I had left you with this ;-)
Well, I do realize it is Monday and not Wednesday but it is a crazy week in this house. I'm sure you are experiencing the same things. Will the turkey thaw in time? How many pies am I going to make? Pumpkin or apple? (pumpkin cheesecake with maple glaze in this house) Does anyone know how we lost two folding chairs in the move? are TV trays ok ;-) All the regular sounds and smells will be coming from our house too. We have a small house full with uncles and nephews and one grandmother. We are big on the leftovers so I think we will be good. What's your favorite dish? Mine has to be homemade cranberry sauce.
How does your family celebrate? Football? Black Friday shopping? I'm a huge fan of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade since I was a kid. It is at the very top of my bucket list and the kids all know if mom ever wins the lottery, we are going! For now, I watch intently. Now that I can DVR it, I can watch it in segments instead of missing it while cooking.
As for Black Friday shopping, some years I go, some years I sleep in. One year, many many moons ago, I had taken sleep meds for my insomnia and not gotten to bed early enough for them to wear off. I had this big plan to shop at Lane Bryant because everything was 40 % off. Man, I was so excited. The hubby sleeps terrible too so, I knew I was on my own to go shop. (He actually really likes to shop with me. I know right?! Good man!) Anyway, I was apparently not totally coherent as I traveled to the mall. Thankfully I was safe but I was not totally aware while shopping and came home with a bunch of things I don't remember trying on :-( It was crazy because as I took stuff out of the bag I was all hmm.... I don't remember that. I suppose it could have been a secret shopper putting stuff in my bag but they were all in my size. Needless to say.. I will never do that again. I don't do anything anymore if I take a sleep med, especially drive.
This year I'm keeping a friend company (she is driving) on her first trip out on black Friday. I think we are mostly headed out to Fred Meyer for their sock deal. It's a funny thing but a huge tradition for some shoppers. Fred Meyer has buy one, get one free socks. You mock me but I have full grown men in my house and socks are expensive. Just a note, they also usually have buy one, get one free board games. Some games can be up to $26.00 so getting another at say $24.00 for free is amazing. Just make sure you do separate transactions so they don't lump your games together and you get a $5.00 game free instead of one close to the $26.00. If that doesn't make since let me know because it is super important to get that good deal.
OK, so the reason I wrote this post was because I promised to show what the girls worked on here in the studio last week. I had made cornstarch/baking soda dough, a recipe I found on pinterest. I covered regular size light bulbs and the girls came to paint them to look like Santa. After covering the light bulbs, I let them air dry and then went back and filled the cracks (it will crack) with a air dry clay called Premier, light weight stone clay. It's great stuff and then you get a smooth surface to paint on.
First the girls drew on the features
and then they got busy painting. Funny that we used "Santa red" for Santa's clothes.
After painting they gave it a good coat of Modge Podge to seal them and to make it easier to draw the ink lines on.
Then the girls drew on the ink lines with Faber Castell india ink Pit pens and did the shading with the same markers but the ones they call Big.brush.
Here is one with no face.
and the final Santa's with everything finished.
And not to forget Dawn's
this one is mine. I added "Better not pout, better not cry." " Santa Claus is coming to town" on his belt.
And here is Mrs. Claus.
Well, that is it for this week.. Just like you, I will be super busy on Wednesday. Have a super wonderful Thanksgiving with all your loved ones. And watch that parade for me :-)
p.s. if you are local, I am considering having another class to do Santa's on December 3rd in my home.. contact me if you are interested for more details. I need 5 people minimum and I need to know by Saturday November 30th to have the forms made.
It's Wednesday and of course you are hearing from me.. I'm the little engine that could, taking this blogging thing one week at a time. :-) Today I'm dancing in the studio. Yesterday I found my 10 year ago collection of CD's. That was a time before all my music was on itunes and my idevices. I had quite the collection going and I have no idea why I just tossed them aside for so long because so much of it makes me happy.. Today I've been listening to Alana Davis. I'm even catching myself singing a little here and there. I had been listening to Christmas music this week because well, that is making me happy too but today it was Alana Davis.
