Wednesday, November 30, 2011

See ya November.

The last bits of November are trickling away.

The last bits of November have been good bits.

I got a new short hairdo.

We put Christmas decorations up.

I got to see the Muppet movie with the hubs, cousins, and sibs. It was hilarious and everything I hoped it would be and more and I wore my Kermit hat.

We got a bunch of photos printed for free! Did you know that one of my favorite things is putting photos in albums? And then looking at them? It is.

I found two new perfectly fitting pairs of jeans on super clearance.

I baked a delicious stew for the hubs which included HOMEMADE MEATBALLS the likes of which I have NEVER attempted before. You know, rolling balls of meat with my bear hands! Squashy. And they actually turned out well! Even with my slight panic in the middle where I realized I had raw meat all over my hands and HOW WILL I TURN ON THE FAUCET TO WASH THEM WITHOUT FOREVER INFECTING MY SINK WITH MEAT GERMS???

I decided at the end that my entire kitchen needed to be sanitized because of everything that was probably infected by my raw meat hands, but I think it was worth it because the hubs was a fan.

Of the meatballs, you know.

Mission make a delicious meal for the hubs because I haven't for a looong time: successful.

Here's me in my Kermit hat.

Except that you can't see Kermit. This is probably like my 5th or 10th attempt trying to get Kermit's face in the picture, but I was in the car, and the roof was like, too close to my head or something. Or my arms weren't long enough. Or I should have been looking down, maybe. But I swear that's a Kermit hat.

And I realize I look a bit ghost-like in this picture, but that's what happens when you live in Minnesota and the last bits of November are trickling to a close. Your skin becomes very very white.

Ok, see ya. Happy last bits of November to you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

Hey everyone! Just wanted to stop in to let you know that I am jumping on the Cyber Monday bandwagon and will be offering 20% off your entire purchase in my shop! Just enter the coupon code 20CYBERMONDAY and you are golden.

The discount will end tonight at midnight (CST).

Hope your Mondays back after the vacation are going wonderfully and not terribly! :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving was here

Hey folks! Thanksgiving has come and gone, and it was of course as great as ever. We spent some time out in Wisconsin with the hubs' dad, mom, and sister. There was lots of hunting and watching of football games going on, and since I don't normally participate too much in either of those activities it gives me a great excuse to do lots and lots of reading. 

Which I love.

There was also lots of game playing, laughing, playing with kitties, talking, and eating of delicious food. 

Which I also love.

Here's the hubs' dad carving the turkey.

And the hubs' mom setting the lovely table.

AND THEN. After we came back, I swung into full Christmas spirit. I mentioned here that we like to hold off until Thanksgiving is over...and usually a little longer. But this year I was all psyched up to get my cheer on the day immediately AFTER Turkey Day. Which means that this past weekend has been full of the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, decorating, Elf, pine scented candles, and the Transiberian Orchestra. 

AND getting annoyed at cats who like to pull ornaments off the tree in the middle of the night and bat them around the house until you get up in a irritated groggy haze and squirt them with a water bottle.


But no Christmas shopping yet. AH! I gotta get on that. It's a whole month away and it's ALREADY stressing me out. 

So. How was your Thanksgiving?

And does Christmas shopping stress you out too??

And how do you keep your cats from stealing your ornaments??? Our tree is ridiculously empty along the bottom section and yet they STILL manage to swipe them! Little weasels.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Turkey Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

Happy Turkey Day everyone!

Also Happy Thanksgiving.

Tomorrow, that is.

I decided to draw a more cartoon-ish turkey rather than a lifelike one because I prefer not to draw things that look like they have slabs of roadkill for faces.

So anyway. 

I'm thankful this season for a hubs who is always supportive and encouraging in my hopes and endeavors. Plus he makes me laugh all the time which is a SERIOUS plus.

Thankful for our loving and encouraging families. Who also make me laugh. It's a great big ol' laughing fest around here.

Thankful for fantastic friends to have fun with and to challenge me in my faith walk.

Thankful for jobs that we enjoy, a warm roof over our heads and kitties to cuddle with.

And thankful for a few days off to relax during these busy weeks! It's all warm and fuzzies over here folks. 

Hope your holiday week/weekend is very good. Great. Fabulous, even.

November Doodles: SparrowBadgerPoodleWolfNarwhal, Cocker Spaniel
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, September's here, and October's here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cocker Spaniel Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

Proper little Mr. C. Spaniel.

Waiting patiently for his Thanksgiving dinner.

November Doodles: SparrowBadgerPoodleWolf, Narwhal
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, September's here, and October's here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Christmas Twinkles

I had a nice weekend.

After a ca-razy week, I packed up Saturday morning with my friend Jorgen and we trekked up north a couple hours to Duluth to visit our dear friend Beebs.

