Sunday, November 25, 2007

Winter Centerpiece

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Bit by bit I am getting out the Christmas decorations. For the last couple of years I have been very into blue and white for Christmas, and this year, I feel drawn to very pastel and silver colors for Christmas. I found the robins egg blue bowl at the Canton First Monday market, and filled it with some red and white ornaments. The succulent and the papaya plant have been placed in pastel enamel and porcelain bowls, respectively. I love the look of the bright cherry red against the pale blues, greens and pewter.

The key to a good centerpiece is grouping of similar objects. My mom has difficulty with this sometimes. When I visited at Thanksgiving, she had arranged her collection of rabbits in one of the bedrooms. The rabbits were all spaced more or less equidistantly around the room. Bless her heart, she prepares income tax for a living, and just can’t help that sort of thing. I rearranged the rabbits for her, and they look much better now. I should have taken pictures.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Onion Deliciousness

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I just got back into town, and since the weather has been less than charming, I have not been to the store. So, tonight when I opened the fridge, I found: a piece of colby cheese, half an onion and two eggs.
Really, other than the standard condiments, these were the only food items in the fridge. I did have some roasted red pepper and tomato bisque in the pantry. The boxed soups from Campbells are much better than one would expect.
So, I decided to melt the cheese on top of the soup and make some onion rings.
I don't know about you, but whenever I eat onion rings, the onion invariably all pulls out of the breading on the first bite, leaving me with three quarters of a sad, onionless breading circle. So, I decided to make onion petals instead, and I also decided on that name for them.... makes sense I think, based on the famed onion blossom of casual American dining fame.
So, I set out to make some onion breading batter.
I didn't know what goes in that, exactly, not having made this before, but here is what I put in mine:
one egg
some flour
some water
a little salt
a little sugar
pinch baking powder
hmmmm.... some more flour
a little corn meal
opps, too thick, a little more water

This process continued until the volume and ingredient mix looked right. I use peanut oil as my frying oil of choice, and I put some in a saucepan to heat. You know your oil is ready when a chopstick dipped into the oil creates little bubbles all around it. If you don't have a chopstick, you should save one the next time you pick up Chinese.
I dipped a test onion in batter, and tossed it in. I discovered that the batter adheres to the onions better if you dredge them in flour, then in the batter. I also discovered I needed to add a little more sugar. This time I added powdered sugar instead of granulated.

They turned out quite well, and all together made a good meal for a cold rainy night.
I have some leftovers, which I think will be fine heated up in the toaster oven. But, now I'm out of soup. I guess that means tomorrow I'll have to go to the store.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Public Service Annoucement, or something...

For crafters:
I love making stuff, and I'll admit, I can get awfully worked up over a fabric store or row upon row of beautiful scrapbooking paper. But, now and then, and a lot more, recently, I start thinking about how much "stuff" we all consume. Do we really need all that stuff?
So, in addition to the "Handmade Pledge" which some of you may have noticed in the sidebar, I'd like you all to consider reusing and recycling materials. Don't buy new fabric when you could reuse old fabric, make or print your own paper rather than going nuts at the scrapbook store, and go through you crafting closet, drawer, room, whatever, and see what is already in there that you can use this year.
I don't want to give anyone a guilt trip... just something I have been thinking about for myself lately. I think the key to throwing away less stuff, is having less stuff to throw away.

Send me your comments. What is your best crafting "recycle or reuse" idea?

Happy belated Thanksgiving, enjoy the weekend with family and friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It Doesn't Get Any Easier Than This...

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Ok, here's the deal. Go to the dollar store, the craft store, the closet, where ever, and get some straight sided clear glass votive holders. Go to the party store, (or the kitchen drawer) and get some napkins with a print you like.
Separate the extra ply layer of the napkin. Spread Mod Podge, or a similar glue, or acrylic medium on the outside of the glass, and carefully apply the napkin. Trim napkin so only a small edge will wrap over the top and bottom edges of the votive holder. Make sure those are stuck down well, then allow the whole thing to dry. Mod Podge even comes in an outdoor formula, so you could use these outside.
You can also do this with fabric, but, it is a cool way to save a really cute printed napkin that you have leftover from a gathering. Mine are a very cute vintage cowboy print.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Digging Clay

I don’t recall how it came up, something about drilling post holes for the new deck, but over the summer my parents mentioned that there was a lot of clay down behind their house. So, I went out and took a look at the clay. It looked like clay, it felt like clay… so, I decided to gather some clay.

