Monday, December 28, 2009

Recently seen at a Chinese restaurant ....

Further proof that my husband and I are made for each other...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

92 servings of hot chocolatey goodness!

I got some hot chocolate mix at the grocery store the other day in honor of our 1st snow of the season. Of course, I had to read the ingredients on all the mixes in the store.

I ended up with some from the health food section. The mix is by Canterbury Naturals and it has only seven ingredients. The only one that I'm not sure about is the xanthan gum. What's a xanthan?

Anyway, this got me to thinking that I could make my own hot cocoa mix so I headed for Google and found a bunch of recipes that included non-dairy creamer. Oh, ick.

Then I headed over to visit the Diva of Domesticity, Martha Stewart, and I found this recipe. Four ingredients. 92 servings of hot chocolatey goodness. Break out the marshmallows and peppermint sticks. I'm set for the rest of the winter!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Other people's junk

I love cast-off things. They make me happy.

These guys sit on the top shelf of the book shelves at my house. The gargoyle came from the thrift shop ($1 !!), and I pulled the lovely old bird cage out of someone's junk pile. The bird is a Christmas ornament I received as a gift - so not junk - and she always seems to be gloating a bit.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weaving and domestic bliss

Hiya! Had a bit of a late start in the studio today since it took a while for it to get warmed up out there.  The little wood stove that could does a pretty good job, but it was pretty darned cold here this morning!

To pass the time I embarked on a semi-annual cleaning project - the book shelves. My husband and I are book people. We love to read, and we love our books. As you can imagine, they pile up around the house and with a greater number of books coming in than going out the book shelves around the house can get sort of packed. This makes dusting difficult. And since the dust that accumulates in our house quickly begins to bear a greater resemblance to top soil, one does feel the need to shovel out occasionally. So today I took all the books off of the living room shelves, dusted each one, and put everything back, less a few volumes that were relocated to other parts of the house, or put in the thrift shop pile. (Two books. That's all we could bear to part with.) Now the shelves are shiny and tidy, and look much less likely to pull out of the wall. Domestic bliss, indeed!

The bit of reorganizing gave me a chance to move this little guy to a good spot. Doesn't he look quite at home with my husband's collection of "The Hobbit?"

My wee Scotsman is a pitcher, and came from an antique shop in Floyd, VA - an early Christmas gift from a friend. I know his bonnet's got a chip out of it, but I fell in love with him anyway.

And now, since I know Lawre's waiting for it, here's this week's Green Bean Tapestry update:

Not much progress, and I may end up unweaving that bit at the tip of the bean in progress - again! I'll decide next time I work on it when I see it with fresh eyes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Snow Shanty!

It's snowing! It's snowing!

Oh, how I love the first snow of the year. This one is proving more than adequate:
  • We've got several inches of white fluff - so, good coverage, and very pretty.

  • The roads are sufficiently slushy to discourage going anywhere - so, it's a cozy-at-home day.

  • I've got cookie dough in the fridge, and hot buttered rum mix in the freezer - so, treats are a go.
I'll be spending the afternoon working on a photo album project and pretending I live in a snow globe (but maybe without all the shake up). How about you?

p.s. Do click on the snow globe link. It's fun, in a twisted sort of way.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The third green bean...

Another studio day today, more or less. Progress continues on the greenbeans. Today I had a good go at the third bean. Inching along, inching along....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's a TeaShanty Day!

It's always a happy day when I get to spend it out in the Shanty. I got out there fairly early this morning and got the wood stove going. That's the only heat I have out there right now, and when it's cold it takes an hour or two for the place to get toasty. But once it warms up, it's the coziest little shack in the world!

Today I tidied up a little bit, did some preliminary planning on a project, then spent the rest of the day working on my tapestry and listening to music and podcasts. Progress on the tapestry was slow today due to the quantity of unweaving I did. But it wasn't so bad, and at the end of the day I had a little more woven then at the beginning of the day.

The image is based on a photo I took of some really lovely veggies from the Farmer's Market in Blacksburg, VA.

 I edited it using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

I liked the pepper in the original image (so pretty, and tasty too!) but since this is my first "real" tapestry I wanted to stick to fairly simple shapes so I cropped the pepper out. Here's a picture of my progress to date. I've got most of the dish done, the first bean, and parts of the next two beans. That bit right in the middle gave me a fit today, but I think I'm ok with what's happening now.

And just for fun, here's a photo of my little tapestry workspace. I've got the copper pipe loom (design and instructions from Archie Brennan's web site ) hung on my all-purpose peg board. I use it for my warping board too, so I can adjust the height depending on the warp I'm winding. You can see the full-size enlargement of the image above, and the B&W cartoon behind the weaving.

Well, that's it for today. I hope you had a great weekend too!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fuel for the creative fires

When I got up this morning I thought I'd just grab a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast. Then I opened the back door to let the dogs out. Crikey! It's cold out there this morning! And windy. Brrrr!

What a great excuse to cook up some of my home-famous Apple Cider Oatmeal. Good food fuels the creative fires. And we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! So, here's my recipe for Apple Cider Oatmeal.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats - not the quick cooking kind
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cinnamon

Put the first three ingredients in the pot. Cook to your desired consistency. Put in your favorite bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon. This makes a small bowl. If you want more oatmeal, just increase the ingredients keeping the proportion of 1 part oatmeal to 2 parts water.

If you try it, let me know if you like it, or let me know how you like to gussy up your morning bowl of oat-y goodness.