Book Review: The Witches of Eastwick

I just finished reading The Witches of Eastwick. I bought this book at a rummage sale years ago and honestly had no idea what it was about. I've never seen the movie but I assumed it was about witches. After reading this book I can safley say I didn't like it at all and was completely disappointed.

It was set in the 60's or 70's, I couldn't really tell but there were hippies around. It takes place in Rhode Island near the ocean and centers around 3 main women and a man who moves to their neighborhood from NYC. There wasn't much "witchyness" in the book. It was mostly just bitchy old divorced ladies putting curses on people they didn't like or who did something wrong to them. All 3 of them basically neglect their kids to go have orgys with the hairy guy from New York or hang out amongst themselves. Besides him all 3 of the women have random lovers throughout town, all who are married men. There was just something about the whole book and the main characters that made me pretty much hate them all. They bitched about their kids, the other women in town, each other, life, everything! I would never associate with women like that and most of the time while reading this book I wanted to punch them all! They were just a bunch of catty old broads and I don't recommend this book to anyone!



Netflix Review: Papillon

So after all this hubbub with Netflix I got to thinking about how much I depend on the DVDs they mail me. I don't have cable or anything so all I watch are movies. I was actually pretty stoked about the plan changes because I don't stream movies so my price went down. It does suck for those of you who do stream and watch DVDs that your price went up now though, sorry friends!

I've been on a massive kick of old movies recently. I thought it would be fun to review a movie once in a while that I really loved since they might not be something you have seen or even thought of renting or streaming.

Here are some of my favs from the last few weeks:
Rear Window - I love Hitchcock and this is the original with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.
North by Northwest - Another Hitchcock with Cary Grant. Family Guy did a spoof of one of the final scenes at Mount Rushmore from this movie.
Gone with the Wind - This was the first time I watched it and I am shocked at what a pain in the ass Scarlett O'Hara is!
The Sting - I looove Paul Newman!!
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - I would ride on Paul Newman's bicycle handlebars anyday!! PLUS Robert Redford, a pretty good looking cast I must say.
The Thin Man, After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man - The husband and wife duo are pretty funny together in a way I never expected since these movies were made in the 1930's!

The most recent movie I watched which I really liked is Papillon.

It stars Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. It was filmed in the 70's but takes place during the 1930's and is based on the true story of Henri "Papillion" Charriere. Papillion is accused of murder and shipped to the Devil's Island penal colony in French Giuana to serve a life sentence where he meets Dustin Hoffman's character, Louis Dega. Papillion is determined to escape from the very beginning, especially because he maintains that he was wrongly accused of the murder. After being captured from his first escape attempt he is put into solitary confinement for 2 solid years and almost died from starvation and light deprevation. After gaining his strength back he makes another daring escape with Dega across the Atlantic in a sailboat to Venezuela. Dega is captured as soon as they get there but Papillon gets away and is able to live there for quite a while. He is eventually captured again, sent back to the penal colony and spends 5 more years in solitary confinement!!! By the end of the movie Papillon and Dega are imprisoned on another island which seems A LOT nicer than Devil's Island. They have their own little huts, gardens and pretty much do what they want. The reason being, the island is surrounded by the ocean and there are no beaches, only cliffs falling into the ocean so there is no chance for escape. Either the tide will kill them by smashing them into the cliffs or the sharks will.
I won't tell you the end because I really think you should watch it. I will tell you though that I was totally surprised at how it ended! This is kind of a long movie, 2 1/2 hours but definitely worth it. There are some good extras on the DVD as well. You get to see some of the filming of the movie as well as Papillon himself on set and his reaction to the recreation of the penal colony. The credits of the movie are cool too because it shows you what Devil's Island looks like now that it is no longer used, it's all over grown with vegetation and the buildings are all delapitated.

I hope you watch it and if you do, let me know what you thought of it!



BBP Sent #2

Here are the second set of squares I made in the Blogger Blanket Project. These ones are for Becky who blogs over at the adorable Strumpets Crumpets. Her dog Mickey has to be the cutest and fluffiest little pooch I've ever seen! Plus all the granny circles she is making are absolutely gorgeous, the colors are to die for!! (I now need to learn to make granny circles!)
While rooting through my stash, I found that I have a lot of green yarn (I also have a ton of green embroidery floss too, coincidence?) I'm definitely drawn to the color, especially Kelly Green. It's in my top 3 favorite colors actually. I hope she likes this combo with the dusty/olivey green and white.

