Friday, January 30, 2009

Bride wench

Yesterday I got official news that I'm going to be a bridesmaid in Ben and Jo's wedding! I am very very excited because I love both of them dearly. I can't wait to be part of their special day. Jo called me to officially ask me, and of course I said yes! We then talked about wedding colors, dresses and flowers. She is quite excited for the big day and nervous too.

Once E got home I asked him if he'd heard, he said yes, Ben had told him. Ben and E didn't know if a married woman could be a brides'maid', they knew there was a special term for a married maid (it is matron), and they both agreed that the official term must be "bride wench". Lovely. Fantastic.

So I guess the official announcement is thus: In early August come to Ben and Jo's wedding. E and I will be there: groomsman and wench.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More crafting

I've been working on more crafting. Will I ever be done? Will I ever find a job? Yes, you are asking yourself the same questions my sweet husband asks every day. Truth is, the job market sucks. Really really sucks. There is nothing out there worth having. I'm just really happy that E has a job that can support us both, for awhile. Yes, I will work again, I do not plan on being a slug forever. Trust me.

So here is what I am doing when I'm not looking on the job boards-
Here I am working on crafts at my mom's house (again). Jack jumped up on my lap and is purring like crazy. What a good boy.
Then he sees something that catches his eye....
"What could it be?" he asks himself while he licks his lips.
Attack! Mama gnome is pinched between his ruthless jaws! Hurry! Grab Jack, pull out Mama gnome from his mouth, and plop Jack back on the floor where he belongs.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Weekend sewing

Saturday I sewed. Wanted to kill my machine or my fingers, couldn't decide which. Sunday I sewed and had much better luck. I ended up making three new outfits (my own patterns!) for Alyssum. Here they are.

This is the outfit that wanted to murder me. The collar, which I love now that it is complete, and the little cap sleeves, which I also love, were the items giving me so much grief. The bodice is linen and collar and skirt are both silk. I found that Alyssum's clothes are so tiny, that a silk hankie gives me plenty of fabric to work with, and hankies come in virtually every color.

Now that I am done with this dress I love it. Love it. But it did try to kill.
Would you like a little chocolate?
Next dress I worked on was MUCH easier because the lack of the sleeves and the collar. Because this dress is missing those things, I don't like it quite as much, but here you go. This is the "spring grass dress". Again, linen bodice, silk skirt. All the spring grass is silk embroidery ribbon. Try to ignore the pink hair ribbons, this dress has green ones, but I didn't change them.
Alyssum is more than ready for spring to arrive.
The last dress is the "seaside dress". Alyssum's cousins and auntie sent this to her from the seaside rocks where they live. The colors are very ocean inspired, and there are even pearls on the end of the belt. This is a very grown up style for Alyssum, but when her cousins were sending a matching dress to Alyssum's big sister, they realized Alyssum would want one too.
Her favorite part are the five pearls on the belt. Because Alyssum is a wood fairy, she's never seen pearls. She is so happy that her cousins who are ocean nymphs sent her these beautiful gifts from the sea.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I've been tagged

Erin M. posted this on her blog and I thought this List of 100 Things you Must do in your Lifetime would be fun to post here.

Everything below that is in bold I've done. Now I just need to work on the rest of them.

