L-O-V-E's gonna be the death of me

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The other day I tried to figure out the last time I was truly single on Valentine's Day. I actually couldn't. I think I was single the second semester of Sophomore year of high school, so I'm going with that. Last time I was single on Valentine's Day, I was sixteen and it was 2002. I probably had purple hair and some flared jeans from Express.

Maybe this is why I'm not one of those vehemently bitter anti-Valentine's folks. The truth is, I kind of like Valentine's. I like giving presents. I like getting presents. I like an excuse to make somebody I love something sweet. I think often we forget to make time to celebrate a successful relationship, to tell each other we still think they're incredibly special and amazing. Plus, sometimes all that silly cheesy hearts and flowers stuff is just fun to indulge in.

All that being said, I'm really not sad that I don't have someone to share the day with. I kind of feel like I've been on some sort of epic rebound the last two years. I think I've been dating boys nothing like Jacob not because it didn't work but because of all the ways our relationship did work. When I broke up with Jacob, I broke up with my best friend and it really fucking sucked. It still kind of does. When just my type boy and I finally kissed, it hit me over a head like a ton of bricks. Oh right, this, this is what I want. To be with someone with whom things are easy, who I have absolutely no problem talking to, who makes me feel good about myself, who I have common interests with, who likes learning about my interests and sharing their's; someone who truly is my friend.

I was a little worried that the kissing would ruin the friendship, that me moving across country would turn into something dramatic, but instead I still got to eat dinner with his family, watch bad late night movies, play Scrabble AND we went on a couple of dates. Instead of trying to convince me to stay, he encouraged me to go and made sure we had a way to still play Scrabble via Words with Friends. For a couple of weeks, he reminded me what a good relationship could be. And far from it making me hung up on a boy now on the other side of the country, I think it helped me leave California without any regrets, with an even clearer idea of what I want in my next relationship and hopefully, to take my time with whatever (or who ever) happens next.

I'm single this Valentine's Day and while I'm not swearing off men, unless I find one that's willing to talk Project Runway, video games and food and agrees that most public art is hideous, these pants just might be staying on for a while.

It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake

December 6 – Make.

The last thing I made is always food. Last night I pan fried a pork picnic steak (my CSA likes to give me cuts of meat I've never heard of before) that had been rubbed in a vindaloo spice mix and cayenne pepper. We ate it with butternut squash soup that I made a few days ago which had been made with chicken broth that I had frozen a few weeks ago after making it from the carcass of a chicken I had roasted. That's just how we roll around here.

Tomorrow we're getting our Christmas tree and I plan to spend the day decorating and making candy for Christmas care packages I'll be sending out.

**Spoiler alert: If I told you you might be getting a surprise sent your way don't read this next bit**

I'm going to be making a maple bacon toffee, adapted from this recipe over here, some peppermint marshmallows (a variation on this), whiskey caramels and fudge. A caramel and fudge recipe as well as a maple toffee recipe may make it up onto Butter is Love, but no promises. I still need to get a bunch of butter and then some sort of nifty packaging for everything. I'm hoping to find some sort of shiny pretty chinese take out boxes. We'll see. I'll probably update this post with some pictures when I'm done.

How To: Shrink Art Jewelry

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 So a while ago I wrote about how awesome shrinky dinks are. One of the things I made during my pre holiday shrinky dink extravaganza was a Unitarian bot for my roommate Lara. (She'd wanted a robot necklace for a while and I didn't want her to have to choose between reppin' the UUism and a robot) Ever since, I've been jealous and wanting my own baker bot. So today I finally sat down and made my own and took pictures along the way to create a basic working with shrinky dink tutorial (in case you maybe haven't worked in the medium for say... 20 years). The advanced techniques shown here certainly don't need to be limited to making robot jewelry but I think everybody probably could use a robot representation of themselves... so go for it!

Things You'll Need:

  • Shrinky Dink Plastic
  • Colored Sharpies
  • Scissors
  • Clasps, rings, pin backs, earing hooks... whatever you need for the type of jewelry you'r making
  • Pencil and Paper for sketching your design
  • Cookie sheet
  • Oven
  • Standard hole punch

Preheat oven to 325˚F

P1000579 First off, draw your pattern. It's going to shrink to about ⅓ the original size, so you can start off pretty big. I drew Baker Bot on an index card. Sure, you could draw directly onto the plastic but drawing usually involves erasing everything 50 times for me, so I draw on a seperate sheet first.

