Saturday, October 30, 2010


So the other day I showed you what I made for my swap partner; today I'll show you that I am, indeed, spoiled :)


Beautiful burgundy (my favorite!) sock yarn-- enough to make a fantastic shawl, the pattern also a gift from Stacey :)


Cupcake cups and toppers!! Stacey knows I love to bake :)

and the most beautiful gloves-- with some of Stacey's lovely cables! Stacey loves cables, and so hers always turn out so fantastic :)


They're super warm and super soft-- perfect for my new job, where we sometimes don't want to run the heater (since space heaters are so expensive).

Stacey made me feel so love-- and made me miss my knitting group so much! They're all such marvelous people, and I miss my weekly meetings with all of them :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I love having handmade things around my home that I know don't exist anywhere else in the world, and I thought I'd show you a few of the ones that make me happy.


My brother made me this chalk board for my birthday using a license plate frame the University gave me when I graduated and some chalk board paint.


When Mr. Nicholas and I were still dating long distance, my Oma and I sent him cookies, and this is how I decorated the top of his box. (you can also see the green wrapping paper from his one year anniversary present)


Last Christmas at my Mom's, we made salt dough ornaments, and this handsome fella made by 
nick earned himself a year-round home on one of our cork boards.


This is another gift from my brother-- for my graduation he made me a magnetized spice board with labeled cannisters. Awesome, right?


This one was made by me years ago, and is one of my favorite of the bird houses I've ever made.

Basically, I love having unique handmade items around, and I try to give handmade gifts as often as possible. The most recent was for another swap. I made a leaf scarf, cookies in a jar, and added a skein of yarn.

I plan on handmaking all my Christmas gifts too, as well as hand making the wrap! I think the package is half the fun. This one went in the mail wrapped and decorated.

Fun right? :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Update: The Brown Sweater

I've been working hard on getting the sweater ready for Christmas, but life had other things in mind, and it isn't ready in time; not that I won't be able to get it finished by Christmas (I still have plenty of faith in myself for that) but that the sweater won't be for my Daddy anymore.

Would you like to meet him?


Isn't he handsome? My dad was the most supportive man I've ever met. He was always there to help me, even when he didn't agree with what I was doing. He didn't always love his job, but he loved being able to take care of me and my brother, and he loved the men he worked with.

Last month he took a week off. He spent a few days out of state with his mom and his new wife at a family reunion, and then he came home and got some work done around the house. On September 24th he took some time to work on his motorcycle with my brother. And that night, at the age of 47, my dad had a heart attack and died. 

There's nothing fair about it.

Here's the front panel of the sweater he didn't know I was working on for him.


I'm going to finish it anyway. I've already asked my brother, and he said he would like it. And if you're driving around California and see this decal on someone's car:

Know that someone in that car loves my dad. If it's black, that's a friend. And if it's red, that's family. And if you happen to pass an Edison truck with a red one on it...well then you'll know that that's the truck my dad drove. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Sally Dress

This is my Sally dress (from Nightmare before Christmas):


I used a regular dress and sewed on the patches of broadcloth (from JoAnn's) using a picture of Sally from the movie as a reference. I used a permanent marker to replicate the patterns on her patches. But the yellow was too bright for my taste so I tried soaking it in coffee.


And when that didn't get me anywhere, I tried some stronger coffee.

And I guess that worked a little bit...

But I still wasn't entirely happy, so I brewed up a potio...I mean, I threw some stuff in a pot...

Which included several tea bags, strong coffee...

Food coloring, red wine vinegar, and cocoa powder. It was marvelous! Just kidding, it smelled awful, and it didn't look much better.


And so this is how my dress looks now (after a good rinse to get rid of the smell. And the taste. Not that I tasted it.):

Let's do a side by side comparison, shall we?

