Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Day of 2010

Here's a photo of Syndey featured on MSNBC this morning. Not sure who took the photo, but I am posting it because its kind of shocking that its already the last day of 2009. This year just began, and its a little bit sad that its just about over. But I am looking forward to 2010, so that's why it is worth celebrating- though I'll probably spend my night stripping wallpaper. But, it is exciting to think of getting this project done and starting the new year with a bathroom that's spruced up-since I never did really like the bathroom and we've been living in the house 20 years-it'll be 21 in May of 2010.
And 2009 was a very good year for me. Not feeling like I need a big list of year in review items, but will say, we got rid of George W Bush, no one I loved passed away-in fact one of my uncles got a different diagnosis for a treatable cancer and he's doing well, I still have my great hubby and my daughter hasn't yet graduated and my critter babies are still here and healthy.
Is this a depressing poat end to the year or what?
Good things- we took 2 fantastic trips- to London/Paris and to Northern CA.Oregon and San Francisco. I read some fantastic books-28 in the ballpark for novels plus cookbooks, travel books,  knitting books, craftbooks, magazines...things I didn't even record. I saw tons of great and not so great films (now that Katie has a new guy we don't do our Friday afternoon movies the same way as last year-but that's ok). I picked up and did some fun cooking again. I made lots of great art. My daughter hasa taken up sewing and says she'll go to big fabric sale in June with me (been waiting to hear those words forever), did lots of fun roadtrips-like to Beans, the Rochester Fair, my craft stores, on college visits, ate some yummy food, lost a few pounds, spent too much cash, celebrated mom's 80th, spent time with my good friends...oh yes, it was a great year, wasn't it?
I do think big milestones like the end of one year and the start of another leads you to have mixed feelings.
And to come-a fun trip to a new place in Feb -oh looking forward to Barcelona. I won't mention my big birthday in early March, Katie's graduation in May and her off to some college in August or September (That's good and bad, isn't it?), more art, my car just about paid off (yahoo), oh and all the surprises and spontaneous moments that await.
Ok, hope this post isn't too much a downer or a drudgery to get through, but to all of you
I hope it is a wonderful, healthy, happy and a great year for you.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wall paper

Ok, a second post, just to unload. Just finished spending 3 hours stripping wall paper in my bathroom- part of the big day when we made loads of progress but stripping wallpaper is horrible and its not coming free very well. I did get a lot done, but not as much as I hoped, isn't that just like projects always needed more time or some other step you weren't planning on? I don't think I will get it all stripped and painted in time for back to work...which is a bummer, but if I can get some parts done...but me, I want to complete my goals. ASAP of course.

Back in the DEEP freeze

We're back into the single digit temperatures and windy- feels like we like along the arctic circle not NH. Brr. Got a fire going in the woodstove-perfect weather for it because this house can never get that hot in these cold temps. Had a nice trip to Mom's yesterday, visited and took her out for lunch. On the way home Katie wanted to go boot shopping at DSW so we stopped and even I got 2 pairs of shoes for less than the price of 1. Hit Trader Joe's and yesterday morning I went to Ink About It since its right on the way and I never get there-and got a couple of Stampotique Holiday stamps marked way down-they're by Janet Klein

and I think they're fun. Also was bad and got a few B Line stamps from her newest catalogue- this is the only store I know of near me (if you call 1 hr and 30 minutes away near me) that regulary carries a good assortment of her fantastic stamps. I love B Line- like Postmodern only those you are just lucky if you can win them on eBay. Anyhow, was a great day out and today we're starting the bathroom- I need to go pickle the wood for the ceiling with a nice transparent white glaze. Will post photos as we get working.
Can you believe this is December 30th? The year is almost over. Wow. Was reading Ali Edwards blog the other day and she was talking about her word of the year. Mine needs to be constrained or frugal or something about saving more money for college tuition which hits us during 2010. Still thinking about that.
The 4 cards above are winter cards I made from a set of My Sentiment Exactly stamps- gave them to the 4 nieces on Dave's side of the family with some holiday cash. We saw them Sunday and since Christmas was over and since I still wanted something festive but not exactly Christmas, made those on Saturday. Actually quite happy with them. The snow flakes on the backgrounds are sparkley which the photos don't really show, and the igloo one looks a bit busy in the photo- better in person- but like the black and red colors. Thought they worked for the occasion.
Anyhow-enough for now-stay warm.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Gifts I Made

