Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! And here's to a safe, blissful, creative, joyful, healthy, abundant, and lovely 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007


One thing I forgot to mention in my last post -- Sweetielicious Pie Pantry!
It's a wonderful bakery in DeWitt, Michigan! Lots of terrific retro, which I thought some of you might appreciate...

Yesterday I met my pal Judy there for a belated holiday swap. It was the perfect site, as you can see from the retro-Santa and all the other nifty fifties things!

AND, the best pies I've had that weren't made by serious pie-making friends! HUGE cookies (I didn't indulge but I wanted to) and a great menu. (OK, yesterday I passed on the pie for a steaming hot chocolate, because I just knew if I started, I'd never stop!)

If you're around DeWitt (or Lansing!) check it out!

Waiting for the New Year!

Waiting for the new year... what does this one bring? Last year brought trips to Dallas, Norfolk, Myrtle Beach and Ontario; lots of good books; "Mack and Mabel" at Shaw Festival; fun at the lake; Kevin's graduation; visiting him at Northern Michigan University; an exciting project on World War II at WKAR; two surgeries that turned out OK; (finally) starting to lose weight, and so much more...
What's waiting for us in 2008?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Art All Day!

So, what's the best thing to do the day after Christmas? Spend it with a good friend at her art studio, making art!

I went over to my good buddy Kate's studio -- She is an amazing artist -- I think she can do anything from paint magical cats to run her own graphic design firm to do extraordinary beadwork to you name it!

Look at what she did with her walls! It totally reflects her, with her art on the walls! It's filled with light -- perfect for creation!

I love how she made small canvases to hang on the pegboard. She has a huge canvas collage in her hall -- she said she turns them different ways on different days, but I found the pattern (or lack thereof!) is always art in itself.

We started by felting beads. I have a new-found respect for felted beadmakers. We worked hard for about a half-hour and came up with three beads apiece -- and not all that great, as beads go! I may give it another try, but don't hold great hope that this will be my favorite new art form!

The sun was out, it was about 50, and we couldn't let a day like that pass without celebrating the sun and seizing the day! Kate described the sun as the "unexpected guest at our table" -- so we took the table outside (you just don't do that in Michigan in December!) and "tailgated" in the driveway, enjoying roasted red pepper soup, terrific foccacia, wine and leftover raspberry trifle for dessert. Yum! We stayed out for a couple of hours, just savoring the sun and friendship!

But work awaited! For Kate it was painting papers with a technique to make them appear transluscent. They will become beads in their next life. (Paper beads, Kate believes, will be better than the felted ones!).

I painted, prepping a couple of canvases (you must remember, I don't paint as such, so this made me feel brave) and making a collage which is yet to be finished!

It was glorious to be surrounded with art, light and friends.

Then home to Rick's turkey soup. Yum!

Jolly Holidays!

What a lovely time we enjoyed over the holidays! We did all our favorite traditions and foods. Roast on Christmas Eve (followed by "A Christmas Story," an annual TV ritual!

Greg arrived around 10, and we immediately set him off on decorating the tree -- we had saved his ornaments and a few others, so he could join in, even though he missed the original trimming (and straightening) of the tree!

Cookie decorating was next -- we do this every Christmas Eve! It's been fun to watch the kids' cookies become more sophisticated. (Especially Kevin, who use to find cookie decorating the best occasion for seeing how many he could overload with frosting and eat! Now he's really making some nice cookies!

Christmas day was filled with presents, our annual breakfast (a breakfast casserole -- so easy to put in the oven while present-opening is going on!) and "Reindeer Games" -- a dice game where we have fun presents we get with doubles (or trading and swapping!).

The kids were so grown up this year, with real thought into their gifts and for once everyone seemed to get the perfect gift from someone (or someones plural!)

After the kids left for their mom's, Rick and I enjoyed yet another Christmas dinner ourselves, joined later by our friend Richard. It was a beautiful day.

My favorite moment? When Rick and the boys went down the street to take their eighth-grade English teacher some Christmas candy. He was surprised, I think, to see these young men, 19 and 21, on their new paths.
What a a perfect day (actually, a perfect two days -- and we won't even talk about hitting Coldwater Creek's sale on Christmas Eve!!!)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Missing My Family

I'm just missing the family -- so, I'm time-traveling!

Here's Dad, Cousin David and my uncle, Martin -- circa 1978 or 1979...

And there I am at the piano with Martin and cousins Patty, Mutty and David trying to play Christmas carols. Probably "Little Drummer Boy," because that was about all I could play...

Those were good times. I miss Dad and Martin (and Mom, too) because they aren't here, and David, Patty, and Mutty because they are so far away. Merry Christmas, you guys!

Quick Question to All

No matter what I hit on the Comment page to enable comments, for some reason, no "comments" area is showing!

Anyone else have that problem? I checked Blogger Help and some others do too, but no answers other than changing the template... I hate to do that!

