Friday, April 29, 2011

Wed, Read & Tired

LOVED the wedding, it was well worth getting up at 2:55 after going to bed at 12:30. That was the "read" portion of the blog title. My Nook FINALLY got the problems solved post update and I couldn't help but read! The pot of coffee is now gone, it is 7:36 a.m. and my day calls me.

I had a BLAST live blogging for my "day job"------ some of the comments were hilarious. I'll be back with the inevitable discussion later---- for the moment:

best look at the wedding: Victoria, Posh, Beckham. WHAT A HAT!
most unexpected smile: The Queen
Biggest Risk in a Hat: Princess Beatrice
Second Kiss? Wonderful

Hope you get a chance to watch the highlights if you didn't catch the wedding. There are sure to be umpteen zillion opportunities coming up!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Weddings all Around Me

If you have read the KC Blog for awhile, you know that I wrangle brides for a living. My position with a photography studio here in town has definitely morphed over the past year and now I often scratch my head wondering just what it is I'm supposed to be doing. During the last week I wrote contracts, styled photo shoots for product and babies, wrangled a bride and talked to a Panda! I fixed the upholstery on a very cool studio prop and painted a wall, I cleaned bathrooms and ordered pizza. I uploaded photos and wrote a LOT of blogs.
So it goes it seems!

NOW, the focus is definitely weddings and only because of those nutty Royals. (and I don't mean the baseball team). I'm going to be Live Blogging on the wedding side of the house--- and actually look forward to it. Well I don't look forward to getting up at 3 a.m. to "work", and it will be difficult not to pepper the blogging comments with my usual salty language (it is my profession after all)---- but I think it will be fun!Are you watching any part of the big nuptials this Friday?

From my "other" job----- dealing with PAPER----- I bring you a couple of things that you just might need if you're getting ready to host a viewing party (or just amuse yourself as you watch Kate come down the aisle while wearing your jammies). All of the paper products can be clicked and saved and printed out on 8.5x11" paper. Kind of fun and I do love a party!

Cupcake wrappers, appropriately royal themed:

I really think that if you're getting up early there should be CUPCAKES!  :)

 Or maybe royal banners to print out and string?
or just maybe some printable crown tags for food or some other grande idea you have?
I want to hear all about your plans for viewing (or not!) Like I said, I'll put coffee on the night before and make a breakfast casserole, decidedly un-royal. When the alarm goes off I'll much and do my live blogging duties for "work"------ and when it's all said and done, if I'm lucky I'll take a very regal nap!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pickled Happiness

When I wished fellow knitter Silvana a happy birthday on Wednesday via email as I was unable to knit with the group, she mentioned that she was laying in some things that made her happy. (All birthday peeps should do this of course!!!) One of the things she mentioned that she was unable to find was Beet Pickled Eggs. Really I thought, beet picked eggs. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that a. I must make her some and b. these damn things must be pretty good! To be included on a must have to properly celebrate my birthday list---- well that is beyond high praise.

So I made some. Easy enough with ingredients on hand. *Yes, I do keep a jar of beets on hand*. The color of the eggs is GORGEOUS, even if you didn't eat them they'd be a happy inclusion to any table. But the taste? Well, they are pretty outrageously good if I do say so and I'm happy to have "found" them. They're so good and so pretty, I will be putting some out beside the traditional deviled eggs this Easter Sunday!!! I've given the recipe below should you be so inclined (and you should be!)

Beet pickled eggs

• 8 eggs
• 1 (15 ounce) can sliced beets with liquid-- not the kind that say "pickled"
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• 1/2 cup superfine sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) (I used a bare pinch)

Hard Boil the eggs using your preferred method. The argument about how to cook a hard boiled egg rages on. I don't mean to get involved but I place eggs in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring 'em to a boil and reduce to simmer, cover the pan. After 12 minutes, pour off the boiling water and run cold water over for a fair bit. Then peel the eggs and put them in a glass or plastic container.
Then, in a smallish saucepan, combine  the beets and all of the liquid in the jar (or can), the  vinegar, superfine sugar (which dissolves faster. If you have regular, so be it) the water and cinnamon if you're using it.Boil it up and give it a go until the sugar dissolves, which really doesn't take very long. Pour over the eggs and roll 'em around a little bit so the color is more even. When not crazy hot, place in the fridge. They need at least four hours but I think overnight is fabulous.  Slice and serve---

This whole beet pickled egg thing caused me to wonder if they might be a nice addition to my version of "the best salad I've ever had in my entire life", which I make often. The short answer is yes. HEAVEN.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good, and PRETTY too! Lettuce, dried cranberries, golden raisins, a little bit of cheese, blue cheese dressing, croutons (home made is best but I resorted to bagged today), and sliced beet pickled eggs. Top that with a nice handful of some brown sugared (with a pinch of cayenne) pecans and it is about as good as it gets. I love to add chopped dates too but upon inspection mine had become mummified blobs and I had to soldier on without them!

