November 17, 2009

leethal “recipe” – Spicy Cup of Yum! (plus mix swap idea)


My Threadbanger roundup on Friday was Drinks for Winter Warming, and ever since then I’ve been excited to try some yummy hot drinks.  I thought the White Spiced Coffee on delish sounded so good, but the super crazy time-consuming recipe involves simmering the crushed coffee beans in a saucepan (not up to leethal “recipe” standards!), so I combined some ingredients from that one with a Christmasy Coffee recipe given to me by Diane, with my own additions, and this is what I made (and very much enjoyed)!

I used:

  • 1 big-ish serving worth of ground coffee beans
  • cinnamon
  • ground cloves
  • grated orange peel
  • soy milk (original flavor) (I’m sure regular milk would be good too)
  • honey
  • cinnamon stick (optional)
  • dark rum (also optional)

Make the coffee as you normally would (I use a regular drip coffee maker, but it would be even yummier using a french press I’m sure!) except add some cinnamon, cloves (not much), and orange peel (more) mixed in with the grounds.  If you have a cinnamon stick, then add only a little or no cinnamon, but if not, then add a whole lot of cinnamon with the grounds!  Now pour your spiced coffee into your mug and add milk – as much as you like, or a little more than you’d normally add.  Stir the milk in with your cinnamon stick!  Now stir in some honey, as sweet as you like it!  Last, add some optional rum if you want your yumminess adult-style.  Keep the cinnamon stick in there and it’ll get spicier as you drink it!  Enjoy!  Mmmmmm.

in the morning

So I’ve been thinking about this idea for awhile, and now that’s it’s halfway into November, I think it’s a good time to do something about it… Back in college I organized some Winter mix CD swaps with my fellow radio station DJs and buddies, and I have such fond memories of them that I want to do another one!  So I’m opening it up to anyone who wants it, but be aware, it’s a pretty huge time and effort commitment, so only join up if you want to do it right!  Here’s how it works:

  • Swappers each create an original mix – it can be Winter themed, or not, any genres, no musical requirements, as long as it’s made with mixxy love!  (I spend so many hours on my mixes, it’s ridiculous, but you don’t have to be so crazy like me)
  • Everyone participating makes a copy of their mix for everyone else (20 people swapping = make 19 copies)
  • All mixes include some form of packaging with some kind of artwork which includes the track list
  • Everyone mails their mix to every participant (remember, postage costs $ so this can add up a bit), except for swappers you see in real life, of course
  • So each swapper receives a mix from every participant (20 swappers = you get 19 new mixes! so much music!)

I have no idea how many people there will end up being – it gets to be just too much effort if there are more than about 25 people, so I’m kind of hoping for a low-ish level of interest.  Also, it needs to be restricted to US only, because of postage, sorry everyone else.  But you can organize a swap like this in your own country!

So, right now all I’m doing is putting the idea out there – if you are interested, or might be interested, email me at leethalkoala at yahoo dot com with something like “winter mix swap” in the subject, by Thursday night at 8pm (Portland time).  I’ll see how many people express interest, and I’ll send out a follow-up email to let everyone know about how many people there might be, and then if you want in for sure, you’ll confirm then.  So, emailing me now does not mean you’re committing, but please only email if you think you probably want to do it, so that I have a semi-accurate idea of the swapper number.

If a ton of you are indeed into the idea, and I get well over 25 interested mixers, I’ll figure out a way to divide it into 2 or more groups, so that everyone who wants in can do it, without have to make and mail like 50 copies.  Oh, also, once it’s all organized and planned out, it’ll probably be a couple weeks from now, which means after Thanksgiving, which means holiday gift-planning/crafting stress galore – so, the mix mail-out deadline will be after Christmas to make it easier on us all, and allow plenty of time for track list making.  (Around the first week in January perhaps?)

As for some specifics, if you need more info to decide whether you’re into it… I’ll be making up a .doc file with every participant’s name and address, so we can all print that out to attach to packages for easier addressing.  You can totally include anything else you want with your mix packages (like a business card for your website, or anything else like that) – the only requirement is that each package for each swapper includes a copy of your mix CD with packaging/artwork.

Want some packaging ideas?  Of course there’s a normal CD case, or the skinny kind, into which you can slip a piece of cardstock (or photo paper or whatever) with your art.  You could go all out with a normal sized case, making art for the front and back, or even a booklet, but that’s pretty intense.  One piece of paper or cardstock can fold into a case, by folding the 2 long edges over the CD first, then fold the short edges in and tuck one end into the other end.  I’ve made a few mixes like that, including my leethal mix, made with this strip of art/track list which gets taped onto a recycled book page folded around the CD:

leethal vol1

leethal mix vol1

There are other ways to fold cardstock into CD cases/envelopes, or you could experiment to figure out your own weird way of making cases.  Mix CD packaging doesn’t have to be a big deal, but be creative with the artwork, because it’s fun!

