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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

SugarSpoon Kickstarter Revamp - goes live Thursday!

Hi Darlings!

So lots of little adjustments going on to make everything alright.

I found a reliable source for straight-sided glass jars! I'm working with the company to get the product to look right. Of course things will change - so the product you get may not look exactly like the product seen in the old pictures, but the recipe is exactly the same and the inside is just as tasty!

I'm working on label changes using color and different style backgrounds. I want to make them more abstract in the background, like a watercolor painting or a jam stain across the paper.

The SugarSpoon label is set - a circle with a black spoon at a dipped angle across. Also, I've got the fonts set up and the spacing looking good!

These are all back office changes, things I want to get set up before shipping out rewards to people from Kickstarter.

The Kickstarter is also getting some changes - adding a $1 option, updating and adding flavors, and just obsessing over every little thing. I'm anxious about taking that first step - Thank goodness for Doc and his ability to push me along!

Kickstarter goes live on Thursday!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Hi All!

Finally, finally, I have the SugarSpoon Kickstarter up and ready for previews! Yay!

Check here for the preview! *smooch*

Most of you call me or email me to let me know what think, but comments are welcome too!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The fish kids - all grown up!

It's been a while since we've published anything on the fishy kids. These are the fish I mentioned in an earlier post in January - when my fish had babies while I was on vacation.

I started out with about 20 baby fish. I thought that was pretty decent since I wasn't there to do any sort of monitoring or rounding up of the tank and the filter had been left on the whole time.

3 of those 20 are still alive. It makes me sad, but it was a learning process (turn off the filter!!) and baby bettas don't seem as hardy as the guppies and swordtails I had while growing up.

The three that are still here are phase bettas - meaning they all started out one color and changed over time to where they are now. Dad-fish was a phase - he went from a calico green and white to a dark, almost black, when he got older. Mom-fish had a white body and red fins. I chose her because I liked the white on her body and I was hoping for babies that would have white bodies like mom and green fins like dad. Didn't happen.

The three ladies that are now all grown up:

  • Big Red -  all white (although she started off white bodied with red fins)
  • Money-Penny - red, white, blue, and green, and yellow... and a little mix of everything. She started out red and purple but has changed a ton!
  • Puddles - She has the most stable coloring - blue, that's only gotten darker blue since she's grown

Mr. Fish is the only male betta in the tank, but he isn't the only fish and he isn't the only male. Most people are pretty surprised that I have a tank with male and female bettas and other fish in it. I think it depends on the temperament of the male, the other fish, and the layout of the tank. 

I got Mr. Fish because he had the most beautiful iridescent pale green fins with a mostly white body. I also knew that with those big honkin' fins, he wouldn't be able to swim as fast as my delta tail ladies. 

Shy-boy was an addition from D's parents. They were leaving on their retirement cruise and downsizing their tank. 

I got Shy-Boy and a female sword tail who was half red, half white  and who I called Half'n'Half, but she jumped a few days after arrival. My tank has no cover and the water level is pretty high, so jumping fish are dead fish. *sad face*

The last fish is Sneaker. He's always the last fish - he's sneaky and likes to hide! Sneaker is a sucker fish. He was added to the tank to be the janitor. I hoped for something more showy - but the other types of fish that were available would've all outgrown my tank! 
Sneaker is pretty much full sized at 2" so I think he's pretty happy. 

I have a mix of both live and fake plants in my tank. I need lots of foliage to keep things calm - so every time I add a fish I also add a plant. 

The rocks (not the gravel) are petrified wood from the volcano explosion. You can find it all over the ground out near the amphitheater. It's sharp, but I try to use more pieces and I let moss grow on it to soften it up a bit. 

The three white rocks in the front of the tank are from the beach. When the food sinks to the bottom of the tank it generally lands right near the white rocks and whatever lands there always gets gobbled right up! 

Big Red's space is the rocks. Puddles hangs out by the live plants with Sneaker. Money-Penny prefers the fake plant and the back of the tank. Shy-Boy is a surface dweller always skimming up and down the front of the glass. Mr.Fish hangs out front and center - like he's watching us...or waiting for food!

Thanks for visiting us! - The Fish Kids


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Two hours in Volunteer Park

Yesterday I went to Volunteer Park for a bit.

If you haven't been, I'd really suggest going. Go near sunset and just watch the light fade into the space needle from the stairs of the Asian Art Museum. You'll like it, I promise.

I went there looking for the ducklings. They were there a few weeks ago - all fluffy and mottled yellow and brown. When I saw them the first time they were in the shallow fish pond to the left of the museum. Yesterday they were nowhere to be found.

There was one duck, in the pool to the right of the museum, grooming herself on a piece of wood that had been set up like a little ramp going from the water to the path-level. She looked young, but not young enough to have been one of the babies I'd seen earlier. Her right wing had been injured and a few feathers stuck out at odd angles as she tried to groom them back in place.

I watched her for a while wondering if she'd been left by the others.

A few minutes later a woman came to sit on the public art piano bench and played beautifully for about 20 minutes as the sun went further down.

