Well, that elephant I started yesterday now has his head and trunk, but I got side-tracked with finishing this lovely Cinderella doll before I could finish his ears. Soon, Dumbo. Soon.

The pattern for this doll is called 'sisters' and it's just written as two ladies with different colour dresses. I improvised the pattern a bit to make a Cinderella doll.

I had to wing it for the hair as the original pattern just has the ladies in hats. There must be a better way to get full and voluptuous-looking hair, but I guess my method worked okay. The hair just parts in funny places, like Cindy is suffering from bald spots.

Whatever you want to call these toys -- reversibles, topsy turvy dolls, inside-out dolls -- they make me giddy. I swear, this Itty Bitty Toys book, which has a whole chapter of them, has been one of my best knitting purchases ever. So much fun.


elephant in the room

I'm neglecting my to-dos this weekend, but I have a really really good excuse: I wanna work on a little knit elephant. (details on ravelry)


purple bunny blanket

Here's a completed quilt for my gal. It's her 'purple bunny blanket' since she's got a thing for rabbits.

soft chenille back + plain cottons + a few of my favourite prints =

I've been noticing appliqued animals all over blogland (cute onesies, anyone?) and I was inspired by the lovely quilts here and here to try my hand at it.

My free-hand bunny came out a bit fat plump, but until my kid gets really into aardvarks, I'll enjoy trying to wing it without clip art. Handmade is supposed to have imperfections, right?

Of course, now that I've done one rabbit, I have grand plans for a whole quilt full of critters. We're supposed to be optimistic, right?


squash and lentil curry

Man, I'm on an Indian kick and boy, do I love curry. I'm finding that curries are very forgiving of my lack of knowledge about Indian spices. They're great for dinner, and maybe even better for lunch the next day. What's not to love?

This recipe is one I adapted from this curried soup recipe from Gourmet--adding a couple extra spices and using more veggies but less onion (and adding less water, of course.)

squash and lentil curry
serves 6

3 Tbs vegetable or canola oil
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs minced peeled ginger
1 Tbs curry powder
1 teas cumin
1 teas garam masala
1 C red lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 1/2 C water
fresh cilantro
plain yogurt
basmati rice

Heat oil and butter in large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until beginning to soften, then add garlic and ginger. Saute the aromatics a couple of minutes before adding squash, carrot and celery, seasoning the pot with a bit of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown (15-20 mins.)

Stir in curry powder, cumin, and garam masala. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add lentils and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender (25-35 mins.) Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve over basmati rice. Top it all off with a small handful of fresh cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt.


pintos galore

Quadruple the beans, people!

In a little experiment, I bought some dry pinto beans. I paid what I would have for one can of beans. But after just a bit of soaking (I only ever soak for an hour or two -- anyone know why they recommend overnight?) and boiling for about an hour, I have a potful of beans. That's one pot full! What's that, like the same as four or five cans? But I don't have any BPA-lined cans to show for it, and I'm only out two bucks!

Now I can make chili, try my hand at refried beans, and still put lots in the freezer.

No doubt, more time is required than using a can-opener. But it all can happen before noon and in my book, that's worth repeating in a smug voice. 'This all happened before noon.'


cranberry-lemon scones

All too often, cranberries get paired up with orange in baked goods. Why is that? They aren't that great together (in my humble opinion, of course) and there's a far better option: cranberries and lemon.

Need convincing? Try these cranberry-lemon scones.


roasted cauliflower pasta

We eat a lot of broccoli and nut pasta around here. Roasting vegetables and then tossing them with pasta is molto semplice. So naturally, this recipe for roasted cauliflower and proscuitto pasta caught my eye over at Simply Recipes.

It was earthy, roasty, and salty. Delicious.


kindle cover

I suppose it's time to show you a Christmas gift I made for Jeff. It is February, after all.

Both Jeff and I weren't really keen on the kindle when he got one as a gift from work, but it's grown on us. In those early days of rocking (and rocking and rocking) the babe to sleep, one-handed reading came in very handy.

As it came into our good graces, I decided it needed a handmade cover. Enter this great tutorial. Do you know a kindle that needs a cover?