Friday, February 27, 2009
For those of you who aren't familiar, Animal Crossing is a video game series for the Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo Wii. You basically play as a human character in a town filled with various animal characters, where you live out your life by interacting with the animals, collecting items, and carrying out various duties. It is a super cute game and we've played all three games in the series (currently playing the latest one on the Wii!)
This animated Japanese movie is meant for children, but that didn't keep me from enjoying it! Generally, it is meant for fans of the game as it stays very true to the game...and by this, I mean incredibly true to the game! Many parts of it are identical to the game! This is a really cute and enjoyable little movie and I think that anyone who likes the game will get a kick out of this.
Paul downloaded the whole movie for us with English subtitles as a torrent, but you can find it divided up into parts on Youtube. Here is a link to the first part below - from there, you'll be able to find the next parts if you're interested in checking it out!
Link: Part 1 of the Animal Crossing Movie
Since I love making video game crafts, I thought I'd take a look around the web to see if I could find any Animal Crossing related crafty-goodness! Here's what I found!
Animal Crossing Bell Bags by Dekupyro. There is stuffing inside of them so you can have them as a plush toy, or you can remove the fiber fill and use them as a little bag or purse! Super cute and they look just like the ones in the game!
K.K. Slider Cross Stitch made by star_scooter on Craftster. K.K. is my favorite (and the favorite of many!) and this adorable cross stitch of K.K. playing his guitar would look great hanging up on the wall!
Another K.K. Slider craft - a paper craft that you can make for yourself! Posted up on Nintendo Papercraft, you can print out the pattern and fold away!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
One of my favorite shows on TV is The Office (the American version). I can't even remember when I started watching the show and why I started watching - if someone recommended it to me, or if I just started watching it one day... but it has got to be one of the most hilarious shows on TV, ever. I think I started watching at some point during the third season, so I am relatively a newcomer to the show...but I watch it religiously each and every week now, even if it happens to be a re-run (I am pretty disappointed when it does happen to be a re-run though).
I was so happy to receive this awesome Stanley mug in my Christmas stocking this year (thanks, Paul!). It is from the episode where most of the Office workers attend Kelly's party where they all get their own mug with their face on it (except for Dwight and Jim, who don't attend the party). Little did I know that on the NBC website, you are able to purchase these mugs for yourself. Paul chose to get the Stanley mug for me because it is just plain awesome. Even people who don't watch the show or have any idea who Stanley is still think that this mug is pretty awesome.
The real reason why I wanted to talk about the Office today on my blog is because I recently found out that the guy who plays Creed on the show used to be in this band in the 1960s called Grass Roots. Apparently as extras/deleted scenes on the Office DVDs, you can see footage of Creed playing guitar nowadays, but this Youtube clip gives you a glimpse back to the 60s where you can see Creed playing guitar in his band. You have to wait for it, until about halfway into the video, but you'll spot him right away when you see him!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I just wanted to post this super awesome Super Mario World Board Game that my fiance found online and shared with me! This is handmade completely from paper and was created by artist, Ashley Buerkett. This isn't really a board game that you can play - it is more a work of art to admire. I just love the detail - the castle, the mushrooms, the cute greenery, all reminiscent of Super Mario World!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Although I am not a fan of the winter, I love when I am spending a day indoors and it begins to snow - those huge, chunky snowflakes that are super pretty. That's precisely what happened yesterday afternoon - huge snowflakes gently falling from the sky. It is difficult to capture a snowfall with a regular point-and-click digital camera, but the photo above is my view from her second-floor apartment balcony. As you can see, there is a very light layer of snow back on the ground after most of it all melted away last week.
As for the cats, they're being sweet, as always! Their names are Tony (gray cat), Kiki (black cat) and Fishie (calico cat). Tony and Kiki were originally our family pets, and Fishie is a new addition since my sister took the cats with her when she moved out. They're as sweet as ever and I'm happy to be able to spend some time with them!
Tony has one of his favorite toys - just this little pouch that has honeysuckle in it (a natural toy, similar effect to catnip but it lasts longer). He loves to throw the pouch around on his own and likes to play fetch like a dog! He will carry the pouch over to you on his own and drop it at your feet. When you throw it, he runs after it and brings it back to you!
Kiki has recently become a lap-cat...he never used to sit on anyone's laps, but now he will climb right into my lap on random occasions when I am watching TV. Last night, I was sleeping in bed on my side, and he thought it would be a good idea to climb on top of me while I was laying sideways! Silliness!
