Friday, September 28, 2007

An Accidental Bracelet

Last weekend I went to Joann's craft store during a freak torrential downpour. The roof was sort of warehouse style metal and the rain pounding on it sounded like billions of Irish dancers stomping around aggressively above my head. Needless to say, the whole thing was a bit disconcerting. And as a result, I accidentally bought a package of coiled bracelet wire instead of the flexible beading wire I wanted.
Last night I pulled the wire out and thought I'd give it a go. The cuff pictured above is what I came up with. Its made of genuine onyx, rose quartz and garnet beads along with a few glass pieces. Pretty darn cool, for an accidental bracelet!

Listening:  Goldrush - "Can't Give Up The Ghost" (Truck 2007 Flood Video)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The most gorgeous leeks ever!

Bought at Gelsons yesterday and used last night to make Yukon Gold potato and leek soup. Soup came out a bit garlicky . . . but the leeks were spectacular!

Listening:  Failure- "Enjoy The Silence"

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Obsessive Beading

I held out on trying beading for a while because I just knew it'd be one of those crafts I'd get obsessive about. Sure enough, I have! I've been beading lariats using vintage keys, coins and glass and stone beads and chips. They're totally fun to make, really relaxing and I can get as creative as I want. I love how I can incorporate some of my existing favorite materials too, like coins and keys. And don't even get me started on gemstones! ;)

Listening:  Voxtrot- "Start of Something"

Monday, September 24, 2007

My 100th Post!!!

Seems like a good excuse for an Etsy shop sale, no? In honor of my 100th post, I'm offering 50% off of any one item at Mixtape for orders placed before 9am Pacific time tomorrow, September 25, 2007. Just type the code "indiehomeec100" in the note to seller field and wait for your revised invoice. This offer is good for one item only per buyer. You can use your 50% off coupon on one of my awesome new beaded lariats, pictured above, or anything else in my shop. Happy shopping!

Listening:  Catherine Wheel- "Black Metallic"

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Lest you worry . . .

. . . that lack of posting of new projects means I haven't been very crafty lately, allow me to assure you that I totally, completely 100% have been. I'm taking advantage of the lull before the holiday shopping storm to seriously stock up my etsy shop. Since Sunday I have listed TWELVE items! 7 necklaces, 1 tote, 2 zippered totes, a wristlet and a neckwarmer.
I've also mailed a package to The Sampler to be included in their October mailing and I've got a package ready to go tomorrow for Etsy's Fall Festival grab bags (50 promos each!) . . . oh and I've got a swap package that I'm going to send tomorrow and I'm DYING to post about but can't for obvious reasons until my partner receives.
Very crafty, indeed.

Listening:  Pixies- "Tame"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Business Card and Promo Item Swap #2!

The swap packages are just rolling in now! This round of the swap, which I organized, had 18 participants! Most of us sent to 12-14 of those, and sent out an equal number of packages of our own! So the ammount of fun stuff coming in with this swap has just been staggering.
The pics in this post were shamelessly ripped off from Modus Operandi's etsy shop since she took such great pictures for our craftster gallery.
The goodie bags I've put together for my customers from this swap are awesome. As a buyer, I'd love to get one! And the goodies keep on rolling in . . . I'd say I'm only about halfway to recieving every package I'm slated for. Squeal!

Listening:  The Cure- "Lovesong"

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fun With Coinage!

I ordered a pound of out of circulation coins from a seller on Ebay a while back. Coins make gorgeous jewelry . . . aside from being unique, detailed little works of art, they've also got a feeling of history to them (especially now that the Euro has standardized currency across Europe). I convinced my dad to drill holes in a bunch of them for me (coin collectors, don't look!) and I've been using them along with an assortment of vintage keys, chains and beads to make assemblage necklaces. I adore making and wearing these necklaces. Its a bit of a new obsession, which is good because my sewing machine can use a break every now and then.

Listening:  Ravens and Chimes - "January"

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Best Cauliflower Cheese Ever

Like, woah. Seriously.

With my trip to to the UK is coming up in a month and a half and fall struggling to fall in LA, I'm seriously starting to crave pub food. After having spent half the week daydreaming about cauliflower cheese, last night I finally decided to do something about it. And Oh. My. God. It was amazing!

