Valentine’s Day


Hello and Happy Valentine’s Day/ Singles Awareness Day/ National Cake Bingeing Day or whatever it is you feel like celebrating on this wonderful Friday. 

I am celebrating a combination of all of these days- and I thought I would share with you two ways that I am celebrating today:

Firstly-and most importantly- the bats have dropped their hats and antlers and are now decked out with love bows & arrows, and carrying conversation hearts!

As you may notice, I could not print out regular conversation hearts with love-y messages, because that would not be as ironically hilarious as the ones that say ‘bite me’ and ‘eat dirt’.

With so many typing shortcuts you can really get some long messages onto hearts now! I was particularly impressed by ‘tbh ur not gr8’- as this is a lot to say on a small heart!

But the message that will always have a place in my heart is this one:

(no conversation heart has ever captured my feelings more clearly lol)
Besides my ironic Valentine’s bats I also gave myself a very Valentine’s manicure:

This was my way of giving myself some love on this day dedicated to love <3. Also this was the most simple way to do a heart manicure- you paint the background colour (the hearts) first, and then using a fine tip nail polish you draw on the little v shapes at the top and bottom afterwards- BAM simple hearts!
I hope you are all having a wonderful 14th of February, and that you are showing yourself a little bit of love on this day!
xo erin

Reflecting on Christmas


I feel like there are so many little Christmas things that I didn’t get to share on this blog, partly because it is such a busy time of year, but also because they all seemed a little small and insignificant for posting. So before it is altogether TOO late- I am going to reflect over a few little things from this Christmas.

Firstly- my minimal apartment decor- which was simple and fleeting- as I generally go home for the weeks surrounding Christmas- but none-the-less I feel like I did a good job at creatively adding some festivity to the apartment. My favourite decoration had to be the bats- a leftover decoration from Halloween that I decided to Christmas-ify with some little hats and antlers.

Before:

After (aka- instant Christmas)

Then I had my little tinsel tree, that I decorate in full girly style with all my bling:

And then, what had to be the BEST part of all my Christmas holiday: A crafty visit from my best friend Claire! – It was three days of bliss- all day crafting, wine-drinking & delicious food eating in our pjs!
She brought her very impressive collection of card making supplies:

 And showed me how to make the most beautiful and festive cards- I ended up with these five most beautiful cards!

She had so many nice stamps and an amazing organization system they were all sorted in binders with a page of them stamped beside so you could see what they would look like- such a smart crafter!

We also did quite a bit of cooking, making up a batch of my vegetable beef soup & cheddar biscuits. Along with some deluxe hummus/guacamole/chicken/sprout sandwiches with spiced black beans on the side.

 SO GOOD- and I can proudly say that we were very healthy during our 3 day crafting marathon! Especially being so close to Christmas!!

She also got me an amazing book for Christmas:

which I have been pouring over during my free time this holiday!

Also- more about my Christmas at home–> my mom got me some gorgeous estate earrings:

and we put up our crazy- overloaded fake tree!

All the Christmas things!

Hope you all had wonderful Christmases with friends and family- and most importantly stuffed yourself with delicious food! 

xo erin

Felt Ornaments


This weekend I got into the Christmas spirit!- and I started off with some felt ornaments- aren’t homemade decorations just the best!

I love making these, sitting watching a favourite movie and doing all the little stitches- placing the beads and laying it all out! 
You can get so creative with them too- it is such an easy fabric to work with because it lays flat and doesn’t slide, and there are so many different stitches that you can do. This snow man has lovely little french knot eyes and smile and has a blanket stitch around the edge!
This one might be my fav – with the gold studs and the pink tassel! Festive with flare! – I feel a little nerdy being so into these embroidery stitches, but they do really look nice, and it is so cool how many different stitches you can do so easily! Crafty enthusiasm!! 
These would also be a great gift idea if you personalized them with the name of the person you were gifting them to! just saying…. 
I always like to put the year on the back too- just so I can remember when I made it! I hope this is getting everyone in the Christmas spirit! I know that it got me in the Christmas spirit, and now I’m off to plan more gift ideas, do some decorating and possibly pop a batch of gingerbread into the oven! 
There will definitely be more Christmas themed posts coming soon! 
Happy Holidays- and I hope that everyone is doing their favourite Christmasy things right now! 🙂
xo erin

Friendship Cake


Around this time every year, if I am attentive enough, I will remember to start the best 30 day process -the process of friendship cake.

Friendship cake is one of my grandma’s recipes. It takes 30 days to make, and it is usually started in late November so that it can be ready for Christmas. Friendship cake starts, as all good cakes start, with alcohol, which is either in the form of brandy (if you are starting the friendship cake) or in the form of starter – given to you by someone who just finished making their own friendship cake. 

This is where the ‘friendship’ comes into friendship cake, because at the end of the process you are left with not only lovely cake, but also the ‘starter’ for more friendship cakes that you can give away to your friends so that they can start their own friendship cake- spreading the love of cake.

Making this cake involves 30 days where you ferment fruit with sugar and alcohol on your counter. At the 30 day mark you drain the liquid (giving it away to your closest friends) and add fruit to cake batter, making delicious, boozy, fruit filled cakes, ready to be enjoyed and shared on Christmas.

