Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dog Barf Burgers

I've always liked the veggie burgers from the grocery store freezer, I think the brand is Boca Burgers. But they're pretty expensive. Usually, recipes from Cooking Light magazine are easy and delicious. So when I came across their recipe for veggie burgers, I had to try it. 


I admit I made some mistakes. Like, I didn't have any tomato paste so I used ketchup. Mixed with the stinky cooked lentils, I believe that's what gave the mixture the distinct scent of dog barf. But when I mixed in the egg whites, it got even more disgusting:


Still, I had put in the work of chopping and grating, so I went ahead and cooked them. Well, attempted to cook them anyway. They just kept falling apart!


A heavy sprinkling dumping of seasoning salt, and they started to smell a little more appetizing. I served them on wheat sandwich thins with a thick layer of mustard.


Douglas and I didn't think they tasted so bad. But it's the first time I'd ever seen Carly run to the trash can and spit out food. So I guess she didn't like them.

Hey remember when I was asking about the bird feeders and why the wildlife was avoiding my porch like a firing range? Well a few days later I guess they finally discovered the feeders and word got around to every bird in two-mile radius. Or that's what it seems like.
Seriously, these guys are absolute pigs! I thought we'd really enjoy having the feeders on the porch so we could watch the birds and enjoy their sweet chirps. But they fight, peck at each other, and squawk loudly all day. We went through a gigantic bag of seed in two weeks.
I did enjoy watching the cardinals though. The females sat on the rail while the males went down to the feeder. They broke up the large seeds and brought the pieces up to their mates on the rail. It was so sweet!

Not my photo. {credit} Ya right, I wish I could take pictures like that!

Speaking of beautiful nature photography, check out these gorgeous shots by my brother:

He took these photos of wild horses on the beach at Outer Banks. {More horsey photos here}

*sigh* Oh to have talent like that! Can you imagine how much easier running an online shop would be?? He says it's just about learning the settings of your camera. *sigh* Oh to have brain capacity like that! lol

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stitching Away...

This weekend is our annual Bible convention. It's three days long, and so much fun. Besides all the great information, we get to spend time with our friends from all over the area that we don't get to see a lot. When I was little, my mom made matching dresses for us, and I loved wearing them to the convention. So I've started a tradition with my little girl to have something matchy to wear each year. At least until she gets old enough to protest how uncool it is.
So that's what I'll be working on the rest of the week. I'm going to use this dress tutorial for Carly, and a similar commercial pattern for me. I posted pictures of the fabric here. And you know I'll have to make matching hair accessories!

Here's another project I've been working on:
It's a secret. I mean, I'm sure you can tell what it is from the photo, but it goes with a bigger project. It's a surprise present for someone who occasionally peeks in on my blog, so I can't show you yet! But I'm so excited, I can't wait.

And this just came in the mail:
It's a pansy flower die. Obviously. I'm going to see how they look as hair clips and go from there!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chub Rub

I hate to be one of those girls who's always yammering on about losing weight, but. Still. I have to! (In other news, spellcheck is perfectly comfortable with the word yammering.)
Here's a new reason why.

Yesterday, during our Bible ministry, as my chubby thighs were chafing in the ninety-degree heat, somebody had the bright idea to stop and climb the Miamisburg Mound. It's a burial ground or something, a small mountain with a whole heck of a lot of steps. 


You'd think I'd be cool with that, considering I climb four flights of stairs to get to my apartment, but not in the blazing sun! And I was wearing high heels. But I did it. And instantly regretted it as I hung on to the rail for dear life trying to make my way back down on shaking jelly legs.


Oh and btw, Michelle, I know you're reading this and laughing. I heard that you stop and climb it all the time, in heels and stockings! But you're in awesome shape, so it doesn't count.

As soon as we got home, I crawled into bed and was nearly unconscious for several hours. When I woke up, my thighs were still shaking. I could barely make it to the kitchen to open the package of Chips Ahoy coconut chocolate chip cookies.
But seriously, Chub Rub is the last straw. I will not buy baby powder for my thighs, I just won't! Everyone has always told me that someday I won't be able to eat whatever I want and stay thin. Someday it would catch up with me. 
That day has come, with chafing thighs and all.