Weird, if I didn't know better, I would say nothing had been done at all :-/

I'll be sure to update with photos from Halloween day, so you can see how I look standing next to Mr. Jack Skellington :)

Friday, October 22, 2010


I don't have a lot of jewelry, and very little of what I do have is worth anything, monetarily speaking...but I do love the pieces I have, and I wanted a way to display them so that I could see everything when I was picking what I wanted to wear. So behind the bathroom door, I hung this:

It's a cork board, covered in felt (using hot glue) and then with a ribbon boarder hot glued on. I used regular old thumb tacks to hang everything, and I love how it turned out! It makes me happy to look at all my pretty things :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fortune Teller

Mom and I made this together for her car when we take it Trunk or Treating (for the kids at her church):


Hat from the dollar store halloween aisle; mop head from the dollar store cleaning aisle; cool glittery shawl from Mom's collection (maybe something similar could be found at JoAnn's?); jersey cloth from Mom's personal stash (stuffed with batting [also from her stash] and sculpted with stitches coming in through the back of the head); gloves from Mom's costume box; purple skirt and yellow top from Mom's costume box; pillow (body) tied around the middle to form a waist.

I'll be sure to take pictures of the whole car once it's put together-- Mom's made the coolest crystal ball, and she plans on putting up "curtains" using black plastic. Too bad our candles aren't secure enough to travel, huh?

Mom mentioned that this is similar to the method we used to make our own scarecrow one year (before I was old enough to remember) but using old clothes, straw, and a paper bag (for the head) instead of the above supplies. Kind of a fun fall activity :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Cupcakes

My Step Dad is pretty awesome. I was at his and my Mom's house for an extended stay and going through a rough patch. My Step Dad comes home from the store and presents a little gift to me-- Halloween cupcake cups, Halloween nonpareils, and Halloween toppers. So for his birthday (October 10) I made him a huge batch of fudge cupcakes...and a little birthday cake :)


Now, in all honesty, I wasn't particularly fond of how the cupcakes tasted. I thought they were way too dry. But everyone else said they liked maybe I'm crazy.

P.S. I have a really serious addiction to candy corn. Really serious. And the only good candy corn is found only in October. It is so frustrating.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Breakfast Sandwich

The other night I made a honey baked ham for dinner (so yummy) and so the next morning there was this sliced ham in the fridge...

So I heated up slices of buttered bread, added an egg to the mix, and a slice of swiss cheese and voila!


You know what would have made it even more perfect? Sliced fresh tomatoes!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I told you I would show you how I had organized my scarves, right? Well, see here, this is an example of me keeping my promise :)

When I lived with my grandmother (I lived there while I was going to college-- it was so nice to have family so close!) she bought me several things to help me organize my room, like shoe and sweater hangers, and these cool bands for the back of the door, meant to hold purses and belts. But of course, I already had a perfect way to organize my purses, so I used them instead for my scarves!

Isn't that nice? I think the back of doors is a wasted space and I love it when I can use it somehow. I'm in the market for a head-to-toe mirror to add to the back of the other closet door next :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tomato Sauce

I am so excited about this post. How often does a girl get to make her own tomato sauce (at least living in California) from tomatoes from a garden?? Nick's mom gave us garden tomatoes from her Father's garden, and look how beautiful they are!

Mom gave me the hint that boiling tomatoes makes it easy to skin them. And look how well it works!

So the next step was to cut out the inedible centers, and then smash them! I bought that potato masher two days before I got the idea to make tomato sauce. That right there is providence, plain and simple.

And then I used this recipe to add the spices and for cook time, added some ground turkey...

And had delicious, home made tomato sauce :) Perfect!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Peach Pie

I made my first real pie!

We had a bag of frozen peaches from my aunt, who had way too many to use. So we defrosted them, and mixed sugar into the juice in a sauce pan. We took our home made crust, which we added a bit of cinnamon to, and filled it with the peaches, poured over the glaze made from the sugar and peach juice, and topped it with a lattice.


Isn't it beautiful?? And it was super yummy! Except...guess what? I don't really like pie crust :-/ I wonder if there's something I can use instead next time?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Amish White Bread

I really made my own bread!

