Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Mash Up

It’s Monday and already, I’m all over the place. 4 days until Doodle’s birthday, 5 days until his party and there is SO much to do!!!

We had a fun weekend filled with buckets of rain, board games (The Lego game creationary is my new's like pictionary but with Legos. Mr. P. is SO into it), soccer practice and the Oscars!

Which I have to say, was kind of a snooze fest this year. I know, first I’m the Grinch of Valentine’s Day, now I’m the Oscar Grinch, but really, there were no surprises (I still lost the Oscar betting game by a landslide).

We’ve always gotten pretty excited around Oscar time here. My Dad, a writer, is an Academy Member and votes for the awards, so he’s always had a bit more invested in the outcome than the rest of us.

Ever since I can remember, we’ve celebrated the Oscars with an Indian feast / potluck (this was quite fitting for the years when Lagaan and Slum Dog Millionaire were nominated) and this year was no exception.

Naan, tandoori chicken, curried tofu, curried cauliflower, jackfruit, okra, raita, lentils and basmati rice were consumed in mass quantities as we watched the anticipated winners give their anticipated speeches. And somehow, our friend Al, who hadn’t seen one nominated film, again emerged as the winner of our betting pool. Go figure.

I also made Chai for the first time, thanks to an Etsy Storque recipe found here. It was SO delicious! And since I was lazy last night, instead of grinding the spices first, I put them in a metal sieve, whole, hovering over a pot of black tea that was brewing in the pot below. Way less labor intensive that way.

(photo courtesy of Esty)

My final note involves a new addition to our home thanks to Martha Stewart. In the February edition of her magazine, there’s an article about miniature indoor citrus trees, so I ordered one and it’s arrived!

Right now it’s living in our kitchen window box, but as soon as we pick out a pot, it will be moved to the living room.

It’s an adorable dwarf Meyer lemon tree, that, if left in direct sunlight, can live indoors and is guaranteed to fruit! I am so excited to have a fruiting lemon tree! We have an orange tree outside and I don’t know if it’s the soil or what, but the fruit is just awful! We also have a Satsuma tree outside (my favorite citrus) which we moved from our previous home and apparently it took the move quite hard because it has refused to fruit since.  

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for today. Wish me luck this week. My to-do list is out the door and around the block. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Zippers are Way Easier

So, today I tried to add a button to my blog. Those of you techno-crafty savvy bloggers may think this seems like an easy task. 

It took me well over an hour!!! A very frustrating hour, I might add. 

The wonderful button was designed by my friend, Matthew Ehrmann:

I actually have two buttons, the one you see below and then another version with the cute martini glass that's also on my business card. 


But, once I got one working, I couldn't get the second one. 

Oh well. You're stuck with one button option.  

Grab it!! Will you??

Friday, February 25, 2011

Free Giveaway: Fabric Fabric Fabric

In an ongoing effort to clean house, I have a pile 'o fabric to giveaway! The winner of this giveaway will receive at least 11 different pieces of fabric.(All pictured here)

 Almost all are at least a fat quarter. Some larger. There's at least  half a yard or more of this sweet fabric! (terrible photo, I know, but you get the idea.)

You can win this book three different ways:

- Add a comment TO THIS POST ONLY = 1 entry (While you are more than welcome to post comments to my other blog posts, only comments to this particular post will enter you in to the free giveaway.)
-  Add a comment to this or any other post on my blog + become a follower = 2 entries.
-  Add a link from your blog to mine (i.e. you can mention the free giveaway in your own blog with a link to my blog - if you do this, please be sure and let me know you've done so in the comments box.) + become a follower + add a comment to this or any other post on my blog = 3 entries. 

You can mix and match these options any way you'd like!

This contest will close on Sunday, March 6th and a winner will be randomly selected and announced on Monday, March 7th. 

Muno Fashion - A Felted Friend

7 days until Doodlebop’s birthday……..

As I mentioned a few posts ago, this year, in order to cut down on unwanted clutter and an unnecessary influx of toys , I am making all of Doodle’s presents this year.

So in the spirit of handmade gifts, I present you with a Muno Tutorial (from Yo Gabba Gabba.) (Of course his favorite is the oddly phallic one) 

This was quite easy and took less that 30 minutes to complete.

Materials Needed:
1 t-shirt
Small, leftover felt scraps in red, white and black

Cut out pieces: one red head, one white eye, one black eye, a black mouth and white teeth. 

Pin and sew red head to shirt.

Pin and sew black circles to white circles.

Pin and sew eye to red head.

Sew two teeth onto black mouth.

Sew mouth onto head.

Oh so easy!

This project is linked to the following blogs:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunny with A Chance of Park Time

My Mom (whom also lives in Los Angeles) sent me an email this morning saying she heard on the news that today was going to be the coldest day of the year and that there might be snow in the surrounding areas of Los Angeles.

