Friday, January 30, 2015

Uses for fabric scraps

1. Stuffing for other projects.
2. A patchwork piece. Take all those odds and ends, and sew them together into something unique.
3. Test pieces. Want to learn a new technique? Use an extra bit of fabric from a finished project in your trial run.
4. Make it into a rag.
5. Make a little pin cushion.
6. Use them as an accent to another project.
7. As bedding for storing fragile
8. Use them as teaching pieces. A bit of fabric is less daunting to a beginner then a larger project.
9. Confetti. The best part about using fabric scraps is that they can be used multiple times.
10. Make petals for a flower. Petals can be fairly small, so scrap pieces can be just right.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pizza delivery, part III

Standing off to the side, I watched Callan's band of six devour the pizza. The way they ate, you would think that pizza was a delicious treat.
Though considering that they had to use a transdimensional spell to order it, maybe pizza was something special.
Brend left the group and walked over to me. "You don't have isolate yourself, Mister Alex."
I crossed my arms and looked at the apprentice wizard. "I don't belong here, Brend. Why would someone bring me here? I'm just a pizzeria delivery boy."
Brend looked over to Callan's band and shook his head. "Just a pizzeria delivery boy? That makes you important here, despite what you might think. Ever since the discovery of transdimensional spells, the people of my world have grown to love things from other worlds. At the top of that list is pizza." Brend gave a quiet laugh when he noticed me frown. "It may seem odd, but it's true. Many chefs here have tried to replicate the flavor of your pizza, but there is always something missing. People will be interested to meet you, if only to figure out what mistakes they're making in their pizzas."
I shook may head. "I just deliver the pizzas, I don't make them." Sure, I knew how to make pizza, but mine weren't nearly as good as the pizzeria's. "How do we find the person who brought me here?"
Brend tapped his staff against the ground. "A locating spell would be best. Just hold still."
Lifting his staff, Brend began mumbling again. Drawing a circle above my head with his staff, I fought to avoid jerking away as sparks of blue-green spat from the staff. Raising his free hand, Brend's fingers poked at the air like fingers on a keyboard, emitting sparks of their own. Finally, his voice rose as the young wizard said something I didn't understand, and he thumped the bottom of his staff into the dirt.
The staff glowed blue-green, and smoke rose from the top for a minute. Brend swayed, skin pale as he leaned against his smoking staff.
"Well?" I asked, catching sight of Callan heading toward us. Brend pinched the bridge of his nose, taking a deep breath through his nose.
"Are you alright, Brend?" Callan asked as he handed the delivery bag to me. "Keep hold of this, Alex. It is a symbol of your rank, which any lover of pizza will respect."
I slung the empty bag over my shoulder, deciding not to question why people from a completely different world would consider a pizza delivery bag as a symbol of rank. Besides, what rank did he think I had?
Some color having returned, Brend took another breath and spoke. "Whoever tried to hijack my spell is at the capital."
Callan whistled. "They must be fairly powerful then."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"The capital is in the north, about two months away from here." Brend scratched in the dirt with his staff, marking the capital with a star and our position with a circle. "That's with the main road being closed due to the dragon migration." He drew a winding line from the circle to the star. "That leaves the old forest trail as the quickest route, though that means we'll face all sorts of creatures." He draw little triangles that I guessed were supposed to be trees in the space between the star and circle, then made a dotted line running chaotically through the triangle forest.
"Is there something wrong about having straight roads?" I asked, motioning at the wildly meandering path he had drawn.
"The only safe path through the forest is not straight." Callan laughed. "If you were to try to cut straight through the forest, then the wraiths would be upon you before half an hour passed."
Brend nodded, then his brows furrowed when he caught my look. "Do they have wraiths were you're from?"
"Wizards, dragons, wraiths, magic. They're all just stories in my world." I shook my head. "It'll take some getting use to. But if we follow this forest path, then we can reach the capital and find whoever brought me here?"
Callan nodded. "Yes. In two months, we'll have answers to your questions, laddy."
I sighed and rubbed my neck. Two months. It would be at least two months before I could get home.
Two months in a world filled with the things of stories.

