Gogol Bordello


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Undercover beet choco cake

"The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish admittedly is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent, not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious."

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume.

Everythings better with chocolate cake or in this case beeter (ha ha, couldn't resist). Our mostest awesome local Farm, Kirsop, sends home these great newsletters with our stupendous, spledorific boxes of lovely delicious veggies. This week happened to have a simple recipe for chocolate beet cake thus helping me to sneak a big ole bunch of veggies right into the kids gobs completely undetected.

The recipe is as follows:
1 1/2 cups cooked, peeled and pureed beets.
3 eggs
1 cup flour (this recipe is not gluten free)
1 cup oil
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 baking soda

Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Lightly beat eggs and incorporate all wet ingredients.
In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients.
Combine and beat till blended.
Pour into greased 9 x 13 inch cake pan (I used a bundt pan) and bake at 350 for approx 30 minutes or till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

It makes a gorgeous deep red velvety chocolate cake. I modified it however to include an additional ounce of chocolate, less oil, Semi-sweet instead of unsweetened and half sugar half splenda. It turned out wonderfully. Yes, you can detect the beets but the earthiness lends well to the chocolate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blogs that I love and follow:

Most of us have blogs or channels that we enjoy. I really like anything crafty or DIY that isnt geared toward the Grandma set.

My favorite used to be Threadbanger but since Rob, Corrine and Meg left it hasn't been the same and I really haven't been back.

But of course, Bust and Readymade magazines....
and the classic and never out of style, Sunset magazine. I lurv this magazine with all of its travel tips, recipes and building plans....

What are some of your favorites?

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I am a huge fan of deep reds, especially in wool. Because red wool cost so much, I tend to buy small amounts at a time. I crochet and knit and at times it is hard to think of small projects. Other than working on some really great purses, wool and wooden handles I decided to do a few small sculptural projects to add to pre-made items.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Small details make all the difference.

So I've been talking with a co-worker a lot lately about his road trip to Canada. Still excited about his time off, he has talked about the subtle differences between our country and theirs. "Its the little things" he says "that makes all the difference." When asked to elaborate he gives an example in presentation, food.

He goes on to tell me that during the entire week, when he and his road partner would mosey into a cafe in any small town for breakfast, the food just seemed better. Of course I had to press, "better how exactly?"

"Well, it just seemed like they cared more. Take toast for example. Everywhere I went the toast would be laid out nicely, toasted and buttered equally on both sides. Its as if the person who toasted it actually cared about how the customer wanted his or her toast, like they were proud to present it. Its the little things I notice in the details."

Hmmm, was my only reply.

He then went on to state that of the two breakfasts he purchased in the states, the toast was not as up to standard at was at times burnt on one side or not toasted on the other. The presentation was also very casual as if the toast itself just didn't care and lounged lackadaisical on its plate as if it could care less whether or not it was eaten. It lacked appeal.

Being a craft minded person, I started to think about how what seems to be very small things and how they make a difference. So in a round about way, I dedicate this post to my co-worker. By far the best gifts I have ever been given are all home made. I treasure every thoughtful item but if like me you dont always have the time to make something completely from scratch you can take something that you already have and improve it. It is about taking something that might be so, so and making it better, a small change if you will that makes all the difference.

Take an item, any item and add a detail thus making it your own. This is a great project for those that do not have time to completely make something from scratch or just want to spruce something up. For an example, I took a standard white nighty. I liked the shape and the pockets but found that it had a pretty boring presentation. I stenciled a design on the front using fabric markers. It seems that I stencil a lot of things these days. Its a great, fast, cheap and easy way to add details to things that shows you care.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

One of the last magazine subscribers?

Ok, like most people these days I get much of my news and entertainment from the internet but I do hold a few coveted subscriptions to actual non virtual magazines, Sunset, Vanity Fair and Readymade to name a few. I keep those that I find most useful and recycle those that I've reread a few times. As an alternative I decided to give them a new life and inject them into a couple of projects.

After buying Mark Montano's "Big Ass Book of Craft" some time ago and seeing the bowls he made out of magazine pages, I had to try it. The process was a tad time consuming but it went by quickly with conversation. The gluing however was kind of a pain. It had been a while since I had used a hot glue gun. When all was said and done I had a cute little bowl to sit upon one of my desks to collect little doo-dads and such.
To make this bowl simply cut out pages of your favorite magazine and roll them (or tiny fold them) diagonally at the desired width and glue them together into one long continuous line. Taking a bowl (I used a metal one so that any errant glue would be easy to peel off) and a glue gun, wrap the long snake of rolled pages around in a coil, adding a bit of glue to keep it together as you go. When you are done and the glue has set, remove it from the bowl and spray with a clear protective urethane. I used Krylon.

The second and more favored of the projects was a storage box that I had picked up at Joanne's and covered with strips of pages. Modge Podge and a coat of polyurethane was all it took. Since both require drying time, this project took me most of an afternoon. I use it to store my woolen yarns and extra notions in the project room. So far it has withstood kid play, what more could I want?

To make this box, I simply took a wood box I had purchased from Joanne's and glued strips of pages with modge podge. I covered it with a few layers when the layout was finished and once it was all dried, painted it with a clear polyurethane and set it out to dry. I added a few additional coats to ensure it was sealed.

A friend of mine gave me a beautiful necklace made out of paper beads for my recent graduation. I love the necklace but lack the patience to make such tight, perfect beads.

What are your favorite projects made from recycled magazines? Post them in the comment section below.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Introductions please.

Living in the North West gives one a ton of time to do things inside. This blog is dedicated to those folks who make things with their own hands and who just are not satisfied with the assembly line of food, clothing, crafts and way of life.