Speaking of Christmas, I'm so excited I can barely contain myself. I know, I know, let's celebrate Thanksgiving but I've been working on Christmas cards, my present project list, had my Christmas project class with the girls (we made some Christmas magic.) I can't wait to put up lights this weekend and start saying Happy Holidays to random people everywhere. Goodness! So fun! We even reserved our tree this weekend. The farm we go to lets you place a tree on hold by decorating it on the farm. So much fun! Look how cute they are after decorating with Dollar store ornaments. In case you wonder, we wired the heck out of these so they don't blow away.
So, I did say that I had the girls in the studio Monday to work on Christmas magic but since we aren't quite finished.. I'll just give you a little peek. :-)
Everyone should be finished by Friday afternoon so I'll try to post Friday or over the weekend.
However, today in the kitchen I made a quick Christmas-ish snack for the boys. It's simple and I know you have seen the recipe dozens of times on Pinterest but just a reminder. If you want to make these get the ingredients soon. The peppermint Hershey Kisses and the waffle pretzels quickly disappear off the shelves this time of year. You wouldn't think waffle pretzels are a hot commodity, but like I said, everyone knows and loves this recipe.
So first find a desperate loved one, or teen, who really really wants you to make these to peel the whole bag of Kisses. ;-) That's probably the hardest part. Then place the Kisses on the pretzels on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake about 7 min. in a 175-200 degree oven (the lowest setting.) The kisses will only look shinny not melted but they are very soft.
Then I place another pretzel on top because that is how my family likes them. I have seen a lot of other people place an M&M on top and then press down lightly. You will still need to press the top pretzel down on these too. Then toss these babies in the freezer for a bit and BAM, you have a fun snack. You could even put them in cellophane bags and give them as little thank you gifts. I know genius. Just kidding, you probably already knew all about these so just thank me for reminding you to buy those Kisses up before they are all gone. I even froze bags last winter. They were just fine thawed.
Sooo.. That's it folks. I shared a workspace, my kitchen in this case and I shared a sneak of the craft class. I'll post on that ASAP. The rest is top secret Santa workshop stuff. ;-) Tell me all about what's on your workspace if your not working for Santa too ;-)
It's Wednesday again and of course I am working feverishly on something. Most definitely it is of the secret nature this time of year. Oh, how I love being Santa's little helper. One of my almost grown up boys will be the recipient of this special work of art and of course I'll post it after the unveiling :) So, since I can't share that, I'm going to use something I worked on this summer to share with you today. Hopefully it will just make you think of warm weather and sunshine if you're suffering for cold yucky rain. This piece is in my journal but I wish it was on canvas. It's one of my favorites.
First, I laid down some blue color on the page and then I added some cute printed tissue paper. After that was modge podged down (Microsoft word doesn't recognize that as a verb so of course I added it to my dictionary ;-), I finger painted some green on the bottom of the page. I'm crazy about touching paint. I love the rich feel of paint on my fingers. I know, weird. I'm just a kid at heart.
I stenciled lace on the bottom.
Stamped and doodled.
Added washi tape and some pinwheels and a kite.
Pieced my own girl with a cape and added some clouds.
Painted some cute little wood letters I had to say, "Don't hold me down"
Painted some little wood flowers I had and added those with a glue gun.
Added some doodles and there you go, Here she is :-)
Have a great week and weekend. Hopefully we are hunting for our Christmas tree on this great farm that let's you reserve your tree for pick up after Thanksgiving. My husband gets so excited this time of year to get everything decorated. I have girls in the studio on Monday if you don't hear from me before then, I'm doing prep work for them :) Share what's on your workspace.
Happy Veteran’s day.. It's gorgeous out! What a nice day for so many people in the Pacific Northwest to have off work and school. I'm very thankful today for all who have served or are serving our country.
Today I thought I would take a minute and share my Meatloaf recipe. I have mentioned that we have had meatloaf twice recently on Facebook and have had many requests for the recipe. It's a popular one on cold weather days around here. In my recent FB post I mentioned my mom passing this recipe down to me and how thankful I am to share her love for cooking. My husband however, refuses to call this meatloaf and claims over and over that this does not resemble any meatloaf he has ever had and I should call it something better. He loves it but I should name it something more representative of the fact it has good moist flavor ;-) You can tell me what you think.
I had to make it twice this month to try to come up with the recipe. It is mostly muscle memory for me. According to my mom there was never an actual recipe just a few ideas handed down in her family that eventually led to this and I think I have even added my own twist. Here is what it has evolved to.
