Crafty Obsessions…

I have all sorts of crazy awesomeness running rampant through my brain.

I am kind of really excited by the prospect of possibly making an art journal. Not as in creating artwork IN a journal, but actually MAKING a blank journal for people to create artwork in.

I am not at all an artistic person. The idea of making a journal from recycled materials for someone who is creative & artistic, might get excited enough to create something wonderful from a journal that is full of inspiration in itself, and that is a pretty cool idea to me.

Basically I want to be using recycled materials to create the journals for people to do stuff in — I guess kind of like a Smashbook, which is basically what scrapbooks USED to be before it became an obscenely large book that you a few slap pictures in, but designed & marketed for the accumulation of life-stuff to stick into a book. I was so sad and disappointed when the current concept of scrapbooking (cutting out pieces of decorated paper and gluing them in with 3 photos of your kids and one word at the top of the page describing the event) never matched up to what my definition of scrapbooking was when I was really, really young.

The Smashbook on the other hand is totally what I love — you can put all your memories, event stubs, take-out menus, business cards, photos, etc etc into one book and keep it all together to remind you of all the wonderful things that make you happy. I think it’s kind of silly that there’s so much stuff that’s being marketed to go with the Smashbooks, but at the same time, you have to admit, it’s pretty brilliant and so much more personal.

Anyhow, I found this awesome girl on Youtube, JenniBellie, and she has a fantastic Etsy shop called PaperClayJunkie where she sells all the art journals she’s made and they are brilliant. Admittedly, they are pretty funky and I love the uniqueness of each and every one of her creations. Not to mention the fact that she’s so fantastic to have made video tutorials on how to make your very own journals.

I am super, duper thrilled and incredibly excited. My only worry is that because this brilliant project idea came to me while I’ve been Moosed up, I am kind of scared that it will become one of those projects that I start with great intentions & ambitions but then run out of steam before completing… I’m remarkably good at that.

Right now I have a huge stack of birthday and Christmas cards that I have been holding onto for no real reason up until now. The first project I am going to start with, is making a similar ‘memory book’ with the birthday cards and then the Christmas cards will hopefully become a similar art journal as in the video below.

What I really want to be making are the art journals using recycled cardboard from cereal boxes use embellishments from thrift stores or see if there’s anyone amongst my circle of friends that might have crafty (and non-crafty) stuff that they no longer want that I could use. This is the video that totally planted the art journal seed in my brain:

The amount of recycled material JenniBellie uses is absolutely phenomenal! The biggest downfall of me not being a girly-girl is that I have very little to recycle to use for embellishing stuff. I don’t have old bracelets or necklaces that I could take apart to use for adding some fun visual elements to journals. I do have yarn and a minute amount of fat quarters that I could use and a small rubber stamp collection, but off the top of my head, that’s about it.

This weekend I am going to go shopping to buy some basic supplies like: acrylic paints, some brushes (mostly cheap stuff, I hope), some scrapbook paper books, bit & bob-y ephemera I can use to decorate, etc… I also need some basics like a bonefolder, an awl, probably some large-ish upholstery needles to help with bookbinding and I really should see if anyone has any jewellery they no longer want. So perhaps take this as my official call-out to anyone that might be looking to destash their craft collections and/or jewellery boxes, if you wouldn’t mind sending things my way, I would be extremely grateful… and who knows, perhaps I might be brave enough to send a completed art journal in return as thanks!

…But I am getting way, way ahead of myself…

“One step at a time, dear.”, as someone in channel kindly told me tonight ^_^

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Blogsy app test…

Ages upon ages ago, I downloaded this app for my iPad so I could have someting to publish journal entries from. For whatever reason, it took me this long to actually give it a test run. I think it had someting to do with the fact that I was still getting used to WordPress and all its quirks.

I’m still looking for an app that I can use for my lj account on the iPad, but haven’t looked for one since downloading Blogsy.

