Wednesday, December 26, 2007

And welcome back there.

Sorry for such a long delay in saying anything, but it's been a rather Happy Christmas. I indeed finished all my baking, and even have picts to show of the gorgeous marshmallows I made. I can't vouch for their flavor, what with having been dunked in unsweetened dark chocolate, I did find out that they are great in hot cocoa though. Oh it also turns out that I still hate marshmallows! Yes I know why make them then... I just had to verify that they are indeed something I do not cherish in eating, unless scorched by a camp fire's flame.
Christmas at our house was lovely, and is now stashed away for next year. Since our tree was so tiny it really wasn't such a hard feat. It also turns out that the husbeast has been direly allergic these last few weeks to our little cypress living tree. Ehh ghads the mucus, but you really don't need to hear about that now do you.
I hate to talk about pressies, but just let it be known that I must now learn to spin, thanks to my wonderful mother in law. She handed on her old Ashford wheel from the 60's to me! It needs a little maintenance, and some oil, but it's beautiful. Then from my own mum I got a wonderful sewing machine. It's a Husquavarna (sp?), and so much fun to play with. Really what a difference from my old machine from the 60's with the terrible tension problems.
So here it is, I am nestled, and domestic goddess acquainted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Absinthe Mes Amies, Absinthe!

Oui, c'est vrai. Il et beaucoup d'absinthe pour tous la monde de nous a St. George Spirits en Alameda, Ca.
Translation, scroll down the page on the link and you'll see what I mean. Some how, some way they did it. It's actual distilled Absinthe in the United States, using the classic ingredients, ie WORMWOOD! I know what the? Well I don't know but I do suppose persistence pays off, and at $75 a bottle that's not bad considering how much it is to import those things to the US these days. We may go down for the opening, but I believe the husbeast and I may just give a few tokens to his co-worker lady and have her pick us up a bottle when she's out there early Fri. morning! I really can't believe it though. After all this time of having homemade versions (not really suggestible) and imported hooch versions, this is a treat. Absinthe pour moi! Just in time for the new year. Too bad we're not camping this year, that would be uber fun in the Redwoods with all the hippy friends of ours. Oh well.

So yes I'm stoked, and elated and very happy to be able to tell all you all about this wonderful news, now go and act on your instincts. And yes I am rather close to where their distillery is... suggestions kindly taken in comments ;)

I've ignored a few things lately. Mainly the fabulous eats I've been creating. Let's start with last weeks Beef Bourgignon, or Burgundy as the husbeast continued to correct me saying. This recipe was granted from the wonderful David over at Sweater Project (praise be to the Harlot for pointing out a knitter man in a kilt!) You certainly can count on a man to come up with a wonderful dish that another man would love to eat. Sorry if that sounded a little gay, or even lewd, but meh. (the sound of a cat mocking the creative commons in a world of computer savyocity)
Then there was the Risotto by Rachel Ray, the butternut squash one with sage and wine. That dish turned out to be a fabulous pairing with the Sockeye Salmon at Trader Hoe's (only caught once a year in the Copper River in Alaska and a great deal in the freezer section). I won't point to Rachel's recipe you can easily google that one.
Then to top it all off, last night I made marshmallows. I hope hope hope they turn out, as of this morning they were still rather wet. Well that's 12 hours after they were made. I dusted them in sugar and rice flour and went off to work. So we'll see how they are after work. I plan on dunking them in some unsweetened chocolate and topping off with crushed peppermint candy canes. Go check out Brownie Points link to some really cool homemade marshmallow recipes.
This weekend, on Sat. is our hippy friends annual Christmas party, and then Sun. we're celebrating with my mum and brother and his wife. Then to the husbeasts parents on the Eve or the day of X-Mas.
I feel like this very well may a rather low key Christmas, but it's our first, and that just makes me smile.
Cheers and here's to a little holiday cheer. Here here for the penis tree (husbeast's term not mine).

