Saturday, March 31, 2012

Interview: Say hello to Twinkie Chan!

Twinkie Chan never ceases to impress me. I will continue to purchase her food themed scarves for a long time to come. But she's more than just crocheted scarves. Take a gander and her other talents. Although I've written quite a bit about Twinkie Chan, below is an article I did not write myself.

In attempts to spread the word about this crochet goddess, I am posting an article written by The Making Spot.

Interview: Say hello to Twinkie Chan!

Posted on Monday, March 19 2012 at 11am

 


It's Crochet Month on the The Making Spot, and we're celebrating with a week of crochet fun here on our blog. Come back each day for our top tips, hot links, patterns and interviews - we're so excited!

To get our crochet-fest off to a sweet start, we chatted to San Francisco-based designer Twinkie Chan about her scrumptious food-themed accessories and her lifelong love of crochet.

If you're as crazy for Twinkie Chan's designs as we are, be sure to check out her fab website and Etsy shop, plus her book, Crochet Goodies for Fashion Foodies. Read on and delve into Twinkie Chan's world!

 

When did you first learn to crochet? Can you remember the first thing you made?

I first learned to crochet when my best friend and I stayed with her Grandma Wendleton. I was about ten years old. Grandma Wendleton was known for crocheting classic colorful afghans and those crazy toilet paper cozies that look like dolls with frilly dresses. To keep us busy, she taught us to crochet.
After that, I think I just made a lot of small ugly blankets! I'd buy pattern pamphlets from the craft store, and I taught myself to read patterns from them.

In the 6th grade, our class project was to operate a pretend city where we each ran a business out of a decorated box. Our city was called Boxburg, and my shop was called the Boxburg Zoo. I crocheted little animals and 'sold' them for our fake city money. My most popular item was the 'Onion Head', which looked like a bulb of garlic with eyes!

We adore your cute wearable designs - especially the cupcake and pizza slice scarves! Which is your favourite and why? How do people react to your fake-food makes when you wear them out and about?

Thank you so much! I think my favorite item I've made is a hot dog purse with a mustard zipper! I only ever made one, as it was so much work, but I thought it was so super funny. My favorite scarf is the pizza, too! It's just so iconic and recognizable and funny and weird. And both boys and girls can wear it.

To be honest, I haven't been wearing my own creations for very long. I would always end up selling everything I make! Right now I have two cupcake scarves, a toast scarf, and a bacon and egg scarf to call my own, and if I wear one out, people really love guessing and exclaiming what food I am wearing.

One time I was in a meeting and brought a bunch of scarves with me, and an older gentleman picked one up, put it on, and said, "This makes me feel young again!" My work seems to make people feel happy and youthful and nostalgic, and it gives them a giggle. I love that!



You've designed and made amazing accessories for your Etsy shop, you take on special commissions, and you've even written a book! What would you like to do next?

I have been working on my mass-produced clothing and accessories line since 2010. The apparel industry is very different than the craft world, and I'm still learning and going through all the ups and downs. I am determined, though! I put a lot of love and hard work into my crochet designs, and I know that not everyone can afford the price of my handmade, so I really hope that my Yummy You! by Twinkie Chan brand will find success in the market and help make my designs more accessible to everyone. I'd also love to write more books and learn now to use my knitting loom and a sewing machine!

And finally, do you have any tips for people who want to try crochet for the first time?

You're going to be frustrated, and you're going to make lots of ugly blobs, and you're going to feel like you don't know what you're doing. Keep practicing! Save the blobs and make a collage out of them later!
It's true that practice makes perfect, and as you keep exercising your crochet muscles, they will get stronger! These days, there are tons of free video tutorials all over the internet, so do take advantage of them as you learn your new skill.

And always keep your stitches uniform. That's what Grandma Wendleton taught us! Even when we thought she was talking about uniforms that you wear...


More treats from Twinkie Chan!

Check out Twinkie Chan's blog
Say hello on Twitter
Visit the Etsy shop!

Featured Entrepreneur: Twinkie Chan Inc.

Twinkie Chan is an amazing talent. I continue to purchase her food themed scarves and I am delighted with each creation. I am happy to promote her work when I can. You'll find that I've posted quite a bit about her on this blog.






