This entry is just going to be me testing out all the features available, so it’s really not going to be a terribly interesting read, my appologies in advance ^_^

One of my fave web kitties, Shiro Neko:

I’m back to drinking a bottle of “frogs eggs” (aka chia seeds), mixed with lemon juice, once a day again. I’m thinking that perhaps I should consider adding a couple of tablespoons of flax seed to my bottle to help aid with my “slow elimination” issues.

A youtube video recipe that I plan on making once the rain stops coming down in buckets and I can harvest a whole shwack of my garden chives, herbes salées:

Hmmm…. Hmmm…. Gonna have to work on figuring out a few things like:
1) Hyperlink insertion thing, cuz that wasn’t working so well. I tried but I don’t think I was doing it correctly.
2) Getting youtube videos placed where I wanted correctly.
3) How do you put a caption under photos in WordPress?? For some reason I can’t do it, here or there.
4) At least I can centre my damn photos on Blogsy, fuck if I know how to do it on WordPress.. Sheesh.

Looks like I still have some serious learning to do.

Things that impress me

It would seem that the last week-ish, I’ve been rather impressed with myself.

First it started off with the bison spaghetti sauce, then it was the spaghetti alla puttanesca. Then I got some weird obsessive thing in my head to have breakfast for dinner on Saturday night so I went and made homemade flour tortillas from scratch(!) to be eaten with basically a potato & egg scramble that had chopped onions, red peppers and tomatoes all cooked together. Sunday was of course meatloaf and meatball day and today I’ve got a batch of pinto beans cooking in the crockpot so I can make refried beans for dinner along with another batch of flour tortillas and potato-egg scramble. In the meantime, I’ve gone and made some homemade corn tortillas for nachos!

That’s a rather impressive few days, if I do say so myself. I’m a little suprised at the sudden Messican kick but pleased nonetheless. Using real beans for refried beans as opposed to lentils like I did a few months ago will be interesting. I’m hoping they’ll be cooked in time for dinner. I started them at about 1130am and according to Praxxus’ recipe , it should only take three hours on high in the crockpot. For some reason that sounds like a very short amount of time o_O;;


So anyhow, yea. That’s what I’ve been up to for the last few days.

I’ve come down with The Hubbs’ cold and so I’m not feeling the greatest, but I am feeling a little better than I did yesterday. This could be because I took two benedryl before bed which knocked me out so I could actually sleep through the night and got some much needed rest. The Hubbs has been knocked out by this flu-cold thing and has been at home sick since Friday. He tried going into work yesterday, but ended up coming straight back home after being there for only an hour. Tunnel vision and dizziness is generally not a good thing to have while you’re at work. So he went to the walk-in clinic and thankfully he doesn’t have bronchitis or pneumonia. He’s pretty much going to be staying at home and recouperating all this week which is a bit disappointing on the one hand, because he’s having to use vacation time to do this, but on the other, I’m glad he’s finally doing what needs to be done to get well and not constantly pushing his body to excessive limits when it’s already under so much strain.

Tomorrow I have my appointment with Fam Doc and then Friday I need to bring Sahmy in to see the vet. Somehow she managed to lose her fang but we’re not sure when it happened. We’re kind of worried that the root might be still stuck, but it’s hard to tell, not being familiar with cat dentistry. Hopefully it won’t be a traumatizing experience and we’re really hoping she won’t need emergecy surgery. The Hubbs is really upset about the whole thing and wondering if we should have spent the $1k that we didn’t have (and STILL don’t have) a few years ago for her to have the whole dental thing done. *sigh*

Anywho, I think it’s naptime… then time for refried beans! WOO!

A little bit of kitty silliness

I took this video of The Hubbs back in December. He’s been playing catch with Sahmy the last few months and we finally got around to recording the two of them having at it. It’s super short, but it’s kinda fun to watch them. This was the best video I had out of the four or five tries.