Monday, December 17, 2007

All in a Days Fun

Finally I have a bit of the bug, no not that sickly one again (thankfully that wasn't long lasted), but the other kind, the Christmas bug. Our little tree, it is decorated, and uber cute. There are pressies piling up for family and loved one's. Annnnnd, I've been baking up a storm; raspberry jam is made~ 14 jars and a triple batch, a double batch of Russian Teacakes were made up yesterday~one with candied ginger my fav!, the double batch of sugar cookies have halfly been rolled out- cut and baked, AND I changed the oil on my truck.
Yep I am the proud changer of my trucks oil. I've done it once before, but yesterday the husbeast had meant to until he threw out his back. When I went out to check on him he was struggling to get under the truck, soooo I told him to move it. With a little walking through I got it done in a timely fashion, and am tickled pink over such an endeavor of baking and changing oil all in a day's time.
Tonight I have more cookies to roll out, and then decorate. Also I've decided that I'm going to make some homemade marshmallows. A new endeavor, but since I'm not in the mood to make fudge this year I thought some peppermint chocolate dipped marshmallows would pair up nicely with hot cocoa (and maybe a little Bailey's Irish Cream ;) .
On the knitting front, I am perturbed by this silly Hemlock Ring Blanket that mocks me. I'm just finished tinking back, and must now focus on getting the proper # of stitches back into every section, rather annoying. But I persevere as I hope to make this a pressie for the parents-in- law.
Ta for now, gotta run. Happy making.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A little more in depth

Here's that Venetian Mini Top Hat I've been talking about. You'll notice that it's the one with horizontal stripes as opposed to vertical. After being blocked out, it was just as boxy as I was hoping. The original version of the Venetian Topper was supposed to be in a square peg round hole format, but the lines wouldn't allow that to happen as they did in this version.
I've added the typical silver broach piece that I use to hold the feathers and flowers, and also a pair of silver leaf embellishments that I found out at Kiowa Rose in Fremont. (Very neat little Victorian bead shop~that oddly smelled of weed last time I went out there ;) Instead of the huge door impeding pheasant plume~I opted to stick that one in the husbeasts Top Hat (that was left at home due to interference w/ the mask)~and went instead for some premade feather bouquets. I think it was a little more feminine, but when I give this hat over to the boy I do believe I shall put that pheasant plume back in. Of course those weird little dried puff flowers are staying with me. They're just too cute. The band is a few yards of Tilli Thomas silk ribbon in two older colors. To help keep this hat in place I used an elastic headband that is hidden under the hair, and again a hair comb that by my dumb luck swings forward and backwards. Hopefully a benefit to the young man with the cute little mohawk.
Soooo that's the latest topper.
I knoooow I should so be showing you the picts of the cute ass capelet, but I only have that one. It's so not easy to take picts of myself even though I have a remote control and a tripod, but I just don't wanna!
Cheers, happy Christmas crafting.

2 dishes and a burnt mouth later

I'm feeling a bit clumsy lately. This morning I broke a bowl in the dishwasher and then proceeded to break a mug in the cupboard, yesterday morning I dropped the coffe grinder on the floor with the mornings beans (yet ground thankfully) and now I just burnt my mouth on my lunch. All this and I'm sickly. But I am not whining, I'm merely pointing out all these things.
Terribly sorry for not checking in sooner, as to regards to the Husbeasts company Venetian ball, it was a blast, and really lovely. If you happened to see me on the BART train, with my little capelet, and mini top hat, well that was me and the husbeast. He looked so cute in his tux with tails. Everyone kept complimenting him on his great hair, and prodded him that they would steal his ball cap off his head next time they saw him at work. Really no, they are some of the nicest weirdos ever. I blame it all on the island that the company has their office on. The same one where I work also with some of the oddest clients. The HR lady (yet another crazy lady) and I realized in the loo that her corset (she had made) and my hat were indeed the same fabric only in other colors. The only reason I didn't grab the same fabric is because I originally grabbed the fabric for the commissioned hat for the boy painter. So I mentioned that I could make her a matching miniature topper to her corset, and I may actually accept money for this one, but she'd supplying the fabric.

But enough of this babble, I know you really just stopped in for the picts, so without further delay:
I really prefer this one, very soft and subtle, and sweet.
The husbeast and I adorned for the Venetian Ball, ala my mum's camera:
These are the masks from Mitchell Walker, aka Peekaboo masks, I love them. I should grab a detailed pict of the mask the husbeast has on, it really is a marvel of craftsmanship.

And me in all the little things I made for the ball, my capelett, the elbow length mittletts, and the mini top hat. The broach is from Stitches West, ala Mississippi Mud? or is that a beer...I suppose it's just Mud, or such. Great glass things, and a wonderful price. I must get more this next year.
And at last a closeup of the Venetian topper in vertical lines with the accouterments. I do have some better picts, but I didn't put them on my USB mem stick, soooo I'll get around to those later.
That's it for now, all apologies as the computer screen is making my eyeballs go all wonky.
Cheers til later.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

What's that I couldn't hear you...