Today is the first time I've posted a piece on her that was not written by myself. Check out the below article from Launch Grow Joy.

Featured Entrepreneur: Twinkie Chan Inc.

March 19, 2012 By
 
Want to be inspired by entrepreneurs who are doing something great? Then read on. Each day we feature new entrepreneurs who are passionate about their business and who are living their dream.
Today’s entrepreneur is Twinkie Chan of Twinkie Chan Inc.

When and why did you start your business?

I started my crochet business in 2005. I worked in publishing at the time, but I’d always had a love for crafting, particularly crocheting, and I started to crochet scarves for myself at night after work. Pretty soon, I was just making them for the sake of making them, and I wasn’t wearing all of them, so I decided on a whim to throw together a website to sell my goods. I had no idea what a positive response I would get! I tried for a few years to handle both my day job and my hobby, but my heart was more into crafting than anything. In 2009, I made the decision to devote myself full-time to my business. You only live once!

 

Describe your business in 20 words or less.

I design and crochet food-themed scarves and other cozy accessories inspired by snacks, Japanese street fashion, and your grandma!

 

What is your biggest success or accomplishment you’re most proud of in your business?

There are a few milestones I enjoyed, like being on the local news, or signing my first big partnership deal to mass produce my crocheted goodies and having a booth at the POOL tradeshow, but I think I was most proud of my book coming out last year, “Twinkie Chan’s Crocheted Goodies for Fashion Foodies: 20 Yummy Treats to Wear.” What made it really special was that my family and friends really supported me at book events, and it was like this tangible thing my parents could show and give to people that had their daughter all over it. I’m in this to make a living and to have fun, but I’m one of those people who still always wants to make her parents proud, and it felt really good to be able to share that experience with them.

 

What advice would you give other entrepreneurs when they are first starting out?

I super strongly believe that you should follow your passion, but also when starting a business, to also try to start your own trend rather than follow one. A unique perspective will help you and your business stand out, especially in the beginning.

I would also say: always follow your gut. There will be times that you’ll feel like a fish out of water and totally new to the game. You may not know all the industry standards. But I think it’s always valuable to follow your instincts. Even if everyone else is telling you you’re wrong, you’re the one who cares the most about your business. You put your heart in it, but everyone else just wants to make money off you. I would rather make a mistake because I was wrong, rather than feel powerless because I let someone else be wrong. Always be in the driver’s seat! And get a lawyer. :)

 

Where do you see your company in three years?

In 2010, I launched my mass-produced line “Yummy You! by Twinkie Chan,” and while it has sort of been a roller coaster, I really do hope to figure more out as I go and have more of my line in more stores. Since my work is meticulously handmade, wholesaling hasn’t really been an option for me since each piece takes so long to make. So my goal with the mass-produced line is to make my designs more affordable and more accessible. I’d also love to develop a DIY/craft supply line!

If you like this interview, Like Twinkie Chan on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

rainbow jello slices
















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How to Care for Introverts

burger makeup

My intention is not to hawk burgers. Especially since I've never had a Burger King burger. But look how amazing this makeup is. I'm impressed. A work of art.















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dragon fruit jello

National Cleavage Day

I often roll my eyes at some of the "national" holidays we've come up with. Some are fun, some are cute, some are obnoxious and some are plain wrong. I'm all about National Cupcake Day, National Mental Health Awareness Week, National Hot Tea Month. But some take the cupcake and not in a good way. Give me back my cupcake.

National Cleavage Day is here. Yipes. The idea of this drives me bonkers. How did this idea come about?

According to Feministe, it "launched in South Africa in 2002 as a joint effort of Wonderbra and South African Cosmopolitan, was created as a way to somehow 'help those suffering from leukemia and other life-threatening blood diseases,' but news coverage of the first observance made no mention of that.Wonderbra PR consultant Anita Meiring described it as 'a day for women to realize that their cleavage is something unique and that they should be proud of it.' In 2006, Wonderbra brand manager Samantha Paterson said that 'it gives women a chance to be beautiful and glow in the furtive, yet appreciative, glances their cleavage evokes from men.' And this year, the Sun reported that it is 'held annually to celebrate women’s independence and power in their careers and relationships.'”

Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me. Albeit, these are just samples of responses to this day, but I imagine that they are shared by many who support it. The idea that showing off cleavage is some how liberating or makes a woman a woman, is skewed logic.

I have no problem with a man or woman finding a woman's cleavage attractive. My issue is that we are continually bombarded with the media's message that a woman's body exists for the heterosexual man's gaze. Some women buy into it and show us just how much they buy into it by celebrating holidays like NCD. If you think about it you'll notice that NCD is every day. Women reveal their cleavage on the cover of pornographic magazines or mainstream magazines. On billboards, TV, and film. Cleavage appears in high end fashion catalogs and on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. Cleavage is everywhere and I'm uncertain as why a holiday highlights its existence as if it were rare and in need of further celebration.

My problem with this day is that not only are women told that their bodies are meant to please other people, but some believe it to the point where they use their bodies to manipulate others. In the end they call it power. 

Those who take part in this day are most likely doing so because they want to show off their bodies. I've observed footage of women corralled in the street celebrating this day and all I really see is a bunch of women happy to put themselves on display. If this is how women express their self worth, we have a problem. Take a look at your nearest Cosmo or Vanity Fair and you'll see what I mean. We have a problem.

Would this day be as enjoyable for the participants if there were no audience? NCD is more so, for the voyeurs than it is for the participants. And what makes it all worth it for the participants is that they are being applauded for their appearance. Audience and participant feed into each other.

While this can be said about a lot of things; (i.e. concerts, parades, plays) the signifying factor is that this day speaks to the pillaging monster that is patriarchy.

packaging

No porn for me.

















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Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy 159th Birthday Vincent Van Gogh

March 30, 1853

Happy Birthday to the man who created my favorite painting; "Irises".

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Seychelles Snapdragon

I debated over these shoes for a while. They are very un-me. Not something I would normally go for. After I kept running into them, I finally gave in.

These heels are called "Snapdragon" by Seychelles. I've purchased many a shoe from Seychelles. They often sell vintage style shoes. If I see a 1940's style shoe, I'm usually all over it. The shoes below are a departure for me, so I had to spend some real time thinking about it.






















These color of this pair is called "Emerald". As you can see a blue belongs to this shoe as well.






















I loved the colors separately but I feared that together they would clash. Evidently they do, but in a wonderful way. The emerald color is sleek and shiny just as the braded royal blue strap.

Originally, I developed an interest in the "Yellow" shoes. I enjoy the color of the heel. You'll notice it's a lighter shade wood than the Emerald.






















The yellow appears to be more of a bright gold. The yellow and red together give a feel of Chinese New Year.






















My reservation with the Snapdragon she is that I'm not used to wearing chunky heels.






















Last but not least is the "Black" shoe. Initially it seemed too simple for me but I enjoyed the way they looked on the below model.






















The contrasting colors actually work well.






















The above photos were posted on the Seychelles Blogsite. The model is guest blogger Holly Wang.

In the end I am happy with my purchase. I took a risk and I'm glad I did. To view more shoes visit the official Seychelles website.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spathetti & Meatball Cupcake

Spaghetti and meatball cupcake by Emily Bites.



















Find the recipe here.

"Muffincakes" from OMG Baked Goodness

Check out these "muffincakes" from OMG Baked Goodness.






















Blueberry buttermilk muffincake with brown sugar icing 






















Apple cinnamon muffincake with brown sugar icing

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

tea cup book shelves!

Tea cup book shelves. Sold on Wood Curve on etsy.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cadbury Creme Egg Foo Young from Serious Eats

From Serious Eats via Cake Spy.

From the blogsite: "Pancakes studded with Cadbury Creme Egg pieces, which are then topped with melted peanut butter 'gravy' and served atop a bed of rice pudding. The pancakes, which do not require sugar for the batter, are plenty sweet owing to the Creme Eggs. The crispy edges and warm, soft, gooey interior of the pancakes are wonderful when paired with the creamy rice pudding, and the peanut butter 'gravy' adds just enough savoriness to cut through the sweetness."

















For the recipe go to Serious Eats.

rainbow pudding

I want..















