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Friday, May 31, 2013

Superwholock First Rule cross stitch

First rule of Superwholock


I had another plan for today. But this idea tickled me. The above is a digital rendering of the cross stitch pattern below.

Superwholock is a name for that cross section of fandoms that love Supernatural, Doctor Who and Sherlock (BBC)-which would mean my whole family. We watch all 3 shows together, and get into long conversations about the shows and the characters. Yeah, we are a bunch of geeks. Happily so!

The pattern is 100 dpi, and I didn't make color suggestions because it's only 5 colors. Black, grey, blue, light blue and yellow. I think a metallic blending filament would be nice for the chrome on the Metallicar (fandom name for the Impala that Dean drives on Supernatural)

The first rule of Supernatural  is
Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole. (my husband has the teeshirt!)

The first rule of Doctor Who is
The Doctor lies. (TG has the teeshirt!)

And finished off with the quote from Sherlock Holmes-
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

Click the image below for a larger version to print and use as a pattern. If you're a Superwholock fan, you didn't need the above to explain!
1 is black
2 is TARDIS blue (TARDIS)
3 is light blue (bee wings)
4 is yellow (bee stripes)
5 is grey (chrome on Metallicar)



Picking the season for Doctor Who was hard! Christopher Eccleston is my daughter's first Doctor. For lots of great geeky pins, crafty and humor, check out The Amazing Turnip Girl's board. It's my account, but she does all the pinning for that folder, and it's a geekfest. 10,000 pins and counting, she spends hours scouring the net and Pinterest for the best fandom nerd things out there.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Family, love and DIY very basic raised beds for gardening

My husband has been working absolutely insane hours for a few months now. So when he knew he was getting 2 days off in a row and the weather was more than decent, we spent the time working on various projects.

Mostly in my yard. On May 17th it snowed, then we had several days of freezing rains and rain/snow then all the sudden, it got BEAUTIFUL! Just in time for my husband to have those days off and for me to get the rest of my seeds in the ground.

Monday we went and borrowed my dad's truck to pick up soil and lumber for 2 very basic raised beds. The beds are built to my specifications, which means I can sit comfortably on the ground out of side of them and not have to bend to reach. That way it's less likely that gardening will cause strain on my back and knees. They are long and narrow. After some consideration, he decided very simple boxes that he could dissemble in fall made the most sense. So each bed took 2 10 foot long 6x2s and 2 feet worth of 2x2s.

Quick tips if you want to build similar easy beds- we found the 2x2s in the scrap wood section of our local hardware store, one at a 47 inch length was enough for 2 beds and only 50 cents. Remember that a 6x2 isn't actually 6 inches wide. It's actually 5.5 inches. You can also get the lumber rough cut when you buy it, since these are very quick raised beds and nothing fancy, rough cut worked out just fine and meant they went together very quickly once we got home. Adjust measurements as needed for your own beds.

So we got 2 feet cut off of each 2 x 6, and had the 2x2 cut into 5.5 inch lengths (the 2x2, if your curious, is actually 1.5 x 1.5 inches) and that gave us the pieces we needed for each bed.



 Then it was time to put them together. He started by using the impact driver and long screws to create the frame with the 2x6s, then he reinforced each corner with the 2x2s, screwing through the boards into the 2x2s.
Each of these 8x2 feet beds takes 6 cubic feet of soil. We laid down newspaper first to help prevent the grass from coming through in an eco-friendly way. The 3 layers of newspaper will decompose over the summer so roots can go through it if necessary.

Then William, TG and I seeded both beds with annuals. Carrots, peas, lettuce, spinach, various herbs, and several kinds of radishes! We built trellises for the peas using dowels to create tripods, then wrapping those with a very open mesh.

Check out this happy robin who was enjoying the sun as much as we were.

My husband also dug up a couple of the smaller offshoots from the big wild rose bush on the wooded vacant lot near our house to plant them in front of our place for me, and he grilled asparagus, mushrooms and cod for dinner last night. YUM YUM!

