Monday, April 7, 2014

New Blog

Things around here have been kind of dead, so I've moved to a new blog. I'll probably keep this one up for a while, but I may eventually just migrate over my favorite posts and then shut this down. In any case, if you'd like to check out some actual new posts come on over to Britt Made. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What Song is in that Commercial?

I don't really have an image for this post, so here is a picture from an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.
To the untrained eye it may appear that I've been a slacker blogger lately. But that isn't quite the case. I've haven't been "not blogging" so much as I've been blogging elsewhere. Where elsewhere? Here elsewehere: What Song is in that Commercial?

I know our site name is pretty subtle so let me break it down for you: commercials have songs in them, we figure out the track name and artist so that you can download your favorites. We don't just pass along the info either, we write an informative and amusing post for each ad. See, we're here to both educate and entertain. We're givers.

Life is strange sometimes. I don't think I ever pictured myself blogging about anything that didn't have to do with glue and yarn. But I do enjoy a good commercial, plus they pay me, which in my opinion is a damn fine reason to do something.

Here are a few of my posts on Trojan, JCPenney and Del Monte, in case you were curious. You can also like us on facebook, or request a commercial you'd like us to write about.

We now return to your regularly scheduled crafting.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bacon Jam Recipe

It is probably this lousy Smarch weather, but recently going out has been at a minimum and Saturday nights have become all about hanging out, youtubing Key and Peele episodes and making things. So far we've spent our nights knitting (always knitting), helping a friend figure out how to make a quilt entirely from Stitch Witchery, and this most recent Saturday trying out a bacon jam recipe.

I found the recipe on Martha's trusty website and it appealed to me because it used a crock pot. Crock pots being only slightly less popular than tattoos among my lady friends on pinterest, but not quite as popular as mason jars.

Funny story, the Jam is supposed to cook for four hours on high, uncovered. But I started it at 11:00pm, so I slept in the living room to be near the crock so I could sleepily wake up around 4am to check on its progress. While cooking, the jam made these very soothing little popping and hissing noises, and as a result I had a dream I was surrounded by a dozen whimpering puppies. Best dream ever. Way to go Jam, and way to also be delicious.

Recipe can be found at Martha Stewart.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soup Party

Soups: Ginger Root Vegetable, Steak Chili, Matzoh Ball

Can I take a second to talk about one of my favorite parties of the year? Soup Day. The party was on Sunday and we had such a great time. We played Celebrity (I was Socrates, Tahnee was Stephen King, and Sam was Tom Hanks), watched football, and hung out with a baby. Magic.

There are lots of reasons why Soup Day is the greatest. See the aforementioned Celebrity, Football, and Baby. But the star of the party is definitely the soup. A few reasons why soup really is a great theme: 

First: Timing. My friend Molly has the party in January, which is peak soup weather. I mean, when it is so cold outside that my feet are freezing even though I'm wearing socks and am under 3 blankets, a bowl of piping soup is like a warm hug for your internal organs.

Second: Simplicity. Soup is the perfect potluck item. You don't have to worry about portions, just make one pot. And if people bring crockpots you can plug them in in different spots and they will keep themselves warm and ready without much supervision. Plus soup means you can have plenty of crusty bread, which is great. People love crusty bread. We're like pigeons that way.

Third: Variety. Every year (and they have been doing this a lot of years) there are at least 10 different kinds of soup to try. So much fun and it never gets boring. This year I had my first ever Matzoh Ball Soup, there was also Chili, Ginger Root Vegetable, Turkey and Kale, Cauliflower Puree, and a bunch more I didn't even get to. It is so fun to try so many different kinds of soup, and if you come across one that isn't your favorite, you just move onto the next.

As you can see, the virtues of a Soup Party are plentiful. Hopefully this inspires you to gather some friends and break out your crock pots. But if you still aren't convinced, consider this: I ate a bunch of soup and I haven't caught a cold or flu yet. Let's hope I can ride this magical soup wave out until Spring.

