Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
It seemed like a great read, and again the writer recommends slowing down in our day to day living and enjoying a simpler lifestyle. Notice a pattern here? I think this might be the first book I'll wind up reading of the three books I bought today. I started reading the first chapter while standing in the bookstore and I had to force myself to keep moving.
Monday, December 22, 2008
5) Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton was fantastic in this role, and more importantly, I loved this movie because it wasn't your typical Christmas flick. Traditional holiday fare with a heaping dose of realism and a sprinkle of sarcasm for good measure. A cynic's dream come true.
4) The Family Stone
Okay, this movie could have been better, but it really touched me in a lot of ways. I've been in the shoes of Sarah Jessica Parker's character (minus the chignon and business suits) on a few occasions and it's never easy. Plus, who doesn't like watching Diane Keaton spaz out like only she can? I didn't expect to like this movie as much as I did. I bawled like a baby at the end.
3) A Christmas Story
Yes, yes, it's overdone, I know. But it's a classic and I'd be a phony baloney if I didn't include it in my faves.
2) Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas
This has been my second favorite Christmas movie for as long as I can remember (top two have been the same since I was a kid). Jim Henson was an amazing individual and this movie might possibly be one of his greatest works. A timeless classic. In fact, a good friend just shared this with her two little daughters for the first time recently and they both loved it. I have to remember to show this to Lola when she's a liiiiiitle bit older.
1) How the Grinch Stole Christmas
And NO friggin' way do I mean the Jim Carrey version. BLASPHEMY!!! I'm referring to the Dr. Seuss version here. When I was a wee one, I owned this story on vinyl and listened to it so many times I had it memorized. I still know it by heart. It's the greatest Christmas story and a damn great animated movie, too. Wow, and to think this was done back in 1966. Boris Karloff's narration is the cherry on top. A+++!
I'd love to know what your favorites are. Wanna play?
Friday, December 19, 2008
This new law is a bit on the ridiculous side, although I know they think they have everyone's best interests in mind here. Please click in the icon above, or in the sidebar to the right and sign the petition or vote to amend this law. Many, many people make their living by selling handmade toys (I'm one of them, even though I don't actually make toys myself) and this could put their businesses in danger.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I'm so tired and really kind of bitchy today and it's bumming me out. It's amazing how much you rely on technology in your day-to-day life. And heat, well, it's necessary when the temperatures are in the single digits. Yuck. We've been sleeping with the dog just to keep warm at night. I don't think she minds one bit but I think she's going to insist on staying there even after the power and heat return.
Anyway, instead of a long, dragging "woe is me" post, I'll leave you with something a bit, uh, cuter. I can't believe I'm allowing a video with me in it to grace this page, but The Bean's portion is too sweet not to share. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Mother Nature can sure be cruel, but she makes up for it in beauty.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It sure is pretty, though.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Yes, yes, I'm alive and kicking...barely.
Kids, I'm so incredibly tired and run down I could seriously keel over at any given moment. And yet instead of lounging back in front of the brand spankin' new giant LCD TV I bought Ben for Christmas (I just couldn't wait another few weeks to give it to him), I'm here posting nonsense. High definition is beyond bizarre and I think it's going to take a bit of time for me to get used to it.
These past few days have been incredibly hectic, what with preparing for the holiday season and the Victorian Stroll. But then throw in my grandfather's brief stint at the hospital, a pain in the butt incident with the car (thankfully it's not dead...just mostly dead), a gigantic order for coffee jackets, and a frighteningly painless trip to the mall (to buy the television) and I could seriously fall through my butt. I'm working on that.
Now, before I go any further, I'd like to thank everyone for their participation in the Stroll on Sunday. Whether you were a customer who made your way through our doors, or someone who helped out with the register/food/jewelry counter/wrapping/customer service/cleanup, I owe you a tremendous amount of thanks. THANK YOU!!! I almost fell off of my chair when we counted the number of sales at the end of the day. More importantly, though, a ton of customers mentioned skipping the mall this year to spend their holiday cash in small brick and mortar shops. This means way more to me than any dollar spent in my store. All of the businesses in the downtown area benefited from the patronage on Sunday, as did the craft fair folks set up throughout the weekend. It's really making me think that this whole "buy handmade" campaign may actually be working afterall. Ahh, yes, the concept sends a surge of warm fuzzies through my icy cold heart. You guys rock.
