March 2008

When I did the big photo dump on Monday, I forgot to add these:

swiffer covers

I haven’t used them yet, but I’ve used one of my knit cloths to scrub the floor before and it worked wonderfully!  I can only imagine that having one attached to a mop instead of having to get on my hands and knees on the floor will be great.  They were really quick to make and even after these two I still have about 1/3 of each skein left…enough to make at least one more!  I found the pattern while browsing ravelry, you can find it here.


Today’s bento:

teriyaki chicken wings

Frozen grapes, cantaloupe airplanes and cucumber cars!  Vanilla yogurt for dipping.   Teriyaki chicken wings and onigiri with ground beef filling topped with cayenne.

Here’s my first bento!

first bento

In the smaller section there’s pickled mushrooms on a pick, sharp cheddar hearts and stars and in the little cup there’s papaya and dates. In the larger section, onigiri (rice ball), a tea egg, sweet & sour meatballs and fried cabbage with sweet pepper flowers. Hello Kitty is storing dark soy sauce.

It doesn’t look very big (to me at least) but there is plenty of food in this little bento. I’m loving this…really good food and most of it was already done for me because of cooking ahead yesterday. It’s a world better than eating dry cereal straight from the box because I don’t feel like cooking!

I had a really nice weekend! I spent the whole weekend shopping, crafting and cooking – what better, right?

Friday, after we’d ran errands ( you know, paying bills, all that pain in the butt stuff) we went to GameStop and I picked up Leisure Suit Larry (Magna Cum Laude). It’s a smarmy, mature rated game and it’s funny as hell. I rented it some time ago and really liked it. They had a used copy at GameStop and with the credit we had on our card I got it for free! After that I hit the Dollar Tree that was conveniently next door and found a few bento supplies.

bento boxes

I got the Hello Kitty bento there. I also picked up some little plastic picks there.

We hit Safeway after that just to pick up some soda for Paul, but wound up leaving there about $50 poorer because of the great deals we found! They had grapes for .75 a pound and I started buying up some supplies for my bento lunches.

bento stuff

Even though Paul was tired I made him take me to another dollar store before we went home. I don’t think it has a name…now that I think about it. I picked up the other two bento boxes shown above, as well as some tiny cookie cutters and a HUGE bag of chopsticks for a buck. There were probably 200 packages of chopsticks in the bag!

I wandered around there and was thrilled when I came across these:

mini furniture

They’re obviously not top quality, but I think they’re nice starters. I plan on making some mods to them. The little hutch’s doors don’t open, but if I can find some super tiny hinges I’ll be changing that. I think the second piece will become an entertainment center and I might put the desk in my crafty room. I read on the package that there are six different furniture pieces in the series so I think I’ll be popping back over there periodically to see if I can find the other three.

I finished some knitting this weekend as well! I’ve noticed a growing trend in the grocery stores of racks upon racks of reusable shopping bags. At .99 apiece they’re a good deal, but why buy them when I can make my own that are not only bigger, but cuter and more unique?

knit shopping bag

I used this pattern on size 15 needles. The body of the bag went super quick and I modified the pattern to in the round so I wouldn’t have to seam the bag. I also picked up only 60 stitches for the top on size 10 needles. The handle felt like it took forever, but I think it was just because I was impatient to finish it. I hope to make several more of these. It holds an unbelievable amount, probably more than I can comfortably carry at once!

I also promised pictures of the miniature foods I’ve been making, so prepare for several more pictures!

mini purple cake

This is my favorite so I’ll post it first! Chocolate cake with vanilla frosting, covered in purple fondant with a teensy white flower on top. I cut a piece out of it so you could see the frosting inside 😀 It’s just barely an inch across.

mini potatoes and carrots

Tiny potatoes and carrots!

mini french loaf

A perfectly toasted loaf of french bread.

mini donuts

A dozen various donuts – two maple bars, two glazed, two apple fritters, two jelly filled, two frosted, and two cinnamon twists!

mini cupcakes

Three super tiny hostess cupcakes. These little suckers were so fun to make but hard! Those squiggles on the tops were so hard to make! The cupcakes are only about 1/4″.

mini apples

A whole bunch of crisp red apples! I need to make a little basket to put them all in.

Finally, a set of eight plates.

mini plates unfinished

They’re currently unfinished. I need to sand them smooth, paint them and glaze them. I’m looking forward to making matching bowls and a little scared of the challenge of making cups to go with them.