Question: Have any of you noticed that the lighter the color a yarn is, the thinner it is?! All 3 of these yarns are Vanna Choice. The two greens are the same consistency but the white is sooo much thinner, I don't get it at all! Does the dye make yarn thicker or something? From holding the dye? What is it all about?!

Anyways...here they are...

How'd you like that extreme close up of them?! Have a crafty day kids!



Hand Made Dish Cloths

Last week I entered a giveaway over on Simply Kelly Designs blog. She was giving away 3 crocheted dishcloths made by Karma Crochet. I wanted them so badly I entered a bazillion times and it paid off!! I won these beauties and they arrived in the mail yesterday.


The colors are so pretty and summery and I really love the idea of reusing dishcloths to wash my dishes instead of sponges that just get thrown away. I can just toss these guys into the laundry once in a while and they'll be good as new! It took a minute to get used to using the dishcloth instead of a smaller sponge but I got the hang of it.
You guys should start washing your dishes with reusable dishcloths as well. It's better for the environment plus you can support crafty chics like Patrica who make them or for my crochet friends, you can make your own!



More Craftster Grannies Received

I received some more lovely squares from another Craftster partner. She lives in Canada and right in the midst of the swap the Canadian post went on a strike. I can't even imagine not getting mail everyday! I'd die without my Netflix. I wonder what happens as far as people's bills, if they can't pay something online what would they do?! Personally I can't pay my rent online so I guess I would have to drive a few towns over to my landlord to give her a check, man what a hassle! I'm glad that the postal workers in Canada are back at it and I got my squares!

Here they are, the turqoise yarn is my favorite!

Have a great weekend everyone!



Body Moving

So my dears I wanted to tell you about some exercises I have been doing. Kinda weird to talk about, right? Not my normal content but that's ok. Let's get a little more personal, shall we?
I mentioned here that I had started doing exercises every day and that they are really helping with my back injury from my accident a few years ago.
I wanted to share what I have been doing. I honestly don't remember where I first saw this reposted but I saved a copy of the link to the original post on my phone and just kept the idea of it in the back of my mind.
In all the preperations for the vacation Jeremy and I are going on to Florida in a few weeks my self-concious, girl side kicked in and I wanted to workout. I haven't exercised in literally years. When I was younger I used to be really good and would go to the gym every day after work. I would run 3 miles and then take either a pilates or a yoga class, I loved it. After time I couldn't afford the gym anymore and just got lazy.

I began The Starter's Exercise Plan created and posted over on downtownn.tumblr.com This plan is really great because it is clearly designed for someone who hasn't done any sort of exercise recently. Also every day is different so it doesn't get boring. Even if the days routine takes maybe 15 minutes, I would feel pretty good about myself afterward that I had actually done it. After about a week I decided to incorporate more exercises. Just basic arm stuff one day, legs another and gut another. I started this plan on June 6th and it is a 20 Day plan. I won't lie and say I didn't skip some days because I totally did. I definitely didn't work out on Saturdays and also a few times during the week if I was being lazy or wanted to craft instead. I finished this plan on July 5th, it took me 30 days instead of 20. Not TOO shabby all things considered.

I started the Level One Exercise Plan on July 6th and I am going to try my best to have it finished by time we leave for Florida on the 29th. It's not really that I think I will look much different in my bathing suit or anything by that time, it's just a deadline I gave myself.
I've also been walking around during lunch and my afternoon break at work. I've definitely noticed that if I sit ALL day at work that my back gives me more trouble. Sitting in an office, under flourescent lights staring at a computer for 8 hours a day is horrible. I like to just get outside, feel the sun, listen to my music on Pandora and move around a bit!

If any of you are thinking of starting any kind of workout routine, I definitely recommend trying this. If not to stick to the whole thing through Level Three, at least to just get you used to exercising a little!

Have a good day kids, thanks for reading!