The best part of friendship cake is that it is the ultimate Christmas present.  
-To make 6 lovely and thoughtful presents – I make my cakes into 6 loafs, wrap them beautifully, and put the 1 1/2 cups of starter into a jar with a nice handwritten recipe card with the instructions for friendship cake. Not only are you giving delicious cake, but you are giving them the chance to be part of a chain of ongoing friendship cakes. And they will also know that you spent 30 days on their present! But let’s be honest, only 5 friends will get this for Christmas because I have to save at least one loaf for myself!

Friendship Cake

1 1/2 cups of ‘starter’ or Apricot Brandy (or if you aren’t particular like me, any fruit brandy in your possession)
6 1/2 cups of sugar
1- 28oz can of sliced peaches in syrup (not drained)
1- 19oz can of chunk pineapple (not drained)
1- 28oz can of fruit cocktail in syrup (not drained)
1- 375ml jar of maraschino cherries (drained and halved)

For each cake: (batch makes 3 cakes/ 6 loafs)

1 yellow cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 small pkg vanilla instant pudding
1 c chopped walnuts

Day 1 – Combine starter, 1 1/2 cups of sugar and peaches into a very large bowl. Cover and stir once everday.


Day 10 – Add 2 cups of sugar and pineapple with juices. Cover and stir once everyday.


Day 20 – Add 2 cups of sugar, fruit cocktail and cherries. Cover and stir once everyday.


Day 30 – Drain fruit, divide juice into 1 1/2 cup portions (of friendship cake starter) and give away to very lucky friends. Divide fruit into 3 portions (one for each cake). 


For each cake, mix all of the ingredients for the cake together mixing it at a medium speed until well combined, add the fruit and stir in until fully incorporated. I suggest doing each cake separately since it would be a very large amount to do all 3 at once, but you can definitely do all 3 at once if you have a bowl big enough. 


For each cake, grease either 1 bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350 °F for 65 minutes (if using a bundt pan) or 50 minutes (for two loaves).

Today is the day that I start my friendship cake!

First step – the brandy. So this is either starter that you were given, or the recipe says apricot brandy, but I didn’t have apricot brandy, I had “Old Plum Brandy” which has been sitting on my bar cart for a little too long and I figured that it wouldn’t be too different- so 1 1/2 cups of that!

Next sugar, 2 1/2 cups of that…

And finally peaches in their syrup… yum

Now to be mixed in a very large bowl! 

And I will let this sit, covered on my kitchen table, stirring once everyday, until the next step on day 10!  Always dreaming of the cakes that are to come 🙂 !
– And now back to the sewing cave, to think up more Christmas sewing ideas!
Erin

Fighting Evil By Moonlight…


♫ It’s the most wonderful time of the year ♫- yes Halloween! As both a sewing and Halloween fanatic, I can declare that this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, a time of year where you can dress up however you want, in whatever costume, and you can make it yourself!

This year, I will admit that I let my make-up loving side get the better of me and went as a sugar skull- which has no special costume elements in particular and I just wore a black dress…. BUT THE MAKE-UP WAS SO COOL! – I did lose a part of my sewing soul though….
BUT I did have a chance to make a costume earlier this month (making up for my lack of epic costume on Halloween), and as the title of this post suggests- ♫ it was the one named Sailor Moon ♫! I was huge a fan of Sailor Moon when I was a kid, and I remember watching them thinking “they’re so pretty and brave!” and that tuxedo mask probably still had cooties… anyways 
It all started when my sister said- “Hey there’s a super hero themed pub night at my college, want to make us some costumes for it?”, and I said “DO I?! – YES!!, when is it?”, and she said “tomorrow night”….. So after a frantic trip to Fabricland, and to H&M to get two white v-neck t-shirts, I started on my marathon of sewing to finish our Sailor costumes: Sailor Moon (for my blonde sister) and Sailor Jupiter (for brunette me!). 
After quite a few hours, and an unknown amount of “will I get this done on time?” moments, that were calmed with chocolate, I finally finished the costumes!! And they were amazing!
 
After doing the first one, the second one was a lot easier to whip up. And seeing as everything in the costume has ample amounts of lycra, eyeballing all the measurements worked out fine. Some of my favourite costume elements are the gloves, and the bows, who doesn’t want a huge bow on their butt?, and as I am Emerald Erin, I was quite pleased with the overall colour scheme that Sailor Jupiter has going on.
This is a photo taken at the actual event and, as you can see, my sister is the gloriously tan and blonde one, and I am the almost fluorescently pale brunette, and in the middle is our friend who went with a batwoman theme. – I can say that we were perhaps more dressed up than most, but our costumes were generally loved, and I do feel like this makes up, at least in part, for my lack of sewn costume this Halloween. 
As a last little tidbit to this Halloween post, I will share the Halloween costumes of my favourite stuffed animals growing up, my first models for sewing as a kid, I’m not sure how old I was when I made them these costumes, probably 10-12 – a witch, a pumpkin and a fairy! And I still dress them up for Halloween every year!
Happy Halloween!
xo erin