Friday, December 28, 2007

Over already?

Is Christmas over already? I feel like retailers have been cramming Christmas down my throat since August. Now it's over and I'm a little melancholy.

Our Christmas shenanigans started off last Friday with a recreation of Christmas Eve a few days early to appease the in-laws since their only child was being taken hostage in Salina, Kansas for the actual day. On Saturday, Moe and Eric headed to Kansas City despite snowy weather. Ward came over and we gorged on Pei Wei, wine and beer. Em and Ben brought Ellie over a little later for a furious game of Catch Phrase. Man, I love that game.

Early Sunday, we packed up the Expedition with Baby Ellie and all and headed to Salina. Nick was home, so it was great to see him. My dad's kitchen has been remodeled and it is NICE. I could sleep on his new granite island. Mind you, we had to share steak knives as he and Barb are still gathering all of the necessities that a new, huge kitchen can handle. We spent the day drinking wine, eating candied nuts and playing more Catch Phrase following our dinner of halibut and salmon that my dad and brother caught in Alaska.

Off to mom's to hang with my "new brothers" Gabe, Andrew and Jeff. We had 11 people in my mom's house. Chris and I have been bumped from our room to make way for a baby crib. Luckily, we still had a bed.

We went to early church on Christmas Eve. Apparently that is when all of the children go to church because I could look out over the crowd and every thing was moving, kids coughing, moving, banging sets of keys meant for entertainment against the pew. No sermon. Ellie was great though. To Country Club for my new "dad's" family Christmas and then presents at my new "grandma's" house. She treated us like we were her own. Ellie was the star of the show being passed from lap to lap.

Christmas morning meant presents with my mom and siblings. Chris bought Ellie her first ornament on his own. It was very sweet! Mom got two presents that will eventually bring her to Kansas City - tickets to Reba and a gift certificate to the Culinary Center. We gave Nick a new Nano as a Christmas and birthday combo and because we don't know where he will end up after graduation when he enters the military full-time. I was most excited about Ben's gift...the Flight of the Conchords DVD.

Back to KC for more Christmas with the Lanes. Bean soup Christmas night and more wine. On Wednesday, we recreated Christmas morning and Chris was proud of his traditional "plucking bread", better known to me as "roll balls". We opened socking, which are giant panty hose legs stuffed to the brim with individually wrapped presents. Mine overflowed into an "annexed" bag. I am the definition of spoiled at that house. These aren't chumpy little thing either...Skittles, 6 pairs of socks, gift cards, hats, scarfs, Orange Bowl t-shirts, lotions, rice vinegar (yes, rice vinegar), you name it.

We stayed until 4 lounging around and talking. it's over and I'm a little sad. Target has Valentine's Day stuff out already. On to the next holiday...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Say it ain't so, Martha

A little birdie told me the VERY unfortunate news that Blueprint magazine is ceasing after the January/February issue. BIG Bummer! This is the only thing I actually hinted about for Christmas. Apparently they will keep their web site and blog going, but I'm such a magazine whore that I'm not sure I will survive this tragedy.

By the way, congrats to the Safers and welcome to baby Rowan. Please start a blog, Sue!

If you haven't seen the book yet, please check out the Post Secret blog here, where people send in their secrets via postcard. It's so clever! Love it.

Oh, and I did get back from Phoenix yesterday morning...finally. Talk about a long couple of days. At least I got to see Andi!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lonely in Phoenix

Hi friends. Just a note to let you know that I'm currently stuck in sunny, 55 degree Phoenix. No flights are allowed back into Kansas City, so I'm here for another night. Hopefully I will be back tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tila Tequila and Unicorns

We developed a wonderful new tradition while decorating our Christmas tree this past week. While most sing carols and sip egg nog, Chris and I instead indulged in Tila Tequila's Shot at Love marathon on MTV. Now I thought The Hills was a bit of an embarrassment to admit to, but Tila Tequila is a whole other story. Pure trash, but a great holiday tradition, none the less. The season finale is right around the corner. Go Danni.

For those of you that haven't seen the Lane tree in person, you have surely heard about the ornaments that adorn the branches. I was shocked during our first year of marriage to bring our childhood ornaments together to decorate our first Christmas tree. As Chris tenderly unwrapped each and every ornament I noticed a plethora of horse ornaments. These were not just horse ornaments people! These were unicorns and Chris had dozens of them.

