Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Beginner's Triangle Loom Mistake

As soon as I saw a description and picture of a triangle loom, I wanted one. Who wouldn't, when you can do the warp and weft at the same time, and make shawls? It wouldn't matter how small the loom was, as triangles tessalate (they can be sewn together into a big triangle). And if I used handspun yarn, it could be an artisan craft! And the best part is, although they are quite expensive, you can make your own out of cardboard.
The cardboard instructions called for pins and a large piece of cardboard. I used a small piece of cardboard and toothpicks, yes, you got that right, TOOTHPICKS. Yes, my dreamy yet ever-frugal mind was convinced that every recipe, every pattern, can be modified. Well, let's just say it was a disaster. And did that stop me? No, of course not! I had to try making one of nails and a double-layer of cardboard. That was an even bigger disaster. The nails just popped out all over the floor. But finally, I managed to procure a $3 wood rectangle from Hobby Lobby, and Mom helped me put in nails. After my first attempt at weaving, it became clear that something was wrong. And then I realized that I had too many pegs in the hypotenuse! But finally, I got it right, and the picture below was the result. The picture at the top of the page is of what I made: a triangle that, when taken off the loom and pulled on the ends, made a BUTTERFLY! Now if I can only find a magnet to stick on the back, I'll be in business. Meanwhile, I will try more, using instructions for thicker triangles and weaving in the ends properly. But isn't it neat how mistakes can turn out with something cute? Well, at least every ONCE in a while . . .

Friday, March 19, 2010

Foraging fun - shotweed!

I saw a lot of plants growing in my apartment complex that looked suspiciously edible. I thought they might be chickweed. So I brought a sample into the house and compared them with images of chickweed. Well, nope. Not chickweed. But I still didn't give up. I googled "edible plants" and came up with the answer - shotweed! So I picked a bunch, pulled the leaves off the stems, and washed them. They are apparently related to mustard and have a pleasant, bitter, spicy taste. Even my veggiphobic brother tried a leaf (he said he would eat it if he was starving, but only then). All parts of the dandelion plant, young plantain leaves and many other plants are edible. So next time you weed your yard - think twice before throwing ALL the weeds in the compost!
This post is a part of Fight Back Friday, hosted by Food Renegade.

No more GAPS!

As you all probably know, I was on the GAPS diet. Well, despite the health claims for this diet, my mother thought my diet was too limited and was causing electrolyte imbalance/magnesium defeciency. So I added raw milk and buckwheat to my diet. And they didn't make me sick at all! Quite the opposite in fact, which makes me wonder why diets this restrictive are promoted as healthy.
But I can't blame the GAPS diet. I can only blame myself, since I was not eating meat, broth, or dairy. Maybe I would have been perfectly healthy if I was drinking a cup of broth a day, as recommended. But I'm not so sure. I don't know why the GAPS diet tricked me like this. I thought I felt so much better! Well, my current theory is that I felt better on GAPS because I was eliminating gluten. I still try to avoid gluten, but honestly? Sweet potatoes make me feel healthy, not sick! Maybe the GAPS diet is good for some people; and I am simply not one of them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Daffodil shoots are coming up. Birds are flying north. And I already have some parsley and tomato seedlings started. I also planted lettuce in a cake pan outside, but it has yet to come up. But it is pretty obvious, in my opinion, that spring has sprung!

On what planet is THIS cruelty free?

Apparently, scientists have proposed a "solution" to animal suffering in factory farms. They will genetically modify the animals' brains so they cannot feel pain. This way, they can torture the animals all they want and still label their meat "cruelty free". On what planet is this not cruel?
Seriously. I looked up "cruelty" in the dictionary and came up with one of the definitions being "causing injury". On WHAT planet is genetic modification of the brain in a hugely unnatural way NOT an injury? I mean, there are rare cases of children being born without the ability to feel pain. Know what happens to them? By adolescence they are covered in scars! So really the inability to feel pain is a disease in of itself, right?
What I don't understand is why people keep trying to come up with new ways of doing things that cause more problems than the old ways EVER did. Why engineer cows to NEED grain when the old cow breeds do perfectly well on grass (which, unlike grain, we can't eat)?
Sigh . . . I guess some people just never learn.