Friday, May 21, 2010

chocolate cherry bombs

Been drooling over pictures of cake truffles (or cake balls) for a while now, finally jumped in and tried my hand at making them. Mine aren't the prettiest around, but dear merciful heavens, they are delicious.

Here's how I made mine, which I'm calling Chocolate Cherry Bombs : For good basic directions for cake balls, pops, and bites check out the fabulous Bakerella.

Chocolate cake box mix, made to directions on box, cooled, and crumbled in food processor.

Cream cheese frosting -started with this recipe, but used less than half that much sugar so they wouldn't be sickly sweet.

Added about 1/2 cup amaretto liqueur to the cake & frosting mix

At the center of each ball, I put a brandied dried cherry. Just pour dried cherries in a mason jar, add some sugar, and cover with brandy. Also good with rum or amaretto. Screw the lid on and let it soak for a couple weeks.

Then dipped in chocolate candy melts.

They turned out a bit lumpy and wobbly, but honestly no one seems overly concerned about that.

cherry bombs

Thursday, April 8, 2010

This is not the greatest scarf in the world, this is just a tribute

Right about the time the real estate market crashed like a solid steel kite, I found myself working at a model home for the better part of a year. Day after day, all alone at a desk in a big empty house, in a neighborhood full of empty houses. Get there in the morning, unlock the doors and turn on the lights. Nine hours later, turn out the lights and lock the doors. There was some phone calling and marketing mail-outs in between, but not much.

Had an average of 3 customers a week. And this was a neighborhood doing better than most.

So, as any sane person who intended to stay that way would do, I taught myself to knit and made a 15 foot long scarf.

"Fifteen feet?!" I hear you exclaim, "What, you couldn't figure out how to bind off?"

Well, there was that too. But mostly, I wanted a Doctor Who scarf. Like the one Tom Baker wore. But not exactly like. Because, you see, I am constitutionally incapable of following someone else's pattern. Patterns are boring. (This is also why I'm a better cook than baker.)

So I made a tribute scarf. Not quite as long as the original, in warmer colors, and chenille rather than wool. Mmmmm, chenille. Oh, and worsted rather than sport weight. Plus I left off the fringe.

The definitive source for patterns for The Scarf in all its various iterations is
But since I was using worsted weight, I used this lovely pattern here at forapples. Because I was loom knitting (old school Who fans may understand why anything Who related should be made on looms. LOOOOOOMS.)
Chenille came from Beyond Pretty Yarn, who was lovely to work with and ever so helpful. These are my colors. Aren't they pretty?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Good, the Bard, and the Ugly

One of my favorite places in Atlanta is the amazing Shakespeare Tavern. Some months ago, during their run of As You Like It, they ran a Bad Poetry contest.

In the play, Orlando is completely smitten with Rosalind. She has been banished from the kingdom and he doesn't know how to find her, so he writes piles of poetry- some sweet and some downright awful - and goes around nailing it to defenseless trees.

So the Tavern had a contest, to write a poem. The criteria was that it had to be not more than 14 lines, specify that it was written to Rosalind, and be really painfully bad. The prizes were awesome, and I was determined to win the Worst Poet in Atlanta crown. I very seldom commit poetry but when I do I know it's bone-curdlingly awful, so I should be a shoe-in, right?

Somehow, none of my entries even made the weekly finals. Apparently it was just too good. Yeah, that's it. Here's my favorite sonnet.

G33k Love

Oh Rosalind, you're so tres chic
As for me, I'm kind of a geek
But I think you're awesome as Princess Leia
You've got the moves of Lara Croft, Tomb Raid-ah
Your heart is big just like Rose Tyler's
I'll be your Doctor just to see you smile. Er,
Doctor Who? We'd make the TARDIS rock
Or you be Uhura, and I'll be Spock
I'm no Kirk, don't want every chick
To you like Yoda on Luke's back I'll stick
Us together, we'd be spectacul-ah
Epic like Battlestar Galactica
My love is long lasting, unlike Firefly
For you always faithful like a Jedi

Come on, is that some epic bad poetry or what? Sigh. Maybe it's because I forced the rhymes.

ETA: An aspiring filk singer asked about the possibility of expanding this and putting it to music. Got any awful couplets for me?

Monday, March 29, 2010


Somewhere, somewhen, someone has to have designed an x-ray cross stitch pattern. Don't want a creepy skeleton, I want a simple little pattern that looks like an x-ray. Bah.

Friday, March 26, 2010

inevitable, really

I wanted to make something for my friend wendymoon, who is a tiny package of pure awesome. What better than two of my favorite characters from our shared fandoms, who happen to be deceptively tiny packages of pure awesome?

Bet you can't guess my current primary fandom from that picture, can you? Nope. Dead subtle, me.

Counted cross stitch bookmark, drafted the pattern myself and the fonts came from If I did it over I'd change the colors a wee bit- Yoda's skin should be a little lighter, and the two blues of the TARDIS looked like they contrasted a lot more in the store.

I most proud of the fact that for the first time in my history of cross-stitch, the back actually looks halfway decent instead of a mad tangle of wild threads, fighting to get free.

My Yoda pattern is available for free here, for all my fellow Star Wars geeks, in all its MSPaint glory. Will try to share the TARDIS pattern soon. Really wish I had Excel. Nevermind accounting, it makes patterns so nice and neat!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

an introduction, of sorts

When faced with a mug containing an indeterminate amount of coffee, the optimist will declare "This cup is half full!"
The pessimist corrects, "This cup is half-empty."
The realist studies the situation a moment before explaining, "Actually, it depends on whether you're drinking or pouring."
The meliorist brightens and declares "Hey, if you add some kahlua we'd be halfway to a party!"

Actually, meliorism is the philosophical belief that the world tends to get better and that we, as humans, can foster that change and contribute to making this a better place to live. Large scale, I don't entirely hold to that. On a personal scale, however, I'm trying to apply the concept that I have the power to make things better.

I love the process of creating things, but I also have a tragically short attention span. "Oh, that's shiny!" I think, "I can so make that myself!" Plan and sketch it out, make lists of techniques and ingredients, hare off to the craft store for goodies. Plop down at the table and merrily begin.

Before long, things have gone horribly wrong. It doesn't look like it did in my head, or my hands have begun to ache (I have severe arthritis) or it has inexplicably turned 2am. When I start channeling Scarlett O'Hara, I know it's time to turn it in. As in "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day!"

Having very limted space there's no dedicated craft area, so it all gets packed up and put away for the night. Where it's just so much easier to leave it there. Especially once something else new and shiny catches my magpie eye.

So. This is me, acknowledging my faults and vowing to do better. I will work on my craft until I actually improve to an acceptable level. I will finish one project before beginning another twenty. I will organize my crafting goodies so that I don't end up with fifty pair of scissors and no needles. I will... well, let's not get carried away here.

I will, in the immortal words of the Siruis Cybernetics Corporation complaints division, "Share and Enjoy".