365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time

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Day 211/365: First Day of No Sugary Goodness

The Ventura Half Marathon is a little over six weeks away, and I have to start getting serious about the diet part of my half marathon training.  Up until now, I’ve been letting myself eat candy bars and chocolate-covered marshmallow cookies and key lime pie.  Two days ago, as I was huffing and puffing my way through mile two of a fifty-minute training run, I told myself that I had to cut sugar out of my diet.  And then I told that self that I would, after the last of the key lime pie was gone.

So now the entire pie has been eaten, and there are no more cookies or desserts in the refrigerator.  Today I refrained from buying a Snickers Almond candy bar from the vending machine at work (although I caved and bought one yesterday; it was delicious), and I didn’t ask my co-worker if I could have a handful from his Costco-sized bag of fun-size candy bars (from which he’d been supplying me all last week).  I’m going to count today as my first day of no sugary junk food and see if I can hold out for at least 30 days.


Goodbye, pie. Sigh.



Day 208/365: Quilted Patchwork Placemat #1, Completed

Remember the nine-patch blocks that I sewed last weekend, and the quilted placemat that was just waiting for me to hand-sew the binding in place?

So I finally got around to doing that.


Hooray! It’s done!


And it’s reversible!

I also spent some time today going through the fabric stash and slicing, pressing, and sewing together binding strips for the other two placemats that I am making for my cousin.  I plan to work on them a little at a time this week, so they should be done in a few days.

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Day 207/365: Key Lime Pie, Exposed

Last night I made key lime pie.  Although the pie was supposed to chill overnight in the refrigerator, Sean and I didn’t wait that long before cutting into it.


Out of curiosity, we decided to calculate the number of calories in each slice.  It turned out to be approximately 400 calories per serving.


This slice of pie adds up to around 400 calories, can you believe it?

I decided to eat just half a serving…


Only 200 calories!

…and then ended up eating the other half of the slice, anyway.

It’s a good thing we’re training for a half marathon and had to run seven miles this afternoon.  Because there’s still half a pie left, and it is yummy.

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Day 206/365: Key Lime Pie

Tonight’s handmade project is key lime pie.  Sean is from Florida and when I saw that our local grocery store had fresh key limes for sale, I knew I had to purchase a bag and make a key lime pie for my husband.

So this is what I did earlier today:


The recipe for the pie itself is pretty simple.  Mix 3 egg yolks, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, and half a cup of key lime juice.  Pour into a graham cracker crust and bake for half an hour in a 325 degree oven.

I just took the pie out of the oven five minutes ago, and here is what it looks like:


It will look a lot prettier once I whip the cream and dollop it all over the top of that pie.  In the meantime, I’m supposed to let it cool.  Ideally, the pie should be left to chill in the refrigerator overnight before serving, but yeah, I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

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Day 205/365: Instant Coffee Bottles and Blue Folders

My buddy Lieutenant H is currently serving as the Captain on our yard. That means he is at the top of the administrative chain of command and gets the big office with a nice wide view of the yard. I have frequently stopped by his office to chat, and now that he is the Captain, it’s even more fun to chat with him in the new office.

This afternoon I stopped in to say hello and to check out the activities on the yard. Directly across the office window were several inmates seated on the benches or standing around, talking to each other. I don’t even remember exactly what H and I were initially discussing, but the conversation got around to gang members on the yard. H told me that inmates aren’t allowed to demonstrate any kind of gang signs on the yard, but they find ways to get around it.

“See that guy with the water bottle in his hand? It’s got a red lid,” H pointed out. “He’s flashing his colors. He’s a Blood.”

H scanned the rest of the immediate area. “See that guy there with the blue folder under his arm? He’s a Crip.”

Just then, one of the yard officers happened to walk past the office door. H called for him to come inside the office.

“Hey, B,” H said. “You see that guy over there with the red lid on the plastic bottle? You know him? I was just telling Dr. V here that he’s a Blood.”

Officer B came over to the window to get a better look. He peered at the object in question. “That’s a Sanka coffee container,” he said. “That’s the color of the lid.”

“Okay, well, what about this guy over here with the blue folder?” H asked.

Officer B leaned forward, squinted, and checked it out. “They get those folders from Education. The teachers hand them out. It’s whatever color the teacher gives them.”

I looked at H. He looked at me and shrugged with his hands open in a “What can I say?” gesture.

“Okay,” he said. “I guess I got cynical.”


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Day 204/365: The Cabin Fever Sock Gets Its Heel Turned

In between sewing and working on my quilted placemat, I’ve also been knitting a few rounds at a time on the Cabin Fever sock.  Last night I knit the gusset and the heel.  I love the feel of this yarn and the colors are so pretty (Cabin Fever is the name of the colorway), but it’s the middle of July and so humid lately that I know I won’t be wearing these wool socks any time soon.