Thursday, December 20, 2012

berry + toasted rice white chocolate bark recipe

i thought of this festive looking white chocolate bark mixture a couple weeks ago, while i was taking a long walk on the beach.  there are still/only four days until christmas, but it is definitely not too late to make a batch of this berry + toasted rice white chocolate bark.  

bark is easy to make, and there are recipes all over the web that are all pretty much identical... but here is the way i made mine.

about 32 oz of white chocolate (i used ghiradelli white chocolate candy dipping and baking bar, which is 40oz, available at sam's club if you have a membership- or know someone that does)
toasted rice cereal
freeze dried strawberries (i used trader joe's freeze dried berries, see picture below)
freeze dried raspberries

line a 9"x12" rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
melt the chocolate (i used the heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water method).
pour in some toasted rice cereal and stir it up (look at me, trying to be different). i just eyeballed the amount, but it was probably at least 2-3 cups.
spread the white chocolate/rice cereal mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth into an even layer.
sprinkle more rice cereal and the freeze dried berries all over the top, until evenly covered.*  let the bark set- you can speed it up by sticking it in the fridge for a little while. break or chop the bark into pieces.
package it up alone or with some other homemade treats.

*the freeze dried berries are unsweetened and rather tart, but i think that the tartness helps balance the intense sweetness of the white chocolate.  i found that one 1.2oz bag of each berry was more than enough for for one batch.  quite a lot of the berries had been crushed into powder on the bottom, and i also sprinkled the powder all over to add color and texture contrast.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ways to rid yourself of 30 yards of felt #6: make coasters

a little over two years ago, i found myself with an abundance of leftover felt.

even though i have technically moved six times (not with all my stuff, mind you) since i wrote my last felt post, i still mysteriously find myself with a box full of felt.

it's absurd. i know. you don't have to tell me.

i was, however, grateful to have this box of felt when i found myself itching to sew my first project in san diego. something easy. something useful.  something i needed.    

like coasters.

i drew a pattern on a piece of paper and cut two pieces of different colors of felt.  i cut a hole out of the top so the bottom color peeks through, and then sewed them together.

although i'm just making these for myself, these might make a cute stocking stuffer idea or just a small homemade gift for a friend. 

just throwing that idea out there.   

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


after months of bouncing around from boston - houston - taipei - houston, i'm ending my year in a new city that i'm learning to call home.

i packed what i could fit in my car and with my mother drove 1,484 miles.

to be fair, she drove most of it.

my mom is a speed demon.  seriously.

she spent a couple days with me, putting my boxes into storage and also taking some time to explore the area.

it's such a beautiful place. in the short time i've been living here, i already feel more at ease and at home than i ever did in boston.

am i terrified? absolutely.  but every time i stand on the beach watching the crashing waves, i feel like everything is going to be alright.

hello, san diego.  it is so nice to be here.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

craft therapy

i've been flitting across the globe like a directionally challenged wild goose in the past two years, and this year has been exceptionally intense.  i am hoping this next stop will be a place i can call home for a little while, even though i still have a long way to go in piecing my life back together.   

between reorganizing my boxed up life for the next big move, i couldn't help but unpack some of my supplies and sneak in some craft therapy (aka, procrastination).  it may be a while yet, but i have hopes that i will have many uses for the new clearlytangled stickers, tags, and fabric labels that i spent an afternoon creating. 

i printed my stickers on full sheet labels, and will punch them out using my 2-inch fiskars circle punch (one of my favorite craft investments of all times).   i plan on doing the same for my cardstock labels, with an additional 1/8" hole punched in the top.

i designed a few different size variations of my color-fast fabric labels, mostly hang tags, which i find the most convenient and time-efficient for projects, since i can sew them right into the seam.  however, i still made a small stack of labels that have to be completely stitched in separately.  you know, just in case. 

i printed these on color-fast printable fabric.  they come in 8.5"x11" sheets that you can stick straight into your inkjet printer.  to make them color-fast, the sheets have to be rinsed and heat set. i have generally had solid results with these, and while they aren't designed to be used for frequently washed items (supposedly detergent will cause them to fade very quickly, perhaps even immediately), i actually haven't had much problem with over-fading yet.  i did, however, have some new issues with bleeding ink and the fabric wrinkling up through my mom's printer feed, so i think it greatly depends on the printer you're using.   

