life of a carrot cake

One of my roommates (roomie I) had her birthday a few days ago so the rest of us decided to make a carrot cake for her. Fun times in our apartment! We used this recipe that I had used before except without pecans, and currants instead of raisins. After some carpal-tunnel-inducing carrot grating (thanks to roomie J and myself), we got the batter together.

111029 a

It baked up pretty nice, but the darned thing wouldn’t come out of the bundt cake pan even after I banged on it for forever.

111029 b

However, it eventually did come out thanks to roomie D and a knife, and roomie D then whipped up the icing and sprinkled it all nicely with Halloween sprinkles. Cute, eh?

111029 c

It was yummy. It got devoured pretty fast, leaving only a little bit for the fridge.

111029 d

After the above picture was taken, roomie J opened the fridge (which isn’t very organized) and the cake came tumbling out. Sad. So yep, the rest of it basically ended up in the trash.

Thus ends the story of this carrot cake’s life. We still have extra carrots left, so carrot cake #2 might be on its way soon. Because it was yummy.

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

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glass jar + paint = jar-o’-lantern

A while ago I had seen this Martha Stewart project for Jar-o’-Lanterns and I thought, I got jars and I could easily get paint. So voila.

111017 01 window

I decided to make my little jar-o’-lantern be a happy little guy, so I just freehand drew his face on with a permanent marker and let it sit so the marker would dry. Then I headed down to Michael’s to buy orange paint. I probably should’ve gone with the recommended oil-based enamel paint … but the orange acrylic was cheaper. And whatever, it looks fine. Oh, and the wire was just some normal silver 16-guage I picked up at the local hardware store. Simple and cheap – why does Martha have to make it seem so much more complicated?

111017 02 pumpkins

Right now I’ve got him on our table in the living room, hanging out with our plastic pumpkin (filled with chocolate) and our real pumpkin (which is waiting anxiously to get carved). Now if only I can find some green ribbon to tie onto the silver wire, I’d be completely satisfied with it. In total, I only spent about $4 for the project since I only had to buy paint and wire. Yay!

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

line squiggles

I’ve been procrastinating again … just a bit. I still need to do readings for class, I still need to go through and print photos from last year, and I still need to do laundry. On the other hand, I’ve gotten back into line drawing and short story writing. Yeah … it’s productive in a not-very-productive sort of way.

111001 lines

I did some shopping for craft supplies today, so I have a few things in the works for Halloween coming up which will be quite fun. I’ve also been working with my bread machine and it’s making some yummy stuff, which is also good. Now if only I could get to be as excited about reading architectural theory, I’d be set.

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

tortillas

Bow before me, mere mortals. For I have created tortillas. Sure they’re a bit funny shaped. And they’re chunkier than the ones from the store … but whatever! No butter, eggs, or milk were used in the making of these tortillas. Thereby, they’re cheap and easy. I’ve also made pancakes (the vegan variety) a few times. Since I have no measuring cup and I haven’t figured out the conversions, it was pretty much a slapdash affair. I’m glad the tortillas and pancakes turned out vaguely enough like tortillas and pancakes. It all tastes alright. So congratulate me already!

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a little pouch

Nope, I’m not dead and I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Wow it’s been a while since I posted anything. Busy with finals and such. Graduation is coming up, tonight is my last final, and then I have a whole host of things to do.

By the way, does anyone need a place to live during the summer in Austin? If you’re in the market for an apartment, let me know!

I haven’t done anything crafty in a while. A week or two ago I made this little pouch when I was particularly bored. Nothing too impressive.

100512 01 pouch

After tonight things should be better … I hope. Probably not though. I still have to pack, sell things, find someone to sublet. And then I have a list of Austin restaurants I have to go to before I leave and friends I need to see before we all depart. That’s okay though. I think I’d rather have too many things to do than nothing. I’d be too bored with boredom.

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

a bag for a swap

Lately I’ve been participating in swaps over at swap-bot.com, which has been quite fun. For the latest swap I had to send something handmade. So … if you’re in that swap and your name is Clara, stop reading here (because I haven’t sent it yet!).

100421 01 bag straps

I have a lot of fabric, so I’m going to try to use it by sewing stuff. I found a pretty simple tutorial for a bag which you can find here that I decided to use for the swap. I think the bag came out rather nicely, but next time I make one I’ll probably change the fabric and shape.

Other stuff is in the works and hopefully my self-imposed deadlines hold fast. Now I’m off to actually do homework!

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

margarita cupcakes

I’ve wanted to make these for a really long time. I bought lime juice back in September specifically to make these. Thankfully that stuff stays fine for a while and the rest of the ingredients I have on hand normally. The original recipe is from a book called “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World”. I’m not vegan, but some of their cupcakes are AMAZING. I tweak their recipes to suit my non-vegan pantry, but basically the credit goes there.