This makes a huge portion and I actually end up with a iron skillet full and a smaller Corning ware container that I usually cook the next day or I would never have left overs in a house with three large boys/men.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.5 lbs. of ground beef
1 can of diced tomatoes with garlic
8 oz. of pepper jack, cut into 1/4 in. cubes
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese. or maybe 4 more oz. of cheddar cubed (plus a bit more for the top)
Half a sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed
1/2 a large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tbs. of garlic powder
1 tbs. of oregano
1 tbs. of basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 regular and 1 small can of tomato sauce
In a large bowl mix all the ingredients except the tomato sauce, with your hands. I mean it, don't cheat. Take off your rings and dig in. That's the only way to get it all mixed up.
Once it's mixed up put it in an iron skillet. I have used a casserole dish but I much prefer the iron skillet. Make two loaves separated in the middle so it will cook evenly. Don't forget I have a bit more than the skillet will hold so I put the remainder in a small casserole dish for cooking the next day.
Sprinkle the top with about a half a cup more of grated cheddar or thin slices of cheddar and then pour the larger can of tomato sauce on the skillet portion and the smaller tomato sauce can on top of the smaller casserole portion.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. We love to serve ours with mash potatoes. Step back because it will disappear very quickly.
It has taken me twice as long to type this today because I can't sit at the computer without the accompaniment of my sweet Berkley, who believes she must lay on my arms while I type. Oh brother! Hope you enjoy this and pass it on. Name it anything you like so that no one has to thumb their noses at meatloaf again :-)
Well, fall is in full swing here at the White house. I'm drinking Chia lattes and wearing my sweatshirt all day and goodness, I would not be caught dead without socks and slippers. This is a new house to us, our first fall here, and we have definitely not found the sweet spot on the heater setting. I'm sure we will get there soon enough.
For now, it's cuddle up on the couch. I'm a true hound for T.V. at night. I know for many it is taboo, but for me and mine, it's a form of communication. An example is that we started watching the new series Dracula on Friday nights with our teens. You might think "gross!" but watching that I now know my youngest is paying attention in History class. He is full of information about the time period and it is so cool to hear him spout off facts about the industrial revolution. We also love sitcoms. Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and New Girl are all great shows we love to watch as a family.
I may love T.V. with the family but I really cherish the nights my girlfriends come for craft night once a month. This month was no exception. I think everyone had a great time working on the crafts. Last month we did Halloween banners. The girls did such a good job but it was super labor intensive so this time they asked me to keep it to something they could get done in one night and something they could follow to the T without much variation. I'm of the thought everyone should have lots of options but I "get it" when you're tired from work and you want something easy peasy.
We did three quick paper crafts for Thanksgiving. One was a "Give Thanks" banner and the other two were pumpkins for the mantel. On the banner, the girls stamped the cream insert of each banner piece with a variety of fall stamps I had. They glued the cream to the gold paper and then popped the letters, that I provided, with pop dot adhesive. Quick and simple, I sent them home with ribbon and mini clothes pins to hang it with. The only pictures I have are of mine on my mantel but you can imagine how great everyone's looks.
The rosettes are cut from a 12 inch piece of scrapbook paper.
You will need 1 piece of 3/4 in. by 12 in.
1 piece of 1in. by 12 in.
2 pieces of 1 1/4 in. by 12 in.
2 pieces of 1 1/2 in. by 12 in.
and 5 -3/4 in. circles
After you score all your strips at 1/4 inch increments, you will tape the ends together so you can form the rosette.
Glue the 3/4 in. and the 1 in. pieces so that they are tightly closed. Then glue one - 1 1/4 in. and 1- 1 1/2 in. rosette also tightly closed. Finally, glue the other 1 1/4 and the other 1 1/2 inch loosely closed to that when all pieces are place on top of each other, there will be a gradual variation from the tight 3/4 inch on top to the loose 1 1/2 inch on the bottom. Gosh, I hope that is clear. It's so much easier to explain in person. After you have the pumpkin pyramid. Top with a leaf or two and some green strips that are rolled and don't forget your little stem.
The second pumpkin was even simpler and you can get 2 from 1 piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper.
First cut your 12 in. paper in half and then cut 12- 1 inch strips. At this point you will either need to hole punch each of the 12 pieces or run it in one batch through the Big Bite.
Next you will need to secure a piece of ribbon through the whole with a brad. Then punch a second whole through the other ends of the strips. You will need to pull the ribbon through the second whole so that all the strips together form a bow and then secure it with a knot.
