Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Not much doing

Thanks to the Law and Order SVU marathons and my overall laziness I haven't been keeping up with the blog. Darn that SVU, I'm hooked! Darn that sleep, I'm hooked! Between naps and the SVU marathon this weekend I'm surprised I got anything done--hehe, I only really ran a couple of errands on Saturday....the rest of the weekend flew by in a haze of grogginess and tv.

Preceding the weekend of lounge was the week of unproductiveness...just some baking here and there, nothing that's really inneresting. Baked (or overbaked to be honest) some sconey/shortcake things. Eh, it's like toast, you just scrape off the dark parts. It's just a little burnt, it's still good, it's still good!

Tonight I attempted Clotilde's Blueberry Coffee Cake, somehow it just doesn't look the same. Looks pretty dry compared to the moist deliciousness of the original. I did leave it in the pan longer than 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven....nuts. Oh well, the folks at work tomorrow will be the guinea pigs--as usual :)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Today's theme is....round

Mail goodies from Niecy! Sparkly beads and a mirror compact that reminded her of me! Makes me laff, she knows me so well :) I'm still figuring out how I should use the beads but I have a couple of ideas. Thank you, thank you Niecy!!!!

So last week I found directions at Martha Stewart on how to crochet a ball and I was intrigued, especially after seeing all the super awesome softies (scroll down) that Camilla makes. Thought a ball would be an easy-ish project to ease my way into 3-d crocheting goodness.

Behold! Crocheted boobolas! Maybe not boobolas, but boobola holders, and not very symmetric ones at that. Oh well.

As you can see below I didn't stuff the ball enough...it's quite lumpy and not very ball like. Hehe, I can actually mush it into something resembling a suppository. I guess if I had blocked it it might have had a better chance of looking like a ball...although how do you block something like this? And it's huge (in keeping with the suppository theme)! Okay, not HUGE (not even that big--about the size of a cantaloupe) but a lot bigger than I expected--I was thinking softball size or something.

I have some left over yarn so I'd like to try making a smaller ball...maybe I could make a lime or something.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Silly rant

So the other day we decide to finally restock items we usually get from the health food store--things like vanilla*, granola, steel cut oats, etc. Usually the boy makes us oatmeal in the morning, prepared this way as seen on Good Eats but we ran out of steel cut oats a few weeks back. Anyhoo when we get to the health food store and head over to the bin food the boy notices that they've run out of steel cut oats. So we ask the stock clerk what's up. He said that morning the bin was full, after Oprah aired it was cleaned out! What the f man?! They were even out of stock of the prepackaged bin steel cut oats. The only things left were a few boxes and one tin. So we had to settle--I don't know why we think bin is better than boxed or tin...oh I just remembered, bin is cheaper!

My only hope is that those Oprah lovers who bought the oats will find it too time consuming to make. Then again, it doesn't sound as if they're pressed for time if they're watching Oprah during the middle of the day...CRAP!!! That Oprah really does have mind control over consumers--remember the beef thing?

I have to say though, those steel cut oats are pretty good, the way the boy cooks them gives them a nice nutty flavor. Yum! Plus they have a nice texture/bite to them...I find the rolled oatmeal to be too mushy now. And steel cut has more fiber than rolled oats. Go go Gadget fiber!!! End of steel cut plug :)

*Bah! The health food store was out of stock of the vanilla extract I wanted....what a disappointing health run.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Wire twist tutorial

Here's my attempt at a tutorial--strange, I create "how to's" at work but usually I'm using screen shots and simple computer instructions...this is a little different.

Start off with a length of thin gauge wire (I'd say 26 or 28 gauge is good to work with but then again, I'm not much of a wire twister) and some beads. I'm sure there are formulas on how long the wire should be (length of finished piece, how tight the twists are, etc) but I don't know any--eep! I just used about 12 inches of 30 gauge fine silver wire* and some small pearls.

This is a fakey shot of the beginning so the "stem" is shorter than the original. Determine how long the stem will be, create a loop and wrap the longer piece of wire around the stem (tight or loose, whichever you prefer) as far down as you want the first "branch".

String a bead on the longer piece of wire and stop at a point where you're happy with the branch length.