The Best Ever Cauliflower Cheese (tm):

-1 head cauliflower
-1 narrow leek, cleaned well, white and pale green parts cut into a tiny confetti
-1 tblsp butter
-1 heaping tblsp flour
-3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, VERY sharp-black pepper to taste
-handful of bread crumbs
-handful of grated parmesan/romano

-Boil cauliflower for about 5 minutes (until still slighty crisp) in salted water, drain
-Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter and sweat the leeks for a few minutes
-Add the flour to the buttery leeks and cook for a few minutes
-Add the milk and whisk, cook for a few minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. If it isnt' thickening, add a bit more flour and whisk
-Stir pepper and cheddar into milk mixture and remove from heat, stir until cheese is fully melted
-Transfer cauliflower to a casserole and pour cheese sauce over
-Top with bread crumbs and parmesan/romano and bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until topping browns.>

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rachel Ray Has A Way With Pasta

I saw a dish like this made on her show the other night and thought it was one I was gonna have to try. The sauce is a brown butter and sage, something I'd never tried before. Fresh sage acutally was an entirely new ingredient to me. I adore cabbage and potatoes, must be the Irish in me! They went surprisingly well with the pasta too . . . the boy had seconds, which is usually a good sign. Below is an approximation of the recipe, I watched Rachel do it on TV but didn't write anything down of course . . .or measure for that matter.

Pasta with Sage Butter, Cabbage and Potatoes:

A few handfuls of white creamer potatoes
about 3/4 lb of whole wheat pasta
about 1/2 a head of white cabbage, cut into a medium-ish dice
3 heads garlic, smashed
about 8 sage leaves, sliced into little confetti ribbons
about 6 tblsp butter
A big handful of grated parmesan/romano

-boil a big kettle of salted water, add potatoes and wait 7 minutes or so, add pasta and wait 7 more, then add cabbage and cook until everything is done (about 7 more minutes, by my estimation, but I kept tasting to check)
-Meanwhile in a wok, melt butter and add sage and garlic. Cook over very low heat for about 10 or 15 minutes or until sage is crispy. Remove garlic.
-Reserve 2 ladels ful of the cooking water from the pasta and veggies and drain. Toss pasta w/ brown butter and sage, cheese, and enough cooking water to coat all pasta and veggies.
-Run around the house saying "Yum-0!" and "EVOO" and other Rachel Ray-y things.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Taco Salad

I made a really yummy taco salad last night, but I was too busy watching Rock Of Love to take photos of it. Also, fake veggie taco meat doesn't exactly photograph well and a picture of Bret Michaels might actually rightfully be better looking than a picture of my salad. Suffice it to say though that the salad tasted FAR better than it looked!

Taco Salad

-1 package veggie ground 'meat'
-1 packet taco seasoning

-1 bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
-1/2 a large onion, sliced
-handful of frozen corn
-olive oil

-1 heart of romaine, finely shredded
-about 1 1/2 cups shredded white cabbage
-3 green onions, sliced
-2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
-handful of cilantro, chopped

-juice of 1 lime
-salt to taste

In a large frying pan, prepare the taco meat w/ the seasoning packet per the packet instructions

In another pan, grill the onions and peppers with some olive oil until they are caramelized, add the corn towards the end of the cooking to defrost

Mix all other ingredients in a large bowl, adding the grilled onions/peppers and corn and toss well

Top individual salad bowls with taco 'meat'

Makes 3 dinner sized salads

Listening:  Poison- "Fallen Angel"

Friday, September 7, 2007

I Just Applied For Felt Club Holiday XL

EEK!!! I'm going off now to run and hide until September 28th when the vendors are announced.
I'd love to do this faire . . . I've gone twice: once as a shopper, once as a volunteer . . . hopefully next time I'll be there as a vendor! Felt Club always pulls together such a unique, diverse group of crafters. I've picked up everything from a Bacon Angel Christmas Tree Ornament to a handsewn apron there. I'd love to set up to sell my wares among such a creative group of crafters! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Listening:  Hum- "Coming Home"

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Its 3,000 Degrees in LA So What Do I Do?

Crochet a Peruvian highland wool neckwarmer. Duh.

It was too hot to cook all weekend. It was too hot to sleep. It was almost too hot to breathe, but fortunately I did manage that much.

Of course it occured to me that during a heat wave probably isn't the best time to be messing around with highland wool, but I had this idea for a neck warmer that couldn't wait. And listing wooly winter items in my Etsy shop has to start back up sometime. Its cold SOMEWHERE right? Someone in Alaska could end up buying it now. Or Russia. Or very northern bits of Scotland. What if Alaskans or Russians or very northern Scots spend all summer bemoaning the fact that nobody is selling cute, fashionable, warm accessories? They should come to my shop; I've started!

Listening:  Sunny Day Real Estate- "Every Shining Time You Arrive"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Tote Bag for a Good Cause!

I've been making bunches of these corset front totes lately, they're so fun! They're fidgety and involve lots of pinning and tracing stitches, but since I'm into that sort of thing it suits (my big hobby as a toddler was peeling the labels off of crayons).
I've been wanting to donate an item to the Indie Craft Movie Etsy Shop for so long, and last night I finally sat down to make them something. The shop is a way to raise funds for the eagerly anticipated documentary on the indie craft movement. I sent them the bag free of charge, and whatever $20 or so they make on the sale will go to help with production costs for the film. I'm happy I was able to contribute an item to them, and one that I really like too!

Listening:  Division Day- "Every Shining Time You Arrive"