Monday, November 30, 2009

minouette on Etsy

Wow, Rikrak Studio's blog is having an amazing giveaway. Through their posting, I found minouette on Etsy! I love many of their prints.

My husband and I love this print, Accept no substitutes for Minouette Linocut!

"This lino block print features my namesake, Minouette (the cat) and the French slogan, 'Méfiez-vous de la contrefaçon!' It is printed by hand in dark brown and turquoise on Indian khaki paper and embellished with pen and ink in green. Inspired by a peculiar but endearing vintage French ad, you might translate the slogan as 'Accept no substitutes' if you wanted to be snappy, but it is more like, 'Be suspicious of counterfeits!'"
This is my husband's favorite too!

Euoplocephalus linocut 1st edition - Hard-headed Vegetarian

Euoplocephalus, a tank of a plant-eating, Late Cretaceous Ankylosaur dinosaur, has a name which literally means well-armoured head. He had fused plated protecting back and neck and triangular horns protecting his face, shoulders and tail. His main weapon was a ball of fused bone which acted as a club at the end of his tail. He was 20 feet or 6 m long, had thick legs to carry his heavy weight and likely ambled through woodlands in what is now Alberta and Montana. This is an original, first edition lino block print on Japanese kozo (mulberry paper) 8 inches tall by 14 inches wide (20.3 cm by 35.6 cm). The edition is limited to 14 hand-burnished prints. The colour is a somewhat variable mixture, reflecting the variability we see in nature. For the month of April, the Mad Scientist of Etsy challenge is the Cretaceous, a geological era 135 to 65 million years ago, which saw the break-up of Pangaea, the development of flowering plants, some first hints of early mammal life, the arrival new dinosaurs but ended with the largest mass extinction of the dinosaurs. The end of the Cretaceous was an end of an era like no other.

Koi Limited Edition Lino Block Print "Who doesn't like koi? Beautiful to behold, calming to watch, many consider them good luck. Inspired by Japanese textiles, I drew and carved a lino koi"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Chocolate Joe-Joe's Cupcake with Double Chocolate Peppermint Buttercream

Ooo, check out this cute Cupcake blogger, "No one puts cupcake in a corner"! The blogger is a "Magazine Designer in the food industry. True cupcake fanatic, creator of the original Iron Cupcake." Adorable!

"Une maison sans chat, c'est la vie sans soliel."

As Julia Child wrote in My Life In France, "A house without a cat is life without sunshine. "
[Lily Thomas]
"Une maison sans chat, c'est la vie sans soliel."

[Lily Thomas]

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A few more holiday gift ideas...

My favorite Christmas gift to myself (after the MacBook Pro) is the Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.
I absolutely love this cookbook. All the recipes are easy to follow with a photo for each step. [Images from the Pioneer Woman]The Pioneer Woman also includes hilarious stories regarding each recipe. The photos of her lovely cattle and Mustang ranch are breathtaking too. I highly recommend this book for any food lover, wanna be cook or fan of the Pioneer Woman.

I noticed on the Pioneer Woman's website, that she had recently made t-shirts for her (awesome cookbook) book tour. They are snazzy dark brown with a rainbow colored vine and flower. I was curious about the shirt company,
Wild Olive tees, so I followed the link to their site.

Wow, they have some beautiful and faith-based designs. I'm seriously considering the Such Things one for my Mom, or Grandmother.

Philippians 4:8 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things.

Transform your mind also has a neat design and message! [Images from Wild Olive]

Another fun and silly gift, is the pickle ornament! I found this ornament at Crate and Barrel.
"A dilly of a decorative ornament. An age-old German good luck tradition, this realistic, handpainted glass ornament adds a touch of pickle personality to holiday decorating. The last ornament placed on the tree, whoever finds it first gets an extra gift from St. Nick."
I am fortunately nearly finished with my holiday shopping. I wrapped the majority of the presents last night!! I just need to find something for my grandfather and my sister's boyfriend. I'm thinking wine is a nice safe option. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving night and putting up the Christmas tree!

