Archive for September, 2011

hallow’s eve

i should be doing nothing but preparing for the sew funky marketplace {it’s only 9 days from now!}. but while i was doing some legitimate, business-related shopping at joanns, i picked up some cheap costume satin and a few embellishments for the makings of a good halloween costume {all on sale, too!}. i thought i’d share the beginnings of my rather skanky cleopatra costume with you!

i think i'll be needing some double stick tape...

a close-up of the belt {trim + beads}

this necklace is a gift from my mom {it's even from egypt!}

with how cheap and shiny the costume satin is, i thought i should tone down the rest of the outfit. you know, so it doesn’t seem gaudy on top of skanky. i thought about gold trim for the belt, but it was just. too. much. shine. i like the fabric and beads better. and the necklace! my mom didn’t even know i was planning on being cleopatra; this necklace just showed up in my birthday box, freshly nabbed from a clothing swap. sweet! other than making the dress, the only other thing i need to do is make a gold arm cuff.

i plan on taking the hubby as my marc antony.

stay tuned tomorrow for a blurb about me on the sew funky marketplace blog, where i reveal all.


September 28, 2011 at 7:58 pm Leave a comment

sweet & tangy fig preserves

inspired by the success of my sweet & savory tomato jam i made from jennie’s recipe, i wanted to try something {along those lines of mixing unexpected flavors} with figs. they’re in season right now, but i swear as soon as i buy them they start to go bad. preserves to the rescue.

i borrowed the idea of using diced green apples to firm up the jam, and i think it also served to keep the jam from becoming too sweet. ginger was the only spice needed and my surprise ingredient is balsamic vinegar. it sounds daring but it comes together really nicely! {feel free to use less ginger if you don’t want quite as much spicy punch}.


1 pound figs
1 granny smith apple, diced finely
grated ginger: 2 inches of root
zest & juice of one lemon
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 cup sugar
pinch salt


halve the figs, dice the apple, and grate the ginger {hint: freeze ginger for easier grating} and place them in a heavy pot over low heat. add the zest, juice, vinegar, sugar & salt, and stir. increase the heat and stir often for 10 minutes. then cover, reduce the heat, and let the magic happen, stirring occasionally. in about 2 hours you’ll have delicious jam.

i like mine on crackers or even on pb&j’s. it would be phenomenal with cheese and it’s pretty good straight off the spoon.

September 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm Leave a comment

gearing up!

i’m gearing up for sew funky marketplace! this time it’s twice as big, so they’ll be lots of goodies to check out. and there’s that big holiday coming up…

come join me october 8th at the riverside marriott from 9:30 to 3. all the new additions to the booth will be waiting for you to see.

September 20, 2011 at 7:04 pm Leave a comment


as you know, i went on a little thrifting jaunt last week, and i picked up loads of goodies. i found a few more things for my booth {as well as some lovely things to have around the house}.

i found this great egg basket {a bit of a splurge, but i couldn’t resist!}, which i think will be a great place to store & display those handmade jewelry boxes. i may give it a coat or two of clear sealant so it doesn’t get any rust on the boxes, but otherwise i think it’s just perfect with its years of wear.

i picked up a few more silver trays and doilies. i really want to make something like this or this with all those doilies {the collection is getting pretty big}, if i can find the time.

and i couldn’t resist this old crate–i’ll use it to add height to my table display and tote things around to shows–because of its dovetail corners and the fact that it once contained explosives. {you know me, i love it when something has a story behind it.}

for our kitchen, i snagged this pyrex bowl in perfect condition for only $2. maybe it’s not even vintage, but it looks cute and will add nicely to my small pyrex collection.

when i saw these bright, cheery enamel bowls, i had to bring ’em home. i’ve been having a thing for enameled aluminum lately, which started with the perfect mug for the hubby’s shaving soap. wouldn’t these make the best play mixing bowls for a kids’ kitchen? {now all i need are the kids!} and how about that cherry red cast iron trivet? at $3 it just jumped into my hands. i’ll fix it up with some little rubber bumpers, now long gone, to keep its feet from scratching.

what have you scored lately?