Like I said, it was a nice weekend.

What's better or more relaxing than HOURS upon HOURS of girl talk and delicious food and more girl talk? Or wandering around near Lake Superior in a free Christmas light city called Bentleyville?

That served complimentary cookies, hot chocolate, and marshmallows to roast?

Now. Normally our (the hubs and I's) rule is that there shall no Christmas spirit until the day after Thanksgiving. I wandered through this fabulous twinkle town, I felt all the warm Christmas-y feelings welling up in my chest.

And how can you fend back the Christmas spirit when you are sitting next to Mrs. Claus? (Who unfortunately was not handing out warm cinnamon rolls but only small candy canes.)

Or when Jorgen and Beebs are standing together inside a magic Christmas tunnel?

So as it turns out the Christmas spirit has arrived a wee bit early this year. BUT. Don't worry hubsy, I'm still refusing to turn the radio dial anywhere near the Christmas station until we are safely on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner. The foot is down.

And THANK YOU. Ladies. For the very lovely weekend.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food for Fall

As Thanksgiving approaches the hubs gets more and more excited about all things pumpkin, asking me frequently if I will make him a pumpkin pie.

Now. Pumpkin pie is just fine and everything, but one or two slices a year is enough for me. And when I know there are going to be opportunities for pumpkin pie right and left during the Thanksgiving season, I try to appease the hubs' monstrous pumpkin appetite with other pumpkin treats.

Cue these pumpkin cream cheese muffins.

When I make these the hubs tells me over and over how much he loves them. Which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and wife-like, since I don't spend as much time as I would want to making him his favorite foods.

The recipe is from the always wonderful Annie's Eats. It makes 24 muffins but I only ended up with 22 1/2 because I apparently ate a muffin and a half's worth of batter. Why is batter so good????

AND I've got another pumpkin surprise for the hubsy up my sleeve as well! But because of my crazy frazzled week it may not happen until after Thanksgiving. Which is ok. Pumpkin lovin' can be for any time of the year. 

SO. IF you like pumpkin, you should definitely try these out.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (24 muffins)

8 oz cream cheese softened
1 cup powdered sugar

3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tbspn + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

Topping: (I had lots of this leftover and probably could've halved it)
1/2 cups sugar
5 tbspn flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbspn butter cut in pieces

Filling: Combine cream cheese and sugar in bowl, mix well until smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners. In bowl combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. In a separate bowl combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree. Add in dry ingredients after combined. 

Topping: Mix all ingredients together until coarse and crumbly.

Assembly: Fill each muffin liner with a small amount of batter (1-2 tbspns). Add a spoonful of filling. Cover filling with more batter (I filled to just about the top of the liner.) Sprinkle topping on each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Narwhal Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

*Edit 1/8/13 - This narwhal is available as a fine art print or as a notecard in my shop!

Large unicorn fish.

So, do Narwhals just spear things when they need to eat, or when they need protection?

And is it just me, or a Narwhals getting popular now?

Anyway. You know that saying, "when it rains it pours?" Surely you do. I'm having one of those weeks. Two hot design projects, trying to plan my students' recital, practicing for my friend's cd release concert that I'm playing violin for on Friday night, plus my part time jobs, and getting ready for Thanksgiving travels. I'm trying my best not to become a frazzled and stressed freak-a-zoid of nature. I think I'm doing pretty well.

I mean. I've definitely had my moments. Just ask the hubs.

But for the most part pretty well.

Anyway. If things get a little bit quiet around here for about a week or'll know why. I'm probably lost and frazzled somewhere and you'll need to come help.

November Doodles: SparrowBadgerPoodle, Wolf
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, September's here, and October's here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things that happened this weekend.

The hubs surprised me on Friday by taking the day off work and bringing me to the Walker Art Center in order to check out their new exhibit "Graphic Design: Now in Production." 

It was great fun especially since I hadn't been to the Walker for quite awhile. I was in designer's heaven as we explored film, posters, typography, magazine production, logos, and lots of unique books.

I loved this TV poster series created by Albert Exergian - which included a few of my favorite shows!

After the design exhibit we explored the rest of the museum where we encountered a rude talking computer dolphin, and a brown spiky thing that was on display under a staircase. Then we climbed some random stairs and took pictures of ourselves in this window. 

It was very much a good time.

Back home after dinner I headed out shopping with a couple of friends in search of new skinny jeans but instead came back with a couple shirts and some candles. Mission not quite successful. But nice.

Then that night I stayed up for far too late doing stupid useless things which included wandering around the house at about 1am looking for a mysterious "beeping" noise which turned out to be the hubs squeaking his nose in his sleep.