As a ceramic artist, now, I know that I can buy earthenware clay, ready to throw, in 25 pound bags for ten dollars each. So, what possessed me to spend the better part of three days this summer digging my own? I am not sure.

It had rained recently, and there were large cracked plates of dried clay all over the ground. This clay was clean and fine textured, with very little contamination, so I decided that the first priority was to gather that. I got a ten gallon paint bucket, and braved going into the barn I never go in to find some window screen.

So, I gathered these tectonic plates of clay and ran them through the screen. They produced a very satisfying fine dry clay. Of course, they probably produced less than a pound of dry clay.

So, it was on to digging clay. The most likely spot seemed to be a big hole where an old tree had fallen. There was lots of clay, and it was easy to dig. So, my plan was to spread it out on a board, let it dry in the sun, then run it through the screen.

That was a no-go. When the clay dried, it set up like bricks, There was no way I was going to be able to screen this stuff.

So, I picked out the most obvious of the rocks and sticks, and started loading the clay into another couple of 10 gallon buckets, which I filled with water. As the clay (and rocks, and acorn caps) soaked in the water, they started coming apart into the component parts. Most of the organic matter floated to the top, though some stayed trapped within the clay. As each bucket soaked, I periodically poured the contents of a bucket though a screen into a new bucket. The dissolved clay and water went straight through the screen leaving the rocks and sticks on top of the screen. I discarded all organic matter, and any rocks that didn’t still have clay stuck to them, then tossed the rest of the clay covered pebbles back into the bucket to continue soaking. This is what I did every couple of hours for about two days. A ten gallon bucket full of clay, rocks and water, by the way, is about at the outer edge of my lifting strength.

When I was finally left with a couple of buckets of thick, silty water, and a couple of buckets of mostly clean rocks, well, I wasn’t really sure what to do. I knew the clay would settle out from the water, but I also knew that could take a while. I sat the buckets in the sun, and periodically scooped the clean water off the top. It was starting to look like I was not going to be home long enough for this process to complete.

My dad suggested sieving the clay through a couple of layers of old sheet. I wasn’t sure this would work at first, but I got an old sheet (70s orange and brown stripes) and a couple of bungee cords, and fastened them over the top of some more buckets. I poured the clay and water, slowly into these sieves. It worked. The clay stayed put, and the water went on through the sheet. Unfortunately, the water went though the sheet a few drips at a time, not all at once, so this process took well more than a day. Once the water had mostly drained through the clay, and I had, at last, very runny mud, rather than very silty water, I spread the sheets with the clay out to continue to dry.

Of course, we were in town when the rain started, and I knew my clay was still sitting outside, and if it was raining out there too, my three days of work would get washed away. We got back to my parents house just as the rain was starting, and my dad pulled some tarps out of his truck, or somewhere, and covered up the boards where my clay was drying, and helped me get the finished buckets of clay into my trunk. I thought this was incredibly sweet of him, since by all accounts the whole clay digging experience was a pretty silly thing to be doing at all.

So, by the time I had to leave my parents house to come back to Dallas, I had probably 40 to 50 pounds of clay. It has been continuing to dry and season, but I have now made one small flower pot, just to test how the clay would fire. It seems to be a pretty sturdy low fire earthenware. I would be interested to see if it can be fired any hotter, but I am reluctant to try it in my kiln. It is fairly sticky, but extremely plastic. It is very orange.

Overall, I’d say I this clay was about three to four times as expensive (in labor costs) as just going down to Trinity and buying clay by the bag, but it was kind of fun, and it is interesting to say that I am using hand dug, local clay.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Instructions for Purse

Felted Sweater Purse

Felting a wool sweater is really easy. Basically, you do everything to wool that you aren’t supposed to. Start by washing in hot water, and drying in the dryer on normal. With some wools, it is enough to do this once, some will need a few repetitions. I just threw this one in with my light colored laundry a few times, and that seemed to do fine. I always look for Abercrombie and Fitch lambs wool sweaters at thrift stores, as they seem to felt up particularly well. It won’t matter if there are small moth holes.

