Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas concert

On Dec. 22 at 8pm A-daughter-in-law Sang in front of the J.C.Penney's store in downtown Alamosa. Here she is with Lori her accompanist.

This is M & Z watching. We all went and enjoyed her enthusiastic singing even though it was cold. I was the only one who had to take a few warm breaks and go inside the store.
More Z & A.
D looking over Lori's shoulder possibly singing along. It was a fun new tradition for us. It was a good Christmas concert, unfortunately not many other people passed by. I love to listen to A sing.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wood Burned Nativity

This is a close up of the three wise men, They are all the same shape, but I wanted to make them look different. I am done, but not entirely happy with their appearance. I did make each vessel they are carrying look unique and that was one of my goals. I would like to make their clothing look more eccentric, but could not figure out how.

In this one you can see almost every piece except the standing sheep and the donkey. Each piece took a long time it seemed (a little like curling your hair one strand at a time with a curling iron). The whole idea of this wooden nativity, was to have a set that children can actually play with, which mine have, and the nicks and dents don't really show at all.
This close up of the sheep's wool, shows the swirls, that I made with an attachment I created from a piece of copper wire. It made a tremendous difference in the speed of this process. I tried to do it with the tip of the iron and it looked bad and took forever. But with the wire attachment it went much faster and looks more uniform.
Yea! A finished project! Just in time to put away for another year.
YEARS ago my sister and I cut these nativity pieces out of 2x4s and 2x6s. I have 2 sets. It took me a long time to decide how to finish them. One set I started to paint and one set I started wood burning. Then I stopped, and had children and put it off and put it off. This year I resolved to finish the wood burning ones.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Repurposing & homemade

Above is a picture of the "tie rack" I re-purposed into a key holder with one of my mosaics on the shelf. I think it is much better than the previous one I had, but did not take a picture of, so you will just have to believe me.

Above are some wooden painted snowmen that I have had for a few years. Below are some out of 2x4s that my son A and I made for my son Z for Christmas.

We have a sibling gift exchange that went to homemade gifts last year. I think they turned out quite nice and I like the thicker wood because they stand up much better than mine which are out of 1" thick wood. We decided that if they make something maybe the gifts will mean more to the maker and the receiver. It seems that while they were given the money to buy something for each other, very little thought went into the gift. Now they think about it a long time and at least put some of their own effort into the gift.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I love to find great finds at yard sales. Sometimes I buy something I'm not sure what I'll do with. I found a wooden tie rack, that is actually a narrow shelf with 19 pegs in two rows underneath. It's about 2' long and the shelf is about 3" deep with the pegs about 2 1/4" long. Without a picture it is hard for you to 'see' it, but it has great potential as something else. I have been rethinking it's purpose in this life and see it as a plaque rack, a johnny jump-up holder, a key rack, or perhaps a Christmas stocking hanging place. It has a couple of draw backs in some of my ideas. 1. The pegs are rather close together. 2. They are a little spindly and unable to bare great weights. Thus the keys and johnny jump-ups (my preference) would work well. 3. I don't have that many johnny jump-ups (so do I need to rapidly expand that collection to justify it's usage?) or do I need to just settle for a key rack? OR do you have a wonderful alternate idea that would solve me pondering further. It really is a great find and a lovely piece of woodworking. I just wish you could see it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Busy week

This has been a swamped week. Here's a very brief overview, Tuesday was the Taste of Manassa, Wed. was bake a cake to get ready for... Thursday which was our fund raiser for Cub Scouts, and I had to take a cake and 2 gal. of chili, which I made when i got home from work. Friday I cooked for the missionaries, Sat morning was the LAST football game from 11-1, with our church party and supper from 3-5, then trick or treaters till 9. Z & A came to the party and stayed till 10:30. She was never allowed to trick or treat, nor did they give out treats, so she enjoyed all of it and dressed up (and looked ever so great) to pass out the treats.
My A got to play most of the football game which they won 26-12. His body aches everywhere today.
Z & A came today and we made two of the recipes from the Taste of Manassa. Crepes which were not new to either of us but that niether of us have made for a while, and the Italian meal
Pasta Fagioli
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 Tbsp. oregano
1/2 Tbsp. basil
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 lb. Italian Sausage
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes or 10-12 fresh peeled and diced
1 14 oz. can dark red kidney beans or black beans
1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
1 lb. Penne pasta cooked al dente

1. Over med-high heat, saute onion in oil until clear. Immediately add minced garlic cloves, oregano, basil, and pepper. Stir together for approx. 1 minute.

2. Reduce heat to med. and add the uncooked sausage, stir until sausage is brown.

3. Add tomatoes and beans, cover and simmer 10-15 on med-low. If using fresh tomatoes, simmer 2-4 hours on low heat.

4. Pour cubed cheese on top of pasta, pour sauce over that, serve with Parmesan cheese (fresh grated if possible).

Serves 6-8.

It is an authentic Italian recipe and is very good. Worth a try.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beans, beans, beans!

I have just been to the 'Taste of Manassa' and enjoyed it immensely. A my son's wife went with me. For those of you who are not privileged to have a 'Taste of Manassa' I will explain. (The rather long version, sorry.)
A number of years ago I went to some homemaking meetings in Lamar. These were put on by businesses. This group of promoters would come into a community and approach many businesses and get donations of goods and appliances. They would then advertise and hoards of women would flock to the show- it was free then. At the show there would be demonstrations given on how to cook new and delicious recipes. Everyone attending received a bag of free items such as; a cookbook (of the recipes they were showing plus more), a pencil, magnet, post-its, tomato corer, jar opener, other priceless indispensable kitchen accouterments (with advertisements coating their surfaces). Everyone entered their name into the drawing boxes on the way in and during the evening (which became incredibly long) names were drawn and bags of groceries, casseroles they had just made (in some incredibly lovely dishes by the way), some extra items donated by the stores, were given away. And all were excitedly awaiting the sound of their own name being called out indicating they had won some fabulous prize. I loved them. We would carpool planning weeks ahead. Then they started selling tickets and I was not quite as thrilled. I stayed home.
Well, on a much saner note that is sort of what the 'Taste of Manassa' is. We have several demonstrations of recipes (of which we receive copies), then we get to taste them, also if we are lucky we might take home a new apron, dish towel, jar of honey, or a can of food storage. It is a wonderful time, put on by our 3 church wards.
Tonight it's theme was international recipes. We had Samoan, Italian, Creole, French, German, Mexican-now this is where this whole thing was leading-she told us some awe inspiring news. "If you will cook a carrot with your beans they will not give you gas!" Now that is important news and such a simple solution, don't you think? I will for sure be trying that one!