Saturday, February 28, 2009

i think it's pretty cool.

My mom and my aunt have been cleaning out some of my grandmother's things.  (She has Alzheimer's disease, I'll talk more about that some other time.)

Grammy is probably the best seamstress I've ever known.  She has tons of cool stuff in her sewing room, including this little chest.  It definitely doesn't fit into my whole "I still live with my parents motif" but I think someday it'll look great in an apartment.  Very ladies who lunch...
Don't hate it because of these pictures.  My camera's not working properly, and I used my Photo Booth, not the best picture.

I also got some other goodies.  (Don't worry ETL, I think Aunt Susan pulled some stuff for you too.)

Last night my sweet goddaughter, Lillian, came over for a slumber party.  It was pretty fun to treat her like a sweet little princess for the day.  I'm exhausted!   

Now I'm snowed in.  I really wanted to go to church tonight, and we had plans for afterward, but the silly snow ruined our plans.  SILLY SNOW. 

Talk to you soon. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

don't get too worried...

I just needed a little bit of change.  It's 2:00 AM, we'll see how I feel about the new blog color scheme in the morning.  I was getting tired of the red, and I really do love the pink and green...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

you MUST do this...

I will post a real post again soon.  I've been working on penning a recipe that I make all the time, but haven't ever written down.  

Lent starts next Monday, and I promise I'll have a whole lot to say then!  (I do realize that today was Ash Wednesday for the Catholics, but we're on a different calendar.  We'll celebrate Easter a week later than the westerners this year.)  More on that later.

So, here is the most fun thing ever!  My new friend Laura from the We Wilsons blog has started a handmade tea towel swap.  And we all know how much fun these things are when lots of people are involved!  

You have got to do this!  I think it'll be so fun.  Won't you please join in!

The rules are below:
"This swap is open to anyone (that means you), but I'm going to limit it to 50 people. So here's the rules:

1. We'll swap two dish towels (old or new, and embellished by you however you like: embroidered, stamped, appliqued, crocheted edge, or whatever), and a recipe.
2. Sign up by 
next Thursday (March 5) by sending me your name, email, and blog if you have one to wilsonlauralyn AT gmail DOT com.
3. I will pair you up randomly and sometime the following weekend, I will send you your swap partner's email address. You and your partner will be responsible for exchanging your mailing addresses.
Mail your towels and recipes by March 27th. That gives you a whole month to make your towels. I'll try to send you reminders throughout, so no one forgets!
5. Send me a picture, or you can post it on your own blog and send me the link! I won't post pictures until your partner has received their swap so no surprises are spoiled."

Friday, February 20, 2009

number 4

I got tagged by Andrea!  I have had so much fun reading everyone else's 4th photo posts and was secretly hoping to get tagged.  

Here's the deal.  You have to post the 4th photo from the 4th folder on your computer.  But you see, the problem is, I have a new computer.  So the 4th folder is only from a month ago.  January 17 to be exact.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to share some photos I forgot to post back then. 
This photo is from my goddaughter, Lillian Elisabeth's, baptism.  This was near the beginning of the baptism service, and what you can't see from the photo is that I am shaking like a leaf.  I was terribly afraid she would start crying at any moment.  

If you know anything about Orthodox baptisms, you know the odds are that the baby will cry.  No, rather scream!  Picture this:  Imagine you're a baby.  Someone who isn't your mommy is holding you, for a long time.  Some man with a beard keeps talking.  Then he dunks you under water, THREE TIMES!  There's a whole lot going on.  It's pretty nerve-racking for the child and their godparent. 

But, Lillian Elisabeth, she was an angel.  She barely cried once, and even then it was only a whimper.  

Now it's your turn, I tag: Claire, Liz C., Susan and my new blog friend Laura.  (You know Marjo, I'd love to tag you but you don't have a blog... I convinced Claire to get one now it's your turn!!!) 

Here are some more chronological pictures of the baptism.  Here's a link to the text of the service of Holy Baptism, and if you want to know some more theological explanations of what took place in the photos below read this article. 

