Friday, December 5, 2008

Hand: "Tea Time" Shadowbox

This is something I've actually been holding onto for a long time, since late July, to be exact.

It's a shadowbox I made for my Mama's birthday in August, but upon completing it I deemed it far too fragile to ship. So, I held onto it until I could give it to her in person...which wasn't until she and Dad came up to visit for Thanksgiving.

She truly loved it, which I'm so happy about!

I cut the little table out of craft felt, and detailed it with backstiches. The flowers are from a lace trim, which I carefully cut out, and sewed on with seed beads in the center.

The tea set is a trio of pewter buttons I found in a shop on Haight Street, and were the inspiration for the whole project.

The background is layered craft paper and vellum.

The mat was a lucky find, since it matches the buttons so well!

I've mentioned previously how much my Mama and I love going to tea, so this was my little way of always being able to give her a tea party, even when I'm far away (awwww...).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mouth: Frog and Toad's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

How many of you remember the Frog and Toad books, by Arnold Lobel? They used to be some of my favorites as a child, and to this day I see much of myself in those little amphibians (especially Toad).

There was one story, called "Cookies," where Toad brings over a bunch of cookies for Frog, and they're so good they can't stop eating them. Thus begins the morality tale of willpower vs. gluttony, ending when Frog finally has to give the cookies away to th birds so they'll stop snacking.

That's how I felt about these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies I whipped up Monday afternoon, I couldn't stop popping them into my mouth! Especially all warm, spicy, and gooey from the oven...

...I think I need to find some birds to share these with!

I came across the inspiration for this recipe when I was looking for something to do with the last cup of fresh pumpkin puree I had leftover from my Thanksgiving pie.

Usually, I'm good about sticking to recipes as I find them, but this time I felt a little adventurous. Throwing caution to the wind, I modified here and there, and the end result is simply delicious! I hope you give it a try!

Frog & Toad's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup fresh pumpkin puree*
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream (or milk)
1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine pumpkin puree, sugars, vegetable oil and egg in mixer.
3. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
4. Dissolve the baking soda with the cream or milk, and add to pumpkin mix along with vanilla.
5. Gradually add flour mix to pumpkin mixture. If the dough is too wet (as pumpkin purees vary from pumpkin to pumpkin), add spoonfuls of additional flour until dough is firm and holds together (rather than running like batter).
6. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts with a wooden spoon.
7. Drop dough by spoonful onto lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 degress for 12-14 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are firm.
8. Pour a glass of milk of your choice, and enjoy them fresh from the oven!

*Note: I'm sure canned pumpkin will work as well, you just may need to reduce the flour to 2 cups.

If you want to make your own fresh pumpkin puree, you can find all sorts of recipes all over the 'net, or you can use the recipe I used from ReadyMade magazine here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hand: Having a Hoot

"Hoot?" Get it? 'cause this post has owls...oh nevermind.

More fun with Annie Oakleaves patterns, only these come in a form of a test pattern that I volunteered to help stitch.

This one is the biggest of all the owls:

This one is my not-so-secret favorite:

This one I call "Tweaky," 'cause really, look at those eyes:

He looks like he's been awake for three days straight! In a cute way.

I'm hoping to stitch these onto some nice, rich, mustard colored napkins I picked up, in a patch sort of way. 'cause really, what dinner table doesn't need some owls to spice it up?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hand: Hello December

Though it usually fills me with a vague sense of terror, I'm actually glad it's December this time around. Maybe it's just because it's been such a bear of a semester for my husband the Professor (which I always get to share in at home), and December heralds the end of the insanity. Maybe I'm actually looking forward to the holidays, with the making of gifts, and thus avoiding the shop-and-gift-fair battles that come with the season. Maybe it's as simple as being excited to see both sets of families (his and mine) in the span of one month, plus the added bonus of two weeks off work.

To celebrate this new found joy of the month, I've decked out my blog layout in an appropriately "wintry" theme, though:
  1. I know it's still Autumn for 20 more days.
  2. I live in the Bay Area. The last time it snowed here was 2005. And that was a freak occurrence.
But that doesn't matter. I hope you check it out and enjoy!

