Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birthday Jellies

I've finally decided what I want for my birthday.
So pay attention everyone reading the blog, especially those who are rich.

I would appreciate one Jellyfishart Desktop Tank.

They aren't really that expensive, only 249$ plus the cost of adding jelly fish (39$) each. I'd want three so they wouldn't be lonely and could be a happy little blue jelly jellyfish family.

Also, I'd need a lot of food to keep these guys happy. Their food is 18$ for a month.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Speaking of Which

Well, I'm not home yet - but I am at the really swank Crown Plaza for a few days. right next door (literally) to my job, hot tubs and pools. Its like a home away from home really.

I decided since I'm not crafting - I'll dedicate a new section of my blog to my Indonesian inspiration. Its mostly to get inspired, and figure out places that I want to see when I am there.

First a little background:


17,508 Islands with 237 Million people.
Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one")

I was going to spot something funny about the security warnings issued, but then I started reading. Here is what may happen to me when I go:

1) Terrorist attacks in Jakarta And on Bali
2) Drinking a locally brewed beer made with methanol
3) Violent protests seemingly about everything
4) Volcanic eruptions
5) Since I am going in the rainy season, I'll be experiencing possible mudsides and flooding.
6) The various penalities that are associated with Shari’a law
7) Rabies
8) Drowning with rough seas
Now most of these warnings seem to be based on instances that have happened in the past and many are just plan common sense. But apparently I have to be very caution with this:

OFFICIAL WARNING: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against all travel to the following regions:

a) Central Sulawesi: Religious tensions and conflict around Poso remain. The situation remains tense in Palu, Poso and Tentena.

b) Maluku and in particular Ambon: Tensions between Christian and Muslim groups in Ambon have resulted in violent incidents in 2005. The situation is now mostly calm, however the potential for violence remains.

So those are off my list. I was not planning on really spending a lot of time around Bali and Jakarta because I figured that if I was going to get caught up in the countless security problems it would be there but the Canadian consulor offices are snuggled nicely into both these areas.

This paints a picture of Indonesia that looks kinda like this

Sucka Pants

So in my next entry (and any future entry) I'll talk about all the good stuff - hopefully

Ps. Don't worry Mom!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Attack of the Crazy Neighbours

Crafting will be on hiatus until my life makes sense again.

For the past month I have been dealing with my upstairs neighbours - two kids with two toddlers and animals. First they flooded my apartment when I was home. Then they caused a huge domestic disturbance with us and now, this past weekend, they have done the ultimate damage - Destruction! Another flood, but nobody was around to catch it, and it was far more torrential then before.

The best part of the story is the 'parents' were passed out while their toddlers (two and under) were turning on taps and making a water park out of their apartment. We are talking two inches of water in their unit when my landlord broke in. Meanwhile my bedroom is just janked, as well as the hallway and part of the kitchen. I thankfully only lost my bed, but I have no where to live until my room is ripped open and reconstructed.

Good news is their kids got taken away from them by child services, and They got evicted (again). We rescued their starving drowning kitten. He was trying to eat rocks he was so hungry. I named him Jean Poutine.

When ever I can find my camera I'll try posting some pictures, but my life is in upheaval right now so it may be awhile.

Also it is far to hot to think about crafting. Yuck.

Here are so quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh whick make me feel less crazy:

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.”

"People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong...Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

“Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kanzashi love

New love affair with Kanzashi flowers, the traditional head pieces of japanese geisha and anyone really who wore a kimono. Actually to be more precise:

The word “Tsumami” means to pinch – specifically, pinching a square piece of fabric to form a shape. The word “Kanzashi” means hairpin. Tsumami Kanzashi is a traditional Japanese art form that dates back over 200 years. Tsumami kanzashi is most often seen worn by maiko (apprentice geisha) and young girls for shichi-go-san celebrations however, with the revival of traditional arts, and a younger generation appreciating them – tsumami kanzashi have become quite a fashionable accessory to be worn both with contemporary clothing and kimono.

I just ordered 70 pieces of 4 by 4 quilting samplers on Etsy so I can start making them. They seem to be really easy to grasp, but extremely difficult to perfect.

Puchi Maiko
has mastered it.