I bought a whole jar of active dry yeast last time I needed it, because I couldn't find the little packets, and so I decided I would just try to find ways to use it up-- by making bread, of course! And I was ready for it to be the hardest thing to do ever and it turns out it was pretty simple! Since I didn't have loaf pans, I just hand-shaped them...

 And didn't they just turn out beautiful? I tried topping them with rolled oats and chopped pecans...but everything just fell off after the loaves came out of the oven :/ I'll try again next time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Composite Photo

This is just another silly little thing I put together. When Nick and I went to my senior ball, we took pictures at the beach, and my favorite pictures of Mr. Nicholas were of him stepping across the rocks to get to me. So I decided to assemble them into a composite so I could display them all together.

Aren't they funny? Based purely on these photos, I would say Nick would make a good Mad Hatter for Halloween some day :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


When I moved into my first apartment, I promised myself I wouldn't be the kind of person who collected "things" and made people admire them all over every surface in the house. Not unless there's a point to them, I told myself!

And, as you can probably imagine, that lasted about five minutes. So let me show you some of the "things" I put up on the new (almost level) shelves Mr. Nicholas and I just put up.

This shelf is in the hall (which is almost too small to call a hall). We have Pon and Zi, made by Ms Shannon of Sunflower Crochet, given to me by Nick (what a sweetie). The candle holder is from the room my Mom helped me put together during high school-- it was a safari theme (I felt so grown up!). The little bobble head Jack Skellington was a gift from Daddy when he went to Disneyland with his wife for a work thingy, the surfboard is Christmas gift to Nick from his Dad, and the shell is from his brother. 

This shelf is in the bathroom. The cherry scented spray and tin is from my coworkers last year. The amber spray is from Nick's brother, both perfumes are from my Oma, and the dog picture holder is from Daddy...I told him all I wanted for Christmas was a puppy, and he delivered! That silly photo of Mr. Nicholas was given to me by Nick's Mom. I'm sure he's happy it's prominently displayed!

The next three shelves are all in the kitchen. This one is closest to the oven (the glare is from unwashed dishes. Oh my.) Above the apron my Aunt gave me is a coffee press, coffee grinder, little Asian bowl (full of pecans!) and a clay-lined mug from Starbucks that changes color when you put hot water in it! (Cool, right?)

Three jars of pecans (from Nick's Mom-- so excited to use them for more yummy foods!) a silly toothpick holder that my Aunt gave me out of pity when she heard we didn't have any toothpicks, and a VW bus that came from Nick's Dad.

A birdhouse that I painted and shingled years ago and that sat in my Dad's house for awhile before he gave it back to me, a pie bird, a sewing awl from Alex (so cool-- it's for industrial strength materials) and a vase that Mom bought when she was putting on my high school graduation party (it was a glamerous/grown up theme). 

So I guess this just all goes to show that sometimes, when "things" have a story, it's not so bad to have them out!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lemon Lime Soda

This is just a silly thing, but look!

I wonder, could you use a jelly and make fruit flavored sodas? Or powdered ginger to make gingerale?  I might have to try some other least until I run out of club soda!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes

First of all, let me just say that Fall is wonderful. When we visited Nick's Mom last, she gave us a huge bag of pecans and I got the idea to use them to top cupcakes. And what better flavor of cupcakes to go with pecans than pumpkin? (Although I have to admit that my original thought was to go with persimmon).

So I found a simple-looking carrot cake recipe, replaced the carrot with pumpkin (from a can, not a pumpkin-- I'm not that cool) made some cream cheese frosting, and then topped the cupcakes off with a pecan.

Mr. Nicholas says he might keep me around if I keep making yummy things like this. My kitchen might want me to go somewhere else, though, because it tends to be in a bit of disarray every time I bake...

Perhaps I could use some more counter space?

One important thing about the cupcakes-- they were best on the same day they were made (which I'm sure is true of most baked goods) but a regular cake recipe makes about three dozen cupcakes (which is way too much to eat in one day).