Monday, December 27, 2010

Wall Art

The dining room was painted a light yellow then color washed with a golden yellow. Then I added some vine like branches.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pizelles & Christmas Photos Revisited

R's daughter often has the camera at the ready. She just posted this photo on FB. I really like the feel of it. Much more Christmas/moody than mine! LOL Looks like I need to be a little more experimental.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Have A Very Merry Christmas

and a wonderful holiday season. If you don't celebrate in this way, enjoy your friends, family and celebration in your own tradition.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Do You Bargello?

3 pillows scored all at once...the orange and cream bursty is a keeper, the other two will be for sale. I love the patterns of Bargello.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Swamp Drink

Before Pizelle making the girls wanted something to drink. I offered them a juice drink that I hadn't tasted yet and it was not up to par...tasted like chewable vitamins to me and medicine to them. The younger of the two drank hers anyway because she has such a sweet tooth it wasn't as bad to her, the older one, I told her that there was a green smoothie mix in the 'fridge if she wanted to try it. She opens the door, looks in and says, "this stuff that looks like swamp drink?" Um....yeah.....that would be it.

She did try it and found it wasn't for her. It does have a stronger juice rather than greens (in this case collards) taste, but apparently she was looking for something....else.

So, now it will be referred to as Swamp Drink.


Last night R.'s two teenage girls and I made Pizelles. Being that they are half-Italian with an emphasis on the Italian part, I thought they made Pizelles before. Um, no, they've EATEN Pizelles before. So we each had our first experience of making them.

I found a recipe that said it had been handed down for generations, Italian generations, on the 'net. I thought this would be the best place to start, I believe it was a doubled recipe, but it was really like so many others. At the end of the recipe it says that it will be a slightly stiff dough and to add a little water for it to become a ribbon consistency when poured. Well, about 1.5 cups of water later we finally got it fluid enough to make a good Pizelle. Plus, we had to add 3 more tablespoons of Anise to capture a good flavor.

Don't these look yummy? like Chocolate? well, it's's a 16 year old not paying attention because she's too busy talking to me (well, we were talking about boys) and let the the time slip by...they are actually burnt Pizelles, but they do look pretty. We think they look like leather. So I get an idea! I rush down to the basement studio and bring up a ripped soft leather jacket. The girls already think I'm crazy and they are wondering what the heck I am doing. I explain to them that if I take a piece of leather and put it in the Pizelle maker it might 'brand' it with the design. They didn't think it was a good idea. Well, in case you want to try this at home, do it outside... or, better yet, don't do it at all. It was not only a failure it STUNK! it was awful. It did dry the leather and make it much stiffer though so the wheels are turning there.

Things to know about Pizelle making:

1. They take forever because you are making a gazillion of them.
2. Make sure the maker is HOT. Mine is vintage and just has a red light indicating hot, but wait, so it gets hotter.
3. Test cooking time. My recipe said 45 seconds, it was really only 20-25.
4. You'll eat quite a few.
5. Teenagers beg for them even though I told them repeatedly that they were for their Grammie. Grammie loves them, and never gets them, and she needs nothing. They beg again a few minutes later as they are stuffing their mouths.
6. Your S.O. says that he needs 30 of them for the work party on Wednesday. Apparently he did not understand that they are for his mother. He said he'd make his own then. HA! see #1. How he will fit it into working his very physical day job then working physically at night, eating dinner and promptly falling asleep I don't know... I'm not making them for him.
7. They don't all get crisp right away, but it's faster when you pay attention to #2.
8. Because of this, and inexperience, you will worry whether or not they will dry overnight, you spread them on the table just in case, then you take them off the table because you have a new foster dog that can surf the table if he wanted to but you don't know if he's a surfer so you don't take any chances because now it's 11pm and you've been worrying about the damn things for 2 hours and you've been left alone because the other participants went home to bed and you turn the stove on low thinking that you'll put in a few at a time to dehydrate them but tell yourself it will take forever and not to jump the gun, leaving them overnight will probably work so you rearrange them on the counter 3 times to make sure they don't bend but there's not much counter space so then you slightly fan them on one another and now it's midnight and finally decide to let go of it all and see what happens.
8. Wake up in the morning and find them crisp.

You might want to go to your favorite Italian bakery and buy them. They taste the same after all.

