Thursday, November 30, 2006

Making

I have a private craft show tomorrow, and one on December 9th (that I'll flog over the weekend) - so I've been creating up a storm. I'm putting it on the Moda di Magno (www.modadimagno.com) website as quickly as I can, but that whole content management thing sucks up a lot of time (especially when you are trying to create cool stuff!)

Brecciated Jasper pendant on Czech Druk beads with vintage Sterling beads on a Sterling clasp.

Three strand Garnet and Pearl bracelet on a Sterling tube clasp.
The Jeannine necklace: Red Agate pebbles with faceted Red Agate stones on a Sterling tube clasp.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Yep, Middle of a Major Metropolis

The sign just says do not feed or disturb the horse, he is on break. Hah. Maybe I'll try a sign like that on my "open plan office". Do not disturb indeed.

Random Things

1. If you are on the early commuter train with your small child and that child is screaming "MOMMY!" into your left ear and you don't even blink, I'm going to recommend some audiological testing.

2. There is a lady at my gym who can wrangle the blowdryer with one hand and apply powder blush with the other. That goes way beyond stupid human trick to sheer awesomeness.

3. If you are a "larger" woman, I'm going to recommend that you stay away from the furry vest look this fall/winter. Unless you are going for the Sonny Bono look. And even then, no.

4. When everyone in an elevator is staring at you like your hair is on fire (because you are telling your dude friend all about last night's conquest in excruciating detail - really excruciating detail), I'm going to recommend that you shut up. Quickly.

All this before 9am.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Busy Busy

Even more gemstone fabulousness and (how do I find the time?) my next post is up at the Digital Hive - wherein I link to a post at Mack Simpson's Adverb blog that made me spit tea onto my computer monitor. IT is not happy with me.

Multi-strand Garnet bracelets on Sterling tube clasp. Yummy.

Faceted Red Agate necklace with Garnet beads on a Sterling toggle clasp.

Brecciated Jasper pendant on Czech Druk bead necklace with vintage Sterling bead on Sterling toggle clasp.

Mixed Tourmaline Bracelet with Freshwater Pearls on Sterling tube clasp with Sterling Bali beads.

Faceted Red Agate necklace with Garnet beads and Red Agate drop on Sterling toggle clasp.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What I'm Making

I'm getting ready for several holiday artisan shows, craft fairs and home shows - so today I worked hard to expand the Moda product line. Here's a few sample shots. I'll flood the blog over the next few days before I get these pieces up on the Moda di Magno. jewelry site. Think of it as your very own private preview.

The Garnet Snowflake necklace: Six strands of super-lucious Garnets with freshwater Pearls scattered throughout on a Sterling tube clasp.

Mixed Gemstone necklace:Garnet, Amethyst, Peridot and Citrine beads with a Sterling elephant charm on a Sterling toggle clasp.

Pearl & Mixed Tourmaline necklace: Five strands of freshwater Pearls and a strand of Mixed Tourmaline with Sterling Bali beads on a Sterling tube clasp. Bracelet and earrings in the works.

Coral Mountain Jade bracelet: Six strands of Coral Mountain Jade beads in two sizes on a Sterling tube clasp with Sterling Bali beads.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Organization Saturday

In preparation for preparation for my upcoming holiday artisan events and shows, I got the cleaning bug and totally cleared out my studio. Of course that took 8 hours that would have been better spent making product, photographing product and uploading product onto the website...but I digress. I am well pleased with myself that I did not need to call in Niecy Nash (of Style Network's "Clean House" - but really from Comedy Central's "Reno 911") to smack me around and convince me to get rid of crap. I got rid of crap and it will be a pleasure to go in there tomorrow and create Accessories for Stylish Living. As Niecy would say "HAH"!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday - Didn't Buy A Thing Today

Mmmmm, two things that could not be more repugnant to me: 5AM (anywhere except my own cozy bed) and Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving. The only reasons I left the house today were to get the mail, and to have food at the delightful Chinese restaurant in my town center. Since I didn't cook the turkey yesterday, there were no turkey leftovers or associated delights in my fridge today. A little pork with garlic and scallion pancake made my Black Friday beautiful. Sorry for all you peeps who had to get the doorbuster specials and ride the escalators in the mall. My arm chair by the fire was the only thing I rode today, hope you were as fortunate.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Pie Blog - Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving

10:15am

Martha's Pâte Brisée Crust recipe has been prepared (I fear I over-pulsed it in the food processor, but we'll see) and has been flattened into a disk and placed in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The recipe makes 2 crusts, but I'm only making one pie - as any good WW member can tell you, if you make it, you will eat it. I'll put the other dough disk in the freezer for a future "pie emergency." Pecans have been chopped and all other ingredients gathered for the pie filling. I am using bourbon instead of vanilla for my pie as beloved husband made a request (and I am thankful for him, so I will swap an ingredient.)

