Monday, August 29, 2011

Why I'm Thinking About The Holidays Already.

Winter holidays might seem like ages away (especially for those of us who just began the fall semester), but as a crafter, I begin to feel the pressure of the deadline around this time of the year. I always tell myself that I'm going to do holiday knitting/crafting throughout the year to lessen the rush, but then I get distracted by other things and end up in the same situation every year.

This morning, I asked my followers on Twitter if they were working on any holiday presents yet. I got a wide variety of answers, from "I haven't even thought about it" to "I have 20 sweaters done!" (That last one may or may not have been an exaggeration.) 

 This picture is from a snow day a couple years ago. Don't be fooled into thinking this is the norm for my holidays; this is the most snow I've ever seen in my life.

Especially in the past couple of years, I've narrowed down who I'll craft more elaborate presents for, and only a select few will get anything knitted. Even then, I've never been able to crank out big presents for people like I see others do. Sure, my mom deserves a nice fine cardigan knit on size negative 7 needles and my dad deserves a pullover that would sit in his closet forever because he doesn't want to mess it up, but if I did that, I wouldn't be able to make anything for anyone else. Sorry Mom and Dad... maybe some day.

I also got to thinking about my blog and how holiday crafting will effect it. Both my mom and my fiance (maybe more than that, I don't know) know where to find my blog, so I can't exactly go around posting my projects that I'm trying to keep a secret. On the upside, I'll have a lot to show right after December 25. I'm going to try to keep up with some projects for me on the side, and of course I'll have art projects from school to share until then.

If you make gifts for people, have you started yet? Do you have a game plan?

-- Laura

Friday, August 26, 2011

Asian Market Adventures.

Hello everyone, I don't really have any crafting updates to give today. I did finish the first in a pair of socks for Jose though.

School started for me yesterday, so unfortunately the time I have to work on my business/craft is probably going to be reduced. I will try to continue updating the blog, and maybe even have some art school-related things to share.

Today I went to the "local" Asian market. I put "local" in quotations because it's not in my town and kind of a chore to go over there. It's called H Mart, and it's huge. I've been to several Asian markets, but this one has been my favorite for a while.

I picked up a lot of things (fruits, veggies, nori because it's so much cheaper there...) but the real reason I wanted to go was for one specific ingredient: sesame leaves.

I had bought sesame leaves before, but I didn't know what to do with them and they went bad before I got around to using them. I was talking to my half-Korean friend Morgan yesterday, and she was telling me about how in her family they use them to wrap around rice and other fillings. I decided to go ahead and buy these mysterious leaves.

I was feeling pretty lazy, so I didn't feel like making any other fillings than rice. I made sushi rice that I seasoned like I would for sushi so it would have a bit of flavor. I was actually very surprised by these leaves and really enjoyed them. They have kind of a minty flavor to them, and it added some subtle flavor unlike other wrappers (lettuce, rice paper...).

I don't think I'll be able to get Jose to try sesame leaves like this. I have several left, and I found a recipe for Korean pancakes that uses these and other veggies. It will be pan-fried and not healthy, so he should be up for trying it ;)

I picked up one other thing at the market that I had never tried before: starfruit! If you remember, trying starfruit is on my list of 25 Things Before I Turn 25. That's one crossed off now! I shared it with my friend Rachel who had never tried it either, and we both really liked it! It's kind of like an apple in taste and texture.

That's all for today, so I hope you all enjoy your weekends!

-- Laura

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pattern Sale!

No, not my own patterns... maybe in a year or so :)

Anyway, it was brought to my attention today that Hannah of Knitbot is having a 20% off sale on all of her patterns in her Ravelry shop. See details and the coupon code on her blog post here.