Really, though, it was great doing it with the girls. Gave us time to talk, and I had each one at a different making/baking time. So I was able to have some one on one with them and chat about what's going on in their lives. They even tore themselves away from Facebook to do this.

They'll be surprised to find that they'll each be getting a tin of these, too, on Christmas.

A Cabin in the Woods

How sweet does this look?

A couple weeks ago I was invited to my friend JT's cabin for an overnight. I was forewarned that there was no running water because it had been shut off, but the lake water would serve as toilet flusher. That doesn't bother me, as long as there's heat, I'm OK. It was one of the really really cold days that we headed up there and it started to snow. I was assured that the wood stove would heat up the cabin and we'd be toasty in no time. Well, apparently, he was not familiar with this wood stove as they had put it in before summer and had no reason to use it until now. The stove kept eating the wood without any consideration of throwing much heat into the cabin. I was freezing and wrapped myself in a down comforter. Late that afternoon we figured out that the damper was all the way open, but he still couldn't keep the heat in. Thank goodness for space heaters...and the fact that they hadn't shut the electricity off yet for the winter. His bedroom overlooks the lake and the hills behind it...I called that room but he was having nothing of it. "I wanted to see the sunrise, too, and besides it's my first visit there," I whined. We ended up sleeping in the same bed not only because he loves me and wanted me to have a beautiful experience, but also, just in case the space heaters failed...we would have each other to keep warm. We were both decked out in thermals and sweatshirts.

The next day we went thrifting and outlet shopping for a few hours...when we got back, the cabin was warm...he got the damper right just before we left. But, we couldn't enjoy it because we were heading back to CT. Makes for a good story and we laugh when we tell it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Many Poses of Lucky

A couple days ago I picked up Lucky from the Humane Society. His anxiety was too high there and we had been contacted about us taking him into our rescue. We didn't have any pictures of him but were told he is a Giant Schnauzer. Shelly, my partner, is a Giant lover and was excited to be getting this guy in. The plan was for me to foster him until her return from Hawaii after the holidays. Secretly, I think she was planning to keep him. He is 13 years old and seniors are difficult to adopt out.

It turns out that he is NOT a Giant, he's more of a medium sized Schnauzer/Poodle mix. But, he is a very good boy and a young 13. You'd swear he is about 8 years old. He's active, has no medical issues, has his sight and his hearing.
Unfortunately, he is another surrender that has occurred due to the economy. The owner of Lucky, who she has had for the last 13 years of childhood into adulthood, had to move back in with her parents. After she had moved out a few years back, as empty nesters often do, her parents sold their home and moved into a condo. The young woman had taken Lucky when she moved into her own apartment, and now that she's moving back in with her parents, she's unable to have Lucky with her due to the condo association's No Dogs rule.

Often times a dog of this age will be euthanized due to the fact that they most often do not get adopted and generally there are health issues. If Lucky was any other dog than what he is, this is probably what would have happened. But, being that he is so young at heart with no health issues, he is now with us...and apparently very comfortable.

He's a good dog. Easy. Loves affection but is content as can be just being on the sofa or my antique barrel wing chair. He doesn't seem to get it that it's MY spot! LOL

How much more relaxed can a dog get?

When he first came he displayed some anxious whining for about an hour on and off. Since he found the sofa, he's been in heaven. Yesterday he discovered my bed while I was away. The toppled and squished down pillows gave him away. Apparently he likes to be cuddled in softness.

My general rule of thumb for the foster dogs is that they are not allowed on the furniture. But after 13 years of being able to be a couch potato there's no way I'm going to retrain him, nor do I want to. He's gentle on the furniture so what the heck. I will be closing my bedroom door when I leave, though. There's no need for him to be hogging my pillows.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Tip on Pink Chalk Studio

Kathy Mack, author of the blog, Pink Chalk Studio recently started a sewing newsletter called "CHALKtalk - tips for modern sewists" and had a 'call for entries' on any hints and sewing tips. I sent her this one that I posted about a while back

and she published it on her blog on Dec. 11 as Sewing Tip exciting! by the comments on that post, it looks like many others will find it a handy idea, which is great!

Christmas Chuckles

This is too funny. I'm used to the dancing images from JibJab, and I don't know how she found this, but Shelly, my partner in crime for our rescue, SPR, sent me this...too funny! Angela, our treasurer apparently was a better girl this year because she got 7 'boy toys' to play with!