Hope I didn’t kill your connection with all these pictures! I plan on posting a picture of my bento lunch this afternoon. I know y’all can’t wait!

Can I just say that this could become a serious new obsession for me.

The idea of making healthy, portion controlled, CUTE lunches is almost impossible to deny.  I’ve already spent about two hours reading about bento and I have a feeling I won’t be detoured despite preparation and cost.

Oh dear.

I was hoping I could get some brainstorm action from the beautiful gals that read my blog and are maybe feeling creative…

If you were making a miniature punch bowl with miniature punch in it, being kept cool with miniature ice cubes, WHAT would you use as ice cubes?  I’m trying to avoid getting in to yet another craft by buying resin or specialized water compound (whatever it’s called…it’s resin-y)

I ask because I’m crafty and will use absolutely anything that may aid me in my craft, but I’m coming up blank.  I got the bright idea to try white glue and it just won’t work.  I cut small circular holes in a sheet of clay and dripped a scant drop of glue in each hole, but when it dried it shrunk and didn’t give me the results I wanted.  I also thought of just cutting down a glue stick and sanding it into a cube shape, but I wanted to see if I could get some input here first before I went making another mess!

So!  Any tips?  Any advice?  I’m open to more than just ice cube suggestions of course…give me your ideas so I may try them and take credit praise you! 😀

Thanks for the kind words guys, they meant a lot! I’m feeling quite a bit better now, though I’ve been dealing with very sore tummy muscles from Friday’s sick fest. Moving on…

I’ve been working on pretty much nothing but miniatures since I last posted. They’re a lot more time consuming than one would think, but they’re so fascinating!

I thought I’d work on a few craft room projects and they’re even more fun in mini!

mini fabric bolts

Some miniature bolts of fabric. Each bolt 45″ “wide” and has 12 “yards” of fabric, so it’s approximately only 3″ by 3.75″ of fabric.

mini spools of thread

You can’t sew without thread! These little spools of thread are on real wood (I couldn’t drill a hole for the center because they’re so tiny!) and they have real thread on them. They’re only about 5 mm tall.

mini knitting basket

No craft room of mine would be complete without a knitting basket! The basket is made from brown #10 crochet thread and the yarn is baby yarn that’s been rolled into teeny tiny balls. The knitting needles are 26 gauge wire with seed beads for stoppers.

mini pony bead jar

It seems like such a small thing to be proud about, but I’m VERY proud of my jar of “pony” beads. I made it out of a mechanical pencil eraser cap and a metal sewing snap. I couldn’t have gotten the diameter of the snap any closer to perfect size for fitting on the cap. I think it turned out to be a wonderful little jar! They pony beads are actually seed beads and the whole jar stands about 1.5 cm tall.

mini shelf

This shelf was made out of popsicle sticks from a tutorial I found somewhere online. It was a lot of fun to make and I’m seeing a lot of modifications I could make to make it look different. One thing I need to make sure to do before I make the next one is to sand it down well before I paint or stain it! I can see the lines where the sticks join and I don’t think it looks very nice. Once I add some books or other things to the shelves it won’t be noticeable though. I may use it for the pink bedroom, if not then for the craft room or the kitchen. I haven’t decided yet.

mini embroidered rug

This little embroidered rug only took a few days of on and off working on it and I think it turned out really cute! It was only after I was about 3/4ths of the way finished with it that I realized they were Dolphins colors! I just plucked them out of my thread box and thought they looked nice together. D’oh! Hopefully no one else will notice (‘cept for those who read this!) I used a square stitch for this called the pillow stitch. It looks really satiny and interesting I think.

mini throw pillows

These little pillows are for the pink bedroom. I never really gave pillows much of a thought because I was thinking “They’re just squares sewn together, what’s the big deal?” These proved to be a bit more difficult to me. I had to find a nice print for the front that I felt was small enough to work for a miniature, then I found a nice contrasting fabric. I thought about doing these on the machine, but the stitches were too large for as small of a seam as I’d given myself. Hand stitching these suckers were time consuming. I thought I’d just whip them out, but noooo…they took about two hours. They’re throw pillow sized, just under an inch miniatured. I think they regular sized pillows will be a bit easier, but I’m starting to rethink my idea for the bolster pillows!

I’ve got several other things in the works right now, but they weren’t ready in time for this post. I made an entire cookie tray of miniature foods so I’ll post those after I glaze them. I also printed out a bunch of miniature food boxes and other paper goods that I need to mod podge and cut out. Those should keep me busy for awhile!

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