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No, darling, it's not that you can't do it ...

Publié le par Charly C.

... it's that you don't want to do it. There's a difference there.

Hello everyone!

You probably wonder what's this title all about, though it should be self-explanatory. Yet, i need to rant and get angry at certain people and at myself as well, and my blog is the best place and way to do this. 

It's less damaging and maybe, just maybe .... maybe? 

Outcast - Miss Jackson video still; copyrights belong to the creators/band

someone [including myself] will understand this, and stop saying "i can't" and just admit you don't *fducking* want to do whatever there must be done. 

rollback film to what started this rant

Except there's no film to roll back, and i have to explain the situation. if you don't want to read the backstory, feel free to scroll down to the next title. 

This past week [10 to 16 of july 2022] we went out on a very hot day for some beauty treatment. Seeing it was so hot, we decided to have some ice cream, though all we wanted was to drink something.

We found this *NEW* ice cream place uptown that used a chimney cake, aka Kürtőskalács, as the cone for the ice cream. There aren't many flavors of ice cream to choose from, but their names were really cool: fashion vibe or strawberry vibe. This is what they look like: 

As you can (or maybe not so much), the fashion one (on the right), is actually cocoa ice cream with pieces of chocolate, and with the chimney cake covered in cocoa powder. That one was my ice cream. The other one was anna’s and she didn’t want to eat it right away. 

Taking it home was troublesome for this Vibe place didn’t have anything to carry the ice cream in. Luckily, the area has plenty of other options for ice creams and many have containers for takeout.

So, we went to the nearest one, and I asked for one such container. Not for free, mind you. And the cashier says “oh, sorry, I don’t have containers!” They were piled RIGHT behind her! Everyone could see them!

I had to point out that my ice cream was melting and making a mess in her store. That was when she decided to ask her supervisor what to do. This situation turned my into THAT customer that says "can i speak with a manager? :) " 

cats don't want to

‘Can’t’ - reserved for very few instances 

1. PTSD or phobias

These are mental health issues that are difficult to ’cure’ or overcome. They simply incapacitate the sufferer from doing whatever caused them to suffer in the first place. 

Not everyone might suffer to the same degree from the same issue. For instance, I can’t watch scenes with folks trapped in tight spaces: I feel as if I am in their shoes and I start panicking and hyperventilating. Others in the same situation as me might have a different reaction. 

 2. Lack of knowledge

Let's say, you just start learning something new just for fun, or for whatever reason. Someone asks you to help them with a project in your new area of study. All sounds nice, and they even offer to pay for your service.

The problem is when they ask for help on something you didn't get to study yet or is a bit too difficult for you to understand.  

3. Other plans

Let's say you might plan on meeting with your friends a few days in advance, but then you forget or something else comes up that needs your urgent attention. 

In such a case, you clearly have to say "I can't, something else came up that is more important." You don't really need to explain more than this unless it's a close friend. 

4. You're simply unable to do something 

This usually applies to those with a disability. Let's assume you have to climb some stairs, but you're bound to a wheelchair and there's no ramp available. Sadly, there still are places in such a state. It's not as if you're going to crawl to wherever the stairs go. 

It also applies to doing something that goes against your beliefs. This can be related to consuming alcohol, smoking (anything), sleeping with someone to whom you're not married, etc, etc.

Should any of these be the case, it's PERFECTLY fine and acceptable to say "I can't" and you could explain why as well unless it's visually noticeable. 

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

Do you want to buy me a coffee? this is a 1-time donation, thank you very much!

The first image belongs to Outcast and is shared for educational purposes.

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Changing a jacket' sleeves

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

I had a thin Zara jacket with faux leather sleeves. I bought it several years back during the summer sales, if I'm not mistaken. But as it goes, faux leather started peeling and I don't like that. I don't know who likes peeling leatherette, to be honest.  So, I thought to myself that I won't be wearing the jacket anymore though I could try to change its sleeves now that I have some good fabric shears and a decent sewing machine. I also have a few books that teach how to make sleeves and attach them to the garment. The only downside was that I would be ruining the pretty (and very cheap) fabric A got me (from a second hand store. It was there because someone cut it twice on bias, and it probably wasn't enough for their project.) 

So, my thoughts were:

  • I wanted to make something with the fabric
  • I HAD to use it (the fabric) in the end, somehow
  • the fabric was cheap - about $1 for a yard or so? I didn't measure it, sadly. 
  • I wasn't going to wear the jacket anymore
  • I would be learning something
  • I received encouragement to "just go for it!"