100131 01 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons tequila
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Process:

  • mix together the wet ingredients with the sugar (first six items on the ingredients list)
  • separately mix the remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
  • then mix the two mixtures together
  • pour into muffin tins – will make 12
  • bake in oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter (softened so it’s easier to mix)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

The cupcakes are light, moist, and delicious. And even though these are “margarita” cupcakes, you don’t taste any alcohol in the cake itself – it’s all in the frosting. So once the cupcakes were cool, I whipped some up. There’s no real need to follow a recipe – just simple frosting with lime juice and tequila instead of water. My hand kind of tipped a bit in the process … so my frosting turned out to be quite, um, strong. But yummy!

My roommate hasn’t been home since I made these, so I’ll have to make sure to tell her about the alcohol-content of the cupcakes. Then again, that would be quite the surprise, expecting a simple vanilla cupcake and getting a taste of a margarita instead. That girl better love me. Seriously, I must be in the running for best roommate ever.

Oh, and a belated linkage here to Bake at 350, which is having a little party. Next on my list, after I buy coconut and pineapple juice, are these pina colada cupcakes. Yum!

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

xmas cards

Christmas is coming up in a week and a half and I have yet to send out Christmas cards … oops! Well I finally got around to making the cards, so that’s progress, right? Now I just need to write out all the cards, make sure the addresses I have are still current, buy stamps, et cetera.

091217 01 stamps

It took me a few trips to Michael’s to figure out what I wanted to do, but I found these letter stamps and they seemed pretty nifty, so I grabbed those (along with a black inkpad) and that was pretty much it. The rest of what I used I had on hand.

091217 02 cards

I ended up with three versions of Christmas cards for this year. I’ve never been fond of giving everyone the same exact card, so I try to make different variations. After stamping each card with “Happy Holidays”, I drew a tree, ornament, or present with a black marker. Then I hot glued a little something for color and dimension. The tree got a blue gem as a star, the ornament a red ribbon, and the present a green bow. Cute, eh?

091217 03 gift

My roommate left today, so I wrapped up the first part of her present and gave it to her. I used the rough draft of my essay (with red marks and all) and tied it with a bow. I go through so much paper in school so I try to recycle the best I can. Anyway, she thought it was hilarious because she recognized it as the essay I had been complaining about. As for other Christmas presents, well they’re proving a bit trickier. I went to the mall the other day and after almost two hours, didn’t buy a single thing. To be honest, I was shopping more for myself, but I kept having trouble finding the right size for things … very disappointing.

Most of my friends have already left for home, but I’m going to be hanging around here for a bit longer to work and do some shopping. Christmas is coming up way too fast.

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

things – bought and made

I spent more money. But … I’ve also been doing little projects, so I think it balances out. I didn’t spend too much, and thankfully the month of September is coming to a close, because that means that my September total will (presumably) never hit the $40 mark.

090925 01 bought

Michael’s is conveniently located between work and home, which is disastrously wonderful. Because that means that after a long day at work, I can very easily cheer myself up by buying a thing or two at my favorite happy place.

There was a little silver pail, silver embroidery floss, ribbon, and moss. Yep, a bag of green moss. It’s going to get used on one of my architecture models, but I figured it was crafty enough to warrant inclusion. Wouldn’t it look darling in that pail with a little something else? In addition to the items pictured, I bought two colors of embroidery floss and more floss bobbins – my collection is steadily growing. Yikes.

090925 02 made

I then decided to make myself a pincushion, because I desperately needed one. Since I use needles as pins, when they’re laying around on my table (or the carpeted floor) they’re ridiculously difficult to find and pick up. I also made a little pouch that I’m keeping spools of thread in and two little wallet/pouch things. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to close them.

090925 03 detail

I sewed them up differently, trying to see what I liked better. The green one has a cleaner look to it, but I kind of like the “clearly handmade” look to the cream one. Debating between snap, button, and tie closures. This sewing has helped me a lot with improving my control on the sewing machine. I’m improving!

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

sugar cookies!

My roommate had a review for her studio, so … I made them (and me) sugar cookies! I went with my go-to sugar cookie recipe, which I still have no complaints about. I found it here and judging by the amount of reviews it has, a lot of other people agree with my positive assessment.

090919 01 dough

Ingredients:

  • 2-3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Process:

  • mix together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder
  • separately mix together the softened butter (microwaved it for a while) with the sugar
  • to the butter mix, add the egg and vanilla
  • add it all together
  • form into teaspoon-sized balls on a cookie sheet
  • bake in oven at 375F for 8-10 minutes (I stuck to about 8 minutes for chewier cookies rather than hard ones)

090919 02 cookies

They come out delish as always. The recipe yielded about four dozen cookies, which was probably a bit more than I should’ve made. I intended to halve the recipe, but while mixing ingredients, I forgot. And how the heck do you halve an egg, eh?

090919 03 bagged

I ended up just sewing a quick bag, lining it with a paper towel, and stuffing about two dozen of the cookies in there. The rest stayed on our counter. I attached the sugar cookie tag I made a few weeks ago to a binder clip, and then just clipped the bag closed. Looking back, I should have added some ribbon, but guess I was just being lazy. Quick and easy. This week is going to be RIDICULOUSLY CRAZY with tests, papers, and what-not, but at least there are cookies.

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