Thanksgiving was a blast at my grandparents house. My parents, one of my sisters, my maternal grandparents, an aunt, two uncles and a cousin were all in attendance. (My middle sister is currently with her boyfriend's family in Mexico!) My favorite part of the meal was the turkey (light meat, please) with cranberry wine from the Olympic Peninsula.
It was great to catch up a little with my sister, Katie! She's been super busy in nursing school across the state. Hopefully, I'll see more of her this weekend, before she goes back!

I was sooo excited to wake up this morning, to start decorating our Christmas tree! After a nice run over the Ballard Locks, we started putting up the ornaments. We've had a great tree for the last three years that we keep in storage during the non-Christmas season. My husband and I realized the first year we had a tree together that the cats ate the needles. Also, when Lyra was a kitten, she tried to climb the Christmas tree.
[Christmas 2007]
Thus, our sturdier plastic and wire version holds up better with our kitties. Plus, they just love to lounge underneath the tree all day!
[This is a picture of Lily Thomas and Lyra from last Christmas!]
We have so many ornaments already, that I only purchased a few irresistible ones this year. I found this darling red, white and blue sailboat at Crate and Barrel last month.
I also couldn't pass up this squirrel from Crate and Barrel! It reminds me of Lily Thomas, especially the tail! It also goes well with the reindeer, fox and raccoon of similar brush material that we found at Macy's a few years ago.
I absolutely love this knit ornament from Anthropologie that I found in a after Christmas sale last year. The little dog looks like my childhood pet, Millie, a black and white English Springer Spaniel.
This metal cowboy is an older favorite ornament that my mom used to hang with the Christmas wreaths!
Our wedding cake toppers hang on our tree too!

This is our tree so far....
We have only unpacked about half of the ornaments this evening, mainly my favorite ones! I may need to survey the ornaments at my parents house before I stop decorating!

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev'rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Toys in ev'ry store
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey and Thanksgiving Facts!

The First Thanksgiving, reproduction of an oil painting by J.L.G. Ferris, early 20th century.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (neg. no. LC-USZC4-4961)

Turkey Facts

Will you be having turkey for Thanksgiving? You aren't alone -
97 percent of Americans have Turkey for Thanksgiving.

Here are some fun facts to share with your family during the celebration!

* A male turkey is a tom. A female is a hen. Babies are called poults.

* Ben Franklin liked the Turkey so much he thought it should be the
official bird of the US.

* A hen lays around 115 eggs a month which take about 28 days to hatch.

* A mature turkey has 3,500 feathers. Turkey feathers were used by Indians
to stabilize arrows.

* The largest turkey on record was 86 pounds.

* Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour and fly 55 miles per hour.

* Only the tom turkey gobbles. The hen makes clucking noises. A tom's
gobble can be heard a mile away.

* A group of turkeys is called a flock.

* Turkeys have lived in North America for 10 million years. Forty-Five
million are eaten at Thanksgiving.

* At the first harvest celebration with the pilgrims and Native Americans,
"fowl" was eaten. While this might have been turkey, it's more likely to
have been geese and ducks.

* At current Thanksgiving feasts, over 675 million pounds of turkey
are consumed.

* It is NOT the turkey that makes you sleepy after a Thanksgiving feast.
Tryptophan can only make you sleepy if taken on an empty stomach
without protein - hardly the case on Thanksgiving! It's the carbohydrates
in the other foods we eat with our meal that make us sleepy - neither of
which are traditional from the original pilgrim's diet.

Thanksgiving history:

* Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November
in the United States.

* By the fall of 1621 only half of the pilgrims, who had sailed on the
Mayflower, survived. The survivors, thankful to be alive, decided to give
a thanksgiving feast.

* Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the second Monday in October in Canada.

* The Plymouth Pilgrims were the first to celebrate the Thanksgiving.