So---- it wasn't even my birthday and I got the present of discovery. Beet Pickled Eggs---- you're mine forever!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Peace & Love

I have not painted the bicyclette, to my sadness. I think it is going to have to be all taken apart. Frankly this is the reason for my procrastination. Along with work and rainy weather.

There has been some knitting, unfortunately it was Stanley Cup Playoff Knitting and I've had to isolate a section on my shawl and will frog back the requisite 6 rows to fix and re-knit up that offending area. I've done this with cables gone awry and am hopeful that I can pull it off here too. Gulp. [Note to Self: Seriously, you know that you can't be all hockey-fied and count at the same time. Really!]

My blog friend Robyn from Still Waters Refuge posted the loveliest sentiment the other day on her blog. It's been with me, quietly percolating since reading it. I really feel obliged to share it & pass it on. Years ago I prayed for compassion and what came out of that was an entirely different life. In this place I do struggle with what to DO, how to help, how to be a part of the much needed cure and not just do nothing, frozen in my sense of inadequacy. Robyn's words, reprinted below feel warm and real and helpful.

What I can do

I care deeply for the world and all beings in it and though I feel a longing to help others, the need of this world is overwhelming, even if i knew what to do to help.

What I can do is pray.

I can hold Love, Peace, Wellness, Safety, Happiness, Freedom, in my heart for myself and all beings.

Prayer heals and readies me to meet everyone with compassion and loving kindness regardless of outward situation and need.

Prayer fills me with knowing we are all one.

Prayer allows me, as I sit quietly to let go with confidence that I am doing what I can do and that is enough.

Prayer frees me from fear and feelings of separation from God.

Prayer and silence clear my mind of uncertainly about what I can do and divinely guides and inspires me to do what I can do, be who i am and want what I have.

Keeping Peace and Love alive and present in my heart is what I can do to save this world.

Please join me.

Friday, April 15, 2011


AHA! Nothing a little girl wants for her birthday than a new bicyclette! Big Girls Too! :)

I didn't want to spend a bucket, and I didn't want gears. With significant embarrassment I confess to not being able to handle gears on a bike. And really prefer plain old school pedal brakes!! Searching all over town I found my bike at WalMart. Sturdy, old school, fun and rides really nicely. Check out the Big Butt seat, c'mon! After taking this and two other bikes for a spin around WalMart (imagine the fear instilled into many), this bike was the winner.

You probably know me well enough to know that this project is no different from any other---- MORE projects come from it!

I'm repainting my baby girl. I think she's poop brown and boring. I'll be painting her aqua and cream with a few hand painted touches, topped off with a nice coating of glossy sealer. And while I do like having a basket, this basket doesn't do it for me. I imagine myself pedaling my tres chic bicyclette around town with scarf tossing in the wind, a wicker basket on the front filled with a lovely baguette of bread. The back rack extends a bit over the rear bumper and would look fabulous holding a basket of knitting.

My fantasy life is at times pretty cool.  ;)

And, before I leave, someone please notice that my bike is indoors (it's raining outside and the bike needs to be super dry for painting)----- but the floor on which it sits is so clean and shiny that the reflection of the bike is noticeable. Award points b/c it may be some time before we notice this again!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to MOI

Here at Casita Contessa I'm celebrating a BIRTHDAY today! I'm 57 today and to be honest still think that I'm 30! The years fly by and somehow getting older comes as a huge surprise! I don't really ever say THE NUMBER out loud and for pete's sake I've decided that this is just crazypants.

