Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Car

Last Friday, Friday the 13th, I joined the world of hybrids and purchased a brand new spanking Prius IV.  I'm glad I am not superstitious - I had a fleeting thought whether I should actually buy it or wait until the next day.  Naw - I didn't.  My intention was to just test drive it - yeah right.  I am excited about the gas mileage I am suppose to get considering the news reports keep saying gas prices will be going up.  It is almost 1 week old and I am still lovin' it. I hardly miss my Lexus SUV.  My first long trip will be to Art & Soul - Virginia Beach here I come.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Goals and word for 2012

I am not one for making resolutions since I can rarely keep them.  This year I want to reach "for the stars" as the saying goes and reach out to others.  I want to take my art business to the next level and to discover, by trial and error, new ways to add to my own techniques data base and share this with the art community.  My word for 2012 is reach.  I want to push my self beyond what I think I am capable of and reach out to others whether this be in the world of art or just helping others in need.

My second goal is to finish, yes FINISH, all my unfinished projects, which there are many.  I have books to hand bind and many pieces of jewelry to finish in all areas; beading, PMC and metalsmith items to name a few.

I also have a third, to actually complete a project in at least one on-line class I have signed up for!  This will be a challenge.

How well are you at completing your goals?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Catching up and saying Good Bye to 2011

It has been a whirl wind December right through Christmas Day. (I always take the last 2 weeks off in December.)  We celebrate Christmas with my husbands daughters and their families on Christmas Eve.  Christmas Day is suppose to be a very relaxing day for us, sleep in, open presents, have our signature breakfast followed by a movie and then just relax and do nothing.  This year we skipped the "just relax" part.  We were invited to a friends for dinner and hoopla, so after the movie we went directly to my friends home.  Lots of people were there, food was great and the games were fun.  The following day and the remainder of the week I pretty much did nothing but relax, read a book, picked and choose what to do around the house.  I did absolutely no art work, no jewelry making, no book making, no paper design, just pretty much nothing to write about anyway.  It felt good.  Maybe I needed this break!  I could get very used to retirement and this life style.  Maybe 2012 will be the year.  I decided I will know when it is time.  I told my husband he would be the first to know, then my employer and then my financial advisor, who has said for the past 2 years I am good to go.  I am back at work and still pondering how nice it was to do nothing for a whole week!

Now to catch up.  Below are pictures of the finished gingerbread houses my husband's grandchildren decorated.  They were not as elaborate as in the past but a good job was done by all.  I had trouble with the first batch of royal icing, which did cause some problems at first, but was soon corrected.  I believe the youngest grandchild ate more icing and candy while decorating than he put on his house.  LOL

In process....

The girls finished houses.

The boys finished houses.

Every year I make caramel chocolate pretzel rods and caramel triple dipped chocolate apples.  I made 14 dozen pretzel rods, plus a bag of gluten free pretzel twists.  First the rods are dipped and coated in caramel, then dipped and coated in chocolate then rolled in either sprinkles, nuts, peppermint, heath bar or peanut butter cups.  Yum yum.  The apples are dipped and coated in caramel, dipped in milk chocolate, dipped in dark chocolate and then drizzled with white chocolate.  I had a hard time fining very large apples this year but one of the local grocery stores finally came through.  After all this making and packaging I only took pictures of the pretzels and not the apples and did not make any for myself.  Such restraint.  Over the years friends who receive these are now indicating which coating they prefer on the pretzels.  I have to keep a list of who likes what and what not.  I chuckle every year over this.

Wishing everyone a prosperous and healthy 2012! 

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us."   ~Ralph Waldo Emerson