Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

When the Moon Hits Your Eye…that’s disaster

Ciao from the Italian kitchen of a 4’11” Italian-American lady! First I must say, I don’t intend to fail at everything. In fact, I had a successful sewing experience on Saturday and sewed my first pillow slipcover. I walked around with my beautifully sewn pillow for most of the day. It was such an odd feeling, I wanted it to last forever. I should have just stopped right there, but no, I decided to tackle our pasta machine on my day off yesterday and sadly, that tingly successful feeling is nothing but a distant memory.

My sister-in-law, Meghan, is an amazing gourmet chef. She’s always very creative and fearless when it comes to the kitchen. MM and I paid her a visit a few months back and she raved how she had mastered making her own pasta. In fact, she gave us a demo and invited us to join in. It seemed so easy. I helped run it through the machine and floured the pasta while it hung from hangers in the kitchen. I knew I could do it, I am 75% Italian, it’s in my blood to do this. haha, welcome to my kitchen:

I wanted a healthier option so I bought Whole Wheat flour. haha! I have yet to enter territory where I can experiment so Rule #1: Stick to the recipe. I went for it anyway. I poured the flour on the cutting board and slowly started to pour the eggs into the well I dug. Well, it broke like the 17th Street Canal! Sorry for the lack of photos, but I was covered in raw egg and hardening bits of flour as I tried my best to push it back into the well. I eventually got it but realized this was never going to work so I opted for the reliable KitchenAid to do the work for me, this time with the All-Purpose flour the recipe called for.

The water is boiling and the second batch of dough is just fine. The machine is mounted and ready to go! I got past the first few steps and I’ve fed it through the flat attachment like I’m supposed to and ready to watch in amazement as IT DOES NOT COME OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE SPAGHETTI ATTACHMENT CORRECTLY! In fact, nothing really comes out, but how, I fed a ton of pasta through that thing. Here’s what I see! Thanks to shakes of anger, the photo is a mess too.

So I detach it, maybe I need to flour it more. Luckily, I can still pull most of it out at this time. I try it again, and again and again and this is what I get! At this point, I wish MM was here to help. Rule #2: Work with a partner!

This is not pasta, not the thin strands that I so lovingly floured in Meghan’s kitchen, but my own tangled, knots of stupid noodles. There’s no way I could keep it so I tossed it. I didn’t want to look at it anymore. Well, I could go on and on, about my attempt to dismantle the machine to remove the extra bits of pasta, but I want to walk out of here with a little bit of my Italian dignity, so I’ll leave it at that! Ciao!

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May 26, 2011

She’s Got Legs!

Sewing is still fairly new territory for me. Like a week. I just purchased a machine and I am a firm believer that you can skip the basics and just dive in and figure it out as you go along. HAHAHAHA While my machine was in transit from amazon to my doorstep, I surfed the web looking for the perfect first project. I came across this lovely site called One Red Robin, from artist Jhoanna Monte. Oh her stuff is lovely, dolls and personalized fabrics, beautiful photography of her work, pretty much the antithesis of what this site is. Well she had a free starter doll pattern called the Ruby Doll, that sounded right up my alley. The front page of instructions said, “…a simple pattern and versatile little doll”. Jhoanna also has a flickr page to showcase all the dolls from crafters everywhere and I got a little excited thinking I was going to add to her photo collection.

It started off a success, I carefully cut everything out, was figuring out the machine and spending some time with MadMaloney while he worked on his latest skull ring. Rarely do I ever stay up past ten o’clock on a weeknight and here it is almost midnight on a Thursday evening. I’m determined not to go to sleep until she’s complete. I put everything together and begin to sew her up. Not until I am about 75% done do I realize she’s right side out! I forgot to face her right sides together! I have a seam ripper in hand but I just couldn’t. So here she is, right sides together and no legs. Wait, no legs!?

Why doesn’t she have legs? Well, keep reading!

Always one to learn from my mistakes, I attempted her again the next night. I can’t possibly make the same mistake twice! I carefully cut everything out again and left it on the dining room table, while MM and I went to our favorite local haunt for a Victoria beer. I come home to my doll parts only to find a missing leg and a cat not feeling so well. That was four days ago and I still haven’t seen the leg. I refused to cut out anymore legs, especially since I had cut them out 8 times already and originally started off with two left feet. So I decided to pull the legs off the first doll and donate them to the second one.

Okay, just a little bump in the road but I’m back on track. Everything is going swimmingly. I paid extra attention to lining up the doll right sides together and sewed her up! I’m super impressed with myself and I’m pulling her back around and BAM! I sewed her arms and legs inside her body. Tears of anger began to swell. Not only do I have a second failed doll. I  have now wasted two sleepless nights trying to put this simple and versatile doll together. If versatile means she can stuff her extremities inside her body then I win!

I wish I could laugh but it’s still too soon.

I apologize to Jhoanna and think I will leave her site alone for now until I improve a little.

May 25, 2011

Experimental Animation

I’m in between projects at work, so I thought I’d sharpen some of the ol’ After Effects skills and play around a little bit today. It’s quite simple, one shape, no effects, limited color palette. Enjoy! Check out the others while you’re at it

May 25, 2011

Projects in the Works

So here’s what I’m brewing up over the next few weeks:

Don’t want to disappoint, but this will probably come out okay.

It’s never too early to get started on winter hats.

Heading to Graceland in a few weeks, so I’m hoping to finish before then.

And for the expected fail, a weekend sewing project, courtesy of

sewingrepublic.com


May 25, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things…

My cat Figaro…

Mornings before I go to work…so peaceful

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.

May 24, 2011

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Finally, a blog for the average failure person. Like many, I obsess over beautifully crafted blogs, where people live amongst perfectly decorated homes, exotic travels and DIY crafts. Bloggers everywhere make it look so easy, and being an obsessive DIYer, I try everything! In my opinion, these are the celebrities that I wish to be, just a little less graceful. I will spend a weekend in the kitchen attempting to make MadMaloney’s favorite dessert or knit for hours only to create a hat that doesn’t fit properly. Yet despite my consistent failure, I refuse to give up. Motivated you might say or just plain crazy? Consider this the blog for the average human being, the blog for the failed attempts, when things don’t go your way, when you are sitting in a room all alone up to your ears in scrap fabrics, hot glue burns on your fingertips, a sewing project that can’t be fixed, sequins all over the floor and a cat throwing up yarn.

I yearn for the day when I am a craft goddess, but if I do not learn from our mistakes, there is no room to improve. Follow me as a I fail/improve my

sewing

cooking

knitting

animation

experimental endeavors

crocheting

gardening

home improvement

blogging skills.