September 2012

It's fall! And fall means happy comfort foods, and all things pumpkin! So when someone posted a recipe for a pumpkin bread with buttercream icing on my facebook wall, I couldn't resist the temptation.  I was out of wheat flour, however, and that almost deterred me. ALMOST. Because I'd been craving something pumpkin-y, I couldn't get this cake out of my mind. So, I mixed some gluten free flour together, and turned the pumpkin bread into gluten free pumpkin cupcakes.  And mini cupcakes.

I LOVE artichokes, I can't get enough of them! I eat them 3-4 times a week, and have for at least the last few years.   And every time, I've steamed them in my pressure cooker. It's fast, efficient, and reliable.  For a dipping sauce, I nearly always have melted butter and mayo. Sometimes I mix things up, and add labneh instead of mayo, sometimes a squeeze of lemon, sometimes crumbled blue cheese.  Every once in a while, I use olive oil for the dip, with italian seasonings.  Finally, after all this time, I decided to branch out a little, and try something different.

I blame Food Network. Chopped was on, and one of the contestants made bread pudding. I don't remember what the basket ingredients were, I think they might have been an old car tire, shaving cream, and durian. But I remember hearing the words "bread pudding", and then I remember hearing one of the snobby chick judges say she NEVER liked seeing bread pudding on the show, it should never be presented as a dessert (or presumably anything else).  That sold me on making it, no one should ever disparage the simple homey pleasure of bread pudding!

I've been a little out of the mood for food. Shocking, I know! Trust me, it was shocking to me! I've been eating leftovers and pantry stuff since my party on Saturday, I just haven't been able to summon any enthusiasm for anything requiring much effort. Today I decided the buck stops here, I'm not going to tolerate boring food anymore. I didn't know what I wanted, but I knew I didn't want beef. I had scallops in the freezer, so I decided to start looking for scallop ideas, and see where that led me.  My only requirement was the dinner couldn't be heavy.

After the bacon jalapeno popper egg rolls, I had a TON of egg roll wrappers left over. I love all the fun plays on egg rolls, like avocado egg rolls, taco egg rolls, and the popper egg rolls, but I do adore the traditional Chinese egg rolls. There is just something about all of the fresh vegetables and ground pork or shrimp wrapped in a crispy fried egg roll wrapper.  Add hot Chinese mustard, and it's just HAPPY.  But what I was really craving was Chinese egg rolls with an extra ingredient - bean thread. I had them once before at some restaurant, I don't even remember where, or when...

Day 14 - Sunday

It was with GREAT relief that I finished the hair forms today, now I have a chance at finishing the costume in time.

The making of the hair forms.

In the evening, I worked on the placard a bit more. The grey embroidery is really embroidery thread that's been chain stitched with a crochet hook, and then sewn on.  The gold embroidery is also chain stitch. I sewed layers of tulle over it to dim the shine a bit.

I wasn't sure where to start with the armbands. I knew I wasn't going to be able to buy any that would work, and I couldn't make them out of polymer clay. I ordered heavy aluminum, and decided to try making them from scratch.

The jewelry pieces were made from polymer clay; I happened to have silver in my bucket o clay.  I was originally debating on making them from the aluminum, but that seemed like it wouldn't be substantial enough, and would leave seams if I bent the aluminum or used multiple layers.  I rolled out the clay fairly thin, cut the shape while looking at the picture of the original jewelry on my laptop, and then smoothed and shaped it as best I could.

Previously, I'd made the paper blank to test the size, then fumbled around until I had a shape that would fold to create the right effect.  I cut that shape out of carboard for the base of the forms.  Luckily, I had boxes on hand just for this purpose.

Day 11 - Thursday

The days are now becoming a blur! Today I sewed the buttons on the cuffs, and also tacked down the cuff lining, and neatened up the cuff seam at the sleeve attachment. I got the binding sewn on the last armhole of the corset vest, so that garment is all done. I added bias tape to the raw edges of the gathered top edge of the sleeves, and sewed it in place; I now have the sleeves pinned into place in the corset vest, ready to sew in.

WOW I warned you this was going to be long!! : )

Day 8 - Monday

I had a TON of work on the capstone project to do, plus my regular paying job, so the only thing I did today was cut out circles of the grey crepe fabric to make buttons that would match the sleeves exactly. I made 12 buttons, and placated myself with my underachievingness with taking photoes of the process. Because people REALLY care how buttons are made. :o)

The making of the buttons.

I made the buttons using the same fabric as the sleeves and cuffs, so they would match perfectly.

This will be long and picture intensive, so I will break some of the components off into their own posts. I kept notes the whole time of the process, because it's never quite as neat or organized as it seems like it should be.  I also chose to keep it in the form of a diary, just because. : )

Day 1: Saturday, August 11.

When I went to the specialty butcher a month ago and picked up the Wagyu steaks, I also picked up ground wild boar from Australia. I've always wanted to try it, I've heard good things about it, and at $7.99 a pound, it's certainly reasonably priced. I didn't know what to do with it, though, so I threw it back in the freezer for another day. (I don't like freezing meat, but a lot of exotic meat comes pre-frozen, for logistical reasons).

Or, how I spent a lot of my free time in August. : ) It started with an invite to a friend's 40th birthday party. A THEMED birthday party, where guests were encouraged to dress up. I was SO in!!! Could it be any more up my alley???  The theme was Star Wars. I'm not a Star Wars fan; I'm sure I must have seen some of the movies, but I don't remember them. I websurfed my favorite movie costume sites to look for costume ideas. I settled on the Padme packing gown from Episode 2 before I went to bed that night.

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