Monday, November 30, 2009

The Thin Man

It's definitely no secret that I love a good classic movie and if I find one that I like, well, I will watch it over and over again till I basically know the entire dialogue. I may need to seek help on this habit.   The Thin Man staring William Powell, Myrna Loy and Asta the dog is just this type of movie. The original was incredibly successful and inspired several adventures with Nick and Nora Charles.

The first Thin Man  begins with Nick Charles having a four year absence from any detective work and living the life of luxury off his wife's inheritance. He is approached by a long time friend whose father is accused of murder. Nick is very reluctant to take the  case but at the very cute and sweet pestering of his wife, Nora, he finally does and the mystery begins.  The chemistry begin Powell and Loy has very rarely been matched. They play off eachother and bring a sense of silliness to an otherwise grim subject. For some extra comic relief is Asta the dog-the Charles' wire hair terrier (so stinking cute!).

The next in a number of sequels is my favorite-After The Thin Man. Nick and Nora have returned from the holiday in New York and are now home in San Francisco. On New Year's Eve Nora's cousin enlist the Charles to help her find her husband who has been missing for several days. We are all left to wonder, who killed who, who is in cahoots with who and what is going on with Mrs. Asta and that little scottie down the street. As an added bonus, we get to see a young Jimmy Stewart  that is a little hard to recognize. This sequel definitely holds up to the first.

The third in the series-which is also wonderful, is Another Thin Man. This time we have a new baby added to the family. The Charles family is back in New York with little Nicky Jr. by their side and of course-don't forget Asta! They are invited by a family friend to Long Island for the weekend but there is an underlying motive that involves a mystery. Murder and Mayhem ensue and Nick and Nora solve another case with wonderful one liners.

There were three more in the series: Shadow of the Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home Song of the Thin Man, and Alias Nick and Nora. Each are wonderful comedy mysteries that will tickle your funny bone while having you on the edge of your seat.

The Thin Man series is such a wonderful example of classic movies that stand the test of time. I hear over at Amazon they even have a box set -just saying, ya know...Christmas is coming up. Where was I, oh yes-mix up your favorite martini, kick back and enjoy the exciting romp that only Nick and Nora can bring you.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Okay! Turkey feasting is over! Time to get back to business. I hope all my US friends had a great holiday and for my international friends-I hope you had a great Thursday! I've been getting a lot of readers wondering how Pete is doing and if he is fitting in. Pete is doing GREAT! He is the silliest little man ever! He is fitting in with his sisters, taking long walks, playing with toys and barking when the wind blows 200 miles away. I didn't think it was possible for a little dog to be such a chow hound but if we didn't watch out for him, he would be a MinPin Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon.  I am so glad that he is a part of the Pedersen household.

There is nothing better than adopting a little furry or feathered beast. If you want a particular breed, check out the rescues in your area. We adopted Pete from Southern Star MinPin Rescue. They are based in Texas but reach 12 other states and some areas in Canada. If you check out their latest newsletter on page 12 you will see a cute little couple taking home their little man.

If a particular breed rescue isn't your style, than check out your local shelters. This weekend in Oregon, the Humane Society had a "Black Friday" special. For some reason, black fur animals have a harder time being adopted so all animals with black fur were highlighted for adoption this weekend. Check out your local shelter for all types of animals from rats to goats to kitties. There is a pet out there for you.

I again want to stress how important it is to be 100% ready for a pet in your life. If you don't have time or energy for a pet than please think of other ways to connect with your furry friends. You can donate your time to a shelter or a rescue outreach. Go in and connect with a kitty, ask to walk your neighbor's dog, borrow a goat to mow your lawn. There are a million ways to help our furry monsters. If you are allergic, how about donating food or cold hard cash to a shelter or maybe getting a fish to swim around and relax you. I hear that they are excellent listeners.

