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October 31, 2014

links i love // halloween

Follow @wecanmakeanything on Instagram for more photos

Happy Halloween, everyone! Do you have your costumes ready? This year we're planning on bunkering down at the house & handing out candy to the youngsters in our neighborhood. Maybe we'll even run Rocky Horror Picture Show in the background as we devour some halloween bark. Either way since we're both still recovering from being sick (yes, I gave Heather the flu-cooties), it's going to be a low-key evening. I get so irritated with illness during the holidays - once again I am without a good pumpkin carve. I'm going to have to live vicariously through everyone's photos on Facebook & Instagram, so don't disappoint me guys. In the meantime, here are some festive links for costume inspiration/envy.


BONUS - Here's a throw-back to our costumes from last year. & yes, we went as Toni & Candace from Women & Women First




xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // Another photo blast-from-the-past.

October 29, 2014

salted halloween bark



As a 20-something-year-old with no children, I could potentially bypass the whole candy thing that happens at Halloween. I could just refrain from buying an assorted bag of the funnest-sized candy bars ever imagined. I could walk right past the bowl of candy corn without so much as a reach. I could even opt for pretzels instead of peanut butter cups at the party. But where's the fun in that? It's Halloween. Time to get crazy. Time to put candy in more candy. Which is essentially all that bark is. Candy with more candy in it. Hey-o. 

I whipped up this batch of bark for my next work meeting (they're always potluck style). I'm praying it gets devoured entirely so I don't have to have it in my home (& then in my belly). This is a pretty straight forward recipe that brings together all the magic of a mixed candy bowl with a hint of saltiness. 




Ingredients // 
  • 2 cups milk chocolate (I used Hershey's)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Candy corn & M&Ms (festively colored, of course)



Directions // 
  1. Cover a large cookie sheet in wax paper. Tape the waxed paper in place so it won't slide around when you're smoothing out your chocolate.
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler (my interpretation of a double boiler was a glass measuring cup in a pot of water on medium heat). Add the chocolate slowly, & stir regularly.
  3. When the chocolate is completely melted, sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, & stir thoroughly. 
  4. Pour melted chocolate on cookie sheet, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula. 
  5. Sprinkle remaining salt over chocolate.
  6. Wait a few minutes for the chocolate to slightly solidify, then press in candy corn & M&Ms. 
  7. Place cookie sheet in freezer until chocolate is solid, then break into pieces. Store bark in refrigerator. 




Salty, & sweeeeet! It's like a warm-up round for Friday's impending diabetic coma.

xoxo,
-m.e.


Related // More candy corn!

October 27, 2014

zombie make-up tutorial



It's Halloween week! Last week I was so sick I felt like I was dying. This week, I'm actually dead.

The whole zombie shtick is great for Halloween because it's versatile. It works as a stand alone costume, or it can be combined with literally any other costume for a new twist. Zombie bride, zombie milkman, zombie Velma Dinkley, etc., etc. Plus the undead look can be achieved using mostly stuff you already have in your makeup kit.




Some things you'll need to achieve this look:

  • Foundation
  • All the dark eyeshadow you can find (blacks, greens, & reds are best) - I also used a Cuts & Bruises Wheel
  • Baby powder
  • Tacky glue
  • Q-tips
  • A soft, pliable wax or wet oatmeal - I used nose and scar wax
  • Stage blood (there are lots of tutorials on how to make fake blood, but in my experience, nothing is as good as the "real" stuff)




Step 1 // Start off with a fresh, clean face.

Step 2 // Apply foundation all over your face, including your lips. Then apply baby powder all over face & lips.




Step 3 // Start building up your contouring lines with any dark powder make-up you have on hand. This is where I used some of my Cuts & Bruises Wheel, but it's totally not necessary. Blacken out your eyelids & under your eyes. Darken under your cheekbone & on either side of your forehead & nose. The goal is to highlight your bones & make your face look sunken in. Use green hues on your skin & blacks around your eyes. While conturing, apply baby powder to blend.