1. Started your own blog - hello, you are reading it.
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band - I don't have any musical talent, so I don't see this happening anytime soon.
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a Praying Mantis
10. Sang a solo - again, with the music talent.
11. Bungee jumped - I'd love to do this, I've always wanted to.
12. Visited Paris - It's on my with list!
13. Watched an amazing lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child - this is something I would really like to do. I've adopted a cat, so it's a start.
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - I've stood in front of it, does that count?
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb - not only help, but saved! One time while E and I were on the way to the farmhouse I noticed a tiny lamp on the outside of the pasture fence. We slowed down and stopped. The lamp was crying and crying and trying to get back to her Mommy. I scooped up the little guy and plopped her on the right side of the fence. She was so happy to see her mommy again, she skipped and bounced and tripped. So cute.
26. Gone skinny dipping - anybody that knows me, knows I've done this many many times. Allison might remember "naked parties" after the swim teacher left my house when I was about eight. Erin will remember Lake Powell, convincing her and her sisters to strip down right near her family. Great memories.
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - on my honeymoon.
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - both, many times, in many countries.
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise - I've been on a transatlantic crossing. Does that count? I say yes.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - really awesome, I want to go again.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - I've been to England but have yet to make it to Hungary and Poland. So I've done half of this, hence the reason half is in bold. ;)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - I wish. I'd love to learn Italian one day.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - yes.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person - not that great. Florence is much better.
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David - walk behind to see the best part, his ass!
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - I bought a hobo coffee and a donut once.
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - this is something I hope to never do. Why is it even on this list?
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - I've done both.
52. Kissed in the rain -I've done much much more than kissing ;)
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - there is a drive in in Sanpete right near the farmhouse. We go every summer. This year we saw Wall-E there.
55. Been in a movie - a movie E created, does that count? It aired on TV!
56. Visited the Great Wall of China - this is something I MUST do, and soon!
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving - another thing I really want to do.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - yikes, I'm not sure I could.
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - nope, and not something I really think you "need" to experience.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - been to London twice, this just doesn't interest me.
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - don't think I'll ever do this one. Ever.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby - it's something I want to do
95. Seen the Alamo in person - why is this on here? Anyway, yes, I have. (Funny story, I read this as "albino" when I first wrote this, hence the sarcastic comment. I have not seen the "Alamo" but I will leave it bolded to denote my stupidity!)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - sad so say I've done it.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee - I sat on one when I was about nine. My grandpa pulled the stinger out of my butt. Bad times.
100. Visited Italy

I tag Chelsea, Brittney, Penny, and Colette

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joan's cabin

For about five years every winter my family has made an annual trek up to my second cousin Joan's cabin in Big Cottonwood Canyon. The cabin is not really a cabin at all, more a beautiful house overlooking the ski resorts and surrounding mountains.

This year we E and I headed up there on Saturday morning with food, games and our snowshoeing gear. We left extra early and made it in time for breakfast. Laura had made waffles, eggs, hash and even had three types of juice to choose from. Sweet. After breakfast, instead of gearing up for a snowshoe hike, we decided to relax around the cabin. My mom worked on some crafts, E got on his computer, my Grandma and Laura took a little walk and Mike, Kendra, Chuck and I enjoyed the views and the company.

Finally afternoon rolled around and we still hadn't done much. We decided to have a mini lunch and go on a snowshoe hike. Every other year at Joan's cabin we take a mid day hike, but because we waited until late in the day everything about our normal route was different. The light was low in the sky making the shadows extra long and exaggerated. The shadows were so deep blue and the sunny spots where bright bright white. Lovely.

Here are some photos of the weekend in no particular order-

The shadows on the snow and the aspens leave the viewer longing for more. I love how the snow is striped white and blue with sun and shade.
Playing Cranium at the cabin.
Awesome reflection in E's sunglasses.
My mom made a yeti while crafting, and because the inauguration was on everyone's mind, my mom decided the yeti needed an Obama flag.
This is the view from the living room of the cabin. Gorgeous.
And here is a video of one of the rounds in Cranium. E and I are on my grandma's team. We rock!

Pictonary with the guys

The guys came over to our house on Friday night and we had a great game of Pictonary and dinner. This was extra fun because Mike is back in Utah after spending the last six months in Ohio finishing his masters degree. Mike is fantastic, we missed him so much. Plus, he wanted to make dinner for everyone, and we decided on mole sauce over fish burritos. Yummy.

Here are a few photos of the evening-

Mike at the stove cooking mole sauce with chocolate. Everyone else is serving themselves salads.
Mike with his angry eyes. The longer you don't guess the funnier he gets. We all are laughing so hard buy the end of the night.
E rolling on the floor laughing at Mike's face. And one of our favorite drawings of the night. The word was "head-butt".

Friday, January 16, 2009

Tea in the morning

Because E worked all last weekend, he decided to take today off. We had a wonderful day at home, and it really felt like a Saturday. And, anyone that knows us knows that we always drink tea on Saturday mornings after getting up late. I've noticed lately that the way the sun comes into our kitchen in the morning makes the steam off of our tea look magical. Today I grabbed the camera because I wanted to capture what it looked like as E poured us both a cup.

