Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas Card List

I've been busy addressing Christmas cards for a client. Boy howdy, was I nervous when I had to address this particular envelope!

I've had the pleasure of meeting, Rick Muffler, a calligrapher at the White House and perusing his amazing portfolio. Way back when I first began and didn't know which end of a nib to use, Rick graciously gave me a private lesson. It was very exciting because Rick is lefthanded just like me.

Anyway, my envelope came out nice. As I'm fond of saying, my work is pleasant and potentially harmless. Hope my envelope isn't judged too harshly when it reaches its destination.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Turkey Recipe

My brother sent me this recipe. Thought I would share.

NEW TURKEY RECIPE You should try this!Sure to bring smiles from your guests!Here is a new way to prepare your Thanksgiving Turkey.

1. Cut out aluminum foil in desired shapes.

2. Arrange the turkey in the roasting pan, position the foil carefully. (see attached picture for details)

3. Roast according to your own recipe and serve.

4. Watch your guests' faces...

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have never a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinnerStay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Altered Pig

I found the cutest, white, ceramic piggy bank in the bargain bin at Target. He was just begging to be altered. Tore bits of dark blue paper. Found financial words like "money", "debt", "loan" in a 1938 newspaper that Lambie had given me a while ago. Decoupaged these to the piggy with Modge Podge. Stuck on mermaid stickers, fish and little bubbles so he would fit with the bathroom decor. Slathered him with 5 or 6 coats of Modge Podge. Used a dark blue Sharpie marker to print his name.

His name comes from a story my brother told about his son. "Dad," the boy said. "My funds are low. Can you loan me a twenty?" Mafundsalo. ROTFL

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Movie Review: Lions for Lambs

Lions for Lambs is Redford’s take on contemporary issues of war and party politics. As Butch Cassidy told the Sundance Kid, “Don’t sugar coat it kid. Tell it [to her] straight.” Redford spares no punches in this intense film.

Redford not only directs but acts in this film as well. There are four stories that are interwoven and the message is about standing up for beliefs and the repercussions of choices made. Redford plays a college professor dealing with the frustration of teaching an apathetic student who has a lot of potential. Meryl Streep plays a reporter struggling with reporting the truth or reporting propaganda. Tom Cruise is the charismatic senator spouting party policy and pushing his own agenda. Michael Peña and Derek Luke are former students of the college professor.

Though well acted and cast, the pace of the film is slow at times. Perhaps we’ve come to expect the skewed camera angles and flash by images a la 24 or The Bourne films. In contrast, Lions for Lambs is mostly talking heads. The only action of the film is the story of the professor’s former students, young men who stand up for their convictions and each other. Out of the four stories, I found this one the most compelling.

The film is well worth seeing even if Redford’s character preaches more to the audience than advising his student. If you don’t get the message, there is a not so subtle hint at the end. If you’re looking for the entertaining feel good movie of the year, this is not the one to see.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes

That Sam I am, that Sam I am. I do not like that Sam I am. First there was ham and eggs of green. Then he gave me tomatoes obscene! Who ever heard of tomatoes so green!

Fry them, fry them said he. Fry them up and you will see.

I do not like tomatoes green. Tomatoes should have a healthy red sheen. Tomatoes belong in a sauce or a salad. Not fried on a plate and looking so pallid. Tomatoes green are tomatoes unripe. Remove the plate full of that tripe.

Try them, try them, you will see. He pushed the plate of them to me. You did not like green eggs and ham, but you tried them said Sam I am.

I will try them, you will see. I will not like them, give them to me.

Sigh. Munch.

Say! I do so like tomatoes green. I want to prance. I want to preen. What a tasty, tasty treat. In my garden under my feet.

Sam smiled at me eating fried tomatoes unripe. Say, did I hear you ask for a plate of tripe?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I'm It!

Dollydonna tagged me

Two names you go by: CJ, Ceej

Two things you are wearing right now: socks and fugly blue shoes

Two of your favorite things to do: play on the computer and art

Two things you want very badly at the moment: The bathroom to be finished and hot summer weather.

Two favorite pets you have/had: Mitty, charcoal grey and white cat with mittens, was hit by a car 10 yrs ago. Ink,Cat And Mouse Tail black cat, now snoozing on the quilt on my bed.

Two people who will fill this out: Thinking Tamsin? Maybe I should tag Donna so she'll blog Winky

Two people you last talked to: in person the Young One and Prissy, on the phone Al and the CPAP rep

Two longest trips: Germany (when the country was divided into East and West), California

Two favorite holidays: Halloween and Easter, all that candy!Chocolate Bunny

Two favorite beverages: Pepsi and iced tea (but not that gawdawful sweet tea they drink down South)Just Kidding

Feel free to play along. Just let me know so I can read your answers.Have fun !

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Night the Lights Went Out

Saturday was a miserable, rainy, cold day as a Nor'easter (the storm formerly known as Hurricane Noel) swung up the coast. Winds were gusting up to 50 miles per hour in some areas with heavy rains. The Cape got the brunt of the storm with wind gusts near hurricane force (70 mph)

The storm wasn't really bothering us. Himself had the outside pumps ready. A click from an electronic switch would set them running without having to wade outside to plug them in. We were cozy, dry, and all occupied late in the afternoon when the lights went out. The Young One had been in the middle of playing Xbox so she sent up an annoyed, "Hey!" I had been burning a DVD, and fortunately it finished.

