Fabric Bombing! And Garden Progress

I have a vague desire to win the Yard of the Month contest here in our neighborhood. (Pay no attention to the husband; he *claims* that it’s “all I talk about” but he’s full of it.) The contest doesn’t go on nominations – the community employees drive around and take notes and decide that way. Our building is structured kinda like a U, facing the street, with our “yard” and some stairs to the second floor in the middle. As such, it’s hard to see my lovely little garden from the street (especially since a neighbor is often parked on the street in front of the building).
We were sitting outside enjoying the air the other night when I had a brainwave. If I decorate the tree in front of the building, it’ll be easier for them to notice my yard! I didn’t want to do just a plain bow – they get floppy in the rain. I went inside and hunted around a bit and finally came up with a half-yard or so of striped “patriotic” fabric (quite fitting since it was Memorial Day weekend and we live on a military post).

I packed my pockets with a long needle, a spool of thread (I chose white at random, and there was a bit of brown already on the needle), a pair of scissors, and some sturdy pushpins, and went back outside.

I cut the fabric into three approximately-equal widths, wrapped them around the tree, and pinned them in place carefully.

Sewing it on was a bit of a workout, but not too bad. (Please ignore the over-processed photo, ugh – Jonathan changed the settings and this photo turned out strange.) (But feel free to check out my kickass TARDIS shirt.)

Here’s a slightly-better photo of the bands being sewn. I did large basting stitches, making sure to double back so it’s secure. I chose an especially long needle so I could put it through the fabric and come back out, since I can’t flip the cloth, obviously.

And here’s what it looks like, all sewn. I put the seam on the back, and I was quite careful not to stab the tree. I only pushed the pins in a little tiny bit.

This is a view of the tree from the sidewalk. I’m off to the side a bit because the truck is parked in front as usual. (And there’s my husband with his sexy post-surgery sling.) I like the look of the bands a lot. It reminds me of the “yarn bombed” trees that knitters have been creating. I guess this is a fabric bombed tree?

While we’re out in the garden, would you like to meet my pet ‘mingo? I got him 2 summers ago and he’s spent some time in the sun. I prefer to think that he just needs to eat more shrimp.

My daughter also provides much-needed decor to my yard. Most of these pictures are “Ponies,” but there are other things too.

For good measure, here’s a photo of my garden again. I did rearrange it, as I expected. (And it’ll need it again soon, when those peppers need to size up to bigger pots.) I took these photos five days ago, and as I was selecting for this post, I was amazed at how much my plants have already grown! My cucumbers, in particular, are growing like weeds! I’ve also got sprouts in my lettuce barrel!

I’ve been watering them liberally (they get a lot of direct morning sunlight and are always dry by afternoon), and every other day or so I give them all a good bath with some coffee-infused water. I save the grounds from my coffee maker and let them dry (I’m saving the filters for a project as well). I filled up a storage tub with water and tossed the grounds in and let it steep. I was unsure if it’d do any good but it seems to have! It has the added benefit of letting all the chlorine and whatnot in the water dissipate as it sits out in the tub.

Do you have Yard of the Month aspirations? Have you ever yarn-bombed? Do you keep your coffee grounds? And what do you think of my ‘mingo?

Web Weekend #14

This was one heck of a crazy week. The turnout for Giveaway Week was INSANE, and I really hope that at least a few of those lovely people stick around. I really enjoyed chatting with you all.

This week I am boasting 448 subscriptions, although I rather expect that that number will decrease a bit in the coming weeks.

Remember you can follow me on Pinterest  or on Tumblr for nearly-daily fun and flailing. Check the right side of the page for a list of all the places you can find me.

