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Currently Watching:
Queer Eye Holiday Reunion

Currently Cooking:
Eating Takeout!

Currently Making:
Paper mache elf tree topper. Got some wire and have started to paint the little fella. Then I decided I didn't like the way he looked, so I am still fiddling with him.

Currently Thinking of Making:
Right now I have a new swap deadline that I need to get cracking on.....oh what to make...what to make!








Currently: December 22-31, 2003

I will be on vacation for the next two weeks! Have a Happy and SAFE Holiday!!!

December 18, 2003

I love love love the felted flowers made by Supper Maggie Not Martha linked to yesterday SO MUCH (via Sew Hip it Hurts) that I had to spread the love. I was trying to figure out how they were made, and then I read a comment in the link from the Sew Hip it Hurts site saying that they were needle felted. Here is another fine example. I just happen to have some felting needles which thus far have remained untouched. I decided to have a go at it this morning, and I have to say that it's MAGIC. I have only made one petal, but it's addictive. I also think that Merino roving (which Super Maggie uses) would produce a lovelier flower. But since I still have a butt load of non-Merino wool roving, that is what I will use.

I recently bought the greatest book that was suggested to me by a friend. It's called Omiyage: Handmade Gifts from Fabric in the Japanese Tradition and it's filled with the greatest little sewing projects. I think what makes this book is the stunning array of fabric the author uses. Each project only requires small bits of fabric, for the most part at least, so it's a good project book for scraps. My only complaint is that most of the projects are hand sewn, which just doesn't jive with my patience threshold...I guess that says more about me than the book, so for now I am content to still and look and the beautiful pictures.

I got the January issue of Martha in the mail yesterday and there is an article about an artist who makes the most fabulous leather flowers: Redhead Amy. In that article there is a picture of her studio, specifically rolls of colorful leather, which I have been looking to get my hands on for what seems like ages. I was so excited, and I flipped to the back of the magazine to check out the sources, and of course, they are not listed. Granted, I have limited my search to the internet, but I swear I cannot find what I am looking for and it's driving me crazy. Yes, I know there is eBay, but they don't often have what I am looking for, and places like Tandy Leather don't have the color selection I need either. I found a site that deals with all sorts of leather, but they are wholesale....I want leather I can run through my sewing machine. *sigh*...I wonder if I am being to picky, especially since I just want to experiment...

December 16, 2003

Things are pretty hectic around here. Work is busy and life is busy getting ready to go to Cali for the holidays. I am actually really excited as it's the first time in like, 10 years my family will be in the same room together AND..we have the added bonus of my parents meeting J's parents finally after 5 years. It will be interesting, that's for sure, but lots of fun.

My Christmas spirit has run dry. I think I have a leak or something. I was REALLY excited back in October and parts of November, but the closer it came, the more steam ran out of my Yuletide engine. I actually had to *gasp* buy Christmas cards, even though I designed some really cute ones. That's how bad of a bah-humbug case I have. The thought of finding the right paper to print them on after searching all over town just sent me into a large enough tizzy that J had to stage an intervention. Perhaps I should have gotten a flu shot.

The Williams Sonoma catalog is about the only thing keeping the dream alive. The Holiday goodies they have are spectacular. I just love to sit and flip through the pages and dream about the Peppermint Snaps, and that HUGE caramel apple they have every year which my local grocery store has ripped off, the chocolate stuffed figs, and I can't find my favorite..it's a wafer thin slice of pear that is dipped in key lime juice and dried, and then dipped in chocolate. Holy cow.

December 11, 2003

I am totally bummed out. I found out that starting in January I am going to have to travel for my job. And.....AND....I also just found out that a trip we were planning to take in April to Europe has totally fallen through. My gripe about that is if you list a price on your brochure that says "based on double occupancy" and if I call you and ask you "Does that price mean it's for two people?" and you say "Yes", and then you call back and tell me that I only sent the deposit for one person...then you are bad person and I hate you. It seems like this month has been full of mix-ups, returned mail and lost rent checks. They say that Mercury is in retrograde this month and I totally feel it. Bastard Mercury. I hate you.

On a lighter note, or maybe not...J came to me the other day with a grand idea for a party. He saw on Regis and Kathy Lee a few years ago (note that this has been stewing in his head all this time) an author that wrote a history/cookbook on the last dinner of the titanic. It sounds like it would be a lot of work and slightly morbid. Could be fun though...maybe for a Halloween party. You could have your guests dressed as ghosts from the ship. I think mainly he likes the idea of having an excuse for eating caviar.

December 8, 2003

This weekend we walked down to Caffe Vita early in the morning to drink mochas and play backgammon. We walk past an inlet on the way, and often times there is a seal swimming around searching for food or perhaps he is just checking the progress of the bridge construction. This time however, there were two seals and they were fighting over a fish. They each had an end in their mouths and an amusing tug of war ensued.

December 5, 2003

J and I had a work function to attend this past Wednesday for the winery. It was a dinner at Troiani Restaurant in Seattle, which opens to the public tonight. That place is FABULOUS. I think I am going to enjoy the perks of living with a winemaker. Here is their dinner menu. We got to try many items from the menu and they were all outstanding. My personal favorites were the:

Fresh scallops with fregola sarda pasta and orange pepper sauce
Large raviolo with ricotta, spinach and egg yolk in porcini broth
Fillet of beef with braised pancetta and truffle black pepper cream

There were six of us and we got to share and try a little bit of everything. It was spectacular and made me wish I could cook a 1/16th as good as the chef. We also got to taste all of the desserts. The Gelato sampler from Gelatiamo was to die for...I have to find that place one of these days.

I made a pumpkin cheesecake (see side bar) for Thanksgiving, (and to answer your question Carrie) I was pleasantly surprised. I do not like pumpkin pie at all, but the cheesecake was really good. The actual title is "Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Cranberry Gelee". Fancy. One of my first mistakes was that I did not have a fluted tart pan, just a regular springform. I did not extend my crust high enough up on the sides to accommodate the gelee. I was nearly overflowing with the pumpkin mixture so I made an executive decision to go forth without the gelee and hope for the best. Luckily it turned out great and for the next week we ate slices of cheesecake after every meal and in between every meal, and before every meal. I really missed it when it was gone.

December 3, 2003

The current issue of Mary Engelbreits Home Companion had an article about an artist named Christy Silacci. She creates the greatest little creatures and some of her work is featured in the Sundance catalog. My favorite is the snowman sitting in the tea strainer. Check out her gallery..how can you not love this guy?

Metropolitan Home has a snippet about 16 Animali. A wood puzzle/art piece by Danese Milano/ Enzo Mari. As soon as I saw it I fell in love. I have always been intrigued by authentic wood puzzles. Most of the sites that have pictures of it are japanese. There is another puzzle called 16 Pesci (fish and sea creatures) that I found yesterday but for some reason it eludes me today. It was very cool...

And if I lived in NYC I would probably be taking classes in shoemaking or kimono sewing from Make Workshop. But I don't live in NYC so I will covet from afar.

December 1, 2003

Hope everyone had a super grand holiday. I cannot believe that's it's December already! I created a really simple project for making tassels from wood craft bits. If there is something that is not clear or you don't understand, let me know and I will fix it.