which I loved so much I swiped it from my mom’s house when I was visiting. I also love the New Yorker cartoon. The illustration is what does it for me, but in case you want to know, the caption reads, “It’s a lot easier than a mechanical bull.”
3. A fistful of zippers! 150 to be exact. That’s a lot of zippered bags! Can’t wait to dig in and sew- I’ve been working my day job so much in the last week.
I’ve been having so much fun sewing up these lined, zippered pouches. The tutorial on Design Sponge made it relatively easy, and now I think I’ve got the hang of making them.
I love making something that is so nicely finished, and I love choosing fabrics to put together. It’s also great to have something to do with smaller pieces of fabric I have left over.
Sushi fabric is the little secret inside!
It’s hard to show in a picture, but I did some metallic red stitching on one side of this one. I love anything sparkly. I also wanted to show the bottom seams, which make the bags more structured.
This one is super 80s in a good way to me. That’s Peter Max fabric on the inside!
I named this one Picnic. It’s a little bigger than the other two- I used a 9″ zipper instead of a 7″ one. AND I ordered 150 zippers off eBay in assorted bright colors. I can’t wait to see what I get and to be able to choose from a big pile when I’m putting more bags together.
“Dense chocolate cake”- that’s what I googled on Sunday when I had a hankering to bake. I found Nigella Lawson’s recipe for dense chocolate loaf cake and gave it a go.
I’ve been wanting to use some of my frozen raspberries with chocolate cake, and this one seemed so rich it didn’t really need frosting…but who can say no to some whipped cream? Not me, man.*
Adam asked me if it’s supposed to be so gooey. It is very, very moist. Almost like it’s underdone. But I’m into that. And he isn’t much of a dessert person, but he said it’s incredible. So there ya go.
*Kitty Mabel never turns down whipped cream, either.
1. A little stray teenaged cat. I put food out for a brown tabby stray we call Notty, and yesterday was the second time I’ve seen this younger cat. He’s super playful, hopping all around the roof outside my kitchen window.
He hasn’t seemed particularly hungry, so like Notty, I suspect others in the neighborhood are feeding him. I’ve gotta make sure little Teenager has been neutered…and I only say “he” by default. I’d hate for him to be a her and show up pregnant one day!
2. Pizza Delicious for dinner last night! Hate the name, LOVE the pies. Adam finally saw the light and agreed with me that it’s the best pizza in town, so I imagine we’ll have it more often.
3. Ray Davies at Voodoo Fest! I found out this week that he’s in the lineup, and I’m too excited for words!! The Kinks are one of my all-time favorite bands. There may be others I’m happy to see, but I’m going for Ray!
It’s too much to hope he’ll do Sitting On My Sofa, but ya never know.
I am by no means a Vietnamese food expert, but it is one of my favorite cuisines. Adam isn’t as crazy about it as I am, so it was high time I resumed making some dishes at home so I can get my fix more often.
Bun is one of my favorites, with rice noodles and peanuts on top of lettuce, shredded carrot, and chopped cilantro. (No mung bean sprouts for me, thanks.) And the yummy nuoc cham sauce poured on, and maybe a protein.
This is my first time trying to buy a chili paste I picked out at the Asian market instead of buying a Western version, so it’s not just ground chilies. It has garlic and tamarind and I don’t remember what else, but it still worked great.
For the nuoc cham, you’re supposed to customize your recipe to your own taste, but here’s a starting point:
2 small cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground chili paste
1 fresh thai bird chili, minced (optional)
1/4 c. fish sauce
2/3 c. hot water
2 TB lime juice with pulp
1/4 c. sugar
Mix it all up and adjust to taste! I got my recipe from the book The Best Of Vietnamese and Thai Cooking by Mai Pham. I tend to decrease the sugar and increase the lime.
I must say that mine was a bit strong for my taste this time, maybe because of the brand of fish sauce I chose, but I’ll just add some water next time. I also customized my bun by putting a full cup of the sauce over everything. I just love that stuff, but the lesson is to taste it before you douse your food in it.
Bun with shrimp, lots of peanuts and some fried shallots.
Dessert of quickly-melting vanilla ice cream with ginger simple syrup and a piece of candied ginger. Very yum.
