Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tie One On Tuesday!

Temperatures are heating up and you're heading out to camp or to cool off at the lake! What better way to enjoy the festivities than with some home made Sangria. This recipe is very simple but packs a nice punch (get it, punch...ahh...I've been tasting too much of the Sangria).

Basic Sangria


1 bottle of Dry Red Wine

1/3 of a cup of Brandy

1 TBS of Sugar

Juice of one lime

Juice of one large orange

Juice of one large lemon

Orange slices

Lime slices

1 cup club soda or sweetened soda pop

Combine all ingredients (except the Soda) into a glass pitcher (or plastic if your traveling with it) mixing well. Refrigerate overnight (or until you reach your camp site). Right before you pour the concoction into the glasses mix in the club soda.

When preparing the initial mixture, you can also throw in different seasonal fruit like berries or peaches for an added fruity wine elixir!

This recipe makes about enough to serve 4 or 2 if you are a Sangria hog.

Say that fruity stuff isn't your style. You're a man's man! You once killed a wild animal with your bare hands! You need something stiffer? Well how about some dog piss...you heard me right! Quick side note, I refused to allow OMP to make this in our house cause, well, cause YUCK! So, here are the ingredients, make at your own risk and if you say it's good, we might not be able to be friends anymore....

3 oz vodka
12 oz beer
4 oz Southern Comfort peach liqueur (I really didn't need to know that they made this)

If you start hearing dueling banjos and someone asking you to squeal like a pig, just remember, I warned you.

So there ya go! Two drinks for two different camping adventures. It's up to you to decide what you want your night to look like when you staring at the campfire, wanting a little snuggle action. Cheers!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Great Outdoors

Ah camping, the great outdoor experience. The campfire, the lake, the homicidal maniac. What could be more fun then running for your life while a hockey mask wearing, machete wielding murderer chases you?

That's right campers! We are off to Camp Crystal Lake for drugs, alcohol, premarital sex and murder. The original Friday the 13th is so campy and gory, yet it works. It works so well that the franchise decided to do it over, and over, and over again.

The story is a simple one. If you are a bad teenager, you will be punished. If you are a good teenager, sure you will have to struggle,but you will come out alive. It's a tale as old as time. Bad people get what's coming to them and good people triumph. This is all done with big breasts, bad acting and Kevin Bacon.

So, you made it through a week at Camp Crystal Lake, outsmarted Jason and now you think you might need some R&R. How about hanging out with Bill Murray and the rest of the gang in the movie Meatballs. I remember seeing the movie poster for this and then seeing the movie and wondering why the girls in the poster looked NOTHING like the girls in the movie. Anyhoo, this is still a great film. Bill Murray plays Tripper, a camp counselor that helps an unpopular Rudy find his true self and triumph over his own fears. Sure it sounds sappy but the humor is very 12 year old and this is one of my favorite Bill Murray movies next to Stripes.

Okay, so feeling good about yourself and laughter is not your thing, how about doing a little investigation? Let's go investigate the Blair Witch! Let's go into the middle of the woods, get lost, find our friend's tooth, tell everyone how sorry we are while snot is running down our faces only to end up in the corner of an abandoned house . Oh yeah, this sounds like fun, send me back to camp at Crystal Lake! I do have to give props to this movie. It was very well done and somewhat a new concept. At the time I saw this, I was really disappointed, but the end scene kept playing over and over in my mind and I ended up scaring the hell out of myself.

So while you're getting your gear ready to head into the great outdoors, throw one of these gems into your DVD player and enjoy the possibilities that may await you at your next campsite. Wait, did you hear a sound...I think it came from over.....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Scrappiness isn't just a look, it's a way of life, an attitude. Take for instance, Merlin. He may not have a scrappy hairstyle but his attitude is all about the scrap!

Who's the real you?

Well my real name is Merlin J. Phineas Alberto, but mainly I go by Merlin unless I'm in trouble. ;) I also am known as the "white ninja" because of my stealth skills. I'm a sneaky one! I'm sort of hyper and very loving once I get to know you. I guess you could say I'm just cool.

What do you like to do when you're not looking cute?
I spend my time sitting in the front window of our house watching for perimeter breeches. I cannot stand anyone stepping foot on my sidewalk! I also hate motorcycles with a passion. I hear one coming and I go into a fit like you've never seen. I also love to play chase in the yard with Dad and hunt squirrels.

