Thursday, December 31, 2009

... the end of 2009

dots

i have made every effort to be positive about 2009, what with starting this here blog this year and trying to celebrate all the good in life, but that doesn't mean i won't be sorry to say goodbye to it tonight. honestly, this was a stinker of a year for me and i have every hope that 2010 will be 10 times better!

unfortunately i am ringing out the year with a nasty cold. and i have a new year's day party to prepare for. so that meant a few hours in front of the television watching some horrible movies and cutting out the felt circles for my party garland. for every few dots i cut out and added to the pile of dots, i blew my nose and added it to the pile of tissues.

garland making

one happy pile, and one sad pile. such is life.

i hope all of you have the most fabulous of new year's eves and that the coming year brings you all the joy, love, and beauty you can stand. (and for me, i selfishly hope i wake up fresh and revived and cold-free in 2010.)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

... christmas mementos

tree

though it feels it was so long ago, it's nice to be reminded that christmas was just here. in fact, there's still evidence around the house that we just celebrated.

lego advent calendar

the lego advent calendar was a big hit this year.

eggnog french toast

and the eggnog french toast we had last week was super delicious.

train

i was fascinated by the model train at swanson's. so delightful.

christmas pudding

my favorite (new) tradition is making and lighting the christmas pudding.

lighting the pudding

and i finally feel i've gotten the hang of lighting the dang thing on fire. i mean, "flaming it with brandy."

burning pudding

thank you, christmas, for the wonderful memories. see you again next year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

... the ferry to bainbridge

bainbridge

i don't just love bainbridge island because it's my hometown. i love it because it's a truly beautiful place. sometimes i forget how lucky i was to grow up somewhere so lovely, which also means i sometimes end up taking for granted the 30-minute ferry ride from seattle to bainbridge.

bainbridge island ferry

bainbridge island ferry

q: how cool is the ferry?

a: so cool.

bainbridge

i had my first kiss over there on the very tip of wing point. it's nice to be reminded of that kiss every time the ferry glides into eagle harbor.

wenatchee

Sunday, December 20, 2009

... chocolate ginger cake

chocolate ginger cake

with bourbon sauce.

and a christmas tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

... cookie party!



while sarah silverman's cookie party is super duper awesomeness, the cookie party of which i speak is my pal gael's annual cookie exchange party.

cookies

cookies

cookies

cookies

there was much deliciousness to be found, and i am always surprised by the amazing variety of cookies that are baked. i don't think i can recall a party where two people brought the exact same cookie.

chocolate ginger chews

i made martha stewart's chocolate ginger chews, but the only shot i got of them was before baking. i guess once they got out of the oven all i wanted to do was eat them. and, of course, some had to be saved for the party. yum.

happy birthday gael!

the party is always a few days from gael's birthday, so we got to celebrate the hostess with the mostest whilst cookie partying it up.

candy

tree cookie

overloaded cookies

there was a cookie decorating table as well, with loads of frosting, sprinkles, candy and favors to put on your cookies. i'm not sure who decorated those two cookies up there, but i think i love them. is it even physically possible to put anything else on those cookies?

star cookie

i also just wanted to say that i fully intended to be doing more here this month, but, like everyone else this time of year, have found myself overloaded with things to do, obligations to meet, parties to attend, trees to trim, goods to bake, and gay apparel to don. be assured that i am enjoying this holiday season for all it's worth, it's just that my camera is often not along for the ride these days.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

... sunny corners of our home

though it's winter (ok, nearly winter) and seattle is currently in the midst of an insane cold snap, the days are bright and clear and sunny. and with the low sun coming from the south, that makes for beautiful light sloping in through the windows in the morning and early afternoon.

paperwhites

hand to heaven, i just happened across this narrow strip of sun just perfectly illuminating these paperwhites on our dining room table. i did not stage this at all.

hydrangea

the endless summer hydrangea are still bringing summer into the house in the way of cuttings. will they ever quit?

bunting

i finally brought the bunting in from the porch. it looks a bit worse for wear having been out in the weather until a few weeks ago. but i'm happy to enjoy it now in the sun room.

in fact, i'm happy to enjoy a lot of the pretty little things around the house right now.

Monday, December 7, 2009

... a christmasy sunday

huevos ahogados

it all started with a trip to seƱor moose to warm up our insides before we ventured out into the cold to get our christmas tree. huevos ahogados is my new favorite thing on the menu. eggs poached in tomato broth with poblano chiles and served with the most amazing grilled bread. and we warmed up our brains by completing the new york times sunday crossword between bites.

pudding tin

then time to haul out the pudding tin to make the traditional christmas pudding. i follow nigel slater's recipe, but fudge it a bit with suggestions from nigella lawson's version. then i let it steam all afternoon and make the house smell spicy and delicious while i trim the tree and listen to david sedaris's santaland diaries.

christmas pudding

after a sufficient steaming, it goes into a cool, dark place to sit until christmas eve. it's possible that the thing i enjoy most is the anticipation.

xmas tree

every year i say i'm going to get something other than a noble fir, but every year i set eyes on the perfect tree, with it's deep green needles and sparse branches and fall in love, and it's always a noble fir.

the seattle aids support group (sasg) at dunshee house has great trees and the money goes to a great organization. they also cut the tree end perfectly and load the tree onto your car for you. and they give you candy canes and say merry christmas like they really mean it.

santa mugs

and finally i get to settle down on the sofa and enjoy a mug of cocoa topped with a marshmallow out of a cheapie santa mug, watch christmas movies, and admire the tree. i would like it to be christmas forever, please.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

... my first finished quilt!

quilt

consider yourself forewarned: following is an onslaught of pictures. with the completion of this quilt i have become the proud parent who can't put down the camera. and my quilt is my baby. i think my baby quilt is the prettiest baby quilt ever. i want everyone, the whole world over, to admire my quilt.

i mean, seriously, look what i made!!!

quilt with staggered coins

quilting

i spent many, many hours looking at this view. i had no idea it took that long to do the actual quilting. but it does. i also had seriously sore shoulders.

(i think most of the lines are pretty straight.)

quilt reflecting the sunset

folded quilt

and let's not talk about the hours i spent sewing half the binding on by hand. but i think it's worth it for such tidy-looking binding.

quilt back

i am very happy with the back, too. in fact, i think it's nearly as pretty as the front!

close up of quilt back

honest to god, when i took that quilting class in the spring, i really didn't know if i would ever finish a quilt. it felt like such a big thing and one i didn't know i would ever be able to tackle. so it makes me feel tremendously accomplished to have done this, all by myself, from start to finish. yay me!

quilt on the chair

Friday, December 4, 2009

... pie night!

my friend and neighbor lindsey has been trying to orchestrate a pie-making night for many months now. and fortunately the stars aligned this week and lindsey, jenn, winter, sandy, and i were all able to convene for a night of pie making, pie eating, and wine drinking.

three happy pies

jenn crafting her crust

jenn's apple pie

jenn makin' it happen, cap'n.

tomato pie

sandy made an amazing tomato pie ahead of time for us to enjoy whilst we made the sweet pies. ohmygoodnesssogood!

wine

the wine was delicious, too.

admiring the pies

jenn with her pie

all in all, the pies were both lovely to look at and required much admiring.

lindsey's key lime pie

three small slices

and also much eating.