Friday, January 23, 2015

What to do with a tree stump

1. Chop it into firewood.
2. Carve it out to make a box.
3. Turn it into woodchips.
4. Make it into a chair.
5. Carve an animal from it.
6. Grow a garden around it.
7. Make an end table from it.
8. Drill holes to make it into a tool holder.
9. Carve a game board of your choice on it.
10. Make it into the base of a tree house or dollhouse.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pizza delivery, part II

"Do you take gold?"
I stared at the man with the longsword. A monster just tried to kill me, and he asks about accepting gold?
The man's smile faltered. "You do have the delivery for Callan, right?"
Glancing down at the delivery bag, I checked the order form. Callan, apartment 537 Westward Way.
"One supreme, three meat lovers, and two anchovy and artichoke pizzas. We don't usually accept gold as payment."
The man sighed, then turned and swiped at another brown monster like the one that had attacked me. "Then you'll need to talk to Brend. We're almost finished with the sabre-muskrat infestation."
The battle did seem to be dying down. Most of the... sabre-muskrats that hadn't died were fleeing, with a couple of the warriors in pursuit. The youngest warrior leaned against a precariously thin staff and swiped a hand across his brow. Unlike the others, his clothes were a bright blue, except for the leather vest that seemed to be his only armor.
"Brend will make sure you're paid, laddy. So how about we get those pies passed around before they get cold?" I turned back to Callan, my grip tightening on the delivery bag.
"What happened to the apartment?"
"Don't know about any apartment." Callan shrugged and jerked his head toward the youngest warrior. "Brend is the one who called the door. I just placed the order."
Brend turned and walked over to join us. "What are you doing here?" He stared at me, gray eyes darting from the delivery bag to me.
"I brought your order." I tapped the delivery bag. Whatever this was, I just wanted to deliver the pizzas and get home. If all they had was gold, then alright. I'd pay for the food myself as soon as I got back to the pizzeria.
"No, no, I expected the food. But you weren't supposed to come with it." Brend shook his head. "The spell was supposed to project an illusion for you to deliver the food to, then transport the food here."
Callan frowned. "Are you sure that's the spell you used?"
"Positive! None of my spells should be strong enough to transport any humanoid between realms." Brend shook his head again.
"Well, I'm here." Wherever here was. Brend looked at me, and lifted his staff. Mumbling gibberish, he tapped my head.
Lights filled my vision, and pain raced through my limbs. "What was that for?"
"Someone hijacked my spell." Brend's voiced stung my aching head. "But why bring a delivery boy here?"
"Maybe someone likes pizza pies." Callan replied, and I could almost make out him shrugging through my blurry vision.
"Send me back." I pulled off the delivery bag and looked at Brend.
He shifted, tossing his staff from one hand to the other. "I can't."
"What do you mean, you can't?"
"Brend's an apprentice wizard. He's supposed to be testing his abilities with my band." Callan patted Brend's shoulder. "The pizza order was his first transdimensional spell."
I thrust the delivery bag at Callan. "The pizza's been delivered, so send me home."
Brend rubbed his eyes. "I can't, mister..."
"Mister Alex. My spell was hijacked by someone else, and they decided to bring you here. Their magic is still lingering on you, so only they can send you back."
This couldn't be right. "If someone else brought me here, then where are they?"
Brend motioned to the delivery bag. "You held onto the bag throughout the transportation, right? Well, even though my spell was hijacked, its priority was still to deliver the pizzas to Callan. You were caught in the original spell, and so were delivered with it."
I shook my head, not quite understanding him. "But you're sure you can't send me home?"
"Quite sure."
Callan slapped a hand onto my shoulder. "Don't worry, laddy. My band is partly responsible for this, so we'll help you find whoever did this." The warrior turned to Brend and lifted an eyebrow. "Right?"
Brend nodded, so quickly my own head began aching. "Of course. We'll see you find them."
I looked at them, then at the delivery bag in Callan's hand. As soon as I got home, I had to find a safer job.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Party Activities

1. Treasure hunt. Prepare some clues and hide them before everyone arrives. Then wait and see who finds the treasure first!
2. Fun name tags. Have everyone figure out a name that goes with the party's theme, and pass out candies. If someone calls another by a name other then the one of their tag, then they have to give up a piece of candy.
3. What's that flavor? Gather together a bunch of snacks, and hold a blind taste test. Whoever can correctly guess the most snacks wins.
4. I'm bored. One person will pretend to be bored, and everyone else will try to make them laugh. Whoever succeeds at causing them to laugh becomes the next bored person.
5. Act it out. Have everyone write out a scenario. After each person has drawn one, have them act it out.
6. Laughing gas. Hold contests to see who has the best evil laugh, cackle, or giggle.
7. Sing-a-long. Play movies that have a bunch of songs, and belt them out with your friends.
8. When the bell tolls. Give everyone an action that they must do whenever a bell is rung.
9. Tag team. Set up an obstacle course full of events for two people. The first duo to get to the end wins.
10. Cheer team. Select one person, and have them be the lead you in a cheer for a set amount of time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pizza delivery

