Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Special Delivery

Look what arrived to my door step this afternoon!

I can't wait to absorb myself in it and become an expert ;-) I hear they have published a Fire King book too! There is a price guide in the book and I am now validated in saying that I cleaned up in Mountain View!

Cheers and have a good week!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The BIG 3-0 Weekend

Yes, I am officially old. But, I have had a pretty fantastic birthday weekend!

On Friday Jeff, some dear friends, and I started the night off with dinner at Simply Fondue. It was fabulous.

I have really been wanting to go to a fondue restaurant so this was quite a treat. The atmosphere is very inviting and you could tell everyone there was having a great time. I think it is nearly impossible not to enjoy yourself while eating fondue!

After dinner we went to Lola's to see our friend's Pablo and the Hemphill 7.

Jeff surprised me with red roses and diamond earrings for my birthday. He said that 30 is a classic birthday and since roses and diamonds are classic, that is what he wanted to give to me. It was a fantastic surprise that I was not expecting at all.

On Saturday, my actual birthday day, I lounged about the house and then went to the birthday party that my parents had for me. It was really nice. We had a New Mexican theme and everything was decorated so cute! I can't believe I did not take any pictures of it! My mom cooked Pinon Chile Beans and Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas for dinner. Both were recipes from our Culinary tour. It was delish (I am channeling Rachel Ray)! She even made guacamole like they do at Gabriel's! I also just realized that it is only 4 months until our return to Santa Fe! Wah Hoo! I can feel that desert mountain air now!

For dessert we had chocolate fondue which kept with my theme for the weekend. Also, my dear friends gave me an electric fondue pot for my birthday. I think a fondue party is in the works soon!

My mother is very in tune with my new found passion for Pyrex and gave me some of my grandmother's old Pyrex. I absolutely love it and it is very special to me.

On Sunday, I slept in, until about 10:45 which I never ever do because I am an early riser. Jeff made me my very first fried egg for breakfast. This is pretty miraculous because the boy does not cook. I usually like my eggs scrambled but I have to admit, a fried egg is not half bad, especially when you enjoy it with your 4th cup of morning coffee!

I lounged around the house and worked on knitting my socks. I got a load of progress done on these socks during the drive home from Arkansas last Monday. I conquered the heel flap and heel gusset!! I am very proud!

It was such a beautiful day today so I cracked open a few windows. While I was knitting, Ziggy was busy trying to figure out a way to make the great escape. We caught him climbing on the window!

Now, for the socks, I am working on shaping the toe and I will be done with my very first pair of hand knit socks.

Yes, it has been a great Birthday weekend.

You know, I have to admit, I kinda like being 30. :-)


Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Arkansas Vacation Part II

Saturday morning, on Valentines day, we had reservations at the local hot spot, Joy's. We had lunch around 11am and the food was delicious! I had the garden sandwich and I think that was probably one of the best sandwiches I have ever had. After lunch, we went antique shopping! Oh my goodness, I went on a vintage Pyrex shopping spree! I pillaged all the antique stores of all vintage Pyrex. I guess people in Mountain View just do not realize the fabulousness of vintage Pyrex. It is either that or I am just a major geek. I'm telling you, I cleaned up! So, for kicks, it is inevitable that I am going to post pictures of my Pyrex adventure. Oh, and there is a cute little vintage piggie in the mix too.

I found this little butter dish after I found the casserole dishes of this print on Friday.

I was thrilled to find 3 mixing bowls of the same print, large, medium and small!

This little treasure which matches with the mixing bowls, I already had in my cabinet! I am not really sure where it came from. It may be my sisters from when we lived together years ago. Possible a thrift store find?

This was seal too! It is vintage snack set. It's not Pyrex, I am not really sure what it is because it is not stamped. It may be Fire King? Whatever it is, it is adorable and I can't wait to have friends over for coffee, appetizers, and a little crafting!

And I also found the most precious vintage piggie planter I have ever seen!

