Initially when I bought fabric to make a Tardis pillow, I thought the starry background was a good idea. When I cut out the Tardis and laid everything out to show Chris, he correctly pointed out that the solid Tardis against the screen-printed background looks kinda terrible.

He then laid out everything on the computer to illustrate a few different looks that didn't clash so much. He's a lot better at putting projects together visually than I am, so I try to bounce ideas off of him when I can. After all, that's what he does for a living.
Once we decided on one, we headed out to Joanne Fabrics and picked up a more basic and non-print fabric. We also picked up some fabric for the Dalek I'm going to put on the pillow as well.

So I'm one step closer to making a pillow that will be cute or a disaster, depending on my sewing skills.

I used the rain as an excuse to stay indoors and play a lot of Guild Wars 2. So, hooray for rain!

It's been pretty hot today, but I still managed to take a stroll downtown on my lunch hour. It wasn't much cooler by the river, but at least it looked cooler.

It was a pretty uneventful day. Went to work. Read a book. Played some Ingress. All in all not a bad Wednesday.

Trying to get some grilling done before it starts raining. So far, no rain.

It's warm and sunny this week, so I've been enjoying sitting outdoors and reading on my lunch break.

We spent the day on the east side of the state, visiting my parents and brother. It's been awhile since I've seen them and I missed them. The weather looked nice so this weekend seemed like a good one to visit.

They made a ton of food, all of which was delicious!

Since I grew up right by Woodward, I went to the Dream Cruise quite a bit. I don't like classic cars, but I did enjoy hanging out with my friends. Mostly it was an excuse to get together and have a few beers. Plus I had a friend whose grandparents lived almost on the corner of Woodward and a major intersection, so it was pretty convenient, parking wise.

The Metro Cruise, unlike the Dream Cruise, is Friday and Saturday (the weekend right after the Dream Cruise, actually). 28th street is no Woodward in terms of lanes, but they manage to fill up the street with onlookers and classic cars. So while we were out and about, Chris and I caught part of the Metro Cruise this evening. It wasn't intentional and I've never actually been to it, so I was surprised by all the people.

Unlike the Woodward Dream Cruise, the Metro Cruise is not a multi-week ramp up of classic cars clogging the road during rush hour. Also, lucky for us we live south of it and don't actually need to take 28th street anywhere for those two days. It's a lot easier to avoid 28th street for two days and Woodward for two weeks.

This is what Leki does while I'm downstairs exercising.

If only I could figure out a way to get him on an exercise bike or something...

Leki values the importance of dental hygiene. That, or he's interested in new stuff.

With a new content patch today comes new group events in Guild Wars 2. I was surprised at the number of people that swarmed each area where new enemies spawned.

So that's pretty much what I did this evening. Running around and killing things.

Sometimes a little guy stops by and keeps me company on my lunch break. Well, more like tries to keep my actual lunch company, but the little guy is too cute to be angry with.

Up until today, I've been pressing tofu with a stack of paper towel, frying pan (for weight), and time. Since I've finally found some recipes that I enjoy making and eating that involve tofu, I figured it was time to invest in some sort of press to get the moisture out instead of wasting a bunch of paper towel every time. So I bought the most basic press I could find - the EZ Tofu Press. And it's pretty easy to use. Just tighten and away you go.
I used the press on both a block of extra firm tofu and a package of cubed tofu. It's possible to use the press with the cubed tofu, but it is a lot trickier.

After 30 minutes and I felt everything was "dry" enough I decided to try a new recipe - Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame. Usually I press tofu for at least an hour and a half, so this was a lot faster. I sliced and marinated the tofu.

Then baked for about an hour. I overcooked the thinner slice I had, but overall the recipe came out pretty good. I'm pretty happy with the recipe and the new tofu press.

I am now prepared for the next visit from Comfort and Adam!

This morning Chris mentioned he'd like to remove one of the tiles from our end table and install a mail pocket there instead. It would hold the day's mail instead of having it lay out on the table like it usually does.

So with some leftover fabric from the floppy cat bed project, Chris laid out the fabric and got measuring.
Once everything was cut I pinned the pocket together and started sewing. I went a lot slower than I have on my more recent projects since I'm trying not to make mistakes.
Honestly, it's a pretty simple pocket with a wood frame (in this case we're still using test cardboard) that fits perfectly where a tile used to be.
Since it's brown, the mail pocket blends pretty well with the tiles on the table as well.
It's not so shallow that nothing fits in it....
...or so deep the mail gets lost.

The best part is that whole thing came out exactly how Chris wanted it and I didn't have to try to make it three or four times due to mistakes!

Project dimensions:
Fabric measurements used

  • two (2) 16" x 7" strips of fabric
  • I used 1/4" seams

finished pocket measurement

  • 7 1/2" deep
  • 6 1/2" wide

I was never much for breeding flowers in the other Animal Crossing games, but I've decided to try my hand at it this time. I don't have a full blown field of flowers going, but I am getting there. First orange and purple. Next will be black roses.