Sahmy really likes foamy soccer balls and sometimes pompoms. The Hubbs usually tosses balls up the stairs with her and she’ll tear on after it and follow it back down the stairs again as it bounces back.

She’s an awesome kitty ^_^

Outdoors cat!

For some reason, we thought it would be mightily amusing to see what would happen if we brought Sahmy outside on a leash & harness.

Well, apparently she enjoys it. Lots. I took a few pics + videos of her first outdoor experience, because really… it’s FUNNY to see a cat on a leash & harness.


Sahmy exploring her surroundings


Sahmy just hangin’ out


Sahmy exploring grass for the first time

For those of you on the #Planet!, the deck video is here and the grass video is here.

For the rest of you:

Onigiri!

I made, just now (maybe the last half hour or so) onigiri!

I finally got the hunger-drive to make Cooking With Dog’s Onigiri recipe. Rice balls with a tuna-mayo-wasabi filling (I added green onions as well), soysauce grilled and a miso-green onion grilled. They’re REALLY tasty :o

I’ve not managed to make them so tasty in the past, but now I now how to do it :D

You have to use a good amount of salt water on your hands to flavour the rice and use a decent filling or just paint the outsides and grill them.

Simple yet so complex and tasty all at the same time!

Two cups of rice made 6 fair-sized rice triangles, two of each flavour. I’ve only eaten about 1/3 of the tuna triangle and I’m kina stuffed, but that could also be because I’m really not feeling so great today :( I’m excited to try the grilled miso paste triangle. The other 4 are sitting in the fridge for midnight snack tonight.

I’m pleased. ^_^

This kitty‘s been seen quite a bit by now:

But for some reason, THIS version made me laugh so hard I had tears running down my face and had both kitties staring at me like I had completely lost the plot:

The clip itself isn’t terribly funny, it’s just the cat’s “OMG!!” face at the end that made it absolutely hilarious.

I’m not yet stoned, but I am drugged up….

…And once again, I have stuff running through my head.

No surprise, but it would seem that this month, all of the crazy, creative thoughts that are running through my head are food-related in the proper sense, as opposed to food-related in the crafty sense.

The lemon buns, mexican chocolate brownies & the taiyaki have still yet to be made, but I figured that making 61 cimmamon buns with maple cream cheese frosting late Friday night into the wee hours of Saturday morning (seriously, I finished baking and icing everything at around 130am) is an alright excuse for not having tried to make those earlier ideas. Thinking about it now, I think instead of making lemon buns, I would make orange marmalade buns with orange cream cheese frosting. That sounds more interesting, plus I have a jar of ginger marmalade that needs an appropriate destiny other than just buttered toast.

Anyways, lying in bed feeilng rather cruddy and having spent many of my evening hours surfing Youtube or making use of AllRecipes’ Dinner Spinner App, both on The Hubbs’ iPod Touch, until I fall asleep, I’ve been watching mainly Japanese & Korean cooking lessons for things like rice cooker bread, small batches of homemade kimchi, kimchi fried rice & reading a lot recipes for Easter breads like semla, cardamom braids, hot cross buns, etc etc.

Tonight I might actually accomplish some of these things. For dindin, even in my slightly more relaxed state (but still not yet stoned, surprisingly), I am going to make Bokkeumbop (김치 볶음밥), which is the kimchi fried rice and I’m also going to make a pan of potstickers, because that sounds vaguely tasty right now.

As for my Easter bread conundrums.. I have yet to decide how I am going to procede with making any of those. I think if I can get my brain and body to cooperate with me for tomorrow, I might take a stab at that rice cooker bread recipe, primarily for the novelty factor, but also because I’m curious to see how a Japanese bread recipe will taste compared to what I’m used to making. We’ll see… I have high hopes, but don’t know that it’ll necessarily help given my past history.

