January 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Julie!

If you're hopping from Cristina's blog, you're in the right spot!

It's been forvever since this ol' blog has seen any love, but I'm popping my head back into blogland today for a very good reason - Julie's 50th birthday blog hop!

Happy Birthday, Julie!


Over the years there have been many laughs, shared hotel rooms, nose prints on windows, conversations husbands couldn't get a spare word in, some healthy snark, pretty cocktails, ferry rides, competition-level enabling, and looking back ... a shocking lack of paper-crafting together.  *laugh*  Good times. 

I hope your birthday is fabulous, J!  *hugs to you*  


Next stop on Julie's Birthday Blog Hop is Sharon!  

For a full list of everyone celebrating Julie's big day, head on over to The CLASSroom!


finished card size: 4.25" x 5.5"

stamps: sentiment from "love me do" set (a muse studio)
ink: versafine onyx (sentiment) 
cardstock: sugar, seattle chevron, bermuda chevron, orange chevron (cut into strips) (a muse studio)
embellishment: orange twinkle stickers (a muse studio

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August 30, 2011

Boo ...

More Halloweenie goodness today - in treat form!

I was playing around with "cool" color combintions (as opposed to warm combinations like red and orange) the other day and landed on purple, grey, and blue.  Not really a traditional Halloween combo, but I think it sets a great tone for a spooky forest and a cute sparkling ghost. 


I do love that little ghost, he's so stinkin' cute.  You can also see in this shot that it all comes together on a great little brown paper bag!

This shot gives you a better look at how it all comes together: I trimmed the top of the bag to make it even, then cut cardstock to match the height and width of the bag.  After that, I cut another piece for the back, adding a bit more length to make the flap that folds over on the front to close it.  Attach the cardstock to the back and front of the back, a bit of ribbon to tie it all together, attach the stamped bit, and you've got one easy peasy, totally cute treat bag! 

Dontcha' want to make a ton of these?  Eeep!

stamps: too cute to spook, spooky boo day, darling dots background (a muse studio)
cardstock: heather, sugar, sky (a muse studio)
ink: blackberry, pebble, memento tuxedo black (ghost), versafine onyx (sentiment) (a muse studio)
embellishment: washi tape (from holiday collection), diamond glitter, sky polka dot organdy ribbon, 3D foam adhesive (under ghost), bg10 copic marker (a muse studio)
other: .5lb brown paper bag, pinking border die set (medium size), big shot (a muse studio)

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August 28, 2011

happy halloween night ...

Hello, again!  It's been a while, hasn't it?  It's been a busy summer here, filled with lots of work-related travel and more time in Seattle (D and I love Seattle summers).  But being away from my crafty space for extended bits of time means I've haven't been creating just for the fun of it much, but I'm home now and Halloween is in the air ...

When I was trying to figure out the best way to execute the cauldron idea rolling around in my head, I knew I wanted something that wasn't perfectly circular for the cauldron.  Looking at the new A Muse Studio dies, I realized the top of the Snowglobe die would totally do the trick!  I die cut the Snowglobe top from Onyx cardstock, freehand cut an arc for the mouth of the cauldron, and Bob's your uncle!


And to get that cauldron to bubble, it needed a flame, right?  Bring on the Grass Border die from the main catalog!  It's great for more than just grass, you know?!  *wink*  

I added a few green button "bubbles" to finish it off (with a bit of glitter added with a glue pen).

A Muse Studio's new Holiday Catalog  is filled with Halloween goodness (you can check it out at www.amusestudio.com). 


stamps: happy jacks, web background (a muse studio)
cardstock: pebble, onyx, wasabi, papaya, pumpkin (a muse studio)
ink: versafine onyx black, pebble ( a muse studio
embellishment: onyx brad, grass buttons, diamond glitter (a muse studio)
other: snowglobe die set, grass border die, sakura quickie glue pen (for adding glitter to buttons), mini glue dots (for adhering buttons), 3D foam adhesive (for poping up "flames) (a muse studio)

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April 12, 2011

frida and the wrap-up ...

One more long, photo-heavy travel post ahead ...

You know how, when you plan a trip, there's always something you look forward to a little more than the rest?  Last Saturday's plan for the day was it for me on this trip.  Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's house in the morning, the house where Leon Trotsky's was assasinated, and a long walk between two neighborhoods described as "the most beautiful in Mexico City" (Coyoacán and San Angel), ending with the Mercado Sabado artist's market. 

