Monday, September 20, 2010

Inspiration Monday - Crochet a Cthulhu

Etsy is a wondrous place. I'm not just saying that because they featured one of my necklaces on their blog. You can find all sorts of neat things if you know what to look for.

Example: I found a kit to make a cthulhu plush. It even comes with stuffing and a little beady eye.

For those of you who already have yarn and just need instructions, here's a link to a free crochet cthulhu pattern.


Aluminum chain mail jewelry
Handcrafted chainmail jewelry

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Make Something Beautiful - Vanessa's Power Miso Soup

Today was one of those days that signaled that autumn was on its way. By the time I left work, it was downright chilly. It was the perfect day for some soup.

I've been wanting to make miso soup for a while. For a time I was addicted to Trader Joe's instant miso soup, but there isn't one for several miles, which means nothing to people with those automobile contraptions, but means an hour trip for those of us who take public transportation.

Whole Foods, thankfully, is much closer, and they had all the ingredients I needed. The following is a slightly modified recipe for miso soup found on the back of Eden brand organic shiro miso.

1 tsp wakame flakes
2 cups of water
1 small onion, diced (I used a boiler onion--worked like a charm)
1 carrot, shredded
1 green onion, finely sliced
4 ounces of tofu, drained and pressed (although the last brand I got didn't even need that--I'll update this post the next time I'm at Whole Foods)
2 tbsp of organic shiro miso, dissolved in 2 tbsp water

Bring the water to a boil. Add onions and wakame and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat as low as possible and add the miso/water mixture, simmering for another two minutes. After that, drop in the green onions, carrots, and tofu and get ready for some super-fabulous soup.

If you do try out the recipe, let me know what you think!

Vanessa Walilko
Aluminum chain mail jewelry

Monday, September 13, 2010

Inspiration Monday - Live Well

On August 24th, visionary anime director Satoshi Kon, passed away. Before his death, he wrote a rambling and beautiful letter that his family posted on his blog. Makiko Itoh was kind enough to post an English translation of the document on her blog.

The letter he left behind is a good reminder that life is fleeting. As far as I'm concerned, you should enjoy as much of your time here as possible.

Vanessa Walilko
Kali Butterfly - Aluminum Chain Mail Jewelry

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Inspiration Monday (Tuesday edition) - Change your habits

I used to handle stress by playing video games for hours on end. That was fun, but it would often leave me with 8-bit music stuck in my head and pixelated dreams for days. And sure, I would think it was cool that I had defeated Omega Weapon without converting and of my Triple Triad cards for items, but how many people understand any of what I just wrote, let alone care about it? More importantly, hours spend on video games would leave me with the distinct sense of accomplishing nothing. Not so great.

These days, when I'm stressed out (usually about orders), I make something. I take a break and focus on something else in order to clear my head. The past couple days have been jewelry-making central. I dropped off pieces at Hubba-Hubba, and I've been furiously working on getting out the fall batch of wholesale orders. And I've spent a good amount of time freaking out over having pieces being photographed in other states and other miscellaneous things. So I stopped fretting and got to work on something else that would keep me occupied for a while. Not only was it a good distraction, but I also had the satisfaction of making something that I can wear out in this lovely fall weather.

We all need ways to de-stress. If you choose to have better habits, you can end up with a jacket made with winged unicorn fabric. Frankly, I'll take that over maxing out the timer in one of the Final Fantasy games.


Aluminum chain mail jewelry
Handmade chainmail jewelry