Message from Santa to Denise

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Have To Laugh

Early this morning, my friend Lenore was cleaning paraphernalia off her computer, came across this, and thought of me. LOL

Feel free to send it to your friends with the same 'problem'

Cleaning Poem 

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'computering',
And I had to answer 'yes.'

He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.

I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work.
I didn't mean to 'click.'

But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing site.
That I got SO way into it.
I was into it all night.

Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Shauna Richardson -- Crochetadermy

Shauna takes taxidermy forms and crochets on them....ON them! whew!

Check out her website, there's lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Well, there's a bear anyway.

This is my favorite and it beats hanging the real thing for many.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vintage Eye Candy

Aren't these gorgeous?

Suzy from Georgia Peachez, you can thank her....


She hoards vintage ornaments and glues her fingers together just to get these babies out in time for the holiday. They sell quickly, so go shop now! You'll find some other fun creations for gift giving, too.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Heart Thumps for Glassware

I dropped some things off at the thrift store today...been helping two friends clean out stuff. Of course, perusal is required and as I was looking at a set of vintage green and blue leaf glasses, out of the corner of my eye, I saw these and my heart skipped a beat. Oh me Oh mine. They are a perfect addition to my kitchen....and there's 8 of them....eight eight eight! I'm very excited.

and newly added to my etsy, this cute cute cute baby blanket.
Did I say cute?

Caitlin Hackett

I'm often amazed by what comes from artists' hands...and Caitlin doesn't disappoint...and look how young she is. She does the majority of her work large and in ball point pen.

Her work reminds me of this guy in my illustration class in college. (that was 22 years ago and I can still see him drawing so clearly in my head) His fantasy drawings were amazing, just amazing, pouring right from his fingertips...I thought then, "why are you here? go go go, get work, fly away and be great, you've already graduated in my eyes."

To me, Fantasy Art / Fantastic Art is just there inside you, begging to come out. I am so amazed by it. Since very young, I have been a draw-er, but even if I tried, I would not be able to pull the style out of me.


See more of her here and in this recent issue of High Fructose Magazine.

(click on pic to view site)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Animals of YouTube sing "Deck the Halls"

Angela is up to it again....

it's great out it was put together, especially toward the end.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Red Lentils and Rice

I just made this Red Lentils and Rice recipe that was on a new blog I found -- Casual Kitchen --

photo from Casual Kitchen

I didn't have the curry or cayenne but it still tastes yummy with a delicate taste of ginger. I've not made red lentils in awhile and was talking with a friend about them yesterday. The way she described how yummy she thought they were, made me want to rush out and get I did. Then I looked up a side dish recipe. Reading more of the blog, I found that I like what she has to offer as recipes and thoughts on food, too. So she's been added to my long list of daily wonder I don't get anything done around here.

hmmmm, will have to work on that.

Jimaca Gicama

photo courtesy of

Jimaca (pronounced Hicama) is a food I realized today that I haven't eaten in awhile. Out shopping today, I picked one up remembering that I like it. It's crispy and has a light taste. It's great as a cruncher instead of chips or such and it's wonderful in salads. I just cut it up and put it in a bowl of water in the fridge for easy grabbing and retaining it's moisture.

But, I didn't know the vitamin benefits of it, or 'what' it actually was. I 'googled' it, (thank goodness for the internet) and this is what I found. know, in case you're wondering....

"Jicama is a crispy, sweet, edible root that resembles a turnip in physical appearance, although the plants are not related. Jicama has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and the vegetable is quite popular in Mexican cuisine. Jicama has a unique flavor that lends itself well to salads, salsas, and vegetable platters. The roots can sometimes grow to be quite large, although when they exceed the size of two fists, they begin to convert the sugars that give jicama its sweet flavor into starches, making the root somewhat woody to the taste.

Jicama is actually a legume, and it grows on vines that may reach 20 feet (six meters) in length. The vines tend to hug the ground, terminating in tubers that may grow up to 50 pounds (22 kilograms) in size, although the majority of jicama roots sent to market are approximately three to four pounds (1.3-2 kilograms) in weight. Before eating, the coarse brown outer layer of the jicama should be peeled to reveal the white inside.
When choosing jicama at the store, look for medium sized, firm tubers with dry roots. Do not purchase jicama that has wet or soft spots, which may indicate rot, and don't be drawn to overlarge examples of the tuber, because they may not be as flavorful. Jicama will keep under refrigeration for up to two weeks.