now they are neatly packed and stored away, patiently waiting to discover their purpose. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

kiwi bird parade baby outfit

whenever i receive a notification that more of my fabric has been sold, i am not only filled with joy, but also with curiosity.

who is this person?  what are they making? is it for themselves? is it a gift for someone else?

most of the time i am simply left wondering, until several months ago, i was sent this picture.
and look...

a little baby outfit.  what a fun idea to turn this fabric into a diaper cover.

thank you, melissa from australia for sending this picture, and so sorry it took me this long to post it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a long absence

my last post is dated february 14th, 2012, and it is now nearly november.  in the grand scheme of time nine months may seem insignificant, but for me they have been filled with change.

the last time i posted, i was married.
now i am not.
the last time i posted, i was in my twenties.
now i am not.
the last time i posted, i was living in boston.
now i am not.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

semi-circle knit top

a couple months ago, my cousin did a clothing swap with a friend of hers and received this in the exchange: 

she showed me the shirt in exasperation, wondering what possessed her friend to
1) buy a shirt with a giant hello kitty face on it
2) thought she'd want it  

my cousin quickly admitted that the top has a cute cut and is extremely comfortable.  she then very generously gave me the shirt, and said i could use it as a pattern to make her a new shirt.  


so i did.  

if you can't tell from the photo, the shirt is basically a semi-circle.  i chose a navy knit for her.  

fun sleeves, no?  sent it in the mail, and it was well received.  two of our other cousins saw it and immediately texted me asking me to make them shirts too.  maybe after i make one... for myself. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

mymemories digital scrapbooking software review + giveaway

a few weeks ago, i was asked to review mymemories software, a digital scrapbooking program. naturally, i said yes, even though i was in the throws of an intensive course and didn't have a single second to spare.  but now that things have settled down a bit, i took some moments to play around with the software.  

keep in mind that i have not made a real scrapbook in about... eight years, if i'm remembering correctly.   it took me ten months to complete a scrapbook about my first trip to europe, and not only did i spend approximately $300 on supplies, the album weighed a ton.   i never made one again, as i found this traditional form so darn cumbersome.  i have made photo albums using other online programs, but that is a story from another day.

what i find most interesting about the mymemories software is the way it merges traditional scrapbooking with the modern digital age.  i have wondered if traditional scrapbooks, with various patterned backgrounds, ribbons, brads, would be soon be completely obsolete.  with this software, however, i think they can live on in a better form.

i think the mark of a good software program is the ease in its' use.   the mymemories software IS easy to use, just random clicking here and there and i was able to produce a page out of a calendar to my liking in a short while.  here's a screenshot:

i was more interested in trying something other than a traditional scrapbook page, which is why i tested the calendar options.  i think i need to do some more playing around before i fully understand how to make the best use of the program, though.  there are many options for layouts and backgrounds, pre-designed and design-yourself.  there are additional digital kits that you can buy at an additional cost, but you could get by just fine with the available choices.  the program costs about $40, which is pretty inexpensive considering how much money a regular scrapbook would cost.  

oh, and i nearly forgot the giveaway!  i have a copy of the mymemories software for you... ONE of you. you can have up to two entries to win:

1. (this one is mandatory) please visit the website and leave a comment on this post telling me which digital paper pack or layout is your favorite.  
2. for an additional entry (separate comment letting me know), follow my blog.   
*don't forget to tell me how to reach you if you should win*

i will draw a winner in one week.   

for those of you who want to go ahead and purchase the software for yourself, is offering my readers a $10 discount offer.  just use code STMMMS8931 at check out.  

good luck!

thanks for everyone for entering.  the winner is #2, faith!! i'll be contacting you shortly with more info.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

felt. flower. headband.

i realize i'm a little late in the game here, but happy new year!

i wanted to share this headband with you.   a very good friend of mine made it for me for christmas.  isn't it absolutely adorable?  the flower is made of felt petals that are both glued and sewn to the headband.  

did you receive any great handmade gifts over christmas?


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