Friday, September 30, 2011

Bring it!

So, if you've been reading Deb's blog the Loyalist Cottage you'll know she claims to be seeing lots of bears...but where's the proof?!  I've just seen 'reenactments', I don't know about you.  Where's the beef Deb, where's the beef?
I, on the other hand, have been witnessing wildlife and documenting the proof - as a good blogger does.
I saw this little buck while waiting in line for the ferry the other day.  He was cute as could be and wasn't bothered at all by the passing cars and people.



ps, Thanks for supper and groceries tonight Deb!  Love you - even though you don't have bear photos :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Card Game

Today I had a serious date.  Not with hubby, but with my friend L.  She's heavy into card making and this is the second time we've gotten together to card for the day.  When I say day, I mean all day.  Hubby drops me off at L's place around 9:30 am and then I stay until he picks me up at around 6:30 - 7pm!  I tell you, it's way better than spending my day off cleaning the house, doing laundry and dishes!
L suggests that before you begin a carding session, go through your calendar and see who has birthdays, anniversaries, etc coming up and make a list of cards to make.  I find having a list really helps keep me focused because I design each card for a specific person - otherwise I'd just design a bunch of cards for myself!
Today my list was Hubby's birthday, In-law's Anniversary, Sis-in-law's birthday, Cousin's Birthday.  I made all 4 cards.  Before visiting with L I never would have thought that in an 8 hour day I could only make 4 greeting cards....but now I know better.  There's too many options and she has every gadget and gizmo known to man! It's easy to get overwhelmed and not be able to pick a theme or commit to a design.
Here's L's craft room:

 The little stand of coloured drawers are all different colours of paper and cardstock.
I would estimate it contains less than half of her paper.

This is her display case of rubber stamps.  Not all her stamps mind you, just a case and just rubber.

This is the Thank You rubber stamp shelf.  

These are the cards I made today:

 1st up, Hubby's card
 On the inside I'm going to write "You and shoes, that is"lol

next up, my cousin's birthday card:
With cousin J, more is more. Always.  Bright, girly, and over the top is what her birthday card had to be.  I couldn't decide between all the different papers so I used all of them!
the inside:
I had a lot of fun making this card!

After the bright and crazy cupcakes, I decided to go simple and elegant.
Here is the anniversary card for my in-laws:
I used a clear heat embossing powder for the 'celebrate'.  I discovered today that I love embossing powder.  I also love embossing templates - like the swirly one I used for the bottom part of the card.

I stamped on a piece of vellum for the inside.  Vellum always looks fancy.

Last, but certainly not least, a birthday card for my sis-in-law:
I embossed the card stock, and then I heat embossed all the gold details.
More heat embossing inside.
did i mention i like heat embossing?


I can't wait until our next get together.  We are going to make Christmas cards!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween. Part 2 of who knows how many

Found this crazy makeup today and think it's really cool.
Probably not going to do it for this Halloween, but I'm saving this idea in the back of my mind.
Check this out:


making that cage thing seems surprisingly easy when you look at the directions on his tutorial.
May have to dream up a reason to use this at some point.

Friday, September 23, 2011

H&M Virtual Dressing Room

Did you ever play with paper dolls as a kid?  I did.  I loved it.  I remember having a Disney paper doll book.  I haven't seen any or played with any in years but now H&M has re-kindled the love affair with their virtual dressing rooms.
It's too much fun.  Below is what I came up with tonight after discovering the site for the first time.
I have a bad feeling a lot of time will be wasted this way from now on....


PS. I think that shirt was meant for me. At under $20 I may have to make it mine!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Halloween. Part 1 of who knows how many

I love Halloween.  Really, I love any excuse to dress up.  As soon as it's over I think about what to be next year, but I can never decide and never feel like I have 'the best' idea.  So, now it's almost October and I'm idealess for what to wear as a costume to work.  I like to do something that uses make-up as a key component and it needs to be something that I can easily maneuver in.  This is how I dressed up last year for a friend's Halloween party: A statue coming to life


I'm still brainstorming for what I'll dress up as this year, but I came across this tonight and thinks it's a super cute idea for kids!

Gross -Eeries!  How fun is that?!  You could really do a lot of cool (ie. gross) things with this costume.  If you go to the link above they even have printable labels you can use in making this. 

Do you still dress up?  Do you go out to parties, or dress up to answer the door?  What are some of your, or your kid's, favourite costumes?  Do you hate Halloween? If so, I apologize in advance for the posts that are sure to follow on the subject.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Warning: Big Buns are Catching

My little cousin has caught the big bun fever.  
She came over tonight and on seeing mine, requested a big sock bun on the top of her head.  

