being bad

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Okay, so … I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve pretty much been chilling out at my apartment and being a useless human being. To be fair, I was sick over the weekend so I just laid around drinking water and eating crackers, but that’s really no excuse for my laziness. I have watched A LOT of television shows on hulu.com though: Kings, New Amsterdam, The Listener, Jack of All Trades, and Death Note. Oh, and last night I went out and saw “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. I actually enjoyed the movie and thought they did a pretty good job with it, but I think they over-emphasized all of the teenage relationship drama.

I have been somewhat good though. I finished reading “Prodigal Summer”, which I found to be an okay book. Not exactly my type of novel since it just felt too static. I’m not sure if that’s exactly the word I’m looking for, but most of the novel is written from within people’s heads, so there’s not so much action but a whole lot of thinking. It was well-written and I can see why it’s a rather successful novel, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. Now I just need to finish off “Mere Christianity” so I can finally return it to my friend. I borrowed it over a year ago. Yeah, I’m a bad friend. Hm, that reminds me that one of my friends still has my copy of “Sophie’s World” from a year or two ago.

I haven’t boughten anything unnecessary in a while either. Well … I did buy one spool of ribbon, but it was just one! It’s just simple 5/8″-wide white satin ribbon, which is always useful, right? That’s my justification. Oh, and it was just a dollar too. Forgive me? I also caved and asked my roommate to buy me some croissants for me because I was craving them. I’m trying to finish off all the food that I have before I move, so I wasn’t supposed to buy any more food. But a girl needs a little indulgence once in a while. And today I finally pulled out some boxes and am starting to pack. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I did pull out some boxes, but they’re still empty at this point. Oops.

geeky necklace

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

090716 01 finished

I have a habit of accumulating “things”, so I’m trying to clear stuff out by either throwing stuff away (unlikely) or using them in projects (slowly). So I rummaged a bit in my odds and ends box and found this circuit board from what I think was an old radio that was really static-y and not very good. And, hello, but … who uses a radio anymore? Ergo, I made it into a necklace.

I liked the circuit board because it was brown rather than that green that most of them are. Also it’s a pretty weird shape. I found a d-ring (also from my odds and ends box) that just happened to fit that shape beautifully. Sure I probably could’ve gone without attaching the d-ring, but I think it gives it more substance and it keeps the back (which isn’t completely smooth due to the sautering) a bit from me and my top. I just super glued the d-ring to the circuit, let it dry, and it stuck just fine. The black leather cord came from one of my previous shopping trips, so I was all set to attach fixings and go.

I strung some silver wire (on hand) through the headphone jack and a coil on the circuit in order to attach a jump ring on it. I kind of messed up a bit, pulled too hard here, twisted it wrong there, so I had to secure things with some crazy glue. Not perfect, but no one will know. Then I strung the cord through the ring and stuck on cord crimps (available at Michael’s or any hobby store with a jewelry section). Instead of using a clasp, I just closed it off with some jump rings since I made the cord long enough that I can just slip it over my head. I might attach a clasp later on, but I don’t have any clasps on hand, so eh.

All in all, quick and easy. Haven’t worn it out yet, but I will. It’s pretty geeky since it’s a circuit board, but I think it’s cute. I’m going to be a bit busy for the next few days, but I’ll try to keep posts coming.

breadsticks

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

I have a thing for carbohydrates. I admit it, my diet is not balanced at all. Since I love to bake, I love cakes, cookies, and breads. Therefore, I made breadsticks. Yes, I still have a large amount of that slightly weird white bread left, but I needed breadsticks. Yummy ones, too. The below recipe is an altered version of this one.

090711 01 breadsticks

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)

Process:

  • combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  • gradually add milk to mixture and stir to form a soft dough
  • turn onto a floured surface – knead gently 3-4 times
  • roll dough into a rectangle slightly smaller than your pan
  • cut into strips the size desired for breadsticks
  • pour melted butter into your baking pan (I used a 9″x13″ glass pan)
  • place breadsticks into the butter and turn to coat
  • sprinkle oregano and parmesan cheese on top of butter-coated dough sticks
  • bake in oven at 450F for 14-18 minutes (or until golden brown)

They actually turned out pretty good. A bit on the chewy side (probably because I worked the dough a bit too much) but all in all tasty and rather easy. So now I have two bread things on the baked goods counter. Yep, you read that correctly: baked goods counter. My roommate and I have an entire section of our counter dedicated to stuff we’ve baked (usually by me … she ain’t as “domestic” as I am). The slightly weird white bread doesn’t taste so bad when it’s toasted and eaten with a lot of butter. I also have strawberry preserves and orange marmalade, so I’ll be good. I will eat it all. I will.

spending money

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Since I don’t have a job and there’s no money coming in, I really should not be spending money. But since I don’t have a job, I have a lot of free time to go shopping (my class is also over). It’s really a vicious cycle. So off on the sidebar, I decided to start tallying up how much I spend on these little shopping expeditions. I’m only including the money spent on non-necessities, like for crafts and such. I was going to include money spent on eating out as well, but then I figured that would be too depressing.

