Monthly Archives: July 2008

So she can look more stylish whist lugging around a 10 pound camera

Yarbs is a prolific photographer.  Her friends down here call her the class historian.  From this love to photography, she developed into being a prolific scrapbooker!  Makes sense, because the scrapping is a venue for her photos.  {It may sounds kinda weird that my sister – a very cool, hip, urban chick – is a scrapbooker, since most folks likely think of middle aged, Midwestern (or Mormon) ladies with multiple kids as the “typical” scrappers.  There is a large contingency that fit that stereotype, but there are more and more young, cool peeps that are getting into scrapping.}

Anyway, some scrapbook site had a “tutorial” for a camera strap slipcover – but it wasn’t very good and actually made the project harder and more complex than it needed to be.  I saw what the end product was to be, and basically made a tube (with seams on the inside so you can’t see them) which slid over the camera strap.


The strap is in a green upholstery weight fabric with lighter green dots – just love this fabric.  I had made a box pleat valance for the guest room in Richmond – maybe I can figure out a place to use it here in the new house.

(Isn’t Yarbs so cute?!)

It took Yarbs longer to get the strap off the camera than it took to make the strap!  But she is happy with the end product, and it was easy!  So that is a win-win situation.

{She doesn’t always tote around the big camera – she has a point and shoot that she can slip into her purse.  But the photos she is able to get with the big one are really neat, and worth the trouble, I guess.  Better her than me to be lugging that thing around!}

Recent Crafts

A little peek into all the crafts I have been up to lately…

Coasters! I have really been into making coasters – they are easy, cute and useful! Who can’t use more coasters? I’ll be sending out a belate birthday treat today.

A little scrapping – made a book of Richmond peeps! The photo is the front of the page and I put patterned paper on the back with a tiny bit of journaling (mainly just who is in the photos) and embellished with ribbons and buttons (used up all my buttons – yay!). Yarbs had done this and it was so cute! I made the front and back from chipboard and covered with coordinating patterned paper (all the paper was coordinating, so that made things much easier). I really loved the way this turned out!

Zippered bags – I found a couple tutorials on-line and made them! I wish I still had the tutorials handy, as I need to make some more bags. Not to complicated, but I still find sewing in a zipper kinda difficult.  (Can you tell I love my woven tags I got off Etsy?!  I put them on everything!)

Drawstring bag – I found a tutorial on-line (again, don’t have it handy, which stinks) and literally it took me 10-15mins to make this bag! I embroidered it with a Sublime Stitching pattern that I had – and it is me! Notice the black hair and the stylish green coat 😉 I loved this project as it was easy to make the bag, but the embroidery brings a little something fancy to an otherwise utilitarian object (shoe bag for traveling). I think bags like this will also make fun gifts!

And last but not least, a house craft project: a box pleat valance in the laundry room with mini ball trim. I consider it a little mascara on a very plain Jane – makes the room seem a bit more finished, that someone is thinking deliberately about it.



It is cute enough – I was going to do something with red in the fabric, but I thought that would be to matchy-matchy. Since the laundry room doesn’t need a lot of privacy, I went with just a valance, so as to keep the natural light shining in. I am going to make roman blinds for all of the bathrooms, so this was a little practice for me (not in roman shades – clearly – but just in dealing with windows again and everything that goes into making window treatments). At least all the bathroom windows are small!

Weekend Recap

On Saturday night, one of the two new restaurants we tried with Marm and Dad sent us into Little India (a random strip mall in Little India, that is):

This, along with some fancy schmancy restaurant, is what “the book” says “embodies Houston’s culinary essence”. I am not really all that familiar with India food, and usually don’t go out of my way to seek it, but what was really nice for me is that it is all veggie! So I could taste everything and have to ask, does this have meat in it? Poor Boom, when he heard that, he was all, I have to eat veggie everyday during the week – let’s have some meat options on the weekend! He was a good sport though.

I am usually not a huge curry fan, but theirs was pretty good! I really enjoyed the eggplant curry, as it had a lot of cilantro in it. We also had the okra curry (and one other, I can’t remember what the veggie base was for it) which was good too.

The dosais were HUGE! It was just the “bread” part that was so big. The innards (mine had potato and onions – lots of the dishes had potatoes in ’em) were plopped in the middle of the bread and then the bread was folded over it.

