I made slippers



I've been making myself at home at the new apartment. It's a nice place, but there's no internet, so it's been hard to plan my trip to Seattle. Anyway....the new place has more vinyl floors than the old place, and I felt I needed some slippers. The tan fabric is from a pair of shorts that my brother was throwing out. The stripes are from a tablecloth I got from Goodwill. I found some cheap flexible cutting boards in the kitchen of the old apartment. I used those for the soles, plus whatever I could find around the apartment to give it some cushioning. They're actually not very well made, so no close up photos! They're also far to big for me. Maybe they'll fit my brother.

I found these when I was packing. There's a shop in Auckland that sells only things from Japan for $3.00NZ. These are little soy sauce bottles. I've taken dumplings for lunch before, and certainly could have used some of these.

Arthur donates his body to craft



I made an ottoman that I need to stuff. Most stuffing is made of 100% virgin polyester, which I'm really trying to avoid. I'm trying to use only recycled or second hand polyester. There's this bamboo based filling, but to stuff an entire ottoman would be quite expensive. So when I was in Baltimore, I solved the problem. I found this giant happy fellow at Goodwill for $4.00. I'll be sad when I have to take him apart. Turns out I made my ottoman much larger than I thought. I'd like to make it smaller before I stuff it.

Moving...again


We've moved! Moving took way longer than planned. My brother ended up spending an extra day and a half moving and cleaning up the old apartment. It was exhausting! We worked flippin' hard all weekend and monday and tuesday, morning 'til late in the evening. And the check engine light came on in my car the day we were moving. Plus it started making a loud noise. I took it to the shop on Wednesday. Conveniently, the auto shop is only a few minutes walk from the new apartment. Thursday they said they figured out the problem and the car would be ready Friday afternoon. Friday morning, they called and said the part wouldn't be arriving until monday. But they let me come pick up the car so I could have it for the weekend. Ugh....I hate cars. Not to mention I'm probably going to have to pay about $400 to get this thing fixed.

Good thing is Blacksburg is pretty small, so I can get just about anywhere by bike. I nearly had a spill yesterday when I tried to turn on to a driveway from the bike lane. The edge of the driveway was higher than expected and I lost control. There was some skidding and I lost my balance, but I managed to not hurt myself. However, there were two cops in the driveway talking to two people, and they were all looking at me kind of funny.

Here's my unsuccessful cinnamon raisin loaf. I replaced regular flour with whole wheat flour, and that just made the dough too dense. The cinnamon swirl tasted great, but the bread was too hard to eat. I also made a cherry and berry pie. That turned out much better.



I found this bread in one of the kitchen cabinets. Check out the date and how "fresh" the bread still looks. It was still soft. Two-year-old bread should not look like this.


I found this AWESOME CLEANER WITH BLEACH in the storage closet. It wasn't really that awesome.


Taking a pizza break on Monday night, the first day of moving.


The property management is very anal. Wax the floors? Yeah right, you should see how shitty the floors are. Really, I've stayed in nicer places and they weren't this anal.

In der Küche



I'm having to start packing up my crafting supplies because we're moving on Monday. So, in between some cleaning and packing, I've been whipping up a few things in the kitchen to try to use up some items in the pantry. I have a few boxes of photo albums that I was going through. That photo is my first batch of cookies. They were terrible, rock hard. I tried to halve the recipe, but I forgot to halve the flour. Bless my parents, because they ate every last one of them.

There was some bread flour left in the pantry, so yesterday I made baguettes. Here's the recipe. Tonight I made a cinnamon raisin loaf..sorry no pic. But it smelled awesome.


My brother inherited a giant crock pot from a previous roommate. What the hell is he going to do with a crock pot? It takes like six hours to cook something in this thing. Plus it's huge. I decided to make some soup in it before we dropped it off at Goodwill. I made Italian Wedding Soup again. This time i made my own broth.


