Friday, February 29, 2008

Martha's Good Eggs...

Martha has lots of good Eastery ideas as usual. These cards were my favorite. They would be really pretty with origami papers as well, don't you think? See here for egg cards.. and here for all the other fun ideas.

A Tale for Easter...

I adore Tasha Tudor books and this is one of my favorite.
...up, up over the misty moisty clouds, where the bluebirds dye their feather and the robins find the color for their eggs...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Day in my head and life...

What did you do that was interesting yesterday? I woke up really early. I painted and got some orders shipped out and listened to a lot of news on the radio while I cleaned the master bathroom and put stuff away. I learned about how the Chinese have decided to take away tax breaks from many of the factories that make low cost/ low tech items and so those factories are closing down hundreds at a time. I wonder what that will mean for places like the dollar stores here in the states and places like Tai Pan trading. The Chinese still seem to have labor shortage so I don't think it will effect unemployment there but I don't know. That is an interesting place and culture for sure. I want to go to China someday.
I vacuumed and cleaned up the family room. While I was sanding more boxes, they were talking about the passing of William F. Buckley. What an interesting man and I think a great man. Even those who disagreed with him politically liked him when they knew him. He was fun and funny as well. I loved where in a political debate he refused to take his allotted time to speak and said, "I am satisfied to sit back and contemplate my own former eloquence."
I met his brother once and had the opportunity to listen to him speak. I won't forget it. It was very moving and just amazing. I wrote a little about that here.
My sister came over for lunch. It was fun to visit with her. She probably thinks eating over here is weird because I always just grab odd leftovers out of the fridge. I photographed and listed these boxes in the shop.
I had been up since 4 Am.. can't sleep sometimes. I wanted to watch some mindless something about Oscar gowns and Harry Winston diamonds. I just want to try on one of those pretty necklaces sometime. So I turned on Oprah. No glitter, no glam at all just some guy who was eating out of the garbage to save money and the planet. Weird. I had to run out to the store and grab the ingredients for dinner. I decided to pay for mine rather than dumpster dive.. passing on weird guys suggestions. Made dinner. Pizza. Chauffeured c to her thing. Then for a moment I was contemplating the decor. The Valentine's Day decor is truly still up. How can I take it down and put it away & then get the Easter stuff out when the Christmas wreath is still on the door? It's a conundrum. I have looked and looked (OK I looked just one place, but I looked all around there) and can't find a pretty spring wreath. I know that I need to make one, but I was trying to avoid it. The last one did not turn out as I envisioned.
Oh, I forgot to say the Jehovah's Witnesses tried to visit in the morning. I try to be kind to traveling evangelists since my own church sends missionaries out as well, but they came during jammie time which is often all morning and so I had to hide and pretend I wasn't home. It's awkward to be caught in your jammie pants and 10 AM (although I've seen people wearing jammies and slippers at the Mall.. that's a bit casual isn't it.) With me though it's less devastating to spill paint on your jammies somehow. And, I spill frequently.
I tried to read/listen to this book called Snow in August (I think that's it). The reader sounds like a computer. No emotion. No range. He stunk and so I need to make a trip to the library today.
In the evening I went to the church and helped (I am not much help at this) make a quilt for a girl in our neighborhood who is going off to college soon. My finger cracked and I bled on it a bit.. nice. I liked the colors though bright pink, green, tangerine and yellow. It was about a full size quilt and the top was made out of this really pretty sheet.
When I got home, c and I played a game of speed scrabble.. we just made this particular game up. You dump out all the tiles and try to make a huge crossword as fast as you can. It's pretty fun. I like Scrabble and Boggle and hate most other games except maybe Pictionary.
Then when the house was dark and quiet.. we spent an hour whispering about all the news of the day. C knows about everything I swear. I love a fascinating conversation right before I drop off to sleep.
So those are a few of moments in my day. What happened in your day?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

You are all very good eggs & Make my DAY!

I recently received a You Make my Day award from
Which was so flattering to me because I would rather stop over there and look at all those pretty things than look through any glossy magazine.

You know blogging is an interesting hobby to have. I know there are people who have issues with it, but this is what I think.