We stood on the Solea and I held Lillian throughout the service.  This picture is from the beginning.  This is while Father Troy was praying one of the first petitions of the service.  (From left to right: Me holding Lillian, Fr. Troy and Deacon Tim.)

During this portion of the service the priest breathes the sign of the cross onto the child's head, I think this is part of the exorcism, someone correct me if I'm wrong.  (I just realized the word exorcism sounds pretty scary to someone who isn't used to hearing that word.  But doesn't it make sense to "expel every evil and impure spirit" during such a Holy Sacrament?) Notice the contented face Lillian is making.  I think this was her favorite part.  Babies love having someone blow on their faces, so sweet.  
This next picture makes me smile, and want to cry at the same time!  When we baptize children in the Orthodox Church we really baptize them, no sprinkle.  We're talking full immersion.  This will be the child's only baptism, they will not be baptized again when they have a conversion experience later in life.  (Note: I know that this is not a great theological explanation of what we believe about baptism...  but this is simply what I believe.  If you have questions I'd love to explain it further.)  

The priest immerses the child 3 times.  (We like the number 3 in Orthodoxy, you know because of the Holy Trinity.)  While he is baptizing the child he said: "The handmaid of God Lillian Elisabeth is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."  

You've got to love the naked baby coming out of the water picture!  (Don't worry, I was holding her specially monogrammed towel, thanks mom, to receive her as soon as she came out of the water.  No goddaughter of mine is going to get cold!)

This is the tonsure, that takes place after the baptism.  The priest cuts tiny bits of the child's hair from 4 spots, in the sign of the Cross, and places it into the censer with the rest of the incense.  She did a great job during this part, but was so enamored with her priest and kept trying to stare at him while he cut.
Then we made a procession around the baptismal font.  After this, the congregation sang "God grant you many years" to the newly illumined Lillian.  (Sorry, blogger's acting up and I couldn't upload the photo of that.)

After the baptism, we had a lovely reception.  Here I am with Lillian and her mom, Beauvais.  
The next morning Lillian received Holy Communion for the first time.  We receive the Eucharist, or Communion, from the priest with a spoon.  The bread and wine are together in the chalice.  I can't explain how incredible it is to hold a child while they receive Christ's body and blood for the first time in their life.  I was probably more nervous on Sunday morning than I was throughout the baptism. 
May God grant you many years Lillian!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

wait a second...

Did I completely forget to tell you about the most awesome new blog that's a stop on my daily "blog rounds?"  

I didn't did I?   

It's my friend Claire's blog.  It was high time for the girl to get a blog... and the name is great.  Phos-Zoe, it means light and life in Greek.  (Claire's 6 month old is named Zoe, is she not the cutest?)  Check out the blog.  And check out her most recent post about her newest business venture: The Happy Spitter.  Very awesome indeed.  Happy blogging Claire!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

look at what i made:

I liken my blog to one of those refrigerator magnets that preschool children use to display their latest creations, they usually say "look at what I made." 

I rummaged through the fabric cabinets and pulled out this lovely plaid.  I've been itching to create an apron since I started sewing.  I love a high waisted apron, because I tend to splash things on my stomach when I cook.  And because high waisted aprons are flattering.  

I went to and chose to play Sufjan Stevens radio.  Have I told you about  Type in your favorite artist and you can listen to their songs or a custom radio station with music similar to the artist.  It's sometimes hit or miss, but today was nice.  I listened to creativity inspiring music, such as Sufjan, Iron and Wine, Andrew Bird, The Innocence Mission, Beirut, Rufus Wainwright, etc.  Now that I think about it, it was quite a bit of the music my beloved cousin Liz enjoys.  {I miss you dear cousin!}  

Music and crafts, I'm a happy gal.

I made a high waisted A-line apron.  I think the colors are very Valentine's week appropriate.  It has a generous fuchsia waistband with very long ties so that it ties in the front.  Do you like it? 

Happy Tuesday. 

Monday, February 09, 2009

isn't that just like true love?