Step 4 // When you're satisfied with the look of your skin, apply a thin line of wax on a part of your face where you want to form a cut. Smooth the wax to blend in with your skin. With a pointed object, draw a thin line along the middle of the wax to form the opening of the wound.




Step 5 // On a part of your face where you want "dead skin," apply a patch of tacky glue.

Step 6 // When the glue has completely dried, begin to slowly pull at it, but don't pull it off (remember, like you used to do in elementary school with Elmer's glue? Ahh!). 

Step 7 // Apply red & black hues on the areas around the "dead skin" to make the wound look fresh & bruised. 




Step 8 // Continue to blend & contour your face. Mixing foundation & powder make-up will appear smoother on your skin. Apply red & black hues to the "opening" line in your wax wound.

Step 9 // Fill the "opening" line in your wax wound with fake blood using a q-tip, allowing fake blood to drip. Apply fake blood to the very inside of your lips to get that post-meal look. I also rubbed some red around my mouth & under my eyes.




Now that you're all gussied up, it's time to hit the town! Braaaainsss...

xoxo,
-m.e.


Related // Get in the Halloween spirit with some glitter skull votives

October 24, 2014

out & about // dead



Hey readers.

Let me start off by saying I'm really sorry I haven't been posting any good content this week. 

Let me next say that it's because I'm straight up sick. Like, the worst sick I've been in a while. Sick enough to not remember what I've done or said for the past three days. So sick I don't remember what the sun looks like. It's pretty bad. 

That's all - just wanted to say hello, apologize, & give my reasons. I'm crawling back into bed now. See you on the other side. 

xoxo, 
-m.e.


October 21, 2014

how-to // replace a zipper (jacket edition)



Tucked away in an undisturbed, poorly lit corner of our house, there lives a pile of clothes. Much like the rejects on the Isle of Misfit Toys, the clothes in this pile all struggle with their own personal defects. This, my dear readers, is the mending pile. It's ever-growing, & remains as a constant fixture in our home. One just has to be in the proper mood to mend, right? It's a mood that rarely strikes me, so I finally just forced myself to grow up & tackle it. Part of the mending pile included some jackets begging for new zippers to replace their old, busted ones. 




I mended this hoodie the down & dirty way. I.e., I didn't use a zipper foot on my sewing machine. Maybe that'll be a tutorial for another day. But for now, let's get some fast & furious mending done!




Step 1 // Take the old zipper off with a seam ripper. 




Step 2 // Starting from the top, pin your zipper in place. Keep the zipper zipped up, & go slow to make sure you're lining up the jacket properly. If your hoodie/jacket is particularly old or stretchy, I recommend hand-basting the zipper in place. 




Step 3 // Unzip your jacket, & head over to the sewing machine. Using a straight stitch, sew along one of the seam lines of the jacket. When you get to the zipper slider, leave the needle down & release the foot on your machine. Then slide the zipper slider past the foot. Lower the foot, & continue the straight stitch. Make sure to backstitch at the top & bottom of the zipper. 




Step 4 // Repeat on other side of zipper/jacket.




How super easy was that? Totally super easy.

xoxo,
-m.e.


Related // Have I mentioned how much Heather likes Tegan & Sara

October 17, 2014

links i love // pumpkins

Follow @wecanmakeanything for more photos

It's that time of year again - time to pull out your knives, cover your porches in newspaper, & hack it out with a squash. Last year our schedule's got crazy right before Halloween & we didn't have time to carve any pumpkins. Not being one to give up so easily, I made everyone carve pumpkins in the middle of November just so we wouldn't miss out on this autumn tradition (pictured above, & yes, that is Sailor Moon brandishing my gourd). It was seriously cold, but thanks to some hot apple cider & good company, it was a successful seasonal experience. In looking for links this week, I discovered dozens of different ways to decorate pumpkins, including some new techniques to the traditional carve. Now I just need to head on over to the pumpkin patch & pick out a pretty squash.



xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // Put a pumpkin on your phone with these Halloween wallpapers

October 15, 2014

how to // cross-stitch (+ free template!)


