[cooking] More ramps!

Went out with my sister to the ramp spot on Saturday. We got up there and there were a few patches of ramps here at there. I pointed to some at the base of one tree. A cluster of a few at the base of another. Like, "Look. See? There's... There's enough ramps." But it was obvious that it if we both picked as much as we wanted, we were going to decimate the ramp population. So we headed along the ridge line, deeper into the woods.

I saw a few more clusters as I made my way along. Then, looking further ahead, a saw some green through the trees. The nice thing about ramps is that they're easy to spot- the forest floor is covered with dead, brown leaves and the bright green of the ramps stands out well. But, what I was looking at looked like a sea of green.

I looked back at my sister, a ways behind me and down the slope a bit, managing to pick a few ramps here and there. I didn't want to yell, "RAAAAAAAMPS!!!!" before I was sure that that's what I was looking at. I kept walking until I was finally sure. A sea of green ramps. I called back to her and as we approached the patch acres of ramps, I couldn't help repeating, "Oh my god.... Oh my god..."

Ramp patch

It went on forever. It felt like winning the lottery. Oh man, we picked so many. I brought them home and washed them.

Washed and ready

I picked twice that many but dropped a bag full off at my mom's. 

First, my favorite way to preserve the ramps:

Ramp compound butter

Ramp butter. Just salted butter, lemon juice and minced ramps. This makes the best "garlic" butter. I made two rolls and put them into the freezer. 

Ramp pesto:

Ramp pesto

Pickled ramp bulbs:

Pickled Ramps

The bulbs aren't very big. I'm not sure if that's going to come a little later in the season, after they've had more time to grow, of if the patch is so thick/choked with ramps that they don't have enough nutrients to get very large. 

Heading back out again this week or weekend to get more.


[misc] Woodchuck

Caught the little woodchuck coming up over the bank:


And eating:

Chewy Chomp



Haven't seen any pups around yet.


[cooking] Ramps!

It's ramp season!

Foraging for ramps

Well, almost. They're barely poking up.

Ramps / Rampons / Wild Leeks

I was able to find a patch on a south-facing slope that had taller plants and I picked a few for supper:

Ramps / Rampons / Wild Leeks

We had a simple ramp pizza. I'm going to head back out with my sister this weekend to forage for more.


[books] 5 Colleges Book Sale

My sister and I went to the 5 Colleges Book Sale at Lebanon College on Saturday morning. We arrived 10 minutes before the doors opened and there were already a couple hundred people waiting in line. My sister had never been but I knew it was a kill-or-be-killed type of atmosphere.

Once inside, you're handed a map and off you go, running to the section(s) that you want. I went to Crafts/Hobbies first and everyone moves around the table, grabbing books like this. Lots of hands snatching and grabbing titles from right in front of you. It's psycho for the first hour or so, and then things simmer down to where you can actually open up a book, look it over and make a sensible decision on whether or not you'd like to purchase it. 

Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with what I got. I mostly got crafts books- how to tat, cross-stitching, embroidery. I picked up this one gem and it's my favorite:

Funk & Flash

Not a pattern or instructional book, just pictures and anecdotes about embroidery and misc crafts from 1970's San Francisco. Just look at this guy:

Crochet Dude

And this girl's satin-stitch shirt:

70s Crewel Embroidery

That's a bed sheet that she sewed all over. Why a bed sheet? Well, I think options are limited when you're serving a two-year jail sentence for smuggling hash in Europe. Seriously! That's the description next to this picture! Another picture showed two women selling ice cream- which is what they do when they're not working in a hash pipe factory. Seriously! 

Anyway, that book... what a gem. 

After drop-kicking a couple old ladies and taking the craft books out of their limp hands, I headed over to the Fiction room to look at the SciFi books. I found The Mists of Avalon, some Ursula K. LeGuin short stories and a two volume set of the first five books in the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny.

Awesome SciFi books

I'm hoping this book (Lavender-Green Magic) has a cat that can shoot headlights out of it's eyes.

Laser Eyes

Apparently I'll buy any book that has some kind of cat on the cover.

It was a good sale. I think people go insane because most of the books are out-of-print and they can resell their haul on eBay.


[cross-stitching] Norwegian Biscornu, side two

Finished the front, working on the back:

Redwork Biscornu

I ran out of red floss. The first biscornu I did was so small and it was three different colors- I hardly used much of each color. But this project is 4 times as big and all in one color. I found a close match at the craft store and you can't really tell a difference unless you know where to look.


[misc] Penny Monday


I snapped a picture of  Penny while she was watching this guy out front:



[crochet] Potholder Swap 2013 - The Results

I received my potholders from the swap yesterday:

Potholder Swap

I really, really, really wish I had sent in two sets of potholders because I want more! These are so awesome! Next year, for sure.

I can't wait to see where my potholders ended up.


[cross-stitching] Norwegian Biscornu

Starting a new cross-stitched biscornu using a Norwegian motif:


Trying out redwork this time, which is just a way of saying "all in red". Like blackwork is all in black. And bluework is a thing. But there's no such thing as greenwork or yellowwork. I don't know.

