Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Allons-y

My husband has beautiful eyes.

When he was young, his mother told him that, one day, a young lady would fall in love with those eyes. She was totally right


So when he told me that he wanted to drive to Bellingham before driving to Eugene (which happens before we drive to Lincoln City), I was, ultimately, putty.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Sparkly Shoes Blog


I've been looking for sparkly shoes lately - sparkly shoes for less than $30.  Thing is, I couldn't find any that weren't:

a.) Open toed (too cold)

b.) Too tall (I'm already two inches shy of six feet. I don't need a 4.5 inch platform, thank you much. I'm going to church, not to Vegas.)

c.) Too expensive (though I found the perfect pair... for $149 plus tax.)

Yesterday morning, I *literally* woke up with one thought in my head - could I make sparkly shoes?

I asked my husband. Had to ask twice, actually, because I kept mumbling (first thought, you know). He thought the chances were pretty good.

When I was awake, I poked around online. I found this (rather adorable) video, which was a good start, followed by this excellent post. I used the Dainty Squid's method of mixing the glitter with the Mod Podge, using heels instead of flats and spending a long time taping up the edges before starting.

$16.99 Payless Heels
 I put on four coats, followed by a final topcoat.





Tesla, waiting for me to finish so I could come play.

Honestly, I couldn't be more pleased. Because I mixed the glitter with the Mod Podge, they don't shed at all - every bit of glitter is sealed up. I didn't even get through half of the $5 bottle of Martha Stewart glitter (in Hematite), either. The next time I do this (and there will be a next time), I'm looking forward to using another Martha glitter - the extra fine texture and sophisticated color really make the shoes special.

So there's my Christmas project - what are you working on?


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sur La Table




...is also the name of a store. But that's not what this post is about.

When not traveling, moving, or raising a spirited (read: obstinate) puppy, I've spent the past year cultivating a new book project. Though new is a bit of a misnomer, since it was cooking in my head well before Jayne made an appearance.

But it's been what I like to call a slow-cooker idea, requiring a lot of time to develop. In between, it has changed tremendously in the best way.

One key component of the book has been the same, however - it has always been about the food.

Well, that and two people who find each other. But they eat well.

The two specific kinds of cuisine found in the book are French and Italian. Now, I'm fairly conversant in Italian food. It's really pretty straight-forward and very accessible. Versions of it can be found in Olive Gardens, Macaroni Grills, and in every restaurant where someone boils pasta and tops it with sauce.

French food...it's a bit trickier.

There is often some technique involved in French cookery, and if not, there's the appearance of technique. You don't find Coq au vin in pizzerias, or cassoulet at buffets. Shari's does not have tarte tatin month. Here in Tri-cities, the likelihood of my finding a little French bistro is well below nil.

But I need it for the book, so I popped onto Amazon and picked out a small selection of books, as well as a blue steel crepe pan that I'm really quite in love with.  But along with the crepe pan, it's obvious that I'll also need a proper Dutch Oven soon, as well as a roasting pan and a tart pan (had one, but the bottom is missing and that's a somewhat crucial piece). Oh, and ramekins.
"Lodge" Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart
After flipping through the books - which look amazing - it's very clear that I will have to get over my dislike of whole roasted chicken specifically, and my inexperience when it comes to roasting meats in general.

(I've roasted vegetables - does that count for anything?)

But it's been a good year for expanding my repertoire, since I'm now quite proficient with cutlets, sauces, and roux making. Oh, and custard.

This is Walter. He likes custard.
Well, off to contemplate making potato leek soup.  Will post later as the food adventures continue...