Friday, February 27, 2009

Check this out!

Did you ever want to see pictures full of color, but felt like you were in the mood for just orange, or just green with some splashes of blue (or maybe only red... oooh!)? Here's a website that lets you customize flickr search results in specific colors.... too cool! Thanks to Drew for giving me the link ^__^

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Coming soon!

Hopefully he'll be ready by March 1st... I'll be working on him till then!

Monday, February 23, 2009

websites to visit often

Look at James Franco's hair... hee hee!  And you thought he only did Spiderman!  Actually, I think I want that haircut!

Had a bit of a hard time thinking of stuff to post about today, probably because I haven't been up to much lately... midterms!   I'm done now though so it will get better. I did manage to sneak in a few movies, netflix style.  Boo, SemiPro was boring!  Apparently not everything Will Ferrell touches is comedic gold.  Pineapple Express was funny! ... but I think you have to have either of these two things:  a juvenile sense of humor (we're talking 14 year old boy... which is the sense of humor I have) or an affection for James Franco playing a stoner friendly drug dealer (hilarious!).  

Since I haven't been up to anything worth photographing,  I'll just share some of the websites I like to procrastinate on; you may know of them already but in case you don't check 'em out! great website where users share tutorials and tips on how to make cool things another crafting instructional website kawaii items!  I'm not sure how much the shipping is, but I've heard good things kawaii items again!  Shipping is expensive but there are so many cute things!  I want these:

Also, it's kinda bad of me but I'm SUPER excited about Target opening in Hawai`i in early March... I want it to be open 24 hours so I can go at 3:00 AM and have the store all to myself!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thai Red Curry!

I made delicious Thai red curry the other day! This is a huge accomplishment for me, for a couple of reasons (warning: sort of gross story coming up). The first reason this is so great is because I don't cook that much and this is something that seemed really complicated; part of the problem is that its hard to cook for the large amount of people (5... hey, its a lot! Also certain members of my family are picky... they always want meat; no vegetarian food ever!). The second reason I'm so proud is because I actually tried making Thai red curry for family dinner last week and it tasted exactly like ivory soap! I thought I did something wrong or that the recipe was wrong and that was the reason the curry tasted weird... all of my cooking confidence was deflated by that stupid soap curry! I was so frustrated I decided to make it again (but just for myself) this week and it turned out great :) I have since come to the conclusion that the soap curry was the result of.... ***warning, gross part coming up*** RANCID coconut milk! That's right, rancid coconut milk! I wasn't trying to poison my family, I swear! Anyway, lesson learned; never listen to your mom when she says that an expired can of coconut milk is still okay to use. Also, I hope this gross story won't scare you away, the curry is REALLY good!

So I made mine with leftover rotisserie chicken and tofu the second time, but I actually think I'd like it best with just eggplant, tofu and bamboo (no meat... but yet again I'm restricted by family consumption rules). You can put any vegetable in here, but I think eggplants and green beans do well. It's a great one pot meal, and you can simmer it for hours and the taste will only improve :)

In case you want, here is the good recipe for Thai Red Curry:
Serves ~5 (REALLY spicy, just the way I like it!) Approximate prep and cook time: 45 minutes

1.5 cups of good, non-expired canned coconut milk
3 garlic cloves
3 Tablespoons of red curry paste
.5 cups of chicken stock
1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs and/or firm tofu (optional)
1 can of bamboo shoots
0-3 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on if you like it)
1 onion diced or chopped
vegetables like eggplant (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
3 jalapenos, and hot hot chilies! (optional :)

In a pot with a lid, saute onions and garlic and oil on medium to medium high heat. When onions are translucent, add curry paste and 1/2 cup of coconut milk (do not shake can before hand). Stir occasionally. When red oil appears on top of the mixture, add chicken (if raw, be aware that you'll have to simmer it for a while) or tofu, bamboo shoots, rest of the coconut milk, chicken stock, salt, brown sugar, lemon/lime juice, vegetables, and fish sauce. Towards the end, add the basil leaves. Simmer down now!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Amigurumi Series #2: White amigurumi eyes!

In the past couple of years of me being on etsy and making amigurumi, I've gotten more than a few inquiries about where I get the white amigurumi eyes I use in some of my designs (like the cupcakes, black unicorns and eggplants). The thing is, I don't know where you can buy white amigurumi eyes... 'cause I can make 'em!!! I've always shared my little secret with anyone who has ever asked (since it's actually quite simple) but I thought that this is something people in general might like to know... especially if they are having difficulties with creations made with dark colored yarn.

So here we go, Amigurumi Series # 2: White amigurumi eyes!

plastic eyes (half bead or safety eyes work best... I use 8 mm half bead for this demo)
wax paper
well ventilated area
a spray paint formulated especially for plastics (I use Krylon fusion, it was around $4 I think, and I got it at a craft store... you can also get colors other than white too!)

1.)Lay out newspaper to protect your work surface, which should be in a very well ventilated area. Lay a sheet of wax paper on top of the newspaper and place your eyes flat on the wax paper (if you have safety eyes create an elevated surface with holes in it (so the prong on the bottom of the eye can hang down and the eye surface is flat on the wax paper... see diagram)

2.) Basically follow the directions on the can: For Krylon, shake the can for approximately 2 minutes, spray all eyes as evenly as possible (from the sides and top) from a distance of 8-10". Wait a few minutes, then apply another coat. Wait a few hours to overnight so that the paint can really dry.