So everybody-reach out to our animal world and make a fuzzy life better. You can make a difference and think of all the love you will get in return. It's a win-win situation! Now if you'll excuse me, I think Pete heard the pope sneeze-gotta go calm the troops!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Andrea is One Bad Bird.

I first saw Andrea's work on Craftster and was completely blown away. She had just finished her doggy embroideries and I was having a fit over them. She is an incredible artist and has amazing razor sharp wit.

Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am a slightly dumpy, 46 year old woman. I look like a
mommy. I relate best with artist, crafters and teenagers.
I don't have any tattoos because I can't think of a image
that I would love to live with for the rest of my life, but
I like tattoos. My version of porn is doing needlework
while watching Dirty Jobs and hoping that some how Mike
Rowe's shirt might come off.

How did you get started doing embroidery?
My friend Jean and I made a quilted house for a art
installation. I did most of the furnishings for the house,
chairs, rugs, etc.., and Jean worked on the fabric walls and
ceiling. Jean needed help with the embroidery on some of
the walls so I volunteered. I did a horrible job but I
really enjoyed it. Jean kept saying that as long as your
stitches where consistent that was good enough.

What or who inspires you?
I am a art leech. I suck up anything I like from every
ones artwork. I keep a large collection of images from
various artists to inspire me. I like folk art, outsider
art, and history. There are usually elements of all three
in my needlework. When I need inspiration I look to the art
of Harriet Powers (she only made 2 quilts that we know of),
Bill Traylor (exslave outsider artist), Ida Applebroog
(contemporary artist), Kiki Smith (contemporary artist) ,
and Jane Sassaman (quilt artist).
Music is very important when I am creating. REM, Beck,
Cake, Modest Mouse, Los Lobos, and the Talking Heads have
helped me make a lot of art.

Do you have a website?
Ya know I do!

What does the future hold for you? Any shows coming up?

I love designing embroidery patterns and I will definitely
be producing more to sell at my Etsy store. As for actual
needlework, I try not to put to much pressure on it. My
needlework is for my peace of mind. My paintings are my
hardcore side, my art prints (at my Etsy store) are my fun
side, and my needlework keeps me sane.

I will be showing at the Escondido Municipal Gallery,in
Escondido, Ca. , during the month of December. I'll be
showing my prints and some needlework.
I am planning a show at Galleri Urbane in Dallas. This
will be my paintings. This show will probably be in
February and if all works out it will have a Valentine

I would love to do a book with my embroidery designs. I
thought this would work well if I can find a partner that
likes to make sewing projects. I have no clue in regards to
sewing things together or making patterns for clothing,
aprons, etc...

Bonus questions: Favorite and least favorite colors.
Favorite: Pink. Because it's very feminine and candy like.
Pink can make other colors pop.

Least favorite: Purple. Can't seem to get the hang of using
purple. Something about it doesn't work with my brain. If
I do use purple it's usually in very small bits

 We're twins! I love pink and dislike purple too! Yeah us! This is only a small sampling of Andrea's beautiful and eerie work. Make sure you head over to her website and check it out. She also has free patterns to download. AWESOME! See ya over there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tie One On Tuesday!

(this is not my family and if it is yours,there's no fighting or blood and guts)

So – your up to your eyeballs with holiday food, your relatives are going to be here in a day or so ( and you just found out they are staying with you). What to do? First off – relax and take a deep breath. Second, make a list and prepare to delegate your authority to your family. Third, get up in the morning and prepare yourself a nice eye opener.

Here’re some quick and easy recipes for your worn out nerves.

First up on the menu, a brunch standard – the good old Mimosa.


2 oz. fresh squeezed Orange Juice
That’s it!

Now for a few variations on the above recipe: Add a Tbsp. Of Grand Marnier (Triple Sec) and you have a Grand Mimosa. Substitute Cranberry Juice for the Orange Juice and you have a seasonal drink called the Poinsettia.

Next up - We visit one we have done before but it is so damn good:

The Bloody Mary (as served at the Algonquin Hotel in New York).


