How can it be ‘new’ and improved? If it is ‘improved’ it how can it be truly new? Does not the word improved, by definition imply the prior existence of the object in question?
Anyhooo, I am making a huge job change and it is scary as hell. I’m leaving the relative comfort and safety of fifteen years tenure (that and $1, I could buy a bag of chips) for the land of clinical informatics. I am super excited about the work I’ll be doing.
In my quest to find some cool and different decorations for my reception, I came across the concept of “wedding wands.” The idea is, if you are at a venue where you can’t use bubbles or maybe you just don’t want soap involved, your guests can wave pretty ribbons to see you off. I like the idea a lot. Since Jon and I are not being whisked off to a honeymoon after the reception and I’m sure my family would appreciate if I stayed around to help clean up; I don’t need them. But darn it I wanted them. So, my excuse to get my craft on is that the kids’ table could use them as a center piece. Then the kids can run around like little crazy people waiving these sticks around. It will be like Lord of the Flies, but with bells. After a few glasses of craft beer, I might waive one around myself! I thought I would share my crafting experiences with my adoring fan base (all 3 of you).
First, trip to Hobby Lobby (chose them over Michael’s because of the 40% off coupon this week). I got a bag of 12 inch dowels, some silver paint, some ribbon, some bells and a giant blue feather. I already had the block of floral foam.
Then, I gave the sticks 2 coats of silver paint.
Cut the ribbon into 24 inch lengths.
I bought one of those ostrich feathers from the floral department. I don’t know what continent the teal blue ostrich hails from, but I’m glad this one gave up a feather for me. I just cut the shoots off the feather and glued about 10 strings to the top of each wand.
I glued the ribbon on with a hot glue gun, and then glued the bell on and viola!
The second of the big craft projects that I finished this weekend actually started about 6 months ago. I had an old mirror that started out life as part of a dresser. Mom refinished the dresser and detached the mirror so that it could hang on the wall. Many years later, I gave away the dresser but I kept the mirror. Dad made me a flat wooden frame for the mirror. Anyone who knows my dad knows what a word working freak he is. He thought it was blasphemy that I wanted him to make me a frame that I could paint. I finally won that argument. He made me a frame.
Here is the newly primered frame…
Initially, I wanted to paint a bunch of squares on it that were different colors. I was going for a folk art look to match my living room. 5 months later, I still had not finished I decided to take another route.
I used my Big Shot and the large flower from the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die to cut the flowers. Incidentally, the book I cut up was Blood Countess by Andre Codrescu. It’s a very trashy horror novel about Elizabeth Bathory. I recommend it for a fun read. If you are bored you can search the frame for naughty bits.
I punched the flowers, then painted them with acrylic craft paint (I painted them after because I didn’t want to get paint all over my die). You can still read the words through the paint. Here is a detailed picture of of the flowers.
I spray painted the frame glossy black then mod podged the flowers around the frame. I followed up using the same stamp in the previous post, this time covering it with white acrylic craft paint.
After it all dried, I gave it a couple of coats of a glossy clear coat. We sealed the mirror in with silicone and hung it over the fire place.
It really turned out better than I expected and I think it looks great in the living room.
This is a little off the beaten path for my blog, but I found something tasty that I’d like to share with you.
I am a chai fanatic. You put chai spice on anything and I’ll try it. There used to be an Indian restaurant here that made great chai. I frequently get it at Starbucks. In the colder months, I sometimes make it at home. I can never seem to make it as good as they did at the Sitar. So, i rejoiced when I recently found an excellent recipe for chai concentrate. My apologies for not being able to remember which blog I found it on. I surf a lot of food blogs these days.
I have enjoyed the recipe in black tea and in coffee. It is not as sweet as you expect, I usually add one tea spoon of sugar. I also added a bit extra of the spices. I wanted the spice to be really strong.
MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 CUPS (ENOUGH FOR 28 CUPS OF CHAI)
Unlike many brands of chai mix, this one includes the sweetener and the milk. All you add is a mug of hot tea.
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Empty condensed milk into a jar or plastic container with tight-fitting lid. Stir in the sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Store in refrigerator.
To use: Brew a cup of strong black tea, such as Assam, then add two heaping teaspoons of concentrate or more to taste. Stir well until concentrate has fully melted.
To give: Pour into small jars with lids and tie with an attractive bow, or wrap the jar first. Attach a tag with instructions to keep the mix refrigerated and how to use it.
To keep: Store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.
I have sorely neglected my blog responsibilities (not that I think anyone reads it but me). So I thought I would comment on some of 2009. Not the full scale “year in summary” post, more like a very short highlights reel.
I was VERY lucky in 2009. I was able to see some fantastic artists. A few of them, I never thought I would have the opportunity to listen to live. The first being the Flight of the Conchords. Saw them at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. A beautiful space and a fantastic show! They even brought the New Zealand Symphony with them (Nigel Rocks!). Then, I was able to see Wicked on Broadway for the third time. While we were in the NYC area we stopped in Atlantic City (what a shit-hole) to see Spinal Tap at the Borgata. Nigel’s amp still goes to 11. Fantastic show!
Later in the year, I was very fortunate to see be able to see Amanda Palmer in DC and again in Knoxville. Yes, I have a girl crush on her.
2009 was great in lots of ways, we decided to make the move north to the Baltimore/DC area. We are half way there, having sold the house in Greeneville. We have a perspective buyer for my house and a promising job lead for me in the area (fingers crossed).
One of my favorite things about Twitter is that folks will mention something they like and provide a link to it. So, maybe it’s something I’ve not yet experienced and I go click on the link and wow. I had one of those experiences recently when I discovered Amanda Palmer’s solo album Who Killed Amanda Palmer. And, let me say again WOW.