What's your favorite toy?
I'm the master of toy destruction! I can't have tennis balls because Mom refuses to clean up the fur I take off of them. I like tough toys like ones made from recycled tires. I've killed 5 of those stupid stuffed Bobo's from Pet Smart! Grama buys em' I tear out their guts in about 5 minutes!

If you could be anywhere, where would it be?

In my yard, or Grama's yard. I also LOVE the snow! So a snow bank is always great. I also love car rides! Nothing better than the wind in your face. Anywhere my people are is fine by me!

What's your favorite quote?

"SQUIRREL!" Just like the grandpa hollers on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. They are the bain of my existence I tell ya!

Oh Mr. Merlin! You are 100% scrap! You get Lola's seal of approval! I think she might even have a little crush on you. Do you make home appearances?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Fireside Chat with beefranck (aka Bridget) NSFW!

*Okay! You all have been warned! there are some naughty words that are going to be flashed around here. If you don't want to read them,,,,move along. If you are up for an ass kicking good time,,,please continue.
If you never encountered Bridget, you are in for a real spicy treat. She is one sassy lady who will wow you with her mad stitching skills while shock you with her saucy brand of humor. I have to give her mad props for turning me on to Dr. Horrible's Sing a Long Blog (thanks Bridget!) and of course for making me giggle like a 12 year old every time I see her work. Be prepared to be amazed!

Who is beefranck?

My name is Bridget and I live with my husband Jim (married 11 years this October) and cat in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to Chicago 13 years ago after meeting Jim online, so the internet has always been a big part of my life. I've been a Recruiter for the last 12 years. It's the perfect job for me because it allows me to talk all day and ask nosy questions, two of my favorite pastimes. That's the normal stuff. In addition to that, my friend Shane and I have a podcast called Emergency Pants and I blog about contemporary needlecraft with my brother from a European mother, Jamie, over at mrxstitch.com


When did you get started stitching?

I started stitching when I found out about Subversive Cross Stitch ( http://www.subversivecrossstitch.com ) around Christmas in 2007. A podcast I listen to, PNSexplosion ( http://www.pnsexplosion.com ) uses the phrase "Go f**k yourself" as their sign-off statement, so I thought Julie's pattern with the same phrase would make the perfect gift for them. I bought her book, stitched everything in it, bought more patterns from her website and stitched those, and when I ran out of those I found a local cross stitch store and went shopping for patterns there. There was absolutely nothing there that interested me. I tried stitching a pattern with a cat on it just for something to stitch, but my heart just wasn't in it and I never finished it. After seeing all of the inspirational stuff in the Subversive Cross Stitch pool ( http://www.flickr.com/groups/scs/pool/ ) on flickr as well as the needlework section of craftster.org, I realized I had to start making my own patterns if I was going to continue cross stitching. I bought PC Stitch and after that, it was all over, I was hooked.

You work is pretty saucy. Why do you naughty words attract so many people?

I think a big part of the appeal of stitching saucy things is the contrast between the subject matter and the craft itself. Cross stitching has always been very traditional and has a conservative feel to it. What I try to do is make things that look beautiful and have an edge to them. Most of the time I try to avoid the classic naughty words while still getting the point across. Really, only a handful of my stitches have bad words, but they usually do have a either a naughty or sarcastic subject matter. There's something about that juxtaposition that just thrills me.

What kind of advice would you give the masses?

Make things. Don't spend time worrying about whether or not it's a good idea or if other people are going to like it. If you get an idea and you're excited about it, go for it, and if you fail, fail spectacularly. Don't be afraid to try new things, and don't be discouraged if you're not happy with the outcome at first. The more you try things, the better you get.

Look to others for inspiration. I can't tell you how many ideas I have had that have been inspired or made better by the good people at craftster.org or the Phat Quarter flickr group ( http://www.flickr.com/groups/phatquarter/ ). Seeing some of the amazing things other people make not only inspires me but also makes me want to be better than I am today. Also, being able to bounce ideas off of other creative and crafty people is priceless. Since Jamie and I have become friends we've gotten into the habit of running new ideas past each other. There have been several times that ideas I thought were just ok became excellent as a result of those conversations.