I think I was partially inspired by one of the latest stitching projects I completed, this cute little snowman from a free Annie Oakleaves pattern.

I'm seriously hooked to her patterns, they're so simple and so sweet, I can't help but feel cheerful whenever I work on one. You can download this pattern from her Flickr.

I've already bought a matching fabric to make a little wall hanging with him, so hopefully I'll have pictures to share soon!

Another reason I love the snowman is that it reminds me of one of my favorite B-movies Cannibal! The Musical, which was Trey Parker and Matt Stone's first film, pre-South Park. It's hilarious, sufficiently gory, and filled with ridiculous musical numbers such as "Let's Build a Snowman!" A warning, Not work or kid-safe, as there is language and a bit of gore at the end. But then again, what holiday video would be complete without it?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hand: Vintage AYH Newsletter Embroidery

First, the bad news. Although it came in a solid third in views, Everything I Needed to Know About Zombies I Learned from the Movies was not the winner of the NYC Horror Film Fest competition. A big congratulations goes out to the cast and crew of The Lake Passage, whose beautifully shot film is well deserving of the win. Thanks to everyone who watched and cast their votes!

I also wanted to share a project that's been finished for some time, but I just haven't had the chance to post about. My organization, the Golden Gate Council of Hostelling International, is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year. Late last month, we had a fundraising luncheon with a silent auction.

When I was working on putting together a commemorative publication, I came across a copy of the cover for one of the organization's first newsletters, dating back to 1959. It was a simple line drawing, and of course, I thought "embroidery pattern!"

I couldn't help it. Even with the billion things I had going on, I volunteered to stitch it up, and offer it for the event's silent auction. I kinda underestimated how much time it would take, and I ended up staying up until 4 a.m. the night before the luncheon to finish it! But I think it was worth it! It pulled in $55 for the organization.

Everything framed nicely, with the original image for reference:

The embroidery before framing:

Detail of the sun and trees (my favorite part!):

Detail of the hiker and biker (I'm not sure about her...I think she looks a little like Mr. Bill!):

I'm sorry the pictures are so blurry and crappy...I took them at 4:30 am and wasn't as careful as I usually am (especially since I had to be up at 6:30 am to help with the event)! I hope you get an idea of how detailed this was. It was honestly a lot of fun.

Except for the bicycle. That sucked.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mind: Hoping against hope & Halloween wrap-up

The polls are closing around the U.S., and I'm way, way too nervous to focus on anything productive. I know everyone and your mother has told you, but I'm gonna add to it...if you haven't voted yet and your state's polls are still open...GET OUT THERE AND FRIGGIN' VOTE!!! It's not too late!

I just have to share, I'm so proud: my little brother is voting in his first presidential election ever today. I so wish I could be there with a camera to record this moment. Hell of an election for him to cut his teeth on (especially in San Francisco, where there's a million initiatives on the ballot).

Okay. With that being said, now I distract myself from hitting "refresh" every thirty seconds on by sharing my Halloween wrap-up, before it becomes completely obsolete.

First, I want to share the little plushie Halloween ornaments I made using Annie Oakleaves' adorable free Halloween pattern.

I forgot to take a picture of the back, which is a cute candy corn pattern. This is my first attempt at embroidered plushie-things, and I think they came out well!

Here's a close-up of one of the bats, chillin' on my calavera garland and taking in the stormy day outside:

One of my annual Halloween traditions is the mass baking of sugar cookies, which this year were little sugar pumpkins and chocolate autumn leaves. I love my cookie gun!

And, of course, our jack-o-lantern. My husband really isn't into the ritual sacrifice of gourds, so I was on my own this year.

He lasted a full two days before giving into the creeping rot. He was cute before that!

Okay. Enough distraction. I think I broke, besides. I think I'm going to need to find a local pub in Berkeley to watch the votes roll in. No way I'll be able to sit with no TV at home.

Fingers crossed. Here's hoping there's good news tomorrow.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mind: Help send my zombies to The NYC Horror Film Festival

It's finally time! The online contest for the New York City Horror Film Festival has begun, and I need your help!

