Designing for Darby Smart

I’m excited to share with you that I was accepted as a designer for Darby Smart. What this means is that I’ll be designing crafting kits that may later be available for purchase through darbysmart.com. I ordered some materials: vibrant geode fabrics, soft t-shirt yarn and an embroidery stencil that are on the way right now.

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I’m also participating in a contest to win $5K for a complete living room re-do. If I win I’ll be creating many small projects to revitalize any old living room that’s been turned into a TV-srhine.

If you’re checking out the site, why not use my handy link: http://bit.ly/VGX9xI   (Click Esc to close the login popup)

It will give me an extra entry to the contest and who knows,it might be all difference!

Thanks!

Laura

Thrift Shopping in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Like most people, I only knew Idaho for its potatoes. After a weekend visit to Coeur d’Alene, I will always remember the area for its amazing & numerous thrift shops. Read on for a summary of thrift stores visited and what made them special.

Wigget’s Marketplace – Holy mother of Antique malls! This place was so big I had to visit twice. Two and a half floors full of vintage goodness gave me plenty of opportunities to find treasures, and that’s just what I got! On my first visit, I grabbed a 1970s time-life book from the Old West series, focusing on the Indians. On my second visit I scored both of Moebius Silver Surfer comics: my life is complete.

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My first pair of Marvel comics! (Wigget’s Marketplace)

Continue reading “Thrift Shopping in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho”

La Danza de la Realidad (Bilingual movie review)

Last Friday I watched Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Dance of Reality at the Grand Illusion Cinema and ,after getting married, its probably the coolest thing I’ve experienced this year. The Grand Illusion is a quaint independent theater located in the Seattle U District, across the street from a Caribbean kitchen. It features one movie room,  a small popcorn machine, waiting room, and shares a bathroom with a (vacant) cafe next door. The theater itself seats about 60 people comfortably…and thankfully does not overdo it on the AC. To echo what another guest said: “Its nice to not be f***** freezing at the movies.”  Also, at $8 a ticket…this is the best movie deal in town!

The Dance itself was mesmerizing from beginning to end. A fantasized re-telling of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s childhood in Tocopilla, Chile, this movie also explores what it means to be alive and what it means to be yourself.  Without spoiling too much, I can guarantee that you will laugh, cry, be shocked and be comforted. For those that have watched it:  the church/chair scene had me sobbing, followed by uncontrollable laughter. The soundtrack by Adanowsky is enchanting and sets the tone perfectly for an evening of magic and wonder. I can almost hear the trailer music (linked below) in the back of my head whenever I go into deep thought. As a fan of Jodorowsky, this movie met and exceeded my expectations: Jodorowsky’s psychomagic tips, the love for symbolism and strong storytelling were all there.  My husband, who came into the movie with as little context as possible, has already called it one of his favorite movies of all time.

Like The Little Prince and Proust’s Questionnaire ….the Dance of Reality should be watched repeatedly, at different points in your life. Your reactions to each scene will tell you more about yourself than what’s going on on-screen.

The Grand Illusion Cinema will continue showing the Dance of Reality while there is still interest….so get yourself there and have a surreal time!

 

 

Continue reading “La Danza de la Realidad (Bilingual movie review)”

Nutella Latte: Your new best friend

I shared this with my facebook friends last week, and boy….PEOPLE LIKE NUTELLA! So I figured I’d share it with my blog friends as well. I present to you, a Nutella latte. Yes, its everything you’ve ever dreamed of. Yes, it tastes like dreams and romantic walks down a moonlit street.

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I found this nutella latte while lunching with friends at Tutta Bella (WA state italian restaurant). If you dont have one nearby, you can find dozens of  recipes online. This recipe from Pretty and Fun seems simple enough and true to what I tasted.

What’s your favorite Nutella treat? Would order anything as long as it has Nutella on its name?

Have a sweet day!

-L.C.

 

DIY T-shirt resizing

What do you do with a shirt that’s too large? Sleep in it? Heck no! You fix that bad boy and wear it proudly. When people tell you how well your t shirt fits you can smile with the knowledge that you fixed it yourself.

Keep reading for a simple tutorial on how to size down a large shirt. ???????????

