Monday, February 27, 2012

our february weekends

We haven't been skiing much this winter.  Aside from the snow conditions being a little dangerous (hello avalanche!), and the warm winter we've had, we are just a little burnt-out on making the big drive to the mountains.  So we have spent most of our Saturdays in the foothills just outside of town.  And even though it's hard to compete with snow-capped peaks, these rolling hills are really growing on me.  The sky seems so big and it makes me hope I always live in a place with wide open spaces.  They make me feel good.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

rice bags are neat

I have been using my electric hot pad quite a bit lately (sore back...) and accidentally kept falling asleep with it in bed.  Evan was worried I was going to burn myself or set the house of fire (he is our chief safety officer).  So I finally broke down and made myself a rice bag.  I had made these before for gifts, but never for myself.  And let me tell you--they are  positively splendid!  I made mine smell oh-so-delicious with lemon essential oil and plenty of lavender buds (still trying to use up my giant sack from this project).  Last night as I was drifting off to sleep, I was thinking that it smelled just like a lemon cake (a sure-fire way to have sweet dreams).

To use, just remove the rice pouch from the cover and microwave for about 2 minutes.  Return to cover and relax (you deserve it!).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I used my Christmas present money to get some frames for these lovely paintings we picked up in Ethiopia (we lived there for a semester while Evan completed his graduate research).  I love them so much and would find myself cringing whenever I would open my studio cabinet and witness them collecting dust on a dark shelf.  They are so beautiful and a little bit fragile (they are painted on some kind of animal skin and when bent,  it cracks the paint.  Eek!), so I am glad they have a proper place to live now.

This one is my favorite.  A rather contemplative Daniel in the Lions Den.

And Jesus washing the Apostles feet.

details of note: 
the afros on the Apostles and the large Ethiopian eyes on everyone, including the lions :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

a waffle with strawberries

I have been on such a painting kick lately!  I think it's funny that I can't handle more then one type of creative activity at a time.  For example: when I first got my sewing machine I made 7 quilts (oh, you think I'm kidding?  It's no joking matter!), and then I felt like drawing for a while.  And so I drew over a dozen wildflowers.  And then I thought I was a pro-felter, and couldn't stop stabbing things (okay, just wool things).  And right now it appears I am into painting food.  So food I will paint.

We absolutely had several waffle dinners while I was working on this painting.  It couldn't be helped.  And I was seriously considering adding a drizzle of syrup to the pat of butter, but Evan made a good point that strawberries and syrup don't go that great together (he is turning into such a foodie!).

p.s.  this isn't the first time I've blogged about my affinity for waffles.  Oh my.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

cookie love

I waited as long as I could to make these cookies again.  They are so soft and good!

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies     
from deliacreates

1 c. shortening {you can use butter, but shortening produces a softer, chewier cookie}
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. sour cream
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

5 c. all purpose flour, plus 1-2 c. more for rolling cookies out
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 375 and prepare your cookie sheets with a light mist of spray oil.  Beat your wet ingredients together.  Stir or whisk your dry ingredients together.

Mix your dry and wet mixes together to get a nice thick dough

Flour your counter and rolling pin.  Don't be shy with the flour.  This dough is quite sticky.  But also be careful not to add too much flour or the cookies will taste floury and they will crack easily.

Take a big chunk of dough and roll it out to about 1/4 of an inch thick.

Cut and place on the baking sheets.
Bake for 10-15 minutes...until the top starts to look baked and oh so slightly browned.

Then let the frosting begin!
This cookie frosting/glaze is from the America's Test Kitchen Cookbook:

3 TBSP. whole milk {I used half and half}

1 TBSP. softened cream cheese

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Mix 2 TBSP. milk and cream cheese together until smooth. Add sugar. Add remaining milk as needed.

Wishing you a lovely Valentine's day!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It felt like Spring

Last weekend we went hiking without gloves or hats or down coats.
 It was magical.
 And now it's snowing.
Whatever.  I think I'm getting used to this bi-polar winter weather.

p.s. before we got our puppy, Evan used to tease me that it would like him better then me.  I was seriously worried that would happen.  I mean, Evan is way funner than me, can wrestle better, and has a deeper voice--who wouldn't choose him to be the alpha??
Since getting Gesso I've noticed that he likes us better at different times, and we accidentally captured it in these photos.  If we are hiking/skiing/biking/roughhousing, Gesso is Evan's shadow.  He doesn't even care about me.
But if he wants a nice face massage or a lap to sit on (I'm not kidding), I'm his number one pal.
I'm glad it worked out that we are both his favorite.

And I'm sorry that I post about my dog all of the time.  He's kind of like my kid.

Monday, February 6, 2012

feeling inspired

I was asked to paint a little something for our church's youth-group theme this year.  While I was doodling some possible ideas, Evan thought it might be a better idea to paint a grey rain cloud with the inscription "lay down and be dull".   He was pretty sure the teens might respond to some reverse psychology.  But I really wanted to paint a cheerful sunburst (It is the middle of winter, afterall!).  Also, I didn't want to be held responsible for any dull teenagers walking around church.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

picture this

I have been slowly making my way through years of photos.  You see, we take A LOT of picturess.  And it always made me a little bit sad that we couldn't look at them that often, because they have basically stayed on the computer.  Since I am not a scrapbooker, making these photo albums through Shutterfly was PERFECT and more importantly, FAST!  I cannot even tell you how great it feels to finally have done something about our photo situation.  And I did finally print out some of our wedding photos!  I am going to make a fancier album for those and my goal is to have it done by our next anniversary.  Yay!!

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