Tanisalexis makes these super cool recycled sweater pins, which would look great grouped on a jacket. Much of her items for sale and their packaging are made from recycled materials, which is pretty cool!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Sadie Lou Who makes these adorable ornaments in a myriad of colors and designs. Her flickr has oodles of them, but her shop seems to be sold out at the moment. Definitly contact her about getting yourslef (or me...) one. So cute!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
"Here is a better pic of my Mechanical Man paper toy. It's a 2 color letterpress print on silver metallic paper. There is a limited edition of 250 print that will be signed, numbered. You can get it flat or hand cut and assembled by me. The first few will be going out to the Kismet Gallery's Plush, Vinyl , Clay show. He is now available at www.custompapertoys.bigcartel.com!"
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Block Party Press makes amazing polymer clay jewelery pieces and magnents. My current fave (which changes with every flickr upload she makes) are these home magnents. Click on over to her shop to see loads of gorgeous pieces. Good luck trying to only choose one!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
We have been lucky enough to spend our Thanksgiving Holidays at the beach with family and in honor of that I forund our friend Wally, here. He is made by toymaker Knit Owl and can be found here along with many other squeeze worthy friends.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I remember it clearly. I was standing over the sink early one Thanksgiving morning (last year, actually) and I was looking at Bob with distain. I pulled him out of the tub of icy cold water and proceeded to reach my hand up inside his posterior to extract his organs (thank goodness they came wrapped neatly in a little plastic bag). This was an experience horrifying enough to make me consider vegetarianism for more than an hour. Oh, believe me, I thought about setting Bob free. I told him to fly South — "just follow the other birds," I said. But Bob just looked at me as if to say "I've been plucked. Do you really expect me to go out in public like this?" And since Bob had suffered enough humiliation for one day, I decided that I owed him at least, one delightful last meal. So I finished cleaning him (a disgusting experience), slapped him into a roasting pan, shoved some stuffing where the sun don't shine, then drizzled on some melted butter with fresh herbs and seasoning. Then off he went, into the oven, only emerging every so often for a quick basting of melted butter and seasoning. Finally, some hours later, Bob was ready to eat.
Poor Bob — rest his soul — he was not one of those fancy corn-fed or free-range turkeys, but he was delicious.
The secret to a great turkey: a salt water brine. Think of it as a sort of cold raw turkey soup. Okay, don't think of it like that — it sounds way too gross. I actually got the idea of using a brine from a local radio host (check out Rob's recipes on robarnieanddawn.com). Maybe you should check out his description of a brine:
A brine is simple a seasoned salt-water bath that the turkey soaks in for 6-12 hours prior to cooking. The brine adds some flavor, but most importantly provides a chemical method to keep the meat tender and juicy while cooking.
Below is his recipe. I followed it pretty well, just added a little poutry seasoning to the mix along with the fresh herbs.
Raw whole turkey
5-gallon bucket (like from Home Depot)
3-pound box of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
2 gallons chicken broth (water mixed with bouillon cubes is fine
1-gallon ice water
1 whole bunch fresh thyme, torn roughly
1 whole bunch fresh oregano, torn roughly
1 whole bunch fresh sage leaves, torn roughly
1 whole bunch fresh marjoram, torn roughly
1. Clean the raw turkey and remove the neck and giblets.
2. In the bucket, combine the cooled (room temperature) broth with the ice water, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and mix well.
3. Place the turkey in the bucket, breast side down and cover the bucket. Leave it sit somewhere cool, I usually use the garage (unless it's summer time obviously).
4. After at least 6 and no more than 12 hours, and prior to cooking your turkey, remove the bird and rinse it with cool water, then proceed with your cooking prep.
* I have some fears about leaving my turkey "in the garage." If you are cooking a smaller turkey, you can actually soak it in a large pot in the fridge. I left mine in over-night. You could also try the bucket method, just remove some shelves in your fridge.
So now you know the story of Bob and why he was oh, so special. On Thanksgiving day, think of Bob and all the other turkeys that sacrifice themselves for tradition. And make the best darn turkey dinner that you can.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
This is a great way to turn an inexpensive item into a lovely little gift! You will need the following supplies and about twenty minutes to complete this simple project:
- a large-ish chocolate bar, preferably with a foil inner wrapper
- a thrifted wool sweater, washed and dried with utter disregard for the care instructions on its label (felt that bad boy!)
- a few buttons (I like using vintage buttons)
- embroidery floss, needle and scissors.
Simply measure your chocolate bar (sizes will vary), and cut one piece of felted wool large enough to wrap around it front and back, and the length of the bar. (My cut pieces average about 7x7 inches). You want it to be snug - It's a cozy, after all!
Attach your buttons to the upper right hand corner of the cut piece, leaving about 1/2 inch allowance on each side.
Now line up the top and bottom edge of the wool, right sides facing out, and sew a simple blanket stitch along the top, joining the edges.
You shouldn't need to finish the sides at all, because the felted wool won't run - but go ahead and embellish, if you'd like.
Insert chocolate bar (I remove the paper wrapper first). If the cozy is too loose to support the chocolate bar, cut the bottom edge, trim as needed, and blanket stitch it closed again. And that's it!
I keep a stash of these on hand, wrapped up in vintage wrapping paper, for last minute gifts during the holidays. You should, too! But if you haven't the time, or the inclination, to whip up a batch of these beauties, please stop by my etsy shop - I will have a few available there for purchase.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Little Black Forest makes these adorable and teeny tiny yeti's for the holidays. They look to be more of a cute conversation starter than toy for junior, though. How fun would it be have a couple of these peeking out from between the branches of your Chiristmas tree?