After our antique shopping extravaganza we went back to the cabin and Kalin cooked the rainbow trout that he, my dad, and niece caught on Friday. He seasoned it and then sauteed it in olive oil. He made a fabulous salad too! I am not a big fish eater but this fish was fantastic.

While the fish was cooking, our little snicklefritz locked her mommy and daddy's bedroom door. At least she did not lock herself in on the other side. We all tried to pick the lock but it took Grand Daddy's master skills to bust it open. See, and Sis I am sorry for calling you out, but my sister would lock herself in her bedroom all the time when we were kids. In turn, Daddy developed great breaking and entering skills.

To top the night off we had chocolate fondue for dessert! Vi loved it....as if you could not tell with the chocolate all over her face. :-)

Late Saturday night my sister and I decorated the table for my mother's birthday. Table decorating is an old tradition with my household. On birthdays and holidays the table would always be decorated when my sister and I woke up in the morning. When we were old enough we were allowed to decorate the table ourselves. It was a lot of fun. To decorate my mothers 60th birthday table, my sister used her vintage strawberry linen table cloth and we also used the snack trays that I snagged while power shopping!

For her birthday lunch we had spinach salad with a homemade house dressing, herbed pasta salad (which my sister made and it was fabulous), and curried chicken salad.

My sister also made a fantastic Victoria sponge birthday cake with berries (a Nigella Lawson recipe). Oh, it was delicious.

After lunch Violet and my mother opened their presents. Violet was so sweet when she opened her gifts. She was so excited about them all and would say "oh, I love it!" "Oh, thank you!". When she got to my gift, she was rather confused. See, I took the loaf of felt bread that I made and put it into a real plastic bread sleeve. She opened it and look at it for a quick second and politely said "oh, peanut butter and jelly!" She thought her Auntie Lizzie made her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for her birthday but she was so sweet about it. She did kind of give a slight look of confusion and was more than likely thinking that her Auntie Lizzie has a screw loose. Her dad told her to open the bread so, she took the twisty tie off, opened the packaging, and took a big whiff as if it were a real loaf of bread. Boy, did I have her fooled! I guess my felt sandwich making skills are stellar, ha! She finally got it and realized that I made her play food! After presents, my mother and I went back to an antique store we were in the day before and I snagged this vintage dress form.

Well, that about sums up the trip. We had a really nice time and I miss them already! Until next time.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Arkansas Vacation Part I

So, every February my mom, dad, and myself travel to north east Arkansas to be with my sister and niece for our February birthday's. See, February is a very busy month for my family. My sister was born on the 3rd, my cousin was born on the 12th, then there is Valentines day to throw in the mix, my mom was born on the 15th, my niece was born on the 18th and I bring in the rear on the 21st.

When traveling with my parents, we always leave bright and early because my dad likes his ship to sail at the crack of dawn. On Thursday at about 5:30 am my parents pulled up and we loaded all my stuff up. I came to a revelation while packing that no matter how much I try to lie or rationalize to myself, I am NOT a light packer. I required a different outfit for every day which also consisted of a different pair of shoes for every outfit. I managed to narrow it down to 2 coats, 2 sweaters, and a hoodie too. Oh, then I have to accessorize which meant that I had to have lots of jewelry and scarfs. I certainly could not forget to my spinning wheel, roving, and spinning accessories oh, and then of course, my latest knitting project, crafting books, magazines, ipod, and dvd's. I also needed snacks for the road so I had a bag full of groceries too. You should have seen my dad's face when he realized all the stuff I was going to take! Classic.

