I am the kind of person who gets more satisfaction out of wrapping a present than giving or getting one. I am always excited when sent on a gift-wrapping mission and this time did not disappoint! I started with the idea of creating a gift basket, which then evolved into including a take-out box and supplies, which then lead me to the dogs-in-knitted-sweaters paper (found at my local art supply store, but you can also find it online here).
Every year during the holidays, my family makes a gingerbread house. Normally I participate more in the deconstruction rather than the construction, but it’s always a highlight for me. This year, after seeing the Lego set for the Weasley’s Burrow, I thought, what a great gingerbread house that would be. There are photos and instructions available online (sometimes from professional bakers/prop-makers/architects), but I am lucky to have a dad who is both obsessive and awesome. He created his own template and (due to a sudden emergency – what’s Christmas without one?) did all the work himself.
I’ve already been on the lookout for an idea for next year and, ever the competitor, I’m tempted to give one a go myself. Perhaps a family wide, long-distance bake-off is in order!
Wait, what year is it? Oh right. 2011.
It took me a few seconds to grasp what I received in the mail this week: chain mail. I don’t mean email – I mean a real letter in the post. A letter with instructions that I must complete within a week. Only these actions were not to ward off great misfortune, but instead to recieve a bunch of squares of purple fabric for a quilt. Fun! And that means you continue to recieve mail as people work their way through the list.
My 12 year old self could not be more delighted.
Our record player has been out of commission for so long. We finally discovered that it was irrevocably damaged and decided to replace it with a version with a USB cable. This means we can import our vinyl collection into our digital library! My person and I have been working our way through the documentary of the History of Jazz (it’s about 20 hours long) and now we can finally seek out and listen to some of the artists we have been learning about!
Also, how records are made.
Marcel Shell with Shoes on is a charming & oddball video that first came out last year (see the first one here). I was so excited to hear that a second video has been released. Did you know there is also a book of Marcel? I came across it in the shelves at work the other day and immediatly raced around to try to find a co-worker to share the wonderful event that was a surprise Marcel discovery. Sadly, no one else knew about the video and looked mystified at 1). my increasingly higher pitch and 2). my general excitment. The illustrations are paintings and I love how the font seems to perfectly capture Marcel’s voice.
So check out the new Marcel video and then go find the book!
I tried out 36-hour cookies this weekend. According the New York Times, this is THE cookie recipe you have been waiting for and you’re going to need to extend that wait for another 36 hours. Luckily for me, one of my favourite gluten-free bloggers converted it. I halved the amount of sugar and butter (I don’t like an overly-sweet cookie), added walnuts, but followed the rest of the instructions exactly. I did have a moment where I considered using quinoa and bean-flours and flax seeds, but decided instead to get over any healthy inclinations I was having. These are cookies after all. I sneaked in a bite of the dough and was shocked to discover that it actually tasted good! Those who have food allergies will appreciate what a feat this is! Normally g.f. goods taste fine once they are cooked but certainly not during the dough stage.
I dutifully wrapped up the dough and put it in the fridge to wait. And wait and wait and wait. 36 hours is a long time, but I assure you it was worth it. The vanilla, the brown sugar, the sea-salt on top….you could taste them all in each bite. Crunchy but not too crunchy, chewy but not too chewy, these really are my perfect chocolate chip cookies. Thank you, Thank you Gluten Free Girl!
Yes, Halloween has been over for about 10 minutes. Bear with me.
This has been the year of month-long challenges. Self-Stiched September, a hot-yoga challenge (7 days left!) and now, I’m gearing up for December Daily. This is a scrapbooking challenge, which is something I haven’t done in a long time (you can see some of my pages here). The part I like about this challenge is that you do as much before December as possible, so that during the busy times all you need to do is take a daily photo. I’m using this challenge as a means to use up whatever craft supplies I have lying around. I assembled 31 pieces of Christmas-appropriate paper and now have the rest of the month to squirrel away magazine clippings, pins, and various other ephemera to complete it with.
Okay December. I can wait. For now.