happy new year to all my friends in blog land.....if you knew me in real life you would know that i don't typically make new years resolutions, i don't even enjoy ringing in the new year...i hate change!... since i was a little girl, i just can't get with the whol new year idea. i was content and happy with the old one, why change it?.....all in all i would rather pretend that it's not even happening, ( i am a cancer after all, and we hate change and we are homebodies), so if i had my druthers, i would be at home, not celebrating a new year!, but i digress.....in my effort to be more organized i started to make lists this week...and i made a list of new years resolutions, mostly because i enjoy checking things off my list as i do them, i get a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, i highly recommend it!....here is my new years resolutions....ready?
1.let the little things go...i good example of this would be my son leaving his socks all over the place and never with the dirty laundry, it drives me crazy but i vow to let it go.....awww, see, its working out great so far!
2. i invested in a pedomiter over the summer and walk a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, which i vow to keep doing everyday in 2011...dr.oz suggests we all walk 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy, i believe he is correct!
3.i will sit at my art table every day and do something creative,even if its making a tag,or doodling. (of course teaching preschool i have to be creative everyday, but i mean on a personal level).
4. psalm 46:10 "be still and know i am God"
5. i will greet the day with thankfullness and enthusiasm...(see #1)
6. tolerence towards others who don't have the same ideas as me....i tend to think my ideas are the best,(i know i know, bitchy!) and not give my opinion unless it is needed.
7. do a minimum of one kind thing each and every day for a stranger, co worker etc....
8. get organized....i am a bit of a scatter brain, and although i hate clutter and mess i am unorganized, or as i like to refer to it as closet caos....(as long as its out of sight i am ok with it).
so in closing i would like to encourage everyone to make a resolution list, it was good to write down my goals and it gives me a challenge for the new year, perhaps this year i will be ok with ringing in the new and saying goodbye to the old!.....
these are a few of my favorite things...... i want to wish all my friends in blog land a very joyous christmas filled with blessings of family and good memories.....i always wax sentimental this time of the year,and think back on the past christmas's and all the people who are no longer with us....i think especially about my grandmother who died on her birthday 8 yrs ago in december.....i still miss her everyday, but christmas especially. i used to do alot of cooking with her, and as we bread the vegetables for the frito misto we would listened to christmas music on her little kitchen radio and shake the veggies in brown paper bags of flour, i somehow realized that this joy, this memory was special and may not always be here....and i was right, but as i think of her and all the past memories, i look ahead to to this christmas and all the memories we will create this christmas eve, i see the promise of the future in my childrens eyes, and one day when i am a grandmother i will flour vegetables in a brown paper bag filled with flour with my grandchildren and still remember my own with such love....and time and memories live on.....
i thought that this year i would wrap up my packages like parcels this year, there is always something so appealing to me to recieve a gift in brown paper tied with string, makes me think of "the gift of the magi "and my beloved "little woman"....a simple message, but even when times are as tough as they are right now, a simple wrapped parcel could be given with such great love....so its in that honor that i wrapped my gifts this year....wrapped with such love!
this watercolor paper is by far and away the best i have ever used. its called "moulin de larroque" 200 lb. cotton rough surface paper, made in france and it is very hard to find, i am not even sure i know how i stumbled upon it,...you can find it here http://www.moulindelarroque.com/pages_ang/index.php i am asking for more this christmas, it came in a book of 10 sheets, it makes a very amatuer watercolor painter look amazing! the sheets are gorgeous and absorb the color beautifully...i have used many different papers, some very expensive and this paper is just the best. if you love to watercolor do not hesitate to purchase some, i know you won't be disappointed! enjoy and happy shopping!
growing up in brooklyn was fun and sentimental to me in many ways, it reminds me of family, and good friends,and tradition, i wouldn't trade it for anything in the world........but my one true love is manhattan....anyone who knows me knows that i visit as often as my busy schedule allows. any excuse for me to drive out of jersey and through the tunnel is a celebration for me!...a few weeks ago robert and i went to see a fantastic exhibit called mr. brainwash icons. check it out here http://www.mrbrainwash.com/...this it was down in the very trendy meat packing district. i haven't been down there in a while and i was quiet impressed with how lovely it is with its upscale stores, fabulous resturaunts,and great bars...we visited chelsea market,which is a treat in itself....while robert ate a sushi feast, i ran from shop to shop and couldn't resist jacques torres chocolate shop and walked out with a sweet treat worth every single calorie...the wicked ice cream sandwich!...which is a ginormous icecream sandwich made on chocolate chip cookies that are laced with chipotle chocolate chunks,and these were no ordinary chunks...they are huge, like the size of quarters er only square!...check it out here...http://www.mrchocolate.com/. (i only ate half)....we visited a beautiful little bar, that called our names with promises of bloody mary's and an old ny feel that did not disappoint. i must say my manhattan never ever lets me down!