I also made yogurt yesterday, so this morning I had fresh yogurt. I make yogurt every few days. Ingredients: one quart milk and one spoonful of yogurt. I have trouble finding good organic whole milk yogurt, so I prefer my own. Very good with peaches. Maybe after I move, I'll share my yogurt making method.

Find your niche...



If someone can have a business selling these, then surely there's room out there for me.

I made this wallet



I made my first wallet! Well...I did make those wallets out of comic books and vinyl a few years ago. But those weren't really usable. This one was much more complicated! I'm new to sewing, so this took me all day to make. I need to be packing and cleaning for my big move, but I decided to craft today. I found some awesome wallets on etsy and wanted to try to make my own. Some of you have seen the ratty old wallet I've been using that I got in New Zealand five years ago. I don't have an etsy shop yet, but I'd really like to have one eventually.



Moving on...I used this tutorial, but I had to make some changes to suit the size of my fabric scraps. The blue fabric with the flowers was a piece I intended for a quilt I'm making for my parents. But I messed it up cutting, so I used it for the wallet instead. It's from a duvet I found at Goodwill for $4.00. I intend to make a dress with it, too...so you'll be seeing it again! The red fabric was from some red scrubs I had in my stash, also from Goodwill a while back. The inside pocket is meant to have a zipper, but I didn't want to use up any of my zippers for my "test" wallet. The sewing is pretty sloppy, and I was too lazy to change the thread on my sewing machine to match the fabric. But overall, I'm happy with my first wallet. I'll definitely be making more!

Ciggies and toilets



The toilet was at Ollibar in Kanazawa. It was a very tiny little bar with a very tiny water closet. Sink on top of the toilet.

Japanese ciggy machine. They smoke a lot in japan, especially the dudes.


By the way, I started a tumblog. The boys looked like they were having fun over there. It's just for random things like this.

Pieces of craft



So, now that my traveling has stalled, I'm going to be using my blog more for my crafting projects. It will be more of a craft blog, or my "Crog" as Noel calls it. But I'm still going to do more traveling, and I have my Seattle adventure starting in a few weeks. So stay tuned!

So I went through a phase where I made tons of soap. Well, just the melt-and-pour glycerin kind. I didn't actually make the soap with lye and all that stuff.



And here are the dog pillows I made a while ago christmas. It's Beagan and Bliss and Elliot! And I also made one for Brooke this past christmas of her dog, Walter.


Monkeys!



Some more photos from the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Nagano. It took us about half an hour to walk up to the monkey onsen from where we parked the car. Even the monkeys were cold.













Monkey snowball fight


I love this one...he looks so cold.



Our room at the onsen.



Leaving the onsen....

Gothic lolita


Kosu Purei, Hachiko
Originally uploaded by replicam
I saw a couple girls dressed like this at the mall in Kanazawal. Sometimes they can look pretty creepy. Just google "gothic lolita" for more. Here's another pic.

Kanazawa school

Here are some more photos from when I went to sit in on two of Kate's classes.




My guest slippers

Purikura and okonomiyaki, umai!



After spending some quality time with the police at Komatsu airport (see previous post), I was relieved to finally make it to Kanazawa station where I was to meet Kate. We met at Starbucks and went to get some okonomiyaki for dinner. Okonomiyaki is sometimes called "japanese pizza", but it's more like a pancake with lots of cabbage, some egg, dashi, green onions....it's a bunch of stuff mixed in a bowl. I got mine with cuttlefish (or squid, not really sure). You fry it, then top with sauce, japanese mayo, dried fish flakes. It looks strange, but it's awesome and very filling. My japanese friends made okonomiyaki a few times in New Zealand, so when Kate suggested it for dinner, I was all for it.

Kate trying to decipher the menu.


Our private booth and stove. Shoes off please...


After dinner, we went to the mall to get some mochi ice cream. Seriously delicious. We went to eat it in the Dessert Forest, the coolest food court I have ever seen. Then even had fake bird sounds.



Then we went and had some fun with a japanese photo booth. Why don't we have these here? They're so fun!


Some ultra-fashionable feet