THEN on Saturday I doodled a wolf and did some other stuff that I already wrote about. And Sunday I made some delicious cream cheese pumpkin muffins - delish!!! I will post the recipe soon.

So all in all. Quite the nice little weekend there. And how was yours?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wolf Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

Saturdays are nice. 

A little bit of sleeping in. 

A little bit of cookie dough for breakfast. 

A little bit of thrifting with a pretty red headed friend. 

A little bit of finding a super cool $6 floor lamp with a compartment to keep things in!! while thrifting.  

A little bit of thinking how much I like things with compartments to keep things in. 

A little bit of watching The Italian Job with the hubs and the kitties. 

A little bit of wolf doodling.

And soon I'm heading to my grandma's house for a little bit of family dinner and celebrating my uncles birthday.

Yep, Saturdays are nice. How's your weekend coming along?

November Doodles: SparrowBadger, Poodle
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, September's here, and October's here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Let's be honest here.

SOMETIMES. I look for self worth in the wrong places.

I've only been doing this blogging stuff for about six months, but it immediately opened up new avenues for me to judge my overall success as a human being. Blogging, tweeting, followers, etsy, favorites, comments, stats. All have become ways to make or break my day.

And that's silly. Right?!?! Ridiculous, actually. It's a good thing that the hubs doesn't love me any better or worse on a given day depending on how many people read my blog.

And it's also a good thing that my mom doesn't love me any more or less depending on how many people favorite the new item in my shop.

And it's pretty nice that my sister still wants to go thrifting with me even when she sees how many followers I have on twitter.

And my friends still like me too! Let's be honest, lots of them don't even READ this blog!

And really, life already has enough obstacles without allowing my computer to tell me that I'm not as good as so and so over there. I mean, doesn't it??

So. After pondering this problem to the root, the long and the short of it is really just this: it's time for ME to start being nicer to little ol' ME.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." - Psalm 139: 13-14

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Poodle Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

My mind is drawing a blank as I try and think of something to say about poodles.

Skinny legs. Fluffy tutu. Poof ball tail.


November Doodles: SparrowBadger
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, September's here, and October's here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A night in the life.

Sometimes the hubs likes to document what happens on a typical evening in our living room through photos.

Pisica helps me work. We both concentrate very hard. My eyes are tired and glassy from staring at the screen for too long.

Pisica is smug because she thinks she has the best seat in the house. I am smug because I realize the hubs is taking pictures of me and for some reason make a smug face.

Gepetto tries to steal her seat. Pisica looks positively shocked although I don't know why. She's always been a pushover.

A complete pushover.

Pisica. Can you breath under there?

I'm having a hard time making this week a super productive one. I've been feeling tired and sluggish. Is the time change to blame? But didn't I get EXTRA sleep? So shouldn't I be LESS tired?

So instead of being able to get my tasks done in a neat, timely, and orderly fashion, my brain feels a bit blurry and I make blog posts about my cats. WHO KNOWS what comes after this. Hopefully something responsible that doesn't include zoning out.

Wish me luck friends.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Badger Doodle

(Semi) Daily Animal Doodle

El Tejon!

If you are a 30 Rock fan as I am, then you more than likely think of Liz Lemon when you think of badgers.

If you don't watch 30 Rock then perhaps you think about how "badger" is a great word to say with a british accent.

November Doodles: Sparrow
Want to see more doodles? Check out June's here, July's here, August's here, September's here, and October's here.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More things you might not have wanted to know

Time for another Sunday late night confessional! Continued from two weeks ago.

9.) Lately I've been eating a bagel and cream cheese with almost every meal. Like, just adding it to whatever I am already eating. It's just my new thing I guess but hopefully I grow out of it soon.

10.) One time in high school my bff and I made two large bowls of cake batter (chocolate and vanilla) and ate it in my room until we felt sick. Then I hid the leftover batter in my closet for a few days. My mom was upset when she didn't have any cake mixes when she needed it.

11.) I have an ear problem. As in, I don't like things in my ear. Or by my ear. Makes me CRAZY. In the bad way. Blowing in ears? So not sexy at all. And at night I have to sleep with a blanket, sheet, or my hair strategically placed over my ears so that no bugs or ceiling chunks fall into them. When I was younger (all the way until college I think) I had a special "ear blanket" that I would carefully roll and lay over my exposed ear at night. My bff thought it was hilarious to take it away in the middle of the night and watch my sleep-anguish.

12.) I chew on my fingers. It's my bad habit that I've never been able to kick.

13.) I have a very large collection of rocks. Including Agates. Also shells. Sea glass. Basically anything that you can find along the beach or the road and then put in glass vases or jars in your house. It might be a problem because I'm running out of places and ways to display them without seeming like some sort of crazed rock fanatic.