The day we went out for the wood, we stopped by Arctic Roadrunner for lunch, they are an Anchorage institution and I recommend them if you are in the area if you like burgers and milkshakes. They have 2 locations, and one of them is right on Campbell Creek, so if you eat outside, you can see the creek as you eat.
This was the sign there. (I'll post this to my Facebook page so you can share it)

Happiness!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Thread crochet soft bangle



This pattern is for the rainbow colored bracelet which is one of my soft bangles. The other bracelet is a wrap bracelet and you can find the pattern for that here.

You will need:

  • Size 10 crochet cotton
  • steel crochet hook- I used a Boye size 7, which is 1.65 mm. If you are using a Susan Bates hook, a size 6 would be a close equivalent.
  • tapestry needle
  • scissors
This is done in chains and single crochets, which means it works up very fast and easily except for the slightly tricky closing of the base. 

Base chain-
Chain 9, single crochet in first chain. Chain 6, skip single crochet and next chain, single crochet in the next chain. Repeat pattern, going back and forth until the bracelet is the right length to fit over your hand, ending with a loop on the opposite side as your starting chain 9 loop. The diagram is in 2 colors and each stitch set begins with the chain 6 and ends with the single crochet.

Chain 4, and single crochet into the 3rd chain from the starting chain. chain 1, and turn to do the last single crochet skipping the single crochet and the chain before it and working in the next single crochet, chain 4, slip stitch to the starting chain/single crochet to join. 

 The outer edge is worked by doing 4 single crochet in each loop, then breaking off the thread to work the single crochets on the other side.

Weave in all ends.

This can be blocked and stiffened into a standard bangle bracelet as well. If you plan to do that, find a bangle you like the fit of, and measure the diameter. Multiply that by 3.14 and make your starting chain that length. To block, I'd wrap a bottle or can with a piece of cardboard and cover with plastic, then use a permanent blocking solution to block. 

The bracelets above were both made with Aunt Lydia's cotton. The pearl bracelet is in Aspen, and the bangle bracelet is in Mexicana. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Less Intricate Flower Mandala to Color

Flower mandala

Remember at the beginning of the month when I posted the really intricate flower mandala to color? Well, here's the simpler version promised then. It uses several of the same elements, resized larger.

Click the images for larger versions to print-

Small JPG version-
Flowers and ladybugs mandala to color- JPG format

Transparent PNG version-
Flower and ladybugs mandala to color- transparent PNG version


Friday, May 24, 2013

Printable Duck Photo Box



It's been a long time since I've done a photo box, but this duck photo that I took this afternoon seemed like a good one for a printable gift box.

Click the image for a larger version, print on card stock, cut out, score fold lines, fold and glue!
printable wood and duck photo box





Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review- Put 'Em Up! Fruit




If there is a book out there that has made me more eager for farmer's markets and for my own berry patches and rhubarb to be ready to harvest, I don't remember it. Put 'Em Up Fruit- A Preserving Guide & Cookbook. Creative Ways to Put 'em Up, Tasty Ways to Use 'em Up is by Sherri Brooks Vinton who also wrote Put 'Em Up.

Enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative, this collection of techniques and recipes for preservation and recipes for using what you've preserved will inspire anyone. It's presented in a great way that can be understood by absolute beginners to canning, dehydration, and other preserving methods. There are great photos throughout the book as inspiration, illustration and instruction.

So what makes this book so great? The variety of fruits and methods is certainly one thing. She explains different methods for preserving everything from every day apples to things like quince. Berries, rhubarb, pears, citrus and my favorite stone fruits are all included. The methods covered create jellies, jams, sauces, gastriques, infusions,homemade vinegar, cordials, fruit leathers and compotes.

The recipes for using up your preserves are also a great reason to enjoy this book. You'd expect a lot of desserts, and you'd be right of course. Fruit lends itself well to desserts, but there are also a lot of savory recipes. Not just for cooking with your preserves, but also one for blueberry ketchup my daughter wants to make after we go blueberry picking later this year. There are main courses and side dishes included in the recipes. The recipes are good for entertaining and family dinners, mostly simple enough to make with great flavor and texture combinations.

