Saturday, December 31, 2011

A bit of Christmas Before and After

It seems that anywhere I've lived, no matter what the arrangement,
 there is always a whole bookshelf full of books that has to be moved at Christmastime.
On the bookshelf "mantle" are favorite framed Christmas cards, with an Icon of Saint Nicholas hanging above.
Marcus and Tilly can be out for Christmas now that they are safe from the cat under their new bell jar.

The metal tree was filled with sprays and berries and birds.  Some glass snowflakes and crystal drops sparkled.

I went out for a real tree and the Christmas tree lot was empty!   So I ran to Whole Foods and bought a tabletop tree.
Ginger kitty thinking about jumping into the pile of ornaments.
For the small tree I had to chose and edit the ornaments, from a collection that spans decades.
I made a lot of them.  In years gone by, often when people came to visit, I could give them a new ornament right off the tree.  When I travel, I like to look for an ornament to bring home as a souvenir.
 The porcelain horse is from Washington, DC. There are a lot of horses in the collection!
I always fret until I find the flocked bunny from Germany.
This is the other tree. Yes there are two trees in the room.
I love Christmas trees!   
My daughter Kat and her daughter just moved into a new apartment, so the ladder was already out and handy.
Her ornaments hadn't moved yet, so she bought a lot of inexpensive red balls. Ta da!
An angel kitty for Ginger kitty, who thinks the tree holder is a water dish just for her.
There is a tiny golden Santa that my daughters have worn as jewelry to holiday events.
There's a tiny nutcracker, too.  I've lost the Angel.

Here is a small flocked deer, with a trumpeting angel.  I don't use glass balls, but these paper mache balls coordinate with the handmade and figurative ornaments.

A blue velvet bird.  I've made them in red velvet and white velvet. The velvet ones take the longest to make.
More about blue birds coming up!

Getting ready to go out now.
 Happy New Year Everyone! Chloe

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Marcus and Tilly finished the last of their Christmas preparations.

Marcus and Tilly finished the last of their Christmas preparations. by chloe & ivan
Marcus and Tilly finished the last of their Christmas preparations., a photo by chloe & ivan on Flickr.
Tilly made a bucket of cookies to have with Champagne while they relaxed and decorated.
Marcus hadn't been able to wait until Christmas Day to give Tilly her gift, a vintage silver keepsake box.
Marcus didn't know it yet, but Tilly had taken the Trans Am to get detailed,
and bought him shiny new tools.

For anyone just finding Marcus and Tilly this Christmas, their story began a couple of years ago.
Most of it is here so you can catch up!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gift wrap station underneath a Winter Sampler

Time to get serious!  I have a little shopping to do, then wrap, wrap, wrap.
The sampler quilt is very simple because I developed it for teaching classes,
a long time ago. The blocks are a patchwork house, an easy tree, an Ohio Star,
and an appliqued Cardinal. I don't know why I didn't bind this one in red,
I made so many other quilts with red edges.
You can see the tangerine marmalade that arrived from my sister in California,
I won't be giving that away!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Macy's Story

The other night I recognized a woman having her dinner break at Uno's on the mall as someone that I had pictures of from a year ago.  I approached her and asked if I could get her name and take a new picture.
Last year when the Rockettes came to Providence she had brought a picture of her Mother in the line of Rockettes, taken in 1956!  She brought the large print to a Macy's event we were attending to get tickets to see the Rockettes Christmas Spectacular.
Wendy Evans with her Picture of the Rockettes from 1956.

Her mother, Beverly Heath is in the chorus line in the picture. She was a Rocketter from 1956-1958.
All the other Mothers were oooing and awing over the photo.
You weren't supposed to take pictures in the theater. Her father, who ushered at the Music Hall, got hold of some brand new film from Kodak. It was the first film that didn't have to have flash.
He sneakily took that black and white picture that is now a family treasure.
The new generation of Rockettes were happy to take a picture with her and her Mother's picture.

                                              There was another gerneration watching.
Here is a new picture of Wendy being fabulous for the Men's Department in Macy's.
I'll put up some more pictures from the Rockettes later.
I think because of Miracle on 34th Street I associate Macy's with Christmas!
The Rockettes Christmas Show is certainly Christmasy.
Later, Chloe

Sunday, December 18, 2011

9 jars of Apple Butter for gifts ready to go.