Monday, January 21, 2013

DIY: Concert Ticket Magnets

Ticket Stub Magnets

So, like I said in my last post, I moved. Moving forces you to ask yourself the hard questions. Like, the 4th time you've moved your collection of vintage cassingles, you have to wonder "What am I doing with these things?"

My box of ticket stubs definitely falls into that category. I mean, it isn't taking up any valuable real estate, but if I'm not using them for something cool then why am I even keeping them? Because really, ticket stubs are super cool. People don't usually go to "meh" concerts, they go to awesome ones. So why keep a tangible reminder of that awesomeness stuffed away in a box in your closet? These magnets are quick, easy, and every time you get orange juice out of the fridge you can reminisce about those great nights. (Additionally, the big national love day is coming up, and if you keep tickets as date mementos, these are a really sweet gift.)

  • Ticket Stubs
  • Laser Printer
  • Glue Stick or Spray Glue
  • Chipboard or the back cover of an old notebook
  • Aleene's Paper Glaze
  • Hot Glue
  • Magnets

The first step is to scan your ticket stubs, and use a program to resize your tickets. I made mine 3 inches wide. (Make sure when you re-size it you lock your proportions, or they will end up looking wonky) Then print your image out with a laser jet printer and use a glue stick or some spray glue (where have you been all my life?) to mount them onto some chip board or the the back cover of an old notebook or something. Finally trim your tickets to size with a paper cutter or some scissors.

Once you have your tickets trimmed, cover them with the paper glaze. I used Aleene's cause I'm a fan of her tacky glue, but there are other brands. The technique I used was sort of similar to flooding an iced cookie. Outline first, then fill in the middle. Kind of fun. Also, it made me want a cookie. Try to pop any bubbles.

Now let them dry overnight. Don't put too much on, otherwise the glaze will just slowly ooze off. As the glaze dries it will turn clear and shiny. After 24 hours mine were good, but there was one little cloudy spot that took another day to totally set.

DIY Ticket Magnet

Last, attach magnets to the back with hot glue. You can buy rolls of magnets at a craft store, but I just used an old promotional magnet from my dentist (for both recycling and being cheap purposes). There, now show everyone how cool and cultured you are. The best part of this project is that even if you don't have a box of old ticket stubs lying around, you can still make them thanks to this modern internet age. Did you ever see the Beatles play live? Well, who says you can't pretend?

Some other great ticket stub projects, while we're at it:
  • Or make a giant ticket stub wall hanging, if you have 5 dollars and know how to order an Engineering Print from Staples.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Lazy Blogger and her Holiday Cards (Subtitled: Gnome for the Holidays)

Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters
I know, I know. Where have I been? What kind of blogger doesn't make a New Year's Resolution to blog more? Isn't that like the industry standard? These are the questions that literally tens of readers are asking.

Please let me explain my absence. I moved. Totally unexpectedly. The decision took a few hours, but the actual moving process has been a little bit slower. So most of my good craft things have been all packed up. You know how they say to have an "Open First" box when you move? Do that. And make sure you put your glue gun in it.

Seriously though, I moved in with my dear friend Michelle in Logan Square. We have known each other forever. Michelle saw me through my awkward High School years and has decided to stick around right through my awkward adulthood. She is sweet and wonderful and she has a dishwasher. Basically the roommate jackpot.

The good news is I have a backlog of craft ideas that I'll be blogging very soon. Like, this week. I swear. In the meantime I wanted to share my holiday cards. I officially crossed the first thing off of my Thirty before 30 list when I printed these at Spudnik Press. They were simple but I think they turned out well, with some cool noise in the screen. I just printed on the front and back of cardstock I cut, and then I picked up an inexpensive corner rounder to make them look a little neater. I like how they turned out, but next year I'll start working on them a bit earlier.