Now I have no idea what this is nor what it may contain, but I for one certainly am curious, aren't you? The husbeast emailed this with no explanation to me the other day. I wonder if he's trying to tell me something... not such a bad read though check it out here. My favorite quote from what I read is:

"Scandal, like other Virtues, is in part its own Reward, as it gives us the Satisfaction of making ourselves appear better than others, or others no better than ourselves."-Ben Franklin

This is from the first letter in the book, and I just find it soooo relevant to todays celebrities and our utter fascination with their lives, of course when I generalize 'we' it is just that, a generalization. But I must admit it goes beyond celebrities to those in our daily lives, the co-workers, clients, or general public. And truly things do get a bit dull without those Scandals, and we (yes again another we) do need a contrast to our morals. But oh but, where am I going with this, I only wish I knew. I will leave off this one sided conversation for more of nothing!

See here for more of your daily nothingness:

As the Venetian Ball nears, and I am nearly all ready, I struggle not to use the new topper with the wonderful vertical stripes as my designated hat this weekend. I may just break down and use it, or um, give it a test run, yeh that's the ticket.

In the list making qualities of my bff, things I still need to do by Sat. evening.

1. Fetch some more feather holders from Niles in Fremont (that's a bit of a drive)

2. Fix the boning in my dress in place

3. Figure out just how many and which enormous flower piece I should wear in my hair

4. See if it will be raining as we will be taking our public rail system to the city. looks fair

5. Pinch the husbeasts bum a couple of times in his tux (can't wait!)

6. Grab some toidy paper (oops forgot and on the last roll)

7. Make Beef Bourgignon ala Sweater Project Yeah for men in kilts (I almost said tights~LOL~badddd movie)

8. Dress my littlest Living X-Mas tree in it's 35 blue X-Mas lights.

9. Sit downtown allllll by myself at the Beer Bitch meetup, ca c'est tres pauvre :^(

10. Tell the next person to F@!& Off also, when they call on our phone line at 6:31 am, hello it's not even hooked up people!

Sorry for all the line spacing issues, of course blogger is being a bit of a booger. Oh well.

Cheers and here's to rain!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nothing like a good pair of low heals

Ahhh ~that's the sound of one less stress being lifted off my shoulders. Yeh like shopping for a pair of shoes for a Costumed Ball is supposed to be stressful, or that material items should make us so stressful, but it does become an entity of stress at times. I suppose it's a bit materialistic what with other harsh things going on in this world, but hey why should I have to defend myself when we all go through this thing called life.
Back to me not being weird; I found the perfect pair of low heels last night down at the local shoe shop. See I do have tinyish feet, 6.5-7 depending, but they are little padders, so most modern shoes really don't fit that well. I had chosen a moderately priced pair of somethings in a relatively nice brownish hue, and was exiting when I spied a pair. Now this pair I spied was on the sale table, I looked at them and recognized them from the mall, Ecco's. They're the right shade of warm brown with just the cutest little embellishment of flowery scribbles and the best part, they were marked down to $30! All the way from $109. Shock, horror, is it true, all for me and in MY size, and at a price that affords me the luxury of shopping for pressies for my friends and family, GASP. So I grabbed them and fled happily and returned the $75 pair.
That's their link, but in Bison I believe, really they are a warm brown verging on cinnamon. Yeah and now they are breaking in, and I get the added bonus of wearing a small heal that makes me feel like I lost 10 pounds and makes my husbeasts' eyes gaze a bit longer when I'm nearer his height.

So yeah I'm stoked over the perfectest shoes, silly but oh well it's a better feeling than that of last week.

In other news, I still knit not a knot.

But I have successfully stitched together the young man's commission, or trade~doola. Next onto the stiffie, and some blocking of sorts and then finishing with the embellishments. I'm almost thinking I just may have to use the new chapeau topper for the ball this weekend. See the lines all match up in verticals, and they flow over the entirety of the hat in just a way that creates more for the eye to follow. I must admit that the topper with horizontal lines is fabulous in it's own right how the top of the hat has a lovely curve in it's lines that I'm rather drawn to as well. We'll see what happens shan't we.

hmmm, well I'm not able to post picts right now, sooo cheers and til the next time we meet. Ta!

Monday, December 3, 2007

I'm a nut I'm a nut I'm a nut nut nut nut!