Stitch has lost control of his Naughty Level (by silvaniart)

Things to Buy or Make

Cool thrifted and remade art (Recyclart – I got an “attack warning” from Firefox on the source site, so beware.)
Nintendo-themed towels for Geek Pride Day (Zelda Informer)
Avengers Jewelry! (The Mary Sue)
Cute knitting bag (Sleepy Owl Studio)
My daughter would love this pink bag (Sew Delicious)
Literary coasters (Savvy Housekeeping)
Geometry garland! (Savvy Housekeeping)
I love this cool striped quilt (SOTAK)
Simple vinyl wallet with stitched details (How about Orange)
Stuff made from floppy disks (Instructables)
Beaded crocheted bracelet (Cut Out and Keep)
Some cool Kindle cases (Apartment Therapy)
Adorable shirt for a little girl – might use this for Missy (Colette Moscrop)
I love this jacket, especially with the studs! (Corvus tristis)

Ideas to Use

Bees seem to prefer “ordinary” flowers over fancy ones. (Treehugger)
Clever trick for the inevitable Bead Spill (Fusion Beads)
We have a push reel mower and LOVE it. (Art of Manliness)
How to invert browser colors for easier night browsing (Lifehacker)

I need this Allie the Ally (via Geek Mom)

Food

Avengers cocktails. YES. (So Geek Chic)
DIY Magic Shell – dangit now I want ice cream (The Kitchn)
Tzatsiki potato salad – seems like an interesting twist (Smitten Kitchen)
How to make ice cream in a food processor (The Kitchn)
DIY maraschinos – perfect for your ice cream and your magic shell (The Kitchn)
Chicken Monterey – making me hongreh (Blogchef)
Cod Cakes – going to try this with that random fish in my freezer (Inn at the Crossroads)
3 kid-friendly food-for-adults recipes – the chicken salad looks really good (Simple Organized Living)
Watermelon Shark! (Gluesticks)
Lazy skillet potatoes (Frugal by Choice)
Broccoli-cheese potatoes (Shiksa in the Kitchen)

Articles and News

Russia wants to build a base on the Moon. (io9)
Did you hear about this Hitler-esque guy? Shudder. (A Teacher on Teaching)
The NAACP endorsed marriage equality efforts this week! (Gawker)
Behold! The most disturbing men’s garment ever created – NSFW (The Gloss)
BB creams are coming to America! You will love them. (Nouveau Cheap)
What are your thoughts about children and religion? (BlogHer)
How much privacy is there in your relationship? (BlogHer)

Gratuitous picture of Robert Pattinson (via The Mary Sue)

Entertainment: Books, TV, Movies, and others

Pattinson as Finnick? I’ll take it. What do you think? (The Mary Sue)
Matt Smith carried the Olympic Torch through Cardiff! (The Mary Sue)
I’m just going to leave this Joffrey Practice Target here. (io9)
Fill that Tardis-shaped hole in your life with this mini-sode. (io9)
Gratuitous article about Helena. (The Gloss)
First trailer for The Great Gatsby! I love Baz. (Gawker)
Jim Parsons is thirty-nine?! (Gawker)

Art

Goodnight Pond” by James Hance (James Hance)
A cool take on the Three Wise Monkeys by Charles Santoso (Charles Santoso)
If the Doctors were dinosaurs by Peter Fogelsong (via The Mary Sue)
Some awesome art by Claire Hummel (via Comics Alliance)

Weekly Greatness:

People were soooo weird in the 1890s (Hark a Vagrant)
This needs to exist. It MUST. (Drawn)
Accurate comparison of literatures. (Drawn)
This guy turned a giant jawbreaker on a lathe to make a shot glass. (Youtube)

Let’s begin our week with some inspiring bravery. (by Brooke Pennington, via Colossal)

Did you see anything cool around the internet this week? Is there a blog I should be reading? Got an opinion or thought about anything here? Share your own thoughts and links in the comments!  Make sure to follow me (here, there, and everywhere) to get more updates!

WINNERS!

I am just so amazed at the turnout this week. I started this week with a little over 700 pageviews; I now have more than double that. I had less than 200 comments total, and now I have over 400!  (Half of those comments were, and still are, me – I respond to every single comment that comes to my blog.)

