Friday, March 30, 2012

First sewing project!

Last night I attended an "Intro to the sewing machine" workshop at Make, with Diana Rupp. The class was 2 hours, only 4 people (it's usually 6) and all materials provided. The project was a simple fold wallet. The button is decorative, it's actually sealed with a velcro button underneath. Diana's a really great teacher, very patient, and gives lots of good tips. I'm happy to say I got the hang of threading the machine, which was what I'd always found the most intimidating.

This was my test to see if I'd like sewing enough to buy a machine and I did. The exact one we were working on (Janome Magnolia 7318). I also bought one of my teacher's books: Sew Everything Workshop. She offers classes in sewing home goods, (like pillowcases), as well as bags, skirts and even undies for those of you who live in the NY area.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Papercraft blog

Follow the hedgehogs! I'm devoting an entire blog to my new papercraft pursuits:

I'll still be posting the rest of my cooking/crafting here, just felt I needed to separate the two.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Tinkerbot Etsy Store

I am now selling 3D DIY papercraft goods (paper models) at my store TiNKERBOT so take a look! Products are sold as printable PDFs.

I've finally found a way to mesh my work skills with my craft skills. After years of creating intangible digital 3D objects, it's really neat to be able to hold your creation. There are 3D printers out there, but this is much simpler and less expensive.

I'm glad I started out with something fairly simple in shape, because it took much longer than I expected to design. As you can see from my 1st prototype (below), I had modeled it with 8 sides. I prefer the final shape better, but it's a lot less user-friendly to build. I simplified it to 6-sides and made the top part removable so it can be used as a box.

Cupcake is available HERE

I'm not the greatest at clean assembling, but I'll be getting a lot of practice testing out my products, so hopefully that will change.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Knitted Monster

Finally finished my monster, which I had started months ago. It was my first time using circular needles so I ran into a bit of difficulty at the connection point, but luckily the loose seams are hidden in the back. I may add more of a face, but I've always liked just eyes. Made with acrylic yarn and stuffed with polyester fiberfill.

This pattern is a variation of the "Hugo" character in the Big Book of Knitted Monsters, by Rebecca Danger. In order to finish it this weekend, I cheated, and started to decrease the stitches much faster than the original pattern, so I didn't get the extra head shape she had, but I still like the way it came out.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Zucchini Hummus

For now, it seems like the cure to my 2 years of stomach problems is a low-carb diet. So you may start seeing a slight change in the recipes that appear here, considering most of what's posted are baked goods. BUT I've found some tasty alternatives, which I'd make even if I weren't carb counting, so here's the first one.

I just ate a third of this bowl with celery for lunch. Meet.....Zucchini Hummus! A delicious, slightly lighter version of the traditional dip. I stumbled upon this excellent recipe on
(I omitted the cumin by accident, but it was still perfectly tasty)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Contest Entry: Egg Nest

No, the photo isn't blurry, the yarn is extra fuzzy and the contrast with the green glitter yarn is what makes it look out of focus.

I spent Saturday creating my entry for the Martha Stewart Crafts challenge and here it is! The challenge was to make anything using her brand of yarn. I sewed together a coil of Mambo yarn for the nest, used Glitter Eyelash for the grass, and Roving Wool for the eggs. I actually tried to write down the crochet pattern for first time. Normally, I freehand all my yarn creations. If anyone's willing try out my instructions, I'd love some feedback as to whether or not it works:

Hooks: J/10 6mm
G/6 4.25mm (for decreasing)
stitch marker
yarn needle
filling (I used polyester fiber fill)

Using the J/10 hook, ch 6, slip stitch in first ch to form a circle. Place a marker at the start to mark your rounds.
Round 1: 2 SC in each st around (increasing to 12 sc total)
Round 2: SC around (12 Sc)
Round 3: *Sc in first stitch, 2 Sc in 2nd stitch* Repeat from * till end of round (increasing every other stitch, 18 total)
Round 4: SC around (18 Sc)
Round 5: *Sc in first 2 stitches, 2 Sc in 3rd stitch* Repeat from * till end of round (increasing every 2 stitches, 24 total)

Switch to the smaller hook to begin decrease

Round 6: *Sc in first 2 stitches, decrease next* Repeat from * till end of round (18)
Round 7: *Sc in first stitch, decrease 2nd* Repeat from * till end of round (12)

Start stuffing egg with filler

Round 8: Decrease every stitch (6)
Cut a long tail and attach yarn needle. Thread through remaining 6 loops and draw to close. Weave in ends.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Lion Brand/Martha Stewart Yarn Contest!

Create something worthy using Martha Stewart's yarn collection and you can win up to 100 skeins of yarn and a loom kit ($1000+ value). Looks like it doesn't even have to be an original design either, but that's my goal, in which case I'll have to go back to crocheting. Lunch-time Lion Brand store visit for me today!

Click here for more contest info

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Buttermilk Peach Coffee Cake

This is probably the richest coffee cake I've ever eaten, not to mention the biggest. It has a layer of peaches and crumb in the middle, as well as crumbs on top. The edges got a bit over-baked but otherwise, no complaints! This takes a bit more prep than most cakes to make, but it's definitely worth it.

Recipe from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

Crumb Topping and Filling
1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup unblanched sliced almonds
7 Tbsp unsalted melted butter

1. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and almonds. Add melted butter, stir till butter is absorbed and ingredients are evenly moistened. Set aside

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup buttermilk (if you're like me and you never can finish the liquid variety, look for the powdered kind)
1 heaping cup 1/4 inch thick fresh or frozen peach slices (I used canned)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan
Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside
Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating well after each addition
Beat in vanilla and almond extract
Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternating it with the buttermilk in 2 additions

Scrape half the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Sprinkle half of the crumb topping evenly over the batter
Arrange peaches on top of the crumbs
Spoon remaining batter over the filling
Smooth it down and sprinkle the remaining crumb on top of the cake

Bake for 50-60 min. Cover cake with foil during the last 15 min if getting too brown. Cool in pan for 20 min