Sunday, December 10, 2006

Secret Santa

I am participating in our office-wide Secret Santa this year. The fun starts tomorrow and culminates on Friday before our holiday luncheon. Luckily I picked the name of a colleague I like and have known for a while so this will be fun.

For the final gift and Secret Santa-reveal, I decided to make a simple scarf with some yarn I bought a while ago. I found this interesting pattern in “The Complete Book of Knitting,” by Barbara Abbey called diagonal ribbing or chevron.

I am thrilled with how the scarf is coming together. It’s a simple pattern that looks really nice as a scarf because it works on both sides of the scarf.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gingerbread houses

There is a Gingerbread House competition (through Dec. 10) at the Darnall’s Chance House Museum in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. There were adults and children's entries, and the kids were far better than the adults in my opinion. The kids were so creative with the subjects they chose, like the "Christmas Bath" entry, and how they used the candy and other foods to build their creations. These two were my favorites (kid above and adult below).

A few years ago a friend of mine, who is an avid baker, hosted a gingerbread house making party. She baked the gingerbread and cut out the parts of the house, and also made the royal icing to hold it all together (amazing stuff, it’s like glue), and the guests brought the candy decorations.

It was such a blast. Once you start embellishing you can’t stop. Just when you think you have run out of ideas for how to use licorice or gum drops in fun and creative ways, another idea will pop into your head. When I was looking at the pictures I took yesterday I noticed things I had not seen before, like how one of the houses is partially made out of Fig Newtons.

Other happenings in D.C.

There are a couple of interesting photography exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History.

Nature’s Best Photography Exhibition

And Transitions: Photographs by Robert Creamer which isn’t photography as you think of it. This artist uses a scanner to make his photographs. It was fascinating. There is a video of him in his studio. The subject matter is natural objects like plants and flowers, but he turns them into totally different looking objects.