BBP Sent

I showed you ladies and gents yesterday the first set of squares I received in the Blogger Blanket Project and now I want to show you the first set I sent.

I'm using this swap to do some stash busting. I have ridiculous amounts of yarn all in the same types of colors. ESPECIALLY red, white and grey!
These are the 6 I sent to Rebecca who blogs over on the lovely Consider My Dear. Go check out her blog because she did an animal doodle challenge every day last month that I am in love with. There is a Lion that she painted/drew on one of the first days and it is beyond amazing! (I obviously love the owl too!) I envy anyone who can paint with watercolors!



BBP Received

As you may or may not know I am participating in the Blogger Blanket Project hosted by the one and only Miss Courtney. There are 6 other chics in the swap and we are each making 6 squares for each other, we will all end up with a total of 36 squares. I know what you must be thinking "Didn't you just do this?!" I did something similar over on Craftster a few weeks ago (I'm actually waiting for 2 more packages of squares to receive from that swap). I had planned to make a blanket from my Craftster squares to bring to work and now I want to make another from these Blogger Blanket Squares. I couldn't really put them all together because the Craftster ones are 7" and these ones are 6". We'll see what happens once I have them all. Plus Courtney mentioned possibly doing another round so I could end up with EVEN more! Never a problem though, I know I can find an awesome use for them all; blankets, pillows, a purse...the possibilites are endless!

Anyway, I received my first package of squares!!

These gorgeous squares are from the darling Miss Heather Dawn! I was so excited when I saw the envelope in my doorway. First off she decorated the envelope with all kinds of cute doodles AND included a very sweet note. I love that the colors are all mish-mashed together. I also really like that there are colors that I probably never would have chosen myself or put together as one square. It will really make this blanket a nice collection of colors. Plus it will open my eyes to all the color possibilites in the world, not just black, red, grey, green and purple!!

I can't decide which square is my favorite but it is definitely between the yellow, pink, green, rusty orange, cream one and the blue, mustardy yellow, purple, pink, cream one. They're both such lovely combinations together! I also think these squares are wonderfully made, such good craftsmanship! Heather said that she was nervous about this swap because she doesn't crochet every day but she could have fooled me with these skills! She's so awesome, it's like she crochets ALL day =D

Thank you so, so much Heather!! You have made this an awesome start to the Blogger Blanket Project for me!



Spoon Necklace

Today is my sister, Jessie's 26th birthday. I showed you two of the things I got her from the Renegade Craft Fair last month but I also made her something. Remember a while ago I got a little drill and had plans to drill and embroidery all kinds of stuff? Well I finally drilled and embroidered my first thing as a gift for Jessie! It is a big soup spoon turned into a necklace.
Jeremy helped me drill the holes after I marked where I wanted them. He didn't realize I was making the spoon into a necklace and thought I was just going to hang it on my wall or something. He said he would have done a better job of making sure the holes were lined up correctly. I think they came out just fine. He then took the spoon to work with him and filed off all the sharp edges the holes left on the back as well as bending and cutting the handle into a loop for a chain to go through. Now that I watched him do it I'm sure I can do it myself next time. I just need to get safety glasses (his were too big on me so that is why he ended up drilling the holes), a big metal file for the rough edges left over and a clamp to hold it so I can bend the handle.
Jessie's favroite color is a burgundy, violet, redish color. I used 3 colors of thread for this spoon starting with the darkest on the left and getting slightly lighter toward the right. It's not hugely noticable that there are multiple colors but that's ok. I'm pretty stoked at how this turned out regardless!!

This is the back, I just glued some fabric on because you could see the back stitches a little when wearing it since the spoon is curved.

I just hope she likes it as much as I do!



Renegade Recap

Please tell me how the hell I forgot to give you guys a recap of my trip to Renegade with Liz last month?! Jeez Louise, it's down right unacceptable!!