Delivery bag slung over my shoulder, I headed out of the pizzeria. The address was surprisingly close, so close that I wondered why the customer hadn't just picked up their order.
Securing the delivery bag to my bike, I shook my head. It wasn't my job to question the customer.
Traffic was light, and all of the lights were in my favor. Turning the corner, the apartment buildings that matched the address were right there. Seriously, why did these people order a delivery?
Riding up to the first building, I got off my bike. Unstrapping the delivery bag, I slung it over my shoulder and checked the address.
"I want number 537." Walking away from my bike, I looked for building five.
It was the farthest building. Climbing the stairs to the third floor, I headed for seventh door. Apartment seven had a heavy looking wood door, and a knocker shaped like a gauntlet. I looked around at the other apartment doors. None of them had a fancy knocker, and didn't appear to be made of wood.
"Your job isn't to compare doors, Alex. Just deliver the pizzas." Turning back to the wooden door, I pounded the gauntlet knocker.
No answer.
"This better not be a prank." Frowning, I pounded the knocker again.
Nothing. The back of my neck prickled, and I spun around. The landing was empty. Turning back to the door, I shifted the bag's strap. I'd try again, then contact my supervisor.
The knocker sounded louder this time. Before I could take my hand away, the door jerked open. Losing my balance, I tumbled forward.
Instead of hitting the ground, I kept falling.
Down, down, through a multicolored tunnel. A single high pitched note pierced the rushing of air. Clinging to the delivery bag, my heart raced. This was impossible. I had to be hallucinating. Surely I'd bumped my head.
Long grass cushioned my landing as the multicolored tunnel shattered.
Roaring, shouts, and the thud of metal against flesh surrounded me. Pulling myself up, I groaned at seeing the delivery bag beneath me. The pizzas were crushed.
"Watch out, laddy!" I turned toward the voice, and froze. Brown claws racked the air inches from my face. A burly man rushed at the creature, thrusting his longsword into it.
The creature keened a wail, struggling for a moment before collapsing.
The man pulled out his blade, then turned to me and smiled. "Great, the food's arrived!"

Friday, January 9, 2015

For mirrors

1. You can use them to reflect light.
2. Mirrors can used to make a room appear larger.
3. Dental mirrors allow you to look inside someone's mouth.
4. Mirrors can be used in collecting solar power.
5. A small mirror can help with designing the corner of an edging pattern.
6. Disco balls are covered in small mirrors.
7. Acoustic mirrors are used to focus soundwaves.
8. You can view your reflection in a mirror.
9. Mirrors can be used as an aid when backing up a car.
10. They can be used to magnify an image.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


My world is confined to a single room.
Sunlight shines through sheer curtains, filling the room as my double rises from bed.
Skin prickling, my arms rise in unison with my double in a long stretch. Both of our feet sink into the thick rug as she stands. She walks forward, and my steps echo hers.
Standing before the threshold that separates our rooms, my double stares at me.
"Ugh, of all the days to have bad hair." She grumbles, running a hand through her hair. My fingers strain to close around my hair, but refuse to obey.
I'm a puppet. Even as we both turn away from the threshold, my motions mimic hers.
The days preparations are meaningless, a cruel farce where I have no say.
My double wants the red top, so that's what we wear.
I hate red.
She finally walks to the door. My feet freeze just inside the room as she goes through and shuts the door.
The infuriating prickling vanishes, and my hand closes to a fist.
Every day, I suffer through the same routine. Stalking to the chair in the corner, I throw on the jacket lying across the back.
Yes, I'm a reflection. That means following her movements whenever she's around.
I'm not a constant reflection though. I'm stuck in one room! Stuck knowing what I am, and what it's like to have a double who knows what I am.
But this new double is ignorant. She'll never be like Charlotte.
And I'll never be free again.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Things that get better with time

1. People. As we age, we gain experience, knowledge, and confidence.
2. Skills. Learning anything takes time and effort. If you want to get better, then work on it.
3. Shoes. New shoes are alright, but are horrible on a hike. Once they've been broken in though, then the hike is quite comfortable.
4. Cheddar cheese. As it ages, cheddar cheese gains a nice sharpness that I quite enjoy.
5. Friendships. The best of friends don't begin as such, but are first strangers. The time spent building friendships is worth the effort.
6. Trees. A little sapling does not provide much shade.
7. Stories. Some stories grow into amazing sagas if given the time, while other stories grow into elaborate tales with each telling.
8. Exercising. When you first begin to exercise, it is exhausting. But as you stick to it, you'll see results and find that it has become easier.
9. Medicine. The medical breakthroughs that have occurred throughout generations is amazing, and we can hope that there will continue to be new discoveries for a long time to come.
10. Ideas. When you first have an idea, it is usually rough and unfocused. However, if you think about it for long enough, then it can sharpen into a well-thought project just waiting to be put into action.