If you've made it through any of my other long-winded travel accounts, you'll know my preference for art falls in more classic genres.  French romantics, Dutch masters ... plop me in front of View of Delft and I'm giddy.  So while this is where I confess that I'm not a huge fan of Frida Kahlo's work in general, I am an art lover.  An art museum lover.  And if I have a chance to see where the history of an artist unfolds, I'm gonna' do my best to see it - and hope I leave with a better understanding of it.  Whether I love it or not.  (D and I outside Casa Azul.)

And while the personal pain and suffering Kahlo so often depicted in her paintings doesn't speak to me personally, I do like the way she wove Mexican culture and tradition into her work.  (And hey, I like skeletons.)

No one really paid much attention to Kahlo's work until the 80's.  (Up until then she was primarily known as "Diego Rivera's wife.")  Then something called Neomexicanismo happened and she (along with other Mexican painters) got some attention from the art world.  

That led to exhibits outside of Mexico and a best-selling biography in the years that followed.  (A movie based on that biography garnered her more attention too.)  Interesting morsel of trivia: she was the first Hispanic woman featured on a US postage stamp - in 2001. 

There was a small collection of her paintings on display as you meandered through the house.  Most walls were white, trimmed in a bright, vivid yellow.  But punctuated here and there with bright green or blue.  And with patterns.  Especially in the kitchen.  There were paintings of Rivera's as well.  Photos.  Personal things.  Knick knacks.  It was colorful.  Bright.  And cool inside, despite the heat.  Really, truly pretty.  

This is iconic Kahlo - to me.  Her bedroom.  Her bed.  And the mirror her mother installed on the canopy so she could paint after the accident that caused her to leave med school.  And her death mask laying on the bed, wrapped in a shawl.

But my favorite room was the one behind these windows - the studio.  Paned windows on 3 walls, so much light, but filtered from all the trees in the courtyard.  They said it was still set up as Rivera left it.  A huge desk, one of the largest easels I've ever seen.  Pastels from Paris.  A giant box of paints - messy and aged.  Palettes.    

I'm not really sure what I expected from Caza Azul, but it was like a little oasis in a frenzied city.  And so pretty.

With little alcoves in the courtyard.  Fountains.  Statues.  Green, lush, and completely set apart from the blazing sun outside the walls.

And I had to show you this - a giant rubber stamp roller, carved from a tire. 

There were a few bright yellow tables in the middle of the courtyard.  We sat, chatted, and I tried to get the shade of blue on the walls right. There was a constant breeze and sitting there was so nice.  And the place was nearly empty, so we sorta' had it to ourselves for a little while. 

I really, really liked that courtyard.  And the shade.  The breeze.  And the blue.  It changed the color of everything else - even the light was cool.

If you're ever in Mexico City.  It's a must-see.  Even if all you do is sit in the courtyard for an hour or two.

Coyoacán wasn't easy to get to from the Zócalo.  No close Metro stops, no easy connections ... so we used one of the car & drivers available to hotel guests to get us there. We had big plans for today and figured saving some time at the onset was a good plan.  Hailing taxis is something we were cautioned about before going.  If you're a US citizen in Mexico CIty, attached to the Embassy or working for the government there, using local taxis is currently against the rules.  Abductions, ransom.  Crazy stuff.  So, we were careful about the transportation we used.  (I also noticed Jose making note of our destination and the license plate of the car before we left.)   

So that's why I didn't really notice the difference until we were walking ...

... it was quiet.


There were lots of flowers and trees.  And shade.

And no music.

We walked by the Trotsky house.  Saw the murals on the outside walls.

And started walking towards the plaza for lunch ...

More trees.  More quiet.  I wasn't sure what to make of it after the past few days in the Zócalo.  It didn't seem right.



We ate lunch in Coyoacán's Plaza.  On the terrace of an old villa D had read about.  The food was really tasty and we sat there for a long time, plying ourselves with Victoria and Limonada.

And then we walked some more ...

The distance from Coyoacán to San Angel is about 2.5 miles.  Which we crossed slowly.  Stopping to take photos.  To look around.  To sit in a park.  Or two.  Or three. 

The streets continued to be quiet.  The homes were large and elegant.  Pretty little parks with pretty little churches. 




