Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby's got a brand new bag

Earlier this month in what was probably a temporary lapse in self-loathing, I decided that I was going to make some things to list in my Etsy store and get enough merchandise together to sell at a winery event/craft fair.  But probably a winery event so even if I ended up as  a creature driven and derided by my own vanity, it would be pretty easy to drink away my anger and anguish.

Hence the soap.  Also: wine bags.

This bizarre fit of self-confidence has been quickly followed by wondering how exactly I'm going to make enough stuff to sell and does it even matter since my brand is basically "stuff I thought was a good idea at the time (and also Pokemon)."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Soap's on

Step 1: Go down the pub
Step 2: Get free postcards.
Step 3: Cut up postcards to fit your soap molds.
Step 4: Put postcard pieces face down in the bottom of the mold.
Step 5: Pour clear glycerin soap over the center of your postcard piece.

For the rectangular mold I've got, I thought using a scrapbooking corner rounder would help with the fit, but I have since learned that an exact fit means it won't work--you want room for the object to float so you get full coverage.

And even if you do have room, sometimes you still end up with fail-soap.  But in my defense, trading card soap would be one of my most awesome, lazy craft ideas if I could actually get it to work.

Also, Hobby Lobby's brand of glycerin soap base is now on my shit list.  It's cheaper than the brand Michael's carries, but that's probably because HL's brand turned out cloudy/murky.

 Finished postcard soaps made with Michaels' clear glycerin base (with free lens flare!)

Drink like a fish soaps made using Hobby Lobby's glycerin soap base.  Guess I should've prayed harder.  I'm going to try using a little bit of color, but I'm worried about how that might look with some of the fish.

Monday, July 11, 2011

In Soviet Russia, Pikachu Chooses You!

First things first: don't forget to get your free Slurpee today!  And don't let them trick you into buying anything else.

Second things second: I have finally used up all of my radioactive yellow fabric.  Because of what I'd like to think of as imaginative counting, I ended up with two differently sized squares.  Which means that only one of these Pikachus is capable of love.

After staring at hand-stitched Pikachu (which is really a bleak moment in one's wasted life), I decided it wouldn't look right without the stripes.  Which are actually brown, but I thought that a limited palette would be more aesthetically pleasing.  Because true artists take those things into consideration when stitching Pikachu.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


So, I saw these beautiful chocolate covered strawberries that are actually cake.  And I thought, "I can make these for my dear friend's birthday.  And everyone will look at my stupid dessert thing and worship me as a god!  A god, I say!"

After I finished laughing maniacally, I hit obstacle #1: no red velvet cake mix at the Kroger.  Using my enormous brain, I decided that I could just use strawberry cake and strawberry frosting.  I returned home, confident and full of hubris, to bake my cake.

In theory, cake pops are made by crumbling up cake and then mixing it with frosting.  It's easiest to mix it by hand, so this stage is wretchedly disgusting.

Instead of rolling my future cake pops into balls, I made strawberry shapes of varying competence before shoving them in the fridge.

My friends, cake pops are a lie.  They taunt you with their smooth, candy-coated surfaces and their charming details.  But man was not meant to dip wads of cake in candy!  I was like Icarus, flying higher and higher until the Sun melted my candy into twisted, deformed shapes.

A lesser person would have given up in despair.  She would have gnashed her teeth and torn out her hair.  I rebranded.

If I couldn't make beautiful fake strawberries, I'd bring the chum bucket.  Which I decided was totally appropriate since it was a beach themed party.

Even my greedy, gluttonous family was not enthusiastic about eating from the chum bucket for some reason.

Yesterday, like Icarus dragging his zombie corpse out of the sea, I decided it was time to try another cake pops related craft.  Since this one involved chocolate, I assumed it would be easier to trick people into eating it.

First saw the idea on Bakerella's site, but Google spits out a few other versions.

What you need:

  • Package of Store brand chocolate sandwich cookies (unless you've got Oreos money)
  • 8 oz of Neufchatel cheese (I figured it'd be okay to use instead of cream cheese since there was a picture of cheesecake on the box), softened
  • Chocolate candy melts
  • Wax paper
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large ziploc bag and rolling pin
All the other recipes seem to assume that everybody has a food processor.  Well, I don't live in The Sims, John D. Rockefeller!  For the rest of us poor bastards, put the cookies in the ziploc bag and crush them with the rolling pin.  You can also try hitting them or hand crushing them.  After they're in chunks you can kind of use a potato masher for further mashing.  Apparently you're supposed to set aside 7-9 cookies, but I assume that's only if you want to eat them.

Once the cookies are crushed into a fine powder (or, you know, close enough), add in the Neufchatel/cream cheese.  Attempt to stir it with a spoon, then a knife, then just use your hands.  Ideally you put wax paper on a flat, movable surface (like a cookie sheet) before you shoved your hands in the mixing bowl.  When your heart tells you it's ready, roll the dough into little balls and place them on your flat, movable surface.  Put your balls in the fridge and have some wine.  Let chill until you're slightly buzzed.

Melt the chocolate--if it's Wilton Candy Melts or the kind they sell at Ben Franklin, 45 seconds for the first time through the microwave, stir, then 30 seconds each time until they're melted.

I found it much easier to take a spoonful of chocolate and drip it/smooth it over my balls.  You don't get full coverage, but...well, the chum bucket was the result of dipping.

After coating your balls in chocolate, put them back in the fridge.  Have some more wine--you've earned it.  After the chocolate hardens, you can move your balls if your flat, movable surface takes up too much space.