Lots of inks that make me happy.
I hope your 2013 has started off well, and I will be back later this week with a new project!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

How To Survive a Blizzard

It is December 26th here in Chicago, and we still haven't had any official snow.  My friends in Indianapolis are tweeting pictures of their snow and I'm kind of jealous. And since I still believe winter is coming, and an ounce of prevention is worth....something I can't quite remember....I put together this little guide to surviving a blizzard in style.

In this situation, entertainment is crucial.  Now is not the time to run out to the redbox, you might be stuck inside for a couple of days, and nobody wants those late fees.  Regular old TV can be an option (during the blizzard of 2011 I made it through an entire season of RuPaul's Drag Race on VH1, epic), but at my apartment I don't have cable, and sometimes there is just nothing good on.  Your best bet is streaming.  You probably have netflix instant, but want to sign up for a free trial offer of hulu plus for current seasons (just don't forget to cancel). Another option is to stock up on a dvd of an addictive tv series that is cruelly withheld from streaming, like The Wire or True Blood.  Blizzards are the perfect time to stage your own marathons.

You're going to need food. You don't want to accidentally run out of necessities because probably nobody is delivering. For me I have to make sure I have plenty of milk, chicken, tortillas, olives, pasta, and cheese. I can pretty much get by on that, but you know what your staples are.  Be sure to stock up. You would think now would be a good time to try out a new recipe, but I'd advise against it, because if it turns out badly and you hate it, you'll be out of luck.  I say stick to your favorite comfort foods and you'll get through just fine. Also, when you head to the store, be sure to get toilet paper.  Obviously you won't eat it, but you won't regret it.

Be sure to have something on hand that will help lend the entire experience a nice hazy dreamlike quality.  For me bailey's and coffee does the trick, but I've also heard good things about hot chocolate with that marshmallow vodka. I like those options because you can warm your hands on the mug while you take the edge off, which is extra pleasant. Wine works too, if you prefer, but I doubt you'll want to crack open a cold beer.

This is a very personal decision. Depending upon how long you expect this to last, and how much effort you plan to put into your personal appearance, you may want company. Being snowed in might be a fun reason for a friend slumber party, it might also be a good excuse for a sleepover with a sexy someone you've been hanging out with ("Oh, ooops, guess you should probably stay...."). You have to decide, are you a lone wolf or a social butterfly? But if you're going to invite someone over, do it quick before the storm starts. And double down on the essentials.

Being stuck inside during a blizzard is a great time to get a little crafting done. Do you have some knitting or sewing you have been meaning to finish up? Good, start with that. If you're low on supplies, origami is a good project, since you basically just need paper. How About Orange has some tutorials. Finally, catch up on your correspondence. I find the thing that keeps me from writing a letter most of the time is the lack of something important to say, but now you can talk about the blizzard. Here, let me start you off:
Dear Sally,
You wouldn't believe the crazy blizzard we are having. I can't even walk outside because the snow is up to my kneecaps. How are you? Did your boyfriend's chlamydia ever clear up?
(...and you fill in the rest)

After you've exhausted those options you may need to get a little bit creative with your creativity. Pro tip: practice some crazy makeup look that you are trying to perfect. Look up beauty tutorials on youtube and maybe try giving yourself a smoky eye. You'll probably look like you got punched, but hey, it isn't like you're going anywhere. This is also a good time to figure out how people manage to do nail art.

Actual Necessities
Hopefully your snowed in experience will be more like a fun forced vacation than test of your survival skills, but it never hurts to be actually prepared.  Make sure you have a flashlight with batteries or some candles, just in case the power goes out. Also, try to remember to charge up your phone before the storm, just as a precaution.  If you don't already have an emergency/first aid kit, get yours together here.  And seriously, please don't go outside unless you absolutely have to, and don't try to drive anywhere once the storm has started (these people in Chicago learned this the hard way).  Just settle in and enjoy your cheese, crafts and bountiful supply of toilet paper. You've earned it.

Anything I missed? Let me know.