Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Flicks...

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends I'll wrap up the week with a couple of really fine films I had the chance to view this week. 

Now, I know that you probably think I can't watch anything after about 1966....67.....  but that just isn't so.  I can watch almost anything, but my preference is for old film from the "golden Age" of film making.  I do not care for those two words and think they are used way too much!!  the two films today where both made in the last 10 years and both of these films I had never seen before nor had I heard about them - but found them just searching around looking at different acoptrs bios.

First up would be "The Straight Story" - 1999 - starring Sissy Spacek and Richard Farnsworth.  Directed by David Lynch - this is not a movie for fans of the usual eerie Lynch stuff. Rather, it's for those who appreciate a good story.  The story unfolds flawlessly, and we are taken along a journey that, I believe, most of us will come to recognize at some time. A compassionate journey where we make amends for our past when approaching our inevitable demise.  Acting is without faults, cinematography likewise (occasionally quite brilliant!), and the dialogue is spare enough for the viewer to grasp the details of the story. A really good movie that develops slowly.

The second film I want to mention is "Noel" - 2004 - starring Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin and Robin Willimas.  I love Christmas films but I had never seen this one - nor had I heard much about it either.

With an all-star cast and a story written with such complex layer and beauty, it is hard to not fall deep into the spirit of this movie. As we watch each character move through the day and night before Christmas Day, we see their stories woven into an interconnected pattern which ultimately proves the magical power of the Holiday.  Each story different, each life full of pain and love; both sides of the Christmas holiday are shown in this film. The lonely and the loved, the heartsick and the passionate, the joyful and the sad - Noel is a Christmas story which speaks to the truth of the magic of Holiday Season. All actors shine in this touching film, with the performances of Susan Sarandon, Penelope Cruz, Paul Walker, Alan Arkin, and Robin Williams encompassing intense, simple, and artful portraits of the human condition. If you are looking for a modern Holiday movie full of the rich character and story detail found in the great reels of the past - do not turn to the numerous "Seasonal flicks" found on cable TV - but rather, discover and rediscover the magic found in Noel. 

I thoroughly enjoyed these two films and with each running about 100 minutes they move along telling great stories!!  I hope you check them out.

There you go sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by  - and for your great comments!!  
Do come again!

Take care,

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Kitties, Two Stitches and some Wings!!!!!

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends we are now in the throws of our "summer weather."  Last week we had a couple of days of warm weather and this week we are into our third day of "heat."  Now, heat is relative and here in SF when the temps rise into the upper 70's low 80's it is defined as "hot" weather - Tomorrow and every day until Sunday the high temps will begin to drop 6+ degrees a day and we should get a sprinkle of rain or two at the end of the four days.  That's about it for the Summer type of anything - and I am not going to complain!!

I mentioned yesterday that we are taking care of a couple f kitties - so I thought you might like to see Nikita and Chauncey - they are very sweet kitties.

They used to be very skittish when we first met them a few years ago - but now they both come running for rubs and scratches and some play time.

I finished up Part 5 of the Mystery SAL Sampler that Carol is running - Here is where mine stands as of last night..
and , I also worked a bit on the Mary Beale Sampler.....

My flash was way too hot and I tired to compensate with a colour fix and so I got this craptastic snaperoo.  You get the idea.

Last night Rico brought home some delicious wings - lemon/pepper and Hickory Smoked BBQ!!  From a place called "Wing Stop."  He was introduced to this place by a coworker - thanks Prisma!!, we stopped on the way home at the Safeway and picked up some Loaded Skins and cole slaw - the beer we already had - and it was one terrific dinner!!!!!  I do love me some Japanese beer!

That's about it for today sports fans - thanks for stopping by!!  Do come again!
Take care,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baking Tuesday and Two Sweet Kitties

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends thanks for stopping by  - also, thanks for all the nice comments about the stitching stuff in yesterdays post.  I do love Mary Beale project/charts and even though they are older, OOP, HTF and only available on the secondary market - eBay - it does not not make them any less good or fun or clever and certainly worth stitching.  I think they have a sort of timelessness about them.  You know how some charts look dated within 3 minutes of publication.  Then there are the "styles" of stitching or charts that come and go so quickly - I think that MB has staying power and I like doing them - they are just hard to find and are only ever charted for DMC.  I did work a bit on HB, and also some on Part 5 of the Mystery Sampler, but do not have a snap of either piece....  I spent most of the evening playing "dog chew toy" with the hounds.  Why is it that I am more fun to chew than the dozens of toys littering the floor???

