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Baby Knits Aplenty

2012 January 25
by Justine

A couple years ago I received a lovely book called Vintage Knits for the Modern Baby. So many great patterns, and I just can’t resist these adorable vintage styles! If I had children, the poor things would probably be dressed like classic Christopher Robin; perhaps a little girly by todays standards, but charming nonetheless!

I’ll admit it was hard to choose just one pattern to start with. Instead of something easy like a hat or booties, I chose a double-breasted car coat! The yarn is a wool/bamboo blend in turquoise, and the coat seems to be knitting up just right so far. Only a collar, pockets and one sleeve left. I’ll post the finished garment if I ever get that far!

This book also includes an awesome Wavy Blanket pattern, which I was all set to try. Unfortunately, when I was visiting family for Christmas and had knitting time on my hands, I found myself with all supplies except the pattern. Instead I started knitting up a similar pattern which I found free on Ravelry. Three colors of 100% cotton yarn have been used. I wonder why I’m craving neapolitan ice cream now?

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Door Knobs and Key Holes

2012 January 22

Lately I’ve had a bit of an obsession with door knobs. I have a weakness for vintage items in general, but something about the mystery behind a vintage door knob is so appealing to me. I’ve been collecting them for awhile, imagining the story behind each acquisition. Did some little girl squeal with excitement the very first time she could reach that knob and open the door herself? Think of all the people who touched them. No, not in a germophobe type of way; they’ve been cleaned and painted by yours truly! Anyway, let me show you a couple ways I’ve incorporated these knobs into my home decor:

A few months back at Goodwill, I found this metal accordion-like contraption with pegs on each joint. It seemed to have potential. When I moved into my current place and was in need of coat hooks that would not bash up the back of my door, an idea was born. Enter door knobs, a metal accordion-like contraption, some industrial strength glue and some paint. Voila! To maintain that feeling of history held by the original door knobs, I used the soap technique for an artfully shabby-chic product.


My second creation is a knock-off of some curtain tie-backs Urban Oufitters has for sale. Using crystal door knobs that could no longer function as knobs, I glued them to some metal door plates I found at Restore. When I look at these keyholes to nowhere, I’m happy.

Now I’m out of door knobs!

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Snowed In

2012 January 18

It’s been seven months since my last confessio…erm…post. Lots has happened, including several vacations, tons of design work, and a move to a new home in September. In recent months, much time has been spent settling into said home and getting life organized. Let’s just say, fitting my belongings into a one bedroom place (less than 500 sq. feet) has been a challenging game of Tetris. On the plus side, I’ve been given a reason to simplify my environment into a space that is more streamlined and stress free.

In the upcoming months, I’ll be posting about primarily indoor activities. Today has been a snowy day for Seattle and surrounding areas. Spring is still quite far away, but I’m already aching to get out in my new little garden area. So, while I sip my tea and look out at the blanket of white, I’m flipping through the Territorial Seed Company catalog that just arrived in my mailbox. To get me through the grey months, I’ve planted some paperwhite bulbs to bring a little green into my life. They’ve grown like mad in just over a week. Have you planted narcissus before? It’s easy! Try it yourself.

Paperwhite safe from the snow.        Paperwhite cheer.

On the menu today is a meal I’ve been eating several times a week of late. So easy, cheap and warm: Miso Ramen. Using this recipe I found on Foodiecrush, I’ve created many variations. The version pictured doesn’t even use ramen noodles. So many options! I will note, though, that I’ve been boiling the eggs for more like 6 minutes, rather than 4 like the recipe states. Four minutes was a bit too runny for my liking.

Here are the basic ingredients I’ve been using:

  • 1 package instant ramen noodles (or other noodles as seen above)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 1-2 eggs at room temperature
  • fresh spinach
  • Sliced green onion, chopped
  • Soy sauce

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30 Days of Creativity: Day 14 – Creamy Asparagus Soup

2011 June 14
by Justine

I realize it’s Summer for some, but this evening was overcast and not particularly hot in Seattle. What a great excuse to use the woodier stalks from my seven pounds of farmer’s market asparagus.

Creamy Asparagus Soup
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
8 cups asparagus cut into 1/2 pieces (tips are fine, though this is a great way to use up the typically less edible portion)
5 cups broth (I used chicken, but vegetable is fine)
2 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup half and half, cream, or crème fraîche
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp dry vermouth (optional)
fresh thyme, asparagus tip and lemon wedge to garish

Add olive oil and onion to a large 4-6 quart pan and heat on low-medium heat until onion is softened. Add asparagus, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Heat for about 5 minutes, then add broth.

Simmer 1 hour, or until asparagus is soft. Puree batches of asparagus mixture in blender (or with immersion blender) until smooth.

Stir in cream, lemon juice and vermouth. Serve garnished with a lemon wedge, fresh thyme, one steamed asparagus spear, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

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30 Days of Creativity: Day 13 – Knitted Washcloth

2011 June 13

There’s something really satisfying about being able to start and finish a knitting project in one day. This pattern I found on The Purl Bee fit the bill. A bundle of these is such a sweet idea for a gift.

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30 Days of Creativity: Day 12 – Pickled Asparagus

2011 June 12

Determined to get the most out of asparagus season, I purchased seven pounds of organic asparagus from the farmer’s market. After pickling seven pints, I am left with many decapitated spears. They’re not pretty enough for the canning jars, but perfect for a soup. Creamy asparagus soup, coming up next.

The recipe I used for this batch of pickled asparagus was from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. This is my first time making this recipe and I’m interested to see how the batch turned out. Next time I might forgo boiling the spears in vinegar before packing, since I’m worried that the cook time combined with processing time may result in mushy asparagus.

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