Saturday, October 20, 2012

Organization is not my strong suit.

My desk's special.

It looks like this:

Stuff on and around my computer desk (not all inclusive):

4 different kinds of scissors
3 different kinds of pliers

mini embroidery hoop

small embroidery hoop
4 different kinds of glue

two thumb drives

Blizzard Authenticator
one external hard drive


mason jar full of paintbrushes
3 DVDs (The Avengers, No Country For Old Men, Crazy Stupid Love)

skeins of embroidery floss (approx. 3 usually there’s at least 10 but I cleaned my desk yesterday. Hah. Cleaned. Haha)
box of toothpicks (not for picking teeth)

mini working catapult pencil sharpener
Pine Cone lip balm

Box of 9mm rounds

handle to a razor (I don't even know why)
1 lipstick I never wear

Broken Hello Kitty rhinestone bracelet
1 package dental floss

A DIY’ed lightbox
2 Chain mail squares

2 different types of headphones
Small box of Swarovski rhinestones

Mini turtle eraser

Small plastic turtle
Gramophone shaped pencil sharpener

Partially completed fascinator
Sculpey clay

Lingerie strap doohickeys
1 pair dangly star earrings

1 lonesome rhinestone stud earring

1 hairpin

1 bobby pin
Black 3/8’’ elastic

1 broken and 1 working mechanical pencil
Baggie of thread for my Enola bracelet

1 half sheet of new bracelet color combos
2 pretty rocks

Voting ballot (just got it today)

1 empty bobbin
Assorted pins and needles stuck in my mousepad

Cat shaped mousepad
1 spool sage green thread

2 pieces of one broken ruler
½ inch wide Scotch tape

Ring mandrel

1 makeup brush

Tin of Prismacolor pencils
My glasses (I never wear them in the house)

Prescription sunglasses (I wear them at, not really)

Rebellious findings/notions that refuse to be contained.
1 bright red moleskin journal (the same one I took to London)

1 coin purse (That may or may not have tuppence. I think I took them out but I could be wrong.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Green Smoothie Experience

I kept hearing about green smoothies. I'm not really sure what I was reading but they seemed to keep popping up and it sounded like maybe something good to try. Never mind that I generally don't like smoothies because I always want to chew them -it's weird. Liquid meals have never been my thing, I about lost my mind when I had my wisdom teeth taken out and couldn't eat solid foods for a bit. I think that lasted less than a day and I was eating (carefully) whatever I wanted. I even did chips and guacamole. I don't recommend that. It was risky but I got away with it. Eh.

So, on my list of things to do before my 27th birthday was to try a green smoothie.

I went with a mix of

2 cups Kale
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 cup  frozen golden raspberries ( originally from my mom's garden)
1 glass of water

It looked like this:

Which turned into this:

Which resulted in this:
The black straw makes it fancy.
Despite my appearance (my face just does that when presented with a camera) it wasn't bad. I think next time I'll use a different fruit since I actually don't really like raspberries all that much. I always think they're going to be delicious but they just aren't. Plus, the raspberry seeds added too much texture for my smoothie chewing issues and it made it hard for me to drink the smoothie like a normal person. After drinking some of it I ate some chips and salsa and was weirded out by how sweet the salsa tasted comparatively. It's not usually a sweet tasting salsa. The drink itself isn't bitter or anything but it made my taste buds sensitive to sugar. It was kind of like how eating something sour after something sweet makes it taste especially sour. 
Before this I hadn't ever tried kale, coconut oil, or chia seeds. Kale kind of tastes like cabbage mixed with broccoli (I actually like both of those). Coconut oil smells slightly like coconut and doesn't have much of a flavor. Chia seeds are kinda funky, they're the same seeds you use for chia pets but they're supposed to be high in fiber, protein, and omega 3s for a relatively small serving size. They absorb water and expand which some people hope aids in weight loss because it supposedly makes you feel full faster. I like the texture of them and the taste is pretty neutral. I like flax seed as well but apparently chia is more easily absorbed in seed form while flax generally needs to be ground to be effective.

I'll try it again with different fruit and maybe a different vegetable mix as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Beer. Fried foods. Grease in the air. Polka music. Glockenspiel. Sausage. German kitsch as far as the eye can see. Cars and people EVERYWHERE.

Oh, Mount Angel, I think your population quadruples during this time of year. And that may be a conservative estimate.

Whenever I go to the post office or the library (pretty much the only places I go these days) I see maybe 10 people on the walk there. During Oktoberfest, if you spit you'll hit someone. You probably will hit several someones. A few of those someone's may just be too intoxicated to care that you just spit on them too. Or you might start a brawl. Either way, good times.

This is the third Oktoberfest where we've lived here. We were busy moving in the first time so I think we may have walked through and last year we looked around and got some food. This year, eh, I was going to walk down today and maybe spend an hour and take some pictures to compare Oktoberfest Mount Angel to regular Mount Angel but I didn't. I didn't feel like it.
I made this instead:
Banana Bread. The white stuff is remants of the floured pan thing.

And this:

Pot roast. Yum.

