Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Just Be Nice.

I saw this in Peddler's Village. Seems to be good advice. The picture is blurry, but I like it anyhow.

For what it's worth,I do not like New Year's Eve. Or, New Year's Day, for that matter. I do not make resolutions either. A waste of time, really.

All that being said, 2010 has to be better than 2009. It has to. It has no choice. I will not let it be otherwise.

I feel like I'll have a lot on my plate this upcoming year, but I'm exciting about them. At least, that's what I'm convincing myself.

I'm "going back" to school. Online. But still, it's going to be a lot of work since I've been out of school 10 years. Just enough time to expire anything that could be applied to my degree.

I'm starting 365 again. One self-portrait a day for 365 days. I did it before and loved it. I've tried it twice since then, but stopped. I'm going to need encouragement to keep going, but I think it's important that I do it this year. I know myself. The more entrenched I become in school work, the less creative I will feel. I will need this daily photography project to feel like I'm doing something creative.

That is all.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gingerbread Caramel Corn.

Last December I got a caramel corn recipe from a flickr friend. I finally got around to making it. Or, at least, my adaptation of it.

I initially was going to make it exactly how she did. Real popcorn, light corn syrup, etc.

Then I burnt the real popcorn. And I didn't have corn syrup. Blah.

I decided to create my own version.

Gingerbread Caramel Corn
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (vegetable spreads are not recommended)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda

Pop 2 bags of 94% fat-free popcorn.

Heat oven to 200 degress F.

Over medium heat, cook brown sugar, butter, molasses, salt & spices in 2-quart saucepan, stirring occasionally until bubbly around edges. Continue cooking 5 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in baking soda until foamy.

Pour sugar over popcorn; toss until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. cool completely & store in air-tight container.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My First Attempt.

I finally canned something last week.

I made this honey lemon marmalade. I put in some ground ginger. It was a pretty easy, process.

Make the marmalade.

Seal jars. (They're in water in this picture.)

That's it.

I finally tasted the preserves this morning on toast. I don't like it one bit! I'm so disappointed. The lemon rind isn't soft at all, and there's waaaay to much of it. There's also a weird after taste. And I have 5 jars of the stuff. So bummed!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brown Sugar.

Yesterday I made lots of cookies. Abby wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, so we made those too. For whatever reason, I suck at the most basic cookie. Anyhow, I was getting everything ready and realize I was out of brown sugar. Duh.
I made some. It was so easy and kind of cool to watch it come together.

1. 1 Tbsp of molasses to 1 c of white sugar.

2. Blend.

3. Blend some more.

4. Store.

Friday, December 11, 2009


My daughter turned four years old on the 8th. If you want to watch time fly, have a kid. Seriously. *sigh*
She had a birthday party at Bounce U which was super fun for everyone, even the adults!

(yes, that's me on a slide.)

I made her a birthday cake that really disappointed me, but everyone else seemed to like it. I get frustrated when my ideas do not come to fruition and therefore the end result is a huge disappointment. I did, however, like how the little chocolate characters turned out. The cake was delicious too... chocolate cake with vanilla frosting.

I made her a birthday banner based on Alicia Paulson's idea, but I made little pockets on the back of the flag pieces so that the name pieces can slide off and on and therefore be personalized for other people's birthday as well.

For her actual birthday, we spent the day doing fun traditional Philly things including a horse and carriage ride (first time for all of us!), light show, and a visit to the Dicken's Village topped off with a visit to Santa. She confessed to me later, "I told Santa I was good so he would bring me presents." Ever the politician, my daughter. Ooh, we also had lunch at Sabrina's.

Family came over for a pizza dinner (her request) and I made yellow cake with cream cheese frosting. She did not like the cake. At all! It was ok to me. It was a bit rough and had more of a pound cake texture. I feel this may be due to the fact that I used regular flour instead of cake flour. It was also in the fridge because I made the cake a day and a half ahead of time and didn't want to leave the cream cheese frosting out.

Overall, a great few days. My daughter is pretty awesome.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Favorites.

These are my favorite Christmas ornaments. They were made by my mom, probably before I was born. I'm not 100% certain of that, but it seems likely.

They were on our Christmas tree when I was very young. Then they disappeared from the family tree for years. I eventually acquired them and they've been apart of our tree since we've been an "us."

What's your favorite ornament? Why?

Friday, December 4, 2009


I love my cats.

