Jolly Lolly

Whoa, man! I saw this little DIY a couple of years back. You can take Jolly Ranchers, melt them in the oven and stick lollipop sticks in the them and voilà – homemade lollies! I finally remembered to make them a few weeks ago. I even pinned them on Pinterest to remember.

Off to the grocery store we went where I accidentally picked up the wrong kind of Jolly Ranchers. Looked all over the store for lollipop sticks, no dice. So today, a week later, I headed to Michael’s and picked up the candy sticks and another bag of the hard candies at Target. Can I bitch for a moment? Now, I understand candy making is popular. I get that but why are the lollipop molds at Michael’s so lame? They had a mustache mold, a hillbilly teeth mold and some other ugly thing that I’ve purposely forgotten. I just wanted something simple, not tasteless.

Anyway, the Boy and I decided which flavors we should use to make lollies. He called the flavors and I put them together. As they melted, we sat on the floor and watched them thru the oven door. He was so excited he kept squeezing my head with his arms and saying, “This is gonna be the best candy in the world! I can’t wait! I can’t wait!” I haven’t figured out how to store them and to keep them out of a certain little boy’s very eager hands because I didn’t buy (or see for that matter) any cellophane bags.

I think we ended up with about 18  and a 1/2 (one broke and we remelted it into two). My mods to the recipe below.

  • One bag of Jolly Ranchers
  • One bag of candy sticks
  • Parchment Paper
  • Aluminum Foil

Preheat oven to about 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. On top of foil, place parchment paper. Arrange Jolly Ranchers on parchment papers in batches of threes. You can do fours or fives but they are a bit too fragile. Our one bag of Jolly Ranchers made about 18 lollipops. We made some fours and fives.

Put candies in the oven for around 8 to 12 minutes.* The original recipe calls for five minutes but my oven hadn’t even melted the candies at the five minute mark. Make sure you watch them.

When they start to melt and flatten out, take them out of the oven and roll the candy sticks in the candy until the candy envelopes the sticks. Let cool for about thirty minutes to an hour, then enjoy!

Not Waving But Drowning

– I was much too far out all my life   
And not waving but drowning.

 

 

I like poetry about as much as I like musicals–not much at all. But recently, I can’t get this poem out of my head. It’s Not Waving but Drowning, by Stevie Smith. One of my (few) favorites. I’m sure everybody has run across this poem in high school. It’s stuck with me all these years later. Maybe it’s the weather and the grey skies. Or that I feel a bit adrift. I don’t know.

Anywho, let’s  hope our miserable grey skies part for a little bit for a spot of sun. Wishing you all a splendid weekend.

More copper than I can stand

Designer Inspired Wire Necklace from Dollar Store Crafts

After I made that copper post, I was bemoaning the fact that you can’t get a larger gauge of copper at the hardware store. The husband makes the brilliant observation that he can just buy some insulated wire at the Rehabitation Rebuilding for Humanity’s Habitat (okay, so I get the Rebuilding Center and Habitat for Humanity‘s name mixed up.). He can strip the insulation down to the wire and it’s pure copper, ready to use. Now, I’m thinking he’s crazy and that more than likely it’s gonna be some sorry-ass looking wire that bares no resemblance to anything usable or copper-like. But I trust him.

We ended up at the Rebuilding Center and we scrounged around for wire. After we got it home, the husband took all of like ten minutes and stripped off the insulation with a razor. We ended up with quite a bit of copper. One of the wires had a thick thread of copper inside, it’s gorgeous, another had about  8 strands coiled around each other.  And check it, it cost me a grand total of ONE DOLLAR! I’m hoping to make some bracelets for some of my Oklahomies peeps using a bag of glass evil eyes I picked up for more than the wire and this necklace I saw a while ago at Dollar Store Crafts. If I make it this weekend, I’ll share photos.

Feminism and the Craft

I ran across this article this morning and it really made me consider the reasons I do crafty things. I’ve always been fascinated by art and art-like things. I remember as a kid, sewing my own Barbie clothes and molding candle wax into tiny sculptures (horribly ugly). In my teens and twenties, I had more time but less interest. Now that I am older, I have more of an interest in doing crafty things but less time. It’s such a vicious circle.

When we moved to Portland, I worked with this horrible woman. I can’t remember the name that we called her behind her back, but I think it was something similar to She-beast. She was loud, abrasive, rude, racist and homophobic. She was utterly unapologetic about her attitude because she was from New York City. She was a New Yorker! That’s how it’s done in New York! That’s how we act in New York!  (Yeah, I’m sure every New Yorker loves to be represented by a walking stereotype like her.)

