Sunday, October 31, 2010

This is even better than a cupcake covered in frosting and sprinkles!

So I have the date set for when I get to meet my little sister! Of course I'm going to have to wait three months, but at least we have it all set up and ready to go. I'm literally bouncing off the walls at the moment!

C (my birth mother) and I talked for almost an hour and got all the details of flight dates and what not set. And we also proceeded to get into a debate of who was paying for the flight. I've set aside money to go, my parents offered to pay half and C told me before that she has been saving up practically since she handed me over to the agency so that if I ever wanted to come see her she could get tickets for me (and it brings tears to my eyes every time she tells me that). What we decided yesterday was that since she has some sort of frequent flier miles with one airline that she would pay and, in her words, I am "more than welcome to attempt to pay her back while I am there, but good luck on that". I think we are both just as hard headed as the other so it could be interesting. Anywho, I'm planning on spending five days with her and my sister and her husband in February! And I get to see my sis, K, and her school dance team at competition as well. I didn't have a chance before we meet for the first time t put together a photo album of me growing up so I'm planning on making on to take with me that she can keep.

Ugh, now comes the hard part. Waiting...and waiting...and waiting....and guess what? MORE WAITING!

On a separate note NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) starts tomorrow and I still don't really have a plot idea. That could potentially be a small problem, you know, just a really small, insignificant, massively huge, little problem. I'm off to doing some reading of plots up for adoption and possibly adopt a poor, lonely, starving little plot from someone. I am beginning to wonder if I might be crazy to attempt NaNo in the middle of everything else I have going on, but I'm going to give it my best shot. Hello 50,000 words (hopefully) in November! If (when) I figure out my plot I'll let you know.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Crab Rangoon Part 2

So this time around I decided to try adding some say sauce into my mixture and figured that I should probably sort of, but not really follow a recipe. Mind you I'm not gong to be making 48 rangoons during a test so I scaled it down with a few grumbles resulting from trying to do math in my head while converting between teaspoons and tablespoons. I ended up doing the conversions online. I also have read that spraying them with cooking oil will help get them golden brown and keep the ends from getting too crispy.

Grrrrr, still very crispy edges
 The innards of this batch was getting closer to what I want, but still not quite there. Part three will be using some worcestershire sauce in place of the say sauce. Here is the filling recipe from today:

5 1/2 tbsp softened cream cheese
3 tbsp imitation crab meat chopped up
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Mix together. Put a small spoonful in the middle of wonton wrapper. Seal wrappers and spray with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

I also got more ribbon today! Be prepared for more bows.

Solid grab bag from The Ribbon Retreat in comparison to Tangie. She then tried to burrow in it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Baked Crab Rangoon

Well, this is going to be an uncommon thing I can almost guarantee you. Sorry. But you get TWO posts today! This is also because the food won't last long enough to be photographed tomorrow and if I put off this post I'm going to forget.

I have a very nice love affair going on with crab rangoon, but it is also a very picky love affair. The name of the dish along giver you a hint as to what is in it: Carb Rangoon. I'm going to give you three guesses as to what is one of the ingredients and your first two guesses don't count. And the winners are anyone who guesses CRAB! It was a very trick answer wasn't it? And then you have cream cheese, green onion, salt, pepper, mayo (?), worcestershire sauce, fresh ginger, garlic, soy sauce, yada, yada, yada. I'm not a fan of having all that extra stuff in them and no, not all of them are in every recipe. I just like my crab and cream cheese. I also wasn't wanting to fry them so baked it was. Don't get me wrong, I love fried goodies, but I  had gross friend crab rangoon earlier this week so I was attempting to be healthy.

Crab Rangoon
I baked them for 15-ish minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit. They were good, but are missing something (maybe fried taste). Anyway I still have a lot of imitation crab meat and wonton wrappers left and I have to use the crab meat soon so more experiments for taste will occur during the next week or so. I should probably measure next time around too. 

While I was playing with the wonton wrappers I tried a few more things. I either need to spray the foil with non-stick stuff before I try the soy sauce flavored thingys or just fry them. The ones I was trying to imitate were baked so back to the drawing board.