While she was at it she tried on my fake glasses (I wear them to work when I have bags under my eyes...the lenses are plastic).  She looks quite sophisticated for 13.

Then we did a little Hawaiian sock bun!


Sockbun outtakes:

oops! too blurry

J trying not to giggle

too close!

Friday, September 16, 2011

SJP Hair Inspiration

The other day I was re-watching an old favourite movie of mine called If Lucy Fell.  
It's a movie about 2 friends who form a death-pact that they will jump off the Brooklyn bridge on one character's 30th birthday if they are both still single.  Sounds like a delightful comedy, right?  It's quirky and endearing, not a cinematic masterpiece, but worth a watch.

If was made in 1996 (you could probably guess that almost to the exact year when you watch it and see the clothes, lol) and it stars Sarah Jessica Parker.  Look for Ben Stiller (with long dredlocks!) and a very young Scarlett Johansson.




On viewing this again I remembered how much I really liked the way SJP's character wears her hair for most of this movie - a big, giant even, messy bun right on the top of her head.
                                                         
So, with this as my inspiration I decided today I would rock the giant bun.  Since my hair is naturally straight with very little volume my bun is a little sleeker, also since I was going to be at work I wanted it to look a little less messy.  


Here's how I did it:

put hair in a high pony tail

Thread your ponytail through a hair doughnut

don't have a hair doughnut?  never heard of a hair doughnut?

grab a sock instead. seriously. just make sure it's clean and doesn't have a mate.
then, cut off the toe

roll up the sock until it looks like a doughnut
et voila!  use a big, thick gym sock if you want a really big bun.  This is a normal sock and it yields a decent size bun.

So, you've got the sock/doughnut on your ponytail.
Wrap the ends around the doughnut and then start to roll it down to the base of your ponytail.  As you roll it down the hair wraps itself around the doughnut and you can adjust it as you wrap so that the sock is entirely covered by your hair.  
Once your bun is done it stays put all by itself.  You don't need any bobby pins or clips at all!

sock bun

doughnut bun

how easy is that?

Need a more modern inspiration than 1996 Sarah Jessica Parker?
Kim Kardashian
google images
done

Wanna be Princess Leia for Halloween?  Just cut up the other sock and do one at each ear!
google images
done and done



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Yummy Dessert Time

I made the yummiest dessert for after supper on Wednesday.  I was flipping through a slow cooker cookbook and this little gem caught my eye: Peanut Fudge Pudding Cake.
I skimmed the ingredients and had everything so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

this is a photo of the photo in the cookbook!

Ingredients:
1 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar (divided in 1/2)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 Cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup peanut butter
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup boiling water
chopped peanuts and ice cream is optional  - but recommended :)

This says that it makes 4 servings, but I think you could easily do 6....It is really good, so maybe you'll just eat it all yourself.  I won't tell.

Cooking Instructions:
1. Coat your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or butter.

2. Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Add milk, oil, FringeVanilla, and peanut butter.  Mix until well-blended.  Pour batter into slow cooker.

3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and cocoa powder in medium bowl.  Stir in boiling water.  Pour into slow cooker.  Do not stir.

4. Cover, cook on high for an hour and 15 - 30 minutes.  I'd check it after 1 hour 15min.  Take off the lid and poke with a toothpick.  If it comes out clean it's done.
Allow cake to rest 10 minutes, then scoop into serving dishes or invert onto serving platter.   Serve warm with chopped peanuts and ice cream, if desired.

 Because this recipe makes its own fudge topping, be sure to spoon some of it from the bottom of the slow cooker when serving.
 It's doesn't look 'pretty' per se, but it is delicious.  And, with some ice cream on top is doesn't matter that it looks a little messy.

If you try it let me know!
picture from amazon.com
Cookbook:  Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes by Rival Crock-Pot.  This recipe is on page 212.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Most Interesting Junk-mail Ever

Coming home from work tonight we noticed the flag was up on the mail box.  We stopped and there was one lonely item in there...addressed, of course, to hubby.
Hubby's first & last name and address was hand written in blue pen and the return address was for somewhere in California.  We don't know anyone in California, let alone a Hiro Kumato.  A hand written envelope with electronically stamped postage raises a flag.  
We had to open it and see what was going on.

This little note was in the envelope.
The signature is printed on, not hand written, and it's on some sort of company letterhead.
Harmony is strength, don't you know.

The article mentioned is a 3 page 'newspaper' article.

