Happy March!

posted on Mar 1, 2011

I’m pretty thrilled that there’s snow outside today, because it means one more day of this:

Snuggling Up Cozy Style

posted on Dec 21, 2010

I’ve been an absentee blogger for a few days now!  My family flew in for the holidays so I’ve been spending most of my time showing them around town, cooking cold-weather meals, gossiping, baking, and wrapping presents.  Although most of my giant family is still back home, I think this may be my favorite Christmas ever ^===^.  So now I’ll get back to baking, chatting, and making Christmas cheer!  I’ll return to regular posting shortly, complete with lovely new tutorials, interviews and general adorableness!

A Foggy Autumn Morning

posted on Oct 30, 2010

A magical blur like this greets me just about every morning, and I love it.

Halloween Front Door- Phase 1

posted on Oct 11, 2010

Halloween is absolutely, positively my favorite holiday of the year. Usually it revolves around a three-months-in-planning party and very intricate decorations, but since we’ve just moved a thousand miles from all friends and family, this year we’re just going for a family-friendly decorated yard.  No need to terrify any toddlers to tears or make their parents hate us.  So here are a couple of pictures of phase 1 of our spooky house decorations.  I made ample use of our mountain of fallen leaves, which line the walkway in elegant heaps, plus our giant spider is happily wrapping bats into his web. Dollar store spider webs do their job admirably, and our bleeding skull candle illuminates our little skull pansies.  There’s also my dead floral arrangement, thank you very much, and some random gargoyles and candles. In a happy coincidence, the previous owners left us a rickety porch floor and “distressed” white picket fence (not pictured), which really ups the creepy points I think!  Phase 2 will involve more gothification, maybe some blood, and maybe some dry ice.  I’ll keep you informed!

Real Men Bake

posted on Sep 23, 2010

I’ve been meaning to share with you all that Eric has been baking fresh bread almost every day!  He has officially regained his baking confidence after an unpublished baking incident back in California (which I am never to speak of).  Boy howdy am I happy to have a bake master in the house once again.  The ancient Sunset Bread book has been dusted off and is now beautifully covered in flour and water spots.  Eric’s latest favorite is something that Sunset calls, “Paine Francais”, whatever that means in the bread world.  Who cares what it’s called,  it is so scrumptious and so fresh and warm . . . yet another reason to love autumn.  And as a symbol of his love for me, Eric has been adding adorable little decorations to the bread like this one-

Aww, isn’t that cute?

What a night.  I’m just now recovering enough to talk about it.  Our atrociously ugly bathroom light fixture is, as it turns out, not only a sin against aesthetics, but it is also electrically unsound.  Last night sweet cherub Eric stepped into the bathroom and flicked the switch on- POW!  ZIP!  SPAT!  The hideous overhead light fixture exploded.  Ex-plod-ed.  Esploded. Because the ceiling in the bathroom is strangely low, that explosion must have been extra scary.

There was smoke, there was more smoke, the fire extinguisher was much more complicated than it should be, and then more smoke, panicking, etc.  Eric turned off the fuse, or whatever that action is called when you make power go off from the magic power box.  Long story short, we did not have to call the fire department or use the fire extinguisher.  Thank God.

We decided to sleep downstairs because we really don’t know how old the smoke detectors are in this house.   After a couple of episodes of X-Files (season 1!) we turned in,  2 of our 3 doggies smooshed onto our noisy air mattress.   I really wanted to leave them in their dog cubby, but there’s no way they’d passively cuddle up in the doggy den while mommy and daddy slept a mere ten feet away.

It always seems like it’s going to be okay at first when we have house guests and the pups have to sleep with us.  They snuggle down under our covers, all sleepy eyed and innocent looking.  Just when I’m feeling like “tough cookies, they need to sleep in their den”, they lick their little sleepy lips or push their noses down into the pillow or something equally adorable, and I’m totally incapable of moving them downstairs. But then around 1 am I remember why they sleep in their den.  It’s called PEE.  Either they do pee somewhere and I wake up at 3 am to scrub it, or I just wake up every thirty seconds, thinking they’re going to pee. Naturally Eric sleeps right through all of it.  Last night was no exception, pee scrubbing included.  You can imagine what an angel I was when I finally got out of bed at 7 am and innocent little Eric slept on, completely oblivious to the pee smell, the loud scrubbing noises, my feet stomping, or doors slamming.  Sigh.

There is something good in this post, I promise.  In my sleep-deprived and incredibly irked state this morning I thought it would be a good idea to focus on a little baking.  I got to work out my frustrations in that dough, boy did I!  And here are the delicious results.

Raspberry, apricot, and strawberry jam and butter cookies!  I got the recipe HERE and it was incredibly simple and I already had all the ingredients!  The deliciousness almost makes up for the lack of sleep.

Oh yes, and as for the light fixture, we cant’ seem to get an electrician out til Saturday!  One of the joys of living in the country!  I guess that means candle lit showers and tooth brushing for a couple of days, a-la-old school!

UPDATE:  We  found an electrician to come out and take a look at it the same day.  He rigged up a quick new socket for us until he can come back and rewire everything, plus install a steam vent and new vanity lights, which will happen next week.  So we didn’t have to do any flashlight showers after all!

Welcome to my dining room!  I’ve finally photographed my favorite wall of dioramas and botanical fantasies for you to see.  Mind you, there’s much to be done in the new house, but sometimes I can’t believe we’ve only lived here a month!

Eric has always snuffed my obsession with little fake birds, but graciously sucked it up when I used them as a central theme for our wedding four years ago.  He must have been kidding himself if he thought that I’d get rid of all of those little birds after the wedding was over.  And indeed, I’ve held on to those birds ever since, without any real idea of what to do with them.

When we moved into our new house most of the walls were painted truly disgusting colors, but the living room was a shade of green that we could work with.  It has turned out to be a fantastic backdrop for our botanical/library/harry potter decor, which by the way we had no idea our furnishings could support.  The flora and fauna theme was strengthened by the fact that we live in a beautiful small, rural town with natural elements all around us.  Our morning walks around the park are the perfect opportunity to collect luscious tufts of moss that fall from the hundred year old oak trees.  It didn’t take me long to put my love of birds, glassware,  and moss covered twigs together to create a diorama heaven.  I love living here.

I think the birds look quite happy, don’t you?

As for the wet moss, I just give it a squirt of water every so often to liven it up.  Eventually it will dry out, in which case I can either replace it with a quick trip to the park ( I LOVE it here!) or leave it brown.  While I’ve used live moss, this look is just as easy to re-create with supplies from your local craft store and I encourage you to give it a try!