Saturday, November 28, 2009

Trimming the tree

We got the tree decorated today.  I think Shea enjoyed wearing the tree skirt more than decorating.

Our tree doesn't have a theme, color or otherwise.  It's a collection of ornaments from years past with a few glass balls thrown in for sparkle.  A few of my favorites...

Our first Christmas 1993

Paris November 1999
The Eiffel Tower had a large countdown clock that read "only XX days until 2000".
(En Français, bien sûr!)
This was during Thanksgiving 1999, when I was pregnant with Shea.
It was so cold!

Pere Noel
We bought him in Paris one year.

My alma mater.  It's a Horned Frog.

This little book ornament belonged to my Mamaw.

It really has carols inside.

We bought this little guy in Munich, Germany.

The front of our 2006 Christmas card.

I could go on and on.  I love that every ornament has a story.  Even if the story is "I saw this at Target in 2004 and had to have it!"

Let the holiday begin!

Well, the chocolate ricotta tart was delicious.  I highly recommend it if you like chocolate and hazelnuts. Here's the recipe again.  I made my first fruit pie this year, an apple pie with Pink Lady apples.  It turned out great.  I was so excited!  The crust was flaky yummy, but it did slide down into the pie plate a little and was too thick on the edges.  I'll have to work on that next time.  I don't think I know the proper way to handle the edges.

I finished my sister-in-law's necklace.  I think she really liked it.  The little paw turned out perfect.  Shea wants a paw now, so I'll have to make her one too.

We put the tree up last night, but didn't get it decorated yet.  Rather than rushing to his aid, I grabbed the camera as my hubby yelled for help behind the tree when he knocked some frames off the wall.  He was pinned to the wall to keep everything from falling.  Somehow, we thought it was funnier than he did.


We've got a day of decorating ahead of us and maybe we'll brave a trip to Target or something.  This Thanksgiving school holiday has flown by!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The suspense is killing me!

I saw Giada make this Chocolate Ricotta Pie/Tart on TV the other day and it looked delicious.  I worked on it all afternoon, roasting hazelnuts, chilling and baking the crust, mixing the filling.  It looks good...

but it's killing me because I can't taste it; it's for Thanksgiving tomorrow! This recipe was also perfect for trying out my new kitchen toy.  I bought one of these (my first full sized food processor) and used it for the crust and the filling.  I wonder if my family would notice a slice missing?

I also made pie crust in the food processor.  It's chilling in the fridge until tomorrow when I plan to use it to bake my first ever apple pie.  Yum!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Respirators, Muffins, and Knitting

My sister-in-law has requested a new initial pendant.  I usually stamp sterling sheet and stamp the letter into the metal, but I decided to try torch firing a PMC pendant. Sean was priming some airplane parts in the garage and it was quite smelly, so I donned my respirator to try to avoid the smell. Nice look, eh!

Torch firing the PMC was easy and fast.  I held it a red glow for 10 minutes and it finished up nicely.  I don't have much experience with wax carving (for casting) or PMC, which have a lot of the same properties to me.  I much prefer fabrication, but I do like the hand-wrought look of PMC.


I baked some cranberry muffins this morning, but something was off.  The batter was very sticky.  I try not to over mix, but maybe I stirred a tiny bit too much when I folded in the cranberries.  Doesn't that make them too glutenous?  They are really dense and didn't rise.  But, they still taste wonderful and I have the entire dozen to myself since I'm the only one in the house that eats cranberries!  Yum!

I've been working on my Green Gable sweater trying to cross something else off my Joy in the New Year challenge list.  

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Summer Nightie from One Yard Wonders

I finished the Summer Nightie from One Yard Wonders this afternoon.  I love this fabric, but it's not something I would ever decorate with (it's just not right for my home) and it's not something I'd wear out during the day, so I thought this would be the perfect project for it.   I can't wait to wash it so it gets all soft and cozy.

The nightie itself is really short on me, so I think I'll make the little sleep shorts to go with it.  I have plenty of this fabric.

Thoughts on this project:
1. I made the small and if you use packaged bias tape, it will take every inch of the 3 yards in the package; there's nothing to spare, so be careful.
2. The small triangles (which create the top) are really small.  It fits me fine, there's just not a lot of coverage, if you know what I mean.
3. If I did this project again, I would cut four triangles for the top so I could make them lined and have a place to hide the seam allowances by folding them up inside the triangle and blind stitching it closed by hand.