And it's not even entirely about the new, more plush version of myself. In a group of six people, most of them older than me, I was the only one gasping for air when I got to the top. I was the only one who moaned like a gunshot victim all the way back to the car. I don't think anyone else even broke a sweat! These people are definitely in shape.
I tried controlling my calorie intake. I bought only fresh ingredients with which I could make meals under three hundred calories each. And I really stuck to it, for several days anyway. But it just made me feel like crap. I was always hungry, always crabby and shaky. I didn't even feel like standing up, let alone working out. So maybe this time I'll stop focusing on the diet so much and work on the exercise part. I mean, I'll still try to eat only low calorie, high protein foods, but I'll worry more about getting in shape than staying under twelve hundred calories.

Or maybe when my health insurance kicks in I'll just ask my doctor if it covers diet pills. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Organza Flower Hair Clips for A Wedding

A couple weeks ago, a friend got married and I made hair clips for her five bridesmaids. They were the singed-petal kind that are really trendy right now. I'd never done it before, but they were sooo easy! I was thinking of posting a tutorial complete with step-by-step photos, but seriously these are a no-brainer.


1. Cut three graduating sizes of organza circles (My clips were about three inches across, so the largest petal was a three-inch circle.)
2. Hold the edge of the petal a few inches above a candle flame just until you see it curl. If there was a tricky part at all, this would be it. Depending on the type of fabric you're using, it may curl and shrivel up instantly or it might take some closer heat to affect it at all. I made a few out of satin also, and they curled really fast. After a  few failed attempts, I figured out that the trick was to pass it above the flame quickly, just enough to seal the edges. Then I gave the petal a few quick passes right through the flame in several places to make it curl just a bit. 
3. Layer the petals however you'd like- Stacked and centered from largest to smallest, or variate size and placement. Use any kind of thread to tack the layers together in the center with a few cross-wise stitches.
4. Sew on a button or beads.
5. Sew a metal snap clip to the bottom petal, or glue on a hair pin with a mounting pad.

That's pretty much it. Super simple. You can probably get up to ten clips from just a quarter yard of fabric!

The bridesmaids all had yellow clips, and my dress just happened to be the exact color of the fabric I was using:

So of course I made one for me too!
Mine had a vintage brass button in the center, dull from age, so I think I'll be able to wear it with more casual things too. All the other clips had a rhinestone in the center. I'm so glad I brought along the extras, because the flower girl ended up needing one too!

Carly felt very fancy in her matching hair clip and "twirly" dress. We couldn't get her off the dance floor- Even when it was the bride and groom's turn, we had to drag her away!

There were a few kids there her age to dance with, but eventually they were all worn out and begged Carly to sit down with them in the corner and play. She kept pushing them off of her and saying, "No! I have to dance, I have to!" When everyone came to the dance floor for the Electric Slide (which I never learned!) she stood in front of the whole group, trying to mimic the dance steps. It was so cute!

Oh, and here's her obligatory centerfold pose: *facepalm*
Crazy kid...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Etsy Party

Just wanted to share a few photos from last week's etsy party!

Isn't that cake amazing?!

Making glass tile pendants

Pincushions!

Making button rings and hairpins

Adorable little party pins!

Then we all helped stitch together a banner for craft shows and stuff, it says "Handmade Dayton".

I met some really fun ladies, hope to do it again soon! Did you guys have a craft party in your area?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dear First Day of Summer,

I hate you.
You are a reminder that this disgustingly hot and sticky weather we've already been enduring for over a month is just the beginning and the worst is yet to come. I bet you were feelin pretty salty that you got rained out, eh?

Yep, it stormed all day in Ohio. And it's been raining most of today too. Neener neener!
Anyway, how have you guys been? I can't believe I haven't posted in over a week. I wanted to take a few days off to get a blog makeover done and to catch up on all the things I've fallen behind. It just figures that I've been sick since Friday and so I haven't really been productive at all. This is really the only thing I made:

 

Oh, and I went to an etsy craft party! I couldn't believe there was actually one in my city, well it turned out that there's been an etsy group right here in town all along and I just wasn't invited because they thought, from looking at my shop, that I was like 13 years old. Another reason for a shop/blog/everything makeover! So I got rid of poor Betsy and put up a crafty collage as the header. What do you think?

