Thursday, December 29, 2011

Red and White

Really, it's the small things that make me happy...like an awesome sale at Crate and Barrel.

I've been contemplating my goals and objectives for 2011 and a theme for 2012. Stay tuned for an update when I am able to carve out a bit of time to write....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TED!

Guess where I went today? Yep, TEDxPhilly! Pure awesomeness! The central topic was The City and all of the speakers were fascinating in what they are doing or how they view the city.
They event was held in the beautiful, filled with stain glass Temple University Center for the Performing Arts. The below photo is a reflection of the large Broad Street facing stain glass window. It's really overwhelmingly gorgeous!
A simple set....
And Operation Nice was there, encouraging people be nice and meet new people. I did just that over lunch, sitting with a young woman who teaches in Philly.
Cool day with lots of learning. Definitely time well spent!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dishing Things Out

Recently I went thrifting.... in my friend's garage. She was getting rid of a bunch of things and offered her friends first dibs. I came away with this lovely little silver dish and spoon set. It's just so perfect for after dinner mints. Or black olives. Or some other small little tasty treat. Oh, how I love new treasures!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Glass Class #3

On Wednesday, I went to my third glass class. We were going implosion. Yeah, that sounds super cool to me too. And it is. It's adding color to the clear glass then allowing/making the clear glass swallow it up.
I made this little flower in a clear ball the size of a quarter. It's going to be a gift for my aunt. I think she'll be pleasantly surprised to get a little something.

I also made two "Hershey Kisses." They are a bit smaller but kind of fun.
Next week is the last class. I think we're doing animals again although I might work on something else.....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Autumn Walk at the Arboretum

A lovely fall walk...
A trip to my favorite spots in the arboretum.... my bench, the rose garden, the Buddha, and a sculpture.
Sunshine, falling leaves, and the hum of workers preparing one of my favorite places for the upcoming winter.
Admiring some last blooms before winter.

Oh, what a lovely way to spend a vacation day. I'm so very grateful.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sledge Day

Just so you know, it feels really good to hit an old car with a sledgehammer. I'm pretty sure using a sledgehammer - especially at work - makes any day better actually.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Glass Class #2

Last night in glass class, I made two rather awkward looking turtles. Both are currently in the kiln hardening so as to last forever in their awkwardness. But I did come home with this flower. It was kind of fun to make, especially the pulling of the petals. You can see the tweezer marks, which adds something in my mind. Now to find a little home for this flower....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekend Adventure

I realized I never shared my weekend adventures! The manfriend and I took a little day trip out to Philly to Lancaster County. Yes, we saw an Amish horse and buggy. Multiples actually. And yes, that made me happy. Yes, I said hi to the cows on our journey. It was truly pure delight.

The reason for our journey though, was to visit this place. Yes, we went to see wolves. They are AWESOME. (In retrospect, I should have done a bit more dancing on the trip. Because Dancing with Wolves is so much better than DWTS. Yeah, and I haven't even had sugar this afternoon. Makes you wonder, doesn't it!) This preserve helps to save wolves all over the country. They have some that used to be pets, some that are just pups still and some veterans who are 17 or 18 years old. This pack, pictured below, is the largest of the various packs they have. They have 3 acres of land to roam on. And my goodness, they are simply beautiful creatures. I learned a lot - the preserve's focus is on education - and really enjoyed the experience.
Afterwards, we went JoBoy's Brew Pub for lunch. The raves on Yelp commented on their exceptional BBQ. Both the manfriend and I tested those reviews with the sampler sandwiches. It's good - the pork and beef were definitely our faves. The beer was decent according to manfriend. I taste tested a glass of wine instead....