Bend the longer wire and start wrapping it towards the stem. The picture below doesn't show it well but if you hold the longer wire and branch between two fingers (of say your left hand) and twist the bead with your right hand it's goes pretty fast. You don't have to try to wrap the whole long piece of wire around the little branch.

When you get to the base of the branch wrap the longer wire around the stem to the point where you want a new branch.

Start a new branch, same as the first branch.

Pretty soon you'll have a bunch of branches, smaller branches shooting off of bigger branches...
Think about ending before you run out of the longer wire--I didn't and ended up with a long stem and short wire. Whoops!

I ended it by cutting off the excess ex-longer wire (or what turned out to be the shorter wire) and stringing my last bead on the stem and twisting the stem wire back up itself. Apologies if that doesn't make sense, maybe a closer look at the last bead would help...maybe not.

Ta-da! String on a chain for a necklace, attach to earwires, make a pin, anything. Hehe, looks better from far away.

Wow, this "how to" was a lot harder than the ones I create for work. I don't think I'm very good at 'splainin' this...it's a lot easier when all you have to say is "click next, right click here, select this...." If you have any questions let me know and I'll try to clarify my mumbo-jumbo :)

*For most pieces I use sterling silver which is 92.5% silver (as opposed to fine silver which is 99% silver) . Fine silver is softer than sterling and can wear out more easily (on the plus side it doesn't tarnish like sterling) but sometimes I can't find thin gauge wire in sterling so I'll go with fine--I used 30 gauge because I ran out of 28.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Nothing new

These little flowers make me think of Lotta Jansdotter (I love her organic images)--I think they'd make fun fabric/stationary.

Just a shot of me wearing the branchy necklace...pretty boring stuff.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Postcard gallery!

Thanks again to Myra for setting up the postcard swap! Here's the gallery of all the purdy cards everyone created--wicked awesome!!! Them gals are really tah-lahn-ted. I aspire!!!

So I wanted to put up a mini tutorial for the wire twist necklace but I was TRICKED into going running today, thus ending my six month exercise strike (actually I did play tennis once and participate in a fundraising walk during the past six months but that's it, oh and that walk around our neighborhood). I was actually striking against running in particular--I've heard what it can do to your knee joints...make them sore. And I will NOT stand for that soreness. Anyhoo, to be fair I wasn't tricked into running, more like we were going to walk the route but the camera ran low on batteries so I got mad and said nuts to this, let's just run the darn route. MISTAKE! Mostly I'm just tired now so no tutorial....

Making the bed made me think of these prints--I LOVE Kerry Cassill's collection of bedding. The cotton is so soft and for thinnish quilts they're pretty warm. The boy bought me a king size quilt for Christmas, I adore it. It's not on the site anymore but it was my favorite. It's a good thing he bought the king size (the only big size available) because even when I burrito myself up, he can still have some blanket. He'd disagree though, he still needs to keep an emergency blanket near by.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Glass and beads

These Curious George jelly glasses from Welch's remind me of the "glasses" we had when we were little....except they're cuter. My parents used furikake containers as glasses for us when we were little--they're the perfect size for little hands and sturdy. We laugh about it now but I gotta give them snaps for reusing/recycling!

This is the necklace I made tonight out of beads gifted from Niecy--kisses! It was inspired by this necklace (and others) via Holly. The clasp/toggle at the top is off center but i think i kind of like it being a bit skewed. I'll know for sure if I ever wear it.

Monday, May 09, 2005


The top ring may be going to a friend of a friend...if she approves. I was messing around with the other ring, it's not really finished, the color combination may change. The pink against the green looks brownish so I'll probably change it. I was also thinking purple-ish beads but then I already made a purple ring.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Happy Scrappy! Along with all the wicked postcards I've been receiving I got some fabric and other goodies from a swap in the mail the other day. Fun retro fabric, ribbon/trim and beautiful mother of pearl buttons from Hillary! I can get used to this swapping thing since I'm supposed to be on a spending freeze--eep!

For Mother's day I made this bracelet...it's pretty chacha but that's my ma, she likes chacha jewelry. It's funny, after I took this picture I was fooling around with the bracelet and busted the middle strand! RAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!! I'm like the Hulk or something. Hehe. Actually I think it was too tight so I made sure when I restrung the middle strand it had enough give. The only thing about it is that the clasp is lighter than the beads so it kind of flips to the top (outer wrist)...does that make sense? It's a little annoying (it's one of my pet peeves when making bracelets).

