Sunday, November 23, 2014

Origami Christmas Garland

Since I'm now in the front office at my dad's company, I decided that I would do some decorating for Christmas once I get back from my trip to PA (I leave Monday).  I'm going to buy a shiny tinsel garland, but I wanted to do something right now.  I looked at our mail that came in and there was a big pile of crappy catalogs pushing consumerism.  Then it hit me.

An origami garland!

The catalogs provide free, very foldable paper.  I scoured the internet for Christmas ideas and decided on a bell and holly garland.  With a little spray paint, gold for bells and green for holly, and some glitter it could look awesome!

Here's what I used for The Bell and The Holly.  These are really easy origami patterns.  I taped each origami piece with scotch tape.  My plan was for a 6' garland, using some gold cording that my aunt found, with 12 bells and 24 pieces of holly.
Lono, my project buddy

I cut out each page from a magazine

Folded each page, cut off the extra, and made squares.

These are my folded squares (triangles)

Using the patterns above I made bells....

...and holly!

I laid them out on a table so I could spray paint them.
Bells became gold.  The leaves needed a base coat of white.
They ended up sparkly green
I tied the bells to a gold cord.  12 all together.

Added the green holly and DONE!

Fantasy Films Around The Holidays

I absolutely love watching fantasy films around the holidays.  I'm talking fairies, goblins, ogres, etc.  While I could definitely mention The Hobbit or Lord of The Rings or Harry Potter, I'm going to by-pass them because they're obvious.  I was just telling my guy a few days ago that half of me wants to be back in the 50s and half of me wants to be a fantasy world with magic - like a half-elf rogue (yeah, I like D&D).

Anyhoo - - if you are like me and enjoy a good fantasy film, here are a list of some that I love to watch.

1. Labyrinth
I grew up being a super big fan of this movie.  I even wrote a little fan fiction.  LOL  This is a film about a girl who wishes for her brother to be taken away by the goblin king, but instantly changes her mind -- goblin magic  - poof - she has to run a labyrinth.

2. The Dark Crystal
Jen has to defeat the Skexies by fixing the dark crystal.  He meets some friends along the way.

3. Beauty & The Beast (La Belle et la Bete) directed by Jean Cocteau
The most dramatic and beautiful version of Beauty & The Beast.

4. Wizard of Oz
Dorothy travels in a house, via tornado, to the land of Oz and must defeat the wicked witch.   This one has been one of my absolute favorites since I was a kid.

5. Legend
Jack has to save Lili from Darkness.

6. Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe
I grew up reading the white box set of this series.    In this film four brothers and sisters travel through a wardrobe, set in WWII, to the land of Narnia.

7. Stardust
One side of the wall is "normal", the other is a magical land.  Adventure ensues.

8. The Neverending Story
A magic story and a boy who got sucked in.

9. Babes in Toyland
A musical about toyland and a land of nursery rhyme characters.

10. The Nutcracker
The Christmas toys fend off rats and a rat king.  The nutcracker whisks the girl away to a magical land.

11. Willow
A dwarf finds a baby and must protect her from the evil queen.

12. Princess Bride
As you wish!

13. The Polar Bear King
Kind of the nordic version of beauty and the beast.

14. Conan The Barbarian
Schwarzenegger has a sword, a loin cloth, and goes on a big adventure.

15. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The tale of the travels of the Baron.

16. Ladyhawke
She's a hawk by day, he's a wolf by night.  Love torn.

17. Pan's Labyrinth
Set in WWII Spain, a girl becomes friends with an old faun who tells her she can become a princess in a far land (and escape war) if she completes the tasks set before her.

18. Enchanted
Cartoon girl comes to our modern world, WHAAAT? Musical.

19. The Brothers Grimm

20. The Imaginarium of Dr.Parnassus

Sewing a Vintage Nightgown

At the end of October, I heard about an online sewing party (Vintage Pajama Party Sew Along) and wanted to join in.  I had just received a bunch of vintage patterns from my aunt and was itching to make something.

In an earlier blog post, I posted a picture of my fabric and two patterns.  Well, November has been really busy for me.   I should have just started when I got my fabric.  This month, I injured my left shoulder at crossfit (deep bruise), then I had a tubal ligation, and tomorrow morning I leave to go to PA for a little bit.

The first pinning!
The two halves of my nightgown are officially connected.

The tension on my sewing machine was giving me SO much trouble!  I had to stop a few times.  I wish that was a gun instead of just pistol-finger.  I really hate my machine sometimes.

I take pictures of myself.
They always come out blah.
I had some troubles with my sewing machine.  I'm going to take it in to get it checked out.  This pattern?  Easy peasy, but took forever with my dumbass machine.  Its a little tight around the bust, but I also had a bra and tank top on too.

