Chunky knit striped hat

I’ve been making a lot of hats lately because I found a pattern that I consider just about perfect (at least for places where winter gets really cold). But I wanted to see what it would look like stripey, so I made this.

I think it turned out pretty cute. The only thing is that when I was weaving in the ends from the color changes, I forgot that the inside would become the outside when the bottom flipped up. So I’m not sure how to handle that. But I would say it’s barely noticeable. I hate weaving in ends. It’s the bane of my existence.

p.s. Only my mom would happen to have an extra styrofoam head in her house when I needed one.

Earring organizer

One of my goals this year was to be better accessorized (hey, I aim high), so I purchased a lot of earrings. And then I realized I had nowhere to put them. At least not somewhere I could see them out on display and grab a pair in the 10 seconds each morning I’m actually focused on earrings.

So, I made this.

It’s basically part 2 of the jewelry rack I made a few months ago out of a wooden box painted white with patterned paper glued inside. This time I used the top of the box and a piece of pink paisley inside. Cup hooks hold the earrings.

It took me a while to figure out how to hang the thing. I wanted a backing on it so the cup hooks that had poked through the back wouldn’t scratch the wall. That ended up being more trouble than it was worth, so what did I do? I covered the whole back with duct tape.

Then I bent a piece of thin wire, wrapped each end around one of the sticking-out hooks and hung it. Not the greatest solution, but it works.

Me and Andrew Zimmern, we’re like this

Lucky me, got a free pass to the media reception at the Celebrity Food and Wine Expo we’re having this weekend. And just as I was walking in the door, Andrew Zimmern came in.

I cannot express to you how starstruck I am by this guy — I love watching him eat all manner of rotten fermented tofu and testicles on his show, “Bizarre Foods.” Plus, he lives in Minnesota. And that’s, um, close to Iowa.

(I have to admit that my friend Sophia was also in this picture, but due to a spot on the camera it looked like a weird orb was floating above her head.)

We had a lovely 2-minute conversation and then I devoured a mini cheesecake and left. ‘Cause you know, if it looks good, EAT IT.

Also check out my interview with Guy Fieri, who has 3 or 4 shows on Food Network, but most people seem to recognize from TGI Friday’s commercials.

Loving: antique ring

This belonged to my great grandmother. My grandmother gifted it to me, and I have to say that after having it cleaned and resized (it was so small it only fit on my pinkie) it was great fun to watch it sparkling on my hand.