I am so damn lucky. I was just telling a friend how Hubby and I were looking forward to the movie “The Pirates! Band of Misfits”, and then she won 2 free passes, and then gave them to me! How awesome is that? The movie comes out on April 27th, 2012, but we got to see it today!! One of my biggest pet peeves is spoilers, so all I’m going to say is it’s completely hilarious. They did a great job capturing the spirit of the books in an all-new adventure.
What books, you say? Why, these, of course:
They are all by Gideon Defoe, and each one is spectacularly hysterical. Even his website is awesome. Hubby and I are huge fans of his, and are eagerly awaiting his new book, and a sequel to the movie. GET TO WORK, DUDE. The movie, coming out in a week, is fantastic, and we’ll probably go see it again.
For Hubby’s pirate birthday, we had lots of food, and alcohol, and a couple essentials: Pirate’s Booty -
- and oranges, to prevent scurvy. It’s awful when guests start dropping teeth all over the floor.
The food, decor, and music were all great, and even our non-piratical friends had fun.
Flapjack was having too much fun to hold still.
We had scarves, eye patches, and paper hats for those of our mates who are not as nauticalliy oriented as we are, and of course Hubby has the most epic pirate costume of all. There is a lot of my blood, sweat, and tears in that jacket of his, literally.
Costumes are just so much fun, and so many of our friends costumed-up spectacularly. I wish I was better at remembering to take pictures at these things! If you were there and have pics, let me know and I will add them on here.
In preparation for Hubby’s pirate themed birthday party, I decided I needed a little accessorizing. Fortunately I have some random crafting supplies (“You? No way”, “Yes, really”) that I threw together to make a bad-ass choker. I happened to find this giant bird pendant at the thrift store attached to a bunch of other beads, and I had this black edging stuff laying around. I bought the black knotted clasp, on the right, for about $2, I think, at the fabric store.
Here’s a close up of the giant medallion/cameo thing.
First, I hemmed one end of the lace stuff, and attached half the clasp. I measured the lacey stuff around my neck, and cut it with at least an inch extra for hemming. This stuff comes apart very easily once cut, so I folded the end in about half an inch, then half an inch again, then sewed it all through to keep it from unraveling.
I put the clasp back together, then measured the lace around my neck again to double check the comfort and the clasp placement. This is also a good way to make sure you don’t have a twist in your necklace. The package recommends sewing the clasp onto your project while it’s together, and that’s good advice to make sure it will line up properly when you’re done.
Test out teh fit again, and make sure it’s snug without being tight. This is also the time to test putting it on and taking it off. I found that it’s easier for me to have the loop part on my right, so my right hand does the more challenging part of closing the necklace. If I had to depend on my left hand, there would have been much pouting and tantrum-ing.
I sewed the camoe onto the choker in the middle to get as much support from the lace as possible. It’s solid metal, and as you can see, pretty large. It works great, and is probably the most comfortable part of my costume. It also took me about 10 minutes to put it together.
Hubby had his birthday again, as he inevitably does each year. That means THEME PARTY! This year the theme was pirates, and as usual we did it right. The cake was in the shape of a pirate ship, and it’s so easy you can even make it while hitting the rum.
You will need: one box of cake mix, any flavor; 2 cans of frosting, chocolate; bamboo skewers (you only need 2); toothpicks; 1 Hershey bar; Twizzlers or 1 Kit Kat bar; M&M’s or Skittles, or some kind of small round candy; 2 sheets printer paper for sails.
I used box cake mix because I’m lazy, and also because for every party we have I end up running around half-dressed, decorating frantically and shrieking creative profanity. Cakes from scratch do not happen. Make the cake mix according to the instruction and make 2 round cakes. You can use either the 8″ or 9″ rounds.
Make sure to use baking spray in the cake pans before you pour the batter in, or else getting them out of the pans will be a nightmare. Let them cool completely (not warm, not slightly above room temperature, COOL), then run a butter knife around the edge. Now flip it out onto a large cutting board. Cut it in half.
Spread icing on one half.
