And the Yarn Goes KABOOM!

It goes by many names, knit graffiti, yarn bombing, guerrilla knitting, yarn storming...

Typical Christmas dinner conversations include talk of delicious food and drink, thankful wishes to friends and family, and remembering holidays past. But yarn bombing? College boy stalking strategies? Parities in our mouths - who's invited to yours? These are topics on our plate when eating with Jaren and Patrick.

Joseph hadn't been aware of our neighborhood knit graffiti at City O'City until this morning, after our conversation with Patrick about knit bombing, or yarn bombing. I'm a fan of this colorful, soft, and non-harmful rebellious artistic solidarity. It shows a certain spirit that captures the love of the process, not the immortality of the artwork. I'm attracted to those things that are temporary, fleeting, and non threatening. The artists that plant their bombs around our neighborhood is called the Ladies Fancywork Society. They seem to be a gang of free spirited knitting and crocheting girls who have a flare for saturated color and a whimsical sense of humor. But on the international scale, I ADORE the ladies of Knit the City! Their videos are the best!

You can watch an ABC video (yes, national news, which is weird) and read all about Yarn Bombing at Knit the City, Yarn, Visual Culture, Ladies Fancywork Society, and ArtYarn, just to name a few.

ABC Yarn Bombing in Denver video

Oh Blogs, How I Love Thee

Alfred was obviously underdressed for his induction into the Adventurers Hall of Fame

Alfred, Louis and Francois after 12 years of preparation were surprised to find a cafe at the top of mount Everest
icons on the mountain

I've basically spent my day off/cold recovery doing the following:
  1. Skype Mother
  2. Drink tea
  3. Opt not to shower
  4. Deposit at bank
  5. E.F. library to pick up my treasure trove of CD's, movies, and books
  6. Fill Hans with gas, oil, windshield fluid
  7. Target Rx cold meds and Kleenex
  8. Lunch with Joseph
  9. Watch Charlie Rose feat. Wes Anderson
  10. Blog, read blogs, Facebook
  11. Think about going to Fado's for Irish music/dance with friends tonight
I've discovered some new-to-me blogs that I just adore. Very Sasek, I must admit, but after all, he's got a good thing going, why mess with it? I love this aesthetic, these new blogs and artists. Thank goodness for creativity! Why didn't I think of these?

Post Christmas Blues

All year I look forward to two things, my birthday (of course) and the holiday season. I love the city decorated in pretty lights, the way houses smell of ginger, cinnamon, and pine, drinking warm spiced wine, the long relaxing break from school, and the feeling of being close to family and friends. When everything is all said and done, I'm a little sad to see it all go back to normal. The lights are taken down, Christmas trees are put away (thanks Martha Stewart K-Mart xmas tree for another good season), and we must go back to work. I'm looking forward to 2010. Frankly, 2009, you were a bit difficult... CHEERS TO A NEW YEAR, but first...

Here is a little Christmas wrap up of our holiday going-ons in Denver! Thank you so much family and friends for the jubilant celebrations!

Christmas Eve with the Pings Family
Traditional Buche de Noel, Grandpa's fruit cake, and a night of numerous games including Christmas quiz, white elephant, and The Price is Right!

Christmas Day Events
Christmas morning mountain harvest french toast, free-range applewood smoked bacon, Bon Bonerie opera cream coffee using Apple's Irish coffee service! We spent the morning playing Scrabble, watching Rick Steve's European Christmas and The Royal Tenenbaums, lunch at The Bagel Deli - lox and latkes, and Christmas Dinner with Jaren and Patrick's family!

Making my new traditional Mario Batali's Mrs. Bean's Famous Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps (Joseph and Patrick approve)

Merry Christmas

To all my friends and family, whom I miss so so much today, I hope you have the happiest of holidays with your loved ones. I'll be thinking of you all on this wintery white Christmas day.
♥ Stace

Denmark Christmas Stamps

I can't say what these have to do with Christmas, but I like the look of them nonetheless.

Today I FINALLY did some Christmas shopping for hostess gifts, family, and Joseph. It feels good to be simple this year - not getting involved in the "hype" as Jaren calls it.

I feel like some years I have worried so much about how many things I am getting this or that person, that I forget sometimes that Christmas time is about relaxation and spending quality time with my family and friends. Of course I would love to give amazing gifts that people really need and would make them smile, but this year is tough for not just us, but for so many people. So I think simplicity is sincerely making me feel weightless and very happy.

"It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour."
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens


This sums up so many things (the city is tearing these "relax and
enjoy your day" posters). Nice.

Two more days of work... I can get through this!

It Really is Fantastic; Fantastic Mr. Fox Makes the List

I'm mad for the Foxes in Fantastic Mr. Fox, as we all very well know. This Christmas I think I'm adding a few items to the holiday "traditions" list, watching Fantastic Mr. Fox (Joseph, this is your department) and baking up a batch of Mario Batali's recipe for Mrs. Bean's Famous Nutmeg Ginger Apple Snaps! Why not? It really is fantastic, isn't it?