I on the other hand am struggling. I tried some last night, and although its pretty easy to fold the basic folds... its very difficult to get it together in a perfect shape.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Mustache Cookies

Well Well, Katyhead is getting married.

She is having a reception-esque dessert potluck, including the infamous chocolate fountain. I've seen chocolate fountains at their worst, but I assume putting one in a bar for a wedding reception will be is best.

She has been frantically making all the decorations from scratch, including hundreds of paper flowers which she has painted cut and wrapped herself. needless to say she hasn't had much time to bake - so I borrowed her mustache cookie cutter and made mustache cookies.

I used this recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook because mustaches should be spicy.

I also made the best icing I've ever made, which wasn't hard because I make horrible icing and use no recipe. I also was inspired by these:

@ Sweetopia

Mind you my spicy mustaches didn't turn out as fabulous as Sweetopia, I did get some good ones.

Here are the recipes I used:

Servings: 48
Author Notes: Halfway between sugar cookies and gingerbread, these golden cookies are perfect for decorating.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) butter
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) vegetable shortening
3/4 cup (6 ounces) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice or cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) molasses
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) cornstarch
Instructions: Yield: 3 to 4 dozen 2 1/2- to 3-inch cookies
Baking temperature: 350°F
Baking time: 10 to 12 minutes

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, sugars, baking powder, spices, and salt until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses, and beat well. Mix about half of the flour into the butter mixture. When well combined, add the cornstarch and the remaining flour. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half slightly, and wrap well. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or longer), for easiest rolling.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (375°F for Gingerbread Cookies -- see links below). Lightly grease (or line with parchment) several baking sheets. Take one piece of dough out of the refrigerator, and flour a clean work surface, and the dough. Roll it out as thin or thick as you like; for slightly less crisp cookies, roll it out more thickly. We roll Decorator's Dream Cookies 1/16- to 1/8-inch thick; Light Spice Cookies, 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick; and Gingerbread Cookies, (SEE RELATED LINKS BELOW FOR RECIPES) which we prefer a bit less crisp and more chewy, 1/4-inch thick. Use flour under and on top of the dough to keep it from sticking to the table or rolling pin.

Alternatively, place the dough on parchment, and put a sheet of plastic wrap over it as you roll, pulling the plastic to eliminate wrinkles as necessary when rolling; this will keep dough from sticking without the need for additional flour.

For soft dough, or dough to be rolled extra-thin, you may choose to roll right onto the ungreased back of a baking sheet.

Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter, spacing them as close to one another as possible. After cutting cookies, carefully peel up the scrap dough between them. Set this dough aside in a bag in the refrigerator, to be rolled again later.

Transfer cookies to greased cookie sheets (or, if you've rolled right onto the pan, remove the dough scraps between the cookies). Bake the cookies just until they're slightly brown around the edges, or until they feel firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for several minutes, or until they're set. Transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

@ Fabulous Foods

Makes about 6 tablespoons


1 large egg white
1 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar, divided


In a microwave-safe bowl, stir egg white and 2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar until thoroughly combined. Microwave on high until the mixture reaches 160°F on an instant-read thermometer (it should not exceed 175°F), 30 to 60 seconds. If you need to take more than one temperature reading, wash the thermometer thoroughly or dip it into a mug of boiling water before taking additional readings.

Add the remaining 2/3 cup of sifted powdered sugar and beat on high speed until the icing is cool and holds stiff peaks. If the icing is not stiff enough, add more powdered sugar.

Color, if desired, with liquid or powdered food coloring (the color will intensify as the icing stands). The icing can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days; press a piece of wax or parchment paper directly against the surface to prevent drying. The icing can be rebeaten if necessary. To pipe, use a small pastry bag fitted with a fine tip, or cut off the corner of a sealable plastic bag or the tip of a parchment paper cone.

@ Cooking on the Side

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back from an Eclipse


What a wonderful experience. Dancing for four days in the woods with French hippies is exactly what I wanted. You know you are at a kind hearted festival when you can leave your blankets and shoes in the same location for 3 days and come back fully assure that nobody has stolen them.
I spent most of my time at the chill stage aka the Lunar Stage where the music was slightly less scary at 6:30 in the morning and the hippies where out in their strongest force.
Tight rope walkers? Check

Hoola Hoopers? Check

Me in my headdress? Check