Tuesday, January 4, 2011

photography LOVE

For Crafty Christmas 2010, I made my sister Lisa a LOVE-ly gift. I've been really inspired by alphabet art of late. I first saw the idea at the Georgia Apple Festival, but have since learned that they were really made popular by Oprah way back in 2007. Apparently I was in the dark all these years, so thank heavens I attend regionally appropriate craft fairs to get me up to speed on the current trends.

I decided to go with the word 'LOVE,' mostly because I figure she'll get married someday and won't want her current last name framed, and also because 'Robison' is entirely too long in the picture-framing world. Besides, a frame with more than four letters wouldn't have fit into my suitcase.

I simply took black and white photos, made them slightly more 'sepia' on my computer, and had 4x6 copies printed by my favorite Walgreens employee. Voila....

The possibilities are pretty endless with this craft as long as you're willing to get creative. Here are a few tips to help you avoid problems I ran into:

1. If you're using a digital camera, leave space around your letters. My first try yielded unhappy results since I zoomed all the way in on my object (turning the image into a standard 4x6 photo will crop a little bit of the border).

2. Take several versions of each photo. This will allow you to choose the best photo of each letter (my favorite on the screen wasn't always my favorite when printed.)

3. Don't bring the frame home in your luggage - even in bubble wrap - because its going to break! Of course then you'll have to rush to a hardware store to get a new piece of glass cut, which will naturally be 1/16 of an inch too large. And then your father will have to bust out his power tools to shave away the inside of your frame so that your glass fits and your Christmas gift is saved......

In the end, it all worked out lovely (pun most definitely intended). In fact, I've even started calling this two thousand e-LOVE-en. As in, i love my job i love my life i love my dog. You know, kind of like this:

{yes you may use my LOVE photos!! they are absolutely free to use for your personal non-commercial interests}

Monday, January 3, 2011

like a candy cane - except delicious

I'm not a candy cane fan. At least, not candy canes of the peppermint variety. So when my sister Lisa came up with this ingenious use for candy canes I knew I had to share it with all of you (you know, so you're not still staring those things down in March).


Take five candy canes off your tree

Side Note: yes, we can still be friends if you aren't a Red Sox fan. Just take Tom and I for example. We have different favorite teams, but our ornaments definitely coexist harmoniously on the tree.

Unwrap the candy canes and put them in a cuisinart.

Pulse candy canes until they look like this:

Add to a tub of cool whip (or for you modern mavens, a bowl of freshly whipped cream)

The cool whip should be a nice pink color.

Make a cup of your favorite hot cocoa.....

Add a dollop (or two) of the cool whip and enjoy!

Admittedly, this looked better in my head. Pretty or no, it tastes delish!!

Lets say an amen for my little sister and her ingenuity, shall we? {and another amen for finding a way to get rid of those pesky candy canes.}

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Cookbook

My sister Lisa gave me a Visa gift card for my birthday, along with instructions to use it on something frivolous. Anthropologie automatically popped into my head. Why? Number one because I love anthro, number two because I never go there unless I have some sort of gift card, and number three because some of their products represent the very definition of frivolous. After all, can you imagine ever spending $168 on this little guy? Me neither.

In the end, I decided to spend the money on a new cookbook. I never buy cookbooks because I get my recipes online, but went for it anyway because I've been wanting to read an entire cookbook beginning to end (think Julie and Julia) and because I found a list of the best cookbooks of 2010 on the site flashlight worthy (best site ever for finding a perfect book).

After spending entirely too much time in the book store (is such a thing even possible?), I walked away with In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark.

I normally don't even pick up cookbooks without pictures (this one doesn't have them), but the delicious writing seems to more than make up for it.

Case in point: the chapter with the recipe for Buttery Polenta with Parmesan and Olive Oil-Fried Eggs begins with this paragraph:

The first best thing about adulthood is being able to order three desserts for two people. The second is having breakfast for dinner whenever the urge for pancakes pulls harder than pork chops.
Amen, sister.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!! - or, the year i rang in the new year at walgreens

Sometimes, in order to have a good new year's celebration and rock the night away you've got to go to the right party.

Sometimes, you've got to bring the party to the right people.

This year, I did the latter.

Tom was working the graveyard shift at Walgreens - from 10pm on 12/31 to 7am on 1/1.

You know, like he worked on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I digress.

He rolled out of the house at 9:45pm, and I acted like I was going to get all journal-y with myself and reflect on 2010 and sip wine and chill on the couch.

But as soon as he walked out the door I sprang into action and pulled out my very secret supplies.

Sparkling grape juice, hot spinach and red pepper dip, and deviled eggs

At 11:45 I walked into Walgreens with my party hat on and all the food and drink.

We didn't have TV or radio, so we counted down to midnight on our cellphones.

It wasn't perfect, but it was ours.

How did you ring in the New Year?

Happy New Year to you and your family!
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