I posted the recipe for the Spice Cake I made on Sunday.  The original recipe came from the "Mennonite Girls can Cook" Blog.  You can click HERE to go there, it is a great Blog, so you should check it out.  I also included the little tweaks I made to the recipe.  For my version and to go to Blacksheep Bakes click HERE.  Here is a snap of my cake.....

It has a great flavour and is a real Fall treat!!

Some friends/neighbors of ours are travelling in Sicily for the next 10 days and we are babysitting their two kitties.  Now, I am a dog person through and trough but these two kitties are totally sweet!!  I am really enjoying the "Kitty Play" I am getting in the morning and evening!  I'll get some snaps of those sweet kitties posted in the next day or so.

I think that about wraps it up for today sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by - do stop by again!!

Take care,

Monday, September 26, 2011

A New Stitch and an Old Stitch

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends it seems that this past weekend was busy or was it?  Although there was two days off we stayed pretty busy just catching up on the day to day things.  I did accomplish one thing I had on my list that I thought I wouldn't get to - I made it to the Serramonte Center - a big Mall just south of the city and picked up a Birthday Present for my Niece.  Her Birthday is coming up - the day after mine - so there is no excuses to forget.  Thank goodness I asked my sister ahead of time what I could get for her - I would have had no idea as to size - or even what department to start looking in.  The sales girl was very helpful at the Macy's and I left with a mission accomplished!!  But, boy did I feel old and clueless!!

I went to that Mall instead of the Mall I usually go to because I needed to stop in to Michael's for a skein of DMC 371 I was missing - which was making me nuts!!  It always seems that out of the 25 skeins you have there is always one that you don't - AND - that one is the one that you need to get a new start moving along.  Here is a snap of my new start .....

"Harvest Blessing" by Mary Beale, 
from Notebook Pocketbook, Fall 1990
28ct PT Fresco - recommended DMC

It is zooming along nicely - and is a smallish piece that I already have a frame lined up from the "frame heap.".
I also got some stitching in on Shores - and here is where I left off on that piece....

Even though the picture is wonky as all get out - you get the idea.  Now that I have the house all filled in this will be a much nicer Block as I really love the way the pine tress look.

There you go sports fans - I did bake a treat but will save that for tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by and for your great comments!!

Take care,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Christmas Cookies and Four Flicks

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends the week has wound down and the weekend is here - woo hoo!!!  Nothing special planned, but just knowing that there are two lovely days ahead is super!!

Something you might not know about me and that I will share today is I enjoy baking - yes, that's right I do love to cook and bake things - you might have figured that out from a few of my prior posts.  Something you really might not know -  a thing I buy every year for as long as I can remember - as soon as I see one of these....

.... in the Fall I snap it up and just start thinking/dreaming of Christmas baking and what I want to make.  It doesn't have to be Better Homes and Gardens - it just has to be a new big thick magazine of Christmas Cookies!! I have a pile of them I keep in a box I haul out every now and then during the year when I need a "shot of Christmas."  This issue has some pretty tasty looking treats and I will certainly enjoy the baking and will let you know what works and what doesn't as I make my way through different recipes.

Now, on to some films I think are pretty good and you might enjoy...... first up  "If you Could Only Cook" - 1935 - starring Jean Arthur and Herbert Marshall, Leo Carillo and Lionel Stander.

This really delightful film is another overlooked, underplayed outing for the marvelous Jean Arthur.  It combines the trademark cracked voice with her razor wit in a hilarious screwball scenario of a homeless gourmet cook and butler who become employed by a gangster.  

The second film - "Fury" - 1936 - starring Sylvia Sidney and Spencer Tracy

Based on the story "Mob Rule" by Norman Krasna. Joe Wilson and Katherine Grant are in love, but he doesn't have enough money for them to get married. So Katherine moves across the country to make money.  Joe eventually follows but is mistaken for a criminal and is thrown in jail.   Through the course of the movie, Fritz Lang shows us how a decent and once civilized man can become a ruthless and bitter man. A strong movie with some superior acting - that all sort of works out in the end.

