Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stuck in a rut?

I crochet in phases that seem to have no middle ground. I am either obsessing about new designs for my shop and making so many things at once that I can't keep them straight, or I'm having to force myself to pick up a hook and feeling uninspired by the yarn and the piece I'm creating.

I really hate crafting when I'm on the lower end of the spectrum, but it's during those times that I tell myself that crocheting is part of the work I must do and I press on. Happily enough, those low times don't usually last that long, and are far outnumbered by the obsessive times. Right now, I find myself nearing a low time, yet I have three active projects on my plate.

It seems that
legwarmers are somewhat popular right now, and I've never made any, so I decided to try to make a pair. I'm using Lion Brand Homespun in this beautiful grey color and a ribbing pattern that I adapted from the wristband of a pair of crochet mittens. I was about halfway done with the first one when I started hitting my rut, and coincidently, was running out of yarn too. At least my bad mood had good timing. :) But now I've got some more yarn and am ready to get them finished! Probably should, before warm weather gets here. Legwarmers don't go as well with shorts!

My second project is working with a lot of scrap yarn that I've had piling up forever, just little ball and bundles left over from skeins used for scarves and whatnot. I'm making small, 3x3 inch granny squares out of them, most of them using two colors, some three, and hopefully when I get them all done they'll combine into something pretty (most likely a scarf).

My third project I haven't started yet, but have on my brain, and it's my first Saint Patricks day themed item. And probably my only one. My street team, the
Etsy OWLS is having a Saint Patricks Day challenge coming up next week. I have an idea revolving around the tradition of pinching someone who isn't wearing green, I just need to get cracking on it.

Sometimes those ruts have bad timing. :( I would love to hear about what everyone does to get through their own crafting or other type ruts!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Adventures in Cooking: Tortilla Espanola!

As most of the people who read this blog (all two of you!) know, this time last year I was in Spain. In honor of that fact, I've been really trying to incorporate some of my favorite things from Spain into my real life here. The 1 year anniversary of all things Spain reminded me that I loved certain things there and can have them here Maria Cookies and chorizo...

One of my favorite foods in Spain was
tortilla espanola or Spanish omelet. Don't let the word omelet fool you, this is different than your average breakfast egg. Made with eggs, potatoes, and onions, this food shows up in a variety of ways: wedges several inches thick on lunch menus, thin pieces on chunks of bread like a sandwich, or on the Tapas scene in small, toothpick adorned pieces ready to be served the beverage of your choice (and in a lot of places, included with the price of your drink!)

I haven't really explored many actual areas of Spanish cooking yet, though there are several recipes on the list of things to try, this is the first thing I really wanted to make. I didn't try at all until a few weeks ago, and was sad to report that the attempt failed miserably, largely in part to a bad recipe and the fact that I didn't really know what I was doing.

For anyone who knows how to handle an egg, the concept of a tortilla espanola is simple enough: it's basically finely sliced potatoed cooked in an egg. But this little tortilla is tricky! My first attempt worked well enough until a bit past the midpoint, the dastardly flip. This is accomplished using a plate, and you actually have to turn the tortilla out of the pan and put it back in again (in Spain there's a plate especially made for tortillas!) My first time through there wasn't enough egg on the bottom of the tortilla, and it crumbled when I flipped it out of the pan. So we pretty much had scrambled eggs with potatoes, which wasn't good at all! (I mean, it tasted fine, but it wasn't a tortilla...) The reason I said this attempt was with a bad recipe was because it called for the potatoes to be fried, and then for the egg to be poured over them in the pan. This doesn't cut it. Period.

The second time around I was a bit nervous, so I followed a recipe from that showed up in my inbox a bit after the first attempt, only I made it half the size! The idea was the same as the first but there were some key differences: make sure to use enough oil when frying the potatoes to cover them, mix the eggs with the potatoes outside of the pan, and the option (which I chose) to let the fried potatoes and egg mixture sit together in a bowl for like 10 minutes before putting them in the pan to fry. The difference was so incredible, and the end result was an actual (mostly) intact tortilla!!!

1. potatoes frying, 2. Waiting in the bowl, 3. tortilla frying, 4. flip 1, 5. flip 2, 6. tortilla!

Want to try your own? Here's the best resources I've found so far!

Food Network
Fine Cooking

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The listing binge & some good reading somewhere else...

Just wanted to share some good articles this week from our team blog. I did a spotlight there on Monday about my listing binge and then there are also two articles by lovealisa and jbirkemeierphoto

The purse on the right is from my listing binge. It's ending today, as I don't have time to finish what I was working on for Saturday and now I have to work today (when I wasn't supposed to). I did make it for 9 days, with 8 new items and two renews. I figured out that fingerless gloves work up VERY quickly and made 3 pair :) and I got really inspired by a batch of yarn I got in the mail, and used almost all of it over the course of making several new items.

I'm hoping to pick back up and list on Sunday and Monday, and then probably just take it from there. I didn't get any sales from the binge, but I did get a LOT of views and several hearts over the course of those days it's getting me noticed, at least. Which is always good. Then there's getting up my shop inventory, which I really wanted to do since my photos are leaving and moving to dreambird which I'm sharing with Erin of CagedBirdSings

This is one pair of the gloves. Aren't they the cutest? I just love them. Don't you just love them? Go love them. :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

February Shopping Extravaganza sponsored by TeamEsst

The Etsy Supply Street Team is sponsoring the February Shopping Extravaganza on Etsy The following is my sales info and then below is the info on the event from TeamESST

Free Shipping Worldwide this weekend! Sale ends 2/9 free worldwide shipping is ONLY on 'SDJ' items. Please look for listings with SDJ or search 'SDJ' in our shop heading. Here's all SDJ items!

I am also offering Free Worldwide Shipping storewide in my main shop, at

Please note prices do not reflect shipping charges and buyers should wait for an adjusted invoice prior to payment or expect shipping to be refunded. CONVO or put code *FSE* or February Shopping Extravaganza in the Notes to Seller. If I do not know, I will not refund shipping automatically!

Here is the Info on the event as copied from the TeamESST blog

The Etsy Supply Street Team is sponsoring a "First Weekend Shopping Extravaganza" for the month of February. We invite all Etsians of every category to participate by placing an announcement in your shop and join us with promoting your shops on the Promo Thread in the Etsy Forums.

This is not a Sale, it is a Shopping Event sponsored by the Etsy Supply Street Team. On the first weekend of each month, Team ESST will sponsor the event from Thursday - Sunday by promoting it both on and off of Etsy.

This month's event will occur from February 5th -8th. Please look for the post "February Shopping Extravaganza sponsored by Team ESST" in the Promos section of the Etsy Forums beginning on Thursday, February 5th around 12:00 AM EDT.

Because Etsy is a Global Marketplace and the seasons, cultures and holidays can vary quite a bit, there is no overall theme. However, we do strongly encourage shops to have a feature, theme or sale as this can pique interest and help draw people to your shop.

You do not have to participate for the whole weekend as we will be posting a fresh new thread each day of the event. You can easily find the new link by checking the last post of the old thread each day.

To join our Shopping Extravaganza, the only requirement is to help promote the event by joining in and bumping the Promotion Thread throughout the weekend. In the thread, please let us know about your shop and what you have to offer our shoppers.

If you blog or twitter, please promote this event to those outside of the Etsy community. It will provide the Etsy community with publicity and add visibility to our shops. As this will become a monthly event, it will be something for shoppers to look forward to.

The First Weekend Shopping Event is sponsored by Team ESST, not by Etsy. More information about our team can be found right here on our blog. If you have any questions about this event please convo one of our members at
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