The information is fantastic, the author explains the methods step by step in a clear and concise way. She also includes cutting instructions so people can learn the basic knife skills to really make things beautiful. The instructions include great, full color photographs for visual learners.

The book starts with a table of contents of course, but at the end also includes a resources guide and a very complete index.

Absolutely recommended to anyone interested in food preservation and canning. This is one that will be used extensively throughout summer as more things ripen and become available in both my garden and at local farmer's markets.

You can watch videos by the author right here- Put 'Em Up! Fruit - You will learn how to make a blackberry gastrique, how to can using the water bath method and a recipe for using the gastrique with downloadable PDFs of the recipes shown.
The author is also going on tour to promote her book and you can catch her all over the country at farmer's markets and book stores. Check out the schedule HERE.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, I received no other compensation, and my review is my honest opinion of the book. You can read more about my review policy here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Printable quote- You're all beautiful

You're all geniuses- John Lennon quote
You're all geniuses and you're all beautiful. You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. -John Lennon
I hope you all enjoy this quote as much as I do. It will print to 8x10 inches, and because it's black and white it looks fantastic on colored paper. I do these using Astrobrights paper.

Click the image below for a large version to print. The version above is small and shareable from my Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bears at the zoo (photo post)


For Mother's Day, we have a family tradition of going to the zoo. We went on the 13th this year and I had all sorts of plans to get the photos TG and my husband took to include in this post. But since they both keep forgetting, you get to see my bears instead. I really love the brown bears. So I hope you enjoy these photos. Click to see larger versions, but they are resized so they aren't as big as the originals.

This one almost looks like they are cuddling doesn't it?





And just for Rosemary, something that's not a bear.






Sunday, May 19, 2013

Changing the world with #SocialPower

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Social Power for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Social Power is a new way to harness the power of your social networks to create change in the world. 

It's easy to use, you can create an account using Twitter or Facebook to log in, or you can set it up with an email address, login name and password. Once you've started your account, it's easy to create an issue and make a difference

After you create the issue, you share it with your social networks, and Social Power shares it with other users, once 1000 people support your issue, it becomes an Initiative, since every Social Power initiative is potentially resolvable, it gets an Agent of Change working on the issue to find a resolution. 

The issues can be anything you feel passionate about. When I was discussing it with my husband last night, it turned out there were a lot of things that we both feel pretty passionate about. I decided to make my first one not about anything really major, just a personal pet peeve. I love vanilla. It's my favorite flavor, and judging by the continuing popularity of things like vanilla ice cream, I'm not the only one. However, my local convenience store doesn't carry vanilla milk, just chocolate and strawberry. My local supermarket has instant flavoring powders for chocolate, strawberry and banana milk , but not vanilla. Restuarants offer chocolate milk, but again, not vanilla. Vanilla is a natural choice for a lot of people, we really like it! So that was my first "issue".  Vanilla milk should be as easy to find as chocolate milk. You can go support my cause if you agree,comment on it, share it with your social networks, and start your own issue! (if you do that, please link in comments, because I'd love to see it!) Take a look around Social Power for other issues you support!

Social Power- vanilla milk

 

If you're wondering, the glasses used for the photo are 6 ounce glasses. The vanilla milk was made with 1 slighting heaping tsp of super fine sugar, and 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract. The chocolate was made with a powder. 

Watch this video to learn more about how Social Power can work for you. 

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Moose Mandala to color

Moose mandala

MOOSE!
We get them in our neighborhood so often. Generally cows and calves. Alaska is the home of the biggest moose, alces alces giga. My husband has had to call in "moose" to work in the past, because he's not messing with any animal bigger than our car who just wants to hang out in our driveway.

