Saturday, January 24, 2009


after I made that leather braided necklace, I had several inches left of each of the three stuffed leather tubes, and after all that work I was NOT going to let them go to waste. So I braided them together, stitched the ends closed around a bit of leather thong. I tied the ends on one side to create a loop, and made a big chunky knot on the other side to go through the loop. Now I have a bracelet. I've worn it more than the necklace, actually. Maybe I should put the necklace on leather thong; I like it better than chain.

hopefully tomorrow I can post a silk blouse recon I did over break, too. I'm staying home while Cass goes skiing with his pops. This weekend has been a mess. We were hit by a negligent driver Thursday night and we both have whiplash (mine's a bit worse - no steering column to brace against), and my lower back was messed up again by the impact. sigh. At least the xrays cleared my spine: no fractures, and no damage aside from the preexisting degeneration in my lumbar. However, I've spent most of the weekend unproductively, sleeping whilst heavily medicated. I'm pretty stressed about the coming week and getting back on my game while still on valium. argh.

Welp, almost midnight and in the spirit of catching up, I have some homework to be getting to.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

first canvas of 2009

breath. oilbar on canvas. 22 X 28. 2009.

darker patches are still wet. I tend to put these up on the wall to dry; they're out of the way and likely safer. Better pictures in a couple weeks, when I take it in to be photographed.

Olivia Bee is my hero. I'd love to do another, if she'd let me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

new earrings

I whipped these up last night, between bites of dinner (below: gorgonzola-stuffed pears and dressed arugula with bacon, yum). Ever since I got these volcanic stone beads, I've been thinking of making something like the luna scribble earrings. They kind of make me think of an eclipse, you know? Or perhaps they should be called the dark-side-of-the-luna-scribble earrings. It was nice to get to wear them today!

We cleaned everything yesterday, washed the floors, rewired an antique floor lamp for our living room, I filed all last quarter's schoolwork, the works. It was nice. I lit candles in the bedroom and we sat in the living room and enjoyed the soft flickering coming from across the way. It was my last free night, and Cass worked on a car body he has to paint and I made earrings and read about Philip IV of Spain, and we listened to Christmas carols and watched the beautiful snowfall collecting, in our house that feels surprisingly spare and empty without the glittering tree. (I am always very sad to take down the tree. Don't you wish we could have them all year round? Or at least, all winter?) We drank cava and toasted a goodbye to our quiet holiday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

winter lunch for one

A simple post I forgot to do last week. This is actually a post about cheese (not the first time, unlikely to be the last). Cass and I have been feeling the effects of being somewhat snowbound, with holiday cooking going on, and have been consciously shifting gears to lighter fare for the start of the year. So, in the spirit of things, I made this lunch. It was one of those nice days when there was a little sun on the snow, and I lingered over my pot of tea and worked on homework for next quarter.

Green beans, steamed until crisp tender. Topped with just a little butter, a bit of the steaming water, a little salt, and a good dose of fresh ground pepper.

A red bartlett pear, cut into wedges and cored, sauteed in about 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp brown sugar, and black pepper, with a shot of brandy. I cooked until the not-quite-ripe pear was softened, and the sugars were caramelized and browning. I really liked how this turned out; I think I'll try it for dessert sometime.

Two slices of sourdough, cut in half, topped with a bit of Snofrisk, and a small spoonful of lingonberries. Snofrisk is my new favorite, though I don't think it's very healthy. It's a Norwegian cheese made of 80% goat's milk, and 20% cow's cream. Hm. It tastes like chevre-flavoured cream cheese - so sinfully good. It comes in this little triangular plastic tub and you can find it at Whole Foods in the cooler with the pre-packaged cheese next to or near your fancier cheese area. This is one of my favorite ways to eat it - give it a go! Lingonberry preserves are available in a lot of places these days. My cheapies here are from Ikea.

And to drink? Murchie's Black Currant tea (black tea infused with black currants) that a friend brought back from Canada. One of my favorite ways to use up the leftover demerara sugar.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

let the gifting continue (my conscience can't take it otherwise)

So all this making (for gifts, and then for myself) has got me feeling a little too materialistic. Sal wisely suggesting that the holiday gifting just continue for me, and when my lady E exclaimed over these earrings, I figured that was the best way to start. I walked them to her house last night so they could go party hopping with her. These are celebration earrings!

Celebration earrings are also recycling earrings! If any of you play with beads or wirework, all the silver bullion curlicues are simply made by wrapping waste pieces of fine silver wire (some were long pieces cut off of head or eye pins!) around a heavy gauge brass wire, and making a loop (like an eye pin) at one end. They are all linked to each other and to the jump ring that connects the faceted chalcedony drop and the earwire.

I think these will be one-of-a-kind for a while at least. I'm sick of making bullion; it takes forever and it gives you weird calluses on your fingertips after awhile.

New Year's

I have to be straight with you: I celebrate New Year's on the solstice, when the seasons start to change. New Year's Eve ... well, I'm not a fan of sloppy drunks or dangerous drivers. We tend to just kick it at home. Since it was Wednesday, our local wine shop hosted the weekly tasting - sparkling wines for the occasion. After 5 small pours for $2, we picked up a couple of bubbly bottles and walked home.

A friend was in from out of town and joined us for dinner and some games of takaradi (aka jenga), which was really nothing more than our regular menu. We didn't cook Tuesday, so we made both Tuesday's salad (pears fried in butter, brown sugar, black pepper and cilantro over arugula, red onion, and cucumber with goat cheese) and Wednesday's soup (yuccatan crab soup with tequila and lime), and threw in a fancy french cheese, some slices of baked sweet potato, and baguette.

Special drinks were our nod to the occasion. The wonderful, delightful, and ever-generous Nat brought us the pacharan back from Spain (among other incredible gifts), and told us how it was generally imbibed in Iberia. So when I saw this cava at Trader Joe's, I snapped it up, figuring we'd toast the new year in Spanish style. It's a pretty incredible pairing. A shot of pacharan lends a beautiful floral-herbal bouquet to this slightly sweet sparkling wine.

And the cava itself, by the way, is so good that I'm going back to buy several more bottles to stock up. No joke! This bottle was only 7 or 8 dollars and it's a pinot noir and mourvedre blend. If I remember correctly, it's 70% Mourvedre, which is awesome. I usually have a hard time finding Mourvedre or Cab Franc (two of my favorite varietals) by themselves or in more than trace amounts (5-15%) in blends. Big thumbs up for this cute pink sparkler.