* The pilgrims arrived in North America in December 1620.

* The Pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to reach North America.

* The pilgrims sailed on the ship, which was known by the name of 'Mayflower'.

* They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day in the fall of 1621.

* They celebrated the first Thanksgiving Day at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

* The drink that the Puritans brought with them in the Mayflower
was the beer.

* The Wampanoag Indians were the people who taught the Pilgrims how
to cultivate the land.

* The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first
Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621 and invited the neighboring
Wampanoag Indians also to the feast.

* The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the presence of around ninety
Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, was also
invited there.

* The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days.

* President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving
Day Proclamation in the year 1789 and again in 1795.

* The state of New York officially made Thanksgiving Day an
annual custom in 1817.

* Sarah Josepha Hale, an editor with a magazine, started a Thanksgiving
campaign in 1827 and it was result of her efforts that in 1863 Thanksgiving
was observed as a day for national thanksgiving and prayer.

* Abraham Lincoln issued a 'Thanksgiving Proclamation' on third October 1863
and officially set aside the last Thursday of November as the national day
for Thanksgiving. Whereas earlier the presidents used to make an annual
proclamation to specify the day when Thanksgiving was to be held.

* President Franklin D. Roosevelt restored Thursday before last of November
as Thanksgiving Day in the year 1939. He did so to make the Christmas shopping
season longer and hus stimulate the economy of the state.

* Congress passed an official proclamation in 1941 and declared that now
onwards Thanksgiving will be observed as a legal holiday on the fourth
Thursday of November every year.


My Christmas list...

Have a wonderful thanksgiving everyone! i'm thankful for my family and my kitties. Also for my early christmas presents that i've already received!! I'm Excited To Put Up My Christmas Tree tomorrow!

Country Manor Top From Anthropologie reminds me of childhood. I love it!

Oooo, these Decadent Sunglasses from Anthropologie would be perfect for our upcoming vacation!

I've been Drooling over the Rock out with your cupcake out Tee from Cupcake Royale for the last few months! I just saw on the Cupcake Royale Facebook Page:

"Cupcake Royale HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We are open on Thanksgiving and having big sale fun times on Friday. Come check out the holiday goodness Royale! Hoodies for $25. tees for $10. And 10% off all other merch, including gift packs! Friday - Sunday."

I count Julie and Julia as a major inspiration for this blog so I'm super psyched for the author, Julie Powell's second book, "Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession"!

7 NORITAKE Colorwave Pasta Bowls in blue
to complete our set!

Ideas of what to do in Prague, in September!!!
[Image from Flickr Uploaded on June 7, 2009
by Mike G. K.]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alyson Jones Studios and Jewelry

A friend from work told me about this beautiful wooden jewelry website today. Check out my new favorite Etsy shop by Alyson Jones!
It's currently drizzling in Seattle tonight. How perfect are these earrings? I think I just bought the last pair of these "Ode to Seattle" hand painted wooden earrings, because they're all sold out now!

I guess it's as they say 'Early Bird Gets the Worm'! Aren't these birds adorable?
The artist writes, "I've been working with acrylics for over 12 years and recently decided to merge my painting passion with my childhood love for jewelry making! All wooden jewelry is hand-painted with acrylics and ink. The products are finished with an un-yellowing clear coat varnish."

These Tree Love, Hand Painted Wooden Earrings by Alyson C. James are so sweet and lovely too.

This talented Seattle artist, not only makes charming hand painted wooden earrings, but she currently has several pieces of art on display through November, at the Art On The Ridge Gallery on Phinney Ridge (Greenwood Avenue). You can also view her acrylic paintings available for purchase at!

I love finding local artists. What local talent do you follow?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Hello inspired by fabulous k

Ditto to fabulous k: "I am thankful for each and every one of you that takes the time to read about my life and daily muses. This blog would be nothing without you all...and for that, I thank you!"

