Muffins from Outer Space!

I awoke thismorning to gloomy skies and cold weather and thought to myself, "Self, I think it's officially baking season." So I made green tea muffins for breakfast! The brightly colored papers were a gift in the mail from a cupcake-themed swap, I thought they went well with the funny green batter! I used my old standby mix-in muffin recipe. It's like a blank canvas, and you can mix anything you like into it and make the most moist and delicious muffins ever! And since they have yogurt in them they have a bit of added nutritional value, and my green tea version has added antioxidants. Here's the recipe:

Mix-In Muffins:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup yogurt (any flavor that corresponds with your mix-ins will work nicely, but I prefer vanilla flavored)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 12 (1/3-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.
Into a bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Melt butter and in a small bowl whisk together with yogurt, egg, and vanilla. Stir butter mixture (and additional ingredients; see note, below) into flour mixture until just combined. Divide the batter among muffin cups (this batter is thick and will not run easily like other muffin batters), sprinkle with a pinch of sanding sugar, and bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Flavor the basic muffin batter above by adding, for example: 1 chopped banana and 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips; or 1 cup toasted almonds, 3/4 cup dried cranberries, and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract; or 1 cup chopped drained canned pineapple and 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut; or 1 cup chopped dried apricots and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, 1 3/4 cups fresh berries, or 2-3 teaspoons matcha green tea powder.

Do it! You know you want to! ^_^


Shop Update!

Alrighty, all of the new items are in the store waiting to go to new homes! (Pic above is the giant amigurumi cupcake I made for sale!) I hope everyone likes the new stuff because there's plenty more to come. I'm also planning on restocking The Slug and Lettuce this weekend when I find the time. I'm going on vacation next week so things will be shipped out the following saturday; it's my 21st birthday on tuesday and I'm flying to Las Vegas to party for a few days! Have a great weekend!


Etsy Update Update

Hi everyone! Sorry, but the etsy store hasn't got the new items in yet. It was silly of me to think that I could get anything done today since it's my 4 year anniversary with my dear boyfriend Michael. So we just ended up goofing off together today. He got me chocolates from my favorite fancy chocolate shop in San Francisco called Cocoa Bella, and I got him... A kitten! Okay, so I guess I got us a kitten. His name's Kyoto and he's the cutest little spaz in the entire world, and we love him very much. I'm sure there will be a lot more adorable kitten pictures on here when I have nothing interesting to write about. But anywho, as far as the etsy store goes, looks like it's either going to be tomorrow after work or saturday.



I've finished the little wristlet purse I've been working on lately, and it came out great! This was the object of the sneak peak picture a couple of posts ago when you got to see the lining pinned on before sewing. This is one of the more complicated purses I've made because it has pleats on both sides and in the lining. I'm not a pleat master yet, but I love the look of them so I'm practicing. I'm hoping to make a few more of these purses from different fabrics, maybe something a bit bold on the outside and plain on the inside. This will be listed in my etsy store on thursday morning, which as far as I know will be the start of my part-time schedule at work.

I also finished blocking this sweet little crocheted clutch. I finished it quite a while ago but I was worried it would stay all curled up and wonky because I wove it so tight. But blocking it did the trick and it came out better and more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. I used a soy/wool blend yarn from Pattons, and I had 3 different colored half-balls left over from my amigurumi easter eggs. I noticed that they all had some colors in common, browns mostly, so I combined what was left in this nice little purse. The progression of colors reminds me of a sunset/sunrise. I decided to leave it unlined to show off more of the stitchwork that I put so much time into. The yarn is able to felt like regular wool but I decided against felting the purse because it's such a nice size right now and I would loose all those pretty stitches. This one's also going on etsy on thursday.


Happily Confused

Well today was a good day but I feel a little out of whack. I've been making triple crochet stuff for so long whilst working on my sweater that I kept messing up stitches as I was making another harajuku neckwarmer for the store. But I got through it all the same and I have a lovely soft pink neckwarmer for someone out there. I also ate the best peach I've ever had, bought for me by my lovely boyfriend! Our 4 year anniversary is coming up on the 23rd so I may not be around this weekend, I'll be off doing mushy stuff. At least I have Saturday morning to myself to go to the post office, run errands, and hopefully photograph all that new etsy stuff. No promises, but I'll try my darndest!