There are potent cranberries in the fridge, and a new batch of cranberries cooling. The new batch will get potato vodka in it for a gluten-free friend.
And some for me.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Protester, cover of Time Magazine by Shephard Fairey

I am thrilled that Shephard Fairey made the illustration for Time magazine's Person Of The Year Issue.
Here is what he had to say
A lot of critics are babbling on, I didn't put all the links, you can find them.
I first became aware that everyone is not a fan when I saw how an installation of his  in Providence was tagged and defaced.
This was too bad, it was such a treat to see it in the city at a construction site, until it was hit.
                           Shortly after that, he designed a new mural for Providence. 
Underneath the mural are the local landmarks used in the image.
Sometime before that he was arrested in Boston on the night of his Museum Opening.
and created the iconic Obama Hope poster.
Which has been reworked for the Occupiers
Some of whom have rejected it, feeling that it looks too close to the Obama campaign poster.
Before all of this, I had one of these

Which I took out of the frame and he graciously signed
The critics are being harsh,
whoever spray painted the poster in Providence was a hater, too
                      Shephard Fairey is living the dream of an Artist making a living and making a difference.
I am writing this in support of someone decent and creative.
Our local Occupiers could use some graphic inspiration for all their signs,
but that's another subject.
photos by Chloe C

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Apple butter

Finished the apple butter today, canned 4 jars for gifts, refridgerated 1 jar for me.  I made the apple butter in 2 stages, first cooked all the chopped apples in the skin and got applesauce,

That is a lot of mess for a bowl of applesauce!
Then that whole mess minus my bowlful was cooked again today, together with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and ground cloves.
Today the apples cooked almost all day.  They cook down and concentrate into spiced apple deliciousness.
It's a miracle.  The jars all sealed.  Well not really a miracle, it's science.
I get nervous waiting for the ping when the jars seal. Maybe you don't.
Four presents, the recycled jam jar full of apple butter is for me.
My favorite way to have apple butter is on whole wheat English muffins, with lots of butter or margerine.
             I bought English muffins in advance.
             This is so good.
             The texture is silky, the spices are apparent without being overwhelming.

             Practically perfect in every way.
             Not me.
             Not this kitchen.
             But the Apple butter is.
             I think I'll make some more.

Apples ready to pick at the orchard.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gifts getting done

The first bottle of Cranberry liqueur went out, to the home of a party last night. I wrapped twine a few times around the neck of the bottle and tied it in a bow.
Didn't take a picture which would have been all cute and simple and inspirational because I spent the night before in Penn Station in New York because I missed my train and was going to the party on no sleep.

Learned that they like cranberries.  Good thing!  I figured that if they didn't like cranberries, they could use it for a mixer throughout the holidays.
I have a lot of fabulous cranberry mash left in the fridge, can't buy more vodka to put in it until payday.
Here is where I started

This is starting to make me think about the cranberries in the jar like sour dough starter.  Gee, I could just keep adding.
I'll keep you posted about how long the cranberries last.
I hope forever.  I love cranberries.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Better get some Christmas going around here

This morning I was in a panic about whether it was Tuesday or Wednesday.
Had to check online to verify the day.

I will have to keep tasting the cranberry liqueur to find out if it is ready.
We will see how much will be left to give away!
I am using the New York Times recipe,
I poured the whole bottle of vodka in, instead of 3 cups.
I'm sorry, 3 cups of vodka wasn't going to make very many people merry.
Just thinking ahead.

After the tasting and the giving away, I will have quite a potent mash of cranberries left over.
I'm going to take the cinnamon sticks out.  It is cinnamony enough. 
I wasn't even sure I wanted to put them in.
I like Lemon peel in there better.
Now I will have vodka and cranberry soaked cinnamon sticks.
Think I will dump them into the apple butter.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Worse than setting stones. Took apart a 1941 Cadillac hood ornament.

Worse than setting stones.  Took apart a 1941 Cadillac hood ornament. by chloe & ivan
Worse than setting stones. Took apart a 1941 Cadillac hood ornament., a photo by chloe & ivan on Flickr.
I was afraid. Very afraid.

Couldn't scratch the chrome piece behind, couldn't let unknown brass crack. Couldn't bend anything.
It had to come apart to replate the Cadillac insignia gold.
I have a few ideas about why it is copper now, but it is supposed to be gold.
It is going to the platers in the morning before I get to work, I left a big note.
Most of jewelry works 7-3:30. Kinda cool in the Summer, they have time to go to the beach.
Whereas the rest of us, the so called talent, are there later and don't get to go to the beach after work because we stumble in so late in the morning

A few days later, shiny new plating is back from the platers. 
Chrome for the wings and gold for the emblem.   Now to put it back together and get the color back in.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Working my way through the dollar menu.

Working my way through the dollar menu. by chloe & ivan

Working my way through the dollar menu., a photo by chloe & ivan on Flickr.
This has been excessive fun - there is a new Bar Louie in Providence, they are having a big promotion of a martini and a small plate for a dollar. One dollar.