Apparently in the Lane family, if you state that you like something, it will quickly become the item that everyone gives you for Christmas and other special holidays. And so it goes that Chris had a thing for unicorns in his younger days and the collection grew and now it graces our tree every year and it is good for another annual laugh.

Perhaps the best ornament is a small book ornament that is the story of the unicorn "The Legendary Unicorn" is its title. So I actually cracked this "ornament" open for a little read this year. Among the unicorn poetry was some mention of the symbolism behind the unicorn. It said that "a unicorn symbolizes many things and is said to posses many mysterious powers. Not only does his horn purify poisoned and contaminated water, but if a soldier carries an amulet made from a unicorn horn, he will not be armed in battle. The horn from the captured beast was often ground into a power and taken as a love potion."


It goes on to say that one of the reasons that unicorns have vanished from the earth was because when Noah was gathering animals for the Ark, "the unicorns were too busy dancing in the meadows and missed the boat."

Oh that makes so much sense now.

You really must see these ornaments to gain a full appreciation of the humor behind them. Over the years, our friends have slowly latched on to my husband's affinity for the mythical beast and Chris is now the proud owner of one small fuzzy unicorn purse, a unicorn sweater and if Moe and Eric felt he was worthy, Chris could have had a larger-than-life-sized unicorn for a mere $800.

To sum it all up, please check out the YouTube video about Charlie the Unicorn and help shun the non-believer. Check it out.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We're going to Miami

I wish we could go back to this summer at the Chicago Cubs game when the random Jayhawk fan behind us at the game declared that KU would go to the Orange Bowl. We laughed it off that day. Ha! The Jayhawks are going to Miami. Orange Bowl, baby.

Chris was so confident about which bowl we were going to go to that he booked our flights 30 minutes prior to the BCS selection show. Thank God for the internet, fan boards, blogs and text messaging for our clues to the outcome of our destination. Oh, and thank God for American Airlines points.

We spent much of the weekend decorating for the holidays only to find out that the outlet on the front of the house (the one we plug our outdoor lights into does not work). Boo. Cue the electrician because we WILL have lights on our house this year.

In the bottom of one of the ornament boxes I found this hat for Annie. Em gave it to her a few years ago and she absolutely hates it. We have to break it out once a year. It's a penguin with red earmuffs and it is good for an annual chuckle.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turkey Day and stuff

Kansas vs. Nebraska Homecoming to take the Jayhawks to 10-0.

So, my camera is still out of commish, but as Lisa quickly points out, there is so much stuff for me to tell you about and it doesn't all have to be told through pictures...

Thanksgiving was great. Very relaxed for once. We stayed in Kansas City the entire weekend, which made me miss my family, but we still had a great time and wonderful turkey day food over at the in-laws. The only bummer was the lack of leftovers. I believe I could have spoken up and taken my fair share home, but I had already stuffed myself and couldn't fathom the thought.

I had a hankering to recreate the Thanksgiving Day sandwich from the cute little sub and ice cream shop in Vail. They serve everything from Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich - on a french baguette. It might sound disgusting, but it is pure goodness complete with dressing and cranberries and all. Shepherd's pie with leftovers is one thing, but this sandwich is the B-O-M-B.

The blissful Thanksgiving weekend was cut a little short with having to work Black Friday. Life in the retail biz is for the birds come the holidays. Seriously, it's not even December and I'm ready for Christmas to be over.

There was light at the end of the tunnel with the most significant KU football game I will likely every witness in my life...Kansas vs Missouri with the winner getting a possible chance to play in the National Championship game. What? The Jayhawks? College Game Day? Arrowhead?National Championship? Cut to the chase...we lost.

I was more nervous for this game than I was my own wedding. Seriously. My dad witnessed me wash down a handful Tums with a can of sugarfree Red Bull. No sleep and nerves. Not a fun combo.

Chris wrangled up his tailgating dream...a 50 passenger motorcoach complete with a bathroom for 50 of his closest friends. (It ended up being really 50 of Trajan's closest friends, but who's counting anyway?) The tailgate was complete with 500 cans of beer, BBQ brisket and ham sandwiches, beans, homemade brownies and simply not enough of Karen Lane's special deviled eggs.

