Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Red Wax

I love making three dimensional art.  There's just something so vibrant about it, and it makes me smile while I attempt to bring a piece to life from the fuzzy ideas inside my head.

This time the idea had to do with how candles also happen to be made of wax.

Then about how it would be fun to do a more visually interesting background to see how it would mesh with the automatically vibrant foreground.

This is what I ended up with.

For the canvas I was first trying to get an interesting texture from paint, ink, and a sponge.  Of course It wasn't quite getting the effect I wanted so I switched over to Elmer's glue.

Which somehow worked like a charm.

Once that was all dry I hot glued tea candles  and a couple stubby round red candles, to the top of the canvas. Then I lit them up

That burn session was a definite learning experience.

First, tea lights aren't the best if you wants a good flow, but are manageable if you cut a slit in the side.

Second, my work friend Jade is a bit of a pyromaniac.

When I went to bed that night I figured that I would be adding another layer of wax in the morning, but it has really grown on me.

I just love the simplicity of it.  And I think that the more complex background works.

Not sure how long these will last though

Monday, May 28, 2012

Upcycled Headband

If you're like me and you have to hem your pants more than a couple inches then you end up with a lot of scrap pieces of fabric.

Normally I just throw that stuff away, but yesterday I thought of a neat little trick to turn the scraps into a passably cute headband.

I started with my cast-off hem and sliced along one seam so that it was just a strip of fabric.  If your seams are particularly obtrusive you might want to experiment with cutting at different points so that the lines fall more aesthetically on the finished product.

Using the original hem as a guide I folded over the raw edge of the fabric and pinned it into place.  Then I used this stitch to sew the two sides together.

At this point all that was left was to find tassels so that I could tie the headband at the back of my head.  I ended up using some scraps from a previously cannibalized vest, but the other discarded hem could come into play as well.

*blurry pictures will be replaced later today.

Work Clothes

Since I'm at the summit of my second real week at Nellie's Diner I thought it was about time to alter my work clothes until they fit me a little bit better.

The shirt is a small, but it absolutely swamps me.  To fix this I wet it down with hot water and then ran over to the apartment complex's laundromat and stuck it in the drier.  The reasoning behind this was basically that laundry is super expensive here at the Riviera and I didn't want to drop another buck twenty five.

The pants were a pretty lucky find at the local thrift store.*  They were only six bucks and fit me pretty well except for being too long.   This was a really easy fix with a sewing machine and a pair of scissors.

approximately no change.

The pants turned out perfectly if I do say so myself, but the shirts shrank a disappointingly small amount.  Maybe I'll just give up and sew it up, or maybe I'll give the drier another go.

*although apparently my friend didn't realize that they needed to be in the first shot.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Breakfast Cereal

Last weekend I spent all Saturday with my friends over at Tribal Lunar Speak in the making of another video.

I don't have any funny stories to go along with it, although I was suppose to  be in a shot that didn't work out.

Still,  ten hours of my life went into this.*  So I feel like sharing it here.

*And by that I mean I bummed around until someone needed me to run get something. Yay, gaffe work.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tortillas From Scratch

There's just something about tortillas that screams store bought to me. They come in a bag of twelve and they look like this.

But the other day my dear friend Gladys showed me this recipe online and I just had to try it out for myself.

So how do they compare?

Right off the bat they taste fresher, and the consistency is pleasingly chewy.

I like them a lot, and I think that the flavor is really good.  They don't fade into the background when you add other ingredients into the mix.  I've only made a quesadilla out of one of them so far but the homemade tortilla added to the meal rather than merely being the vehicle for it.

It's also a bonus that the ingredients are things that I have on hand.

The only slight drawback for me was that these are inherently thicker than the brand I usually frequent. But all things considered that didn't necessarily take away from this recipe.

Overall I would make them again.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How to Curl a Synthetic Wig

So,  hypothetically you have a wig that looks like this.

And you need it to look like this

Now, I doubt that my method was the best method.   Or even among the most effective. It was really easy to pull off and it didn't require a huge commitment  of resources on my part.*

Because the synthetic hairs are plastic you can't use traditional methods to curl them. If you do then the plastic would melt and you would no longer have a wig. 

What you would have is a lump of sadness.

First, start off by braiding the hair as tightly as possible. While I did this I noticed that there was sort of a pattern to the locks of the wig so I did my best to follow that guide as much as possible

Then, boil some water and placed the wig and mannikin head into the bathtub.

Once the water reached a rolling boil take the pot and pour it slowly over the wig, being careful to get the entire thing wet.

Let the wig mostly dry then undo the braids and comb out the hair.