So since moose make me think of Alaska, this is kind of an Alaskan themed mandala. The center represents the North Star, the flowers which are completely not in scale represent our state flower, the forget-me-not (forget-me-nots are tiny in real life. Moose are HUGE), and the sunrise/sunset for our midnight sun in summer when it only gets dark for about an hour then we have a 3 hour long glorious dawn starting about 2 am.

Click on the images below for larger versions to color. Print and color!

Small JPG version:
Moose mandala to color

Large transparent PNG version:
Moose mandala to color- large version


Thursday, May 16, 2013

PS- Don't Forget the Cake! Private Selection Upside Down Cakes

This post brought to you by Private Selection. All opinions are 100% mine.

We do most of our grocery shopping at our local Fred Meyer, which is Kroger store and carries Kroger's Private Selection label foods. Forget everything you know about "store brands"- we like Private Selection a lot, great quality, flavors, ingredients and without a premium price. 

Private Selection

Up there? That's a German Chocolate Private Selection Upside Down Cake. You buy it, zap it, and invert it on a cake plate to serve. It's gooey, warm, hot fudge cake with coconut, caramel and pecans on top. So indulgent and so easy that it makes any meal special very quickly. 

Private Selection Upside Down Cakes come in 3 flavors, German Chocolate, Double Chocolate Molten, and Amber Honey Apple Spice. My favorite is the Amber Honey Apple Spice, my daughter likes the Double Chocolate Molten Cake. They taste homemade because they use great ingredients. 

I recommend a light dinner, maybe salads with spinach, and possibly Private Selection deli meats (Brown Sugar Ham is my family's favorite!) then the super indulgent dessert served with ice cream. A coffee ice cream goes well with chocolate, and vanilla goes well with everything! Warm cake and cold ice cream on a nice summer night outside is just a perfect ending for a day. What are your favorite quick easy meals and desserts? 

Use the Private Selection store locator to find the Kroger's store in your area. If you have a rewards card for your local store, you can download a digital coupon to your card for 1.00 off Private Selection Upside Down Cakes, or you can get 2 dollars off by sharing the coupon with friends on Facebook!

Private Selection Upside Down Cakes coupon

 

•Disclaimer: 
Coupon ends 6/2/13. Official Rules. In order to load these coupons to your card, you will need to sign into your Kroger account or set up a Kroger account and enter your card number. Limit one use per digital coupon. Digital offers are not eligible on Manager's Specials, cannot be combined with manufacturer paper coupons on the purchase of a single item, and do not double. Not all items are available in all stores. A limit of 150 coupons can be loaded per household at one time.

Like Private Selection on Facebook for coupons, recipes, and food inspiring photos. Private Selection Upside Down Cakes on Facebook and follow them on Pinterestest for great ideas- Private Selection Upside Down Cakes on Pinterest

Private Selection Upside Down Cakes are wonderful for family celebrations, unexpected company, or for busy days you want to do something special but don't have the time or energy to really get creative. 

Kroger stores include Baker's, City Market, Dillions, Fry's Gerbes, Pay Less, QFC, JayC, King Soopers, Owen's, Ralphs, Smith's and Fred Meyer. 

Visit Sponsor's Site

It's My Birthday- Retro Owl Tape Giveaway


It's my birthday today! So I'm giving away presents. 5 people can win one roll each of Retro Owl Duck® Brand Duct  Tape. I'll even autograph the rolls. I'm sorry, but because of shipping costs, this is USA only. 


So how do you enter? Leave a comment. It's that simple. Make sure you give me some way to get in touch with you if you're the winner. Email address or Ravelry name will do nicely.


Extra entries? Sure. Leave a comment for each one of these that you do-
Follow me on Pinterest
Like Shala's Beadwork and Printables on FB
Share this giveaway on Twitter, Pinterest or FB (link to this page, leave a comment with the link of the page you shared it on)
This giveaway will start today, May 16, 2013 and end on my husband's birthday- June 12, 2013.
Winners will be drawn randomly by The Amazing Turnip Girl.