To back up a bit, our trip was threatened when my mom received a call the Saturday before we left informing her that our cabin reservation had been cancelled. See, about 2 weeks ago, Mountain View had an ice storm which left many people without power for many weeks so, our cabin was given away to one of the Entergy workers, our cabin with a 5 month reservation, our cabin that is surrounded by about 60 other cabins. So, we were very confused as to why our cabin was cancelled and really really disappointed to say the least and thought our trip was ruined. But, to be understanding, Arkansas having electricity is much more important than us having a cabin, but nonetheless, we felt sorry for ourselves. So, after countless hours, my sister found a cabin about 9 miles outside of town, along the white river. This sounded perfect! We were all excited and relieved that our trip was not ruined by the evil pine wood cabin people (ha, just kidding, they are not evil)!

So, back to our 5:30 ship off. About half way into our 8 hour drive on Thursday, my sister calls me and says "Um, I just got to the cabin but the road is washed out. I don't think you can get down it. Should I tell Daddy?" Um, what do you mean washed out and yes you should tell Daddy! Where else will we stay!?! So, lets skip back to a week after the ice storm, tornadoes hit the same area the ice storm did. The storms associated with the tornadoes washed out the road and prevented us from staying at the this cabin that we reserved at the last minute because the ice storm prevented us from staying at the pinewood cabins. What the heck is up with all the natural disasters in Arkansas? Geeze!!!! Come to think of it, this time last year when we went to visit for the annual birthday trip, there was a tornado that just hit the area and basically devastated it! Um, Sis, it is time to relocate! After realizing that we were halfway into our drive and now had no place to stay, my sister once again save the day and found a cottage for us just 2 blocks from the square in Mountain View! It was such a lovely little cottage and I think it was meant to be! I had my own little space which I referred to as the "tree house". It was a great big room on the second floor with 4 beds! There was a teeny tiny spiral stair case that lead to a teeny tiny door that led to the room. I felt like Alice (you know, Alice in Wonderland). It also had several lovely windows which I opened every morning for fresh air and a balcony, not to mention cable T.V. ! I caught several old school movies with Audrey Hepburn while I was in the tree house. It was fantastic! Here are a few shots of the little cottage that I took.

The "tree house"

This is the sun room. We had coffee and tea out here and it was fantastic! I am inspired to close my back porch in to make it look like this!

The living/dining room and kitchen:

I think those are all the shots I got. My mom took some great shots outside. I am going to pillage her camera for pictures and I will post those later.

After we arrived on Thursday Carrie and I had a class to attend at Ritzy Rags (that is me using Renee's fancy quilting machine). We learned how to make quilted zipper bags. It was tons of fun. I got way too involved in my project and was not able to finish but, I think I will be able to take a few minutes this weekend to finish it up. So far, I am pleased with the way it is turning out. I will post pictures of the finished project later!

On Friday my mother, sister, and I took another class at Ritzy Rags and learned how to make quilt squares. I have been interested in quilting for a while now and after taking this class, realized how easy it can be! I think I may be whipping out quilt pretty soon but I am still waiting for that quilt that my sister owes me from this past Christmas! Just kidding Carrie! I think we all did a pretty good job on our squares.

After our crafting we did a drive by to the Pinewood Cabins where my mother soon realized that there were in deed vacancies via the vacancy sign hanging on the office door. We were done wrong!!! My sister was driving and innocently followed my mothers directions past the cabins. My sister was telling us a story about something and then out of nowhere my mother bellowed "Nanny nanny Boo-boo" as we past the cabins. No, I don't think there is any bad blood there at all. So, for the rest of the evening I inevitably had to tease my mom with repeating the "Nanny nanny Boo-boo" phrase. After the drive by stalking at the Pinewoods, we went to a great little antique mall where I found some great Pyrex! Oh, how I love Pyrex! This print is my absolute favorite! It is the Amish print. The color is absolutely fantastic.

On Friday afternoon while we were crafting and stalking, my dad, Kalin, and Violet were out fishing. Once they got to the river, my dad said "whoever catches the most fish gets ice cream.". My niece took this to heart and caught the most fish and was subsequently rewarded with ice cream. She came back to the cottage with a cup full of ice cream and strawberries. When she got home after her fishing extravaganza, she joined my mom, sister, and I upstairs for my mother's very first tarot card reading!! Very exciting!

