Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So this is how we spent our day. We went to the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town. The boys were not happy with us at first about going to fairytale town, but as you can see, they actually had a good time. Fairytale town is a fun place for little ones to hang out and play. I remember going there as a kid. I always loved the crooked mile and the slides. My boys are definitely on the older side and were probably the oldest kids in the park today, but we had gotten free tickets along with our zoo tickets, and decided to make the best of it. There was a lot of grumbling to begin with, but soon they were trying to see how many laps they could go around the crooked mile and pretending that space invaders where trying to capture them. They had fun, even if they won't admit it. The zoo was also a nice place to walk around. I think I prefer aquariums over zoos, but today was a nice day and the boys really needed to get out of the house.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I have been having fun making bracelets. My cousin, Holly asked if I would remake her two black bead bracelets. Both bracelets were strung on elastic and they were a little two snug for her. I re-strung both bracelets on flex wire and added bead caps for interest and a silver toggle. I like the look of both of them. In fact, I liked it so much, that I made a bracelet at the bottom for me. I recently ordered the robin eggs blue decorator box from French General. It was filled with little lovelies including these vintage blue beads. I love the color and the look of these beads and wanted to show them off, so I just strung them on flex wire and to give some interest I added the bead caps. I love it!
Monday, July 21, 2008
The boys and I happened to be walking around Michael's the other day and I came upon this really neat book. It's called Mixed Media Mosaics by Laurie Mika. The colors and textures on the cover caught my eye. Her craft is polymer clay mosaics. They are absolutely beautiful. I was completely hooked after reading a few pages of the book. She gives great detail on how to achieve the look of her tiles. She even uses purchased porcelain tiles as well. I have never really worked with polymer clay before, but her book really inspires me to try. Another good find from her book is her resource list. I spent most of last night perusing the websites she recommends. There are a couple that stand out. First, the silver crow is an awesome website that has the neatest nichos you can purchase. She also has one section dedicated to ideas and samples. Teesha Moore is also a great website with really neat stamps. The site that I spent the most time at was Michelle Ward's blog. What a unique blog. She does rubbings with crayons and then paints over them for truly unique art. She also has a blog call the Green Pepper Press Street Team. There you will fine challenges that you can participate in called crusades. Think Indiana Jones' Grail Diary. That is the inspiration. In fact there is a website dedicated to journaling like the Grail Diary. Its all about the rubbings of in Henry Jones Diary in search for the Holy Grail. How cool! I love all this stuff. I really am a craft junkie. I think I need help.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
We just got back from our trip to Oregon. We had a lovely time and the air was soooo clear. After the horrible air quality we had for the few weeks leading up to us leaving, it was nice to have such clean air to breathe. We went up for hubby's cousin's wedding. It was so beautiful and they both looked so nervous, but very happy. Hubby's 2nd cousin is the groom, Cody and his beautiful new bride is Leah. They had a lovely wedding at a park in McMinnville, Oregon. What a beautiful little town. It reminds me of Napa valley. We had fun exploring the town.
This is Hubby's cousin Jill, the mother of the groom. She was a terrific hostess and we truly enjoyed our visit with her and her lovely family.
Cody is a potter by trade, and he and Leah made all the party favors.
They have rosemary planted for remembrance. Isn't that sweet. I nabbed two of them. I just love all things handmade.
Now of course I can't leave out the wedding cupcakes. They were so pretty and delicious. They were all gluten free and just wonderful. I love the cupcake idea.
We had the best time catching up with family members. J is with Hubby's uncle Tom and the next pic is Hubby's cousin Sally. She is a hoot. We all had a great time.
The next day after the wedding, we went to the Evergreen Aviation Museum, home of the Spruce Goose. What a huge plane and what history. We also were able to see the Avenger plane that my father-in-law flew in during WWII.
