I’m so excited! I love decor8. Holly always has such fantastic decorating ideas and inspiration and links to lots of talented people that think in color. A while ago, she posted a contest on her blog for people to write in about what colors they love and why they feel they are in need of inspiration. So out of 1,060 entries, I was one of the winners!!!! I’m so excited (did I mention that?!)! I can’t wait to get my little box of goodies. More than 100 different people sent in stuff to be donated to this giveaway, and Holly personalized each box. I’m hoping that this green fabric is in mine–I want to revamp the duvet in our guest room.
This made my day if not my week.
I was inspired by another Burdastyle member who made a lovely cozy for her water bottle out of yoyo’s. I thought it was a wonderful idea, particularly since I’m always burning my hands on my non-insulated stainless steel water bottle when I put tea in it before I drive to school (oh how I wish I had time to enjoy a cup of tea before work). So somewhere between Denver and Grand Island, NE, I made this one. It reminds me of a little dress for my water bottle. If you pull it down, it looks strapless, if you pull it up, it looks like a cowl neck. It’s fun at any rate. I think I need to put a backing on it, because the holes still let a lot of heat through. That makes me sad because the backside of yoyo’s is even prettier than the front-side. But function I think will win out over fashion this time.
Let’s hope none of my students do harm to my yoyo friends.
As I said, food in Montreal was marvelous. We did not have a bad meal–and by and large, it was quite affordable (bonus!).
Montreal has this lovely little specialty–smoked meat. I’m sorry if you’re a vegetarian. It’s beef that has been heavily spiced and smoked until it’s somewhere between really fatty pastrami and Texas-style brisket. This might be a totally wrong description, but that’s the one that makes the most sense to me. It completely melts on your first bite; at once you are struck by how on earth something can be so scandalously juicy and savory when it’s only adorned with yellow mustard and rye bread. After losing our luggage and spending a day muddling around feeling dirty, this sandwich started to make things better (sorry about the picture–the lighting in there was less than optimal, and I didn’t want to get thrown out for taking a picture–I’m not sure why I was worried about that, but I was–there’s a better picture of smoked meat at Wikipedia).
We ate many many more delicious places, but of course my camera was not with me. I did manage to remember to take the camera the night that we ate at a little Pho place in Chinatown.
Pho is the one really good ethnic food we can get in Denver that’s pretty authentic, although I haven’t gone taco-trucking in this town yet… There’s a pho place that we go to probably once a month. Everyone’s a regular there, and there’s as many Vietnamese people who eat there as there are people of every other race and station in life. When the weather is cold, we go eat pho. When we’re tired of eating really heavy food, we go eat pho. When I’m depressed and the notion of cooking anything makes my head want to explode, we go eat pho. For someone who really doesn’t like or eat a lot of red meat, I really love pho. Lucky for us, there was a place around the corner from our hotel that was recommended in our guidebook. We ordered some spring rolls before the pho that were packed with fresh mint–a refreshing change from the cilantro that I’m used to in spring rolls. Then the beauty came:
We went here the same night that I went to have tea at Camellia Sinensis, which was the kind of cooler, rainy sort of day perfect for pho (but I need little reason to go eat it). I tore up a mess of basil leaves into my soup and put some oyster sauce and what appeared to be homemade chile-garlic sauce into my soup and commenced to thoroughly enjoy my rice noodles.
Many more tasty things happened in Montreal, but without photos to help me describe what was going on, I will save them for my food journal.
After the luggage fiasco, Montreal has been increasingly kind to us. I’ve walked around a lot, drank some fantastic tea (this is a tea town–how could I not love it!), eaten some wonderful food and generally had a good time. More on food later when I’m not blogging in my hotel room…
Today I tried to go the museum of fine arts. They have an exhibit on Yves Saint-Laurent’s clothes. I’ve been quite excited about seeing them, but Google maps proved less than accurate–actually EXTREMELY inaccurate when it came to directions–it was off 4 subway stops! So, after wandering and checking the map, I decided the walk that would compensate for the bad directions was far too far for today. It was time for tea.
So I went here :
How bad could a tea house with the botanical name of tea be? Not at all. Actually, it was fantastic. I sat down in this beautiful place (oh that I were a student in Montreal–I’d never leave) and was greeted by the sweet staff with a wee cup of Indian Assam tea while I browsed the menu. I was also given a tiny little bell to ring when I was ready to order. Given that the menu was in French, I just went with the name of the tea, Perles du Dragon. Dragon Pearls green tea. I also decided to get some chocolates from a local chocolatier. They were out of those chocolates, so I had 3 matcha covered truffles instead.