Once the sweater is felted, cut out the body of the purse, using one of the side seams as the bottom of the bag. I do not often make paper patterns first, but you can, if you are unsure. To cut the lining, I simply laid the felt over the lining fabric, and estimated the seam allowance I needed.

Sew the two side seams of the lining, with right sides together. My sewing machine is not working at the moment, so I did all of this by hand, but I don’t recommend it, if you have the option. Press the seams that you will need for the edges of the lining. I don’t usually pin anything, I just sort of stuck the lining in the bag and folded it over where it needed to go.

Place the piping between the felt layers and sew one side together. Then, place the lining in the bag. Place the piping between the felt and the lining on the flap of the bag, and continue sewing. Being careful not to sew the lining to the side of the bag, continue the piping down the opposite side seam of the bag, and cut the piping at the bottom.

Add piping to the top edge of the opening of the bag, and sew the lining and felt together.

For the strap, cut a long strip to make a tube. Take a piece of yarn or embroidery floss and sew it firmly to one end of the tube, then let it run down the inside of the tube, between the right sides of the fabric. Sew the right sides together. You can now use the yarn to help you turn the strap right side out. Use the end of a pencil to start turning the tube, then pull it right side out by pulling the yarn. This can be a little tricky and takes a little finesse, but for some reason, I love making these.

The main reason that I designed the strap detail that I did is that I did not have a long enough strip of fabric to make the strap as long as I wanted. Though the corners seem rounded in the photo, the fabric was cut as a rectangle, but sewing in the piping will round the corners. The straps were sewn into the shoulder piece along with the piping, but then reinforced with the box and “x” stitching.

I secured the finished strap to the purse on the inside, on top of the lining, rather than between the lining and the felt. It could be done the other way, if you prefer, but I felt that having the strap pulling up directly against the cotton lining would be sturdier than having the strap pulling directly on the felt. I used a whipstitch in red thread to add a decorative detail inside the flap of the bag.

The jackalope was the last element added. It is cut from white wool felt. I made a paper pattern, then used a piece of blue chalk to trace around the pattern. I cut the outside with scissors, but used an X-acto blade for the inside pieces. You really need a brand new blade to cut felt cleanly.

Press the bag with a little steam when you are finished, this will also help flatten down the fuzziness of the felt, and give the bag a slightly crisper look.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mamma's got a Brand New Bag

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This is the purse I made this weekend.
The body is grey felted wool. The lining is cotton in a vintage inspired print, from Hancock Fabrics. The jackalope appliqué is white wool felt. There is white cotton piping around the edges of the bag, and on the strap detail.

I am a sucker for any kind of detail like piping, on bags, shirts, skirts, whatever.... but I don't always have the patience to do a lot of detail work on something like a piece of clothing that has to also be fitted. That is the beauty of making purses, they can be whatever size they end up being.

Tomorrow I will have more detailed instructions on the construction of this purse.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stencil Tee Shirts and Folk Rock Dreams

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Stencil Tees

I sometimes like to imagine that I am one of those super cool singer-songwriter chicks, and I am sitting in a coffeehouse with my guitar, sounding like Kasey Chambers, or maybe covering the Old 97s Murder or a Heart Attack. I am wearing a cute vintage skirt and a very hip tee shirt, and my hair is in braids or pulled back in a cute little calico scarf. Everyone in the coffeehouse is, of course, amazed by my playing, and thinks that I am exactly the kind of girl they have always wished they could hang out with.

Unfortunately I really have no musical ability, and have forgotten every guitar chord I ever tried to learn…. I have the outfits though, and so can you, when you make your own stencil tee shirts.

You will need a roll of Reynolds Freezer Paper. It is like a heavy butcher paper, which has a plastic-y layer on one side. Draw out your design on the paper side, and cut with an X-Acto knife. Iron it onto the shirt (plastic side down) then use acrylic paint to fill in the stencil. Don’t forget to put some cardboard or something in between the front and the back of the tee shirt.

Tee shirt-wise, I recommend Target’s Mossimo stretch tees, they are really soft, they hold up really well, and are cut slim through the body, but are plenty long.

I suggest peeling off the freezer paper when the paint is almost, but not totally dry. Acrylic is very plastic-y when it dries, and will not want to let go of the edges of your stencil.

You can launder these shirts normally. I don’t throw them in the dryer, and I try to remember to turn them wrong side out, but I have washed the shirts you see above dozens of times, and the paint is not coming off. It does crack where it stretches, like most older tee shirt inks.