Previously, my highest one-day page views was around 30. I was amazed when I passed 100 on Tuesday, and posted a second giveaway to celebrate. Little did I know that I’d soon get 40 pageviews in a single HOUR, and recieve 329 views just on Wednesday. Suffice it to say that you guys BLEW MY MIND.

I received 107 entries in my original giveaway! I wrote down each name on a bit of paper (the margins of my printed coupons for next week’s groceries), put the slips in a pickle jar, and had my daughter choose one at random.
This is the name she chose:
CONGRATULATIONS, calikisses! Check your email inbox! You are the proud winner of a whole bunch of fun crafty things and a handmade bag!

Now for the second giveaway! 32 of you followed me and left a comment on that post to enter. I wrote all THOSE names down on margins of papers and put THEM in the pickle jar. This time my medicated husband reached in the jar and chose:
CONGRATULATIONS, radiya! Check your email inbox! You are the proud winner of 4 lovely pieces of fabric!

Both winners have been contacted by email. Seeing that it’s a holiday weekend, I will give them until MONDAY at 9pm EST to respond before I draw another winner. Both winners have responded and I will be shipping their prizes soon. Sorry, everybody else.

Good luck to all on the other giveaways you may have entered, and I hope to see you all back here again soon!
I’ve really enjoyed this giveaway thing, and I think I’ll be doing it again. I may or may not announce them in advance. I’m the sneaky little thing who might just draw a name from the comments on a post and send them a gift. ;)

Garden Planting – Year Two

Last year was the first time I ever had what could be called a “garden.” I bought a wholllle bunch of pots, a whole bunch of dirt, a lot of seeds and a couple plants, and threw ‘em out in my front yard. I was a bit overambitious and grew some things that I shouldn’t have bothered with, but I learned a lot. I really enjoyed it.
Clearly I’m just a pioneer girl at heart. Last post was homemade butter, and now I’m going to talk for an hour about vegetable gardening. Haha.

So now, it’s time for Year Two. (We live in zone 4a according to this new Hardiness Zone map, which is why my planting is so late in the year.) I’ve got all the pots from last year, which is nice because pots are expensive. While Jonathan was having his shoulder cut open (the surgery went well by the way), me and Missy went home. The house was stifling me, so I decided to go out for some retail therapy, lol. The lovely weather reminded me that it is finally planting season, so I ended up at the local nursery. Sadly, they didn’t have much selection on veggie plants (they focus more on flowers and shrubs and fruit trees, it seems), so I went to Home Depot.
I did try to start some seeds earlier in the year, but those failed spectacularly. Whatevs, I bought some plants.

Jonathan found this little baby on the curb on trash day a few weeks ago. It’s missing its bottom and some of the staves are loose, but it’s still good. :) It’s got “character.” I am very grateful for it, because I’ve been wanting one but they cost like 40$.

As you can see, my front yard, such as it is, is rocks. If I just fill this half barrel with dirt, it’ll all wash out. :/ I did some research and decided that burlap would serve well here.

I had these pieces of burlap left over from making an (awesome) banner for my Halloween party last year. I dug them out of my fabric box, cut them into pieces, and applied them thusly:

I put two squares of off-white burlap on the bottom, and put strips of black around the edges. Seems pretty secure to me. (By the way, the pictures in this post are going to look super weird. The light was odd when I took the photos, and while I managed to take away the overexposures and the weird blue tint on some of them, I still ended up looking like Instagram Gone Awry. Oh well.)

Next I had to fill it. I had already decided this is going to be the home of my lettuce crop (which doesn’t have very deep roots as far as I know), so I didn’t need to have the whole thing filled with dirt. I put a nice layer of mulch in the bottom, which I think will also help keep my dirt in the barrel.

This year, I got some fancypants ~organic~ dirt! :) Last year I got Miracle Gro. I’ve learned a lot about that company in the last year and I really didn’t want to buy anything from Scotts (their parent company). I’m not totally committed to organic gardening, but I do what I can. I had already planted all my other plants (see below; I do things backwards sometimes), so I dumped all the rest of my potting soil in. I’m starting the lettuce from seed (it’s pretty much just grass), so I added a layer of organic seed starting dirt that I had left from my ill-fated seed starting earlier in the year. Then I sowed the seeds and watered thoroughly. Sure hope I did it right, lol.