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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hello Kitty underwear

My new underoos! You can find these at Hot Topic. Yes, roll your eyes if you must, but I am so happy I found these.

Blueberry Waffle Cupcake

by Jellytots & Dollymixtures

Waffle Cupcakes

It's Natural Waffle Day. Look at these celebratory cupcakes.















by Suzy Sweet Tooth.
 

breakfast images calm me

















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"Sparkledoodles" by Amanda Cupcake

Snickerdoodle's are one of my favorite cookies so I am exceptionally excited about this. Plus I love glitter, so these beauties are up my alley. The amazing Amanda Cupcake titles these, "Sparkledoodles".






















Edible glitter atop snickerdoodles.






















To get the recipe visit Amanda Cupcake.

Bacon and Egg candy

Made by The Extraordinary Art of Cake.

HH and Laughter

The Dalai Lama's laugh makes me happy..

Bacon and Eggs Pillow by Moogly

To find the pattern for this visit Moogly.















I want to cuddle with this fun piece.

Internalized Racism by Noah Brand

Posted on The Good Men Project

Noah Brand admits that yes, he has internalized racial baggage. Just like everyone else.

This article is a response to “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” by Jackie Summers.

It’s a truism in American society that any sentence that begins with “I’m not racist, but…” is going to end with something really, really racist. There’s a reason for that, and a reason the sentence is always constructed that way, and until we address it, we’re going to keep hearing that sentence a lot.

So, yes, I’m racist. And so are you. And if that pisses you off, allow me to elucidate.

Much of the problem, to my mind, comes from the fact that we tend to identify people as racist, making it an adjective, or worse, as a racist, turning the adjective into a noun. By saying “that guy’s a racist” we implicitly wall-off the racism, imprison it in his flesh, and by implication taint every aspect of his being with it. We free ourselves from the idea that “a racist” is something we could ever be, allowing us to remain the stainless heroes of our own stories. After all, we don’t burn crosses on people’s lawns, we don’t use certain epithets, and we don’t consciously think “Gosh, I sure do hate people of ethnicities different from my own!” So long as we don’t do those specific things, we tell ourselves, we’re not “a racist,” and we can construct sentences on that basis.

“I’m not racist, I’m just concerned about property values in the neighborhood.”

“I’m not racist, but I think we should look after our own people first.”

“I’m not racist, I just don’t feel like Obama’s a real American.”

“I’m not racist, but c’mon, we all know what they’re like.”

Make your own list. If you’re having trouble, turn on Fox News, they’ll help you out. We hear these things all the time, and they all stem from the same ugly fallacy: they construct racism as something you are rather than something you do. Or perhaps even better, something you have. Something that got handed to you a little at a time when you were a kid and still learning how the world worked. Something you carry around with you to this day, whether you want to or not, and most importantly, whether you know it or not. The first step to laying down that burden of prejudice is to admit that we’re carrying it. You can’t solve a problem until you look at what it really is, otherwise you’re going to be treating a virus with antibiotics or dumping water on a grease fire.
♦◊♦

So as I said, I’m racist. I was raised in a racist society, and I carry around a lot of weird cultural crap from that. Heck, as a result of my parents’ globetrotting jobs during the 1980s, I grew up sampling a wide variety of racist societies. If any non-racist society exists, it has as yet eluded sociologists. Our brains like to assign people to vast, stereotyped categories based on superficial features, and we tend to think in terms of “us” and “the Other.” It is literally easier for our brains to be racist than not to be. A bug report has been filed with the manufacturer, but we haven’t heard anything back yet, so we’re going to have to deal with this ourselves. 

Here, I’ll start.

I am as white as it is possible to be. My ancestry is English, Scottish, and Swedish, without even that bullshit 1/32nd Cherokee that white people love to claim. (Why always Cherokee? How come nobody ever claims their great-great-granddaddy was Ohlone or Pima or Nez Perce?) Hell, I have an acquired condition that prevents my skin from forming melanin normally, so I can’t even tan. And you bet I carry around some racial baggage.

Every TV show and movie I saw growing up assured me that people who looked like me were Normal and people who didn’t were Other. Stereotypes were casually tossed around, some consciously, others just taken as read. The people around me reacted differently to different ethnic groups, and every little subtlety of body language and vocal tension helped inform my view of how the world was supposed to work.