Recipe Courtesy of Mario Batali

• 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter

• 2 cups light brown sugar

• 1/2 cup molasses

• 2 eggs

• 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

• 2 teaspoons ground ginger

• 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg

• 2 teaspoons cinnamon

• 4 teaspoons baking soda

• 1 teaspoon salt

• pinch of ground clove

• 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

• 1/2 cup candied ginger, finely chopped

• 1 ½ cups dried apple rings, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add molasses and eggs and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, clove and salt. Mix well with fork and add to butter mixture. Blend in fresh, candied ginger and dried apple pieces. Drop by teaspoonful onto parchment covered baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Place one whole apple ring in the center of each teaspoon. Bake about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool. Enjoy!

Patrick also made me aware of their edition of the New Yorker featuring Wes Anderson. What's not to like about this guy? (Maybe a haircut - I like short hair)

Images and text via one of my favorite blogs, The Rushmore Academy

Wes in New Yorker

As we mentioned yesterday on Twitter, there’s a great new profile on Wes in this week’s New Yorker by Richard Brody. Click on the thumbnails below to read the article and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Checking out holiday spirits for this week's hopefully many drinking events with friends, and stumbled upon The Chosen Beer of holiday brews - HE'BREW!


This prompted me to immediately post on Facebook, tag David, and bring up the question of a Sycamore High School Bar Mitzvah contest!

Choose between their wide variety of Talumdic beers, including Rejewvenator, Origin Pomegranate Ale, Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A., Genesis Ale, Messiah Bold, and Jewbelation!

As for Christmas holiday spirits, there are many to choose from, all so tasty and delicious, but I feel like Santa might be enjoying a lonely drink too much in this illustration for White Rock and Whiskey. Just look at those tell tale signs! Red nose and cheeks. Intervention time, buddy.
Santa and White Rock made their Life Magazine debut in the December 12, 1923 issue.

It appears that Santa enjoyed a little whiskey with his White Rock while trying to decide if you were naughty or nice.

The ad also suggests that White Rock Ginger Ale was a good choice.

Says Ken Wheaton of Advertising Age: "It's clear why Santa is jolly. He's about a third of the way through a bottle of whisky." - From White Rocking

Final Friday ~ Winter Break Begins!

Delight in one of the most beautiful snowfalls imaginable. Paper snowflakes hovering in midair are the answer to your children's wishes for a snowy day. Kids can happily occupy themselves cutting out dozens of paper snowflakes. Then adults can step in with thread and tape, and together you can watch your family's own gentle blizzard materialize.

Kids' Instructions: How to Make Paper Snowflakes
A few quick snips with the tip of your scissors is all it takes to create a beautiful, six-pointed snowflake. Start with a square piece of paper -- if you don't know how to make one, ask a grownup to help you.

Step 1: Fold the paper in half diagonally to make a triangle.

Step 2: Now, fold the triangle in half so the pointy corners meet.

Steps 3 and 4: Fold your triangle in thirds. You may need to adjust these folds a little to get the sides to match up, so don't crease the paper until the folds are just right.

Step 5: Cut across the bottom of your paper so it is straight.

Cutting Snowflakes: Cut your folded paper so it looks like the triangle above. Then unfold it gently. Don't worry if your snowflake isn't exact: No two snowflakes are ever alike.

Today I'm expecting the students to bounce of the walls with excitement for their last day of school. In this event, I'm planning a lesson about snowflakes! The students will make cards with hand-cut snowflakes, have their turn at playing the accordion, and watch the Nutcracker! It should be a fun day, hopefully no crying, or scissor accidents ;)

Martha Stewart has a nice layout of paper snowflakes on her website, but there are literally hundreds of sites you can get templates from, or the kids can just be creative and wing it!

Stacey's Workshoppe

If only my rabbits (or Joseph) would be my little elves and bake some
cookies while I'm at dance class... I've put together the boxes and
made my cards for the girls at the elementary school. The only thing
missing is freshly baked hazelnut cinnamon crescent cookies from Bon

The Christmas Tree

Nietzsche and Vienn adore sleeping under and next to their beloved
Christmas tree! I came home this afternoon to find Nietzsch, Vienn,
Rupert and Joseph fast asleep enjoying their afternoon nap.

Christmas Cookies Bon Appetit

Tomorrow morning I am baking cookies for the girls (and guy) at work, Ginny, Jane, Carol, Karen, Liz, The Mary's, and Mr. Lee for all their help and support at my new school! They are the best team anyone could ask for! Ginny, my mentor teacher, has especially been amazing and almost like my "aunt away from home" here in Colorado. She reminds me so much of Kathy! I wrapped a special little necklace that she can wear and I think the kids will think it is beautiful!

But this brings me to the question of what Christmas cookie should I make?

I need something simple, but delicious that's easy to pack up. I'm looking through Bon Appetit's Cookie Workshop in order to get a few ideas.

What are you favorite holiday cookies?

Joseph and I traditionally make gingerbread cookies every Christmas Eve, and I think this Bon Appetit New England Molasses Gingerbread recipe will fit the bill. I also saw in my Martha Stewart Magazine a cute little gingerbread house that I think Joseph and I will have to recreate!

Thank you Jude for a wonderful year of MS Magazines! We've enjoyed them so much!

Speaking of Martha Stewart...
You can watch Carson Kressley attempt to make a gingerbread house with Martha on her website. Mom and I love Carson!