I found out a few years ago that you can thread something small with those flossers that you get when you have braces. It's an amazing tip and I use it consistently. Take a package of flossers that you find at your grocery store to your next craft retreat or stamp party and watch how excited your friends will get that you brought them this little tid bit of info. :-)
After you have secured the second hole with ribbon, fan out all the pieces and BAM you have a pumpkin. We added a few leaves, a few vines and another little stem. Super easy and they are just so cute.
Here are some of the girl's.. Love! Love! Everyone did such a good job :-)
All this crafting made it easy for me to put away Haloween decorations and get into Thanksgivng. Hard to imagine that Christmas is just around the corner. This is my Wednesday workspace. What's on your workspace? Have a great week!
It's been a few weeks since my last Wednesday workspace but don't let that fool you. I have been hard at work in the studio. Most of what I have done recently has ended up as presents and couldn't or can't be revealed until the recipient receives them.. I imagine this will be even more so in the next two months in preparation for Christmas. I am still doing things that aren't presents so I should have enough to keep this tradition of ours going without any more excuses.
Speaking of presents, today's fun project was for my husband's birthday a few weeks ago.. Man, was it hard to keep this under wraps. My studio is downstairs and I had to listen closely to the patter of his feet and be prepared to yell, "don't come down here!" constantly. Big 'ol sneaky man! I was just positive he knew what I was painting. He swears he never knew.
My husband has several hobbies but none more dear to his heart then playing the guitar and I just knew he would love a painting for his office.
I started by searching for photos of guitars that I knew he had but I chose the Les Paul because it really is what he has dreamt of purchasing since long before I met him. He has sacrificed a lot and had great self control in not purchasing one yet but hopefully I'll make loads of money and surprise him one day. I can dream right?
After looking at many photos, I drew this guitar out on a large canvas.
then I got to work on the body. After getting most of the body done I put on a masking agent called Miskit Liquid Frisket. It appears orange when it goes on and coats in a liquid rubber that smells horrible but when you are ready to remove it, it just rubs right off without taking any paint off with it. When you use this, use a brush you don't care about because it will never be the same. I used the mask to protect parts of the guitar I was finished with. I wanted to stipple black on the red to give it that "starburst" blended color that so many guitars have. It kind of gives it a sprayed over look. You will see on the final photos..
After the background the fnal touch was to put a clear gloss on the guitar body like a real guitar would have. These are the final photos. He must really like it because he has made me promise to do another, this time one of his first guitar.
So, I've been back for a few weeks from my whirlwind trip from N.Y. to Texas but it took some time to whip the place back into shape and get over some yucky sicknesses that awaited me at home. Leaving the men folk in charge meant lots of catch up and then there was the whole lack of sleep to replenish. I'm not a great sleeper in normal circumstances but factor in 3 days on the road in motel beds shared with large dogs and well, it took time. :-)
So rewind my complaint and insert comments about how much fun a road trip with my little sister was. Can I say we never turned the radio on once! Yeah, AMAZING! It really was never necessary. We had that much fun. I remember 10 hour road trips as a kid. Then there was pinching and crying and rarely the sound of laughter. Now, it's all laughing to the point of tears. We sure have come a long way.
As you might recall, I left on the Friday after Homecoming serpentine. Quick, I had to add this pic of London marching in the parade. He's the one in the full body morph suit. Our town puts on quite a show for Homecoming and this is his senior year. No way was I going to miss him march.
Back to the trip... On Friday, I spent 8 hours traveling to Albany, N.Y. from Seattle. I believe I get to count Illinois in my travel because I spent 1 1/2 hours in the airport there. It's the second time I've been to O'Hare and the second time racing to meet a connecting flight there, only to have it delayed at the gate. I'd be Ok with never "passing through" Chicago again. Take that off my bucket list.
So Connecting and delays got me into Albany at 1AM and our little adventure road trip began at 7:30.. OK, we didn't get on the road until 9:30 but that's not my fault!...OK, well, we didn't get on the road until 10:00 but still not my fault :-) There was the side trip to the mechanic, Duncan Donuts, the YMCA to cancel a membership, potty the dogs again and shove everyone back into the car and away we finally went...for a full 45 min. before Duncan Donuts' coffee kicked in and BAM!, the first of 57,000 bathroom breaks began ;-)
My sister and I traveled 1,700 miles, 7 states in a Mitsubishi Eclipse with a Saint Bernard and a Rhodesian Ridgeback. It was a challenge that we definitely conquered. We are women hear us roar!