September 7, 2011 at 12:46 pm Leave a comment

good eats

this weekend we got crazy in the kitchen. lots of homemade wonderfulness from scratch. worth every bit of effort, these recipes turned out so well that i wanted to share them with you. they take advantage of what we seem to have in abundance right now, either from our own garden or our fabulous csa box: tomatoes, zucchini, and carrots. {if i could figure out a way to turn yellow squash into dessert, i’d do that, too, but on that front, we’re settling for ratatouille and warm rice salads.}

life altering, i promise

the first recipe, for sweet & savory tomato jam, comes from the food blog in jennie’s kitchen. {being unable to ever do anything *exactly* as i’m supposed to, i used baby yellow tomatoes and added a pinch of dried ginger as well as the other spices she recommends.} after one taste, i was convinced that jennie is a genius. i really couldn’t stop eating this jam, which is both sweet and savory, and leaves you trying bite after bite in an effort to figure out what one thing makes it so delicious. but really, it’s not one thing, it’s the whole perfect combo. we ate ours atop mary’s gluten-free crackers. once i was able to stop spooning it directly out of the pan and into my mouth, that is.

best zucchini bread ever

next up we tried our hands at puck and kudzu’s zucchini bread. the recipe is her mother’s, and being unable to find my mother’s recipe, i thought it looked like a good fit. nope. it’s better. we ate half the loaf straight out of the oven. {good thing we made 2 1/2 times the recipe!} it has a crisp crust and a dense, moist crumb. i used coconut oil for the oil and made it gluten free by substituting with gluten free girl’s flour blend {scroll down through the link for her recipe}. 140 ounces or 5 grams = 1 cup of wheat flour. this flour blend beats any other gluten-free flour blend i’ve tried or made, and you don’t need guar or xantham gum.

happy birthday to me!

lastly, we made a gluten-free carrot cake following this recipe but substituting the gluten-free flour blend from gluten free girl. again i used coconut oil for the oil & butter called for, and i added powdered ginger as well as fresh. {if you ask me, it could use even more spice, but i like my carrot cake pretty spicy}. it is unbelievably moist and not just because we should’ve baked it a wee bit longer. topped with cream cheese frosting, it can’t be beat.

did you make any goodies this weekend? have a favorite gluten-free recipe you’d like to share? please share. i’m always up for trying new recipes!

September 6, 2011 at 5:26 pm 1 comment

birthday recap

the test drive

so far 35’s just grand. on the actual day {thursday} i did a little work, mailed off some goodies, got in a sweet workout, and even managed some awesome thrifting at the pet adoption thrift store. to cap off the day, the hubby took me to a delicious fancy dinner at farm artisan restaurant in redlands.

but the celebrating didn’t stop there, my friend. oh, no. the next day i squeezed in some more thrifting and then this weekend we went whole hog. saturday we spent the day picking out a new bike for me {a sweet comfort hybrid–it’s a cruiser that wants to be a road bike when it grows up} and just generally having fun.

we met a dear friend for lunch and then headed to pasadena, where i got some more watercolor supplies. we sat and had coffee. we went shopping at whole foods {a real treat. we stocked up on gluten-free goodies, free range beef, and some amazing ginger liqueur}. it was one of those days where we did a bunch of stuff without really doing much at all, and it was wonderful.

sunday morning started with a bike ride on my new bike. after years of riding the hubby’s old mountain bike, having my very own is a little like magic. i went 13 miles without really working that hard at it! and the weekend’s not even over yet.