Tell me about your podcast

My best friend Shane ( http://twitter.com/sblaufuss ) and I have a podcast called Emergency Pants. ( http://www.emergency-pants.net ) It all started because I got hooked on podcasts myself and I realized that my favorite ones were the ones that seemed like you were eavesdropping on a few funny friends chatting with each other. It reminded me of the late night conversations I would have with Shane and others back when we were teenagers and had time to just sit and talk for hours. We both decided it would be fun to give it a try, and here we are a year later, still at it. Sometimes we have our old friend Tony or our new friend Jamie (Mr X Stitch himself) join us. We talk, we tell funny and/or embarrassing stories, sometimes on a theme and sometimes in a random kind of way. It's a lot of fun and we've met some lovely people doing it. At the very least it's a way for Shane and I to make sure we talk once a week, which is my favorite part of the deal. :)

Okay, so I'm gonna go all James Lipton on ya. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

It's okay. You don't have to explain anything. I get it.

Thank you Bridget for letting us not take ourselves too seriously. You are an amazing talent and I can't wait to see what's up next for ya.

Please make sure you check out Bridget's podcast and her sites-you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tie One On Tuesday

Keeping up with the beach and summer time theme this week, I thought the best start for a "Tute'ing Tuesday would be "Tie one on" Tuesday with yummy fruity Tiki drinks. Helping me out this go around is a guy you all know and love-OMP! He is a drinkmaster 5000 as well as a Tiki drink history buff and he looks really hot mixing a drink, just saying.....

Let's start off with a regional favorite (okay, so it might not be a regional favorite in 2009 but it was in 1962) Panorama Punch.

Western Hotels set it sights on Panorama Punch for the 1962 Worlds Fair in Seattle . The drink was created by The Eye Of The Needle Restaurant (that's on top of the Space Needle kiddies) . I think after a few of these, you could see for miles and miles.

Panorama Punch
4 1/2 ounces Light Puerto Rican Rum
2 1/4 ounces Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice
4 1/2 ounces of Orange Juice
1 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup

Blend with 8 ounces crushed ice for 10 seconds. Pour into two Collins glasses, topping each with two or three ice cubes and a lime shell.
You get two drinks out of this recipe. One for each hand.

The next drink scared me while OMP was mixing it. This concoction packs a powerful punch! This drink originated at the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego, CA and up until 1980's it was served in a Mr. Bali Hai mug. I'm sad to say that this drink is no longer available at the restaurant (a collective BOO!) but if you follow this simple recipe, you won't need to buy a plane ticket, rent a car, find the restaurant and demand to take hostages if you don't get the drink . Not that I have done this, I've just heard stories......

Mr. Bali Hai
1 ounce unsweetened pineapple juice
1 ounce sweet and sour
1/2 ounce Hiram Walker Coffee Brandy
3/4 ounce white Puerto Rican Rum
1 ounce Myer's Rum
Shake with a large scoop of crushed ice and pour into a Mr. Bali Hai mug. I promise you, after a few of these, you will begin to look like the mug.

If you like these drinks and want to be the envy at your next party, BBQ or office event, be sure to check out Beachbum Berry's Intoxica, a handy little booklet of vintage Tiki drink recipes. Dog and swizzle sticks not included.

Bottoms Up!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Life's a Beach!

Summer has officially started and what better way to beat the heat than to stay inside, turn the fan on high and watch a few movies.

Can't make it to the beach this year, well don't worry your pretty little head Gidget, I've got the cure for all that ails you. My first pick for all you gremmies is Beach Blanket Bingo. It is fifth in the series of Annette and Frankie beach movies and is possibly the best known. It has the standard, boy get girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. This is all done with fun little ditties, dancing and a mermaid. A few of the stars to grace the movie are Paul Lynde, Don Rickles and a very young Linda Evans. Frankie and Annette look ever so stylish whether it be surfing, skydiving or singing on the beach.

Still trying to cool down? Well, summer sizzles even hotter with Psycho Beach Party. This movie originally started as an off Broadway play and finally made it to the big screen. If you do nothing else with this movie, go buy the soundtrack. It's not a request, it's an order. Two words...Los Straitjackets. I digress, a very young Lauren Ambrose(before she was all dark and depressed) plays a Gidget style character with a twist. This isn't your father's beach movie. Don't expect a family friendly film. It has murder, mayhem and a little bondage thrown in for good measure. I didn't think it was possible to make those themes so cute and fun but somehow the movie pulls it off.