There's Carlos. He's 16 years old. We got him and his brother (RIP Charlie) when they were 3. Joe got them from some one at his work. She just had a baby. Ya know, cause that's a good reason to give up cats. ANYHOW, I'm glad because those boys are the sweetest cats I've ever known. I fear that every cat that comes into my life will unfairly be compared to them. They are part Siamese and therefore talkative, cuddly and dependent upon human contact. They're the dog of cats, minus the need for walks.

When Carlos & Charlie were 6, we adopted Zelda. She was a tiny little tortie kitten who was part of a litter of three. The other two sisters were adopted out and poor little Zel was alone. I wanted her immediately. She is your typical cat. Very independent and very stand-offish. My husband tells me that if I was a cat, I'd be Zelda. So what?! Zelda will let you love her on her terms and I see nothing wrong with that.

Charlie died of kidney failure in 2007. It was a rapid decline. He's been gone almost two years and I still think about him every day. He was my buddy. During the day, Carlos & Zelda would sleep, but Charlie would be by my side. He was a master conversationalist. His meows had many vocal inflections and yes, we understood him. Charlie was on medication for the last 6 years of his life due to hyperthyroid. He got medication twice a day. Unfortunately, long-term use of the medication contributed to his kidney failure. It is sad, but the medication gave him the years that would've been denied to him if he hadn't taken it. He passed just before Christmas, 2007. On Christmas Eve morning, the then, 2 year old Abby told me that the kitty was under the tree. I figured she meant Carlos or Zelda. I saw no cat there. I asked her where the kitty was, figuring she meant one of our many cat ornaments. "There!" she said, pointing to nothing under the tree. That made me feel so happy and at peace. I knew he was still with us. Sometimes I think I see him walking up or down the steps.

It was kind of odd to only be in a house with two cats. We eventually started talking about getting another cat. What happens when Carlos passes? Zelda will be alone. We should've realized that she wouldn't care. BUT, we adopted George in August 2008. He was only weeks old and separated from his mother way too soon. The odds were stacked against him, but he selected us and we were happy to bring him home. He weighed only a single pound and we had to feed him formula.

George & Carlos have become buddies.

Zelda is a solitary girl. Everyone is happy. Georgie torments the older kitties, but Carlos is quick to put him in his place. Zelda hisses and runs. Kind like me, I guess.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Family Tree.

I made a family tree from "Stitched in Time" for my husband for our 8th anniversary. In October. Yeah, I'm a little slow posting.

I usually cannot stand hand sewing, mainly because I feel like I suck at it. This was different. I enjoyed it and found myself getting into the same zen state I get into when I knit. A welcomed and unexpected treat!

I'm really happy with how it turned out. I think it's cute.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Couple Things...

1. Have you seen the movie "Pollock"? Very good movie. Excellent acting. Scary-ass mother! How come so many artists are tortured, narcissist alcoholics? This has me thinking. What makes one an artist? I can see the tormented part, but I'm not one to artistically thrive during depression or turmoil.

I am an introvert. I actually enjoy my solitary time. I feel very frustrated and angry when I do not have time to myself. I need to create every day. I do not like to be interrupted when I'm working on something. I guess I am a narcissist. That's kind of obvious and depressing.

Furthermore, what is "art"? Even furthermore, why the hell do I have to label everything?! Why can't I just be? Just create? Just experience? Ugh. I am a narcissist. I hate that.

2. Oodles and Oodles. I love this blog. I love looking at this woman's collections. Such pretty things. Most of my life adult life, I've been minimalist in decorating. Knick-knacks drove me nuts. Just something annoying to dust. I think it's in rebellion to the way my house was while growing up. Crap everywhere. Now, I've come to realize that I don't have to go in the complete opposite direction. This year has been a year of realizations for me. And, while this is a relatively trivial thing, it's what it symbolizes to me that is important.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Day of December.

I feel like I need to change the "tone" of this blog. I want to keep it active, ya know, for Heather. :) Perhaps it'll just turn into my ramblings with craftiness thrown in for the hell of it. I don't know. I also don't know why I have to define everything. It's only an effing blog.

And so, onto the rambling...
Yesterday while the kid was at school, instead of sewing or cleaning, I did nothing. And I felt guilty the entire time. I just sat on the sofa with the laptop, watched "You've Got Mail," and finished off some Hagan Daaz green tea ice cream. Yeah. I'm super lazy. Rationalization on the ice cream: my throat hurt. And I like to eat.

Oh, I did take a few cat pictures. And pictures of toothbrushes. And myself. Kinda sucky. But it is what it is.