Archive for Pumpkins

Decorative Salad

Posted in Cooking, Food, Health, Life, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2014 by urbannight

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This is the story of salads.  Or of the salads I think I ought to be eating. Because every time I go to Lauritzen Gardens I think about salads. They always have planters planted full of things that look like salad. Many types of salad greens make decorative plantings and a number of flowers are actually edible.

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On any given day I kinda crave a good salad. But I’m terrible at it. I don’t eat it fast enough and salad fixings end up going to waste. A bowl of greens with a tiny bit of dressing isn’t to difficult to do, but a really good salad takes a lot of work. Cutting up cauliflower and broccoli into really fine bits, mincing sandwich ham, onions, chives. My mother makes very fine, very meticulous salads. It it is going to be for more than her an my dad, she puts the different salad ingredients into different bowls so people can put what they want into their salads. I love having my mom’s salads. Only she lives in Idaho and I live in Nebraska.

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I have been thinking about salads and wanting them a lot more often lately as I keep thinking about losing weight, getting my blood sugar and blood pressure down, just getting more healthy in general. In fact, I mentioned several times today, to my roommate, that I wanted a salad and wanted to get salad ingredients at the store. I thought it was clear that I liked the idea of a trip to the store. He ended up going through the drive through on the way home.

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Now, I can eat fairly okay at this particular fast food place. If I’m careful, I can keep it weight friendly and stay in my bounds for my blood sugar. I have to avoid soda thought. My roommate is also diabetic and his latest doctor visits have seen a great deal of improvement while mine have somehow gotten worse. It doesn’t help that CHI and BCBS didn’t renew their contract and now everyone is trying to find new doctors and the waiting lists are 2 months long to get in to see anyone.

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Needless to say, no salad, no salad fixing for tomorrow, and going through my photos makes me want a salad even though I am no longer hungry. I am also wanting to find cooking pumpkins, because cooked pumpkin tastes yummy.

Cooked pumpkin is yummy.  It is just another type of squash or gourd after all.  But sometimes, some squash can look a little obscene.  Or do I just have a dirty mind?

Cooked pumpkin is yummy. It is just another type of squash or gourd after all. But sometimes, some squash can look a little obscene. Or do I just have a dirty mind?

Projects Update, No Tardis Today

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Hobby, Holiday, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by urbannight

I haven’t been working on my Tardis project because I’ve been doing a couple other things.  Here is a sampling of them.

One of the stitching magazines came out with a great Halloween pattern issue. This one shouldn’t take to long.

I’m changing the colors.

Here is a teaser of what it will look like.

This is a rather huge design. This shows about 4 pages of the pattern stitched. The pattern was made by Heaven and Earth and they specialize in turning paintings and artwork into stitch patterns. This is about 200 hours of work and it just a fraction of the pattern.

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Elegant Pumpkins. After I took the picture, I finished the purple swirls and have started filling in the spaces. They are filled with a silver braid.

Teresa Wentzler’s Futurecast is almost done. Just the last of the black border and then the back stitching, and last of all, the beading. I wanted to get a feel for the dragon so I started the back stitching already. It sure made the clawed back foot pop.

The fabric name is something kind of ordinary like “pretty in purple” or “princess purple”. I can’t really remember. I was thinking about doing two matching Halloween patterns in reverse colors. You will see why I picked that green fiber in a moment.

The green fabric was called “Tortured Toad”. I had to buy it for the name alone. I got some purple fiber to go with it. A friend said that instead of doing anything like a couple of pumpkins or cat shapes, I should do two more Tardi in the reverse colors and have a matched set of ‘Halloween’ Tardi.

After taking a ton of photo’s, I’ve decided my cubicle is not a good location for taking pictures of stitchery. I had a TERRIBLE time of getting good photos without glare or blurring. My chair isn’t flat but it had the nice black background. But spots that didn’t lay flat tended to blur. I’m going to have to lay things on the table with a black cloth if I want to get good stitched photos. And in a place with enough light to turn my flash off. Some of the fibers and fabrics get a little shiny and reflect the flash.

Halloween at Work.

Posted in Entertainment, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2012 by urbannight

I had a few Halloween items in my desk drawer, so I pulled them out and started putting them up.

Most of these are actually my normal year round stuff. So don’t get confused. I a Halloween Girl.

Last night, my roommate tossed me a box after he got home from class. Pumpkin Lights! My overhead lights are a bit to bright. I may have to come in on a weekend, while it is dark, to get a better photo.