Good Luck!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peace Symbol Crocheted Earring Pattern


I wasn't sure about posting this pattern, so I asked on FB and a few people said they would like the pattern.

These earrings need to be stiffened to look right, but they are quick to make and are a lot of fun!

You will need:

  • size 10 crochet cotton- I used Aunt Lydia's Mexicana which is a wonderful rainbow variegated thread
  • size 7 (1.5 mm) steel crochet hook
  • tapestry needle
  • Mod Podge (still loving Mod Podge to stiffen crochet!)
  • water
  • earring wires
  • plastic covered cardboard (to pin the earrings on when blocking)
  • rust proof pins
Stitches used:
chain=ch
single crochet= sc
triple treble= tr tr

A triple treble is stitch that you yarn over 4 times, then insert the hook into the stitch, yarn over, pull through the stitch, (6 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through 2 loops (5 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through 2 loops (4 loops on hook) , yarn over, pull through 2 loops (3 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through 2 loops (2 loops on hook), yarn over, pull through final 2 loops. 

For long stitches like that, each wrap on the hook is one more chain in length for the starting chain of the round. Since I use 3 chains as the start for a double crochet round, that means a triple treble is 6 chains for the starting chain.

Earrings- Make 2
Ch 4, slip stitch to make ring.
Round 1: Ch 6, tr tr in ring, chain 9, tr tr in ring 2 times, ch 3, tr tr in ring 2 times, ch 3, tr tr in ring 2 times, ch 9, slip stitch to join in top chain on starting ch 6. 
Round 2: ch 1 (doesn't count as first sc), sc in each stitch around (NOT in the spaces, but actually in the stitches, it looks neater), slip stitch to join in first sc 
Loop- ch 5, sl st in next sc. Break off and weave in ends. 

Now adjust the triple trebles as needed in the ch 4 loop to look nice and neat. Mix equal parts Mod Podge and water- I actually keep the mixture in clean medicine bottle so it's ready to use for other things that need stiffening but only mix a small amount at a time.  Soak the earrings in the mix, and squeeze it out. You may want to blot it slightly with a paper towel. Pin the earrings on the cardboard to block. Nudge the triple trebles to be very close to each other and straight as possible, and make sure the loop on top is open. Let the earrings dry and put them on wires.

For international readers- 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Printable geometric patterned gift boxes- 4 colors

Hey everyone! I hope you enjoy these printable gift boxes in 4 different colors. Print on card stock, cut out, score, fold, glue! Available in green, blue, purple and orange. Click on the image for a larger version.

green printable gift box
orange printable gift box
blue printable gift box
purple printable gift box

Yesterday my family and I went to the zoo, and got to see a polar bear cub that is on it's way to another zoo today. It was a lot of fun, and I'll be posting photos later. 




Monday, May 13, 2013

Book Review- Backyard Foraging


Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat by Ellen Zachos is a collection of weeds as well as commonly grown garden and landscaping plants that are edible and not generally grown for food.

It's written for people who have recently started foraging or who have been doing it only for a short time and would like to know more about what is edible and ways to prepare it. Full color photographs and lots of information written in an easy to follow conversational fashion make it a very accessible book for people who are just starting out.  The plants cover a fairly wide range of regional zones.

It starts with learning how to identify plants to be safe and how to harvest in an ethical way, and then talks about how to harvest in a way that doesn't destroy the appearance of your garden and landscaping. It explains about young shoots, foraging flowers, nuts and fruits and digging for edible roots. It also has a great section on the tools you'll need to enjoy your harvest.

Getting into the plants, each plant is described completely and has both the common name and the Latin name listed. The text explains how to harvest, and which parts of the plants are edible, and how they are best eaten. It will also show dangerous lookalikes and how to tell the difference. It's sectioned by types of edibles.

The first section is leaves and stems that are edible. This includes things like chickweed and miner's lettuce that can be eaten raw in a salad as well as things like fern fiddleheads that are best cooked.

