Saturday, December 29, 2012


We are visiting family this week first in Asheville, NC, and later we will be traveling down to Atlanta. Before I left I crocheted a star garland for my friend's nursery and took pictures for a tutorial, but then forgot to take a picture of it as a finished piece! I am so bummed that I did that, but as I am writing this I realized that I could make another one while in Asheville to give to another new mother, whom we will see in Atlanta, for her nursery and then take pictures of that one for the tutorial!

We shall see how it works. Hopefully, when I get back to Colorado I will be able to put the tutorial together. I am looking forward to a New Years Eve full of Mexican Train Dominoes and visiting with friends. Here is to the New Year!

(photo source)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Denver

At night Coors Field is usually lit up with purple, but sometimes they change it for holidays. Starting a couple weeks ago the colors changed to red and green for Christmas (I know the picture below is fuzzy, but I love how the lights look like sideways hearts). Tomorrow is Christmas and we are going to North Carolina at the end of the week. So posting may be sporadic for the next week or so. Happy Holidays - Hope your week is Merry and Bright!

Friday, December 21, 2012


 A couple of weekends ago we had a cookie exchange. I made two of my favorite cookies. The first is from this blog (here is the recipe and here are some pictures I took of them a couple years ago). They are spicy and probably the most popular cookie I have ever made. Whenever I bring them anywhere people love them. Plus, they are vegan. The second cookie is from Smitten Kitchen and is a homemade oreo cookie. It truly tastes like the original only better. For half of these I added peppermint extract and red crystal sugar to make it crunchy and to differentiate from the others. I also made some shortbread cookies for my daughter to decorate. It always helps to have something for her to do while I am cooking.

We didn't have a huge turnout for the exchange, but we ended up with more than enough cookies to last us. I used the felt rose center pieces on the table and I was very happy with how they turned out. Overall, it was a fun time.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Felt Rose Christmas Decor Part 2

 At our house in Greensboro we were, shall I say, lucky? We had a ginormous sweet gum tree that blanketed our backyard with spiky gumballs. You couldn't really walk barefoot back there without your feet being sliced open and even with shoes it made the ground so uneven that I often feared a twisted ankle. To get rid of them we would have to rent this big outdoor vacuum cleaner because they were far to tedious to rake.

Last year I found a tutorial on Martha Stewart suggesting making a wreath out of said gumballs, which I did and was so excited about. Apparently it got lost in the move from North Carolina to Colorado and I found myself sans wreath when it came time to put up our decorations this year. Since I had the idea of making felt rose centerpieces I thought a wreath would complement them well.

The following pictures are really awful I know. I used my phone and it clearly has major limitations particularly with the color red. I am getting better about using the actual camera and hopefully, will have less and less of these type of pictures. For now these are the pictures I took of the process so I have to use them.

I cut out two strips of red felt and wrapped it around a Styrofoam wreath; attaching the ends with hot glue. Then I made a huge pile of the roses and hot glued them on to the wreath. Pretty simple, but much more time consuming then I had thought. I also made a felt rose to attach to it; since I didn't want to hot glue it to the wreath it has fallen off with my different endeavors and I have let the idea go. I am really happy with the wreath and hopefully next year I will still have it (or my gumball wreath will turn up).

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snowy Day

Today we have finally gotten a big snow storm. We woke up this morning and went over to Snooze for breakfast and then took a walk over to Coors Field. It was nice if you were by a building and shielded from the wind, but once you left the protection of the building it was brutal. Unfortunately, I forgot my phone and camera so I couldn't take any pictures. There were two men that had pulled over to take pictures of themselves in front of the Coors Field sign covered in snow. It was cute to see them.