I don't think I needed more excuses. So I started with ripping the seams apart because I wanted to use the existing sleeve as pattern for the new sleeve. 

  • the sizing was the right one, especially the arm-hole
  • the length was ok - i could always cut a few extra cm if needed, which I did anyway.
  • I wasn't in the mood to learn how to make a sleeve pattern from scratch. That day will come, but it wasn't this day. 

Sadly, I don't have pictures for all the steps :( I thought of taking pictures when it was too late. Some steps don't even need pictures because anyone can do those with the right tool.

the process

I started by removing the sleeves from the body of the jacket using the seam ripper. My sleeves also had zippers, so I also removed those after. 

Once I had my sleeves, I took one and I placed it flat on some newspaper to make a sleeve pattern, so I can cut the new sleeve from some fabric. I placed the fabric folded over.  When I cut the fabric, I included more seam allowance vertically, but not for the width. 

I didn' like what the fabric felt against the skin, as I knew I would wear this jacket over a tshirt as well. This meant I had to find some fabric to make a lining. The fabric I found is brown and ugly, but serves the purpose just fine. 

You can't really tell from the picture, but first I sew the sleeve to the lining (former sleep wear i believe) at the wrist-end. I then pinned down the sleeve to the rest of the fabric, and then I cut the lining. (note 1)

I also sew the lining to the tartan, before assembling the sleeve together. I figured that shiny and slippery fabric would be difficult to work with if it's not attached. I also ran a zig-zag stitch. (note 2)

Originally, the previous sleeves did have lining as well. I couldn't use it though. The seam allowance was fraying badly. Additionally it was shorter, because the leatherette was folded over some, like the sleeves on suits and coats. 

As I said, I wasn't going to learn how to make such sleeves. This means that the brown lining can be seen at the wrist level, on my sleeves. It also looked ugly. I decided to run a top stitch to see if it looks any better, and it did! See the picture below.

If you do a sleeve like I did here, I highly recommend you do the same. In my opinion, the piece looks 'done more professionally.' You can do this top stitch AFTER sewing the sleeve, so that  the seams would lay flat against your wrist, and rub less. If I ever do this again, I'll know what I need to improve :)

 After my sleeves were complete, it was time I attached them to the body of the jacket. The sleeves I made were a bit larger than the arm holes of the jacket. I started pinning the sleeves starting at the armpit seams going to the top. At the shoulder part, I needed to create 2 pleats. Gathering the fabric is an option, but not for this lined tartan. The pleats give the sleeves a more structured, put-together, "professionally done" look, in my opinion.

And this is the final result! What do you think? 

extra step

However, before attaching the sleeves, I decided I wanted some lining for the back part of the jacket as well. I used the same ugly brown one as for the sleeves. The jacket is very thin, and the spring was cold this year. I wanted some protection from the wind, and the lining would provide just that. 

I used the back of the jacket to serve as guide for a pattern, drew it on paper, cut the brown fabric, and sew it onto the seams of the jacket. I don't have more pictures, sorry. :( 

 That's about it! Don't skip reading the notes below to learn what I wish I did differently.

See you soon! 

Note 1: The funny thing is that while I tried to sew the right side of the tartan fabric to the lining, i only managed with one sleeve. The other one, the tartan is on the wrong-side. I obviously saw too late. I didn't and won't go back to fix it. 

Note 2: I wish I assembled the tartan first into a sleeve, then the lining, and then attach the tartan to the lining at the wrist. I thought of this too late. 

Note 3: This project is from April 2019. I didn't get to watermark the images. Now with my arm in a cast, doing so is more difficult. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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How many Hanzi do I know?

Publié le par Charly Cross

I believe in this post I mentioned something about posting an entry on how many Chinese characters -hanzi- I know. This post is it.

I don't really have much to say about this, but there are a few clarifications I must make.

This list below shows translations for single-character words, but I do know a few that are formed of 2 characters. I will create a list for those words sometime in the future as well [ahem, whenever I remember I guess, ahem].

screen capture :)

screen capture :)

I included only the translation I'm more familiar with, though I do know some of them have many other meanings. But that is ok, because other meanings can be learned at a later time. I didn't translate the numbers. The meaning of some of these characters was easier to remember because several years back I wanted to study Japanese. I still have some materials for that, but it basically collects dust.

I may not know the reading of all of them -seriously, there are a handful with which I still struggle to remember how to read, but I know what they mean, or how to translate them.

