Thank you so much to everybody for the good wishes! We have returned from a very relaxing time in Vegas and, I have to admit, I’m not ready to return just yet. Pictures soon!
We’re headed off to be married this week. I had hoped to have a full week of posts for you all but of course I underestimated how much time I’d need to get ready. I’ll be back soon.
Above is a copy of the wedding portrait given to us by Jessie Olsen, the genius behind Cakespy. We love it, thank you Jessie!
Yesterday morning I took Scott to the emergency room with what we thought was some food poisoning and by that afternoon he was in surgery to have his appendix removed. He’s home and doing well (should be considering the painkillers he was sent home with). The hospital experience was great, the doctors, nurses and staff were unfailingly helpful and kind and I learned you can get room service when you’re in the hospital. But now we’re both tired and I’ve become overwhelmed with the desire to wash every single thing in the house.
Here is to wishing everybody good health and a great weekend. Drink ‘em if you’re not on antibiotics!
Look! I redesigned a bit. Well, I moved things around and changed out the font in my logo. Nothing too major. But it’s been something I’ve been trying to get done for a while now so it’s nice to have it done. I have a bit of final polishing to do but it’s getting late.
And I’d like to let you all know that I’ve decided to sell my own sponsorship space. If you’d like to advertise on Not Martha please click here to learn more.
Scott and I are getting married! We’ve been together for ten years so this comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody. Still, we’re outrageously happy. The ring above is my engagement ring, the story involves a late night search, a bubblegum machine and a single quarter.
And of course I will be keeping a separate blog about our plans, if you’re interested please join me over at Planning To Elope.
The other weekend we had the opportunity to go digging clams with friends. We drove down to Aberdeen Washington and out to a large beach at low tide. The beach seemed endless, and we could drive right out onto it. There were a huge number of people out there but there was so much space it hardly felt crowded. Digging clams was a lot of fun, it’s part treasure hunt and part brute force. Thanks so much to Mary, Dave, Tiffany and Chris for the fantastic day!
I didn’t take any pictures of the process of cleaning the clams, for those you can take a look at Mary’s Night of the Living Clams post over at Shelterrific. Let’s just say it was creepy and fascinating. She also posted about making the clam chowder recipe taken from the State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. We have not yet cooked any of our clams, I’ll be sure to post if we do anything good with them (or at least anything successful!).
We’ve developed a Valentine’s Day tradition in our house, we skip the cards and chocolates and instead I take the day off and spend the whole time cooking something fantastic for dinner. Last year I made Everyday Food’s Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream Sauce which is completely amazing. I bought the tenderloin at Whole Foods, where I rarely shop, and had to ask the butcher for a small enough cut. They handed me back at $27 (!!) piece of meat and I was too embarrassed to protest about the price. Turns out? It was absolutely worth it, that night I finally understood how beef could be melt in your mouth tender. I also made Alton Brown’s Sour Cream Cheesecake which I can recommend with a Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer crust. Just, make sure you give yourself enough time to let it set, last year we used the middle of the cake as a cold fondue for pretzels.
This year Scott has a cold, which I’m likely to come down with, so I’m planning on putting together some chicken pot pies. Anybody have a trusty pot pie recipe? I think I’m even going to start with (dramatic music) making my own stock. And our dessert plans have us giddy with a combination of ease, deliciousness and our rarely possessed gift of forethought: we’re going to open the box of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s that we’ve been keeping in the freezer since Christmas. Thank you to everybody who alerted me to the incomparable awesomeness of these cookies, and the TJ’s employee who admitted to us that she always gets extra boxes of cookies to freeze.
And if you’re not so into the idea of Valentine’s Day why not give yourself the excuse to develop a hangover while celebrating 1234567890 Day tonight.
Some V-day links for you:
Large shortbread custom message hearts for Valentine’s Day, at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
Geek Valentines at Waxy
I like the pen with a heart stamp and the secret message ring in the Cool Hunting gift guide
I like this M&Ms pixel cake at Cake Wrecks, I want to use this idea sometime
Happy Valentine’s Day, I hope you get to do exactly what you’d like to be doing!