i found this recipe in the october issue of bon appetit magazine. it looked too good to pass up, all weekend i baked to send out care packages to my daughter and her friends, and this was on my list.... first i chopped up all different candy bars, i used snickers,twix,kit kats, butterfingers and chocolate covered marshmallows. than i melted bittersweet chocolate, i used giurdelli chocolate morsels, they are delicious( they taste like dove dark chocolate bites!)...i melted mine in a pot on low heat, i poured them out onto tin foil and than topped it with all the chocolate bars and some fall colored M&M's and peanut butter M&M's....let this set for a few hours and than break into pieces.....heavenly!!!
i had decoupaged my dishwasher about five years ago,and i was a little sick of the image that was one there....i peeled it all off and than started again, only to hate what i picked next so i peeled that off too,and back to the drawing board!....i found these gorgeous napkins at the chelsea market yesterday,and was inspired!...napkins are great to decoupage with, first i peel the layers and there is usually 3 layers, i just use the image. thani used modge podge to adhere the napkins to the dishwasher....i its not completely finished i think it needs to sort of trim, but i will let this cure for a while before i add anything else...p.s. i did this all while running the dishwasher, hows that for multi tasking!
i finally got to some of the things on my to do list this weekend, one of them was to re upholster my antique bench. my cat thinks this is his scratching post,and ruined the burlap that i had on here previously.i purchased some new burlap for 2.99 a yard at my local fabric store. i decided to stencil my burlap with a french stencil that i love. i used a chocolate brown acrylic paint. after it dried i stapled it to the exising bench seat and viola!!!
things in my life seem to be changing at a rapid pace,and they are not all happy changes....the one constant in my life is cooking, i mean when things seem really tough i get down and dirty in my kitchen...it instantly makes me feel better and i know that everything will be alright!...i recently bought some zucchini blossoms at the farmers market and i channeled my great grandmother and fried them up. they were delicious!
here is what i did...first make sure you wash the blossoms thoroughly to get out any little critters that may be living inside. pull out the stamen and the outer stem. dry with a paper towel and set aside. i made a simple batter with milk,eggs,flour,grating cheese, salt and pepper. the consistency was not to thick, but thick enough tostick to the blossoms.heat some oil in a cast iron pot. when the oil is hot enough add your blossoms,turning until brown on all sides... i topped them with some fresh basil and served them right away....i think great grandma raymonda would be proud!
i have been going through a very rough time personally and so i have been utterly uninspired....i haven't done much art and i haven't cooked much in the past two weeks, but the other night i was inspired by a very large zucchini that someone gave me....i shaved the zucchini and some yummy carrots to make beautiful ribbons,and sauted it with some shallots and garlic...added salt, red pepper and lots of fresh basil and mix it with fettucini or linguini,whatever you prefer,top it with some grated loccatelli and you have the perfect comfort food!....cooking always makes me feel better,soothes me in a way that nothing else can...(i really am a frustrated cook)....happy mixed media monday!
i adore miniature things,and i love my doll house!....and although i love the victorian gingerbread houses that are commercially available, i wanted something to fit more with my personality....so ebay hunting i went...and found the perfect simple dollhouse, two story, open floor plan....and vintage,just my style!..... i painted it with whimsy,and left it that way for a bit...i had a vision as to how i wanted to decorate my pretend getaway, but again, didn't want to just fill my house with just any old furniture. i obtained most of my furnsishings by pouring over ebay sites, i got a vintage porcelain sink that i just adore,and the table and chairs i found at my local dollar store,painted and decoupaged...oh the joy!....as in real life, i adore sweets,and cooking and collecting,and my doll house really reflects that parts of me.i made curtains out of scraps of fabric,and cut out a mackenzie childs screen image that i found on their site. when i couldn't find a drawing table, my dad stepped right in,and made one for meits shown here in the top right side of the second floor. i found a little vintage blonde dolly at an antique store,and there i sit,at my kitchen table,phone in hand, very happy....my dollhouse has been a labor of love for me,and just like in life, i frequently move things around inside.......wake your inner child and search for your perfect miiature hideaway...it can be made out of a box,or frame,create one today!
i am starting a new weekly post called "mixed media mondays"......each week i will feature a new project to help my creative juices,and perhaps yours....the first feature is, mixed media hearts....
first i prepped some old wood boards with cream paint. than i decoupaged some old dictionary pages over it. i painted some red hearts, mixed with some white and cream paint. than i added some antique lace and various embellishments like screen, paper,metal charms,stamp pads and tape......try to use the same color scheme throughout your piece,and i like to make more than one piece, i usually make two or three.....find your inspiration from a color, or a liece of fabric or lace....i find inspiration everywhere!....enjoy!
it has been such a crazy month of june....i had my sons stepping up from grade school,my daughters prom and graduation from high school. a myriad of birthdays and graduation parties dispursed along with father's day....every day we had something,literally!....i am breathing a sigh of relief that it is all over,and although i am a little let down after so much enjoyment and pride, i am looking forward to relaxing a bit.i got so many FABULOUS birthday gifts that i thought i would share some with you,starting with THE ART OF TIM BURTON along with the cutest MARC JACOBS bag that looks very tim burton-ish!!!.......if you are a fan of tim burton this book is a must have!.....next up some lovely art supplies from PAPER PRESENTATION,delicious italian paper and tags,just the right size to hold my MOO cards.i got TREASURED NOTIONS,the most delicious book about TINSEL TRADING COMPANY!, and many many other fabulous books and things....as well as the new IPHONE,which isn't in yet, so that will be an added surprise that i am awaiting!....i am a lucky, lucky girl!!!!!