Being a painterly sort of person, which sort of person spends much of the day being painterly and in order to be painterly and have things end up to be the way they are meant to be... one ends up spending a large portion of time by ones self, which has always been OK with me. I have lots of books from the library to listen to and I have fun music and I have lots of little jars of color, which is the best. But if I ever get to be the smallest bit lonely, I can walk down to the computer and find a message or leave a message with a great old friend or a fun new friend. So other than the actual word blogging (which sounds like a person could possibly be gagging on their oatmeal) I love it. And, I am grateful for the connections it makes with people. And, I can still laugh when people make fun of it like they did on NPR yesterday by saying it was all about self importance. WELL (huff, huff!) I have to have someone to show off to. Don't you!

Speaking of Showing off, these are some eggs that go out today for a special order, but I wanted to show them to all of you first. Don't you like this last photo? I thought the side of the lid turned out particularly well that time. :)

Anyway, according to All Things Bright & Beautiful...

I get to choose 5 blogs that make my day and that is difficult because there are so many fun ones, so have you ever visited...

On This Harvest Moon.. which I love because its owner is a new bride and it's so much fun to read about her dinner parties and see the things she picks in furniture and music. She has great taste in music and shares my love of white kitchen furniture.

I Love You... I Think is just smart and fun with a little satire, which I love!

Tales From Pixie Wood has the loveliest English Charm.. you must see her lovely Easter tree today.

My Pink Turtle is literally one of my favorite new artists and shares my adoration of Mexican culture and art.

Gingham World because Michelle is my good friend and I was a bit worried when she moved away, but because of blogs we talk everyday. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Green Sugar Egg Bunnies...

The little bunnies are peeking out at you!
Stop by ...
and day hello to them!

All Over but the Shoutin'...

I took a chance on this book and finished it even though it just didn't resonate with me in the beginning. The book describes itself as a biography of the author's mother, but it is far more an autobiography of the author, Rick Bragg.
The author has a lot of hubris, or false pride as his mother would have said, but I would define it differently than she. He acts cocky, brags a lot and seems, seems being the key word here, proud of his bad behavior. I don't buy that. I don't think that people really can be proud of behaving badly, using poor manners, mistreating women and all that stuff. But, you can see the strutting in the words. I think it's all false. And so, at first I really didn't like this book or the character of the man as much as I just felt bad for him.
But that I would feel bad for him is maybe where the strutting comes from. He doesn't want you to feel bad for him, Rick Bragg, writer for the New York Times and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
It is hard not to sorrow for him and for his mother though as your read an account of poverty, alcoholism, faithlessness and abuse, all of which were characteristics of his father. And, this is not an intimate tale, Bragg keeps you at a distance from his heart in this book. But, as the author himself points out... he's used that stuff, that alcoholism and abuse to his own purpose. All of it together made a man who could witness atrocities from hurricane Andrew to Oklahoma City to Haiti, who could write the stories that needed to be told there and walk away. We need people like that in our society, unfortunately. We have to have people who can walk into the broken places in the world and tell us what is there or we would never be able to fix it. I am grateful for people like that. They contribute in a big way.
And so, while I disagree with the class warfare that Rick Bragg seems to need to wage, and I disagree with how he relates to the women he dates... very destructive if you ask me, but I respect his loyalty to his family and his attempts to repay his mother for her goodness. I respect the courage it must take to tell these stories and the control it would require to tell them and then to close your eyes at night and sleep after the telling. That is toughness.
If you are a person who finds that a great book is a book that will show you a different place and perspective and really make you think, this is a great book.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Dresses...

I watch the Oscars for the dresses. The only movies that were up for awards that I had actually seen were August Rush and Enchanted. So I didn't know much about the films that were nominated.
I always watch for Nicole Kidman. I love her style. She always looks so elegant to me. Her dresses have been my favorite for a few years running. And, she makes everything more beautiful because she has the gracious manners like Grace Kelly & Audrey Hepburn.
I also love the dresses that Helen Mirren and Rene Zellweger wore. Beautiful.
Which dress was your favorite?
This photo came from JustJared who had lots of great photos of the red carpet.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One more time...Chicken Enchiladas...

I guess that I didn't really post the recipe the way I actually make it last time. Not that I meant to be stingy, I just typed it out of the cookbook without thinking. I do that kind of thing more often than I'd like to admit. But anywho, I've posted the real deal here and a photo tutorial on my neighborhood blog Picnics and Pear Trees.

