Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Farewell, 'Escape from the Factory', hello Leap Day!

Yesterday I sold one of my paintings!

Escape from the Factory

This little guy is the look out.

It's always a dose of mixed feelings whenever I sell a painting. I'm proud to have sold the piece, sorry to see it go, happy it's found a home, and sad to say goodbye. It sounds corny, but they're all really special to me, and it's not always easy to part with them.

The girl who purchased this piece has been courting it since this autumn, and I feel relieved it's going to a home where it will be loved. If you like it, I still have prints for sale here.

I hope everyone is having a great Leap Day! 30 Rock did a hilarious episode last week celebrating Leap Day and I just loved it. Tongue in cheek, they presented a the idea that Leap Days should stick out in our lives as extra moments, freebies, do overs, bonus hours set aside from our usual life span. Spin the wheel one more time, and see what comes up kind of days. I liked that.

I hope you have that sort of Leap Day this year!

Just look out for Leap Day Williams!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rhode Island, There and Back Again

Ryan and I visited our home state last week. It was a great trip packed with family, friends, and good times!

We started the week in Boston for the 37th annual 24 hour Science Fiction Movie Marathon. It was my fourth time attending, and Ryan's first. Five years ago Amy invited me and it became a favorite yearly tradition. She was invited herself a few years before by our pal Nate. The marathon is like that, friends invite friends until you have a theater full of some of the best folks around. Over the years at the 'Thon we've watched dozens of good and bad classics, celebrated two Valentine's days, and won the tin foil hat competition in 2009.

No, seriously.
Space Vikings, left to right: Nate, Minda, Ev, Amy, and myself.

When I moved to the west coast, funny story, it got a lot harder to travel to Boston. Last year was the first (and hopefully only) marathon I missed. As I moped about the apartment for 24 hours, Ryan promised me that come heck or high water we would make the journey to attend this year. And he kept his promise without any reminding from me, like the handsome champion he is.

Ryan was less thrilled about getting in line at 5am, but coffee
made it better.

Minda and Hollis!

Ryan and I, keeping warm under a mountain of ridiculous snuggies.

Our spot in line, Hollis and Ryan becoming BFFs.


Amy and Nate hold an impromptu "occupy awesome."

Hollis can't wait for the movies to start!

Did I mention the theater is gorgeous?

...because it is.

From the marathon we traveled south to Rhode Island, where we stayed with Aunt Joanie as we visited with family and friends. Gracie and I went roller skating, Christine and Will introduced Ryan to llamas, and we got to spend time with many special people. As always, we sadly didn't get a chance to connect with everyone we wanted to see. It's so hard trying to gather everyone in only a few days. We shared a lot of time with our families this visit, though, and that was marvelous for the spirit.

My very patient, pretty husband getting his hair done
by his little cousin Raquel.

Kids are always moving! Cammy, myself, and
Raquel in Aunt Joanie's kitchen.

My Mom's adorable blind dog Ozzy.
Doesn't he look like a little gremlin?

Amy and Will making science cookies!

Ryan befriending Chris and Will's dog Jake.

Science cookies!

Ryan meets llamas.
This was the highlight of his week.

When Christine let him take one of the llamas
for a walk, he couldn't stop grinning.

Francesca and Ryan
Fast friends.

Ryan's new goal in life is to own llamas one day.

They had a similar gait, which had Chris and I giggling.

Amy, Will, Chris, and baby Lila chilling on the llama farm.

The Habs!
Lila checks out Auntie Georgia's camera.

Amy, myself, and Chris enjoying trivia at Wood River Inn!

Did you know I own almost 80 troll dolls?
I found them at my Mom's house this visit. 

Breakfast with Aunt Lizzie and Gracie!
I absolutely love this photo.

Gracie and I, moving and reacting the same way
without realizing it.

We had to have a "Fabulous Sunglasses" picture.

Ryan took these as I told a story from earlier
when I yelled at an interrupting voice in the ladies room,
before realizing it was an intercom....

Funny, pretty Dunn girls!

I love these ladies so much :)

My sister and I, representing the west side
like the white, rural New England girls we are.

She is the Leslie Knope to my Ann Perkins.

