Happy Halloween

To all the ghosts (me), goblins, trolls, princesses, glitter fairies, Chilean miners, Kardashians, et al.


A chance to see Hatch Show Print

I hope that, if you're interested, you found the link to the Fossil Hatch Show Print contest entry before I did. Actually, I found it the other day when going on about Fossil's blog. But, I didn't take closer look at it until this morning.

It has been a standard Monday, which means this is the first time I've had to sit down and finish out this post. If I hurry up, you'll have about one hour to register.
So, why even bother writing this post (besides the fact that I had already started it before heading to the gym)? Well, I love Hatch Show Print! I first came across them at World Market, when I saw these awesome wine labels. I bought the wine for the label design, at I time that I was always looking for western graphic design inspiration, and ended up enjoying the wine. I really recommend it!
The picture comes from this site, which also has a history of the wine and Hatch Show Print.

I think that Hatch Show Print sparked my love of letterpress. So far, I have admired their work from afar. I check out eBay every so often for vintage posters, and I keep the Hatch Show Print book in my BN wishlist. I hope that I win the Fossil contest so that I can go visit the shop!

available at Barnes and Noble


To BLady

To a wonderful mother, confidante and friend. 


Two hobbies in one

So, my online shopping has become a bit of a hobby. Which as fine as long as it doesn't lead to online buying. I'm on an online buying diet right now, but that doesn't stop me from online shopping. I just had a shopping trip in my winter clothes storage bins, so what I'm looking for are new ways to put what I have together into seasonally-fresh outfits.

One of my favorites for outfits is Anthropologie. They always have new little features on outfits by a theme. Often, they are a little over the top or designed for someone the size and shape of a toothpick, but I usually pick up a trick or two. Their new feature seems to have outfits in their appropriate Saturday activity locations. I was already thinking of a bike ride on Saturday, but I bet I wouldn't look this cute.

Now, two of my other favorite go to sites have also started blogs that I just love.

What inspires the editors at this blog inspires me. I love the cardigan look. Tomorrow is perfect cardigan weather, too. There are a lot of photos of classic style alongside landscapes and art. I also like the tagline. Too bad its taken, now.

This blog won me over with the pictures of Round Top and Warrenton the first time I checked it out. It made me homesick. I've missed seven different chances to attend the semi-annual antiques/junk/crafts/art show spanning the stretch of highway 237. This one definitely made it on to my google reader list. The only problem is that I don't get to see the cool header. I like the graphic a lot.


Beaker terrarium

Yes, that is a really big beaker. Actually, an Erlenmeyer flask. Still, it was pretty cool sitting on the sales table in Anthropologie a couple of months ago. Alas, it is no more. Saturday, I stopped by the office to pick up something I left in my bag and bumped into the tray that was sitting next to the terrarium on the window sill. It came crashing to my desk, luckily avoiding any electronics and only breaking into a couple of big pieces.

I've been meaning to write about this for a while, but I've been putting it off. And, not just because I've been a bit slow at letting y'all know what I've been up to. This picture was taken a few months ago, a couple of months into the terrariums life. On Saturday, when it came to its end, the tall little plant was shooting out of the top and had choked off the fern down below. I was going to change out the plant in my terrarium and then post new pictures for you.

I was inspired to make a terrarium by instructions in the April issue of Better Homes and Gardens. Almost at the end of the magazine was a couple of pages of craft projects in the better family section. It says that is perfect for young kids, which I took to mean easy to do on a Saturday afternoon without making too much mess. The flask at Anthropologie helped me with the first on the list of the things I needed, and a trip to the greenhouse provided the rest. 

The folks that said this would be good for younger kids didn't mean for you to choose a flask for your glass container, and here is where the difference between a flask and a beaker becomes more important. Getting those plants into the flask was difficult and getting them planted even harder. I resorted to using my knife sharpener to help poke the plants around the base, and I tried to use it to shovel dirt. It worked pretty well. 

I am sad that my Beaker terrarium is no more, but I still have the instructions, pebbles, activated charcoal and potting soil needed to start another one. Maybe this time I'll choose a real beaker.


Monday night Fall dinner

It was a lovely fall dinner. But, I was too involved in putting it together, eating it and enjoying the fellowship of the folks also eating it to take pictures. So, I will try to use my words to bring the same response that a couple of drool-worthy pictures might have.

Well, for starters, I had summer sausage and cheese. Yum, I know. One of the summer sausages had cranberries in it, which tasted very good. There were a few slices left, so I'll get to enjoy those, probably for dinner tomorrow. My leftovers dinner will also include the sharp cheddar cheese, which was perfectly paired with the crisp, sweet apples from the farmers' market on Saturday.

The main course was BLady's pinto beans. This was the first recipe that made it into my little handwritten cookbook, the first recipe that I had to call home for (to go with Corky's ribs for July 4th, of course). To take the stage as the main course, I 'beefed' the vegetarian dish up with an assortment of peppers that I roasted under the oven broiler. There were a couple of jalapenos, a red/green bell pepper, and then a couple of peppers that just looked kinda cool at the farmers' market. Then, several hours of (purposeful) neglect later, the beans were pretty durn good. I did forget to salt them, though, which was evident when I saw someone go back for the salt. Oops.

To accompany this star, I had regular cornbread and jalapeno cornbread, made from jalapenos pickled back in Texas. I love jalapeno cornbread, even though I don't normally like spicy hot foods. Heck, I just love cornbread. But, the reason for two types of cornbread was the ending of the "I love jalapeno cornbread" sentence. I was concerned that the heat from all those roasted peppers would be too much when added to jalapeno cornbread. So, I just made a second batch and left out the jalapenos. I used a recipe from BHG.com for both. BHG, Better Homes and Gardens, that is, is a go to place for recipes. BLady has almost always had a subscription, so many of the recipes I see online are familiar from the pages of that Des Moines publication.

