Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Coincidences and Funny Photos

I asked my son to snap a photo of me and my hubby before we headed out the door to the party. So he did and it wasn't until after we got home that I saw how funny the snapshot was.
See the painting - hanging over our heads.

I guess history does repeat itself.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fancy Food and Holiday Festivities

The party started with clam chowder and a wonderful salad.

Then there was the Portobello Wellington

And then there was the steelhead with leeks and shallots oh, and of course, there had to be kale ;D


I ate too much but had a lot of fun



Monday, December 15, 2014

Shark Attack

It was so much fun seeing everyone dressed up at the Christmas Party and I especially loved seeing all the fancy shoes and the ones that were really out there.

Like these shark shoes:

How much fun is that?

And I thought I was going wild by painting my gold...



Sunday, December 14, 2014

DIY Shoe Coloration

I haven't worn HIGH heels since I was 21 because after that I got pregnant and I was never crazy enough to try lugging a 10 pound baby around while wearing heels. And it just got to be a way of life, with three little kids.

But now that the kids are all grown up and I was going to a company Christmas party, I thought...I could get a pair of heels.

So I did.

But I wanted them to have a golden underside and I couldn't find any in my price range. So, I thought, I can do that.

I simply went to the craft store and bought some acrylic paint.

And then I went to work...

It took a couple of coats. But...

Wah-Lah!!! It worked.

And the paint lasted well, even better than my feet and ankles in these pretty heels.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

From Tablecloth to Christmas Outfit

I got this great deal on fabric at Joann Fabric right before Thanksgiving and I made a quick tablecloth and some napkins (see above). But then Thanksgiving was over and I wanted something new to wear to the holiday Christmas party so I went shopping but I couldn't find anything I wanted. But I was inspired...

I thought I'll take my tablecloth and turn that beautiful gold fabric into a dress but my friend said, "gold lame' should only come in small doses." So I thought, "okay, how 'bout a shirt?"

She laughed but after work I pulled out the tablecloth and laid it out on the floor. Then I put a tank top over it to use like a pattern and started cutting.

And then I started sewing.


 And about an hour after I started, Wah-Lah! I had a new Christmas shirt to wear to the party.

But I thought . . . what about an accessory? I mean, after all, I had a ton of fabric left. So, I thought maybe something to hold back this wild head of hair.

And it sure was fun making something out of a tablecloth :D


December 10th

Only 15 more days 'til Christmas. Wow! I haven't finished all the projects I'd been planning to have done by Thanksgiving.

I guess I'd better pull out the cards, wrapping and do a little more shopping.

I thought I'd have scarves knitted, hats wrapped and yummy foodstuffs stocked all around the house. But, somehow the time slipped by and I haven't finished all those projects I have in the hopper.

So, it's going to be a busy weekend. As the countdown begins...


Monday, December 8, 2014

Peppermint Popcorn - an EZ holiday treat

This is an easy way to make a tasty treat you can give as a gift.



INGREDIENTS:

Freshly popped popcorn (6-8 cups)
1 package of white chocolate (can be chips or candy)
4 large peppermint candy canes

 OPTIONAL:
Salt (just a few pinches)

TOOLS:

Baggies
Wax Paper
metal bowl
Pyrex dish (for melting chocolate)
Containers

PROCEDURES:

Pop your corn and set aside while you melt your white chocolate.
Pour the white chocolate over the popped corn.
Sprinkle a pinch or two of salt over your popped corn.
Break your candy canes by putting them in a large baggie and then smashing them with a can of corn or some other vegetable. Sprinkle your crunched candy canes over the top of your popped corn and stir all together.

Line your containers with waxed paper and fill with the Peppermint Popcorn.

Tah-Dah, you're done!

Wonderful gift and so yummilicious.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mead v. Glӧgg

Some people think they are the same thing. But...they are definitely not.

I love Glӧgg probably because I love sweet drinks and fruity wines but I am definitely not a beer drinker. And Mead is more of a beer-type drink while Glӧgg is a sweet wine drink.


Mead is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting honey with water and it can have other ingredients like fruits, spices, grains and hops, where the hops create a bitter beer flavor.

The main ingredient in mead is honey that has been fermented and can be carbonated, sparkling, dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. 

While Glӧgg is always sweet and is made with wine. 

These are very different types of beverages and just because you like one doesn't mean you'll like the other. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tasty Tuesday - Danish Glögg

Every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I have to make an old traditional drink:

Danish Glӧgg and here's how I make it:

Ingredients:

1 Jug of red wine (Sangria is what I use)
1-2 apples sliced
1-2 oranges sliced
4 cinnamon sticks
1 can of frozen orange juice
1 can of frozen apple juice

Optional:

(1/8 cup) Cardamom seeds
(2 slices of fresh) ginger
1 cup of raisins (soaked in rum)
cloves (1/8 cup)





(Tie spices and fruit up in cheesecloth)

Here's how I make mine:

First I pour the wine in pot and seep the spices on low heat for a couple of hours.

The entire house will benefit from the warm spicy scent and then I pull out the spice bag and serve the "spiced wine" or Danish Glӧgg in ceramic mugs with a fresh cinnamon stick for stirring.

Cheers!

(And when you're finished with the "spice bag" you can empty the contents in a bowl and have the ingredients serve as a holiday potpourri.)


Monday, December 1, 2014

Hope you all had a Happy and Healthy Holiday

It was a holiday filled with movies, musicals and memories and way too much food. We couldn't just have one turkey - we had to have two. A chocolate one and a poultry version.

