1–10 of 759 entries in the category: Domestic Art

The Word is Bird

November 15th

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving prep is underway at our house. The tables soon will be full with family, extended family, and neighbors. For the first time, I’m cooking the bird.

I’m a wee bit anxious. (Okay, it is 5 am and I’m blogging after spending an hour reading recipe reviews and turkey-cooking hacks. Apparently mayonnaise seems to be the way to go.)

Also this week, I started a new job. After nearly five years in state government, I decided to take a position with a health plan. I’m thankfully still working in public health, but with a new ID badge and set of coworkers. This week’s big project includes promoting HIV and TB testing among a specific population. In other words: MY JAM. Walking in the door of the new building yesterday felt much like the first day of school—nervous excitement, and also after two weeks off,  a bit of, “Oh, man. This means no afternoon naps, right?”

There will be no afternoon naps until, perhaps, Thanksgiving. In putting together the menu, and asking everyone to pitch in this and that, I’m most excited to make Orangette’s cranberry compote. I’ve made this before and like she describes, it really is a show stopper. This recipe reminded me how much I enjoy her blog, too.

The other tradition we’ll honor is a large bowl of black olives in a nod to my Grandmother Maxine. She hated olives, but knew her grandchildren loved them, and therefore always had a ready supply. We stuck them on our fingers and waggled them like fools until we were all well into adulthood. Like so many things, Thanksgiving always makes me think of Grandma Max. I miss everything about that woman, down to the way her house smelled when we’d arrive for the holiday. As I remember it, it was a mixture of coffee, all spice, turkey, and Ivory soap.

If the timing goes right, and I drink enough coffee this weekend while prepping pies and setting up guest rooms, I hope to run in our community turkey trot Thursday morning. Put one turkey in the oven, take the other out for a spandex-clad shuffle around the neighborhood. What could be better?

Wishing you and yours an excellent holiday.

xo,

K

Posted in
Celebrate!, Family, Hostess
Comments (5)

Master of Take Out

July 5th

Inspired by Master of None, I borrowed a friend’s Kitchenaid pasta maker attachment the other day with the high hopes of making J ravioli. Several hours later, we ordered takeout.

The process:

Homemade pasta -- ravioli flop

Homemade pasta -- ravioli flop

Homemade pasta -- ravioli flop

Homemade pasta -- ravioli flop

Homemade pasta -- ravioli flop

Homemade pasta -- ravioli flop

 

The sauce was great. My trick is to use ground beef and ground pork, and to cook it all day with diced vegetables and a large handful of basil from the garden.

The pasta was under cooked and gross. The ravioli weren’t pinched tightly enough, so a lot of the filling escaped, and I didn’t roll the dough thin enough. Sadly, I am not the master of homemade pasta.

Yet.

~K

 

Posted in
Domestic Art, Heirloom Hacienda, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
Comments (4)

A Pillow for the Cuban Room

June 1st

My friend Lisa once hosted me at her home in Indianapolis. She and her partner Dan are two of the most gracious people I know. Also, Lisa happens to be a total fitness nut and hilarious. I love the bits of time I get to spend with her when she’s in Arizona, and hope to travel to Indiana again to see them.

Her 50th birthday was a few months ago and of course I didn’t get anything in the mail to her her in time. So, I asked her if I could make a log cabin pillow to match one of the colorful rooms in their home. She sent me photos of the Cuba room, and this is what eventually arrived as a belated gift:

Cuba room pillow for Lisa. Www.africankelli.com

Cuba room pillow for Lisa. Www.africankelli.com

Cuba room pillow for Lisa. Www.africankelli.com

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Indiana?

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
Comments (4)

A Pillow for the Finny

May 27th

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

Finny's book pillow May 2016 www.africankelli.com

Finny's book pillow May 2016 www.africankelli.com

Finny's book pillow May 2016 www.africankelli.com

Finny's book pillow May 2016 www.africankelli.com

Finny's book pillow May 2016 www.africankelli.com

I asked Finny a while back for her list of favorite books. I knew I wanted to make a book pillow for her. The package arrived today and she was happy, which in turn makes me happy. This was a fun project — challenging because I am fairly awful at embroidery. And yet, there is her smiley face!