To pass the time (& to get ready for Christmas) I've been doing some mad cross-stitching lately. It's super easy, & it's definitely the kind of craft that pairs well with TV-watching (Gilmore Girls ain't gonna watch itself, people). This is the kind of hobby that you can learn in a few minutes - if you can count, you can cross-stitch. I thought I'd share some tips & tricks I've gathered during my own cross-stitching adventures.

If this kind of crafting seems daunting to you (I mean, look at all those little x's!), start with something small that doesn't require a lot of stitches. I get bored with projects fairly quickly, so my cross-stitched pieces always have lots & lots of negative space, like the one shown above (my tribute to 'Yonce, of course). Once you get started, however, you'll be surprised at how quickly your projects get finished. Stick with it!

If you would like to make this Tribute to 'Yonce cross-stitch yourself, you can download the template by clicking here


| Have a Plan |

Unless you're channelling the spirit of Pollock through embroidery floss, you'll need a rough plan to begin with. If you're planning a specific design, sketch it out. I like using graph paper to figure out the spacing of my letters, having each square on the paper represent a square on my embroidery cloth. Keep in mind when using graph paper that the scale will be different. If you don't feel like planning the whole thing out, use a pattern (you can create one by using Photoshop).


| Use Less Thread |

Even though embroidery floss comes six strands to a thread, I prefer using three. If you're using a particularly thin fabric, use less. The imperfections on the back will show through more when you use excess strands.

Unlike sewing, you won't need to tie knots in your embroidery thread. Unless you're cross-stitching into a garment that will see some wear, avoid knotting as it shows up as a bulge.

You'll also want to use a tapestry needle, not a regular sewing needle. The tapestry needle comes to a blunt point, helping guide the needle into the openings in the mesh fabric.


| Lots of Little Xs |

Cross-stitching, much as the name implies, consists of lots of little stitched crossings. Cross-stitching, unlike embroidery, is based off a grid. Cross-stitching is done on aida cloth, also known as java canvas. This cloth is made of open mesh cotton.

Cross-stitching is made easier by use of an embroidery hoop, but is not necessary due to the rigidity of aida cloth.


| Frame It |

I love the look of cross-stitching framed in an embroidery hoop. Before finishing this piece, I laid a square of cotton fabric on the back of my finished cross-stitch & centered the two in this painted embroidery hoop. Making sure everything was secure & the hoop was as tight as possible, I trimmed the edges of both fabrics.

You can also frame your work in a picture frame behind glass, or use your work as a patch for a garment (making sure to hem the edges before hand).


Have any tips for prospective cross-stitchers you'd like to share? Leave me a comment!

xoxo,
-m.e.

Related // Try out this "Cats, Coffee, & Cardigans" mini sampler!

October 10, 2014

links i love // vegetarian awareness month

For more photos, visit the Instagram @wecanmakeanything

Wow, there is a lot going on in October. Is it just me or is there an event to go to every weekend this month? We've got a packed weekend planned with family visits & a nephew sleepover. Should be tiring fun. 

It's Vegetarian Awareness Month! I've been a vegetarian for a long while now, but I'm always looking for ways to improve my diet. Here are some helpful, vegetarian-friendly links. 

  • Thirty Days, Thirty Reasons, Thirty Ways // Did you know vegetarians are 40% less likely to develop cancer?
  • Oh My Veggies // A blog-land of veggie wonder. I particularly like the 4-Ways section, which is riddled with variety to keep your diet fresh. 
  • Post Punk Kitchen // If Vegetarian were a person, Vegan would be Vegetarian's rebellious little brother. PPK makes cooking hardcore.
  • Food in Jars // While this site is not necessarily vegetarian, this is one of my favorite food blogs. It's the perfect combo: mason jars with delicious in them! 
  • Moosewood Restaurant & Recipes // A nod to the greats - Moosewood was created in 1973 & has been providing quality vegetarian dishes & recipes through their restaurant & many cookbooks. Their recipes are wholesome & hearty. 
  • Eating Animals // If you're looking for more reasons to become a vegetarian, I would recommend reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals, which takes a good hard look at the pros & cons of the vegetarian lifestyle.
  • Thankful for Tofurkey Hand-Stamped Spoon // Just in time for Thanksgiving. Two, please. 

xoxo, 
-m.e.


