Thursday, January 1, 2009

Family Craft Time - Part Deux

For Christmas this year, my family bought me the materials to make this candle set.

It was a tube of lilac scented gel wax with wicks and the three jars and stand. And they also included a bag of small river rocks.

We each took a jar and put whatever we wanted in it. I contributed beads, sequins, glitter, and paint pens.

I chose a very simple, uncomplicated design. Just some square purple beads, some glass beads, some few sequins and some glitter sprinkled on top.
My husband decided to use the river rocks, some of which he painted with a silver paint pen, some sequins and some glitter on top.

Can you see the smiley face?

Here's his from the top.

Of course, my daughter really outdid us all. She added so much stuff that I was worried it was going to be, well - really busy.
 You see, I suggested before we started that we might be able to layer the "ingredients" within the gel, and so we put some gel in, added some bling, added more gel, and so on. But the gel wasn't thick enough to support the beads and sequins, so they all just piled up on the bottom.

Here's the top of her candle. As you can tell, she was having a glitter overdose.

And being the mother that I am, I figured that hers was always going to be more flashy than mine or my husband's.

But she proved that her way of doing things was really the right way! Having all that stuff in there to catch the light when the candles are lit makes her candle the most interesting, the prettiest one of the bunch.

I think it was such a nice idea for my family to get me a present for Christmas that would allow me to express my creativity - and them to express theirs right along with me. I hope they think to do this for me another time. We had fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Potholder Show and Tell

Maggie in Arizona contacted me recently with her potholders that she made from my tutorial.

These ones really have that Southwest theme, don't they?

But these are my favorites. I love the colors!

Way to go, Maggie, and thanks for the photos!

Anyone else want to send me photos of the potholders?  I'd love to post them right here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christmas Dinner

The computer has been difficult to commandeer lately - either we're watching a movie, or someone else is using it.  Truth be told, I haven't tried too hard to post to my blog.  But with nothing particular going on right this moment, I thought I'd post the pix of our Christmas dinner, which was so satisfying for me.

I bought this meat at my butcher shop. It's called a rosemary lamb loin. Rosemary because they tied a sprig of rosemary to the meat. I removed that rosemary, but included a large measure of dried rosemary in the bread crumbs, along with garlic powder and salt and pepper. The breadcrumbs were adhered with grey poupon mustard. Then I slathered the roast with olive oil, placed it on a rack and roasted it at 425 degrees F for about 25 minutes.

I let it rest for probably 20 minutes, under foil, before I cut it.

And then most of the bread crumb crust fell off! But it didn't matter - it did its job: keep the meat moist and flavor it. And it was so moist and flavorful - I was pleasantly surprised. This meat didn't have much fat on it, so I was worried that I might have horse flesh when I was done. And I was warned not to overcook it, as it tends to become an unpleasant gray color when it is well-done. But you can see it was plenty pink and I can vouch for its tenderness.

Then we had brussels sprouts with peppered bacon. I could never stand brussels sprouts as a kid - now I'm eating them like candy! But who could resist anything with bacon? This is my new favorite recipe and I can't wait to make it again.  (I tried to find this recipe online again for this post, but couldn't locate it.  Email me if you want the recipe.)

Our last dish was a particularly fussy one to make, and this picture doesn't do it justice. It's called Tagliatelle with Oranges and Almonds, and I got the recipe off the Splendid Table website (I also heard it on their podcast and had to try it out). It is one weird recipe, all right, but really wonderful with these other dishes.

Here's another look at that pasta with the other dishes. Everything turned out really yummy and I didn't stress at all.

And because we didn't have it at Thanksgiving,

I made pumpkin pie. Lumpy crust, huh? It tasted just fine.

And while I'm at it, let me show you the German apple pancake I made for breakfast, before it deflates.

My daughter ate all the apples off her slice and then didn't want anymore. Weird. So I decorated her slice with

you guessed it, BACON! and it was really delish this way, too.