Monday, April 6, 2009

Good Weekend for Projects

This weekend was another bad weather weekend here in Chicago, so I took full advantage and stayed in my condo for the vast majority of the time. Of course, seeing that VH1 was airing the complete "100 best one-hit wonders of the '80s" on Saturday afternoon helped make my decision that much easier. There were some really great songs in the countdown - especially in the final hour. I wonder if any other decade had so many one-hit wonders or if it was an '80s phenomena? I'm sure there are always one-hit wonders, but really think there were more in the '80s than then '90s. I suppose VH1 will answer my question eventually.

Anyway, on to three projects and something that stumps me.

1. Friday night dinner - Friday nights are labeled in my mind as pizza nights. I think that's common across America but could be mistaken. My label comes from two childhood memories:
-- Spending Friday night with Grandma and Grandpa. Many times, Grandma would "doctor up" those cheap Jeno's frozen pizzas with homegrown tomatoes, additional cheese and whatever else would make it better. When it was ready to serve, she would cut the pizza with kitchen scissors. I thought it was fabulous that scissors could be used in that way.
-- In junior high/high school, Friday nights at Pizza Hut, the only pizza place in town that we were allowed to frequent. There was one other -- don't recall the name -- but it was attached to a bar, so that was not an option.

Now, I really don't have pizza every Friday night, but do catch myself going to it when I can't think of a better option or am feeling nostalgic. This past Friday, I made a great semi-homemade pizza that will never have been found in Grandma's kitchen or Pizza Hut.
-- pre-made pizza crust (not Boboli, but a rival brand that's cheaper and comes two per pack)
-- Alfredo sauce (any brand will do, I selected based on price)
-- frozen chopped spinach
-- fresh sliced mushrooms
-- pre-cooked southwestern style chicken breast
-- minced onions
-- shredded Italian cheese blend (not much needed since there's an alfredo sauce below)
-- Italian seasoning
-- Red pepper flakes

It was great! It was just as good cold and for lunch the next day.

2. Tea towels - I've transferred designs onto three tea towels for a tea towel swap over on craftster and began stitching on Saturday. I have one of the designs complete and have it hanging in my living room to see whether I like the towel itself. The problem is that I'm taking a real animal but stitching it in impossible colors for it's species. I wanted to do something that appealed to my swap partners list of favorite animals as well as favorite colors. I'm glad that I started stitching now so I can live with the results for a while before deciding whether or not to send it on it's way.

3. Dishcloth - On Sunday, I didn't want to embroider two days in a row, so I knitted a quick dishcloth to get rid of some leftover cotton yarn I used to make Christmas dishcloths. I used one of my favorite patterns - the ballband dishcloth pattern from Maxon-Dixon Knitting (buy their books!) - and it didn't disappoint. I love being able to mix and match three different yarns into a cohesive dishcloth pattern.

Stumper - Sometimes, I decide to do something/sign up for something without really thinking the move through 100%. This is the case with another swap I've signed up for on craftster. It's a swap where you exchange "inchies" -- one inch squares of little art -- with a set of folks and end up with 50 inchies in the end (10 sets of 5, so 9 partners + you). I don't do papercrafts, but couldn't resist these guys because they are so cute! Now, I'm reading through the craft thread and everyone has all of this technical equipment, including paper punches that punch out perfectly sized inchies, special glues and techniques, etc.

On my end, I've purchased some black paper and have ideas to incorporate other papers, embroidery floss, yarn, and other bits and bobs to make my inchies. I'm tempted to run around looking for punches and other specialty items, but fear that I'll never use the items again (especially if I hate making these suckers!). So . . . stumper of the week is whether or not to invest in supplies or just move forward with my ideas and see what happens. I think I'll try some without buying anything else first because I do not need anymore craft/art supplies in my life at this time!

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