28 June 2011

The UPS man brings joy

Today, I have been stalking the UPS man. Winnie has been helping, too by staring out the window every time some vehicle that sounded like a UPS truck would pass by. Finally, my package I've been waiting for has arrived:


Oh yes. My first order ever of Penzey's Spices. I am so thrilled. I almost cried tears of joy when I opened the box and such a heavenly aroma wafted out and wowed my nose. I cannot wait to figure out what to make first. Winnie was thrilled with the box and the new smells. She deserves it for being such a good creeper cat.


27 June 2011

Epic project is epic.

I'd like to start this post off with saying: I hate painting. Walls, that is. I have painted more walls/houses than I care to remember. Seriously. I painted my childhood bedroom, twice, my brother's bedroom, my childhood bathroom, a couple of houses on different mission trips, my brother's new house, numerous baseboards and ceilings, and now, I've decided to paint our house. And it has textured walls. Yes, I am nuts.
But, let me show you why, I want to paint this house:

Yes, as you can see, EVERYTHING is ONE color. ONE. The ceilings, walls, doors, windows, baseboards, etc. etc. And it's this awful "desert sand" color, or whatever the hell the realtor called it. Also, it's a "warm" color, and I'm not fond of warm colors on walls for some reason. I like my colors cool. Not like, jazz playing, turtleneck wearing, poetry reciting, finger snaping cool, just...regular cool. So, I searched for the nearest Sherwin-Williams and stared at the paint colors for about an hour. And I came up with these:

I don't feel like rotating the picture.
If you can see, yes, they're all some sort of grey. Though, the color I'm most excited about is the craft/guest room. The paint color is called "Knitting Needle." lololol. I have no idea how long this WIP will take, but all I know is I'm going to take it one room at a time.

26 June 2011

Not so calm cowl.

I was given a skein of the most beautiful blue I've ever seen in my life for my birthday this year. Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Lapis. I almost cried when I got this skein of yarn, it was so amazing. I didn't know what to do with it. A couple of months later, when I went and explored Eat. Sleep. Knit. I found the MadTosh Vintage in Chamomile, and knew they had to be united, but how?
Being that I'm currently job free, I went stash shopping the other night, and stuck my hand in my stash and decided to crochet with the first thing I pulled out. It was the Chamomile! And so, I dug around for the Lapis, grabbed it, and went pattern hunting. I found the Calm Cowl, by seeing what other people had made with the Vintage, and I knew it was meant to be. So I got to work. It was a quick crochet, only took about four days. Probably would have taken less, but my wrist isn't allowing me to work a lot at a time. I love the results!

24 June 2011

FO: Fatass Friday

Okay, so a bunch of the bloggers that I follow do Finished Object Fridays, meaning they finished something yarn wise and want to show it off. My wrists have been bothering me lately, so I can only crochet for so long. So, instead of presenting you with a picture of yarny goodness (there is something in the works), I shall indulge you with COOKIES.

I originally started off with this recipe I found, but didn't want to do it that way because I'm a spechul snowflake. So, I changed it. Here's my version:

You Got Peanut Butter in my Chocolate! Cookies
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
 Forget about preheating oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Ignore those instructions because you have a STONE.
Yell at butter to soften quicker. Forget about it until your husband comes home two hours later and questions your sanity on why there's a stick of butter on the counter.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Combine the cocoa, flour, and baking soda, gradually stir into the creamed mixture, while it explodes everywhere. Brush flour out of hair and off clothes. Finally, forget to fold in the peanut butter chips. Dump half the bag in the mixer while it's mixing instead. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets, using tiny ice cream scooper gadget. Lick beaters. Now remember to preheat the oven to 350F. Drag string around for cat to chase. Cat becomes unimpressed after 45 seconds. Spend the next 9:15 smacking the cat with the piece of string while on a sugar high.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until puffy but still soft. Stuff cookie in your mouth. Remember it needs to cool, while grabbing milk jug and start chugging desperately from. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Bring one over to your husband and shove it in his mouth while he's playing Madden.

