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I'm Laura. I am female, 31, a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic.

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Just a taste...


Posted at 22 Apr 2012 07:05:16 PM

It's been a quiet, rainy day, perfect for encouraging creativity.

While the baby back ribs are slowly roasting in the oven - they've been there for 5 hours so far, and the house smells unbelievable - I thought that maybe you would like to see a little bit of the new shawlette pattern that's been in the works here at Casa Cybermenology.

It's a new opportunity to work with one of my favorite laceweight yarns, Baruffa Cashwool. This yarn comes in a multitude of colors, extremely generous yardage and the superfine merino is so soft to the touch. And as if that wasn't enough, this shawlette will be beaded!



just a little touch of sparkle...



That's all for now, I have to go put the final baste on the ribs!




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More crafty A.D.D.


Posted at 04 Nov 2008 09:49:48 AM

Something else I never knew existed: NaKniSwetMo! Similar to NaNoWriMo, its aim is to knit a sweater in the month of November. Given that I can't even knit a scarf in a month, I think I'll be passing this one up ;-)

Had my first sewing class last Saturday. It went well, and was pretty neat. We didn't do much more than cut out the fabric and lining, so hopefully there will be more sharing of tips and tricks in the coming weeks.

Knitting group is tomorrow. Coincidentally, I've also signed up to give blood that afternoon, so Wednesday will be both long and exhausting (and probably won't leave time for my usual post-donation trip to the steakhouse afterwards, either). Coupling that with the fact that the time change is kicking my ass this year, I expect to be very, very tired.

A few words about this Daylight Savings Time: I don't remember being hit this hard by it in previous years. I speculate that it's because in previous years I was already perpetually exhausted by a 2 or 3ish -> 8 or 10ish sleep schedule - it's hard to notice *more* exhaustion, if that makes any sense. But I've had a relatively regular midnight -> 7am schedule for quite awhile, and ever since the time change I'm finding myself tired by 11pm and waking up at 6. Sleeping in 'til the "new" 7 just isn't working well... I toss and turn 'til I finally give in and get up.

(The quest to sleep in is not helped by the fact that cats apparently do not observe DST.)

Made some fairly kickass buckeye "bars" last night from the Kraft Food & Family magazine. I felt bad because lately I've been making all kinds of goodies and then bringing them all into work, so these are just for us. :-)




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Happy Hallowe'en!


Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:59:36 AM

Randomness: Updated the laptop to Ubuntu 8.10 when it was released yesterday. Think I'll wait a bit longer on my desktop at home... some graphical hiccups combined with the failure of my embedded terminal (via devilspie) makes me think that it could use some ironing out.

Food: Made orange marshmallows for the office Hallowe'en party today. A LOT of marshmallows. They're sweet and fluffy, lightly flavored, and completely addictive. I am confident that there won't be any left after lunch! I copped out on making the planned mint chocolate oreo brownies - after the apple butter and the marshmallows, both of which were 2-day projects, I didn't want to look at the kitchen last night!

I have my first sewing class tomorrow, and due mostly to the fact that I was waiting for a still-unreceived email confirming that the class has enough attendance to take place, I'm completely unprepared. And in the rush of getting out of the house this morning, I neglected to pick up the sheet of paper detailing what, exactly, I need for this thing. Crap. >:o I can pick up the notions tomorrow morning, and won't need most of 'em the first day anyway, but I'm going to have to get the fabric and thread today come hell or high water... I won't have time to pre-wash, dry and iron it otherwise. So, since I don't know exactly how much to get... guess I'll just have to guess and get extra!

I also signed up for a short 2-week knitting class, starting on Wednesday. It was actually kind of serendipitous - I was looking for local yarn stores, and also rather curiously for armwarmer patterns (don't shoot me - they're nifty!). The class is both local and will be making armwarmers, so I figure it's a sign! I actually called the store and spoke to the lady who will be teaching it, since I wasn't sure that with my experience (read: I can knit and purl. Beyond that? Lol.) it would be worth it to sign up. She said that I sounded like a good fit for the rest of the class, though, and I'm a fast learner anyway. I'll try to get some practice in this weekend.

All of this stuff is more or less aimed at getting me out of the house a bit more consistently. I know that I'm rather a recluse at the best of times, but it's getting absurd - I leave for work, food and UFC. Good excuses, yes, but lacking a bit in companionship? A lot of the problem is that I'm tired after the work day and Just Want To Go Home. Also, if you know me at all, you know that in general a group of girls is not something I'll go out of my way to join, nor are "clubs" that just sit around and talk about things (even neat things, like linux or video game design)... but maybe if I start out knowing that we've got a common practical interest, it won't be so bad?





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It's that time of year again...


Posted at 29 Oct 2008 09:26:31 AM

I had off from work on monday, so I took the opportunity to learn a bit more about my new mixer. The result: 15 half-pints (and one half half-pint, which is in our fridge. Yum).

That was two batches at once, and I still need to do another single batch in order to meet what I consider my 'quota'. It was SO much easier with the KitchenAid fruit separator/grinder attachment. Rather than peeling them all, which with the way my hands are jointed (i.e. loosely) is a big literal pain, I just have to core & cut them into fruit salad-sized pieces and cook 'em down on the stove for 15 minutes. After that, they go into the grinder, which neatly separates out all the peels and bits of lingering core, and crushes up the appley parts into very fine applesauce.

This also means, by the way, that I don't have to do the 'push it all by spoonfuls through a fine strainer' trick anymore. HALLELUJAH!

