Sunday, November 30, 2008

to tweak or not to tweak

i'm not sure i should be messing around with my pictures. i've downloaded a trial copy of adobe lightroom so that i could try it out and play a bit with my photos. here's the photo...


and after:

it was kinda fun, but shouldn't i just leave my pictures alone?

Friday, November 28, 2008

art manifesto

super cool youtube video featuring tanya davis' song, art, which i can't seem to find on limewire. :-(

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

stuff we've been making

stuff we've been making at our house lately:

roasted peppers
small stories made of stacked books
painted walls
and homemade schnapps
(horseradish - dried apple, cinnamon & clove - fresh apple & cinnamon)
happy thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

quilting again

it's snowing small snowballs outside and so i decided to make a quilt for the writing house, rather than do something otherwise constructive, like empty boxes or paint. and no, i'm not done with the lap quilt yet (the binding is a bit of a stopping point for me), why do you ask? 

on this quilt, i'm going to cheat a little bit, by backing it with a fleece blanket, rather than using batting and a neutral fabric on the back. i think it will enable me to finish it in one day. that's my goal anyway.
that's the fleece i'll use as backing right there next to it. it matches better in person than it does in this photo. it was fun to actually USE the writing house for laying it all out. i only used three different fabrics, but i think it works really well. i've got it all pinned together now and i'll start sewing it together after i run and pick up sabin.

what are you doing this weekend?

Monday, November 17, 2008

weekend activities...

...included quilting a lap quilt:
and making crowns...
for far:
and mommy:
and an additional fez-like crown for far:
and far as the king of kings with ALL of the crowns:
and lots of playing Wii with cousin owen across the atlantic
which didn't make for much of a photograph.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

frikadeller (danish meatballs)

we made frikadeller last night for the first time in a long time. they're so yummy and so easy, i don't know why they sort of fell out of the repertoire. i stirred them up and we took them over to maria & marianne's to make them. they were gobbled up so fast that i didn't even get a chance to take a picture of them, but here's the recipe anyway:

danish frikadeller

1 kilo/2 pounds ground pork
2 eggs
8-10 mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely diced and pre-softened for a few minutes in butter/olive oil
1/2 C bread crumbs (or flour works just as well)
finely chopped parsley (not essential but use it if you have it on hand--thyme or even sage would work well too)
salt & pepper to taste

stir it all together (i usually end up getting in there with my hands as that mixes it best) and form into rather large (2-3") meatballs. this recipe should make close to 30 meatballs. fry them up in a pan with a mixture of olive oil & butter. the butter gives them a lovely crispiness on the outside.

once they're done, transfer them to an oven-safe dish and pop them in the oven to stay warm while you use the bits that remain in the pan to make a decadent sauce to serve with them. without cleaning the pan, sauté a medium chopped onion and some thinly-sliced mushrooms.  once they are softened, add at least a half pint of cream and simmer until it thickens a bit, add more if you need to serve more people. serve together with boiled potatoes and the meatballs. at our house, the child is totally mad for cauliflower,  so we served some of that with them as well last night. together with a big, lovely salad, it's a great meal.

in the unlikely event you have leftovers, they make a great sandwich sliced on a slice of rye bread the next day. this recipe fed four hungry adults and one child last evening, with only 3 meatballs leftover.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

creating stuff

it's so good to be home. i've been catching up on emails, writing a report for work, making dinner and indulging a bit of creativity, all while sitting near the fireplace (love my time capsule that makes our home wireless). wonderful. i embroidered on sabin's indoor shoes for school, inspired by this super cute book called doodle-stitching:

i always hate when sabin is like all the other kids. :-)  and i've been hauling embroidery stuff around with me for a month or so, but haven't done any. so glad i finally broke through! she has a second pair and i'm going to make cupcakes on those.

36 things i wish for my sister before she turns 37

november 10, that’s my little sister’s birthday. she’s turning 36 today. when i was in singapore in september, i bought her an early birthday present of an 18-200mm zoom lens for her canon DSLR, which i sent to her more than a month ago. that’s a good thing, because we’re currently not speaking, in an odd fit of misplaced loyalty to a complete stranger, she still doesn’t recognize that it was a huge violation of my privacy  to give out my email address to some random stranger on twitter (why didn’t she just give him my blog address, so the contact could happen more "naturally," i wonder every day...but i digress). 

ever since she told me to “get over myself” when i asked her why she did such a thing and wrote such a spiteful mail to the random stranger about my having not answered him, and which she so kindly BCCed me on, i have been trying to get over it. i will say that i am still feeling bewildered and hurt by the whole thing and not at all over it, but it is her birthday and so, inspired a bit by hula seventy, i have made a list of the 36 things i wish for her before she turns 37. she is my only sister, after all:
  1. laughter every day.
  2. a song to go with every occasion.
  3. an ability to rest easy within herself.
  4. to see her own worth.
  5. to pick her loyalties wisely.
  6. to be able to recognize her talents.
  7. to use those talents to their utmost.
  8. travel to exotic locales.
  9. frequent flyer miles.
  10.  rich, full encounters with interesting, engaging people.
  11.  thick, full, fluffy hair.
  12.  to appreciate what others do for her.
  13.  to “use the difficulty.” as michael caine once said on parkinson
  14.  cooking inspiration.
  15.  inspiration to entertain creatively.
  16.  quick passage through passport control.
  17.  an ability to see herself as the good mom that she is.
  18.  patience.
  19.  perseverance through the difficult times that kids put you through.
  20.  dramatic jewelry.
  21.  great handbags.
  22.  fabulous eyelashes and great mascara.
  23.  did i mention daily laughter? --i think i’ll wish this twice, because it’s important.
  24.  great love.
  25.  building wonderful memories.
  26.  peace within herself.
  27.  blogging regularly.
  28.  success in her business.
  29.  many good friends.
  30.  people around her who stimulate her intellectually.
  31.  people around her who stimulate her emotionally.
  32.  satisfaction.
  33.  creativity every day.
  34.  getting over the past.
  35.  moving on to towards the future.
  36.  happiness.
what more could one wish for one’s only sister on her birthday?
* composed on KL804 MNL-AMS, nov. 9, 2008 and cross-posted on MPC .

Sunday, November 9, 2008

just the highlights

the highlights of mathilde's trip to pictures:
there were beautiful sunsets:
picturesque boats:
searching for shells at waters' edge:
is she really only 13?
amazing sandcastles (we didn't make this)
fresh coconut drinks:
more searching for special shells:
a tattoo?
(don't worry, it's henna and will wash off in 2-3 weeks)
turning down lots of modeling offers:
and a close-up of the tattoo
in between all these were wonderful desserts, tender steaks--including a wagyu beef (OUT of this world), shopping, new shoes, looking at handbags, manicures, pedicures, spa treatments, sunburns, snorkeling with tropical fish and coral reefs, rides in pretty green cars and little houses given away in business class on KLM. in short, a wonderful trip. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

halloween party 2008

the halloween party was a HUGE success. beyond all expectations. ALL of the kids came very dressed up and into it and brother-in-law michael was the coolest, scariest zombie around...check out the highlights:

sabin greets cousin dracula nicolai
the coolest zombie with the most need for dental work
two of the guests quite scared of the zombie
husband secured a real pig's head that was a source of extreme fascination
especially the digusting eyeball bit of it.
and i found the coolest purple eyelashes.
i think i'm gonna wear them all the time.