To Amuse and Delight

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

inspiration: little houses


I find myself drawn to things fashioned as little houses lately. Maybe it's because they evoke in me a comfortable safe feeling, maybe they are just ridiculously adorable. Either way I've put together a few that I think are very cute and fairly easy to accomplish. These food houses are the best. We all have these ingredients- rice and bread, but it's the execution that really is great. I wish I had come up with these ideas, but at least we can duplicate them. The rice house was accented with cheese and nori, the bread house roof was dusted with cocoa powder. Try powdered sugar for a snowy winter roof. 

O.k., these little houses do take a bit more effort to accomplish. But, because of the simple shapes they are not too difficult for even a beginner. The top embroidered house is a tissue holder which has an opening on the underside to pull out the tissues. The two cheery little potholders can also be used as coasters. Or just string them up around the kitchen. I love the mix of springtime fabrics here. These are great projects to use up those cute thrifted cotton prints you may have laying around. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Girl's Day 2010

March 3rd is Japanese Girl's Day called hina-matsuri (Japanese doll festival). It's a celebration for Japanese girls. Being a big fan of dolls and girls I have adopted this holiday for my family. Last year I made sushi and pink sweets for the occasion. It’s my tendency to set up everything and present it to the girls. But, this year my ten year old had plans of her own. She has been using The Manga Cookcook quite a lot lately and she had her mind set on a certain menu. I relinquished my plans to hers, after all it is Girl's Day. I let the girl do her thing. She made rice balls with nori belts served with shoyu and wasabi and usagi ringo, apples cut into rabbits. I had nothing at all to do with it. Hot boiling rice and sharp knife! She was fearless. I on the other hand mentally played out the horrible possibilities. I am so glad that I resisted the urge to hover over her or worse yet to do it myself. Her confidence and her ability soared, it was a very special Girl’s Day.

“As adults we like to think that we are in control. After all, we have spent years developing our ideas and sharpening our minds. But, which is more fundamental: an adult’s intellect or a child’s innocence and faith? Whereas an adult has narrowed his hopes and expectations, a child dreams and wonders.”

from Toward A Meaningful Life, The Wisdom of Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson by Simon Jacobson

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Recycle Sewing and Snow Bunnies

I cannot remember when we’ve had as much snow as we got last week. When a big snow is predicted I plan for it. I stock the house with food, water, candles, batteries and lots of library books. Then we settle in. Outside obligations come to a halt and I look forward to a couple of days of reading, sewing and making comfy foods. This time I made myself a pair of pajamas out of an old red flannel sheet and a pair of bloomers out of curtains that a friend was getting rid of. I make sheets into curtains and clothes out of curtains. While I was busy with all that my daughter did a bit of recycle sewing herself. She made this adorable black bunny out of a glove of mine whose match has been missing since last winter. Of course I found it’s mate the day after the rabbit was made! I told my girl that she must turn that one into a bunny too. It’s much easier to live with two very cute bunnies than one lonely glove.

The snowy season calls for special foods like these whole wheat donuts. To combat the gray/white sky I try to put as much ‘sunshine’ on the table as I can.