Raining Cats and Dogs

Dear Luka,

I know how you hate the rainy season in the Bay Area.  Maybe this new raincoat will help.  It is truly one-of-a-kind, made using Simplicity pattern #1239, with a few changes.  Instead of lining the coat as directed, I covered all cut edges with seam binding.  I also made the hood detachable, and ignored the scarf (like you would wear the scarf and not chew it to shreds instantly!)

Handmade Dog Raincoat

When you and your Mom go walking around your neighborhood, be friendly if anyone comes to compliment your coat, wear it proudly, and most important of all, stop eating random poop off the sidewalk!



Jellyfish Season

Up until recently, I was blissfully unaware that a creature may proliferate during a specific season, just as a fruit or vegetable may have a small window of sudden abundance. That was, until a family of these gelatinous creatures descended upon my kitchen without warning.

Gravitating towards the fridge, they seem happiest near a readily available source of food, and seem wholly uninterested in moving on to warmer shores. Far from threatening and actually quite cheerful, I see no harm in letting them float about in the comfort of a safe environment. Miles away from pesky beach goers and without a care in the world, it may permanently be jellyfish season in these parts from here on in.

It couldn’t be easier to whip up a whole swarm of these sting-free softies. Simply print and cut out the template, trace the shapes on your desired color of felt, and carefully trim the fabric. Glue small eyes and embroider a happy smile on the plain head (without the tentacles). Use a matching color of thread to whip stitch the head to the head with tentacles, pausing as you reach the end to very lightly stuff it with batting. Glue a magnet to the back, stick it on the fridge, and admire your handiwork.

It’s Tea Time…

If there were ever a time that my inspiration might wane, all I ever need to do is hop on over to see the latest issue of Desserts Magazine. A source of endless ideas, recipes, and unfailingly stunning photos, this is one online publication that seems as though it was designed just for me. Happily, there are always at least one or two vegan recipes as well, and many others can be easily adapted. It was such an honor to share my Meyer Lemon Bundt recipe for issue #7, but now, I have an even more exciting contribution to share…

The cover picture! Surprised to have been given such an important task, and even more so when the editor asked me to make a felt cake this time around. So while fake food may be adorning the cover this time, I promise that the contents are far more delicious.

You definitely wouldn’t want to miss this one, all about tea-infused sweets, so go check it out!

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates…

Plain dark chocolate, mocha, strawberry-filled, mint, plain white chocolate, ricemilk, maple, and raspberry white chocolate. Such a vast selection could easily be overwhelming if not clearly marked, but perhaps the real surprise in this box of chocolates…

…Is that they’re actually not even edible!  What better gift for a sweetie watching their sugar intake, or a long-distance lover who might otherwise recieve puddles of melted truffles after a long journey through the postal system?  After already overdosing on so many Valentine’s delights, I think I might want to stick with this felt version for just a little while longer!

Scary or Sweet?

Who knew that a confection as simple as candy corn could be the subject of such controversy? I absolutely adored the stuff as a kid, and really, what’s not to like- A simple, colorful candy that tastes primarily of sugar and very little else. Depending on your palate, I suppose that could be what inspires such hatred from detractors, and the soft, waxy texture may not do much to improve things, either. Still, this sweet little kernel deserves a break- A cheerful symbol of Halloween fun, it can even be vegan, if you have the patience to make it yourself.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the patience this year… But that doesn’t mean I’m going to spend the holiday without any candy corn.

Regardless of your preference, this is one version of that classic candy that everyone can appreciate. It would be easy to whip up a whole bowlful of these felt sweets for decoration if you felt so inclined, or make two and turn them into earrings. I made mine into a magnet, and depending on what size you print the pattern out at, the options are pretty much limitless.

So if you’re interested in making some felt candy corn, click here to get the pattern. Print it out however big or small you’d like, and cut out the pieces on the color of felt that each part indicates.

To assemble, start by sewing one yellow bottom to one white piece; Line the bottom up over the bottom of the white piece, use a pin to secure it, and sew across the top with a whip stitch. Line up the middle orange piece right against that one, and sew along the bottom (in the same place that you just put your first line of stitches). Now sew up the top of the orange piece to secure it, and tie a knot at the back of the piece. Repeat with the other side. Embroider a face if desired. Line up the two pieces back to back, with the good sides facing out, and sew along the edges. If the white bits get in the way, feel free to trim them a bit so that the colors are continuous. Attach earring fixings, magnets, or whatever you please!

Lazy Mornings

Still riding the last swell of the summer vacation wave, my daily routine is almost entirely the opposite of what I might have done last year. Still buzzing from caffeine, working into the long hours of the night, it takes a lot to finally close up the laptop and close my eyes. With my shift at work starting at 4:00, it’s almost reasonable to stay asleep for as long as possible, although now those times are stretching later and later into the morning, corresponding with my 3- or 4- am bed time. Waking up around 11 to an empty house, a comfortable quiet hangs in the air, as I slowly make my way into the kitchen, still clad in full pajamas for at least another hour. This may sound terribly lazy, but for the time being, this new routine seems to suit me just fine. Slowly sipping on coffee and contemplating the day’s tasks, the only thing that I might rather would be…

An appropriate lazy-day breakfast, perhaps! Of course, donuts are no longer a lazy treat, since I can’t just run out and pick up a box at the neighborhood Donking Donuts. Although it takes a bit of initiative to take on such a venture so “early” in the morning, it’s no trouble at all to whip up one or two felt donuts instead. Too bad that only satisfies the basic impulse, not so much my appetite!

What would you make for a lazy-day breakfast?