Couldn’t you just screen print these, you ask? Well of course. If you want to make dozens to sell, invest in screen printing materials. However, if you just want one, this is very simple and quick.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chicken Noodle Soup

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Here is a photo of my first jalapeño of the season, shown with a quarter, for scale. There are actually others on the plant that will be ripe soon, that are a more standard size.
I had three pots of peppers, this plant is one I started from seed I saved from a grocery store jalapeño. One of the other pots contained some mystery peppers from a friend. I think they were a couple of bell pepper plants, and an heirloom hot pepper of some kind, but they didn't flower.
I will probably chop this one up finely and use it in the chicken noodle soup I am making later.

Chicken Soup

One whole chicken
fresh flat leaf parsley
one or two cloves garlic, minced
red jalapeño
salt and pepper to taste
any other veggies you want to throw in
wide egg noodles

Rinse chicken then place in stock pot and cover with water. Boil whole. Remove chicken from broth, and take all the meat off of the chicken. Chop meat into bite size pieces. Strain broth if necessary and chopped veggies (except parsley). Return to boil. When the veggies are about half done, add in noodles. When noodles are almost done, add the parsley and chicken. Season to taste. If I have it on hand, I sometimes add a little cream at this point as well.

I am trying to decide if it is worthwhile to go to the farmers market this morning. If I go, I can get a fresh chicken from Windy Meadows Farms, at the Texas Supernatural Meats booth. However, the chicken will be frozen, and if I go to Whole Foods, I can get a chicken that is not frozen. I do like to support local farms whenever possible, so maybe I will go to the market, and just make the soup later in the day. I can get onions as well, I am sure, but I am not sure that any of the local farms have carrots. The soil should be about right for them east of here, though.

I can't stand microwave dinners, and since I take my lunch to work, making a pot of soup or another one dish meal every week or so is crucial. My freezer is always stocked with Gladware bowls I can grab in the mornings. I really should start to label them, though. One day a few weeks ago, I popped something in the microwave at work that I thought was split pea soup, and it turned out to be pureed green chilies that I had frozen after making a batch of enchiladas.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pumpkin Seeds.... then no more pumpkins.

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Pumpkin Seeds

I finally made the pumpkin seeds last night. You can do this on a cookie sheet, I am told, but I have had less success with that. I prefer to cook them in a cast iron skillet. I used a little peanut oil (olive oil works, too), and toss the seeds with salt, a little sugar, chili powder and cinnamon. In a previous batch I used chili and lime juice, but I didn’t think they were very good.

Chili and cinnamon are both very good for you as well, full of phytonutrients, and of course pumpkin seeds provide fiber, good fats and minerals.

I have found they keep a little better in the refrigerator than in the cabinet.

Large pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns produce seeds that are difficult to separate from the stringy stuff and pie pumpkins give up their seeds very easily, so, if you can, get a pie pumpkin.

This batch turned out especially, almost addictively good. Though I think it was related to the fact that I had recently made maple pork sausage in the skillet. (a well seasoned cast iron skillet adds lots of flavor). I think one could actually try to replicate this by using about a teaspoon of maple syrup (real stuff, not pancake syrup), instead of the sugar.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Butterhead Lettuce

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It has been getting cooler at night and dipping down into the upper forties at times, so I have been bringing my lettuce plants inside at night. I would have expected these little lettuce plants to grow a little more quickly. They are a couple of weeks old now, and really aren’t starting to form heads yet. I have never grown head lettuce before, so I don’t really know what to expect.

Some books I read suggested lettuce can be difficult to germinate, but mine came up just fine, and faster than the packet said it might. It has just seemed slow since then. I am afraid I may have a repeat of the green onions, which never got beyond looking like small chives. I think I planted them too late in the season though, and it was too hot for them.

My pepper plant is still going strong, and I should have some more jalapeños ripening soon. I let them ripen to red, since green ones are widely available.

My tomato plant though, was even less successful than last year, not even flowering. Last year I got two tomatoes, both of which disappeared just before they were ripe enough to pick, although I never discovered if that was the work of an animal or a human. My money was on human, though. This year, not even a single flower. I think the plant was not getting enough sun.

