Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not the Hat You Were Looking For

Life is too short to drink delicious homebrew labeled crudely with only a Sharpie. It also looks a bit more classy if we give a bottle to a friend.  This beer is not new, but has entered the window where it is fully carbonated and drinkable and was, embarrassingly, one of three batches on the shelf without proper labels.  It's a clone of Magic Hat #9. So if someone asks us if it is Magic Hat, we can answer, "Nein."

It's supposed to be a rabbit puckering a bit (as the beer is an apricot sour) but my daughter thinks it looks like a skull, with the necklace as teeth. I need to brush up on my rabbit drawing skills.  Done in ink and gouache. All of our beer labels have a character wearing an eyepatch, a long-running inside joke from our first batch.

And on the bottles it looks nice and cheery.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Squirrel Zombies

Did you ever notice how much a walnut resembles a little tiny brain?
If a squirrel were to become infected with the Zombie virus, or afflicted by a Zombie curse, or whatever mechanism you attribute to zombification, would it be adequate for it to continue feasting on walnuts? Would my dog continue to chase squirrels or would they chase him?

The squirrels are always busy planting walnut trees in my yard, but we usually pull them up before they become large enough to require implements of destruction for their removal.  I don't even know where the nearest walnut tree is, but the squirrels do.  I found a recipe online to make ink for dip pens using black walnut husks. Rather than wait until one of my squirrelly gardner's sapling reaches the twenty feet of height usual before a walnut will starts setting fruit, I turned to friends to get a supply of husks.

I probably undertook this project at the wrong time of year, because the husks had dried and became integral with the shells. All I could do was separate the nut meats from the not-nut meat bits.  And this is where the recipe gets fun. It says to add the hulls to water and basically let it mold and ferment for a few months. If only all recipes were that easy to follow! The water got dark immediately, so it must be doing something in there. To be continued...

Future Ink
Meanwhile, it has become apparent that I really need to properly label all of the these things I have brewing in the back bathroom.  I wouldn't want to drink the ink, or try to write with the beer.
The "Other" brown liquid staged while chemistry does it's thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holiday Needles

It's time to get serious and dust off those needles for the holidays. I wish I knew better what all of my friends and family wanted for holiday gifts, but in the absence of specific guidance I will do my best to churn out random crap of my choosing. If you think you are on that short list that gets a handmade something, feel free to cry out "MINE" if you see the ideal thing posted or to drop me a line with a thought on what you would like. I am not psychic; I simply play one on tv.

Totoro Mittens. Lovely, but too small for Hannah. Note: will only be gifted to a true Totoro fan.

Hat, in cream, reds, brown and green wool. Can't have too many hats, now can we.

Flannel lounge pants of comfiness, an idea suggested by Alan, who liked the pair I made him last year and thought everybody should be so comfy. Light blue with fishing/boat motif.

I apparently have a strong need for everyone I know to be warm. :-D