So let me tell you...first off, it was amazing! Just crafts and crafts galore. From jewelry to crochet to clothing, housewares, paper crafts, soaps, stuffies and more!! Just oodles of amazingly talented ladies and gents selling there wares together in a park in Brooklyn.
Liz and I drove, I've driven a few times to Brooklyn but Liz offered to this time. Which is fine by me, Liz always drives and that is why she is My Captain and I am her Matey (seriously, we have shirts..this is not a joke)
We got there with no problem, there was awesome parking and we got to walking around each booth all the while Oooing and Aahing. We literally asked each other what occasions were coming up that we need presents for just so we didn't feel guilty about all the things we wanted to buy!
The weather was extremely iffy, at first it was just sprinkling here and there but eventually the sky cracked open and it freaking down poured!! Not like just a normal rain, no, it was raining effing buckets!! I felt so bad for all the booths but especially for the paper crafters, if those things got wet...UGH I can't even imagine!! It only lasted a little while though so after hiding in some booths and darting to others we were free to mosey around again.
The whole time Liz would say things like "Oh you could make this!!" "Hey, will you make me this?!" It makes me feel so awesome to have a best friend who literally believes I am the most talented crafter in the world. I mean I felt kind of awkward when the person who DID make it heard her...I would just giggle and play it off. Really though, it means so much to me that Liz loves the things I make her. I know she always appreciates them and sees how much thought and effort really goes into what I make for her. <3
One really fun thing was that Spoonflower had a booth there. They are an awesome company where you can design your own fabric! In their booth people were able to come in a use their super amazing sewing machines and make themselves a little drawstring bag. The girl running the booth asked if we wanted to learn to sew and make a bag. I already know how to sew (although now I wish I had done it just to be able to use their awesome machines.) I was so excited though beacause Liz asked if it was alright if I wait while she makes one. OF COURSE!! It was great watching someone else learning to sew and use a sewing machine . I started remembering how nervous I was when I first got my machine. I mean that first time you step on the peddle...whew!! You don't know what's going to happen!!

I of course had a spending limit while we were there but I really wanted to find a new ring for myself and a birthday present for my sister, Jessie. I had such a hard time deciding which ring to buy and just wanted to keep looking in case I found something EVEN more amazing. The funny thing is, after going to all the booths I ended up back at the very first ring I looked at by DesignErica! I was also a little nervous because it was so humid out and my fingers were swollen. Whenever it is hot and humid, I get kind of swollen and it's hard to get my rings on and off (does that happen to you?!) I really loved the honeycomb ring. Normally I wear silver jewelry...like every piece of jewelry I own with metal is silver. This ring is sort of a brushed bronze. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and it was just a smidge bit snug. I knew that once my fingers shrunk down to their normal size it would fit so I bought it!

Jessie loves to take baths. I don't get it, I'm a shower person myself but pretty much our whole lives she has loved taking baths. First I saw a bunch of adorable mounted plush dead deer heads by Cherrybox Studios that pulled me right into their booth. While I was looking around their booth I saw the Berrycorn Bloody Bubble Bath, I knew immediately that it would be perfect for Jessie!!

I also then saw a booth full of prints of animals in clothes. There is pretty much nothing more adorable than an animal in clothing...unless the animal speaks with a Britsh accent (Bedknobs & Broomsticks anyone?!) Jessie feels the same way...if not more! She watches more Disney movies and cartoons than anyone I know and references them regularly in everyday life LOL I bought her two little pins from Berkley Illustrations. One of a racoon in a brown suit and the other of a hedgehog in a blue suit with a bow tie.

Liz really likes cards so we were browsing in a booth full of them by Life with Tigers. A bunch of them had little plays on words featuring animals that I loved! I picked this one up for Jeremy. I'm holding on to it for right now until I think he'd appreciate getting a silly little card in the mail.

We got lunch near the park in the middle of the day and then on the way out we got smoothies and headed home. After being in the car for only a few minutes my allergies pretty much exploded. I was completely miserable, I couldn't breathe, kept sneezing and blowing my nose. To boot...some jerkoffs car was broken down in one of the only two lanes in the Holland Tunnel!!! We had to sit in traffic waiting to get through that damn tunnel for over an hour!! We should have already been home in that time!!
Besides that last little episode the Craft Fair was amazing! I am so envious of all the talented people, their beautiful creations and that they are selling them at a craft fair. I really need to get my ass in gear and do something similar!!!