Chicken Enchiladas
8 flour tortillas
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
1 14-ounce can chicken broth
1 4-ounce can diced green chili peppers
1 ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 ½ pd grilled or baked chicken breast shredded
chopped tomato, green onion & sliced olived for garnish & for yummy :)
Bake, braise or grill 1 ½ chicken breast. Shred and set aside. In a saucepan cook onion, garlic, coriander, and pepper in butter till onion is tender. Stir flour into sour cream; add to onion mixture. Stir in broth and chili peppers all at once. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup of the cheese.
For filling. Pour half of the filling/sauce into the bowl of shredded chicken. Stir. Then, in a lightly greased 9X13 fill each tortilla with about 1/2 cup chicken concoction. Once the pan is full pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and bake covered at 350 degrees for 35 min. Then top with remaining cheese and return to oven for 5 min. Garnish with olives, tomatoes and green onions.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bunnies.. Bunnies & Eggs...

Did you know that Easter is on March 23rd this year?!? I did not until this morning. I was getting to the eggs and bunnies, but did not realize that I started behind. And then, today is an ugly gray sort of day... the kind of day that I would like to crawl back into the covers with a lot of chocolate and book and just stay put until the sun comes back out.
I love the film Groundhog Day.. have I mentioned that 63 times already? I love the line written by the brilliant team of Rubin & Ramis, "Winter, slumbering in the open air, wears on his smiling face a dream of spring." I know it's coming, I know it is.. and I know am horrid to be in any way ungrateful because it really has been one of the prettiest winters that I ever remember. And, we got all this great snow... water for our gardens... an answer to a million prayers around here. But, I feel like c is jumping up and down on the top of my head. She needs to go nuts in the back yard and be loud and run hard. And, I am aching to see daffodils and tulips like never before I have spring fever soooo bad!
I think I will look up Frost's poem Mud Time ( I think that's what it's called). I am listening to a great read on tape, It's All Over But the Shoutin' an autobiography by Rick Bragg of the New York Times. It's really great writing even if it goes along too much with the sad gray clouds. So, I'm springing up the studio and the shop while I listen... look for eggs and chicks and bunnies to be appearing as fast as I can crank them out. There are a few eggs and things already and the daffodils have already bloomed over there.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Book Club...

My book club met last night and sorry I was that I had not read the book (I had a really good excuse:) The book was Endurance by Alfred Lansing and it was about the Endurance Expedition of Ernest Shackleton and his men to the South Pole. Like the story of Apollo 13, the drama was in the rescue mission as Shackleton made 3-4 return trips to Elephant island to save the men he'd left behind. In the end he'd saved them all. The leadership abilities of Shackleton were really inpiring to learn about.
Some of the book club members (we have a group of real over-achievers!) had also read South the story in Shackleton's own words and also Leading at the Edge : Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition by Dennis N. T. Perkins, Margaret P. Holtman, Paul R. Kessler, and Catherine McCarthy. I would love to read all these books which sounded amazing. There are also several documentaries and a film with Kenneth Brannaugh.
I would love to really learn about this expidition and the men who were able to stay positive in the worst conditions and therefore save each other and make it home together.
The photo above is of Ernest Shackleton taken from Wikipedia...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Everything is an art supply..

I had my car detailed Tuesday morning and at the place I go to anyway they put this is funny plastic seat cover over the drivers seat so you arrive in your destination with a dry bum, which is good. When I got home and was pulling the seat cover off so that the upholstry could dry out c said, "Could I have that? Please???" NOOOOOOO! I am the meanest mom. But, I so rarely actually get to throw the garbage away these days and I just needed to put that wet seat cover in the garbage can. I just needed to do it. Ceral boxes.."I need that mom!" Every box UPS brings to the house is a wonder. There are foam peanuts, tissue paper and cardboard enough to make it look like some kind of art/war zone around here.
I just got finished writing on my friend Circe's blog that c uses everything as an art supply, I knew that she would understand (see here). Circe is so wise to laugh now and not wait until later. c got some cotton candy for V-Day... did she eat it.. no...she created with it. I wish that I had photos of her entertaining herself for an hour with the stuff. I was a bit sad about that until I remembered what she'd left in her room.. The above pictures are what I found in her room this morning. That was the rest of her candy her nammy gave her. I must have neglected the don't play with your food lesson. I don't care if she ever eats candy, if she didn't inherit my sugar addiction that would be just great. c insists that she will be an inventor/ engineer. I don't say anything about here career choice except that she needs to do well in math (She did tell me the other day that she was going to have to give up the dream of a college education because long division was too difficult and she told her teacher that if she didn't explain it to her that it would be all the teacher's fault if she didn't get into college. Her teacher told me this laughing hard & c seems to have conquered long division so no worries, college plans are back on track). Anyway, engineer or not she sure has the mind of an artist. And, as much as I complain, secretly I adore finding pink jelly bean hearts in the carpet.