First up, remember how I was so upset that Wal-Mart no longer carries fabric? Well my friend X mentioned to me the other day that there was still one in the Austin area that does! So I was all excited and decided to head down there to check it out. It’s at 9300 I-35 S, in the Southpark Meadows shopping center. The fabric selection was somewhat miserable, definitely nothing worth a special trip for. At least I now know it’s there, and since there was also a Hobby Lobby nearby, I stopped by there as well.

090710 01 shopping

When I go shopping, sometimes I just can’t help myself. I tell myself I’m there to browse, and then I keep picking things up. From the cheap fabric, I got one yard of checkered light pink and one yard of purple with white polka dots. I think I’m going to turn them into aprons … we’ll see. I also picked up some forks (four for a dollar). They’re really cheaply made (obviously) so they bend easily, an attribute which might come in handy for some projects – once I figure out what kind of project would use forks. Then there were just some more random supplies for in-the-works projects.

090710 02 cl free

Next up, CraigsList finds! Woohoo! I love CraigsList, and the free section is my friend. But things there go fast, so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a positive reply to my e-mail. I picked up this paper shredder and trashcan (love that shape and color) from a girl who was moving out of her apartment and didn’t have room for them in her car. After the trashcan got a good cleaning, I decided it was too pretty to use as a trashcan, so it’s holding some fabric and rolls of cross-stitch fabric.

090710 03 cl frames

Another CraigsList find, this time in the household section, are some picture frames. Twelve of them for $5, not bad. They’re all the same, outer dimensions about 9.5″ square (square!). They’re a dark kind of wood, but I think I’m going to leave them that color instead of putting in the extra effort to paint them black like I was originally planning. These will also be for a project … eventually. Maybe something with frames and forks?

bottlecap magnets

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

090707 01 finished

I’m somewhat of a packrat. I collect things thinking that one day I’ll make something of it all. But usually it comes to nothing and I’m stuck with a lot of … stuff. But today I’m actually getting to use some of that stuff, turning it into functional stuff. Yay! I have some bottle caps from soda bottles, mostly IBC sodas. I have a whole stash of glass bottles too, but I’m still trying to figure out what to do with those. Anyway, I decided to make magnets out of them after seeing the concept online. So, let’s get started, shall we?

090707 02 supplies

First, we gather our materials. Bottle caps – yep. Wood circles – yep. The circles that are 1″ in diameter fit beautifully into the bottle caps, and they can be found at pretty much any hobby store (yay Michael’s!). Then there are magnets. I got these at Wal-mart and they have foam and adhesive already attached to one side of the magnet. These are 3/4″ in diameter and have a total height of just under 3/16″.

If you have magnets with adhesive, go ahead and peel off the backing and center them on the wood disks. Press, hold, and voila. The main purpose of including the wooden disk is to give the magnet height, because to clear the edges of the bottlecap, the magnet’s going to have to be at least 1/4″ thick (which would be a waste of magnets). Then pull out the hot glue gun, squirt a big ol’ dollop on the wood circle, and press it into the bottle cap. There should be enough glue that it squishes around the wood when you press it down, securing it into the bottle cap’s ridges. This is just a precaution, because generally things don’t glue too well to metal. Also, be careful because the bottle cap will heat up due to the glue. All of my hot glue turned yellow over the years so I have to be careful to keep most of it hidden, but if yours is clear (as it probably is) it won’t be too big of a deal if you’re a bit messy.

Then stack ’em together or stick ’em on the fridge. I ended up making a total of eight, four from cherry limeade and four from the tangerine cream soda. I still have some more, but I’m going to wait until I have enough to make a proper set so I can give them as a gift or what-not. They’re functional and cute, which is just my style.

project supplies + updates

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

Whew. I really need to stop beginning projects and then storing them away … where they tend to sit for a really long time while I begin other projects. Oh well. My class ends tomorrow, so I’m going to have a lot of free time to start finishing up these things. I constantly browse CraigsList because I love seeing what other people are trying to get rid of and sometimes I find really good deals. Case in point: stuffing!

090706 01 cluster stuff

Three full bags of Cluster Stuff, a total of 48 ounces, all for $5! Sweet. I generally work with poly-fil, but I figured it was all kind of the same, right? Well, cluster stuff is definitely different, but it works find for my little projects. Poly-fil is more clumpy, but this stuff is like a lot of little curls. Now I need to add projects to my list to use up all this stuff!