Sewed a small brown pillow today. It was supposed to be more like a cat bed, but it's a little too small for our sausage-y cat. So pillow it is!

After some shifting of furniture and other things by Chris, Leki now has another window to look out and enjoy nature.

It's been a pretty uneventful evening after work. The most excitement to be had was receiving a new blood pressure machine in the mail. I think that makes me old. Or boring. Or both.

I don't like doing a lot of farming (doing something over and over for an item/money/etc)  in MMOs. But when Guild Wars 2 adds content like what they have for the next few weeks, the Crown Pavilion, I can't seem to not farm. I don't mind using my lower level, non-main characters (aka alts) to run around and smack things with a virtual stick. So that's pretty much what I did after work tonight.

It's been awhile since I've tried to make ribs at home. I've not had a lot of success in the past but this time I was determined to spend more time and effort in getting it right.

I tried a Barbecue Ribs Recipe I found on allrecipes that looked pretty decent. And I have to admit, it came out much better than I'd though. Now, I didn't have any worcestershire sauce on hand so I just doubled the soy sauce. Next time I'll be sure to remember to pick up a bottle of the right sauce. If substituting the soy sauce for worcestershire had any negative impact on the recipe, I didn't notice. It was very tasty.

In between walking around downtown, being a couch (or chair) for the cat while I played Guild Wars 2, I did get some baking done. 
Specifically I tried my hand at Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes. The recipe is very rich. And the cupcakes seem to be pretty moist. In fact, I had nearly a dozen that started to sink in after I took them out of the oven. I thought I hadn't baked them long enough but they appeared to be baked through.

While the cupcakes were baking I started in on two dozen home made twinkies. Not for any real reason other than the ingredients were on hand and I was standing in the kitchen waiting for the cupcakes to finish baking.
I also whipped up some no-bakes.

Took a stroll down the boardwalk this evening after work. The greenery is really filling in.

Vault of Midnight, which is a really nice comic shop in Ann Arbor, is opening a location in downtown Grand Rapids. I look forward to popping in their on my lunch break from time to time.

Chris and I are still playing Ingress. Being level 7 (one level from cap) means I can do some damage to the opposing soon as I have the inventory for that.

Still, it's a fun way to spend a lunch hour when I dont feel like reading and want to get some exercise around downtown.

A new patch landed today in Guild Wars 2. This time it's a celebration in the human area, complete with giant fighting pit broken out into different themes such as tropical (with pirates), forest (with bandits), and volcanic (with angry Charr).
They're doing a lot to keep the game fresh and fun. I'm really impressed with the bi-weekly content they've been putting out.

Hooray for nature walks in the evening!

A few weeks ago I ordered this canoe pan to make home made Twinkies with. Of course, you can make other things with the pan (and I totally will), but first, Twinkies!

I followed a pretty basic and easy recipe online that uses cake mix as opposed to completely from scratch.
I didn't have cream cheese at home though, so I used a filling recipe that involves marshmallow fluff that I found.
I piped the filling into the cooled cakes and then Chris gave them a try. They're a little more cake-like than original Twinkies, but Chris says that makes them better.

Eventually I'll try something completely from scratch, but for now this recipe combination seems A-OK.

It's been awhile since I've had my bike out. Over a year in fact. So in the morning I messed around with it and then took it out for a spin to make sure everything was working. It had trouble shifting gears at first, but eventually everything smoothed out.

I also decided it would be a good opportunity to try out RunKeeper with the Pebble Watch. I don't use RunKeeper at all, but since I know it pairs with the Pebble Watch so you can get starts on your workout, I thought it was worth a shot.

The whole set up was pretty smooth. As long as the Pebble Watch is already paired with the phone, RunKeeper works automatically. As soon as I started up a route the time, distance, and rate (miles/minute) popped up on my watch.

I muted all of the audio updates RunKeeper has on by default since I wanted to listen to an audiobook. Everything worked pretty smoothly between Audible, RunKeeper and the Pebble. I was even able to pause and resume the workout directly from the watch.

I probably wont use RunKeeper a lot since I don't really need the stats it provides or a gps route of the path I take. But I do think it's neat to have that on there. I can see where this would be neat for those people into cycling or running. Especially if you're working to improve your distance or speed.

I also noticed that the RunKeeper app can monitor your heart rate (provided you have a device recording it). I don't think any of that information gets piped to the Pebble, but it would be neat to see that eventually happen for those folks who track that information as well.

I know I've said it before but I really do love how our house is so close to several nature trails. It's easy to stumble across rabbits and deer. That's just not something I saw a lot of growing up as a kid, so it's still pretty awesome to me.

I'm getting closer.

Tonight's case attempt actually has a working flap and the Kobo fits in it.
Not everything is lined up perfectly, and a lot of the stitching could probably be a lot cleaner, but it's progress.

I'm still not in love with the fabric. It picks up a ton of cat hair and other things, but it's been great for all of the experimenting I've been doing.

But the Kobo fits in the case and the flap closes. And isn't that really all that matters?