Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My last assignment

I've been MIA lately, so I thought I'd share with you the last assignment I just finished for my M.L.I.S.  I have to present on it in class tonight and then I'm completely finished with school.  Hooray!  I got some heavy use out of the Cricut I got on Black Friday to make all the wording on the poster.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh how I love Black Friday

photo by flickr user: denipet

My love affair with Black Friday started 3 years ago.  I'm not sure exactly what brought me to think about braving the sales, but I remember waking up ridiculously early to stop at Target before work to get Guitar Hero.  It may have been Guitar Hero 2.  Since then I've been hooked. 

Last year I did some online shopping at Kohls right around midnight then went to Target, Gamestop, Best Buy, and a few other random stores as well as got a delicious breakfast out.  I also dragged DBF and one of his good friends along for the ride.  It was a blast and this year I got even more serious about it. 

Since Halloween I have been religiously checking Gotta Deal and Black Friday for the most recent leaked ad scans (at gotta deal you have to find the scans in the forums) and have been working up my Black Friday plan of attack.  I've been pouring over the ad scans (multiple times for many of them) and making my list and checking it a million times.  Today I've finalized my plans for the day (which are extra complicated since its also my birthday) and you can check out my finalized plan of attack.  The highlighted items are my most important purchases, the things that I want the most.  I'm super excited for the day and I'll be sure to post and show you guys my loot sometime over the weekend.  I'm also excited to start creating things with the cricut machine which you will see lots of over the coming weeks no doubt. 

Anyone else this obsessed over Black Friday and want to share your plans for the day?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh Fudge!

The last Christmas present I let you guys see was a failure.  Complete and total failure.  It's currently in the box to go to goodwill when I stop being a lazy bum.  Maybe someone else can figure out how to salvage it.  Now that that idea has been scrapped, I've been doing practice runs of some kitchen stuff for Christmas presents.  I fail far less in the kitchen than at the decoupage table :)  Well except for the shortbread fiasco, but that's not what we're talking about here.

So I've been making fudge.  Not fancy fudge with chocolate and sugar and a candy thermometer, but super duper easy fudge courtesy of my best friend's fudge recipe.

All it calls for is one can of sweetened condensed milk, one bag of chocolate chips, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Her original recipe didn't call for the vanilla, but I think it makes for a smoother flavor.  You can also add in mix-ins as you see fit.  My first batch had coconut shreds and walnuts in it (and no vanilla).  The second batch I made included the vanilla and left out the walnuts.

Here's how you make it: (no pics because I flaked and forgot to take some)

1.  Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  I don't have a double boiler or the fixins to make an ad hoc double boiler (which is a metal mixing bowl on top of a pot with some water in it) so I used the microwave.  I used a glass bowl and melted the chocolate at half power in two spurts of 1 minute and a few more of 30 seconds, stirring in between until it was melted smooth.

2.  Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

3.  Add in any mix-ins like nuts.

4.  Spread in a foil lined and greased 9x9 or 8x8 baking dish.

5.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

And voila!  You have delicious ridiculously easy fudge!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Beginning of Christmas Presents

Wow! Look at me go! Two posts in one week. Today I didn't have to work until the afternoon so I spent my morning organizing my kitchen and working on my sister's Christmas present. I decided about a month back that I would make her a decoupage recipe box and fill it with recipes. I spent the past week slowly copying some recipes out onto cards while I kept forgetting to buy the supplies I needed to decoupage. I finally picked up a brush yesterday and now I can share this craft with you.

Here are my supplies. Some old food magazines, a wooden recipe box, a foam brush, and Elmer's white glue.

I had already cut out pictures of tasty looking food so I just mixed up some decoupage paste (just added some water to the glue) and started painting the glue on the box and slapping pictures on.

After all the pictures got glued on and dried, I did a total of three topcoats (drying in between)

All in all, I don't think that I'm very happy with how it turned out. It just looks sloppy. I think part of my problem was feeling the need to cover every last space. I think it would have looked better if I left some of the wood showing. My decoupage needs some work. I think I'll be scrapping this and making her a scarf and some fudge instead.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

My first Scarf

I can't knit or crochet. Well I can crochet a single line but I've never been able to hook them together. A few Christmases ago a co-worker tried to teach me, but after a few lunch sessions it became apparent I was bad at it. I haven't tried knitting, but I suspect that it will be much the same.