Fishie is a bit more timid, except when it comes to meal-time. Then, she becomes more aggressive than the other cats and is first in line to get her food. This shows - she is getting to be rather pear-shaped! :) They're all so cute and since I'm unable to have pets of my own right now, it is great to spend some time with them!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I know it is a few days after Valentine's Day, but I didn't have my camera until now so I'm finally able to post a few pictures! I got spoiled by my fiance on Valentine's Day - he is such a sweetie! I came home from work on Saturday afternoon and was welcomed with some delicious chocolates and this awesome cactus plant in a cute little pot! Paul remembered that I have been wanting a little cactus for a while now, so he picked one up for me for Valentine's.
The chocolates are delicious - on special occasions, Paul buys chocolates for me from this wonderful little place in Brantford called Kalista's. Pictured above are the "Oh My Caramels" which are chocolate caramel cups topped with pralines... they're delicious! He also got me an assortment of milk, dark, and white chocolate truffles. These chocolates are a true delight so if you're ever in the area of Brantford, Ontario, you should stop by and get yourself some! It also appears that they accept online orders worldwide!
Paul also treated us to some wine - this time, we had Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc. It is described as: "zesty and aromatic with lots of lively, penetrating fruit characters. A concentration of tropical and gooseberry flavours with an abundant bouquet, it is a wine that is always crisp, elegant and refreshing." I'm not exactly a wine connoisseur, but I do enjoy my wine! I don't know if I'm able to taste all of those flavors, but it tasted great to me!
We just spent our Valentine's Day at home - usually, we go to our favorite sushi restaurant, but we ended up going the weekend before. Last weekend, we started talking about going for sushi on Valentine's Day, but decided that we couldn't wait that long and went that night! It was nice to just relax all evening and watch a few TV shows that were saved on the PVR from the whole week, so we were able to watch the latest episode of The Office (US) together. All in all, it was a great day!
Monday, February 16, 2009
What is Postcrossing, you might ask? Simply put, it is a way to send and receive random postcards from all over the world! I love traveling and learning about other places and cultures; I also love receiving mail. This is a fun way to receive a piece of mail from anywhere in the world, perhaps catch a glimpse of that place, and read a short note from the person who lives there!
From the website:
How does this all work, you might ask? You basically request an address, send the postcard with a code on it, when that person receives the postcard they enter the code into the website, and then you receive a postcard back from someone else. The Postcrossing website also keeps track of all of your stats - where you have sent and received postcards from, how many days it took to arrive, profile information, special requests, and more.
The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.
Why? Because, like the author, there are lots of people who like to receive real mail. The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises - and who wouldn't like that!
Personally, I have received 36 postcards from 18 different countries from all over the world! Postcrossing also has a forum section of the website where you can meet and discuss with other members, meet pen pals, exchange random items (I've traded chocolate bars and tea with people in the past!), and many other fun things! Here is my profile on the website - if you'd ever like to exchange postcards or letters, just let me know!
If you're interested in postcards, receiving mail, or learning about other parts of the world, I highly recommend joining Postcrossing! Happy Postcrossing!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I'm so happy that Hell's Kitchen is back! I discovered this show a couple of seasons ago and never looked back. After watching the season premiere, I was pretty pumped about watching it since there seem to be quite a few entertaining characters - most notably Seth, the guy who seems to be stalking Chef Ramsay; Colleen, the chef school teacher who can't seem to cook all that well; and Lacey, who seems to be pretty full of herself even though she doesn't have much experience in the kitchen.
I missed the second episode initially - I thought I had the PVR set, but it didn't tape properly. Thankfully, I'm at my sister's place right now and she has it on her On Demand, so I was finally able to watch it! I was pretty disappointed to see Ji leave - she was one of the better ones, and I realize that she was hurt, but it's too bad that she couldn't just sit out for a service and join back in once she was feeling a little bit better. Clearly, either Lacey or Colleen should have left the show! They both seem to have pretty bad attitudes (Lacey, laying in bed for hours while the other women have to prep; Colleen, constantly talking back to Chef Ramsay).
I'm pretty glad that I don't have to work in a kitchen - I don't think I could handle it! I'll stick to cooking my own food at home and eating in restaurants, that's about it for me!
