January 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
Welcome to 2011! Almost two weeks into the new year and I feel like I’m stumbling out of the Holiday Season Fog–you know, that place where everything turns into one long blur of Merriment and Stress and Twinkling Lights? I love that place, but it can be a little exhausting. I’m glad that life is slowing down a little so that I can focus on other things, like my Year of Crafts!
You may remember that a little while ago I requested some volunteers from the audience for a project that will (I hope) motivate me to keep actively crafting and creating throughout the year and also (I really hope) leave my eleven volunteers with items made Just For Them that they will really enjoy.
My first volunteer is Sharon! I’m really excited to introduce everyone to Sharon (this is because she is wonderful) and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about herself:
(she took some time for herself to sit down and read, because that is how awesome she is)
What is your name? Sharon
Do you have a blog or website? I started blogging at Bride Sans Tulle last year while planning my wedding and have kept it going since as a way of documenting newlywed life, our cross-country move, and my grad school adventures. (Note from Charis: You definitely want to click on that link and read Sharon’s blog, because it is excellent!). I’m @pensyf on Twitter and you can follow me if you like rambling commentary on (in no particular order): the mysteries of Bay Area microclimates, TV shows, politics, cooking, Phillies baseball, and a myriad of other random topics.
What is your quest? Currently, in the big picture, I’m trying to figure out if I want to continue pursuing a PhD in the humanities or go in a totally different direction with my career. I’m also deeply interested in developing communities of women supporting women and have a project in the works involving that. More frivolously, I’m always on the lookout for good reads, good conversation, and a good cardigan.
What is your favorite color? I don’t really have one, but I’ll admit to having a weak spot for teal household items/furniture. I never underestimate the power of a good pair of mustard yellow tights to brighten up my day.
What is your life like at the moment? What do you do in a day? I’ve recently gone back to being a student after a few years of working in the non-profit sector, so right now my life involves a lot of reading, writing, and research. A typical day finds me in the library, classroom, or at a cafe. Evenings are mostly spent with my husband and we’ll usually do some combination of cooking, watching favorite TV shows, or playing computer games together.
What is your creative outlet? I love crafts and wish I had more time for them! My crafts usually involve paper goods and calligraphy of some sort (like the centerpieces of favorite poems that I made for our wedding), though I have a not-so-secret desire to learn how to sew. However, my main creative outlets are of the non-crafting variety. I love to write (letters, blog posts, stories) and I love viewing the world through a camera lens.
What have you been reading and/or watching lately? What is your current favorite thing to read or watch? I’ve been using my winter break as a chance to gorge on fun reading, which I don’t get to do much of during the semester. Right now, I’m slowly rereading George R. R. Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series as well as some young adult novels. My current favorite read is actually a reread – I’ve been reading a chapter of Anne of Green Gables to my husband every night before we go to bed to introduce him to the series and am really enjoying getting to revisit my beloved P.E.I. and getting to see him experience a great book for the first time. We’ve also recently started watching the first season of Fringe because we’re both die-hard J.J. Abrams fans.
What inspires you at the moment? This will probably sound pretty cheesy, but right now my husband is my greatest inspiration. Jason inspires me daily by how hard he works to support our new family, how generous he is to those around him, and how much he believes that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. My tendency is to approach life in very safe, risk-averse ways, but knowing that Jason will have my back with every success and despite every failure is really transforming me into a braver, more creative, and more loving person.
Thank you, Sharon! Stay tuned–my craft for Sharon is in progress, and will be unveiled in the next few weeks!
January 3, 2011 § 5 Comments
I spent most of my childhood in countries that don’t exist–Narnia, Oz, Prydain, Never-Never Land, Wonderland–but it all began with Middle Earth. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are in my earliest memories. January 3rd is J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday, so to celebrate I made cupcakes. Hobbit hole cupcakes!
If I could choose to live in a fictional place, the Shire would be high on my list–I would make an excellent hobbit. Since I can’t move into Bag End right away (unfortunately) these will have to do for now.
I made chocolate cupcakes and froze them, so that they’d be easier to cut, and then trimmed off one side to make a flat surface–
The hobbit doors are made from candy melts–the door knobs and hinges are yellow candy melts, put into a disposable piping bag and microwaved in thirty second increments and then piped on–
I covered the cupcakes with green fondant, then used more melted candy coating to stick the doors onto the flat side of the cupcake. I melted some more green candy coating and piped it onto the sides of the cupcakes for grass, and added flower sprinkles–