Friday, January 25, 2013

Custom Cut Wedding Card

My brother attended a friend's wedding recently, and since I was obnoxiously prancing around the house bragging about how amazing my new cutting machine was, he asked me to make a card for him.  His request was only that it include the Bible verse of his choice. Challenge accepted.

So I took a look at their pretty green invitation (which I forgot to take a picture of..) and set out to cut a custom card on the silhouette.
The heart motifs were taken from their invitation, and other than the verse not cutting out completely clean, it came out pretty well!
I think the problem was the linen paper. Although I love using it for it's beautiful texture, it's probably harder to cut through than regular cardstock. Maybe I'd have better luck using a fabric blade?

I figure it's still readable, so all good, yeah? I'm sure the gift my brother stuck inside makes up for any cutting inadequacies anyway! Haha!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

DIY Little Link Cosplay

My old college roomie is both a Zelda fan and has two twin boys, so what better cosplay for her kids than Link?  Of course, I had to get her permission on the whole sword-weapon thing first of course. ;)

I bought two foam swords from Daiso, but they had cutlass hilts instead of the plain sword hilt that Link uses. A little scissor modification and it looks pretty good, yeah?
After & Before
Clang Clang!
 Since I didn't think it'd be cool to fight over who gets to be green-Link, I opted for red and blue Links.

I made the hat by first making a big isosceles triangle pattern from some newspaper, and then cutting out and sewing two triangles from fleece.
 Then I screenprinted shirts using freezer paper just as I did for Pretzel's onesie.
Cute cute! They could also double as gnome costumes if you can get the hat to stand up straight, haha!

My friend said her husband asked why I didn't make him one too. @_@  Though I'm thinking they should totally go as family-Zelda for Halloween. She'd make a gorgeous Zelda, dad can be green Link with two mini Links, how cute would that be?!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Butter Mochi

One of my favorite island treats would definitely be butter mochi. It's like mochi, only not as sticky and fifty million times better. It's similar to my other favorite, bibingka malagkit, and takes less effort to prepare.

They sell it at most stores in Hawaii, so when I got home I had to make my own to curb the cravings. >.>"

Butter Mochi (adapted from allrecipes with help from my church cookbook)

1 box of Mochiko (sweet rice flour)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
5 eggs
12 oz. can of coconut milk (don't confuse it with coconut cream!)
coconut flakes or shreds (to spread on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dry ingredients - sugar, mochiko and baking powder together. Mix wet ingredients - butter, vanilla, milk, eggs, and coconut milk. Stir in the dry mix to the wet.
 Pour into a greased/floured or parchment lined 9x13" pan. Sprinkly dried coconut on top.
Bake for about an hour, I think mine was in for an hour and ten minutes, until the top looks nice and toasty.  You may want to put a tray underneath the rack, because mine bubbled over a little. It will "deflate" once you take it out though.
Cool/chill until it's fully set. It tastes better the second day, but you don't have to wait until then ;)

Sak isn't a huge coconut fan, so he scrapes the crust of the top. The coconut milk inside is much more subtle, so that doesn't bother him. I like it all! Which is unfortunate, cause this thing is pretty fatty with the coconut and butter. Haha.

Anyway, it's a great dessert for bringing to potlucks, since it's served at room temp and holds up well. Or you could just eat the whole tray yourself. If you don't judge I won't either ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weddingbee Ornament Swap 2012

For the annual blogger bee ornament exchange, I drew Candy Apple's name and breathed the sigh of relief that comes with picking a straightforward icon! I always feel bad for people that draw my name (sewing machine) since it's so complex, but every year I've been amazed at how awesome they look! (Special thanks to Sushi for this year's ornament!)

Anyway, here's my apple:
It's a small ball of foil covered in red sparkly fimo clay.  I added a metal hook on the back for ornament hanging, and punched a hole for the small wooden dowel.
After it baked, I painted the bite mark with acrylic paint, glued the dowel in, and dipped the whole thing (just like a real apple!) into polyurethane for coating.

Then, I had immense cravings for a real candied apple. Sticky and sweet!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY Fleece Blanket

Okay, easiest sewing project ever! And everyone loves a good fleece blanket, right?

Lay out 2 yards of your favorite fleece. I bought USC fabric from Joann's website for my brother-in-law.  They have all sorts of different school and major league team fabric, it's pretty cool.
Place another 2 yard piece of fleece on top, right side facing down. I choose a plain, coordinating yellow since fleece was 50% off at the store. Cut off any excess so that the two sheets are the same size.
Pin them together and sew around the whole shape, leaving a small hole to flip the blanket inside out. Flip the blanket and sew the hole you made closed.
Lastly, go back over the entire blanket edge with a simple straight stitch to make the edges look a little crisper.
All done!

