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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I wanted to make a wallet, but wasn't sure if I could do it. I found a very easy pattern on craftster.com with pictures on craftbits.com. I tried their pattern, but didn't like the way the seams looked, so I modified it a fair bit. Here is the result, my first wallet! It has several problems, but it's not bad. It took me three tries to get to this one!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

icky catnip bun

A couple of weeks ago I knitted the catnip steamed bun from this pattern. My yarn was thicker so it came out rather big. Jake instantly went bonkers and became very possessive of it and started to destroy it so these are the only decent photos I got. The loose stitch in the third photo... well, that's Jake's fault.

isak day 1

Sadly, Judith's second pose never made it past the first day. Work and houseguests conspired to occupy the last two sculpting nights. We started a new model tonight, so I scrapped the 1/4 scale Judith to reuse the armature for Isak. I had a hard time with his right shoulder but the pose is interesting.

photo workshop week 1

I started taking a photography class at work. We shoot digital, but so far only in black and white with no cropping or post-processing. It's definitely a challenge. Here are my photos from the first week (last week, actually). Some friends were visiting with their 2 year old Lars, who made a very photogenic subject.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

after: spring cleaning

Originally uploaded by cignoh

as promised, here is an 'after' spring cleaning picture (before). there is still a lot of stuff, i know, but at least almost everything is in a logical place and semi-easily locatable. there are also still individual areas that need to be addressed (kitchen cabinets, a few more boxes of paper/photos/stuff to sort through) but i'll tackle these a little at a time, not necessarily immediately.

Friday, April 25, 2008

spring cleaning and more

IMG_2326.cc.jpg IMG_2345.cc.jpg
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Originally uploaded by cignoh

i haven't been crafting as much as i wanted to, but am still taking a photo.a.day and spent much of the week doing some spring cleaning. i'm very much a pack rat, it's so hard for me to throw things away and/or stay organized and be able to find stuff when i need to, but i think i'm getting a little better (probably hard to tell from the photographs!). it actually looks much better now than what you see in the photo, and i hope to post an after picture soon. i think the process of taking photos of my stuff before i throw them out or put them away helps me.

also, here are some miscellaneous photos from the past week:

thai new year
rice cooker cartoon
bus stop
salton sea
mint lemonade

they include pics from a thai new year festival and a day trip to the salton sea (links to sets).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Salmon Patties!

Today I made salmon patties by combining two recipes (one from simplyrecipes.com and another from my mother-in-law) along with a couple of my own personal touches.  I was so pleased with the outcome that I wanted to share.  


1 salmon filet
1/4 c white onion, minced
1 scallion, minced
2 tbsp each of green, yellow and red peppers, minced
1 egg
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1 -2 tbsp horseradish
1/3 c Vegenaise
1 tbsp fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tbsp flour 
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp butter

Cook filet at 350F for approx. 20 min. ( I use my toaster oven for this). While the salmon is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients (except butter and lemon) and place in bowl. Remove the salmon skin (a treat for Nora!) and break salmon meat into small pieces and add to the bowl. Mix well with a fork and form 5 palm-sized patties. Melt 1-2 tbsp of butter in a frying pan at med-high temp. Place the patties in the frying pan, cook until one side is browned and then flip to brown the other side. Abt. 3 - 5 min. each side. I found that using a non-stick pan works best. Squeeze some lemon juice on top and I like to eat them with Maille A l'Ancienne (old style musturd).

I served today's patties with wilted arugula. YUM!

dyed yarns and more crochet

For the past week, I've been experimenting with dying yarn in the microwave. It is very simple to dye wool yarn or wool roving using food dyes. You can use cake/icing dyes or food coloring or even Kool-aid packets. I like to use Wilton gel dyes (meant for cake decorating), because a small amount of gel goes a long way.

First I soaked the yarn in a mixture of vinegar and water. The vinegar acts as a mordant and helps the dye bind to the wool. I used a microwave-safe ceramic dish with a cover to hold the yarn and vinegar-water bath. Next, I prepared the gel dyes by mixing them with water in small pyrex cups. For these examples, I mixed up 2 or 3 different shades for each skein. The yellow-orange yarn was made with lemon yellow, golden-yellow, and orange. The bluish yarn was made with royal blue and violet. The lime yarn was made with lemon yellow and leaf green. The darker green yarn was made with teal and leaf green.