We were relieved to come inside because the last half of a block to our building we were not shielded from the wind and it was intensely cold. Yesterday, we made some Mason Jar snow scenes that I first read about here (with an explanation on how to make them). I wasn't really interested in making them until we went to Anthropologie and my daughter saw them and loved them. They are so easy. I used glitter instead of fake snow because I just think it looks more like real snow. Most of the fake snow is too fluffy and cotton candy-like. I wanted to put a little deer or person in the scene and we went to various craft/fabric stores and I couldn't find anything small enough. Instead, I ended up making a little paper house myself. I should have taken some pictures, but I did it pretty free form. I really like it. It is my favorite of the three.

The rest of the household likes the white christmas tree with the red ornaments the best. For that tree I used hot glue to attach red pearl-like beads to the branches. I put dabs of glue directly on the tree and then put the bead on to the glue and it stuck really easily. I could imagine burned fingertips if I tried to put the glue on the beads. I also had an old silver spacer bead that I used for the tree topper that worked really well. Overall, a pretty easy project and I really like looking at them; much more than I thought I would.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Felt Rose Christmas Decor Part 1

As I was perusing the aisles of Target one day I found a cute little table centerpiece made out of felt roses. It cost something like $15, which seemed a little high for something I could possibly make. Since I was heading to Jo-Ann's next I decided to pick up some red felt and give it a try.

After a quick google search referencing felt roses I found it was rather easy to make them. Every site used the same method. First, cut a felt circle, then make a strip out of it, and lastly roll the strip into a rose. I like to use things around the house so I used an oatmeal container for the base and a twisted piece of a brown paper bag to glue the flowers onto. I am pretty proud of how they came out. Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture to share, just yet. I will post one soon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Baby Shower

This weekend will mark the third in a row where I have been baking for various events. Last weekend we had a cookie exchange. I have pictures of the cookies, but this week has been incredibly busy. Next week should be a little slower. All my packages have gone off to Hawaii and North Carolina and my baby shower presents are almost finished. Hopefully, I will blissfully have not very much to do once Monday comes around again.

For this Saturday my friend, Lindsey, is having a baby shower for the little girl she is expecting. I am making cupcakes and possibly attempting some meringue cookies using an egg substitute. I really want to experiment with it and what better time than for a party? Then the cookies won't be in a pile in my house for us to eat and feel guilty. I have known Lindsey since going to Platt Jr. High together. A couple weeks ago  I was reminded (by another Jr. High friend) that seventh grade was multiple decades ago. When he told me that it made me feel old, but when I think of it in terms of my friendship with Lindsey it feels special. So that is good thing and why I will be making about three dozen cupcakes tonight.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Gardens

Even during the winter and colder months we love to go the gardens during the day. My daughter can run around and it still look very beautiful inside. The Denver Botanic Gardens decorate the place with lights and have festive nights during December. I have seen pictures and heard about it and have wanted to go, but never have. Since we are members for have some free tickets and are excited to go soon. We thought about going last Sunday, but we had such a busy weekend I needed to just rest. Of course this weekend promises to be only slightly less busy so we shall see if we make it or not. I think we may need to go on a weekday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Colorizing Films

Sometime in the past three years I obtained a collection of Shirley Temple Films. I have watched some of the shorter ones with my daughter, but yesterday was so blisteringly cold that we decided not to brave the outdoors after a trip to Target. We came home and decided to watch The Little Princess and drink Silk Nog.  

Imagine my horror when I turned on the film to find it was colorized. The shorter films we had watched previously were not colorized. I know that it is not always clear why colorization is so bad, so let me explain. To me films are works of art and not simply works of entertainment. When the films were made colors were chosen for the shade of grey that they would become when shot with black and white film. If you were to visit a set while they were shooting the colors would seem very odd. For instance to give the impression that women had deep red lipstick on the actresses actually wore a garish brown color that translated to what appeared to be a rich velvety red color on film. Directors of photography (DPs) trained their eyes to see in shadows and shades of gray as opposed to seeing in, so to speak, technicolor. It is an amazing skill that has for the most part been lost.

