Salt and Pepper Please!

I was browsing etsy today looking at salt and pepper shakers. Not looking to buy anything just yet, but maybe later. We're nearly out of salt, and one of the cats accidentally broke my Capitol Building salt shaker a while back. So now all I have is one single phallic Washington monument shaker. Handmade shakers can get pretty pricey, but there are also a plethora of very cute vintage salt and pepper shakers out there. The owls pictured are vintage, but the other three are handmade ceramic shakers. These make me wish I had a kiln and some clay in the garage. I haven't stepped foot in a Target in months (because it's not within walking distance), but I doubt you'll find anything there as cute as these! Well, maybe you might, but it won't be as awesome.

House of Craft

My labels finally arrived today! I wasn't feeling the pink splashberry logo I had before, so I went cute. I just ordered a small batch because these are my first labels. I figure I can always change them later. These labels are kind of weird because they are really light and they feel like paper. They're cellulose non-woven washable labels. Next time I'll try some cotton fabric ones and compare. Yay! Now I can start crafting again...right after I send out a few more résumés. Blah, it seems pointless, but I have to do it.

A few days ago, I tagged along on a house hunt again with Joanna. Saw some cute ones, including this one which we dubbed The Amy Butler house. It had a wonderful little craft room! I want a big desk like this, but for moment the craft cave is too small for such a table. There was evidence of craftiness everywhere. Check out the Amy Butler fabrics in embroidery hoops on the wall and on the ottomans...and on the beautiful bird mobile in the baby's room.

These are from the house we both loved, but the price was just beyond affordable. It's since been snatched up anyway. The house is green on the outside and looks pretty much like this miniature.

The Little Green Bin

It's a gorgeous day today! I just stepped out the door and found this little food and yard waste bin greeting me. Yay! I think it's cute. But that's because I'm used to our neighbors giant 100 gallon bin. Our landlord doesn't have yard/food waste pickup because it's a subscription service, but our neighbors do! They have kindly been letting us put our food scraps in their giant yard waste bin. It really cuts down our amount of trash because we can also throw paper towels and pizza boxes in there, too. The city has extended food/yard waste collection and now we have our own bin to use! After recycling and composting, our regular trash is pretty light. I'm so glad. I used to take the used coffee grinds home from work to use for my balcony garden. At first some people thought I was stealing coffee, and then they thought I was just silly for taking home trash. And after a while, my co-workers would offer me the used coffee grounds before they were thrown out. I just thought it was a big waste to throw it all away. But this is america, and that's what we do here. We waste things.

A Little Bit of Purse

I made a purse, kind of. It's a sample piece to test out my pattern. There's no lining or pockets yet. I just made it to make sure the shape was right. Seems a tiny bit small, but I think it works. It actually holds a lot for its size. I'd also like to put some purse feet on it when I make them for real. If you notice, the handles connect to the body differently on each side of the purse. I'm not sure which way I like better.

Incidentally I'm out of this Kleo fabric. So you won't be seeing it for a while.

Pirate Chef

I made some things for the kitchen for Noel's birthday. I had a hard time deciding on what fabric to use. I was hoping to find some chemistry-themed fabric, but I don't think such a thing exists. So the least girly thing I could think of was skulls. Plus I figured some black and white skulls would look pretty fresh on some pot holders. I'd been wanting to try making some of these for a while.

I also think every kitchen wizard needs a chef's hat. I had to make a practice hat because I had trouble understanding this tutorial. Plus, I have to admit I wanted a hat for myself, too. See the end of the post for my own chef's hat. I'm very happy with it.

It's pink, and it has a bow.

Anna Maria Horner

Now that I've made Amy Butler fans out of you, please check out fabrics by Anna Maria Horner. I ordered some of her fabrics last month, and I love them. I have yet to cut into them though. It's so hard to cut something so lovely. In more prosperous times, I would love to make some curtains or reupholster the cat chair with some of this fabric. She has some patterns coming out soon, one of which is the fabulous Study Hall Skirt.

More crafty posts this weekend...I promise. I just ordered some fabric labels, and they should arrive next week. Yay!

Rainbow Bread

11th Jan 2009
Originally uploaded by [wingnut]
The rainbow cakes reminded me of the rainbow bread I used to see at Kmart. Twenty years ago, I would have absolutely loved some rainbow bread. There's also a place in New York that sells rainbow bagels.

This reminds me of the time the school cafeteria served green chicken patties for st patricks day. It was a terrible idea.

Like Velvet

Originally uploaded by jleighb
I've been craving cake like mad after my post about the red velvet cookies. Well, our local supermarket doesn't carry red velvet cake mix, which is fine. So I looked up some red velvet cake recipes and the majority of them use two bottles of red food coloring to get that color. Eww. I don't know why red cake that tastes vaguely of chocolate is so appealing to me. Well, there are a few recipes out there that use beet root to get the red effect. I may try one of those recipes in the future. For now, we don't even have a cake pan or muffin pan, so I don't even know why I'm looking at cake recipes.

If you don't like red velvet cake, how about a blue velvet cake? I generally don't find blue an appetizing color for food (except blueberries), but this actually looks good to me. I think good photography helps.

Don't like blue? How about orange? or green? The last one is supposed to be a red, white and blue cake, but it looks more scarlet and gray to me. All these colors have kind of put me off cake a little bit. well, now I'm craving more of a carrot cake.

I believe the source of my cake cravings has been the Cake Wrecks blog. Check it out. It really gives me a laugh.

Golden Gardens

Last week the weather was so nice, Joanna and I went to Golden Gardens to get some fresh air. I love that the beach is so close. And you don't have to go far to see mountains.

