Sunday, August 28, 2011

Upcoming Events

It's going to be busy for Designs by Victoria for the next few months. I've got three upcoming events at which I'll be vending!

On September 2, October 1, and November 12 I'll be vending at the Indoor Flea Market at the Century Ballroom, from 11am-3pm.

Then of course, there's Steamcon, October 14-16. Oodles of new parasols for your pleasure!

And I just found out yesterday that I was accepted to sell at "Art at the Moulin Rouge" at Teatro ZinZanni on October 19, from 6:30-9:30pm.

Busy Busy!


My 40th Birthday Party

I turned 40 on the 25th. Go me! Supposedly this is something that I should be ashamed of. I should have never turned 30. I should have spent the last 11 years telling everyone I was 29.

I don't get it. Why should I be ashamed of something over which I have no control? And I am getting better with age. Not conceit - fact. Who I am now compared to who I was then? No comparison.

Sure, the body creaks and groans a lot more now, and the energy levels are definitely not what they used to be, and the metabolism has finally slowed to the point that yes, I do have to start watching what I eat. But that's life. We are born, we live, we die, and hopefully we have a rockin' good time during that "we live" part, yes?

For my husband's 40th birthday, we flew in 60 pounds of crawfish and had a good old fashioned southern boil.

Paul's 40th Birthday

It was a blast, especially training my born and raised Pacific Northwestern friends how to eat them.

And there is a must at every crawfish boil - you must make the 10-fingered crawfish monster of DOOOOOM!

Paul's 40th Birthday

It would be hard to beat that party, I knew, but I decided to try. And because I am not quite right in the head, I decided I was going to have a Disney Barbecue.

How on earth did I come up with this idea? Many many moons ago, when I was still in college, I went to a picnic in the park where we barbecued lots of tasty meats, and a couple of the guests brought some venison and rabbit for the grill. We got silly, and of course the correlation to Bambi and Thumper was made, and from then on out we referred to it as our Disney Barbecue. Scouring the local butchers, I found ground lamb and buffalo, and a whole rabbit, and one of my friends found venison loin at her butcher.

To differentiate between the ground meats, I decided to make signage, and then decided what the heck, every critter needed their own tag.


The guest list, in no particular order:

Junior the Buffalo (Home on the Range)
Lamb (So Dear to my Heart)
A Little Pig (I had more signage in case anyone else showed up with pork, so we could have all three little pigs)
Sebastian (The Little Mermaid)
And of course, Bambi and Thumper!

Sebastian the crab was in dip form, not grilled, but he still deserved a place of honor:


We also had one of the Three Little Pigs in attendance, in the form of the bacon in my potato salad.

Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the bbq'd meats, as they didn't stay on the platters long enough.

The venison didn't hit the grill either. The friend who brought it, an amazing cook, did this to it:

It was heaven. Sheer heaven!

The festivities included a pinata. Another friend made this for my daughter for her birthday. Unfortunately, having a birthday in December, we weren't able to crack it open, as we had an indoor party at a local kiddie fun place. So, this koala pinata has been sitting forlornly in my daughter's room all year. When I asked if she'd like to finally thwack it at my party, she gave me two thumbs up. The deal was, though, since it was my party, that I got a swing.

Of course, they screwed with me:


Much fun was had:



I only got thwacked in the head once!


And my friend thoughtfully filled it with toys instead of candy, so we escaped a room full of knee biters and belly button lickers on a sugar high.

Feeding frenzy!


I had all the makings for s'mores. Oh, and by the way? Screw the Hershey bar. I had orange chocolate and chili chocolate and 86% cocoa chocolate. Once you've had a s'more with the good stuff, there's no going back.

A couple folks decided they just wanted the marshmallows, which was fine, but I came out onto the deck and was greeted by this sight:


"What the ...?" I said. "Marshmallow Taffy!" was the reply. Thank goodness the kids didn't see them.

I treated myself to a sheet cake from Borracchini's:


It was a sponge cake with strawberry filling and buttercream frosting. Nom!

As the evening progressed, the cocktails got more interesting. My husband had bought me a bottle of limoncello when he was out getting supplies, and so a Cthulhu's Kiss was made:


(That's Absinthe and Limoncello, for the curious)

I experimented some years ago, after finding out my favorite drink at a local restaurant/bar had as its base Jolly Rancher infused vodka. I bought a bulk box of the candies, sorted them out by flavors, and then made pint jars of each flavor. Most of it got farmed out as gifts, but I kept the sour apple, because it's my favorite and I made them. Another couple of friends showed up with a bottle of Fireball cinnamon whiskey and heads were put together and new drinks resulted.

