Keep the Love Flowing...

I just posted at The {NewNew}:

Champagne Hearts
Continue your celebrations of love well past February with this simple and delicious champagne cocktail. Perfect for a late night rendezvous or breakfast in bed, nothing keeps the heart aflutter like a few well placed bubbles in a little liquid love....


By the Light of the Silvery Moon

This is a flat out, no-holds barred, statement piece of jewelry. And I love it. Big, bold, gorgeous, it feels like you're wearing a river wrapped in moonlight round your neck.

Go Gorgeous.


The Cat's Meow

I love hostess gifts. And the further they are from a bottle of wine, the better. After all, anyone can bring a bottle of something -- though I do thing champagne is always acceptable -- but bringing something that you took more than a few minutes to pick up on your way is such a gracious tough. Now your host/hostess knows how much you appreciate their invitation, and that you put thought into your arrival.

Plus, you're more likely to get an invitation back.

Recently, I was invited to the home of a new acquaintance and was scrambling for something to bring. I know why people bring wine…it’s no muss, no fuss. And if you’re a procrastinator like me, it avoids the last minute scramble. But, I made a vow to myself about bringing a true gift whenever someone opens their home to me, so…..I went for the scrap bag. And found this:

The leopard print fabric is purrrfectly fabulous, if you’ll forgive the pun. I glued it to the top of a clean jelly jar, trimmed the edges and glue-tied a black satin ribbon around the edge.

Then I filled it with chocolate-covered ginger, arguably the best part of the whole project, and stuck a fancy, cutout label on the inside (not visible in these pics). Tres fabu, as my hostess for the evening said. Tres fabu.


Going Green

Almost a year ago, I made a funky necklace with some beads I purchased from a trader at a flea market on the outskirts of Paris. I’ve been meaning to make a pair of matching earrings for years.

Today, I finally did.

Honestly, this Thing-A-Day challenge has been fantastic for both my creative fervor and for crossing things off my "to do" list!


Forget Me-Not

For generations, women have expressed love of family through the painstaking art of embroidery. Starting today and running through the end of the month, gallery hanahou presents "FORGET ME-NOT," a new generation of embroidery artists using needle and thread to depict love in broader terms, whether idealized and simple or brutal and complicated. Curated by Kristen Rask, this group exhibit of affordable artwork will win your affection in more ways than one. A meaningful alternative to waxy chocolates. It opens today, February 6th, or you can browse the art online at their shop beginning February 11.

Featuring the work of a variety of artists, including my peeps from The {NewNew}, miniaturerhino.etsy.com and loveforever.etsy.com.


Day Five

I just posted this lovely on Thing-A-Day.com

Thing-A-Day Catch Up

I'm a day or two behind in my daily reports about what I've been posting over at thing-a-day.com

So when we last left our heroine, it was day 2 and she had just completed a lovely Valentine's themed necklace, posted under the title "Two Hearts."

Day 3 I posted a pair of earrings to compliment the necklace. I liked them so much, I wore them the next day to work. What I like most about them as that the heart theme is not obvious. Only someone very close to you will be able to see that it's a Chain of Hearts.

Then last night, I posted this bracelet I made for my future mother-in-law. It's a combination thank you and Valentine's Day gift. Charms of the Sea for a lady of charm.

And now we're all up to date, with Day 5 to come later on today....

I'm in two etsy treasuries!

Thanks to my wonderful friends at The {NewNew}, I'm in two lovely treasuries filled with all kinds of goodies from New York City artisans. Click on the picture of each treasury to experience the live version...


Adopt An Alien

Please, do your part for intergalactic relations. The universe will thank you.


Two Hearts

Day two of the Thing-A-Day challenge...

I didn't even realize I was making "twos" until I was finished, but it worked out quite nicely. Two hearts, two pairs of rubies, a doubled chain, and of course, two halves of a heart-shaped clasp. What's not to like? If I hadn't made it, I'd be dropping hints to the big guy.

And now, without further ado...Two Hearts.

You'll find a full description and more pictures here. Go Gorgeous.


Iron Chef Super Bowl Ice Cream Challenge - UPDATE

I won! I won! I won!

Okay, gloating over.

But I did. And it was sweet.

Thanks to the HouHas for a delightful Super Bowl party and to Mr. HouHa for such spirited competition. We split the medal, which made the night that much sweeter.

Iron Chef Super Bowl Ice Cream Challenge

So, my first "make" for the first day of my Thing-A-Day challenge is.....ice cream.


Lil' D, she of the Super Bowl party, suggested that I and her husband have an ice cream head-to-head throw down in honor of the competitive spirit of the day. Attendees suggested various secret ingredients -- fortunately none involving real cardinals -- and the winner was wine.

And thus began my quest to make a truly delicious, truly wine-flavored ice cream.

Which naturally required drinking a fair amount of wine. I had to get the flavors right, of course.

Eventually, I figured that I had to boil off the alcohol, which also intensified the flavor as the wine is reduced. I was a little worried that it might become grape-y, so I added a little spice -- a few cinnamon sticks, some pepper, and vanilla. Weird, right?

And yet it worked! (And my house smelled great while it was simmering).

I'm so excited about how this came out. It actually tastes like wine, but with a depth of flavor that makes you pause as it melts over your tongue. You know it's wine, but it's also ice cream, and then there are all these other subtle fruit and spice flavors dancing on the margins. A very sophisticated delish.

Here's the recipe:
2 bottles cabernet sauvignon (though I imagine a shiraz would also be really good)
2-3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
(you may also want to add other mulling spices like cardamon and clove)
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
9 yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Pour wine into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Add cinnamon sticks and peppercorns (plus other spices -- but the wine should be the predominant flavor, otherwise the ice cream, while still good, becomes less about the wine and more about the spice). Simmer until the wine is reduced to 1 cup, anywhere from 1 - 2 hours.

Depending on how fast your wine is reducing, about half-way into the reduction, bring the milk, cream and half of the sugar to a boil in a large pan and turn off heat.

In a bowl, whisk together yolks and remaining sugar. Temper the yolks into the boiling milk by gradually whisking about 1 cup of milk into the yolks and adding this slowly back into the pot with the remaining milk. Stir in the salt and the vanilla. Whisk in the reduced wine. Set pan over a bowl full of ice to cool.

Pour the chilled ice cream liquid through a fine mesh strainer and then into an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

Eat and be happy.

Let the making begin!

Looks like things are off to a grand start over at Thing-A-Day.com

I'm going to post my "make" later on tonight - it's still being made - but in the meantime thought I'd share my favorite thing made today thus far:

Introducing the Time Receipt, from antimega. It's a clock made out of a receipt printer. The clock constantly prints and time is running out. Very clever.