I made earrings for my girlfriends at work ( see an earlier post where I mentioned them) and here's photos-though not the best. The silver part is PMC clay, and after making these and being pleased with the results- I think I really need a kiln so I can whip up some more pieces to use. It was great to give homemade gifts that most of my friends didn't think I even made, except for the ones who pay close attention (Thanks Jo)!  When I finished them and made the holders I was telling Katie I felt so much like Martha Stewart- which of course came back to me as a major eye roll. But I'm very happy with them as I said, and its a fun endeavor when I stray into my silver and jewelry side. Probably the most profitable side if I want to make some cash to support my art habit.
So its cloudy today but a home down day- Katie and her boyfriend Brian have gone to Boston- convinced them to take the train in rather than drive and spend big bucks for parking (never mind the traffic) and Dave, once he wakes up is going to get the wood for our bathroom ceiling- as we plan on doing some sprucing up in there this week. I am SOOOO excited about that! We got a new vanity and mirror and we're going to get a new toilet and I need to strip the rest of the wall paper but it needs it so much since what's there is  30 years old and not cool retro 30 years old either.
Tomorrow we're off to see my mom for the day and they're saying a big snow for New Years, after all the rain we had yesterday is so nice to see the snow go down I'm not sure I want to add any more.
Stay warm and dry, enjoy the last few days of 2009. Wow- can you believe that?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Assorted Holiday Photos

Was a fantastic holiday and here's a few untouched photos from our family Christmas.
Today we went out to lunch with my in-law family and Tuesday we go to my mother's down in MA in the holiday rounds. As usual, its a busy time of year but nice to have some home time and some fun and share the holiday with family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sending merry your way

In case I don't find time to post in the next couple of days, may your days be merry and bright! May your nights be silent and holy.  May you truly believe its the most wonderful time of the year. May there be joy to the world. May the angels hark and sing good things your way. I hope Santa Claus comes to your town and you've been nice and not naughty and you didn't pout-at least much.  And if you see Mommy kissing Santa Claus, I hope its a great kiss and her Santa is a great catch. And if you hear noises up on the rooftop, listen because it might be magic and it might be Rudolph with his nose so bright guiding Santa's sleigh that night. Jingle your bells and dash through the snow. May it continue to look a lot like Christmas even after the 25th has passed. May your halls be decked and your spirits be bright, so without anymore adieu, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Its Begining to Look a lot like Christmas...

Every where you go...Today Katie fiished with school...I finish up tomorrow (which will be a non-productive day but hopefully fun)...then vacation, and the holiday...need to buy a roast for dinner Friday...need to do a bit more baking and wrap Dave's gifts...made some cool earrings tonight for my co-workers...jolly. jolly. I am getting into the spirit big time tonight!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Solstice

Here's a card I made with Oxford Impression stamps for their holiday card contest. I won't win, I never do, but I really like how this card came out. I used Marie Antionette stamps for this and one stamp (the music one) from one of their holiday collections. What I really like is the bows making a border across the page and the super starry paper for the background. Its party Christmas Eve  at Versailles with the celebrating not wrapping up until the wee hours of Christmas day, hence the Christmas Morning piece of music and the cello/violin behind Marie. Anyhow, check out the site
So winter has begun, although its been wintery here in NH for a bit of time. Today its cold with blowing snow (and yes!! the seacoast has snow so I don't drive their to work and still see bare ground) and of course, its the shortest day of the year. But the good news is the days will be only getting longer and my house is warm and toasty and I'm in my comfy clothes- bad news, I have a head cold, not enough to be SICK-SICK but just a major inconvenience. But, 2 more days till I get a vacation until January 4th. Can't wait, nor can it really be Christmas week already. Maybe I'm dreaming that up. Stay warm and find brightness on this winter solstice.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poking About

A simple card among my others I am sending out this year- but I think it is one of my favorites.
We had light flurries today, not like further south where they got dumped on and not like the coast of NH which finally got some snow.
I finished wrapping Katie's gifts, gave the house a good vaccing, and am slowly picking up some of the clutter before the holiday clutter arrives in full swing.
Last night went to a work related holiday party, and felt like I was getting sick. Had a blast but it hit my about 9:45 that I felt like crappy and so Dave and I went home. This morning my ear was killing me but it seems a little better now.
Oh, seems like we go 100 miles per hour and then as soon as we stop a cold or something else whams you. This time of year its so busy I'm not surprised I'm fighting something right now.
Happy snow day all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Some cool views of my tree at night, lots of relfections, but almost better than straight tree photos.
I enjoy having my tree, as do the cats who sleep under it.
Finished my shopping yesterday, that's a relief. I love to holiday shop, but I do think some people get a bit carried away, and I do think retailers think that is all the holiday is about.
Tonight is my department holiday party, and they say snow is coming. Not as bad as southern NH and the mid-Atlantic states. Our snow will start after midnight and come down tomorrow- not sure how much we'll get here. Right now they're saying we're just about the top of the 5-8 inch area, but the coast will get a lot more than up here since its a coastal storm.
Now I need to write my Christmas cards and get my wrapping finished...made some cookie dough today so tomorrow I can bake the cookies and also made brownies to take to my party tonight. Love holiday baking and wish I didn't have so many other things to do so I could do more of that.
Anyhow, Happy Saturday and if you're in the arriving snow- are You dreaming of a White Christmas?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Everyone is getting ready for their holiday

