Sunday, October 31, 2010

Eggs Benedict


A couple  of weeks ago Yadira asked me for a special breakfast. She was joking, but I took it seriously. She asked for "San Jacobos" and Eggs Benedict. Since I had no idea what the first dish was, I decided to try my hand at the second. That was the start of my research.

The mission was deceptively simple: Serve Canadian bacon, poached eggs  and Hollandaise sauce on top of an English muffin. Easy? Not.

After figuring out the nature of the needed ingredients I realized that half the stuff couldn't be found locally. Canadian bacon? I didn't even look. There's nothing wrong with good ol bacon from the fridge. English muffins? They were AWOL, so I substituted them with italian buns.

I swear I wanted to do everything from scratch. I was ready to poach some eggs following intrucctions from a You Tube video, but the supermarket gods thought that was a terrible idea. Looking for nothing in particular I found a little miracle gadget that allows those with limited cooking skills to poach eggs on the microwave.

This whole thing might seem complicated, but for me it turned out to be easier and quicker than other breakfast dishes.

I will neither give step by step instructions nor post a particular recipe on this post. What I will do is give you some pointers in case you want to prepare your own Eggs Benedict.

1. If you're not familiar with the dish, read about it. A little research can go a long way. I used Wikipedia and You Tube as my main sources of information for this adventure. They might not be proper sources for an academic paper, but they do very well for breakfast.

2. Gather all your ingredients.Never, ever try to prepare a dish without gathering all the necessary ingredients or the proper substitutes. There's two levels to this process. Before cooking, you must buy or otherwise acquire all the ingredients you will need and at the beginning of the cooking process you should go over your recipe once more and gather all the ingredients you'll be using. Why? That way you won't realize you're missing something halfway through the recipe plus your ingredients will be at room temperature which is the standard for all recipes unless otherwise noted.

3. Use real ingredients. Yes, you can substitute any ingredients for something that's more readily available, but avoid substituting food with pseudo food. Butter is not margarine and lemon flavor has nothing to do with lemon. The taste might be similar, but these thing are beyond unhealthy.

4. Don't be afraid. The task at hand might seem daunting, but it isn't. The key is organization. Study all relevant videos and articles before you attempt to prepare any recipe.

Links for Success:
Egg Poacher
Hollandaise Video
Poached Eggs Video

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sewing Machine Meme

Picture courtesy of Brother International

Browsing around Sew, Mama, Sew! we stumbled upon what they call the Sewing Machine Master List. It seems that it all started as a fun survey during June 1 , 2009 (Sewing Machine Month)

What brand and model do you have?
Brother CE-5500PRW

Yes, I'm talking about the Project Runway Limited Edition.  No, I didn't know anything about that show until after I bought my machine. I was a great machine, for the perfect price.

How long have you had it?
About a week. I bought it on 10/16/2010 to replace my Singer Pixie.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
It cost me $174.28 (including 7% tax)

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I'm still learning, but I've used it to do some small repairs on clothing, to join granny squares, to make a skirt and to practice over and over and over again.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I've been using it everyday since I bought it and some days I've been glued to it for at least 8 hours. With all that abuse, I've only had to change the needle once and it was my fault.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?
I *LOVE* my machine, but she doesn't have a name yet. She's just a newborn, but I'm open to suggestions. Any ideas?

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
I <3 its Bobbin!

I also like that it has good illumination and I really like the auto size buttonholes. Since I plan to sew lots of garments its wide variety of stitches is a big plus. It even has several stitches that are suitable for finishing garments and for stretchy materials.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Not at all.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!

I never wanted to learn how to sew, I can't recall the specifics but I just wasn't interested in the subject. I don't know how, but a few weeks ago I got the itch to learn. All I had on hand was my Singer Pixie, but since that is best suited for Crafts it was very frustrating trying to use it for anything else. I was determined to get a descent machine, did my research and saved to buy it. I considered buying it from an authorized dealer, but my jaw dropped when the sales assistant showed me a lesser machine and told me it cost over $400. Later that day I drove to a nearby retailer and bought mine for less than half the price.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
Of course! It's very functional and easy to use, even for beginners. Since it's computerized, the machine will tell you (through its LCD screen) if you're doing anything terribly wrong. Also, it comes with enough accessories to keep you from having to run to buy extra stuff every time you want to try something new.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Since I'm on a budget, cost is high on y priority list. I see a sewing machine as an investment and I believe that its important to buy the best quality product that can be afforded. With that in mind, it is important to do research and know what features are needed for the things you want to do with your machine. Try to buy one that fits your budget and has as many of those features as possible.

Do you have a dream machine?
Yes, one of those computerized sewing/embroidery machines that can be connected to my computer in order to embroider my digital  designs into the fabric. Since all such machines are out of my budget for the moment, I don't have a favorite model yet.