In other news...I'm finishing up some knitting - I have been knitting a pair of socks with this awesome sock yarn: Paton's Kroy Socks Frutti Jacquard. Through the magic of Google, I was actually able to find an image of how my socks will look completed! I'm finished one and through half of another one - will post pics soon, just don't have my camera on me at the moment! Knitting in front of the TV at night is one of the most relaxing things!
February's Featured Etsy Blogger of the Month is: DonnaPool! To get an idea of what this Etsy Shop is all about, reading the description from the Shop Announcements section is best:
Think of my shop as a place where you can find something traditional...with a twist! All my soft toys and Christmas ornaments are very child-safe and every stitch is made by hand (I don't use a sewing machine).At Donna Pool Designs, you will find a whole assortment of handmade creations: custom buttons, pocket mirrors, vintage buttons, other buttons, cards/ACEOs, photographs, and more! She has tons of 1" pinback buttons and larger pocket mirrors using wonderful vintage imagery. I also have a soft spot for any of her items with cats on them since I'm a cat lover myself; in fact, one of her cats, Sebastian, looks a little bit like my cat, Tony (see: my blog posting about my three cats).
I used to love looking through old Life and Look magazines my parents and grandparents had saved and I've collected old photography magazines for years. I make my vintage buttons out of recycled images from those because they're like preserving tiny bits of history...a fascinating little peek into the past.
Featured in the image above are Donna Pool Designs' adorable cat magnets. Also, be sure to visit her blog!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I can understand that they would love to expand and continue with the online community - I love their web blog and the internet is a great way for so many people to get together and discuss projects, share information, etc. However, I love the print magazine and I wish that they could still continue with both. It is unfortunate to see such a wonderful print publication being laid to rest.
For more details, you can check out the posting on the Craftzine.com blog: CRAFT Volume 10 is our last issue in print.
Here is the email that I received for any of you who are interested in reading it:
Lately you’ve been telling us something that we’ve found increasingly true: Do-It-Yourself interests – from tech to fashion, science to crafts – are increasingly converging on the web. Our craftzine.com community is thriving. At the same time, print magazines are facing rising production costs and shrinking ad markets. Therefore, it makes less sense for us to publish two separate print magazines in the DIY space. Craft: Volume 10, our Celebration issue, will be the final issue of CRAFT magazine.
This will allow us to offer even more on craftzine.com. If you haven't been hanging out at craftzine.com, please join us. It's a wonderful place to find DIY projects, learn techniques, and share ideas.
We will continue to publish the print version of MAKE Magazine. We will send you an issue of MAKE for every remaining issue you have in your CRAFT subscription. We know you’ll enjoy it. The same editors who work on CRAFT work on MAKE, giving it the same spirit of Martha-meets-MacGuyver innovation and inspiration. Already, over a dozen articles commissioned for CRAFT are destined for future issues of MAKE this year.
Many CRAFT subscribers are already loyal MAKE subscribers. If this includes you, we will extend your existing MAKE subscription by the number of copies remaining in your CRAFT subscription.
If you’d rather not receive MAKE, just let us know and we'll refund the unserved portion of your CRAFT subscription. You can reach us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to continuing our relationship with you in the print pages of MAKE and the web pages of craftzine.com.
The CRAFT Team
(Dale, Shawn, Goli, Natalie, Daniel, Becky, Rachel, Arwen, Tatia, Keith, Laura, Katie W., Katie D., Gerry, Sherry, Sheena, Dan, Rob, and Heather)
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
As a Valentine's Day present for my sweetie, I decided to make him some Red Velvet Cupcakes - they're not only red (for Valentine's Day!), but they're also a tasty treat that we both love! Ever since tasting the red velvet cupcakes at the Cupcakes of Westdale Village, I've been searching for a recipe so I can make my own! After scouring the internet for recipes, I finally found one that I was interested in trying - the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe at Simply Recipes. This recipe was created by Garrett McCord of Vanilla Garlic.
The recipe itself was pretty easy to make! I was a little bit concerned with getting the real red color of the cupcakes. The recipe makes two dozen cupcakes - with the first dozen that I baked, the cupcakes weren't quite as red as I would have liked - they are a reddish-brown color. The second batch turned out a lot redder - I think this is due to the fact that I overfilled the cupcake papers the first time around and the cupcakes were a bit too large. With the second batch, they were just the right size and retained the red color a lot better!