Book Review: Dismantled

For the month of June we read Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon for Book Club. For the most part I really liked this book, all the way up until the end I loved it. It was scary and creepy and a really fast read. It was as they say "a page turner". Most of the time I just kept turning the pages until the last thing I read wasn't scary so I could fall asleep, ha! I mean ghosts, little kids, "imaginary" friends, possessed dolls...it was creeeepy!

10 years ago a group of 4 friends who were all art students at the same college formed a grouped, The Compassionate Dismantlers. They believed that the only true art is not to create something but to destroy it, take it apart until it is nothing again. They caused some disturbances in town, setting buldings on fire, destroying their college records, framing a professor for sexual assault, etc. They spent their last summer together at a cabin on a lake in the Vermont woods. Throughout the entire book we know that something happened at the lake to the leader of the group, Suz but we don't know what exactly until almost the very end of the book. All we know is that she is dead. Another girl in the group moved away and the other two, Tess and Henry get married and have a little girl.
Their marriage is troubled, Henry has moved into the barn and drinks a bit too much. Their daughter Emma is a little odd, she has OCD and is constantly counting and keeping things in order. She also has an imaginary friend that somehow knows about Suz and eventually her parents start to believe IS Suz! The little girl Emma and a friend decided to root around through her parents things to find a way to get them back together. They find a journal and photos from that summer at the lake and decide to send postcards to the other Dismantlers. A guy who wasn't really a member but was basically tormented by this group gets a postcard too and he kills himself. His family hires a private detective to find out why he would have killed himself. This guy starts sniffing around Tess and Henry who have kept the secret of what happened to Suz that summer. They become very frightened that the truth will come out and they will end up in prison.
Throughout the book it seems like Suz's ghost is haunting them all, leaving little trinkets around that once belonged to her, photographs, the daughter starts saying things that no one else would have known, etc. It definitely is scary and I loved it!
The ending was kind of a disappointment, I won't tell you why because other than that I highly recommend the book and I don't want to ruin the ending for you.

Have you read any good books lately? Every month I try to read one book on my own as well as the Book Club book. I'm trying to read all the books I own that I haven't read yet but have been on my book shelf for a while. Up next is The Witches of Eastwick. I think I got this at a garage sale or something but it's been on my shelf forever and I decided it's time to read it!



July Goals

July Goals

Send to 4 of my Blogger Blanket Project partners
Finish reading The Witches of Eastwick and the new book club book.
Make something for Jessie's Birthday.
Save more $$ for Florida
Figure out what we are going to do about Florida (getting there, do while we're there,etc.)

Looking forward to:
Jessie's Birthday (I'm really pushing for a Toga Party!)
Being fully transitioned into my new position at work
Finding out if I got another job (at the same company, just doing different stuff - fingers crossed because being on the phone SUCKS)
Leaving for Florida the 29th!



June Goals Recap

Finish Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the new Book Club book.
Send out Craftster Monster Ninni Swap package.
Plant tomatoes in my topsy turvy! (better late than never)
Save another $100 for FL
Cook more MEALS for dinner.

For June I did pretty good on my goals, only 2 things I wasn't able to accomplish.
Since I went to Renegade and bought a few things, then went to the Allergist and had a bunch of meds to buy I wasn't able to save more money for Florida.
I also didn't plant any tomatoes which I'm pretty bummed about. I don't know if it's too late to plant them now, I need to look into that. I loved having my own tomatoes last year and really would have liked to have them again this summer.

Other than those two things I did everything else, read both books, sent to my Ninni swap partner and cooked actual meals for myself a lot more frequently!
I can't even believe it's freaking July already!!

Have a lovely day friends!



Firework Cookies

A few months ago I started getting Martha Stewart Living. There's lots of cute crafts and amazing looking recipes in every issue. I got the July issue a few weeks ago and I was awestruck at the firework cookies on the cover. My Aunt invited Jeremy and I to her house to watch Fireworks this past Friday so I decided that was the perfect reason to make them! I read the recipes for the cookies and the icing and they were both totally simple. Not any too crazy ingredients except Meringue Powder for the icing. I found out that they sell it at Michaels or Joanns so that was fine. I was very nervous about making the designs on the icing though. I mean that's the whole awesomeness of the cookie!
Since we were leaving for my Aunt's right from work Friday night I had to make these cookies in advance. Also, since I don't get home from work til 7:00pm I split up making the cookies one night and the icing another. I never would have thought to do that but there were little notes after each recipe saying how far in advance you could make them and how to store them, etc.

