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