When I decided to start a teen craft series at the library I work at in January, I thought of the perfect January craft- a scarf. But not knowing how to knit or crochet, I went on a hunt for a scarf I could make and teach to teens without these skills. Once again Martha saved me on my craft hunt and I ran across this awesome scarf. Tonight, I set about making a practice run to see if I could use it for my first craft program.

Martha's instructions called for a bulky weight yarn which is apparently listed on the package (who knew?!) so I picked out this extra bulky weight yarn.

It was super soft and a pretty mix of blue and green.

I started out cutting 12 pieces of yarn that were 140 inches each. I didn't realize how huge that was until I had the tape measure stretched almost the entire length of my living room! I'm glad that I did the cutting at home where I had plenty of space (and have recently vacuumed).

Then you make four bunches of yarn with three strands in each. Tie two of these bunches together with a square knot with about 6 inches left at the end. Then do the same with the other two. Secure it somehow. Martha suggests tacking it to a piece of foam board, I didn't have that at home, so I just picked one of my heavier books and used it as a weight to hold the ends in place while I continued.

Take the two center bunches and tie them in a square knot about an inch down. An inch down from that center knot, tie the two left most bunches together with a square knot and then the two right most bunches with a square knot. You keep following this pattern until you get the the end and have about 6 inches of spare yarn and two knots like when you started. Simple!

I think I started out with wider intervals in the beginning and it definitely looked a lot better when I was keeping my knots closer together. I also wound up with uneven strands at the end and had to trim a little to make the scarf even. You wind up with a beautiful and simple scarf. It's very thin and long so is easily wrapped around the neck a few times as you see in Martha's picture.

This would make a great gift, and fairly inexpensive if you get a skein of yarn on sale or with a coupon. Give it a try!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Aaaannnnd I'm Back! (Hopefully)

I promised you another post at the end of October and here it is! I spent Friday baking for a charity bake sale on Saturday. My best friend and I (with some donations from her mother and a few others) held a bake sale for the local no kill shelter Save-a-Pet. We raised $608 dollars for them which was totally awesome!! So I share with you a few of my first creations, before I got too tired and overwhelmed with baking to stop taking pictures. :)

A view of my beautiful Kitchen-Aid mixer- shiny red and the professional 600 series 6-qt. I got it for extra big batches of bread, but haven't made any in it yet. In it is the dough for my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

View of my delicious chocolate chip cookies. I swear by the Alton Brown recipe for "The Chewy"

A pan of Betty Crocker brownies. Just a mix but they are delicious and I got a great deal. I tried making a s'mores version, but I couldn't get the center of the brownie to cook without burning the outside and the marshmallows on top. I'll probably try to make it again sometime.

I made a bunch of dog treats too, and a few other things, but after these I was too caught up in getting everything baked to take pictures. See you again soon with more crafting hopefully!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Another Break From Routine for LIS 724

And once again I shall interrupt the normal craftiness (although I'm on a hiatus currently) to post something else for my class. After this, back to my regularly scheduled programming (when this class is over in mid-October).


I started blogging in 2008 to help promote my recently started crafting business. As you can tell by the archive, I wasn't very successful at blogging regularly and keeping up with the blog. I tried starting again earlier this year, but once again school is preventing me from crafting so I put it aside until my schedule clears up in mid to late October.

I started a second blog just last month that is an anonymous blog devoted to my personal and financial goals and keeping me accountable to them. I've been posting a few times a week on that blog for a few weeks now. It is far easier to keep up on since it focused on the things I find myself thinking about constantly rather than about an activity I have to do first before I can write about it!

I like the blogging experience and specifically using blogger. I like the flexibility of the templates and the ease with which I can post, edit, label, and schedule posts. And of course I LOVE reading blogs (as is evident from my constantly overflowing Google Reader)!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

A Break From Routine- LIS 724

And now readers- a break from our regularly scheduled programming to do a little assignment for one of my Library Science Classes!

