Monday, April 20, 2009


I am going to see LEONARD COHEN in a few weeks and I AM SO EXCITED!!!! Thank you DH for not only buying the tickets but for agreeing to go (he's not the biggest fan!). So here you go, stream some of his music at this link.

Here's a clip of a documentary about him, which I also love...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

A good picture for this day - my orchid! This plant has bloomed every year since 2005, making this its 5th bloom. I don't know anything at all about orchids and am always completely surprised and thrilled when it shows signs of blooming again!

You might think this is an expensive nursery specimen - nope! Home Depot! When I was planning a 25th anniversary dinner for my mom and stepfather, I noticed a display of blooming orchids and stopped to look at them. I didn't have any idea how to care for them or choose one. Another woman was also looking at them and said that she couldn't believe the quality, she was a hobbyist and these were amazingly good orchids for Home Depot, and she was buying three of them. $20 fit my budget for a table display so I asked her to select one for me and now wish I had bought more. (None of the others I've bought since then have bloomed again, and only one is still alive a few years later.)
After it blooms I cut the stems back a bit, put it outside for the summer, and then in my bathroom for the winter until I see new stems and buds. It's lovely and lasts for months.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Angel Food Cake

DS2 inspired me to make an Angel Food cake by his description of how really good it was and how interesting it was to make. Let's be clear - he didn't find it interesting, he found it a little bit of a pain in the butt, but I thought it sounded fun. I don't make cakes from scratch - I made one, 23 years ago, in our first house - but I'm kind of ashamed of that, so I thought I'd try.

His cooking teacher used Alton Brown's recipe so I did too. I had to buy a pan, as a matter of fact, and cake flour, but it was SO worth it. DD is happy because she loves Angel Food cake, and this, well, this tastes dramatically better than the store-bought one.

Batter looks delicious, doesn't it? Thank goodness for electric mixers. DS2 did the folding and I did the sifting on this tricky part - he had the experience.

This looks like a lamp but it's the cake, cooling upside down on a wine bottle, to set the structure so it doesn't crush itself on the cake plate.
And the cake.
Everyone loved it with lemon curd, which really just made it perfect. I have to make another one this week for DD when she comes home. It was fun, and with the 12 egg yolks that were left over I made a whole lot of french toast for the freezer. Which will also make her happy, now that I think about it.

After that I cleaned for until it was time for a late dinner, so it's a good thing I had that cake for fun in the day! Oh yeah, and then at midnight I was in the parking lot of Game Stop so DS2 could pick up his new Nintendo DS the moment it was released. LONG DAY!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


At the quilt show I saw a lot of "redwork," an embroidery style developed during the Victorian era. I bought a few blue and white kitchen towels and decided to look for some free patterns online and make a few. Redwork is always done in just one color. I used to embroider a lot, but not since DD was born, when I picked up other needlework.

Part two of this story is that I have a friend who loves Obama. It's great - she has posters, a calendar, magazine pictures, screen savers - just like someone I know who used to have a shrine to Hanson. (You know who you are) When I came across this image for embroidery, I cracked up...

I decided I had to sacrifice one of my two new towels and embroider this for her. I traced that printed image onto the towel with a washable blue marker used for sewing:

Got to work with this needle and #311 embroidery floss....

and by 2:15 a.m. I had this masterpiece!

Here's a cropped shot. She is going to LOVE this just as soon as she stops laughing! It's even better if you click on it so you can see all the stitches. Now I wonder how many people have made this into a pillow/frame/quilt block/tea towel and mailed it to the White House?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Textile Day

First of all, this is what it looked like very early this morning. I thought it was beautiful, and that view will change very quickly as the woods turn green again.

Today I went to the......

with a friend. I am not a quilter, I will never be a quilter, and I don't really even like quilts all that much. But I do like my friend, and, you know, there was gonna be fabric there, so I went. Long day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., solid. I have to admit, the art quilts are gorgeous. Talented people out there. I'm not so much into the traditional patterns and colors but I certainly stand in awe of their work.

At any rate, I picked up just a few things. Like this red fabric by Japanese artist Yoshiko Jinzenji. I don't know what it is about this piece that I loved, but I do! It's a very high quality cotton, not a very big piece, and I don't know what I'll do with it. Yet. Really, click on the picture and look how cool it is.

Then there were these two very small hand-marbled cottons. I bought little pieces to make a headband of them, just because the were gorgeous.

Finally, this bundled of coordinated prints will make at least two bags. I really liked the colors and the prints that had been put together by the shop owner (quilters are so good at combining colors and prints) and it was reasonably priced. Just cotton. I have a very cute bag pattern to use with it.It was a fun/long day. Unfortunately, tomorrow I have to drive an hour to the appliance dealer we are using, and I was just there yesterday. Yesterday, when I went to finalize the order, he should have told me that there are 4 shades of black paint for my oven, and I need to pick one. He didn't. Big black mark against him. So tomorrow I have to drive an hour there, walk in for 43 seconds and point to the color chip, and drive back home.