Friday, October 26, 2012

Stabby cake stabby cake, baker's man

So, I have this tendancy to create slightly morbid baked goods.

These were baked for a Christmas get together at my Aunt's house.
These cookies depict a dark place in the mind of every gingerbread man.

It follows that when I see something like this at my local Walmart, that I am going to do something with them.

I made stabby cakes

Red velvet cupcakes(from a box mix-I did the the hard way once, and there is still red splatter all over my kitchen) with cream cheese frosting(from a can-I got lazy)

I made my own blood though! It's about 1/4-1/3 c Herhsey's syrup and most of a little pointy hat gnome bottle of red food coloring.  

It grosses out husbeasties when its dripping from the corners of your mouth.

Also, it is the most realistic fake blood I've ever seen. Texture, color, opacity, perfect.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin butter, and things to do with it

My husbeast loves pumpkin pie. I mean, who doesn't. It's a fantastic vesituble for loads of whipped cream.

But he loves the pie itself.

This unnerving love of pumpkin pie transcends the crust, however. He loves all things pumpkin pie-y. Like the Pumkin Spie Latte from Starbucks.

He rarely drinks coffee, but when he does, it's pumpkin flavored.

I was thinking about apple butter a few weeks ago and BANG! it hit me. He would he love pumpkin butter.

To the internet!

I found a recipe here for crock pot pumpkin butter. The crock pot is my go-to cauldron, considering that I have neither the time not setting for a giant black cauldron, suspended from a wooden teepee over an open flame.
This is pretty much the recipe and what happened along the way This recipe makes 4 pints+ a little kfc bowl

Pumpkin Butter
2 6-8" Pie Pumpkins
3.5 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Juice of 1 small lemon

De-goop pumpkin then cut into easily manageable chunks and roast at 350 degrees until soft(alternately steam or boil)
After cooled remove skin from flesh (I used one of those weird little pumpkin scooping spoon things from a jack o lantern kit)
Puree pumpkin flesh (I had to add a little water to the blender to get mine to do anything useful-may have better luck with a food processer or potato ricer)
Add pumpkin puree, brown sugar, lemon juice and spices to crock pot

Cook on low for 2-3 hours stirring occasonally
Place a spoon or other device under edge of lid to allow steam to escape and cook for another 2-3 hours until proper consistency is reached.
Butter will thicken slightly after cooling.

During cooking, adjust spices to your taste.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for 2 weeks, freeze for several months. Due to low acidity, canning of pumpkin butter is not recommended, unless you like botulism butter.

*Note-for my pumpkin butter, I originally mashed the pumpkin then cooked everything for about 3 hours, refrigerated overnight, blended the next day then cooked another 2-3 hours, then refrigerated overnight again and cooked another hour or so the final day before transferring to containers.

The instructable has directions for canning the pumpkin butter. The entire internet says not to can pumpkin butter. I don't want to kill people with breakfast spreads, so even though I did follow the canning directions,even processing for 50 minutes, as opposed to the recommended 20, I am still storing mine in the fridge. I brought the KFC bowl of butter to work and tested it with my pH testing apparatus here. The pH is close to a 5. I'm not risking it. 4.6 is inhospitible to botulism.

So now I have 4 pints of pumpkin butter for my husbeast to eat. Now what to do with them...hmmmmm

Excuse the photo-I grabbed these out of his lunch box this morning before he left for work :0)

Pumpkin-Pecan-White Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 C Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c pumpkin butter
3/4 c butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 to 1 1/2 c white chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped pecans

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and pie spice in small bowl
Beat together sugars, butters, and vanilla in larger bowl
Beat in eggs one at a time
Beat in dry ingredients in thirds (else you end up with flour EVERYWHERE)
Mix in chips and pecans

Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes(optional, but the second batch I made was easier to work with using refrigerated dough)
Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet with 2-3" between. These cookies SPREAD so make sure you have good spacing.
 Bake 9-11 minutes until golden brown.
Cool on cookie sheet 2-5 minutes before transferrng to a wire rack.
Eat with Pumkpin Spice Latte, obviously not all at the same time(maybe not so obviously-my husbeastie was thiking about it, but a Starbucks run would have required real pants)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jelly-Fish Sojourn

This was another June Ornament.