12:00 Noon

The dough has chilled for nearly 2 hours, so I'm rolling it out using my new French rolling pin that I got at the Utilities store in Provincetown this summer. I love, love, love that store. It's got amazingly beautiful things - but it's all useful. I'm thrilled they are online.

I'm using Mrs. Magno's pastry board (my late mother-in-law) and thinking of her on this day when people are gathering with their families to make everyone's favorite things. Celia was a tremendous cook and baker with a bold culinary streak. I miss her and Tommy's late father Harry very much.

While I'm rolling the dough I'm listening to Arlo Guthrie talk about his Thanksgiving classic Alices's Restaurant on Boston's folk station WUMB. It was a more recent version of that famous song, with some updates from Arlo that were funny and historic.

12:45pm

The Pie is finally ready for the oven. 350˚for 50+ minutes ("until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean") and we'll know if the pie is worthy of the family table. It's going to get eaten no matter what...


1:15pm

Progress photo. No spillage! (That means no smoking! Even better - no smoke alarm!! Even better than that no cats freaking out, in turn freaking out beloved husband!!!) It's Thanksgiving, just pretend the oven is clean. Thank you.


1:45pm

YAY!! YAY!! Golden brown crust that seems flaky. No burnt pecans on top. Cake tester came out clean. Pie now cooling on the stove until we visit the rest of the family gathering at Peter and Cindy's house around the corner. Taste test scores and descriptions later tonight.

10:00pm

Thanksgiving dinner was lovely. Cindy knows how to make a turkey - tender, moist, flavorful. All of the dishes you would expect, and a mushroom soup starter that was amazing. Sister Andrea brought the famous family pecan rolls - spectacularly good this year. Pumpkin pie, custard pie, apple pie, a pumpkin creme pie in a graham crust and my pecan pie made up the dessert buffet. Yum. The Pecan Pie was very well received, and I think it tasted great. I am slipping into a food coma as beloved husband and I watch Robert Altman's film McCabe & Mrs. Miller. Hope your Thanksgiving was a fine one.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh My Pie

I have to bake a pecan pie for the family Thanksgiving tomorrow. The pie and wine are the contribution expected of beloved husband and me. I ordered a pecan pie through the Pie In The Sky fundraising event for Community Servings and planned to pick it up at my local (as in down the street) Coldwell Banker real estate office.

Well they decided to close early, and left the pies "with names" in the lobby. (Love the classy sign - that is classy with a capital "K".) So by the time I got there my pie had wandered off. Thanks a lot you miserable bastards. You didn't jerk me around enough when you sold me the house? Nope, even for charity you have to dick me around. Coldwell Banker sucks. A lot. But my pie is going to kick ass. I got the recipe HERE. Watch the video, Mrs. Kostyra is a hoot.

Happy Thanksgiving, please forgive the whining.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fare thee well Robert Altman, fare thee well.

The ferociously talented director Robert Altman died yesterday at age 81. His body of work is amazing - his actors and crew have nothing but the highest praise for his unusual, but effective way of working. He will be missed.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Boston Meetup! Brandspankin' Comes To Boston

Slinky Redfoot, otherwise known as Matt Brand of the Brandspankin' blog came to Boston today. We had a refreshing beverage at world famous Brandy Pete's in Boston's financial district. It was fantastic to put a face to an "about me" photo and snarktastic posts. (Or is that brandtastic posts??) We had a delightful chat about the state of advertising agencies and a general thrashing about crappy, boring, unispired work.

I posed some meme style questions to Slinky, which, with Oban Scotch in hand - he answered. You decide if he was giving me the business or telling the truth.

Where did the name Slinky Redfoot come from?

