November 2011 Archives

WIP Wednesday: Cheesecake Edition

Note: I was supposed to post this Wednesday (obviously) but I'm having a week of complete stupidity and forgot to. So glad this week is over.

My contribution to Thanksgiving this year is pumpkin cheesecake (I don't like pie). I first made it a couple of years ago and almost burned my house down* in the process thanks to a dripping springform pan. Despite that, it turned out pretty tasty.

Here's the main ingredient for the crust. Non-homemade gingersnaps are the devil. You will break teeth trying to eat them. Luckily I was just beating them to a bloody pulp.

pc1

I had a picture of the crust, but frankly the crust didn't meet with my OCD level approval so I'm hiding it and hoping it tastes better than it looks.

Here's the cheesecake ready for the oven. I didn't have a flat frosting spatula thingie so it's not as smooth as it could be. That bothered me greatly.

pc2

And here's the finished product before I put it in the fridge to sit until tomorrow. Annoyed about the cracks, I didn't have any the first time. Have I mentioned that baking brings out the perfectionist in me? Note the drip stopping foil. I got smart this time.

pc3

*not really, but the place did fill up with smoke

Happy Thanksgiving!

Book It!

With all the books I'm reading right now, I've decided to do a monthly book update. I'll keep things spoiler free.

Just read:


The Likeness- Tana French
Loved this book, going back and forth in my head as to whether I liked it more or less than In The Woods. Was definitely one of those books that sticks with you even after you finish it.
The Visible Man- Chuck Klosterman
As someone who has studied psychology, parts of this book drove me nuts. Like yelling at the book nuts. And yet that didn't take away from enjoying it.
The Marriage Plot- Jeffery Eugenides
Been looking forward to this book for months. I enjoyed it but I think I'll have to read it again to fully appreciate it.
Are We Not New Wave?- Theo Cateforis
Recommended if you're a fan of late 70s/early 80s music.
Headhunters- Jo Nesbo
If you liked Stieg Larsson's books, you'll probably enjoy this.
Damned- Chuck Palanhuik
Enjoyed this one. Thought it was better than Tell-All.

Currently reading:


Faithful Place- Tana French


Up next (probably):

Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell

1Q84- Haruki Murakami

Stitch Story: Somebody Told Me

The theme for the last Phat Quarter swap was "somebody told me", a pretty broad (and unusual) topic.

Somebirdie Told Me

I call this one "Somebirdie Told Me" because it's a pretty awful pun and that amuses me. The piece is a spin on the saying "a little birdie told me". It's very loosely inspired by the Parks and Recreation episode "Practice Date", where they're digging up dirt on each other.

I thought about putting words in the speech bubbles, but I liked the idea of making something that didn't have any words in it since the topic relates to words and communication. And it gave me an opportunity to do something more graphic and modern than some of the things I've done recently.

Friday Five

Made it through the next 5 Bowie albums and have started on the Berlin trilogy.

That's My Bowie!: Part 2
  1. Diamond Dogs
  2. Young Americans
  3. Station to Station
  4. Aladdin Sane
  5. Pinups
When this is all over, I'll post a full list with what was and what definitely wasn't "My Bowie".

Ranking the first 5

WIP Wednesday: Sabbatical Edition

Now that my swap piece is finished, I'm going to take a break from stitching. I've lost both my motivation and inspiration, so what better time to take a break. I'm going to try not to think about stitching at all for at least a month and hope that some great ideas will come to me and make me want to stitch again.

In the meantime, I'm going to try knitting and make my Christmas cards. I wasn't planning on making Christmas cards this year, but I came across a great idea, so handmade cards it is! My mom will be so proud.

Friday Five

In honor of 11-11-11, here are 11 of my favorite track 11's

  1. If We Can Land a Man on the Moon, Surely I Can Win Your Heart- Beulah (When Your Heartstrings Break)
  2. Keep Together- The Brand New Heavies (Brother Sister)
  3. 89 Days of Alcatraz- Emm Gryner (Public)
  4. Merica- Live (Secret Samadhi)
  5. Daughters of Sorrow- New Pornographers (Together)
  6. Better Man- Pearl Jam (Vitalogy)
  7. Dry- PJ Harvey (Rid of Me)
  8. A Punchup at a Wedding- Radiohead (Hail to the Thief)
  9. U Should Know Better- Robyn (Body Talk)
  10. Nobody Gets Me But You- Spoon (Transference)
  11. Forget- Twin Shadow (Forget)

Stitch Story: Contest Prize

Back in September I had a contest for my birthday. The prize was a cross stitched piece made custom for the winner. The winner, Lynn, was subjected to a bunch of questions from me so I could figure out what to make for her. Some of the things she mentioned that I really gravitated toward were Oscar Wilde, the Victorian era, and her favorite colors (orange, yellow, purple). The colors really reminded me of fall and in particular some scrapbook paper I have. So the color palate was taken care of before anything else.

Oscar Wilde quote

I'd never read anything by Oscar Wilde before, so I spent some time looking up quotes and downloading things for my Kindle. The quote I originally wanted to stitch was "It is only the modern that ever becomes old fashioned", which I thought would be fun to stitch since needlework is generally considered old fashioned. Unfortunately the quote was just too long, so I went with something shorter (and probably way more common). The pattern is adapted from one I found at the Antique Pattern Library.

When I finished the pattern, I wasn't really happy with the way I used the colors, so I decided to stitch something else and really focus on that.

Fall Medallion

The medallion is from the same pattern as the one I adapted for the Shaun of the Dead piece. It's from 1826, so not quite the Victorian era and the pattern is Danish rather than British, so I'll file that under close, but not quite.

WIP Wednesday: Concrete Edition

Here's a very early progress picture of my swap piece. It's probably 2-3 days away from being complete. It's been a great piece to work on while watching football.

wip-stm

I'll have some pictures of completed stitches to show tomorrow. Yay!

Friday Five

Right now I'm reading Are We Not New Wave?, which is all about new wave in the late 70s to mid 80s. It's a pretty interesting read for someone like me who is a big fan of music from that time. The author goes pretty in depth in analyzing certain songs, which creates a sort of playlist to go along with the book. Some of the songs covered:

  • Just What I Needed- The Cars
  • Rock Lobster- The B-52s (a song I really hate)
  • Planet Claire- The B-52s
  • Uncontrollable Urge- Devo
  • Cars- Gary Numan

WIP Wednesday: Unprepared Editon

Shock of all shocks, it took me longer to finish my swap pattern than I thought. I finally finished it the other day and when I went to choose the specific colors I need, I noticed that I don't have them. Then I wondered if I even had the fabric I needed for the project as well. It was a good 10 minutes of head shaking and facepalming. But it turned out I did have the fabric I need so all I have to do is pick up a few colors and I'll be ready to rock 'n roll. I only feel a little stupid for not having the colors considering I was at 4 different craft stores only last week.

I swear by next week I will have my act together and there will be progress to show.