Tuesday, December 21, 2010

on hiatus

Well, you haven't heard from me in about half a year. So I'm guessing you've figured out by now that this blog is on hiatus while I'm off adventuring in China. Can't do much crafting in Shanghai. If you really miss me, you can read my blog at miesby.wordpress.com. I switched over to WordPress for my China blog because the firewall here is pretty extreme and it took me this long (six months!) to figure out how to access Blogger.

Anyway ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a little pouch

Nope, I'm not dead and I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Wow it's been a while since I posted anything. Busy with finals and such. Graduation is coming up, tonight is my last final, and then I have a whole host of things to do.

By the way, does anyone need a place to live during the summer in Austin? If you're in the market for an apartment, let me know!

I haven't done anything crafty in a while. A week or two ago I made this little pouch when I was particularly bored. Nothing too impressive.

After tonight things should be better ... I hope. Probably not though. I still have to pack, sell things, find someone to sublet. And then I have a list of Austin restaurants I have to go to before I leave and friends I need to see before we all depart. That's okay though. I think I'd rather have too many things to do than nothing. I'd be too bored with boredom.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

a bag for a swap

Lately I've been participating in swaps over at swap-bot.com, which has been quite fun. For the latest swap I had to send something handmade. So ... if you're in that swap and your name is Clara, stop reading here (because I haven't sent it yet!).

I have a lot of fabric, so I'm going to try to use it by sewing stuff. I found a pretty simple tutorial for a bag which you can find here that I decided to use for the swap. I think the bag came out rather nicely, but next time I make one I'll probably change the fabric and shape.


Other stuff is in the works and hopefully my self-imposed deadlines hold fast. Now I'm off to actually do homework!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

creative space: to be

On Tuesday I went shopping. Yikes. But it wasn't aimless shopping, I was armed with a list ... and for the most part I stuck to it! I always seem to have lists and lists of projects in mind, so we'll see how many I finish by the end of the school year.

Bought some fabric, beads, and such. I'm planning to make a simple little pencil pouch because since my purse is so huge, I can never seem to find any writing utensils. On the other hand, with a large purse, I can carry around my entire life with me ... yay! The beads don't have anything to do with making the pouch, but they were purple and pretty and I couldn't help myself.

I have a whole stack of frames that I've been trying to use since my original grand plan for them fell through. I used one for this gift and used two more here, leaving nine sitting in a stack under my bed. I received the circles of paper in a swap, but since I don't scrapbook and rarely work with paper, they were kind of useless to me. So I stuck 'em in frames and ta-dah, instant art.

That's all that's on my plate for now. I got some real world stuff to get done (oh laundry, why do you never end?) and a story to finish, so hopefully I'll have projects in motion within a few days. Linking over to kootoyoo's blog for a whole lotta creative spaces.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

in love with purples

While blue is still my favorite color, purple is closing in ranks. I've always liked purple, but lately, it's gained some additional significance over here.

I have no idea what kind of flowers these are, but they're blooming ALL OVER THE PLACE. It's so pretty, there are petals all over the ground and it smells wonderful. Yep, it's definitely spring here. Spring is probably my favorite season. I can finally break out the tank tops and flouncy skirts.

Tassels! No, I haven't graduated yet, but I'm well on my way. I finally plunked down the cash to buy my gown, so now I get to stare at it for the next two months. Excited, nervous, also a little in denial. Does this mean I have to grow up and act like an adult? Sheesh.

I hurt my arm and I'm sort of sick ... again. So hopefully staying home, acting like a bum, and catching up on little errands (organizing that stack of papers, mending that hole, et cetera) will do me good. My chocolate stash will surely aid in that.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

framed green letters

I finally finished the gift I had blogged about in my last post. Here it is! I know, you're probably scratching your heads trying to figure out what the heck it's supposed to be, so I'll do you the favor and explain.

First of all, it's art, so it's not meant to do anything but hang on the wall and look pretty. I cut out the letters of my friend's name in various fonts out of green card stock. Then I randomly jumbled carefully arranged said letters on another piece of green in a lighter shade, stuck it all in a frame, and voila.

Pretty simple and I thought it was rather cute. Whaddaya think?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

creative space: green letters

My friend's birthday is coming up, so I'm working on a little present for her. I couldn't think of anything to get her and since she'll be moving soon, I didn't want to get her anything to bulky.