Flip the other half on top to make a giant cake sandwich. Do the same with the other cake so you end up with 4 cake halves iced and stacked up. Icing the outside of the cake is easier if you make sure the bottom of the cake, i.e. the part that was touching the metal of the cake pan, ends up facing outward on your cake stack. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that I didn’t do that, making this one of those “learn from my fail” moments that are so common in my writing style. The bottoms of the cakes are much sturdier and flatter, and hold up much better when icing is spread over them.
Yes, this is a picture of 3 cake pieces stacked up, not 4. That’s because, yet again, I learned from the process of making the cake, and am sharing that hard-earned knowledge with you. With just the 3 halves of cake, the base was not wide enough, and the whole thing started to slump. I caught it, which coated my hand in icing. A delicious, though inconvenient, mistake. And yes, I washed my hands after licking all the frosting off. Probably.
Once you have your stack, slice a bit off the bottom of the curve. Retain the cut pieces for the future. In this picture you can see the top of the cake rather than the bottom facing upward, mocking me with its un-iceable surface.
Stand the cake up on the bottom you just created, and pray it stays upright. If you used your 4 cake halves it should be fairly sturdy. If not, you have plenty of those skewers to hold this bad boy together. I attached 2 of the smaller cake chunks to the back of the ship, where the rudder will be attached.
I attached a larger piece to the front to be the prow. I ended up sticking it on with toothpicks when it misbehaved.
And then coat the whole thing in so much icing no one will see any flaws.
To make little railings to go along the back of the ship, I used toothpicks burrowed into Kit Kat bars. You can also use Twizzlers if you prefer.
The rudder is a chunk of Hershey bar jammed between those two cake pieces I stuck to the back.
Hubby got super artistic with the sails (which was fully expected). You can either use plain paper, print a Jolly Roger on them, or make them all tattery like this. Just stab the skewer in at the top, then down through the bottom, then stick it in the cake.
I used M&Ms for portholes, and more Hershey bar for railings at the front of the ship.
It came out pretty good, and damn tasty. There were no leftovers!!
I have been having a weird couple of weeks. It seems like random, slightly unpleasant events keep occurring. That, in and of itself, is not unusual for me, but things have been happening so frequently that I’m starting to wonder if I slipped through a hole in the space-time continuum. Maybe I’m in a parallel dimension that’s very similar to my own, but in which dishes jump off counters, fruit trees have no fruit, and I’m a pirate.
First of all, the other day I was just walking through my bedroom, just like normal. Somehow I smashed my left foot into my bed. I tend to trip on things, and bump into things a lot, but this was horrific. It is still hurting, 5 days later, and it was hugely swollen, with weird purple spots (See?!? Even bruises are weird in this dimension!). The ironic part is, a large portion of my left foot is numb at all times, due to a pinched nerve in my back. Did I smash the numb part? Of course not. So I’ve been hobbling around like a wicked crone in a fairy tale.
A week or so ago, I went to my dentist for a normal cleaning. Did it work out with a pat on the back and a free toothbrush? I’m not that lucky. First of all, I got a COUPON for a toothbrush. What? I depend on the dentist to supply all my travel sized dental equipment. A coupon for a normal sized toothbrush doesn’t help me. I already have dozens of them laying around at home. Second of all, my nice, young dentist, from my same hometown was gone. Instead, I have the love child of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mr. Clean. He was polite, but intimidating. Turns out that one of my fillings from last year needs to be replaced (he wouldn’t say if it was done incorrectly before), and he wanted to give me a GOLD tooth. Granted, it would be way in the back, and I do love pirates, but still. My insurance company decided that if I was going to have the fun of being a pirate, I had to pay for a large chunk of it myself, so normal filling it is. That whole experience was not fun, but I’m sure everyone knows what it’s like, so I won’t force any of us to relive the horror that is the dentist’s chair.
Right now, in my kitchen, there is the inexplicable sound of water running. I have checked the sink, under the sink, the outside hoses, the water heater, the water heater downspout outside, and the sink upstairs. Hubby has checked it all too, and we cannot find anything. It’s like Chinese water torture, but instead of dripping on my head, it’s giving me visions of water building up inside the walls, slowly destroying my home, and everything I love.