I forgot to grab issue #38 of Readymade magazine, and now that Shelterrific has alerted me to the whole staff being ditched by the company that bought it last year I really, really want to get a hold of one as it might be one of the last good issues. Unfortunately issue 39 is already on the stands. Does anybody happen to have a copy of issue #38 (Dec 2008/Jan 2009) that you would sell to me?
I hope you all had a great inauguration day. We got to watch the swearing in while sipping coffee, it was about 9 a.m. here, which was only slightly less preferable to being there. During the 2000 elections we lived half a block from Bush Street in San Francisco and people had slapped “Stop” stickers up on the street signs (to read Stop Bush). I’m glad to see that SF followed through, this time declaring it Obama street. Wish I was there. Flickr photo via A Whole Lotta Nothing.
added: these photographs from The Big Picture are amazing. I only wish they had included one of Obama and his daughters making the hang loose signal to his Hawaii school marching band.
I would like to have a specific baking form made out of metal. I need a tinsmith, that’s what it’s called, right? The shape I need is fairly simply but I do not possess the know how or the tools to make what I want. And there is a band called Tinsmith so you can only guess how well my Google searches are going. So, does anybody know a good tinsmith? Preferably in Seattle but if somebody farther away is willing to work with my amateur ideas from afar I’m game. Any tips or guidelines on getting something made out of metal? This is entirely new territory for me so I’m not sure if I’m even asking the right questions. Anybody?
I’m trying to get my ears to get used to earrings again after ten years of not wearing them. I bought some studs the other weekend and managed to get them through the holes in my earlobes which, shockingly, hadn’t closed up in all that time. There wasn’t even any blood. But now it’s getting more and more painful to put in earrings after about two earring-less days have gone by, I suspect my earlobes are conspiring against me and trying to heal over. So, I think I need to retrain. When I got pierced, back in middle school, I was given a solution to soak around the earrings and then I had to turn them once or twice a day. What should I use for that,
rubbing alcohol? peroxide? (Turns out both of those are to be avoided.) Anybody have any tips on encouraging my newly reused holes to stay open?
update: Thank you so much to everybody who left advice. It seems the consensus is that I need to buy nickel-less hoops (more comfortable to sleep in) from a piercing place in a starter gauge and leave them in for at least two weeks. To keep it clean a soak in saltwater (1/4 teaspoon to 1 up hot water) as many times a day as I need. Extra thanks go to Christine who left this link to the aftercare guidelines from the Association of Professional Piercers.
Above is a picture of the disastrously oozy (but very good with champagne) strawberries and whipped cream cake I improvised for the evening. I hope your evening is as joyously cozy or wildly strange or happily drunken or adventurously lost as you wish it to be!
We had a very good Christmas here despite still being mostly snowed in. I hope your Christmas was great, and that you are not experiencing the madness of cabin fever quite to the degree we are.
I got the bag I talked about previously, the Chelsea Buckle Tote, in black, from at Delight.com. Thank you, Scott! (Ok, I knew this one was coming because I made sure he bought one before they sold out again.)
I also got the Crumpler Four Million Dollar Home bag for my camera, the Canon Rebel XSi, which fits inside snuggly but with enough room to get it in and out easily. It’s smaller than I expected, which is a nice surprise and will make it very easy to bring my camera along with me.
We also received a Whirley Pop popcorn maker which will allow us to retire the pot with the burned bottom that we had been using.
I also got a set of Fred’s ABC cookie cutters, which make me laugh.
A game of Bendomino has proven to be a nice, short distraction while we’re waiting for things to bake. It has us considering buying a nice set of regular dominoes.
And last minute a present I got for myself from Amazon, who managed to get it here on the 24th!, the Griffin PowerJolt SE, a very basic car charger for my iPhone. I realized that if our power was knocked out during the Big Winter Storm we just had I would have no way to charge my iPhone and that was a scary idea (no email access! aaah!). This charger is nice and compact and I can easily store it in my change container and out of sight when I’m not using it.