The list is a little over 100 characters long, but I'm pretty sure I didn't include all the Hanzi I know. This simply means I must have skipped or forgotten to add some. I think that if you want to learn and keep track of your progress in a foreign language, then a spreadsheet can be useful.

A small notebook is a good alternative for languages that use a different script than what you're used to is also helpful because by writing the words by hand, you'll memorize them faster. Just make sure to write on each page the same amount of words if you want to keep a good track of your vocabulary. Using several notebooks might also be a good idea: one for grammar, one for new words, another one to pair words up.

Please remember that even though I started this Mandarin learning journey last year, I didn't have time to do it every single day. For crying out loud, I had some 3 or 4 months when I had a full time job when I had no more energy to study. And even this year, with all the free time I ha, I didn't dedicate it all to Chinese - you could say I'm not that serious about it. Mostly because I still want to like it, rather than stress about it.

I should probably tell you what tools do I use to learn Mandarin. There are several websites:

  • archchinese [learn how to write and read each hanzi, their traditional form, and more],
  • allsetlearning [focuses on grammar and you don't always have the translation or the reading on the page],
  • learnchineseez [learn how to write the hanzi, their traditional form, reading(s) and (main) meanings]. All these sites offer free materials to help your individual studies, but you might want to get a tutor as well if things are easier for you that way.

[I'm not affiliated with any, not getting paid by them - just the tools I used and helped me the most].

See you on Tuesday with an esoteric entry, on Thursday with a review, and again on Sunday with another blog entry related to my [boring] life. Bye~~


©Charly Cross 2013-present. All rights reserved.

You can buy merch inspired by this post from over here.

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Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World~~

I realize I havent posted anything in a very long time, but this is due to more reasons. The main one is that I haven't cooked something worth sharing, nor something new.  If I did cook something different, I didn't take pictures, and recipes without pictures are boring and don't inspire anyone to try out the dish.

Yes, I remember baking a brownie with walnuts some 2 weeks ago. I found the recipe in a local newspaper, but brownie recipes are all the same. I hope to make it again soon enough and also take some pictures for you to enjoy. But, now let's return to today's recipe.

Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

What I wanted to cook was creme brulee, but I had ingredients for creme caramel...? Well, these 2 sweets are very similar, and to know which one is which, you better read this article because it explains things better than me. In the end, I think the result was a cross between these 2 desserts. In any case it was sweet, light, and with a consistency I liked.

I have used this pan a lot. The whole creme caramel was about a finger thick, though the pan is taller than that.

I have used this pan a lot. The whole creme caramel was about a finger thick, though the pan is taller than that.

Preparation time: some 15 minutes

Baking time: some 30 minutes

Cooling time: as long as possible, preferably in the fridge. I cooled mine overnight.

INGREDIENTS

For the custard:

  • 1 liter milk
  • 8 eggs
  • some vanilla essence

For the caramel

  • 250 or 300 grams sugar
Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

METHOD

First of all, you want to make the caramel. Pour all the sugar in a pot that can contain at least 2 liters of liquid. I used an oven pan of 20 x 30 cm, and some 3 cm deep? [I didn't measure it's depth, but it's pretty deep.] Make sure this is a metal oven pan because you'll place it on direct fire or heat before putting it in the oven.  Then you preheat the oven to medium heat. Place the pan on medium or fast fire, on the stove to melt and burn the sugar. Be careful how you handle the pan to avoid burning your hands or fingers. The sugar has to turn to a medium golden brown color. It doesn't matter if it turns dark brown because "brulee" means "burnt," so the color would match this description.

While you wait for the sugar to become caramel, beat the eggs in a large container, like for an omelet. Pour the milk and vanilla essence on top and mix. In fact, you can use any type of vanilla flavoring you like or have on hand. You can also use some lemon peel if you have, but not more than 2 teaspoons.

This slice is upside-down.

This slice is upside-down.

When all the sugar turned into caramel and covers all the bottom of your pan, pour the egg and milk mixture on top, and place in the oven. Bake on medium heat for some 25 or 30 minutes, but not longer. As the pictures show, mine got a bit too burned with these time and heat settings. Because you're using so many eggs and a lot of milk, it is best to overcook this dessert than to under-cook it.

Creme brulee or creme caramel..?

TIPS:

  • Let it cool completely before chilling it in the fridge. It tastes so much better the next day when it is really cold, like an yogurt.
  • When serving it, make sure to pour some of the brown syrup on top of the custard, because otherwise it will have no taste.

I hope you like this dessert.

Bon Appetit~~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

PS: post copied from the original CookingMyExperience blog I own, and edited in may 2018

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