Failed attempt to make soy sauce flavored stick/wafer things. They stuck to the foil. Might have to try frying them as well.

And dessert! I think I need to brush the wontons with melted butter next time before sticking them in the baking cups or try something to get the cornstarch stuff off the wrappers cause it makes them taste a little weird. Or maybe I'll brush it with egg and sugar? They were decent though. No recipe used on it either just some melted butter, chopped apples, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Apple pie in a wonton wrapper

My next planned project

Janet Arnold morning dress c 1798-1805
I absolutely love the Regency style dresses and somehow have yet to make one. So while procrastinating on packing and cleaning my room and in between my cat freaking out when the vacuum cleaner is turned on I flipped through one of my Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion books and decided that the next project I have time to make for myself is going to be the dress pictured above. 

The description says that
A morning dress in white cotton with a small, regular, geometric pattern printed in dark purple...A fine lawn or cambric chemisette or habit shirt, with a frill at the neck, could have been worn under the dress to fill in the neckline. The long sleeves could be removed and the dress worn with short sleeves only
As cute as it would be with the dark purple print I'm not insistent on having an exact replica. I also want something light colored so I am leaning towards either a light blue with white dot cotton voile 

Or a white/cream pin dot voile

I'm leaning more towards the white/cream at the moment, but knowing me I'll change my mind in, oh say, ten or fifteen minutes. Why I'm more for the white/cream right now is because the smaller dots have a more dainty feel to them I think. I could always order a swatch of each while I work on scaling up the pattern and mocking it up. Though this all has to wait until after I have finished my room and probably until I have finished moving.

Or I could always hunt down some pretty white sheer-ish window curtains to use. I know I have seen some around that had a white on white pattern, unless I am thinking of my aunt and uncles' curtains...they don't need them right?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fun, fun, fun

So I'm going to guess that at least a few you you have heard of Sampler Village. What do you mean you haven't heard of it? Go check it out now...I can wait. And while you are over there and decide you want a box, they are going fast as in there are only 9 left when I checked a while ago.

Ok, are you back yet? I hope so because I'm going to continue on while you wonder why you haven't heard of this funness before. And yes, funness is totally a word. Anyway, today I got my Autumn Celebration sampler box of goodies in the mail. Upon opening the box there were two things in the box: a tissue wrapped something and another box (please insert cheesy dun dun DUNNNN music here).

And it has tulle which is destined for more bow making and more Em Bear modeling
Inside the teal tissue paper was the edible portion of the goodies including Coe's Homemade Style Noodles, a black raspberry lollie, harvest spice sugar cookies, an old-fashioned chocolate chip cookie and a mint. I'm trying to be good and not eat all the sugary goodies at once, but I won't deny that the temptation is there.

And the non-edible goodies in the box I had to divide into two so you could see better. Some of the items smell so good that it is imaginable that they could be edible. I mean, I guess you could eat them, but I don't think it would end very well. And I take no responsibility for it if you try. One of the soaps, Peppermint Tea Soap, was a thank you from Traci who started and runs Sampler Village.

The bath goodies: soaps, lip balm, lotion, soy tarts, soy candles
Other goodies including the tea that was in the box :cupcake toppers, hair flower, paper embelishments
Em Bear was going to come out and model the hair flower since my hair is kinda icky right now since I just went on a 3 mile walk before i got my package, but he went into hiding.

I will say that opening it around Tangie was rather interesting because as you know cats will sniff just about everything and then get persnickety when it is too strong. Then you get the 'you are mean' glare while they slink off to sulk. And I will admit that it can be a bit overwhelming for those of us with sensitive noses after a while. I'm going to sort things out later by scent so it isn't a mishmash of scents combined.

I also can't wait for the Nov/Dec Holiday Hoopla boxes to be out (Dec 1st)!