Any suggestions most welcome! I love comments (and would love to reply!)

Counting Down!

What a magical time of year! Do you remember your visits to Santa? What a magical old fellow he was! I hope he's already checked his lists -- I'm still working on mine!

Last night we got Rick's tree -- Kevin will be there tonight to decorate, but we're going to hold out Greg's ornaments so he can put them on when he gets home on Christmas Eve. It seems like we see less and less of them, now that they're older and they split times between families.

This morning I've been wrapping presents and soon will do some deliveries! Stopped into the office to make a quick holiday greeting to you all. Then I have to regroup to find a couple more gifts and get back home. The bronchitis has set in, but I'm on the Z-pac and they say those work well. It's not too bad, but I figure I'd best do what I can while I'm up to it! I don't have time to be mellow right now!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Not a creature was stirring... this is the late, great Mr. Stimpy -- Christmas Cat Extraordinaire! Every year at Christmas we miss him more and more! But even now, when Gypsy goes racing through the house for no apparent reason, I know he's probably chasing The Phantom Stimpy, who haunts us in all the best ways!

So, here's to a holiday where we can look at the ice (if we get any) and not fall on it again!

And here's the the idea of a "White Christmas." It's about the only time of year I like snow! And if it's as white as our last weekend -- we won't see green for months to come!
Have a Merry Christmas and safe and wonderful New Year!

Thanks, New Friends!

Thank you, new friends, for visiting and commenting on my blog! I'm still figuring out how to "comment back" and maybe I can do it on the blog. Still lots to learn, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it, especially meeting my friends' friends!

Special thanks to Shelley and Rosemary for welcoming me on their blogs!

I will be including links to their blogs and some other great sites as I get more time to work on this -- so keep coming back!

Having said this, this may be my last post until after Christmas, though if the wrapping and few gifts I have to make yet get finished (not to mention baking a couple more batches of cookies to share with friends!), I may sneak in to the office and play!

Meanwhile, happy holidays from me and my orange Gypsy Rose, the Marmelade Gypsy!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

There's No Place Like Home for the Holidays!

Almost Christmas and I can't wait! Here's what I'm going home to!

This is the little "White Christmas" tree in the dining room.

This is also the dining room, looking at the Solstice Tree.

This is the tree in the living room. It sort of tells my family story, with a combination of ornaments from the family tree, photo ornaments, gifts from friends, things I've chosen just because they fit, and all the ones I've made over the years! Don't forget the travel souvenirs, too!

And here's the family room, as it was for my holiday gig!

Can you see why I like being Home for the Holidays?

Jeanie Crostini!

Here's another fast, easy, yummy recipe that gets good reviews from everyone -- it's one of Kevin's favorites!

Jeanie Crostini

Cut one thin baguette into small slices on the diagonal and line-up on a parchment covered baking sheet. (Use parchment only to keep it neater for clean-up!)

Mix about 1/2 c. olive oil (or more -- you can add as you go along) with dried herbs. I use basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary or herbs de Provence, along with some red pepper flakes and BIT of salt (not much). You can use what you like or have. Garlic or garlic powder is also good.

Spread onto bread and top with shredded Parmesan cheese. (I like Sargento -- you don't need to use "the good stuff."

Bake at 300 for about 15-18 minutes, but you may need to go a bit longer. It should get slightly browned but not burned.

This is extremely good with seven-grain or multigrain baguettes, but also good with French bread.

Serve with spreads, tapenades, or just enjoy! Leftovers make great croutons.

A Holiday Favorite

Here's a yummy and quick cookie recipe for shortbread fans!

Super Shortbreads!

Oven -- 300 degrees.

2 sticks of butter (room temp)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. sale
2 c. flour added one cut at a time.

Put on cookie sheet (silpat recommended, but not necessary). I recommend small scoops. Bake at 300 for 15-18 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for one minute before removing.

Optional: add about 1/2 c. cranberries or cherries; or ice with runny powdered sugar mixed with juice of one lemon.

Second Verse, Same as the First

Holiday time! One of my favorites! 

So, here's a photo of Rick and me decked out in holiday red and white. Granted, this was taken in August, but we do look relatively festive! 

My Happy Holidays wish for all of my friends and family! I wish you a beautiful, happy, healthy and fun new year, filled with joy and good times! 

Merry Christmas from all of us!

My First Post!

Guess what! Jeanie has a blog, named in honor of the marmelade cat, Gypsy Rose. (The Orange Gypsy was already taken!) 
So, what's this blog going to be about? In no particular order, a place to post my art and share with my online art buddies, a spot to talk cooking and entertaining -- which of course means sharing recipes and other yummy things -- and of course, a spot to share bits and piece of my life -- family, friends, work, and all that other cool stuff!
And I promise to add some cool links as I work along!
Am I finally getting with the 21st century of online communications? We'll see!

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