I'm making her a little art piece to hang on her wall. Green card stock, a picture frame, and some funky letters. Hopefully I'll get it finished tomorrow, but ... ya never know.

More creative spaces here at kootoyoo!

Friday, March 5, 2010

springtime: a musing

There's something about sitting outside on a worn wooden bench and rolling a fallen flower petal between your fingers that truly embodies spring.

Enclosed in a limestone courtyard, the sky is a quiet blue gently sponged with soft whites. The tree branches overhead sway with tame wind gusts and drop petals around. I wore my hair down to feel the wind rustle through the strands, not minding when they get tangled up by my pearl earrings.

Today was such a fantastic day. I'm so glad it's spring already. To me, this season epitomizes simple happiness. Days like this, I think I'll never leave Austin.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

some pillows bleed red

I haven't posted in a long while, which I could blame on increased homework and studying for the GRE, but in reality I was just lazy. I had some fabric remnants from freshman year (that's three years!) and I finally got fed up with it laying around and cut the red into pieces and sewed them together with some white cottony/plushy fabric and gray fleece. The result was a passable but boring pillow about 12" square.

Then, because I'm a perfectionist, I thought: That just won't cut it. So I sewed on piece of black ribbon to make a bow. Yay. But then, because I'm also an idiot, I decided to wash it ... forgetting that RED dyes tend to bleed RED, especially on WHITE. Oops.

The white pieces are now more of a coral/pink tie-dye. Kind of ruins the effect I was going for, but it's not that big of a deal. All in all, I'll live. The pillow was meant as a floor cushion for myself because I tend to do all my work (like typing this post) while sitting on the floor.

What I am annoyed about is that I washed that pillow WITH my comforter. I've had that comforter since I was really little and now there's large red smears on it. Any solutions?

Happy March, everyone. Don't be stupid like me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

happy (fill-in-the-blank)

This weekend was just chock full of holidays, wasn't it? To everyone out there: Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Chinese New Year, Happy Flag Day (to the Canadians), and Happy President's Day (to the Americans)! Oh ... and an early Happy Mardi Gras!

There wasn't much celebrating on my part because evidently my professors didn't get the memo. I had a break between my classes this morning, so I went home and took a little nap. When I woke, this is the sight that greeted me and I realized: Wow, I am kinda girly. I also realized that naps during the day are amazing!

It's a bit chilly here (by which I mean it's in the 30s), but my bed is right next to a window that gets southern sunlight, so I was all warm and snuggly. These are the things that make me happy.

Friday, February 12, 2010

giftness: m&ms in glass

Have I mentioned that I'm a poor college student? Well, I am. I'm also incredibly fond of holidays, gift-giving, and collecting things. I especially like glass, so I hate throwing away glass bottles. Since the nearest recycling center is a decent drive away I figured I'd reuse them like the good eco-friendly person I am (well, I try).

I thoroughly cleaned some clear bottles, filled them with M&Ms, topped them off with some pink fabric, white ribbon, and red knotted cord ... and voila. Cheap, easy, and universal - because who can say no to chocolate? I wanted to find the red, white, and pink M&Ms, but the store I went to didn't have any. It was probably for the best since a few of my friends are being decidedly anti-Valentine's Day this year.

I don't see why people gripe so much about it. Is it a commercial holiday? Yes. Do I care? No. Why? Because whenever there's a chance for people to show how much they appreciate each other (and consume chocolate), it's all good in my book.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

creative space: pink + red

I absolutely adore holidays. ADORE. That being said, this Sunday is a double-whammy of Valentine's Day and the Chinese New Year. Thank goodness the colors coordinate!

I had planned to go all out on gifts for Friday, but I've decided against it. Instead, I'm just making little no-frills things. Nothing's been put together, but I have red satin cord and pieces of pink fabric ready.

Using some online tutorials, I figured out how to make the lucky and button knots. I was going to buy oranges also (for the Chinese New Year) but they're too darn expensive because of the frost in Florida. Oh well, I'll just have to do without.

Now I just have to wait for my glass bottles to finish drying and I can fill 'em with M&Ms. Yep, that's my grand plan: M&Ms. All my friends are college students - I doubt they'd mind.