At least we started out the day by running in the Portland Turkey Trot at the Zoo.


Then we went home and had an early "dinner" and ran out to watch Mocking Jay the third Hunger Games movie.

The next morning was filled with shopping and going to see the musical production of Bat Boy at the Funhouse Lounge.

Saturday Lars worked on the floor in the chibrary, which isn't easy because he's trying to match up old wood from flooring in the house from 1890 (almost 125 year old wood), but I think it's looking pretty. This spot used to only have plywood flooring because it was behind the chimney in the attic.


and it flew by and Sunday was a blur.

How was your holiday?



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Decorating Your Holiday Table on a Budget

You can spend a fortune decorating but here's a few ideas that will help make your holidays less expensive but just as pretty.

I wanted special napkins for this Thanksgiving so I went to the fabric store and bought 4 yards of beautiful gold lame' and used that for the tablecloth.

I also bought 1 yard of dark brown satin (for $2.00 because it was on sale) and went home and cut out strips and started sewing straight lines, without even measuring (that accounts for the different sized napkins).

Then I hot glued little napkin holders out of stiff ribbon and slipped the rectangular clothes inside the holder to make little "bow tie" napkins. I set them in the middle of the plates and Wah-Lah napkins for less than I could have bought pretty paper ones at the store for.


My family didn't think these satin napkins were very practical and joked about wearing them for the holidays. (See the guy at the end of the table holding it up like a bow tie...) But I thought they added a festive touch to the table. And you could use red and green for Christmas or silver and gold for New Years.

 




Monday, November 24, 2014

Progress on the Chibrary


Wah-Lah!!! A wall of books. And just like a wonderful fiction novel, this is a make-believe library.

Just don't look too closely or you'll see that the books repeat . . . And you can see the spacing we used for placing the wood in between the rows of books (see the strips of blue paint peeking through - that's how we set a framework for the wood trim) to give the faux library a 3-dimensional look or how we created the illusion that the books were popping out of the wall.
But even though this is an odd little space, behind an exposed chimney, in an upstairs corner of a large bedroom, I, of course, wanted a little library. But the reality is (according to my husband) that the sitting bench and the corner reading nook take up about all the room there is in that tiny corner. But it wasn't so easy for him to convince me and I wasn't ready to give up on my dream of having my own private library. So, together, we decided to create the illusion of a little library without using any extra room--that we didn't have.

Here's how we did it.

Tools (or what you will need to create your own faux library):

Some water, a towel and some paper towels, a pair of scissors, and (most important) the wallpaper with the books on it. I ordered this wallpaper on Amazon but there are lots of other designs but since I have an old house, I was looking for a wall of books that appeared old too. This is a wallpaper border but we used it to cover an entire wall.

First we started out with the wall of wainscoting. And since the wainscoting was already level, we had a great place to start laying the wallpaper.

Then we measured, cut, dipped the self-adhesive wallpaper in the water and pressed it into place. One row after another.

And after we had the wallpaper in place, we framed the wall with wood trim to make it really look like library bookshelves.

And I think this effect really gives the illusion of having a wall of books behind the chimney but it's such an odd little corner, with so many angles and corners, that it's difficult to get a good picture of the new chimbrary or chibrary, whatever you want to call it. But I think you get the idea.



Now we still have a little touch up work to do, like laying a little bit of flooring in this area...but it's really starting to come together and seeing this, I think this little library is going to be one of my favorite spots in the house now.







Sunday, November 23, 2014

Going Green

I meant to have this scarf finished by the fall and I guess, technically, I did it but it's a little late for when I wanted to have it done. Now, Christmas is coming and forest green will probably be the style but I am really loving this lime green color right now.

So I bought some yarn and went right to work but somehow life got in the way. And I just finished it today. And I've got to get some use out of it before the color scheme of the season changes.


And I've got to get busy because I have a lot of projects that I have planned as presents that I haven't even started.

How 'bout you, any projects you're just now finishing that you wanted to have done sooner?



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Revisions and Research

So I've been working on revisions of my story The Viking Princess and along with revisions I'm doing more research.

This is a Fantasy that starts in the middle ages and involves a retelling of a Norse Legend. But, some of the research is very difficult because it involves archaic language that no longer exists as we know it.

I've decided to start posting some of my research as I go through the revisions, which I'm hoping will be interesting to some people out there.

Like the word "tent". I was looking at the word that existed during the time period I'm working with and the most suitable word would have been "feldhus". The word "hus" is "house" in Danish and perhaps you would have been able to figure out that feldhus is a field house or tent but I'm not so sure.

These are the kinds of issues I'm working with during my revision process.

Just thought I'd start sharing some of my process.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

A WEEKEND FILLED WITH FRIENDS AND FALLS

Breathtaking Multnomah Falls

And just peering out at the clouds is enough to take your breath away.
It was a fun way to spend a day.



Sunday, November 2, 2014

Running in Portland Oregon

Saturday morning I woke up with that sugar hangover from the night before and thought I'd run off a few of those candy bars I snacked on over the last couple of days.

Here's a view of my November 1, 2014 run...

And this is only one of the parks in the center of the city.
There are lots of others to visit, like Forest Park, Mt. Tabor and Normandale just to name a few.

But there's also Washington Park, Macleay, Eastmoreland and more.

There's also Cathedral, Lents and Gabriel parks but today I'm simply posting pictures from a run I took through Laurelhurst Park.







Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Witching you all a Happy Halloween!