Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let's take a break from the holiday rush ...

... have a cup of coffee and chat about beautiful and absurd and fun and outrageous things.

In the holiday frame of mind, I've been curious why I am dreaming about taking these revolving seven-foot high crystal and gold pillar lamps and wrapping them with spirals of ivy and mistletoe and placing them beside the front entrance. Did I mention: they revolve?

Now some might find these a little over the top (as such a thing exists), but I believe I've figured out why I am so attracted to all that glitters and shines.

I had a deprived childhood.

No. It's true. All through my childhood, I begged (by which I mean screamed and cried and kicked my heels on the floor of the grocery) my mother to let us put Glass Wax stenciled pictures on the windows at Christmas time.She always refused. She always had some argument or other: they weren 't pretty; they wouldn't look nice with the other decorations; they would make too much mess; they were too expensive (yes! she even tried THAT, knowing full well that the person kicking the floor of the grocery was 15 years old and knew how much money 39¢ was!).

So is it any wonder that I am so warped and in need of extreme at the holiday time? It's my mother's fault. As is everything, of course.

Don't you just LOVE this photo of Yves Montand, lifting Edith Piaf for a kiss?! How short was she? Well, to begin with, he's not very tall - plus, notice her shoes? She's not even as tall as she appears to be! I do wish whoever Magic Marker'ed (is that a proper verb?) all over this photo hadn't done so.

Doesn't this look like a fun place to shop?! It's called Gypsy Honeymoon. I first ran across it online - but then they did an article about it in Bliss Victoria. If I'm ever in San Francisco - and I haven't been for ten years - but you never know! - I'm heading there directly from the airport!

How ticked off would you be if you had to be one of the damned swans? That really goes past being a mere runner up. That's like saying you had some cheek to even enter in the first place.

Ann Wood, one of my absolute favorite fanciful artists, has created a new series of charming papier maché and fabric boats. Isn't it gorgeous! I so want to have it soaring over the dining room table! See more of her work at Ann Wood Handmade.

Do you do special holiday baking? I'm not much of a baker - and living in a city (and a mere two blocks from the fabulous bakeries in Little Italy!) there's really no need to mess up one's own kitchen with flour in the air. But at Christmas time, I really do like to make some cookies. Nothing extravagant mind you. Just plain old down home cookies. Usually, after the holidays, I can always find a part-time job...

anyway. I always make chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate cheesecake brownies and a few ice box "bar" cookies. I'm a regular baking crew all on my own!
My favorite of the cookies is the plain old everyday crisp-but-moist sugar cookies cut from big Christmas cookie cutters and all decorated with frosting and little candied - well - things. For the first time in the history of my blog, I'm going to share a recipe. (Geesh, the holidays have really gotten to me, haven't they?!) This is the never fail sour cream sugar cookie recipe that everybody loves. Give it a try!
Tristan's Sugar Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Cream together 1 1/2 cups white sugar, butter or margarine, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and eggs. Add sour cream.
  2. Mix together 5 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add to the egg-sugar mixture.
  3. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  5. Roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheet for 10 - 12 minutes.
  6. To Make Frosting: In small bowl, with mixer at medium speed, beat together the softened cream cheese and evaporated milk until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/8 teaspoon salt and confectioners' sugar. Beat until well blended. Color as desired and frost cooled cookies.
Take care not to overwork the dough. Just mix it, chill it and roll it. Don't torture it. Make sure to cool on a rack. Be sure to wait until they're cooled completely before frosting.
Get ready for a host of Christmas hallelujah's after you've served them!

Doesn't this dear child look like she's going to be serious trouble?! She's just a mug shot waiting to happen.
Actually, it's a boy. I have no idea why he's dressed like that. He's just a mug shot waiting to happen.
What do you want to find in your stocking Christmas morning?

I really think I should have this 24k gold sleigh which once belonged to Ludwig, the mad king of Bavaria. And it would add to the holiday decor while it was waiting to be given to me!

Oh - this little swan pedestal flower pedestal would be nice, too. And not quite so much a commitment to the insurance company.
Who am I kidding. I'd be glad to have just the floral arrangement - even in a margarine tub.
Now that we've discovered the joy of Blu-Ray on a big plasma HD screen, I'm sure the very next step will be a small little unpretentious home theatre, much like this one. Nothing fancy, mind you. Simplicity is the mantra of my life.

Aren't these charming. I think they look so smart and modern in this photo. Of course, in my house, I think they would look like I hadn't cleaned up after a craft project. Still, they're pretty cool. You can see more such simple designs at Spidatter.

I'm such a huge fan of color, I can't imagine having an all-white house. But, if I did, I would hope it would look just like this. I would like it even more if it had a view of the Eiffel Tower - but I'd settle for just the design.