The bus was great. Going with friends was great. Traffic was not so great and the crowd control was pure craziness. The Jayhawks tried their darnest, but the Tigers won out in the end. It didn't take away from our season. What a great ride this has been! I'm a bit depressed that the end is drawing near, but not until our bowl is announced on Sunday. It looks like we will be Fiesta Bowling it for the New Year!

This is a sad and very depressed Nebraska fan from Homecoming weekend. KU blew them out of the water.

Chris perform pre-tailgate duties. The "lucky" football beard really did turn out to be pretty lucky this year. Maybe he should keep it for basketball season.

Post-game Chris. Not too happy about the 'Hawks.

Did I mention that Chris "just happened" to have a giant red Sharpie in his cargo pants that came out at the bar following the game? Not only did Chris sign his autograph on every "baldy" in sight, he also managed to autograph Ward's favorite trucker hat. Chris got his, though, when Caitlin signed his neck and "lucky" beard. Our pillowcases are now ruined, but at least it was good for a bit of a laugh. Oh, Lisa alos drew red freckles on my face and I gave her a Rudolph nose, but we knew what we were doing.

Nick was able to come to Kansas City for Thanksgiving. Lucky for him, we had a few extra tickets to the big game.

Some Randy Random from Lew's. I think I liked his hat. Wear a rat hat = Cassie will talk to you for hours even if there does appear to be droplets of fresh blood on your jacket.

Oops. I drowned my sorrows a bit too much. This is O.B. = Original Baldy.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kansas City Design Guide

I'm a big lover of Design*Sponge! Lisa pointed out that they now have a Kansas City Design Guide. Check it out! They point out lots of cool placves around the city: The Country Club Plaza, Brookside, The Crossroads District and even Lawrence. Woo Hoo!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Play Date

Following the Prairie Village Art Fair, Kerri's mom gave me a giant box of old family photos. I completely forgot about them over the summer until a few weeks ago. Jackpot. There are some really great photos, including the one above. This is called Play Date. One of these little girls is Kerri's great-grandmother, but none of us knows which one she is.

Here is one of the commissions I worked on last week. These are my sister's friends Lori and Brandon. They got married in San Diego in early September. It's pretty subtle, but there is a map of California in the lower left corner. I hope she likes it!

If I don't get a chance to blog again this week...HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yay for fall

Fall is my favorite time of year. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the bright blue sky and colorful trees. Why does it seem like the leaves are staying on the trees so much longer this year? We've had some absolutely gorgeous days.

Em, Ellie and I went to Salina for a short girls weekend. Em went hunting while my mom and I watched Ellie. Ellie kicked it in her pink camo pants in honor of her first hunting season. It was a very relaxing weekend with nice long walks and great conversation with my "girls".

Ellie is growing so fast. She's already two months and she now weighs 11 pounds. Who new something so small could so many people so darn happy. I get together with Em to watch "The Hills" every Monday night. (I know it's crappy television and probably so fake, but I love it anyway). Em and I have ended the night in tears the past few weeks in total amazement of Ellie. She's beginning to coo and recently learned to "show us her voice" in which she mimics the sounds that we make. It truly is amazing. We've got a smart one on our hands, folks.

OK...back to me. I've been busy with a few commissions, too. I'm currently working on three. Beware of shameless plug...If you have any interest in commissions for upcoming holidays or special occasions, please feel free to drop me a line or leave me a comment. I would love to talk to you about it!

Oh...and Go Jayhawks. Yes, I have always loved fall, but this one might just be a little sweeter because of those boys in blue. I'd love a trip back to New Orleans!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lazy weekend

Finally a weekend at home. Went to a happy hour with some friends in Westport and then to reVerse on Friday night with the same girls I went to Napa with. The brie stuffed beef tenderloin is a must try.

Saturday was lazy. Chris and I cleaned the patio and did chores and then headed to 810 Zone on the Plaza for the KU game. The Jayhawks were victorious once again. I think there might a trip to a bowl game in my very near future.