Freedom Writers...

I loved this movie. Initially I didn't see it in the theaters because it didn't get great reviews, I should not listen to reviews. The reviews claimed that this movie was canned, that it was another version of something we've seen before. But I say, it's a great story and it's true and it's inspiring... nothing like the story of a great teacher making a difference. It's PG-13 for language and violence, but I thought it was a good thing for c to see. It gave us an opportunity to have a nice discussion on several topics.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Polka Spots...

She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot... I'd look better in this sweater... So cute!

Monday, February 18, 2008

New Items in the Shop today...

August Rush...

Hollywood's favorite fairy tale recently (or not so recently) is that a one night sexual encounter can turn into something lasting and forever. It's more likely that it would turn into disease, even fatal disease and lots of other bad stuff... not to mention the tackiness of it all.
If you can get past that part of the story line, IF... then the rest of the film is quite good actually. And, the music in the film and some of the visual effects are stunning. I waited to see this in the dollar theater, but it would have been great on a really big screen.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Spring is coming...

I have been out walking on every sunny day and the signs of spring are everywhere.
Spring, the season of renewal and rebirth, is a good time to take stock, fix up and clean up and find in those efforts a breath of freshness. I am looking forward to planting the pansies, seeing if my lilacs survived the winter and watching for all the flowering trees to blossom. It will be sad to say goodbye to one of the most beautiful winter seasons that I ever remember, but it's good to be moving in the direction of spring. Onward!
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it-- but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hard Times By Charles Dickens...

This book was not as compelling to me as far as the characters and their stories, but one of Dickens most fascinating novels as far as social commentary and one of his bravest.
One of the most interesting points that Dickens makes concerns the trouble with labor unions, something that I think we still struggle with today. On one hand, those unions were desperately needed to get people out of dangerous and impossible working conditions, to get them reasonable pay, to get children out of the factories. But, then as now, unions pose problems not just for companies, but also for labor. For example, when is it correct to force a man not to earn his daily bread, whether he agrees with a strike or not? In Utah, we are a "right to work" state, therefore unions have less power, labor is not forced to strike, which I think is good for the most part, but our teachers are paid less than I think every other state in the union. c's teacher is easily worth 100 Grand a year. The woman is a superstar! Most teachers are members of the union and union dues are steep at $50 per month(I think?) for which union members really get nothing in my opinion.
Dicken's deplored the working conditions of the laborers, the prejudice against them, the environmental impact of the smoke and other pollutants put out by the mills. Society has made great progress in all these areas atleast in 1rst world nations, but still Dickens has pointed out some things that still plague us today. It is amazing how relevant his writing remains. I am in awe. Thanks Janice for the recommendation. This was a great read!
P.S. Just please forgive me.. the spell check on blogger is still broken and I'm really horrid with spelling on my own these days.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day to YOU!

Be True to your own heart. I think that is a wonderful sentiment for Valentine's day, which should not just be a day for lovers, but a day to celebrate every kind of real love. So this is my conversation heart to you today. Happy Valentine's Day!
Be true. Be true to your own convictions. You know what is right, and you know what is wrong. You know when you are doing the proper thing. You know when you are giving strength to the right cause. Be loyal. Be faithful. Be true.
~Gordon B. Hinckley

A Frosty Window Pane...

We had a blustery evening. I was so grateful to be home in a warm house looking out my crystal window on a winter dreamland.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Thoughts & Flowers...

My pocketbook can trust me at the mall and even at the craft store these days, but I get into trouble at the garden center every time where pretty little posies put a spell on me so that I must bring them home. Aren't they lovely? I love spring flowers and they are coming... this is Campanula from Croatia. Isn't the world full of wonders. It is a perennial if you plant it in your garden and it will grow and bloom every spring in zones 4-9. Flowers make me happy. Color and beauty must be important in the world for their own sake.. or why would flowers be. I think that we are meant to be happy. I think we are meant to find joy in the little miracles around us.
I have a large collection of quotes and I found one the other day that I must put in one of my boxes soon because it reads, "Happiness is a form of courage." Holbrook Jackson said that and I've had that quote rattling around in my brain for days. It's true if you think about it. Happiness is a form of faith and maybe one of the best ways in which faith can be expressed. Happiness is contagious and can be shared. Happiness is a form of faith which replaces fear with gratitude. Happiness is a form of forgiveness. We're happier when we can be patient with ourselves and others. I'm not good at that yet, but I want to be. It's been something to think about. What makes you happy?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I hope that I'm not finding out about this too late, but I think Lisa will still let me participate. Find out about One World, One Heart HERE

I am giving away this daffodil box from


Please enter just once (so my random number program gives everyone a fair chance).

