Tag Archives: pinterest

(W)rambly Wednesday

How ’bout some random rambling this fine Wednesday?

  • I’m actually reading two books right now, one fiction and one nonfiction. This is weird for monogomous-reader me. But it’s not unheard of. And in actuality, this looks more like I’m reading the novel while the nonfiction brick waits for me to reach the novel’s end. Maybe I’ll talk about books tomorrow?
  • I ordered the linen to make this skirt. A few iterations of it, actually. I might get to the store today for the waistband fabric, too.
  • My mom attempted to teach me to sew when I was a child, just like everything else. But unlike, say, crochet, sewing didn’t stick. I felt horrible at it, and the sewing machine needle scares me. I made some gargantuan roman shades a few years ago — with tons of help — but I’m still skittish about sewing. Hopefully these skirts work out and I love them, though! I really want to.
  • I feel like just in the last … month, maybe? Or less? I’ve actually started using Pinterest the way it’s most often used. I’m pinning to a variety of boards, finding inspiration and ideas both on and off Pinterest. This seems weird. But good.
  • I cleaned out my closet this week, removing everything that doesn’t fit and/or I hate. I was left with a small fraction of the original, but we’ll see if it’s actually too few items or not. I’d feel better if the stack of stuff I removed was actually out of the bedroom, though …
  • The bulk of what I removed is too-big shirts. Maybe I need to do some t-shirt reconstruction? Any suggestions on where to start? (See related: Fear of sewing, above.)
  • A is becoming more and more of a walker. He still crawls and cruises some, but he’s just as likely to walk without holding on.
  • Teething is really awful. Why isn’t there a less painful way to get teeth?
  • I’ve actually been spinning a bit lately, which is awesome. I’m looking forward to participating in Tour de Fleece again this year.
  • I’m actually starting to feel confident in my stranded colorwork knitting abilities! I’m working on A’s Christmas stocking, and I like the way it’s looking so far.

OK, that’s probably enough for today. I could go on, but if I stop now, this will actually get published today, whereas if I continue rambling, that may not be the case.

How’s your Wednesday? What’s going on in your world?

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A very dot-ty party

The birthday I’d been looking forward to and planning for months has come and gone! My little boy is 1. I planned his birthday party around the idea of Damien Hirst’s spot paintings, although it probably just looked like it was polka-dot themed.

Screen shot 2013-04-30 at 11.23.57 AM

The invitations: Hand-drawn and hand-cut (with details printed inside), each one unique.

The decorations: We got a huge pack of scrapbook paper (but 8.5×11, since we’re cutting it all), in all the colors of the rainbow, and a circle cutter. I started with the curtain. A had seen strings of circles sparkling as they swung and twirled on the air currents in one of our rare trips to the mall, and he’d been mesmerized. We cut 2-inch circles then spaced them about 1 or 1-1/2″ (I just eyeballed it) apart, applied rubber cement, placed sewing thread on the first circle, and pressed a matching circle into place, sandwiching the string between, then continuing up the thread.

Eleven circles got me about 3 feet in length. My strings are all between 3 and 4 feet long. When I finished constructing each thread of circles, I cut the end, leaving a tail of maybe 18 inches, which I used to tie it on to the curtain rod. It’s not the sturdiest decoration, but it worked for the party. 🙂 All you sewists (is that the term we’re going with these days?) could also make it by stitching through a single circle, leaving space, then the next, etc.

Then we also cut circles of various sizes and used them to create both the birthday banner and various spots (heh) of interest throughout the house, including a “table runner” (tablecloths and 1 year olds don’t mix) and something on the front door to draw guests in.

The cake: Three layers of gluten-free chocolate cake (from the best cake mix ever), plus cupcakes. Frosted with 7-minute frosting. (I got pasteurized egg whites so I didn’t have to worry since this recipe doesn’t require the hand-held mixer over the double boiler bit, so the eggs are never on the stove. So much easier this way!)

And then the dots. Instead of starting with melted sugar syrup on the stove (or Instamelt, which I discovered too late since I can’t get it locally), I was inspired by stained-glass cookies to try just melting candy in the oven — stained-glass cookies without the cookie, essentially. I bought a mixed bag of Jolly Ranchers and one of LifeSavers. Between the two, I had a good range of colors (just no yellow). After some experimentation, I ended up melting the LifeSavers in my mini-muffin pan and the somewhat larger Jolly Ranchers in regular-sized silicone muffin cups.

With the oven at 350°, making sure each piece of candy was centered in its place, I let them melt and puddle. I started at 5-7 minutes, and then I was watching them very closely. If they go too long, they start bubbling and that’s kind of a mess to deal with. If you need to tip the tray a bit to get complete circles, do that as you remove them from the oven. Let them cool and them pop them out onto parchment, then apply to cake. The ones in silicone were a cinch to remove, compared to the ones in just the nonstick pan, but I couldn’t find silicone mini-muffin cups, so hey. [They get sticky relatively quickly, especially in high humidity. And they don’t last forever.]

The fruit: I made a fruit salad to match the circular theme, using the melon baller on watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and papaya, and added pineapple chunks and halved grapes.

The event: He had a great time pulling on curly ribbons and letting them spring back. He liked unwrapping presents, until the pile of paper and tissue became more interesting than unwrapping for the moment. He quite enjoyed his first taste of refined sugar — he took teeny tiny pinches of frosting until he’d eaten nearly all of it — but he didn’t really care for the cake (I don’t think he even tried it, even when I placed a small bit in his mouth).

Happy birthday, baby!

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Pin It and Do It

PinitDoitMay2013My friend Trish of Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity created a Pinterest challenge, wherein participants actually do/make the things they’ve pinned. She’s been hosting the monthly challenge for a whole year now, but this is my first time to participate.

The Pin It and Do It challenge is open to everyone, so join in the fun!

I’m signing up at the Pinterested level, hoping to complete 4-7 pins.

I feel a little bit like I’m cheating, since this installment of the challenge runs for the month of May, and a couple pins I’ve already done (or at least started), but hey. She said it was OK, and she’s the host.

My first completed pin (for the challenge)

We (and by we I mean my husband, but I found the recipe) made these cookies last night. Chocolate chip cookies, but with browned butter, sea salt, and Nutella? How could they be bad, right?

And they’re not (bad). They’re actually really tasty. But they’re also complicated. And we’re not convinced that the Nutella actually adds to the experience, *gasp*! (We made some with and some without. They basically look the same, though, so you just get one one type pictured.)

cookie

I totally didn’t notice that Nutella seepage while taking the photos. Oops.

We did make a few modifications, of course. First, we subbed out the flour, to make them gluten free. I think that may be the cause of the giant-ness of them? They spread like crazy. And we didn’t have sea salt, we used kosher salt.

A cookie in hand is worth two?

Pictured here on my relatively large hand for scale.

Now excuse me while I go pin some things I have planned to make/do for A’s birthday party. I also have some projects I pinned months ago for my own birthday party that I’m planning to accomplish this month, too. Lots of party-related pinning and doing planned for this month, over here!