What is a KittenKnuckle?

My photo
Tacoma, WA, United States
Simple things make me happy, life is too hard.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


I have a lot going on in my personal life right now which is making it difficult for me to focus on crafts and my new business. I have a ton of projects I want to work on but my mind just won't go there. One of the issues I'm facing is surgery in a couple of weeks. I've been thinking about optimizing my body's ability to heal. I've been loading up on antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and protein to boost my immune system. I did some research on suggested diets for pre/post surgery and wound healing. I'm already on right track due to the special diet for my GERD.  I'm eating extra healthy - organic, juicing and smoothies. I'm also taking a supplement of vitamin C, bromelain, tumeric and citris bioflavonoid. I'm trying to be extra careful about what goes into my body.

One of my favorite crafts is cooking. When I cook I often use recipes as a guide or a suggestion. I like to experiment or add my favorite foods in place of ingredients the recipe calls for. Have you ever made up a dish with just your favorite foods? YUM! Get creative.

Last year when I was on the elimination diet trying to narrow down my food allergies I was stifled by the restrictions until I discovered several recipes that blew my taste buds away and opened my mind to new ways to use food. Who needs bread when you have collard greens or quinoa?! Yuck you say? Collard greens don't always have to be a sloppy, mushy mess and quinoa doesn't always have to be in a bland salad. A friend suggested a recipe from the blog The Daily Dietribe. She is a self professed as honest, silly an awkward which I relate to 100%. I haven't read all her blogs but so far the recipes I have tried and loved are the Collard Green Wraps and Quinoa Pizza. By the way I'm allergic to beans and eggs which means I'm hardly ever allergen free, but I'm working on it.

Tonight I made the collard green wraps with my own twist.

For the spread - roasted brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic and fresh basil, oregano. Fresh on the inside - radish sprouts, tomatoes,carrots, asiago cheese and avacado. All wraped in blanched collard greens. So yummy! You have to try it to believe it. For a side, sauteed chanterelles.


Love pizza but hate the heavy full feeling you get after eating it? Then try this Quinoa Pizza recipe. It's easier and by far tastier then traditional pizza. Here is a picture from the first time I made it with cilantro garlic crust. Topped with homemade heirloom tomato sauce, ground buffalo, almond cheese and avacado.
I implore you to try any recipe or one from The Daily Dietribe but use ingredients that you love. Don't forget to tell me how it turns out.

Factiod Outro: Quinoa's protein content is very high (14% by mass), good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus and is high in magnesium, calcium, and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights. Remember to soak or rise your quinoa before you cook it.

Love & good eats-

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Since it's mushroom season I couldn't help but share my adoration of fungus.

There are so many reasons to value fungus as a food, medicine and beautification (forest, home & otherwise). They are unique, mysterious, diverse and fleeting. There is a duality with mushrooms. They can be good or bad, scrumptious or dangerous. They are rebels, neither animal or plant. Mushrooms live underground as a community. How bad ass is that?! When two compatible hyphae meet they join together to form another network called the 'Mycelium' which grows underground for most of the year until the conditions are right for fruiting and that's when we get to see mushrooms.

A couple months ago I went to the Motherearth News Fair to learn a couple things and pick up some goodies. While I was there I went to a talk by Mycologist Paul Stamens who blew my mind! He believes mushrooms can help heal the earth and the people on it. You can watch a talk similar to the one I saw on
Ted Talks. It can be found on Netflix as well. I bought a patch of Reishi mushrooms to grow myself. This mushroom is usually broken up, powdered and steeped in simple teas. It is believed to be an immunostimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky-gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. It is said to be used as an aid to sleep, as a diuretic, as a laxative and to lower cholesterol.

A couple of photos from a free wild mushroom walk I took last year in Bridle Park .If you live in the Puget Sound area you can check out this
walk yourself.

Amanita Mushroom (poisonous)
Didn't identify - Tiny Orange Mushroom
Mycena (smells like bleach)

I've been dying to visit the Hoh rainforest for years with its lush scenery and enchanting hiking trails. While on vacation last month in the Olympic National Park my partner and I stopped for a picnic and short hike in the Hoh Rainforest. While checking out what is said to be one of the largest Sitka Spruce in the world (270-feet high, 12.5 feet in diameter, aged between 500-550 years old) we discovered a large patch of chicken mushrooms. They were brilliant orange and beautiful. This mushroom is edible depending on what kind of tree it grows on.

Recently I was lucky enough to find this clear glass jar shaped like a mushroom at a local thrift store. This simple and fun craft project involved just a few tools the jar, a can spray paint, masking tape and scissors. I'll be using the jar for cotton swabs & cotton balls in my bathroom. Why orange you ask? I was inspired by the chicken mushrooms and it matches the tiles in my bathroom. Yes I know I'm a dork.

  1. Cut out circles and strips from the roll of masking tape in different sizes then place them randomly on the mushroom.

  2. Spray the jar then wait about an hour or two for it to dry.

  3. Pull off the tape. You can use a knife to cut around the tape before you pull it off to get cleaner lines but I just pulled it off.  I couldn't wait to see how it turned out. I cleaned up the lines with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.

  4. You can add a clear coat so the paint does smudge or run.

If you want to learn more about wild mushrooms and see some in person check out the Puget Sound Mycologicol Society's Annual Wild Mushroom Show in Seattle Washington October 13th & 14th. Maybe I see you there :)

Factoid Outro: Armillaria solidipes, known to be one of the largest living organisms in the world, a single specimen found in Malheur National Forest in Oregon. Scientists estimate it's been growing for some 2,400 years, covering 3.4 square miles and colloquially named the "Humongous Fungus."

I'm tried to keep it short this time but I kept thinking of more and more fungus fanciness to share.

Since I'm new to blogging I'd love your feed back. Is my layout funky, font hard to read, or other suggestions? I'm not a strong speller but I will do my best for you Alana ;)

Stay tuned. My next blog should be about the small business I'm forming.

-Love KittenKnuckles

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And then there was KraftyKnuckles

I'm not the most focused person. I can't deside on one craft, one project, one goal. I want to do it all. I take things apart, put them together, figure how how they work, discover their mystery then in a creative way I remake it. In my way.

One of my favorite parts of the Mr. Rogers show was "How People Make Things". He would take us on a tour showing us where useful items come from, how they are made and who makes them. He'd show how everything has a beginning, middle, and end. How things take time to accomplish and that we shouldn't give up so easily when we're frustrated in our work. I think Radiolab has been an adult replacement for my Mr. Rogers craving. Radiolab could be the How Poeple Make Things show for the Mr Rogers generation of the 70s-80s.

I've always been crafty. My first memory of serious craftiness started when I had to have a bubble skirt when I was about 13. It was goldenrod yellow with big black polka dots. In the process my mom taught me to sew. Sewing is still a large part of my repertoire even though I'm not the most skilled seamstress. To be honest I'm not the most skilled anything. I have not found that yet and I'm happy to keep trying. I have had many creative ventures since trying to make things instead of buying them from the store. About 10 years ago I started making bracelet cuffs from used belts.

More recently I've been studying primitive skills and herbalism. I was lead to primitive skills by the yearning to hand weave a basket for my bike. This quest has sent me in a whole new direction. While searching for basket weaving classes in my area I found primitive skills schools in my area Earthwalk Northwest, Cedar Mountain Herb School and Wolf College. They have totally changed my life. Like hiking and backpacking I wish I would have discovered these 'focuses'  sooner. I have taken a few classes that have inspired me to infuse art into everyday useful every items.

Beginning weaving, cedar around a river rock. No, not much purpose but it was a fun place to start.