The next part of our trip took us to the Oregon coast. It was beautiful and cold. I loved it! We spent the day at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. What an awesome aquarium. We have been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium and the Birch Aquarium in San Diego. I would have to say that the Oregon Coast Aquarium ranks top on my list. It is not huge like Monterey Bay, but the exhibits are really neat. It is an outdoor aquarium and the exhibits look like you are actually in their habitat. You meander around the rock formations and peak into their tanks and watch them. It really is something to see. If you are anywhere near Newport, Oregon, you definitely need to stop and see the aquarium. We finished up our mini vacation, with a drive to Roseburg, Oregon to visit some dear friends. It was a very nice and overall exhausting trip. It's good to be home.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
We are heading out to Portland next week for a family wedding. I am so excited to get out of this heat. It has been so hot here. Our air conditioning broke down a few days ago and we were sweltering. Thankfully, I was able to get a repair guy out here yesterday to fix it. Summer's in Sacramento can be awful. If the bad air doesn't get you the high heat will.
I have been trying for some time to find a recipe for Esfiha (Sfiha). Esfiha is an Arab open-faced meat pie. I first had them on a trip we made to Sao Paulo, Brazil. It's hard to describe the taste, but they are a delicious pizza like pie. They have no sauce and are topped with meat, usually lamb. In Sao Paulo, they are really popular. They have a food chain called Habib's . We couldn't get enough of these pies. They were also sold with delicious fruit juices. Not the kind of fruit juice we find here. Their fruit juices are literally pureed fruit with some water and sugar. They are really refreshing, especially with the heat they deal with there. Anywho, I found a recipe for Esfiha in one of my cookbooks called Little Foods of the Mediterranean by Clifford A. Wright. I have been wanting to make this for some time and last night seemed as good as any. I made the dough, which was similar to a pita bread dough and shaped it into rounds to rise. I then put the spices, tomato and lamb in the food processor until smooth. Then I spreaded the lamb mixture onto the bread and baked in a high heat oven. They looked good and smelled yummy, unfortunately the taste was very disappointing. The tasted nothing like the esfiha's I remembered. I will have to keep on looking.
A new product I recently tried is Aidell's pineapple bacon chicken sausage. I know, I know, that doesn't sound appetizing. I was skeptical at first, but these little sausages are my favorites now. They are just slightly sweet and have a smokey flavor from the bacon. I have used them in my Hawaiian Fried Rice and in my quesadilla's . I first take the sausage and dice them. Then I pan fry the sausage until they have a nice caramelized color to them. I remove them from the pan and blot on a paper towel. I add the corn tortilla to the pan and add shredded cheese and then the sausage. I top it off with another corn tortilla and cook until the cheese is melted. I flip the quesadilla to the other side to warm. They are delicious.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
So since we have been stuck in the house because of the icky weather, I have been sewing. I had this idea of doing a mixed media piece that showed off this neat sacred heart Milagros. I got the Milagros when we were on vacation on Bainbridge Island. It started off with me just cutting out wool felt in a heart shape and then stitching the two together. Then I added the Milagros charm. I wanted to add a paper background, so I added some sheet music and an old page from a prayer book that my mother-in-law had. I finished off the piece with some vintage lace and washi paper. I really like how it came out.
The next two pieces I did featured a glass pebble with St. Therese and the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the center. Again, I started with a heart that I embroidered and sewed the heart onto a piece of vintage fabric. I added vintage lace, leather and burlap on the bottom piece. The St. Therese piece has vintage lace and leather as well as vintage french glass buttons. I am pleased with both pieces. I plan on framing them.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Happy Birthday America! I know I am a day late, but for some reason I couldn't log into blogger yesterday. We had a great day celebrating with friends and neighbors. When we first moved into our neighborhood about 7 years ago, there really weren't any children. Now, there is a whole gaggle of kids running about our neighborhood. A couple of neighbors and I organized our neighborhood's 4th of July bicycle parade. It is fun having all the kids decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons and even dogs. Even the adults got into the fun. This years parade was bigger than last years! We were able to get a local fire engine to come out and head up our parade. Everyone followed behind the fire engine and marched along the parade route. What fun! Afterward, everyone gathered at a local swim club and picnicked and swam to their hearts content. We ended the evening with friends and neighbors watching fireworks. A good old-fashioned 4th of the July celebration.
Tess was the winner of best decorated bike.
Her brother, Henry won best scooter.
Murphy and Maggie were ready to march in the parade.
Best decorated wagon (tied)
Best decorated wagon (tied)
Sean needs the latte for his ride.
His lovely wife, Georgette.
This is Barkley, he won for best dog. He really enjoyed the day.
The best part, the kids got to squirt the fire hose.
Happy Day Everyone!