The cream cheese icing is the perfect frosting for the top of these cupcakes - the red velvet cupcake isn't meant to have a strong taste to it, so the sweetness of the icing compliments the cake component. I tried to create a few icing designs on top of the cupcakes, as you can see in the picture above.
I found a cupcake display tray with a glass top at this fabulous store called Solutions in Burlington, Ontario - a fantastic organization and storage shop that also happens to have a variety of kitchen supplies!
Oh! You might be wondering why I had to make these cupcakes so far in advance of Valentine's Day! I'm going to be working a lot over the next couple of days so I wouldn't have had the time to make them, so my sweetie got his Valentine's Day present a little bit early! Now, he'll have the entire week (or couple of days, depending!) to enjoy these yummy cupcakes!
For the recipe, please visit this link: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I highly recommend that you try it out if you're a cupcake lover like me!
Monday, February 9, 2009
This blog post is a feature on one of my favourite wool/yarn shops: The Needle Emporium in Ancaster, Ontario. I love supporting independent small business and this store is just fabulous! I used to do a lot of my wool shopping at various shops in Toronto, but then I stumbled upon this store that is a lot closer to my home - no need to go to the big city for my knitting needs!
First off, the store itself is located inside a quaint old stone building along one of the main streets in Ancaster (Wilson St., near Hwy. 403 for anyone from the area!). The store itself has yarn from floor to ceiling with just about any brand, colour, or type that you might be looking for!
The owner, Julie, is very sweet and helpful. She has helped both me and my sister on different occasions choose a suitable yarn for projects. As Julie states on her blog profile, she has been knitting since the age of 4 and has fulfilled her dream of opening a yarn store. That is such an awesome dream (what knitter wouldn't love to have their very own yarn store!) and I am so happy that she was able to achieve that dream and make a living of it!
If you don't live in the Hamilton/Toronto or surrounding area of Ontario, Canada, don't fret...The Needle Emporium has an online shop! Just check out the Needle Emporium Website for more yarns, accessories, and pattern books! If you do live in the area (or wouldn't mind going on a little road trip for some wool!), there are driving directions available on the website.
While you're at it, you should check out Julie's blog: A Really Good Yarn. She updates it quite frequently with her ongoing projects and daily life, so be sure to add it to your bookmarks!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Another brand new Perler Bead video game craft item! This creation goes along the variety of pen holders I have made - a Gameboy Pen Holder! This is made from plastic melty Perler beads and each side looks like a Nintendo Gameboy - one side is the original gray, and then the other sides are purple, green, and blue.
This box is ideal for your office or desk since it can hold many of your pens and markers. If you're like me, it is easy to have a cluttered work area, so this Gameboy pen holder can add some organization to your desk - it is a completely functional work of art!
Also - you could choose to use this Gameboy box as a toothbrush holder in the bathroom! The plastic bead surface makes this ideal for holding toothbrushes - since there are small holes in the bottom and sides of the ironed beads, it allows for any water drainage!
The possibilities are endless - you could use this also to hold your make-up, jewelry, or any other random items you might have laying around! This would make a great gift for a video game loving friend or anyone that loves Nintendo!
Monday, February 2, 2009
Here is a brand new crafty creation - a Domo-kun keepsake box! I just love Domo Kun - such a cute Japanese character, and now he is in the form of a Perler Bead box!
This Domo Kun is a box with a removable lid that you can put anything inside - put it on your shelf or desk to add some cute Japanese fun! The lid has two layers - the second inside layer is designed so it fits snugly and securely inside the box. The Perler Beads are ironed together and the sides are all held together with heavy duty contact cement. It measures approximately 3" by 3" by 3". The front of the box has Domo-kun's face and the rest of the sides are brown, including the bottom and the lid.
If you'd like to know more about Domo-Kun (from Wikipedia): Domo is the mascot of Japan's NHK television station, appearing in several 30 second stop-motion sketches shown as station identification during shows. Domo, the main character, is described as "a strange creature that hatched from an egg." Domo's favorite food is Japanese-style meat and potato stew, and he has a strong dislike for apples, due to an unexplained mystery in his DNA. Domo can only communicate via producing a low-pitched noise which sounds somewhat like his own name, but other characters appear to understand him. Domo-kun is known to pass gas repeatedly when nervous or upset.
Thankfully, this Domo-kun box won't be passing any gas! He would look great on your office desk, bedroom shelf, or anywhere!