The next film is a cute fluff piece I had not heard of - "The Rage of Paris" - 1938 - starring Danielle Darrieux, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Mischa Auer and Helen Broderick.

From IMDB  "Nicole has no job and is several weeks behind with her rent. Her solution to her problem is to try and snare a rich husband. Enlisting the help of her friend Gloria and the maitre'd at a ritzy New York City hotel, the trio plot to have Gloria catch the eye of Bill Duncan, a handsome millionaire staying at the hotel. The plan works and the two quickly become engaged. Nicole's plan may be thwarted by Bill's friend, Jim Trevor, who's met Nicole before and sees through her plot."  Big bucks where spent of this film  - Gowns by Vera West and set design by Russell Gausman - totally worth a look - at 78 minutes it moves along quickly.

The last film today is a propaganda film from WWII - and once again you know how I love my WWII films.  The film is called "This Above All" - 1942 - starring Tyrone Power and Joan Fontaine - 

In a nutshell - Aristocratic Prudence Cathaway, played by Fontaine, shocks her family by enlisting in the WAFs.  After enlisting, a fellow WAF sets her up on a blind date with handsome, but moody, Clive Briggs, played by Power.  Prudence learns Clive is a deserter, but still loves him and senses he'll eventually prove himself a patriot. A good film with two top notch actors looking their top notch best - even during the Blitz!!  The film won an Oscar for Art Direction and you can see why in the sets and cinematography - all beautiful!!

There you go - 4 films worth a look!!

Another week wrapped up  - thanks for stopping by - do come again!

Take care,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday Looking at the Weekend

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends it is Thursday and I know I am and probably you are also, in fact we are all probably looking towards the weekend.  Ahhhhh those glorious two days of "rest." 

Not very much to report this morning - just sitting here - eating my raisin snail...

we picked up on the way in this morning......  drinking my faux Mocha coffee...

I throw a shot of Hershey's syrup in my cup of XXDark French Roast coffee -  et voila - faux mocha - and it's healthy too - read the add!!!

Not much else to report - worked some on Shores - lots of dark grey for the roof - I also found a little Fallish/Thanksgiving piece I want to stitch up before I get to Christmas stitching - I need to make a working copy ( I try and never stitch for the original) and pull a piece of linen, but I had all the floss I needed so it is practically kitted up.  :)
I wonder how many of us try and stitch seasonally???  

I think that is about it for today sports fans - short and sweet..........sweet treats...... I do love a good raisin snail, now I'm back to the pastry!! - in fact I sort enjoy raisins in just about anything - delicious!!

Take care,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It Was Like Christmas 94 Days early!!!

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends... first let me again thank everyone for you continued kind comments!!  They make my morning so much brighter - I do love reading them and answering your questions and one question from Maggee got me to thinking.....  "What are Stone Fruit...?"  What a good question - and here is the WIKIPEDIA definition that says it much better than I....  "Stone fruits (or stonefruits or stonefruit), in botany, refers to drupe, fruits in which an outer fleshy part (exocarp, or skin; and mesocarp, or flesh) surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. These fruits develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries. The definitive characteristic of a drupe is that the hard, lignified stone (or pit) is derived from the ovary wall of the flower.
More specifically, "stone fruit" refers to members of the genus Prunus, which includes plums, cherries, peaches, apricots and almonds. It is traditionally placed within the rose family Rosaceae as a subfamily, the Prunoideae (or Amygdaloideae), but sometimes placed in its own family, the Prunaceae (or Amygdalaceae)."  I love reading about things and learning something - I just thought "stone fruit" where fruits with big pits, now I know a bit more - thanks for asking Maggee!!

Now, on to what brought about today's Post title.....  a while back I was one of the winners of Terri's  Give Away over on her Blog - Dixiesampler - well, yesterday the package arrived and I was without words as everything tumbled out.....  here is a snap.....

Look at this pile of goodies!!!  How generous!!  I still can't believe everything - there are charts, there are three cuts of beautiful over dyed linen, there are numerous skeins of gorgeous over dyed floss,  the are skeins of linen floss, there are Cinnamon treats, there is yardage of finishing fabric, there is trim, there are magazines, there is the cutest puchwork pin, there is a super darning egg (I do love darning eggs - not that I darn anything, but I like the shape)  there is candy... and it goes on and on and on!!!!  Thank you so very much Terri!!!!  There you have it - my "Fall Christmas Present!!"

