Puddles of Ink

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Fountain Pen Fun
I've taken to fountain pens lately. Mostly because last semester, my grading chewed through three separate green pens (1 - the classic Bic Xtra Comfort, 2 - the gloriously overflowing Sakura Gelly Roll Classic, and 3 - some other awful pressure-required ballpoint that shall remain nameless). Grading requires a lot of writing, a lot of ink, and not so much hand-strain, if using the proper pen. Enter the Lamy Safari, extra-fine nib, filled with Noodler's Gruene Cactus ink and the TWSBI Eco with a stub nib, and Noodler's bulletproof black.

In the photo above, you can see how I've been doing faux-calligraphy instead of doodling. The Postman's Knock has a nice intro to faux calligraphy, my current style is some version of Flourish Formal.

Fountain Pen Fun
Fountain pens require a bit of maintenance (refilling, cleaning between semesters, etc), but they don't require as much pressure to be applied for ink to flow. In fact, the clear TWSBI Eco pretty much bleeds ink through its nib. I consider this a nice feature, but if I wanted less ink flow, I could get a smaller nib.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Snowy Chair Lift
We've been settling in here in the northeast, which somehow means buying used ski gear and hurling ourselves down the mountain at any given opportunity. I've gotten considerably better than the first few attempts, although that's not really saying too much. Practice makes perfect?

Bunny Hill From the lift house
Groomer Corduroy in the Morning
The cat also appreciates her new territory expansion, and elevated window views.
Window Cat

Success: Cheesecake-marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie

Sunday, February 4, 2018

cheesecake-marbled pumpkin slab pie
This beautiful Cheesecake-marbled Pumpkin Slab Pie recipe came from SmittenKitchen, you pretty much can't go wrong with her recipes.

Next time I'll swirl the dollops of cheesecake into the pumpkin, so it doesn't just sit on top. You can't really taste the cheesecake when it's spread out so much! 'Makes a really lovely creamy pumpkin pie filling either way.

I used two Pillsbury premade crusts from the refrigerated section instead of making my own, like so, and that also worked super well.

cheesecake-marbled pumpkin slab pie
cheesecake-marbled pumpkin slab pie

Success: White Mulled Wine

Sunday, January 28, 2018

German Mulled White Wine (Half batch)
A half-batch of this German Mulled White Wine Recipe from Baked Bree still involves 4 bottles of dry German wine! But it is very tasty. I didn't have cinnamon sticks, so I just used some cinnamon chunks (meant for my chai tea) in a tea bag in the simmering white wine. Came out well, 'would maybe use more cinnamon next time.

White & Red Mulled Wines
White & Red Mulled Wine Recipes

Success: Red Mulled Wine

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Red Mulled Wine
For this red mulled wine to accompany the white mulled wine, I started with two bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, but as we ran out throughout the night I also added a bottle of Pinot Noir and a bottle of Malbec. I very loosely followed a recipe based off a FoodNetwork/Ina Garten suggestion, but only just barely. I used less apple cider, a Penzey's Mulled Wine Spice Mix, and a shot or two of rum. It really does need to simmer for 15+ minutes, and is best served in a mug of some sort.

Between the red and white mulled wines, we used about 8 bottles of wine, for about 10 people or so. We had about 32 fl oz of the red mulled wine, and 16 fl oz of the white mulled wine leftover. When you get to the 16 fl oz level, it gets pretty tricky to serve.

White & Red Mulled Wines
White & Red Mulled Wine Recipes

Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt: Overview

Friday, January 19, 2018

Equilateral Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt
Well, here she is, in all her retro triangly glory. This tree skirt whips up rather quickly, around the same amount of time as the circular wedge Christmas tree skirt quilt. It's the same exact design as PepperKnit's Christmas Tree Skirt, although with one less outer ring of triangles. Even with 42 fewer triangles, this beauty is still 49 inches wide!

I used Velcro on the wrong side this time to secure the two sides, rather than fabric ties. This way the tree skirt can double as a table runner. I kept the center 8" circle cut prior to binding, sewed another piece of fabric to it (right-sides together), left a 1" gap, flipped right-sides out, sewed the gap, and then blanket-stitched the edge to make a nice little filler for the table runner version.

I guess if you were really pressed for purposes, you could also wear it as a house-cape. 'Would fit the super retro theme.
Quilted Table Runner
Equilateral Triangle Xmas Tree Skirt
Tree Skirt as table runner - top Tree Skirt as table runner - bottom
Circle Insert, with a blanket-stitched applique and blanket-stitched edge
Equilateral Triangle Quilt for Christmas
Hexagon Xmas Tree Skirt - top
Hexagon Christmas Tree Skirt - bottom
Dresden Plate Xmas Tree Skirt size comparison:
Two Xmas Tree Skirt Quilts: Hexagon/Triangle and Circular/Wedge
Xmas Tree with Tree Skirt Quilt

And now, all the pieces of the triangle Christmas tree skirt tutorial, in order:
  1. Equilateral Triangle Quilted Xmas Tree Skirt: Cutting Equilateral Triangles
    How To: Equilateral Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt
  2. Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial: Sewing the Triangles
    Equilateral Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial: Sewing Together the Triangles
  3. How To Add Flange to a Quilt Block
    How To: Adding Flange to a Quilt Block
  4. How To Piece Together Low Loft Quilt Batting
    Tutorial: Piecing together low loft quilt batting scraps
  5. Quilting the Triangle Xmas Tree Skirt Quilt
    Quilting the Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt
  6. How To Make Continuous Bias Binding
    Making Continuous Bias Binding Tutorial
  7. How To Connect Binding with a Mitered Seam
    How To Connect Binding With a Mitered Seam
  8. How To: Alternative Mitered Binding Join
    How To: Mitered Binding Join
  9. How To Attach Bias Binding to a Quilt
    How To Attach Bias Binding to a Quilt
  10. Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt Overview
    Equilateral Triangle Christmas Tree Skirt

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