Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letterpress Studio

 I so love letterpress type.  I love type in general; I love design; I love fancy letters and especially flourishes.  It was fun to poke around the studio and look at all the old plates and type in all the drawers.  Now I want to make some text posters.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Delicious Bruleed Grapefruit

My brother suggested this, and we tried it out (a few times) while in arizona. They were so, so good!

1. We started with fresh picked ruby grapefruit, and loosened the wedges by cutting around the membrane with a sharp paring knife.

2. We found that dabbing the top of the grapefruit with a clean cloth or paper towel helped, otherwise the sugar was too juicy and it wouldn't caramelize properly.  Then add the brown sugar in an even layer across the fruit. We ended up with a hard candy top on one of our early attempts, which was certainly delicious--but not exactly what we were looking for. 

 3. Torch it--the sugar takes less than a minute to caramelize.

4. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Homestead

Of course, what would a trip to Arizona be without visiting the chickens?  One day I will have my own egg laying hen, and then I will subject all of you to an overdose of chicken photos.  So this time there's only three.  Of course, I never tire of sifting through the old sheds in the back (and therein lies the bulk of pictures you will see today).  

I love the wide mouth mason jar and all the coffee tins, and of course, that stack of Lawyer cards.  They are significantly larger than business cards, and I don't know what exactly they were for.  Mostly I get all giddy because they are letterpress made.  It hurts me to leave them sitting out, but I've already taken a fairly large stack for myself, and they obviously have been OK out there for decades, so...  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Baby Blanket

I have a very close friend who is having a baby, and I wanted to make her something special.  I had a hard time finding patterns for baby blankets that were simple and slightly lacy.  I used this Lion Brand pattern, which was very straightforward and relatively easy (thank goodness because I think this may be my second or third project from a pattern ever)  Although the pattern called for a tiny blanket, so I lengthened it quite a bit and in the end, it was about 30" x 40" -- I wanted something larger than a dishcloth.

I was happy with the final result, and I love the dainty little scalloped edge.  I wanted a lacy, open crochet blanket and I debated between this pattern and the one I used.  Ultimately, I chose the v stitch pattern because I could only get Lion Brand yarn before I left and, having never made a blanket before, I  wanted to use the the yarn the pattern called for.  I'm glad I did, because it worked up very nicely (and quick!)  I also love the color.  I know it's not very "baby" but come on--all those yarns come in grossly cloying pink, blue or pastel.

I also gave another gift: a vintage sterling silver baby spoon.  It's for good luck, and because all babies should be fed with a silver spoon (at least once in a while ;)  I liked the pairing of the blanket and the spoon.   I know; I should have photographed them together.  It would have made a better statement, but alas.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

We're back!

After working a crazy job, being away, and moving, things are finally starting to settle down; just as spring is around the corner!  Plants aren't quite out here yet (although I'm starting to see sprouts and buds...) So let's go back to February, where a cold and rainy weekend in LA was still wonderfully temperate and plant heaven for my wintered mind!

I can't remember the last time I saw a roly poly; and I love the concrete staircase--but just look at all the green!  This house has the most beautiful garden--did you see the view from the french doors?  Luckily I didn't have to go back to the cold, dreary city right away.  I have some exciting things to share in the next few days!