I have one with penguins on it that my grandmother made me years ago, and it's still one of my most comfy blankets. And though I wish I could say that BIL loved his school-spirited fleece, he just left it in Hawaii. :( Apparently someone else had already made him a very similar blanket before. Fail! Next year we're just going to give him a giftcard.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Portuguese Bean Soup

At the New Year's party, one of Sak's aunts made Portuguese bean soup that I totally fell in love with.  Apparently it's not really a Portuguese dish though, more like a Portuguese dish that Hawaii took and made their own. Which is always good, cause Hawaiian food rocks.
Well, when I got home I ran to the church cookbook to see if there was a recipe. Nope. So I looked in this Hawaii cookbook (What Hawai'i Likes to Eat) my brother got me a year ago, compiled by the local newspaper:
It was there! Yay!  I looked for the recipe online but couldn't find it to share.  This one, however, is very similar (Just the number of potatoes and carrots are different and they used more sausage than ham hocks.)

Anyway, I'd never worked with ham hocks before. They are kinda crazy. I dunked two of them in a stock pot along with my Portuguese sausage (aka linguica, or you can use chorizo) , covered them with water and cooked them on low for about two hours.
Take the hocks out and cut the meat off, discarding the bones and cartilage. This was ridiculously hard so I'm pretty sure I did it wrong. :P  Anyway, put the meat back in, along with stew veggies:
And cabbage:
After the veggies are softish, check your water level. I took a couple cups of water since it looked a bit too watery. Make it the consistency you would like!

Next add beans and tomato sauce.  Not pictured was also a can of stewed tomatoes I threw in last minute as well.
All done! Add salt and pepper to taste.
The ham hock meat is so delicious, and I love the cabbage and stewed tomatoes. I think maybe it could've used a third can of kidney beans, but Sak disagrees since he's not a huge bean fan. It was even better the next day after everything soaked up nicely.
Yum. Soup is always the perfect freezing-cold-day solution!

Monday, January 14, 2013

DIY Cut-Out Les Miserables Folder

My family draws names for Christmas, and since I got my musical-theater-loving/soon-to-be English major cousin, I thought a Les Miserables theme would be fun.

One of the best parts about the silhouette is that it cuts any font on your computer. SO nice.

I glued in a sheet of tracing paper behind the cut-out for a little stability.
I love how delicate the letters are. The font is called Channel and is free from
Sak designed the back to be interlockable. I put movie tickets inside. :)

To go with the tickets, I bought a Penguin Classics hardback edition of Les Miserables from Amazon. The book is like a bajillion pages! I love the gorgeous linen covers on the Penguin Classics. If I could, I'd have a whole library collection of them!
Unfortunately, she already HAD the book! Hopefully mine is prettier though so she'll keep it, haha.
Anyway, the day after Christmas a whole bunch of us went to watch the movie. I had not seen the musical before, (had only played some of the music in band) so I did not know the characters or plot.

I didn't like it. It was too sad! Everybody dies! :P  In general, my philosophy is to avoid fictional sad things because real life sad things are sad enough. Not that the French uprisings were fictional, but you get my meaning? So I doubt I will see the musical or movie again anytime soon. I still love the music though!

Have you see Les Mis yet? Did you cry?

Monday, January 7, 2013

DIY Zelda and Pug Onesies

Two of my most-precious-friend-bee-ladies, Pug and Pretzel, are expecting, and I am super excited for both of them! So excited in fact, that I just had to get a bunch of baby clothes to customize. Which may or may not have freaked Sak out to one day come home to see a bunch of onesies around the house.

Although I have a yudu that screenprints excellently, I wanted to try the freezer paper method with the silhouette cameo.  The yudu is best for making large quantities of the same print, while freezer paper is a much quicker way of doing a single print at a time.

Scan in a pug drawing, adjust cut lines in the silhouette program, and cut out freezer paper!
Iron freezer paper to onesie, and screenprint. You could just dab paint on, but I used my yudu screen and applied the ink through the mesh for -sorta- more even application. It's not quite perfect because onesies are kinda made with stretchy ribbed fabric.
I used speedball fabric ink, which according to the webby is non-toxic and non-flammable. That's good.

Tear the paper off carefully, and all done!
Pugs are very hard to draw. Hopefully this looks sorta like one.
And the Zelda onesies:
I'm so pleased with how the opaque yellow came out, it almost looks gold!

Now I shall commence more squealing at the thought of cute babies filling little baby clothes. *squeeee*

Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY Dr. Who Stationery

Get new toy. Check.

 Stretch said toy to the limit with intricate Dr. Who cut-out designs. Check.
Tardis stationery!
Simplified gallifreyan stationery.
You don't know how hard it was to pull this off the sticky mat without tearing. Oogh.
Red dots for the Daleks, though I think this one is a little too busy!

Get all kinds of crap stuck in the cutting blade. And on the mat. Check.

We made two sets of stationery for two of our Doctor loving cousins. This was a great way for us to learn the limits of the machine, settings, and efficient ways to design the images in the software.  We've still got some kinks to work out though (mainly stopping the blade from tearing out the small bits), but the learning curve for the silhouette isn't as bad as I thought it might be.  The best part is that once you have a design made, you just save it and bam! print out custom stationery whenever you feel like it.

Oh yes. I predict a long and loving and sometimes frustrating relationship with you, mr. cutty tool machine.