My dad and I went food shopping though and I took these pictures on the way out of town. They don't look very impressive because you can't see the rows of cars keep going and going or the rows of cars along all of the streets.

What I didn't get a picture of was of some of the apparel. Leiderhosen is to be expected as well as dirndles. Most people wear regular everyday clothes but you'll get a few people in full festive folkloric German gear. And then you get people like a couple of 20something girls I saw wearing plaid skirts, white button ups, and knee high white socks. I know this is a Catholic/German town but cliche sexy schoolgirl outfits.... this isn't a costume party. That does remind me of last year though, they were having a polka contest and one of the teenage contestants was rocking a dragon tail. So...maybe it is a costume party. If I'm still living here next year maybe I'll make a steampunk dirndle getup. Close enough.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Shirt

I made this shirt thinking to jump on the bandwagon of the sheer trend. Kind of. Really, I've just been trying to go through a lot of my fabric stash and actually use some of it.

While I can make my own patterns it doesn't make much sense for me to do so when I can get a pattern that has basically what I want and only costs $1. A dollar is definitely a good trade for the amount of hours it saves me. I don't really even have to wait for sales as I tend to just wander in and if they're having sales on their patterns I buy some. I go for things that match the kinds of clothes or fabrics I've been meaning to make or use. I have a box full of patterns to choose from already so I keep that in mind. Some can even be pieced together Frankenstein's monster style if I feel that I must avoid patterning altogether. Usually I like to pattern but for time reasons altering something that is already pretty close to what I want is the smarter choice.

So! Here're some pictures of the shirt. I generally go for more structured/tailored shirts because my pear shape turns into a column otherwise. There's also the worry with unstructured tops that I could be mistaken for pregnant and that'd be super awkward -I almost as a rule stay away from peasant tops for that very reason.

Front view...
Awkward back view. (Back views are always awkward).
View of the shirt untucked.
I was feeling awkward so I made even more awkward poses.
Close up of the back.
Now, originally the pattern called for an invisible side zipper but I didn't do it because the shirt is loose enough it didn't need one. There was also originally one of those neck loopy button things. I never learned what that was named, back neck placket closure? I ought to have kept that as it wouldn't have taken much longer and it would have made it more professionally finished. I didn't do it because it wasn't necessary. You may notice the bubbling down the back seam. I have a couple of theories as to why that happened but it definitely isn't from a lack of directionally stitching (I've got that ingrained in my brain). It might be from the fabric being off grain (I was fighting with that stuff for at least an hour and it kept bubbling along the selvages) or...ease somehow sneaking in? Sheer is a bit tricky and I haven't had much experience with it.
A design feature of this was a bias binding around the neck and sleeves. I almost wish I had done a contrasting color. I didn't bother as I was trying to stick with only using fabrics I already have.
I think this top would ultimately look better tucked into a high-waisted skirt and a thick belt. Maybe. I don't really like belts on me for some reason. I'm kinda meh about this shirt. It's view D of Simplicity pattern 1783 Clicky for a link to the pattern on Simplicity's website.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Maskery and Oktoberfest

Well, I was going to post about that shirt I made but seeing as I didn't get a picture taken of it while it was still light outside I'll wait until later. I also couldn't find my undershirt for it (seeing as it's a sheer the undershirt is very important to me). Don't know where that thing went because I for sure had it last night. Gnomes. I'll go with gnomes, gnomes moved it somewhere. Ah. Well.

My dad and sister are here now so I'm less inclined to spend time writing.

So... I will show you a picture of a mask I have in process. I won't show another until it's done and the person who I intend to send it to gets it. It's not the same something I had on my list to make for someone. That's a different thing. I'm excited about it because I plan on using techniques and materials I haven't used for masks before.

Masks always look kinda creepy at this stage but this one will likely continue looking creepy.
Despite a bunch of reminders around town I already forgot that it is now Oktoberfest here in Mount Angel. It's kind of a big deal. There are cars everywhere and a LOT of people. For a relatively small and quiet rural town it gets crazy here. It was extended this year to last Thursday through part of Sunday and I'm sure it will be crowded the entire time. Kitschy German touristy town, that's Mount Angel. If you like German beer and fried foods you'll love it. I may venture out at some point and take some pictures to share (and probably get at least one fried edible). I've never paid to go in to the stages and stuff to listen to the live music or watch the dancing so I can't really say anything about that. I considered making a dirndle just for the heck of it but seeing as I completely forgot that didn't happen. 
Clicky for link to Oktoberfest website.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Because Cupcakes Are Important

I like to cook and bake things from the ground up. Or, rather, the most basic ingredients up. I'm not at all opposed to cans although I plan on eventually learning how to can my own things. I don't like additives. Nitrates, monosodium glutamate, high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and sugar substitutes have no place in my kitchen (haha, I can't really call it my kitchen. Whatever.). It is ridiculous how much better food is and how much more satisfying it is without all that junk. A side effect of how I feed myself means I'm generally very picky about my food. It's not a good thing when I've been invited to dinner and I try to find a gracious way to decline because I know the food they plan on serving will leave me feeling sick. It has absolutely nothing to do with their cooking skills. It has to do with what my stomach is used to.

