Sunday, February 28, 2010

Updated Doilies 5

I'm sure you're tired of seeing these by now, but I'm really happy with how they're turning out. As you can see, I've run out of the blue and am now using my pink sport weight yarn. I don't mind that it's not entirely one way or the other, because the whole point of this blanket is to be a little bit crazy. I only have a little of the pink left, so I might not be able to do a whole pink one at all, but we'll just see what happens!

Previous posts here and here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Paper Mache Bowl

I really enjoy crafting, but I find that I have mostly time for knitting and less time for other crafts. This is not a bad thing, I suppose, but sometimes I find that there's a lot of other cool stuff out there that I'm missing. This was one of my fun forays into other crafting fields. I made a paper mache bowl out of newspaper strips and colored magazine, with a metal bowl as my form. I would suggest a rubber bowl instead, because it was fairly difficult to get the dried paper out of the bowl. I would also suggest doing the newspaper layer in the morning, and then pulling the dried paper out of the form the following morning. I don't have the patience for anything like that, though, so I went ahead and pulled it out before it was dry and then had to re-place a couple layers of paper (I don't suggest impatience). 

I used white glue mixed with water, although there's lots of options out there for what you can use.Since I was working out of my book I was kind of following directions, but the directions called for 10 layers of newspaper and 1 of colored paper, and I did 7 of newspaper and tons of colored paper. It also called for wrapping paper on the outside (for a solid color) and magazine on the inside for a more varied look, but I decided to go ahead and do magazine on both the outside and inside. To make the inside interesting, I arranged the strips of red paper in a spiral. I think it gave the whole thing a very interesting look.

If I were to do it again I might look into using a smaller bowl. This one was so big that I'm not sure what the heck to do with it now. I have to find someone to give it to so I can get it out of my closet!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Updated Doilies 4

So here is another update on the doilies! As you can see, the more I made, the less cohesive the group becomes, but I'm just not thinking about it (isn't that the best way to deal with problems like these?).

Anyway, the doilies are fun to make and a nice break from large projects, so I'm not complaining a bit. I'm almost out of blue yarn, so I'll be starting on my stashed pink next!

Previous posts abound in this blog.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Post!

I have a new post over at my other blog. If you have time, some of my classmates are also doing a really good job, so if you're interested in music, cultural criticism, internship advice, staying healthy, body image, positive vibes in the news, eating with severe allergies, cooking, or experiencing LA, go check some of them out!

Thanks much :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Drop Stitch Scarf

This is a scarf that my boyfriend made me for Valentines Day. The pattern was very easy and he actually learned how to do everything on his own from the internet!! I think handmade gifts are the best, so this made me so very happy.

Check out this blog, where someone even made a resolution to only give handmade gifts-- AND only ones her child could help with! Give it a try, because you might love it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eggplant Parmigiana

This is an amazing dinner my boyfriend and I made awhile back. We used a recipe I found online and we thought it was seriously fantastic.

I made almost no alterations from this recipe, except that we had a different sized dish, so there was only a layer and a half, instead of several. I really loved the eggplant in this dish, and I highly recommend trying it!

Monday, February 22, 2010

German Chocolate Cupcakes

So this is probably one of the easiest things I've ever posted: German Chocolate cupcakes.

I just bought a regular German Chocolate cake mix and white baking cups, used some cream cheese frosting from the store and some pink sprinkles.

But I think even simple projects are nice-- especially when they're projects done with children, or in a hurry!

And all holidays deserve special desserts :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Updated Blanket (Again)

I just wanted you to see how it's going! Now that it's getting bigger, it seems to go slower, but I'm still REALLY happy with it!

Previous posts here and here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mini Valentine Cakes

So for Valentines Day, I wanted to make a few people things without making a huge deal of it. I love holidays, and I love excuses to make people things, but I don't like people feeling bad if they don't do something for me in return-- that's not the point!

So these mini cakes were the perfect solution. I made a Brown Velvet Cake (which is just a Red Velvet Cake without the red, with four times the cocoa powder, and a teaspoon of vanilla) and I baked it in pot pie metal tins (from the grocery store).

I wanted three cakes, so I bought six tins (three in a package, 4$ per package) and I poured the remainder of the batter in muffin tins for cupcakes. The frosting included in the recipe is fantastic, so the only other thing I changed was the addition of raspberries on the top. I felt that, since I had taken away the red from the batter, I needed to added red into the decoration.