*Disclaimer: Since I've had my machine for such a short time, I'll be editing this post to include any future discoveries in terms of its performance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Cart Before the Horse

Owl Fabric: What should we do?
Yadira is learning to sew. So far so good. She managed to create a super cute pillow and an adorable tote. But that's pretty much it for the moment. We're now looking for the perfect low/med budget sewing machine. What we own now is more like a fancy toy. Even its name (Singer Pixie) makes you giggle.

Sadly, while we think about which machine to buy the world refuses to stop. In one such turn we found ourselves staring at a beautiful printed fabric. What to do? Buy it of course! At about $6.50 the yard, we decided to buy all we could afford at the moment. We ended up with 3 yards of the most beautiful fabric ever.

What do we plan to do with this wonderful fabric? That was the question asked by the clerk at the fabric shop. We promptly replied: Umm... We don't know! Needless to say, she didn't understand.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Strawberry Fields

"Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out." - The Beatles

Strawberry Fields Jewelry Set available on Too Cute Design

We're Beatles fans, there's no denying it. Anyone who has had the pleasure of sharing a car ride with us knows so. For a while we've been thinking about a way of honoring the Fab Four in our work. After much thinking, nothing came to mind until we came across some strawberry charms on one of our local craft shops.

After that fortuitous encounter there was no more thinking left to do. Since Strawberry Fields Forever is one of our favorites songs, paying a small tribute to it was the natural thing to  do. Several yards of red satin ribbon later our Strawberry Fields Jewelry Set was born.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Back in the Game

mini fascinator by toocutedesign
Once upon a time we tried running two different Etsy shops. One featured Yadira's crochet work; the other her graphic design. The experiments were mildly successful, but we had much to learn. Eventually we decided to put both shops "on vacation" in order to have some time to sort things out.

A couple of months have passed and now we're back with a vengeance. Our craft skills have grown and our new products barely resemble our first listings. We want to merge both shops into one, but we are doing it step by step.

We're certain that this time around things will be different. The fun is just starting!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Life is sweet, but it's even sweeter when a creative mind turns life's little treats into accessories that can be carried around everywhere. In our search for some sweet wearables we found two Etsy shops we'd like to share with the world.

Sou Zou Creations
This Japanese shop is known for its mind blowing floating rings. They have a very large inventory that changes frequently. If you find something you like it would be wise to buy it ASAP.

This lovely shop calls itself a "one-stop shop for all things tiny and tasty". All miniature foods are handmade by a talented woman that's part pastry chef and part graphic designer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Caught on Tape

Remember VHS?

Don't feel bad if you don't. It seems that the media format born in the late 70's is well on its way to be wiped out of the collective memory. Yet, the stuff is all around us.

Open an old closet, go to a garage sale or visit a thrift shop and you're bound to find a dusty pile of old movies.

In this era of growing environmental awareness, what should we do with tons of obsolete synthetic material that refuses to rot? Get creative!

After reading this article by Diane Gilleland and this one by Cathy Callahan, we were inspired and decided to add our own twist to VHS upcycling. Since then, we've been creating hair accessories using old VHS tapes and ribbon. The pictures included in this post show some
of our creations.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tarantino Fever

Not so long ago, fellow blogger and crafter extraordinaire MissTat compared some of our pink jewelry to the work of Tarina Tarantino. Needless to say, we were flattered.

At first we didn't know who she was, but after some research we fell in love with her success story. Out of all her pieces, a cute bracelet featuring a felt ice cream cone caught our eye. We were inspired! The picture below shows her bracelet next to our crochet version.

side to side comparison of Tarantino's bracelet and our own

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Swap it baby!

I joined swap-bot a couple weeks ago and I've discovered that it can be addictive. My latest creations include an altered matchbox and a whimsy jar. Where are the pictures?

They don't exist, yet.

I simply can't carry my camera everywhere. I would like to do it, but I'm too clumsy. Thus, I've chosen to ensure its survival by leaving it behind when I go face the world.

Now I'm sitting tight waiting for pictures taken by the recipients of my packages. Sad, I know. I might end up buying a cheap camera to overcome this issue.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kawaii desu ne!

The image below is a quick preview of our latest creations: Bow shaped rings and hair clips with a candy center. There's more to come!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


image via scene styles
Let's clarify:
-Kawaii is not synonym for Hello Kitty.
-Kawaii is not exclusively Sanrio (or any other brand).
-Kawaii is not restricted to a particular set of characters.

What is it then? It is a Japanese word that's often translated as "cute", but can also mean pretty, lovely, adorable, charming, dear or darling.

If you're interested in learning about the cultural ramifications of this term, you can start here.

So, why are we talking about this? Because we're working on a line of hair accessories and jewelry inspired by kawaii fashion and wanted the rest of the world to have a better understanding of our inspiration.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Remember that Knitting Nancy we bought? It's been put to good use! The first item that made us proud was the necklace shown on the left; later we came up with a matching bracelet and earrings.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Craft Space

I recently joined a swap in which I was asked to send at least two pictures of my crafting space to five different partners. In order to make it self-explanatory, I took the time to label one of the pictures.