Sam's Club vs Costco

We used to shop at Sam's Club because it was closest to our house--that was about 10 years ago. At the time I soooooo wanted to shop at Costco but it wasn't close so we weren't members. Now we shop at Costco because it's closer--haven't been to Sam's Club in forever. A Sam's Club has opened recently down the street and we've been trying to figure out which one to shop at. Hmmm....dilemma. Which one to choose? The boy found the answer to our problem:

SAMSTCO Discount Store

I think we have a winner. And the area looks SOOOOOOOOOO safe--BONUS!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Mail call!

The first five postcards from the swap--YAY!!! I can't believe these gals made these beautiful postcards--too talented!!!

It's my first time using Photoshop so apologies if you can't see who made which postcard--starting from top left corner going clockwise:

Hanna--loving the collage action! I love the quote she used, the whole card it so wonderful! She also drew the sweetest little frog on the back, sooooooo better than any of my frog attempts :)
Myra--go go gadget Gocco! Totally makes me want one. The boy's reaction "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa?!" translation "more crafting things that you won't use!" He might be right, that's kind of my MO...and there's the fact that I can't draw.
Tania--leaves and dots design is so sweet! The back is super fly too--an army of little birdies. I love birds, especially when they're pink (which they are)!
Kerstin--wish I had some mad photography skills like Kerstin! And I love the stitching (one of the ideas I was toying with but thought the post office would reject me--guess not!)--the silver thread is genius!
Holly--I'm in love with the design and pearliness of the card. The glitter accents--BONUS!!! I'm wondering how she printed the card...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Dishes are done!

Finished and mailed the postcards on Saturday. Whew, thought I had missed the postman so I had my sister drive me to the post office. I'm not entirely happy with how they turned out...I mucked them up with my crappy water-coloring skills (read it--zero skills). They're all different color schemes but basically the same plain design. Used jewelry stamps for the letters and "hearts". Some cards are hearts falling apart, a few others are hearts coming together. This one shows both. My favorite part is the spider...it's like Where's Waldo but easier.

I've already started receiving amazing postcards!!! These gals are soooooo talented! I feel like a sham but I'm hoping to redeem myself later...secret :) I'm gonna post some of the cards later this week.


Habuteru, I know it and use it to mean "pout" or "to pout" in Japanese. This Nara piece cracks me up--I imagine I used to look like this when I didn't get my way when I was little. Some would say I still make this face...

Ever since Myra mentioned the Yoshimoto Nara exhibit I've been wanting to check it out. So on Saturday my sister and I headed on over to the Contemporary Museum to see the exhibit--WOW! Hehe, I'm ashamed to say that it's one of the few exhibits I've really really enjoyed there (the museum has some exhibits at a bank downtown and currently there's a fiber exhibit I'm really digging too).

Some of the Nara pieces are on huge plates (dinner plates but over three feet in diameter)--I wish they had a set of smaller dishes in the gift store, I would've bought them but no dice. I ended up buying postcards (these pictures are just two of the 30 postcards in the pack) and some pins. The major score was the free brochure that doubles as a poster--Myra has a great picture of it. My sister and I took a whole bunch of brochures--a Nara shrine might be erected on someone's office wall (and since I live in cubicalville, it isn't me).

This piece is one of my favorites--the name of the piece at the museum is different from the one on the back of the postcard. The postcard is named "missing in action" the piece in the museum is named "knife behind back". I like the second name better :) Since I could not justify buying an expensive t-shirt at the gift shop I'm wondering if I could maybe embroider/applique this one on a tank or something....pipe dreams eh? Especially considering my embroidery skills (and non-existent applique skills)....

Check it--two samplers...the only stitches I can do are the ones below and the French knot technique (stitch I used for the bubble pillow cases). Hmmm...I think it would take me FOREVER to get an even slightly decent embroidered image of "knife behind back"....sigh.

I'm hoping to visit the exhibit one more time before it leaves...maybe I'll get the t-shirt and ditch the embroidery/applique idea.