Links to the Sample Stores in my box (23!!!) (in no particular order) I also haven't tried every sample yet, but when I do I'll let you know:
Groovy Spookieville (Ella Dean was this month's mayor)
e.e. cookies (Temptation was too much. That was one really good cookie!)
Kittycrossbones (not open at the moment due to moving, but open again soon)

On a side note, Jennifer Grey wasn't eliminated last night on Dancing with the Stars! I was really excited about that. Though I still think that the bum slapping on Brandy and partner's part was no necessary and was rather vulgar.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I love opening mail

As some of you may remember I posted about winning a give away from Shana over at Blaze'n'Crochet well, here it is!
Bag full of goodies

Every thing shot (minus the bag)
Em Bear being a bow model
I think Em Bear is going to have a gender identity crisis after modeling the bows.

L to R: Lip balm (wild berry flavor), iron on cupcake patch, owl stuffie and coffee cozie. Em Bear is also wearing a ribbon head band that kinda blends in with his fur.
From left to right: a desk note pad, small notebook, and a 2 year calendar

Somehow I didn't get individual photos of the really fun run-ons and book mark (already in a book, Blue Bloods, which I just discovered I am three books behind since I have read the first 2). I'm not sure how she did it, but somehow Shana got into my head as everything is something I had one my list of things to get and you can never have too many hair things. For example I just finished up my last tube of lip stuff yesterday afternoon and I finished the little notebook I keep in my purse last week during CPR/AED/first aid certification class. And I needed a new purse/bag.

Thank you so much Shana!

And because Em Bear wanted his own picture

Em Bear acting cool (or at least trying to)
And yes my stuffed animals have their own personalities...what are you going to do about it?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New crafty addiction

Because one can never have enough crafty addictions right? And an excuse for more pretties (technical therm that is) in the form of ribbon? Sign me and well, just give me the ribbon and let me play with it.

Anywho, I recently stumbled upon The Ribbon Retreat and holy crow I am in love. Since freshman year of high school I have constantly, er save the first two years of college, been doing activities that require having my hair up and there are only so many very quick hair styles that I have come to use. Anyway the way I did my hair also needed to be possible for me to do while I was half asleep at 5:45 in the morning. I don't function in the morning very well and by that I mean I am a zombie, like the very slow moving mindless zombie. Pony tails and buns were the got to styles, but they get really boring very quickly and fun hair ribbons always seem to cost an arm and a leg. Had I found The Ribbon Retreat earlier that would have been amazing, but as it is I have lots to catch up on and try out.

So I got the Tricks of the Trade instruction which included the bow maker and some ribbon mixes. More specifically the Sky's the Limit and the Carribean (their spelling not mine) Smoothie mixes. I love the colors in both and the convenience of having already matched ribbon mixes and I foresee many more will be purchased in the future along with a ridiculous amount of ribbon to play with. Here are my first bows I made in the order I made them. And maybe it is just me, but when instructions (or people for that matter) tell me that I shouldn't attempt something for such and such reason I'm going to try it any way. And if you say I should do it this way to make it easier, well it kind of seems like a challenge to me.

Twisted Boutique Bow (the challenge)

Basic Boutique Bow

The 'I don't remember what it is called' bow

And all of them together

I have yet to finish the centers on the bows and I need to trim some of the ribbon ends and seal them.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gearing up for Halloween

I love dressing up for Halloween or anything really. Give me any excuse no matter how ridiculous and I will dress up. Superhero day at the summer camp I worked at? Three of my friends and I dressed up as the Ninja Turtles. 80's day? Oh yeah, all over it.

And dressing up for a good cause is even better. My high school did a program called Shattered Dreams put on by TABC both in my sophomore year and my senior year. Both years I was able to participate on both days. Day 1 is the mock accident and day 2 is where at specific intervals (I want to say 15 minutes, but I don't think that's right) a recording of a heart beat was played over the PA system and a student was pulled from class as their name, the date and the time that they 'died' was read. Upon returning to class you were dressed completely in black, your face was painted white and you could no longer interact with anyone in class, including the teachers. You were sitting there in your desk just listening to the class (and the following day you would steal notes from a class mate). On both sides it is a rather startling reminder I thought.

