Thursday, January 31, 2008

Get in my belly

It's Super Bowl weekend! Yay. I really don't care who wins. I just want a good game, clever commercials and yummy food.

Here is a "fancy pants" appetizer that is so easy, but is so very tasty. We picked this up at our monthly cooking class. The classes are so interactive and informative. We always walk away with good ideas and a packet full of recipes.

Give this a whirl sometime...

1 wedge of brie with skin on (1/4 of a wheel)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 chopped macadamia nuts (you could also use pecans, I suppose)
1 T. brandy or Navan Liqueur (a vanilla cognac)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake brie for 5 minutes. Mix other ingredients into a paste. Take brie from over and top brie with the paste. Bake again for three minutes.

Serve with crackers, sliced apples or pears.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I've found the sweetest blog on the web. It's basically a look into the life of two cool, hip parents that are raising their young daughter, named Juniper, in Detroit. They have another baby on the way. The dad's depictions, with some occasional posts by his wife, are so sincere and sweet. I found myself tearing up on several occasions. On the other hand, he is very clever and funny.

First I read this about his daughter...

I have childless friends who ask me how things have changed since she was born. I tend to turn on the self-deprecation, talk about how I don't get to go out to bars anymore or how our lives are scheduled around her naps and bedtime. I tell them that because I know it's what they want to hear; many of them are still convinced, as Ken says on Freaks & Geeks, that, "everything fun in life happens in bars." I don't see any point to getting this precious or sentimental with them. They don't care that the biggest way my life has changed since Juniper was born is that I smile a lot more. That I laugh a lot more now. And it's not laughter at someone because they said or did something stupid and it's not ironic laughter at some shitty movie or television show or laughter at the expense of someone else because I think I'm better than them. I just find myself smiling and laughing because she has somehow fulfilled me in such an unexpected way. She makes me see the world as simple and pure, and it feels so good to have her sitting in the crook of my arm. She is teaching me to look up with her, and remember things I've never known.

And then this about love...
Love has a way of eclipsing superficial concerns.

Look at your spouse or your lover tonight, hold them tight, and think about your future together. Remember that death is inevitable, and that you are going to lose that person one day, or he or she will lose you. You cannot change that. Remember that if you are lucky, you will live to see your spouse put on a few pounds, grow wrinkles, grow bald and liverspotted and grumpy. If you are lucky you will see your children find love in someone else, and then see you and your spouse and a whole host of strangers live on in the children that grow physically from that love. You will see youth again in them, you will remember all the good times you had in yours. If you are lucky you will grow old and change in a million different ways with the person you've chosen to live your life with. Not everyone reading this will be so lucky. Among you there will be car accidents, lives snatched away without a moment to say goodbye. There will be hands to hold in hospital beds. There will be chemotherapy. There will be pain.

But again, if you are lucky it will come in the depth of the winter of your lives, though an invincible summer will burn inside you still, a love that a few extra pounds could never kill.

I get so caught up in design blogs and art sites, but this is a must read. If you have some serious time to poke around, check it out...Sweet Juniper.


I finally completed Ross' commissioned Plaza pieces on Sunday. They look very different than my usual pieces, but I think they turned out pretty well. Ross seemed to like them, so that is what matters, right!?

Little did I know that Ross commissioning some pieces also meant that Chris and I were responsible for hanging the five pieces in his Plaza condo. There was a lot of math and measuring involved, but we completed the task.

Em and I went to Lawrence on Saturday morning for the KU game. We convinced my mom to drive two hours from Salina to meet us at 9:30 and shop for just two hours. My dad arrived at 11:30 and we did the ol' parent switcheroo. The KU game was a little bit boring with a huge lead by halftime. The highlight of the game for Em and I might have been a cowboy boot-clad Todd Reesing appearance at half-time. Em ruined it for me when she told he was probably six when I started college. Geez.