I'm really pleased with the cakes. They're cute, they're very yummy, and they're not so huge of a gift that someone is going to feel guilty about anything. Perfect!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Seeing Red Drink

So this is from a book my step father got for Christmas called The Pocket Guide to Cocktails. This was my favorite of the two we made (the other one had creme in it, and it curdled!)

The fun thing about cocktails is that you can substitute the alcohols for soda water or sparkling juice, and give non-drinkers and kids a similar sense of a special occasion, without child services taking away your children!

I also love cocktails for the billions of possibilities. They definitly allow you to choose something fun and different for every occasion-- whether you're looking for a specific flavor or color or alcohol content.

Very fun-- as usual!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


These were so good! You don't need to hear much from me, but check out the recipe and try it out yourself! They're really salty, so if you cut the salt content a little it probably wouldn't be so bad.

Also, they seem to keep alright. My brother tried one the next day, and he said they lost a little of the crunch, but they were still really tasty.

I highly recommend these as a substitute to regular chips. Fantastic!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hair Henna

Mom came into some Henna (the hair kind) and we decided to try it out. Since the Egyptians apparently use it for a conditioner, we thought it would kind of be a pampering type thing. We know it dyes skin, but we weren't sure how it would do on hair.

Turns out, it left mine and my brother's hair straw-y

But! It was tons of fun playing with mud-- just like little kids! And if you can find henna for skin-- even better!

Image source.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cake

So this is a Chocolate cake with Chocolate-chocolate chip filling and chocolate frosting. But the cake isn't the best part!!

This cake was made for my step-brother's birthday, and he loves rubber ducks. So my Mom came across these duck candles and planned accordingly.

I think it is so important for a birthday cake to match the personality of the birthday person. In this case, most people would question a duck cake for a 22 year old, but if that's what he wants, then it's a score to find the duck candles. And a person feels so special when they see their cake and they know in a second it's theirs!

Plus, it makes the baker feel really good to see someone really happy when they see their cake!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Petits Fours

I know, I know, borrowing more ideas. These are for Petits Fours with the super-easy base of Oreo Cakesters!

My mom and I have been wanting to try working with fondant, so this was our first chance. We picked up a box of it at Michael's and then just played around with it.

We also tried using cupcakes as the base, instead of cakesters. We were very happy with all our results, except for...

Taste. I can't handle the way fondant feels in my mouth. So I recommend trying someone else's work before deciding to do a whole party with fondant petits fours.

Good luck!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Another idea stolen from the decorated cookie but I just can't help it! So many ideas, so little time!

I thought the vegan pretzel treats she made were adorable and fun, but I'm not vegan, and I wanted something fairly innocent to take to a class. So I made regular pretzel treats! We made them much the same as the brownie pops, and then laid them out on foil overnight to solidify.

The only major problem with these was how to get them to travel safely. I used a wrapped cardboard box lined with a gallon ziplock, but what I originally wanted was a tall mason jar. If the pretzels you have fit in a mason jar, it's easy to change the whole presentation to make these a very nice, very easy gift!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Brownie Pops

So this is another idea that I borrowed from my favorite blog. She took brownies and made them into the cutest bluebirds ever, and I took that idea and made these much more simple brownie pops.

We used a chocolate melter, but a double boiler or one pan inside another would work just fine. We then set out our sugars and dipped the brownies in the chocolate, and then in the sugar.

The main problem we had was with the brownies falling off the stick after the chocolate had been added. I think this was mainly a problem with the pan we used to bake. We had one of the silicone mini cupcake things, and it didn't fit in the oven right. Some of the brownies didn't have the nice crunchy bottom to them, so the sticks slipped right through after they were cooled.

But don't see it as a bad thing! Falling brownie pops just left us with tons to sample, so it's all good!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Updated Doilies 3

So as you can see, there are now three sizes of doilies, and only one of them lies flat! but I'm still not worrying about the whole situation. I'll keep updating on them every time I make a new one. Hopefully someday they'll be suitable for a blanket or some other large project!

Previous posts here, here and here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another New Post!

There's a new post at the other blog. I would be most appreciative if you went to take a look!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rhino the Stegosaurus

I made this little guy in three days, and I'm really happy with him. The pattern was so easy to follow and I was never frustrated.