Sorry for the blur. My camera refuses to take a clearer photo. Maybe my camera is afraid of it.

The coffin was an item stashed in a desk drawer. Inside is a Halloween candle I would like to use but it is so perfect for stabilizing it and making it stand nice and neat with some weight to it.

Some of my beloved skulls.

I brought these in to work for food days. But I never want to use them. I would rather have them to look at.

This is the Smaller Spider

I actually hate spiders and was glad my roommate brought home the pumpkins rather than the spiders. Yet I have two giant spider decorations. I have to bring in the bigger one and put it in the corner behind my computer monitors.

When do you start preparing for Halloween?

Posted in Apartments, Entertainment, Food, Holiday, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2012 by urbannight

For me, it is now.

Once, when I had a house, someone came over and said they liked what I was doing for Halloween. I looked around, trying to figure out what they were talking about. I hadn’t pulled out my Halloween tubs yet.

Some people collect geese, cows, and/or eggplants, to name a few of the common combinations.

I collect Cats, Pumpkins, and Skulls. It tends to blend in with the Halloween stuff really well.

Now it is time to start pulling out the ACTUAL Halloween stuff.

What do I need to do first?

Stop eating. Really. Seriously. Don’t you think that is a good place to start? Maybe I can survive on oatmeal packets, protein shakes, and celery for fiber. Don’t you think that is a good idea?

No. Well, you are probably correct. That might be going too far. But I am trying to lose some weight. I just won’t be nearly as far along by Halloween as I want to be. So I think I’ll be a death maiden. Or just be Death. My only real problem is that all the scythes I’ve seen are so horrible that I can’t bring myself to buy one. I wouldn’t mind a real one. That would be worth the money. I just don’t think I’ll be allowed to take it to work or to any Halloween event.

(On a completely unrelated note, as I hear someone say, “My Goodness”, I really want to know why it is never, “My Badness”. The assumption is that the speaker is always and can’t figure out what went wrong. Maybe that is why Josh Whedon introduced the term, “My Bad”, for when is WAS the fault of the speaker that something went wrong. At least, that is where I started hearing the term used.)

Now, back to Halloween preparatory work.

One of the first things I need to do is clean and re-organize the bathroom. 1. Because it needs to be cleaned again. 2. It needs reorganizing in general. 3. It needs reorganizing in specific because I have some Halloween specific cosmetics and do-dads and misc stuff that got stored in the small bathroom storage tubs.

Cleaning and reorganizing the bedroom is also vital. 1. Because it is driving me crazy. 2. When it gets messy or disorganized enough to bother the cats, they start to keep me up all hours of the night. Why this happens, I don’t know. But it is how my cats seem to function. I need to be well rested and well organized to do a great Halloween display and to know what I have available that will work for costuming. I’ve always found the best costumes to be the ones created out of what people own and not from prepackaged kits.

Of course, this leads me to cleaning and reorganizing the computer room and closet. This is mostly just because.

Next gets into the nitty gritty. I can pull out my Halloween storage tubs. If I have a cleaned up bedroom and computer room, I’ve a place to put the tubs while in the ‘active’ Halloween Season. This is Mid-August through Thanksgiving. I like a long Halloween.

I can most of the stuff up on the walls pretty quickly as I still have the clear plastic hooks on the walls. The porch will take longer. I think I need more Halloween things for the porch. I would love a really good hanging skeleton. Most are too junky for me to waste money on.

I should take the time to finish going through the last four general storage tugs as well. Get them weeded out while I’m messing about with tubs.

I need to make a good Halloween menu for the month of October too. One that focuses on meat and veggies and yet manages to come across as both Fall and Halloween creepy. I like creepy. There was facebook photo of black foods a few days back that looked wonderful. There are so many black fruits and veggie and stuff that people don’t always thing of but were not weird and strange exotic foods.

I am clearly far too eager to get started on this project. I also have to pick up my two Halloween stitch pattern books after work tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Tardis Update and Other Pretties

Posted in Art, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by urbannight

Close up, just for the fun of it.

Tilting through time and space.

This is simple embroidery with light blue silk on crushed black velvet. I learned several things. 1. Fabric pencils will not work on velvet. 2. Crushed velvet is stretchy. 3. Even with the use of rulers, straight pins, and very carefully trying NOT to stretch the fabric, it is nearly impossible to get straight lines on velvet. Some told me to call it the Leaning Tower of Tardis. Another suggestion was the Leaning Tardis of Gallifrey. I liked the suggesting that it is the Tardis traveling, because it is always shown tilting at odd angles through space.

