Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Double the Garlic

Everyday Food is my favorite source for new recipes. I usually have everything on hand and the results are usually very tasty. However, I tried the Pumpkin Penne Pasta from the November 2007 issue and the taste left a lot to be desired. Pretty bland. I should have doubled the garlic and rosemary.

The first step is to fry fresh rosemary in olive oil. It smelled amazing and tasted wonderful. Normally, I think the texture of fresh rosemary is like pine needles. But frying it makes it crispy and tender. We used it as a garnish on top of the pasta and that was the tastiest part.

Friday, November 23, 2007

3-D Snowflake Factory

What a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! After the stuffing, during the football watching, we made these easy and spectacular 3-D snowflakes. I now have a row of them in our family room windows while awaiting window treatments.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Futuregirl has been an inspiration for months now. Her crochet is simple, yet elegant and her adornments are so clever. I started this scarf and decided to try embellishing it with some small crochet flowers I made some time ago from the spring issue of Crochet Today! magazine. Hope to finish this weekend before Thanksgiving prep begins!

Martha Winger dot com Launched

I have launched a new website to show the handcrafted items I make that seem to be piling up around the house. Next step is to launch a site at Etsy.com. Creating the flash module was very educational!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Topsy Turvy Doll

The history and craft of this doll fascinates me. At first, I thought how un-politically correct the idea of this doll is. But after doing some research, I learned a lot more about it and can't wait to make one.

The Historical Folk Toys website has this to say about the black/white Topsy Turvy Doll:

The original Topsy-Turvy dolls were created before the Civil War in the Southern United States on plantations where slavery was prominent. Arguments arise as to whether the dolls were made for the slave children to play with or whether they were made for the white children who lived in the plantation house.

With one identity on one side and an opposite identity when flipped, slave children could have played with their prohibited black doll and then flipped it to the white doll when the master was around. Others believe that the double-ended dolls were made for white children with the black doll used as a maid for their other dolls.

Stephanie V. Siek writes that this doll "was a mirror or the African-American woman's life. She took care of white children, but had children of her own -- the white child is present when the black child is invisible, the black child is present when the white child is invisible."

Eugene Field House

The kids had the day off school so we headed to the Eugene Field House for a tour. The interior is completely restored and full of period furniture, toys and household items. An antique baby walker and china vaporizer were two of the unique things we saw and realized these are not modern-day inventions.

Our docent gave us a thorough tour complete with facts about the Field family and the Dred Scott case. There is also a toy museum on the third floor with a current exhibit featuring dolls from around the world. I couldn't stop looking at the handmade dolls on exhibit.

There is also an interactive room for the kids to see the difference between slave quarters and owner's quarters. They dressed up in clothes of the time and saw the difference in toys, bedding and nutrition. Quite an eye-opener for the kids to see the impact of slavery on everyday life.

The final stop was the gift shop filled with vintage reproduction toys, books and kits. The kids picked out a Jacob's ladder toy and build-your-own-ferris-wheel book. Should be great occupations on a cold winter's afternoon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Math and Science Night

Friend daughter and I went to the first annual Math and Science Night at school and what a show! The turnout was terrific, stations fun and cheerfully staffed with parent volunteers. This was a warm up event for the Science Olympics next year. I think many kids will be gung ho to build egg drop containers, can rollers and participate in the Science Quiz Bowl. Friend son's team took second overall in the Quiz Bowl last year.

Basketball season is off to a great start with practices this week. Friend husband is getting into the swing of things coaching the girl's fifth grade team. Here is a link to a short animation I built in my Intro to Flash class this week in honor of the season.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


This cashmere sock dog was made during a trip to visit my grandma and aunt with my sister, mother and our daughters. Quite a girl crew! We had a great time catching up, playing games and eating, of course.
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