This restaurant totally took us out of our comfort zone. We had no idea what we were ordering and sometimes even eating, and it was in some dingy strip mall right off the highway – so no real atmosphere to speak of. But there were lots of Indian peeps, so that was a good sign.

Sunday morning, we continued our tour of the culinary far east and went to dim sum:

This restaurant was HUGE! And looked like many of the restaurants that we had visited on our tour of China a few years back. At least it was mainly Asian peeps (so it passed what Josephine called the “look” test) – though we did have a table next to us full of whities – so adventuresome!

Going to dim sum is best with Marm and Dad. Marm becomes a part of all the action – usually always talking to the proprietor and sometimes heading into the kitchen!

We had lots of good eats, but I do have to admit, dim sum is better when you can eat meat. I did miss having my usual “cha shau bao”s (steamed bread with Chinese BBQ pork inside) and other random things. Oh well – it was still good!

Marm and Dad left yesterday before noon – they needed to get back to get ready for their trip and wanted to miss traffic. So good to see them! And, of course, Happy Birthday Dad!


This weekend was great – Marm and Dad came down to visit before they go on vacation in Peru!

(This snap was taken during their last visit – we are doing the “blind tiger” camera pose!  They really love it!)

We mainly hung out and ate – which is just fine with me.  I was glad to see them and spend time with all of us together!  We did try 2 new restaurants, both that are in “the book”:

Josephine got it for us when we moved here, and it has been a great resource – especially since there are so many restaurants here in H-town!  It at least gives us a jumping off point.  More snaps from those meals to come.

In prep for their visit, we desperately needed a new vaccuum.  So I have become one of those fancy vaccuum owners – I even remember making fun of my sister-in-law for getting one years ago, and now I have joined her ranks.  (Does this mean I am officially old and boring?)  I really like it – and it is so cute!

I got the littler one, ’cause it was cuter than the larger one and b/c I am gonna have to lug that thing up and down our stairs, so I figured I should get the lighter one so that I am more apt to actually lug it.  And it actually does turn on a dime – good stuff.

It really is great being so close to mom and dad.  I am loving it.  Also am loving seeing Yarbs basically everyday! It is so great!  I think in the past I had always taken for granted how important family is.  Since I am older and wiser, I now know, and it is so true – family is the most important thing and it is great to know we can always depend on them.


Sometimes I get fixated on one thing, and that is the only thing that I want. And often times I can’t actually get the thing I want. Last month, when Court came to visit, I really really wanted a candied apple. I went on and on, before her weekend down, during and after her visit about wanting a candied apple.

When I went out to get the mail yesterday, there was a package, from New York, from some Sticky Finger company. I had NO idea what it was or whom it was from – look what was inside:

Four freakin’ huge and adorably decorated candied apples! Along with a sweet note from Court, hoping that these would suffice since Minute Maid park does not offer candied apples as a delicious snack.

I can’t wait to sink my teeth into one of them! And I figure, because there is an apple under there, it is relatively healthy, right?  This is the lucky one that got selected:


It was so freakin’ cute!  Almost didn’t want to cut into it, almost…

Since I am a giving sort, I shared half with my sister.  And I don’t think I could have eaten the entire thing by myself – if so, I’d have to just have the apple as my meal!

And it did not disappoint!  So yummy!  The apple was first dipped in caramel, then chocolate, then rolled in rainbow sprinkles!

We gorged on candied apple until there was nothing left.

I can’t wait to try the other 3 flavors!  I kinda feel like I should send Court a thank you note for the thank you gift, but then we’d be going around and around.  Needless to say, it was the perfect thank you gift!

{Thanks Court – you are too sweet!}


My great friend Neener is coming to visit!  YAY!!!!!!!!  In October, when it will (hopefully) be cooler than it is now. (She lives in Boulder, which is likely the coolest city in the country, so we definitely need to go visit her again sometime soon!)

And we are going to see Citizen Cope live at the Verizon Center.  That is just the icing on the Neener visit cake!

That also happens to be Boom’s birthday weekend and he is excited to have such an action packed weekend already planned!  He loves Neener nearly as much as I do, so he is always excited to spend time with her.

Since moving to H-town, it has kinda been a tough sell to get folks to come visit – I think once the cold weather rolls around for my pals on the East coast, it’ll be easier to convince folks to travel down.