Materials:

1 shirt to be sized down

1 shirt that fits you well (No, you wont have to destroy it! 🙂 )

thread in color similar to shirt

sewing machine or sewing needle

Tailor’s chalk pencil or  water soluble color pencil

scissors

pins

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Steps:

1. Lay down your Extra large shirt on a flat surface and place the shirt that fits well on top. Notice how much is going to be cut on the sides and (optionally) under the sleeves.

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2.Turn both shirts inside out and pin them against a flat surface, larger shirt on the bottom. (I used a flattened cardboard box covered in cloth, but this optional.) Make sure that you align the shirts from the shoulders and the sleeves are extended.

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3. With a color pencil or tailors chalk pencil mark the outline of the top shirt on the bottom shirt. You can outline the bottom of the shirt but in my case I chose to keep the shirts original length (so no cuts were made at the bottom). Keeping the original bottom of the shirt will also help you line up the sides and keep that nice fold of the bottom.

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4.Remove the top shirt and fix any lines in the outline. Once you’re happy with the outline start pinning along the line you just made.

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5. At this point I suggest carefully turning the shirt right side out and checking that any designs on the front and back of the shirt are aligned correctly. After checking, turn the shirt inside out again and check your lines one last time.

6. You’re ready to cut the extra cloth on the sides. Take a deep breath and starting from the bottom,  cut the sides away. (Optional) If the sleeves are too big, cut them off the torso and remove any extra cloth under the sleeve.

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7. With a sewing machine or by hand sewing, sew along both sides of the shirt, remembering to stop once you reach the sleeves.

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8. When the torso is sewn back together , try the shirt on and see how it fits. If you didn’t cut out the sleeves you would be done at this step.  If you cut out the sleeves and like it sleeveless, you’re also done!???????????

9.  (Optional)If the neckline or design of the shirt is too low, you can cut the seam at the shoulder and remove some fabric. I only removed about two inches from the front and sewed the shoulders back together. This left a little bunching on the back of my arm,but I can live with it.

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10. When the torso of the shirt is complete you can sew back any sleeves you’ve cut off. Align them from the shoulders and remember not to sew the sleeves shut! Tip: Look between the sleeve and torso for any holes and sew them shut as well.

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11. Cut away any extra fabric at the seams and any loose string.

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And that’s it. Remember that you don’t need to do all this at once. You can trim the width, lengths, or sleeves of any t-shirt and see how you like the new fit. Once you try this you’ll wonder why you ever wore a shirt that was too large for you.

 

Peace out!

L.C.

 

Redmond’s Mice Overlords: Recipe for Love

This weekend delivered more rain than I’ve probably seen all year. So naturally, I wanted to be outside.   Despite the rain I had a fantastic encounter with Lucia Neare’s Theatrical Wonders production Recipe for Love.

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Imagine an outdoor interactive play where its not just the audience participating, but also the town itself. Even though it was pouring , dozens of people gathered around a maypole and enjoyed a musical about the ingredients for the recipe of love. The color pink stood out: pink cake ladies, a pink may pole and many guests dressed in pink.

What followed was an adorable musical of baking mice and living cake people…And as a baker, it made me realize there is such a thing as being a baking geek.

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At the end of the play, five GRAND GOLDEN EGGS (really, there is no other way to describe them) were rolled to center of the park. The ringmaster/baking mouse professor then instructed the audience to:

“FIND THE NEAREST EGG….POINT TO THE EGG…..NOW YELL: ‘THAT IS MY EGG!’  “

Seriously, we were all yelling “That is my egg! That is my egg!”.

“NOW, FOLLOW YOUR EGG!”

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And we did. We , as in all 300 of us, went in five different directions and marched after our eggs. I’m pretty sure I lost track of “my egg” and ended up following someone else’s. Throughout it all, we were joined by jazz bands, trycycle riding mice and of course…

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Traffic-directing bunnies. I know. It’s adorable. And bizarre.

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Keep in mind, it was raining during most of this adventure. The fact that no one seemed to care it was raining only added to the uniqueness of what was going on.

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So we all walked and laughed and waved at people in apartments. I saw a very classy man sipping on martini as he watched us from a balcony. It felt like a wet Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It was fabulous.

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At the end of the “Promenade” we all gathered at the maypole and yup, we danced. I kept stopping to think every once in a while and say to myself “It’s raining. I’m dancing in the rain around a maypole and holding hands with a stranger dressed as a baker. This is normal.” Again, I love it.