If you compare a black and white film shot in the last twenty years to one shot in the 1940s the difference is very apparent. Black and White Films nowadays tend to have a washed out look with many of the grays being similar shades. Contemporary DPs can see light and shadows, but are not as good at looking at colors and seeing gray. You can even see this in photography if you compare older photographs with newer ones. This also has something to do with film vs digital. Film can get a really wonderful, rich black color that digital just can't reproduce. Digital doesn't have the range of color that film has and it becomes very obvious when you are dealing with a gray scale because the grays start to match and you lose contrast. When you colorize a film some random colorist, completely disconnected from the film, is sitting at a machine deciding what color a dress the actress should wear, what color their hair should be, how green a tree is, etc. All of these choices were made previously by people collaborating on the actual film and are now being changed.

Not only is random color being applied to the film, but the choices that were originally made are being obscured. Sixty and seventy years ago film was not as sensitive as it is now and lights were huge and powerful. Painting with light (as cinematography can be referred to) was so much more difficult then and to see what DPs were able to do can be awe inspiring. They had to control the light in ways that we no longer have to; technology has made it very easy to shoot with available light and small lights. They had to think about every ray of light shining on to the set and they had no way of previewing what they were doing the way we do now with video assist or playback. You could walk onto a set and it would seem glaringly bright, but then when you watched the film the light would seem low and nearly dark. Past DPs really were true visionaries, even just the ones working on small B films or Shirley Temple films. When you colorize a film you lose all those details that they worked so hard to obtain.

Lastly, I believe it is beneficial to be appreciative of the past and those that came before us. There is a tendency to think that if something is new then it is better, if something is more expensive it is better, and so on. So often you get eye rolls about watching something in black and white, which makes no sense to me. I understand not being in the mood for subtitles (I've felt that way before particularly with a toddler running around), but black and white? I think a well executed black and white film is often significantly more beautiful than a run of the mill color film and is on par (and can even exceed) any of the great color films. I thought this argument had been made and colorizing films had been admonished (I can be so naive sometimes). In just the last two weeks I have run across two colorized films (when I bought Miracle on 34th Street the colorized version is publicized and the original B & W version is simply an "extra") and people are so nonchalant about it. I wonder if everyone would feel the same way if I suggested sprucing up some of Picasso's paintings from his blue period. They are kind of drab don't you think? Shades of blue? Wouldn't it be nice to add a little red? Some nice bubblegum pink would surely make them more appealing.

My daughter was so excited to watch Shirley Temple (she drinks that drink, as she repeatedly told me) that I continued watching and will no doubt watch it again. Our collection includes three discs so I am hoping that some of the other films are in glorious black and white.

(Picture Sources:  Photo 1, Photo 2)

Monday, December 10, 2012


This weekend there was supposed to be a big snowstorm and while it did snow in the mountains it didn't do much down in Denver. We had a very light dusting on Saturday night. If I had pulled out a better camera I may have been able to capture how big the flakes were, as is this picture looks a little like heavy rain. In North Carolina snow shuts down the entire city, even a little bit of snow like we had on Saturday night. In Greensboro it may snow twice a year if that so the city has not really invested in the equipment needed to deal with it an efficient manner. Also, everything turns to ice very quickly and ice causes an immense amount of problems. Growing up in Colorado I thought I had dealt with all the wintery weather possible, but I never saw an ice storm before living in North Carolina. They are beautiful, but so incredibly dangerous. Thus, I understand the fear of wet, cold weather.

Here in Colorado I am ready for some snow (not that I didn't always want snow there as well). I love the way the light feels when it is snowing, has snowed, or is about to snow. I love how everything feels quiet no matter the time of day or amount of people on the street. There is a misconception that once winter arrives in Colorado it is always snowy and always cold. In reality we have snowy days and then the next day it will be sunny and in the 70s. It's nice because you can enjoy the snowy days, but never have to deal with extended dreariness. Though, sometimes I wish the snow would last a little longer than it does!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Yum: Pumpkin Tortelli

Pumpkin Tortelli from Simone Bissolati on Vimeo.
Ok, so I know I posted a video yesterday and am already slacking by posting another one today, but this looks yummy, yummy. Plus, I am really dragging today and was thinking about not posting at all so this is a good alternative.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Movie Trailer: Miracle on 34th St.