it dawned on me that its because i haven't made any to do lists......i haven't done much in the way of writing at all....ghastly!....i love making "to do" lists, i feel with it, together, and oh so grown up....its a feeling of accomplishment as i cross each item off on my list!...so today in an effort to feel more in charge i got out my trusty " to do" book and started to make my list!...and i actually crossed off many of the things off my list today! yippee!!!!!...
oh what a beautiful sunday, the birds are chirpping,and the sun is shining!...the possibilities are endless!...should we drive into manhattan?... because as many people like to flock to the beach on a beautiful sunny day, i like to flock to the city!...the sites, the smells, the people, the shopping...thats right i have quite the love affair with manhattan...the minute i get through the tunnel, its like the energy is different, electric some how...and like a moth to the flame, cannot stay away....when i am there, i am home!!!....what is your love affair?
here is a picture of my grandmother's old sewing table that i use as my night table....i painted and decoupaged it, and absolutly love this piece...i am posting it here today because i saw on "someday crafts" blog a post called "what to do with an old sewing table?"...so here is what i did!....i tried to use the machine, and it does still work, but not very well, and i love the shape of the table, the front opens up, and their is a little shelf inside to hold my chapstick and reading glasses....and i have some of my most favorite things on the top!....thanks someday crafts!!!.......so what have you repurposed?
dear mom, i wish you a very happy mother's day....you are my biggest fan,and my cheerleader. you always try to help me and support me 100%....your help is so appreciated,and i don't know what i would do without you!...i hope you know how much i love you,....you say i am strong, but i think you are the strong one...always putting everyone else in front of yourself, your my hero!....i hope you enjoyed your special day,and every day!!!
do you remember rock flower dolls?....these little dolls came out in 1971, and as a wee little girl i fell madly in love with them the minute i saw the cheesy commercial,....ahhh i still remember the feeling i get when i think back!...they were the size of dawn,(their bodies were more pliable) but they were mod,and they came with their own album that when you put the record on,you attached the doll to the top,and they danced like wild!ohhhh, now you remember what i'm talking about!!!!!i bought heather, the blonde, years ago,and the other day my dear friend donna sent me lilac,the red head in the mail...it was a total surprise, and when i opened the box, it brought me right back to being 5 years old.....aren't they so so gorgeous?...almost 40 yrs later, i get the same feeling when i see them!!! so whats your favorite 5 yr. old memory?
when i got my new issue of somerset life magazine and saw these cute little recycled toilet paper baskets,(page 34,creative idea #2 "hanging pretty") i couldn't believe how unbelievably cute they were.....i had to make them right away!...i was like a kid in a paper,er i mean candy store. i rushed home from work and started to wrap,dip and embellish these little goodies!
here is how....you take a toilet paper roll and flatten it,you glue the bottom tigether with a little hot glue, securing with a clothes pin until set.
gather your favorite papers,cut to fit yout roll and wrap and glue the paper onto the roll. i than added some trim papers that i cut with a decorative scissor, and glued to the top and bottom...this adds interest and beauty. melt some wax in a pat, you must know that the pot you use will now be the wax melting pot forever... i keep this in my craft closet. so melt the wax, on very low,and than brush it onto your little baskets. i find this very gratifying, the wax gives everything a soft vintage feel.
now the fun part......gather ribbons and bits and pieces, baubles and beads, and start embellishing as you wish...
than i punched a whole on either side and strung wire through it to hang. add a piece of tulle inside and you are ready to give this little treasure with a secret note or little gift tucked inside.
in honor of may day surprise a friend by hanging one on their door knob today...!
my mom and i have two showers to go too,and the brides both live out of state....instead of having them lug a big gift back to california and chicago we opted for gift cards, but than you run into the problem of making them look pretty...i mean its a gift card,how boring!....so i went through my supplies and got out some cello bags, added some white jordan almonds and inserted the gift card. tied it up with some white tulle and some calla lilies and adde a pretty gift tag that i made with some simple white paper and a rubber stamp,and i think this makes a lovely little presentation!....
for the second idea i took some little pink favor boxes that i had,(you can purchase boxes from several etsy shops or a good candy supply store.), again i added some tulle, some pink seam binding, a random silk flower and a cute little tag i made with some old recipe cards and my friend lisa's line of paper.....i had wrapped up a simple chocolate bar for a friend who had surgery,and i got to thinking that this too would be a great way to present a gift card, just tuck i into the candy wrapping and this makes a sweet little gift!...you don't have to spend alot of money to make a small ordinary gift look spectacular...just look around your house,and think outside the gift box!