Power Rangers Pillow Case

The past month has been a very hard month for me. My grandmother had passed away.

60786125_10219287628603718_6574309021262544896_nAfter a year of fighting shes finally freed from her breathing machine, which she hated. She is definitely the source of my goofiness and also my cooking and baking skills. Many of the recipe that I have previously posted about have either been taste tested by her, were a twist on her recipes, or something she requested to have.

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My family has begun to arduous task of cleaning out the house that we all grew up in. Its been difficult to find some time since then for me to wind down. I decided to just stay in on my day off from work and play around with my sewing machine.

My fiance and step son are big fans of power rangers. While we were at the local craft store, they found this power rangers fabric in the remnants bin and just had to get it. So I decided to sew a pillow case for them to fight over.

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I began by pinning up and sewing the top opening edges of the pillow case. This was actually the most difficult part because this was my first sewing project on this machine. After much trial and error and cussing out the not-so-helpful owners manual I was able to figure out my thread tension issues and finally get some real sewing done. My lines aren’t the straightest yet but a little more practice and adjusting machine should help with that.

All I had left to do was sew up the remaining sides and flip the pillow case right side out and put the pillow inside the case.

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For my first sewing project on the new machine I say it went fairly well. Now to decide what my next sewing project will be. Project suggestions are always welcome! You can leave me a comment below or email me with your suggestions.

Made in Rememberance

The past month has been such a mix of emotions and anxiety. On Februrary 20th I got the call from my Aunt informing me that my Grandpa had passed away. For me this was extra rough becuase Grandpa taught me all the skills no one else thought I should learn. Like gardening, basic electrical knowledge, how to tell the difference between tools, when to use duct tape vs when to use a bit of wire, etc. He really sparked the creativity in me because he believed that there is more than 1 way to fix a broken object.

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He lived to be 95 years old and was always being silly for a picture. I literally haven’t had time to do anything besides funeral stuff and trying to console grandma and help get her situated with her new life changes. Since things have settled down a little, and I could finally have an evening at home, I decided to make one of the many favorite meals I’ve made for grandpa, Beef Stew.

I don’t use many measurements for this recipe. This was mostly an indulgent dish for grandpa because of his health issues he had some dietary restrictions. I heavily altered the original recipe to sneak in some things that he could eat every once in a while.

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I prefer to get the pre-cut beef stew meat but if that isn’t available, such as this particular meal, I get a nice London Broil and cut it up in into cubes. I throw the cubes into a bowl and add some flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and then mix it up until the meat coated. Once coated I add a little oil, grandpa preferred extra virgin  olive oil, to a large pot and allow it to heat up. I then dump the coated meat and any excess seasonings into the pot. While the meat is browning I slice up 1 onion, 2-3 carrots, thoroughly wash 1 small bag of baby potatoes, and trim and rinse 1/2lbs – 1lbs of green beans. DO NOT USE CANNED GREEN BEANS! canned green beans will turn to mush and/or dissolve away in the stew because they are already cooked. Plus they won’t be able to take much of the flavor from simmering in the stews juices.

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Once the meat is mostly browned I toss in the sliced onion. I then let the meat finish browning and allow the onion to get soft. I also add a bit more salt and pepper to help break down the onion a little bit faster. If needed, add a little bit more oil so that things do not stick to the pot.

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Once the meat is browned and the onions are soft, I add in the carrots, baby potatoes, and 1 carton of unsalted beef stock/broth. I allow this to simmer for a few minutes before I begin adding in spices.

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After everything has been simmering for a few minutes I add in a few bay leaves, a generous amount of salt and pepper, and my special secret spice. My special secret spice is 1 cap full of ground corriander. I know its a very untraditional beef stew ingredient and it kind of sound like a large amount but trust me it’s delicious.

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I stir the spices around and put the lid on the pot and let everything come up to a boil. Once at a boil I add in another non-traditional beef stew ingredient, green beans. Adding in the green beans made this feel like a more filling meal. I give everything one last good stir and then put the lid on and let the pot simmer for at least an hour.