What about the other plants, you say?

You mean these plants? ;-)

The two green bushes on either end and the one in the middle (in front of the watering can) are part of the standard landscaping here and I don’t have much choice in them. Actually the one in the middle should look like the others. I think it’s dead because I think the green leaves there are just a weed. I’m not sure if you can tell, but there are random weeds that grow up from the rocks as well. Clovers, mostly. I like clovers though, so I just leave them.

I’m not sure if that little table is going to stay permanently – we shall see. What do you think? On it, I have 6 small pots: two mints, a basil, a curly parsley, a bee balm, and a stevia. The bee balm and stevia are new to me, but I’ve done the others before.

Before I talk about these plants, I want everyone to notice my pallet. I want you to notice it because I dragged its heavy ass ALL the way home from the playground on King Loop (probably half a mile) by myself. It’s missing one plank on this side, but that’s okay with me. I like it because it’ll keep the rock-dwelling weeds from climbing up onto my pots.
In the front, you see two windowboxes with marigolds in them. I’m hoping to attract bees. (One day I’d like to beekeep, and also I need some bees to pollinate one of my plants.) I was hoping both of those would fit neatly into the space left by the missing plank, but alas. Oh well.
The three medium-size pots will eventually be replaced with bigger pots. I only had 6 of the bigger pots, and these three plants were all small anyway. I’ll get more large pots in a few days. Those three are all peppers – the ones on the left are bells, and the one on the right is jalapeno. I’ve grown both before.

My largest pots now: I have a cherry tomato variety, a “Patio” tomato, and two heirloom tomatoes – one is apparently purple, and the other is pink. (Yes I know these are indeterminates and shouldn’t be in pots. Leave me alone.) There is also another bell pepper plant, and a pot of cucumbers! I’ve grown tomatoes before but actually all of these species are new to me. I tried cucumbers from seed last year and they didn’t thrive, largely because I don’t think they were pollinated.

When the peppers in the medium size pots get repotted, I’ll need to reconfigure my layout here. I wish I could score another pallet, but they don’t fit in my car so they have to be within dragging distance (lol). Cross that bridge when I get to it, right?
I applied a layer of red mulch (I was forced to buy a Scotts-made product for this – my hands were tied by the selection at the store. Boo.) to each pot. I chose red because I read last year that tomatoes like to have red mulch for some reason. Maybe they see it and think “oh okay I’m supposed to be that color”?

Do you garden? Why or why not? Do you consider gardening to be a creative pursuit? Do you think I have a chance of winning Yard of the Month? If you have any suggestions or ideas for me (like ways to lay out the garden, for example), I’d love to hear them!
(Remember! I’m still doing TWO giveaways this week! Number one is here, and any comment on my blog all week counts as an entry. If you’d like to comment but not enter, just say so and I’ll exclude you. Number two is here – if you’d like to enter it, follow my blog and leave a comment on that post telling me how you follow me! BOTH giveaways close on Friday (today) May 25 at 5 pm PST. That’s 8pm Eastern. Any comments after that time are welcomed but not eligible for entry. I’ll announce the winners sometime on Saturday.)

How to Make Homemade Butter

I was a voracious reader as a child (still am, at that), and was always fascinated by the prairie housewives who made their own butter and bread and cheese. (And clothes and everything else. Seriously, Caroline Ingalls was amazing.) It’s been a running theme in my life to learn how to do things “from scratch.” You will never ever see a boxed cake mix in my home. I’m working on producing a perfect sandwich bread, and frequently make artisan loaves. I’m a bit of a snob, I guess. (I do hate making pie crusts though. Despise.)

A wave of Pins about homemade butter went around a few weeks ago, reminding me that I’d never yet tried this one. I calmly pick up a pound of butter every couple of weeks, no big deal. Well, that has now changed.