[Uploaded by Epiphany Cupcakes on 12 Nov 09, 12.03AM PST.]
Please take a moment to leave me a hello comment and go by to say hello on Kelly's page too! Also on Kelly's page, you can grab your own "Holiday Hello" graphic! There's lots of inspiration from her blog readers via McLinky too! [P.S. There's also an awesome giveaway on Life in the Fulmer Lane, a fabulous k designed blog. It's from the Etsy Store, Tiny Bit More!]

Thanks in advance for all your hellos!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gorgeous jewelry ideas for the holidays!

Etsy is such a great place for vintage and handmade jewelry.

How cute is this bee keeper locket from Coco's Greenhouse? "A silver beehive with little bees adorns the front of this gunmetal locket. Dangling next to the locket is a glass honey blossom flower and an orange
aventurine stone with a flower petal bead cap." Spearmint Baby is actually having a Coco's Greenhouse giveaway, check out her blog!

I adore these Looking Glass earrings from MiaBeads! They are Vintage
Swarovski crystals in light Sapphire.

I also just discovered Sea Babe on Etsy! Sea Babe is a store filled with Gold and Silver Jewelry from Hawaii! The hand forged rings are beautiful. I adore the "Wow, Is That Citrine- Hand Forged Citrine and Fine Silver Ring". There's the "Twenty Dollar Ring, a Fine Silver Hammered and Forged Ring", which would be a perfect gift!

Another favorite ring shop of mine is Kyle Anne Metals. (Check out the blog for Kyle Anne Metals too!)

This is the Sapphire Bloom ring, beautiful, delicate and classically simple. This site also sells rings in stacks too, like this Midnight Blooming Stack:

What are some of your favorite
Etsy jewelry sites?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Woodinville Wine Tasting

Wowee, we had an amazing time in Woodinville today! My best friends, my husband and I met up at Chateau Ste Michelle first. They had a beautiful Christmas display, but we all felt that the wine was pedestrian and moved quickly on to Mark Ryan Winery.
[Image from Mark Ryan] My best friend and I loved the tasting room, especially the neat yellow cupboard serving as a tasting bar!
The wine HERE was stunning. It was understated and excellent. It's pricey but worth it.
I absolutely love their bold red wines. We all enjoyed the Long Haul and the Dead Horse especially. The tasting room itself was a interesting juxtaposition of rock/hip-hop album covers and wine paraphernalia.
My favorite piece of art was the print of the Grey Album album cover by Justin Hampton. The Grey Album is a favorite of my husband's and mine. DJ Danger Mouse remixed the vocals from Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' White Album into a masterpiece. Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) is quoted as saying:
"A lot of people just assume I took some Beatles and, you know, threw some Jay-Z on top of it or mixed it up or looped it around, but it's really a deconstruction. It's not an easy thing to do.' 'I stuck to those two because I thought it would be more challenging and more fun and more of a statement to what you could do with sample alone. It is an art form. It is music. You can do different things, it doesn't have to be just what some people call stealing. It can be a lot more than that." [Quote & Image from Wikipedia] Check out this music video as an example of the Grey album.

In addition to great company, art, and wine, we had the pleasure of meeting Mark Ryan, the winemaker too. He quoted Pearl Jam and poured us some tasty wine.
There was even a neat vintage Indian motorcycle in the Mark Ryan tasting room!
Next door was the J. Bookwalter tasting room...
The main stop was the fun Stained Tooth Society wine club party at Dusted Valley!
They had festive harvest and wheat decorations, typical of their wine labels. The four of us all agreed that the Walla Walla Reserve Syrah was utterly fabulous and worthy of purchasing.
We all got a kick out of the etched magnums, with their skeleton bikers and flames!
Our last stop of the day, was right next door to Dusted Valley. Brian Carter Cellars was nice cap to our wonderful wine tasting afternoon.
There was a wonderful sunset as we left Brian Carter. Overall we had fun wine tasting, but it lacked the familiarity and personability of a non-retail oriented wine experience like our favorite Walla Walla tasting rooms.

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