Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Mother's Day Papercut (#2)" or "A Lesson in Procrastination"

So I just now finished this second Mother's Day paper cut I mentioned ages ago. All I added was the upper corner hearts and the quote, and it took no time at all, but I am just really good at putting things off. In fact, there's all sorts of other things I'm putting off at this very moment! So if I ever mention starting something and then it never seems to come up again, I'm probably still "working" on it. (Luckily my Christmas projects have a deadline. More on those later.) Anyway, I thought the message on this particular paper cut was an appropriate one for Thanksgiving weekend. And here's a tip (although it comes a couple days late): "If you're at a Thanksgiving dinner, but you don't like the stuffing or the cranberry sauce or anything else, just pretend like you're eating it, but instead, put it all in your lap and form it into a big mushy ball. Then, later, when you're out back having cigars with the boys, let out a big fake cough and throw the ball to the ground. Then say, 'Boy, these are good cigars!'" --Jack Handey

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Intense Ginger Cookies

These triple ginger cookies accompanied me to a friend's house for Thanksgiving today. I've made them quite a few times over the past year and so much recently that, to be honest, I'm actually kinda sick of them. Not the best endorsement, huh? But, no, they are really very good, especially if you like a real ginger punch. And I love the texture--soft and chewy. I've decided I prefer them without the star anise and this time around I added ground clove (1 tsp.) and cinnamon (2 tsp.) with good results. I've found two tricks that help with mincing the crystallized ginger (which can be very difficult to work with): Freeze the ginger and the knife you'll be using beforehand. This helps prevent a sticky mass of ginger goo. But I was just re-reading the recipe, and I don't think I'd read before the author's advice on turning the crystallized ginger basically into a paste, so maybe I haven't been going about this exactly right. Oh well, the result has been good regardless.

Friday, November 13, 2009


This week Wednesday we (our little family trio plus my dad) travelled a little over an hour outside Austin, to the small town of Fredericksburg. There we found interesting architecture

a German Christmas pyramid (at a standstill, expectedly)
and, the highlight of the trip, an antique store likened by my dad to Miss Havisham's estate. The back of the store and small courtyard it opened onto were remarkebly deserted--of both customers and employees-- giving us free roam for taking pictures.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I hear (mostly children's) music!

I was recently thrilled to discover this:
And also this and this, neither of which I have yet but look forward to getting at some point.

And this

has made for some good listening lately, although I haven't seen the movie yet. But what really made me want to write a post about music is this song. Oh my goodness, I love it. So cute and catchy and just great. So far I only have this one song of theirs, but I am itching to get the whole album.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nature Magnets

AKA "easiest magnets to make ever," because all I did here was glue a magnet on each of these different little nature finds--two shells, two acorns, and a lightweight (lava?) rock.

These came about because I wanted some magnets I could put on the fridge at toddler-level for Zoë to play with. Unfortunately they don't really hold up to the rigors of her play (she throws them on the floor and the magnets fall off), plus I don't know that the glue I used should be on something that might wind up in her mouth. But I am fairly certain they will hold up just fine for normal adult (or older child) use. I've successfully made some with both super glue and hot glue gun glue, and am sure E-6000 or similar would work well, too. Maybe even Elmer's would be fine, which might be preferable since it is not stinky and toxic like E-6000. Here a couple of them are flipped over so you can see the little magnets.

Which, by the way, are the best magnets ever! Tiny and strong. "Neodymium" magnets, they're called, and they're available on Ebay in all different shapes and sizes. For this type of project, I like the round ones that are 1/4" x 1/16." I also have some thicker ones (1/8") and they are almost too strong, but would be good if you're working with heavier objects.

Sunday, November 1, 2009