Curds and Whey

March 15, 2008

I love fresh yogurt. It is both tastier and cheaper than the stuff from the store. What I hadn’t realized until a couple years ago — shamefully, this was revealed to me when reading that book French Women Don’t Get Fat (hey man, who doesn’t love pastries, chocolate, croissants and wine?) — is that you can make it quite easily yourself.

You can make yogurt without any equipment or with a little incubator like instrument that resembles a spaceship. I have a spaceship which I love and decided to make some yogurt earlier this week.

My first batch was a terrible disaster. I lost the directions and thought I could just “wing it.” I think I boiled all the active cultures to death and was left with a cottage cheese like substance (in fact, I think that is how one makes cottage cheese). After this attempt I scooted out to Target (my first purchase at the one that opened up around the corner last week– while I don’t love the traffic it is causing, it sure is nice for times like these) and bought a candy thermometer so I could make sure not to scald my dairy ever again.

yogurt

After twelve hours of incubating I was left with 7 lovely jars of fresh yogurt. One tip, I highly recommend is using at least 2% milk.

St. Vincent

February 28, 2008

I saw St. Vincent this past Tuesday evening at the Rock and Roll Hotel. She is fabulous and the venue is pretty rad.
Also, check out her hair.

st. vincent

Teaser 1

February 28, 2008

So, I am not a prolific maker of things like some of those other bloggers out there. As such, I’m going to start showing my work in progress.

bird teaser

Quilting Bee

February 28, 2008

Last weekend I attended a quilting bee at the DC Historical Society. We were provided with a “starter quilting kit” which consisted of precut fabric (mine was a pastel floral pattern), a needle and thread. The project was super easy and I’m pretty sure its not technically quilting. But that said, I would totally go again, there were some fun ladies – and dudes – taking part! The end product is kind of lame but give me a break, ok?

I initially had no idea what to do with the pillow but luckily the cat quickly claimed it as his own.*

pillow cat with pillow

*Check out that hugging action! Aw.

Swoon

February 24, 2008

I have not properly decorated my bedroom since I moved in this past October. I think my inaction stems from my fear of committing to this city and the uncertainty of my job’s permanence beyond this summer. The blah bedroom has been ok for the time being but I have decided to work on its appearance over the next few weeks. I have the goal of keeping any changes inexpensive and I am really trying to stay within budget but I stumbled upon a wonderful (and pricey) bedding set today from Dwell Studios and I WANT IT. Look at it!

bedding

Sigh. How much is too much to spend on bedding?

Inspiration

February 22, 2008

My mother is quite a crafty lady. She has made some impressive sweaters and was quite the embroiderer back in the day. Currently she belongs to a craft group that involves mostly silly crafts with some good ones sprinkled in there.

As such, whenever I have a stitchery problem she is the go-to lady. Since I unfortunately (fortunately?) currently live a few states away from her she was kind enough to give me her awesome needle work book. It is from the 1970′s and just fabulous.

img_0980.jpg embroidery book
img_0983.jpg

Sorry about the poor color quality — I need a better photo editor!

Success!

February 20, 2008

owl2.jpg

I finished my first real embroidery project yesterday! I think this craft might just stick — it is creative yet there are still clear restraints and the time it takes to complete a project is totally manageable.

I am going to continue with this owl theme for a bit so stay tuned for more!

Japan Culture + Hyper Culture

February 20, 2008

I am a firm believer in long weekends. I would love my job that much more if I had to be there only four days a week. I could go to the bank, not wait in a crazy line at Giant for some groceries and go to all those obscure museums I have been meaning to go to forever but can’t because they are only open ridiculous hours like from 10:30 until 3 pm (Monday-Friday, of course).

japan.jpg
This president’s day weekend reaffirmed my belief in the power of the long weekend. On Friday I had an epic happy hour that left me pretty defeated for most of Saturday morning. While on a normal weekend, by the time I felt better about life I would be packing up my lunch for work on Monday. But due to the psychological powers of an extra 24 hours, I recovered quickly and was out of the house by one on Saturday. I waited an eternity for the bus and eventually found myself over at the Kennedy Center for Japan! Culture + Hyper Culture. This weeklong all Japan-fest was in its final couple days and I had vowed to myself that I would attend, and, boy, am I happy I followed through.

The festival had lots of exhibits with by far the best being the robot show. There were presentations of the most advanced robots including ASIMO (pronounced Awesome-O!) who was great, although a little creepy. They made a big stink about how he can walk up stairs, and perhaps I just watch too much television, but I had assumed robots could do that trick for quite a while. I was wrong. What I was WAY more impressed with though was when ASIMO ran. He ran fast, and it was so unbelievably creepy. My friend Sarah thinks that we are uncomfortable with robots because we grew up with The Terminator. I agree. Check out the clip about 35 seconds in. Consider yourself warned.

My favorite robot, more awesome than ASIMO if you can believe it, was Paro, a “seal-like robot,” It is a baby seal, you know the ones they used to club for their oh-so-soft fur, and it has lots of sensors in it and it responds when you touch it. Basically, Paro will suffice until I get to cuddle with a real seal pup.

So I spent a few hours putzing around the exhibits and then got into line for the free concert that the Kennedy Center provides every evening (a pretty great option for DC, by the way). The group who performed was called Maywa Denki a Japanese rock group with two brothers as the main show. They create their own instruments that are often robotic. The show was pretty much out of this world – it included lots of puppetry (including a giant fetus) and awesome electronic music creations.

Loves it!

And the best part of this Saturday was that it was only Saturday and I had TWO more days to do things (i.e. lay about the house).

Hello world!

February 15, 2008

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