Did I ever get explicitly told “Black people are criminals” or “Asians are weird” or “Latinos are a great way to scare poor white people into voting for rich white people”? No, not in those terms. Didn’t have to be, really; the messages got through. If you’d asked me, most of my life, whether I was racist, I’d have said no, vaguely thinking of Klansmen or Neo-Nazis or Pat Buchanan, and feeling confident that I definitely wasn’t those guys.
Now that I’m a little older, I know better. I have a bunch of stereotypes in my head, a huge sense of who is Other, that I have to consciously deal with on a daily basis. It’s not that I think these stereotypes are correct or true, but they’re in there anyway. They’re complicated and weird and tied in to other things in often-unexpected ways.

When I was living with a lover who was black, I could never bring myself to dance with her, for fear of being judged by her superior African-American dance standards. For her part, she shared Dave Chappelle’s claimed inability to eat fried chicken in front of white people, for fear of looking like a stereotype. And I counted as “white people,” naturally. Hell, I found myself surprised by Herman Cain’s presidential campaign, because I’d had an unexamined notion that black guys were never that particular brand of asshole. Imagine my relief when the harassment allegations arose and he settled back comfortably into the stereotype of black men as horny sexual predators.

Are these things stupid, offensive, and provably wrong? Oh my god, yes. They’re so stupid it is actually painful to type, to publicly admit to carrying around this much godawful racial baggage. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Once, while taking martial arts, I caught myself being surprised that one of the Asian guys in class was terrible at it. I had to have it pointed out to me that, at the Tex-Mex restaurant where I worked, all the kitchen staff were Latino and none of the waiters were. I hadn’t noticed because that just seemed natural somehow. Believe me, I could go on at some length, but I think my fingers would seize up in protest if I did.
Most of all, whenever I’m interacting with a non-white person, I cannot mentally escape the fact of their Otherness. I’d love to take refuge in that comforting lie one only ever hears from white folks, “I’m color-blind, I don’t even see race,” but I actually am color-blind, and I know the difference. I understand why people say that; being aware of one’s own weird racial hangups creates the responsibility to fight them, to work against them, to try to get the hell over them. It’s way easier to just claim not to have any.

♦◊♦

Right now we think of racism as this enormous sin that taints your entire being with evil. That can lead only to denial, as people claim to be without sin and therefore fully qualified to throw stones. I think a more useful model would be to think of racism as a human failing, something that exists within all of us to some extent, like cruelty or selfishness or pettiness. We’ve all felt the impulses to be mean to someone we dislike, to grab what we want without regard for the other fella, to resent others for stupid reasons. We’ve all stumbled and succumbed to those impulses at one time or another, too. But you only become a bad person when you embrace those impulses, when you justify them to yourself as not that bad and stop fighting against them.
“I’m not a cruel person, but I love to see that bastard twisting in the wind like this.”

“I’m not selfish by nature, I just don’t like sharing.”

“I don’t have a petty bone in my body, but I’m not going to apologize until he does first.”

“I’m not racist, I just don’t like going in that neighborhood.”

Fits into that category pretty well, doesn’t it? This is not to minimize racism and the horrors perpetrated in its name. Any of these failings, when embraced, can lead to vast and terrible acts. But by accepting racism as a human failing, we can allow ourselves to engage with it using the mechanisms we all use to try and be a decent person every day, rather than shying away from it as something unimaginable. We can work at unlearning our own bad habits rather than pretending we don’t have them. Most of all, by admitting our own sins to ourselves, we can more thoroughly and more honestly condemn those who embrace racism, who allow it to drive their actions, who lack that little inner voice that says “Hold up, I’m being a jerk here.”

Let’s all admit it, then. I have a lot of racist programming in my head, that I’m still working on getting rid of. How about you?

last night's arm quote

Last night I saw Ani Difranco perform at The Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles. My favorite artist played at my favorite venue.

Sean Hayes opened for her. As usual I wrote good lyric lines on my arm. Last night I only wrote one. There have been occasions when I slip away from the darkness after the show, head straight for a bathroom break, only to see that my arms are covered with swively tattoos.