A few days ago I found some pictures of the makeup from the senior year mock accident and I thought I would share. They aren't the best example of my work, but even now it gives me chills to look at them. I was the front seat passenger in the car opposite of the drunk driver and was wearing my seat belt. Even with the seat belt I smashed up against the dash board hitting my knee, head and arms. I'm still surprised that they were able to fit me back into the seat of the crashed car it looked like a tiny space.

Seat belt

Seat belt
Knee meet Mr. Dashboard. Excuse the scribbles, they were covered by my pants (capris? longish short? what is that length called?) And I have to say my use of liquid latex has only slightly improved from then, luckily it was all seen from a good distance away and covered with lots of fake blood.
I ended up having to trash the clothes I wore that day as they were drenched in fake blood. I wish I had a picture of the complete makeup job including the blood, clothes, etc. I added more bruises and some cuts to my arms and face and my lower legs. Sorry the pictures are blurry and the coloring is off. It really wasn't that yellow and it looked pretty dang real in the school photos. I was actually stopped by one of the hall monitors on the way in that morning so they could make sure I was ok.

I might have to pull out the makeup kit and figure out some way to use it this Halloween.

And just because it relates, please, please, PLEASE be responsible during Halloween. I know not everyone goes out and drinks, but some do, so please be careful. And if you are with someone who is drinking and wants to drive, don't let them. Steal their keys, they might be mad, but they will be thankful later. I know Shattered Dreams is geared towards underage drinking, but it goes beyond that in my opinion.

Gosh, I hadn't remembered how long I had the cover on my bed or that shirt. I need to get new bedding and clothes....

ETA: I just realized that somehow I flipped the seat belt pictures and I'm not quite sure how...That's my right shoulder you are looking at.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Moving Part II and what to do....

So it is official. I am moving in the next two weeks! It is really exciting, but kind of scary at the same time. 

Anywho, I won a give away over at The Cape on the Corner which is a really cute blog. It was $40 smackeroos to CSN which I'm really excited about as I have seen some really fun things that I want, but that leads me to...should I do the practical and use it on some things that I know I need when I move such as:
A hot plate which I would need since there is no stove

A much needed laundry hamper (my last one died a horribly painful death after four years of college)
A set of dishes (one five piece place setting)
Would be a winner, but I don't ever have use for a coffee maker

Or should I use it on something fun?
I can come up with a balanced diet mainly based on crêpes, can't I?
Cotton candy needs no explanation
Could be practical, but really, it is just fun

Or should I attempt to make my lazy bum workout with something like:
DVD and stuff to go along with it
Choices, choices, choices....

While I try to decide what seems the most fun er, useful I decided to attempt to participate in NaNoWriMo this year. It was on the radar for the past few years, but I always forgot about it until November was over. I write little stories all the time, but never actually get around to finishing many other projects that I've started. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beginnings of the gift making

Halloween hasn't even happened and I have already decided that I needed to start on my holiday gifts so this is just the first of many, you know, unless I procrastinate after this one and decide to buy a bunch of stuff instead. It has been known to happen many times. I also figured that I needed to get this big little one out of the way quickly incase it gets waylaid on its journey halfway around the world to my friend in New Zealand.

I called this my big little gift because it is small in size (under 3" tall and 4.5" wide), but took quite a bit of time and has lots of other components to it that I still need to work on. My friend loves advent calendars for Christmas and tries to get a new unique one every year and so who am I to not add on to her collection? I looked at quite a few different ones online, but some of the items I wanted to make sure as anything would not fit in the little pockets so they would have to be wrapped separately and numbered. Well, they sure as heck won't fit in this one either, but it was too cute not to attempt to make. Instead of numbering the wrapping paper of the gifts I'm going to wrap them all in different papers and tuck a little piece in the day it should be opened along with a little candy or something.

Some of the smaller things that I have ready to wrap include some cute Christmas tree silicone baking containers, holiday themed cupcake wrappers and toppers, a couple of DVDS, a couple of candles and a few other things that I know I'm forgetting.