Alas, with the Stroll over, I'm expecting a bit of a lull in the craziness that my life has become lately. I welcome it. I have lots of sewing to do in the shop, lots of work to do on the homefront (we have a living room to design and we've decided not to knock any walls down afterall), I still haven't decided if I want to put the tree up yet, and the most important priority, of course, is rest.
How are things with you? I feel like I've been absent from blogland for far too long. I've got some catching up to do.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Milwaukee neighborhoods could print own money
2 neighborhoods consider printing own currency for exclusive use in local stores
By Erika Slife Tribune reporter
December 3, 2008
They may be talking funny money, but it's not funny business.
Residents from the Milwaukee neighborhoods of Riverwest and East Side are scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss printing their own money. The idea is that the local cash could be used at neighborhood stores and businesses, thus encouraging local spending. The result, supporters hope, would be a bustling local economy, even as the rest of the nation deals with a recession.
"You have all these people who have local currency, and they're going to spend it at local stores," said Sura Faraj, a community organizer who is helping spearhead the plan. "They can't spend it at the Wal-Mart or the Home Depot, but they can spend it at their local hardware store or their local grocery store."
Incentives could be used to entice consumers into using the new money. For example, perhaps they could trade $100 U.S. for $110 local, essentially netting them a 10 percent discount at participating stores.
It's not a new concept—experts estimate there are at least 2,000 local currencies all over the world—but it is a practice that tends to burgeon during economic downturns. During the Great Depression, scores of communities relied on their own currencies.
And it's completely legal.
As long as communities don't create coins, or print bills that resemble federal dollars, organizations are free to produce their own greenbacks—and they'd don't even have to be green.
In Wisconsin, could that mean dough that looks like cheese?
Interesting stuff, eh?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I'm closing the shop early tomorrow in order to get to the market, buy what I need for Thanksgiving and Troy Night Out, and then get home to make the vittles. But I need caraway seeds. Think I'll be able to find them? If not I need to change my side dish lineup because I'd rather die than go market-hopping on the day before Thanksgiving.
What are you making for Thanksgiving this year?
This family takes the pot luck route and I couldn't be happier about it. Everyone pretty much makes the same stuff every year but I like to mix it up a bit and change things around. This year I'll be making the following:
Carrots and Parsnips with Caraway-Cider Glaze
I read about this in the November(?) issue of Country Home magazine and volunteered to make it this year for the family. If I can't find caraway seeds, I'll be making Barefoot Contessa's recipe for roasted carrots and parsnips.
I'm not all that familiar with Dave Lieberman or his recipes but I gave this one a shot a few years ago and everyone LOVED it. I've been asked to bring it to every Thanksgiving dinner after that, so it's now a staple, I guess. Even the non-veggie people liked this, and that's saying something. It's more of a steamed cauliflower than roasted, though. Just thought I'd put that out there in case you have issues with mushy veg.
Rutabagas with Caramelized Onions
The only time a rutabaga enters my house is a day or two before Thanksgiving every year and I really don't know why. They're delicious, and so incredibly versatile and yet I never even think about them until Novemberish. My grandfather insists that I make rutabagas for him every year and only a few people eat them. I'll be making a small dish this year. We've done the mashed, we've done the casserole, we've considered the gratin. It's all about the roasting this year, kids.
Caramelized Onion Dip
Of-freaking-course, because I'm not allowed at any family function without this damn dip. You think I'm kidding? I'm not. This stuff makes people mean.
Anyway, I'm curious to hear what you're making. Anything especially daring?
And just because I feel like throwing you a totally random addition to this post, I give you this because, well, it'll bring you sweet dreams tonight. I guarantee it.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I guess I'm a dope.
Anyone know where I can catch a replay of the show? I'm so mad at myself right now.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
This morning, the Troy Record (a small local paper) printed this article:
TROY — The city’s Antiques District will be cast into the national limelight Monday as three local shops are featured as part of a segment on the Oprah Winfrey Show after one the program’s designers made a visit to the area on Halloween.
Nate Berkus, one of Oprah’s featured design experts, was in the city on Oct. 31 looking for items to use in a home renovation project he was working on in Schenectady. He ended up taking his video crew along with him throughout the Antiques District and stopped along the way at Bournebrook Antiques, located at 172 River St., The Living Room, located at 274 River St., and the Antiques Warehouse, located at 78 Fourth St.
