Friday, March 29, 2013

Roxi Rabbit

My Roxi Rabbit doll is named for a pet rabbit I had years ago. She was an 'opal' mini rex and liked to chase the cats around the house. She would kick up her heels as she turned the corner.  I wish I had some pictures to show you, but she got sick very soon after we brought her home.

  It takes me about 9 hours to make one doll; which means I'm basically running a one woman sweat shop, but I really don't see people paying that much for a doll... cute as it may be.
   Most of the time is spent sewing, stuffing, and embroidering the bunny's face. It probably wouldn't take as long if I didn't obsess over the amount of stuffing and the placement of the eyes and nose; but, let's face it, that's not going to happen.

  I don't really know how or why, but every rabbit I make is slightly different. Not just in the way I embroider the face or the way I stuff it, I somehow end up knitting it a little differently each time.
The one in the middle is the first one I made, the prototype rabbit, aka my rabbit.
I sign each one with a green 'J'. Mom says I should number them, I might start doing that.

For some reason I can't make a pom-pom that won't fall apart when pull on it. I have to take a needle and white thread and sew through it repeatedly all the way around, before I sew it on.

 Buy one at:   

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Chicks

It took a while, but I finally figured out a pattern for hand knitted chicks. I wanted them to look like day old chicks, which pretty much look like a little ball on top of a bigger ball on stilts. I couldn't make the stilts, so I sewed little feet on them. I'm not sure how many people know this, but chicks have blue eye when they hatch. They turn yellow or brown after a couple of months.

   When I was knitting the second yellow chick I thought to myself "It would be cool to make one that looked like a Barred Rock or Australorp chick." Both are black with patches of cream. (I'm calling it a Barred rock chick, because surprisingly Australorps have more cream on them.)

 I've never seen a chicken with an orange beak and/or feet, but everybody's chicks have them so I thought I'd offer it. 

Some things I've learned while making the chicks:
  I stink at making eyes (I'm working on it) and color working in the round is hard. (But I still prefer it to making it flat and having to sew it up later.)
Below is the listing.

                  Happy Easter.  
                                 Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a Bat-tastic day!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Snakes and seeds

After a 2 week hiatus my Chinese New Year Snakes are back available for sale, and with a new color: black and gold.

I got the Eucalyptus and Ancho chile seeds I ordered from Johnny's seeds today.  Guess I'll be planting soon. This is my first time trying the grow Eucalyptus. It's an annual in places were the ground freezes, which means you can't come count on it coming back in spring, so I'll be keeping it in a pot and moving it in to the green house next winter, assuming it grows. I love the smell of Eucalyptus.

 My Mom loves Ancho peppers, also called Pablano peppers. They're the ones you're supposed to use for stuffed peppers. They can take the place of bell peppers or hot peppers in recipes. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hello Spring

It might be taking forever, but slowly we're getting the garden together. Despite the fact that almost none of the seeds are coming up. Probably because the cats keep walking on them. Every day we see cat foot prints directly were the seeds are; like the rows are really sidewalks for cats.
Yesterday Mom and I went to Lowe's, she finally broke done and bought some tomato, eggplant, and pepper plants.
  I planted foxglove seeds twice this year in February, well, three times if you count sowing directly into the garden and sewing seeds in planters separately. Nothing came up.
   When I saw a bunch of gigantic Foxgloves at Lowe's in the 50% off shelves I thought "How could I not buy at least one?"  They had them shoved into these shelves that weren't half as tall as the flower stalks and so when I picked the healthiest looking one that hadn't bloomed yet it was bent at pretty much a ninety degree angle. "'You'll have to stake it." Mom said. I nodded, I've heard of people having to stake foxgloves. I drenched the foxglove when we got home. Within an hour the top of it was almost pointing up. Today it looks like this.  Weird, huh?  No stake needed.

Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day

  St. Patrick's day is Sunday. I wish I could dye my hair green, but I can't find a dye that works without having to bleach my hair first and I really don't like the idea of bleaching. It took me a while to get rid of my split ends and I can't see risking inviting them back (or risking my hair falling out) just for a day of green hair. I've had some luck with "Beyond the Zone" hair spray, but that gets everywhere.

Here  is a recipe for "Blarney Stones" I got from The Houston Chronicle. It's really just a cake with chopped up peanuts on top, but it's good and kind of festive for St. Patrick's Day.