You don't have to do it exactly like I did. Matter of fact, I don't recommend it. Also, the batter was super thick, reminded me of brownie batter and looked like chocolate ice cream, or according to my husband "that looks straight up like shit." So, to spare you from that image, I have not included any of the "before" pictures, but I will leave you with this plate of delicious cookies. Seriously, delicious. Next time, I'll dump the whole bag in there. 


Husband approved.

23 June 2011

Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts, for your pleasure.

I'm such a slacker. I promised you interviews, and I've just been lazy. So, if you'll forgive me, without further ado, Vanessa from Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts!

Please state your name, blog, and the crime that you're here for.
Vanessa, Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts, and I'm being tried for crafting with out a license. But I'm innocent, I tells ya!

What are your hobbies and interests?
I like to knit, embroider, kick ass at kung-fu class, and I sometimes crochet. I've also recently got into building terrariums and I like to collect small plastic toys. I've also been learning how to work a sewing machine. 

Proudest Finished Object.
What brought you to do these things? My mom taught me how to knit and crochet and my older sister taught me how to embroider. We're a crafty family and someone is always doing something. I took kung-fu
lessons from Sifu Vizzio (www.vizzio.com) and I was a student of his as a little girl. His studio was a few blocks from my house and my mom signed me up for classes because I hated the dance classes she made me
attend. I left after a few years because school work just got too much to handle and I found him again a year ago and he remembered me! I've always loved being a tough girl.

Which one are you most proud of? I'm proud of my handiwork because it's something that I've done on my own. My knitting skills have improved with the help of friends but ultimately, a lot of problems I've solved by simple research and trial and error. Also, it's great knowing that I made something with my own two hands. With kung-fu, there's a lot of pride in fighting for me. I was always picked on as a kid and later on I was in a controlling relationship so I've always felt weak. But when I'm in the ring, I'm not weak any more, I'm strong
and powerful. There's a similar sense of accomplishment in the two, actually.
That Darn Sweater

Which one are you least proud of? As far as FOs? My crocheted sweater!! The back and the front are two different lengths and widths! I have no idea how that happened.

What's currently in your fridge? Some chocolate milk, cheese and tortillas. We're going to be moving soon so our fridge is rather empty.

When looking for clothing, what are you typically drawn to? I like big, bright and bold colors. Geometric patterns are also nice. I've been really drawn to this new hipster look sometimes. Also, retro cuts
from the 50s (think mad men) tend to flatter my figure more.


Do you think you could take Chuck Norris on in an Ass Kicking Contest? Uh duh. My Sifu totally kicked his ass once anyway. Did youknow, Chuck Norris is a former Airman as was Bob Ross?

What colors would you say you're most drawn to? Blue! I own so many blue things and blue yarns it's not funny.


When the weather outside is frightful, what do you find delightful? 
Hot chocolate made with milk not water. It needs to be rich and creamy and with tons of whipped cream. All of which make mesick since I'm lactose intolerant.
What would you do for a Klondike bar? Not a thing. I don't like Klondike bars.

First Crocheted Objects
What was your favorite song of the 90s? Just one? Hmmm...I think Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden sums up the 1990s for me. Or Machinehead by Bush. I was really into grunge in the 90s. I do a great Eddy Vedder impersonation. Actually, I ripped it off from Adam Sandler. EV is easy to impersonate anyway.

Do you have any pets? Yes, I have one very cute cat named Little Jerry Seinfeld. He's very silly and he's always getting in the way of things for me.

What is something new you'd like to try? I'd love to learn how to spin straw/wool into gold/yarn. I'd like to learn how to weave and glassworking. Metalsmithing is also pretty cool and I'd like to improve my jewelry making skills.


If we went yarn shopping together, how disastrous would it be?
Very. I can be an enabler sometimes. And I'd point out all the blue yarn going "isn't this a really cute color?" even though it's the same damn shade of sea blue every time. Also, I'd probably forget that you're allergic to alpaca.
Washington. Washington. Six foot twenty, killing for fun.
You recently survived cancer, is there anything you'd like to say on the experience?
It was really hard but I learned a lot about myself in the process. I don't mind talking about my story but for the love of mustard, if you meet someone going  through cancer, do NOT tell them about someone you know that died from it. It happens to me all the time and it really blows my mind! I don't want to hear how lucky I am to be alive and that I can still have a recurrence and die. I really don't need to be reminded of this. Tell me about people you know that BEAT cancer, those are the stories I'm craving to hear. And don't tell me about a study you heard that links cancer to a certain food. It gets annoying and I really just want to enjoy my meal with out guilt.