Please watch and vote for Everything I Needed to Know About Zombies I Learned from the Movies on All you have to do is take a couple of minutes to build a free account (no worries, you can easily opt-out of email spam), and download their player. Then you sit back and enjoy six minutes of zombie comedy.

The contest ends on Monday, November 3, and the film that gets the highest viewer vote score will be screened at the NYCHFF before a premiere feature film. Please help send my zombies to NYC!

Film Synopsis:
Trapped in a dingy office basement by shambling zombies, three disgruntled co-workers try to devise a scheme to get past the living dead lurking outside their door. When brains and brawn fail, it's up to useless movie trivia to save the day. But are these zombies really out for blood?

Enjoy the film!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hand (Not Mine): "This is My Rifle" Embroidery

I came across this piece when I was trolling my Flickr pools, and I just had to share it. I was intrigued by the caption underneath the photo, the promise of a story, so I checked out Knit-R-Done's blog to find out more about this incredibly detailed embroidery:

Not only has Knit-R-Done made an amazing piece of work, but her prose explaining the meaning of the piece is just breathtaking.

I have to amit, it struck a nerve with me, which is maybe why I loved it so. My thirty-something, family man, brother-in-law joined the Army last year. He's the first member of my family -- blood or extended -- that I know who's joined the military. He's a Lieutenant now, and we're all waiting to see where he's finally going to be stationed after all his specialized training.

It's been an adjustment for me knowing that there's this whole other man inside the goofy guy I once knew...but I know it's nothing compared to the adjustments and sacrifices his wife and kids have gone through. This made me think of my sister-in-law...and honestly understand her a bit more.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hand: Cake or Death Embroidery

See, I promised I'd post crafts soon! This is the "big project" I've been working on, which I'm really quite proud of it.

This is a quote from Eddie Izzard's "Dress to Kill" stand-up show, which I was originally going to embroider onto an apron. It got a little more involved -- which made me hate the idea of it getting gunked up with batter -- so now it's going in a frame on my kitchen wall.

This is the first semi-original piece I've ever embroidered (as opposed to cross stitch). I designed the piece, drew the cupcake myself, and adapted Sublime Stitching's "Tattoo Your Towels" for the banner and daggers (I changed the design of the dagger handles a bit). It was a lot of fun to stitch!

The piece is roughly six inches tall by seven inches wide, and everything except the banner is filled in with satin stitch or long-short stitch. I'm not entirely thrilled with how the long-short stitching came out, but for my first time trying it, I think it came out okay! I also braved the metallics again to give the daggers a little shine around the edges. All in all, I'm really happy with it.

If you haven't seen Eddie Izzard before, you should definitely check him out. He goes beyond your standard stand-up comedy, mostly because of his amazing storytelling abilities. He can embody any number of characters in the same sketch, just by changing his voice and body posture. It's amazing to watch:

Mind: Jeezy Creezy...

This is how I've felt the past three weeks: like I'm fending off a horde of zombies who are having way too much fun tormenting me.

Hello, yes, I am still alive and well, thanks! It's been a rather full set of weeks, more full than I have wanted, in places.

The biggest time-cruncher was a writing opportunity I took on, but then had to let go as work responsibilities ramped up and I couldn't keep up with the other gig the way they deserved. I'm a bit sad it didn't work out, but at least the increase in responsibilities at my actual job came with a good review and raise in pay. Hooray!

I've also been stitching like crazy on a rather unique piece that I'm hoping to offer up for a silent auction my organization is holding this Sunday (yeep!), and also getting in some Halloween stitching courtesy of Annie Oakleaves' awesome free patterns (the spider is too flippin' cute!). I have some plans for those, so I'll be sharing, "after the event this Sunday" soon.

Finally, the big news...Everything I Needed to Know About Zombies I Learned from the Movies has been selected for the New York City Independent Horror Film Festival's online short film competition! If we get enough votes in the three-week contest period, our film gets to screen before a premiere feature film! The competition starts on Oct. 24, and I'll post more details when I have 'em. I am excited and nervous and excited again.