N.Y. State was the slowest going but the most beautiful. We averaged stops every 45 min. to potty the dogs, or us, or fill the car, or just sight see. Yes, I said every 45 min.! I realize at that average it would have taken a week but dang people! N.Y., has the most amazing rest stops. They are mini malls and they are so restful. There is nothing like this in the country. In one building there would be a staffed tourist desk, a coffee shop, several fast food establishments, a gift store, and immaculate bathroom, a farmers market out front with beautiful N.Y. wares like maple syrup. One place even had a player piano. They were amazing and we made one excuse after another to stop ;-) Finally, we arrived in Buffalo and stopped at the Anchor Bar for a taste of the original buffalo wings. They weren't to bad but their idea of hot is not so hot for two Texas girls. The waitress had to bring us "suicide" sauce to get the perfect heat.
From there it was a quick jont over the Niagara Falls where Banga, the Saint Bernard became an international super star. We literally had 40 groups of various sizes and nationalities stop for a photo op with her. If you could google St. Bernard and Niagara Falls, you would see her face all over the place. It was crazy.
After Niagara we got moving down the road through the rest of N.Y., corner of Pennsylvania, and into Ohio where we stopped in Cleveland for the night. Heather and I felt Ohio won the most improved award. We really enjoyed the roads north of Columbus. Everything seemed so new.
Our second day on the road, we had mutiny from the back seat. Thud, her Ridgeback, took over the front seat at, you got it, a rest stop and refused to move. She was really planted there :-) The tour that day took us through many exotic places like Lebanon, Cuba, and Miami, Ohio. We took two small side trips that day. A field of corn sculptor park where Heather contemplated corn or maybe it was really just constipation. It was a pretty park and none of us wanted to get back in the car.
Our second stop was the largest horseshoe crab. I read it took 4 semi-trucks to bring it to its resting place in a church parking lot next to a laundry mat in the middle of nowhere. Of course you have to ask why, and we did, but even the locals had no idea. Here Heather contemplates the meaning of the horseshoe crab while in its belly.
Moving on we rushed to arrive in Memphis by midnight. Passing through Kentucky, we discovered they love to lick there. There was Big Bone Lick state park, Licker road, and Blue lick road. Makes you wonder what that's all about. Plus there were the Wal-Mart size "adult" stores on the side of the highway..hmm.... It was in Kentucky that we found our first sonic! I was so excited but it was a bonus to discover the dogs preferred drinking out of sonic cups instead of their dog bowls. This however causes Banga to drooll profusely and I was dry heaving over the thought of her hocking a loogie on the back of my head! Yes, it was that gross!!!uhgg..I'm grossed out now!
Monday, after spending the night in Memphis, our intention was to stop at Graceland but the dogs were having none of that. They wanted to "get there already!" so we did a drive-by and signed the Graceland wall.(apparently this is a thing) It's OK because, do I dare say here, we aren't huge Elvis fans.
On to Little Rock where we made a quick stop for BBQ and we safely arrived unscathed and loogie free in Hurst, Texas by 8 PM. Crazy but we did it! and I would have driven another 3 days if I could have persuaded Heather to move to Seattle instead of Texas!
So a few more things we learned from this trip are:
-Don't eat powder sugar donuts in the car.
-Our eyes are two old to play the license plate game.
-It takes 3 people to sell me one lottery ticket in Kentucky.
-The GPS chic doesn't like me (I didn't need her anyway) and she thinks 196 miles an hour is acceptable!
-My sister says I have an "amazing mind" and my sense of direction is crazy good (I told you I didn't need crazy GPS chic) and that I'm "a Travel Genius". If it were up to Heather, we would have returned to N.Y. three times. ;-)
-Sonic blue coconut tastes like suntan lotion.
-You can play Heads Up (the ipad game) for 3 hours without repeating the same words.
-You can adjust the game Heads Up to play in the car for 3 hours..
-There are places on this planet called Chittenango, Cheektaowgia, Likeawanna, Sterrehania, and Kuvahoga
-The Anchor waitress couldn't split the bill but she could take more than one credit card. WHAT???
-and last, THE BROWN SISTERS can laugh for over 30 hours without a nap!!!