Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hot+Not: Computers and Piggies and Lanterns, Oh My!

Hot. Not. Loobylu. Need I say more?

This week, I'm starting with the NOTS.

Not. Any Computer in Our House. Or, for that matter, any electrical appliance, like say my car. My refrigerator. Half the lightbulbs.
Lordy, it's been a week of technology-related woes, and I still feel a bit shaky. I know I was complaining about this last week, but things just kept getting worse every time I turned around, and of course my husband was out of town for much of the week, leaving me, the person who still struggles even just to turn on the TV (which is really not my fault, since we seem to have like a thousand remotes and way too many buttons and I never have the right ones), to be the family Geek Squad. Mostly that means we were computer-light (hence the week of no posts - but I have lots of stuff half written I'll try to post in catch-up fashion). And the car wouldn't go, so I was stuck at home. And the refrigerator was WAY too cold, freezing all the veggies and making the butter extra-rock hard. Maybe even diamond-hard. And I don't know what the heck was going on with the light bulbs, but they were burning out left and right and I still haven't caught up replacing them.

Making Little Dresses for Little Piggies.
This little dress was way too small. This little dress was way too big. And this little dress was really too big too, but I fudged and made it kind of fit because I couldn't bear to try again.

Not getting the recipe for this St. Nicholas Day treat up until today. Two days after St. Nicholas Day.
These are actually buckeyes, which aren't officially a St. Nick treat, but they are very similar to a traditional St. Nick candy I found online. More importantly, they are super easy, no cook, use only ingredients I already have in the house, and contain chocolate.

Here's what you do: Combine 3/4 cup of peanut butter, 2 T honey, 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers OR crushed breakfast cereal, and a handful of mini chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir and mush around with your hands, adding a little more of this or a little more of that until the texture seems right - sticks together adequately to shape into small super ball-sized balls and doesn't "melt" into a blob if you walk away for five minutes. You can roll the balls in grated chocolate or dip them in melted chocolate for fanciness, but the plain ones taste perfectly wonderful.

I used natural peanut butter because I think it tastes better, but it does have the disadvantage of having the oil leach out if you don't eat them all in the first hour. Fortunately that is not a big problem.

That's it! Now the HOT.

Little Piggies
Specifically the hot babes above. I finally finished making prototypes and working up tutorials and patterns for making two different styles of Mimi dolls to go with my book of the same title. It was hard for me because I have not really sewn much with an actual pattern since high school. And I've definitely never made up my own pattern first (as opposed to just winging it as I go). I'm hoping to have the patterns and tuts finished and posted here in the next day or two.

Mimi 1 is posable and intended for kids past the age of putting things in their mouths because she does have small parts (like her eyes, nose, and buttons - oh, and her belly button. And her bunny slippers). (Secretly she's my favorite. Also secretly, I'm giving her to my daughter for Christmas because Sara's kind of gaga for her, even though I messed up Mimi's ear, her legs, and half her other body parts.) I'm working on some other outfits too, like her tutu, jammies, tiara, and cape. And of course Bunny and Frank-the-Roly-Poly-Bug.

Mimi 2, below, is a softie appropriate for babies and toddlers. Her features are embroidered or sewn (her nose and belly button), and she's a little larger and softer and easier for a little one to grasp and tote to bed. She's very sweet and cute, especially for my first effort with this sort of thing, but she doesn't seem quite as...spirited, I guess, as posable Mimi.

Technically cold, but light and magical like this, and in the run-up to Christmas, just right hot for me. Of course, we're getting freezing rain at the moment, but I did enjoy the white stuff while it lasted.

And Ice!
As in ice lanterns. I blogged about making these last year here. Jennifer Hedberg, the ice lantern lady I interviewed for the Nick Jr. article that featured them, has added a nice blog to her website here with lots of cool (get it?) new tips, supplies you can order, and pretty pictures.

My daughter made several of these over the weekend, and fortunately we lit them yesterday (before the temps warmed up and the rain came), even though that was one day early for celebrating La Fete des Lumieres (which is December 8th) in honor of Mary. I'd never heard of the holiday until last week - but as it turns out to be celebrated only in Lyons, France, I think I can be forgiven. Still I'd love to go check it out some day. Here are some links where you can read about it and look at pretty pictures.


Anonymous said...

Your little piggies are really great, lovely that you have an option appropriate for babies and toddlers. Good on you making a tute!
Don't fret time wise though - its a demanding time of the year Carol!
Chele x

Ali said...

Oooh your softies look absolutely adorable! And finally someone after my own heart on the snow and all the quiet calm it tends to bring me!

crzylady said...

love the mimis. very adorable! especially the little slippers

Leonie said...

I am in love with the little piglets, they are so cute! That book must start selling like hotcakes. I love the ears on Mimi1, and she's got such a cheeky, adorable face to go with them.

I can't wait for a bit of snow in my neck of the woods!