More Stockings

Here are all the stockings I made (except for two which my roommate decorated)

All of the initial stockings for my roommates and my roommates girlfriend.

There's were the last I did and I did them a little differently, rather than putting the ribbon trim across the top I decided to embroider them and I'm pretty happy with the results. After finishing all of these I was pretty sad I didn't have any more to make, I kept thinking of snowflake designs that I haven't done yet!

P.S. Sorry the pictures are so small, I pulled them from facebook because my thumb drive has gone into hiding! If I find it though I'll sub out the pictures for higher quality ones.


Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! (Part II)

Now we have the fun part... THE DECORATING!!! Along with a number of sprinkles and small gel frosting, I made two glazes, one in green and one in white. Some of the women in my program at school were kind enough to join me for the holiday festivities and it was a wonderful afternoon of cookie eating (and decorating, but also a lot of eating).
Marta and I model some of our cookies. Not to brag, but I'm kind of like an elf when it comes to Christmas (must come with the ears) so I take to cookie decorating like a penguin in the snow. Marta however struggled with her creativity at first, creating what has lovingly been called "the green monster." After a few cookies though everyone was pumping out Martha Stewart worthy masterpieces in cookie form and we were able to pay more attention to the important task of analyzing the subtext of the Christmas movies (this is what grad school is all about people). More baking to come as the season progresses!!
Happy Holidays!


Christmas Cookie Extravaganza! (Part I)

I threw my Second Annual Christmas Cookie Decorating Party last weekend. As with the first year, I supply the cookies, decorations, cocoa, and claymation Christmas movies, and my guests bring the creativity!
Lucy was the first casualty of the night with a face-full of flour, I think she'll recover though she may never forgive me.
I meant to prep the dough in advance but the night before the party I fell asleep and then woke up in a panic at midnight saying "I MUST MAKE COOKIES!!" Rick as a dutiful boyfriend helped me whip out a couple batches worth of my signature cookies.
Once I had a great assortment cooled and put away it was time for dishes and then back to sleep. More on the decorating party to come...


Craft Time

I've been feeling the Christmas (and crafty) spirit pretty hard as my semester winds to a close. So I started on a slightly ridiculous project. First I wanted to make Rick a Christmas stocking, then I decided we had to have matching ones, but then I figured what was the point of that if everyone in my apartment didn't have one so that they could all hang up together. And here we see the end result. Four hand-stitched and embroidered Christmas stockings. All were made while either participating in Christmas decorating or watching Christmas movies and it was pretty fun!
Just some red, green, and white felt, silver, gold and white embroidery thread, ribbon, and seed pearls, for something I'm pretty darn proud of. It took a while for my hand stitching skills to come back, but luckily even though Rick's was first it still looks okay.

Lucy was surprisingly not terribly unhelpful, after a few times chasing my embroidery thread (and who can really blame her) she decided to nap on my supplies to keep them from running away.

The seed pearl work on the tree got to be pretty tedious at the end, but it's all the details that make it special, which is what I told myself every time I dropped a bead or stabbed my finger (after cursing silently).

Rick's (like mine) is stuffed. I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture but I filled the parts with scrap felt so he's a puffy little snowman! This project can be made more kid friendly if you use glue instead of sewing, after fixing the pieces on just let them sit till the glue fully dries (or if you're nervous about your stitching you can use glue to reinforce it).
Happy Holidays!


Season's Greetings!

So in the spirit of the holiday season, and in keeping with my goal to work more on documenting my many adventures in the kitchen at home, I bring you Gingerbread Houses! A seasonal favorite, we take the making of gingerbread houses very seriously in my family. For a good hour there was very little discussion as everyone bowed their head over their given task. Working
with pre-made kits we all set about creating our part of the gingerbread village. Above is my mom's, let's just say it's a house of ill repute where the women of negotiable affection work. Next we see my sister's grocery store... a very cheeky grocery store. Also note that she is the only one who thought outside the box and did a house that did not follow the prescribed formula. Hooray Ali for being an individual while the rest of us were sheep.

The inside of the grocery store. I feel like using the candy to represent fruit and vegetables is somehow related to the fact that the Cookie Monster is now the produce monster and sings "cookie is a sometimes food." What is our nation coming to?

Of course, as a Library Science student, I made sure that our confectionery village was supplied with books. No one likes an illiterate gingerbread man.

The whole little village. Now we'll just have to sprinkle powdered sugar for snow and create some paths and ice rinks, also make some trees.

Happy Holidays!


Hooray for Turkey Day

Wait, what do you mean this picture has nothing to do with Thanksgiving? Hmm, I guess you're right. Anyways though, as I get ready for break and Turkey Day, I hope everyone has plenty of things to be thankful for (like a fuzzy companion, or a nice game of fetch) and if you tryptophan yourself and get stuffed on potatoes and pie let the picture be a suggestion for how to recover.