I was a little worried that the separator was separating out more apple into the garbage pile than it should have been, but I got exactly as much butter this year as in previous, and just about dead-on the recipe. 8lbs = 8 half-pints, 16 lbs = 15.5 half-pints. Perfect. :-)






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Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies


Posted at 12 Oct 2008 03:50:19 PM

I'm trying out this recipe for Pumpkin Cookies today, as it's fall-ish outside and I really wanted an excuse to play with my new Kitchen-Aid Artisan Mixer. They're only halfway through baking, but the verdict from the first batch is that they're absolutely outstanding.

The recipe says it makes 40. I'm at 3 dozen now, and will probably hit 4 before I hit the bottom of the bowl. Good thing too - they are seriously addictive little cookies!

I left the pumpkin seeds out altogether. And - just in case you can't find dried currants, I used a 3/4 cup bag of dried cherries (chopped a bit). I think they've even better!


( Click for the rest )





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Luau Day experiment


Posted at 17 Sep 2008 02:27:31 PM

Five stars to this recipe for Key Lime Bars (or Squares, for those of us not in Minnesota). I made a double-batch last night for Luau Day at work, and from what I may have licked off the spatula, they are amazing. A couple of random annotations, as noted in the original recipe on Martha's site --

* 23 key limes for 2/3 cups juice? Are they looking at them, poking 'em with a stick to get a few drops out, then throwing them away? You've got to be kidding me.
* In any case, it's tough to get key limes in Missouri in September, so I used bottled key lime juice. Each bottle had ~1/2 cup in them, and as a commenter had mentioned that they were a bit over-the-top with the full 2/3 cup called for, I used only 1 full cup for the double batch.
* I -wish- they made springform square pans.
* I also should try to remember that just because my mother has an armful of niftily-shaped spatulas, I do not also have the same resources. Hooray for lifting tiny custardy squares out of a 9x9 with a bread knife?

Original recipe is under the cut --

( Click for the rest )


In other news, we're gearing up for the wedding. I'm SO FAR BEYOND the "I wish it was over" stage, but despite that things are coming together. We've got clothes (well, I do... still no idea what Dan'll be wearing). We have my ring, and his is en route. We have an officiant, we have food, we have guests. It's a party!




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Bodice, part 2.


Posted at 09 Sep 2008 02:18:45 PM

Hooray! I got more fusible interfacing today. Maybe I can actually finish this bodice in something like a couple of weeks instead of half a year? From the research I did (after the fact, of course) I believe that I sewed one of the pieces of rigiline in 'backwards' - that is, curving away from the body instead of toward it. However, since it's such a tight-fitting garment anyway I'm not particularly worried about it.

Am starting to think that I'm going to end up buying a fishtail skirt, just so I can take it apart and get a pattern that way. It's irritating, honestly - how hard would it be to make a real pattern for this?

Still annoyed at my hours at work, and no sign of them changing soon even just for raid nights. Over-privileged, if this is the worst thing to happen to me, blah blah yadda yadda. Still annoyed.

I picked up a 5.3cu ft. chest freezer this weekend, and cleaned out the upstairs freezer as soon as it'd been cooling for 24 hours on the dot. Hooray! Now I'm contemplating the freezer specials at John's Butcher Shoppee (I swear, that's spelled right) as they look like decent deals. One could wish they included some lamb, even just chops or stew meat, but maybe I can wrangle some sort of swap.




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I love potstickers.


Posted at 17 Sep 2008 09:47:52 AM

114.

That's the total number of potstickers that bbqdaffid and I made on Saturday. Phew!

Our recipe was based on Jaden Hair's (SteamyKitchen.com). We used chicken, turkey, bok choy*, green onion and ginger. If we'd remembered bamboo shoots, they would have been in there too. Wrapping them wasn't nearly as hard as I'd anticipated, and the only real 'gotcha' is that the edges of the finished dumplings like to dry out a bit. If we hadn't been making quite so many I doubt they would have been sitting out for very long, though, so YMMV.

A dozen of the first ones were cooked up on the spot and dipped in hoisin. We had to make sure they were edible, right? The verdict was 'darn tasty', so on we labored.

102 dumplings later, and we were out of filling. We froze them overnight, then foodsaver'd them up in packages of 10. We each took half - 50 apiece. I have plans for some of mine, accompanying a beef and asparagus stirfry tomorrow night.




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The next experiment: garlic knots


Posted at 28 Jul 2008 09:23:37 AM

I think this will be my next experiment: Buttery Garlic Knots.


Photo (C) Kelly Wright @ Sass and Veracity

I can find no fault with that picture.

So.. who wants to come over for a spaghetti night sometime soon? :D




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Baking experiments


Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:58:21 AM

So I experimented with my new bread machine's recipe for cinnamon buns this weekend. It -says- that 2lbs of dough makes 24 rolls... I beg to differ ;) If they're bitesize, maybe you'd get 24 out of it. I got about 16 with my first attempt of 1.5lbs, and overbaked them by a good 5 minutes. I blame the recipe for that one.

So I stripped out the best 8 and brought them to bbqdaffid's bbq.

This morning, I got up and made a second batch. 2 lbs of dough, didn't divide the dough into halves but just rolled it all out in one big piece, and rolled it up into one GIANT log. I got 13 buns counting the two end pieces, baked them for 20 minutes, and got some darned tasty cinnamon buns :D





Half were a housewarming present for , half are munchies for the coming days. A successful experiment, I think!

One of my tomato plants has its first blossom. With any luck (and I can't believe I'm hoping for this) some bees will wander through and do its job, and we will have tomatoes! I'm still not sure that I'm not carefully cultivating some weeds in the form of faux-pepper plants, but time will tell.