Speaking of pals, My Pal Al and her hubby (!) are coming down to visit in August – I can’t wait to see them as well!  Nice that we are all in the same state, finally!


Well, nearly… the painters just have to come back tomorrow to do some touch-ups here and there…

Here is how the den looked before:

We had the sides of the mantle changed (they used to be these ornate swirly things) which is why they are not stained in the photo above.

And here is what they look like now:

It looks very traditional to me right now – we are planning to either paint or put some wallpaper on the backs of the shelves – that will help spice it up a little.  I really think it looks great – a vast improvement!  Just lighter (duh) and more my speed.  I am not too fond of dark stained wood (unless in a library or office).  Now I am kinda wondering if the brown ceiling fan looks out of place…

I am just glad that our E.T. -esque house is no longer.

We just need to get furniture that is the correct scale for the room.  {S, the designer, has 4 possible layouts she has come up with – I am excited to see them!  And she is presenting a few colorways, something that we can start from.  Can’t wait!}  And a TV and all the jazz that comes with having a home theater system.  (Sigh) There is a lot to do, but I just have to remember it is a marathon, not a sprint!


So I never really knew exactly what a foodie was – just someone that was really into food and knew a lot about it.  Well, this weekend I saw first hand those who would fit into the category of Major Foodie to the Nth Degree!  and it was great!

Sunday we went to brunch at a friends house who is a chef at one of the top new restaurants here in H-town.  He cooked (which I felt bad about since Sunday is his day off) – the spread was unbelievable, and very delicious.  His girlfriend, who is a vascular surgeon in her 2-year fellowship, made the Bloody Marys – these bloodys had more ingredients in them than I knew possible!  She has always been a foodie of sorts, but dating her chef boyfriend has really taken her foodie-ness into the  next galaxy!   There was also a top pastry chef (who used to work for our friend the chef) who is now the head pastry chef for a local – Texas only – high end grocery store), and coffee proprietor who owns a coffee bean roasting company in attendance.  Then the non-foodies being Boom, myself and the chef & surgeon’s next door neighbor.

Like I said, the spread was vast and quite delish.  A frittata, homemade biscuits, baked bacon, figs and procuttio, arugula salad, fried potato cubes, fruit salad, asparagus, cheeses and toast made the meal quite complete.  The coffee guy brought some special Ethiopian beans that have a strawberry taste to them (I couldn’t tell – my palate, especially for coffee, is very unrefined).  The pastry chef brought a delicious sparkling pear cider made from fruit that came from 300 year old trees.  I really enjoyed that and will be going to buy lots of it to have on hand!

And the sub-culture of the restaurant / chef world in H-town is brimming with drama!  I heard about adultery, lesbians, businesses failing, scathing food critics, and more!  Highly entertaining – but did get a little old after about 3 hours.  And they all just loved lingering over the food, which is great, but I am just not used to it.

We want to have this chef and his girlfriend over once the house is presentable, but I fear that we’ll have to have our meal catered!  I would be way too embarrassed to cook for them – since they are super knowledgeable and have such good palates.  Boom could make his signature drink – a dark and stormy – for them and then maybe we could go out for the actual food.

All and all, a great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.  Boom was feeling good after all the specialty coffee and bloody marys and pear cider and home brewed mead (like in “Lord of the Rings”!  He has an oak barrel!).  I was stuffed and ready to nap and dream about pear cider.

Craft Monday: Cards!

Our papercraft today was to make cards and tags.  And we made a ton of them!  Yay – I’ll have enough cards and tags and gift enclosures to last me a while!  Yarbs brought over a ton of acrylic stamps and some craft punches (tho evidently this was just the tip of the iceburg) and we stamped and punched away!

Here I am with the acrylic stamp pad. I love that the stamps and pad are clear so you can see exactly where to place it!  We do need some additional stamp pad colors, though.  We were quite limited today.

Here are some snaps of all the booty we made!

Now we just need to mail them out – at least one a week.  And what a great surprise to the recipients!  I love getting fun, happy mail, and a homemade card out of the blue would totally rock.

I am tired, now, from all of our fast paced crafting.  And from Seals this morning – it was a hard workout that kicked our booties!  Exercise and crafting will make a girl very tired.


This is my house currently:



Doesn’t it look like a scene from E.T.?  or at least that we are under quarantine for some reason.

I am so ready for them to be done!  It will all be worth it in the end.  I just have to keep repeating that to myself…