Reflections on two months in the city

I'm coming up fast on the two month mark for living in the city. Already I feel comfortable in Boston and have started to consider it home. I came here being so nervous: was I going to get lost, would I be able to figure out public transportation, would I be able to handle my various commitments? Luckily, many of my fears were unfounded. That's not to say I didn't get lost, I did and probably will again, but I have stopped carrying around my map and instead have learned to navigate using some of the big Boston landmarks like Fenway, Prudential Center, and the Charles. I am also now in love with public transportation (although my wait for the bus may become a lot less likable when there's snow on the ground) and consider my Charlie Card to be one of my most prized possessions. While I am busy going from the gym, to class, to internships, to work, to volunteering (and still trying to find time to cook something besides Annie's Mac and Cheese) I love all of my activities and have managed to stay on top of everything and not feel fried. Plus there's no better feeling than walking out of the T-stop at Copley and strolling through the farmer's market on Fridays to get to my internship, or watching the sunrise over the Charles. So did I make the transition from island girl to city girl? I'd have to say that's a yes.


Boston Public Library

My stealthy picture taking skills (and Rick).
View of the courtyard from the third floor by the Special Collections.

I am proud to say that I finally have a Boston Public Library card! Since I walk by the library frequently to get to my internship it will be nice to be able to stop in and check out some books too (there's also a smaller neighborhood branch near me but I can't resist the beauty of the main branch). Rick and I stopped by to visit it the other day and stumbled across an exhibit of photographic portraits of writers by Yousuf Karsh (a favorite of mine!) which was amazing. So either go to the BPL, check out the murals and sculpture, the exhibit, maybe also a book, or go to the Museum of Fine Arts where they have a more expansive collection of Karsh's work right now (although at the BPL they also have his written reflections of meeting with each author which makes it that much more interesting).


Christian Science Center

View from the front.
View from the reflecting pool.
View of the Prudential Center from the Christian Science Center.

As a fun surprise for Rick I planned out a little field trip after my Saturday class. We took the T to Prudential, had a nice lunch of sushi (some of the best unagi I ever, ever had!) then some Coldstone Creamery Ice Cream, and off to see the beautiful Christian Science Center. Once Rick got over his confusion (thinking it was Scientology not Christian Science) we were able to enjoy the beautiful architecture and reflecting pool before heading on to the highlight of the day: the Mapparium!! A four story, stained-glass globe of the world that you can stand inside, could there be anything cooler than that? There was also a light show that went with it which was great and since you're inside a glass globe there are some fun acoustics to play with (a whisper ends up being super loud). Unfortunately I was not able to take any pictures of it but at only 6 dollars to get in (4 if you're a student) you should go yourself and enjoy it (and if I remembered the name of the sushi place I would tell you to go there too, but it's in the Prudential center if that helps)!


Absence makes the reader grow fonder?

Yes I have dissapeared in a graduate school stress induced haze but I come back bearing good news. Not only do I have recent Boston exploits to describe and pictures to show, but I will be going to Nicaragua in January, which means more travelly fun for everyone! YIPPEE!! I am now going to retreat back into the stacks of the library but I promise to come back soon, and with pictures!


Wanna make friends in a city?

If you want to get noticed and have people talk to you then try knitting on the T or the bus. I've been working on a scarf for my roommate and while I was waiting for the bus today I had two older Chinese women come up and ask questions about it. Then after class a girl came over and asked to look at it before she ran to catch the 60 bus. So if you're new to a city and feeling a little lonely then just knit in public, you'll have scores of friends in no time!


Granary Cemetery

John Hancock
Paul Revere
The carving on the headstones is so beautiful
Mother Goose

As part of the Freedom Trail we walked past the Granary Cemetery, buried there are Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, Mother Goose, the parents of Benjamin Franklin, and the victims of the Boston Massacre. As you can see in one of the pictures you can get a tour guide dressed in period costume, and there's also usually someone by the gate handing out guides to the cemetery and then asking for a contribution. The guides are helpful if you want a lot of history or if you just want to be able to find Mother Gooses' headstone.


Trinity Church

These pictures may look familiar from my last entry on Copley Square since Trinity Church is in the middle of the square. On Saturday I met up with my friend Amanda to walk the freedom trail and since we were so close to Copley and she had never seen it I decided we needed to start there. Normally I would give you all kinds of fun info about why it's important but I am a very busy and frantic grad student, so just enjoy the pictures!


Copley Square

I liked the contrast between the old church and the new office building.

Saturday was Brewery day but I had to go to class first and once I was done around noon Rick and I were too hungry to head straight to the brewery. So we hopped on the green line to head into the city and get closer to where we would eventually pick up the orange line. Playing it by ear we decided to get off at the Copley stop and look around for a restaurant. Before eating though I had to snap some pictures of the great buildings in the area, play with the statues of a turtle and a hare, and gawk at a dalmatian spotted pigeon. It was a beautiful day to just hang out by the fountain and people watch but we were on a mission and didn't hang out very long.

