Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friends Don't Let Friends Drink And Bake

I made not so angelic, Angel Food Cake.
Well at least the recipe is not angelic. I had a devil (hehe) of a time trying to figure out the directions (only 4 steps? really? something has got to be missing here!) I actually had to toss out the first go at the dry ingredients, because I had had a drink or two before attempting this little adventure and my comprehension skills went out the window (or drowned in my mead, either way, it left me) And it didn't help that the directions (all 4 of them) were some of the vaguest baking directions in the history of ever. I do well with "you do this in this way until this happens, then you add this and that and do this" instructions, a recipe should have more than 75 words! (so says I)
Anywho. I was all excited to give this recipe a try, I even bought a new baking pan for this adventure, it has 6 personal size shell cakes

I thought it would be cute to have little personal angel food cakes for dessert (and I don't have a decent cake pan... and I didn't want a boring cake pan) and so, after dinner Friday, now full of good food and drink I got everything together to make these cakes (I even wore my apron from "The Tale of the Apron" though refrained from removing clothes... this time) Once I finally got everything mixed together, mostly in the right order, I greased my new pan and filled them up and popped them in the oven and it didn't take too long for me to realize I should have poured about half as much in each pan as I did. I didn't get a picture of it, but the cakes grew to be over an inch taller than the pan... it was scary.
When the timer went off I got them out and let them sit a bit before turning them out onto a towel (with a rather firm thud... I didn't think angel food cake was supposed to thud) one of them tried to make a break for it and thumped to the floor and after I got that cleaned up I got a picture of the remaining cakes and they are uuuuuugly

Thankfully I had thought to get Raspberries and whipped cream to go with the cake, so I was able to dress them up a bit and make them a little less frightening.

Matt and our friend Jason did suffer through this torture quite manfully and were wise enough not to complain about how dense and solid the cake was instead of the normal light and fluffy that AFC should be; and the over all flavor didn't suck, so I call it a learning moment, but still a success.

Onto Towel progress!
it's coming along nicely, I'm able to work on it in the car when we go places and I even took it to Oktoberfest to work on while we waited in the ticket line so we could wait in the beer line followed by the strudel line, even 2 beers in I got a lot done on it.
I might actually finish it this year...


The Spartans!
Here are this weeks guys, all of whom have homes (hooray!)
#28, #29, & #30 (I am one 10th finished with this project!)

#28 goes to Ben. This guy's name is Bedros

 #29 goes to Sara. His name is Salus

#30 is going to Ted and his name shall be Gannicus

Well time to get working on the next batch along with several other projects.
See you all next week!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


One of my favorite things to do sewing-wise, is to recreate things I see in a movie. I love the challenge. So when my friends (or even strangers with my business card) come to me and ask me to make something like what they saw in a movie I usually jump at the chance (unless it is WAY beyond my ability... a seamstress must know her limitations) and recently a friend of mine who is doing a vocal competition next week and she wanted/needed an evening sort of gown for it. (gotta look good) She asked me if I could recreate a certain dress from the movie Burlesque (fun movie, lots of fantastic costumes) this particular dress is a form fitted evening gown, now normally I stay away from evening attire (too many bad experiences with prom dress BS... Like one time a friend thought it would be hilarious to play an April Fool's joke (because her prom fell on April 1st) on me and tell me her mom burned the skirt I had made while ironing it. I was less than amused and I didn't talk to her for weeks after that)
Anywho, Normally I stay away from this sort of thing, but I haven't made anything like it in years so I decided to remind myself why I don't make formal wear.

This is the dress I was asked to recreate...

 Gorgeous, no?

We decided that red was a better choice for my friend's skin tone and we managed to find a lovely shade of red that was shiny and eye catching.
I started with a base pattern
and altered it a bit, made the panels skinnier to get a more straight cut rather than going for a circle skirt (since it's supposed to be fitted, not poofy) and I decided to give it a good heavy lining to support the shape of the top of the dress and so I could have boning in it if need be (turns out that once I got it skin tight on her, there was no need for boning) here it is after the main alterations and before the minor alterations and adding the arm bits.

