Monday, March 27, 2017

What I'm making

I found this large candlestick thingy on the curb last week.  A neighbor had a pile of random items out with a FREE sign, and this looked interesting, like it had  some potential.
 I did not like the paint job, it was a weird mix of antique gold and a  strange  silvery bluish color.
I added a flat wooden piece to the top so that it could hold a large candle, and then I painted the whole thing in a  faux iron look.

This was a 2 step process. First I painted the whole thing in flat black spray paint.
Then I gave it a light misting of dark bronze metallic spray paint. The  mist technique is spraying very lightly, from   far away, and just a quick few passes. You don't want  full coverage, you want the base color to show through.
This detail shows the textured, wrought iron  effect you can get with a light mist of bronze metallic over a dark matte base.


What I am nomming

Recent favorites snack foods

Wild California twice baked Fruit n' Nut crisps. These are so crunchy that it's easy to eat the whole bag in a sitting. They are also   great with a soft cheese.



Kettle Chips New York Cheddar flavor.
 My all time favorite potato chip was the  Cheddar Beer flavor from Kettle Chips, but it was a limited edition flavor. This New York Cheddar is the closest to it, although it is still missing that subtle malty sweetness of the beer. The large bags of this are hard to find in grocery stores, I  mostly see the small bags at deli counters and stuff, so I just ordered 6 bags from Amazon.  That sounds like a lot but damn they are so good it might not be enough.



Haagen-Dazs Bourbon Pecan Praline Ice Cream
You can really taste the bourbon in this. So good. It's limited edition so as usual when I find something I love,  they stop making it and  I can never get it again. WHYYYYYY?
 


Jules Destrooper Almond Thins -  Super thin and crispy, these cookies are the perfect partner to ice cream.



TCHO Organic Milk Chocolate, Toffee + Sea Salt - This  is a local brand,  made in Berkeley. They have a lot of interesting flavors. Most of their flavors are dark chocolate, this is one of the few that are milk chocolate.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What I'm making- furniture.

 Last week on garbage pick up day, I found this little   wrought iron table on the curb. It was dirty and rusty and the glass top was missing. It had probably been used outdoors, so   the rain had caused some damage.
But I liked the shape and thought it could be a good project.
I used a wire brush to clean off the rust and  sanded the rusty spots to get them as smooth as possible, but they  didn't get perfectly  smooth.
Then I  primed the whole piece with a white stain blocking primer spray paint. Then I went to go get some  spray paint for the finish coat. I had planned to maybe do an off white paint with clear acrylic top. I went  first to TAP Plastics to look at their remnant pieces of acrylic. I found a piece big enough  but it was a smoked glass color. So that changed my whole  plan for the paint color- now I was looking for a  paint that would go well with the smoked acrylic. OI  hoped to find something in a dark pewter metallic- darker than silver, but still cool toned. I did not find anything like that at Orchard Supply Hardware,  but they did have a cool  hammered look spray paint in dark bronze.  I figured the hammered look would help camouflage the uneven texture from the rusty spots.
 Here is the finished table, I really like how the dark bronze goes with the smoke color top. You can click the photo to zoom in.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Easter treats reviews

I picked up some Easter goodies. Some of them are new things I've never seen before.

1. Oreos with Peeps marshmallow filling- These are limited edition, the oreo cookie is the golden color vanilla cookie and the filling is bright pink. I generally prefer oreos with the chocolate cookie (and various flavors of filling), but I gave these a try. They are okay but they really just taste like vanilla cookie with vanilla filling, which is not very interesting to me.
2. Cadbury mini eggs  chocolate crunch and creme flavor.  These are your typical cookies & cream flavor with white chocolate and chocolate cookie crispy bits. They are okay but i think not as good as the  original  cadbury mini eggs.
 3. Peeps Filled Delights triple chocolate- These are a new thing, I have never seen  filled peeps before.  The peeps themselves are chocolate flavored,  then they have a fudgy cream filling, and the  bottom of the peep is dipped in chocolate. They are actually pretty decent.

4. Peeps Filled Delight vanilla caramel brownie flavor- The peep is white (vanilla), the filling is caramel, and  it's dipped in chocolate. I  don't really know where the brownie  is supposed to come in, but again they are pretty good.













Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I tried depotting eyeshadows

 The last year or two, there has been a trend of people depotting their  makeup from the palettes or packaging it  came in, and putting  them into Z palettes. 
These are empty magnetic palettes that you can customize  them, so for example if you love some colors in a large palette and hate others, you can  get rid of the ones you never use and  make your own palette with just your favorites. It's also a good way to save storage space. I decided to give it a try, but the 20$ Z-pallette  is a big Nope for me! That is just for the EMPTY  box with no  makeup in it! I figured I could DIY something for free.

 I used an old metal tin from an AOL cd. Remember those?  AOL used to send out their stupid installation Cds all the time in the early 2000's, , sometimes just in a cardboard sleeve, but sometimes they came in a metal tin.
It must be around 15 years old, but that is how I am, I  kind of hoard random things for craft supplies  thinking I will eventually use it for something. And I did use it! I spray painted it to  cover up the AOL logo. And it is nice and thin, just perfect for a makeup palette. The metal is steel, so  magnets stick to it.
So far  my cost is 0$.

Next I had to depot the eyeshadows from their original packaging. I watched some youtube videos that involved using heat to soften the glue, but I skipped that and just  pried them out with brute force and a ceramics tool that is similar to a dental tool.

