Monday, March 26, 2012

March Crafter

Hi, crafty friends! It's almost the end of March, which as it turns out was both National Crochet Month AND National Craft Month.

What have I been up to? I'm finishing off a second hat to send off to Halos of Hope. Hopefully I'll get pictures snapped of those soon.

It's also time for Charlottesville Crafter!  This month, we're making a tote bag!

(Just a reminder,  if there's something you'd like me to try for Charlottesville Crafter, just leave me a comment! I'm always looking for ideas! )

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Savory Roasted Chickpeas

A while back on Pinterest, I saw a recipe for "sweet and spicy chickpeas" which sounded intriguing. I looked it over - sugar and cinnamon. While that combination is usually a GO for this house, when I think chickpea, I think savory. So I figured out my own spice blend and did a test run the other week. When it came out good, I made a big batch today, and now I'm going to share it.

2 BIG cans of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans or whatever you want to call them)*
olive oil (a few tablespoons should do)
garlic powder
onion powder

Open and drain the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you shell the chickpeas. You just want that little skin on the outside to come off. You can usually pinch the bean at the pointy end and the bean itself will fly out of the shell. 

Spread the beans out on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven. After they've been in around 10 minutes or so, pull them out, move them around, and then put them back in for another 10. You want them to be crunchy at the end and if you don't roast for long enough, they will be soft and squishy. Keep an eye on them at the end of the 2nd 10 minutes. If they start getting dark brown, take them out.

Put them into a bowl and toss with the olive oil. Each bean should be lightly coated.

Add salt, pepper, the onion and garlic powders and paprika to taste. I will give you the advice that a lot of the grains will stick to the bowl and the baking sheet, so you might want to add a bit more of each than you think.

Put the beans (now well coated with spice) back onto the baking sheet and put them back in the oven. You want them to be in for at least 10 minutes.

You'll know they are done when they are starting to turn a darker brown and are nice and crunchy.

Pull them out, let them cool, and then enjoy.  

*When I say big cans, I mean the 15 ounce cans. The grocery store was very sneaky and hid the big cans in the Hispanic food section. And when I say sneaky, I mean that they had the small cans with the rest of the canned vegetables for $1.19 each, and the big cans in the other section for $1.29 each.  Don't let them fool you! (and pick up some canned chipotles while you're in the Hispanic section, because they make everything delicious)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Ravelling Merrily Along

If you knit or crochet and have the Internet, chances are you've heard of Ravelry.

If you're a member of Ravelry, when you logged in this week, you should have seen the announcement.

Ravelry now has TWO MILLION MEMBERS!

Two Million yarncrafters on one site. And with surprisingly little drama. There are a few dust ups in the boards now and then, but everyone generally keeps to the Ravelry motto of "be excellent to each other."

If you're not familiar with Ravelry , I need to explain.  It's not just another yarn site with a forum. There  are really many many forums, but the best part of Ravelry is the specialized tools that are available for use.  You don't even need to look at anyone else's avatar if you don't want, and just focus on your own account. Why? You can keep track of your hooks and needles. You can virtually sort your stash and projects, (as well as share them with a group to get feedback). The pattern database is so huge, I don't even have a word for how huge it is. Gigantomungous.  It really is a unique environment.  I can't even think of any other hobby website that can even come close to half the functionality of Ravelry.

It kind if reminds me of my early days in Paganism, when the Internet was just starting to be helpful. It was a highly specialized community. Ravelry takes this one step further. Community PLUS productivity.

All this came about from two people who loved to knit, and had mad programming skills.
So thank you Casey and Jess (and Bob). You have literally changed the way that yarncrafters interact on the internet, and for the better.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Tidbits

Hey, did you know that it's National Crochet Month??

This weekend I got a new picture of the baby, and saw that she was wearing the headband I made for her! Warm fuzzies.

Charlottesville Crafter went up last Monday. It's the full project to the sneak peek I gave you a few weeks ago - rice bags!

The Joann Fabrics here in town is moving. So they're liquidating the entire current store and are just going to stock the new one (that's two doors down the shopping center from the old one). The new store is supposed to open April 13th. Right now almost everything is 15% off, at least. I picked up a new crochet hook and a star coathook for the new house. At the rate that the store is being picked over, I'm wondering if they'll have enough merchandise to stay open until the 10th of this month, much less next.  I guess we'll see.

I'm just about to fasten off on Mom's hat band, and then I am without a current project. I am on Spring Break next week, and I think I'm going to try to make it a Craft Break.

What's new with you?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Sew What

Last night I got out of my class early and decided that while I had the spare time, I would walk down to the Arts building to see the current exhibits, as both shows were of interest to me.

The South Gallery is currently housing a show by local photographer Jen Fariello. "The Personals." I am a fan of Fariello's work. I love that she works in black and white and I think her compositions are amazing. Although the show is small, it does not disappoint.

The North Gallery currently holds the show "Sew What," featuring a few local textile artists. This brings in again the discussion of "When does craft become art?" This exhibit showcases mostly embroidery and quilting and is a small pocket of awesome.

Forgive the phone pictures. I didn't have the Lumix with me and it was a little too dark in there for the phone to do its best.

(Everything is best seen in person anyway!)

Fear of the Blank Page, by Shelby Fischer.

It's just so perfect. The embroidery of the lines, the roughness around the edges - it perfectly captures the intimidation and anguish of a new sheet of paper.

Fireflies in a Garden of Love and no Evil, by Jo Lee Tarbell
(I have the horrible suspicion that I have the name of that piece mangled. If so, I apologize).

Not only is the seaming top notch (especially on one of her other works on display, a hexagon based work), the embroidery is immaculate. I just really really liked this one. It gave me the warm fuzzies.

There were so many pieces I wanted to bring home to decorate the new house, but sadly, my budget can not accommodate my wants.

If you have a small bit of time, you should take a walk through these exhibits. The galleries at PVCC are located in the Dickinson building, in the halls surrounding the main theater. More information can be found on the PVCC Arts page.