Isn't is beautiful? I thought so.
The steam swirls up to form spirals, ribbons and waves. It is mesmerizing to watch.
Yep, I think E and I have a little problem. All of these contain tea, all different types from all over the world. My top three favorites are Mélange de Chamonix (a MUST TRY if you are a black tea drinker!), Jasmine, and Ginger Peach. E's favorites are Tie-Guan-Yin Oolong, Russian Caravan and Gunpowder Green tea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Old school

Today I decided to work on a very special blog entry that will be posted on February 14th. While going through some old photos I found this one. I adore it. Everyone is so little, and there are E and I, newly in love! I told E that I loved him for the very first time in August, right around the same time this photo was taken. So here we are, my sibs and E and I, enjoying the wild flowers in the Utah mountains.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday - in photos

I love photo posts on the other blogs I read. I hope you don't mind so many photos.

Here are some photos I snapped today, as I call it, Tuesday in photos.

Before heading over to my mom's to craft today I grabbed our new camera. I have yet to take some great photos of her cats and the crafting, so finally, today I did.

First up Jack, who is a total crazy man. He goes from one bad thing to the next. Today he went from pulling my mom's potted plants apart to tearing across the floor at high speed after an invisible toy to jumping off the chair in the living room to the desk in the dining room. This was an extremely long jump and I'm surprised he made it. Between all of this madness I grabbed him and plopped him in a salad bowl to show how little he still is. He held still for only a moment (luckily this is the same moment the camera focused) and then he was off again, running towards Ivan at full speed.
My mom's three cats, Ivan, Jack and Simon. Simon was my parent's cat when they were still together and he was a kitty I rescued. I'm the one that named him Simon, and I still love the big man dearly. I also adore Ivan and Jack. No, they didn't sit like this willingly, my mom was hoping to get a photo of all three boys, but again, this was the only photo I got before they bolted.
And crafting. Simple pleasure. Everyone should craft once in their life, it is wonderful. Plus, I've had a wonderful time getting to know my mom all over again. I am a very lucky lady to have a mom that loves to craft as much as I do.
And the moon. On the way home from getting ice cream tonight I noticed the beautiful, almost full moon. I wanted to learn how E took that moon photo the other day, so he showed me, and this shot is mine. I love it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I was tagged

Colette tagged me. Here I go.

What are your nicknames? My family usually calls me J or JJ. This came from a trip long ago to Hawaii where I wanted to go cliff diving (I've always been a bit of a daredevil). "Jumping Jessica" came from that day, and that is how JJ or J was born. E sometimes calls me J but mostly bugaboo. I have no idea how he came up with this odd nickname, but I've had if forever. Friends usually call me Jess.

What's your Chinese Astrology sign? Be specific, with the element and stuff! Specific? I know I'm a rooster but I don't really believe in any of that stuff. I don't even know what the element means?!

What's the last book you read? I've had about four false starts. I start a book, read 30-60 pages and decide it is not interesting. The last book I finished in its completion was Anne of Green Gables.

What color shirt are you wearing now? Red and cream striped.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Extrovert. Definitely.

Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer? Firefox.

Do you nap a lot? I love to take naps but try not to on work days. Sometimes on the weekends E and I will lie down for a nap, especially if we are at the farmhouse.

What was/were your favorite childhood toys? Dolls, Playmobil, dollhouse. Mostly dolls.

What's your current fandom/obsession/addiction? America Girl dolls and ball jointed dolls.

What are you currently reading? Little Prince.

What was the last thing you ate today? Some leftover pizza from the fridge.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Not long. 15 minutes tops, and that's if I have to shower. When I worked in an office, 30 minutes tops.

What websites do you visit daily? Google reader (my favorite), Gmail, both my American Girl message boards. Every other day, about, I visit Facebook and eBay.

What's the last movie you watched? Painted Veil. It was pretty good and makes me really want to travel to China.

Do you like to clean? I don't mind doing the dishes or cleaning up after myself, but I hate spending half of a day cleaning bathrooms and such. Yuck.

What time is your usual bedtime? Eleven. E and I usually watch Simpsons and Seinfeld while getting ready for bed and when they are over we turn off the light and go to sleep.

Do you read any web comics? I'm not even sure what web comics are. I guess no, I don't read them.

What is your favorite weather? Warm sunny days in spring. Low 70s, perfect for hiking, biking or relaxing. I love it when the grass has newly turned green and the sky is bright blue.

Where would you see yourself in ten years? A mom, working full time again, and traveling the world with my two kids and wonderful husband E.

I tag Erin, Niana, and Stacey.

Alone, gay pride and gnome cottages

I hope I sufficiently confused you with the title of this post. I wanted to do an update post, and nothing seemed to fit, unless I just grouped together everything I have been up to.