And there were petals falling all around us.  Piling in the streets in purples, pinks, yellows, and reds ... lovely really.  But we were also tired.  And hot.  I'd forgotten how heat can take the steam right outta' ya'.  We don't really have that here.  And certainly not humidity.




But we made it to San Angel.  Found the market.  And found the objective - a molcajete.  (The Mexican version of a mortar and pestle.)  Not particularly huge by molcajete standards, less than a foot wide at the mouth, it's easily 50 or 60 pounds.  And the one thing we REALLY wanted to bring home with us. 

We were still stuffed from lunch, but plopped ourselves in a pretty courtyard resturant under trees dropping more purple petals and ... sat.  Cool drink in hand.  Watching the petals, listening to a fountain, and groaning about how stuffed we still were, hours after lunch. 

On the way back to the hotel a few hours later, D and I were talking about the differences in the neighborhoods we visited - stark contrasts for sure.  San Angel hadn't done much for me.  I called it the "Montmartre of Mexico City" (or more accurately, the "Painter's Square of Mexico City").  While the market was kinda' cool, the area seemed sterile in comparison to everything else we'd seen.  Like it was the manufactured image of Mexico City that was comfortable enough for tourists (and it was really the only other place we saw white tourists - though they were British, not American). 

The food was amazing.  I'm already missing Tacos al Pastor.  (And we had none of the stomach issues you seem to always hear about in conjunction with Mexico travel.)  We ate well.  For nearly nothing.

Which brings me to the money.  I gotta' say, I struggled with this.  I didn't want to haggle in the markets.  I wanted to pay them what they asked and not care if I was being "ripped off."  Because, seriously, whether I paid $3 US for a tortilla press or $5, I was still going back to a comfortable home with more than I need.  Poverty is humbling.  And you weigh the appearance of arrogance, with just wanting to give someone a little something more.  I know what the books say, what you're "supposed" to do.  But I still don't know what the right answer is.  Or what the right thing to do was.  I guess you go with your gut, and the rest will sort itself out.

And that was our trip!  It was great.  Amazing actually.  We had a fabulous time and will absolutely go back.  But ... I will look for a flight on a larger plane.  *grin*

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a history of mexico ...

Another photo-heavy travel post ahead ...

The Zócalo in Mexico City (officially the Plaza de la Constitución) is huge - one of the largest town squares in the world - and has been a gathering place for Mexicans since Aztec times.  (And while we were there, thousands of folks had gathered to protest the US's War on Drugs and the effect it's having on Mexico.)  The Palacio Nacional, which houses the office of the President, among other things, is also on the Zócalo.  And a monumental mural in the center staircase by Diego Rivera is one of it's star attractions.

Married to Frida Kahlo, he was many things: a patriot, a Communist who paved the way for Leon Trotsky to seek exile in Mexico City, and an artist seemingly influenced by time in Paris when stuff was happening in the modern art world.  Coming out on the post-impressionist side of it all with simple shapes and bright colors that dominated most of his most iconic work.  The mural in the staircase details Rivera's interpretation of Mexico's history (and where he thought she was headed).

There was also a museum with paintings, artifacts, and furniture bearing witness to the last 200 years of Mexico history.  A long hallway of historic flags was particularly cool. 


The Palace is massive and takes up an entire side of the Zócalo.  This is the Grand Courtyard, one of 14.  (Sorta' reminds me of the Doge's Palace in Venice from this vantage point.) 

A few more photos of the courtyard ...


Rivera planned 11 more murals for the middle floor of the palace depicting Mexico's contributions to the world, but they were never finished. 


And like the ginormous mural in the staircase, also outside.


An interior shot ...

Reminders that it's still an active government building are ever-present.  Security with machine guns flanking the arches.  Cameras everywhere.  Photos weren't allowed in most of the rooms, but they were lovely.  And somewhat French-inspired (and chandeliers that reminded me of the ones at Versailles.) 

After touring the small part of the Palace open to the Public, we exited into another courtyard in the back.  There's a lot of activity there, along with a busy, more modern office complex.  And where the Palace felt a little dark, it was bright and sunny here. 

With giant cacti.

And pretty flowers. 

We skipped the afternoon break to see Templo Mayor before it closed.  It's just a short walk across the street from the Palace, along the side of the Cathedral ...

... through throngs of folks selling stuff.   Like straw hats, beaded things, and plastic Aztec trinkets.