Needlepoint on Black Canvas

This is clearly my favorite. Okay, maybe not so clear to you. But I’m telling you it is. I am very happy how it turned out. I used variegated cotton, DMC Pearle Cotton, Silk Splendor, and metallic to give it textural interest and stitched in a couple different patterns to give it visual interest. I am very pleased with it and can’t wait to get it matted and framed.

Futurecast, incomplete

This little Teresa Wentzler free pattern is nearly done. I picked a variegated that seemed to be red, black, and white. But when I went to match colors for the stitching, it turned out to be a sort of dark, hot pink. I still would like to do one with more red.

I would also like to find a Halloween variegated that includes orange and purple and black to do a Halloween dragon. But that might be too specific. I might have to hunt around for orange and black instead.  A coworker keeps saying I need to do a blue one.  Hmmm, blue and something and silver.  I still have to decide the beads on this one.  I’m not sure if I want to use one color or three colors.  I figure I’ll not worry about it yet.  Beads go on  last anyway.

Elegant Pumpkins

As you can see, Elegant Pumpkins is coming along nicely.  I am having trouble getting two of the fibers. But I’m sure I’ll find a way to get it done.  I like how I can sit down at the coffee table and get large sections done with a good movie.  It is the largest of the items I’m currently, actively, working on. I have some that are larger that I’ve set aside for the time being.

Ruffle Scarf

This is a ruffle scarf made with ruffle ‘yarn’. To be more accurate, this is machine crocheted lace acting like a yarn.  I want to find the ribbon yarn as well.  That is a ribbon with machine stitched loops running along the top that you can knit or crochet through. This was very easy to start but difficult to figure out how to end. I did it by counting the loops I needed to cast off and then cutting off the lace but leaving the top line of stitching intact, so I would have something that could be knotted and woven into the top row of the scarf.

What I did when I forgot my book.

Posted in Books, Food, Life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by urbannight

Futurecast by Teresa Wentzler

I NEED my mental break at lunch.  I prefer to read a book.  It takes me away from the office and into another world.  This is why I prefer to read Science Fiction or Fantasy novels as well.  But I forgot my book yesterday and instead grabbed the book I had jus finished.    I also forgot my breakfast and lunch in the fridge.  At least I didn’t leave it on the counter.

But I still needed to do SOMETHING at lunch.  I hate being bored during that time.  Being bored on company time is bad enough.  Being bored on my own time is somehow worse.

It’s a good thing I had two stitching projects with me.  The down side is that I normally do something while stitching.  Watch t.v. or a dvd or chat with people.  Not an option in my cube.  (I hate the lunch room.)  So it was still a little tedious.

I worked on this little dragon.  Maybe I’ll finish it soon and can post a picture of it completed. 

I also need to update my Tardis Project.  I have two items finished.  In the stitching world there is something we call finished but not finished.  The stitching is done but it hasn’t been turned into anything yet.  I also made a good bit of progress on my Elegant Pumpkins.  I’m still having trouble tracking down two of the colors.  Once I get those photographed, I’ll be posting that update. 

But in the meantime, here is a sample of the little dragon.  The pattern is called Futurecast and it is by Teresa Wentzler.  A lot of people hate Wentzler patterns because they tend to be ‘advanced’.  They make massive use of blending two different colors and they use tons of partial cross stitches. 

This is a free pattern on her website.  It is designed so the stitcher can easily alter the color scheme to whatever he or she wants.  I’m not blending two colors for every symbol.  I’m just using one.  So there is a little less subtlety.  I may do so if I stitch it again.  It’s not too big and the ease of swapping colors makes it a great pattern for stitching gifts.  It is a good introduction on how to change colors on patterns and the partial stitches are kept to a minimum so it is also a good introduction to Teresa Wentzler patterns in general.

Tardis Project Update

Posted in Art, Entertainment with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2012 by urbannight

I thought it was a good time to give an update on this project. I hope to have some more pictures this weekend. I haven’t worked on it much because I was working on pumpkins. I also had to do a few things to get up to speed.

I picked up the additional fibers for the canvaswork/needlepoint version. But I still need stretcher bars in the correct size to which to tack it. These are proving harder to find than I expected. What is really annoying is that I’m pretty sure I have some that would be just right if only I could find them.

I also started the beaded version but realized that the pattern would not work as it was done for stitchery. The outline bits would need to have actual rows and therefore I needed to rechart it. I got that finished and now I need to restart it.

