The Year is almost over

The year is almost over.
Had a great Christmas. Hubby and I went to my sister’s place on the coast ( the Coquihalla highway was in good shape ) and basically pigged out and drank lots of alcohol. Not common for me but I could do this because we stayed overnight. My brother was there as well as a bunch of my sister’s friends. My sister set a great table and atmosphere- I can’t remember having such a nice time in a long while. We gave each other little gifts and yakked all evening, watched sci-fi and had fun cruising on Google Earth to see our old childhood homes. That, strangely enough, was not too sad!
Got a stuffed animal from my brother ( he got one for Othmar too!) and a Chia pet from my sis plus loads of German chocolate and cookies she bought from Kase Karl as we know the deli in Vancouver.
John of all people was quite a conversationalist about Trek canon which surprised me.

Lieschen's cat Bunzala :) ( Dusty )

Cut the smoking habit by half. No more cream in my coffee. Hubby started a new job. Ice fishing derby in a couple of weeks. Resolution to get more art and photography out there. A zillion slides to scan and photos to organize as well as Ebay or Craigslist a bunch of things I’ve been hanging onto for way to long. Getting in touch with people I wish I hadn’t lost touch with. Yay for social networking sites!

A picture I finished:

Bigger view at DA

Yes, I am a huge fan of Gordon Ramsay. :)
Something funny I heard about on the news today – a gadget for guys: a bottle opener/dog collar. Yup. It’s called
‘Bark for Beer.’
Amazing it took so long for someone to come up with something like this commercially! Well that's it for this year I guess.


Christmas Baking and Musings

I did the usual Christmas baking- shortbread, although I may get brave and try some other kind of cookie. I might even try for a Stolle ...not! I've decided not to frost my shortbread as past experience tells me I eat more cookies in a sitting if they're frosted. Even if I just 'frost' them with egg yolk it's the same thing: eat like a pig and bloat like the proverbial fatted calf.
I made a mistake this year with my dough: I put it in the fridge overnight because I didn't feel like baking after having got everything ready last week. Consequently the dough was EXTREMELY firm and from my perspective impossible to roll out. It just didn't soften so I decided to treat it like bread and sliced it as such. It looked pretty bizarre cutting off nearly 1 centimetre wide slices from the dough lump and I decided to simply cut these into more or less square pieces.
Since they were considerably thicker than regular shortbread (and denser I suspect) they took twice as long to bake as proper shortbread and in the end they tasted just as good. Their little square shapes look almost store-bought...not that you can tell from my quick snapshot.

Today I also made my first lemon meringue pie from scratch. The meringue part was a bit wimpy but the crust and filling turned out perfect. But like the first lemon meringue pie I made (with a store-bought lemon filling) I wound up with too much pie crust and WAY too much filling. I wonder if there is some kind of standard pie dish that I don't know about. The one I used today is from my mother and looks to be about the same size of dish as the ones used by the supermarket bakery. I shall have to go on a quest for a new pie dish I guess. Another hastily taken picture of my efforts shows most of the excess pie materials dumped into what is charmingly referred to as a 'ramekin'.

Other subject: I've been thinking about art lately- specifically exposure for artists. Many of the ones in the Valley Visual Artists don't really get any - particularly older artists who simply paint for pleasure and don't really seem to care about selling their art. But I thought about those people a lot today and have been wondering how I can do something about that since it's not difficult to establish a web presence.
However, the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council now has a nice blog, which promotes the local artist and community showings - much better than the out of date web site. Right now a community art show is up until the 19th of December and I've actually put some prints together for sale. They are all digital art: 5x7s of 'Haida Girl', 'The Impatient Gardener' and 'Wine Girl'. Wine Girl was very troublesome as the original file was lost, found, lost again and partially reconstructed but finally is seeing the light of day again on matte photo paper!
As for the what’s up for display I've put in 'Frozen Cattails', 'Paka' (photos), 'Haida Girl', 'Impatient Gardener' and 'Stormfront'.

I've uploaded some patterns at DA and a wallpaper based on the golden eagle shot from a few years back. I never mentioned that I took a workshop last month and completed my first acrylic painting- a portrait of my sister and am now working on one of my brother, which I hope to get done before Christmas. That's about it for now I guess.

I've just added this widget for my prints at Red Bubble where my user name is Artemis12. I've got the same stuff at DA but I'm expanding to other sites now and revisting old ones that I wasn't active in for one reason or another.