  I bead on planes, it's how I roll-er-fly...I needed a bead project to take with me on a fill-in trip to Texarkana back in June. The jelly fish was NOT going.

I had a vision of blue-grey beads, silver chain, and some other whatnot. I was thinking "kinda bad-assed ornament that a guy could hang on his tree and not think, OMG this is the frilliest thing I have ever seen, I'll just grit my teeth and smile and say thanks..."

So I picked out some beads, a pearly light blue, some 4mm crystals, some twisted Michael's crystals in blue/grey from the clearance rack, I think there were pearls involved, some steely gray chain, and some little metal findings.

I began with a rough idea, found a pattern that kinda went along with it then deviated severely :-)
Be not fooled by how this one sits on the wine glass.  I need a photography tent. And a hanger thingy if I'm ever going to be happy with a photo I take of my beadwork.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Everyone loves tie dye

My uncle suffered a stroke just before July 4 this year, to help cover medical bills, his family had a huge yard sale.

They asked for donations, crafts, baked goods, anything.

Our family is very close knit, and when one of us is in trouble, we all come together.

I did my part from 500 miles away and began tie dying. 

Everyone loves tie dye, whether they know it or not.

Everyone REALLY loves a baby in tie dye.

And so I began.

I think I dyed close to 80 shirts and onsies. My hands were purple for weeks.

There are more photos somewhere, and yeah, a few of them are pretty ugly, but with 80 something onesies, you're bound to have a stinker or two...

I also spent every car ride making hemp necklaces to send. Since these were for a yard sale, I didn't send a lot of beadwork, due to yard sale mentality of get it cheap! And I feared that people wouldn't want to pay a fair price. $5 for 15-20 minutes a few beads and a length of hemp seemed more in line.

They did very well at the sale and I'm really, really happy I could help.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Christmas in July

As I sat and tried my best to decide what to get my BFF for her birthday, I realized that I could get ahead of the game and also send her her ornament! Hark!

Seeing as how I had just picked up a strand of these snowman beads from Joann's, I could put them to good use.

This was another Karen Desousa Ornament based on the Celestial Series

Again, I have squat for fire-polished beads, so some substitution was in order. 

I used matte white 6/0s (of which I have great abundance, due to a botched bead excursion in which the buyer did his very best, and I am still very grateful! ) for the belly band, light blue and a darker blue 11/0's, snowman beads and their corresponding spotted round beads, and some weird spoon beads that I'm pretty sure came from Spokane.

I am fairly pleased with this ornament, and my friend really likes it.  Mission accomplished. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I made something and then wore it!

One of my closest friends got married on October 6, 2012 and I couldn't be happier for him. 

He is a dear friend, one of the few from college that has really changed my life.  We got mono our freshman year from the same bottle of Apple Puckers(we think, it wasn't from kissing)!

We worked at Wendy's together! We had bubble fights and took turns being "dish bitch" together!

He told my first love that I was crazy for him.

Anyway, enough hanging out on memory lane, it'll be dark soon. 

This bracelet was made to go with the cocktail dress that I had to purchase for the occasion. The dress was picked out by my dear husbeast, who also purchased his first suit for the occasion.

It was black with a purple and black stripey skirt. is a picture...

I knew I wanted a wide bracelet, with a little sparkle.

I had about a quarter of a pattern drawn up for another endeavor but, due to a few missing key Delica shades, it was tabled.

With my pattern in hand I selected my colors and charged ahead.

I like the finished product.  It is a little bit tapestry, a little bit sparkly, a little bit woven looking, and a little bit awesome.