And then it was onward... Yelp helped us find Wilbur's Chocolates. I do love a good chocolate shop. They did have some not quite right looking sponge candy there. I thought about buying but decided to stick with what I knew wouldn't disappoint me. I'm glad I did! The buds are good and my chocolate bar with crispy pieces helped make the journey home even better....
Wolves, food, wine and chocolate: Yep, an utterly delightful day spent in Lancaster County.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Glass Class Week 1

Week one of lampworking glass class....
One big old flame.
Three thousand degrees.
Five colors added to clear glass.
One thumb burned slightly.
One pendant made.
Much fun had.... class two next week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's Time for a Drive By

It's a bit of a drive by post for you today....
  • Today, I get to start this class. I'm pretty excited about getting to play with glass. It is four week long and I'm hoping to learn something new ad perhaps make a Christmas gift for someone.
  • I visited another winery this past weekend. I came home with tea infused wine. It's yummy... I can't wait to find the perfect occasion to open it.
  • My knitting is moving along. I found a glass of wine in just as nice of a compliment at a cup of chai.
  • I'm doing something super fun this coming Saturday. Photos will be forthcoming.
  • I'm really in the mood to wear sweaters. Lately, it's been about 70 degrees F here though.... hardly sweater weather. (Soon enough, I know!)
  • I bought a new car last week. I'm starting to adjust to driving something new now. (My old car was 11 years old.)
Life is good.... how's it for you?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hope out of Hopelessness

Years and years ago, when I was in college, I served on student government. During my term in office, a hate crime occurred on campus. Someone – multiple someones probably – burned a cross on campus between two residence halls. That moment and the subsequent days after that forever changed who I am. As I met with other students, including members of the Black Student Union, I heard the fear in their voice and saw the concern – for safety, for comfort, for understanding – on their face. During the days that followed, I spoke with college officials, local media, and a variety of law enforcement officers. But the people that truly mattered – that I was working for – were the students in that room. Their pain echoes inside me whenever I hear of a hate crime. It reminds me that we’re all in this together. And that hate must be continual fought. We have to stand up and stand together in saying this is not okay. This is not what our community is about.

I share all of this because this morning a friend and colleague shared a photo on Facebook of a hate crime in his community. Someone spray painted words of hate on the LGBT Center. And it stirred up those old emotions – anger, sadness, and that sense of disbelief. I just don’t get how people can do such a thing. How can you hate someone because of who they are? Color, sexual orientation, religion – those are things we just are. How we are born. It overwhelms me to think that 10, 20, 30 years from now we might still be facing these challenges. Yet the optimist in me remains ever hopefully. Goodness knows we’re more accepting and embracing than we were 20 years ago. It’s moments like this, where I turn the action of hate over and over in my head failing to understand why, that leave me hoping for the future the most. We have to make it better.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cuppa and Yarn

Oh yes, autumn weather is in the air. How do I know, you ask? I was inclined to pull out the yarn and the needles and start knitting this weekend!! Knitting has taken a backseat in my crafting in the last year or so. Actually, it seems like crafting has taken a backseat to being out in the world... but I'm re-engaging through knitting. I cast on.... are you sitting down?... legwarmers to go over my tights and under my boots. No, I won't be pulling a full on 80s nightmare. I'm just looking for a wee bit more warmth when wearing my rainboots this year.

Anywho, I've found time on the couch with needles, yarn and a cuppa chai is just about the perfect weekend morning. Too bad it's not the weekend anymore!

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apples Everywhere!

I'm still eating apple pie from Sunday. And it really does get better.... just so yummy. I also took the rest of the apples in my fridge and made applesauce filled with cinnamon, making my whole home smell magically wonderful. All of the apples are gone now. At least until the farmer's market on Saturday. I really need to think about what to make next - both from apples and from other fall bounty.

What have you been baking?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bowling....

This past weekend, my friend Katie and I used a LivingSocial deal we had and went pottery painting. The pottery place is a BYO in the center of a town so we picked up a bottle of wine and headed over. After much looking around (seriously, we were practicing our indecisiveness) I finally settled on a pasta bowl. I went with a simple palette of paints - yellow, blue and green - to match a square plate I painted a few years ago. I added some black lettering - "Eat Me" - and my pottery painting signature of a fingerprint chick and initials and was done.
I get it back in a week and can't wait to see the final product! It was a fun evening and a great deal.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Deliciousness Abounds!

