May 28: Cream cheese

May 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

It’s the real deal, this homemade cream cheese. One more thing I will no longer buy (I haven’t bought yogurt in years).  It was frustrating to figure out how to hang it so that the whey can drip into a bowl, and I used a whole lot of cheese cloth, but the results are great, especially with D’s homemade bagels.




May 26 and 27: Cheeses and messages

May 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

The long weekend and too much milk in the refrigerator prompted me to make some cheese. I made paneer yesterday (no pictures, sorry, but I posted about it once before), and am making cream cheese today. It will be done tomorrow night.  The book I use is called Homemade Living: Home Dairy with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Make Cheese, Yogurt, Butter & More. I just make the easy cheeses that require only milk, liquid rennet, calcium chloride, lemon juice,  and mesophilic cultures. I get my cheesemaking supplies online, most of them from Lehman’s (except from calcium chloride, which they don’t sell). I make cheeses that require very little work and are ready to eat right away. We ran out of tofu yesterday and ate our stir fry with paneer instead, and were quite pleased.

The little artist was busy with different projects, but my favorite was writing a message he wants to put in a bottle and throw into the Puget Sound (no photos, sorry, it’s kind of private). He wrote “We are not the only living things on Earth,” and he swears he came up with it by himself. Sometime, that kid is such a mystery. The message launch will happen when it stops raining here (or when we get flooded, so we can just drop it into the water from our window).



May 25: a few things

May 26, 2013 § 1 Comment

It was a creative day today. First we tried out my new unnecessary purchase, a circle cutter and magnet parts for my button-making machine. We can make magnets now! J. and I cut out dozens of pictures, and made two magnets and a button (which featured the implosion of a building; I don’t know where one would wear such a thing).


Then we went to explore the wealthier part of Tacoma. The trip included getting milkshakes, looking at shop windows and rolling in the grass in the park. Here is some of what we saw:


A nice day. A pretty town, if you look in the right places.

May 21-24: sewing and pottery

May 25, 2013 § 1 Comment

Once I realized that I can skip a day of blogging without feeling too bad, I started doing it more often. This week is a good example of that. But, with three finals behind me, all graded, I can now temporarily return to that other life, the one in which I don’t have to grade papers until midnight, one in which I can be creative by choice and not because I am bound by a resolution from last year. I can return to daily posts.

Although I haven’t been blogging, we have still been active in our home. J. and I have decided  to take up sewing. There is a book called Sewing with felt that we picked up from the library, and, after buying some new felt (recycled & U.S. made) and embroidery floss, we got to work. Here is the product of two evenings of sewing:


The one in the middle is a nautical flag. The hearts are filled with soybeans, which make great beanbags.

And today we did something a little out of character, but so much fun! We went to the Painted plate place where J. and I picked out a piece to paint, while drinking coffee and cocoa. What fun, even if we didn’t quite fit the typical customer profile. He was sweet and calm and we had a good time just doing something together instead of our usual banter.


We pick up the fired and glazed pieces in five days. Stay tuned.

May 20: a quick card

May 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Today was the first day of finals week, so the projects have to be quick. It’s my dad’s birthday tomorrow, so I glued an origami butterfly and leaf on a blank postcard, and wrote him a note. If that’s all I can handle right now, then that’s good enough.


May 19: J’s first origami lesson

May 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

You can’t make this kid do anything. Some days I bug him to do this or that with me, and he refuses everything. He hasn’t had any interest in making origami until yesterday, when he woke up, declared he loves making art, made a candle and a card for my dad before breakfast, and then asked me to teach him some origami. So we made a butterfly and purse (from the Minigami book) together. He used the butterfly as a clip for a card to himself reminding him not to be mean, and he had me make him a duck for his purse. Children. They always surprise you.


May 18: Storybook theatre

May 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

On Friday night I slept. This was my creative project for the day: going to bed at nine.

Today, though, I planted half a dozen plants, and I would have photographed them if O. hadn’t eaten a handful of soil.

So instead, here are some pictures from the storybook theatre ballet performance J., O., and I went to:



The performance ended with wishes for happily ever after and I wished for it with all my heart.

May 16: Catching up

May 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

Although I still have the same amount of work as yesterday, a lot of it due tomorrow, I am taking my time tonight. I have finally downloaded the pictures from my camera, ironed the Angry Birds patches on J’s shorts, and took pictures of the kids in their room. This afternoon I bought alpaca wool for felting at the farmers market, which I am very excited about. I picked up some brochures for art classes that I won’t go to, but at least I can dream, and decided that if anything will return my faith and hope, it will be art (and crafting). Tomorrow is the last day of the semester.

Here are some highlights of the past week:

the cheese that didn't make it

the cheese that didn’t make it


our and neighbors’ plants (the rhody is ours) — pictures from the walk to the library



and the kid with a new patch on his shorts

and the kid with a new patch on his shorts

And that’s it for now!


May 15: Don’t give up on me yet

May 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

The work is endless, there is a mouse gnawing under a hutch three feet away from me, and we have a new pet that refuses to eat. I am tired and the world seems too strange for words. This too will end however, and tomorrow is the coffee shop day when we are free to create some art. As a consolation prize, here is a happy little poem from my more optimistic days:


… putting a hand in your back pocket and finding a $20 bill
that you use to buy fresh strawberries or a brand new sky-colored winter cap –
embelished with white clouds and blue
embelished with magical coulds and the blues.

… going through a pile of eaten chestnuts and finding another one still warm
to share; split into almost equal parts, the friend gets the bigger one
in a world called Easy
in a world called Upside-down where nothing is missing and no one.

May 12, 13, and 14: What are we up to these days?

May 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

I have not stopped blogging. I am just waiting to get my life back. Or to give myself permission to log off from work a little before midnight so I can blog.

In any case, I attempted to make queso blanco on Sunday, and that failed miserably, so my five (fifty-five?) minutes of creativity were wasted. The milk never curdled, but it could be because I was in a foul mood.

On Monday, yes, on Monday, I actually forgot to be creative! Even for a second! Until I was in bed, and then I felt very bad. I hope not to have to go through that again.

Today I took some lovely photographs of our and other people’s gardens, because photography really can take no more than five minutes, and because it was a lovely day, but I haven’t had time to download or edit the photos. They will come. Tomorrow, most likely.

But I just need to report to myself here, so I don’t slip into the space where I can’t even find five minutes for myself. Because I have been there many times before.

Finals next week, and then I have promised myself a week off.

I also checked out a few kids’ sewing books. So you know what’s coming!


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