Jicama is excellent raw and is sometimes eaten plain. It can also be used as a substitute for water chestnut in Chinese dishes, in which case it should be thrown in right before serving. Jicama also appears in stews, juiced drinks, stuffings, and a variety of other recipes. In addition to having a unique flavor and texture, jicama takes flavor well, making it well suited to culinary experimentation. Jicama is a great source of vitamin c and is fat free—making it a superb on-the-go snack.

Jicama grows best in warm, dry climates. It can be planted and grown year round, although tubers form better during the winter time. Jicama plants sprouted in the late spring tend to produce extremely robust tubers by the winter, while jicama planted in the summer produces the most flavorful tubers, although they are typically somewhat smaller. Jicama prefers full sun and moderate rainfall, and it is subject to frost damage, making it a poor choice for northern climates. In addition, jicama produces a natural insecticide in the above ground vine, meaning that the plant protects itself from harmful pests.

Who knew? it's a legume!....and packed with Vitamin C...yey!!

Now go try it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cats Playing Patty-Cake

Our SPR Treasurer, Angela, just sent me's a RIOT!!!

A Coffee and A Bookstore

Yesterday, I planned on going over to Borders Bookstore this morning. I was looking forward to having time alone with a lapful of magazines and a coffee. I got there right before 9a.m....and guess what? they don't open until 11a.m. on Sundays, ugh. I knew the Barnes & Noble right by my house opened at 9 so I headed back in that direction, parked myself, looked over at a piece of paper with a note I seemed to have ignored...and headed back home. I forgot to leave out some things that were promised for a Freecycler that were supposed to be picked up today. Did you get that? WERE supposed to be...the stuff is still in my driveway. I had an hour to kill so instead of heading back to B&N I did a few things around here.

Then, just before 11, I hit the road again. I almost said "forget it" but carried on, even though the image in my head of mid-morning coffee and not a lot of people at the store wasn't going to happen, I had to put a new image in my head.

I got myself a coffee and I poured over art and craft magazines for what I thought was 2 was 3. Done with that, I scooted over to the Craft section of the store. An hour and a half later, I came home with this book:

I've been wanting it for awhile but being the cheap-o frugal person that I am, I didn't want to spend $35 on it. I often get Borders Reward Coupons and they didn't fail me, 33% off, plus they gave me $5 in Borders Bucks that had to be spent by end of day today. So, for a little less than $20, jackpot! I want to make the corset and the corset 'T' the most and will put that on my list of things to create by summer.

It was a good day.

Hope yours was fun and relaxing as well.

Surprise Gift

Cindi and I 'met' awhile back, I forget exactly how but it had something to do with dogs and the similarities between us. If I remember correctly her opening line was, "are you my twin?" We've had many enjoyable conversations since and support each others blogs and the trials and tribulations of dogs and life in general.

She had sent me a note saying that she found something that screamed my name. I had no idea what it could have been. When I opened the box I made high pitched sounds of delight and a smile lasted on my fast for some time.

A handbag with Mini Schnauzers on it, how perfect! It was so sweet of her to think of me. It hangs proudly in my postage stamp hallway on the linen closet door. I have hung a handbag there for a couple of years, changing them out for a different piece of eye candy every once in awhile...this bag now will be there for some time to come.

Thank you Cindi, I smile each time I look at it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy News

Rudi's owners felt a bit empty without 4 paws tapping around their home. They both work from home and were really missing a dog's presence. They began the search for another and found Heidi on our website.

is she too cute or what?

Heidi is 3 years old and came to us with crystals in her urine. We had the surgery done for her (about $650 -- I'm putting that out there to help people to understand the costs sometimes involved with rescue dogs) and she was put on a special diet. She also came with the inability to tear naturally so she needs eye drops twice a day.

Frank and Terry opened their hearts and their piggy bank for her future care...and apparently, she was very excited about this because it was seemingly a match made in heaven. Shelly took in Heidi about a week ago and I was supposed to get her this coming weekend....but...she was adopted yesterday. 

What is nice about this adoption is that it is often difficult, especially in these economic times, to adopt out a dog that has special needs and they are often with us for a long period of time.

Thank you Frank and Terry for being able to open your hearts so soon after they broke with the passing of Rudi.