There you go sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by - do come again.

Take care,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

More Weekend Things

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends thank you so much for all the kind comments - you all certainly bolster my self esteem to no end!!!  I do love a visit to "Needle in a Haystack" - not only is it a great store but so nice to visit and just look!!  It is also great to be able to bounce ideas off the staff, they are so helpful with everything.  My visit as i said I took a list of things I was interested in and they went out of their way to find a book for me that I wanted to see - after looking through the book it was easy to pass on it and so I saved myself $27 - that I could put else where.

On Sunday after Mass and some super scrumptious pancakes at Eddie's we headed over to our (I can get so possessive sometimes) Farmers Market - and here are some snaps.....

There where some beautiful peppers.....

My weekly adoration of the the tomato snap......

These where really great looking stone fruit....

There are still some great looking peaches coming out of the Valley - even this late in the season.

On Sunday I baked up a quick Coffee Cake using the last of my Black Berries - I have made this before and you can click HERE to go to BBB for the recipe.  Here is a snap...

I left off any glaze and added an additional 1/2 Cup of berries to this cake -  and the cake was super moist and real berry-licious!!

I finished up a great Biography of Judy Holliday - written in 1982 it covers her life and career very well.   It is the only Biography that is out there for Judy.  A great read!!


There you go sports fans - thanks again for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment!  
Do come again.

Take care,

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Very Nice Weekend

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends we had such a nice weekend - nothing traumatic, nothing crazy - just smooth sailing and two lovely days of bright warm weather.  Out here our Fall season in the city are usually warm and beautiful and the past two days have lived up to that!! In fact we cooked a couple of steaks on the grill and sat by the "cement pond" (pool) for a long time yesterday afternoon........  

The pool heater is broken so the water temps are in the low 60's so no swimming - but the breeze was warm a delicious and the sun was shinning!!  It is supposed to be nice for the next couple of days so I see more "pool" sitting in our future!!

I have some stitching stuff to share - on Saturday after a quick and quite tasty challah/bacon/schmear and a cup of coffee at Noah's we headed over to Alameda and to my LNS "Needle in a Haystack."

I know I have posted some snaps of the inside before but here are some I took on Saturday....

Just as you walk in the front door is a great Hallowe'en tree with lots of cute ornaments!!!

Then there are all the lovely colours.....

 and the gorgeous silks.....

and more silks...

and all the racks of great stash.....   

I was very good and only worked from a list of things I wanted/needed/wanted -  so my stash acquisition was on the small side!!  Isn't the Peach cute - she has to check everything out that hits the floor!!   I have two projects in mind that I want to do so that was my focus.  Both are Christmas themed pieces - the first is -

 - from the Blackbird Designs Joyeux Noel Book they released last year or the year before - "Tis the Season" - a great red bird piece I have wanted to do for along time.  I finally picked up the 36ct LL "Pear" linen for it - it has a green cast that I think will make the Belle Soie Silks really pop.  I had all the silks in my stash except for the Vanilla one so I also picked that up.  The second project is - 

This Christmas Alphabet - I have had this chart for a few years and just never got a piece of linen I liked for actually stitching it up on - it is an odd size 15" x 15' and the chart calls for "Natural" - whatever that means - the picture of the piece on the front looks blue to me!!  So I picked up a piece of 36 ct LL Meadow Rue that I think will look nice.  I had a hard time deciding on this as one of the colours is a sort of off ecru and bled into most of the pale beige linens I was pulling - this has enough contrast to make even the ecru stand out.  I am doing this in the recommended DMC as that is the only reference for floss.  I may switch it all to HDF silks, but for now I have the DMC kitted up.  Have a month to make a final decision.

I did some actual stitching also this weekend - I finished up part 4 of Carol's mystery sampler -

I added little touches of Blueberry Soup and changed the heart to be a bit more open.   This great little piece is really coming along!!  I also worked some on "Shores" - here is how it stands now...

I was very happy to get the rocks finished and get started on the little house.

I think I will leave off on that for today.  I still have some other snaps and a baked goodie to talk about, but I'll chat about that tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by, do come again!!

Take care,

Friday, September 16, 2011

The 3 Big Holidays..... and a Lolly Snap

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends another week down and now - 
we only have 45 more days until Hallowe'en....  


