Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What would make someone want to sew a tshirt blanket in August in Texas when it's 108 degrees outside? I guess if they were pregnant that may appeal to them...

First of all, today is our THIRD WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!  WOOT!!!!!!  I'm even MORE in love with Nate today than I was on our wedding day, crazy how that happens.  Every day I realize God's blessing of joining us together... ok, some days I've been too selfish and moody and gloomy and unrealistic to feel the blessing... but even on those days Nate STILL loves me.  That's something you just cannot take for granted.  I just have one beef... those crazy eyes he does to ruin all of our pictures...

Ok, next order of business:
I cut this out of the paper last week, F-Minus is my favorite cartoon -- actually it's the only one I ever read because it's placed directly below the crossword every day and THAT is my favorite.  But, it's really really funny because I didn't realize I WAS PREGNANT WHEN I CUT IT OUT!!  Ok, actually I'm barely pregnant, only 3.5 weeks.... but pregnant nonetheless!  Woot to the ever-lovin' MAX, dudes! 

So, last week I was wondering why I was sitting inside with a mug of tea serging together all of my old tshirts and backing it with flannel (yes, flannel in August in Texas should be outlawed)... I was NESTING!  Bogey likes it!  It's all balled up but here's the front (with a tiny Bogey): 
   And here's the flannel backing:
Ok, so it looks like it's Bogey's blanket but come Wintertime he's gonna have to scoot over just a smidge and let my chilly self in there!  

Oddly, I also made soup last week.  Hot.  Soup.  In the Summer.  In Texas.  See?  I should have wondered what was going on inside of me.  Anyways, the soup was major yumcity and of course I was intrigued because it's called West African Peanut Soup and that's where my brother's orphanage is... so here's the recipe for y'all!

West African Peanut Soup

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 

1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1-2 t minced, peeled fresh ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
2 1/2 c water, divided (i used soy milk)
1/2 c tomato juice (i used tomato sauce)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/2 c creamy peanut butter (i used crunchy almond butter)
5 green onions, chopped

Heat olive oil in large saucepan.  Stir in yellow onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 3 minutes.  Add ginger and cayenne; cook 1 minute.
Add sweet potato, 2 cups water, tomato juice, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Ladle soup into bowl of a food processor.  Add peanut butter.  Cover and process until smooth.  Pour into a clean pan. 
Heat soup over low heat. Add remaining 1/2 cup water to thin if desired.  Ladle into soup bowls and top each serving with green onions.  Serves 3. 

I also put plain greek yogurt on my soup... yumcity.  


Alrighty, and here's something awesome and fun.  My father-in-law has taken up a new hobby and I'm honored to get to participate in it!  He's going to provide me with lovely coins set in unique bezels and I'm going to try to sell them!  He'll take only cost of materials back and is donating the rest of the profit to Jonathan's orphanage!  Seriously!  How rad is that?!?!?  I'm going to take them with me to sell here in Austin at First Thursday and also I'll have them up on my etsy shop!  So, here are some examples of what he's got: 

Aren't they beautiful?!  I'm majorly loving them.  And I think they're current yet totally timeless.  Yea! 


Well, I'll keep y'all posted with any new developments in my womb but I'm still focusing on "Hollyberry Jewelry, etc" and not just "Hollyberry Baby, etc".  :)  Maybe my crafts will gravitate a little more towards the edgy pregnant gal, or cool mom-on-the-go or sassy baby stuff, we'll see!  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New necklace update! And a message of hope!

Ok, so the new necklaces I recently shared needed more pics taken of them (I like to see jewelry hanging on a person to get an idea of scale so I got the only person I could find and photographed them) and I reworked the Lacey Panther - trust me, it was necessary...  here's Old Lacey Panther:
And here is New Lacey Panther!
It's longer, has two types of chains and less split-rings... more awesomer fo sho.  :)  

And here are the others:

Another thing on a totally different topic... I just finished reading "Hope Rising" by Kim Meeder and HOLY COW!  Talk about amazing.  The author and her husband run a non-profit horse ranch in Oregon where they pair up special needs people with a horse and a counselor.  The book is rad.  One passage totally struck me powerfully which I want to share.  Lately I've been missing my Mom-in-Law quite a bit and I felt like this passage was speaking directly to me and all the other peeps who are missing Terry.  Here ye are:

"Even the utter devastation of death's finality before God is not final.  It is His desire that our loss will embolden and motivate us to love those who remain with even greater passion and selflessness.  

It is true, the pain that we feel in life is certain.  What is equally certain is how we choose to feel about the pain.  It can destroy us - or define us. 

