Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deb Goes to Brunch

A couple of my friends had birthdays so we took them to Sunday brunch at the Hyatt.  Looking at the following pics, and there are a lot, will cause you to be hungry.  You have been warned.

First there was the buffet.  Where you could get as much as you wanted of dessert and seafood and eggs and bacon and baked goods and salads and omg food!

Artichoke Salad

Asparagus Salad

Caprisi Salad
Smoked Salmon

More bacon and sausage than you could shake a stick at

They had these little bottles of tabasco to go with the seafood.  Cute!

Tiny Tabasco

There was a lot of dessert at the buffet.

Moose of various sorts and little cakelet things
Chocolate cake

Close up of the little cakelet thingys

Some sort of cake or pie

Strawberry cake, I believe

We tried to be good at the buffet

Being good at the buffet

Someone else trying to be good

Not all of us succeeded

Why are the shrimp and the oysters gone?
The shrimp and oysters are gone to make room for the main course, which was cooked to order.  Here we see excess personified with steak, eggs, and corned beef hash.  As if the steak wasn't enough by itself.

Steak, eggs and corned beef hash

Salmon steak.  Wait Rebecca! Stop eating so I can take a picture of your meal.  Yes I'm kind of dangerous with a camera.

Rebecca's salmon steak.  It looked really good.  She seemed to enjoy it.

I got the eggs benedict with crab meat.  It was teh yum.

Eggs benedict with crab meat

Did I mention there was all you can drink mimosas and champagne at this brunch?

Bottomless mimosas

Why is the mimosa gone?  Cuz you drank it fool!

Why is the mimosa gone?
Oh good.  A refill.

Yay mimosas!

The gang's almost all here.  One person was a bit late.  I'm not in the pic cuz I am taking the pic

My wonderful friends.  I love them so much

The gang is now all here.

Rebecca, Laura and Stacia
Stacia strikes a pose

And the birthday cake.  Because there hadn't been enough food already.

Totally cool

Last but not least was Flor, our fantastic wait staff person who waited on us hand and food and catered to our every whim. Ok maybe not every but she was definitely cool.  They tacked on the 18% gratuity as is customary for large parties and we tipped her extra over that.  An awesome birthday brunch.

Flor the amazing waitress
The most amazing thing about this was that I didn't take pics of everything.  I tried... oh yes I really tried.  But there were salads and eggs and potatoes and the like at the buffet that did not get pics.  And I didn't get a pic of everyone's entre.  This is a fantastic Sunday brunch and I recommend it to everyone.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sari Ribbon Blog Hop

I'm participating in a Sari Ribbon Party Blog Hop.  This blog post is about 6 hours too early and I apologize for that.  It is early because I have an offsite meeting for work tomorrow that I have to leave for at O-dark-thirty, I wanted to check all the links, and I won't have time tomorrow.  So given the choice between links possibly not working and not showing up in the preview and posting early -- well I hope my diligence that the links are all working will count towards forgiveness for being early.

So what is a blog hop, you might ask.  Well that's where a bunch of jewelry designers design something with the same theme and then put up pics of their designs and a list of links to everyone else who participates.  And what is Sari Ribbon, you might also ask.  Sari ribbon is left over silk ribbon from making saris. Fiber is the next best thing in jewelry making these days and its really neat the way you can incorporate the ribbon.

So, without further ado, here are the pics of my designs.  Ok a little more ado.  As is usual for me, there cannot be only one because indescision is my middle name!  So I have a few.  Enough with the ado already and on to the pics!

The front of the Sari Ribbon and Wood necklace

The back of the Sari Ribbon and Wood necklace

I saw a picture once of a necklace where the ribbon was knotted and used as part of the design and I have wanted to do something like that ever since.  What you see here is my attempt.  The beads are all wood and nuts because these were the only beads I could find with a large enough hole to fit two strands of sari ribbon through.  Then I wrapped the ends with copper wire and twisted the wire at the end to make a clasp.  I could have left the ribbon alone and just tied it to finish but I thought this way was a tad more polished.

Charm and ribbon bracelet

My second project is a charm bracelet.  Once upon a time when you ordered from B'Sue Boutiques, if you ordered enough, you would get a goodie bag with goodies in it.  This was back in the halcyon days before she offered free shipping.  The free shipping is awesome -- don't get me wrong.  But I loved the goodie bags.  I always got a pretty decent sized bag of stuff that I hadn't ordered or even thought of ordering.  One of the things I always got in the goodie bags were a charm or two.  I never really knew what to do with the charms though and so I threw them into an empty tub of Earth Balance spread and forgot about them.

Now I have ordered a lot of stuff from B'Sue's shop (which I adore more than I can express adequately). So the tub got full.  One day I said to myself, "Self, if life gives you charms you should make charm bracelets."  So I did.  And then I made charm necklaces and earrings too but that is really the subject for another post. 

Anyway when you bead a lot, like I do, you tend to end up with a lot of left over onsies and twosies beads.  I throw them in a different tub.  So I wrapped some links onto the empty beads and used those and the charms to create this bracelet.  Then the Sari Ribbon Blog Hop came around and I said to myself "Self, why not throw some ribbon on that bracelet as a charm?"  So I did.  And here is the end result.

The charm and ribbon bracelet larger

So there you have my offerings for the Sari Ribbon Blog Hop.  I hope you enjoyed this and my ramblings.  Below is the list of other jewelry designers that are participating.  Enjoy the show!

Vickie Wills

Susan Kennedy

Michelle Mach

Michelle Lee Hardy

Ruth Crawford

Hilary Frye, FryeStyle

Diana P.