Scott approved of the musical related gifts I got him. I got the Planet Waves guitar string winder and wire cutter for guitar, and one for his bass. I also got the guitar headstand supporter to help prop up his instruments while he is restringing them. I was glad to find out that Scott calls Planet Waves the OXO of the instrument world. And for his gig bag I got the Farley’s Guitar Tool which has a wire cutter, several sizes of screwdriver and hex wrenches and a tool to pull fret pins.
Being stuck inside I had lots of time to cook. I made more of the molasses cookies and some peanut brittle. We had a lot of fun piping out peppermint meringues (though we didn’t have a star piping tip so it looked a bit like dabs of toothpaste) but the real winner was when we finally broke out the Berndes crepe pan we inherited from some friends who were moving away. We used the crepe recipe from How to Cook Everything and filled them with leftover Trader Joe’s Christmas ham and cheddar cheese. We made them again for dinner the next day, and, uh, again this morning. So yummy.
Here is a picture of the snow kitty that Scott made for me to look at when I was too sick to play outside in the snow:
Ugh. I have come down with a cold of the sort that makes me cranky and tired, but too uncomfortable to want to try to sleep. We’re snowed in here in Seattle and cabin fever is making itself known so my only wish is to feel well enough to take a walk in the snow to our nearest coffee place to sip some hot cocoa in the company of neighbors who have skied through the streets to get there. Instead I’m home wishing I had my sense of taste back so I could more fully enjoy a cup of hot chocolate. So I wish you a happy holiday with the understanding that I’ll have the energy to mean it with more sincerity in a few days.
Sugared cranberries: snappy, sparkle, and pop. at Bon Appegeek
What’s a good recipe for gingerbread construction materials? at Ask Metafilter
Peppermint Meringues at Joy the Baker
swissmiss alpenglow project, gorgeous
Expandable Christmas Stocking at Neatorama
ornaments to make at How About Orange
Korknisse, hat and sweater for a wine cork! Thank you to Aruni for the link.
10 Ideas for Pretty Alternative Wrapping at Mighty Girl
The Bishop’s Wife, a cup of cheer cocktail at Modern Cottage
In the course of cleaning out their attic my parents found all my old Sassy magazines. I don’t have all the early issues, but I do have the last few years. Gosh I loved these, they were a huge part of making my teen years less horrible and making me feel like maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t the deranged one but that everybody else was. This is reminding me, I have to read How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time whose title says it all.
I also found the supplemental issue of Dirt.
And two issues of Siren.
I’m having a whole lot of trouble finding any information about Siren since there have been other magazines with the same name. The editor in chief of Siren is Missy Miller and the two issues I have are from 1998 though the magazine launched in 1997. I alway remembered them because of this timeline in one of the issues:
Dec. 6, 1994 — Already capable of finding jobs, putting on lipstick, and finding lovers, Susan and Missy decide that women’s magazines have become redundant. They consider strating one called Belle, Boy Toy, or Egg. Time passes…
Nov. 11, 1995 — At Dave’s post-post-birthday party and too many martinis, drab girl mags are brought up again. Missy and Dave decide to start one called Jane…Not for Dick.
Jan. 15, 1996 — Jane Magazine is registered in California.
June 12, 1996 — Name is stolen by Jane pratt for her new Disney/ABC/Fairchild magazine which goes by the same name. (Granted it is her given name. Hmmm… there’s an idea…
Missy Magazine… yeah, right.)
Over the next five months — Missy becomes obsessed with renaming the magazine. her friends become embarrassed by her. Abandoned and bummed she narrows down her list: Cake, It Girl, Kitty, Page, Wink, Meow, Sugar, Fig, Twist, Boy Toy, and Snarf Girl. (If you happen to live any of these names better than Siren we don’t want to hear about it.)
Nov. 12 1996 — Missy asks her only remaining friend to drive to Vermont with her and help her make the final decision. After an abundance of maple syrup, cheese, and jalepeno preserves, they choose Siren.
Nov. 14, 1996 — Siren is registered as an official business.
Nov. 15, 1996 — Makes new cards reading “Hello, My name is…” Once again, the idea is foiled by the hugeness of Jane’s PR strategy using the same campaign plastered all over the whole world! [The timeline continues, but that's the bit I remember.]
Anybody else remember this magazine?