Monday, January 30, 2012

Sketchbook 2012- A path through the trees

This is the cover- I just inked up the cardboard and didn't make a whole new cover like last year. But of course I tore out ALL of the pages and did my own.
My little dangling girl,  is actually my older sister, Cindy. I liked that her face couldn't be seen. She is affixed so she can move from page to page with the reader.

I added family photos onto deciduous trees, alternating each page. I was tired of evergreens and wanted to use family pics since family is a part of our journey.
I used quotes from various sources on the pages.

Sometimes family has not been a good part of the path- I wanted that reality for some readers for whom that is truth.

I like that the little girl can roam and that pages fold out. There is something about an interactive book that intrigues me. Next year, see I'm already thinking about it. I plan to have one that others can add to as they check it out. Then they become a part of the journal.
Why I wait until the last 3 days I'll never know!
But, it's just what I dreamed it would be.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

On the Road Again

The view from Sunset Park
I am just so lucky, lucky to be able to travel, to have family that lives in fabulous places, and to have the time to do it.
And lucky that every time I visit statistically rainy Seattle I have at least one or two absolutely breathtaking days.
Seattle didn't disappoint me.
Sunset Hill Park is one of my very favorite places to visit in Seattle. It offers spectacular views and when I see Golden Garden Park below and to the right (that little point of land) I know I have to walk, not drive, down to it. The seals were having a barking party on a buoy out beyond the rocks and you could hear them for miles.
I fueled up with a latte and headed down.

Trust me down is a whole lot more fun than up!
and I'll spare you the photos of that.
It's a pretty walk and one is rewarded with lovely vistas along the way especially in winter with the deciduous trees bare.  I saw lots of crow and one tiny hummingbird that was too speedy for my camera skills.
Here I am at ground zero in Golden Gardens Park.
Look at that incredible sky, will you?
After that big hike I rewarded myself with a trip to Miro Tea. I had my "usual" apple, gouda and basil panini and a pot of white tea, took my book and enjoyed myself.
And what is a trip to Ballard without a visit to Cupcake Royale?  The first of at least a couple, I hope.
When asked, my server suggested his favorite- a nod to Elvis- a banana cupcake with peanut butter and chocolate frosting topped with banana chips and bacon.
Super Yummy, but not my favorite- so I'll have to go back. Darn.

As a bonus, it was free day at the photo booth as they were having a tasting event for Deathcake from 5-7. Missed the tasting but took advantage of the photo booth. It is a little intimidating to do an out in the open booth with strangers staring at you, especially when you are alone.
I ended the evening with this beautifully prepared meal by Amy and Rachel from their new book Plenty that I gave them for Christmas. It is a beautiful cookbook, with great pictures and recipes that are all vegetarian. But all of the reviews say that you won't care if you aren't vegetarian because the recipes are fantastic. I'd buy it for the photos alone. But, that's me. I buy Martha Stewart magazine for the same reason.

Bridge to Mark Island

I took Amy to an interview with a professor from UCSF, which could be her post-doc stop. And despite all of my efforts to be in the right lane and not cross the Montlake bridge, I did.
Happy accident. I went down the one way street to turn around and ended up at Montlake. The fog of the promising sunny day was shrouding it and I had to go take a look.
I got these spectacular photos. It makes me want to go take similar shots on a "normal" day to show the comparison. You can't see it, but the university stadium is in the distance in the shot with the ducks. Not so pretty on a clear day.
Next stop, snowshoeing-
Talk about breathtaking!

wonder what little bird's nest this is?

On the way home, we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls. So glad we made it before sunset.
the end of a beautiful day with my sweet Amy and Rachel
It was just..................