It's from a short story about a leader of a gang hunting down God.

Have you had any encounters with God?

A few.

What is the best thing about being Slinky?

I can sneak into air vents at night.

How long has Slinky been around - 6 or 60 years?

Slinky is timeless - a concept waiting to happen. Jive Miguel is the philosophical side.

What will your next blog post be about?

Moments of brilliance - you never know where the inpsiration strikes.

What are you reading now?

A copy of Maxim from 1997. Pamela Anderson is on the cover.

OMG - are you Borat?

No.

I had a great time meeting Slinky - it is alway fun to meet the advertising blog brothers (especially when I can get the company to front for the bevvies!)

A couple of parting shots of the Moda di Magno - Brandspankin' meetup at the Park Station "T" on Boston Common. I'm fond of the B&W with the "Skill Bureau" office in the background. HAH!

Yahoo! Spoetry! From My Inbox!

Anyone who's been here before knows how I feel about Yahoo! Mail sucking at SPAM, but I figured it was time to have some fun with the Spoetry aspect of it. Because my Yahoo! Mail is constantly under attack, a few non-spoems ended up in the list, but I love that I'm part of the interractial singles list now. BTW, still not single you spamming bastards.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It Is Chilly Today

Badcat, Queen of Fleece.

T-Bone, roasting on his hallway floor vent.

Xenu Pronounces You Man & War Bride


this was the best bridal portrait you could do? Forcing mind-controlled Katie to slump and slouch to appear as elfin and tiny as Tom? If I was Giorgio Armani, I'd scalp the little jerk for ruining the lines of his dress. As usual he looks like he's holding her against her will. Nice vice grip, jackass. (White kuckles, no?)

Here's Katie earlier in the day looking like the prisoner she seems to have become.

And while we're on the subject of prisoners of love - WTF is Marc Anthony doing to J.Lo? That is just wrong. Posh Spice knew how to rock a dress for the event. So did Brooke Shields and Jada Smith. So why is J.Lo all covered up in pink chiffon (and I hope to God fake) fur? Who took her neck? If he wants to look like the Crypt Keeper that's fine - but stop messing with Jenny from the Block - that girl knew how to rock an event gown. She looks worse than the mother-in-law of the bride in that mess. Someone save her, please. Maybe the mothers can have their girls kidnapped and deprogrammed at a group rate.

All photos are copyright to the AP - don't sue!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dinner Friday - I Am An Idiot

I made plans for Friday night with two former marketing bosses, their spouses and beloved husband. I made a the reservation using an online systemn - a system I use all the time and had used earlier in the day. The reservation I believed I had made for 8:30pm Friday night at Oleana in Cambridge - was actually for Monday night at 8:30pm. Awesome. Spectacular work.

My former Executive Vice President and Senior Vice President AND my husband standing in a packed restaurant on a Friday night with a reservation three days away. Thank you gods of technology. At least it wasn't raining.

Fortunately, Bob Hurley and his wife Cynthia kicked off the evening with some lovely wine at their home. Cynthia is a French wine importer and has a fabulous blog called La Route du Vin. You can read about her journeys through the best wineries in the world and (when you've finished drooling) sign up for her newsletter. She can hook you up with the good stuff.

This is Don, the host at Oleanna who broke the news that I had totally screwed up. He was so incredibly nice my mind is still blown. I whispered that the nice people I had in tow were my bosses and my husband and asked if he could he help a sister out. I will return to Oleanna for a huge thank you and dinner soon.

Don made calls to three restaurants for us and got us a reservation at EVOO in Somerville, just a few blocks away. I was game for anything that would seat us.
We were greeted warmly by a young smiling host who knew exactly who were were. Our table was ready as soon as we walked in. Our lovely server Debra was knowledgeable and made excellent recommendations.

EVOO has a tasting menu and an exstensive wine list. We left the wine ordering to the experts (Bob & Cynthia.)

Robin and Tommy look at the menu. I did too, in between pictures.

Chef Peter McCarthy's menu revolves around whatever is locally fresh that day - and damn if it doesn't show it - and taste it. I enjoyed some of the prettiest food I've had in quite a while. I started with a beet, Macoun apple, hazelnut and goat cheese salad with pea greens. If I could, I would eat this every day. Without sounding like Katie Holmes - it was amazing.