2 oz. Vodka
4 oz. Tomato Juice
2 Limes juiced
1 1/2 tsp, Worcestershire sauce
6 dashed Tabasco sauce
Salt and Pepper
Lime wedge for garnish
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker w/ Ice. Shake and pout into glass. Salt and Pepper to taste. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Lastly, we are going to take a staple of the morning and “Irish” it up a bit.

The Coffee Nudge

8 oz. Coffee
1/2 oz Brandy
3/4 oz. Crème de Cacao
3/4 oz. Coffee Liqueur (like Kahluah)
Whipped Crème for garnish on top
Combine all ingredients into a Coffee Mug or Irish Coffee Cup. Top with Whipped Crème.

So there you have it. Some great, easy and tasty drinks that will make you not really care what happens the rest of the day.

Here’s wishing you and your family a great and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gobble Gobble! It's Turkey Time!

For all you readers in the US, it's a only a few days until Thanksgiving. I hope you have your turkey and tofu turkeys ready to bake. If you are like me, there is always something that you forget and have to find the one 7-11 that's open who will charge you $10.00 for a 99 cent can of cranberry goo. If you are also like me, you're not a big football fan and aren't really into watching all the football that is bestowed upon us. The Macy Thanksgiving Day parade is over and now what will you do? Well, I have a few morsels to keep your belly full*of laughter that is. (see the way I weave those words and jokes together. Never had a lesson-can you believe it?)

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is such a great movie. I don't think you can go wrong with Steve Martin and John Candy. The story starts with both characters trying to get home for Thanksgiving but their flights are canceled due to bad weather. Instead of waiting out the storm, they decide to make the trip together and start off on an adventure.  This movie didn't do too well at the box office but it has become a holiday cult classic and one that should not be missed.

A surprisingly charming movie is Pieces of April staring Katie Holmes before she got really creepy. This "Guess Who's Coming  To Dinner" spin off/remake has April  and her African American boyfriend cooking Thanksgiving dinner for her uptight white family.  While her boyfriend is doing everything to please the family, April regresses back to her dysfunctional family dynamics. It all wraps up at the end and gives you a good feeling about your own whacky family.

Home for the Holiday is a wonderful movie directed by Jodi Foster starring such greats as Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft and Charles Durning.  Hunter stars as a single mom who was just fired from her job and after an affair with her boss. To make matters worse, she has to spend Thanksgiving with her overbearing parents and slightly off siblings. Hunter's character thinks that things can get any worse but her wonderful brother played by Robert Downey Jr. has a sweet little  surprise for her and all is well on the Thanksgiving front.

The last movie is one that is dear to my heart. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Peppermint Patty invites herself and a few others to Charlie Brown's house for Thanksgiving dinner.Hijinks ensue as Snoopy makes a Thanksgiving dinner  that only a Beagle could make-popcorn, toast, and jelly beans. Of course all everything works out at the end with a fantastic dinner and wonderful friends.

So, fill up on all those Thanksgiving treats! They are guaranteed not to add any extra pounds to your waistline and won't give you heartburn at 3am.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Feel Good Friday!

How's everybody doing out there? I can't hear you? Ahh,,mixed reviews...not good. Well hopefully I can turn that around and give you a little something to make you smile and laugh.

Are you looking for the perfect gift this year but your dollar is stretched a little thin and you only have a few minutes out of your busy day to whip something up? Well never fear! Craftster has got the perfect thing for you. They have a channel on youtube now and it stars yours truly! I will show you how to make cute inexpensive gifts in 5 minutes. Head on over and give me your best 5 star rating! We will be adding more as the weeks fly by.

It's no secret that I LOVE the movie The Christmas Story (we will be talking about my love for this movie later) and this ornament by batzie09 is just too much! It is adorable and makes me happy beyond belief. 

Need something to warm those bones on a chilly night? If you haven't yet-check out Adagio Teas online. They have every type of tea you can imagine! As an added bonus, they have campaigns to give back to communities. It's a win-win situation. You get amazing tea and help the world. How cool is that!