Wm, dad and I went to the Eldridge Hotel after the game for a bit. Russell Robinson came in with his mom after the game. The entire place broke into applause. How weird would it be to walk into a restaurant and have the whole place erupt. I will probably never know...

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Baby It's Cold Outside...OK, so it wasn't actually -35 degrees like my car read this afternoon, but it sure did feel like it. It was more like 18, but what's the difference. By the way, I risked my life on I-435 to take this picture...dug into my purse to find my camera and then proceeded to stick the camera through the steering column to take 5 pictures of the temperature...all while driving.

Ellie thinks this weather is for the birds...or for the bears.

Random picture of the arch from our short trip to STL before the New Year. I was trying to be "artistic."

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Something new to obsess about

I picked up Amy Butler's Midwest Modern book yesterday. Some of you might recognize her fabrics. She also creates patterns for purses, quilts, hats, aprons, you name it. The books showcases her house and studio. What a cool chica!

Mrs. Woodard's Home Ed class wasn't enough to teach me any sewing skills. Despite my mom also being a wiz on the sewing machine, I can't sew to save my life. These fabrics might be a reason to learn though.

You can see more at Purl Soho. I've also seen them at Urban Arts & Crafts at Briarcliff.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another satisfied customer

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but this is "supposed" to be a blog about my "artwork" and not my shenanigans in Miami, sure does feel nice when I get a little response back from someone after they give or receive one of my pieces as a gift. I thought I would share.

At the Omaha Art Fair, a friend of a friend just happened to stumble into my booth. She was living in San Diego, so the entire process of completing her commission was done via email and snail mail. It was a long process, but it was finally completed. It was a gift for her sister's 30th birthday. She wrote:


Just want to thank you again for all your work on my sis's piece. She got it today at work and was totally beside herself. It means soooo much to her. She already emailed me a pic of it hanging on her wall at home. :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

The background is a vintage dress pattern, a collaged map of Chicago (where the recipient lives), a photo of the sisters' mother and a vintage Chicago Cubs ticket that I found on eBay for $9.95.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Orange you glad for birthday wishes!?

Get ready for the longest blog entry EVER!

We just returned from the Orange Bowl where my Jayhawks came away with a victory. It was well worth the trip to finally see a big KU game, where we actually win. I've gone to several NCAA basketball tournaments and I've only seen one win in the second round, but never has anything meant so much. Tears were actually shed at the end of this one.

We arrived on the evening of the 2nd and joined the others that had decided to make the trek to Miami. The early group had already enjoyed the hotel's free happy hour, but our $95 cab ride got us there a little too late. We headed to Kung Fu Chu's, in the hotel for sushi and saki. Then we headed out to some crazy club. Definitely not my scene. There was a crazy man pimped out in a plush red coat and fancy red hat. He was actually smoking a joint. Caitlin tried to sit next to him, so I could take his picture, but he scrambled out of there quickly.

The 3rd was not only game day, but it was also my birthday. We got up and headed to the Big Pink. If you are in Miami, it's a great diner with massive breakfasts.

When we returned to our room, Chris had arranged for a birthday cake, balloons, wine and hotel souvenirs to be delivered o the room. It was so sweet and quite a surprise.

What was an even better surprise was that the cake didn't have "Happy Birthday Cassie", but rather "Happy Birthday Chris". Can you believe that? At least it was tasted like a cake made of Twinkies.

Some of you recall the birthday where my mom asked me to pick up my cake since she was running late. The Dairy Queen ice cream cake had icing scrawled across it "Happy Birthday Caffie". At least I can laugh about it now.

We bunked with Moe and Eric. Apparently, Chris and Eric thought that those to stay together, dress together. I've dubbed Chris' winter look "the uniform". It's popular in Chicago apparently, too.

Our hotel was pretty cool, but the rooms were tiny, dark and red and white. It was in South Beach, so we were close to all of the action. Everybody seemed to be from Europe and looked like David Beckham, although not quite as good looking. Everyone wore aviators, leather coats and just had that European vibe to them.