// This is not a sponsored post, Amazon is an affiliate sponsor of WeCanMakeAnything //

October 9, 2014

halloween iphone wallpaper



I've always loved Halloween. When I was a kid it was all about candy & costumes (when I was little, I think I dressed up as every Disney princess ever). Now it's about parties, decorations, & spooky cocktails. While it's still the beginning of October, I'm getting ready. I still feel like it's too early to decorate my porch, so I'm keeping my decorations limited to my phone. I've whipped up a few iPhone wallpapers to haunt your lock screens. 





To use these wallpapers, get on your phone & click the link below to open the photo. Then press down on the image until you're prompted to save it. Save & set as wallpaper! 


Are you guys getting ready for the start of holiday season? I always feel like Halloween is the gunshot at the beginning of a race. Ready, set, go - with decorations, food, events, gifts, etc. Is it something you look forward to, or something you dread? This is my first time blogging through the holidays, & it's really changed my perspective on things. I'm looking forward to some hard-core celebrations this year.

xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // Taking a break from your phone can be a good thing, even though it now has an adorable new wallpaper. 

October 6, 2014

skull votives



Let me tell you what, folks, I love me some Halloween. The other holidays are great & all, but how often do you get to decorate with skulls, spiders, & cobwebs? I still haven't decided what my costume is going to be though. Last year Heather & I went as Candice & Toni from Portlandia. The year before we were Carmen SanDiego & Where's Waldo. So we've got a high bar to meet. Any ideas?





To get into a spooky mood, I made some skull votives to house flameless candles. I'm the type of person who normally steers clear of glitter & rhinestones, but hey - Halloween only comes once a year. I found these awesome papier-mâché skulls at the craft store, but there were also a bunch of other awesome forms. Today we're going to try a different tutorial format. I thought I'd give video blogging a try! This is a test run so let me know if you guys like the format. Onwards to the tutorial (& a few bad jokes)!






I always appreciate reader feedback, so let me know how you feel about tutorials in video format. It's not something I plan on doing all the time, but if it catches on there may be more in the future. Yea or nay?


xoxo,
-m.e.


Related // Another terrible joke

October 3, 2014

links i love // breast cancer awareness month


For more photos, subscribe to my Instagram 


October is a busy month: Book Month, National Co-Op month, Vegetarian Awareness month... plus Halloween (duh). October is best known for being Breast Cancer Awareness month. My hometown is currently being painted pink in honor of all the strong women who are fighting this cancer. It's inspiring to see a town come together for a cure. Today's links are all about awareness. 


// Top Links of the Week // 



Have a good weekend, gang. Give yourself a breast exam! 


xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // If you're looking for more pink, learn how to make this pink crocheted blanket

October 1, 2014

spinach quiche



Happy October! Eee! Halloween is coming, are you as excited as I am?

Through a weird but pretty boring series of events, I keep ending up with pie crusts. Resisting the urge to just make pies that will surely be consumed over a very short period of time, I've been using these crusts to make quiche. Quiche is a pretty flexible dish in that you can pretty much add whatever you want to it. Based off this recipe from allrecipies.com, here's my variation:




Ingredients //

  • 2 nine inch pie crusts
  • 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 5 large crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 package frozen cut spinach (10 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup goat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk





Directions // 

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. In a pan, melt butter over medium heat. 
  3. Saute the onion & garlic in the butter until lightly browned, or about 7 minutes. 
  4. Stir in mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, & cheddar cheese. 
  5. Season with a dash of salt & pepper. 
  6. Spoon mixture into both pie crusts equally.
  7. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs & milk. Season with a dash of salt & pepper. 
  8. Pour the milk/egg mixture into the two pie crusts equally, allowing the milk/egg mixture to combine with the spinach mixture. 
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes. The quiches are done when they are set in the center.
  10. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving. 



Quiche keeps well in the fridge for at least a week, but if you're the type of person who really plans ahead, it also freezes well. 

xoxo, 
-m.e.


Related // Looking for something sweet to put in a pie crust? Make blueberry cheesecake!
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