They were calling this on the Smokin' Hot Apple, or the Trick or Treat:

The Trick or Treat

Some cherry wine was added into the mix. I missed what they were calling this one:

smokin'hot apple

Cleanup was fairly painless, in most part because pretty much everything edible was consumed. I still have about half the cake, one ear of corn, and some cherry tomatoes. Of course, I did three loads of dishes during the course of the evening, which definitely helped the end of the evening. I was scolded for doing dishes at my own birthday party, but hey. It's my birthday. I'll scrub if I want to.

Now I have to try to find room in the liquor cabinet, because I was gifted a bunch of potables. My friends seem to think I am a serious lush. (Not that I am complaining!)


So, another birthday, and a new decade before me. Now how am I going to top this when I turn 50?


Friday, August 26, 2011

Steampunk University 2011, Seattle

ug 28: Steampunk University, Seattle WA!/event.php?eid=178384715562700

Steampunk University consists of classes to help beginners understand the genre of steampunk, and work up costuming and props for the upcoming steampunk convention, Steamcon in October. Space is limited. Only 200 students will be accepted.

Tickets are only $10.00 and are available here: or at the door!

Registration will take place in NB 1. Enter on the west side of the building.
...Classes will be from 12:00 - 6:00

Your registration fee of $10.00 will get you every class you can fit in. What a deal!

Class schedule:
12:00 – 1:00 – Room 108 - Steampunk Making
12:00 – 2:00 – Room 109 – Corsetry
1:00 – 2:00 – Room 108 – Men’s Steampunk Clothing
1:00 – 2:00 – Room 209 – Intro to Steampunk
2:00 – 3:00 – Room 108 – Goggle Making
2:00 – 3:00 – Room 109 – Music Appreciation*
2:00 – 3:00 – Room 209 – Thrifting Your Steampunk Wardrobe
3:00 – 4:00 – Room 108 – Jewelry Making
3:00 – 4:00 – Room 109 – Journal Making
3:00 – 4:00 – Room 209 – Weapon Modding in Metal
4:00 – 5:00 – Room 108 – Women’s Steampunk Clothing
4:00 – 5:00 – Room 109 – Steampunk Books & Movies
4:00 – 5:00 – Room 209 –Weapon Modding in Plastic

Yes, I know. You can't see it all. I guess a class on time machines will have to be added once we get that perfected. Luckily that can be added retroactively. ;)

The Steampunk University Store will be open to the public from 11:00 - 6:00
Merchants include:
Studio Foglio
Clockwork Beetle Curiosities
Twisted Root Studios
and many more!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Birthday Waffles

Today is my husband's birthday! For a treat, I decided to go a little decadent for waffles for his breakfast.

Topping ingredients per person:
1 nectarine, peeled and thin sliced
~30 fresh blueberries
1/2 cup cherry wine.


I use this stuff, available at our local grocery.


We live in a neighborhood with a huge variety of ethnicities, so I can find lots of interesting things on the shelves. This particular cherry wine is imported from Croatia, and when attempting to describe it to people I use phrases like "gourmet cough syrup."

Simmer the fresh fruit down to almost jam-like consistency. Fresh whipped cream is a must! I added a little orange extract along with sugar to the mix. Noms!


I'm not a big sweet person in the morning, but I still did damage to mine.


*urp* Excuse me!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Peridot - August's Birthstone

Peridot is a gem quality of the mineral olivine, also called chrysolite, an iron magnesium silicate. Color ranges from yellowish green to olive green.

Peridot and Amethyst Neo Victorian Keyhole OOAK Choker on Sterling

The intensity of the color depends on how much iron is present. The best colored stones have an iron content of <15%. It’s ~6.5-7 on the Mohs’ hardness scale for minerals, a bit softer than quartz.

Blue Kyanite Disc and Peridot Earrings

Metaphysically speaking, peridot is said to foster emotional balance and help heal the wearer from past emotional wounds.

Faceted Purple Amethyst and Green Peridot Multi-strand Strung Necklace

It is reputed to clear the heart and heal damaged egos, bringing healing and vitality to the whole body.

Peridot Sideswept Ring in Sterling and 14k, Made To Order

Peridot is considered to be a good stone for healers, releasing negative vibrations and promoting clarity/well-being – a stone of rebirth and renewal.

Peridot Cluster Dangle Earrings on Sterling Silver Earwires

Green is the color of good fortune or money. Keeping peridot in your cash drawer attracts money, and combining it with citrine helps you keep it!

Double Strand Peridot Green Gemstone Necklace with Sterling Peridot Citrine Step Pendant

Peridot is my own birthstone, and as I child I didn’t like it, but I’ve grown to appreciate its beauty as an adult. I still prefer garnets, of course! But I’m no longer immune to the charm of this lovely stone.