Like standing on a mountainous trail, we can choose
which way to go.  We can choose where we end up.  When confronted by pain, we can choose to take the descending trail that most often leads to a dark and lonely place, pitted with mires of helplessness, hopelessness, despair. 

Or we can select the ascending trail and, with some effort and perseverance, we can choose to allow our pain to motivate us toward becoming better people, to move us toward a better place.  A place where love transcends selfishness, where faith bulldozes the "what ifs," and where peace enfolds the heart like a warm blanket.  If is a place where joy takes on as many faces as humanity.  It is a place where flowers bloom in ash. 

Like an unstoppable wave of light pouring over the horizon, it is a place where hope rises."  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yes. It is true... Mr. T is my style icon...

Weird, but I recently realized Mr. T is one of my major style icons... with his chain jewelry, feather earrings, denim vests and mohawk.  He's STYLIN' big time!  I mean, look at that wide leather belt!  To die for!  I wear chains almost every day, I love making and wearing feather earrings, definitely wear denim nearly every day (I"m a fan of the "Canadian Tuxedo") and I used to have a mohawk and probably still would if I hadn't somehow turned into a 34-year-old married woman.  So, there it is.  I'd better mention my other two icons as well: Frida Kahlo (dur...) and M.I.A., the singer.  In case you don't know her, here she is:


So, finally I made some new necklaces, inspired by Frida and M.I.A.:  
This first one is an actual Aspen leaf covered in copper, how rad is that?

Bird Heart Bird (oh yeah, marvel at my photog skills.... help!!!):

An Oval of My Imagination:

Lacey Panther for M.I.A.:

Baby Deeeeearring (yep, just one... thanks Mr. T)

Need a brass chain for this one:

Here's a beautiful pendant/pin that Nate's Dad gave me when we were in Colorado last week.  I assumed it was Nate's Mom's but totally forgot to ask the story behind it!  I was so taken by it's beauty that I lost my head!  I'll find out it's history because this is something I plan to hold onto and pass down to my kids.

  I strung it on a long delicate chain and have been wearing it nonstop!  It's so lovely. 

Speaking of Nate's Mom, I've been missing her like crazy lately!  A new Barbara Kingsolver book just came out, The Lacuna, and I've been really wishing I could talk about it with her!  She and I used to trade books often, sending them back and forth between Colorado and Texas... this one we definitely would have enjoyed discussing.  It's about a man who lived in Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo's house at the same time Leon Trotsky stayed there. Dude, seriously.  

And finally, check out this beauty that Missy and Jonathan got for me on their honeymoon!  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brown Chicken Brown Cow, husband is back in town!!!

Nate is home! After two weeks of no hubby and single-parenting our five fuzzies I am READY to share some QT with my honey.  Yessiree!   He got home yesterday and tomorrow we're flying North to Colorado to visit family and climb Longs Peak !  WHOOSH!  
My most favorite mountain ever!!  God wasn't messin' when he built this beauty. 
I finished up these lil' booties for my friend Christi who just had her second baby.... can't wait to meet the little man!  
The pattern makes little holes to thread ribbon through but I don't have the ribbon yet so I used some of the Tshirt Eco-Yarn I made earlier this year:
Cute, eh?

Also, while Nate was gone I made a totally killer dinner which I highly recommend.  It's straight-up comfort food and a totally simple, especially for a recipe from Bon Appetit!  

Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel with White Beans
Serves 6

2 large fennel bulbs with fronds attached
3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
2 t coarse kosher salt, divided
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
4 large fresh oregano sprigs
3 large garlic cloves (I used 10)
1/4 t dried crushed red pepper
1 t freshly ground black pepper
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans (drained)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1/2 cup.  Trim fennel bulbs and cut in half vertically.  Cut each bulb into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, leaving some core attached to each wedge.  Heat oil in large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes.  Add fennel wedges in single layer; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt.  Cook until fennel begins to brown and soften, turning occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes.  Add tomatoes, oregano, garlic and crushed pepper, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Fold together gently.  Transfer skillet to oven. Bake fennel and tomatoes until soft, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.  Mix in beans and 6 tablespoons fennel fronds.  Bake 5 minutes longer to heat through.  Transfer mixture to large shallow bowl.  Sprinkle with remaining chopped fronds.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  
See, it even looked pretty before I roasted it!
And after the roasting!  Heck yes!
All you need is a baguette, a glass of Viogner and a wedge of Parmesan et voila!  
Ok, that is all for now.  Since tomorrow is my "Friday", I'm sending happy weekend wishes to everyone!