I have been on a Roald Dahl kick lately and with Fantastic Mr. Fox coming out I wanted to revisit my love of Dahl's books. One of my all time favorite books is James and The Giant Peach. I loved Peaches when I was a kid and thought how wonderful it would be to live in a peach and just grab a little bite when I wanted to. To this day when I think of that book my mouth waters for fresh peaches. Silly I know, but such a vivid childhood memory. He has done other great books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and The Witches.

Could this little guy be any cuter. Baby fuzz!  It's killing me!

Okay, now let's try this again. How's everybody doing out there? Aww yeah-much better! Glad I could lift your spirits, brighten you day so to speak, put a little spring in your step.Just doing my job! Have a great weekend everybody!

A day without laughter is a day wasted.
Charlie Chaplin

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Lowdown on I Sew Cute!

Craftster is so wonderful for making new friends. I met ISewCute on Craftster and was instantly impressed by her crafty skills but it was her sweet nature that won me over. She is an amazing! 

Who is Isewcute? What is she all about?
Born a week before Christmas in the 1970’s to a cobbler &
former teacher, I grew up in a log cabin in the Maine woods.
We didn’t live very extravagantly, but never went
without…so my creativity was nurtured as I learned to
entertain myself.
My mother & Nana both sewed, baked, knit, & made crafts
from kits they’d bought from the Mary Maxim catalog. I
watched them & learned from them.
In grade school I was the quiet dreamer who got in trouble
for doodling cats and mermaids in the margin of the paper
rather than taking the math test.
Lucky for me I had a fabulous art teacher who pointed me
towards art school rather than business college as my
school’s guidance counselor suggested. After 4 years of
that & year of figuring out what I wanted to do with my
life, I went back to school again for toy design. I
freelance as a toy designer now & have worked for Hasbro,
Mattel, Learning Curve, & Gund.
I’m a big kid at heart. I watch cartoons, make stuffed
animals, & play with dolls & thankfully have a couple of
little kids…so it doesn’t seem weird to folks who
don’t know me that well!
I fell in love with a toy-boy who is the ying to my yang &
we’ve been married for over 10 years now. I can’t
believe how fast time flies! Now I live in a little house in
the southwest corner of Ohio, raising my kids…nurturing
their budding creativity, keeping connected to the outside
world via the internet, & listening to music while staying

You do so many different crafts-do you have a favorite?
Drawing is my favorite thing to do, but I’m interested in
so many dang crafts sometimes I feel as if I’m being
pulled in several directions at once. It’s a true case of
so many crafts & so little time. I go where the passion
drives me. I can’t explain it other than one day I’ll
wake up & just ‘have’ to knit or paint something. It’s
like I've got to get that out of my system.
At the moment I’m loving everything embroidered &
attempting to finish a cross stitched realistic portrait of
a kitty for a friend. After cleaning out my craft room the
other day, I came across a retro xmas stocking that I need
to finish for my daughter. I love to be busy making
something… anything. It’s all good & I’ve never met a
craft I didn’t like!

I love your resin pendants you do. Is there a special
trick to working with resin?
Thank you for the sweet compliment! I think resin is one of
those things you’ve just got to try & see what works &
don’t be afraid to fail. The main thing is to work in a
well ventilated room…or wear a respirator. Your resin
should be room temp. or a little warmer. Cold resin
doesn’t mix as well & makes more bubbles. Stir your
mixture very well while scraping the sides & bottom of the
mixing cup. Most folks I’ve advised had problems mainly do
to poor mixing. Don’t get discouraged if you botch a
batch. Happened to me too when I was learning…just try try
again. If anyone has any questions…then go to one of the
resin threads on craftster & someone (wink-wink) is sure to

Any advice for the masses?
Do what you love, never stop playing, enjoy your life, &
relish the little things. Keep things in perspective. If you
have your health, family, & friends …& can find some time
to do something creative… then you have a lot to be
thankful for.

