Monday, August 23, 2010

Mommy Drinks Because You Cry

We don't get invited to many "grownup" parties these days, but we were recently invited to a vodka infusion party. I am not sure how one goes about infusing vodka, so any tips are appreciated. But in celebration of my discovery of what's sure to be a totally awesome invention (vodka + other yumminess), I'm sharing with you my favorite way to drink vodka. Now I'm assuming I can somehow make this cocktail into an infusion of some sort...just have to figure out how. This was an especially great way to put the abundance of basil in our garden to use. Only so much pesto a girl can take...right?

Any partying going on in your world lately?

Pumpkin Girl Cure for the Blues Lemon Basil Martini
1 cocktail shaker
lots of ice
10 - 12 basil leaves
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T. sugar
vodka (lots)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

We have visitors in town this week and next, so I wasn't really up for attending Stitch 'N' Pitch this year, although I was very tempted. Apparently the deal is that a ton of knitters and crocheters go hang out at the ballpark and knit and crochet during the game. My knitting friends here in Wisconsin tell me that last year the game went pretty late into the evening, though, so I was leery that my eyes would be so bleary from being up with the newborn that I'd fall asleep in my knitting and someone would draw a skein of yarn on my forehead in permanent marker. It's strange that they don't do this at the Minnesota Twins wasn't until I moved here that I'd heard of this awesome yearly tradition.

As an alternative, I bought tickets for my visiting family to go to the Brewer game this week, and unfortunately it was 90 degrees out and we didn't have seats in the shade. We lasted less than an inning. My kiddo lasted about 30 seconds, and also hated the noise. Luckily, grandma volunteered to stay home with the baby or I would have fretted the whole inning through about her overheating. Well, maybe next year we'll try to catch another game...and hope the weather is a bit more cooperative.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

People in My Neighborhood: Resign

Some places you go are full of "transplants" -- like no one is really from New York or L.A., are they? Places like that seem to attract a lot of people from all over the place. Usually I don't think of Wisconsin like that. Maybe it's because I'm from here. But now that I'm also sort of a transplant, it's really comforting to know that I'm not the only person who hasn't totally taken root here yet. Which is why meeting Jenny from Resign was especially comforting. She's from Australia and recently moved here via Arizona. She now lives in Nashotah, Wisconsin, which is basically just directly west of Milwaukee.

Jenny makes beautiful jewelry, or jewellery as she spells it, and homewares. I was struck immediately by the colors she uses, and how much the pieces look just like candy. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Tell me a little about yourself. When did you start crafting? What kinds of crafts do you enjoy?
My name is Jenny, and I make jewellery and homewares using hand cast resin. I'm an Aussie (hence the weird spelling) currently living in beautiful Wisconsin with my husband, 2 children and 2 dogs. We moved to the US a little under 5 years ago for my husband to take up a new position in Tucson AZ, but have very recently relocated to Nashotah WI, which I am loving!

I've only recently started working with resin but have always been interested in crafting in some shape or form. As a child I did everything from crocheting squares with my grandmother, to leather work, weaving (both baskets and wool), copper jewellery and enamelling, macramé and pottery. While I was at university, and before I had children I made a lot of my clothes as well. I love interior design, fashion and cooking and now that we're in the cold country, I've started knitting scarves for the family too!

What inspires you? What other artists/crafters do you admire?
I've always loved the look and feel of hand cast resin but wasn't inspired to actually make pieces myself until we moved to the States. It is very popular in Australia but I soon realised there was a big gap in the market over here, so with time on my hands I decided to give it a go. So, after much research and experimentation (that never stops), here I am, sharing my story with you. As far as inspiration for my pieces...I see colours all around me to use in my work. Sometimes a shape or form will inspire me to grab a lump of clay and start modelling but usually I just knead the clay until I end up with something I like.

I admire anybody who can make beautiful, interesting and unique pieces with their hands. I had no idea there was such a world of talent out there until I started my shop on etsy. I'm now an avid etsy buyer as well...there is so much lovely stuff to be had!

What are some shops that you love?
That's a hard one as there are so many shops on etsy that I love and so many more that I haven't found yet. At the moment I'm loving the vintage shops on etsy for finding unique pieces for the home. I love that mix of contemporary and old.
I'm still finding my way around Milwaukee, but the whole family (well maybe not my 14 yr old son) loves going to Third Ward to the public market, restaurants and eclectic mix of shops there. I'm also loving the art gallery and lake front area. Then there are the little shops in Delafield, not far from where we live, where you can spend a quiet Saturday morning browsing and having coffee. I have found one great boutique there, don't even know the name of it but they do have some very nice pieces!

What's a guilty pleasure of yours?
Staying in bed for way too long on a weekend, surrounded by my Australian home and cooking magazines, enjoying the most aromatic tea in the world (Mariage, from France), with the beautiful Wisconsin scenery outside my window...and I cannot wait to do that in winter so I can have the fire on as well!

What's a perfect Milwaukee/Wisconsin day to you?
As I've only experienced Spring and Summer so far, I would have to say a perfect Milwaukee/Wisconsin day would be spent outside. Either on the lakes surrounding our house, walking through the beautiful parks and having a picnic, or in town enjoying the lake front or river outdoor dining. I have to say though, that I'm looking forward to all the seasons and the diversity that each brings. I've never really experience a truly cold winter, so the thought of snuggling up with comfort food and a good book or movie, while it's snowing outside is also very appealing!

Monday, August 02, 2010

To a Boy Who is Three

My little man is turning three today. It seems like he's been in our lives forever, but just three years and a day ago, it was just the hubby and I, wondering what life with a baby would be like. We wondered endlessly about how things would be different.

Would we ever get out for dinner together again? Would our baby be colicky, or calm? Would we be good parents? Would our friends still be our friends? What would our son look like? Would he have my's eyes?

When he came, we'd sit up at all hours of the night watching him, or listening to all his little sounds. As he got older, we just kept saying to ourselves, "isn't he nice?" and thinking how much we missed our old life, but would never give up our new life.

Little Pumpkin, you are so sweet, and so smart and so loved.

Doted on by us, no doubt. We can't believe what a big boy you are today. Full of joy and smiles and laughter and jokes and a love of chocolate and trains and your John Deere tractor. Happy Birthday, little man! You are my sunshine!