Sunday, January 31, 2010


I've been talking about wanting to list items on Etsy since I first discovered it, and I've finally mustered up enough courage to do so.  A few items are listed, just to start--I'm trying to be both realistic and optimistic at the same time, but maybe I'll get noticed by somebody!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Christmas Advent Calendar

Apparently, I uploaded photos of my Christmas advent calendar project, but I failed to mention them on my blag.  The Paper Source card contest completely took my attention, and lately, I've been spending a lot of time knitting and crocheting and felting, so it seems as good a time as any to post these photos, finally.

Ta-da!  Twenty-five little baggies, Christmas style.  The numbers are cut out of recycled felt, using the Red Tag Sale alphabet set for my Cuttlebug, and putting them through my Xyron sticker maker.  For the bags themselves, I used a fat quarter I found at Jo-Anns, which I had bought originally to cover buttons, to use in a felt ring advent calendar, like this one I found on Etsy.  But then I realized, advent calendars are fun because there is chocolate contained within!

Chocolate and goodies!  Those are some magnets I found (on Etsy, again) featuring images from Portal; I put the cake magnet in day #25, because I really wanted cake at the end.  Every day had a chocolate and a magnet or a Jibbitz for our Crocs.

In case you were wondering, one fat quarter is not enough to make 25 bags that are 2"x3" in size.  But when I went back to get another, after I ditched the button idea, I couldn't find another, and they didn't have any bolts of the same, so I instead dug through the remnants pile and found some nice silk.

The colour seemed to match, and it didn't require waiting the half hour it usually takes to get fabric cut.  Having never worked with silk, though, I wasn't expecting it to fall apart as easily as it does, so there was some hacking involved to get it to stay.  Even then, I'm not sure these bags will hold up very well to abuse; I cut them too small to do any sort of seam finishing on the inside.  But they did the job, and now they are packed away nicely, in the Christmas box.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sweet and Sour Sauce

A recipe for Sweet and Sour Sauce.
  • 1/3 cup white or rice vinegar (Note: rice vinegar gives better results)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 4 teaspoons water
Preparation:Mix the vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Mix together the cornstarch and water, add to the other ingredients and stir to thicken.

(If desired, you can add 1 green pepper, cut into chunks, and pineapple chunks as desired after adding the cornstarch. For a thicker sauce, increase the cornstarch to 4 teaspoons while keeping the water constant.)

I've been experimenting with chicken marinades and sauces lately, and I thought it would be good to start posting some of them.  After doing a quick search for sweet and sour sauce, I found this one online, which worked out pretty well.  We normally have 1 large chicken breast between the two of us, though, so even though I made a full batch of sauce, I only used half.  It worked really well when cooked with onion, sweet pepper, and fresh pineapple. Noms!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


My last post was on the 17th, so this appears to be right on time?

In the suitcase my mom left me at Christmas, alongside packages of Canadian Smarties, leftover cross stitch fabric, floss, and patterns, and slippers too warm to wear in this balmy climate, was a roll of crochet hooks. 

Being totally obsessed with felted bowls I've seen on Etsy, I bought some yarn and made some little bowls, none of which are photographed. In the interest of experimenting with felting on my own, I subsequently bought a skein of 100% wool, and that endeavour turned out extremely well:

Those are just single crochet spiral bowls, with my favourite new technique: an adjustable ring. The bowls didn't take long to make, and felting them was pretty easy too.

I've also decided I'd like to take up knitting (because I need more craft hobbies, apparently), although to less successful results.

Bit of a rocky start, there. Muscle memory made knit stitches fairly easy, so that first cm or so is just garter stitching. When I was little, Mom would help me cast on, and I never figured out how to purl, so those need some practice.  I'll get there.

Since it is 2010, I've decided on a fairly decent and reasonably attainable resolution: to make as many gifts as possible this year, instead of spending tons of money buying stuff.  Felted anything is probably a good start; crocheting is fast and easy, as is felting.  Once I get my knitting up to snuff, I'll have an even better skill set for being successful.  And once I finally get myself a sewing machine of my own, oh ho ho!  I just need to find one that's both suitable and affordable. 

I'm not sure if this is really a resolution, or if it's just a good excuse to spend a ton of time crafting.