All you need for this food project is heavy cream (possibly labelled as whipping cream) and a bottle or jar. I used a Nutella jar because of the wide mouth. After the actual churning, you’ll need a bowl and probably a colander and a jar for storing the buttermilk.

Please learn from my mistake – do NOT do so much at one time. You’ll want to do this with a much smaller amount. I did this again later with about a third of this volume and it came together MUCH quicker.

Shake shake shake, baby. My preschooler could do it in the early stages. She wasn’t strong enough for the whole process, but this is a great project for older kids. Also a pretty good arm workout!

After a little while, you’ll have whipped cream! You actually can add sugar (and maybe a dollop of vanilla extract) in the beginning and use this method to make a quick batch of whipped cream without dragging out your beaters. This stage was quick and easy to reach, even with this too-large volume. I can’t give you a specific time on any of these stages because it will depend on the amount of cream and the size of your jar.

Keep on shaking. Feel the burn. Its starting to get grainy now.

This is the part where you’ll regret it if you put too much cream in the jar. It will take an insanely long time to get past the grainy stage and into the part where the liquids separate from the solids. I took to hitting it against the frame of my couch – the thickened cream inside just was too much for my puny arms.

But hang in there! Soon it will do this. You’ll be shaking/banging away and suddenly hear a “flop.” The solids have finally clumped together into a blob and will now hold their shape and be a lot easier to shake through the final stage.

Shake it for a few more minutes. The butter will become more and more yellow as the buttermilk separates. I am unsure if it is possible to “overchurn” your butter, so use your instincts. This here seemed to be a good place to stop.

This is why I chose a wide-mouth jar – I knew I’d have a big blob at the end, and the big opening made it much easier to get out. You do not have to keep the buttermilk, but you should because it’s a delicious ingredient. Set a colander over a bowl and drain baby drain. I happen to have a tiny colander (aww so cute) and a salsa bowl, but you can of course use whatever you have on hand.

Plop the butter into a bowl and press it with your fingers. You’ll see more liquids come to the surface. Press and rinse, press and rinse, until there are no more liquids coming out when you press. Shouldn’t take too long.

Save the buttermilk! I started with a partial container of cream (left over from something) so I don’t know how much I started with, but I ended up with a fistful of butter and half of a molasses jar of buttermilk. (That’s my clay crafting supplies in the background, fyi.)

You’ve now got a nice clean blob of butter. You could, if you wanted to, press it into a form and refrigerate it to use later as an ingredient. I always use unsalted butter, but you could salt it if you wanted. I’m not sure how that works or what amount you’d need.

This is your final product. A beautiful, pale-yellow blob of milkfats. It’s very satisfying to spread the soft fruits of your labor onto a slice of fresh baked bread. I’m not sure that I’d want to do this all the time, for all my butter needs, especially since I bake a lot. (Although maybe with a mixer?) But for a fancy event? Heck yes. I want to experiment with adding things like herbs or garlic to the cream for fancy flavored butter. It was really easy to reach a smooth creamy whipped cream stage, and I actually have used that trick already – cream and sugar and vanilla, shake shake shake, pour on top of strawberries.

What is is that’s so impressive about “made from scratch”? I don’t know, but I know that it’s very personally satisfying to be able to make a final product, something that we all take for granted like butter or bread, all by myself, from a few basic ingredients.

Have you ever tried to make butter?

(My husband will be having surgery today so I don’t know if I’ll be around. All comments this week are entries in my Giveaway, though! Please check out that entry if you’re interested. If you don’t want to enter the giveaway, you can still leave a comment – just make a note that you don’t wish to be entered. There is also another giveaway here, in case you’re interested.)

Score! A Bonus Giveaway!

~Both giveaways are NOW CLOSED! Stay tuned to find out the WINNERS!~

In celebration of the fact that I received over 100 pageviews today (and nearly 100 yesterday), I’m announcing a SECOND GIVEAWAY.

It’s been super exciting, watching your comments roll in for my Eclectic Bundle giveaway! As the end of today neared, I wondered if I’d break the mythical number of 100 pageviews (I’m a small blog, okay). And I did!