Here is a closeup of olives.  Could just have olives and Blue Cheese for dinner.
Four burger sliders with spicy cheese and bacon and onion straws, with a Louie Cosmo, one dollar.

Chicken nachos with a Dirty Martini with 3 olives stuffed with Blue Cheese, one dollar.

Maetballs with sauce and cheese and crispy Parmesan garlic toasts and another martini, one dollar.
It ends on Wednesday, and then I will have to be walking 5 miles a day to make up for this!
But not before having one of the big Tuesday dollar burgers and a few more Martinis. 
Yay for Bar Louie this week!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Breakfast, Friday morning after Thanksgiving.

Breakfast, Friday morning after Thanksgiving. by chloe & ivan
Breakfast, Friday morning after Thanksgiving., a photo by chloe & ivan on Flickr.
Later that day
Is it wrong to have pumpkin pie twice in a day?
I don't think so.
It is a vegetable.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy Providence and a few thoughts about leadership and coming in out of the cold.

Occupy Providence by chloe & ivan
Occupy Providence, a photo by chloe & ivan on Flickr.
Our people have done well.
Our city has handled this well.
Our police have shown restraint and have been helpful.
The messages are getting out and people are thinking.

I stayed for a GA the other night, a general assembly.
There are problems in the park with campers who do not share the same ideals.

A proposal was put forth about circling the wagons, or the arrangements of the tents, for safety.
Some people felt that the proposal was divisive in language, and excluded some of the campers.
At the end of the meeting, the proposal did not pass, and some of the people from the safety group said they were going to leave.  It was very emotional. 
There have been problems that the safety working group have had to call rescue.
There have been problems in the camp that have nothing to so with the protest.
There have been drug and health and mental health related situations.
There have been encounters with people who have documented offensive backgrounds.
No revolution has ever been a tidy legislated change.
The first sketches can look rough and messy.
I think that in the end, it is inspired leadership that turns the tide.
I do not know why the idea of no leadership is so strong.  In looking for examples of brave women leaders and revolutionaries, I came upon the news of the recent death of Laura Pollen, leader of the Women in White protesting unjust arrests in Cuba.  The world has lost a conscientious and committed leader.
 These ladies also hold to the idea of no hierarchy within their group, like our occupiers. 
This is puzzling to me, when her leadership was so apparent. 
Our Occupiers have made a community and created a network of communication and comraderie.
That community can be better sustained inside during the Winter.  Group actions are not dependent on freezing in the night, being assaulted by the nieghbors in the park, and being misunderstood by many of the working people they are raising issues for.
Get inside.  Winter is coming.
Much love, Chloe C.

An update:  Feb 9, 2012
I was reading this today, and think I am understanding more about the idea of "leaderless" and why they want it so.
btw, our Occupiers are inside now. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Full moon cooking

Started with Morning Muffins.
Not such a hard thing to throw muffins together before work in the morning.
Plumped dried berries from Trader Joe's.
Cream cheese with an egg and sugar and vanilla between layers of muffin batter.
I love cheesecake for breakfast.
Cream cheese ran all over outside of the muffin papers and now I have to scrub my 8 muffins muffin pan.
Still pretty tasty.
Just saying it is possible to make muffins in the morning before you go to work.

Then I thought about macaroni and cheese all day.
While I was at work where I was supposed to be making new cool stuff
I was thinking about macaroni and cheese.
I did make a cool thing at work, almost finished,
but here is the macaroni and cheese.
Between almost finishing the cool thing at work and the macaroni and cheese
I saw the moon in a magenta tinged sky
It was an OK Tuesday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rescuing Begonias

These are part of the Begonia rescue operation.
Our city had beautiful flower baskets hanging up
Winter is coming, they had to come down.
We've already had a snowstorm.
The baskets had been taken down and were laying on the ground,
waiting to get picked up and taken to a flower basket cemetery somewhere.
I broke off some of the stems, and took them to work on the bus.
Brought them home from work,
cut them again, greedy for more,
and put them in the vases to root.

The thing about rooting is that you look at the stems every day,
looking for something, any sign that they will root.
Usually just when you've given up, suddenly there are roots.

I have more rescued Begonias inside.
These came out of Hurricane Irene. 
I was walking through our city during the hurricane,
and saw the pore little things torn right out of the ground by the fierce wind.
It looked as though they had just been planted right before the storm hit,
their roots were still in 2" square clumps, getting pounded by the fierce rain.
So I picked them up and brought them home.
 They are now in new bigger pots, and after looking hopeless for a while,
they are thriving.
So next Spring I will have pink and white Begonias for the balcony.
That is, if the cat doesn't trample them too badly.
This cat has previously not been kind to Begonias.
Cat in the Begonia pot.