If I still slept with stuffies, I think I would definitely want to cuddle with this one. Gotta love the robot who can't leave the house without his chonies! These cuties are made by BamPop! and are quite the bargain at $15 each!
You could solve it with yoga. Maybe meditate a little or inhale some weird calming incense to deal with the frustration that can accompany the Thanksgiving holiday.
Or. You could mix yourself up quite the yummy little seasonal cocktail, stop worrying about whether your jewel-toned napkin holders match appropriately to the perfectly coifed linen napkins and tell Martha Stewart to shove it.
Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
1 oz. Malibu Rum
3/4 oz. canned pumpkin pie filling
1/2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. with cold milk
Garnish: sprinkle of cinnamon. Mix ingredients in blender with ice and blend thoroughly; Pour into graham cracker-rimmed highball glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Being the Charmaholic that I am... I had to find a way to put my stash to good use! And while it looks like I eat alone, in actuality - I'm just too stinkin' lazy to set a full table just to snap a photo.
I know there's a way to photograph quilts so they don't look all wonky. I just don't know what that way is. And it certainly doesn't help matters that my method of photography is point-pray-click.
So anyhoo... this little Jingle Jolly finishes at 16'' x 40''. I used a pack of Holly Jolly by Sandy Gervais for Moda. My pattern calls for 37 charms... exactly what's in the Holly Jolly charm pack!
The entire pattern is free for download here. If you like this pattern, you might like to go hog wild and make a 62'' x 68'' size quilt from a 12 fat quarter bundle from Karen Snyder's pattern "Cheaper by the Dozen" in her book "Bundles of Fun". I know it's fun... because I've made one. It's a perfect "retreat project" or sewing with friends.
Cross-posted here: thehappyzombie.com
I really should create a seperate card/stationary category! my first love is clearly paper. These cards by Nea Blossoms Shop do not dissapoint. They are a set of flat note cards with envelopes. They'd make a cute holiday thank you card. They may not look like a good kids gift, but it is never too early to trian the kiddos to write thank you notes (just make sure they mail them!).
Sunday, November 18, 2007
And then fill them up. Gift cards are the obvious filler but what about "coupons" for things like babysitting, or dish washing or lawn mowing? Neighbors, friends, spouses all appreciate coupons ;)
Again, I can't figure out how to add pdfs to blogger (if you know, email me) so I posted the pdf here.
Friday, November 16, 2007
If you hurry, there's still time to get to Chicago for tomorrow's DIY Trunk Show!
In it's fourth year, the Chicago Craft Mafia has rounded up 96 vendors showcasing the very best in DIY goods. This is one stop holiday shopping, people - and it's all handmade!
If you can make it to the show, please stop on over and say hello! Mention Handmade Parade at my booth (Sweet Jessie), and I'll even reward you with a little gift.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Chocolate Cranberry Chews
Here's what you layer in the jar (not necessarily in this order):
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Press firmly to make it fit.
Cooking instructions (to provide along with the jar of mix). I also put this on a pdf so you can download tags to print out but I can't figure out how to attach a pdf in blogger. Go here to download if you want tags like the ones shown in the photo--sorry for the hassle.
In any case, here are the instructions:
Empty cookie mix into large bowl. Add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix completely. Form into balls and place 2 inches apart on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
Side one--------------------Flip side
#1 I’ve spat in this...-----...so don’t even think about it.
#2 Hands off...-------------...this is mine
#3 If you eat this...-------...you’ll regret it
#4 Buy your own ------------you *@^$#%&
#5 Ask nicely...------------...and I’ll still say no
They will even customise them if you want to be even wittier than they are. How nice.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
For this first humble entry, I simply have a suggestion for a good read. You don't have to necessarily love food or cooking. But you should have a sense of humor. Because really, if you don't have that, you're going to encounter several problems in life that will begin with your loss of being unable to read this book. Julie and Julia is a hilarious autobiography of sorts, outlining the life of a 30-year old who decides to try her hand out at difficult French cooking for a solid year by channeling her inner Julia Child. It's severely on sale at Amazon.com, check it out and stay tuned for future recipe from moi!
Vicki of Pattern Bee has graciously added more vintage patterns to her freebie collection. Browsing through th eofferings, my heart skipped a beat when I saw she had up several designs that my granny had given to me, but were too fragile to use. There are several different categories to choose from and she said today that she just reorganized the Christmas section. It sure felt like Christmas to be able to print off such lovely designs!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Little Pink Studio is offering custom valises filled to the brim with vintage goodies. She is offering two sizes, large and petite in her Etsy shop. I have a feeling these will go quickly!
These whimsical cards from Heidi Burton Illustrations are her current Christmas offering, but we think they would be great anytime. Her playful drawings remind me of the quirky pen and ink work of Shel Silverstein. Get yours before they are gone!
*no gators were harmed in the making of this notebook*
The Kate Black makes interesting notebooks from 60 lb paper which has "a good amount of tooth and can handle ink, pencil and many other media" according to her descriptions. This one is simple in design, but her other use a wide array of vintage and new recycled materials. Find her noteboks and other interesting-ness here.
Monday, November 12, 2007
More Blythe Love! I don't actually have one of these dolls (I have already posted my clutter issues over on the other blog) but if I did I would need to get the dresses offered by Academy Beldam. She not only makes the sweetest little dresses, she also poses them in such lovely ways. I think we need to convince her to do a postcard set...