Himself, the Young One, and I gathered in the livingroom to wait for the lights to go on. It's happened before that when the winds are strong we lose electricity for 10 minutes or so. Ten minutes came and went. Then a half hour, and then an hour had passed. When it looked like the lights weren't coming on anytime soon and it was getting hard to keep track of where Ink was wandering, I lit some jar candles and said lots of prayers that the lights would come back on soon. Prayer

The Young One entertained us by making shadow puppets on the wall. I got out the dynamo radio, cranked it up and tuned into a news station. Most of the storm news was focused on the Cape.

Around supper time, the discussion turned to food. There were donuts left over from the morning, and cold cereal. Tony's the local pizzeria has gas ovens so I called to place an order. I thought they had an emergency generator for the lights. We'd just have to pay cash because the debit/credit payment machine might be down. Since our telephone is tied into the cable, I used my cell phone to Tony's to ask if they were open. The girl laughed and took my order. Himself went to pick it up.

I put a battery candle in the jack o'lantern in the front window, so Himself would be able to recognize the house. Even on a night when the electricty is running, Himself has been known to sail clear past the house because in our rural neck of the woods, the only street lights are at the intersections of the crossroads. The Young One and I waited. I saw two electric company cherry picker trucks fly up the road.

Soon Himself arrived with pizza, soda, potato chops, and Snickers bars. All the essentials of waiting out a storm. He said the girls were laughing when I asked if they were open. Seems the power outage was very local and confined to south of the center of town. Himself came home by way of the center. The fire barn, town hall, and police station were all lit. There was some sort of function going on across the green at the Congo (Congregational church). Heading down Uxbridge Rd. , Himself passed a gathering of electric company trucks. Seems someone whacked the pole.

We ate pizza by candle light in the kitchen. We were warm, safe and together. Didn't really matter what else happened though I was beginning to wish the electricty would come on very soon. I tried calling the Eldest at her college to see what she was up to. Obviously, she was not studying as there was no answer in her dorm room.

Three hours after the lights went out, they came. I was so happy and made a mad dash for the bathroom. When we lose electricity, we also lose our well pump. No pump, no water. No water, no flushing of the toilet! How do you spell relief? Toilet Reading

Friday, November 2, 2007

Tea Bag Holders

I was hoping to find tea bag holders with an apple motif for a Christmas gift for my friend, Red. Her kitchen accents are apples. Do you think I could find apples? Cats, teapots, flowers, but no apples. I decided to try to make them from polymer clay.

If you've never worked with polymer clay before, you should know that it should not be used with items that come in direct contact with food. If you are using cookie cutters to cut out shapes, they should be dedicated to clay work and not baking. Ditto goes for the oven to cure the clay. The baking process can release toxic gasses, especially if the clay burns (been there) so if you plan on doing a lot of clay work, you shouldn't use your household oven or toaster oven, and you should work in a well ventilated area. Remember, art is a contact sport and safety comes first.

I bought some Sculpey clay in red, brown, and leaf green. From the clay making box, I took out the pasta machine. (I found the pasta machine at a yard sale for $5. I used it one time to make pasta. Much easier to buy a box of Prince or Ronzoni.) I also had an 8" ceramic tile which would double as my work surface and baking sheet.

I rolled out 1/4 of the red clay and then passed it through the thickest setting on the pasta machine to get a nice even, flat piece of clay. I used a 2" round cutter to cut out the clay, and then used my fingers to push the top and bottom to form an apple shape. The left over clay was gathered and rolled into a thin snake which was applied to the back of the apple so it wouldn't be so flat. The process was repeated with a bit of green and a tiny leaf cutter. Leaf veins were scored with an old Filene's credit card and the lift was twisted and applied to the apple. A dot of brown made the stem. I made 4 apples.

I thought I had an old toaster oven in the garage, but when I went looking, I couldn't find it. Lightbulb Idea So I took the toaster oven from the kitchen, set that up in the sunroom where there is excellent ventilation. Preheated the oven to 275oF and baked the apples on the ceramic tile for 20 mins. The kitchen toaster oven has now come downstairs and been put away in the clay box. I'll be making a run to Target this afternoon to buy a new toaster oven. Shy Whistler

The polymer clay can be washed by hand, but with the constant use of wet teabags, I'm not sure the clay would hold up and Al pointed out the wet teabag would probably stain the clay. Have decided to try to seal them with marine varnish. I'll be making the run to Ray's (local hardware store) on the way to Target.

Not a great picture of the holder, but I think you can get the gist. Hmmm, maybe I should make a set for myself.
Went to Ray's and was told to try Minwax's clear Polycrylic spray. Got a semi-gloss finish. Bought a nice toaster oven too.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

National November Writing Month

Today is the official kick off for Nanowrimo, or write the great (insert your country here) novel (50,000 words or less) I've had a Heath story kicking around in my head for quite sometime, but it's more fun to compost than to actually sit my butt in a chair and write. I wasn't sure my story would make 50K words, so I didn't sign up at the official site, but will play along in an unofficial capacity. I hope to make 25,000 words.

This will be a very out of the box experience for me. I usually have an entire story written or at least several chapters written before I upload it. I'll let you know at the end of the month what I think of seat of the pants writing.

If you want to check my progress and read the story in serial fashion, you are welcome to visit Heathwave's Corner. You are also welcome to read the other stories at the corner too. Winky (Shameless plug)