090706 02 shopping

With stuffing crossed off my list, I made a trip to Michael’s. There, I picked up some 2 mm black leather cording (yay for 40% off coupon!), 1″ diameter wooden disks, and some metallic-y pink ribbon that was on sale. There was a Dollar Tree nearby, so I stopped in, but all I could really find were some birthday cards. Eh, I can always use more of those. Then I went to Hancock Fabrics and got a yard of gray fleece that was 30% off. So all in all only spent about $25. Fabulous.

Well, before I got started on using those supplies, I figured I had to finish some of the lingering ones. First up, the little pouches that I had been making. Now I have six, neatly hanging on my door (next to my beautiful scarves). I’m debating whether I should make more or not. Eight would be a nice number, and I do need more places to put all my odds and ends, but do I really have the time to hand-stitch two more? I’ll have to mull that one over. Then comes the embroidery I’ve been working on (off and on) for the last month. I could probably work forever on the thing, but i decided to stop. It’ll probably become a pillow, but it needs some sort of border thing. But at least it’s out of the hoop now, which will allow me to start another embroidery ….

birthday gifts

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

My last three posts involved food. Kind of ironic considering that I’m mighty low on food right now. I still have a lot of bread, but not much substantial food. Anyway, it was my birthday a bit ago so I got some of the most fantastic gifts that I feel compelled to tell the world about (well, if the world read this blog, that is). People know me so well. For example, they know:

090703 01 gift sis

I like pretty things. From the sister: necklace with metal leaf and beads. She sent it to me in the mail, so I got it before my birthday. When I told her I had already opened it, she yelled at me. True love. Anyway, I wore it on my birthday and it’s the perfect length!

090703 02 gift x

I like crafty things. From friend X: merino blend wool yarn and glass beads. She also included red ribbon and yellow flowers because she knows that I hate the colors red and yellow. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is true friendship.

090703 03 gift a

I like glass things.From friend A: blown glass container/orb/beautiful-thing-that’s-going-on-the-coffee-table. She said it’s made from recycled glass from some specific brand of soda that I forget. Anyway, it’s fabulous and she got it from Austin Art Glass, which has some really nice pieces. I need to visit that place sometime.

090703 04 gift s

I like nostalgic things. From roommate S: DVD of “The Breakfast Club”. Sweet. This is one of my favorite movies, but for some reason I never owned it. Now I can watch it again, and again, and again! Yes.

Fantastic. I had a great birthday and the gifts, while fabulous, could not compare to the dinner I had at Kerbey Lane with my friends. I love this town.

making bread

[NOTE: This post originally appeared on a now-deleted blog and is being re-posted here for my own sake.]

090701 01 bread

Doesn’t that look … odd? Yes, I made bread in a pie pan. It’s kinda weird. Usually I halve the bread recipes that I find, but this time I forgot. Therefore, I had a whole lotta dough and since I had already filled up the loaf pan and square pan, I resorted to using my trusty pie pan. I used a different recipe for bread this time, and it wasn’t that great. Although I’m not sure if it’s not that great because of all the weird stuff I did to the recipe or if it just wasn’t that great of a recipe to begin with. Either way, I think I’m going to go back to the rosemary bread recipe and just tweak that to suit me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 6-7 cups bread flour

Process:

  • mix the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of sugar together
  • let the mixture stand until it foams (the yeast blossoms)
  • add three cups of water, 1/2 cup of sugar, and flour
  • add salt once the mixture is thick
  • add flour until you cannot add any more – knead
  • place the dough in an oiled bowl covered with a towel
  • put the bowl in a warm place and let rise for an hour
  • punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour
  • bake in oven at 375F for 25-30 minutes until browned

The thing is, I ran out of bread flour about three cups in. Therefore I started using all-purpose flour, until I ran out of that too. I really need to start planning better. Anyway, that’s why in the picture of my dough rising, it still looks pretty wet … because it was. Eh. Tastes okay, but it doesn’t have that yummy chewiness that I generally like in my breads because I ran out of bread flour. And it just looks weird. But now I’m stuck with a lot of bread. I wouldn’t give it to any of my friends because it has a slightly weird taste, probably because of the random dash of honey I threw in (I don’t know why), and a slightly weird texture, probably because of the flour shenanigans.

090701 04 sweet potato

While it was rising, I cooked my sweet potato. The oven was already on since I find it easier to let the dough rise when it’s sitting on top of a hot oven. Usually I just put the oven on a low setting, but I figured I might as well use the oven rather than let all that heat go to waste. After washing the sweet potato, I stuck it in the oven for an hour and a half at 350F. Yum.