On Sunday, I spent some time with my kitchen, making a pot of chili (after all, October is National Chili Month!). Ted brought over some home brew so I had some beer for it. It simmered most of the afternoon, making the apartment smell delicious. And while that was simmering, I used the spoils from my apple picking to make an apple pie, using the recipe in the Glamour cookbook. It's a little less traditional - you cook the apples for 20 minutes before putting it in the pie crust - but completely yummy.
It came out runny and beyond good. Lucky manfriend, I'm serving chili, cornbread and apple pie tonight for dinner!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A You Pick Saturday

Yesterday was the perfect day for an outing to the farm. Apple and pumpkin picking ensued. And some goofiness. Luckily my friend Katie was a willing accomplice. We picked a bunch of Empire apples. I pretended to eat one.
I walked among the apple trees, spun in circles until I got dizzy and found the Delicious and Empires playing nicely together.
Then we boarded the hayride truck to the pumpkin patch. Oh, how I love the pumpkin patch! Many pretty orange pumpkins, big and small, just waiting for a good home. I found two little ones - one for Ted and one for me - to take home.
The pumpkin field is surrounded by sunflowers. Bright, beautiful, tall, sunny sunflowers.
It was a wonderful afternoon! I am so grateful for the sun and fun. And the picking has yielded a number of delights.... autumn decorations around the home and a yummy pie just out of my oven.

Friday, September 30, 2011

September Living

How has so much time past since my last post? Oy, it's been forever! Life has been littered with trips lately. Two weeks ago I was heading to Baltimore to facilitate a program at Johns Hopkins. A week ago I heading up to north Jersey to visit a campus for some assessment. It seems like I've been on the road a lot lately. Luckily October is a bit quieter!

Anywho, for a brief recap of the glamorous (ha!) life I lead:
  • Two batches of pasta sauce made, with some ending up in the freezer for a cold winter's day.
  • One necklace won from Ann Taylor via their Twitter contest.
  • Two books read - How to Love an American Man (loved) and Poke the Box (great).
  • One super cool tour of the vet school through work. I loved seeing the ER and other specialties in action. I'd love to spend a day there shadowing a staff member!
  • Three plus dozen cookies made using my mom's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies recipe.
  • One Stella and Dot jewelry show hosted, as a friend recently started selling it.
  • One hundred (or so) new pins on pinterest. Are you on pinterest?
  • Four bottles of wine, of those mentioned in my last post, consumed by friends and me.
  • One huge 'o allergy attack. For both Rosy and me. Stupid ragweed.
  • One change of season. It's definitely starting to feel like autumn here, as leaves are falling and I'm able to comfortably wear a sweatshirt to walk Rosy in the morning.
  • Nineteen more days until my Intro to Lampworking Glass class begins!
  • One new bubble gum obsession. It is my new favorite (cheap) splurge!
  • One new winter coat on it's way to me, just in time to replace my old one with a shredded lining.

I really do hope to stay connected and up to date here. Life has just been so crazy busy. I'm hoping with less travel and more fall cooking, I'll be around more!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Catch Up!

This past weekend was a busy one! The retreat we go on with students was rescheduled to this past Friday to Saturday due to Hurricane Irene in August. We left on Friday afternoon, had programming on Friday night and until 3:30 on Saturday and then headed back to campus. I'm grateful that early on Saturday morning I was able to shuffle down to their creek and take a few photos, including this one of the dam. The water was a bit higher than normal but based on the mud dried to the dock, had receded quite a bit from earlier! Saturday night, the manfriend and I had dinner at my local diner and just relaxed. Good food, good company, needed couch time. What more can girl ask for?