And into the ruins of an Aztec temple.  Right in the heart of the city.  Crazy.  Here's a few of my favorite shots in the ruins ...


Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) was the Aztec capital.  After it's destruction, Templo Mayor (like the rest of the city), was covered over by the Spanish.


And then the temple's location was forgotten.

Folks guessed the temple was underneath the Cathedral, but in the 70's workers digging for the electric company discovered a huge disc depicting the Aztec moon goddess - off to the side of the church.  Said moon goddess was the sister of one of the gods the temple had been dedicated to, so this tipped them off that they'd guessed wrong on the temple's location.   There's a pretty convoluted story that goes with it about the brother (the god of war) that kills the sister (the moon goddess), because she killed their mother and how that affected the sunset and sunrise.  

Regardless, the 600 year old disc that helped pinpoint the temple's location is on display in the museum attached to the site.

Most of the artifacts excavated from the site were sacrificial in nature, but others were simply ornamental.  This is one of the eagle warriors excavated from the site.  The Eagle Warriors were a priviledged class and, you guessed it, dressed like eagles.   

A shrine of human skulls, covered in plaster, forming walls ...

The museum on the site was dramatically laid out.  We climbed up through galleries (like climbing up temple steps), before getting to the top floor and the dramatic views of some of the most significant pieces laid out below.

And it was inside.  In relative cool. 

Mexico50After exploring the ruins in the sun, during the hottest part of a 90 degree day, we were beat, somewhat sunburned, and craving a cold drink.  Leaving the temple, we picked up more water (the 7-Eleven next door proved very handy) and crashed in the hotel for a couple of hours.  Later that night we went out for dinner, walked to the performing arts center - Bellas Artes - to see the statues outside, and ended the night with Churros.  Again.

More to come ...

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April 11, 2011

ciudad de mexico, continued ...

Another long, photo heavy travel post ahead ...Mexico5One of our favorite things to do in a city is go to markets.  And if you pick a good one - one the folks who live in a place actual use - it's generally a great glimpse into life where you're visiting.  Last Thursday we headed out on foot from the Zocalo towards the Mercado de la Merced - the largest food market in the city.

It would have been a quick ride on the Metro, but we wanted to see the city on foot.  Like we saw on the ride from the airport the day before, there's a lot happening in the streets.  And noise.  Traffic, voices, laughter, and music.  Lots of music.  Blaring loudly from cars, homes, and stores.  Big life.  And police.  In cars, filling the backs of trucks, and on nearly every street corner.  I wasn't sure if that should make me feel good or bad.


I'm not gonna' sugar-coat things.  The area was bright, colorful, folks were laughing (we saw a guy being held down on the ground while two others tickled him).  It was also grimey and dilapidated.  We saw a lot of trash.  But did it feel dangerous or threatening?  No.  I didn't feel unwelcome - and D and I stuck out like sore caucasian thumbs.  The camera got a little attention, but no more so than I'm used to.

And it smelled like fruit - pineapples, mostly. 
This is also where the prices started sinking in.  A kilo of limes for 7 pesos?   That's under a dollar.  A huge watermelon for 4 pesos?  Not much more than a quarter. 

Vendors spilled out into the streets for blocks leading up the market proper (this was taken about a block away).   

Inside the market, the smells were amazing.  Depending on the row, there were more fruit smells, peppers, and cooking meats from the food vendor rows.  Halfway through, my eyes were stinging and my nose running from the peppers.  But while the stinging might sound bad, it wasn't ... I love peppers and they smelled so good.  (And I was really wishing we had a stove to cook on.) 

 More veg.


 And tomatillos.  Pretty. 

The smell of cilantro and lime wafted down the aisles too.  I don't think I'll ever smell cilantro and lime again and not think of Mexico City.  And Tacos al Pastor.  Again.  This time from a stall in the market. 

 With a squirt of lime.

 This was the Nopales aisle.  Cactus.

A whole aisle (and a long one) of folks cutting the prickly bits off or chopping them (which was nothing short of amazing to watch).  You could buy the chopped one in bags - they looked like little chopped sticks of celery.  Or whole.   I'm still not quite sure how, or what, you cook with 'em.  I wanted to try them and looked for them when we were eating, but never saw 'em.  Something I still need to look up the details on ...