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Farmers market

Not a big haul but yummy none the less. I was delighted to see that there were brussel sprouts available. They have become my new favorite vegetable. I cook them with red grapes,salt and pepper, and a splash of olive oil in a pan at 400 degrees for 20 minutes and then add a little balsamic vinegar. I only wish there had been more for leftovers!
It was a chilly day and fewer farmers each week, but our overall winter has been unseasonably mild.  We had a tornado last week and are under a watch tonight with thunderstorms expected. I don't ever remember a winter with numerous 50 degree days.
I'm headed to one of my favorite places on Wednesday- Seattle- so expect some great food reports from there. Poor Jim has to work and will be holding down the fort but off duty as chef for a week. I'm expecting a lot of carryout and dining out for him, too.
See you soon!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Moo commercial

Everything comes neatly packed in this sturdy box.
I'm in love with Moo. The quality of their cards is just fabulous. The packaging, materials, follow up, all just top notch!
I'd been wanting some new business cards. I've gone to my mobile phone primarily for everything now and my old cards had my land line. I also wanted to include email and my website. New cards it is. I got a great deal on some for my etsy store- if I ever get it up and running. Moo and etsy had a deal and I got 50 free. I didn't have time to design my own so I went with their green geometric and I really like it. I got an offer for free return address labels from shutterfly and they had a matching green geometric. Now if I can get the towels made for the store.
Anyway, it was the free Moo business cards that captured what I was looking for in a new business card.
this small, high quality box houses 50 cards. I like the  "mine" and "theirs" dividers, too
These are my new cards. I like the puzzle piece photo, which I bought , which is a good representation of what I do,  give people solutions. The other two I took myself with my phone. The fingers in the CPR photo belong to Jim.
My mini moos
One of the great things about Moo is that you can use as many designs as you want. You will get an equal number of each in the mix. With the mini moo, which are half the size of a business card, I went with more variety. I might hand them to someone who just needs my name, email, phone . I got a card holder for them that goes on a key chain. Not that I needed one more thing on my keychain, mind you. I used a mix of art, photos, altered photos and 4 designs for my business, just in case I have these but not a business card in a pinch.

It probably holds about 8-10 cards.

I can't tell you how impressed I am with them and highly recommend them for their quality, service and the ability to produce a variety for the same amount of money. 

Now just for fun- Here is Elvis, who's been in our Jazzercize class this week. Our instructor is a big Elvis fan and as a tribute for his birthday we had a lot of Elvis music or songs with references. A member made this Santa an Elvis outfit to go with a black wig. He also moves to the music. Quite the site. No wonder I like Jazzercize!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Queen of Heart Challenge 2012

Suzanne is hosting another fun Queen of Hearts challenge. Create any piece of art with the theme "Queen of Hearts" the only requirement is that it has a heart on it somewhere! You do not have to use Quietfire Design products to participate. Click on the the link to go to her sight for details.  You can win some rubber stamps!
It can be a card, atc, altered book page, even an inchie!
Put a heart on it!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Farmers Market and something yummy

And a beautiful day it has been!  I began by cleaning out and organizing my freezer. I figured that I really should know what is in it in order to know what I might want to add TO it!
So I also have a clean and beautifully organized freezer to go with my purchases.
It is another fab winter day here. It is amazing how moderate our temps have been. Really, with the exception of a handful of days, one has hardly needed a coat and gloves. I've only worn my earmuffs once.
Upon examination it was determined that we needed only a whole chicken to round out the week's protein needs. And while I didn't expect our chicken guy to be there- today wasn't on the list he gave me before Christmas-we were pleasantly surprised to see him.
The watermelon radishes which have been at least the size of a tangerine have now gone down to a more normal radish size and I grabbed a handful of these. Aren't they glorious? I never tire of slicing them and seeing the gorgeous magenta color on the inside.
Really, that is what color they are!
All trimmed and nestled in the kale for a photo op.

How about some flat leaf parsley?  Nothing says "fresh" like adding some of this to a dish.
This kale looked good so I think I'll sauté up some tonight!
Baby bok choy for a little stir fry Mr. Jim promises later in the week. Yum.
Didn't get an individual shot but also grabbed a garlic bulb.

We had the pleasure of seeing Brent, our favorite omelet maker, at the market as a shopper so it was nice to catch up with him. His wife's restaurant is closed for a few weeks for some updates. We had tried to have lunch there yesterday when we were both off work (yay). So it will be exciting to see what changes she has made when they re-open at the end of the month.

By the way, we ended up at Ramsi's for lunch. A patient of mine was working there and delivered a divine, complimentary to boot, chocolate bourbon mousse creme brûlée for dessert. It had a 1/4 inch thick layer of burnt sugar that was soooo good and worth every calorie.
Thanks, B.