Gracie and I hugging each other's faces
because we're that excited to be roller skating!

Some seriously beautiful 1930s-1960s hankies my Nana gave me.

My great Nana Irene used to mail these to Nana Dee Dee all
the time. Many were unused, with the original stickers.

There was also a 1940s beanie that belonged to one
of my uncles, purchased in Germany during the US occupation.

Which I immediately wore for several hours.

The incredibly sweet picture my little cousin
Skylar drew of she and I during our visit :)

Ryan and his best friend Mike

I really, really wanted TSA to search my carry on bag.

As you can imagine, it's really hard being 3000 miles away from these lovely people. I feel blessed that we have been able to visit home so often. Since I left almost two years ago, I have been home four times. Every time I see the state a little differently, but the people within remain wonderful. This trip I left more determined than ever to bring Gracie out west for a visit, so she can see what life out here is like. Every American should explore the four corners of our country, at least to see how many pancake houses there are in the US.

No, seriously, it's like we're the United Pancakes of America. I'm pretty sure we're the most delicious nation in the world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Magneto Valentines and Bacon Weaves

Happy Eat Shameful Amounts of Leftover Chocolate Day! (Or, February 15th).

We had a lovely Valentine's Day! A quiet evening in with treats, cuddling, and joking. It was wonderful :)

I once told Ryan how much I adore classic paper Valentines and so my husband drew me five different paper Valentines. To understand them you should know I love Magneto, Harry Potter, and Dr. Who and we've been watching a lot of 'Hoarders' and 'Murder She Wrote' lately. You should also know that Ryan believes "snakes killed Dumbledore" and he's never seen Dr. Who.

He enclosed them in this paper heart!

Ryan is crazy for Dwarven culture, particularly from the Tolkien world and Dwarf Fortress. And so I made him a Dwarven Valentine.

Nerds in love.

Beyond Valentines, we exchanged a few simple sweet tokens.

Roses for me :)

Bacon weave for him!

I feel like dudes get the short end of the stick when it comes to Valentine's Day. Ryan doesn't like chocolate and he's not a flowers kinda guy. He's not a tie or hammer with a red ribbon kinda guy either. However, he is a meat guy. Ryan and I both love 'Epic Meal Time', and he has asked more than once if we could try to make a real bacon weave. I decided to kick love poems aside, and give my fella the gift of bacon!

Some ladies have asked me for the recipe (Hi Mary Beth!) and I'm happy to share it. I found a tutorial on creating the bacon weave here and the actual recipe here. Honestly? It's really easy! I think it'd be great for a party (or breakfast surprise) because it looks awesome, and it's simple. Two strips in and your brain just clicks and you're like, "Oh, okay! I got this." It probably took me 6-8 minutes to weave, tops. I used two packets of thick sliced bacon and baked it on a parchment paper lined pan at 400 degrees, flipping it over every ten minutes until it was as crispy as we wanted.

 Imagine the possibilities.
Suits, capes, pants--

I also made salted caramels, using the recipe over at the Black Apple!

Who could believe this would
turn into "delicious"?

This is really something you can "whip up", it came together very quickly and without fuss. I followed it closely, and it turned out crazy yummy.

I dusted the top with salt, like a boss.

 If I had to do one thing differently, I would have cut it into squares after setting one hour. I waited two hours and it turned into impenetrable candy armor.

This looks pretty if you don't know how I did it.
Three words: Butter knife/Hammer

It may be my new favorite recipe. These are old fashioned rip-your-molars-out caramels, and they're delightful.

I also made cookies, because I f---ing love making cookies!

Yes. I made the rats tiny cookies.

Did you know coconut and frosting
create full blown joy? Fact.

Milo promptly stole Freddie's cookie, so here's
Freddie eating Milo's cookie.

Elvis and Puck spooning on the couch. 

Most of these photos were taken this morning (the Valentines and roses) or before Ryan got home last night (the treats) and so once the actual evening began I forgot to take any pictures of us for our first married Valentine's Day. Oh well, spoiler alert there was kissing. And bacon.

And like love, our bacon weave will go on.

A square of the bacon weave
serving time in my BLT this afternoon.

Let me know if you try your own bacon weave! Your boyfriend/husband will flip!