Busy Busy Busy

I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve just been insanely busy lately. I enjoy most of the things I do, but it seems like I haven’t had any downtime in forever. I haven’t even had spare time for reading! Today I’ve got a collection of pictures to share, of some of my recent projects in progress!

This is a quick shot I took of my to-do list just before I sat down to upload pictures and write this post. The right side is tasks for my home or family – stuff like “clean the fridge” and “mail Mother’s Day cards.” The left side is personal projects or desires, mostly for Etsy or for my blogs. Yes, it’s giant. And it’s mostly not very itemized. It just says “clean,” instead of “clean living room and bathroom and bedroom and kitchen,” for example. Told ya I’m busy.

I’ve been trying new recipes, but I haven’t been photographing them. I’ve got such a backlog of recipes to blog about. So it’s a great time to try new things, so I can improve on them before I blog about them. This is last night’s dinner – Spinach, Ricotta, and Parmesan Stuffed Shells. I based them off a recipe I shared with you a few weeks agoSpinach-Stuffed Canneloni by Happiness Stan. Delicious, although there are a few things I’m going to do differently next time. I’m really loving recipes that fold the vegetables into the main dish, because we have a tendency to forget to make the veggie until the food is done. Also, I officially love ricotta. It makes such lovely leftovers.

A new project! Care to guess? I shared the inspiration for this with you just a few days ago. It’s rock candy! I loved the jewelry idea from 1 Fine Cookie, but I decided I’d better try out just plain rock candy first. I stirred up some sugar syrup, added in a little of the flavor extracts I had on hand, and some coloring. It’s a pretty simple concept, so I don’t anticipate any problems.

Here’s a quick shot of some earrings I knocked together today. The ones on the left are for Kako. They’re a version of my Corkscrew earrings, with silver-colored copper wire and Sapphire blue freshwater pearls. They turned out a bit longer than I expected. The ones on the right are pearlescent black glass pearls, wrapped with 26-gauge wire. Quite delicate. I like them. Look for them in my shop on June 1st!

Here’s a sneak peek of another commissioned jewelry piece. My friend Ri likes cameos like my Secret Cameo earrings, but doesn’t wear earrings. So I went on the hunt for a necklace for her. I found this classic-looking pendant, and embellished it with 28 green Swarovski elements. It hangs at about the breastbone, from a double-loop of black cable chain. I’m really happy with it.

I’ve also been sewing! This is a prototype of an e-reader cover that I’m hoping to produce for my shop, but it’s giving me fits at the moment. I’m happy with the front side, but the back just isn’t cooperating. I’ve got an idea I’m going to try next time I sit down with it, so hopefully it’ll work out well.

My sewing has been successful on other fronts though. Here’s a shot of a “string backpack” I knocked together from 2 fat quarters. We have a similar one (that we found in a parking lot haha) to carry dog-related items when we take Charlie for a walk. This one is the new home for kid-related stuff when we walk to the park. I really like the two velcro’ed pockets on the front, to stash my keys and wallet.  I’m thinking about Etsying these as well. What do you think?

If you want to find out what this is, you’ll have to read about it on the Snark Art Blog!

In honor of Matt Smith’s debut as the Eleventh Doctor 2 years ago, April 3 was Fish Custard Day. (Go watch The Eleventh Hour; you’ll understand.) I got brave and tried it. It was actually pretty good!

Here’s a process shot of a set of items that should be appearing in my shop on Listing Day (the first of June). Care to take a guess?

Another process shot, of a very old and long-since-completed project. I had this lovely skirt, but it was longer than I liked, and, um, too small in the waist. So I shortened it by hacking off the top. I’m quite happy with it. I’ve got to get the courage to model it so I can put up a proper post about it.

When I joined Paperback Swap a few weeks ago, I went through my box of “get rid of” books and listed them all. Except a few. Four of the seven Chronicles of Narnia books, in pretty rough shape. I couldn’t list them, but I didn’t want to just throw them away. So I salvaged them. I cut (by hand) hundreds of circles from the pages, and glued them onto a paper lantern I already owned. It turned out AMAZING. I’ve got a ton of scraps, as well as a whole book and a half, left, so I’m thinking about other things to do with the papers. I kept a couple of the chapter illustrations, and am thinking of using my scanner to blow them up and use them as embroidery patterns. The scraps of paper might get blended up into pulp so I can make “fresh” paper – I’ve got a bookmaking project running around my head too.

