A Sharpie is just a texta and never believe anything on Pinterest

I’ve been kind of disappointed in my Porcelaine pen. It’s a bit hard to use and while it did a great job on the ceramic pots I painted using it, my attempts it re-marking the measurements on a worn-out old Pyrex jug washed off and moved and went wonky after a few goes in the dishwasher. Not that it’s actually meant to be used on Pyrex, so it’s a bit unfair, but still.

And I had seen on Pinterest that you can totally just mark ceramics using a Sharpie. So I decided to try this whole thing out. 

TheresAchanceMug

On the left, we have a mug written on using the proper Porcelaine pen, and on the right, using a Sharpie. I baked them both as per the directions from the manufacturer/Pinterest, and yes, I stole that design from mugs I’d seen on Pinterest.

And the jury has come to a decision; the suggestion that you can draw/write on ceramics with a Sharpie and get just as good a result as with a proper porcelaine pen is absolute nonsense, both with coverage quality and longevity.
TheresAchanceMugcomingoffAfter just one day’s light use, the sharpie-marked mug looks like exactly what it is: a mug someone took a texta to. As you can see. 

Pinterest fail.

Ah well. I’ll just go over it with my Porcelaine pen… :)  

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I have such a desire to do everything

Maggie Stiefvater, YA author extraordinaire, recently posted this to her tumblr:

“Every day I discover more and more beautiful things. It’s enough to drive one mad. I have such a desire to do everything, my head is bursting with it.”

– Claude Monet

I feel like this All. The. Time.

Current things I want to do, but have not had time, include:

1. Making this infinity scarf. I bought wool and everything. But the whole “it only takes an hour!” thing is a lie, if you don’t know how to knit, anyway. In an hour I did this:

CastingOn

Yep, I managed to figure out how to cast on. Too tightly. So I had to unravel everything I’d done when my baby woke up from her nap, rather than carry on later. Sigh.

2. Kokedama-making. Again, I have all the necessary supplies in my possession, I just need some time to make the damn things. Sigh.

3. Make a paper pom-pom/paper fall wall decoration type thing for the lounge room. I managed to finish the smaller one I had planned for the toddler’s room:

PompomFanCorner

But I haven’t had time to make enough for a boring corner we have in the lounge room. Sigh. So far I’ve made multiple fans AND pom-poms for it, but not enough. Turns out that you need heaps and heaps.

The additional problem with this last one is that I keep making fans or pom-poms that I think my friends will like and putting them aside for them.

4. Embroider myself an embroidery hoop necklace. I bought a kit from Dadnelyne and everything:

5. Blog. I have so many topics I need to blog about.

NOT ENOUGH TIIIIIIIIIIME…..

 

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Blessed are the cheesemakers

So, as previously mentioned, I bought this cheese-making kit:

MadMillieCheese

The Mad Millie Cheese kit, which apparently has much trendier packaging now: http://www.madmillie.com/shop/Cheese/Cheese+Making+Kits/Mad+Millie+Beginners+Italian+Kit.html

And it turns out that making cheese is sometimes much easier than you’d expect, and sometimes much harder.

I started with the ricotta. Honestly, you don’t need a kit for this; take milk, add acid, leave for a bit, ditch the whey. I have no idea why I never made this before.

RicottaCurdling

The end result? The most delicious ricotta I’ve ever tasted. I will always make my own ricotta from now on.

I made enough for two lots; one to have fresh and one to make a ricotta salata, which is a pressed, salted, aged variant.

After one day:

 

RicottaSalataCuring

After a week, it was dry enough to grate:

RicottaSalataMature

I just had to weigh it down and salt it every day to try and dry it out.

It sort of ended up like a very-slightly-dryer fetta at the end. It was nice enough, sort of inoffensive. Not hard to make.

But mozzarella?  Wow that’s hard.

LumpyMilk

 

 

Curdling the milk.

CuttingTheCurd

Cutting the curds.

MozzarellaCurd

Ditching the whey. It’s actually quite tasty at this point. But nothing like mozzarella.

After this step, it becomes a million times harder than making ricotta. You need to melt the curds in water at 70-80 degrees and then handle them while they’re still boiling hot, with your bare hands, and stretch them and fold them and stretch them and fold them. It’s how they get that really chewy, stringy consistency.

Then you need to shape them into neat balls, without squeezing any of the moisture out of them, or else the cheese ends up dry. This bit is actually harder than handling boiling-hot cheese products, if you can imagine.

MozzarellaDone

 The final product. It was bloody delicious. But I’m buying my mozzarella from now on.

The fourth cheese that my kit makes is mascarpone, but I haven’t tried that yet. I want to wait until I need it for tiramisu :)

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The worst bit about the entire fitness industry

PumpedI’m currently doing an exercise and meal program. And I’ve remembered why I hate this sort of thing. It isn’t the fake tan and awful colourful work-out clothes. Although that’s all pretty shit.

No. It’s the bimbo-y, nonsensical language. I not only cannot take it seriously, it gets up my nose.

I’m not alone in this, I’ve checked. It alienates other people, too. For instance:

Are you ready to kick some butt? It’s time to bring your A-game! Dig deeper and push yourself to the next level! Yes! I want you to smash these out of the park! Go hard! Get pumped! You need to get in the zone and bring 110%! Bring it! Crank it up and nail your workout! 