Afraid to go into the water? Well you should be cause there are strange things lurking in the ocean bottom. Horror of Party Beach will make you think twice of about sneaking off for that midnight swim or a day time swim for that matter. Hot rodders,toxic waste, rock n' roll music and a monster that looks like he ate all the hot dogs at your BBQ make up this mishmash of beach based crazy fun. Made on a budget of $1.98(someone had to pay for the hotdogs), this one gets the kittykill seal of approval.

So,pull the wedgie out of your bathing suit,slather some sun screen on your tender parts and head to the nearest video store to pick up these beach favorites. If you play your cards right, you'll be surfing like Frankie in no time.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Today's scrappy dog is Dexter! Dexter is a ladies man wrapped in a fluff coat! Let's learn more about the man, the myth, Dexter....

Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I'm a short glass of fluff and attitude. A little bit Pomeranian, a little bit Chihuahua... how can you go wrong? I love the ladies and love to show them my moves. When I'm not busy with that, you can find me napping on or under the bed, tearing the limbs off and stuffing out of toys, or just generally being super ornery and cute.

Pet peeves: getting haircuts, being left alone at home and squirrels.

What are some causes you believe in?
You're expecting me to say PETA, aren't you? Well, too bad. My mama talks about the Portland Women's Crisis Line a lot, and I've been there a few times to hang out with her. I don't like violence, unless its me using violence to show my toys who's boss, so PWCL is a cause I can get behind.

I'm also part of the anti-cat and anti-squirrel movement.

What's your favorite thing to do on a sunny day?
Lately I like chasing fresh strawberries, mint and basil leaves in the yard. I do enjoy going to the dog park, but sometimes I get grumpy with other mutts who get all up in my business. Sometimes I just like to sun myself on the porch.

What's your outlook on life?
Let's be honest. On the outside I'm a macho ladies' man, but on the inside I'm a soft little marshmallow. Life is great as long as I have treats, toys and my people around to keep me company. And no squirrels. I'll eat them (or try, at least).

One word to sum you up.

Oh Dexter! You have won over this lady's heart!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I love collecting!

I love collecting! I love the adventure of hunting and finding new objects. I'm lucky that my husband is a collector too, but the downfall is we have A LOT of stuff between us. Right now I'm collecting vintage needlebooks. They are functional but so silly at the same time. Here are a few of my favorites.

I love the image of women sitting around sewing together. They look so happy and excited to be stitching.

I found the red scissor needlebook in St. Paul. I love that you got a free needlebook with your scissors. They should do that promo again ;)The Singer is from my mother-in-law. There are some scary needles in that thing.

I usually don't collect a lot of the same image but I have 3 of these-maybe cause they are so cute but more than likely it's because I forgot I had 2 other ones.

I LOVE the girl on this one. She is so pretty. What a wonderful gift for "my darling"-a needlebook!

This one is also one of my favorites. It's a souvenir postcard. I really wish they would bring these back. You could hem your pants and have fond memories of your vacation

Once again, very happy women sewing. I know when I'm stitching something up, I'm equally as happy (well, most of the time).

What about you? What do you collect?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stitch up a feeling with Sublime Stitching Stationary

Did I mention that I love Sublime Stitching and Jenny Hart? She is the one of the main reasons that I got into embroidery. I love her patterns and kits. I most recently got the Sublime Stitching Stationary set. First off, the packaging is SO cute! The top and bottom of the kit is stitched. The inside is a little folder with 4 skeins of floss, 2 needles and 5 cards with envelopes.

The plus,the cards are preprinted and you punch the little dots and start stitching. Also, you pretty much get everything you need to make the cards. The patterns are very cute and there are a few familiar faces in the mix. If you want to cover up your stitching, the kit suggest to cover it up with a piece of pretty paper.

The only downside about the stationary is that I think some of of the lines/dots could be closer together on the curves, cause they are a little hard to do.

I think that you should use 5 or 6 stands of floss instead of the 4 I used and this would help cover the preprinted lines completely. The cards did bend a bit when I stitched them but once I was done, I put a book on top of them to flatten out.

In my opinion the stationary kit is well worth the money, in the US it's only $14.95. You really get a lot of bang for your buck. It's a project that anyone at any level can do. What better way to say I love you than to give your sweetie a handstitched card with your sugary sweet confessions on the inside. It's like candy for embroiderista.