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques

Elizabeth Owens-Dwy

Connie Rios-Relyea

Jennifer Justman  

Deb Davis


Cathie Carroll

Rosemary Cowit

Georgene Lockwood

Cathy Buckley

Harry Wood

Sonya Stille

Mary Deis

Heather Goldsmith

Susan Rouleau

Terry Matusyk

Pam Chesbro

Mary Shannon Hicks

Janice Everett


Kristina Johansson, Maneki

Kris Binsfeld

Alice Craddick



Catherine Jeltes


Sharon Palac

Deb Beechy

Jean Yates

Patrice Pfeiffer

Dorcas Midkiff

Lynn Perry Bennett

Linzi Alford


Cynthia Wainscott

Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp

B'sue Boutiques Creative Group

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lyle Lovett at Wolf Trap Filene Center

So last night I went to see Lyle Lovett with a friend at the Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, VA.  The night was perfect.  Virginia has some really craptastic weather, as evidenced by the last week in which we endured both an earthquake and a hurricane.  But last night the weather was awesome -- around 70-75 degrees, hardly any humidity at all, and the sky was relatively cloud-free so the stars could shine through.  A perfect night for hearing perfect music.

I've seen Lyle many a time now. I go to Wolf Trap every time he comes here and have done so for the last 7 or 8 years or so.  There was a time when his long time backup singer Francine Reed (she really needs a better website) accompanied him for every tour.  Then she got a regular gig and didn't join him for a few years.  While Lyle (and his large band) are awesome, Lyle (and his large band) and Francine are something special.  She adds that little extra something that just knocks the show out of the park and I really missed her presence.  So you can only imagine my excitement when she walked on stage with Lyle last night.  I got all bouncy and shook my friend's arm while simultaneously pointing at the stage yelling (above the applause) "look its Francine! She's back!"  When my friend, who loves Francine as much as I, saw her, we both last it and I must admit I'm a little hoarse from yelling and clapping and screaming and applauding. 

I wish I'd had enough presence of mind to write down the set list but, well, I didn't.  So there.  He performed "I will rise up" which is always more better live than it is on the recording.  Don't get me wrong -- the recording is a fine thing.  But the gospel-ness just kind of hits you at your core during the live show and you'd swear singer Sweet Pea Atkinson was there to deliver the power of the Lord.  There was the chicken-clucking song at some point which was amusing for having the entirety of the vocal back-up core (Francine Reed, "Sweet Pea" Atkinson, Jason Eskridge and Willie Greene Jr.)  a-clacking and a-clucking near the end.  Lyle belted out a rousing rendition of the Tammy Wynette classic "Stand By Your Man".

The group did the acoustic bluegrass miniset which has come to be a standard at all Lyle WolfTrap concerts and performed Keep it in Your Pantry, Up in Indiana, and some other song that I don't remember because, as mentioned earlier, I was lame and didn't write down the setlist.  At the end of "Indiana" the full band reappeared on strage (magically!) (ok really they walked) for a full-out jam.

Francine belted out "Wild Women Never Get the Blues" as she always does when she's with him and every time I hear its like I'm hearing it for the first time.  And of course the crowd was on its feet because really, how can you resist this?

After Francine they came back out and did, I think, "Church" (yet another song about food -- I hadn't realized until last night how many of his songs are either about food or have food in them) and... gah I am cursing my lack of writing this down and my bad middle-aged memory.  Well they did Church and it was rousing and wonderful -- how could it be anything other as its such a marvelous song. They ended the evening with "You Can't Resist It" -- the long version that they lo so many years ago on Austin City Limits.  And I love the song and love this version except for the weirdness by cello during all the instrumental solos.  I am not sure why the cello has to be teh weird -- there's an acoustic guitar solo and its awesome, then there's a violin solo and its awesome, and then there's a cello solo which is completely weird -- if I were a more of a musician than I am I suppose I would think that it was awesome but I'm not so I just think its weird.

As a parting gift the ensemble sang the old folk standard "Goodnight Irene" to us.  It got a chuckle out of the crowd before we all settled into the wonderful familiar tune.  The band got two well-deserved standing ovations from the audience.  This amazing evening and my catalogue of Lyle tunes will have to sustain me until 2012 -- when Lyle and his Large Band return to Northern Virginia at the Birchmere (I know this because Lyle mentioned that he would be coming to the Birchmere this winter).

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Booty from my garden

If these aren't natural treasures, well I just don't know what is.  Pictured is this week's haul from my garden.  Coming up are pics of the actual garden itself.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Well Hello World

I've finally got the blog up and running.  This may not be the final iteration of the blog but it will do for now. 

You might have noticed I haven't put up anything new for a while and have, as a matter of fact, shut down the Etsy site for the nonce.  I am busy organizing my stuff -- a lot of my inventory went up to the Steampunk World's Fair and its rather disorganized at the moment.  I've also been learning a lot of new techniques and making a lot of items for the fall and holiday seasons.  I've only to price them, take pictures, decide on names and stuff, and put them on the website.  The business part of making jewelry is a lot less fun than making the jewelry itself -- as you might imagine.

I've also been working on a few non-jewelry items that I hope to be able to offer real soon now. 

Anyway back to the blog.  What, pray tell, would I have to blog about.  Well I want to talk about the stuff I make, what sparked the creative fire for any particular piece -- if I remember that is.  I have a mind like a steel sieve.  I'll be writing about some of the new techniques I've learned in the last few months.  Speaking of new techniques, look for all my old inventory to be going on sale once I start posting all the new stuff.  I also think I'll be posting things that are not craft related -- such as telling you about the whacky (and not so whacky) music I like, my gardening efforts, and anything else that runs through my head.

So stay tuned for more content real soon.  Bye now!