The next section covers edible fruits and flowers. This covers crabapples and highbush cranberries as well as  things like juniper berries, roses and prickly pears.

Next up, nuts and seeds- I'm really impressed with the authors attention to detail about harvesting throughout the book, but this is where it's handiest. Nuts can be hard to harvest and she explains very well about how to harvest and prepare the nuts.

After that, roots, tubers and rhizomes (generally the stuff that is underground)- there are plants you expect to find like wild garlic, but also a lot of flowers that have edible roots and bulbs.

The last regular plant chapter is those superstar plants like my favorite dandelions that are almost all edible. It explains how each part of the plant that is edible might be eaten from root to flower.

Then comes the easy to identify 5 safe mushrooms- everyone who forages and likes mushrooms should become knowledgeable about these. She explains the dangers of mushroom hunting and why mushrooms should always be cooked. Then she shows how to identify spored, gilled and toothed mushrooms. After that, she introduces the reader to 5 kinds of mushrooms that are very easy to identify and safe to eat.

The last chapter covers cooking and recipes for your harvest. It discusses preservation techniques and has some great recipes for jams and jellies. It also has recipes for baked goods, soups and other dishes.

It's very well indexed, and this a book that I happily recommend to anyone who is beginning at foraging and wildcrafting. I've been an active forager for years, and found some things in it that I'd forgotten about or that I didn't know.

Published by Storey Publishing- check out their Facebook page for lots of great contests, recipes and ideas.

I received a complimentary copy of this book to review, I received no other compensation, and my review is my honest opinion of the book. You can read more about my review policy here.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ready for Spring Crocheted Earrings

Crocheted Earring Pattern

It's starting to green a little. I even saw the first dandelion leaves on my yard today. Thread crochet in bright colors is light, summery and casual. These earrings work up really fast and I hope you enjoy the pattern.

Pattern written in US terminology.

You will need:

  • Size 10 Crochet Thread (I used Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread in Aspen because the colorway is one of my favorites)
  • Size 7 crochet hook (1.5mm)
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • 8 rust proof pins
  • piece of cardboard covered with a plastic bag
  • Earring wires (mine are handmade sterling wires)
  • Mod Podge*
  • Water*
*I used Mod Podge to stiffen because I always have Mod Podge on hand and I know it doesn't yellow

Abbreviations used:
  • ch=chain
  • sc=single crochet
  • dc=double crochet
  • sl st= slip stitch
  • st or sts= stitch or stitches
Make 2-

Ch 6, sl st to join in a ring
Round 1: ch 1 (does not count as first st here or through out), 8 sc in ring, sl st to join in first sc
Round 2: ch 1, sc in same stitch, ch 5, skip stitch, sc in next st, ch 5, skip stitch, sc in next st,ch 5, skip stitch, sc in next st, ch 2, dc in first sc to join (4 loops made)
Round 3: ch 1, sc in loop 3 times working toward sc from previous round, sc in sc, sc in next loop 3 times, ch 3 (picot made), sc in same loop 3 times, sc in sc from previous round., Repeat around until the last ch 3 picot, ch 1, dc in first sc to join.
Round 4: ch 1, sc in picot, ch 3, skip 3 sts, dc in next st, ch 5, dc in same st (V stitch made), ch 3, sc in next picot. Work in pattern all the way around, sl st to first sc to join.
Round 5: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc 2 times in first space, sc in dc, sc 3 times in ch 5 loop, ch 7, sl st to join at the 6th ch from hook, ch 1, sc 3 times in same loop, sc in dc, sc 2 times in next space, sc in sc, sc 2 times in next space, sc in dc, sc 3 times in ch 5 loop, ch 3, sc 3 times in same loop, sc in dc, sc 2 times in next space, sc in sc.  Repeat until you're at the first sc and sl st to join. Break off thread and weave in ends.

