Friday Roundup

Weekend before last, I did some experimenting around with stenciling designs onto fabric. Result: the snazzy tank top emblazoned with Nick Rhodes’ lovely face. I wouldn’t say the process was easy, exactly, but it was relatively straightforward. Very quickly, here are the general steps: I took a photograph of Nick and did a whole bunch of futzing around in Photoshop to make it stencil-ready.  Like so:

I printed out the stencil onto paper, taped it onto a sheet of transparency film, taped the whole thing down onto a sheet of stiff cardboard to protect surfaces, and used an X-Acto knife to cut out all the dark sections. It’s an intricate stencil, so this took forever and resulted in lots of hand-cramping and loud swearing. My advice, should you care to go down this dark road: go very slowly, make your cuts as clean as possible, rotate the entire stencil instead of rotating the knife, and check frequently to make sure it’s cutting entirely through the transparency film. I slipped a piece of cardboard inside the tank top to protect the back from seeping paint, then used a glue stick to glue the stencil down onto the front of the shirt, positioned exactly how I wanted it. I was generous with the glue stick; glue residue washes off of fabric easily, and it was important to make sure all the itty-bitty parts of the stencil were adhered flat to the shirt to prevent paint from bleeding beneath the plastic. I mixed black acrylic paint with a small amount of fabric medium (fabric medium makes acrylic paint suitable for use on fabric—it won’t crack, peel or wash away), then used a clean sponge brush to dab paint all over the stencil. I waited for it to dry, ran an iron over it to set the paint, tossed it in the washing machine, and it was good to go.

Recipe of the week: Hell, this one might be recipe of the year: I made a gyro pizza out of stuff we had in the fridge, and it was amazing:

Homemade wheat crust: yeast, white flour, whole wheat flour, warm water, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt. The great thing about pizza crust is, you don’t have to let it rise very much. Knead it and set it aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, and it’s ready to use. I preheated the oven to 375, keeping a cast-iron skillet inside it while heating. I removed the hot skillet, oiled and floured it, rolled out the pizza crust, and (very carefully, because cast iron goes thermonuclear after it’s been in the oven) spread the crust inside of it. I turned on the burner and let the crust start cooking on the stovetop while putting on all the toppings: pre-cooked sliced gyro meat (Trader Joe’s has recently started carrying it, and it’s fabulous), onions that I flash-pickled in vinegar and salt, tomato slices marinated in lemon juice, oregano, and olive oil, Kalamata olives, finely chopped dill pickles (an odd but absolutely crucial component—the dill gave it the flavor profile of a tzatziki sauce, and the extra salty/briny element really boosted it to another level), shredded mozzarella, and crumbled goat cheese. I stuck it in the hot oven and kept a pretty close eye on it—since the crust par-baked on the stovetop, it only took about twelve minutes to finish cooking in the oven. I drizzled sriracha over the whole thing just before serving. IT WAS SO GOOD. My sister and I devoured it. Absolutely perfect assortment of flavors. I will never be able to replicate it.

Song to bring you into the weekend: We lost the great Pete Burns this week, so in his honor, here's Dead Or Alive with "Something in My House":

Enjoy the weekend. Have a great Halloween. Buy my books, if the spirit moves you; Demon City might be a good one for the season.


Ingrid Richter said…
Your gyro pizza will forever haunt my dreams - so good!

I remember putting Dead or Alive's "Something in My House" on permanent loop in my brain when we were jogging in the wee hours of the morning in Los Angeles ("It's just the ghost of a long, long dead affair"). And "You Spin Me" was the only dance song that - no matter how tired or run-down I was feeling - I'd always dance to. 80's rules, man. 80's rules...

Farewell, Pete Burns, you crazy, gorgeous, messed-up person. You are missed.
Morgan Richter said…
Pete Burns. That ultra-glamorous, gorgeous appearance combined with that low, growling voice... Pair it all up with the driving beat of "You Spin Me" or "Brand New Lover" or "Something in My House", and it was an irresistible combination.

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