This dog that's jumping was the definition of scrappy. He was chasing the other dog around the beach, leaping, barking, then he would come sit by a person for a little bit before running off again. Well, the other dog was on a leash, and this little guy chased the other dog (who's named after an Ewok) in circles around us, wrapping us in with the leash several times around. It was awesome.

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Generally I like to bake everything from scratch, refusing to use boxed mixes. But these look soooo goood! I also don't buy a lot of foods with artificial coloring in them, but I do love that red velvet cake once in a while. Even if you make it from scratch, red velvet cake has tons of red coloring in it. Several artificial colors are derived from coal tar, if that helps you understand why I don't like them. I suppose a little coal tar for the sake of beautiful cakes is permissible. So I think I may have to make these cookies. Plus they go so well with the new blog colors. Find the recipe at Bakerella.

Also, for a similar cookie in pumpkin, try Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. I've made these before, and they're delicious.

Luggage Tag and Zippered Pouch

Every fellow traveler needs a fun luggage tag! I made this little set for Aileen's birthday, a zippered pouch and luggage tag out of Amy Butler fabric. I don't like calling them pouches, but I'm not sure what else to call them. I love this fabric, and it photographs so well.

I almost got the pattern to line up at the seams! And here's a shot of the back of the luggage tag.

Blog Maintenance

Hello! I'm changing the blog template...because I can. I thought the three columns were getting cramped. I'm having some troubles, but it's late so I'll try to finish tomorrow. I know the theme doesn't quite go with the blog. Why the red couch you wonder? I like the layout, but I'm planning on changing the images. Also, I have to change some of the coding and add all my widgets again because the template is not a standard blogger template. Ugh...not quite as seamless as I had hoped. so in the meantime, apologies for the lack of navigation. None of the buttons work. Thanks for stopping by!

I fixed a few key things, but I'm still trying to figure out why the time is showing up at the top of the post instead of the date stamp. And I don't like the red boxes over in the right hand blog archive. And I'm not sure why the Subscribe To box is so big. I'm such an amateur at this. And I need to come up with a new header graphic. The red couch and feet are nice, but it doesn't make any sense for this blog.

The good thing about the new layout is that now I can post larger pictures! Check it out in the last two craft posts! Looks good, eh?

Some more zippered pouches

Zippers arrived yesterday! I didn't buy a whole lot, so we'll see how long they last me. I also need to order some fabric labels this weekend....more stuff.

Here's one for size reference. They measure about 7 inches across. I want to try out some different sizes, but I only have 7 inch zippers for now.

Yellow and pink linings

Etsy Love/Buy Handmade

I've been accumulating quite a list of favorites whilst browsing the interwebs. Things I love and might want to buy if and when I ever have some extra money to spend. I thought I'd share some of favorite handmade things at the moment. This is a continuously running list, so I'll probably do this again when I have enough for another faves post. Or if anyone else finds cool things, please share! There's so much out there, it's overwhelming. I encourage everyone to buy handmade. I mean, look at all the cool original stuff out there! Most of this is stuff I found on etsy, but there are few things I came across on flickr or in magazines or other blogs. As you can see, I gravitate towards cute. And I have a thing for mushrooms.

Rabbit and Chihuahua Shoes. Am I silly for loving these shoes? Though the chihuahuas look more like tasmanian devils.

Green Suitcase. I ♥ this suitcase! The shop has some wicked suitcases and bags.

Toadstool Skirt, Forest Skirt, Fruit Skirts I love them all!

Cute cow key fob

Laser cut jewelery. A different take on chandelier earrings...sweet, eh?

Mushroom Camera Strap. I don't have as SLR camera, but I want one and I want it to hang on this strap.

Mole and Mushroom pocket mirror

Rock star plate. Sarah Cihat refires thrift store plates with new designs.

Ceramic pig planter. So much better than a chia pet.

Wiener Dog Necklace. I found this in a few shops. I will own it one day. I actually noticed it a while back in one of BK's portraits, and was happy to come across it on etsy.

Lobster T-shirt. Need I say more. It's a lobster shirt.

Amy Butler Sophia Bag

Another Amy Butler bag to report. I'm nearly done. I just have to hand sew the interior lining. Hand sewing is a pain, but it's something I can do while watching tv. The inside of the bag is red (thrift store bed sheet) with four pockets. I had to use a navy zipper, because that's pretty much all they had at the store. The longer the zipper, the less colours seem to be available.

Here's a look at it outside with the lovely power lines. The dots turned out a bit crooked, which makes the bag look like it's leaning, but I still like it. I made the underside of the handles red, which I think was a good decision. I love this bag. I love the shape of it. It's quite large, too.

This was pretty similar to the Weekender Bag to make. It took me a little less time to make because it's smaller. But it's still very time-consuming. No wonder handmade handbags are so expensive, because they take so flippin' long to make. I don't know how many hours I put in to this, but I'm definitely learning.

Three Little Pigs

I finally cut into my Three Little Pigs fabric last night. Hmmm, it does get quite wrinkled when I flip it though. Well, I am plumb out of zippers, and as such I am unable to make any more until my new zippers arrive. Then maybe I can finish the wallets I started a few weeks ago, too. I'm hoping for a zipper delivery tomorrow! Also need to look into getting some fabric labels...and find a better place to take pictures.

Fiber Art Party

On Saturday we went to Keely's house to help make some materials for Manifold Motion. They needed some extra hands to make some art for their upcoming performance. Check their website for more info on Manifold Motion. The project was to make long crochet chains of fabric and yarn in shades of green and brown.

My contribution.

Luggage Tag

I attempted some more luggage tags last night. The other one I made is not worth showing. I was trying to attempt something new, but it didn't turn out right. I guess I just have to make lots of them to tweek the process and hope they'll turn out right eventually.

This is the back. Hippos!