In case you didn't know where you are, the red pin will tell you that you're in Copley Square.
Boston Public Library

Sam Adams Brewery

Rick came up to visit me this weekend so we could celebrate our two year anniversary. Since it's such a long trip for him I wanted to make sure I had some really fun things up my sleeve for us to do. Luckily someone from my history class suggested the Sam Adams brewery. The brewery is in Jamaica Plain and the tour (with a beer tasting) is free although they appreciate a donation of 2 dollars per person which is given to local Boston charities. It's a bit of a hike to get to the brewery but well worth it. Take the orange line to the Stony Brook station and take a left out of the station, from that point on the signs will lead you right to the brewery.
While waiting for our tour to start we got to sit in the beer garden and try samples of some new flavors, a blackberry and a coffee porter, and then vote for our favorite which will be coming out in stores this winter. The tour was pretty basic, an explanation of the ingredients (which were passed around so you could smell and taste them) and then our guide walked us through the brewing process.
While the information was fun and added to my beer education, we (and everyone else) clearly were most interested in the beer tasting. After being given free tasting glasses, we were taught how to sample a beer and then had the Sam Adams Lager and the Octoberfest. After finishing our beers we were encouraged to visit the gift shop (we just really wanted the glasses so we skipped that) and then we headed back to the orange line.
In all it was a fun outing, be prepared for a bit of a raucous college atmosphere, but for 2 dollars each and free beer, who can complain?


City life thus far

I started my morning off by staying in bed (it was too comfortable to resist and I get a kick out of watching the pigeons on the roof next door). After feeling sufficiently lazy I had my to do list to attend to starting off with a visit to work to drop off my HR forms. The campus used to be a finishing school for privileged women and it is absolutely beautiful to walk around. I still can't believe I started school, moved into a new apartment, and got a job all within a week of moving to Boston! After leaving the campus I got the crazy idea to walk from Chestnut Hill into Boston and was doing pretty well until the light sprinkle turned into a full blown thunder storm. A quick hike to the nearest bus stop (luckily a covered one) then a twenty minute wait and my pleasant walk turned into a nice bus road. My friend was going to meet me at Faneuil Hall but I got there a little early and was freezing and starving, what can solve both problems? Indian food! A huge serving of aloo mutter and I was finally warm again (and sweating from all the spices) and my friend showed up just as I was finished eating. Coming from undergrad in rural New York I am loving the selection and availability of delicious ethnic food. However with all the yummy temptations I'll have to be doing a lot more walking (unless there is thunder).


Hello Boston!

Boston garden
Sorry for the delay... I have moved to Boston and it is good! My mom helped me with the move, a couple bruises and a lot of coffee later and we had transferred me and all of my physical belongings (okay, at least 75% of my belongings) from one state to another. The bed decided to fight us but after a trip to the hardware store and a good deal of time locked in my room I had a futon frame that was not only put together but was not stuck in the couch position (this at one point required my to prop up the frame with my toes so I could screw one side in). Since fully nesting in my new room and making myself at home I have dealt with Satan Kitty (she welcomed me by peeing on my bed), gotten a T pass, navigated public transportation, purchased my grad school books (eek and yikes!), and had a great day in China Town/Financial District with my friends. We walked all around the public garden, had amazing dim sum, drinks near Faneuil hall, and plan to do a lot more exploring together. So far I guess it's a big hooray for city life!


Fetch with Ms. Fiona

As I'm getting ready to move (TOMORROW!!!) and am in the midst of packing stuff I've also had to start saying my goodbyes to my fuzzy wonder girl. I was thinking I would go to the beach yesterday to kind of celebrate my last day of summer, but instead I thought I should take Fiona swimming so I could get some nice time with her. She had a blast, lots of fetching, rolling in the dirt, and sniffing things. The stick you actually see her carrying had to have been at least 6 feet (it was significantly taller than me). I had been throwing her puny, manageable sized sticks in the water but she saw this one and she decided she had to have it. Since it was so long I had to throw it for her "jav-huck" style (our family expression for when you toss something like a javelin, whether out of frustration with the object or necessity). After getting Ms. Naughty Pants thoroughly exhausted I took her back home (where I soon found I had some leech removal to do, ick!) and we rested up lying in the hammock. Perfect day (except for the leech)!


Where's waldo?

As I mentioned, my Mom and I went to Snell Family farms where they have some great lily pads and lotuses along with a number of endearing amphibians. So if each frog is named Waldo let's see if you can find Waldo in each picture.

Can you find him here?
How about now?
If you can't find Waldo in this picture then you may have a slight eye sight problem.
Okay, this is a tricky one!
Just so no one dies of frustration, there are NO frogs in this picture!