As always, Hubby and I are constantly trying to lighten the workload around the house and be more ecofriendly, when possible. Our dishwasher is tempermental at best, and we were having to rewash things at least twice. We decided that if we each had one bowl and one plate, we would just use them, and hand wash them ourselves. This way, the dishes don’t stack up, and no one gets resentful having to wash up the gross dishes the other person leaves with food on them in the sink rather than just rinsing them. 3 guesses who does that. We went to the thrift store and picked out one each. The whole system was working great. There were a very small number of dishes each day that we easily hand washed. Then, somehow, my bowl jumped out of my hand and committed suicide. It exploded across the kitchen, scaring the crap out of me and Flapjack. I cleaned it up, and everything returned to normal, but now more dishes are appearing. I decided I would just use one of the bowl we had, but they must be multiplying on the counter. It’s bizarre.
More of the Strange World of Clever Chick in Part 2: Seriously, call Stephen Hawking
I had the opportunity last weekend to get dressed up as a gypsy and walk around in public like that. Jealous? Don’t be! Sherwood Forest Faire is still going on! It ends April 3rd though, so get on it if you want to go. If you haven’t heard of it, this is a smaller, newer version of the Texas Renaissance Festival, that is much closer to Austin. The whole thing is themed around Robin Hood, and it has many of the same shows as other Renaissance festivals around the state.
There were lots of shops, and food vendors, and the place wasn’t that crowded. If you haven’t been to one of these before, I highly recommend it. Tons of people wear normal clothes, and tons dress up in “historical” clothing. Believe me, there are no history police walking around pointing out errors in anyone’s costume, so feel free to wear what you’d like. The shows are funny, you can walk around with beer and funnel cake, and this festival is in the midst of tons of trees, so it was nice and shady. The place is also very kid friendly, with a couple rides, face painting, and photo ops.
Our friend Todd competed in the archery contest:
A couple of our men-folk tried their hand at throwing knives (only my Hubby made anything stick )
I got some great shots of the Oskar Hasselhoff fighting school, and the Ded Bob Show was there also. I had never seen it before, and it was hilarious! A little tip from my friend Todd: If you’re in costume you are less likely to be called up on stage during these types of things. For me, that was comforting, because I really like to watch other people get teased on stage, rather than me.
Hubby and I were both dressed as gypsies, until he found an AWESOME pirate hat. Apparently gypsy + hat = pirate.
Obviously, I didn’t take pictures of everything available to do there. We circled around the whole place a few times, and spent a lot of time at the pub. There was a lot of conversation along these lines:
“Oh look! A pub! We should probably stop and have a drink!”
(not long later) “Oh look! The pub! Well, we want to stay hydrated!”
(a short time after that) “Hey! The pub! Well, the beer wenches have already seen us. I wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings by walking away now”.
(an even shorter time later) “Oh my! Is that a different pub?” “I don’t think…” “We should go in and check, just to be sure.”
After everything was over, and we were dusty, sunburned, and exhausted, we needed some sustenance. I sent Hubby into our favorite pizza joint, thinking hilarity would ensue. Nobody batted an eye!
We had a blast, and I would recommend it to anyone.
We have a pirate themed bathroom in the house (yes, it’s awesome), and I believe in taking themes to the extreme. Thus, the skull and crossbones soap was born.
You will need: a bar of soap, and rather dull, small knife, and a bucket to catch the soap carvings.
You can scrape off the company logo if you want, or just use the back side of the soap for carving. The first thing I did was sketch the initial outline into the soap with the tip of the knife. I got a little over-excited and dug the eyes and nose out first, but it came out okay in the end. Other than this step, I basically just carved away the extra soap from my design.
This is it, the finished product. I used a wet q-tip to smooth out the insides of the eyes, and around the edges. Fun times! *Pirate Voice* “Yaaarrr, there be a treasure of cleanliness to be had!”