My main dish, "The Chinese Box" was recommended by Robin (an EVOO veteran.) I read the menu description of mustard-glazed shrimp and stir-fried vegetables with lamb and rice and figured I would roll the dice as I love all of thse things. Behold the presentation. I love this.

We lingered over lots of different wines and dessert (also fabulous) and conversation that ran the gamut from "Who got promoted?" to what to eat in Switzerland. The staff at EVOO was fantastic and in no way hurried us along - to the point that I didn't realize it was 12:30AM until I saw the clock in the car. I met Chef McCarthy right before we left and thanked him for a lovely evening. I told him how we ended up at EVOO (he knew) and told him we would be back (after I pay a thank you call on Oleanna.) I can't thank Don enough for his graciousness.

I can only hope that my next mistake is as happy as this one. The dining party at the table and on the way out the door.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I Work In The Middle Of Boston

I walked through Boston Common for a meeting today. On the way back to the office I noticed a man with a long-lensed camera pointed skyward. Well, branchward as he was photographing a bird. That bird turned out to be a Peregrine Falcon which had just snatched up a squirrel and was proceeding to dine on it. Totally wild kingdom in the middle of my city.

Another Opportunity To Vote!

Paul at Hee Haw Marketing is in the running for Post of the Month at Russell Davies' blog.


Please take a moment to go HERE and vote for Paul's post entitled "Next Time, Whisper Better" - it is inspired writing and worthy of your attention.

Paul will tell you a vote for anyone else means puppies will die, but I like to think that a vote for anyone else means unicorns won't visit you in your dreams. Go vote peeps!


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Last Call For Pie

Friends:

Community Servings needs you to buy pie. Your purchase of a pie for your Thanksgiving table feeds a critically ill patient (and in some cases their family) for a week. If you are in eastern Massachusetts, you can purchase online and pick up a pie at any one of dozens of Coldwell Banker Real Estate offices in the area.

Even better - if you are not in Massachusetts, or traveling or don't like pie - you can "buy a pie for a client" - the client gets the pie and Community Servings, which feeds more than 600 critically ill people and their families every day, receives a donation that will feed a family for a week. How is that for circle turning good karma.

Visit Pie In The Sky to go a good deed. Thanks for your support. (Hey - do me a good turn and pick me as your "pie seller" - I get nothing out of it except the satisfaction of selling more pies than my co-workers!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Requesting Blog Love

My next post is up at the Digital Hive - wherein I draw attention to the new banner designed by my friend James Biggie and request feedback and comment love. Is that so wrong?

Check it out, I think it's damn fine.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Post Where I Gush About a TV Show (NBC's Heroes)

I admit it, I have been sucked into the vortex known as NBC's "Heroes." I don't know how it happened. It may be that on the night of the first episode there was nothing else more pressing. Or I was doing work on the laptop while the idiot box droned on in the background (an I kept looking up for an hour...) in any case - I'm loving this show and it totally does not fit the profile of anything that I watch. It is nothing like Curb Your Enthusiasm or Arrested Development (or even Countdown with Keith Olberman, The Daily Show, Strangers with Candy, Clean House or Good Eats.)

I don't like sci fi - I really don't like sci fi, so this is such a weird thing for me. And yet I am enjoying it so much that I tried to describe the show to beloved husband - who promptly went into the library and shut the door (as it is not Masterpiece Theater or the Formula One racing...)

The advertising side of me has cracked up repeatedly at NBC working the Nissan Versa into the show by using my favorite character, Hiro, as the shill. Hiro is so utterly Japanese-adorable that he could stop in the middle of stopping time (his hero skill) and ask me to buy pretzels - and I would. The ad below can be found on the Heroes site and I find it to be desperately emulating a pharmaceutical ad. Peptocrampo or a personal stiffening agent - I can't decide which.

The show has a sitelet on NBC's site where you can view this week's episode, download stuff and read "Hiro's Blog" - which I must say is disappointing. It feels like an afterthought and not a well done afterthought, but people post replies and are dangerously serious about the topics (making it good for a chuckle or two.)

I've been sucked in enough that I will watch it to the conclusion and then post my final decision on the show. Wow me NBC, just wow me. And please make the sitelet better.