Best invisible zipper I have EVER done thankyouverymuch!

It took 2 rather lengthy fittings to get the dress to where I'd let it be seen in public, but I'm quite pleased with how it turned out in the end.

She looks amazing in it, don't you think?


On to Spartans!

this week you get #s 25, 26, and 27

#25 (I a now one 12th of the way finished!)
his name is Lentalus and he is unclaimed

#26 his name is Crixus and he is also unclaimed

#27! This little guy is going to my friend Lynette, his name is Duranious
yes, that is in fact an ipod (it was suggested that I give him a ukulele, but that seemed really involved, the ipod was easy... and I even gave it a purple case!)

Group photo!
This turned out to be a bit of a grumpy batch, except 27, who got an ipod. It really never does cease to amaze me the personality that shows on these guys as I make them.

In other news, I am pleased to announce that I am crocheting something besides Spartans! (in addition to the spartans, because really, I don't have enough to do already) I'm making a hand towel out of some great variegated cotton yarn, given to me by Brenda (thanks!!!)
You see we lost a kitchen hand towel to the Great Laundry Crisis of 2011 (just about a month ago) and I figured I'd replace it with one made with love (d'aaaawwwww)

I'm not terribly far along on it yet, because Spartans do take up most of my time, but you'll get to see it as it grows (so exciting, I know)
Here it is so far
do you see the love going into this thing? it's totally there.


well til next week! Stay crafty all

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sometimes I wish I was Mary Poppins

Because then cleaning and organizing would be so much easier, (and I'd have an awesome carpet bag of holding) I mean, how lovely would it be to be able to just snap your fingers and have a room clean itself, I'd even settle for a small space at a time, like my sewing area. It kind of looks like a tornado hit my craft space and danced around a bit, possibly with an Irish step dancing troupe and a polka band, before moving on...
No really. It's that bad.

I ask you, how the hell am I supposed to be able to do anything in that space??? (and this was cleaned up a bit) So I decided that my crafty space needed a makeover and it needed it bad.

I allotted myself an allowance for new shiny organizing bits and then spent a day at IKEA (no really it was pretty much the whole day, we started out with breakfast in the cafe there and then left for a movie, came back and had lunch in the cafe and finished our shopping) I acquired shelves in several forms and drawers for my patterns and trims and the ridiculous amount of yarn I have purchased for the Spartan project. It was a blast! and I stayed in my budget, which is always nice.

So *snaps fingers* TADA!

  I love it! it's so much easier to work now that I have a space that is cleared off and it's easy to find all of my tools and I even had my dad make riser blocks for my sewing machine cabinet so I'd stop sacrificing the skin on the tops of my knees to the sewing gods.
If you look you can see my small, but growing, army of Spartans on the shelves. Once they are full I will box up those Spartans and fill the shelves up again and again until I have reached all 300 (223 days down, 658 days to go) Which actually brings me to the Spartans this week! These are some of the farm Spartans, unfortunately I wasn't able to crochet as much as I wanted because my hand was hurting really bad all weekend (probably from the crocheting I did do)
Here are numbers 22, 23, and 24 (one more and I'll be a 12th of the way finished!)

22 is going to a friend from my days working in St Louis, Anjle!
His name Rhaskos.

Number 23 did have a home, but the guy who was supposed to get him has disappeared (and I'm really ok with this, he was an immature ass) so now poor 23 is homeless.
His name Ovidius

Number 24 is going to my friend up in NY Allyson! (miss you!)
His name is Erebus

Well folks that's all for today, I'm going to go snap my fingers at the dishes in the sink and see if maybe, just maybe, I can make them wash themselves.
Stay crafty everybody!

P.S. don't be shy! I promise the donate button won't bite, especially if you feed it a dollar or 2 *winkwinknudgenudge*