Wondering about the question mark? Me too! I have no idea what's inside that box.

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Tasty Crochet

grape, blueberry strawberry cupcakes

Another yummy treat that's tras fat free. These were an instant success. Dozens have come out of our ovens, but now we are ready to try new things. Thus, we're discontinuing our yummy cupcake shaped hair clips.

Au revoir gâteau!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


cold wine and hot pizza

Last night we had lots of fun with a fellow crafter and world conqueror. She's the crafty gal behind the blog eLousions. We shared a night of swimming pool, wine, pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches.

May other nights bring us this much fun.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Second Life

crochet ring w/ vintage earring embellishment

This ring started with a pair of vintage earrings we got from our pal and co-conspirator Isabel. We always knew that those earrings had a bright future ahead, but we didn't know how the finished product would look until we stumbled unto some gorgeous chartreuse green ribbon at one of our favorite craft supplies store.

What a match!

Of course, there was the little issue of figuring out exactly what to crochet with these materials. Fortunately, we didn't had to break our heads over that. Just as soon as our materials reached our craft room, a client placed an order for a couple of crochet rings (any color). The rest is well documented history that you can admire in the above picture.

Tasty Crochet

strawberry, mixed fruits & grape hair clips

As part of our mission to create cute and affordable hair accessories we came up with these adorable ice cream cone hair clips. They are currently available in 9 "flavors": grape, orange, strawberry, blueberry, mixed fruits, chocolate, vanilla, pistachio and mixed berries.

Bit of Wisdom #99536

image taken form It's a Thrall World

The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care.

-George Carlin

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shopping Spree!

picture by Emerald2810

We believe that there's no such thing as having too many craft supplies. Thus, even though our stash is dangerously closed to burying us alive, today we went on a no holds bared [online] shopping spree.
Please don't mistake us for blatant consumerists. Since we're not fond of mindless shopping, most of the materials we use fall in at least one of the following categories:
-NOS (eBay term: new old stock)

Enough with the justifications! Time to share the giddiness brought on by impulsive shopping. This is what we bought:

  1. Moda Dea Tropical Ticker Tape Ribbon Yarn
  2. Moda Dea Spellbound Black Metallic Ribbon Yarn
  3. 3 Inch Quilt Squares Blocks Turquoise and Browns
  4. 3 Inch Quilt Squares Blocks Purple and Pink
  5. Lido Color by Four Seasons - Variegated Hot Pink Ribbon Yarn
  6. Berrocco Jewel FX Yarn Passion
  7. Walbead Flora Loom - NOS
  8. Hana-Ami Flower Loom
  9. 50 Wire Backs for Fabric Covered Buttons #60

The Swap Game is On

I just joined Swap-bot and can't wait to start sending and receiving all kinds of random stuff. I love getting mail and love even more sending it.

From Swap-bot's FAQ:
"Swap-bot is a service and a community of creative individuals. Swap-bot facilitates internet swaps. It removes the hassle of collecting swap participants and assigning swap partners."

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Instant Stomach Ache

failed attempt at chocolate chip oatmeal

What happens when a well meaning friend leaves a bag of chocolate chip abandoned in our fridge? Chaos ensues! I grew tired of chocolate chips pancakes after a couple of bites. What then? Lets see what else can be cooked with chocolate chips!

Against Yadira's advice, I decided that Chocolate Chip Oatmeal was a great idea. My adventurous cooking failed miserably: the end result was an über sweet goo that I could hardly eat. Of course, there is such a thing as ego and I tried to chomp down most of the stuff.

Big mistake!

My stomach still aches and the "I told you so" is still ringing in my ears.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Button Fever

our first batch of handmade buttons

We love buttons!

Our love for buttons might border on the unhealthy. We first noticed that we were a bit over the top when we started running out of storage space for buttons over and over again.

Of course, we kept on buying buttons like there was no tomorrow.

Recently we found a little contraption that might slow the buying frenzy. Who would have thought that making our own buttons would be as easy as buying a .99¢ gadget and digging old fabric scraps from our stash.

Easy indeed. And addictive.

The picture above shows our first batch of buttons. We can't wait to use them!

Knitting w/ Nancy

picture by knobbyknitter

We just got ourselves a cute little Knitting Nancy on eBay! The picture above is not representative of the one we got. Ours looks more like...
Well, like this.

What is a Knitting Nancy? I'd like to say it is the cutest knitting contraption ever, but if you prefer a more enlightened explanation this engineer seems to know it all

Craving some eye candy?
Visit the blog Spool Knitter

Friday, July 2, 2010


Who's behind this blog?

We are a couple of...
-world conquerors

Et cetera. Ad infinitum.

Hey, are you ready for this?

Another one bites the dust
Another one bites the dust
And another one gone
And another one gone
Another one bites the dust

An so it is, that we start yet another blog. Please sit tight while we painstakingly iron out the kinks.

What can you expect? This will be mostly about our crafts, but they are such a big part of our everyday life that there's no way to separate one from the other.

Have fun.