PONY CUPCAKES. Our FRG had a “cupcake social” this past weekend. (I apologize to my Pinterest followers for the deluge of cupcakes that one day that I was looking for ideas.) I made these little picks from the box art (yes I saved it, why do you ask) from my daughter’s ponies. I am particularly proud of these lovelies. Definitely expect to see a post featuring these babies in better detail soon.

Last photo of the day! This is a shot from wayy back at the beginning of April, the day of the season two premiere of Game of Thrones. I prepared a fabulous Westerosi feast. Somehow, the blog never got written about it. I made a number of amazing recipes that day though, and I plan to share them – especially those lovely Dornish peppers you see on the right in the foreground. Deeeeeelicious. Fresh bread dipped in salt was also a revelation of flavor.

This isn’t even all of the amazingness that I’ve been up to! Here’s just a quick sample of the things I’ve got folders of pictures for: Homemade Butter, Cola Cake, Fried Chicken, Roasted Chicken, Lasagna, Onion Rings, Shield Weaving, and Wheat Bread. I’ve also got some great craft tutorials in the planning stages (it’s harder than you think it is to take process photos of delicate things). Oh, and I got my May Birchbox the other day – that blog will be coming soon.
Don’t forget – next week is Giveaway Week! Be sure to come back early and often for your chances to win free stuff!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mishmash photoblog. Which project are you most excited to see more of?

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Media Monday

This may or may not become a regular feature. Let me know what you think! This post is more-or-less an introduction to me and my idea here, so the regular feature will be a little different. Let’s discuss this!

Books

I am a voracious reader. I read quickly and I read often. I’m a re-reader also – I prefer to own books so I can read them again and again. I do love libraries, and go to mine often, but I like to be able to pick up a comfortable tome and return to its world. I’ve definitely been known to purchase books after borrowing them from a library.
I’m also a “cover chooser” – if I’ve got money to burn and a bookstore to lurk in (which I don’t anymore since Borders closed), I’ll find something with a cover that appeals to me. This usually doesn’t fail me – that’s how I’ve found several authors that I really like!
I’ve got a Kindle Fire, which is super nice. 🙂 E-books are cheaper. Also I follow a blog that searches out free books and posts them, so I regularly add freebies to my library.

Soon, I’m hoping to post book reviews. 🙂 I’ve been neck-deep in the world of Westeros (that’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or the books that Game of Thrones is based on) for quite a long time now. I’m near the end of the fourth book. The first 3 each got better and better, but I’ve gotta admit that I’m kinda slogging though this one. It’s not a flaw of the book so much as a flaw of epics – there’s always that part in the middle. The calm before the final storm, as it were.
I’m not “reviewing” these books yet because I need to re-read them before I’ll be prepared to do that. There’s just SO MUCH in them. Also I want to be able to go back and find all the foreshadowing. 🙂

I’m also going to take a page out of my friend Kyra‘s book and try out “Reviews of Books I Wouldn’t Normally Buy.” All those free books I get on my Kindle – some of them are just “hey that sounds cool” but definitely nothing I would have bought. Unknown authors, genres I’m not familiar with, etc. She did this recently, and I really liked it. Usually when you read a book review, the reviewer is a fan of the genre or the author so there’s a bit of bias. Her glowing review had even more impact since she was unfamiliar with it! So I’m gonna try to bring that feature here. I’m thinking a group of mini-reviews (many seem to be shorter works), supplemented by an occasional longer review in its own post.

Movies and TV

I’m a DVR addict. Each week, I scour our favorite channels to see what’s on and what’s good in the coming week. This week is a rather crummy one, not much good coming up.

Just for fun though, here’s a small selection of what I’m recording this week:
Repeaters:
Full Metal Jousting on History (Sunday evening) – JOUSTING. That is all.
Game of Thrones on HBO (Sunday evening) – of course!
Grimm on NBC (Friday evening) – this show started out weak but it’s greatly improved.
Last Man Standing on ABC (Tuesday evening) – also improving as it goes. Interesting to compare to Home Improvement (both starring Tim Allen).
Honorable mention – Once Upon a Time usually is on ABC on Sunday nights, but it doesn’t seem to be playing this week. Also, Doctor Who plays frequently on BBC America.

One-timers:
Ice Princess on ABC Family (Saturday afternoon) – shut up I love this movie.
Legion on FX (Wednesday evening) – Paul Bettany? Yes.
(Usually there are SO MANY movies, but I warned you – this is a crummy week.)

In future editions of this blog, if there are any, I’d like to share mini-reviews of episodes and movies. I’d also love to hear from you guys out there – what you’re watching, what I should think about watching, etc. I want to have conversations here!

Okay so now you know what I’m thinking – share your thoughts with me!