Fabric Boxes

I've been trying to think of some cute and easy (not to mention inexpensive) ways to organize my menagerie of crafty bits, and I'm seriously considering making up some little fabric boxes like these. I think having felt on the outside for substance and lining it with a cute fabric is such an awesome idea. Plus, since I'm the one making them I can tailor their sizes and shapes to whatever I need. I think the one with the bias tape may be too involved for me, and I just love the simple charm of the ones with the pinked edges. The images are from sweetkye and craftlog, such great inspiration all over the place these days! I managed to finish a few more goodies for the store today, and I'm saving them all up for a massive photo shoot. Word at work is that next week we will be switching back to the part-time schedule, so the stores will be restocked very very soon, barring any unforseen circumstances *crosses fingers*. I was thinking about waiting until after I get back from my big 21st birthday trip to Las Vegas (Lost Wages as we like to call it), but I don't think I can be that patient! I guess we'll just have to wait and see!^_^


Sneakie Peakie

In the past few weeks I've been gearing up to restock my etsy stores. I've been making a bunch of new neckwarmers, wristwarmers, owl pincushions, and the like. I've also been finishing a bunch of special projects, so I thought I'd tempt you with a sneak peak of what's in my sewing machine tonight: You'll be able to see it finished soon enough! And, just for fun, look what I did to my shoes by accident at work!
I was learning how to paint yarn and went a little nuts, but I'm declaring it a happy accident because I really like the way it looks. Mybe a line of handpainted shoes? Hmm... Reminds me of my favorite Freudian slip I spat out not too long ago: "There's a madness to my method." How fitting is that for me?


My First Sweater!

Funny thing - I was going to post this as a wip, but I ended up finishing it today! Booyah! Although, the reason I got so much of it done is because my commute today was unusually long. A semi truck turned over on the bridge we normally take and they had to close it, so we had to take the long way around. It ended up taking us 4 hours instead of the usual 30 minutes... What a nightmare, but at least I got my first ever sweater done! It's made from ArtFibers yarns called origami (light purple) and bandeau (dark purple). I love to wear it, it's so squishy-soft and comfy. I used a pattern from the last Interweave Crochet Magazine, but since the conversions people do to get larger sizes never seem to be that flattering I had to make a lot of adjustments. Yeesh, I just remembered I have to do the edging on the sleeves, so I guess this is still a wip, hehe. Anywho, I made the neckline larger and the armholes smaller, and I added a lot of length to the bottom. But even though I had to change a lot of things, it was really easy because the pattern was so simple, worked from the neck down, and it only took me a few weeks worth of BART rides to make it. If anyone would like my altered pattern (fits xl shirt size), then leave a comment or send me an e-mail at ohthecuteness@hotmail.com . ^_^


So Wipped...

I've got a lot of works in progress right now, so I thought I'd let everyone see my crazy projects. Here's number one: a granny square blanket. Seems simple, right? But I can never seem to do anything the easy way, can I?
I was sitting around making some swatches of a new yarn for the ArtFibers store and I wanted to make a granny square with it. I found out through Adorn magazine that PurlSoho has a blog site, and I found a granny square tutorial on it. But the thing that really caught my attention was this picture:I got the idea to do a bunch of different sized grannies out of all of my different pink, yellow,orange,and red yarns and then stitch them all together into an uber-girly and comfy blanket. Progress is going faster than expected:I'm super excited to get it all done, but it's bound to be awhile. I'm making 1 big, 1 medium, and 2 small squares from each kind of yarn, and the yarns are all different weights. I've been sitting around listening to the Feist song "1234" and the Big Night soundtrack, plus a little Amy Winehouse while I make the grannies and it's a truly good time.

Oh, by the way, there's a big sale over at Superbuzzy.com going on right now (I already snagged some goodies!), so get over there quick before all the adorable Japanese fabric is all gone!



Yarn is my life...

I'm back! Where have I been, you might ask? Well, for starters I got a full time job this summer at a little company called ArtFibers. Yup, the ArtFibers (www.artfibers.com). I've got an apprentice position at the dyeworks, and it is absolutely the best job ever! I work with 4 of the nicest, coolest people ever and I'm dying some of the most beautiful yarns in the world all day long. Their shop is in San Francisco on Sutter street, only a block away from the Montgomery street BART station. It's up on the 2nd floor of a great building, and the setup encourages you to sit a spell and swatch some yarns. I love going there, I only wish I had more time to sit and chat with people and see how much they love all the yarn we dye. I work over in Vallejo, which is pretty darn far from Hayward, and even though I take BART 1/2 way and then carpool with 2 people I still have to leave the house at 7:30 in the morning to be to work by 9:00. But it is SO worth it! I get all the scrappy bits to take home:to add to my neverending blanket project (more details later). I get a discount on the yarns we sell, so needless to say I have a few wips going on all the time (more details on those later too). I'm finally starting to get used to the schedule, figuring out how to get things done in the few hours I have to myself each night, so I finally have some time to start blogging again. Etsy, though, is still on hold until the school year starts and I've got some weekday mornings to list items. So, basically I've been crocheting like mad and I've taken up spinning yarn as well:and hopefully some of my finished projects will be in the etsy shop come fall. I promise I'll try to post as much as possible, feel free to yell at me if I don't do it enough!