It is soothing just to do everything in one color, though. 


[misc] Didn't I used to make stuff?

I need to break-up with my iPad. I'm spending all my free time playing pointless games instead of making awesome things in real life. The cats literally come between me and the iPad, like "Why are you looking at this thing and touching it all the time? You should be looking at me and petting me."

I have no pictures of the cats or crafty things to share :( 


[misc] Santana Friday


Her face looks like those cat wall clocks with eyes that go back-and-forth each second.

As I was paying after my tire change yesterday, I asked them a question. Now, I always wear my seatbelt. I don't actually feel comfortable in the car without it on. But there is a sensor in my car that detects when someone is in the passenger seat and if they don't hook their seatbelt, an alarm beep-beep-beeps every 30 seconds. There have been two instances when someone was in the passenger seat and didn't wear a seatbelt for .7 miles of 5mph driving on a dirt road. I would prefer everyone in the car wear a seatbelt because I don't want anyone going headfirst through the windshield. But, the passengers got super annoyed by the beeping and, like, annoyed with me for the beeping since it was my car. So I asked the service center (this is at the dealership where I bought the car), "Is there any way to deactivate this beeping if someone chooses not to wear a seatbelt?" 

Everyone behind the counter stopped what they were doing and looked at me like I asked, "Do you all know where I can get a lot of cheap heroin?" I was ashamed. I tried to backpedal and be like, "It's... it's not ME- I always wear my seatbelt. I just... Someone asked... And... And..."

They were all, "You don't WANT to deactivate it. You CAN'T deactivate it. You're a horrible PERSON. Why do you want to KILL people?" Pretty much, anyway. And I honestly wonder if what I asked them was illegal. I don't think the question is illegal (hopefully?), but maybe the action of deactivating it would be. I don't know, I just got out of there before they could call the cops on me. 


[knitting] Milanese Loop

Working on a sparkly cowl:

Milanese Cowl

I'm finally getting my winter tires off today, so I brought this project with me to work on at the service center. I usually work on some kind of knitting while I wait and a couple employees there always come out to see what I'm making. It's pretty sweet :)

I have all kind of knitting that I'd like to get done this month by my knitting mojo is currently at level "Meh".


[cross-stitching] Biscornu

Finished the biscornu pincushion:


The pattern is a Traditional Bulgarian Motif from this tutorial. I added a green seed bead to all the corners.


It's not very big. The colors here are more accurate to real life:


The little bee button in the middle is adorable. I dug through my leftover button box and found a couple left over from baby booties that I made a few years ago.

I definitely want to make another. There are lots of free biscornu charts available online. 


[art] Joy of Painting #3

Here's my finished painting from Saturday:

Painting #3

I like the clouds the most. I see about 7 things I would change or do better next time, but I like this one the most out of all three that I've done.

The class was small this time- only 6 people signed up (usually there are more like 15). The next one will be this fall if you're in the area and want to spend the day making happy trees :)


[misc] Penny Monday

Dollar and I were playing Catan Dice and Penny wanted to play, too:

Penny wants to play, too.

That's not how you play, Penny!

It was a pretty chill weekend. Saturday was the Joy of Painting class- and I forgot my camera. I like to take step-by-step pictures as we're painting but I only have a finished picture this time around. I finished my little biscornu pincushion. I started a small cotton crocheted doily but stopped when I got to a round of instructions that read like "split triple treble in the front of the second leg, work second leg same as first leg of the second double split triple treble". What. Don't the words 'triple' and 'treble' mean the same thing? Good thing there are pictures of all of the finished doilies in this book.


[misc] Penny Friday

Penny and toys

TGIF. Going to spend the weekend painting (I signed up for another Joy of Painting class!), doing more wood burning, finishing my biscornu and organizing my comics. Maybe I should knit or crochet, too.


[pyrography] The birds won't care how ugly it is. I hope.

I've wanted to try woodburning for a while. I've seen some super cute wooden mixing spoons that have been burned with designs. And cutting boards. And jewelry boxes. 

So I got a book. I got a tool. I got a little bird feeder.


I'm doing this out above the garage because I wasn't sure how much smoke there would be and I didn't want to set off the smoke detectors in the house. (You're welcome, cats.) I figured I would start with shingles:


It's a start. Who knew it would be so difficult to make straight lines. Carbon seems to build up on the tip of my one-temperature tool pretty fast, so I need to get a straight razor to scrape it off as I work (while the tool's still hot). If I like this hobby a lot, I would upgrade to a multi-temperature tool.

If you love it when you're sitting around a campfire and the wind blows smoke directly into your face, you'll love woodburning. Cough, cough. I need to set up a fan. I bought this bird-feeder-gazebo-thing at Joann's and I don't know what kind of wood it is, but it's pretty soft. I'm just practicing, trying things out on this before trying a "real" project on the spoons and cutting board that I want to burn. I don't think birds will care how crooked the lines look.


[cross-stitching] Biscornu

Finished both halves of a cross-stitched biscornu:


Just need to sew them together. I plan on adding beads at the corners. Should be a cute little pincushion when it's complete!