Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Of Christmas and Dragons

It's been a bit of a whirlwind around here this year...

Oh, who am I kidding, the holidays are a whirlwind pretty much every year, right? But still magical, still joyous, still a delight.

The festivities began here with serious scarf knitting and cookie baking. You can take a peek at some of the cookies a couple of posts back, but I can't show you the knitting, as it hasn't been gifted yet. ;)

Christmas Eve found us visiting dear friends Jen and Kevin, where we girls indulged in gingerbread cookie martinis (photo courtesy Jen)...

I don't have a recipe, but basically one part vodka to a half part kahlua, a half part Baileys, some milk or melted ice cream and some gingerbread syrup. Unable to find said syrup, we improvised and used gingerbread coffee creamer instead. Oh - and if you want to get fancy, you can do crushed gingerbread cookies around the rim of the glass. Delicious, but not something you want to consume in mass quantities - a little rich, as we both discovered with tummy upset the next morning, lol.

Courtney arrived at the Lancaster train station Christmas Day morning, bearing cinnamon rolls from Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market - soooooo good (and saved me cooking breakfast, hehe). Next was the gift opening, and everyone really hit the mark this year - a new bass guitar for John, a working stereo for me (thanks, Courtney!) and a highly anticipated trip to my *happy place*, Barnes and Noble (couldn't you just go CRAZY in there?!)

We also presented Courtney with an in-person astrological reading by one of her favorite musical artists, singer/songwriter Francis Dunnery (of "Too Much Saturn and Not Enough Moon" fame).

In the Christmas Dinner department, it was great to have help in the kitchen this year, and Courtney completely nailed her first-ever Yorkshire pudding...

I forgot to take a photo of the roast, but it was your basic Dickensian feast - prime rib with all the trimmings, our annual nod to John's heritage. ;)

A friend of Courtney's drove up from DC to join us for dinner, and we had a wonderful time - great conversation, great food and great company. Doesn't get much better than that. Later, we settled in to watch one of my all time favorite Christmas movies "The Bell of St Mary's"...

An altogether wonderful Christmas - but the festivities aren't over yet! We're having a few friends over on New Year's Day too - no clue what we'll be making yet, probably a pot luck of sorts, and doubtful it will be anything traditional (to say we're not fans of pork or sauerkraut would be an understatement, hehe)...Maybe lasagna - that has to be good luck too, yes?

In the studio, I'm finishing a couple of winter pieces and very much looking forward to painting a Water Dragon - in honor of Chinese New Year!

And speaking of dragons, have you seen the trailer for next December's Hobbit movie? You don't actually see Smaug here, but one can imagine...

It's a year away and my head is already spinning with Middle Earth imagery and possibilities! I adore the shot of Gandalf smoking his pipe, of the Elves and Dwarves gathering and singing...First resolution of 2012: Must, must, MUST make time for Hobbit art! (More on Middle Earth and the Brothers Hildebrandt's inspiration in an upcoming post)....

Until then, it's back to work for me. As usual, too many irons in the fire and not enough time. It was glorious to have two days off, but now it's nose to the grindstone time. ;)

Wishing you all a very happy Third Day of Christmas, and will be back soon!

¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`• ~ Carolee


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Sounds like such a yummy holiday!

(How did I ever miss that marvelous E.A.Poe piece in the header?! L*O*V*E it!)

Hope the rest of your holiday season is as joyous as you've already enjoyed!

Deb Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

Sounds like you had a perfect Christmas Carolee, that Yorkshire pudding is a triumph! I can't wait for "The Hobbit" movie to come out either, love J.R.R. Tolkien and how Peter Jackson so faithfully portrays his books in film. And the 'Bells Of St. Mary's', the old films are always the best and that one is a wonderful classic, thanks for reminding me of it, I haven't seen it in years. Wishing you and yours peace, joy and good health in the coming New Year and enjoy your celebrations! Deb