{ps: the sale is still going on! head over to my shop and enter “CAKECAKE” into the coupon code to save 15% off your whole purchase. let the celebration continue!}

September 4, 2011 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

tropical mango smoothie recipe

despite the fact that september conjures up feelings of fall, it won’t feel like fall in southern california until mid-october at the earliest. and after a long day of thrifting, i need a little pick-me-up to cool me down. enter the smoothie.

normally my smoothies involve fruit and soy milk, but today i got adventurous and added ginger, lime, and coconut milk to the mix. it’s dairy free, full of potassium and vitamins a & c, and–most importantly–delicious. i used frozen fruit and even my ginger is frozen {it’s soooo much easier to grate that way}, but if you have fresh stuff, by all means use that, just toss in a few ice cubes.


whole banana
fresh or frozen mango chunks {about one cup}
fresh or frozen strawberries {half a cup}
lime juice {1 tsp}
grated ginger {~ 2 tsp}
soy milk {or milk of your choice}
coconut milk {optional, 1/2 cup}

blend, adding more soy milk if needed to keep it blending. then enjoy!


September 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment


join me in celebrating my birthday with a sale in my shop. just enter the coupon code “CAKECAKE” for 15% off your purchase! {and remember: buy any 3 items of jewelry, get a free sunshine polishing cloth to keep it shiny. no need to do anything, it will just arrive with the rest of your goodies.} enjoy!

September 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

happy birthday to me! {and a sale for you}

happy birthday to that cake?! cake!

it’s my birthday, and i’m feeling a little nostalgic, so i thought i’d do a recap of the highlights of my years on this little ball.

  • 35 years ago i was born. {i can run for president now!}
  • 34 years ago i discovered chocolate cake and an addiction was born. yes, my mother actually fed chocolate cake to a one year old. yes, she suffered the consequences.
  • 32 years ago i got a skunk puppet and named her paper…’cause she came wrapped in a lot of paper.
  • 29 years ago i started gymnastics. me and every other girl alive had plans to be the next mary lou retton.

he aint' heavy...he's in a laundry basket!

  • 28 years ago my little brother was born. yeah…he’s alright.

    oh yeah...i was gonna be a star

  • 27 years ago i was in our town’s production of annie.
  • 26 years ago my mom gave me a perm…to help calm my curls. let’s just say it didn’t have the desired effect.
  • 25 years ago i got fitted with my first set of braces.

oh even yesser. i was a cheerleader.

  • 24 years ago we moved {new jersey} and i got a whole new set.
  • 23 years ago we moved again {north carolina} and i got yet another set.
  • 21 years ago i finally graduated to retainers.

that's me and my grandpa, layin' down some beats

  • i also played the saxophone and went to band camp. twice.
  • somewhere in there i discovered beads. glorious beads!
  • 18 years ago i went to this nerd school. it. was. awesome. {i met the hubby there.}
  • 16 years ago i started college. i was going to get a degree in chemistry and be a vet!
  • 11 years later i graduated {a little late}, having majored in psychology.
  • later that year i started grad school for social work.
  • 9 years ago i started my first job as a social worker. {3 years later i burned out gloriously: you know i don’t do anything halfway!}


  • 7ish years ago i married my best friend.
  • 5 years ago i begrudgingly followed that same man to berkeley, ca. {3 days later i fell in love with the place and never wanted to leave.}
  • two years ago i got a tattoo, left berkeley {wah!}, and moved to sunny riverside, ca.
  • one year ago i moved into a cute little house with my own studio.

yep, that pretty much sums it up! and to thank you for being dragged going down memory lane with me, i’m offering you 15% off your purchase at my shop! just enter the coupon code “CAKECAKE” when prompted. {i wanted to make it” CAKE! CAKE!” but etsy won’t let me use exclamation points.}

it’s good on everything. and remember, i send you a free sunshine polishing cloth with your purchase of 3 items {you don’t have to do anything, i just send it to you}. it’s not too early to stock up for the holidays, is it? the coupon code will be good september 1, 2011 – september 8, 2011.

September 1, 2011 at 2:22 am 1 comment

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