Ah, and I almost forgot again! Linking up to kootoyoo for creative spaces!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

creative space: ribbon

I went out shopping to pick up some supplies for Valentine's Day presents. Since they didn't have what I was looking for, I was stressed, and therefore vulnerable to the ribbon section. Thankfully they had ribbons on sale. Unfortunately, that means I had little willpower to say no.

At Hobby Lobby they had some spools of ribbon for only a few bucks each. So in total, there's 50 yards of ribbon and 8 buttons ... for less than $10! I ended up simplifying my gift plans to suit what I had on hand, but oh well. Currently everything's still in my head, so there's nothing substantial on my table.

School and work are picking up, so I have less time to craft. I'm also ridiculously stressed about life ... don't even get me started on the financial aid drama.

I'm linking over to kootoyoo for creative spaces.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

margarita cupcakes

I've wanted to make these for a really long time. I bought lime juice back in September specifically to make these. Thankfully that stuff stays fine for a while and the rest of the ingredients I have on hand normally. The original recipe is from a book called "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World". I'm not vegan, but some of their cupcakes are AMAZING. I tweak their recipes to suit my non-vegan pantry, but basically the credit goes there.

  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons tequila
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Process:
  • mix together the wet ingredients with the sugar (first six items on the ingredients list)
  • separately mix the remaining ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
  • then mix the two mixtures together
  • pour into muffin tins - will make 12
  • bake in oven at 350F for 20-25 minutes

  • Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened so it's easier to mix)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar

  • The cupcakes are light, moist, and delicious. And even though these are "margarita" cupcakes, you don't taste any alcohol in the cake itself - it's all in the frosting. So once the cupcakes were cool, I whipped some up. There's no real need to follow a recipe - just simple frosting with lime juice and tequila instead of water. My hand kind of tipped a bit in the process ... so my frosting turned out to be quite, um, strong. But yummy!

    My roommate hasn't been home since I made these, so I'll have to make sure to tell her about the alcohol-content of the cupcakes. Then again, that would be quite the surprise, expecting a simple vanilla cupcake and getting a taste of a margarita instead. That girl better love me. Seriously, I must be in the running for best roommate ever.

    Oh, and a belated linkage here to Bake at 350, which is having a little party. Next on my list, after I buy coconut and pineapple juice, are these pina colada cupcakes. Yum!

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    day of recovery

    I have been sick for the past few days, but today, Sunday, I can finally take some time to rest. I woke up about an hour ago and I feel all-over achy (not to mention the sneezing and coughing). Oh, and I have a giant two-inch bruise on my arm from carrying groceries. Yucks. Times like these I really wish I had something stronger than Tylenol at home.

    My lunch today reflects my current state. Orange juice for the Vitamin C ... does that even help? Then leftover pizza and a cupcake for a pick-me-up. As a whole, it looks pretty discordant, but I'm sick, so blah.

    Things to do: homework, laundry, cleaning, check mail, organize finances, and sleep. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm only going to be doing the last item. And I'll probably have to skip work tomorrow, which would be the FIRST time I haven't come in to work. Darn.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    hello again

    I realize that it has been a long, long time since I last posted. Please forgive me. Tomorrow (er ... later today) is the first day of class and will thus be the beginning of my resolve to post regularly once again. I also haven't been reading the blogs in a while, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

    I briefly perused On the Refrigerator Door, one of my favorite blogs, and the most recent article was about displaying jewelry. So for a quick post, I thought I'd show my system.

    Even though I'm in a rather small apartment, I have a rather large bathroom (and closet! - but that's another story). My bathroom has two sinks and a large mirror, which is kind of ridiculous since I'm the only one who uses it. I bought a pack of little suction cup hooks at the dollar store, and I use them to hang jewelry on my mirror. I think it's rather pretty and it makes it easy for me to grab that necklace, ring, or bracelet for the day without having to rummage through my stash. When I'm bored, I'll move the suction cups into various patterns ... it's great fun.

    I leave a few pieces out and the rest is in a container on my counter, which is actually a repurposed embroidery floss organizer. On a normal day, I don't wear much jewelry, but I do love buying it. Generally I'll only wear a simple ring that I bought with my sister a few years ago and that's enough. Having things displayed on my mirror, where it's functional as well as aesthetic, well that just makes me happy though.

    Welcome to 2010, everyone. Enjoy the ride.