06 June 2011

Inspiration!

I was going through and unpacking a little of my new craft/guest room and I opened my material box and POOF. I was inspired! I've been scowering through websites and stores for curtains that I like and that are reasonable (lol not possible) and I've only found one. So, I've decided to make my own.


When I get my sewing machine set up, I'll churn out some curtains. It's amazing what you can find in your own stash. Keep a look out! Hopefully I'll have them done within the month.

05 June 2011

Baconolia!

I've been meaning to make these for a while now. Back when I worked at the library, I had some awesome coworkers. They were so awesome (how awesome were they?) that a good chunk of us got together and threw a Bacon Party. Yes. Everything that we ate that night had bacon in it. We had Turtle burgers, Bacon Explosion, and a few other things I can't remember. But the thing that stood out the most to me? The Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies. Holy crap. I think I ate the majority of those. Why? Sweet + salty combinations are one of my favorite things to enjoy. Oh, they were so delicious. I asked my coworker for the recipe and she told me she got it online, surprisingly from NPR.
So, yesterday, when my husband discovered that I ate all of HIS cookies, I told him I was going to make him some today. And I did. Like 30 minutes ago.


BEHOLD: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 18 thick and chewy cookies

5 strips bacon
1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning several times, until browned and done, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Chop finely.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat until just blended. Add the dry ingredients; beat until just incorporated and the flour is dissolved. Stir in the chocolate chips and bacon.

Drop one large tablespoon cookie dough 2 to 3 inches apart (as they will spread) on baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until firm and golden brown around the edges, and still slightly soft in the center. Transfer to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.

Can be stored on countertop for one to two days, then refrigerated in an airtight container.



Nom nom nom. For the original recipe and other bacon-friendly recopies, please visit the NPR site I yoinked this from.

03 June 2011

I'm baaaack!

So, after not quite a month's "hiatus" I am pleased to announce that I'm able to blog properly again! On May 28th, my husband, the cat and I piled into our Budget truck and hauled ass from Georgia to El Paso, TX. It took us two days! Longest. Trip. EVER. But, we now can say we've been from one end of I-20 to another. It took a day to go through Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. And then a whole day for Texas. Texas is a BIG STATE. I sadly didn't take as many pictures as I originally wanted to. Though, when we passed through Sweetwater, TX, I got to see something I've never seen before: Windmill Farms. I was practically plastered to the window just staring at these massive things. They're so cool!

El Paso is way different than anything I've ever lived in. I'm used to small towns with cows and bad drivers. El Paso is a medium city with slow drivers. We had to stay in a hotel, because we didn't find a house yet. The next day, we found one, called the realtor, looked at it, applied for it, and got it, all within five hours. I'm pleased to announce we are mostly moved in, and I love our house! There's very few things I don't like about it. 1. How close it is to the neighbors 2. The tiny, cramped master bath, 3. The terrible shape the carpet was in. But, those are all over looked easily.

I'm experiencing a lot of firsts here, and it's rather exciting. Brian keeps laughing at me. Whatever. I was most excited to arrive to the house and find a TUMBLEWEED. Yes. I have my very own tumbleweed trapped in my back yard. I don't know what to do with it. I don't want to throw it away, but I'm not sure if I want to keep it. It's rather shy. It likes hiding in corners.

We have grass in the backyard (which my husband was excited about) and rocks in the front yard. We have three trees, but they're tiny, and not helping. After looking at the ones in the back yard, I'm guessing they're some sort of fruit trees. One looks like an apple, and the other one is some sort of citrus. Guess I'll find out when they bloom, right?

I'm fascinated with Texas. I have to say the heat is way different than in Georgia, due to lack of humidity. I can walk out in 102 (F) degree heat and not even think twice about it. Though, it is really BRIGHT outside. That I'm having to get used to. I have to wear sunglasses every time I step outside or else I can't see. Hopefully, I'll have more updates about cool stuff I'm able to do. For instance, Cattleman's Steakhouse. Click the link. You won't regret it.

Enjoy.