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Once the potatoes, carrots, and green beans are fork tender its ready to be eaten. Don’t forget to take out the Bay Leaves before serving up! If you’re feeling extra indulgent, you can add a sprinkle of your favorite cheese on top.

Treasure X Gold

In my previous Valentine’s post, I showed everyone that I had recieved a Treasure X Gold dig kit. So I made some time before bed to dig for my creature!

When you open the box you get this gold wrapped brick and a sheet of the possible things that could be in your brick. Once you take the gold wrap off you are left with your digging tool and a plaster brick.

I highly recommend digging in a bathtub or sink. Its makes clean up so much easier. Once you are set up let the digging commence!

It looks like I got a 2 headed snake creature. In each brick there is a head, torso, and tail. There is also a special item piece as well.

According to the series sheet I have strike two from the serpent raiders and serpent scales as my special item.

It was a very fun adventure. It’s also fun to know that there are different series and limited edition treasure x bricks. I was able to find some at my local store in the collectible toys/trading cards area, you can also see some available here for online purchase.

Snow Day!

“I found winter!” That was my wake up this morning from my boyfriend as he was trying unbury my car. I knew it had snowed but I wasn’t expecting this much as well as dropping temperatures.

After a hair raising adventure to get some food we decided to just stay in and be cozy the rest of the weekend. While we were out driving in the snow in search of food, we found this cereal.

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It tastes like a weird red velvet cereal. It wasnt as crunchy as normal Cap’n Crunch but it was delicious! After a quick bowl I busted out my movie marathon collection.

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I’ve always wanted the whole Studio Ghibli collection but, it’s a little pricey as a boxed set. So I started buying them one at a time from Walmart. After Kiki’s Delivery Service we took a little break from the movie marathon.

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Nothing says “good clean fun” like tequila and juice. I dont really use measuring devices for cocktails unless it’s a very specific recipe. I just pour until it looks like enough. This particular concoction is lime juice, tequila, and ruby red grapefruit juice.

New Year New Projects!

Now that the holidays are finally winding down, I can finally share some of my works in progress. Many of these are presents from Christmas or projects I’ve had around and haven’t been able to do much about completing it.

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First up is my current list of  plants for my upcoming gardening bonanza. I was inspired a bit by the arrival of Jung Seeds & Plants book. I love flipping through the pages and seeing new and interesting seeds for sale. I am also a little bit more excited to start planning now because my boyfriend has agreed to build me a fancy raised garden bed this year. He also has given me run of the whole yard so I will be planting a lot. This also does not account for what I may also be able to plant at my Grandparent’s house this year, but I suspect it will be similar to last year’s arrangement, as well as the regular tending to the other plants already in their yard.

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I also have this adorable Woodland Creatures knitting kit! I actually got it a while ago but because I have never knitted before I’m a little nervous about starting it. The kit comes with a booklet of 12 patterns and vague-ish instructions for each creature. The kit only contains enough yarn for the fox and the doe. So I’ve been studying up on the language and techniques needed to get my cute little buddies assembled.

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This is my new diamond puzzle that my boyfriend got to me for Christmas. I haven’t had an oppertunity to work on it as I need to first flatten out the canvas. It should be flat enough in another few days to start working on it. I’m really excited because I’ve seen pictures of this particular puzzle in its completion and its really pretty.

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This is the pattern for my new cross stitch pattern. 2 years ago I had a really elaborate peacock cross stitch that I was diligently working on it for a year and a half before I realized I made a major error. As in the only way to fix it would be to undo almost half of the piece. Its been sitting in a box since then. So I recently got the urge to cross stitch again but I needed something new. The yellow in the pattern are the stitches I’ve already added to the cloth.

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Its looking pretty good so far. Its a lot slower progress than I’d like but I’m definitely not in a rush to finish this. I just get extra excited when it starts to look like something. lol

I have been researching for my next mythical creature, the manticore. I have several ideas but none have really been to my liking yet. I immediately think about one in an attack posebut I feel like its too ordinary. I’ve also thought about drawing one in a more restful/sleeping pose.  I’ll keep playing around with it more and we’ll see what turns out to be the best one. Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated!

I have also started to brain storm some ideas for a new banner and thumbnail icon for Katagi’s Kreations. I love my little dragon but I need something a little different. I really want soemthing that better portrays my blog’s theme.