If I get a chance to work on the robe, I'll get that done for the sewing party too.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Fly - Hairstyle

Around Halloween I was watching 'The Fly' with my guy.  We chit chat through films and he ended up saying that he liked how Helene's hair looked when it was up.  I figured I could do it and the bet was on.  In the film, Helene (played by Patricia Owens) has bangs.  I do not.  Helene's bangs were curled a bit and pushed to the side, you'll see in the pictures below.  I figured that I could just do a front side roll. The back of Helene's updo is basically a french twist base with a bun-like hair swirl on top.  Its important to mention that it's not a bun.  There's just extra hair that gets pinned in a bun-like circle at the top of the french twist.

I've worn my hair like this a few times and am now just referring to it as The Fly.

Here's some pictures of Helene:

Here's how The Fly looks on me and visual instructions.

Step 1 - Separate some hair in the front for your side roll, if that's what you're going to do.
Step 2 - Pull the rest of your hair back and twist it moderately tight.  You want it to have a tiny bit of looseness to it, so you can do the rest.
Step 3 - Pull your twisted hair up and twist it some more.  This will make a good french twist base.  Pin it.  I suggest with two bobby pins at the top, two at the midpoint, and two at the bottom.
Step 4 - Keep the excess hair in a loose twist and form it into a circle shape at the top of the french twist.  Pin it.
Step 5 - Take care of the front of your hair.  You can curl your bangs or do a side roll (like 1 victory roll that points outwards).
Step 6 - Spray with hairspray to keep those fly-aways from happening.

I hope you give it a try and let me know if you like The Fly updo.  I'd like to see some other updos from movies tried out online.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Seafoam Candy

This morning I had to cover for my mom at her bakery/cafe, so I decided to try my hand at making seafoam candy.  I have always love the sweet and salty flavors that bombard your taste buds with seafoam candy, but the last time I tried to make it, I did something wrong and it turned out BLAH.

I used a recipe I found on pinterest and knew it was the one when I read that the blogger had eaten the seafoam from the Oregon coast - where they definitely know what they're doing.  The recipe I used is at Simply Gourmet.

My hot mixture from my pot poured onto my cooling sheet (greased parchment).

After it cooled, I broke it up and was happy to see that it had a nice honeycomb texture.
I dipped each piece in chocolate and used blue candy coat for decor.  I should have put some sea salt on top.
I put all of this into a box and took it to the office.  I was getting compliments all day.  The recipe was great.  Its easy and fairly quick.  One batch would be good for a holiday party.  Definitely try this out!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Future Endeavor: Retro Cooking

I've been going through some old cookbooks and I want to give some of these recipes a try.  This won't happen until December - once I move into the new apartment.  First off, let me say that I am an adventurous chef and eater.  If there's something that I can't identify, my reaction is "Let me eat that!"  Sure, I might not like it, but what if I do?  I won't know unless I try it, right?

I have to admit that I have a low tolerance of Culinary Wimps and generally just figure that these people don't usually cook for themselves.  Pre-processed, just-add-water, box-o-food humdrum doesn't count.  Do these Culinary Wimps know the genuine pleasure of the aroma from onions sauteing in butter?  Do they know that they should not use cooking wine?  Do they know the joy of being able to say "Hey, I made this and it tastes awesome!"?

Let me get off my milk crate.  I want to try out some of these recipes that occasionally leave us all scratching our heads or saying "who would eat that?" or "how do they come up with these weird combinations?" Without further ado, here are a few things that I am thinking about trying:

  • Chicken and Pineapple Aspic
  • Tomato Aspic
  • Three Sandwiches: Midwest Sandwich, Nova Scotia Sandwich, and Peanut Butter Club
Hunt, Mary.  Mary Hunt's Salad Bowl.  M. Barrows & Company; New York, 1939.
  • Gooseliver Bonbons
  • Burning Bush (appetizers)
  • Saucy Susans (biscuits)
  • Holiday Fruit Cake
  • Gingerbread Men (Not unusual I know, but I'm going to make them anyway)
  • Baked Prune Whip
  • Cabin Casserole
  • Nutburgers
  • Spiced Tongue
  • Princess Mayonaise
Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book.  McGraw-Hill Book Company; New York, 1950. 1st ed.

If there is anything that you think I should try, maybe that you don't want to, let me know.  I need a recipe and a good pitch - because I have to eat it. LOL  I'm making an exception to this and I'm eating some sugars and starches, but I usually eat paleo - so don't kill me with your suggestions please.  I can literally end up with severe pain from too much sugar or flour or grains...etc.