That and I don't like politely lying by saying "It does," when someone has described to me chicken roll-ups (apparently, if I remember right, it's cream cheese mixed with chicken and ranch dressing powder that is then rolled up in those croissants you get in a tube and the whole thing is topped with cream of mushroom soup) when I'm really thinking, "NoNoNONONONO." I hate lying to be polite but I couldn't see a non-offensive way to get out of commenting at all. Especially when they directly ask, "Doesn't that sound delicious?" I request that when you ask me questions that they are not leading questions. I don't want to lie and I really don't want to hurt your feelings.

So, basically, I am particular about what I eat. I apologise in advance. Well...honestly, I eat nearly everything but when I have a choice I try to keep it good.

I eat some terrible garbage every once and a while. I also generally regret it something awful.

I am very much an omnivore. If I go too long without red meat I get anemic feeling and kind of cranky. I don't like cheese (I had a roommate whose favorite food was cheese, means more for her!) with the exception of fresh mozzarella and feta in small doses. My dislike of cheese also means I kind of don't like pizza (BLASPHEMY! I know.). I'll eat pizza and I won't complain about it. It's just not my favorite and I tend to favor the chicken & veggie type pizzas. I'm not a fan of greasy things. Or, rather, I always want the grease balanced out by something green. Like, if I get onion rings I'm going to want non-fried vegetables too. I've never liked raw tomatoes. I've found that if tomatoes are mixed with either basil or cilantro I will like and enjoy them. I don't know why. Seriously though, bruschetta, salsa, pico de gallo -delicious! Tomato on my hamburger? No. Whenever my family had BLTs mine was always a BL. I have met people who were deeply disturbed by this.

Look at that. I was really just going to link to my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and then I went all blabby about food. I love food though. Could talk on the subject for days.

Anyway, here's a link to a super easy and tasty recipe for chocolate cupcakes: Clicky for Recipe

Do note that you really want to keep the dry and wet ingredients separate until the very end. My sister made this recipe and just dumped everything in at once which resulted in the vinegar and baking soda reacting. It's fun to watch but it somehow resulted in inedible cupcakes. They were bitter and metallic tasting -I don't know why. Baking is chemistry. Delicious, delicious chemistry.

Speaking of vinegar...this really is a good recipe. Just a touch harder than doing a cake mix too (in fact, you can put the dry ingredients in a ziploc with a note of the wet ingredients to add and you have a pre-made cake mix without nasty fillers all ready to go for some other time). I've always made it without organic ingredients except for the cane sugar, I only have cane sugar in the pantry (and I like it that way). I've never made the frosting she paired with this recipe, a plain powdered sugar +butter +milk +vanilla combo mixed up with a hand mixer has always worked for me.

It doesn't just make good cupcakes either, this is actually how we first used this recipe:

My dad made that for my sister's birthday cake, pretty darn cool, eh?

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Eh. Social Media. I have a definite love hate relationship with Facebook and Pinterest. I haven’t really gotten into Twitter as not very many of my friends are on there and a Facebook status update serves basically the same purpose. As I am socially lazy I really like how Facebook essentially keeps me updated on what my friends are doing without me actually having to talk to them. The internet is the perfect home for introverts like myself, really. The downside to Facebook is its time wasting aspects (apps especially) and the awkward comment etiquette.

I often worry that I’m that commenter who thinks they’re being clever and amusing when really they’re just being annoying. I’m not writing this looking for “oh, but I like your posts!” No, I am writing this because there are many times where I am tempted to comment but stop myself for one of these reasons:

1. Just commenting for commenting’s sake. AKA I’m bored and I’m looking for amusing banter. Rarely do I get it in these instances.

2. Solely commenting to be clever/snarky/funny. This is especially applicable on statuses of people I actually don’t know very well. You know, the people I’ve maybe said a word to in real life (and that’s the sole requirement of me accepting a friend request –one word. Otherwise I wouldn’t have any Facebook friends).

3. Commenting on a big issue in a way I know will start an internet debate. Those never end well. If they ever actually end.

4. Commenting out of annoyance. This happens in regards to Pity Me statuses, excessive postings of internet memes, and statuses whose grammar and spelling is so bad that I can’t understand what the heck they were writing about to begin with. I’ve found it also happens when someone posts an open ended question when you can tell by their previous words they already know the answer they want to hear (in which case I’m always tempted to give the opposite answer solely to metaphorically poke them in the brain).

5. If I've already commented on something else of the same person in that day and sometimes even in that week.

There are times when I just can't resist and comment anyway. I feel like I need to take a Facebook hiatus when that happens.
I always wonder if anything I ever wrote ended up on Failbook because that would be truly fantastic. Clicky for link to Failbook.

Pinterest is for pictures, inspiration, DIY projects, and unabashed geekery which basically means I waste hours on it. My Geek board has the most pins of any of them (even the cat one). Wasting mass amounts of life clicking on virtual images with absolutely no substance whatsoever, fun times. It could easily be used as a creative inspiration resource but instead it tends to be a time suck of epic proportions. I don’t really recommend it but... Here's my page anyway! Clicky for my Pinterest boards.
Here's a picture of my sister's kitten. Why? Because I can.