Outline Key for beading. Done in Black Beads.

Placement Chart for Colored Beads.

Tardis Update and Other Projects.

Posted in Advertising, Books, Holiday, Life, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by urbannight

I thought I would do that stitchery update now.

Rosemary

This is Rosemary. One of the store cats at the Mystery Bookstore. All cats seem to love sleeping on stitching supplies.

Surprize Stripe

Knitting w/ Surprize Stripe

This is a sofa blanket I’m making with ‘I Love This Yarn’ brand yarn in the color Surprise Stripe 804. I love it. This yarn has the most perfect name ever. It is great to work with. It is a Hobby Lobby exclusive yarn. It doesn’t fray or unravel like other yarns if you have to keep ripping it out and restarting. If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby near you so you can get this yarn then I feel very sad for you.

Tardis Blackwork

It is starting to look like a TARDIS.

I could have been farther along. You would think that just outlining with the double running stitch would go more quickly. But it is a bit boring, to tell the truth. This is usually my complaint when working with one color only. There is also the issue of getting each stitch to lay right. I’m actually using three strands and sometimes it wants to twist or it just refuses to lay nicely and I have to make several attempts on a troublesome stitch. The outline would have been done if I hadn’t also suddenly wanted to work on pumpkins.

Elegant Pumpins

DMC 832 Golden Olive

I love projects with pumpkins and Halloween themes. I fell in love with this one even if it is more Harvest than Halloween. This is Elegant Pumpkins on a lovely green evenweave. I’ve forgotten the exact type of fabric. The color, Golden Olive, is very heavy on golden. It is supposed to be heavy on the olive if the magazine photo is any indication.

Elegant Pumpkins  This is what the finished version should look like. The photo from my camera loaded onto this computer seems to be true to the image I see in the magazine. But since colors don’t show up the same on all computers, readers may see something different. All I know is that the pumpkin I’m stitching is the rather green looking one to the front right of the picture. What I’m stitching looks very orangey gold rather than golden olive. The primary color is normally the second word in a color description and the first word is the direction the primary color seems to be tinted towards.

Spooky Jack with Kitty Cat

Spooky Jack with Kitty Cat

Like I said. I love Pumpkins, Jack’O’Lanterns, and Halloween stuff. As you can see by my chubby little shoulder here, I love them so much I have one inked onto my skin.

Random Lunch-Time Update

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Food, Life, Politics, Tea, Uncategorized, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by urbannight

I shall have to clock back in from lunch soon so I shall type a few sentences to share.

Due to a technical difficulty, I can’t post pictures for an update on the TARDIS project, the pumpkin project, the yarn projects, and various other projects. (I left the cord in another bag)

I did use most of lunch to try to catch up with all the blogs I follow.  I’ve gotten a bit behind.

News articles left me feeling more misanthropic and politically annoyed than usual and I may rant about it at another time.  If I remember.

Half a dose of Pain Killer PM is enough to make you drowsy enough to sleep through alarms but is not enough pain killer to make a pulled muscle and headache go away quickly.  I’m pretty sure it was the cat’s fault.

Coffee taste never lives up to smell and it takes 14 creamers and 10 sugars to make it at least drinkable.

Why do people think their claims can be handled within three hours of being turned in?  In an age when 3 minutes in a microwave is too long to wait everything must get done instantly.  Right?

I’m rereading too many of my Terry Pratchett books.  I found myself writing about ‘punnes’, you know, plays on words.

I have a large stack of fantasy, mystery, sci-fi novels to read and I keep buying more, but they just seem to dark and I’m not in the mood for dark.  So I keep rereading the lighter, amusing stuff I already own.

Time may be up now.

 

Terrible Tuesdays and Thoughts on Random Things as Triggered by On-Line Headlines.

Posted in Advertising, Entertainment, Food, Life, Politics, Work, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2012 by urbannight

Another struggle of a morning ensues on this dark and wet a.m.  On my drive home last night, after a delicious dinner at Petrow’s, I decide to get committed to losing 100 lbs.  I was up so late Sunday night that I thought going to bed early would be no problem.  Then I could get up a little early and work out. 

I had this great idea for a tattoo to represent the successful loss of that weight.  A pile of pumpkins.  One for each 10 lbs.  Only one pumpkin needs to be a jack’o’lantern and one needs to be a skull rather than a pumpkin.  And a little black cat if it could be tucked in someplace.  I was thinking one of my butt cheeks would be the ideal location for this.  I can’t draw at all so would need to find a designer to work something up for me.

