Saturday, December 31, 2011

Starting again.

With the new year on the horizon, I can't help but feel obligated to start many things fresh. Not necessarily resolutions or anything, because I don't deal well with absolutes and often end up in the guilt spiral, but more just taking a moment to think about the past year and what I'd like to do more of next year. More ukulele playing (maybe learn the mandolin?), more crafting, more blogging.

More cooking. This was my breakfast yesterday, oatmeal and some homemade cranberry curd.

I made the curd from this recipe from Kitchen Confidante, and it is super super tasty. Mine is a little bit chunky because I didn't have a strainer, but I don't really mind. It is delicious on bread, oatmeal, and greek yogurt. I found the recipe on Pinterest, but perusing the rest of this blog has lead me to some other promising recipes (like check out this soup! OM NOM NOM). I also really like cute little jar we had - once upon a time it held some kind of Eastern European mushroom soup.  Now I just need to make some kind of a cute label.

But so I will be back and posting more consistently now, and I have lots of fun homemade Christmas gifts to show off, so have a safe and happy new year and I'll see you soon!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The eyes have it!

So, every year for Christmas I wanted to make little presents for all of my friends, and every year I fail at making something for as many people as I originally planned. However, I thought of an idea for an easy and fun little gift:

It's a little kit full of google eyes for sticking on things that look like faces, such as:


(Word of the day: Pareidolia - the psychological phenomenon of trying to find significance in insignificant things, like seeing faces on inanimate objects.)

I found at the craft store google eyes with sticky backs, and then I also picked up some small zip top bags. Cut the eyes up, add a cute little tag, and you're finished! Easy, cheap, and fun. I also included some Hello Panda cookies that I picked up at Lotus yesterday.

Some totally not cute jerk of a cat tried to get all up in my photoshoot today. This is her rubbing her face on the camera.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cat ladies are the best ladies

So, my friend Heather's birthday was on Thanksgiving, so she had her birthday party yesterday. Of course, I had to make her a present.

She has a Devon Rex cat named Josie that she enjoys dressing up and making giant oil paintings of (this is Josie hanging out with the quilt I made for the Derby Demons art auction, which Heather won), and she is a bit of a self-proclaimed cat lady, so I made this:

I had a great time picking through all my felt scraps and ribbon bits and matching colors together and trying different things. I embroidered the words by hand, and I'm a little annoyed that part didn't lay all the way flat.

The back has a little magnet snap as opposed to a pinback, both to prevent damaging clothing and... well, I didn't have any pinbacks.

Heather also received an awesome pair of cat head ear muffs and another little ceramic cat, so it's safe to say that cat ladydom has been officially cemented. Happy birthday, Heather!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I finally finished the baby quilt that I started back in September (you can see how long it's been just by looking at the plantlife in each picture)! I used spray adhesive this time rather than doing the basting by hand, and let me tell you - I am never basting a quilt by hand again. In the past it has always been my least favorite part of quilting, and now I don't have to do that? Amazing! I used 505 Spray and Fix, and I did all the spraying out in the Hall of Kegasus, although I was surprised that the smell really wasn't too bad.

I took some inspiration from Ashley of Film in the Fridge (who is kind of a quilting hero of mine... is that weird?) and did a pieced back, which I really really like. This is the first quilt I've made that I didn't handmake the binding, but I also don't like making binding (sooo tedious), and I happened to have a bunch of storebought bias tape in this nice berry color that matched one of the fabrics I used... so I was lazy and used that.

And, of course, I embroidered my name block for it.

Now I just have to get it in the mail before the baby's actually born... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Tasting: Part Two: The Sequel

So this year I had to work on Thanksgiving, but the day before we hung out with some friends to eat and play games. It was decided that we should have a second tasting of Jay and Carly's wedding beer. The first tasting occurred when the beer was about a month old, so this one was now about four months aged.

Several months later, still lookin' good. Way to go, you two.

(I'd like to think that eventually I'll turn all these drinking pictures into one really big animated GIF...)

So, the fruit flavor actually mellowed over time, although the beer is still a little bit sweet. The rye has become more prominent, and it's really well carbonated - our friend Rob said it's got a very celebratory feel to it, because it's light and almost a little bit champagne-ish. Very nice!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


After all the hustle and bustle of Handmade Arcade was over on Saturday, we had the most epic of holiday celebrations - Friendsgiving! We invented (yes, that's right, invented) Friendsgiving last year when some of our Ohio BFFs came to visit in November and we ended up going crazy in the Strip District with the tasty food and beer and then we came back and had a big ol' food eating party and thus we dubbed it Friendsgiving. It's like Thanksgiving, only better, because your grandmother's not there and you can have beer. Last year, three of our friends came, and this year we had ten come from Ohio!

We discovered a new terrible beer - "Pennsylvania Style" - which is brewed in Wisconsin.

There was inter-species snuggling.

We had tons of food! Asparagus, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, a seitan roast, vegan stuffing, pumpkin pie, pasta salad, kale salad, and more. I made this chocolate stout cake with a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout instead of just a regular stout. Ideally, I really wanted Southern Tier Choklat (one of my all-time favorite beers), but I couldn't find it. It was exceedingly hyper delicious.

Chili was also made, consumed, and its champions were crowned.

Inspiration was found!

Floors were dirtied and danced on.

I found this app called Remote Buddy that allowed me to turn my laptop into a photobooth! So I made some official commemorative Friendsgiving bunting, put some stuff out, and everyone went to town. It was seriously so much fun, I want to have one of these at every party.

And in the morning, people woke up buried under things with their shoes tied to chairs.

All in all, it was a great time.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hello again!

So, sorry for the silence around here - in the week leading up to Handmade Arcade, I worked 90 hours in 8 days and all extra time went to crafting and band practice, so I didn't have very much interesting to say.

Speaking of Handmade Arcade, it was super awesome! Unfortunately, I didn't sell a whole lot, but I did see some friends, talked with a lot of really nice people, and had a blast hanging out with my mom (she split my table with me).

Obviously, I couldn't help but pick up a few things for myself...

... like this ridiculously excellent narwhal tee from Gnome Enterprises... I had a hard time deciding between it and this fox tee, but in the end I couldn't pass up a narwhal.

My mom bought me this print from Brainstorm Print & Design, and it's pretty much the best thing ever. Although I have often played the role of the lecturing English teacher saying, "Swearing is a sign of a poor vocabulary," I love a well-placed obscenity.

I also picked up these lovely earrings (because I've recently started wearing earrings again after many years of not) from One Common Thread. The mushroom is from My Paper Crane, and for the second year in a row I had to reign myself in from geeking out all over Heidi Kenney, because she's kind of my crafty hero - "OH hi um I'm a really really big fan of your work and I read your blog and you seem really nice and your house is really cool and you seem like a really nice person and I'll take this pin it's super awesome and I think you're awesome and okay I should go now I guess thanks a lot mumble mumble..." (followed, of course, by awkward shuffling away).

But anyway, Handmade Arcade gave me some ideas for some new or different approaches, and now I have some time to get back to some personal crafting - and Christmas presents soon too! So stay tuned for more cool stuff and a lot more regular posting!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Here we go!

My dad was kind enough to get us tickets to the Steelers game on Sunday. What a blast!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Won't you be my neighbor?

So, the last couple of days have been very lovely here in Pittsburgh, inspiring me to ride my bike around and take some pictures.