Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blog MIA: Part 2

In November, I got lucky enough to attend a crafty workshop led by the fabulous Sally Jean.  Even tho she's a Portlander, she chose San Diego (weee!) for some workshop, how-to fun.  I managed to move from the wait list (her workshops filled up so quickly) into the class making tree toppers.

I'm proud to say that I made this little guy completely from scratch.  I cut all the art from magazines and paper books, arranged them and then glued them to glass, soldered the glass pieces together, soldered the shape together, soldered the cone base, curled the wires, and then soldered the curly wires.  Whew.  I was scurrying and hurrying to get the project finished in the 6 hours we were there, but it really was sooo much fun.  We listened to Christmas music, laughed at silly things, ate yummy treats, and basically acted like girly girls for an entire day.  I would attend another workshop again in a heartbeat.  Anyone want to join me??

Here's one side of my topper.  (Definitely click to zoom so that you can see eveything better!)  I didn't realize that the background paper I chose would look so pink when it was all finished, but I still love how it turned out.

And the other side.  I wanted to somehow incorporate what was important to me at Christmas, so I chose artwork to represent that. 

Both the ball up top (that spells "J O Y") and the center circle can spin.  Fannnnncy!

And in its rightful place - on top of my tree!  I forgot to snap a photo of my tree in the dark, darnit.  They always look prettier when the lights sparkle and glow.  But this is Christmas morning, right after we woke up.  Gone are the days of getting up before dawn for Christmas.  Of course, everyone back home still does this, but I'm perpetually so exhausted, that my present to myself is a lonnng stretch of uninterrupted sleep Christmas morning.  Ahhhh...

This has nothing to do with craft projects, but I felt like I needed to show you these ornaments.  Leesha got them for me a few years ago, and I still squeal with delight everytime I unearth them from my box of ornaments.  I mean, seriously - CAKE ornaments?  Love Love Love Love Love!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blog MIA: Part One

Here's the first in a gojillion-part series of catching you up on my life over the past two frenzied months.  The entries mayyy be a little disjointed and out of sequence, but I'll do my best to keep things clear.

The first weekend in December, we flew to Miami and then drove to Key West for a wedding - both new cities for me, yay!  Key West was not at all what I was expecting.  I guess I thought it would look a bit like the beaches of Cabo, complete with sunbathers as far as the eye can see.  But, nope!  It was very, very green with oodles of trees - evergreens, palms, mangroves and others that I can't remember the name of by now.  And the coastline was rocky and reminded me a bit of Oregon's beaches, but on a much smaller scale.

Oh wait!  Let me back up a little.  Right before we left, Marnie and I burned up lots of much-needed beauty sleep making these guys for the reception.  Yay for dark circles under our eyes!!  The wedding colors were espresso and coral, and the couple also requested that their monogram "C" be on some of the pops.

The day of the wedding was abnormally windy, so this is my only photo with decent hair.  I had to hold down my dress so that this photo could be rated G, yikes!  (And I have to say - doesn't Bo's tie just look fabulous with my dress?!  We couldn't have coordinated better if we had bought the two together, instead of a year apart and totally without planning.)

This is soooo close to a great photo.  But, oh!  Maybe I'll just wait until Alecia hits the Sneaky Cropping chapter of her Photoshop book to fix my hair in this picture :)  Yes, yes, good plan.

The lucky and beautiful couple!  Oh yes, even in crazy winds with buckets of humidity, she still looked stunning. 

Hurrah!  I so love this photo!  They didn't know I was snapping pictures, and I totally got him with his tongue sticking out a little :)

Another sneaky photo!  HaHAAA, I'm SO good.

Ok, non-wedding photos now.  During a crazy sudden downpour, we popped into the restaurant, "Margaritaville," owned by Jimmy Buffet.  Don't ask me why I was compelled to take a photo of the ceiling and not more important things like MY SCOOTER - YES I RODE A SCOOTER FOR THE FIRST TIME.  But, here's the ceiling.  It really is kinda cool.  I guess.  Now I'm feeling all scootery letdown.  Sigh.

Oh but wait!  There was a hot guy in there!  And he toooootally let me take his picture.  Swell of him, huh.  And he lives in San Diego too!  I really should have asked for his number or something.

Look!  There he is again!  This photo is in Miami, our last day of the trip.  I wanted to see what those beaches were like, so we wandered down to one. 

And stuck our toes in the sand.  Evidently, it wasn't the season for warm water, but it was still leaps and bounds warmer than the ocean water off Oregon's coast :)

"Wish I could be, part of that worrrrrrld."*  My last photo of the trip!