In exploring Michael Stephens' Tame The Web blog I came across another blog of particular interest to me- The 8bit Library. I've played video games ever since I can remember and loved books and libraries just as long so I was excited to see someone blogging about two of my favorite things. This blog posts new entries a few times a week (according to Google Reader 2.6 posts per week) about topics relating to video games and libraries. There is some great information on this blog about working games into your library and your programming, great articles about the benefits of video games, and the occasional awesomely nerdy tattoo! I've definitely added this blog to my reader (as well as the Tame The Web blog) and am anxiously awaiting the next post!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Okay, I've failed you again...

After attempting to blog even once a week on my crafty exploits has been too much of a challenge for me. With work and school right now I'm lucky to find even a little time to craft, let alone take pictures and post about. I've decided to officially go on hiatus, since its better than just failing to post every Friday. My school schedule lightens up in mid-October and that is round about when I start getting in the crafty spirit again, so check back at the end of October for an update. I'll even put it on my google calendar so that I don't forget to post! :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010


So I forgot to post yesterday, but hey a few hours late isn't bad! (12 hours still counts as a few) No more crafting, and no pics yet, but since all I've been doing is reading, I thought I'd share a review of my favorite book from last week's school books (for YA lit class).

Going Bovine. By Libba Bray. Delacorte Press, 2009. 480 pages. ISBN: 9780385733977 $17.99. Grades 9+

Cameron Smith is an average slacker high school student who gets diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease (or more commonly thought of as mad cow) and is told there is no cure. After talking with a punk rock angel, Cameron escapes the hospital with his dwarf roommate, Gonzo, and starts on a wild cross-country adventure to save the world and cure himself. This adventure is peppered with visits from the punk rock angel, Dulcie, and “dreams” of being in the hospital bed still. Bray masterfully weaves together a serious story about the big questions and issues in life with the kooky antics of trip riddled with hallucinations and an ancient Norse god turned lawn gnome. Not only will this story have readers questioning reality, thinking about their own mortality, and most likely crying, but it will also have readers laughing out loud at Cameron and Gonzo’s adventures. The teenage characters in the novel are realistic in actions and speech, using slang and four-letter words in a natural and unforced manner. Going Bovine is a fabulous combination of Chris Crutcher’s Deadline and Christopher Moore’s odd humor and language.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

No Time for Creativity

Between school and work, I feel that I have no time for creativity (hence the not posting in almost 2 years). Unfortunately my crafting has taken a back seat to the more pressing activities in my life. I’ve been trying as of late to fit it in a bit more, squeezing a necklace in here and a cake there, but it is an uphill battle. I’m signing up for a craft fair in the beginning of August (with my best friend) in hopes that a deadline will encourage me to make the time for the things that I love. I also made a trip out to the Wilton Tent Sale where I picked up some new scrapbook supplies which also helped to spark my creativity a bit.

On Sunday I wound up making a few different cards (from my new stamp supplies) and a few pieces of jewelry (some mix and match earrings that I absolutely love!). Unfortunately in the process I also discovered how woefully low on supplies I am and I have to put in another order for rings for my jewelry. This means that I’ll just be delaying my craft time for even longer while I wait to get the pieces I need. With any luck I can work on getting ahead in my homework so that I’ll have some extra time to work with the supplies when they do come in.

Hopefully after this weekend, I’ll have a few pictures to show you what I’ve been working on, although nothing will be listed on Etsy until after the craft show. I need to save my stock so I have enough to sell!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

I'm back!

So its been awhile. A long while. But, I'm back in action and posting again. Between work, school, and crafting, the blog has fallen by the wayside but I have been inspired to start it up again. This time, I'm setting my goals lower and will be posting once a week on Fridays so that I will hopefully be able to keep up with it regularly. If I'm lucky I'll be able to post more than that, but on Fridays for sure.

Check back on Friday to see a little glimpse into what I'm working on in crafts and my life.