3.) Pop the eyes off the wax paper and feel free to use! Yay for scary white eyed amigurumi!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Went to the swap meet today

Today I went to the swap meet at the Aloha Stadium, I think I may have talked a bit about it before. It is actually in Aiea, near Pearl Harbor. When I was little the swap meet was super cool, and it was a real treat to go there; I loved looking at booths of sand landscapes (black and white sand in a thin frame with colored water which you could tilt to create little mountains...I had a red one!) hand dipped and carved candles, and of course the ubiquitous stalls filled with kitsch and imported jewelry that had vendors that yelled out "One dollah, one dollah, one dollah!" because, you know, their goods were all $1. Now, it's actually harder to find things for $1. The swap meet was definitely the place to go for unique items, many of them handmade, and it definitely had a very local flavor. Anyway, nowadays the swap meet has changed quite a bit; many stalls have the same items over and over again, so even if you were to walk 1/4 of the way around the stadium, you'd probably seen mostly everything there is to see. Many more of the items are specifically geared to a tourist population, especially since there are now buses that run to the swap meet (not that that's a bad thing all the time, but a girl can only get so many beach towels with "Hawaii" on it). It seems as if it is very hard to find unique and fun items... How I miss the old days! Now, the swap meet is really good for cheaper luggage, crack seed snacks, and souvenirs (surfboard keychains anyone?).

Even though I still feel like it's hard to find really good stuff at the swap meet, today I totally scored! Okay okay, not all of my haul was handmade or very unique, they're definitely very cute and made me see a halo of redemption around the general area of the swap meet:

A lemon keychain strap $4

A knockoff Tokidoki bag $4 (I've seen better... with the LeSportSac logo tape and everything... but this print was sooo cute!)

Twig pencils (handmade and the guy was super nice!) $5... worth it because they're the coolest purchase I made today!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! This is a watermelon carved by one of my sister's coworkers at the Hawai`i State Public Library, isn't it neato!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Growing peas

I always love having plants, because they are so cheerful and green. These are some peas my sister is growing on our patio in yogurt cups.. don't they look cute? I'd love to have a garden someday, to grow all kinds of neat things (like cotton for making yarn!) but for now we just have a line of 10 gallon pots on our patio filled with clovers, ti leaf plants, a small palm, a ficus and a gardenia tree (newest addition). They basically monopolize the sunlight on the patio, but it's worth it to hear leaves rustling with the wind, to find little ants that tend the flowers, and to see green when you look out into the cityscape. So yep, I love plants. I had a plant that was living in my office at school, but it was too cold because of the 24/7 air conditioner, and he turned all white and shriveled up! Not to worry, he's living on the patio now, and he's green and happy :) Yep, my office is not good for plants; I tried having a cactus before but he liquified from the inside out.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Thanks so much guys!

Look at all of the wonderful goodies sent to me by a very lovely family! Aren't you jealous? A large bit of destash, including waxed twine, gorgeous yarn, wooden acorns (sooo cool!) and a wee daruma stamp. As if that weren't enough, I also got kawaii sanrio pez dispensers in a lovely case and super cute handwritten thank-you's (I especially love the recurring turkey theme augmented by a pocky drawing and the lovely purple and pink envelope decorations...lovely!) Honestly, that is one of the best things about berrysprite and etsy; (not the loot sillies) but the fact that you can make friends and have connections with people all around the world! Thanks so much guys for the lovely items, they made me smile so much, and thanks everyone for visiting my shop, flickr, and blog... ***muah*** big kisses!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Heart Baker Bearlet

Here she is, finally! Lili the Heart Baker Bearlet. 2 Calendars are available now through my blog and photobucket (check out the upper right hand corner for a link) and also through my flickr! She will be available in my etsy shop this Saturday around 10 am Hawai`i time!

Here's a bit about Lili:
Out of all the bakers there are in the world, Lili is most certainly the happiest! She especially loves Valentine's Day, and enjoys nothing more than cooking lovely cookies with her chicken friend!

Lili is crocheted with love by me out of coral pink novelty yarn, made with needle felted limbs, ears and snout, hand embroidered, with plastic eyes. She comes with a pompom chicken friend, a handsewn heart apron with applique, three fimo cookies, a cookie plate, and a needle felted strawberry with pearlized beads.

She will be more than happy to share her baking secrets with you this February!

Monday, February 2, 2009

February feature amigurumi sneak peek!

I've been super busy as usual, mostly with custom orders which is great because I need the $$$ this month (I bet we all do... boo economy!). Anyway, I'm using this busy-ness as an excuse for not having my February feature amigurumi listed or in free calender format yet... but soon! I promise :) I can tell you that I will have bear lollipops in my etsy store by next week but hopefully sooner, and keep your fingers crossed for the feature February amigurumi calender to be available on Wednesday of this week (a wee bit late but still in time for February!). Here she is in sneak peek form.... isn't it tantalizing? And of course, the theme for February is "Love and Hearts" for Valentine's Day, the feature shape is heart, and the feature color is red.
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