Sunday morning I was off to northeast PA and the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail with my friend Laurel. As you might recall, I've been a number of times before. This time we visited places we haven't gone to before: Amore, Big Creek and Franklin Hill. We also went back to Galen Glen, one of my favorites for their sweeping views and yummy wines. It was the wine trail's Harvest Weekend and every place was welcoming and had additional tasty treats. I ended up coming home with... ahem.... eight bottles of wine. Yep, that should hold me for a little while.
One bottle did get consumed the very next night though. Monday was my anniversary with the manfriend and we went out to dinner at Branzino's, a BYO in Philly. We had a lovely time and he was so kind to show up with a HUGE bouquet of flowers for me. I now have two vases of blooms gracing my home. Yep, sweet manfriend, flowers, wine and pasta - I'm a lucky girl.
I also got my first Birchbox on Monday. A little box of cosmetic samples and a cute bracelet to offer some fun to my September. I learned about them in August and signed up pretty fast. I figured for $10, I can lose. If it's not great, I could always cancel after one month. Well, I'm pretty happy and plan to keep them for a while....
Last night, I finally did a little rearranging in my bedroom and found a place for my necklace frame. It replaced a photo which was right above my dresser. I put a few pairs of earrings on the wire too and have to say I'm quite pleased!

Yes, life is good here.... How about with you?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Necklaces Need a Home Too

My spray paint arts and crafts project? You want to know more? Well, I finished it this past week and am kind of loving it!

I took this old frame (with my not so pretty senior class photo from HS in it!) and rehabbed it a bit. Some sanding + priming + sage spray paint + hooks + wire = a new home for some of my necklaces! Because yes, necklaces deserve a happy place to hang (out) too.
I put it on the wall but don't think it has quite found it's permanent home yet. Yes, there is some shifting and spackling in my future. But oh how happy I'll be!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thinking Back...

Yesterday was big old historical day. Ten years. Ten years have passed since the world kind of split open and changed forever. Oh, life is so very different now. Some people lost family members suddenly, horribly and often without the ability to say goodbye. My country created a whole new agency and started a couple of wars. We carry less when we fly and take off our shoes for security.

My own life has changed too. I’ve lived in three places since then. I’ve loved and had my heart broken. I’ve made new friends and celebrated milestones with the old ones. I’ve fallen back in love. I’ve made a home for myself in Philly. And I’ve connected to all of you….

I listened to some of the stories on NPR over the last week. I’ve gotten teary. I’ve remembered where I was that day and the people that I was with when all seemed to change. But most importantly, I’ve told those I love – yet again – how much I love them. How important they are to my life. How much richer my world is for having them in it.

That is my shiny, good legacy for September 11th. We shouldn’t take life or the people we share it with for granted. We should celebrate them daily. Because you never know. And having your last words be “I love you” is so much better than anything else.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Stocking Up!

The idea of how to turn something new again and make it useful - exciting
The supplies for a new craft project - $15


Finding the time to spray paint - difficult
The quality of this photo - blurry
My need to dust, evidenced by the dust bunny in the shot, not overly obvious due to blurriness - BIG

Yep, new project to come. How about you?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things to do in a Hurricane

Stock up on goods at the Wawa. Because goodness knows you need junk food.

Take an early morning walk with your dog before things start.

Love this table at 3 Potato 4.... beyond perfect!

Visit 3 Potato 4's Barn Sale in the morning before anything happens. Because every hurricane needs a well decorated home. Be sure to admire the long gorgeous farm table. And buy some stuff.

Watch In the Line of Fire on TV because hurricane coverage became too much.

Surf around Pinterest.

Have a dance party with your dog.

Make egg salad, as easy food to have on stock in case you don't have a stove to cook on.

The things I came home from the Barn Sale with... small purchases but fun little additions.

Bake cupcakes.

Clean things in your home that you have been putting off. After all, when you are trapped there, you might as well do a little cleaning....

Lust over this retreat.

Spend some time in your hallway when a tornado warning is issued.

Remind yourself of the truth in this quote.

Lament the big leak happening in your kitchen and small one in the living room. Rearrange all of your furniture to protect the sewing machine and computer.
Yum, cupcake!

Spend part of the evening with your neighbors and a bottle of red wine, laughing and marveling in the fact that you still have power.

Go to sleep when the dripping noise in the kitchen drives you batty.