 Blarney Stones
4 eggs
1 cup four
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter
1egg yoke (from the 4 eggs mentioned earlier)
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1teaspoon vanilla extract
Green food dye  (optional)
Chopped salted peanuts

  Separate egg yolks reserving one for the icing. Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside. Beat the three egg yolks until thick and gradually add sugar. Alternating between dry ingredients and boiling water; add to egg yolk mixture. (Start and end with dry.) Add vanilla and beat well. Fold in egg whites. Spray a 8" by 13" (20.32cm by 33.02cm) pan with non stick cooking spray and pour in batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325 F (162 C). Let cool
  Mix butter and egg yolk. Gradually add powder sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and enough food dye for desired color. Frost cooled cake and sprinkle with peanuts. 

 I made it last year but didn't take a photo, so I included a picture of my Four Leaf Cover Bracelet. Here is a link to the Etsy ad:

      Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Four leaf clover choker

I like St. Patrick's Day. Every year I wear as much green as possible.
  I thought it would be cool if I could make earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet to wear on St. Patrick's Day. I'm still working on the bracelet, but I should have it posted by Friday. 
 I also like knitted chokers so I thought I'd combine the two. Unfortunately, I don't like to (nor am I good at) embroidering knitting and I couldn't find a pattern for color working four leaf clovers in any of my books or the ones at the library. So I thought to myself 'Well I'll just make a pattern, that's how all these other patterns started out.'

   I stated by doodling four leaf clovers out of small circles until I fund one I liked. Next I cast on about 12  stiches (just enough for there to be at lest two stitches framing the clover) and tried to knit it. Of course this first one didn't look that great, and was far too large, so I made a few changes to the picture and tried again. After eight tries I finally fond one that looked like a clover and wasn't so wide that it made you look like you had a short, fat neck. 
  This probably would have been easier if I had used graphing paper, But I don't have any and don't plan on buying any.

It is 14" long and 1" wide (not stretched) and costs $16. Convo me with your order if you want a different size. The yarn is 100% acrylic. View the entire listing and buy your own here:

Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ultimate Chocolate Truffles

I saw this recipe in 'The Chronicle'  who apparently got it from 'Redbook'.
 I didn't have any heavy cream, I didn't really see the point in using cream since you put butter in it, which is really just heavy cream that's been whipped, so I just used 2% milk. It didn't call for any sugar, which must have been some kind of typo. Mom and I ended up adding powder sugar until it tasted good. I don't remember how much, but it was probably close to two cups of powder sugar. It really depends on how sweet you like your chocolate.

  If it starts to get too thick to work with, put it back in the microwave for a few seconds to soften it back up. Now that I've talked it up so much here's the recipe.

                                                   'Ultimate Chocolate Truffles'

12oz bittersweet chocolate                   
3/4 heavy cream (or milk)                      Assorted coatings: we used shredded coconut and chopped
4 Tablespoons butter                              pecans and walnuts, but the recipe also suggests
2 cups powder sugar (to taste)                cocoa powder, hazelnuts, and pistachios
1 teaspoon vanilla extract                     

In a microwave safe bowl, heat chocolate, cream, and butter on high for one minute. Stir. Repeat until mixture is smooth. Stir in sugar and vanilla, and refrigerate until mixture is firm (about an hour). Assemble your coatings either on a flat plat or in plastic storage bags. Scoop out a ball of chocolate in the desired size, the recipe calls for you to use a melon baller, but I don't have one, so I used a spoon. Roll the balls in coatings or put in plastic storage bag and shake until coated. Chill before serving. Store in an air tight container for up to a week in the refrigerator or a month in the freezer.   
Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Skull and Crossbones spike ear cuff

This is my new ear cuff. It is made out of silver plated aluminum wire, a 3/4" wide and 11/16" tall (not counting top loop) skull cross bones charm, and two gun metal colored spikes. The entire piece is 2 1/16" long from top loop to the bottom of the longest spike. Since ear cuffs are made by me hand bending largish (3-1/2") pieces of wire there will be slight differences in each one.


The idea for this came from the fact that a.) I wanted to make more ear cuffs, so far this is my third one, b.) I wanted to make something using a skull and crossbones charm, and c.) everybody and their brother-in-law has already done plain skull and crossbones earrings and has also paired skulls and crossbones with pretty much every color bead you can think of.  
Buy your own at for $12 plus $2.15 shipping.

              Thank you for reading Bats Bizarre's official blog. Have a bat-tastic day!