I sprinkled the dye on the yarn somewhat haphazardly to give the yarns a variegated look. I covered the dish and microwaved the yarn for around 5-7 minutes until the water bath was clear (meaning that the dye had absorbed into the wool). Then I rinsed the yarn in cool water to get rid of the vinegar smell and hung it to dry. You can also dye larger amounts of yarn on the stove with this basic method, but you have to be careful not to agitate the yarn too much or it can start to felt together. The pink thing in the photo is a hyperbolic crocheted plane made from non-dyed store-bought wool.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

wrap skirt

I'm Amy. I went to college with cignoh and worked with her in San Francisco. I watched her "thing a day" in February and decided I should be more creative. I tried beading, but my husband was far better than me at it. I bought a sewing machine instead. He's also better at that, but I don't care. For me, it's more about the fabric than the final product. This photo is one of my wrap skirts. I just started my own blog last week http://badskirt.blogspot.com/ before I knew about this one. No need to visit though, I'll try to post of the better things here.
Thank you all for sharing your work!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

youngme / nowme

youngme / nowme
Originally uploaded by cignoh

for my photo.a.day today, i decided to participate in the youngme/nowme photo contest. the idea is to start with a photo of yourself as a young child and try to recreate the same photo, but of yourself now. the most important factors should be your pose and facial expression, but other things to consider are clothing, colors, lighting, environment, props, composition, etc.

i was unable to mimic my surroundings exactly since my patio looks nothing like the one from the original photograph and also couldn't recreate the composition of the original photo because my patio was too small to place the camera anywhere else and still fit myself in the photo. i also didn't have clothes that looked similar, so i just wore my current day choice of lounge/sleepwear. the colors were pretty different/distracting, so made both photos black and white, adjusted the levels a little, and added some grain to the new one to try to match the original better.

something fun to try before april 20

jrmyst sent me this link:


the idea is to take a photo of yourself when you were a child and then try your best to recreate it---the pose, facial expression, clothing, environment, etc. check out the results in the gallery, they are pretty fun/funny... in fact, take a minute to browse the rest of the site, there are some other interesting challenges and games like photoshopping a merit badge...

i think i might give it a try... anyone else want to?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My First Post on ITB!

On January 31, 2008 I was not a blogger. Then, February 1 rolled around and I was a part of Thing-A-Day 2. Everyday of February I worked on something creative and blogged about it. By the end I was hooked and started my own blog. Even though I had struck out on my own, I had established creative relationships with a few folks, cignoh included. Cignoh has invited me to join in the fun here at icky tandoori buns, and how could I refuse. I am very excited to share some of my projects with you. Yellow Rail ATC.jpg I made my second ATC today; this time I used digital collage. I was inspired by a page I stumbled across in Why Birds Sing: a Journey Through the Mystery of Birdsong. The Yellow Rail's bird call sounds like a typewriter. I found an audio clip of it's call and you have got to listen to it - it is really incredible. The information I included on the ATC about the Yellow Rail is from Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds. The image of the Yellow Rail itself is by artist nineteenth century artist James DeKay.

veggie and rice soup

Originally uploaded by cignoh

i made some soup for dinner last night. i sauteed chopped onions, carrots, and celery until the onions were clear, then added chicken broth and rice and boiled everything for about 20 minutes. then i added some frozen (fresh would be fine too, probably better) baby spinach at the end with a little salt and pepper to taste. it was very simple, but tasted yummy and healthy too...

Monday, April 14, 2008

crochet sea creatures

For the past few weeks, I've been learning to crochet with the help of my neighbor and YouTube crochet videos and various websites. I started out trying to make a hyperbolic plane, but didn't get very far. It took me awhile to figure out that I was doing a slip stitch instead of a single crochet, and I kept undoing my work because it didn't look quite right.

Meanwhile I started obsessing over the crochet undersea creations featured at The Institute for Figuring and at Helle Jorgensen's Gooseflesh blog. So I started making crochet barnacles (not in picture). This weekend I made lots of crochet tubes and sewed them together to make a crochet tube sponge. The tubes are each about 2-3 inches long and there are 17 of them so far. The sponge measures about 6 inches across. Ian made the green kelpy thing on the right (he wants to add wires to make it stand up). The pink thing on the left is the start of one of my hyperbolic planes. The clownfish were borrowed from a tiny toy aquarium.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

infrared (mis)focus

I found out that my camera does not filter out infrared light, so all I have to do is put on an infrared filter and I can take infrared photography. So I took it out for a spin yesterday, and it was too bright out to check the preview on the LCD. When I got home I discovered that all of my subjects were out of focus. That's the first one of the kid, at Baker Beach. Turns out I needed to compensate for a focus shift with infrared. Today I tried to account for it by focusing at 2/3 to 3/4 of the distance to the subject, with moderate success. That's the second one of the tree, in Japantown. It's still very iffy, so bracketing a few for good measure will probably be the best way to go. As if I weren't slow enough with the manual focus....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

portraits, piggie, palm trees, and bottles

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IMG_6067.cc2 IMG_6095.cc2
Originally uploaded by cignoh

i'm continuing to try to take a photo a day. it's hard to keep up---some days i feel like doing it more than other days. i ordered a camera bag to replace my purse and plan to carry my camera with me most of the time... i hope that will make it easier...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring is here!!

