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.