Aside from the fruit, veg, and meats inside, there was a half a row of huge pinatas and the stuff to fill 'em.  There were also some decorations.  Firecrackers.  Dish towels.  Underwear.  You get the idea.  And lining the market's outside walls were more frut and veg ...

... cazuelas and other household needs.  Tortilla presses.  Juicers.  All sorts of pots and pans.  Another section seemed to be geared towards restaurants or street vendors, selling giant grills and huge juicers.  Tons of pans and baking supplies.  A real treasure trove.

 We did pick up a few things here.  Mole paste.  Some spices.  A tortilla press.  A cazuela. 

We wandered in the market and nearby streets for hours and by afternoon it had gotten pretty hot.  Tired and beginning to turn pink, we started back to the hotel, ducking into this church (nearly hidden in plain site), for a break and a double-check of the map.  And found folks sleeping.  We were sorely tempted to join 'em.

We took different streets back.  Past stores packed high with cans and bottles of drinks.  Then fabrics and vinyl and foam.  And on past the church where Cortez is buried. 

And bug after bug.

 Back at the hotel we put the neighboring 7-Eleven to good use for bottles of much needed, cold water.  


 We hung out in the hotel for a couple of hours.  Cooled off.  Showered.  And drank a lot of water. 



And then we had an adventure.  Plaza Garibaldi.  Mariachi bands gather there to be hired.  (Or play for whoever will pay 'em.)  There were a lot of them!  Some were good.  Some not so much.  We found a place to eat with a table outside and listened.  And ate.  Then hired one we liked and they played.  It was fun - definitely an experience.  As was getting to the Plaza from the Metro stop ... 



We knew going in that it was a "seedy" part of town and coming up out of the Metro I was immediately uncomfortable.  It looked like a war zone.  I've never seen anything like it.  Trash blowing, refuge piled - feet high - blocking the sidewalk.  Peep shows.  But even given the warning the neighborhood came with, and it's look, the closest we came to an "issue" was being propositioned by a tranny hooker - a first, though not really an issue considering "no, gracias" covered the exchange - walking all the while.  *chuckle*   BUT we knew what we were walking into before we did it.  So weren't surprised.  Had no wallet, not much cash, and no camera - just our phones.  And was it worth it?  Totally.

The next day Jose asked us where we'd gone.  He raised his eyebrows when we told him we'd been to La Merced and the Plaza.  He said  "Oh!  Well ...  " in a way that made it seem the two spots weren't tops on the list of sites he helps people see.  Then he shrugged and said "Ah, but that is Mexico." 

And that's what we wanted to see.

More to come ...

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blame it on rick bayless ...

A long, photo-heavy travel post ahead ...

It's 1996 (or so) and D and I meet Rick Bayless at a Food & Wine Festival in Florida.  D's smitten with his food and we buy a cookbook.  Over the years we buy more of his cookbooks and have more chances to eat his food.  He seems passionate about Mexico (and it's food).  It's infectious.  And ... his recipes make yummy stuff.  Jump ahead to more recent times ... we're back in the US and D's discovered Rick's show Mexico - One Plate at a Time on PBS, the wonders of a DVR, and an entire season dedicated to Mexico City.   He tapes them all.  Multiple times.  And we watch 'em all.  Multiple times.  This pattern repeats for a year or so.  And D starts talking about going to Mexico City more and more ... 

And that's how we ended up on a tiny plane, flying into Mexico City on D's birthday. 


Watching the city come into view, I'm struck by the haze.  I'd read about the pollution.  How they attempt to combat it.  But was surprised that it was so thick it obscured the mountains ringing the city.  That grey, overcast look to the photos isn't cloudy skies.


No longer descending through the smog, the lower we get, the sunnier it is.  But the light still has a hazy cast.  Kinda' like a humid southern summer evening.   

I'd read all sorts of things about travel in Mexico.  Listened to a lot of advice.  Some of it good, common sense advice, but most seemed a bit on the paranoid side (even more so in retrospect).  I mean, there's a difference between being a smart, aware traveler and a paranoid American.  And there were times when I thought my brain would explode if one more person said, in a derisive tone, "Why would you go there?"  

Clearing customs was easy and the driver the hotel had arranged was waiting for us on the other side.  We hit a bank machine before leaving the airport for Pesos and were off.   Driving in cities doesn't phase me, but even I'll admit that it looked pretty insane from the backseat.  There were people in the streets, music blaring from vendors lining the sidewalks, and people weaving around cars on foot.  So much going on.  