Now to stiffen!
I mixed the Mod Podge half and half with water in a small pill bottle, then soaked both earring pieces in that solution. Squeezed it out, and then pinned to block on a plastic covered piece of cardboard. As soon as it was mostly dry, I unpinned it and turned them over to let the other side dry more completely, then let the Mod Podge cure for 12 hours and put them on the earring wires. This stiffens it up nicely and still shows stitch definition and the thread very well. 

The earrings wires that I used are made with 20 gauge sterling wire that I shaped around a dowel for the hook, then used bail pliers to make the ring. After that I hammered the wires to harden them and add a nice bit of slightly flattened shaping to them. 

I'm planning to make more earrings, would you like more earring patterns?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May Birthstone and Flower Mandala

May is Lily of the Valley and Emeralds
Happy Birthday to everyone born in May!

Including me! Yay! (want to see my Amazon wishlist?)

The birthstone for May is emerald and the flower is lily of the valley. Lily of the valley is a flower that has long been a symbol for purity and humility. They are small, lovely and have an amazing fragrance that's very popular in perfumes. For the emeralds, I chose an emerald cut emerald of course. 


Click the images for larger versions. Print and color!

Small JPG version:
Lily of the valley and emerald mandala for May

Large transparent PNG version:
Lily of the valley and emerald mandala for May- transparent PNG



Saturday, May 4, 2013

Korean Food Bazaar

Around the block from my home is a Korean Catholic Church, and once a year they have a food bazaar as a fund raiser. Authentically cooked food and it's hugely popular. It seems like we've always got something else going on that weekend and miss it though. This year, I made a point of it. All of these photos except for the one of TATG were taken by her, and she's just getting used to a new camera so there are some focus issues.

Walking into the parking lot, the 2 groups cooking over fire were situated outside (it snowed this morning, it's raining now, Alaska weather is weird). One of them was chicken on skewers with peppers. The other was fish bread with sweet filling. She didn't get a photo of the incredibly cool thing they were cooking it in. It was cast iron, and huge. It rest over the fire and could turn to access the wells. The wells are fish shaped, with a lid that closes down. They would scoop in the batter, let it cook a bit, scoop in the sweet bean paste, then a bit more batter, cook until golden brown. TATG wanted to try the skewers, she was a little nervous about the idea of "fish bread" but after watching them make it, got a lot more enthused. William and TATG walked into the church with me eating one each.

Once we got in there, there were tables lined around the basement with hot plates and other cooking surfaces. It was hard choosing! We opted to share everything so we could taste lots. My favorite was a fried chicken in a sweet/spicy sauce. I'm pretty hit and miss with fried foods, so much of it is just too greasy, but this was perfect.

Nom nom nom. Did I mention that usually I avoid spicy too? But this was only lightly spicy and so very, very good.

William's favorite of course was sushi. It was good, mild, crisp and tasting. (photo taken after TG worked out the focus issues)
See that whole plate? I had one, TG had two, next thing we knew, William was eating the last one. He really loves sushi. (Gosh I wish he had shaved this morning- photo slightly out of focus)
TG eating one of the chicken skewers-
The serving sizes were generous, so we wound up very full at this point, but there was still so much more to try? What to do? We decided to get plates to go for dinner tonight, plus Michael was working and this way he can enjoy some of the food too. When we got home, TG decided she needed to eat another one of the fish breads.

The camera is an old one of mine, I offered her a choice of the cameras that her dad and I don't use, and she opted for a point and shoot that's a couple years old and a decent little camera. Since she had the camera and some of her duct tape items, she also took photos of them.
This is taped over a very ugly wallet she bought at a fund raiser for a veteran's non-profit organization her dad and I support. She bought it planning to cover it with tape and did this portal wallet. She's carried it for a couple years.

Her most recent is this purse (not in focus)
Which she lined with my owl tape!

I love the multicultural mix in Anchorage so much, and as much as I do like going to specific restaurants, the events are so much better. Sometimes it's hard to find them. Some of them do use Craigslist or our local newspaper, but mostly we watch for signs in specialty markets or on the many churches around town.

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