Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Cookie Workshop

This is the time of year I channel my mother and Grandma Lena, and my great grandmother and probably her mother as well, and make our family's traditional Christmas cookies. Reese was a huge help on the Pizzelle Iron. Last year I broke down and bought a new-fangled Cuisinart model. The one I had prior, purchased from the estate of a recently deceased Italian lady in Chicago Heights, had seen at least 50 Christmases. Maybe more. I just got tired of holding the iron shut manually. Nothing says Christmas like carpal tunnel.

Reese ready with the hand mixer. Grandma Carol made the apron.

Yes, you read correctly. Seven eggs for a half-batch. I guess the full recipe fed the whole village in Sicily. I substitute almond extract for the anisette/ouzo my mother uses. I was never a fan of that black licorice flavor.

Grandma Lena taught us the trick of keeping the spoons in a mug of water so they don't get too (technical term alert) "glumpy."

Reese had this routine down by the third try. I drizzle melted chocolate over the Pizzelles or dust them with powdered sugar. These are great with black coffee. They smell like Christmas to me.

Also made today: Dark Chocolate Truffles, four dozen Pecan Tassies, about six hundred Pumpkin Chocolate Chips and Sugar Cookies.
No. I'm not making dinner.
p.s. If you are wondering where Conn was -- he and Reese spent the night at their buddy's house. Reese passed out about 1am. Conn and John pulled an all nighter, playing XBox 360. Their secret for keeping the sandman away? They split a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew. Conn was sleeping it off. Still is.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Merry Christmas - this year's card

In order to make up for Mark being the snowman last year, I made him a buff GI Joe. His head is still the size of a 5 gallon paint can, but hey, he's my bucket-head. Love ya, honey.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cranky Doodles

I have a confession to make. I fell off the daily art wagon a couple of months back. It was so hard to keep up with my square-a-day with the book projects and writing and general life. So, after about nine months I unofficially stopped. As a result, I did accumulate a wonderful stash of 1.5" collages, many of which have been incorporated into other pieces, framed in a series, or hung on a necklace. One even went to Norway. The experience gave me even more respect for my pal and co-author Debbi. She's as reliable as the sun and moon and hasn't missed a day in what? 5 years?

I have been doodling lately and toying with the idea of making doodles my art for 2008. Yes, I am going to get back on the horse next year, but I think I may do weekly art instead. I'm just not as disciplined as Debbi, or Jeanne Williamson, or this guy. It's a fact. I'm proud of myself for having kept at it for almost nine months, given my nature. I mean, I wasn't even pregnant for a full nine months, I cut it down to just over six. When you look at it that way, it's a huge achievement.

Here are some of my cranky doodles. I think I was inspired by Reese's upcoming orthodontics.

I call this one: Ian and his Puppet.

Gift tags for Christmas presents, arriving daily from Amazon.com.

And since Mark doesn't read my blog (I bet he doesn't even know the address) here is one of the two doxie themed presents he has coming.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"You'll never believe what she was wearing....."

My dolls are paying homage to my pal Lori E's Creepy Dolls, while gossiping amongst themselves.