This means, though, I've been scurrying around trying to get together my contest package (which is in addition to the package I sent to NYC originally), on top of trying to get the duplication finished (now that the DVD covers are done -- thanks Xander!) and possibly put together a screening. Oy. I wanted to be a filmmaker again why?

Crafts here again soon! I promise!!!

BTW: Photo credit goes to Alexander Kent. That was the zombie actors' celebration once we wrapped the shoot.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mind: Catching Up

So, my promise to myself to blog here more often all came to naught when I was slammed back-to-back with a hellacious cold and an even more hellacious work week. All is finally calmer, but I feel like I'm sitting in the eye of the storm, waiting for the next wave to hit.

Most of that is my nervous jitters about applying to the NYC Independent Horror Film Festival, who's deadline is right around the corner. My film is finally done, the press packet written, and a cover/sticker image all I have to do is print, package, and send. Wish me luck...this is my first time submitting anything to a real film festival. Fingers crossed.

This is the cover for the DVD, as created by my brother, Xander (who was also our on-set photographer). He's an incredibly talented designer, IMHO, especially since he's still a student. If this is what's he's making now, I can't wait to see what he'll do once he's gotten more training under his belt!

I've sadly had little time for crafting this week, though I did complete a large part of my current "big" embroidery project while trapped on the couch by the sniffles last weekend. I'm so friggin' close to finishing, and it's just sitting there in its hoop, silently mocking me. Maybe I'll get a chance to do some work on it today. At this rate, it's doubtful I'll have my challenge entry ready by the deadline, but I'm not giving up yet!

I also have a big announcement to make (part of my busy-ness this past week), but it's totally deserving of its own post. I'll share very, very soon...and yes, for real soon. Not two-weeks-later soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eye: "Brown paper packages tied up with string..."

...quickly becoming one of my favorite things!

Y'know, I never took much stock in that silly song, especially since "whiskers on kittens" make me sneeze and mittens just annoy the hell out of me. But there is something a little magical about getting a brown paper package tied with pretty string, especially when it's coming from Coo-koo-ri-koo.

I love how she packaged the little embroidered "granny bobbies" I ordered on a vintage flash card. Not to mention, the tiny sweet that's almost too pretty to unwrap and eat was a lovely surprise, as was the coupon for future purchases, of which there will be more, for sure!

If you're into vintage button jewelry and darling felted birds, I highly recommend you stop by her shop and peruse her wares!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hand: More Monkeys!

Monkeys, monkeys, monkeys!

Square #2 for my Monkey Quilt is now complete!

This little guy was also made using Sublime Stitching's "Monkey Love" pattern, like his older brother was. I tried something a little different with his face, which I'm not sure I'm happy with, but overall, I think he came out pretty well.

At this point, the plan is to make three more squares from the pattern, then pack the whole kit and caboodle down to SoCal to enlist the help of the best quilter I know, my Mama. She can do some seriously magical things with fabric, whereas I'm still using Stitch Witchery to hold together my projects!

(To be fair, she did sit down with me to help me sew not only my senior homecoming outfit, but some awesome school clothes when I was in high school. I was the one who went and forgot everything in college!)

I also finally scored the first bit of background fabric:

Before I started this project, I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to find yellow, cotton, monkey-themed fabric! So if anyone out there has come across some cute monkey or banana fabric, please send me the info!

On a side note, I've recently embarked on one of the more detailed embroidery projects I've attempted, made with a semi-original design. Hopefully, I'll have some pictures to share's coming right along! I also need to start working on my entry for the Fall Needlework Challenge, which I already have the pattern drawn up for. It's another quote cross stitch, and though not really geeky, I think it sums up what the season means to me pretty well!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hand: Leftover Lanterns

As I mentioned yesterday when posting my Chinese Dragon wall hanging, I lopped the lanterns off the top of the original design, since I wasn't happy with the overall layout. Not one to waste good embroidery, I decided to give the little guys the same treatment I gave the bigger piece:

I made mini-wall hangings! Honestly, I think I might like these even more than the bigger piece, but maybe that's because they were so much fun to make. I got to paw through my vintage button collection (which I got at a garage sale back in high school) and go buy some pretty fabric to go with the ones I didn't have matching fabric for.