So Wednesday night I made the cookies. It's funny that they're called "sugar cookies" because there's actually twice as much flour as sugar in them, ha! Oh also, I have no clue why I thought I could make these cookies considering I don't have a rolling pin, cookie cutters, cookies sheets to bake on or wire racks to cool the cookies. What the hell was I thinking?! This is where sisters, friends and a little inovation had to come into play. My friend Kara let me borrow her rolling pin, I used some random round lids I found in my kitchen as cookie cutters, I baked all the cookies on my pizza stone (it took 4 batches to get them all baked) and my sister gave me all her wire cooling racks. Sheesh!! These cookies were a real team effort!
Anyway, making the cookies was super easy. Oh and a tip, the recipe says to roll the dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle with more flour so the rolling pin doesn't stick. I didn't want extra flour to dry the cookies out. Instead I laid down a sheet of freezer paper (I have a ton of this left over from the Book Club shirts I made for Vegas) shiny side up, put the dough on it and then laid another sheet on top of the dough shiny side down and rolled the dough out between them. It didn't stick and I didn't need any extra flour which could have dried the cookies out too much and also would have made a huge mess! Anyway, I cut the cookies out, baked them, cooled them and left them in the fridge over night.

Thursday after work I made the icing. I had an initial dilema because I didn't have nearly enough of the colored gel to dye the icing, I only bought one tube of each color. In the middle of everything I had to quick run out to the grocery store to get more, ugh! Anyway, once the icing was made, split up and dyed I had to get it into the bags to ice the cookies with. I don't have real piping bags or tips or anything. I used sandwhich bags and cut a teeny tiny bit of the tip off (a bigger bit off for the white though). As I was about to put the icing in the bags I realized it was going to be a total mess and real bastard because the icing is sticky...how the hell was I supposed to do this?! After two tries at just dumping a spoonful into a bag I got super frustrated. I tried to call my sister (who went to culinary school and loooves baking) to ask what the f*ck I was supposed to do now?! She didnt answer so I stood in my kitchen about to throw icing all over the place when I decided to just take a bag and friggin figure it out myself! I was pretty proud of myself when I realized what to do. You just have to hold the bottom of the bag, push it through the top and basically make a little bowl in your hand to put the icing into DUH! After that crisis was averted I got back to work.
The recipe says after piping the white on you have to IMMEDIATELY pipe on the red and blue and pull the colors out with the toothpick. I did that for the first batch.

Then I decided this was extremely inefficient. I'm assuming if I was in a kitchen that wasn't has hot and humid as mine that doing a few cookies at once could have caused a problem. It's so humid in my kitchen though that the icing wasn't drying at all so I was good to go. I did 3-4 cookies at once, it went MUCH quicker.
Here's a little play by play how to make the designs....
Pipe a ring of white icing 1/4 inch in from the outside of the cookie and then fill in the center.

Now just alternate the red and blue or do all of one color, whatever you fancy. Put a dot in the middle, a circle of that color around it and then the other color in between the dot and first line, also you can do another ring of colored icing depending on the size of your cookie. Some of the small cookies I was able to manage a dot and 3 rings of color but others I could only do a dot and 2 rings.

With a toothpick I started at the dot and just lightly dragged the icing out to the edge of the white icing, all around like a clock. Then with another toothpick, alternating between those line I dragged from the outside to the center. And that's it friends!!

And look, even if you mess up the lines you pipe on once you drag the toothpick through you can't even tell.

After the first batch I realized it wasn't too hard, just a bit time consuming. I had 55 cookies total, it only took about half an hour to make the icing, separate it and dye it. Then about 2 1/2 hours to decorate them all. My fridge was super full of these beauties once I was done.

I had a RIDICULOUS amount of icing left though. I really thinking I could have made half the icing and would have been fine.

I love the design, the cookies were delicious and everyone complimented me on them. I think I might try to make something similar around Halloween, instead of fireworks they'll be spiderwebs!

I hope everyone in the States had a great 4th of July weekend!!