  • I'm 57!
  • I love wholeheartedly and am completely loyal-
  • There are 31 less pounds of me this morning and that is a good thing!
  • If I'm not doing something in my day that is creative, it's cranky city-
  • I love curry and tofu, chocolate and cauliflower, M&M's and Diet Snapple-
  • I knit-
  • I quilt-
  • I paint & create mixed media-
  • I make jewelry-
  • I sew-
  • Home dec makes me happy & I just ordered a new sofa and loveseat which will spur a new round of fun-
  • I work hard and don't play enough-
  • I love white wine and extra dirty vodka martinis with 4 blue cheese olives-
  • Cooking is part of who I am and even when I cook for myself it brings me joy-
  • Nigella  makes me unabashedly weak in the knees-
  • I'm Mimi to 3 fabulous grandboys I don't get to see often enough, and adore-
  • My kids are pretty awesome and they love me, how cool is that?
  • I cuss a blue streak surely I could embarrass a sailor. No, it isn't because I have a limited vocabulary, it is because I enjoy it.
  • Winter makes me snarky-
  • Spring makes me sail-
  • Kauai is my favorite place on earth and my spirit lives in Hanalei-
  • Santa Fe is a close second, I'd love to live there!
  • My style has always been what is now called 'bohemian chic', it's me!
  • Why yes I am an old hippie, it is the word "old" that chafes-
  • I say I don't care what you think,or if you like me..... but there are times that is not true-
  • I'm a very spiritual person, that probably doesn't fall into any traditional definition-
  • My Casita is my Castle, no matter where it is-
  • I wish I had a vintage baby blue VW convertible--- or even a vintage VW Bus!
  • I appreciate my family & friends
 Hope your day is as wonderful as mine! Please, share a piece of cake with me, I baked it just for us! It may be virtual but know it is my favorite, German Chocolate frosted all the way around with loads and loads of yummy, sticky, coconutty, pecan filled frosting.

Take a big piece, life is short and meant to be wonderful!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Tired, that's all. Just worn to the bone. And back.

  • Next year I will not pooh-pooh a flu shot. Really.
  • Another cold has moved in and I'm wiped out.
  • I will go to bed earlier.
  • I will start walking again, winter has been ugly.
  • Crafting/sewing/knitting/puttering time has to be put higher on the priority list.
  • Maybe just maybe I won't be so wrung out.
  • I will buy more Diet Snapple in "papaya mango"--- delish!
  • Could be I'll not worry so much about how the house needs to be vacuumed---

And you? How're you getting on?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day Seven: Knitting and Crochet Time 2KCBWDAY7

Time, the thing that confounds me most mightily! Makes me crazy if the truth be told. The time killers in my pie are equal additions of self-employed, overworked, and stressed out. When that pie comes out of the oven (or pressure cooker), what suffers is my creative time.

I knit best when:
  • Doing projects that can be easily picked up or tossed down
  • Surrounded by tea and snacks (think pretzels and m&m's)
  • and I do love to knit with PEOPLE, their accomplishments make me feel better about the lack of my own!
  • I knit in front of the television but never at the movies
  • When music is involved I prefer 60's (go figure and thanks Sirius)
  • If lace is on the needles I van't to be ahlone!
  • I can not actually READ while knitting (but have not tried it with my Nook) but do like podcasts (about knitting of course) or audiobooks.
  • I always have my two beloved dogs near me when I sit to knit. Prince is always at my feet and Hana is always curled by my side.

Time------- I've found recently while "cross training" with different crafts to clear logjams and insert spark that I do best when I schedule time to be creative. This goes for knitting as well. I actually sit with my schedule (old school on paper) and block out time to knit/sew/quilt/paint/craft. The problem comes in when I just want to sit and drool on myself while watching a TiVo'ed episode of Housewives. (any locale will do).

It is less the time than the motivation I fear. Both sometimes escape me when I need them most!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Something to Aspire to: 2KCBWDAY6

 Something to Aspire to? Man, like I wouldn't consider it a tremendous thing just to FINISH the projects I've shown you this week, the long lost fuzzy souls!

But in the spirit of things, taking on something NEW!  :)

I have already decided and discussed that I will NOT be once again saying that I am going to learn to give my yarn throwing ways up for the sleeker style!

But I would like to design my own sweater (even if using cheater software) from the ground up and knit it. In relatively short order of course.

Think something cardigan-y, I want a soft lightweight angora (or blend thereof) in a creamy hue. Maybe a bit of lace somewhere interesting. Vintage pearl buttons. Yummy.

I mean, it isn't like this is a difficult or lofty goal! I know the process, I just haven't done it!
"Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises!"

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day Five: 2KCBWDAY5

Day Five: 

Something completely different so says Eskimimi, organizer of this so far wonderful Second Annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week! Have you been out there reading the many posts all centered on the same topic? Really lots of fun!

Creative Push: Something Different.

I was inspired by the process that has sort of been working since blogging this project. A sketch of a mitten that would be "bobble-y" and coordinate with a pattern long kept for a bobble cowl! Should be easy enough.

 And then put the sketch together with the yarn, the cowl pattern neatly in a sleeve, all together in a bag. 

Excellent! Hopefully this time next year when blogging the 3rd annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week it will not be languishing in the bin next to Damson!  ;) That would be a horrible April Fools instead of best plans laid.