Do you have any shows coming up? A website or blog?
No plans at this time for a winter season show. I do have a
book idea in the works that has been put on the back burner
for now…but I’ll be sure to shout it from the
mountaintops when it comes out.

As far as websites: I’m on craftster as ‘I Sew Cute’
…I blog here: …& sell my
little treasures here:

Bonus questions!
Favorite flavor and least favorite flavor?
Favorite flavor may be Grandma Sanders’ handmade hard
candy in sassafras or cinnamon. I’m crazy for cinnamon in
Least favorite… perhaps chicken livers or oysters. I’ll
only eat them on a triple dog dare!

 EWWW! I don't blame you. Those are gross! ISewCute is such a wonderful person. She is talented, caring and a all around nice person. I would personally love to thank her for her donation to the crisis line I work for.  She brightens the day with her generosity and warm heart. I'm glad to call her a friend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tie One On Tuesday!


It's party season (actually, when is it not party season?) and everyone as been asking for the perfect party punch. Well, never fear my friends. I have a few alcohol and non alcohol punches that will make you the envy of all your friends.

I LOVE champagne. LOVE IT! So this punch is very special to me and very simple to do.

Champagne Punch
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen cranberry juice
1 (12 fluid ounce) can frozen pink lemonade
1 (6 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
1 (750 milliliter) bottle white wine, chilled
1 liter carbonated water, chilled
2 (750 milliliter) bottles champagne, chilled
1 lemon - sliced, for garnish
1/2 cup fresh mint, garnish
In large punch bowl, combine the cranberry juice concentrate, pink lemonade concentrate, limeade concentrate, white wine, club soda and champagne. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh mint leaves.

Oh my! It's chilly outside! What will warm your bones? How about this yummy treat?

Boston Tea Punch

1 750 ml Bottle Dark Rum
4 cup Black Tea
4 1/2 oz. Triple Sec
12 Lemon Slices
Sugar to Taste
Heat Rum, Tea and Triple Sec in a saucepan, add sugar and stir until disolved. Don't let it boil. Serve in warmed punch cups or mugs.

Now for an old standard. I think everyone in my family hates this punch commonly referred to as "The Green Punch" but I for one love it! It is a tradition to drink a cup of it on Christmas whether or like it or not.

The "Green" Punch

2 liters ginger ale
1 lg. container frozen lemonade
1 lg. can pineapple juice (chilled)
1 qt. lime sherbet
Stir together. The lime sherbet melts and makes a milky green punch with foam on top.

Yum! Yum! Love the green punch!

Okay party goers, you have a few options to make your party a rousing success. Now get out there and mingle, sing and dance the night away, the drinks are all taken care of of.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Young at Heart

My oh my is it blustery outside! It's a perfect day for some childhood classics that never get old.

When I first saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang I went around singing the song nonstop for a month. I'm sure that my mother enjoyed her 5 year old daughter screaming at the top of her lungs the wrong words and occasionally slipping up and throwing a cuss word or two in there. What mother wouldn't adore that? Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tells the story of a slightly eccentric professor, his extraordinary car and the adventures they get into. The book was written by James Bond's own Ian Fleming-which is very obvious given the name of the lead female character: Truly Scrumptious. This movie stars Dick Van Dike as the inventor and for an added touch, Britain's beloved Benny Hill as the toy maker.

Moving on to another childhood favorite, The Wizard of Oz. I believe that I could possibly recite every line in the movie and sing every song. This movie always reminds me of winter because when I was growing up, it was the a standard during the holiday season. This movie has inspired spin off books, which have inspired Broadway hit plays. It is a timeless treasure that will either make you smile or run for cover from those scary flying monkeys. Dorothy and her dog are "swept" away to a magical land where she meets friends and enemies on a quest to get back home. Again, when I was younger, I ran around the house singing "IF I WERE KING OF THE FOREST!" and my mother not once got tired of it. She may have been a saint.