YOU ARE JUST SAYING WORDS.

THIS IS THE LANGUAGE OF FUCKING SHAKESPEARE YOU ARE BUTCHERING.

Is it supposed to be motivating? Because it is actually just irritating and distracting.

Why are there so many exclamation marks? WHY??!?! And oh, god, the metaphors. They aren’t mixed, they’re pureed. INTO WORD VOMIT.

Why is it all so bossy? The imperative tense was never meant to be used this way. And I don’t react well to the imperative tense in general.

Also? Apparently, I’m on a “journey”. I wish it were somewhere better than off to Woolworths to buy some more fucking baby spinach (OK, I confess. I haven’t actually been buying baby spinach because I fucking hate baby spinach. I have no idea why it’s in every frigging recipe).

My pilates instructor asked me about my program the other day and I had a rant to her about how annoying I was finding it all. I told her that honestly, the studio’s lack of bimbo-y crap was part of the reason why I’ve been doing pilates for eight years and I appreciated it (they do theraputic pilates for injured people, though, so I suppose that helps).

I also told her that I should totally set up a gym where the instructors are all wearing crappy old K-mart tracksuits pants and holey old t-shirts, and start each class by saying “Look, I know we’d all rather be down the pub drinking and eating chips. But we need to do this class once a week so we don’t all get diabetes or whatever. We don’t have to pretend to like it. Now, I’m going to put on this Marilyn Manson CD and let’s all just do 10 push-ups. No, I don’t want to do them either but I can’t have a stroke next week, I have book club and I don’t want to have read that stupid boring book for nothing. I’ll count us in.”

I would make millions. MILLIONS.

In the meantime, I am thinking of going to these hoola hooping/80s dancing fitness classes because at least they look like they have a sense of humour.

 

 

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Happy Mother’s day! Here’s something pink. Clean the house!

I have been so frustrated and annoyed by some of the stupid crap advertising around Mother’s Day this year.

For instance, look at this “Super Freakin Awesome Mothers Day Deal” (sic) from DesignByThem. One of my friends posted about it somewhere. It’s DesignByThem’s Dial Hanger hook, discounted for Mother’s Day… but only in pink.

The hook comes in five other colours, but your mum is supposed to have the pink one because she has a vagina.

And T2’s Mother’s Day range? You can have teas named Ruby, Fuchsia or Rose, and teacups in Flamingo or Magenta, accessorised with “pretty in pink” “fun” infusers.

Apparently we’ve moved from telling little girls they have to have pink, and only pink, to telling their mums that too. How super freaking awesome.

But the cake has been taken by Myer, who I saw the other day have included a whole display in the women’s section of their Southland store of suggested Mother’s Day gifts:

MothersDayCleaningStuffMothersDayDustpan

Why, yes, the products pictured ARE all cleaning products. I’m so glad you noticed!

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

Did Tony Abbott design this display??? Is this what his wife is getting???

There was some gardening stuff in there too, but the bit that got me was that this was in the middle of the fashion section. They couldn’t have found some fricking SCARVES to put on there? Some SLIPPERS? A bloody wallet or two?

Also, as if ANY partner is going to go “why, yes! I WILL get the mother of my children that fetching dustpan and brush as her Mother’s Day present! Look at the flower on it!” without expecting to have it bashed over his head when she opens it on Sunday.

So what the hell is the purpose of this? SOMEONE TELL ME.

 

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Royal commemorative mugs that I made exist

So, yeah, um, after my last post about my search for kitsch royal commemorative mugs, I may have become enamoured with my idea of silly fake ones and made my own design, which I then had printed up.

Maybe.

Possibly.

Yeah.

WallisMugFront WallisMugBack

I would just like everyone to know that yes, I did to this instead of exercising or writing or doing several other productive things. And, yet, I don’t at all believe it to have been a misuse of my very limited spare time.

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Royal commemorative mugs that I wish existed

A few of our mugs have broken over the years and I’ve decided we need some new ones. I’ve had a look around and geez there are a lot of boring and/or ugly mugs for sale.

So I’ve decided I might as well go the hilarious option and get us some kitsch royal commemorative mugs because hilarious.

I’ve been looking and these ones are ok:

From etsy. I’m not telling you where as I think I want this one. UPDATE: Some bastard bought this while I was writing my blog post!!! That’ll teach me to frig around…

This one gets more points for hilarity — look at the cherubs with their pink and blue ribbons! — but it looks a bit fragile and I don’t like the fluting up the top. It’s from this etsy listing here

But I’ve realised I really just want one with the queen mum drinking a G&T on it and smiling prettily in a big hat.

Or possibly one with Helena Bonham-Carter eating chocolates in a fancy car while pretending to be the queen mother, and Colin Firth covering her cheek with kisses while she giggles uncontrollably. If that could be captured on a mug.

But most of all, I want one with Wallis Simpson on it, with “not the queen” in a ribbon underneath. Or maybe “Commemorating the not coronation of That Woman”.

Or, you know, something similar.

These are the times that I wish I was better at drawing. Or photoshop.

UPDATE: So yeah, um, about that… turns out my photoshop skills were adequate.

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