But another woman in the office had a birthday and as a token of appreciation for her coming out to train me, I knitted up a little scarf for her in her favorite color. It was a simple lace scarf that took me a couple of hours.  Nothing major. She-beast takes one look at the scarf and condescendingly and dripping with disdain says, “How very domestic of you. Aren’t you the perfect little wifey!” It offended her sensibility that I would dare knit something for someone. I was a traitor to modern women for daring to do something that she consider old-fashioned and it was a strike to the plight of feminism. Why I didn’t punch her in the face is beyond me but it really gnawed at me.  Over the coming weeks, she told me how you can’t be a good employee or have a career if you have children, that women make the worst bosses, yadda cubed. And that was the least offensive stuff she said. Again, why I didn’t punch this woman or take it as a premonition that this job would suck…

Anywho, where was I going with the story…Yeah, that article. It’s a fascinating read. I thought about that horrible woman and my own motives for crafting. Is the current DIY movement/culture due to a lack of fulfillment of career or because of the desire to reclaim traditional engendered role in the household due to nostalgia of a past that we didn’t live because life seemed so simple? For me, it is a creative outlet. I see something and I have to make it. I don’t like to make things just because I can or things that don’t serve a purpose. And I try to take on creative projects that I can actually finish–Husband, please ignore the bags of fabric and unspun wool, the loom in the basement, the spinning wheel in the crawlspace and the other crafty crap I have that gotten around to messing with. I’m getting there!

I don’t see my arts and crafts as an escape to domesticity or a slight to feminism. Yes, there is always a desire to make shit and sell it in an Etsy shop but I tend to err on the side realism. It’s extremely hard to make a living off of handmade goods and I don’t want to turn the things I love doing in my spare time into a soul-sucking career that may or may not be sustainable. And before you say, “it doesn’t have to be that way!” Trust me, I know myself. I get bored doing the same thing for an extended amount of time. So for now, I’ll keep having fun and blogging about janky crafts. But read the article, it’s a very interesting read!

The Boy Turns Six!

The Boy is Six!

Digging the glitter!My special little boy has turned six! I can’t even use words to describe my love for him. I never thought I could love a little being with such uncomplicated emotions. It almost feels primal.

We asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he said Lego Ninjago, a party at Chucky Cheese (not gonna happen) and a bunch of other crap he wasn’t getting.  We compromised by getting him a starter kit of Ninjago, took cupcakes to his class on his birthday and he, the husband and some friends went and played laser tag. The husband also remembered how much fun he had playing the Wii when he visited family last year so he bought a used one off of Craigslist for really cheap. All-in-all, a good birthday.

We also asked if he wanted Mommy to make a cake for him but he emphatically said no. He simply does not like cake, mine or anyone. He might take a lick of the icing, but that’s it. He told us he’d rather have breakfast at IHOP. I was like, seriously, IHOP? Would you rather go to Gravy? No, we wanted IHOP because “it’s the HOUSE of PANCAKES, Mommy!” I almost expected him to say, “Damn woman, get with the program! PANCAKES! ” I was a little sad he didn’t want a cake because I really love to bake but you now, it’s his day and I want to respect his wishes. In the end, I just took a package of his Cakesters and sprinkled some edible stars on top and called it a happy day.

Will update with Cakester pic tonight!

Wanderlust

I’m getting that antsy feeling again. I feel like I need to be somewhere other than here. I was listening to the WTF podcast with Ralphie May the other day. He mentioned that, while growing up in Arkansas, how he discovered a map at seven. He said, “You mean I can leave? Look at all these exits!” After looking at the map, it came to him that there was a whole world outside of his small town. He didn’t have to stay.

For me, my map discovery was my World Book Encyclopedia. Whenever I was bored, I could pop open a letter of the encyclopedia and just explore, countries, issues, plants, animals, whatever. It also had some very basic sentences in foreign languages in most of the romance languages and a small smattering of words in the major languages of Asia. I remember reading those words and descriptions and just wishing, wishing so hard that I could be in Spain or France or Morocco. That I could speak all of those languages. I wanted to be anywhere but where I was at that moment. I’ve had this feeling of wanderlust for so long, it’s become a part of me, that aching and longing to explore, it’s deep in my bones and I’m aching to go somewhere. I also think it is so important for the Boy to travel, starting now. When you’re small, every new place can be a magical playland. As you get older, (the dreaded teen years), that sense of wonder dulls until you’re traveling on your own volition. You’d much rather be with your friends than your boring old parents. Then you hit that age where you want to see the world again…

I had wanted to take a vacation to San Francisco for spring break but unfortunately, the funds are just not there. Got too many other things that take first priority. Thinking maybe we should go to Seattle again or maybe off to the coast. The Boy has mentioned that he wants to go to the beach and play in the waves with his daddy.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep reviewing my old French books, looking at old pictures and dreaming of ways to satisfy my beast. Maybe a short little trip will do it. We’ll see. Off to practice “ir” verbs and pronouns. Allons-y!

P.S. Snotface, (you know who you are), I’m thinking about you. Missing you terribly and wishing I could be there with you and your family. Wishing I could hold your hand.