Friday, September 16, 2011

Filming Today

I'm really excited to be working with some new crafty sites! FaveCrafts and FaveQuilts have graciously asked me to make videos for their sites! Of course I said yes, and today I'm filming.

The early morning where it all comes together, the part that no one sees. Cleaning up, getting the props together, lighting the room, blocking out the interfering sunlight, what am I going to wear, and the list goes on. Believe it or not, I enjoy the entire process, it's very fulfilling to be the full driving force behind what content you produce, and how that content is created.

This morning I had the pleasure of picking flowers for the set. I'm using a new prop, a new owl vase. I do love owls, and am always happy to pick up a new owly friend. I had wondered how the vase itself would work out, as I feel like the flowers arrangement would need to be quite large otherwise the whole thing might look awkward. I was pleasantly surprised that a smaller arrangement actually looked, to me at least, like a little pillbox hat for the owl. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Well another Masquerade has come and gone. The 2nd Annual CTC Masquerade was actually the first one I stayed after helping to attend. It was a great night, and I wish I had been at the first.

My duties this year were the same as the last, make some tasty treats and help do whatever else is needed. Simple enough, although the better part of the day of Masquerade was spent on my baked goods. In the past I've had the pleasure of being in charge of doing opening receptions for the first night of some of the CTC's new shows. And as time has passed, some of the things I've made have been "retired" as many of the reception guests are some of our long standing supporters, so I try to keep some things changing, and I always try to make it so that any new supporters would still be very impressed.

So for Masquerade I decided on doing a little tasting of everything I had done in the past. Well almost everything I had done in the past, for allergy reasons the peanut butter cookies were retired forever. Not because of any accidents, but we all agreed it better just not to risk it in future receptions. (Although they were and still are quite tasty cookies when I decide to make them) But the menu was as follows: Open faced Apple Pies with a drizzle of Creme Caramel sauce (from scratch, of course!), Mini Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes (Some were decorated with sliced strawberries, and some weren't), Lemon Squares, Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes (Both topped with Swiss Meringue Buttercream), Chocolate Chip Cookies (These have made it to all of my CTC shows), and my very special Gingerbread recipe (The one cookie recipe I made while in baking and pastry school).

I love my Gingerbread recipe, when I went to school at Johnson and Wales, I wanted to learn of all things, a recipe for bread that was just like Wonder Bread, and a recipe for Gingerbread that would rival my beloved tubes of Pillsbury Gingerbread, that unfortunately only come out once a year. Well Pain De Mie (almost certain that's what it's called) was the bread that I fell in love with and it does indeed have that deliciously soft texture and crust of Wonder Bread. And in Baking and Pastry Formula Technology, was where I learned the rhymes and reasons of all the different flours and sugars, and leaveners and chemical reactions, in such a way that I was able to devise my own recipe for Gingerbread that I feel does in fact rival Pillsbury's Gingerbread Dough. It's a recipe I keep closely guarded until the day I get to film my segment and am able to share it with everyone. It's coming soon, but until then I hope you enjoy these pictures from Masquerade, I must give all photography credit to: Anne Marie Spatharakis, I hope she doesn't mind I "borrowed" these!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What a whirlwind of a day!

And it's not over yet! I work third shift baking Bagels at a place called Bagelz. It's a fun job, but it does mean that on most nights I'm up and baking all through the night and into the early morning.

Today during the day though, I was busy baking as well. Tomorrow is the Contemporary Theater Company's "Masquerade" fundraiser. It's where people come all dressed up, masks optional, and get together for an auction to raise money for the CTC's upcoming season. Last year was quite a success, and this year we've raised the bar, and aim to do even better. I'm so excited to be making cupcakes and other sweets to be enjoyed by any and all who come!

I also got around to editing together one of the videos from the other days filming! Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Great Wednesday!

A perfect and very productive day! For reasons I'd rather not bore you about... I had to put off filming, AGAIN, yesterday. Luckily today I was able to film both the clips I had in mind and I really think they are going to come out great.

Yesterday was my Uncle's birthday, and I was pleasantly surprised to get a call from my Aunt asking me to make him a birthday cake. A Spice Cake with Cream Cheese frosting. The cake was simple enough, a two layer butter based cake, but I cut the two layers into four and decided to use a cake stencil to decorate the top. Because this was a special occasion,I pulled out my Waterford Crystal cake stand from it's safe hiding space and got those long skinny birthday candles. I was pretty satisfied with the outcome, I hadn't decorated a cake in a while and everyone seemed to enjoy it!

Here's some pictures of the cake, and also a little sneak peek from my filming today, a look into the making of one of my videos, today's video actually!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Rainy Tuesday!

Ahh I do love the rainy days, especially when I'm filming. Not having any light coming in through the windows makes for great taping days. I love the way the colors look on screen when there isn't much, or any, interfering light from outside.

An early dentist appointment today, which I'm actually looking forward to, I love going to the dentist. Crazy I know. I like it because everyone there is nice, and it's so close, if it wasn't raining outside I could ride my bike!

I do have a bad habit of cracking my knuckles and neck and whatever else there is to "pop". Nasty little habit, I picked up from my sisters, as I grew up amazed by their own ability to pop their knuckles and neck. My one sister Dobie even used to ask me, when I was just a little tiny thing. to walk on her back to crack it for her, and she herself also was the first person I ever saw "pop" her wrist. My mom hated it, and I still remember the first time I cracked my neck in front of her, she let out a most disgusted sound and told me not to do that again. Well all these years later this morning I cracked my neck to a most satisfying sound, and low and behold it's gone stiff on me! I can't really turn my head to the left very easily. So it looks like I'm going to head to Shaw's and grab some Tylenol. I don't think my filming will be effected by it.

