Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How Much Do I Love Anderson Cooper?

Enough to stay up well past midnight to watch the ball drop with him on CNN. But we'll start with bubbles & Party Treats & Diana Krall around 9-ish, because some things just can't wait.

Party Treats
2 boxes Trader Joe's Vegetable Bird's Nests (julienned veggies formed into tempura-enhanced nests) 
4 oz. smoked salmon
Crème fraîche
Fresh chives or dill

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place Nests on a baking sheet and, reducing oven to 350, bake for about 10 minutes on each side until crispy and golden.  Remove & let cool slightly.  Layer with salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche, then top with finely chopped chives or dill and serve.  Makes 16 bite-sized morsels.  (Also yummy when ossetra caviar is substituted for salmon & layered on top of the crème fraîche.)

Happy 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Going... Going... Gone

Today was the auction @ Wm. A. Smith's.  The room was packed, the pace was fast, and everyone around me appeared to be having a terrific time. Despite a late arrival, I won some great pieces...

A large, repaired 19th c. Imari punch bowl with scalloped edge,

An 18th c. sea chest with canted sides, original hardware and blue-green paint,

An 18th c. pine New England blanket chest with original paint & hardware,

and a large antique SUPPLY sign crafted of wood & tin, signed C. I. Brink.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Great Old Stuff

A Woodstock, Vermont estate is going on the block tomorrow and the preview party is at Wm. A. Smith Auction House today. With so much antique eye candy, where do I look first?

This is one of the first lots that caught my eye -- can I live without these gilt wood sea serpents?

The cranberry scoop appeals to my love of all things coastal. 

Antique Chippendale is good for the soul, and this Maple piece from the late 1700's is no exception.

I'm a big fan of old signs with good wear in easy-to-love colors.  

This stepped back spice box with old green paint has wonderful patina.

Although singles abound, great sets of old brass candlesticks are hard to find, and I love this beehive shape.  These would be fabulous with bayberry candles from Brian Howell (of The Bee Man Candle Co. in Charlotte, North Carolina) and big wavy glass hurricanes.  

I love the warmth of this tiger maple...

and the whimsy of this Federal mirror with its reverse-painted winter scene.

First lot @ 9:00.  I've got a seat reserved on the aisle.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Meant to cast on my fresh Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere over morning coffee and finish a new project by dinner. Thought a few skeins would be perfect for knit & tonic's fabulous new Marvel Cowl. Check out the beautiful stitches on Wendy in the pic... 

But then I found The Real Housewives of Atlanta while clicking around on the flat screen after Barefoot Contessa. I hadn't yet met the girls everyone was talking about and felt truly blessed to have an entire season + the reunion smack-down laid out before me in a single day.

Unfortunately, much of the dialogue and some information critical to character development were captioned on-screen and required continuous viewing to keep up with the ever-increasing drama. Eventually the knitting became too disruptive, and I was forced to set the Cowl aside in favor of Nene, Lisa, Deshawn, Kim & Sheree.

Game on.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Getting my knit on...

Webs, for those unaware, is knitting mecca -- a yarn shop that has grown since my first visit to its tiny basement-like storefront near alma mater to the crazy & wonderful huge-ness it is today. 

To put it in standardized test terms, Webs is to classic local yarn shop as The Breakers is to summer rental. 

I found delicious Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere, Prism Merino Mia and Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton a-plenty. And because my Santa loves the gift certificate, I appeased my inner yarn slut & gave the Webs 'year-end blow out' its due without a trace of post-holiday guilt.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holly*days from Thimble Farm

It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow
I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow

Where it's snowing
All winter through
That's where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That's what I'll do
How I'm longing to ski
Through the snow oh oh oh oh

Those glist'ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow
No white Christmas with no snow

I'll soon be there with snow
I'll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I'll build a man that's made of snow
I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep
And dream
Of snow