Friday evening my sister and I decorated the dinning room table for Valentines day. We had tons of fun getting things together! Here is a shot of the table:

Oh, also earlier Friday evening, I spoiled my Valentines day gift and gave everyone their marshmallows early. My sister made hot chocolate and topped it off with a nice fluffy homemade marshmallow.

Stay tuned for the rest of our trip!!! To be continued!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Anna Maria will be selling oil cloth soon! All my dreams have come true. :-)

Back In Business!!

Over the past week and a half I have come to appreciate a little something that I have regularly been taking for granted...the Internet. After several visits by service people from our lovely local cable company and a new modem...it seams that I once again have the ever beloved Internet connection. Yes, all the green dots on the modem are flashing which is such a wonderful feeling. For the past year we have battled a horrible Internet connection. However, you know how it goes...the minute you pick up the phone to call and complain and demand better service, "lows and behold" as my grandma would say...it starts working again. It is like the annoying fax machine at work...it malfunctions, you call the tech guy, he gets there and the machine works perfectly fine. Oh, and just like that pesky computer that freezes over and over again and you once again call the tech guy to come fix it and sure enough...it works just fine for him. I think you see my point. Machines have a mind of their own and will take every opportunity possible to make you look like a fool. Or, at least that has been my experience anyway. But this time I beat the machine and we got our Internet speed upgraded for free. :-) Oh how I have missed reading all my favorite blogs! I have so much catching up to do.

So, during this time of not having Internet I have been pretty busy! First of all on Wednesday Jeff and I celebrated Valentine's day because I was going to be out of town visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and niece for the annual February birthdays. Jeff and I went out and had a nice dinner and then we went to see Coraline!It was great and I want to see it again! Stop motion is absolutely amazing.

After our Valentines date we came home and I started packing (for my 5:30 am roll out on Thursday) and finishing up last minute birthday and Valentine's day gifts. I FINALLY made marshmallows! For years I have wanted to do this but just never got around to it. So, for Valentine's day I decided that marshmallows would be the perfect gift. For my first try, they turned out pretty well and they are fantastic dipped in chocolate fondue...more on that later.

Oh, as for the p.j's I have been working on...did I ever mention that I sewed the button holes on the back side of the pants? Ugh. Lesson learned...never ever sew after a long day at work. EVERYTHING ends up wonky. I think that they are salvageable though, whew!

I also made soaps for my sister and mother for Valentine's day. I ordered a ton of fancy glycerin from From Nature With Love and also a dark chocolate fragrance oil. The order I placed arrived on Tuesday in just enough time to whip out some soap! The soap smells yummy. I thought chocolate and marshmallows would make a lovely Valentine's day gift. :-) I added cocoa powder to the soap for the speckled look.

For my mother and sister's birthday, I made them mason jar pin cushions. Every sewer needs a mason jar pin cushion. They are so happy and cute! I have some of the cutest dress form and thread print fabric. I have been looking for the perfect excuse to use it and I think this little project was it. I found this fabric with my sister in Batesville, Arkansas at the ol' Marshall Dry Goods last year.

For my mom, I needle felted a scarf which was project inspired by this book. There are so many great projects in this book!

For my sister I took the same design concept and applied it to a different project in the book.

I was able to wrap up the "great felt food project" for Violet just in time to leave for the trip. I really love the way it turned out and it was so much fun to make. It is very time consuming but there is something very satisfying about it too. So, here are ALL the pictures, hang with me here for a sec. Ok, you saw the posting of the bread. Here is the rest of it:

Organic Turkey and American Cheese:

Swiss Cheese and Lettuce:

Pickles and Tomatoes:

Mustard, Ketchup, and Mayo and The Finished Product:

Oh and I made P.B.&J. too!

So, that is it for now. Stay tuned tomorrow for the blog on my vacation!


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