I go to bed 9:30ish and have no luck.  I get up for a little while and then go to bed at what I consider my proper bed time.  Only I still can’t sleep.  I did two crosswords.  TWO!  Normally I do one or even half of one and I’m ready to fall asleep.  I then read for a while.  I finally turn out the light at midnight and fall asleep.  And then proceed to oversleep by 18 minutes.  No workout for me.  No proper shower to get the last little bit of blue out of my hair either.  Not enough time.  Sticking my head under the sink didn’t work out very well.

Breakfast ends up a cup of easy-mac, and original flavor Slim Jim, and a SoBe Lifewater, 0 calories.  Yumberry Pomegranate, antioxidants, Vitamins C & E, Ginger and Dandelion root extract, to be exact.  Things you didn’t need to know on a Tuesday morning.

Work proves to be something of a repeat of yesterday with more frustration.  So I read a little news and get even more upset about that shooting of a teen inFlorida.  Turned out the neighborhood watch guy wasn’t even a member of any registered neighborhood watch group.  So he is just some cop wannabe out patrolling the streets he lives on with a gun.  That is someone who is looking for an opportunity to take someone down.  He wanted to have an opportunity to use that gun in my book.  Pisses me off that he is was not arrested and he was just let go, feeling justified in his action. 

Of course, I feel a little worried about the fact I emailed that police department telling them that they should be ashamed of themselves.  I probably shouldn’t have.  But I wasn’t properly awake yet and it seemed like a good idea when the brain was only half functioning.

On the other hand, I feel good about a new Israeli law and wish more countries would do something like it.  In an attempt to combat eating disorders and enforce truth in advertising, they are 1. not allowing the use of underweight models in advertising and 2. ads must indicate if any airbrushing or altering was done to any photos to make the models look thinner or otherwise alter the appearance.  

I think this is a good thing.  I remember, back before my sister lost the baby weight from her second pregnancy, there was a program on models on the t.v.  My brother-in-law made a comment wishing my sister was as thin and healthy as the models.  The program then went on to describe all the health problems models for which models were at risk.  Because an overweight person can be healthy but underweight people can’t be healthy because there is no way for them to be getting the basic proper nutrition.  My brother-in-law took back what he said before the show.  My sister and I knew what it was about from the start.  Which is why we didn’t get on his case when he first made the comment.  He quickly realized his error without having to be corrected by any of us.

Of course, this is only for ads produced inIsrael and not for foreign ads.  I think they should hold foreign ads to the standard as well.  That way it would for a large numbers of manufactures of fashion advertising to modify what they do.  I hope other countries take notice and start passing these laws.

Meanwhile, I’m amused at China’s new law to ban naming supplements after sex, god, or immortal and banning the use of powerful, magical results, miraculous, and extraordinary as descriptors of products.  They don’t want advertisers and businesses using vulgarity or the belief in the supernatural to sell things.  They think that will ‘restore confidence’ in the country’s goods.  Maybe not using lead in things, among the other issues they have had, would be a better place to start.

And can anyone tell me why you need workout clothing to ‘flatter your figure’?  Really?  The point is to get a figure.  If you have a good one already, you will already look good in almost any workout clothing.  If you don’t have one, workout clothes to make you look better will not help you get there. 

I did a group fitness challenge at work last year that included a subscription to a fitness magazine.  It was the worst fitness magazine I’ve ever seen.  (it is a popular one for women) It was hard to find the actual fitness articles because of all the ads.  One issue had only one real article involving fitness.  And even that one didn’t have anything to do with actual fitness.  It was how to pick up guys at the gym. 

Apparently writers are still catering to the idea women only workout to meet men.  Hmmm, I don’t think so.  I’m going to the gym to get in shape and lose weight.  I’m going to get messy and sweaty and sticky.  I don’t want to wear make-up because I don’t want it to run all over my face.  Really, you think I’m going to be in the mood to pick up guys?

Have I left anything out?  Probably.  I know had a dozen random thoughts floating in my head this morning.  I know I formulated a paragraph here and there on various topics.  I’m now waiting around for the Mystery Bookstore to open up.  Inside is the Stitch in Crime needle craft store.  I need to find out if she had some silk fiber in Tardis blue.  If so, I will pick it up at lunch.  After work, I’m going to stop at a fabric store and get some black silk.  I may get started on my Tardis Throw Pillow tonight. 

But I’ve said it before and will probably do so again, “I hate morning.” I am not a morning person.