Before the bow it was missing something, I still might change the bow if I can find ribbon I like better. At the moment the bow doesn't look right.

I made the entire thing out of little match box like boxes. The boxes are the same height and width of the 32 count match box boxes, but about 3/4" longer. The paper and brads were from Oriental Trading Company as were the ribbons; the buttons and embroidery thread came from my stash. I would like to add something to the sides to jazz it up a little, but they are really odd shapes and none of my stamps would fit. I'm thinking about running to the store and looking for some fake holly and replacing the berries with some red beads I have. Eh, I think I'm done with if for now while I work on the gifts that go with it.

Submitting this to Crafting with the Stars:

Monday, October 11, 2010


I know everyone has dealt with the annoyance of road construction and it isn't surprising at all. However in my neighborhood we have been dealing with it all summer in what we were told was the beginning of a year long project, but that wasn't exactly true. We got notices from the city today that everything so far has just been prep work for the year long oh so exciting construction project (can you hear the sarcasm?). The real work is also slated to start at 7 am on week days and run until around 6 pm and weekends are slated for 8 am to 5 pm. So much for ever sleeping in. The year is supposed to start in November.
Red circle is my house, red rectangle is the construction zone that is going to be closed for a year, green is an elementary school and the other rectangle is where they are planning on parking all the construction equipment.
Pretty much if you want to use your parking spots in front of your house you can never move your car or you will probably not have a place to park later. The street they are working on is also a major connection between two other major streets and the street on the other side is only wide enough for one car to drive down at a time due to parking. Add on being a school zone and at times our little dead end street is going to be impossible to get off of.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spinning Wheel

I have the best brother in the world. Seriously, he spoils me rotten. So for graduation, after I had been looking at spinning wheels and found a gently used one on Craig's list I asked him if I could come stay with him as it was located inhis neck of the woods. He agreed and even drove me out to go get it. Now here is the awesome part, he bought it for me!

To give an idea of the size of the yarn
My second attempt at the wheel

I had spun prior to getting my wheel on a drop spindle for about two years on the same fiber, but it was so slow and I had heard great things about wheels. It truly is an addiction and makes me wish I had tons of free time to devote to spinning. Acquiring more fiber to spin is also an addiction, but it's all so pretty and squishy! And there are so many different fibers to try. After I finish this bobbin of green I really want to experiment with the EcoSpun that I have hanging about. I mean spinning with fibers made from recycled plastic soda bottles, who wouldn't want to try that?

A picture from when I had just started spinning with a mini ball of my first ever spun yarn


I'm not abandoning my blog I promise, but it is being held up by computer problems. I have to take my dear little laptop in to figure out what is going on in its little processing mind as we are having differences in opinion on how it should work at the moment.

Hope to be back up and running soon!

Edit: Or I'll just beat the computer into submission. :) Spoke too soon.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I don't know if this is a good thing or not....

So while I was going through my hall closet I came upon the first outfit I ever made all by myself on the sewing machine with a family friend helping me along the way. But most of it was done all by me!  Sure I had made little bags and what not, but a whole outfit? It was in sixth grade and I felt so proud of myself, I used a pattern and everything! It was Simplicity pattern 8735 view B bodice and skirt and view A sleeves. It is purple brocade like fabric with ivory trim an ivory/gold inset for the underskirt and shear sleeves with some matching purple gauntlets, which are MIA at the moment. I wanted the sleeves the same as the inset, but had misplaced the fabric. 

Dress on me now and it is really not as low cut as it looks in the picture

So to tie it in with the title of the post, I don't know if it's a good thing or not that the dress I made when I was 12 still fits me ten years later. Sure its a tiny bit snug in the bodice, but other than that I haven't really changed height or width wise since 6th grade. 

As you can see I had a bit of fun editing the photo as well. Well, I also had fun with a practice tutu so here are those pictures as well, though they aren't technical at all. And one of my nut of a cat who looks so nice and innocent when she sleeps, but really she's not.

She looks so innocent and adorable....Don't be fooled, she's really a little terror