She played a track from the movie, Amelie, as I went to sit behind her on the cement slabs used for benches overlooking the large water pool and the big metal doughnut-thing.

When she finished I walked over to the dahlia flower show across from the Arboretum which is sadly closed for the moment for repairs. Dahlias are some of my favorite flowers! I was so happy to stumble upon this previously unknown event going on that I couldn't help but take a bunch of pictures.

There seems to be four major groups of dahlias at the show - simples, puff-balls, lotuses, and fireworks.

The simples: smaller and with fewer petals - they look like pretty woodland wildflowers.

The Puff-balls: perfect circles with lots of little petals, perfect examples of the Golden Ratio




The Lotuses: look like they could be floating on water...




My Favorite of the Lotus - style dahlias, Stillwater Pearl

Then there's the Fireworks: pointed petaled explosions of color in a garden




If I were doing prizes for the flowers the prettiest would be Stillwater Pearl, but Miss Congeniality would be the sweet simple yellow.
My favorite pompom is the variegated fuchsia and cream. And, saving the fireworks for last - best bloom goes to the koi-fish colored white with red-center! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sugar Spoon - launches soon!

So excited to finish up all the little projects related to Sugar Spoon!

Almost done with Kickstarter - The page is all set but a certain someone (*cough, D, *cough) needs to assist me in getting the video portion of my begging for cash. The fees involved with setting up a small business are pretty high! I was surprised at how much regulation costs - business registry, insurance, website, materials, marketing, licenses, food workers card, getting your kitchen certified or signing a lease with a commercial kitchen, packaging, and tons more make this a huge investment. None of that even considers the time I've spent in the kitchen making samples and trying recipes, going to houses to collect product, trips out to buy jars and lids and rings, rearranging my whole kitchen into a little cannery...it's a huge commitment. 

So, if you help me out with fundraising I'd be ever so grateful. The Kickstarter page will go live in a week or so. I'll update again when the video is all finished.

Last weekend I went to Seafair on Saturday to enjoy the jets - D and I found a good spot away from the large crowd and in the shade. I was pretty happy actually since last year with the sunburn, sweat, long walks, and pressing crowds, had me somewhat dreading the event. 

This year was much better. I lounged in the shade and enjoyed watching the jets rumble by. My favorites are the older prop planes with the shiny aluminum and rivets. I think about how, while I'm enjoying them as a historical art show, there are certain people who would be unnerved by the demonstration. Myself, I get a little uneasy at times. These aren't toys - they are killing machines at their core. Even though they are being used to make an airshow - throwing smoke ribbons, loops, and death-defying acts to entertain, they were originally made to kill people. 

Similar to a gun show - there is beauty, and they can be used to entertain, but they weren't made with those things primarily in mind. 

I didn't go back to Seafair on Sunday. Instead, I spent the day rearranging my kitchen for Sugar Spoon. I have a limited amount of space - it's a small apartment after-all, so everything needs to find a place. This includes the massive jar collection I'm growing and the ingredients and associated supplies with the business. 

I also wanted to add some color and details to the kitchen area - you'll see the "after" in the video, but the "before" was pretty plain. The biggest issue for me is the cupboards. I hate them. 
Yeah, not joking - the horrible mouse brown that shows every fingerprint, yeah, I hate that. 
But, I can't do much about it - I tried to brighten things up with a rainbow of other colors. I'm using lots of red, yellow, and orange to try brightening up the room. 

I stained the wooden shelves a bold, bright red, using some acrylic paint, water, and a sponge. 
I layered on the watered down paint in thin coats so that they wouldn't have that sticky, heavy acrylic, feel to them. Also - full strength paint would've covered the wood grain and stuck to the bottom of my heavy mixing bowls. ... plus...I'm frugal and paint is expensive!

Also, I went to my favorite Goodwill and found some bright lemon meringue kitchen towels. I also found a new Gorgeous Item. It's an Technique brand enamel and cast iron 4qt round cooking pot with a heavy lid embossed with roses and topped with a little bird. 
My pretty kitchen find!
It is fantastic and I can't wait for the cooler months when I'll make sukiyaki, roast chicken, chili, and slow cooked black beans in it. It cost me $20, which is a ton for me to spend on anything at Goodwill, but I consider this an investment. This is a heavy duty piece that should last me forever, I can and will use it, and it is a beautiful addition to the apt that brings me joy to look at and use. 
Also, I found it on Ebay for $168.

There are still some things I'm keeping an eye out for in the kitchen - pegboard, trivets, and wall art or multi-use items that can be used as wall art. But, overall, I'm pretty happy with the results from Sunday. 

It was a busy weekend. 

This week I have plans to see Imelda May on Wednesday and then Guardians of the Galaxy on Friday. 
If you'd care to stalk me, well, I guess I just made it pretty easy. 
Also, I've got to squeeze in some kitchen time for Sugar Spoon, and side jobs cleaning and walking dogs, and meeting friends, and running amok. 

It'll be a busy week!