Which by the way, I'm so excited to be filming a little video on fixing rips and tears the easy way with embroidery, and another on utilizing the 4D software pack that comes with any new Husqvarna Viking Designer embroidery machine. I got mine with my Ruby, and really love the applique text stitch option. So a fast tutorial and keeping right in sync with National Sewing Month!

Here's my first ever, Quilting Video!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday, Monday!

I actually like all of the days of the week, Monday's especially because it's my first day off from my string of baking days. In the professional world I'm a bagel baker, and all of my videos and blogging are my attempts to professionally break into the crafting industry.

Last week, I was working on a method for turning Cricut Cutouts into Applique's and I'm so pleased that so many of the people I was trying to help have eagerly jumped into appliqueing with the technique I used in my video! I don't think anyone person ever owns a technique, so I don't really ever call them "my" techniques.

Monday is an important day for filming, Monday and Tuesday are my busiest days, and this Monday is no exception, I've got two videos planned for today, possibly more if I get motivated and inspired with an idea for one.

Filming the videos actually take the least amount of time, it's all the prep work leading up to the filming and then editing all the video together. So time consuming but it is rewarding to see people watching my videos, and using the techniques in them.

My set is usually decorated with whatever flowering plants I have, either in my house or in the garden. Last night as I walked to my car I noticed some of the Dahlia's were going to be in excellent shape for picking. I couldn't wait to put them in vases and use them on my set!

Update: Change of plans, unfortunately because I am not yet a professional crafter and work out of my home I occasionally have to deal with problems like when the people upstairs want to come and do laundry. So annoying. No filming today, tomorrow will be better because the people who live upstairs and their noisy kids won't be around. Little miffed, not going to lie.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thinking about Christmas again!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, mostly in part because you get to go through Halloween and Thanksgiving to get to it! I love the months leading up to Christmas, it's always exciting for me to think of my annual Christmas trip home to Huntertown, Indiana and seeing my family.

Today I'm trying to figure out some ideas for my Christmas tree, I like switching it up a little bit every year. Last years Wedgwood Christmas tree was alright, but it could have used some more Wedgwood ornaments to really make the tree more lavish and pretty. I know some year in the future I will re-visit the Wedgwood Christmas tree, so I am still actively collecting the ornaments, and I love that right now they're all on sale! It's true I get weak in the knees for those four letters, all printed in red, and reducing the price of whatever it is, that's caught my fancy. My sister says I'm like a little bird, who likes shiny things.

But another project I am actively working on, are my Velvet Christmas stockings. I want to make customized stockings for everyone in my family this Christmas. I've already done a lot of trial and error with sewing and embroidering on Velvet. Embroidering on Velvet actually became the topic of one of my videos recently.

So much to think about and even though it's August I feel like Christmas is right around the corner! I hope I get all my stockings done!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Busy Day!

Today was quite a busy day, I got to meet up with one of my favorite sewing friends, Sandra. Together we planned out my first "Rag Quilt". I had purchased fabric for a quilt weeks before, and I think that the colors I chose will work very nicely for a little childrens sized quilt.

Sandra and I went to Joanns because I wanted to show her the fabrics I had chosen. Luckily I was able to find one of the prints, but the others were gone. Probably all sold out. (What can I say, I have excellent taste, haha just kidding) I only wish I had bought just a little extra fabric, but I'm sure I'll make it work.

One thing I'm particularly excited about is that Rag Quilts don't need to be bound. As a beginning quilter, myself, I find binding to be a chore! While I do know that in order to move into a more advanced sewing arena I do need to learn how to correctly bind quilts and especially need to learn how to bind a quilt with a mitered border. But for now, I can look past all of that and just get right down to the fun part of sewing. I'm also going to be using Sandra's Accuquilt Die Cutting Machine, which will make the whole process even easier and faster!

Here's a picture of the fabric I found at Joanns, and then at home I rounded up the three fabrics I want to use for the quilt, but yet as I sit here and look, this blue just doesn't seem to be fitting. I think I'm going to have to go back and find another pink print to make it all work. What do you think?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

National Sewing Month begins TODAY!

I am so excited that National Sewing Month has began, it was just two short years ago I took up sewing again, since learning at middleschool.

I've always been surrounded by talented sewers, one in particular, My Aunt Rosemary. Who I would have to say is responsible for my love of the high end sewing things. I still remember hearing about her first embroidery machine, and whenever I look for sewing notions I always look first for the ones I know she has. Inspiration comes from everywhere, and I'm happy to say on my sewing journey I've met more than just a few good friends!

I've got so many sewing projects planned, and I'm really excited to say that I have more than a few sewing videos planned to help celebrate the month!

Here's the first one, and it's all thanks to my good friend, Faye!

So much has gone on! I'm excited to have some first hand footage of my experience with Hurricane Katrina, which I will say, luckily just barely brushed us.

Figuring out how to make those applique's with my Cricut and the Futura wasn't as easy as I had initally thought. I spent a good portion of this morning trying, unsuccessfully, different methods of making appliques. I also have another applique video planned using my Designer Ruby as the star, and hopefully I'll be filming that in the very next few days! Until then Happy Sewing! Maybe I'll see you at Joanns!!