Exteriors of glass panels in beautiful colors is a building treatment that no one seems to use anymore, but I love it so.
I mean, obviously, age is a little rough on it.
But look how the glass reflects the light and whatever is around it. Hi! That’s me taking a picture in the bottom right!
And it’s so pretty when it reflects the clouds in the sky.
This one is down the street from me, so I get to look at it all the time. There was another one on my street, with yellow and orange glass, if I remember right. But they fixed that one up and the glass is gone.
I wish I could find more online images of this kind of exterior, but when I search, I mostly find skyscrapers and things.
This craft tutorial from kootut murut of painting the insides of glass jars reminds me of my beloved glass exterior buildings. Maybe it’s those colors she used. But I have lots of tester-sized paints needing a purpose in life, so this may be their destiny.
After the floods in New Orleans, I had the idea to do a crazy quilt with the themes of love, home and family in mind.
Our four cats and our dog are allowed on the bed, so making a crazy quilt and actually putting it on the bed was not happening, and we’re lucky to have walls pretty full of art. So a garland of pendants hung up high seemed perfect.
This one is a night sky, with vintage rhinestones as the stars. There is Adam’s zodiac constellation, Aquarius, and mine, Aries. And the two big stars in the upper right corner are him and me, hanging out in the atmosphere together.
It’s a bit hard to see, but I embroidered the nest in the bird toile with silver thread. Our home’s living space is on the second floor (Adam’s metal shop is on the ground floor,) and I always call it our little nest.
These words are the ones my friends, coworkers and I texted each other after the floods. We are safe. I am safe. Such a relief to hear from your loved ones in that time.
I can’t wait to add to this ongoing project! I’d like to add one to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, even though it’s already passed. Some pendants will just be pretty, some will have special meaning. Maybe someday it will go all the way around our bedroom.
The Running of the Bulls, NOLA style.
I admit I’ve never gotten up early to attend, but I love this video by NOMOON Pictures and I feel happy just knowing the event goes on. A few of my pals have been the bulls! Next year, I’ll wake up.
1. I started a new skin care regimen today. To be honest, I didn’t have a regimen before, so I’m hoping I see a noticeable improvement. I have a pretty good complexion, but it’s been less smooth in the last few years, and I wouldn’t mind some of that going away.
It’s a simple and inexpensive regimen. You need castor oil, a carrier oil and a washcloth you don’t mind getting oily. I chose grapeseed oil as my carrier oil because on the bottle it said it’s good for balancing oily skin, and mine can get pretty oily in the summer. The friend who told me about this process said you have to experiment with the ratio of carrier to castor oil, but I started with 2:1, which she said works for her. The castor oil can be drying.
You rub the oil all over your face and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then you lay a warm washcloth over your face for a minute, and after that wipe the oil off your face. The oil pulls the dirt and all the bad stuff off your face and moisturizes your skin at the same time. I’m going to try it faithfully for a month and see how it goes.
ETA: I should’ve known there was a website for the oil cleansing method. I’ve been not quite doing it right, but after a week, it seems to be working well.
2. I’ve been watching the TV series Sons of Anarchy. I had seen season one, but season two is even better, I think. I stopped myself today with 3 episodes left, just so it will last a little longer.
3. I sewed a ruffle for the first time today! It always seemed like such a fussy process, cutting the long strip of fabric and all, but I wanted to add one to the bottom of the skirt I was making for my niece. She picked out the fabric and the rainbow ric rac, and I love her choices. She was sad and I was glad there was no Justin Bieber fabric.
I also made a skirt for her doll.
I can’t wait to use ruffles on other projects! It’s such a good feeling to be getting more advanced in my sewing. I only learned zippers a year or two ago, and those take you to another sewing zone- the zipper zone. It’s major. Ruffles aren’t quite the same, but they sure are fun.
4. This yogurt smoothie I’m about to drink that has peaches, honey and mint. It’s 3/4 c. greek yogurt, 2 small peaches, 1 tsp. honey and a few mint leaves. Can you see the little green bits? My friend once served me sliced peaches tossed with a little honey and chopped mint, so that gave me the idea.