The hotel we used was in the historic center, on the Zocalo (the town square), and was lovely.  Meshed in between a 7-11 and a jewelry store, you could easily miss the entrance if you didn't know where to look.  A huge stained-glass ceiling.  Old iron elevators (more for looks - there were modern ones too), red velvet chairs, and giant bird cages.  (The birds seemed to sing constantly, until they covered the cages at night.)  The rooms were small, but nice.  The bed was hard as a rock though.  *laugh*

It was early evening by the time we were settled into the hotel and out the door again.  There was a large "gathering" on the square as Jose, the concierge, put it.  (Read, political protest.)  More music.  Chanting we couldn't understand.  Cheers.  And a lot of police in riot gear.  This may sound a little off-putting, but it wasn't.  It seemed to ... fit.

We peeked in the Cathedral, mass was going on, so we didn't stay very long.  We sat on steps a few doors down from this one and took it all in.  Here's a few of my favorite photos from around the Zocalo that night ...



Food was next.  We didn't have a plan for the first night (other than churros for dessert in celebration of D's birthday at some point). We picked a street and started walking.  It didn't take a full block before something smelling yummy drew us in.   Not speaking much Spanish, we didn't really know what it was.  But ... what the heck.  We walked in, ordered two of something, got two of something, and sat down to eat it ...

The tortillas were soft'ish.  Filled with yummy stuff.  Kinda' a paste-like texture, but not really a paste.  Clear as mud?  *grin*  The one in front had chicken in it, very spicy.  I was in heaven.  The other was ... something else.  Still yummy, more white in color, but less spicy.  D and I shared 'em both, but I not-so-secretly wanted to make off with the one in front and have it all to myself.  *wink*

We sat along the wall on stools pulled up to a small counter.  Along the counters were tubs of spicy green sauce or carrots and jalapenos (which I didn't see until we were walking out or would have tried - I've never met a jalapeno I didn't like).  The green stuff was so good.  I hummed happily and did the happy food dance.  The place was hopping.

A little more walking. 

We find my favorite food of the entire trip on the first night, not too far from the hotel.  The place had no name that I ever saw posted.  Just a guy and a spit of meat outside, a small selection of other stuff inside, and 6 seats along a counter.

Tacos al Pastor to die for.  One for me, one for D.  (But I wanted them both all to myself after the first bite.  *laugh*)  I've had these at home at the local Mexican joint.  But they don't even come close.  Man, oh man, I will miss these.

The early flight (the alarm went off at 4:30am) started catching up with us after tacos, round two.  We walked back to the hotel and went up to the rooftop bar for a drink and a sit.  Gorgeous views of the Zocalo.

And the Cathedral.

We watched the sunset.  And then sat some more.



Fortified by all the sitting we'd done at the hotel bar, we went back to the room to find El Moro (a churreria) on a map and figure out how to get there.  Course plotted, we started walking.   And ran across Ideal along the way.  A bakery in a huge, pretty brick building.  Tables set out with cookies, cakes, and breads.  We watched what folks were doing, and did the same.  We grabbed a tray, tongs, and picked up what we wanted to try.  Took it to a gaggle of ladies in cute uniforms in the back (near a fountain) who wrote out a ticket.  And took the ticket to a counter to pay while they wrapped up the goodies.



It's also worth mentioning that the bakery was hopping and it was 10:30pm.  Not only were the bakeries hopping, the streets were still filled with people.  Dinner time in Mexico City seemed to be around the 8-9pm hour.  It's a night owl town.  Which I loved.  And by the end of our trip, it made total sense.  It didn't take long to discover the heat and sun were pretty brutal from 3-5, at least to us.  Most days we took a little break then and went back out once the sun started to set a little.



After the bakery diversion (said visit provided breakfast and snacks for the rest of the trip), we found El Moro with no trouble.  Which simply rocked.  Open 24/7, if you've ever been to New Orleans, think of it like a Mexican Cafe du Monde.  Fresh churros and hot chocolates.  That's all they sell.  A gem we found out about because Rick Bayless happened to "tweet" about it.  We ate yummy churros, watched the women in cute pink uniforms watch soaps when they weren't delivering the goods.  (What seemed like 50's-style uniforms seemed to be the norm in a lot of places.) 




