28 September 2007

feet up, weekend time

Happy weekend!

btw, have you seen Blogger Play? Strangely addictive. I think I could watch that thing for hours.

27 September 2007

letter for my favorite peeps

Twin and I have two dear friends that we've known since high school, but who live far away in other states now. It is a friendship that effortlessly survives long lapses of time spent apart, and the many miles that separate us. I fully expect it to last decades more. I have come to value this friendship even more in recent years as I have come to the slow realization that adult life can be, well, a little lonely.

We're not very good correspondents, and none of us are great phone-talkers. Several years ago, we started a "chain letter." At first we wrote by email, taking turns writing in an attempt to keep each other up-to-date on our lives. About a year ago, we decided to begin using real mail. More fun to get a package in the mail. And three letters in one package from your three best friends is about as good as it gets.

We always include little goodies and pretty stationery. I used one of my new port2port cards for my letter. I added new decorations to the envelope (we re-use the envelope, each adding new decorations as she sends the letter on).

And check out my new stamps. I usually just get the boring flag stamps, but my Mom had brought me these super cool stamps for the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. And then I was at the post office and I saw a sign for the Tiffany stamps. And then the Jimmy Stewart ones and the Disney ones. And I decided I just had to have them all. Who knows maybe I'll even become a philatelist (which is a word that sounds like it should be followed by an "excuse me").

The package is off to Texas (and I have been horribly slow with it this time--sorry guys!!) I think I will send it along its way with a row of Jimmy Stewarts. You can never have too much Jimmy Stewart.

26 September 2007

my mama's rolls

Did I say I was going to blog every day this week? I meant everyday except Tuesday. Because Tuesday, though it was not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, did not have anything particularly to recommend itself and I am very happy to abandon it to the fogs of memory as soon as possible.

Wednesday, now wednesday is looking up. Twin had a potluck at work today so we made a batch of my Mom's rolls. These are holiday rolls in our house, and smell like Christmas to me. Buttery and delicate and completely delicious. They are especially good with a very thin layer of country ham inside.

In microwave-safe bowl, heat until hot:
2 cups milk

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar

Let cool until butter has softened.

In mixing bowl, combine:
4 cups flour
3 pkg dry yeast (one strip)

Stir in milk mixture and beat for five minutes.
Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add more flour (1/2 to 1 cup) until dough holds together but is still very soft. (It is much gloopier than most bread doughs)

Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over the top, cover, and let rise until doubled in volume.
Turn out 1/2 the dough onto a floured board. Pat it into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1/2 stick melted butter over the top. Cut into triangles (like a pizza) and roll from the wide end to the tip to form a crescent-shaped roll. The rolls should be the size of a baby's fist. Or a small mouse. (This is not an exact science. Most of mine come out looking like weird, oddly-sized lumps. They still taste good.)

Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Let rise until puffy.
Bake at 400 degrees until golden brown (about 10 minutes).


24 September 2007

new kid in town

Olive is very excited. In fact, she has requested a new dress for the occasion. In red.

23 September 2007

looks like autumn

Our Mom was here for a visit this weekend and we had a lovely time. I am absolutely stuffed. So is my fridge. She made us creamed chicken and biscuits, which is the ultimate comfort food. I was going to take a picture of it, but I thought you might be jealous. I also felt a great need to get it into my mouth as soon as possible. Besides eating, we shopped, went to see Stardust (charming, I thought), and generally had an all-around good time.

My flowerpots on the front stoop had gotten completely out of control. Healthy, certainly, but they had grown so big and sprawling it made getting in the front door a bit of a challenge. Mom helped me prune and trim, and we added in a few fall-hardy plants. She made the beautiful bouquet in the top pic with the cuttings.

I seem to be emerging from my craft slump thanks to some excellent reading. Joelle Hoverson's new book is gorgeous. I want to make every single project in it. And to help me crawl out of my rather embarrassing blogging slump, I am going to post every day this week. Probably just photos, but it's a start.

(And if you ordered cards last week, they're in the mail! Thanks to all who ordered!! There are a few sets left, if anyone is still interested.)

19 September 2007

need some stationery?

It's the SALE OF THE CENTURY*. This is an event that is NOT TO BE MISSED.

Okay, not really. But I have SLASHED PRICES on all the cards in my etsy shop. I have a hankering for some new wall art and so I filled up my etsy shopping cart with lovely things that could be mine. But then I realized that my poor little PayPal account has only $11.01 in it. That will do little to sate my handmadegoodslust.

All card sets that were $10 are now HALF PRICE. Just $5. No joke, dudes. So you'd better get over there and ACT FAST. These fantastic prices just WON'T LAST.


Get the dotty Thank Yous, the lady dolls, the magnolia cards, or the dark blue starry cards.

*Some restrictions may apply. The person doing business under the various pseudonyms of Marmee, MK, Mama, Mumsy, and She Who Must Be Obeyed is hereby restricted from further purchase from the juliemarie etsy shop. Complaints will not be entertained from said person. Said person should petition the craftsperson and proprietress for unlimited free goods ad finitum; this privilege being her just and proper due as giver of life and supporter numero uno.

15 September 2007

dum de dum

Taking it easy over here. Loving late summer. Loving the South. Not doing a lot of crafting, and consequently not blogging much either. (I have trouble blogging when I don't have projects to share. Probably because I rarely feel that my life, though I love it, is particularly interesting to outsiders.) But here's a quick summary of the last few weeks:

1. We spent a lovely weekend camping in the Blue Ridge with our dad. I love these mountains so much, and was happy to learn that the North Carolina part of the range is as beautiful as the Virginia part.

(My daddy has twinkling eyes, doesn't he?)

2. I've read some fantastic books. The great thing about having a novel-gobbling sister is that she weeds out the bad ones, and recommends the good ones. Some of my recent favorites have been The Countess Below Stairs, Mariana, The Morning Gift, Venetia, and Here Be Dragons (links to Twin's reviews).

3. Twin has instituted a new diet and fitness regimen. She is a slavedriver, I tell you. She wants me to eat fruit! And veggies! Like, more than once a day! eeep. We've been biking and walking. Playing tennis. It feels good.

4. Have I mentioned my love of professional tennis? I loved the US Open, though the final outcome was pretty predictable. My heart just about broke for my boy Andy, who played with his whole heart and still couldn't find a way to beat that Swiss machine.

Did anyone else notice this young man? Juan Martin Del Potro from Argentina. He seemed somewhat familiar, and then I realized where I'd seen him. He's a Kouros statue, of course, who came to life atop his marble pedestal, walked right out of the Met, and picked up a tennis racket. It really is a shame he decided to put on clothes. Alas.

5. Slowly crocheting the Shawl that Swallows Time. It is now scarf-sized, and I'm tempted to just stop here. But I will persevere, and I'm sure I will enjoy it when I am 80 years old, which is probably about the time I will finish it.

6. We got Twin's pinboard made and hung over her desk. I love the dark background and the strip of vibrant print.

Our long long drought was broken yesterday by a brief and furious thunderstorm, following by a long drizzly soak. Today the weather is fresh and cool, and makes me think autumn might actually be on its way.

A wonderful weekend to all!