Last night's arm quote:

"He's growing flowers to understand dying."
-Sean Hayes

for the love of thai iced tea

Thai iced tea is one of my favorite drinks. It consists of Thai red tea leaves that are blended with star anise, cinnamon and vanilla. The steeped tea then is flavored with sugar. After it is cooled it is mixed with cream and condensed milk. You're left with a chilled creamy drink.

































source

I've been trying to find Thai iced tea ice cream but have had no luck. Today I came across a recipe for a Thai iced tea cupcake! Find the recipe on Cupcake Bake Shop.

my favorite food






















(nom nom paleo)

guacamole in the making

















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Pesto Spaghetti

















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enlarged














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Pad Thai

Random food moment. The goodness of close up pics.
















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Chow Mein

The look of noodles..
















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Happy 78th Birthday to Gloria Steinem


Born March 25, 1934

Is Katy Perry Racist?

Womanist Musings is a blogsite which I follow. Like any blog site, it is impossible to agree with the opinions of every post.

Katy Perry recently performed a cover of Kayne West and Jay-Z's song Ni**as in Paris. WM says:

"If a song includes lyrics that you cannot say without being accused of being a rabid racist, you would think that this would be a sign that your White ass should leave it alone."


BBC Live Lounge

"So she changed the word nigga to ninja and that supposedly makes it alright?  Umm fuck no.  It's still gross cultural appropriation and seriously who needed to hear this in the first place.  I am sick and tired of White people stealing from people of colour. We don't need your take on our culture, our music, or anything else that belongs to us. The entire culture is built around Whiteness and yet that is not enough for them, nope anything that clearly belongs to a culture of colour has to be up for grabs as well. Perry can go and fuck herself."

If you're a White person who enjoys this song, must  you should stay away from it? I dislike the n-word immensely. When I hear it, I think of the KKK, lynchings, separate water fountains, slavery, and segregation. But if I'm a person who admires and enjoys a song that uses that word it only makes sense that I would replace the word with something else.

There are several songs that I enjoy that have the n-word within it. If I am to listen to one of these songs, I do not want to repeat and essentially practice the song in my head. Certainly I will replace it with something else.

I do not believe that hip hop belongs to people of color as WM suggests. And which color? Can Latino and Latina individuals enjoy this song and replace the n-word with "ninja"? I am a woman of Mexican and Caucasian decent. Where do I fit?

I do think that it is important for those of us who are not Black to look back. To understand that so many forms of music stem from Black culture. From hip hop to rock n' roll. Even so, I believe music is for us to share. It is a vital part of our life that often brings various cultures together.

Whether you like or dislike Katy Perry's rendition of this song, I believe that she has not disrespected Black culture.















 WM is essentially telling us that White folks are not allowed to enjoy songs which inhabit the n-word. It is unfair and non-sensical that she should think that she can police individuals in this way.

When a person of a culture which I do not share, speaks their mind, I find it important to pause. Or sometimes to just sit down and shut up. To listen. To understand that there are some things that I do not understand; being that I am not from that community.

One could say that because I am in a place of privilege as I am aesthetically White, I have the luxury of ignorance. Ignorance is bliss right? Well, I have examined WM's words. I read her post over and over. In the end I have determined how I feel. What I feel is concrete. 

Additionally, I've got to say that her use of profanity does add to an intelligent argument. She is a writer whom I respect, but I tend to shut down when people start throwing dart comments.

I'm not an admirer of Katy Perry's music but I think she can sing this song to her heart's content.

Hello Kitty Tirimisu by I Love Baking






















I love tirumisu and I love Hello Kitty. This marvelous treat was created by blogger I Love Baking. Get the recipe at the website. Image found on blogger site Hawaii Kawaii.

T-strap Nico Shoe from Chelsea Crew

From Chelsea Crew.

White Shoes from Chelsea Crew

White vintage-esque shoes from Chelsea Crew.





















The above images makes the shoe look wider than it is. The below images is more accurate.

Red Shoes from Chelsea Crew

I've had these shoes for a while but I'm just now getting around to posting about them. Red shoes from Chelsea Crew.






















A crimson red shoe with imitation leather laces. Snowflake-like cutouts, and a peep toe.






















A modern vintage shoe that delights.

Word.