A couple of weeks ago when the snow still covered much of our yard, a bright red something caught my eye. It was a cardinal perched on the lowest branch of our evergreen tree. My heart jumped with joy as it was a definite sign that the weather was warming and spring was near. Since then I have spotted blue jays as well and most of the snow has melted away exposing our long lost lawn. It's interesting b/c everything looks so flat now. While I thought I was just seeing everything turn white, the snow had added much to the topography of the landscape. Yes, that is how much snow we had this year. Anyway, joy, joy, joy!! I went to a composting workshop held by our local landfill and brought home an Earth Machine compost bin which I might add was distributed by the landfill for free. I've never composted before, so we shall see how that goes. It seems there is an art to composting. I also learned about vermicomposting and for those who live in apartments and want to compost should definitely look into it. I might start one in the late fall so I can compost during the cold winter months.
We also want to have a vegetable garden this summer and I have started growing some herbs and veggies from seed. To be honest, I know nothing about growing plants from seed nor much about gardening, but I shall learn something for sure this year. Would appreciate any advices or suggestion or even pointing to excellent resources/websites.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

judith day 4

New pose this week. This one I decided to do at 1/4 scale. I like the back view best. Also, her left hand is actually on her left knee but I need it out of the way right now for torso access. Needs a lot of work.

Monday, April 7, 2008

this odd little piggie


Originally uploaded by cignoh

today i made a stuffed pig. it's the 2nd stuffed animal/object that i've made, the first being a football. i think that i have a hard time picturing what something will look like in 3d as the piggie turned out to be very oddly-shaped and not at all like i pictured---supposed to be a round ball w/ 4 feet sticking on the bottom, and a tail behind him. instead, he is a little angular, lopsided, and oddly proportioned, but that's ok, i like him anyway. he will eventually be attached to a baby mobile (other people will be making other animals/shapes) and will be given as a gift to a friend who is expecting in june. he is about 4"Wx3"Lx4"D.

cooking by internet

mini quiches
Originally uploaded by cignoh

yesterday, i had afternoon tea with some friends. we each made one or two dishes, the menu was:

* scones (orange pecan and date)
* clotted cream and jam/jelly
* banana chiffon cake
* matcha cupcakes
* chicken salad sandwiches
* cucumber dill cream cheese sandwiches
* egg salad sandwiches
* sesame squares
* strawberries, plain and chocolate dipped
* meat buns
* mini quiches (mushroom and spinach)


i made mini quiches and egg salad sandwiches by combining recipes that i found online:

****** mini quiches ******

from this recipe, i found advice on making mini quiches in the comments section:
Reviewed on Oct. 12, 2004 by hope03
These might be okay appetizers, but these are not quiches. To make PERFECT mini quiches, use the Cream Cheese Tart Shells recipe on this site and also the Basic Quiche by Shelley. Use a mini muffin tin. I placed a tiny cube of pepper jack cheese, a tiny piece of canned mushroom and a tiny tear of frozen spinach (defrosted) in each cup, then filled with the egg mixture. Baked at 350 for 15-20 minutes until edges were beginning to get golden. Ah, they looked and tasted very professional!

here are the recipes that she refers to:
recipe: cream cheese tart shells
recipe: basic quiche filling

i pretty much followed hope's instructions, but i added tiny cubes of pepper jack, havarti, and mozzarella cheese instead of just pepper jack. i also used baby chopped spinach. i think i added the specified amount of salt to the quiche mix, but it maybe could've used a tiny bit more... i baked them for longer than 20 min, more like 25-30 min.

****** egg salad sandwiches ******

i combined these 2 recipes:

and added the following:

8 eggs
2 T country dijon mustard (a little bit sweet)
4 T mayonnaise
1 t dill weed
1 t paprika
1 T minced red onion
1 celery stalk chopped
1 T pimento stuffed green olives chopped
salt/pepper to taste

i think i added a little too much salt but was otherwise happy with the egg salad. also, i followed these instructions to boil the eggs---a couple of them cracked a little, but it seemed ok otherwise. does anyone have better/different advice?

how to: blog directly to itb from flickr

from your flickr account, click on 'your account' under the 'you' menu. then click on the 'extending flickr' tab, and look for the 'your blogs' section---click on the 'edit' link to see a list, then add a blogger blog; sign into gmail, and add icky tandoori buns. from there, you can choose the type of 'layout' you want for your posts. then, to blog a photo, click on the 'blog this' button above the photo and fill in your title and post fields appropriately.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

week of photos with focus on bcam

here's a week's worth of photos:
thumb's up subway
mandarin fetus mandarin fetus
ganesh ganesh
jars jars
bike rack bike rack
bcam bcam
date scones date scones
and a focus on the broad contemporary art museum (bcam) at the lacma (more photos here):
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