Thursday, June 28, 2007

delicious fajitas

The other night for vegan pot-luck we made seitan fajitas (with homemade tortillas, salsa and guacamole). they were amazingly delicious and I really liked this bright summery photo.

Mallory was the creative genius behind all this, as usual.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

crunchy hippie bag

A long time ago, probably right when I got my sewing machine, my little sister asked me to make her a big slouchy bag. I knew exactly what I was going to do right away - a version of this pattern from tiny happy with a remnant piece from Ikea and thrifted plaid that has been sitting around forever, with a freezer paper stenciled tree.

I drew and cut out the tree a long time ago, and finally got around to making the bag to put it on. I'm pretty happy with the finished product, even though I wish the straps were thicker, like the other bag I've made from this pattern.

Of course, it's not nearly as durable and practical as our trusty canvas-and-reflective-tape mailbags.

Monday, June 25, 2007

weekend project

Last Friday was a good day for crafts.
Among other things, thanks to the Make Magazine Weekend Projects podcast, I learned how to fuse plastic, and I put to good use some of the millions of plastic grocery bags the previous tenants left in the kitchen cupboard:

I'm really excited about the result.
So that's my new durable grocery bag, hanging in its place next to some of our aprons and my mother's cloth poster, Vignobles de France.

The rest of the weekend was spent trying to think of other uses for fused plastic, here's what we came up with:
Shower curtains (checkerboard pattern)
Grill cover for wet-weather grilling
Rain bonnet

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Grinnell Auto Club 34th Annual Vintage Auto Show

Mal and I walked over to Central Park for the auto show. We were impressed with all the Powesheik County license plates -- who knew there were so many charming cars in our neighborhood?
It was a sizeable event with rows and rows of cars, with cotton candy and t-shirts for sale, and some guy blaring The Beach Boys' California Girls as we walked down the row of 1950s pickups.
Perfect way to round out a good weekend of getting out of Grinnell (if only briefly), breaking our Moratorium on Spending, and seeing old friends.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Housewarming Party

One week ago, Mal and I hosted the housewarming event to end all (of our) housewarming events.
We cleaned, we showered, we dressed up, we entertained.
But more than anything, we cooked. A lot.

On the spread that night:

Marinated mushrooms, served with black and green olives

Chutney & cheese toasts with freshly made date/raisin chutney
and cherry tomatoes skewered delightfully with mozzerella and basil

Hummus, baba ghanouj (not pictured) and pita chips

Baked, cheese-stuffed pears (not pictured)

Chocolate truffles
and baked brie with walnuts, served with apples

Thai rice cake (my first time attempting it-- So. Good.)

also strawberries and mint champagne,

and gin & tonics and whiskey sours, too.

So basically it took a long time, and was totally worth it.
With the oven on pretty much all day, our house definitely was warmed.
And after a sligthly smaller brunch the next day, all the food was eaten.

This report was a little duanting. Now that it's out of the way, we will be able to produce more exciting entries, including updates on Mallory's sewing machine, which has been recently repaired to working order, and my red roadbike, lately rescued from College Security for a minimal storage fee.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

job perks

These flowers just started blooming near the railroad tracks. I picked one while I was walking my mail route. They might have been blooming earlier, but I didn't see them while I was whizzing by on my bike. I should walk more often.

My job is pretty nice. Mostly, I get paid to sit in the air conditioning reading books, magazines, and craft blogs, and three times a day I take a short walk around campus. While I was walking by today, a construction worker asked me if I was enjoying the (hot) weather. I said yes, and he said "I wish I were!" I'm glad that my job isn't lifting windows and pouring concrete, because I wouldn't be able to enjoy the heat at all.

And my boss baked us cookies. What a good day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Weekends at home

Mal and I each spent the weekend in our northern homelands.
As far as I can tell, she bought some great teas at the farmer's market and maybe went to a bookstore or something.
I went to my dad's retirement party, saw a lot of friends and family I haven't seen in awhile, and got away with only eating one brat the entire weekend. To be very honest, it was delicious.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Winding down week one

Things are definitely coming together here at apartment no. 1, the #1 apartment.

The living room is, bit by bit, getting clean. Yesterday we had tea and toast around the coffee table, which will become an end table as soon as we get a real coffee table. Either way, we're both in love with that table and those dishes, of which Mallory has a very complete set.

And meanwhile I've become obsessed with embroidery. I'm currently working on this little tree to hang on the wall, and struggling to slow down so I can enjoy it longer.
That's about it. I love this life.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Please Mr. Postman

I'm working in the college mailroom for the summer. I walk a mail route to the campus offices three times a day, but otherwise I sit in the mailroom all day, listening to the same horrible Top 40 radio station every day, which plays the same songs over and over again. I'm particularly sick of 'Girlfriend' by Avril Lavigne, so when it came on for the 30th time today, I'd had it. I turned off the radio, plugged my laptop into the stereo, and made this playlist. Every song is somehow tied to mail or letters.

Please Mr Postman - The Marvelettes
Letter From an Occupant - New Pornographers
Box Full Of Letters - Wilco
Letter From Belgium - The Mountain Goats
Tear Stained Letter - Johnny Cash
P.S. I Love You - Beatles
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
Elevator Love Letter - Stars
Return to Sender - Elvis
Death Letter - The White Stripes
Lightning Strikes The Postman - Flaming Lips
The Letter - PJ Harvey
If She Wants Me - Belle & Sebastian
Another Postcard - Barenaked Ladies
Why Don't You Write Me - Simon & Garfunkel
Postman - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers

Other suggestions are welcome, of course. I think this may have started a string of themed playlists. I had forgotten how much fun they are.

Oh...and I'm Mallory. The other occupant of this adorable apartment for the summer. I feel like summer in Grinnell is finally kicking off. Today I went to the farmer's market and bought herbs to plant in pots and put on our porch. Pictures of those will come soon. I also bought bread and jam, and ate it while listening to an oldies band, because Thursdays are Music in the Park days. For the rest of the summer, though, no buying bread. Once I master a good whole wheat sandwich bread, there will be no need.