P1000581 Place the plastic sheet over your drawing, rough side up and trace over your initial drawing in the color of your choice. I usually use a fine point black sharpie.

P1000582 Color it in! Don't worry about covering up some of the lines, this is going to be the back of your piece.

P1000584 See? This is what baker bot looks like from the front. Notice the flames for eyes... she can bake a pizza just by looking at it!

P1000588 Cut around, as close to the edges as you want. I decided to punch a whole right in her hat but you could also cut out a tab at the top in which to punch a hole. Make sure not to punch the whole too close to any edges or the plastic will just shrink into non existence and you'll be left with a weird dip or a not structurally sound piece (ask me how I know...). Place it rough side up on a piece of thin cardboard on top of a cookie sheet.

P1000592 Stick it in the oven for 2-3 minutes. It's going to curl up as it shrinks and then magically uncurl.

P1000593 Even if rolls over onto its side, don't be concerned! It's magical!

P1000594 When it has flattened back out pull it out of the oven! You can continue baking it if you want the colors to darken. If it's not completely flat, use another cookie sheet or a pyrex pan to flatten it out.

P1000596 Woo! Look how much finished baker bot shrank!

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P1000615 Attach a ring and put it on a chain or cord, attach it to an earring (you might want to make 2 for that plan) or use super glue to attach a pin back.

Complicated, I know.

Remember Shrinky Dinks?

It turns out shrinky dink is still awesome when you're an adult. For my birthday last January my aunt gave me a "Shrink Art Jewelry" Klutz book. The pictures in it look awesome but I figure there was no way mine would turn out as well. Today I decided to try out making some to make some Christmas presents and they turned out really really well. About a million times better than I expected. The book comes with a whole helluva lot of patterns, pictures and designs for you to trace as well as some of the things needed to assemble jewelry (so far the only thing I've bought are pin backs). The patterns help a lot for me because drawing is not really my strong suit. If you're pretty swell at making your own designs than I highly recommend buying some shrinky dink plastic and giving it a try.

 

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My Peacock Costume

Img_0226_2 So here's my how to for making my AWESOME and fairly easy peacock costume.

All you need is a leotard, a tutu, about 25 (or more) peacock feathers, thread and rhinestones.

I also found a premade thing of feathers on a stick to use in my hair at the craft store but you could make your own with some more peacock feathers and flexible wire probably.

Img_0227 I started to attach the feathers by making a single stitch through the feather and the waistband of the tutu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Img_0233Then I stitched around and into the waistband to secure the feather.

Img_0236_2 I attached eight feathers around initially to give me an idea of how to space it evenly.

Dsc02686 This is how full it was with 25ish feathers. If I had had more money and inclination I probably would've used more but I think it was a pretty good amount to start with. Next year I'll probably add some more to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There isn't a picture, but I glued rhinestones over the stitching to cover it up and add a little sparkle. In truth, they're barely noticeable.

And the completed look:
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I used Special Effects fishbowl and blue velvet to dye my hair.
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My eye makeup all came from Target. I just tried to find the colors that best matched the colors in a peacock feather.
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Not the most flattering picture but the best to see my cool head feathers and my friend Elise's fantastic cardinal costume to give you some more bird costume inspiration.

How To Make Your New MacBook as Awesome as Mine

Dsc02592_2So this is what your MacBook looks like now. Sure, it's pretty enough- it sure looks a lot fancier and sleeker than my PowerBook G4 (Oh how I will not miss you PowerBook and your panther running, non-iphone compatible, Outland hating ways) but it's just not quite jazzy enough. It needs to say, "Not only am I hipper than you, I am also craftier and more ironic". The solution to this problem is rhinestones.

Yes, rhinestones.

Dsc02591 Purchase your desired rhinestones and some rhinestone glue at your craft store of choice.

Dsc02588 Empty the rhinestones into a shallow container that will be easy to get them out of.

Dsc02593 Spread a thin layer of glue over the apple

Dsc02609 Use the tip of your finger to pick up rhinestones and push them into place around the outside of the apple.
(Yeah, this is a different computer- Lara needed to awesome up her new work laptop)

Dsc02595 I've found the easiest way to keep a good apple shape is to work in circles (apples?) from the outside in.

Dsc02600 Fill in the rest of the apple

Dsc02603 Then do the same for the leaf

Et Voila: 
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Or:
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