 

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
Comments (3)

Small Batch Plum Preserves

May 20th

My friend Liseanne has a bounty of fruit trees and an incredibly generous heart. Whenever things come into bloom, she shares her harvest. Once upon a time, I had pounds and pounds of key limes that were transformed into pies and frozen juice. This week, it was plums. I took these (super tart) purple gems and turned them into a small batch of preserves.

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

I didn’t take a photo of the 5 half pint jars this made, but you can imagine. I added brown sugar and all spice to the Ball plum preserve recipe. We included a bit of this last night over pork chops and it was delicious — even the little one liked it. (Win!)

I am so thankful for this community of women in my life who share what they have, whether it be fruit or ideas or support.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Heirloom Homestead
Comments (3)

The Flagstaff Quilt

May 19th

My friend Ross, who runs a large homeless shelter in northern Arizona and is one of the most dynamic, loveliest human beings I’ve ever met, is pregnant with her second son. We were invited to go to Flagstaff last weekend to celebrate the addition to their family. Of course, with nothing else on my plate, I decided it made sense to make a quilt in a week so we could take it with us.

Let’s just say, it kept me busy for that week. And it came together well, and Ross was happy.

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

 

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

May 2016 domestic life www.africankelli.com

Giving gifts like this makes my whole self happy. And I cannot wait to meet this new babe.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
Comments (3)

Sewing for the Disney Fan

May 9th

May 2016

Do you guys subscribe to Polka Dot Chair? I swear, Melissa’s sewing and quilting tutorials are some of the best I’ve read. Her ideas are fresh, she’s got a cute new line of fabric out, and I’m receiving nothing in return for this glowing review. It’s just honest.

She is creative and generous in sharing her ideas.

One of those recent ideas was a Mickey-themed earbud pouch. It shamefully took me way too many attempts to make this work. I didn’t follow her instructions, which was dumb. Mercifully this weekend, I had a bit of time to finish this and the corresponding tote bag for the Mickey fan in our house.

May 2016

May 2016

Another thing Melissa does well is emailing her subscribers. Her monthly quilt block project makes it more than worth it.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art
Comments (1)

Dinner Partaaaay

April 13th

PB Party

Our friend Sagar came over last weekend for dinner. He is quite the foodie, and is intimidating to cook for. (The type of foodie who spent six months working on a croissant recipe until it was perfected.)

So… I over thought this. We ended up grilling steaks, with carmelized onions and mushrooms. We roasted sprouts and asparagus, made some pesto with basil from the garden and made bread. The bread was a multi-day process, but it was well worth it.

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

Also, there was chocolate whiskey cake. And it was a bit dry, but I loved it.

April 2016

Add the rest of that whiskey to the party, and it became a partaaaay. It was fun to spend time with Sagar and his pup, Voo.

Nelson and Voo

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Hostess
Comments (2)

Valence Updated

April 12th

Cleaning up the valences. April sewing www.africankelli.com

Before.

Cleaning up the valences. April sewing www.africankelli.com

Cleaning up the valences. April sewing www.africankelli.com

 

Cleaning up the valences. April sewing www.africankelli.com

This project required using both a staple gun and a glue gun. It was fun, and I’m happy with this fabric.

Cleaning up the valences. April sewing www.africankelli.com

Next up: updating the murphy valences. These should really be called dust holders. I am so thankful Jason is okay with me taking this house apart room by room and adding my sense of style.

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Heirloom Hacienda
Comments (4)

The April Garden is Planted!

April 10th

April 2016

Jason finished up the addition to the garden bed this weekend, including a new irrigation system — which will come in handy as soon as temps climb over 100 and hauling buckets of water gets old. I am thrilled! Three weeks ago, I planted cucumbers and zucchini by seed, and with the addition, I was able to thin the starts by replanting them in the new bed. Additionally, we planted more tomatoes, onions, and I’m trying melons for the first time.

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

I am thrilled with this crazily (perhaps suggestively) shaped garden. It was my Christmas gift and I am so happy Santa heard me! And really happy we are all heirloom and organic. I mixed egg shells into the soil this morning and sprinkled everything with a heavy dose of bone meal. We are going to have a bounty of vegetables in a couple months. I’m dreaming of an early-summer tomato party, and trying pickles again with all those cukes.

A house feels like a home to me when I can get a garden going, especially one where I’ve had the time and resources to work the soil. I know with time, this will be my best garden yet.

~K

 

 

Posted in
Domestic Art, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Hacienda
Comments (2)