Okay, back to dinner. My friend's T and J rounded out the meal flavorfully and nutritionally with a nice salad that had slivered almonds and dried cranberries.

After our health dinner and a health discussion of the Truth Project video that we watched this week, we had a not so healthy dessert. This was the piece de resistance. Okay, that is a little prideful. But, it was pretty, even if it was only pretty yummy. I made Martha's Spiced Lemon cake. Way to go Martha on a yummy cake that was the perfect size for my Life Group!

It would have probably been more yummy, in my opinion, if I had followed instructions a little better. The ingredients said the juice of two lemons, but the instructions said to use 3 tablespoons in the cake and the other 3 tablespoons in the glaze. I missed that division and poured the whole thing of lemon juice into the cake. This resulted in a moist, dense cake, which looked little like the cake at the left. My glaze wasn't quite so smooth and I decorated the top of the cake with lemon zest from the extra lemon.

This cake gave me a chance to use my beautiful cake stand that I won in a door prize drawing. I topped off the cake with autumn leaf cookies decorated with orange sugar sprinkles and dipped in Target. These came from Target, but tasted as good as they looked.

Thank you to the folks who came and shared my home and their thoughts with me tonight. I can't wait to finish this conversation.

Now, the dishwasher is full and the counter is wiped clean. Time to drink my peppermint tea and call it a night. I will try very hard to take pictures of the next yummy meal I create. If only my dining room table were bigger, I'd invite y'all all.

Banana Jelly

I made this stove top banana jelly over the summer, and it was Yummy. It was easy to make, too, and uses up your very ripe bananas. The ingredients all goes in a pot on the stove, and you just keep an eye on color and clarity. I remember that it had lime juice and granulated and brown sugars. I just wish that I could remember the rest of the recipe. Or, which of the myriad of magazines it might have been in. I checked out Health, Cooking Light, and BHG online without any luck. Did anyone else remember seeing this recipe?


Happy (Belated) Anniversary

It's amazing how creative you can be when the pressure is off. I had so much fun doing this invitation, and it only took me about 10 minutes. It was an invitation to an anniversary party for my parents. But it only went out to one family. Curious? BLady and Pops were ring leaders in a surprise anniversary party for my Pastor and his wife.

The invitation was a success, graphically and logistically. But the cat was let out of the bag by a number of different things. One of the big ones was your's truly. I wasn't in church that Sunday morning (the event was Sunday night). Pastor knows me well enough to know that I'd be down there for any event of this magnitude. I warned the family that he would figure it out, but the rest of the invitations had already gone out for the real party and they couldn't change the date.

You'll probably see this invitation again in some other form. I really liked the squiggle background, and I used two of my favorite fonts.


Applique cardigan a la Anthropologie

This cardigan cost me $3 at Target, and the fabric was something that BLady was gonna get rid of last February. The fabric as a whole is a bit intense, but cut down into separate motifs, the individual flowers are quite pretty.

I don't know if this actually looks like something that Anthropologie would sell, but I did see some tees in there this summer that were just pieces of fabric appliqued onto the neck. The edges weren't finished, which made me think that I could do this project.

After sitting in pieces for a couple of weeks, it only took me one evening to put this together.

I cut out the different motifs that I liked and then ironed them onto some sheets of Underwunder.  Then, I laid them out on the cardigan and ironed them on. Finally, I sewed them onto the cardigan to make sure that they didn't end up coming off in the wash. I sort of haphazardly sewed them on. I followed the edges some and also sewed down the middle of some of the bigger pieces. I'm hoping that what it lacks in finesse, it makes up for by being eclectic.

Tell me what you think! Would you wear this?


Gallery Night

Each week or so, I get an email from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. This lovely museum hosts regular events, most notably the annual Art Fair on the Square. This past week, I stumbled upon their bi-annual Gallery Night. There were 65 sites throughout Madison that had art or events or both. I made a pass through the long list and started to plan my trip geographically. I even had Megs take a look at the list and short descriptions and tell me where to go. All of hers were on my list, but it still was too long by half to hit everything. I kept the list and will be back to visit many of those places during regular hours. It was probably pretty mean to get Megs involved, since she couldn't come with me.

My first stop was to my favorite place in Madison - Anthology on State Street. I was there on a mission - to get cute shower gifts. As is always the problem with gifts, I'm afraid the recipient is also a reader. So, y'all will just have to wait a little bit to see those pretties.

Next, I went to Carta StudioWorks with my friend. My friend is a friend of the artists - does that make me their friend once removed? You have to go check out their website. No really, two of my favorite of Dave's works are on the home page.

I happen to know that Winter Sky (on right) is no longer available. But, I have the benefit of knowing who bought it. I've already tried to wrangle an invitation over to continue to stare at the painting. The one of the left, Heading into Clovis, is absolutely gorgeous in person. From across the studio, it looks like a sheet of copper with a carefully developed patina. Then, you see the sunrise over the horizon. Up really close, you can see at the edge of the horizon, the New Mexico (I assume) mountains. 

Early Spring Marsh (go to the website!) was the first one that drew me in. Like the two above, it's from Dave's landscapes collection. And, like Winter Sky, it uses the gray and red to convey that feeling of water in the early morning. You can read more about Dave's technique on the website, but he uses photographs, mainly of organic nature, to create the art in the computer by layering those photos with colors and texture. From there evolves the scene, rather than being limited by what the camera captured. The website does a better job than my description in describing the process. 

I love art, but rarely find myself staring at the paintings, photos, etc. or coming back to them again and again. Friday evening, I kept coming back over to these works, discovering something new, like the mountains of Clovis, each time I looked.