First things first, E is back home! He has been gone for almost a week at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I spent the five days alone crafting, working on Violet's birthday album, and doing the other things listed in the title.

So first things first. Gnome cottage! My mom and I are still crafting like crazy and we decided to make a family of gnomes. Then we started talking and thought it would be adorable to make a little cottage out of felt and embroider the entire thing. We started with the four walls and made yellow windows and a cute little door. As we finished we had ideas for flowers, vines and bushes all around the outside. We added beads and stitches and tons and tons of tiny little pieces of felt to make the cottage whimsical.

Because we both are pretty creative the ideas kept growing and growing and before we knew it we had a three day project on our hands. We ended up embroidering all sorts of flowers and vines, making a tiered scalloped roof and even embroidering the bottom of the house with pipes, snails and spiders. FINALLY I finished the cottage last night and I am loving the result. It is too cute, and it is tiny!

And gay pride? I am really lucky to live in a really open minded family. My Grandma (yes grandma) really wanted to see Milk, the new movie about the gay movement in San Francisco during the 1970s. We ended up inviting my aunt and uncle and my mom and Chuck. We all met for lunch before the movie at Desert Edge, one of the best restaurants in town. Then we saw Milk at the local independent theater. It was fantastic, a little long, but great. Sean Penn is the best actor and he should win the Academy Award for this performance. It was amazing, the same arguments made thirty years ago about gays are still being made today. It was sad to see we haven’t progressed in thirty years.

And of course, while crafting, Matt and Adam (my mom’s gay roommate and his boyfriend) loved looking at what we were working on. We had such a fun time, my mom invited them to stay for dinner and a movie last night. It was so fun to see these too cute guys holding hands! Love it. However, it just made me miss E even more. At 10:30 last night he finally arrived back home. Yea!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another update

I had a friend tell me tonight to "update my blog more often, I love to read it." Sweet! So I went into Picasa (photo program) and pulled a few photos. I don't have anything new to share other than photos. I have applied for a few more jobs, Violet's birthday was yesterday and I didn't do the album I was planning, I've been crafting with my mom, and shoveling the walks daily. Pretty boring actually.

So, here are a few more photos. I'll try to be long winded, so that those people that shall stay nameless will have a lot to read at work when they are trying to waste time! (And I know there are more than one of you!)

Remember my Alyssum post from a few days ago? Well I guess while I was setting up Alyssum in the snow, E took this photo of me. I just found it. Great.... Isn't Alyssum tiny? She is so sweet.
Yep, that's me, again, my paparazzi husband snapping away.
This is a photo I took with E's new lens while snowshoeing. I'm so glad I got a turn with his camera, it takes the nicest photos.
Another one of E's shots with his new lens. Damn, that's impressive.
I didn't post this in the farmhouse post because I've taken better eagle shots (see here!), but here is a bald eagle I spotted last weekend.
Boy, I wasn't long winded at all. I lose.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I am frozen

I am frozen. My basement is a freezer and this weekend was no better. The average weekend temp was only around 7 degrees in Sanpete County. Brrr. E and I went down there on Saturday morning and spent the weekend enjoying the crystal clear skies and the arctic air. We took quite a few drives, spotted a few eagles, went snowshoeing and tired our best to stay warm.

Plus, this weekend was extra fun because E's entire family was down there on Saturday. We had chicken soup with dumplings and sourdough bread for dinner, perfect for a cold night. Then David, Joe, Chelsea, E and I played clue. I lost both times (which is rare), because Joe is too damn good.

On Sunday we spotted more bald eagles, went up to Skyline drive for a snowshoe trip and stayed warm inside. I love the farmhouse.

Here are a few photos. Don't ice over when viewing them.

A true message is written in snow.
Stunning, clear and freezing.

Snowshoeing was a blast. We stayed warm climbing hills and staying out of the shade.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Years Eve Party

E and I have been as busy as ever with even more family parties. I love this time of year. My aunt and uncle flew in from London to celebrate the New Year and also his 50th birthday. My grandma (who is notorious for going to bed quite early) threw a fabulous New Year's Eve Party, and we all made it to midnight! Here are some of my favorite shots from the night . Note, all of these recent photos on my blog, including Christmas day, have been taken by me! Yep, our new camera rocks.

My Grandma, Maurice and E at the party.
Penny (my aunt from London!) and Kendra chat near the fire.
E, Richard and my uncle Mike chat about electronics.
My mom and I.
The birthday boy, my uncle Dave. Happy 50th!
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