This little round one is my favorite one. Turquoise and chocolate brown is quickly becoming one of my favorite color combinations:

This one reminds me of a sundress my Mama used to have:

This one...I got a little button-happy on. But I still like it!

As with the dragon, these were all stitched using Sublime Stitching's "China Town" pattern. They're all roughly two and a half inches wide, so they're fairly small!

Now all I need to do is add some pretty ribbon loops to the back, and I can hang 'em up! I was thinking of doing each design again in each different color, so they can be hung in a more coordinated display...but maybe I'll wait to try that with a different pattern. After looking at this one for so long, I'm kind of ready to move on!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hand: Chinese Dragon wall hanging

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. We went out of town for Labor Day last weekend to visit an old friend of ours, and this past week was busy, busy, busy. This weekend has been blissfully uneventful...except for a yucky, achy ear infection that's been plaguing me since Friday. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, but until then, it's been lots of Advil and crafting to distract me from the discomfort.

I've been having a lot of fun with Sublime Stitching patterns these days, and have either made progress or finished some long term-projects. The one I'm most proud of is this Chinese Dragon wall hanging I've been working on for a few months on and off:

I played with lots of different types of stitches and colors, and in the end, I'm really pleased with the embroidery.

Detail of the dragon:

Detail of one of the pagodas:

However, in the end, I didn't like how the lanterns looked above the dragon...soooo, I decided to do something a little different:

I cut off the lanterns, and made a hanging of just the dragon and the pagodas. I actually did this "no-sew," with my new best friend, Stitch Wichery, red scaled fabric, ribbon, and vintage buttons. I'm really happy with it, and now all I need is a dowel to hang it off of.

Next time, what I did with the little lanterns...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mind: More Fun with Han Solo

Blargh. Crappy, crappy work day. makes it all better:

I do love me some good Han Solo jokes...maybe I should cross stitch xkcd's version of the "hokey religions" line...

In other happy -- really happy -- news, my Kirby Cross Stitch Towel has been featured on Sprite Stitch today!

Thanks, Johloh!

Sprite Stitch
is one of my "happy place" blogs, never failing to make me smile even after the hardest day. Not to mention, Johloh creates some seriously awesome patterns that make my fingers itch to cross stitch. Maybe someday I'll be brave enough to try the big Super Smash Bros. pattern, but I know for sure a Mario Frog towel is in my near future...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hand: Bobby Pin Barrettes

It's the last night of my staycation. Boo. Which means it really isn't a vacation night, since I have to go to bed early, not drink too much, and be a "good girl." Phooey.

At least I had a really nice week off. I got to see my brother, bake some treats, finish and start some crafts, play with the new Xbox (I finished The Darkness last night, yay!), and hang out lots with my husband. I wish every week could be like this one.

On the downside though, it was a pretty hectic week for hair in my apartment. I cut my husband's hair for the second time ever, chopping off a good 6-7 inches from his rocker-like tresses. I actually cried a little once I was done, and saw the hair curled up on the floor, so sad and separate from his head. I am so not a professional stylist! To be fair, he still has shoulder-length hair, it's all healthy and free of split ends, and he's THRILLED with's just taking me some serious getting used to.

On top of that, the "trim" I wanted at the salon turned into a bit of a hack n' burn, with the back only a couple of inches long and the front still shaggy and longish (the exact opposite of what I asked for). So, in order to soften the blow, I decided to make some pretty new barrettes to "encourage" me to love my really short hair. I'd seen some cute fabric button bobby pin barrettes on, and decided to try my hand at some:

I'm pretty pleased with them! I used a little button-maker-dealy and some cute fabric I picked up at Joann's, and some plain ol' bobby pins and hot glue. They do their job: keeping the shaggies out of my face while adding a touch of cute to my new butchie 'do.

Making these buttons also gave me some other crafty ideas to play with, so this isn't the last you've seen of these little fabric buttons...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Hand: Kirby Cross Stitch Towel

Kirby has always been one of my favorite video game characters. Kirby's Dreamland was my first non-Mario game on the old skool Gameboy ("back in my day, we didn't have no fancy-schmancy color screens! We had LED screens! And the Gameboy was almost as big as an NES console..."), and I remember playing it for hours in the back seat of the car on long drives.