Another movie that I absolutely adore and has now become a cult classic is The Princess Bride. There are so many little relationship stories in this movie that make me smile and warm my heart. The relationship between the grandfather and grandson, between Princess Buttercup and Wesley and my favorite, Inigo and Fezzik. This is a wonderful movie for all ages and has something for every time of person. To this day, I will recite the wedding scene just out of the blue and most people will respond back to me. It is a modern day classic. The story is within a story told by the grandfather about a princess and her true love. There are wrongs that are righted, love lost that is found and happy endings for all.

Last on my list is The Goonies. This is movie is so awesome and I'm not saying that cause it was filmed on the coastline of Oregon in one of my favorite towns, or because it has a young Josh Brolin in it. It's a great movie because once again, there are happy endings, cute blossoming romance and all of your favorite childhood actors when they were still cute and innocent and not plastered all over the tabloids for the behavior. The story tells of a group of friends and the adventures they have while trying to save their homes from being demolished.  The wonderful message of friendship and being who you are is one that is driven home several times throughout the movie. The one thing I am surprised about is how they got so many sunny days on the coast line?

Well, there ya have it- 4 childhood classics that will warm your heart while you warm your tootsies. Now go make that popcorn, find those footie pj's and park your "adultness" at the door. I expect all of you to giggle like a school girl (or boy!) and enjoy yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Oh my goodness! Can it be true? Another adorable Boston Terrier named Gus? That's right! This Gus is a little bundle of awesome. He has excellent taste in music, people and style.  Let's see what this little man is all about.

Who is Gus? What is he all about?
You cannot put a label on Gus.  Gus is everything Gus aspires to be.  Gus expects only the best from Marbles and Parbles (mom & dad) because Gus deserves it. Gus is a collector of toys and toilet paper rolls. Gus doesn't over-do it because Gus' motto is "leave em wanting more".  Gus refers to himself in the 3rd person.

What was your best day ever?
Marbles & Parbles probably think that it was the day they brought me home but it's really any day that Marbles and Parbles are home sick.  We both sleep late and they'll cook me an egg.  And then we sleep some more.

How do you handle the heat?
In style...

How do you feel about your new brother?
Who???  He is NOT my brother.  He just lives here and if he keeps walking off with my Nylabone there WILL be trouble.

Bonus Question:
My favorite band is.....

Whatever band drops food on the floor.

Gus is a must for people like us (yes, I have been dying to say that). He is a sweet little spit fire that will warm your heart while he's stealing your porkchop and this is why we love him. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Feel Good Friday!

Ah! Smell that crisp cool air! It's getting closer and closer to the holidays and if you are like me-you are getting more and more excited. Oh no! I just had a thought-I haven't even began to prepare for the holidays! AGH! I need to get on it! Okay, okay, deep breaths. This is Feel Good Friday, not stress and pull my hair out Friday. Let's get down to some feeling goodness. AWWW YEAH!

I love this "tattooed" lady. Mimi K. is AMAZING! I literally spent an hour looking and all of her awesome creations.

One Small Object is the sweetest blog chocked full of free downloads, tutorials and just all around crafty goodness, wrapped up in a sugar coating of kind words. 

If you are looking for some wonderful holiday gifts, look no further than The Cutie Pie Company. I am currently dying over the girl and her puppy in the snow. Seriously-it's me and Lola and I WANT IT! I hope everyone got that subtle hint. ;)

I found this wonderful book at the library about the quirky history of Christmas. It's really interesting and a pretty quick read. I strongly recommend it!

Now if you will excuse me, I'm going to build a fire and curl up with my book, my puppies and my hubby. Maybe if I'm real nice, OMP will make me some hot chocolate with marshmallows. I really should start working on that holiday list but I'm just too snuggled in to reach for a pen and paper. 

And because I was told that I should have my gratuitous cute animal picture. Here ya go (happy now OMP? )