I must say that one of the better parts of the impending Winter is baking, and the smells that tend to intoxicate the kitchen when doing as much. This weekend I made fruitcake. I know the dreaded Christmas cake... but honestly the husbeast and I really love fruitcake. His granmum used to make one that was reported to barely make it out of the wrapper. Well since I didn't have her recipe on hand I went to the next best alternative and used one in a book from the Cheeseboard Collective, it's a quirky little shop over in Berkeley, and their recipes always turn out scrumptious. All the little nibbles I had of the batter, and the little bits out of the pan from when I was wrapping the cakes proved to be a successful endeavor. They currently sit in a dark little cabinet keeping one another company while they age and get even better.
Unfortunately I did not get around to making my favorite raspberry jam, I will I will, but I did get around to starting the young man's mini topper last night. And I must tell you that it's just coming along rather quickly. I already have the top and the brim and I devised a proper way to get the hat to have vertical stripes unlike mine with it's horizontals. Boy was I ever a ninny before for not figuring that one out. It's just the easiest of peasy things, you know, measure twice~watch a little Johnny Depp as Edward Sciccorhands~cut, sew. I really don't know why I didn't measure out the appropriate lengths before and just pin out a seam. It really is more simple than I was doing. You know all these little different techniques that I am coming up with really are making the process easier, and more intuitive. I look back to my poor little first ones with their layers of glue and varnish and just cringe. They really aren't as lovely as the present ones are turning out. Which makes me wonder just how the next five after these ones will be and so forth and so on. But I am babbling and rambling.
Tonight I should fix the boning on my looooovely dress. It's so cute I really do adore it. And the entire outfit works. If only I could find shoes that are just as wonderful... even though I know I should wear some small heals I believe I'm just going to go and get a new pair of the Keen Mary Jane's but in a rusted red color ~ they're a rather warm brown actually.
Annnnd well that's it.

I wonder if I've given Cinderelly enough clues to know that the East Bania my profile offers as my home is not in the south of CA, but really just prime in the middle... are we in the middle? Or is that Santa Barabara, no I believe we are. Ok, I give up! I'm in the SF Bay Area. Yeah I know it's a great place, gorgeous weather, nice enough people, and realllly expensive life styles that no one can really afford, including me. There you have it, I'm Oaklandish. Yes that's an East Banian term, and yes we did start hella, and yes I hella love Oakland. And no, I'm not in Oakland, just close enough. I did grow up on an island in the middle of the bay though. Yeah for being a military brat and growing up on Treasure Island.

Oh I nearly forgot to tell of the dumbest of dumb things that the husbeast and I really didn't conspire, but we did almost let slip by. Last week when Dickens Christmas Faire opened up, we went, had a great time, and we picked up a couple of hand made leather masks. These are by Mitch Walker of Peekaboo masks, and so not easy to choose just which one, well finally after about an hour and a half the husbeast and I both finally decide on the ones that work best for us, we pay and we go home. Well this last week the husbeast tells me that his new card is being declined, ie it's not set up yet, and then I relate to him that's the card used for the masks. Llllong story short, ends up that the husbest used an old defunct card and the poor mask maker (someone I see every year at these events) never got his oodles of money. And yes it was a good deal of money. Thankfully the husbeast found his web site last night and emailed him pronto, and this morning while we were carpooling (yes we are that cute) a rather grateful Mr. Walker called my cell phone and we were able to give him a proper payment over the phone. But eeeh ghads we nearly got off scott free from paying for those lovelies, and we didn't even have his phone #, or he ours until we emailed him of our mistake.
So that's my good duty, honesty is the best policy ctory for the week,
now go out there and do something good for yourself and others, Cheers.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sooo luxurious,

You may notice that it's Sunday, and there's a new post... it's true we have cable! and internet! and tv (woohoo). But it's great I've finally been able to update all the mini top hat's I've been doing, and can now properly post picts again. Wonders of wonders cease to amaze me. It truly is marvelous, this freedom, this this this thing that it is.
So finally true picts of the latest hatses me preciouses, there are a few in the sidebar, but a few extra are to follow. I'll keep them small, just so as not to stall anyone out too heinously.

From left to right you see is Amanda's hat that has made a new home over at the Button Box,
My All Hallow's Eve Topper as I portrayed a Marauding Crony to the High Minister of Silly Walks,
My Venetian Ball mini topper that shall be put to good use this weekend on the 8th,
and a loverly shot of the Hallow's topper w/ the Venetian Topper. Sooo cute.
A few details of each of the toppers ah you need not ask, for here they are:

And again here is the back to my first topper, the Green Fairy,
And the alternate fate for Amanda's hat, due to extraneous weight from the wire, beads, and skully,
And lastly a cute as a button silken flower.
Ta for now, the lamb is done and the taters are just about all done boiling.
Ah well I'm back, dinner was fabulous, especially the purple mashed potatoes!
I know I've promised picts of the purseletts, that matches the Venetian Topper, but the sun has faded out of the sky, and I'm afraid they wouldn't come out so well. Next time though. Hmmm promises and more promises. How about a sky shot from back when there were a couple of fires converging on the Bay, one to the south of us, and one to the North of us. These weren't the LA fires, that's too far, but the other ones...