 

Holiday Complications

This holiday season has been such a blur for me. Working in retail for the big Christmas holiday, working through the early hours of the morning to get all the clearance marked the day after Christmas, and preparing for a funeral. A few days before Christmas my Great Uncle had passed away. It has been very difficult for my Grandfather as this was his younger brother. It made for a very somber holiday family time. So in an effort to cheer myself up I bought 2 cutetitos.

Now I know you are thinking “What the heck is a cutetito?” Basically its a cute small stuffed animal that’s wrapped up in a tortilla blanket. The fun part is that you have no idea which animal you have until you open it up and remove the foil wrapper.

The first cutetito I opened up after the I got home from the funeral viewing. And it happened to be Puppito! Yes all the animals in this series have names. And their rarity is measured in spiciness. For example, Puppito has an orange chili pepper which make him a mild or common one to find.

The second one I opened when I got home from the funeral and wake. I was already pretty tired and sore for escorting my grnadparents everywhere I almost forgot to open my cutetito. I’m really glad I remembered because this one is definitely my favorite out of the two, it’s Pigito!

Pigito is a purple chili pepper which is medium or uncommon within Series 1. I’m not really sure when (or if) there is a Series 2 yet, but I’ll definitely get a few if there is some.

Together these 2 cutetitos at least made my day a little better before attempting to relax for the evening. I’m hoping to get a few more before they are totally gone because I realized that Peppito is a Chihuahua and would love to have that one!

Here’s hoping I can start the new year off on a much happier and more productive note. Happy New Year to everyone out there and I’ll see you in 2019!

Diamond Puzzle Test

A while ago I recieved a small diamond puzzle kit. I’ve always wanted to try one but the ones I liked were either too complicated or too expensive for a beginner attempt. Luckily I came across an offer where all you had to pay was the shipping and handling. So I found this neat design.

I really like the design. It didnt look too awful or childish and it was one that the whole picture is not a diamond painting. Meaning that only the unicorn was part of the diamond painting, the background was just there for a complete finished look. Plus it was a complete kit with all diamond colors as well as wax, stylus pen, and tray.

After several youtube tips and tricks videos, I finally had a good grasp on what to do and in what order. First and most importantly the pattern is sticky and needs to be kept covered as much as possible. Theres a plastic cover that comes with the picture so that makes things easy. Another helpful tip is to work from the outside of the picture towards the middle.

After the first color I was very skeptical about these paintings. But I pressed on with a few more colors.

After the 3rd color though I was hooked. The picture was starting to take shape and I was actually upset that I had to stop and go to bed. I really wanted to finish my unicorn! After a solid 6 hours of sleep I woke up refreshed and ready to finish this piece.

In total this took about 9 hours to complete. Which was more then enough to keep me occupied for a while. It was nice to get the chance to try this out on a smaller beginner level picture before I take the plunge and do a much large piece.

I hope you have been enjoying reading my blog. Next week is Thanksgiving in the U.S. and Black Friday. I work in retail so there will not be a new post next week. After this week work should die down a bit and I can return in December. Until then Happy Thanksgiving and good luck in your holiday shopping adventures!

Marathon Challenge

I work in retail and I knew the month of October would be extra busy and the beginning of holiday stress. I decided to give a virtual marathon a try to help keep myself at least partially distracted. I used the Yes.Fit app and synced my fitbit to the app and away I went.

There are many different races to choose from, different locations and length of race. I eventually decided on running the everglades. What really helped me the most was that you are able to view the race with a Google maps sort of perspective from your current location on the race map.

It took me 28 days from start to finish and I feel quite accomplished. It was nice to get the workouts done on my time and at my pace. It was also nice to track my progress during all the chaos at work.

Earlier this week my medal arrived in the mail! It has these neat blue panels that look really amazing when held up to the light.

Overall I was really happy to try something new and slightly out of my comfort zone. It worked out well as a distraction from the stress and anxiety of pre holiday season workdays. I now find that I need to think about what race I should do next to be me distracted during the holiday season. Until then I shall enjoy my shiny new medal.