As a big THANK YOU to everyone, I’m offering up a second prize. My bundle is up for grabs to anybody who comments this week; this giveaway is for FOLLOWERS! All you need to do is FOLLOW me and leave me a comment telling me how you follow (via your WordPress account, by email or an RSS reader, or by Twitter). (I have internet mojo – I will know if you lie. ;) ) The links for all of those are over in the right sidebar – super easy to find.

Now, for what you really want to know: THE PRIZE IS FABRIC! Some of you mentioned that I ought to have included yarn and embroidery floss (and maybe some paint) in the previous one, and I thought about it, but, well, who doesn’t love fabric.

I had a dig in my (very small) stash and found these four pieces of fabric.
— A red-on-ivory toile – it’s oddly shaped but it’s about the size of a fat quarter, and it’s a very heavy fabric
— An orange-and black tiger print – fat quarter
— A bright pink tiger-y looking print – about half a yard
— and a yard of a bright hippie-ish print (see below for a better shot of it)

Don’t you just love that jaunty little birdie?

Just to clarify – comments on this post are NOT entries in the other giveaway, just to make it easier to determine a winner. To enter this giveaway, follow and comment here. To enter the other, comment on any other post on this blog.
Sorry, but both giveaways are US-only. Maybe next time, Internationals!
This giveaway will close at 6 pm PST on Friday May 25.

Web “Weekend” #13

Hello Hello! I actually have a good reason for delaying the roundup this week! I wanted to include it in my GIVEAWAY WEEK festivities. (Also I am horribly behind in my readering.) For those of you who missed the memo, I’m participating in a massive giveaway party hosted by Sew Mama Sew. I’m offering a fun and eclectic bundle of crafting supplies, and EVERY COMMENT ALL WEEK counts as an entry. If you happen to not want to be included in the giveaway, just make a note of it in your comment. If you’d like to enter one/some/many/all of the other giveaways (there are hundreds), check out this link here. There are 5 categories, so have fun.

So for the newbies (hi out there!), let me lay down my ground rules for this thing here. I usually do this on the weekends, and my goal is to feature links to all the various things I found on the blogosphere that tickled my fancy that week. None of these links are sponsored or requested in any way – this is just me giving some love to the things I enjoyed. (And it’s NOT exhaustive – I have to cut like 90% of the things that I “star” as I’m readering.)
I share a lot of crafty things and recipes. I share a handful of interesting articles about a variety of topics including current events and science. I share links to fabulous art, and I share a smattering of things that I just thought were great. I get my geek on frequently – I put in a sprinkling of pictures and they tend to be quite geeky.
I’m currently following 413 blogs, holy crap. This giveaway thing is quite unhealthy for my reader, lol. I added probably 100 of those today as I was surfing the giveaways. I expect that number will be, like, 700 by the time I’m done.

Remember you can follow me on Pinterest  or on Tumblr for nearly-daily flailing and excitement. Check the right side of the page for a list of all the places you can find me. And if there’s somewhere else you’d like to connect with me, let me know! (I’m not making a facebook page until I know that people are interested.) Now let’s get to the links!

I featured this photo on the last roundup and just couldn’t bear to delete it. Uh oh, I may be stuck in an infinite loop. (via FY Link)