I understand many people have successful patio or container gardens, but the only thing I have really been successful with is basil. Also, most of my friends seem to have similar stories of very meager harvests of one or two fruits, or, in the case of one couple I know, who had a small garden on a third floor balcony, all of their tomatoes being eaten by a roof rat!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Some Kind of Pumpkin Obsession...

Don't worry. It has not escaped my attention that this is the fourth post about pumpkins. But, here is my scary rat jack-o-lantern from this year.

Alright, really, enough with the pumpkins you say? Well, I still haven't toasted the seeds, so tomorrow I'll share my favorite method for making pumpkin seeds, then, I promise, I will leave the squash alone, and move on.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Pumpkin and Black Bean Quesadillas

Black Bean and Pumpkin Quesadillas

Halloween is over, and now the question is: what to do with the pumpkin.

(This, of course is stupid, it is only a question if you happen to have an uncarved, pie-type pumpkin sitting around).

Never the less, I suggest my recipe for quesadillas:

First: a pie pumpkin is harder to get into than I expected. I used a butcher knife, but seriously considered power tools at one point. I figured at least drilling some starter holes might be helpful.

Anyway, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, quarter your pumpkin as best you can, and put the wedges on a cookie sheet. Coat liberally with olive oil, and sprinkle on a little salt. Put them in a 350 degree oven and then keep an eye on them. Baking time will vary with the size of your pumpkin, but, basically, it is done when you can easily stick a fork in, and it is not yet mushy.

When you remove the pumpkin from the oven, you should be able to peel it and slice it thinly. This will yield way more pumpkin than you want, unless you plan to make quesadillas for 50. I suggest having other pumpkin recipes on hand. Take some good flour tortillas (I get mine at HEB Central Market in Dallas, where they are made fresh daily), and spread with pureed or refried black beans. Arrange slices of pumpkin thinly over the beans, then sprinkle on the white cheese of your choice, and a small amount of chili powder and sage. Top with another tortilla and toast in the oven.

Not only are these quesadillas very healthy, high in vitamins and fiber, they are beautiful. In contrast with the pumpkin color, the black beans will appear a deep rich purple. Sliced into wedges and piled on a plate these could be a real hit as a party appetizer, and I suspect that children could even be enticed to eat them.

The children I know personally love my quesadillas, but, only if I make them with shredded Colby jack….. and nothing else. So, who knows?

In the interest of using up the rest of the pumpkin, I suggest macaroni and cheese. I made some recently, taking a tip from Jessica Seinfeld’s new book about hiding vegetables in food. She used acorn squash I think, but the idea is the same. I pureed some pumpkin with some milk and threw that into some elbow pasta along with a significant chunk of Velveeta cheese, and a little salt and pepper. I cannot explain why, but it was the best mac and cheese I have ever had. The pumpkin adds substance, and rounds out the flavor somehow. I recommend it.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

First Monday Trade Days- Canton TX

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Sunday Morning Donuts

It is Sunday morning, and time for me to tell you about the Canton excursion. Due to the time change I’ve been up for awhile, enjoying my pumpkin cornmeal donuts.

I’ll spend a minute on those first. I got the recipe from a Martha Stewart Living magazine, so I cannot reprint it for you here. Basically though, it is a old fashioned cake donut recipe with one cup of pumpkin puree (or canned), and more cornmeal than is usually in the recipe.

I’ve already hinted I think, at my somewhat slapdash, no-holds-barred approach to making things, so I did not read the “one cup pumpkin” correctly. As many recipes involving pumpkin are calibrated for one entire can of pumpkin, this is what I added. I did notice that it seemed more like batter than dough, but I was unperturbed, since the recipe called for the dough to rest overnight in the fridge. (hadn’t read that part carefully either, so I was disappointed to find my tasty donut experience delayed) Anyway, the next morning, when it was clear there was no way to roll this batter out, much less cut shapes from it. I reread the recipe and found my mistake. I then began adding more of all the dry ingredients, until it turned into dough.

I ended up with half again as many donuts as the recipe had called for, and they probably should have been sweeter. I hadn’t bothered to measure my additions, so I think I shorted a bit on the sugar. However they fried up nicely.

Donuts are easier to make than you might think. My dad used to make them now and then, including last Christmas. We all woke up Christmas morning to find him frying up donuts in the kitchen.