Now there are two ways to make the eyeshadows stick in the palette. You can either have a magnetic layer in the  bottom of the palette, and the  eyeshadow pans will stick IF they are a ferrous metal. Some of mine were not ferrous. The other  option is    to glue little magnets to the bottom of the shadow pans, and they will all stick to the steel tin.  I decided to use this method since some of my pans were non-ferrous metal.
You can buy the magnets to stick to the back, but you know I wanted to do this for free, so I just  found some old magnetic business cards  that were stuck to the side of my fridge, and I cut them up into little squares and glued them on the back of the eyeshadow pans.  One of the magnets  was for Webvan, which was an old online grocery deliver company that went out of business in 2001. LOL Did I mention that I save craft supplies FOREVER? But I do eventually find a use for them so don't tell me to purge my treasure trove. I just saved $20!

My end result is here:

In this one tin, I  have 6 Colour Pop singles,  a Physicians Formula Quad (the rectangles), 2 L'oreal   duos (the  half circles), and a Stila "Dare to Bare" palette which contained 6 eyeshadows  plus a highlight and bronzer.. (I don't use bronzer so I just use it as eyeshadow).  I was able to condense  5 separate packages into this one tin.

I  can also take out just a few of the colors at a time and put them in an empty Altoids tin if I want to take them in my purse or for travel.



Monday, February 20, 2017

Internet Movie Data Base has deleted their discussion forums

I just found out that iMDB has closed their forums, and deleted all  the past discussions.   Apparently this just happened today, although it was announced 2 weeks ago. I hadn't been to the site in the past 2 weeks  so I didn't know it was happening. Their reasoning was supposedly that there was too much trolling and flame wars and shit (as there are in   most open forums) and  they want people to use Facebook for discussion instead. They are keeping the data base but just removing all discussions.

I reckon it was a budgetary reason because  forums do take a lot of moderation , which means a real person has to be paid to do that  job. I never  had a registered account at iMDB so I had never posted in their forums, but I had often read them, so I am  unhappy they are gone.  Often times after viewing a movie or Tv show, I would have some little question or confusion about a plot point, and I could always go check their forums and there was always someone who had already asked the question I was wondering about. These were questions not  answered by the summary or cast lists, these were plot questions, like "why did that guy do that thing". I never needed to post because  someone else inevitably had already asked my exact question and it was always answered by someone  else.

 So I am not happy it's all been erased , and Facebook is a poor replacement. Many people don't want all their internet activity linked under a single account. If you get in some trivial debate about a movie with someone, you don't need them to be able to see where you work and who all your friends and family are in one click. Facebook also does not lend itself to in depth discussions, it truncates longer comments so you have to click to see the whole thing. Facebook is just built around quick mindless actions like thumbs up or thumbs down,  emojis and brief sentence fragments, not based around written, reasoned  communication.
I will certainly admit that the iMDB forums had their share of trolls, racist and sexist comments, etc. But so does  the comments on Youtube, and I would never want them to delete all commentary on Youtube! How else can you ask the content creators a question? I never had any problem just scrolling past the low value posts to find the high value posts. It's really not that hard.

 It's very sad to me that the format of message boards/forums/discussion boards is  dying out. When I first got on the internet in 1999,  the first sites I joined and participated in were message boards. I met many friends there who I later met up with in real life.
I got  a job moderating message boards,  that later led to other jobs as moderators and  community managers. Even now,  that is still my preferred format to interact with people online. I like it better than twitter, facebook, instagram,  live  chatrooms or  blogs. I feel like the message board format lets you get to know people the best and it is the most conducive to  thoughtful conversation. I went to weddings and to  funerals of friends I had met in message boards. I fell in love, I traveled to stay with friends in other states and countries, all from  friendships begin on message boards. I don't believe that would ever happen with twitter and  instagram!
Do they  have the potential for abuse and negative speech? Of course, but the positive still far outweighed the negative.

I did find this site which has apparently archived the  discussion boards from the top 1000 movies and shows. (or  top 10,000?) Anyway it's backed  up the busiest boards from imdb, and has empty boards for all the other movies and shows,  which can have new discussions posted.
www.moviechat.org
Maybe I will actually register there and post occasionally.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

What I'm nomming- snack reviews

 Just  a few goodies I have been enjoying lately.


1. Moondarra cheese
Flavors Apricot & Almond, and Honey & Pistachio. (those are the only ones I have found  locally)
I'd love to try some of the other flavors but I've only  ever seen the two. It's  like a flavored  cream cheese with  add-ins. I like it on  very crisp crackers that also have some fruit or nut in it.  For example:

2.  Hazelnut and Sultana Pan Forte Crostini
They are  kind of similar  to Thin Addictives , but less sweet and they use raw cane sugar and it has  an almost faint anise flavor to it. I like that they are SUPER crisp and crunchy, which makes a nice contrast to a soft cheese.
I'd love to try the Tart Cherry, Cacao Nib and Almond flavor but I have not seen those around.
3. Clover Hoppy Hour ice cream. 
It's beer flavored!   with Bear Republic Brewing’s  Racer 5 IPA.

 4. Goat milk caramel sauce from  King Arthur Flour
It goes on top of that beer ice cream.  yeah buddy!



5. Lindt Strawberry Cheesecake chocolate  bar.  Pretty self explanatory. It's milk chocolate and strawberry and cheesecake. It's good stuff.