There is no name on the newspaper, just "Weekly Journal" printed on the top left page.
Printed in tiny letters on the top of each page is this:

The beginning of the article claims that it was originally written in 2005 as part of a series but has now been reprinted in its entirety due to demand from 'esteemed readers'.
It's a huge sales pitch for this 'tea' product called Cho-Wa that has amazing healing benefits and will make you live longer. It ends with the details of how to purchase this incredible product.

All in all, I was impressed by the efforts Kumato Labs made.  I mean a fake newpaper article, hand addressed envelopes, a note that says Harmony is Strength - hubby and I got some good laughs.  Hubby said "I think this is blog fodder for you".  true story, blog fodder is all Kumato Labs is good for.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

No Sew Hemming - a much needed skill

Being short (5'2") I learned early on that shopping for pants was a pain.  Even if they fit perfectly everywhere else - they were always too long.  I've never known what it's like to be able to buy and pair of pants and then just wear them, right away.  I always have to get them hemmed!

When I was younger my dad performed this chore for me.  It was always the battle of waiting until he got around to it and then it was the battle over the length itself.  He always wanted to make them too short!  Wearing 'flood pants' in middle school is not cool! Then I got wise and started taking matters into my own hands; I got over the fear of threading the sewing machine wrong and learned to use the thing.  While sewing a straight line is harder than it might seem, and denim is really hard to double fold and sew through, I made out okay.

Now, however I no longer have immediate access to my father's sewing machine and I don't have a machine of my own (hint hint to hubby/mum/dad - i know you read this).  What's a short girl to do?  Well my friends, this is where I introduce you to Stitch Witchery (hem tape).
It's basically a fusible bond tape that you activate with an iron.  No Sew.  Quick.  Simple.  Done.  I've used it with cotton, jeans, wool, and polyester blends.  I don't think I would recommend it for very silky or sheer fabrics though, you might see the stiffness of the bond through the fabric.
And now, a photo tutorial: Hemming Pants.
Step 1
Wash and dry your pants to so any shrinkage is complete.
Put on the pants with the shoes you plan to wear most often.
these are pants for work, so I picked the flats that I wear pretty much every day.

Step 2
Fold the pants under to where you'd like the hem to be.  Stand up straight and look in a full length mirror to double check your placement.  Pin the hem in place - you only need to do one leg.
I like to leave mine a titch long so I can wear a small heel and they will still look ok.

Step 3
 Remove pants.
I don't have a picture for this step - it's not that kind of blog - also, remember to be careful of the pins!

Step 4
Turn pants inside-out.  Arrange pins so that you can iron along the folded edge without melting them and iron away to get a nice crisp edge.

Step 5
Now, lay the pants flat on the ironing board with the pinned/ironed leg on top of the other.
Line them up evenly by matching the seams of the waistband.
make sure they are laying smooth and flat & turn under the hem of the undone leg so that it's even with the one you've already pinned and ironed.

Step 6
Press the hem of the 2nd leg into place.

*Remember that old saying "A stitch in time saves 9"? A smart person would now try on the pants again before proceeding.  While I am smart, I am also often lazy short on time and leave it to chance. *

Step 7
Trim off excess fabric.
Try to remove all of the original hem so that you are only left with one layer of fabric, otherwise it may look bulky and weird.

Step 8
Cut a strip of Stitch Witchery to fit between the layers of your turned up pant leg
Make sure it is fully tucked under or it will stick to the iron or pressing cloth and just make a mess
Note: each pant leg is done with 2 pieces of stitch witchery  - it's easier to do 2 pieces then try and wrap it all the way around the pant leg, I've tried.

Step 9
Set your iron to the wool setting with steam (as per directions on package). Dampen a pressing cloth (I just use a dish towel) and place it over the area to be pressed.
Press down firmly with iron & hold for 10 seconds.  Do not glide iron back and forth.  Then flip and press the other side for 10 seconds.

Step 10
Cut another piece of Stitch Witchery and repeat step 9 to finish this pant leg, 
then do it again for the 2nd pant leg

et voila!
Perfectly hemmed pants that are machine washable and didn't require sewing!
I put pants with Stitch Witchery in the washer and dryer repeatedly.  Eventually the bond may loosen, but it's easy to cut another piece and iron it in if and when that does happen.  hot tip: I keep my stitch witchery in a zip lock baggy with instructions - instructions are important.

I wore these pants to work today and I'm happy to say the legs came out perfectly even in length, whew!  It's no good when one pant leg is obviously longer than the other.

happy hemming!
(FringeGirl, I'm looking at you)



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