When you really love someone their inner beauty begins to shine so brightly that it diffuses the inevitable flaws the person has...  And aren't we all glad when someone has loved us all enough to view us through the diffused lenses?

No, I am not talking about Brandon, although sometimes I think he's practically blind to my flaws.  {sighs and "aw" etc.}  And you all know I think he's pretty perfect as well...  enough of that sappiness. 

I was actually talking about my tarte.  I came home tonight after babysitting James and Paul and a lovely play date at Liz's (with of course Sarah Ann and Thomas) and Claire (with Zoe.)  We had lots of fun!  Anyway, I came home and really wanted to bake. I was really uninspired.  I knew I wanted something chocolate.  It seems appropriate to make chocolate desserts during Valentine's week. 

After much consideration, I recalled buying an extra can of almond paste when I made the almond and pear tarte.  I came up with the idea to make a chocolate almond tarte.  Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Oh it was, and for once I penned my recipe as I created.  Lucky you.  The filling was delicious, nutty, sweet and sort of custardy.  I love a chocolate chess pie, but this tarte, although it appears like a custard pie, is not.  It's much more substantial.  

But every great love has to have a flaw... yes the flaw.

I retract my self-righteous rantings from this post.  Tonight I made my crust from scratch, sans recipe.  I know what to do but I was lazy.  I didn't use enough butter and made a sort of doughy crust, and it was disastrous.  I know how to remedy the problem.  It didn't have to be that bad.  I blended the ice cold butter and flour in my food processor, and I knew what the mixture should look like, but I had already put the butter away and moved straight into the ice water phase, and it just made a butter dough.  I know what I did wrong, so all is not lost for my crust theory.  It can be done relying on technique and without a recipe, just don't be lazy like me. 

Back to my love affair.  

Here's how to create the tarte filling...

Chocolate Almond Tarte
2 T butter
3/4 C milk
1/3 C cocoa powder
1 can almond paste
1 egg

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Heat the milk, remove from heat add cocoa powder and wisk until all lumps are obliterated.  Then add the almond paste and egg.  Wisk until all ingredients are combined.  Pour into the tarte shell of your choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  

Just use your favorite crust.  Mine was so bad it almost ruined the whole thing.  It wasn't even very pretty because the crust never browned, a direct result of the butter deficiency (I'll spare you the photo.) But the filling is so delightful it outshines the toughness of the crust.

Isn't that just like true love? 

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

since i have some time...

I don't really have an abundance of spare time right now, because beginning yesterday morning I started the full-time job search.  {If you know of anything let me know, I'd love to send you my resume.}  BUT, while my dad was taking a look at my resume I sat down at my sister's sewing machine.  

I really haven't touched my machine many times since I received it for my birthday a few years back.  I was pretty scared of it to be honest!  

I made coffee in my press yesterday and HATE how fast it becomes ice cold since the carafe is glass and not very thermal.  I had seen some coffee-press-cozies on some other blogs and figured that it looked pretty easy. 

I used some nice olive green fabric knit fabric and some ivory grosgrain ribbon.  It was really just a rectangle with places for two bows.  Then you simply tie the cozy around the press and it works like a sweater for my coffee! I think it works pretty well.   

Maybe I could start a successful coffee-press-cozy business!   Who needs a job!?!

Monday, February 02, 2009

such is life...

I got laid off.  

I wasn't the only one.  I was one of about 5 people.  It was pretty un-dramatic.  But still incredibly sad. 

If you hear of anything let me know. 

In the meantime, I'm going to ask for St. Xenia of St. Petersburg to pray for me.  Her prayers have helped many people to find jobs.

Most Holy St. Xenia well pleasing to God, pray to God for me. 
On Saturday morning at the women's retreat we prayed the akathist of thanksgiving, Glory to God for all Things.   It was based on something said by St. John Crysostom.  This akathist hymn was written by Presbyter Gregory Petrov while he was in a prison camp in 1940 shortly before his death.  It is one of the most beautiful prayers of thanksgiving I have ever heard, made even more beautiful when the circumstances are considered. I hope that in the face of something as terrible as a prison camp that I could say this. 

Glory to God for all things.