Each week I will try to post a movie trailer, not always from current movies of course. Partially, because during certain times of the year (Jan - April) the selection of movies is pretty sparse. I thought it would be fun to start off with, not only one the greatest Christmas movies ever (in glorious black and white), but also a non-traditional trailer. You only see one or two shots from the actual film and instead you see a selection of Hollywood stars talking about how much they love the movie. These kind of trailers pop-up now and again and I think they are so much more fun than traditional trailers. Alfred Hitchcock has some really creative ones as well that I will have to try to dig up. Enjoy and if by chance you decide to watch this delightful film please don't watch the colorized version! It destroys the original artists vision.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Last Week

As I work to post on here everyday weekday I will hopefully get better at taking pictures to go along with it. This past week we tried hard to get to the Denver Botanic Gardens, but didn't make it until the end of the week. At the time they were hanging up lights for their Christmas display. I am very excited to see what it will be like all lit up at night.

While I was driving back to my parents after dance class on Sunday it looked as though there was a rainbow in the clouds. I tried to take a picture, but am not sure it came out too well. Plus, I don't know if the rainbows were real or a distortion in my windshield. Before I took the camera out it was significantly more dramatic, which is how it always goes.

If I was better about taking pictures while I bake I would have a wonderful post about making these cinnamon doughnut muffins. Unfortunately, I didn't even think to take a picture until there was about three left. It is amazing how much they actually taste like doughnuts minus the fried guilty feeling.

Monday, December 3, 2012

This Weekend

 When I was participating in the "30 Days Hath November" I felt like I had an infinite amount of things to write about, but today I am kind of wishing for a random topic to answer because I am drawing a blank. This weekend we went to Lafayette to see my mom sing Christmas Carols. I included a picture, but since I don't know if she wants to have her picture included on this blog I won't identify who she is! It got a little cold as the sun set, but afterwards we went back to her rehearsal space and had a Christmas sing-a-long and potluck. It was fun and got everyone into the holiday spirit. Though, I have to say that the best part was when we sang “Hava Nagila” and we all got up, held hands, and danced in a circle as if we were at a Jewish wedding. It was a blast.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 30: Three wonderful things that happened this month.

I weaseled my way out of a lot of self-portrait's for this project so I am including a straight forward one of me in the mirror with my phone. There it is. So here is my list of three wonderful things that happened this month:

1.  My daughter now goes into her dance class with out clinging to me and my pushing her in and telling her everything will be ok (I hope I am not jinxing myself for tomorrow). Also, I got to guest dance in her class one day to help the teacher and it was both really fun and it also kicked my butt.
2.  I danced and sang to Alice's Restaurant (played on KBCO at noon, mst, not on a CD) with my mom and my daughter on actual Thanksgiving Day (and my sister was sort of there also).
3. My dear, dear, Hedy got to have one day where the pressure on her kidneys was relieved and she ran around the apartment almost like a kitten again. She was jumping and playing and seemed happy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 29: Something I could never tire of.

I have been pondering this topic all day. As I near the end of this daily posting project I feel as though I keep wanting to use the same answer for everything. I must be very boring. I finally realized that something I could never tire of would be baking. It's extremely rewarding for me to take the final product out of the oven. The best is when not only does it look beautiful, but it is also yummy. The downside of course is the weight gain that comes from wanting to bake all the time so I have to really curb my desire. I used to be able to eat a lot more without really gaining any weight, but that is no longer true. C'est la vie. Oh well.

(photos are all food I have baked and featured on this blog over the past couple of years)