30 December 2012

Pantone...color of the year

Pantone's color of the year: 2013

Pantone has called out Emerald as their color of the year.  My favorite is Grayed Jade, followed by Linen and Dusk Blue.
Just in...here are the colors that Pantone has declared "it" for the upcoming spring season, and the color that will be gracing catwalks and fashion and home displays all year.  2013 is the year of EMERALD GREEN....which looks beautiful with the other colors Pantone predicts will brighten up this spring's collections.

I knew that Pantone offered some crazy expensive markers, so crazy expensive that they made Prismacolor colored pencils seem reasonably priced.  Those markers don't touch upon this Pantone item....
Pantone cotton color swatch kit, $5,195.00
This product is so popular that shoppers receive this message "

Due to high demand, this product is currently on backorder. All new orders will ship on a first come first serve basis. You may place your order now and we will not charge your order until this product is ready to ship."   

Put me on the list, just like I am on the list for an Hermes Birkin bag.

I am assuming these shoppers include Vera Wang, Monique Lleulhier, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, et al.  

I am a bit of a Pantone color nerd, so I am thinking that a Pantone mug may end up on my wishlist this spring:
2013 color mug...may be the start of a sweet collection
And, I am thinking that this item might be sucking up part of my iTunes gift card from Dan....
Iphone app...of course, its $2 cheaper for the android.
..so I can feel cool at the yarn store, trying to be all fancy with my Pantone app.

What crocheted cute little things would you like to see in Pantone's new color of the year?  I am thinking I may be making myself a cowl to warm up this winter and Domenic might look handsome in a Nonno cap of this color.

20 September 2012

a little, quick recipe

We have all been tired and overworked lately. Between open house at school, PD, many Principessa Sweet Pea orders coming in, and chasing after D... Cooking just isn't happening.
But, opening the freezer and grabbing some of Trader Joe's frozen finest is just about perfect.  In order to make their frozen corn and tamales perfect we dressed them up with these recipes tonight:

lime butter corn:
this could not be easier, but we simply put the corn in a microwavable bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and zap for1 minute, 30 seconds.  In a perfect world, we'd have had Mexican cheese on hand, and thrown that and paprika on in addition to a couple tablespoons of butter and some (bottled) lime juice.
We used what we have, so a bottle of food-store brand lime juice and some butter it was.  Topped with kosher salt.  If our fresh cilantro was still going strong, I would have added a bit of that, too.
The lovely part was how the lime and butter rolled down on to the plate and blended with the super-quick tamale sauce.

After searching for an easy and quick tamale sauce, I decided to give up and just make one up. And it came out delicious!

super-quick  super-fresh tamale sauce:
We happened to have a bowl of tomatoes on the kitchen island, so that's what I used.  Canned would work but would cause the sauce to lose the fresh taste that the garden tomatoes we used gave us.

3 tomatoes, rough chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt  (any salt would work, but we love the smokey flavor this gives sauces)
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Take the tomatoes and cook them down on low heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the spices and oil and continue to cook on low for about 5 more minutes.  Using a stick blender, blend the sauce until it is mostly pureed.
Here's the only real ambitious part of this meal...Use a food mill or a strainer and push through the sauce so that the seeds and peel are removed, leaving a liquidy sauce.

Microwave the tamales as directed.  I put a damp paper towel over them to seal in more steam.

We are lucky that our spice rack contains things like ancho chili powder, cumin, and smoked sea salt.  We get all our spices at a huge spice warehouse in North Truro MA....highly recommend making a list of spices you see over and over in recipes and starting your own collection!

24 May 2012

baby bees and baby nephews

I am very excited about becoming an aunt for the first time in a couple months.  My only sister is having her first baby, another little boy! She decided that his room would be black and yellow with a bumblebee theme.  Hearing this, I started stocking up on yellow yarns and bee ideas.

Baby T, of course, got a hat:
and a little stuffed amigurumi bee to cuddle:

...and then, I add to make him a hot air balloon to fly above his changing table.  I made my first hot air balloon for my best friend's niece.  She told me what a great distraction it was for diaper changes.  Since then, my little guy has loved his, as has BFF's second niece.  While I made the balloon in the bee colors, the passenger is a black bunny.  My sister has a GIGANTIC black rabbit named Marvin and so I made a little tiny Marv for the balloon:
So those were the gifts, but I really enjoyed trying to get crafty with the party. Thank you, pinterest.
Little tiny bees flying over the flower plants, with bee patterned fabric covering the pots and scrapbooked signs welcoming the boy:
Of course there had to be some yummies, too.  I made oreo truffles with edible paper hearts (I love wilton sugar sheets). I made bee cakepops, displayed on the cake pop holder that my husband made for me at 11pm the night before the party.  What an improvement over the cardboard contraption that fell apart before I started using it.  N made some absolutely delicious cupcakes with brilliant yellow frosting.  J was commissioned to make the fondant covered cake with yellow and chocolate layers to look like bee stripes.

11 May 2012

crocheting with the kiddos....

Spring time is MCAS time in Massachusetts.  This high stakes test strikes fear in many hearts, and when I get nervous...I crochet.  So, as I proctored my students through a test that I am not allowed to look at (except in cases that legally require me to provide support and the state makes me sign a non-disclosure form about) I worked on some amigurumi.  The kids took interest in what I was doing, and one student asked me to show her how to do it. 

So, one Monday morning, I had one third grade student learning to stitch with me.  Soon, a couple fourth grade girls also showed interest and we were a group of 3..and then 4...and now I have a group of 6 girls learning to stitch.  Today some boys approached us to see what we were doing. It gives me something to try to multitask while on morning duty watching 250 third and fourth graders.  I do feel bad for my partner who has to carry more than her fair share of that load.  I couldn't believe how interested the kids at our urban school are in this craft. Even the kids in the Emotional/Behavioral room have asked to see how to do it.  

My hook case is now curiously short of G, J, and K hooks...and the halls of my school are clinging with the sound of dropped aluminum hooks.  Right now, the girls are working on chains and making headbands of strands of chains.  We aren't to flowers quite yet, but this is a good idea of what the headband looks like. 

Our next step is single crochet, and we'll probably be trying to make little head kerchiefs.  I need quick projects that will provide some instant gratification for impatient young artisans. 

04 January 2012

1 done, 51 to go....

On etsy, there is a whole community of crafters who support each other by driving SEO, offering advice and helping encourage our businesses. To prevent the usual "oh no, I haven't made enough stuff" before craft shows and to try to make my own little shop a little stronger, I have joined a team that pushes us to create and list 1 new item a week all year.  Doesn't sound too impossible, until you take into consideration that custom orders (more than 90% of my sales last year) don't count. 

So, I look forward to 52 brand new items this year! Hopefully there will be some popular new products in there.  Here's number 1: 
I really love it! I wore it to work today and got quite a few compliments and a couple orders. Feels nice to have my first "garment" for adults go over well.  The etsy listing gives full details.

mini etsy