69 more days until Thanksgiving.... 


and  .....99 more days until Christmas

(snaps from the Internet)  

The three big Fall Holidays are fast approaching.  I remember as a kid growing up in Maryland how they couldn't come fast enough - now time is so fleeting that I can not figure where it all goes??  Oh well, that's how it is I guess.

I sent a snap I took of the Embarcadero to Beth Twist over at "My Heartstring."  She has a little blog called "My Heartstring Across the World" where you can take a snap of her header in your locale.  Here was what I sent....

Rico is holding his phone and the Ferry Building is in the background.

I wanted to leave off the week with a snap of Lolly - she often runs upstairs and on the bed to get away from  the ever frisky little Smokie.

 In the last couple of weeks he has learned to climb the stairs and it is only a little time I think until he can get on the bed.  But, for now she has a safe place!!

There you go sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by and for leaving those great comments!!  
Have a super weekend - !!

Take care,

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cake and Pizza

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends - with a Post title like that how can you go wrong!!  I meant to post the cake recipe yesterday but just didn't get to it - and last night we were at a loose end as to what to do for dinner and came up with a "fake" pizza....  so I will chatter about two food things this morning.

First up I have to talk about the cake. This is the "Sticky Orange Marmalade Cake"

It is a recipe I found over at "The English Kitchen" - a really wonderful Blog written by Marie all about her exploits in the kitchen!!  You can click HERE to go there.  I often make the things she posts and found this cake to be top notch and made with things just about all of us have in the kitchen - AND - I love me some Marmalade -  all different kinds and brands, they are all so very tasty!!  So this cake fits the bill and is simply delicious with a cup of coffee.... and comes together so quickly.  You can click HERE to go to Black sheep Bakes to see my posting of the recipe.

The crumb is good and you can see the bits of orange peel from the included marmalade.

Now for the pizza - last night I hadn't a clue what to make for dinner so we started to look around in the fridge and cupboard to see what we had and Rico suggested pizza - Well, we had no dough, not the right cheese, no pepperoni....  but we did have.. two cans of Crescent rolls, some hamburger in the freezer and a can of pizza sauce...  we also had some "Mexican" blend shredded cheese, some olives and an onion .....

..... all the ingredients for "fake" pizza.  I got out a large pan and some olive oil and oiled that sucker up.  I then rolled out the rolls and pinched the seams together then laid them into the pan, covering the bottom.  I got the hamburger browning on the stove with the chopped up onion and some garlic.   Starting off by spreading the pizza sauce over the dough, then the cooked burger, then 3 or 4 TBL of olives. This was covered by the cheese and I sprinkled some Parmesan cheese over everything.  Into a 350 degree oven until brown and bubbly.....

...  and out pops a pretty tasty dinner.  Rico made a green salad....

and we had dinner last night and some left over for lunches today - 

I love it when everything is already in the house for a meal - even if we have to improvise one!!

I think today I'll leave you with a snaperoo of the Pete - he is worn out being chased by Smokie and this snap sort of epitomises how tired he gets in the evening....

There you go sports fans.  Thanks again for stopping by my little part of the Blog Universe - do come again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Quikie "Shores" Posting

Gentle Readers and Dear Friends just a short post today.   Without much really to talk about I thought I would show my less than stellar progress on Shores...

.......  HOLY TILT Batman ........  whats up with that dramatic snap??  As you can see I am once again bogged down with more Pale Jade fill stitching - you would think I was cornering the market on this shade of Silk - I am still loving this piece, but be forewarned when you  - if you - stitch Shores - there is lots of Pale Jade Silk in your future!!  Since the Pale Jade is only a water line on this square I will finish it out and then start to work on the rocks upon which this water crashes.....

Another Shores snap is my evening help.... you can see I have my pile of stuff for Shores on the corner of the couch and The Peach just watching my progress.  Don't let the half closed eye fool you - this little ball of cute is smart and knows when she hears me pop the linen off the Q-Snaps that it is time for bed and she immediately hops down and trots off to warmer spots upstairs.

There you go sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by and for you taking time to leave such nice comments!!!  Do stop by again.

Take care,

Let's Stick to the 1840's

 Gentle Friends, I finished up Miss Sarah Barker 1840 here's an old snaperooo of how she looks... "Sarah Barker 1840"  from Ne...