Unfortunately we didn't take pictures, but at this point the wig isn't so much curly as it is crimped,  this is because the braids were so small and because we wanted the end product to have a sort of wild, unkempt look to it.

Now locate some curlers** and do them up in the hair, only this time remember to actually take pictures.

in curlers

mostly dry
combed out
The wig was more or less curled,  although it did require a few finishing touches by wonderful ladies who were in charge of makeup.


*I don't know,  it could be.  I didn't actually do the research myself.

*We just got some "Magnetic" ones from Walmart, which were made entirely of plastic 

What the Bamboo stitch looks like in the Round

I finally got around to trying out the Bamboo stitch featured in this Laughing Willow post here,  and I just wanted to show you what the stitch looks like so far.

It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, mostly just because I didn't take time to actually process the fact that this stitch does look like bamboo stalks.

Crochet is generally that straightforward, so I'm not sure why I thought.

Overall I  do like the stitch.  It works up a little stiff in my default Simply Soft yarn, but the fabric still feels nice.

I'm also extremely fond of the thick stripes on front.

I have been on a stripey kick lately.

I recommend trying it, if you are so inclined.

For  those new to the double ended hook like me, these are the two video resources that I used to figure out how this stitch works in the round.

Good luck!

Monday, May 14, 2012

How to Make Caramelized Syrup

I promised quite a while ago that I would do a tutorial the next time I made myself some of my favorite syrup.
 Not that it took this long for the last batch to run out,  just that this is is the approximate amount of time it takes for me to get off of my butt.

Here is what you will need for the recipe

4 cups of sugar (divided)
2 cups of water
3/4 cups of corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch of salt

This recipe is actually really easy once you know what you're doing.  The only real commitment here is time, and the worst thing that could happen is a slightly blackened pan. So after you read this I highly suggest you try it.

Start off by putting two of the four cups of sugar into a heavy-bottomed pan,  mine is aluminum but the recipe itself calls for iron.   I don't  actually think it matters.

At this point I also suggest setting aside the rest of the ingredients so that you have them ready.  If you don't then the rush will kill your syrup near at the end.

Turn the sugar onto a medium high heat, and start stirring with some manner of heatproof spatula.

For a bit you wont see anything happening but then the bottom of the pan will begin to glisten ad your sugar will slowly start to clump up.

This is called caramelization boys and girls and it is a magical, tasty thing.

Keep stirring the sugar until all of the granules are melted. It's important to make sure that you continuously scrap the bottom of the pan so that none of it burns.

Once all of the sugar melts add the water, sugar, and corn syrup.

Here's a video demonstration for the inclined.

The important bit is that you should step back when you pour the water in and to stir it as quickly as possible.  This way the solidified clumps don't stick to the bottom of the pan.*

Once upon a time I let the clumps stick to the bottom of my pan, then I thought it would be a good idea to try to pry them off with my spatula, and then slowly a butter knife. 

It was a very bad idea.

Turn down the heat to a medium warm and continue to stir until all the sugar dissolves.

Add the vanilla and salt,  and this syrup is ready to drizzle over your favorite breakfast good.

It tastes like Ambrosia guys, promise.

I'll have to think of some clever way to decorate the bottle.  Any Idea?

*Come to think of it you probably didn't need to see the rest of it, I'm not sure why we left it running for so long. For your entertainment? 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why I Stayed

In the long and arduous search for a place to live this summer I looked around my current apartment and thought- "meh- this is good enough"

 None of that silly packing stuff.

None of that silly unpacking stuff either.

However, I did reorganize my own things into more advantageous positions around the apartment.

My dishes?

Bam!  In the cupboard I can actually reach without climbing onto the counter!

My silverware?

You can't tell, but I even reorganized it in a way that makes sense

IN the drawer directly underneath that cupboard

But wait that's not all!  I also took advantage of the hall closet I didn't even realize was there the last time I moved in.

The thing I'm  most excited about here is the fact that I got to put my art up on the walls.   It suits me in a way that the stuff my old roommates had up didn't.

The Foam one is missing because it simply didn't mesh with the others on the wall. But I'll find someplace for it soon enough.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cool Things

My awesome friends over at Tribal Lunar Speak have gone and made another excellent video.  This one is more in line with the type of humor that they'll be showcasing for the rest of the summer.

It's definitely weird, but certainly still hilarious.

And I'm actually in this one!

I was in the last one too, but keen eyes could actually recognize me in this latest installment.

My acting skills may not be amazing*, and my sleeve may accidentally be pushed up,  but I'm the only short cutesy girl my friends know.

And that's how I get jobs done.

(click the link for the bigger version)

*I was going for subtle, Okay?

Bread, and the Symbolism Thereof

One thing that I admire about my wonderful grandmother is how she always has homemade bread in the house. 