Palm trees a plenty...
We headed to Dolphin Stadium via cab mid-afternoon. The parking lot was full of Virgina Tech fans. Our option was to party in the Budweiser tailgate, which had live music, food, interactive displays and songs by the KU Marching Band.

It was COLD that day! 50's and wind. I wore four shirts and a fleece and I was still a it chilly.

Outside of Dolphin Stadium with the girls...

The giant Kansas equipment trailer and Chris as a silhouette.

Do you all remember when I blogged about that guy at the Cubs game that claimed we would go to the Orange or Fiesta Bowl? Chris and I had talked for a few weeks about how we would love to see him again and tell him that he was right and we thought he was crazy. Right before he walked into the game he walked right by us! I literally started screaming for Chris. He is our new BFF in Chicago.

The boys in RED!? I was a little disappointed that we didn't wear blue, but it turned out to be lucky anyway.

Victorious...The Jayhawks celebrate in the stadium following the win.

A tearjerker for sure.
The game got over so late that by the time we got back to the hotel it was 1:30 in the morning. We didn't make it over to the team hotel, but Chris managed to celebrate at our hotel bar with his buddies.

Moe and I headed out for a walk on Friday morning, stopping for a Cuban coffee while spying on the pools in the fancy hotels that line Ocean Drive.

The boys joined us for lunch at Prime Time, a sidewalk cafe on Ocean Drive. I had the best sandwich, bloody Mary's and sweet potato fries while the sun shined on my face. I'm not sure why eating lunch outside in the sun while drinking an adult beverage always solidifies vacation to me.
We walked to the beach, so we could at least say that we did. It was still a little chilly, but the sun was out.

The bird obsession continues...

Eric and Moe tip toe on the beach.

Eight of us went to Joe's Stone Crab on Friday night before our return trip on Saturday. I'm so excited that we went at the last minute. It was so much fun and we got to wear paper bibs! Joe's serves more than 1,500 pounds of stone crab alone on a daily basis. The crabs are endangered, so they just take one claw and send them back for another claw to grow. Worthless info, I know.

The bibs...why do these simple things make me so happy? Give me a paper bib and I'm one happy girl.
One last stop at the hotel bar...

..and it wouldn't be a trip with Moe and Eric without a car bomb contest.

So...Orange Bowl birthday wishes do come true.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Please go see the movie Juno before it leaves theaters! It is such a sweet movie and I absolutely loved it. I downloaded the entire CD onto my iPod and I'm ready to see it for the second time. Anyone? Anyone? Ellen Page is awesome, endearing and the lines are classic. It might be one of my top ten faves.

Here is a clip..


Moe was among my "clients" to commission a piece of artwork as a Christmas gift. I tried a new technique and did the collage on a piece of masonite. Overall, I was proud of how both piece turned out. They are meant to lean against a wall or placed on a shelf together.

These are Moe's parents back in their hippie days. It is such a priceless picture!

Moe and Nash in the early days. This piece is smaller at 4x4", while the other is 8x8". Here is the very sweet email that I received from Moe's mom last week...

Cassie, Cassie, Cassie,
YOU ARE AWESOME! I LOVED the gift from Emily that you did. IT IS SOOOOOOOOO NEAT! I can honestly say that it is the first gift I have ever received that I was totally speechless. I knew the tears were coming and I just sat there and looked at it and couldn't speak. I love it and I thank you for all the thought and creativity that went in to it! Having done a few little pieces of artwork, I can appreciate all the work that went in to it. You have some great ideas and techniques! I hope you and Chris have a wonderful NEW YEAR and that you all have a safe and fun time at the ORANGE BOWL!

Love, Cindy

I don't ever like to toot my own horn, but I just thought this was too sweet not to share.

And, yes, we are off to the Orange Bowl tomorrow morning. Another Jayhawk win would be a pretty wonderful birthday gift!

Cheers! Go Jayhawks.

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