14.) I don't like many veggies. Especially carrots. They are the worst. But the good news is that I really like mushrooms. But are they even vegetables, after all?

15.) I have a really great man singer voice when I'm sick. 

16.) When I find a new favorite song I obsess over it for days and play it over and over and over on YouTube. As I am currently doing with Elliott Smith's Waltz #2.

17.) Speaking of music. I'm always wanting more. I'm never satisfied with the music that I have. I get something new and obsess over it for awhile, but soon enough I'm pining after something else and I can't rest until I have it. 

Well I mean. I can rest. But I sure think about it a lot.

Alright, I'm off. Going to bed, extra thankful for my Sunday night small group. It's so good to have encouraging people to talk, pray, and fellowship with. Can I get a big fist pump! For small group!

Ok see ya bye.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

More Updates! But I have a cold.

Yes. A cold, even though I JUST had one last month. Ok maybe a LITTLE over a month ago. So annoying but who wants to hear me complain about the injustice of two colds within basically a month's time? The hubs? God? My mom?

Mom. I have another cold and it's not faaaaiirrrrr.

But that's really the only thing I have to complain about besides the fact that it's winter time which causes my armpits to itch. Which is more than you needed to know but I can't take it back now. My delete button uh...doesn't work.

BUT. The good news is that I have added some more items to my shop! I made some sweet cardinals and chickadees just in time for the winter season. All of these images can be found in my shop as both prints and note cards.

Daddy Cardinal
(You might recognize him from this daily animal doodle)

Momma Cardinal

Frank by Moonlight

Hank by Moonlight

I had a lot of fun working on these guys, and my little public announcement I made earlier was just what I needed to kick my butt into gear and get them done by the end of the week. 

Ok see ya, have a great weekend! I'm off to clean the house and listen to Elliott Smith.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You can just call me Brigitta.

I realized I have one more day of my east coast adventure to document here. I kind of considered just skipping it because, well, it was like a month ago now.

But then I decided to not skip it. And to write it up right this moment. Let's see how this goes. I will be documenting day three. (In case you missed it and you really reeeeeaaally want to read more about my vacation, here is day one and day two.)

We spent the day in Newport, RI. Which is apparently where rich people buy huge mansions in which to summer.

Side note. This day was extra special for an extra special reason. Bethany's friend, who owns a light blue '71 Chevy Cadillac Convertible, decided to be our chauffeur for the day. It was really nice.


But really nice.

Anyway. Once we were safely packed into Ol' Blue (she actually had a girl's name - the convertible did - I think - but I can't remember what it was) and feeling like the fancy folk that we were, we headed into lovely Newport. Our first stop was to tour a mansion - called The Breakers. Apparently a really famous American family called the Vanderbilts lived there, and it was apparently very shocking that I didn't know who they were. But, I mean, I don't know...I'm just really not a history buff and maybe I should still know them even though I'm not a history buff but I just don't. Ok? 

Thanks for understanding pals.

Here is the front of the mansion.

It was really beautiful inside but unfortunately we couldn't take pictures inside. But here is the view from the back.

So cool, right? I felt like one of the Sound of Music children. Maybe Brigitta. (I would choose Louisa but she falls in love with that army man who calls her a baby and then betrays her

THEN. We went on an ocean walk. 

Saw some ocean and I loved that.

Saw some more mansions which was also cool.

Then we went to a little place which I believe was called Flo's and I got some delicious fresh shrimp. MMMMM I love shrimp. Especially shrimp that is fresh and delicious.

Then we took a picture on the dream car. Ol' Blue.

Then we went on to a huge art festival near Bethany's hometown. Which is normally TOTALLY my thing. But for some reason I was feeling super exhausted and tired and I had eaten way to many fresh shrimp and, well, I didn't do much besides drink some frozen lemonade and sit at a picnic table. But then I had a "doughboy" (think funnel cake, fellow Minnesotans) and then suddenly I was craving an apple dumpling and then another one and I ate a bunch of apple dumpling crust but left most of the apple. (Remember, I'm not much of an apple person.) 

The sugar high seemed to be just what I needed and I knew that it was time to show this art festival who's boss. But unfortunately it was time to head to the airport to catch our plane home.

Next time art festival. Next time.

Then the following day once in the comfort of my own bathroom I plucked my eyebrows since I had forgotten to bring my tweezers on the trip and hadn't plucked them in awhile before I left because, well, sometimes time is short and these things are overlooked. But come the end of the trip if you happened to look into my eyes you were likely to lose yourself in a hairy foreign eyebrow wasteland.

They'll suck you in!! Watch out!!

Okey doke, well I believe this post has been more rambling than usual. Props to you if you stuck around to the end! 

In short: my trip/east coast/new adventures/great friends = I like.