Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

What a beautiful day here in Southern California!  Not at all what I would expect for the middle of winter, it's sunny and somewhere in the mid 70's at our place.  So it was worthy of getting pupper leashed up and heading up the hill for a little hike.

We have a low key New Year's Eve planned with neighbors, wine and cheese.  Sounds like I should be able to get some Mexican Train Dominoes played too which will make up for the lack of board game playing on my birthday this year!

2011 was certainly not without it's ups and downs.  We were still recovering (does one ever "recover"?) from the loss of hubster's father when his mother passed away as well.  That made for several particularly tough stretches including right now with Christmas and the start of a new year.

On the positive side, we were so incredibly fortunate to visit Peru this summer which was an experience we're not likely to forget...aided by the over 3000 photos I took while there!

I was humbled to find out that two of our fellow travelers had the photo I took of Machu Pichhu blown up (to huge), framed and now have it hung prominently in their homes. 

Now we're just trying to make the decision on whether we'll join up with some of the group this summer for a trip to Turkey.  I'm not sure I can do without a trip to the spice market there so it's certainly a strong possibility.

We were able to take summer and a fall road trips to Napa/Sonoma with our dear friend, J, and pupper was even able to join us for the Thanksgiving trip thanks to space in my new (to me) SUV.  Really what came out of both of those trips (and our recent trip to Dallas), was waaaay too much good food!

I traded out my big daddy kiln for a new one that fired to the correct temperature (so much more functional now!) and in the process was given a vintage but working motorized potter's progress to report there, I'm still horrible at throwing!  Ahhh, I feel a resolution coming on...

Speaking of resolutions...perhaps I need to actually start sewing the handbag I showed you back in February?  Oh, the duvet cover isn't done either in case you were wondering... I did make the apron though!

My new camera has been fantastic...another resolution alert...but I'm still horrible at shooting in anything other than automatic or priority modes.  Kelley continues to be my inspiration in making manual happen! That said, at least I still couldn't be happier with my choice of camera bag.

It's been a perfect airplane carry on bag for me and did a great job the whole time we were in Peru.

What else happened this year?  It seemed to go by so fast!  My sister had her 4th kiddo...three boys to follow my niece who visited this summer.

Now to close out the year, I'm now officially an app developer as part of my "real world" job...fingers crossed, my speech therapy app will be in the app store in the next few weeks!  I think that the real wold work, like developing an app, kept me from as much bead making as I would have liked this year...I moved my office location too which was more time consuming than expected.

How about a random neat tip to start off the New Year's celebrations?  I saw the greatest thing at one of the restaurants on our TX trip, upcycling empty liquor bottles as pretty water pitchers!  Conveniently we polished off the last of a bottle of 1800 tequila in margaritas this week and a quick wash to remove the labels left me with this snazzy new way to keep water cold in the fridge.  I can never bear to put old tequila bottles out for recyling since they're so pretty, this will be the perfect solution for them!

Do you have any fun entertaining tips to share to start off the New Year?


  1. Oh Mellisa, that photograph you took of Machu Pichu is absolutely stunning and totally worthy of being blown up to ginormous proportions! And don't be sneezing at those priority modes...shooting in Aperture Priority is a big step to making sense of Manual (pssst. there is no reason to always shoot in Manual when AP will do just fine).

    All the best to you, hubster and Nana in 2012. When I come back for a wedding later this year, I want to see how horrible I fare on that wheel of yours, ok? Now I'm pining for such a cool cold water bottle!

  2. Love the photo of Machu Pichu...I would love it on my wall!

    Wishing you and yours all the best in the coming year!

  3. happy new year, mellisa! wishing you the very best of eveything in the upcoming year... may it be filled with love and joy...
    the speech app sounds interesting - i have a son with speech issues and he could use a bit of help... hmmm!

  4. I love the pic of Machu Pichu, I'd love to go there one day. Happy New Year, Mellisa!

  5. Your picture is sooo gorgeous Melissa, you are so talented in so many ways!
    Wishing you the most beautiful, healthy and peaceful New Year!

  6. Happy new year. Your photos are beautiful. Apps you say? I wish someone would make a bead pricing and inventory app and a good salon calendar app. Just in case you were wondering ;)


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