Wednesday, November 30, 2011

secret wedding crafting

 here's a peek at something i'm making for the wedding...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

kitchen fantasy

when i dream of re-doing our kitchen, i dream of butcher block countertops over slick white cabinets...
also, this:
the giant table! the light fixture! the sunshine! i also dream of space-efficient pull out pantry cabinets like these:

fancy hair for an unfancy day

We're both sick with these terrible cough/cold/body aches. I'm so sick of being sick. I did my hair fancy to try to make myself feel better. 
Eli (in sick voice): "your hair looks pretty...like a danish."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

super snazzy cranberry chutney

This is the the fancy cranberry sauce we made (ok, mostly Eli made it, but I helped) for thanksgiving. It was an unusual recipe and it turned pretty yummy - although a bit too vinegary, we thought. Eli thinks next time we should substitute water for some of the vinegar. Here it is in progress, right before we added the pears.


Cranberry, Pear and Ginger Chutney (From Bon Apetit)

4 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh peeled ginger (from about a 4 oz piece)
5 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
5 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 12 oz bags of fresh cranberries
2 1/2 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large firm Bosc pears, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 5 cups)

Combine apple cider vinegar, onion, ginger, lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon stick, crushed red pepper, and ground cloves in heavy saucepan. Boil mixture until reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Add cranberries, brown sugar, and pears; stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until pears are very tender, berries collapse, and flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat; discard cinnamon sticks. Using potato masher, mash mixture coarsely. Transfer to bowl and cool.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Thanksgiving Miracle

I am thrilled to report a resolution to the Multi-System Home Debacle of 2011! After many repair men and many days and much frustration, our heater is in working order and all our bathroom plumbing is functional again. I am so thankful.

Monday, November 21, 2011

a poem


Bring me all of your dreams,
You dreamer,
Bring me all your
Heart melodies
That I may wrap them
In a blue cloud-cloth
Away from the too-rough fingers
Of the world.


The Dream Keeper, by Langston Hughes

Friday, November 18, 2011

group mandala

i use mandalas in art therapy a lot, but recently i did a giant one with some of my afterschool kids. each kid in the group did their own section, and i did the middle (because all the kids wanted to do it and that was "the only way to keep it fair". they worked so hard on it! we hung it in the main hall of the school. 
i think it's just beautiful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

so simple

Engineering flowchart
our house disasters are too complicated for this equation... a plumber told us today we have to have a brick mason cut a hole in the side of our foundation so they can access and replace the pipes in the crawl (yes, that means i still have no shower for an undetermined length of time). what?

stylish fence

i really want this fence. i love when functional things are awesome looking.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The "Rainbow Fence Project" - Community Beautification with Young Artists

This "rainbow fence project" is the culmination of an ongoing community art project I led in afterschool this semester. The city park behind the school is... unpretty. So, we did a lot of brainstorming about ways to make it lovelier (some more of those ideas will hopefully come to life as well!). Once we settled on this idea, the first step was to get fabric donated, then to sort through the bags of donated fabric and cut it all into strips. Once all the fabric was cut, we sorted the strips into bags by color. after that, we did some planning sketches and scouted the park to chose the panel of chain link fence we would beautify. Then we finally began installation! Here are some photos of getting started...
The rainbow spread quickly with so many little hands installing it!
We got beautiful 75 degree weather on installation day!
We worked all afternoon...
And the finished piece is totally rad.
The kids want to do more projects like this, and came up with a name for their new community art group - they are calling themselves "PEACE" - an acronym for Project for the Enrichment of Arts in the Community Environment. Check out the vocabulary on these kids! The kids took most of the photos, too. I'm so proud.
(click photos to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

disaster updates

plumbing update: our toilets flush! i don't have to pee in the backyard! but, our tub is still backed up and won't not drain. the 4th (yes, fourth) plumber is on his way here now, so hopefully by tomorrow i can take a shower like a normal person.
furnace update: i've lost track of how many repair people we've dealt with on this one, but some dude is coming in the morning to take more of our money and hopefully remove the condemned unit so we can order a new one and give them more money and then they can install it and take even more money. fingers crossed.
this is part of our cracked heat exchanger, which is what causes carbon monoxide to leak into the house.
window update: there's still a giant hole in the living room window but compared to everything else, it kind of seems like no biggie. we'll deal with that once we have heat and/or plumbing.

utilizing the dog house

 darby has been getting some good use out of her special dog house. 
it's a little darby sized room built into our fence! she loves it.

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