So yea, that’s what the plan is for the moment… I’m actually feeling rather good about getting back into baking again. It makes me feel like I still have an ability that can be used to its full potential. And in recent weeks, having found out that a lot of people either don’t bake or rarely make things from scratch anymore, has sort of made it a mini-mission for me to give people some homemade goodies just to make them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I don’t know how people ~really~ perceive the gifts I bake and give to them, but I’m hoping it’s with at least some appreciation.

Mmm… salty cheesy goodness..

… With a hint of fake butter flavour.

The last few weeks have been less than stellar in the eating department, so The Hubbs took it upon himself to buy me quicky meals. Basically something to fill the void of low blood sugar without much effort on my part. No, it’s not the healthiest way to go, but the point is getting some sort of food into me. I’m just not into eating right now.

Most of the “new & exciting” offerings consist of flatbread pizza-like meals, one Aunt Jemima instant sausage & egg skillet thingy and I can’t remember the other(s). As of late, most of my options have been reduced to the adult version of the Pilsbury Pizza Pop.

Also known as Stouffer’s Bistro Crustinis. Specifically the Philly-Style Steak & Cheese, would be my current fave.

Remarkably tasty in a really bad for you way. Just don’t eat the low fat ones, they’re vile.

In other food-related musings — I’m seriously toying with the idea of making homemade kimchi. Srsly. Only thing is, the recipe I currently have is for a 10lb batch of cabbage. What in the world am I gonna do with 10+ lbs of kimchi!? Admittedly, the cabbage does reduce down once salted, but there are still only so many people I know that would be game to eat it, my family being one of the few individuals, and they’re pretty stoked on the idea.

Dad suggested that I just make the full recipe of ‘sauce’ and then use only however much cabbage I feel inclined to cut, salt and wash at processing time. It’s a thought that I’ll keep in mind. Only real work involved is the crazy amounts of chopping and slicing of vegetables. We’ll see how it goes.

It’s not necessarily gonna be this weekend… haircut and pantry organizing are on the to-do-list.

Yay for end of January Feast!

On short notice, invitations were sent out by the always fantastic J & R to join them in the annual Haggis & Scotch feasting.

Everytime I mention haggis, it’s always met with rounds of, “EWW.. Gross!”.

Lucky for me, it would appear that our little circle of friends enjoy such delicacies. And besides, it’s not like haggis is the only thing being served for dinner. It just happens to be the special honoured guest of the eveining that we see only once a year.

To make things short and sweet, dinner consisted of: mashed potatoes, homemade Scotch eggs, scalloped turnips with goat cheese, haggis. whiskey gravy and some requisite greenage (of which I did not partake).

I would have liked to have tried the haggis with either the gravy or some Scotch poured over, but alas, it will never be for me.

As a side note — It would appear that I am not the biggest fan of cold Scotch eggs. I realize that it’s more or less a snack food to be eaten cold, but for some reason I just don’t enjoy it and subsequently have, for the last 3 years now, foisted portions of my Scotch egg onto to a friend and he returns the favour by giving me his mostly uneaten portion of haggis. That’s a win-win situation, if I do say so myself.


Click the Scotch Egg for the awesome Weebl’s Video!

All in all, I enjoyed the evening immensely, even though we couldn’t stay for the post-dinner movie of indeterminant Scottish origin. It would appear that my sinuses are doing a wicked number on my upper teeth, causing intesnse amounts of pain (and suffering). Must call Sinus Guy on Monday. *sigh*

I have to send out intarwebz apologies to G-Dawg, via Miss Empyress, for traumatizing him with the rehashing of my double jaw surgery. Poor boy didn’t know what to do in the end other than be completely horrified.

On totally different topic — We overhauled, moved, condensed and purged the kitchen of its clutter.

I even started condensing down my cookbook collection by giving a few to friends that I know would give them a good home. At some point, I will also be taking a few more off to the used bookstore if no one wants to take them off my hands. It feels good but it’s rather saddening all at the same time.

Tomorrow (today) is hopefully going to be pantry-tackling day.