Either her forecaster is on crack or she was listening to the news for Alaska, but it was a gorgeous morning – the perfect day for the park. Doodlebop didn’t even want to wear his jacket.

See, for all the flack Los Angeles gets, it's kind of pretty!!

Some days, you just have to put away the crafts and get outside!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get Your Craft On!

Check out all of the projects on display at Get your Craft On! Which one will you make? (I'm number 409 - also my dorm room number in college)

Crayon Bunting


So, in less than two weeks, my little Doodlebop turns 2. Since we are overrun with “stuff”, I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to make or repurpose all of his birthday gifts. He’s too young to know the difference, I’ll get extra sewing practice and I won’t be adding to the pile of unnecessary “stuff” in our house.

(I’ve recently read Organized Simplicity, which, in anticipation of spring-cleaning, has motivated me to start going through our things and, in general, let less into our home.) The author also runs a great blog, Simple Mom, which you can access by clicking here

Before my bookmarks were organized, I saw a photo of a crayon bunting about a year ago online and the image stuck with me. I can't remember where I saw it, but I've tried to recreate it here. 

Materials Needed:
Felt (for the bunting)
Tie (I used this Kokka Large Trefle airplane pattern. You could also easily use some fabric strips or bias tape.)

C   Cut fabric (17.5 x 10)    

      Cut bunting out of felt (upside down triangles connected by a line. I did six, but made them wide enough that each triangle can hold multiple crayons. They ended up being about 8.5 or 9 inches long.)

3.     Sew bunting to one fabric panel. Make sure you don’t’ sew the wide base of the triangle closed or else where will your crayons go?

It will look like this when you're done sewing. 

4.     Fold the top of the background fabric down so it touches the bottom panel. Now  right sides of fabric are facing one another. Insert two ties (bias tape), right sides facing one another into the main fabric so you can’t see it while you’re sewing at the short end of the fabric (see photo- this will make more sense when you look at it.) and sew three sides of the rectangle up, leaving one short side open. I left about 8 inches on my bias tape to make sure it would reach all the way around when it was rolled up. (This was a very generous amount and once the project was done, I simply cut the tape to the desired length.)

Then sew the top and bottom all the way across (so you should only have one side left open/unsewn. - the other short side where there is no bias tape sewn in.)

5.     Turn the whole thing inside out.
     Fold the sides inward on that fourth and only open side and sew as close to the edge as possible.

And there you have it!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jam Gone Wrong Goes Very, Very Right

So, after last week's love affair with my first experience making apricot jam, I decided to try my hand at making fresh blackberry jam. 

Sure, it looks pretty. But this is more like blackberry juice.The jam didn't congeal, so it turned out to be a very viscous juice-like concoction. My mom mentioned that there may not be any natural pectin in blackberries. Hm...any pectin experts out there want to chime in? I'm thinking I either didn't add enough sugar or I didn't leave it on the heat long enough or some combination of the two. But spreading this on toast is out of the question. It would make it too soggy. 

Luckily I found a few alternative uses:

Poured on top of oatmeal it makes an excellent alternative to brown sugar. 

And mixed with vodka - it almost seems like a healthy way to celebrate happy hour. I left one berry at the bottom for looks. 

And a mint leaf from the garden for an added touch. 

What fruit has worked well for you? I wish cherries were in season. Can one make pear jam? Does that sound disgusting? Does a pear martini sound equally disgusting?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Celebrate the Boy!!!

As a crafter of two boys, I know how challenging it can be to come up with boy-friendly material. Lucky for me Dana from Made and Rae from Made by Rae are launching their second annual Celebrate the Boy month on their blogs and they are features boy projects and guest bloggers from literally all my favorite blogs! Jump on over and check out their schedule! I'll leave the button on my sidebar so you can click on over any time you'd like!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

V-Day Fondue

So, despite my resistance to Valentine's Day, yesterday was pretty fun! Doodlebop kept trying his hand at the phrase "Happy Valentine's Day" which came out more like "Ha Pevans Day!" And Mr. P. was especially cuddly yesterday. 

Fondue was really fun and really filling. 

The kids, as suspected, loved the fondue spears and as I predicted, it didn't take long for a light saber battle to begin. 

We started with the cheese course:



And chicken. 

And of course the cheese.

Which got more and more congealed with each passing minute. 

And some nice wine. 

Then the fun began. 


We eagerly moved on to dessert. 

Homemade rice krispie treats. 


bananas (this was my favorite combo)

And the chocolate. 

Midway through the meal, Mr. P. who is not one to dish out culinary compliments said, "This is a really good dinner." I'm not sure if it was the actual food he loved, the novelty of the act of fondue-ing or perhaps it was the NPR report I was listening to that suggested bugging children about what they eat and how much, etc. has adverse effects on their relationship with food. So last night, we completely backed off and let him eat how much or whatever he wanted from the choices in front of him. It was SUCH a pleasant dinner!! (yet another reason to save public radio funding!)