Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rayon sarongs turned wall hanging

This is my first really serious attempt at weaving. When I was a museum teacher I taught basic weaving to children. During that time I played around with different techniques, and I wove a small piece that I turned into a sewing kit. I never really got serious, although I was always fascinated. Last summer I bought a tabletop loom. At first I thought I wanted to do tapestry style weaving, but in the end decided to weave with rags. I've always loved the freeform weaving of the 1970s. The fabric in this hanging is from sarongs and lounge pants all made of rayon that I bought while traveling in the my early 20's. I cut them all into long strips, and added colors as I worked. This was a big leap for me, as normally I am a planner.

I'm pretty pleased with the results. I managed to keep the width consistent, and I made a mistake on the finishing, but I know what I did, so hopefully it won't happen again.

This is the first time that I've made something purely decorative.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Olivia on gluten

On Saturday I ate at a restaurant with friends. It's a restaurant I've been to before, and they've handled our allergies well. So I told the waitress my allergies, she wrote them down, brought us gluten-free soy sauce and took our orders. I felt suspicious about the sweet potato sushi, but I decided to trust that the waitress had done the right thing (my mistake) and I ate one. Right away I knew that there was a problem. We tried explaining to the waitress that the sweet potato sushi probably had gluten in it. She got annoyed, but finally agreed to exchage it for a different kind of sushi. We spoke to the hostess who was more confused than helpful.

By late afternoon (it only takes a few hours for the gluten to enter my milk) Olivia was in pain. It took us an extra hour to get her to bed and then she woke up once an hour. She was up every two hours the last two nights, and she hasn't napped since Saturday. Her poop is like small pebbles (my husband calls them rabbit poops) and she farts a lot. Her personality is different too. Always a little pushy, she now screams every request, and when denied goes into immediate screaming meltdown mode, which isn't like her at all. She wants to be held and nurse all day long, which is frustrating for Alessia who ends up feeling neglected. Olivia's eating is erratic, and I need to keep her on a very limited bland diet.

It will be about a week before she really starts to feel better.



Monday, March 17, 2014

Pumpkin peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (gf and vegan)

Many gluten-free and vegan cookie recipes involve lots of ingredients and lots of strange ingredients. This is my adaptation of a recipe I found online (here). It uses pretty ordinary ingredients, can be mixed in one bowl, and is relatively low in fat and sugar for a cookie. Most importantly the cookies are delicious and everyone in my house can eat them.


Pumpkin Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (freeze the rest of the can in 1/2 cup containers)

1/2 cup brown sugar

Light dusting each of ginger and nutmeg

Heavy-handed dusting of cinnamon

1 cup oatmeal (preferably quick-cooking, but rolled works as well)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


In a large bowl mix everything through the spices. Add the oatmeal, boking powder, and salt. Give the dry ingredients a quick mix and then mix everything together. Add the chocolate chips and gently mix them in. Put scoops of dough on a cookie sheet and gently flatten with your fingers.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.


A note on allergies. My little Olivia is allergic to wheat, eggs, and dairy. So we use certified gf oats from Bob's Red Mill and Enjoy Life chocolate chips. Enjoy Life brand is free of the big eight allergens. This is also why I took the eggs out of the original recipe. We can eat peanut butter (and do almost everyday with our doctor's blessing), buy I would like to try this recipe with sunflower butter for people with peanut allergies.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Conversations with my children

Olivia (20 months old): Milk out of the cage

Me: That's not a cage, Olivia. That's my shirt.

Olivia: Milk in a jug. (Laughs) Not milk in a jug.

Me: No Olivia, that's not a jug, that's mama's breast.

Me: Alessia, where did that knitting needle go?

Alessia (3 years old): It's over there.

Me: Where?

Alessia: There! (Pointing vaguely to the right.)

Me: No it's not. Alessia do you know where it is?

Alessia: Yes.

Me: Where is it then?

Alessia: Ummmmmm


(We have this particular conversation often. At three I believe Alessia is struggling with where authority, in terms of knowledge, comes from. Instead of understanding that I know where something is when I say "it's over there", in her mind I say "it's over there" and ta da! there it is. This is also why she is often contrary and confused when I disagree with her take on something. Up until recently my word was taken as fact. A table is called a table because mom and dad call it that. That person is running and that one walking because mom and dad say so. So in her mind she wonders why isn't something so just because she says it is so?)