So yeah, let me know if you want in (or might want in) via email – I’ll be doing all the swap organization and communication through my yahoo email, so even if you let me know via twitter or elsewhere that you’re interested, please still send me a quick email.  Thanks!  And comment if you have any questions or confusion, and I’ll answer in the comments for all to read.

Filed under: music,recipes,swap — leethal @ 12:04 am

November 28, 2008

2 things related to holiday shopping

i’m happy to be participating in both Buy Nothing Day and Make Something Day this black friday, although now that i’m working from home, i make something and buy nothing more days than not.  but i am starting to think about holiday shopping/gifting; with all my holiday gift tutorial writing, i’ve hardly thought about my own gifting!  and now that i’m thinking about it, i’m getting worried, because i’m not going to have much time for gift making, and i’m not exactly drowning in cash in this beginning stage of my crafty career, so…

holiday gift swapping, anyone?? i would looove to do some gift swaps!  if there is anything in my shop (or my etsy photo shop) that looks like a good gift for you to give (or keep), and you have something to swap that would work for one of my giftees, let’s do it!  gifts would preferably be handmade, and recycled materials are a plus.  here is what i’m looking for:

gifts for 5 men, ages 20, 22, 24, 29, and my dad.  and my mom.  some details about the guys… all 4 are musicians and way into music.  there’s a tattoo artist into bikes, hip-hop dj into film and basketball, computer programmer into irony and nerdiness, and pete who loves things involving squids/cephalopods/cthulu, robots, old-school audio stuff, any audio recording stuff, any keyboard/synth/moog stuff, trivia, weird things, history that nobody knows, mac stuff, old video game stuff….  and as for my parents, hmm they are always kinda tough for gifting, just show me what you have and i’ll check it out.

if you might want to arrange some swap action, email me! leethalkoala at yahoo dot com.  yay thanks!!

and the second thing… holiday shows!  i’m doing 3 upcoming holiday events here in portland… first, on tuesday, the handmade nw downtown holiday artisans fair:

handmade nw show

and then on next saturday, the 6th, the 100th monkey studio twilight art sale.  this one will have door prizes, sweets, bubbly beverages & treats, free massages, and possible live music.  should be a super fun event!  it’s in se near burnside +16th.

and a week later, on saturday the 13th, there’s the scrap holiday bazaar! i did this sale last year and it was great – some really excellent work made from recycled materials!  i’m super happy to be a part of it, i love scrap so much!!


ok i need to get to work – soooo super busy this time of year!!  i’m crazy happy to get to go home to my family for a week+ in december! yet another benefit of not working a day job in retail.  i haven’t not worked on black friday and xmas eve day in years!  so i need to stay overwhelmingly busy until the 17th, then i’ll get a week of relaxation, knitting, and destressing.

happy buy nothing day and make something day, everyone!

Filed under: personal,portland stuff,swap — leethal @ 1:02 pm

August 26, 2008

zine overload and i knit a sweater!

the zine symposium was pretty awesome! here is what my cramped little half-table space looked like:

leethal (half)table my table at the portland zine symposium

while it felt similar to a craft show, it was pretty different from what i’m used to… i only sold small stuff – zines, buttons, patches – and i did a ton of swapping! i met a lot of awesome people and it felt rad to be a part of the event, it had a real community kind of feeling. so, wanna see what i got? everything was traded!


arts & crafts revolution vol.2 arts & crafts revolution rip, stab, stitch

all three of those – arts & crafts revolution vol’s 1+2 and rip, stab, stitch – are by terri anderson of vancouver, bc and are flipping awesome! rip, stitch, stab is a long, detailed book-binding how-to zine, full of hand-drawn illustrations and fabulous ideas. the first vol. of arts & crafts revolution is a cute little one that states on the first page: “this is mainly a zine of ideas… a jumping off point. not an instruction booklet.” heck yeah! my kind of craft zine for sure. and vol.2 is a big fat amazing crafty book of awesomeness! including: basics of sewing, knitting, stamping, screen printing, sections on “thrift craft” and “enviro crafts”, how-to’s on yarn scrap dryer balls, craft apron, record bowls, a big section on “damn the man crafts” (“dismantle the system… one stitch at a time!”), and lastly, diy kink. holy crap this zine is rad, the only problem is, i don’t know how you can buy it! i can’t find a website or any online distros that carry any of these. so, i don’t want to post terri’s email here on my blog, but if you leave a comment or email me i would love to give you her email so you can order a copy from her!

what did you buy today? destination diy

those two don’t go together, just trying to group pictures… the first one, “what did you buy today?” is volume 26 of the obsessive consumption zine by kate bingaman-burt. i had read about kate on diane’s blog so i was super excited to see her at the event. i really love her drawing style, makes me want to draw more like i used to back in college. it was so hard to choose one zine for the swap – there were something like 32 issues, all with different gorgeous covers.

