Sunday, April 8, 2012

I have a could be bunnies.

It only took me three years, but I've finally stitched, framed and hung my series of Black Apple Bunnies!

Made with Sublime Stitching's Black Apple pattern set and some of those paint-it-yourself frames from the craft store.

I'm really pleased how the set came out, and that I actually finished it in time for Easter. This year's Easter is just a little extra-special (being in a brand-spankin' new apartment and all), so I figured it deserved some extra-cute decor!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Massacring Movies

Bay Area horror hostess Miss Misery is one of the hardest working dames in horror business. Not only does she host her own local access television shows -- Movie Massacre and the Last Doorway Show -- she hosts a segment on Creepy KOFY Movie Time for the KOFY station in San Francisco, runs her own film festival, and has a horror convention slated for later this year.

I met Miss Misery at WonderCon in San Francisco last year, and I was immediately taken with how friendly she is. She's a charismatic lady, who knows her horror history. I had the privilege of appearing on the second episode of Movie Massacre (with Everything...Zombies screening before Night of the Living Dead...more on this at a later date), and she and her partner-in-crime John Gillette made me feel as at home as a girl could feel while sitting in a fake electric chair.

Hangin' with Miss Misery at Sac Con in October

So, when I got the call that she wanted a few extra hands on deck to help her film an episode of Movie Massacre, I jumped at the chance to help out. I haven't been on a live film set since I shot Everything...Zombies back in 2008!

Funny enough, Miss Misery's film set is no more than a 10 minutes drive from my new digs. She was interviewing John Stanley, veteran horror host and author, and it was quite the moment to be watching two generations of Bay Area horror hosts at work.

I also got to help out with filming some of the show's "Mr. Torture" segments. The actor who plays him is not only a talented executioner (kidding! I think...) but a cracker-jack carpenter, responsible for some awesome props, including the aforementioned electric chair (seriously, I want one for my home. Most comfortable chair ever).

I mean really, check this guy's talent out! What goth child wouldn't want their own home-made guillotine to play with?

It was a really great night. I've missed the camaraderie of working on a set, of watching everyone's talents and skills click to make something greater than any one person could do alone. Not to mention, it was a really inspiring set, being surrounded by horror fans and paraphernalia, and it made me want to get cracking on breaking down the script for Inner Critic.

I'll let ya'll know when my episode of Movie Massacre hits the air! I have a copy of the DVD sitting here, but I'm still too nervous to watch. It's one thing to be interviewed via's another to be on TV!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Song of Cake and Pie

When you play the Game of Birthdays, you win or you have cake.
Lately, my husband and I have been a little obsessed with George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. The Professor is reading the books out loud to me while I stitch (we're on A Storm of Swords), and we devoured season one of the Game of Thrones TV show as soon as it came out on DVD.

It seemed only fitting, then, when the Professor's birthday rolled around that we throw a little themed shindig. We had a friend bring over his copy of the Game of Thrones board game, and I planned a Westeros-themed dinner to go along with the festivities.

It wasn't hard to pick what would go on the menu. Though the books are filled with exotic delicacies, the ones that made my mouth water were the meat pies. Particularly the beef and bacon pie and the pork pie.

Luckily, there's an awesome blog called Inn at the Crossroads that is a treasure trove of recipes inspired from the Ice and Fire books. These two talented fans not only research medieval recipes that would be at home in the fantasy setting of the books, but also offer recipes more tailored to modern palettes.

I opted to try their medieval pork pie recipe, which was an interesting "sweet" pie with chopped dates and currants. It reminded me a lot of Chinese pork bun filling: fruity and flavorful without being cloying.

To balance out the menu, I also made the modern beef and bacon pie. While it had a great flavor, the meat chunks needed to be cut smaller and cooked a little longer to make them more tender. Also, I'd add more bacon next time (and oh yes, there will be a next time).

This also marked my first foray into homemade pie crust. I'm sure Winterfell cooks weren't using shortening for their pie crusts, but hey, it's what my friends at Better Homes and Gardens called for. With my pie-master friend Abena helping me roll out the crust, they came out gorgeous and delicious!

...and yes, mom, we had salad, too.

What birthday is complete without cake? Inspired by Sansa Stark's favorite tea treat, lemon cakes, I whipped up a lemon cake with lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese frosting. I researched a few frosting recipes online, but in the end decided to wing it. The result was a delicious frosting that was like eating solid lemonade.

I kind of put the layers together upside down, though. I tried to cover it up by stuffing the crack with blueberries and more frosting. Not too shabby for my first layer cake. I might buy one of those fancy cake cutters my mama has, which would always result in smooth, even cakes.

The evening was quite a success, even if the board game did go until one in the morning (and I lost horribly)! The meal was fit for a king (or five), and everyone went home with full bellies. I call that a win in the Game of Birthdays.