Santa's hanging out his suit which I assume has been freshly dried cleaned and pressed so he looks spiffy on the 24th!
I am taking a personal day and staying home to go through gifts (see if I'm done because frankly everything goes into a garbage bag or 2 and I forget what I have), do some wrapping and then go out get the items I don't have and need, like a yankee swap gift for my Saturday night party. Its also bitterly cold- 2.5 degrees F right now, and the arctic wind is whipping- don't mind being in my cozy house I'll tell you. No walk for the Harl today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Car tales

Yes, who would think? On a day when it was in the 40's? My driveway turned to slush and had started to refreeze by the time I arrived home after work. I couldn't make it up, I went to back up to give it another try up and instead slid and backed off the driveway and about 1 millimeter away from a ditch. UGH! Waiting for Dave to get home to rescue me. Guess I need a bit of rescuing every now and again to deflate my independence.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Eating too much

A jolly card, another one of mine for this year. Don't know what the nasty shadow that looks like a smudge is, but its not on the card. This cat is, by the way, my orange man Leo.
So finally I have gotten unstuffed- Dave's office party yesterday was at Richard's Bistro in Manchester, and they are wonderfully yummy, and I ate SOOOOOO much food I was still having tummy rolling stuffiness half of this morning. I had the most yummy and large rib eye steak and chocolate mousse cake...oh boy. And we drove home in the icy snowy slush, because once again, we got snow.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ice Storm-1 year later

Here's some photos from last year's (2008) ice storm. We went from Friday- Tuesday without power- and we were sooooo lucky- some people went almost 3 weeks without power- and we at least had a woodstove to heat with. Even my 79 year old Mom spent the whole time in her basement familyroom with her fireplace running. Trees were down (down in Massachusetts where my family is, there were huge piles (I bet 8 feet tall) everywhere in every yard at Easter when people could finally get out and clean up broken branches and trees- since we got a lot of snow shortly after the storm too) and lots of people couldn't even get out very easily. It was tough times, so I'll will mark the anniversary with some of the photos I took.

Anyhow- last night a few of us girls went down to Somerville, MA-right next to Boston, to go see this burlesque parady of the Nutcracker called the Slutcracker. Clever and creative- the first part was enjoyable and the second part needed a bit of work to keep my attention, but anyhow, it was a fun night out for dinner at a diner and this dance performance with 4 of my good friends from school. I'd say it was an adventure evening, that's for sure. I'd never been to this area before, its right next to Tufts University, and it was very attractive. The trees in the square we were at had white lights and except that the arctic wind has made its way into NH and MA, it was a great night to be out doing a bit of holiday cheering.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Temperature is a dropping

So got to school today and the seacoast has NO snow. Nothing. Nada. Just over the bridge from Dover to Portsmouth the ground went from white to brownish-green. Weird how that happened. But  here we're quite white, though our 12 inches of snow has sunk to about 6 inches as it settled and we did get some rain last evening. Now the wind has picked up and it is getting cold. Suppose to be quite cold tomorrow- and of course its the girls night out in Boston-some of us ladies at school are going for a fun night of holiday cheer- can tell you more Saturday- though it will be a very long day-thinking I might not make it back to NH and my warm bed until the wee hours on Saturday.
Here's another one of my holiday cards. The stamps are B Line for the tree choppers, Hero Arts for the saying and a cool postmark I picked up in London last february at Blade Rubber Stamps.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What Katie and I did on our SNOW day!

We got dumped on today- at least 12 inches, was a really needed snow day. Busy day- here's what Katie and I did besides going to school
1) slept in
2) vaccuumed the first floor
3) watched Samantha Brown in Barcelona

4) Katie worked on her quilt

and Leo loved laying on it- as did Harley too!

5) I made some homemade bread with dried fruit

4 loaves!!!!

5) And I cooked the turkey carcass from Thanksgiving-finally- and made turkey soup!
6) We watched the Santa Claus II

7) And shoveled- since Dave is still on his 7 pound lifting restriction. I look like a troll here!
8) And I finished my mom's birthday party scrap book-was just about done before today- here's a couple of photos!

It was a great day to be home!