Once the maypole dance ended the “baking professor mouse” said we could go to the Cake Library. Let me stop you right there. Read carefully….Cake Library. This, ladies and gentleman is now my favorite thing in the world. We need to make cake libraries a thing! Leave a cake, eat a cake!

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So we ran to the cake library (a.k.a. City Hall) and ,let me tell you, I think there were more people than they expected. Cake Library was self serve, so it takes a while for 300 people to pick a cake and slice it. I was able to grab three cupcakes for me and my companions and run home. It was a great day of bizarre fun.

-L.C.

 

 

 

Tiny Death Star – Managing space stations is fun!

I first downloaded Tiny Death Star (or T.S.D. as I’m going to call it) months ago when I first saw the adorably pixellated rebels and minions of the empire. When I realized it was a Tiny Tower type game I put it aside because I thought that at my age I was over these types of games. I was wrong. Very wrong.

During a five-hour flights back from Puerto Rico, I turned on T.D.S. and fell into a pit of addiction that I’ll never crawl out of, I hope. Playing T.D.S. is addictive but still fits nicely into my schedule. You work for Darth Vader and ensure that the Death Star is a never-ending tower of progress. My favorite thing to do is evict unskilled bitizens and put more talented people in their place. BWAHAHAHA!  The lack of feeling of responsibility is liberating!

There are some minor bugs that I’ve run into, but these are surpassed by my love for this game. Read on for adorable pixellated capitalism and some commentary on the game…

Continue reading “Tiny Death Star – Managing space stations is fun!”

Russian Join Tutorial

This week I learned a fantastic method to join yarn that I’d like to share with you. It looks intimidating but  it’s not as hard as it looks. I suggest you try it out the minute you need to join two strands of yarn. I promise, you will thank yourself later for learning how to join yarn this way. The results are so clean your two ends of yarn will look like a continuous strand.

    Materials needed:

  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Embroidery needle
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Note on embroidery needles: Make sure the needle is large enough to thread the yarn into it, but small enough for the needle itself to fit inside the yarn.

1. Find yourself needing to join to strands of yarn. I’m using brown and cream for a funky blanket I’m making, more on that later.

2. Thread the yarn into the needle (I use the technique in this video), leaving an end of around 4 inches. You can leave less at the end, but it will be harder to maneuver the needle.

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3. **Fun begins here** Insert the needle inside the yarn for about two inches, making sure you don’t lose the loop at the end. Tip: Stick a pencil or a crochet hook inside the loop so you don’t have to worry about the loop disappearing.

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4. Once the needle is wrapped by the yarn, pull the needle out the other end and take out the loose end. See how that pencil/hook is doing its job so nicely?

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5. Thread your second piece of yarn into the needle, again leaving around 4 inches at the end.

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6. Take out the pencil/hook  from the loop you made with the first yarn, and thread the needle (with the new yarn) through the loop.

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7. Repeat step 3, inserting the needle inside the yarn. This time you don’t need to worry about the loop because its being held in place by the first loop you made.

8. Once your needle is wrapped by yarn, pull the needle and the end of the yarn out.

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9. Examine the joined yarn  and start pulling from each end. If you did it right your two pieces of yarn will be safely joined and wont budge. You can snip off any extra yarn that is poking out but be careful not to undo your hard work.

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And that’s it! This gets much easier the more you practice, so I recommend  you practice this as much as you can. Joining yarn this way will help you avoid many loose ends to work on.

Have you discovered any interesting techniques to join yarn or change colors?

 

P.S. – I have no idea why this is called a Russian Join. I can only assume this bit of genius originated amongst Russian crafters. 🙂

Peace out,

L.C.

Christmas cake

This Christmas I went back to my awesome Nordic Ware tree cake pan and made a chocolate orange cake based on this recipe. I skipped the glaze to try and cut back on the sugar, but the cake turned out a bit dry. It went great with ice cream, so no complains here.

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Next time I’ll try and get a more moist cake but for now its a great desert.

Bonus!

New camera acquired. Thank you santa and/or baby jesus! I shall take pictures of things like never before.

Reyes Magos Polycrafter

…Like these mini Tres Reyes Magos adorning my tree!