The tea came, and I felt my blood pressure instantly drop. I love that about tea–it’s so relaxing, and it FORCES you to slow down–particularly good for me who doesn’t really ever stop moving or thinking. The owner told me the tea had jasmine in it, which explained the amazing fragrance of flowers. But this was very subtlely flavored with jasmine. The truffles were a lovely accompaniment too, but I think a chocolate lover would have appreciated them more. I loved the gooseberry that was a garnish. It was tart like a kumquat but also flowery tasting like the tea.
The luggage got here this morning (praise the Lord!), so our travel just got much better.
Old Red Barn Co is having another quilt giveaway. Give it a look. It’s purty.
Traveling is always an adventure. We did make it to Montreal early this morning. Our first flight was delayed because of heavy air traffic, so we missed our connection. They automatically rebooked us on the next flight, which ended up being a very good thing because if we had just made the first flight, we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to eat anything. Our luggage, however did NOT get automatically rebooked. We trucked on after filling out the lost luggage forms and were assured that our bags would be delivered to our hotel. After a very informant cabbie took us to our hotel, we found that the bathroom in our room was out of order, so we got sent to another hotel for the night. Oi! We finally got to bed around 2:30 a.m. We’re settled in our actual hotel now, but no baggage yet. For now, I will dream of the lovely toiletries in my bag that I am without, like my organic witch hazel hydrosol from Moose Creek Bath and Body.
After making the skirt, I decided it needed a summery top to go with it, so I made this out of the Desira pattern again from BurdaStyle. This was so simple to make! And it was very quick (for me–I think it’ll be quicker a second time around). I all but finished it in the time it took me to watch all of a DVD of a ’73 production of The Marriage of Figaro (a delightful production–with Kiri Te Kanawa and a very young Frederica von Stade).
Nathan and I are going to a family reunion and then a conference in Montreal, so I don’t know how much posting will be happening the next two weeks.
I LOVE the 4th of July! We spent time with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and my sweet nephew yesterday! It was a nice time of eating, talking, and watching my painfully cute nephew be utterly charming. He’s almost walking–which is so exciting. The best part of course, was the fireworks. I decided any holiday that involves exploding things automatically is very very cool. That’s the influence of my brother, who, I think always hoped I was a brother instead of a sister. Try as he might to erase my decidedly girly ways, I was never interested in the same things and vice versa. But I do enjoy playing with fire–in safe, generally approved ways, and I heartily disagree with sheltering people from the joys and wonders of a good sparkler.
Something pink today (do you know the moment in The Sound of Music when they’re talking very seriously about other things and pause to have this side conversation in between real conversation to talk about the lemonade being so pink? I LOVE that!):
Strawberry Lemonade–makes about 10 cups
2 lbs lemons
2 cups sugar
1 qt strawberries, washed, with the tops cut off
2 qt water
Use a vegetable peeler to take all of the rind off of 3 lemons. Put the sugar, lemon rind, and 2 cups of water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let it boil for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let the syrup cool. Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a food processor and puree. Press the puree through a medium mesh sieve to get out most of the seeds (if you don’t mind strawberry seeds, don’t bother). Juice the lemons into a bowl or a large Pyrex measuring cup. Strain out the seeds and as much of the pulp as you want to not have floating in your lemonade. Mix the sugar syrup, strawberries, and lemon juice in a large container. Add enough water to suit your taste (you could use sparkling water to make it fizzy in keeping with the 4th…hmm, I wonder if pop rocks would be okay to throw in there…).
I finished my first BurdaStyle project. It’s the Sidonie skirt variation 2 with pleats. It fits me remarkably well, which never happens…so it’s either a good pattern, or I’m just getting better at altering things to fit me (I did add a couple darts in the back). I love the pleats! They’re such a cool architectural feature, plus they remind me of my accordion. This was an easy project, but the directions are a little vague. What I do love about BurdaStyle is that they have professional photo shoots of all of their projects, so I could figure out from the picture what was missing in the directions.
Does anyone know how to wash a skirt with pleats?
As I finished cutting the pieces yesterday, I was struck with the superfluousness of fabric scraps. Apparel projects I think especially generate all these weird leftover hunks of fabric because of the weird angles and curves that things are cut on. What do you do with all of these pieces?
When I was a kid, I would make wee costumes for my little squeaky pig toy named Spam who lived in my violin case out of scraps. Or I would stuff things with them. But I have to think, at some point, I will run out of a use for more pillows or little ones to make stuffies for, so what to do with all of these weird chunks of fabric?