So, when I saw this adorable Kirby pattern on Sprite Stitch, I knew I had to give it a go.

I ended up using different colored flosses than recommended, which resulted in maybe a slightly more rosy Kirby, but hey, wouldn't you be a little red-faced if you were flying with your mouth full?

The stars were designed by my own personal 8-bit artist, my husband, who actually spent a good deal of time trying to make the perfect star. It's harder than it looks!

Please ignore the hoop markings. I haven't washed it yet since it looks so pretty all fluffy and clean. Soon enough, it'll look like the rest of my bathroom towels, and I am so not sharing pictures of it then.

Funny enough, I finished this in the same weekend we finally broke down and bought ourselves an Xbox 360. I am so flippin' excited! I was able to transfer my saved files from The Darkness from my brother's Xbox 360, which has made me oh so very happy. I'm so hooked on this game right now. Taking on the NYC mob with the powers of hell at your disposal...

...yeah, it's a far cry from a happy, pink little fellow, huh? Video games have changed a lot in the past 20 years or so!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hand: Celtic Knot Cross Stitch

Think I'm a fan of purple?

I just thought it was too funny I was making a purple cross stitch on my purple hoop with my purple (tomato) pincushion, so I had to take a picture!

This pattern is from a book called Magical Cross Stitch that I picked up a few weeks ago at JoAnn's. I'm usually pretty skeptical about fantasy and myth themed cross stitch patterns, but this book has some I think are quite beautiful.

I'll admit, though, that I'm kind of terrified of taking on some of the bigger projects in the book, so I started small. This is supposed to be a lid for a "trinket pot," but since no U.S.-based shops or website I've found seem to stock official, (U.K.-based) Framecraft trinket pots, I just need to be content with the pretty circular design and hopefully figure out a better way to display it.

This was my first foray into "tweeding," where I took one strand of metallic floss and one strand of regular cotton floss and used them together. It's hard to see in the picture, but it lends a nice, subtle sparkliness to the knots. It was also easier to work with then straight up using metallic thread, so this may the way I'll be using them from now on.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mouth: Strawberry Empanadas

First off, I want to give a big "thank you!!!" from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has blogged, commented, viewed, or even just smiled at my little Han Solo Cross Stitch this past week. It's been friggin' surreal seeing something *I* made everywhere online...and seeing people enjoying it so much. But it's also made me tremendously happy through a pretty trying week.

The last week before a vacation is always rough, and this last week was no exception. Aside from a lovely, after-work knitting lesson from my brother's girlfriend, I barely had time to craft (or do much else) before the weekend! So, when Saturday finally rolled around in all it's vacation-weekend rosiness, I felt a special breakfast was in order.

Fresh from the oven, these Strawberry Empanadas are soft, sweet little bundles of delight. The flaky crust gives way to a deliciously gooey filling of cream cheese and ripe strawberries, making this a perfect, decadent weekend breakfast.

I'll admit here, I'm totally a frozen pie crust type of girl, so my baking sensitivities weren't rankled by the thought of using store-bought, refrigerated dough. Maybe someday I'll play with my own dough recipe, but for now, "quick and easy" are the words for me on a leisurely Saturday morning.

Strawberry Empanadas
adapted from the InterCourses Cookbook*

1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons brown sugar (I like dark)
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
1 6-count package refrigerated crescent rolls

Topping (optional)
1 pat of butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon/sugar mix

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Blend the cream cheese and brown sugar in a small bowl. Gently fold in chopped strawberries.
3. Unroll the crescent dough, separating the six triangular pieces. Plop about a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling into the middle of the widest part of the triangle. Fold up the bottom, crimping the side, then wrap the remaining dough around the bundle. Make sure there's no holes where the filling can leak out.
4. Bake for 16-19 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.
5. If you want to use topping, brush the pat of butter gently over the top of oven-warm pastry, then sprinkle with a little of the cinnamon/sugar mix.

Makes 6 Strawberry Empanadas.