Sleep well.

Wake up to a little wind and a good day in front of you. And remember, your life is good....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Paisley Roof

I needed something new for my apartment door. It's an ugly brown shade - you know, the color of the M&M they got rid of when they brought Blue on to the market. Really, who chooses that color? Knowing my management company, it was probably on sale. Anywho, there was a small bird out there but she'd been gracing the door for a while and needed a break.
And for some reason, this little house popped into my head. It must have been the fabric scraps sitting around. I cut out all of the pieces two nights ago but in laziness, I chose not to iron the pieces and thus couldn't begin. Last night, I motivated myself - it's amazing what a pro-ironing pep talk can do - and ironed and sewed it all. Now there is a fresh little something to greet my guests! And goodness know nothing says "WELCOME" like a paisley roof.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Homegrown Goodness

My colleague gave me a bunch of tomatoes from her garden. I've had a Roma for dinner each of the past two nights. What is it about homegrown tomatoes that just taste better? It's like you can taste the sunshine almost.
The ones that are left (but not that peach!) will most likely become tomato basil soup this weekend. Or pasta sauce.... I can't wait to do a little cooking with them!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Little Baby Gift

One of my friends is in single digits to her due date. I've been a bit of a slacker in getting a small baby gift to her and I figured I'd better get on it now! So I pulled out a bunch of scraps today and put together a stroller blanket for her. I went with pink fabrics and a few with another dominate color and pink highlights.
I put together a patchwork front and quilted it to some batting. I attached it all to some minky. Minky really is the perfect baby fabric, isn't it?
It all came together in about 1.5 hours. I'm pretty happy with it and hope my friend likes it. Now, let's see how long it takes to get in the mail!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Isn't That Always The Case?

I recently posted...
You get what you need when you need it.
on Facebook. And got some good responses from friends. Things like this is "what I needed to hear today" and "keep telling me this please." And some likes (because isn't it easier to "like" something than comment. And am I the only one who tries to like things on other websites where that isn't an option. Like, all.the.time!).

I keep finding myself repeating it in my head. Because friends, that's actual wisdom. Wisdom I need to get myself out of my head and into my present. And today I came across this post which was a long, well written way of saying the same thing. I couldn't help but think that the post was just another little bit of getting what I need.
Because truly, life is good. I am blessed. I have love, a home, food, friendship and fabric. The sunshine more often overcomes the shadows of my life. And I'll get what I need when I need it. But boy, sometimes, I wish it would speed the heck up!

Holy Fabric Batman!

The past two nights, I've spent time sorting through two large garbage bags of fabric. Fun? Yes! A bit of work? Yes! After a friend of mine visited her house, I inherited a bunch of Julie's hand me downs now that she's moving to California. And can I say wowzers?
There were a number of fat quarters... each of these stacks above (sorry, no sun today for good lighting!) is about 2 or 3 inches thick with green, pink, purple, blue and yellow fabrics.

There were buttons, bias tape, ribbon, tassels and rick rack. There was fleece. And there were lots and lots of scraps. (Shhh, don't tell but I kind of love scraps.) I sorted and sorted. I came out with two baggies full of scraps for me and one bag for my friend Laura, who is also getting some fat quarters.
I already have a bunch of ideas for the scraps, including a baby girl gift that I need to do this week (really, the mother is in single digit days to her due date!!). But perhaps a wee more sorting now... but color!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pitcher This, Sicily 1926

Sorry, I couldn't pass up a classic Golden Girls quote! Although I do feel, to properly do Sophia Petrillo justice, I should be carrying a purse on my forearm and going out to the lanai.

I did a wee bit of thrifting this weekend. I was early to brunch with my girlfriends and wandered down to one of the West Philly second hand stores. In just the few minutes I had to shop, I found this little lovely pitcher. It's small - it would only hold about 2 glasses of water.
But doesn't that make it all the more charming? Definitely! And for 98 cents - yes, that's with tax folks - how could I walk away? Now to find where it should reside in my home!