* Thanks to Sidenote, I now can never look at this photo without thinking of that movie poster.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Twee: Blue Ribbon Dog

I recently returned home from a business trip to find that Rory's cute polka dot collar had been changed out for a royal blue one.  And Bo claims that it's because her old one was dirty (how does chocolate brown even show dirt??), and that Rory herself had picked out the new one.  He's not fooling me; I'm totally on to the fact that he's trying to turn her into a boy.  I even heard him whispering secrets the other night to her about being a good tomboy. 

What to do?  Tie a pretty matching ribbon from Christmas to that boy collar of hers.  Boy dog, indeed.

Oh yeah!  That black flashy thing means treats, right?

My pretty bow makes people smile at me and call me a good girl.

Oh, gosh - this ol thing?

And here, I'll pretend to contemplate serious bunnies and squirrels.

I'm totally cuter than Nellie Oleson.

* I promise - cross my heart! - that this series won't consist solely of dog photos.  But there might be a lot of them.  Just sayin.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cooking with Sara: French Dip Crockery

Santa brought me a crock pot this year (yes, it was totally on my list!), so I decided to crack open the box today and whip up something.  I flipped through my new cookbook and cruised around All Recipes, and ended up choosing a French Dip recipe because I had nearly all the ingredients already on hand.  And going to the store is suuuuch a big fat pain. 

As always, I made a few mods to the original recipe, mostly because I didn't have the exact ingredient list.  But, the key to this recipe is the step where you slice the beef and then continue cooking it.  I tried a taste at this step, and it was kinda dry and flavorless.  Cooking it sliced for an additional hour allowed it to really soak in the yummy juices. 

2-4 lb Roast (I used sirloin roast, a teeny tiny little one)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 c low-sodium Soy Sauce
12 oz Water
1 packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
12 oz. Beer (obviously, I went wayyy fancy with this item, hehe)
8 oz Beef Broth
1/2 tsp. Dried Thyme, crumbled
1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano, crumbled
4 Cloves Garlic
Black Pepper, to taste

Throw all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook covered on High for 3 hours.*  Give it a quick stir and turn the temperature down to Low for another 2 hours.  Remove the roast, and slice it thinly across the grain.  Return slices back to the slow cooker and cook for one more hour.  Serve on buttered, toasted french rolls with small bowls of the broth for dipping.

* Note:  You could just leave it on the Low setting all day instead.  But, as usual, I was rushing this recipe and trying to make it ready in 5 hours instead of 7-8. and shiiiiiinyyyyyyy....

Dubious.  And - Lover of weird face photos.

The ingredient lineup.  I wouldn't normally have used a light beer, but this was all that was in our fridge, so there you go.  I wasn't about to make a trip to the store for this venture.  I wanted it put together and thrown in the pot as fast as I could do the prep (and take photos).

My roast looks so teeny and lonely in the huge crock pot.

G'night, lil guy.  Sweet marinating, tenderizing dreams.

After I sliced the roast and put it back into the pot, it looked like a sad, veggie-less stew.

You can't really tell from this photo (I'm no pro), but the meat was falling apart as I stacked it on the bread.  Success!

Bo's sandwich got the cheese.  (And not even a great variety of cheese either. That's what happens when I don't eat dairy and have no idea what state our cheese supply is in.)

And...done.  My plate looks like a ghost town.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Merry Merry!

Remember me? Yeah, it's been like 42 years since my last post, and to be honest, I've really missed writing. So, I thought I'd stop in for a quick hello and show n tell.  I have oodles to tell you, but that will have to wait for a time when I'm not comatose from sugar overload.  Til then....

My tree!  (Photo taken while the sun was blazing through the windows.  And, yes, I'm complaining.  Christmas weather sooo isn't supposed to be sunny, dangit.)

Ack!  Scary early morning pic of yours truly.  And while it looks like I'm still wearing pjs, those are real clothes.  I swear.  If only I'd spackled on a little makeup first.  But oh!  That board - that's the thing to pay attention to.  Right.  So, that is for making the Cake Pops.  Bo had it made, and it's lasered with my logo on the top side...

....And with mushy gushy Etsy feedback on the other.  Bo went and had the laser wood engraver burner guys do my sweet comments all over the board to make me feel good.  And feel good, I do.  It seriously nearly made me cry.

Another pretty photo.  I'm unabashadley braggy about the thing.

And little Rory.  I couldn't not give you a photo of her, right?

My Christmas here in San Diego was sweet and relaxing and peaceful and wonderful.  Exactly the way it should be, ahhhhh.   And I hope yours was just as sparkly as mine.