Archive for February, 2008

Marathon glazing

This is what I did last night … 22 soap dishes glazed and ready to be fired this weekend!  I remember when I glazed for the very first time in college, I was confused to see that the celadon glaze (a pale green glaze after it’s been fired) is actually pink in liquid form (like the 2 pink ones toward the end of the table).  So these will look quite different when they come out of the kiln on Monday.

A woman at the studio was SHOCKED to see that I’ve been making my soap dishes because I normally don’t start making stuff until a month before the Show and Sale.   I told her that I will be selling these on Etsy so I’ve been going to the studio and making things on a regular basis.

So hopefully around the middle of April, I will have enough soaps and dishes to sell on Etsy.  Before then, I’ll try to list some of my vintage stuff on there for practice.

Soap logs

I took the soaps out of the molds last night.  I’m going to let these hang out for a day or two before I cut them.  The one on the right is the scrubby version with ground lavender and blue cornmeal and the specks you see are the ground lavender flowers.  These smell so good!

Saponification in a pot

Woohoo, I finally made some soap this weekend!  I’ve been going to the studio for the past 3 weekends to make soap dishes but I have been really dragging my feet on the soapmaking.  This is a shot of cold process soap at trace, right before it gets poured into the molds.  This batch is called “Lavender Sunrise” with essential oils of lavender, lime, and tea tree.  It’s one of my most popular soaps.  The little dish near the top left of the kettle is a mixture of ground lavender and blue cornmeal I put in for the scrubby version of the soap. 

Cooking at home

Last night’s jia jian mien (a Chinese noodle sauce traditionally made with pork and chili bean sauce but I made it with ground turkey, chili bean sauce, spaghetti sauce, and shredded carrots) … would’ve been today’s lunch if I hadn’t left it on the counter this morning!  Arrrgghhh!!!!!

I’ve been cooking more and bringing my lunch to work for the past 3 months or so.  I also started eating breakfast on a daily basis and as a result I lost 5 pounds (I wasn’t trying to lose weight on purpose).  I didn’t change my exercise routine (which consists of walking the dog and that’s about it) and I still eat until I’m full so the weight loss is really from NOT buying breakfast and lunch from the cafeteria and ordering Chinese and pizza once or twice a week for dinner.  So there Hollywood, this is the secret to losing weight … cook your own damn meals!

Anyway, this noodle dish is one of my favorite dishes to make and the sauce freezes well.  Damn it, I really wish I hadn’t left my lunch at home…

Mending torn bedsheets


I have 2 fitted sheets and they both have big “T” shaped tears in them.  Instead of chucking these and buying new sheets, I’ve decided to mend them.  I’m sure there are people out there who thinks it’s a waste of time but I think driving to the store and waiting in line at the cash register is a waste of my time (not to mention money) and I choose to spend my time living consciously, creatively, and simply.   I actually really enjoyed mending the sheets and now I like my sheets even more than before!  Here’s what I did:

Iron the sheet where the tear is and tape the tear with masking tape on the wrong side of the sheet to stabilize the fabric.

Cut out a piece of fabric that’s bigger than the tear with pinking shears.

Baste the fabric patch onto the right side of the sheet over the tear.

Zigzag stitch all around the patch.

Cut out the torn part from the back of the sheet with pinking shears to prevent further fraying of the tear.

Ask your dog to pose on the patched sheet.

And here’s the second sheet I patched.  The tear is huge because I kept on putting my foot through it when I’m sleeping.  The patches are so cute that I wish I didn’t have to cover them up with my comforter. 

Establishing a Travel Fund!

I don’t travel enough.  The last time I flew somewhere for a real vacation was over 4 years ago … before I got the dog.  Since I’ve gotten Molly, I’ve limited my traveling to either driving trips (with her) or very short trips (without her).  This year I’m going to start a travel fund and put that $600 tax rebate and my tax refund and whatever else I can think of in there.  The dog and I will just have to get used to the idea of having someone else take care of her while I’m trottin’ around the world (we’re both not very trusting of strangers taking care of her).

This is like a major breakthrough for me.  Instead of automatically saving the rebate and refund for a rainy day (the responsible thing to do), I’m going to use them to do something fun!  It’s about time! 

My new curtains

It’s hard to take pictures of curtains during the day but here it is.  I bought yards and yards of this fabric from Joann’s 2-3 years ago and I finally made some curtains out of it.  All I did was hem the bottom and made a sleeve on top for the rod to go through.  Nothing fancy but it makes a big difference in how the room looks.

Back at work

I’m back at work after taking 3 days off last week for my wisdom teeth surgery.  I’m a little sleepy now probably because I took a vicodin not too long ago (second one today) or maybe I’ve just gotten used to taking 2 naps a day while I was recuperating at home.

The good thing is that the swelling has finally gone down but I’m still feeling pain in my jaw.  I know people could get addicted to vicodin but that probably won’t happen to me because 1) the pills are not even working that well for me and 2) I’m certainly not getting any kind of buzz from them … extra strength my ass.  Oh yeah, and the dissolving stitches are not dissolving so now I have this thread poking at me in the back of my mouth.  Arrrggghhhhh!!!

BUT, I finally made something crafty yesterday (it’s been months since I’ve made anything)!  I made some curtains for my bedroom and I would have taken a picture this morning but my hot water pipe froze overnight so I had to defrost it with a hairdryer and it took a long time.  Luckily, the pipe didn’t burst and I eventually got it to work, whew!  I’ll make sure I leave the water dripping tonight because it’s going to be another cold one.  I’ll post a picture of the curtains tomorrow. 

2 teeth less and in a buttload of pain

8:30am   went in to get wisdom teeth extracted

9:00am   drove home with cotton gauze, ice pack, and 2 wisdom teeth in a little envelope

11:40am  novacaine started to wear off.  took 1 extra strength vicodin.

12:10pm  still in a lot of pain so took 3 advils because doctor said I can’t take 2 vicodins at once.

12:30pm  pain’s not going away (mostly from the impacted tooth) after 1 extra strength vicodin and 3 advils … why does it take so long for the painkillers to kick in?

I am NOT a happy camper  😦

If it ain’t broken…

I’m getting my wisdom teeth out this Wednesday.  I was going to get all 4 of them out even though only 2 needed to come out.  The oral surgeon said that it’s up to me whether I want the other 2 out or not (hello, why do I have to make this decision, he’s the professional!) and I figured that I should just suffer once and get rid of all of them at the same time.  After thinking a little more about it, I’ve decided to keep the 2 good ones.  It didn’t feel right taking them out when there’s nothing wrong with them.  It’s like throwing something that’s still useful away and I just can’t do that.  Plus if I keep those 2, I might be able to chew with my left side while my right side is healing.   And speaking of wisdom teeth recovery … I’ve been planning on what to eat ever since I learned that I had to get my wisdom teeth out.  I’m actually quite exited to have a few days off.  I’m looking forward to some knitting and maybe making some other crafty projects. 

So here’s my wisdom teeth menu I have planned for myself after the surgery:

congee/jook/porridge with chicken stock and tofu and scallions

Chinese red bean soup

cream of corn soup with egg, carrots, potatoes, peas, and more tofu

sweet tofu (we call it tofu hua) – I need to make the ginger sugar syrup for it because it came unsweetened

I also got a jug of soymilk (the real Chinese kind) for some extra protein

You see a pattern here?  I was thinking about mashed potatoes but with all these yummy Chinese dishes, why bother with mashed potatoes? 

Oh, and how can I forget mint chocolate chip ice cream?  OK, that’s not Chinese but it’ll really hit the spot I think.