Lori is the winner! Congratulations Lori!


We like cupcakes around here (cupcakes taste better than cake)... but we.. actually I sure make a mess making them. How do you get the cupcake batter in the liners without spilling it all over the counter and the pan so you have to soak the pan after to get the burnt on batter off? I also tried to make these with peanut M's in the shape of a heart, which didn't really work out.. I will just put ooooie goooie cinnamon hearts on next time or maybe just one tiny red hot.. that might be cute.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kaffe Fassett...

As is so often the case, today there was the most beautiful post on All Things Bright & Beautiful. I fell immediately and madly in love with these paintings by Kaffe Fassett.

Happy Birthday!

It's my sister's birthday this week! Happy Birthday Boo!
And, it's C's birthday this week... and you know what... I bought him this really fun present and I hid it really well... and now I can't find it anywhere. We've turned the house upside-down, little c and I, and it's just nowhere to be found. Dang. So, I guess we'll present it when we find it.
But, I know he'll like this PB Heart!
Happy Birthday C! You are my handsome prince more than ever! We love you!

Whitethorn Woods...

Ireland has a similar culture to Mexico in that their pagan history and their Catholic religion can get all mixed up together. In the Whitethorn woods is a well that is held sacred by many of the towns people. They walk there to pray and to leave small petitions on paper for St. Anne so that she will grant their wishes.
The book is a collection of short stories, many of them about the people who come to pray at the well, but some just about the people who live in the town.
My favorite is about a girl who plans an office weekend getaway, but then is not included in the group. She is terribly hurt, but she learns a lot about who she is and how she appears to others and how to reach outside herself and make those around her happy.
This book is available on tape at the library, but the readers are only so-so... so you can just read this one if you like. :)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Valentine Dinner...

Our neighborhood has a progressive dinner every year at this time. I always like to volunteer to host because I can do pink and red. It's been so fun putting this table together this morning. I wish the food was going to be something French and spectacular with cream sauce, but with all this frilly foofy stuff.. I'm making Taco Soup.. it's my never (almost never fail) go to recipe. I wish I had 10 of them, but I don't. Someday though, I'm going to set this table and make something fabulously French with cream sauce. :)

I love this Tutu swimsuit!

See it here...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Daffodil Box...

This box sold yesterday, but there are more in the works.
I will hopefully have one available in the shop this afternoon.
The quote reads: The Infinite has written its name on the heavens in shining stars, and on the earth in tender flowers... Jean Paul Richter

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

7 things I love & a visit from my Dinosaur...

Natasha has tagged me to list 7 things I love... I can't break all the many things I love down to 7 things, so I will tell you seven things I loved about yesterday.
1. shades of green & thinking of daffodils
2. the bright and sparkling day that always comes after a storm has blown through
3. the piles of snow that look like a million bazillion diamonds
4. a good story with a happy ending
5. hugs and kisses
6. making a new friend
7. a nice visit from our dinosaur friend

I tag (only if you want to)... Shelese, Amy, Allison, Liz and anyone else who wants to play! :)

The Redneck Cookbook...

I was going to write this post and propose the idea of my one day composing a Redneck Cookbook, but what do you know ... it's been done!
The Redneck Cookbook: 165 Mighty Fine Fixin's and Other Things to Get Down Your Gullet..
has already been published. Oh well. You still get my recipe for tuna fish. I love a good tuna sandwich. I'm sorry these pictures look like the nasty food in Napolean Dynamite... I only had flouresant lighting in the kitchen by the dinner hour yesterday.. although we are happily gaining daylight every day.

So, I start with 2 cans of good albacore tuna, good mayo (I like Helleman's), two stalks of celery finely chopped, 1 stalk of green onion, very heaping tablespoons of sweet and dill relish.. or more, some tomatoe slices and a dash of pepper and sea salt.

What is your favorite ingredient? Or do you loathe tuna? Or do you love it on rye... yum!