I used S/L wine-y purple Treasures, hematite Delicas, black Delicas, and nickel plated Delicas. 

The clasp is hematite colored with a few Swarovski 4mm bicones.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

What happened in June

So, I've been following OTTBS for a while now, not that you'd know from the lack of things to show for it-I'm eyeballing you Blogger-and the challenge for June was Colors of the rainbow.

I'm kind of a huge fan of brightly colored things-like tie dye and neon pink beads that I'll never use and I thought, I can do a rainbow colored Ornament! Yes, that is exactly what I'll do. It was settled.

I decided to tackle one of the patterns from Karen DeSousa's Heirloom collection

I then dove in picking beads out of my stash including matte transparent pink, matte orange, matte yellow, trasparent green, S/L blue, and transparent purple.  As I have a dinky collection of fire polished beads, I used S/L clear 8/0's for the belly band and S/L clear for most of the other structural elements.

I had some crazy bright stars from Hobby Lobby that decided they wanted to be included too, and some of those dastardly peanut beads that I get all dewey eyed over rounding out the short list. (Seriously, try them in a kumihimo rope, you will not be disappointed).

Then I tackled the pattern. 

I quickly realised that fringe is mind numbing. Twisted fringe is mind numbing and hand numbing(shakes semi-numb fist at Carpal Tunnel!!!)

That ornament just wouldn't get done! Hours and hours and hours I worked and it never got complete. It just sat there on my bead tray like some illicit love-child of a unicorn and a jelly-fish.

I started this ornament June 1.  I think I finished it in mid-July.

The worst thing is that I have issues cutting things apart once I've committed to them.  The flaws are just...there.  But on we move with life and the next ornament...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

3 bracelets and some new beads

I began this post in March. March!!! Thats how long I've been neglecting you, and how long I can apparently hold a technology grudge! Now that blogger and I have made up, I will try to get some of the back-logged stuff I've been working on up and posted!!
I have been productive this month!

I've made 2 bracelets from this month's Bead and Button. 

The first used the Power Trio by Isabella Lam. This one would have been my OTTBS entry.  The challenge this month was to use purple and grey. 

I used hematite 8/0s and silverlined dark purple Delicas and 15/0s.  I've used this color combo before and many times it gives a really cool dimensional effect.  Maybe it didn't work that way here because the beads were different sizes and not right next to each other.  (I'm serious, use some hematite colored beads and some silverlined dark purple Delicas(or any color silverlined Delicas).  The Dels recede.  Its pretty cool...)  I finished it off with a hematite colored toggle. 

I liked this pattern, even though it used cubic RAW.  I haven't tamed the beast, but I got to at least pet the beast with this bracelet, figuratively speaking.

And I made another one (I've been trying to upload photos to this damned blog since 3-19...) It uses glow-in-the-dark 8/0s with matte transparent blue Delicas and matte black 15/0s.

My second piece was also from this month's B&B.  It is from the pattern called Fantastic Features By Amanda Shero Granstrom. 

I did NO stashbusting on this one. I bought permanently distressed copper wire to make my rings, a new mandrel which is really one of thise big crochet hook knitting neede thingies, green 10mm sequins(pattern called for 12's, but I couldn't find any).  And I even had to buy a hole punch! 

I think it's worth it though. I got to play with chain maille.  I like chain maille. 

I also got a wild hare up my ass and decided that I had to make some polymer clay beads.  Of course this required me to buy more stuff.  Like clay, and blades, and a pasta roller, and seriously. I have a problem.  I don't need new hobbies.  I need to deplete some of the hobbies I currently have. :)

Anywho, here they are fresh from the oven.  I need to drill, sand, buff and glaze them still, but they're pretty.

I then went on a polymer clay book buying spree.  One is about canework.  Canes are really easy once you get the hang of them.  You just start with a picture about the size of the base of a pop can and break it up into small simple shapes.