I don’t have a donut cutter, and I bet most people don’t. I just used a water glass to cut the circles, then (after a couple of experiments) found that just poking a hole in the middle with my finger produced the best looking donut. Also, cake style donuts can be frozen. I popped most of the batch in the freezer, and have been pulling them out two at a time for breakfast. About 5 minutes in the toaster oven at 350 seems to do just fine.

Right, back to Canton….

I got a later start from Dallas than I had hoped, not leaving until 9am. I understand many of the dealers out there are set up and ready for business by daylight, and sell until dark. It was a pretty day and an easy drive. I even saw a small herd of camels in a field just outside of Terrell. The quality of the drive changed a bit when I got about two miles from the Canton exit. There was no question about knowing where to go, just follow the never-ending stream of traffic. My new recommendation, at least if you are going to Canton on a Saturday, is to head out after lunch, when most people are already there. The traffic should be lighter.

The First Monday grounds were quite a sight to see. I really have no idea, though I am sure such information could be found, but the whole thing seemed to be more than twice the size of the Texas State Fair Grounds in Dallas. I headed into the Civic Center first, and right at the entrance was a fabric and linens dealer. There were laundry carts filled with crochet items, tablecloths, handkerchiefs, quilts and more. I burrowed through it all for quite awhile and came away with a Kelly green and cream crochet doily in a bulls eye pattern, a white handkerchief with red crochet edging, a cream crochet placemat in a pattern of open and closed squares and a white table runner with abstracted bluebirds done in French knots, for a grand total of $4.50.

There were several dealers in fabric and linens throughout, and I bought a vintage apron from another for $3. (I had to restrain myself from buying about five.) The apron will get its own post later on.

With all that digging through bins, it was time for lunch, and having not yet ventured beyond the Civic Center, I had no idea that there were more food vendors outside than at the State Fair. So, I got a Frito Pie and a Dr. Pepper from the concession inside ($4). They were excellent. (Side note: Dr Pepper was invented in Waco, TX; I have been to the museum)

After eating my lunch on a curb outside (there are lots of tables, but they were full), I headed off in search of more treasure. Most of the dealers outside on the grounds are selling various grades of antiques and/or junk. I saw everything from furniture to old Cracker Jack toys. I saw a WWII era helmet with a dent in the top about three inches deep, and spent some time wondering if the dent was made while it was on someone’s head, or not. I saw a book which I believe was called Miranda the Panda Sits on the Veranda which had clearly been illustrated by someone who had never seen even a picture of a panda, but had heard that they were bears, and were black and white. I would have liked to buy a handmade marble (contemporary not antique) with a very unusual teal and white agate-like pattern ($10). I did buy a porcelain calico button in a blue and white bulls-eye pattern, which I plan to make into a pendant ($1), a robins egg blue mixing bowl for $10, and six pieces of wooden type ($2 each, but I got an extra thrown in). There was a complete child’s rubber stamp set that looked to be from the 40s that I’d have liked, but they wanted something ridiculous for it.

If you are looking for deals in Canton, stay outside. There are a number of sheds with dealers as well, many with high quality antiques, and then many with kitschy items such as pet furniture, candles, salsas, etc, but I found these to be over priced and crowded. Besides, anything I saw in the sheds that I liked, I had the same reaction to: “I think I could make that.”

By about 3 pm, I had seen all I could see, and was ready to go home. Including lunch and the $4 I spent on parking, I believe I spent $33 dollars in all for the day. (Well, and I stopped for a milkshake on the way home.)

So, if you can make it to Canton TX on the Thursday through Sunday preceding the first Monday of the month, I’d say it’s worth the trip at least once. Sure it’s crowded, and there are an astonishing number of people walking small dogs, and half the stuff is junk, but, that’s what makes it fun.

I have to go put my new bluebird table runner in the bathtub to soak in some Clorox II.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

To Begin

If you like to make things. This is for you. If you like to make things after carefully reading the instructions. This is maybe less for you. If you see something in a store or catalog and say "I think I can make one of those" (with the sort of breezy confidence that comes from having no idea how one of those is actually made). This is for you.

I am off to Canton, TX today. Canton is the home of the largest flea market in the United States, it is part garage sale, part craft fair, part who-knows-what-else.

You, dear reader, will get to hear about it right here.

Future posts will include, how to make your own yogurt, how to reupholster a chair, and what happens when you try to make a paper-mache horse that is about half life size.