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Birthday WIne Tasting...

My favorite bottles of wine all lined up to taste at my birthday tasting @ Fiber & Vine!

Friday April 4th, 4-7pm




Quiet. It isn't and then it is. 

You know, those brief few moments when you realize you haven't been thinking of anything and you've just been sitting quietly on the couch, knitting your rows. Huh. What time is it? Am I late? Did I just enter a time warp? How do I still have an hour before work and I'm still having all this peaceful fun? By my self.

For some reason this tired body woke up early today. Not the bad kind of early - 4am when you get up to do things because it's better than laying awake in bead for two hours, but the good kind of early- the 7am, fully rested, I can go get a coffee and knit a few rows before anything else is needed of me, early. The quiet in my house, early.

I liked it. 

And so did my parched little soul, who was in desperate need of some refreshment. 

Then I realized that I had made a mistake and needed to rip out the entire thing and start over.

A few minutes later, it was all gone. 



Why is why.

Here is a perfect example of why I started a blog and called it "Inspired Living." It's this pickle plate.


I've been working on creating a dinner menu at work and really wanted to have a pickle plate. Whenever I'm out I usually order one if it's on the menu. Plus, I love making pickles and wanted an excuse to buy these cute little cedar boards for serving. Inspired moment #1. The presentation.

Then I made the pickles. I didn't think about it toooooo much. The fun of a pickle plate, after all, is to be playful and resourceful. I once made really yummy curried cauliflower, so that was my first pick. (no pun intended.) Last Fall I experimented with Juniper berries and settled on Jicima as a good pairing. The last was a carrot/ginger/scallion slaw. Hey, it's great raw, so why not pickled? Mostly, I just wanted to cut 1,000 match-stick sized carrots and ginger. (NO, really. I did.) I work in odd numbers as a rule in design/presentation, so three pickles it was. Inspired moment #2. A pretty trio of things. 

At some point mid-week, I flipped through a cook book and mulled over a gorgeous photo of a hard cooked egg. Rustically sprinkled with salt and spices, it enticed me to add it to my pickle plate. I taste tested my own spice blend with my co-worker and friend Sarah... figuring it out just an hour before service! The blend of paprika, smoked salt, coarse black pepper, coriander and celery seed is not only tasty, but pretty to look at. Inspired moment #3. Inventing your own thing and having it work out.


Here is the thing... dinner service is new to us, so the general energy of night time, plus the excitement of plating new dishes for the first time is probably Inspired moment #4. But then, in the hustle and bustle of the first wave customers, I plated my first two pickle plates and noticed what a beautiful thing had happened. Not only did my spiced egg and pickles match in color perfectly... the pickles, in a way, became this deconstructed color story of the egg. So white jicima is the egg white, juniper like giant peppercorns. The orange carrot reflects the paprika, the scallion the slight green of the celery seed. Finally, the bright curry color of the cauliflower matches the yolk. I stopped to observe this phenomenon, appreciate and document it. I couldn't have planned it, which makes me believe some things are meant to be. Even if it just stands as a reminder of the little things... that become big things... to keep us fueled for the journey...





I have it and I don't have it. 

I don't know how I can sit for 10 hours doing one thing and be mad when somene  is 10 minutes late. I'm usually fine waiting in lines, but I can't stand chatting with the clerk. I can have patience teaching someone for the first time... but not if I've showed them already. 


I've decided blankets are a good tool to practice patience.


This blanket got me through a long, cold, dark and lonely winter of living alone. I loved it and I love it. 
I used soooooooooo much scrap yarns for this so who knows how many skeins total. I started last winter watching all of the available Downton Abbey episodes, which ran out waaay before my knitting did!
Projects like these are so great for passing time. I looked forward to banging out a few squares each night and paring up fresh colors each time. No two are the same... but I'm sure someday a child will prove me wrong.
I took the time to sew as I went, trying to get rid of all the ends and make strips so the final "sewing up" wouldn't be so daunting. It was still pretty daunting, but it just took a dreary winter day (the following year) to get re-inspired to finish. (Or more likely, bored with all my other endeavors.)
When I started, I had NO bleeeeeping clue I'd have my own yarn store in which to find the perfect border yarn: Manos del Uruguay's Maxima in the color acid. Yeah. It's the best. I also made a sweater out of it. It's probably not the last thing either,  I love the color so hard.
I don't know who will be the recipient of this blanket... a future child maybe? That's what I was thinking when I started. Hopefully it'll be my child, should I be so lucky, but who knows? It's kind of a strange size, bigger than a crib but not quite a twin or lap blanket. Well... it fits my extra long lap perfectly as long as no one wants to share... which is fine, because there's another long, cold, dark and lonely winter of living alone ahead and I need something to cover me for a bit until this winters blanket gets a little bigger.
I'll show you that one next year.






I'm lucky ro live right in the middle of town, on this little stream and a few minutes walk from all of this...