Monday, December 23, 2013

Mogget Monday: Exhausted

Exhausted from all the holiday preparations, Mogget fights off the urge to nap on the kitchen floor.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Homemade Holiday Cards

I've been waiting to share my homemade holiday cards until I was certain my near-and-dears had actually received them. Nothing gives you the warm fuzzies like seeing your mail on the internet first, right? Usually, I buy a box of cards from my favorite local bookshop. Last year was a fabulous Edward Gorey scene depicting the dispatching of unwanted fruitcake. This year I was feeling ambitious enough to make my own.
The cards are of simple design and process, but it was positively pleasant to play around with my watercolors and make something unique for my recipients. Check it out!

Phase 1: Play with painters tape. The border is approximately half an inch around- I eyeballed it. Using a razor blade I cut the tape into 1/4' strips and arranged in different triangle patterns.

 Phase 2: Paint! I used watercolors for a majority of the segments. To add a little extra "merry merry" to the cards I filled in a segment or two with a metallic gold acrylic paint.

Phase 3: Wait patiently for paint to dry. This was the hardest part.

 Phase 4: Remove painters tape. Create gaint, curly tape ball and be overly amused.

 Phase 5: Ooo and ahh at the nearly complete project.
Phase 6: Cut cards apart with razor blade and straight edge. Use a bone folding tool create a firm crease. Pen heartfelt message inside.

Ta-da! I had such a great time making these cards I made a larger scale painting to proudly display in my apartment, which I will share with you in the future. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Nest: Holiday Decorations

Last year I didn't do much to spruce up my apartment for the holidays. With no plans to entertain, I lacked the desire to do more that slap a wreath on the door and put out a stinky candle on the coffee table. Not so say I was a complete miser- I did help my mother-in-law decorate her home, accompanied my sister to the Nutcracker ballet, wore a sparkly sweater, and was up to my eyeballs in holiday programs and music gigs. Honest.

Even though my entertaining plans are small and limited, I was actually itching to bust out the trimmings back in November. I exhibited some impulse control, waited until after Thanksgiving, and kept the decorations at chez refeathered fairly simple: white, green and sparkly things inspired by nature. While some decorations are clearly Christmassy, I wanted to be able to enjoy a majority of my decorations throughout the winter season.
Take a peak!

 The super fluffy doorman at chez refeathered keeps a watchful eye from a twig wreath adorned with silver and white stars. He'll keep his post until spring arrives.

Atop the bar cabinet sits this little arrangement. The pine boughs light up with LED lights, which make the sparklies even more sparkly. Birds and glass tree courtesy of my mum. 

White, green and sparkly arrangement on the table.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mogget Monday: The Snow is Snowin'

The wind is blowin,
But I can weather the storm,
What do I care how much it may storm,
I've got my sister to keep me warm!

Friday, December 13, 2013

More Pie, Please

Who doesn't enjoy a second helping of pie? Time to move on from crusts to the good stuff- the filling! I can't help but gawk at a well-crafted infographic, and this one takes the, erm, cake?  This pie chart of pies from The Modern Farmer is practical guide to baking with seasonal ingredients. Other than the occasional pumpkin or apple pie in the fall, which I guess is seasonal, I generally do not make sweet pies. Since most of my crust adventures lead to savory quiches, I honestly had not considered a calendars worth of conscientious pie fillings. I found the April Chess pie to be quite clever, a "let's make do" filling to bridge the gap from winter citrus to tender spring strawberries.

Ler is strongly hinting at including a "pie of the month" to my 2014 goals and getonits.
Mayhaps, Ler, mayhaps.
So, what's your pie protocol? Do you consciously bake with seasonal ingredients, or does it just work out that way for you? Or do you make whatever you want whenever you want?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lately on Instagram

1. Christmas cactus in bloom before Mogget decided the buds looked like fun toys to bat around the apartment
2. Cranberries for upside-down cake
3 & 4. Decoration shopping with Molly
5. Cat in a basket or Simandl's new favorite spot to hangout
6. Hilarious fourth grade assessment doodle. The people are singing while running away form an unfinished erupting volcano.

What have you been up to lately?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Am Victorious! OR Mmmm, Pie!

This time of year causes many a person to wax poetic about the bounty of the harvest, embracing the earthy essence of the season, the unmistakeable pungency of roasted beets, apples as crisp as the morning air...

I'll spare you the prose. But let's get serious for about an important food group: pie.

The season for garden fresh tomatoes and cucumbers has passed. Now that the regular forecast has shifted away from swamp-monster-hot-and-humid, the idea of using the stove no longer seems ludicrous (no ac at chez refeathered). As part of my Goals and Getonits, I have been trying to be more conscientious of the quality of the food I put in my mouth. As I have mentioned before:
I've become a label reader- yes, that person in the grocery store. I feel it's worth the few extra moments to read. It has certainly been enlightening and encouraged better shopping habits. Not only do I look at ingredients, but I look at where the food is coming from. I try to buy local and seasonal. However, this is easier said than done. The agri-business that is our food supply is a quagmire and will require our constant vigilance. 
In an effort to know exactly what is in my food I have officially given up ready-made pie crusts. This is big news, people. BIG. I've never really liked those refrigerated dough disks, which often taste much like the plastic they are wrapped in. One cannot reach the highest levels of pie satisfaction with a polymer-tinged crust.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mogget Monday: A Little Piece of My Heart

Step 1: Rub face all over heart.
Step 2: Carry heart in mouth. Make strange quack-mrrff sounds.
Step 3: Tear ass around apartment with heart in teeth. Continue quack-mrrffing.
Step 4: Flop over all exhausted.
Step 5: Repeat, preferably during wee hours of the morning.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mogget Mon...err...Tuesday

Keeping an eye on the storm.
Tornado sirens and several bouts of hail in one day made Mogget ever vigilant.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Math + Bacon = Miracles

Oh man, I love a good infographic. I also love bacon. The people at Wired get me.