It's not as fancy as I imagined. Originally I hired a blog designer to completely redo the entire thing, but we ran into some complications with the commercial license for the graphics we were using. I couldn't afford to pay her to start completely over, so I put this together myself. I wish you guys could have seen what she came up with. SOOO stinking cute! Oh well, now that I know how to do it, I can change it up without too much fuss whenever the urge strikes me. And it strikes me a lot. Now I just need to redo my shop banner for it all to match.

And that got me thinking, how many bloggers and etsy shop owners would like to change their graphics whenever they'd like but don't really know how to go about it? I know there are some super cute, really fast and easy websites out there who provide free blog templates. But don't you want your own, individual, unique look?! 
My super smart brother showed me how to make graphics from my own photos, so a world of possibilities has opened up. Custom business cards? Sales postcards? Super cute invoices for your packages? Eeek!
I was considering adding a page to my blog for free images, made by me, for your crafting pleasure. Also some tutorials about how to use the images to make whatever you want and how to make your own images. Maybe how to make your own blog backgrounds, buttons, banners, etc? 
So here's my question.

What would you find useful?





I just don't know if anyone even needs this info. I mean, you guys all probably know how to do it already and I'm just now catching on haha!

Well I'm going to go vegetate on the sofa. I thought I had strep throat because it came on so suddenly and I didn't have any other symptoms but the severe throat pain and a high fever. But I took some antibiotics and I'm still aching four days later so I don't think it was strep. That's what I get for self-medicating! 

I have some photos from the craft party to share, and wedding hair clips, and recipes I've tried, etc. Tomorrow!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Intermission

Hi everyone! I'm sorry I've been so quiet this weekend, I've been really busy! We went to a friend's wedding and I made hairclips for the bridesmaids. Can't wait to show you!
Oh, and the winner of the hair clip giveaway is Lizzie, #64. Congratulations!

But the blog is going to be on a little vacation. Partly because I'm kind of overwhelmed right now and partly because the blog is getting a makeover. Until everything is squared away, I'm just going to step back and focus on stitching for a few days. 
So I'll talk to you soon, thanks for understanding!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Favorites Friday: Eco Retro Bling

I don't even remember how I came across this darling little shop last week, but boy when I did, I went on an etsy heart-ing rampage! I wanted to heart just about every single thing in Nathalie's shop. I love the color combinations. I love the dangles. I love the way she's taken jewelry pieces that we may have seen a few times already and turned them into a completely new look!
Oh, and you have to check out her blog, Urban Natural History. Seriously interesting stuff going on there.


Me likey! You too? She's having a giveaway, go enter!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm In Love...

...With thread. And needles. And felt. And buttons.
You know how the cliche artist or writer locks him or herself away for days to create, not eating, sleeping, or bathing? That's how I've felt lately. Well, of course I have been eating, sleeping, and bathing, but I'd rather stay up all night and stitch! Ideas are coming to me faster than I can sew, and I've been trying to keep a list of all the new designs I want to make. On top of that, there are several pieces that I don't want to sell, so I'll have to remake them for myself!

Here in Ohio it's been gloomy and rainy many days out of the past few weeks. For some reason, that just makes me feel all the more creative. When Douglas gets home from work, I put on an audio book or my relaxing "vintage romance" Pandora channel and shut my craft room door. (It's not easy to be creative with a 3-year-old snatching your supplies!)

Here are my latest listings:










This headband has been my favorite piece this week. I don't want to let it go! Well, theoretically I'm letting it go. Maybe nobody else will see the appeal. But I'm still making another one for myself as a clip because headbands do not flatter my fat head.
In other news, I have a really pointy nose in that picture. I don't think it's like that in real life. Gosh I hope not.


Oh btw, I made this silly Monty Python treasury. Can you figure out all the obscure references?