Yes, the store bought stuff is a wonder that revolutionized the way we see bread, but there is nothing I love more than slicing myself off a piece of that good food and drizzling it with honey-butter

Even the thought makes my mouth water. 

I think that I would like to do to that too when I grow up.  The small adventurous part of myself thinks that anyways.

Except I'm already twenty, which most people consider adulthood soooo.... right now?

I started off with this recipe here at the amazing Year of Bread Blog.  I chose this one simply because it seemed easy and I had almost all of the ingredients.

I didn't actually know that bread flour was a thing, so I simply subbed that out for regular old all purpose.  I also didn't have any honey but sugar seemed to work anyways.

It was definitely an easy put together, and I enjoyed the final product, but I think that I'm going to try to mix it up the next time around. 

One thing that I need to work on is kneading the dough.   Even with YouTube tutorials I have no idea if I'm doing it right, or even when it was finished.

I hope that this is something that can be fixed with practice.  Or perhaps with that magical sound 'Bread Flour'.

Look! I made stuff!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Book on the Shelf

This is just a quick post I knocked out as I'm attempting to gather all the ingredients needed to make bread.*

Since the local thrift store is only about a mile away my friends and I go there quite often whenever the need arises for any hopeful but random object.

A week or so ago I was thumbing through the cookbook section when I ran across this

This is the record of a special moment between mother and son that I had somehow been given a speacial window into.

I wonder about how they both felt when he left home.

I wonder where he went, and how much use he found in this book.

I wonder why he didn't keep it,  even just for the sentimental value.

Standing there at DI I felt like I had a string of lightning in my hand, one that connected me to this Sheldon Martin, where he went on his mission, and his mother.

I put the book back on the shelf.

* you wouldn't think it would be so hard would you?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Being Silly and Dressing Up

My friends and I decided to go to the midnight showing of The Avengers together, and man, I loved it.

It was a superb action flick,  with plenty of great fight sequences, witty one liners, and cool heroes that we all had an interest in.  More amazingly, it was really funny and there was character development on part of several of the heroes.

I highly recommend seeing it in theaters if you can

Since we were  going as a large group we decided to up the ante a little bit and dress the part.

We're all poor college students so we focused on a few key elements to bring across our characters with out having to spend too much.

Josh on the left simply cashed in for the little kid's helmet and hammer* from the Avenger's toy series at Walmart.  We pinned a red towel to his shoulders to really pull the look together.

I simply borrowed a bow from Taylor's younger siblings and wore all black to pull off the movie version of night hawk. I actually wore makeup and high-heeled leather boots too, you can't see any of that, so I thought I should inform you that I put that much effort into being a girl.

Gladys also had an easy costume in Black Widow, as all she had to do was curl her hair, wear all black, and borrow some toy gun holster's from a contest commercial Josh and his roommate's shot a while ago.

Ryan** bought a helmet from the surplus army supply store up in Orem and Gladys constructed the shield from scavenged cardboard and a dollar-store hula-hoop.  The mask came from a Renaissance fair Taylor attending back in Middle School.

I'll have to load a better picture as soon as possible, but Taylor actually has a severely awesome home-made arc reactor underneath his shirt.  He also happens to have mascara on his face.

Mariah pulls of a nice Pepper pots in unseen stylish heels and an unworn red jacket. 

As a bonus here's Gladys posing with a set of severely creepy Godzilla sized chipmunks in the Birthday room of the theater. 

Look at their eyes.


it looked focused on my phone, promise.

* It was way too fun to hit things with a giant foam hammer, you should try it.

** Glady's boyfriend, he's cool.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Growth

It's not much to see yet,  but this is the latest thing that I'm overly excited about.

I got a wine glass from the local thrift store the other day and decided to stick some green onion bulbs into it.

It's been two days and already they're growing back.  I have so many ideas of how to expand upon this theme that I'm not sure what would be the best to follow through on.

My only real problem is that the closest plant nursery isn't quite  within walking distance.

New Things

I've been crocheting ever since I was a little girl, so it was something of a shock and a delight when I downloaded a pattern from Raverly and discovered that I had no idea how to pull it off.

I had never even heard of the Tunisian stitch before.

It even require a completely separate hook.

Despite my instantaneous excitement I only just got around to trying this new genre of awesome.  I  started off with a simple scarf, with an edge to add some interest.

I was planning on adding there  some unorthodox pizazz as well but the idea got away from me and turned into something stupid.

The stitch itself is really easy, and I simply adore the variation of line on the opposing sides. The fabric works up a little stiff, but it doesn't make the scarf uncomfortable.

I'm already excited to try fancier things.

For instance,  did you know that some afghan hooks come with double ends?