Things to Buy or Make

A colorful and cheap spiked macrame bracelet – hardcore, dude. ;) (Thanks I Made It)
Cute patchwork pillow – excellent intro to piecing, I would imagine (SOTAK handmade)
Patchwork from the selvage edge of fabrics – this makes the waste-not spirit inside me very happy. (Happy Cottage Quilter)
Make a real life Pinboard, with a cool sliding panel in front! (Knock Off Decor)
Turn your spaghetti sauce jars into gorgeous Moroccan lanterns! (Matsutake)
DIY a shrinky jewelry piece from #6 plastic (Rust and Sunshine)
Use up that paper hoard by making this origami flower! (Creative to Keep My Sanity)
A purse that looks like Cap’s shield. YES. (So Geek Chic)
Crocheted Yoshi egg blanket. VERY yes. (So Geek Chic)
Homemade sidewalk chalk (Modern Mom)
DIY nail polish – an area of crafting that I’m itching to try! (Delighted Momma)
Awesome hardware necklace (Thanks I Made It)
Blackwork is gorgeous, and here’s a free pattern! (Feeling Stitchy)
Geometric felt bookmarks – very fun and modern (How About Orange)
I feel very inspired by this cats-and-laser-dot embroidery (&Stitches)
One of many old-school Zelda quilts I’ve seen. Gotta try this. (Copiously Geeky)

Ideas to Use

A list of commonly-wasted foods, and some ideas on how to avoid doing that (Savvy Housekeeping)
I’m not the only one who’s been changing up my grocery-shopping. Do you have any revelatory tricks? (Simple Organized Living)
Mary Corbet’s Stitch Play Index – an index of gorgeous embroidery stitches by a fabulous stitcher (Needle N Thread)
Really easy-to-follow tutorial on applying grommets (A Quilter’s Table)
DIY Wood Butter to keep your wooden stuff looking pretty. (Lifehacker)
DIY Reusable Dryer Sheets – brilliant! Already added them to my to-make list. (Lifehacker)
Apparently MAYO will clean crayon off your walls? (Lifehacker)
3 ways to enhance your embroidery (also 3 adorable inspiring projects) (Wild Olive)
This party theme (and the post title) absolutely cracks me up. (Young House Love)

I could watch this ALL DAY. (via Hipster Game of Thrones) (YES, this is another repeat; what is WRONG with me.)

Food

A cake covered with Whoppers. My husband would DIE. (Stars and Sunshine)
A tip for a better PB&J (Lifehacker)
Basic Yellow Butter Cake – a great one for my Basic Recipes series (The Kitchn)
A copycat recipe for a Wendy’s frosty. Gotta try this one. (The Kitchn)
10 cheap staples everyone should have in their pantry – oh, great post idea! (The Kitchn)
23 homemade breads. Yes. Bread is one of my faaaavorite things. (The Kitchn)
Candied Ginger, two ways (Inn at the Crossroads)
Simple chicken salad with a twist: Basil! (Blogchef)

Articles and News

A time lapse video of the recent annular eclipse. Boo for living on the East Coast – it must have been awesome in person. (Wired Science)
What do you know (or think you know) about the Pacific Garbage Patch? (io9)
This article will generate a 20-minute workout for you. You have 20 minutes, right? Sure you do. (Lifehacker)
Thoughts on couponing – got any suggestions to add? (Get Rich Slowly)
This week, let’s have a history lesson on … bra-burning? (The Mary Sue)

I am not entirely sure why this happened. (via Epic Ponyz)

Entertainment: Books, TV, Movies, and others

All the new SF/F shows: this list is pretty depressing, honestly. (io9)
Someone researched how our “future” was portrayed in fiction for more than a century. You know you want to see the infographic. (io9)
There’s a nifty-looking Harry Potter web series coming soon. (io9)
If you had to guess which literary characters are most frequently portrayed on film, who would you choose? (io9)

Art

Video game characters in the ukiyo-e style by Jed Henry (via io9)
Sonic Screwdriver beats Lightsaber. What happens next, though? By KK Jordan (via io9)

Weekly Greatness:

How to throw an insult like Shakespeare (Aunt Peaches)
Just a bit of fandom silliness, at the expense of Legolas. (Cleolinda)
Australia is TERRIFYING. And funny, if it’s a comic. (Momentary Lapse of Reason)
Matt Smith, everyone. (Who Generation)
TESLA. (The Oatmeal)

This would scare the bejeezus out of me. Via Epic Ponyz

Did you see anything cool around the internet this week? Is there a blog I should be reading? Got an opinion or thought about anything here? Share your own thoughts and links in the comments!  Make sure to follow me (here, there, and everywhere) to get more updates!

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