D reports it was a great birthday.  And our long weekend in Mexico City was off to a great start.  Blame Rick Bayless. 

More to come ...

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March 27, 2011

tuesday trigger ...

I know crafty stuff comes easiest to me when I do a little something creative everyday.  But I get busy, time gets away from me and ... sometimes I need a kick in the pants to actually put it into practice.  So I made a deal with Lara do the Tuesday Trigger over on the Moxie Fab blog this week. 



If you aren't already familiar with the Trigger, it's pretty simple: a photo is posted and you make something inspired by it.  They share a lot of inspirational eye candy over there (no, no Robert Pattinson - not that kinda' eye candy) and I figured it would be pretty easy to get inspired by something they posted. 

Leave it to me to make a deal to complete it on a week when the photo assaults my eyeballs.  Oy.  That's a lotta' bright!  *chuckle*

But instead of going off-the-inspirational-map completely (which I was pretty tempted to do), I let a cute sunshine card I'd seen in a magazine inspire me and let the polka dots be my guide, adding in the other colors from the photo too ...


The background, green and polka-dotty like the cupcake wrapper in the photo, was made with an impression plate and sanding - something I'm kinda' addicted to right now.

I inked the sun with orange and yellow pigment ink and added a button to the center for a little more dimension.  I toy'd with adding more buttons, a bow, or some other design element around the bottom of the label and ribbon, but nothing was doin' it for me, so I left it be.  And I'm just gonna' be ok with that ...

stamps: sending you sunshine, vintage labels (a muse studio)
paper: grass, sugar (a muse studio)
inks: papaya, orange, onyx (a muse studio)
embellishment: vanilla twine, papaya satin ribbon, pumpkin collection button (a muse studio)
other: labels die set, tiny dots/medium dots impression plate, sanding block (a muse studio), corner chomper, circle punch

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March 25, 2011

hollyhocks ...

I've been trying to reconnect with my crafty side.  

With all the excitement leading up to the launch of A Muse Studio (and a temporary move to Seattle), coupled with being super sick for nearly the entire month of March, it's been a little longer coming than I'd hoped.  But even making something super simple like this does wonders for the missing mojo ...

Hollyhocks were cut with the Silhouette, add a sentiment from my favorite greeting set in the A Muse Studio Catalog and it doesn't get much easier than that!


stamps: contemporary greetings set (a muse studio)
paper: bermuda, sugar (a muse studio)
ink: onyx (a muse studio)
other: silhouette digital cutting machine

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January 21, 2011

it's been ages ...

It's been ages since I blogged!  I looked at the date on my last post and thought "whoa, seems like yesterday I posted those ballerinas!"  (Which I still love, btw. *chuckle*)

The end of 2010 was a busy time and the holidays blew right by before I knew it.  I did manage to stamp a few tags and make a few chapstick holders though ...

I love making these!  I think they're just so stinkin' cute!  Seeing a little sprakly pile of them made me happy.  (A Muse has holiday stamps on sale right now too, by the way.)  

I was on the road a lot in December.  Only home 3 or 4 days total.  Crazy, huh?  But it was all good.  I do love to be on the go ...

We arrived in New Mexico in time for a major snow storm.  Blue skies, snow everywhere ... all kinds of pretty.

And then there were the lights. 
Christmas in Santa Fe looks a little different.  But good different.  

Seattle was next ...

Christmas in Seattle was soggy, but I liked it.  And really, it's Seattle.  There's not much I don't like.


I wore my Birks.  With socks.  And no one looked twice.  (These poor shoes are so beyond the point where they should have been retired, but I just can't bring myself to part with them.)


New Year's Eve was snowy and gorgeous in the mountains outside of Seattle.  It's hard to believe driving such a short distance puts you in a place that feels worlds apart. 


There was also, as always, lots of fun times with friends and A Muse.  I was at the Seattle Wedding Show with A Muse a few weekends ago.  The booth was so cute - and always busy! 

And after many fun-filled, but busy weeks in Seattle, I'm home again.  For a little while.  And who knows?!  Maybe I'll make it down into my craft room before I leave again! 

Hope your new year is off to a great start!


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Hi! I'm Heather, and welcome to my blog! I stamp, I travel, I make stuff, I cook, I take tons of photos - and you'll find a little of all of that here!

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