The article Math Proves Bacon is a Miracle Food is an interesting data snapshot of the nearly 50,000 recipes on the Food Network website. Although I long ago lost interest in most things Food Network related (how many times can one watch two chefs in a head-to-head battle with only 20 minutes to make a lavish dinner for forty guests out of okra while on an underwater carousel...), this is an amusing glimpse at current recipe trends.

I followed the recommendation to read the review section for Rachael Ray' Late-Night Bacon Recipe. I generally avoid reading the comments on widely followed blogs and websites, since it usually results in elevated blood pressure, eye twitching, and my faith in humanity destroyed. This. Is. Hilarious. One of my favorites:
I had a recipe for Late Night Bacon that included "Footloose", but it took 107 minutes. This is much quicker and it, too, includes paper towels for easy cleanup. -GravyJefferson
Read more reviews here.

What are your thoughts? Does bacon make nearly everything better, even when cooked in a microwave?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I realize it has been a bit cat-tastic on the blog lately. I promise I do more than follow Mogget around all day and take her picture. In addition to a number of work obligations, it's been a bumpin' few weeks at chez refeathered!

1. Checking out a new release by Tigernite at the Exclusive Company.
2 & 3. After a few busy days at the WMEA State Conference I ran a marathon...wearing a felt triceratops mask. It was the Haunted Hustle after all! And, yes, 1234 was my actual race bib number.
4. Post marathon cookie baking. 
5 & 6. Scenes from Mondo Lucha.  Guys, this was the best combination of ludicrous and fabulous. It had everything a girl could want. A saucy goat, glitter, rock 'n' roll, and a lucha libre style wrestling team that consisted of a robot and a one legged man called Uno. Seriously.
7. My sister and cohorts rocked it at Mondo Lucha!
8. A long over due trip to Beauty.
9. Taming mutant plants. More on that later.

What have you been up to lately?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Nest: More Proof

More proof that white paint makes everything better! This little wall shelf came from my grandma's house, where she had several of them to display various tchochkes. This particular shelf was tucked away in storage and was a bit beat up.  Like the washroom, I did not take a proper "before" photo. Bad blogger. Take my word though, not a precious piece of wooden furniture. You can find these for a few dollars at most flea markets. 

Before I began painting I scuffed up the finish with some fine grit sandpaper. After thoroughly wiping off the dust with a damp rag, I began the painting process. The first coat always looks like garbage. At this point one often wonders if this course of action was a mistake, or if it's too late to wipe the paint off. Have no fear! When painting over a dark color, it never looks pretty in the beginning.

Looking better after the second coat...

...and even more fantastic after the third. I put the little shelf up in the kitchen and I love it. The perfect place for small, often-used kitchen items, and keeps the garlic and onions out of reach of the cats. Yes, my cats will play with garlic. They are strange beasts. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mondo Lucha

Forget Halloween. This year I am super pumped for my first Mondo Lucha experience.
Flyin' Lucha Libre wrestling! Burlesque and sideshow acts! Bad ass music and bands!
Like Tigernite. This quartet is made up of some of the most awesome humans I know making awesome human party sounds. 

Check out Tigernite at Mondo Lucha on November 2nd. $20 for a boatload of shenanigans. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mogget Monday

October is nearly over, and my minions have yet to deliver a pumpkin spice latte. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fancy That Friday: Cranberry Crush

Shortly after turning eleven I discovered became aware of the Cranberries.* Side note: Don't you think it's interesting how many of us claim to have "discovered" an artist, author, sport, vegetable, etc? As if Item XYZ was in some sort of existential purgatory until you unearthed them at a hipster archaeological dig in central South Dakota. I digress...

I recall hearing Zombie on the radio late one summer afternoon. I instantly smitten with Dolores O'Riordan. Her voice was sweet and feminine, but also raw and powerful. AND she had an Irish accent! I know some people don't care for the frequent breaks in her voice, but I LOVED it. It was so different than the Celine Dion garbage that was being pumped through every. single. place. In a year of The Power of Love, I'll Make Love to You, and Stay (I Missed You), I appreciated that Dolores didn't sing about rubbing up on anyone. She sang about political conflict, poetry, and her own flaws. Her voice was real, her lyrics and emotions felt genuine, and my little tween heart latched on hard.**  This week I'm unashamedly embracing the weirdness of the mid-90s with:

that hair! Not only did I adore Dolores's voice, I was enamored by her look.  I soooo wanted her haircut, but was too big of a chicken to chop off my hair until I was in college. While my fears of a pixie-cut were unfounded, I did learn that blonde (well, brassy-orange) is NOT a good look for me.  

these boots and this  blazer. Dr. Martens are most certainly an icon of 90s style. I remember looking at the album cover and thinking she's wearing combat boots and a t-shit with a suit! If only I could be that anti-establishment... or something like that.

this look. Achieve rock star worthy smokey eyes with this set from Too Faced. This matte red lipstick from smashbox is a must.

and this headdress and maxi dress to channel your inner Zombie.

What artist caught your fancy as a kid?

* My parents put up with me listening to the album No Need to Argue nonstop for weeks... and singing along poorly in my bedroom. Saints, they are.
**Feeling old. The word tween had not yet made it to mainstream lexicon when I was that age.