destination diy is the zine about the podcast of the same name, which used to be “diy portland” and is one of the many reasons we moved up here! i got to meet julie sabatier and she was super awesome and nice, and i even got mini-interviewed for the podcast, although i think what i said was kinda dumb so i doubt i’ll be on. (“what’s your favorite thing about the portland zine symposium?” “umm, i don’t have a favorite thing, i love the community feel of everything…..” something like that.) and i got a sticker to put on my car and show my diy pride! and, i did a swap with destination diy intern hilary galian for the hands print on fabric below (left).

hands print potential patch

the brown+pink patch is by drew nowhere, who also gave me all 4 of his subterranea travel zines!

subterranea library polaroid the journey of quetzalcoatlus

the multnomah county library zine people had a table 2 over from me, and they took polaroids of people with their giant library card all weekend, so on sunday before it was over i had to get one taken! yay library!!

the journey of the quetzalcoatlus is by james williams, who was the other half of my table. we had actually met before, at the library zine social a few months ago, so it worked out well that he ended up sharing my table. he was nice about watching my side while i walked around a little and stuff. his comic zines are pretty rad, great artwork, and that one is educational too! oh and he drew me while bored on the first day, hehe.

the following are various zines i got that i don’t have links for, but if you click on the pictures the flickr pages have the title and creator info…

i swear forbearance poe-a bad breath bee finger tales of del taco

i wish i’d done some walking around and trading on saturday, i think i missed out on a lot. i met sam of chickeney on saturday, who had bought some buttons from me awhile back, and she got some more, and i’d planned to check out her stuff on sunday but i didn’t see her there. but, i was kind of hurrying and overwhelmed with all the stuff to check out, so i could have walked right past her, and other cool things. i didn’t want to be away from my table for long, so i didn’t do nearly as much trading as i wish i’d been able to do. oh well… i still got lots of neato stuff!

moving on from zines, i did the knitolympics/ravolympics this year and made my first sweater ever!! it’s a twinkle pattern, so it uses size 19 needles! it’s the “marilyn jacket” from twinkle’s big city knits. and here it is:

marilyn jacket marilyn jacket marilyn jacket

marilyn jacket marilyn jacket marilyn jacket

if i try to close it in front it looks terrible, so i’m not gonna bother putting on buttons or a tie or anything. i might end up putting an edge around the sleeve bottoms. i copied raveler A-L and did the k1p1 trim all the way around the back, i’m glad i did that, it would be too short without it.

i found a great dark red bulky sweater at the bins to unravel for my next sweater project, so now i need to decide whether to choose another twinkle pattern, or one from this book! i’m sticking with fat-needle projects for now, i was way into how quickly that marilyn jacket knit up!

Filed under: general crafts,knitting,lots of links,portland stuff,swap — leethal @ 10:28 am

June 11, 2008

alpaca anyone?


a few weeks ago i was given an amazing gift by my friend dianne: 11 huge bags full of alpaca fleece. it came from northwest alpacas here in oregon, and i’m pretty sure each bag is a full blanket worth (like, the entire alpaca), or close to it. it’s not cleaned, so i spent a dirty day emptying each bag, shaking out the fleece, picking out any too-dirty chunks, and putting it into clean bags. i really loved seeing/feeling how each blanket had a unique look and feel, like i’m sure the alpacas themselves each have a unique personality, even though they are all white in color.


i did some research and found that most/many spinners prefer to spin alpaca unwashed because, unlike sheep wool, alpaca has no lanolin that needs to be washed out, and since it’s such a slippery fiber, the dust actually makes it easier to spin. then you just wash it super well in yarn form. i spun up a small skein this way and it turned out awesome! (but i definitely recommend outdoor spinning if possible, it is dusty!)

alpaca yarn 2ply

i also spun up a single, with dyed wool blended into a few sections, turned out pretty nice:


i’ve dyed one chunk of the alpaca so far (orange!) but haven’t spun that yet. i want to dye more and make a striping yarn, should be cool…

sooo, the thing is, i have way more alpaca fleece than i could possibly spin up in the next decade, so i’m looking for swaps! i definitely want to keep a bunch of it for myself, and i’d like to spread the alpaca love as widely as possible (so, i’m not wanting one person/company to take the whole lot), and i don’t want to sell it for money since it was given to me as a gift (that would just feel wrong). so, swaps! i would love to trade fiber for fiber, but i’ll definitely be open to yarn, handmade items, supplies, books… just let me know what you want to trade.


leave comments or email me (leethalkoala at yahoo) with offers. yay swaps!

and, for non-spinning yarn lovers, i do indeed plan to spin up yarn to sell, so keep checking my yarn page for updates!

Filed under: random stuff,swap,yarn — leethal @ 9:59 pm
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