Mike Davis, owner of Bournebrook Antiques said he had recently gotten a phone call from the show’s producers which informed him that his shop and the district as a whole would be featured on an episode scheduled to air Monday.
“I think Troy will get a nice shot and, of course, we’re thrilled,” said Davis, who went on to explain that he believed Berkus had come to the city looking for suitable antiques because of a developing trend in recent years where several movie studios and production companies have come up from New York City searching for period-correct items to use as props or as part of their set design.
The most recent of these visits was made on Thursday morning when individuals from Redemption Pictures, a national film production company, came in to pick up an order of items which will be used on the set of the new “Sherlock Holmes” movie currently being filmed in London by Guy Ritchie starring Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role and Jude Law as the infamous Doctor Watson.
According to Davis, studios and production companies have been frequenting his store for such items over the past three years, often sending two individuals, who quickly hunt through his three floors of antiques with a pen and paper in hand, make a few calls to their superiors, and give him a list of what they’d like to purchase.
“The word is out, and we’re kind of the place to come to find this great stuff that they need,” said Davis, who noted that his shop featured several tools, ropes, and chains from the late 19th century that could easily fit into the “Sherlock Holmes” time period.
Living Room owner Elizabeth Young said she had been briefly speechless when, standing in her Halloween costume, she saw Berkus walk into her store and ask if he could film her store for the Oprah Winfrey Show.
“It’s very exciting,” said Young, who believed the spot on the television program would give Troy priceless national attention. “I just hope that it really kind of solidifies us as a wonderful place to come shopping for antiques — a place where the likes of Oprah Winfrey’s interior designer wants to come and shop.”
Young also noted that Berkus’ visit may not have happened if not for Davis’ hard work over the years.
“I think probably the reason that Oprah’s people even knew about having an Antiques District is because of the hard work that Mike Davis has done at Bournebrook Antique Center over the years in really giving the district its own identity in downtown Troy,” said Young. “He has been stalwart and is truly the anchor of the Antiques District.”
Young said she has had similar experiences with television and movie crews looking to purchase items appropriate for projects they are working on and that she had recently rented a large amount of antiques to be used for the HBO mini-series “John Adams.”
“Between my shop and my parents’ store, we rented them about 80 percent of the furniture that you saw in that mini-series,” said Young, who said she had also recently supplied antiques to the production of “Revolutionary Road,” starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. “You’d be surprised how many movies actually come upstate to rent antiques.”
Young’s mother, Christine, who owns the Antiques Warehouse with her husband, Norman, said that her family and their shops had received an on-screen credit for their work on “John Adams,” with the set designer taking home an Emmy award for the design and prop selection on the series, and that she hoped Troy would be mentioned more than a few seconds on Monday’s episode.“
I think Oprah has a tremendous audience and really influences people and what they do, so just highlighting the Antiques District and downtown Troy in general is a big plus,” said Christine Young. “Plus, I think that anything that can bring more people into downtown Troy is a tremendous bonus.”
She went on to explain that even though her family had been working with television shows and movies for more than 20 years, this was the first time she had sent out a mass e-mail to all of her customers telling them to watch a television show.
“It’s a little bit of Hollywood here in Troy, New York,” said her daughter, Elizabeth.The episode will air Monday, Nov. 24, at 4 p.m. on WNYT-Channel 13.
Oprah Winfrey is recommending downtown Troy as the place to shop this year! They were filming the area on Halloween, mostly in the antiques district, and the spot will be featured on Monday night's show. Holy crap!!! I don't sell antiques here, but the businesses here are all grouped in together so this means an amazing opportunity for all of us. How cool!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
There were rows and rows of boxes full of yarn, free for the rummaging.
There were bags filled with other bags full of yarn in every color one could imagine.
And the group was allowed to roam freely there, permitted to search in every nook and cranny. And boy were there a lot of them.
The warehouse was filled with all sorts of fiber,
And more fiber,
And one very sadistic kitty.
And there were multiple floors to visit, too.
And this made the group happy.
Very, very happy.
Okay, maybe entirely too happy.
But soon it was time to wind down,
And weigh out.
And make their way back through Poughkeepsie, heading home.
But not before making a pit stop at the best farm stand
where you could buy fleshy pumpkins,
sugarplums, cider, apple dumplings and divine Greek wedding cakes.
The perfect ending to a great day. And the group, they were plenty happy...
Especially the ones who walked away with a half-pound of cashmere for $20. Yep.