Sunday...errands and more laziness. Em and I did make it to our core strengthening class at 11 a.m. I hate it so much, but I love the way it makes me feel. If anyone knows of other core strengthening classes or DVDs, please let me know. Our class is only once a week and I would love to add a few more days a week.

A few new discoveries this weekend besides the brie stuffed tenderloin...Chris and I bit the bullet and purchased the iPod Classic. I fell in love with the Nano commercial (sucker for those marketing tactics), but I loved that I could put all of my photos on the Classic and still have 20,000 songs. Mind you, I'm certainly not a music head, but I'm in the process of uploading my CDs and I might reach my limit in 10 years or so.

I also fell in love with some comfy pants at Gap Body and bought a few pairs in navy and grey. They are the best...and imperative for those lazy weekends.

Etsy has been calling my name, so I decided to try to upload at least a new piece a week. Still, I have many, many more purchases than sales. I found the greatest calendar and felt I couldn't live without it. Can't wait for 2008.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Yeah! The Jayhawks are #9. Ellie and I celebrated the victorious 'Hawks a few weeks ago. Can they go 8-0 this week against A&M?

I do apogize for the lack of posts. New Orleans was very educational, but it was also an absolute blast. Let's just say that when my luggage didn't make the connection from Dallas to Kansas City, the American Airlines attendant asked if there was anything identifiable in my bag "like a red hair dryer or five pairs of shoes". I answered that I had a yellow and green feather boa and a plastic shark. She laughed, but typed it into the computer anyway. The boa was from a impromptu dance party at a bar on Bourbon Street and the plastic shark came in a fancy little drink I discovered while in The Big Easy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gone Again

It's Sunday night and Art at Park was good. My mom came up to help me out on Saturday since Chris was going to the KU football game. She left Salina at 5:30 a.m. to get to KC by 8:30a.m. What a trooper! When she arrived it was pouring down rain. If any of you know my mom, you know that she was "white-knuckling-it" since Topeka. Anyway, we stopped at Caribou and headed to Parkville. It was still raining. It continued to rain, so my mom and I had some special bonding time in my tent, which remained zipped up. We just sat in the middle and listened to the rain fall on the tent and watch the worms crawl all over my plastic bins.

After a while, we decided to go to the farmer's market and buy some pumpkins, apples, beans and honey. It was still raining, so we drove around Parkville. What a cute little town. After that, we decided to walk around downtown and stopped in a little shop with really cute Christmas stuff. Christmas? What the heck? What happened to Halloween? Of course mom bought some ornaments for her ornament exchange at school...she's always prepared.

It was still raining and the park was slowing filling with water. The ground where my tent stood was nearly submerged. The director cancelled the show at noon.

Yay! Free Saturday. Mom and I headed to Em's house and we watched the delayed KU game on t.v. and I held Ellie all day long! It turned out to be a really great day.

Sunday was much nicer...weatherwise. Chris and I stopped at Caribou (yes...I'm addicted) and headed to Parkville. The park had dried out fairly well considering the amount of rain that we got all day Saturday. The crowds were pretty good, but I think people were still a little timid from the weather the day before and were worried about the mud. A few friends stopped by, so that is always a fun way to break up the day. Thank you to those of you that came! You don't know how much I appreciate it.

I'm off tomorrow morning to New Orleans for a work trip until Thursday. I just want to be home for a few days, but I'm anxious to see how N.O. has changed since I was there a few years ago.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


I'm packing the car for Art at Park tonight. The show is Saturday and Sunday only. I'm praying for cool, crisp autumn weather. I hope some of you have a chance to come and hang out! The show is taking place at English Landing Park at Park University.

Here are a few pieces that I'm bringing...

The material in this piece is from a shirt I found at Salvation Army! Who needs fabric stores?

This was one of those pieces that I kept adding to, but still didn't like it. Plop a bird in the middle and I guess it will suffice.

I can never have enough home images at my shows. Huh...birds again.

This piece was way different for me. It started out a boring titan buff color and then I added a pink wash. I painted a thick orange square, added some collage elements, rolled on some white paint with the brayer and used the tracing wheel to add some depth. I then penciled in the red house. It's simple, but sometimes those are the best.