*InterCourses is an incredibly sexy cookbook featuring romantic and "aphrodisiac" recipes. It's more PG-13 vein than R or NC-17 rated (*I* think, at least), so its safe on your kitchen cookbook shelf. It's filled with titillating and creative photographs highlighting some really delicious recipes. The Black Russian Cake, which they have listed for free on their web site, is a truly decadent dessert for anyone who loves chocolate, coffee, and Kahlua!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mind: My Interview on the Official Star Wars Blog!

So, I swear I'll soon be getting back to posting my creations and ceasing with the self-promos, but I just had to share...

I've been interviewed for the official Star Wars blog!

Bonniegrrl saw my Han Solo cross stitch sampler, and asked if she could share it with the Star Wars craft community at large. I have to say, I'm practically giddy seeing my pictures under than "official" Star Wars banner...I've been a fan since I was a little girl.

Thank you to Bonnie for posing such thoughtful -- and thought-provoking -- questions! It was a lot of fun to talk about my project!

Heh. I always said I wanted to be involved with Lucasfilm. I just never figured it'd be with my crafting!

Edit 8/18/08: Looks like this has also been picked up by Technabob,, and re-posted on! This is too friggin' surreal! Thank you, all!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mind: Avoiding the Inevitable

Yay! Thank you Brook from Knit With Love! I feel really honored. I've only been blogging here for a few months...and sporadically at that. But it's been fun! I'm so glad you like my fledgling blog (and projects)! I hope to have more to share soon.

I'll admit...I'm gonna have to cheat this.'t really *know* 7 bloggers to share this with...that I'm not too shy to approach! I know, I know, if I don't "mingle" I'll never meet anyone! But I'm just such a wallflower sometimes...especially Monday mornings.

Even Monday mornings I don't have to go to work! Ah, the benefits of working only 4 days week. However...I promised myself this was going to be a day of writing. I was gonna sit down with a blank word document and crank out the DVD case text for my film, and actually start working on a new short story. So...I think I need to shower, pack up my laptop, and head out to my local cafe, because I'm already getting the itch to:

1. Blog about my film, my favorite beer, and the embroidery projects I finished over the weekend.
2. Finish my current embroidery project, then start scouring the web for fabric to match it.
3. Wash dishes/do laundry/scrub bathroom/pick up living room/make bed
4. Start a NEW craft project from the Doodle Stitching book I picked up yesterday.
5. Call my family, which can be a 3-hour conversation!
6. Try Vanilla Garlic's Chocolate Chipotle Cupcakes recipe.
7. Keep adding to this list.
8. Do ANYTHING I can to avoid the terror of the blank page.

So. Stall with a shower. And by stopping by Petco for a new heating bulb for my lizard, Arrakis. And write.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hand: Han Solo sampler...on!!

Holy mother of Jeff.

I just was doing my daily scan of blogs in my reader, and came across this:

My Han Solo sampler is on Craft: magazine's blog!!!

Never, in a bazillion light years did I imagine my little contest entry to make such a prestigious crafting blog. I'm alternating between stunned and elated.

This has totally made my day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hand: Han Solo Quote Cross Stitch

EDIT (1/17/11):
I've finally charted the pattern, and it's available for free!

Yay! So, after posting my entry for the Summer Needlework Challenge at 11:30 p.m. last night, I've had over 500 views! This is my first time entering any sort of crafty challenge on Craftster...and only my second posting a craft there in general. It's seriously made my day to see how many folks are digging on my hard-worked, geek design!

And here I was nervous that people would think it was silly. In a bad way.

I actually made this before the Buffy cross stitch I posted previously. This is the first counted cross stitch I've done (I've done a couple stamped ones), and the first one I've designed. My husband actually drew out the blasters, and the font was generated from yourpersonalizedpat

This was also my first foray into metallic threads, which I have to say, can be a major pain in the butt! They were worth it, though, I think, for the nice shine on the lightsaber handles and blaster barrels.

In it's pretty frame:

Han Solo stands by his words (bun-dun-dun-cha!):

It even made Craftster's homepage!

This is so friggin' cool. For the first time, I really feel like I'm really taking part in this whole, awesome crafter community, beyond being an admirer or consumer. It feels pretty damn good.