He's a good project for a boy, because even though he's a stuffed toy, he's a dinosaur. Although if you did him in pink and purple he would be really cute for a girl too! I know I loved dinosaurs when I was a little girl!

I've noticed that I end up giving all my stuffed animals to my boyfriend-- I might have to find another giftee soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Brand-New Designer

So the other day I went to the Silverlake Art*Craft & Vintage sale and I found this pretty top by a designer named Magali De La Rosa. I know, I know, she's marketing it as a dress, but I don't wear anything that stops above my knee, so a top it is!

It needs a little bit of alteration; the bust is just a touch too big for me. For now, my cousins are borrowing it (it fits them just fine...dammit) but when it gets to be spring, I'll bring it to Mommy's to help me alter...because we already know what happens when I get around a sewing machine!

In the meantime, I highly recommend finding street fairs in your area. If you're in my area, the LA times has a fantastic events calendar, and I would assume that any other newspaper would have something similar.

Have fun!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Storage Box

This little box was purchased from a cigar store for 5$, and then put in storage for ages, until I saw in my craft book ideas for painting boxes.

While I loved the idea of painting this one, I didn't want to sand off the stain or try to avoid the hardware, so I decided to come up with another way to cover the cigar logo.

I hot glued the ribbon around the lid of the box, and the covered the ends and the glue on the inside with a square of felt. I'm really happy with the results-- and I think it makes for great storage for small things like buttons and other shiny crafty things!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sewing Frustration

So the last time I mentioned doilies I talked about how important it is to try not to get frustrated with things, because it ruins the feelings about the whole project. Well let me present a project that was ruined by me getting frustrated:

So, this was going to be a journal cover for my mom. She loves history, and she really enjoys Egypt, so I was going to sew on these little Pyramids. I didn't like how they were turning out when I was sewing them by hand, so I pulled out the machine and I was going to run a thick zigzag around each individual triangle. The first one went fantastic. The second one got sewn in the wrong place.

I couldn't just rip the zigzag and re-place the second triangle, because the cloth was thin enough that all the pin marks were going to throw, and I couldn't figure out how to alter the design in a way that I would still be happy with giving it to someone; so the whole project went in the trash.

Of course, there was probably a better way of fixing the problem than just trashing the whole thing, but I had sewn it in such a way that there was no space for the rest of the picture, and I was unwilling to compromise the view I had of the project into something else, so it just had to go. While I don't reccommend getting this frustrated over a small square of cloth, if it does happen to you I will of course understand!

I, however, will steer clear of the sewing machine!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Caroline's Altered Chili

I found a great recipe on a classmate's blog and made it the other day for my grandmother, brother, and father, and it turned out to be a big hit. Major alterations were the substitution of real meat for fake, but I also left out the garlic and cilantro. We had it with fresh cornbread, and the meal was fantastic. I love trying new recipes, and I don't mind altering them, because I figure if the people I am borrowing the recipes from didn't want them to be used and personalized, then they would keep them to themselves and their families.

A Dinner Anti-Disaster this time!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Updated Doilies 2!

I think this is a fantastic choice for a scrap project, because it goes so quick! I can do one a night, if I want, and it gives me something mindless to do between some of my more serious projects.

As you can see, the third one is back to being the size of the first one. So now I have two non-flat big ones and one flat-ish smaller one. But I'm not worrying yet, and I think that's something that I've had to learn over the years. Not everything I make is going to be perfect, but I can still make it work out somehow.

Don't even let yourself get frustrated because things aren't working out "just right"-- trust me, I do this often enough to know that it ruins feelings for the project!

Good luck!

Previous posts here and here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Updated Blanket

So I've added the first bit of yarn since I finished the Wild Thing scraps, and I pretty much love how the blanket is looking! The blue-green color is a bit wild, but I think it makes the blanket look a little more haphazard, which is exactly what I was going for.

Hope your scrap projects are going fantastic, too!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Updated Doilies

So of course you remember my doily post, and as you can see I've made another. I used exactly the same yarn, exactly the same needle, and exactly the same pattern...


And obviously I messed up on one of them, because they are clearly not the same size. I'm not worrying about it now, though-- we'll see what happens when I have a few more done!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Post...

I know, I know, more bouncing around. But I've posted my second advertising blog post, and I would be MOST grateful if you would go check it out :)

Thanks much! Back to usual craftyness tomorrow!