I found this photo on ebay a few months ago and hadn't used it yet. It's a great picture of a newly married couple leaving the church following their ceremony. I love the blueish-grey background. I also used an antique recipe. I then stumbles across an idea when a string from a piece of fabric stuck to the piece. It lead me to the embroidery floss that sis in a basket unused on top of the bookcase in the "studio". I used an orange piece of floss and the color combo was great. I think this piece would make a sweet little wedding gift.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Back from Napa

What an awesome trip! Chris and I left on Thursday morning with three other couples for harvest season in Napa County and the surrounding towns. Unfortunately, we didn't get to spend any time in San Francisco, so we will certainly head back another time.

We stopped off at a wonderful little vineyard on our drive to Napa to sample some sparkling wines. Here is a view from the balcony area where we enjoyed the view and the cool, crisp weather.

On the first evening of our trip, we invited a chef into our rented home for an interactive dinner party. That's Lynnie in the green teaching Chris a thing or two about Beef Bourguignon. Lynnie was not only our chef, but became our full-time driver of our massive grey church van for the next few days.

Our drive from our home to the wineries each morning was more than brutal. Imagine the worst winding, narrow road and then multiply that by ten. It was hard in the morning for anyone that was hungover and a buzzkill in the evening on the way back. The coolness factor of the house more than made up for it though.

The boys enjoying the vino and reminiscing about the old days at the frat while the girls cook with Lynnie.

The hilltop modernist retreat in person. The house was spectacular with wild turkeys in the yard every morning. It sat on a hilltop/mountain and there was not even a single light for miles around us. It was the most quiet and peaceful place with a beautiful view of the bright, starry sky.

On Friday, we stopped off at numerous wineries including, but not necessarily in order...

Plumpjack...we sat in the courtyard area with a few bottles of wine until they politely asked us to leave at closing time. The weather was perfect and we hardly wanted to jump back in the church van.

Chimney Rock...where we stopped just for a bit after a brief rain shower.

Del Dotto...where they ask you to sign a waiver before entering their wine cave. They served the wine straight out of oak barrels from a "wine wang". No kidding. The tour and tasting ended in a room with a crystal ball with The Doors playing over the loud speaker. We had been warned about this winery at each of the other wineries that day. I now understand what they were talking about.

Joseph early morning and probably my least favorite. Very fancy and not too much my style. It was absolutely gorgeous though. The boys were more interested in the KU game via text message than anything else. Go 'Hawks.

Off to Domain Chandon for sparkling wine and an awesome leisurely lunch. The peach raviolo of dessert was awesome.

We also stopped at Elizabeth Spencer, ZD, Honig and Cakebread. I highly recommend the Honig Sauvignon Blanc...voted the best in the valley under $20. You should be able to find it at your local liquor store.

I'l try to post more pictures later because blogger is being a bit tricky right now. Check back!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Off to Napa

Greetings everyone and happy hump day. We are off to Napa tomorrow morning. I couldn't be more excited. We have a personal chef coming to our house tomorrow night for a cooking demo and wine pairing. The chef will change hats on Friday and Saturday when she becomes our chauffeur in our giant white church van that will tour wineries through Napa and Rutherford, California. At least we are being safe!

The good news is that my camera is now working. Afer getting drenched at Sunday's NASCAR race, I placed it in a sealed container of rice. It worked! Supposedly it works for small electronics like cell phones and cameras. So, now that the camera is working sure to check back for pictures from our trip. to pack. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Great weekend here. Dugout suite tickets to the Royals game on Friday night and NASCAR tickets for the race at the Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Too bad that it ABSOLUTELY POURED just over half way through the race. The rain was so blinding that Chris and I got lost in the parking lot for more than half an hour while we searched high and low for our car. It was still quite an experience. Those NASCAR fans are insane! I've never seen grown men flipping off an "opponent" at every chance. That's 267 laps around the track and a lot of finger flipping.

Needless to say, my camera no longer works due to the downpour. My phone is hanging on by a thread, but it's not looking so good. It works, but I can't see who is calling or who I'm dialing. Right now, both the phone and camera are in a sealed container of rice to absorb the moisture. Pray that the camera fixes itself before the trip to Napa on Thursday!

In the meantime, here is some more information about the place we are staying. I can't wait...
Napa PreFab

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