An actor's life for me
A high silk hat and a silver cane
A watch of gold with a diamond chain

An actor's life is gay
It's great to be a celebrity
An actor's life for me

An actor's life is fun

An actor's life for me
A wax mustache and a beaver coat
A pony cart and a billy goat

An actor's life is fun
You wear your hair in a pompadour
You ride around in a coach and four
You stop and buy out a candy store
An actor's life for me!
Björk thought she was so original. Anna Pavlova wore her swan (Jack) long ago!

Some things are just too chic to be real, aren't they?! A Dior fantasy gown ...

I'm going to leave you with this poem which perfectly expresses my feelings about being a dog!


1. I’d be fuzzy, like the essence of love.

2. I’d wag my tail and be at one with the universe. I’ve always wanted a tail.

3. My nose would be like a button on a sock puppet.

4. I’d know what I wanted, when I wanted it. I ‘d bark until I got it.

5. I wouldn’t have germ phobias. I’d welcome touch.

6. My tongue would be glorious.

7. I’d snarl and let the world know it.

8. I’d be enraptured much of the time.

9. I’d sleep whenever I wanted, as much as I wanted.

10. I’d keep strangers away. I’d be permitted to hate.

11. I wouldn’t have to know table manners.

12. I wouldn’t care what was on TV.

13. My hands and feet would be more alike. I’d crawl again

like I did before everything happened.

14. I’d amaze humans for my differences and similarities.

15. I’d love the thrill of the chase.

16. My dreams would not be overpopulated with strange cities

and people who like me though they do not exist

and I wouldn’t miss my bus stop, pulling and pulling the chord in fear,

or care if I were naked on 5th Avenue.

17. I’d belong to the earth. I’d roll in it,

luxuriate in it, eat its bitter wood,

offer it my piss and shit and puke up its grass

and the earth would give back, give back,

it would know me as no clothed human could.

18. I’d ride in the car with my head out the window

and the wind would lick my face.

Copyright 2010 by Jon P. Bloch

Thanks for stopping by for coffee and a chat! Now - go make something beautiful!

¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan


JANN said...


Gabriela said...

Hello Tristan,

Loooooooooooooove this post!

~ Gabriela ~

Sherry Goodloe said...

I agree with Jann - this IS the best post EVER!
The happiest of holidays and a very Merry Christmas to you Tristan! xo

Sara said...

What a great post!!!! I loved everything about it...

And, I just love the "mug shot waiting to happen" line...made me laugh...

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

What a beautiful post! It is so good to have you back.. The dog poem.. That was my schnauzer's life.. Great poem.
I love Anna's swan. Thank you for the cookie recipe... Sounds wonderful..
Merry Christmas

Karena said...

Tristan you just make my day, I start laughing as soon as read you posts and look at your images!!

I have a New Giveaway from My Sparrow, do come and enter!

Art by Karena

creativelenna said...

oh tristan! You always make me smile. And I just printed out your sugar cookie recipe, I am definitely going to try it! Love the Christmas Pin-up girl.
xo lenna

Trouvais said...

Happy Holidays Tristan.What a great sled...wouldn't that be nice under the tree. Or any of Ann Wood's little birds! Must start baking! Thanks for the inspiration...and recipe! Trish

Stephanie Suzanne Designs said...

Hi Tristan,

I'm sooooo glad you are back. I was in need of something to make me laugh worked your magic with words and images as usual! ♥

Merry Merry,
Stephanie ♥

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

OMG. I knew that I had missed your deeply, but now that you are back my dear, I really wonder where in thee Sam Hill I was without YOU CHARM, YOUR WIT, and all the chuckles and guffaws you bring out in me!!!! Wow....where do I begin to tell you HOW MUCH I LOVE ABOUT THIS FUN AND WONDERFUL POST!! You have come back with a bang my friend and THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH for coming to my theatre! And yes, that is my Ruben at the French window at my sidebar! personal love Jones with Gene Kelly...ahhhh, what a chunka munka they BOTH ARE! My Ruben is as cute and sassy as Gene Kelly and debonair as George Clooney.....and YOU LIKED MY THEATRE DEAREST? I think counterclockwise and even at school, where I have to follow a strict curriculum, I often TWEAK to my heart's content. You have humored me tonight, and I thank you Sir are a pal.....OOOOOOOOOOH!!!! THANK YOU FOR THE CARD! OMG it is sparkling under my flicker lamp and I cherish it with all my heart dear one.....AND THAT GYPSY HONEYMOON PLACE...MY GLITTER SHOP IN MY BASEMENT RESEMBLES THAT PHOTO!!!!

Whenever you are in BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWN MINNEAPOLIS, you must come over for tea and SUGAR COOKIES!

Oh, gotta go, CIAO BELLA!!! Anita

peggy gatto said...

You continue to bring joy into my life!!!

joy said...

Fabulous post once again, Tristan! I'd love that white room (and an view of the Eiffel Tower thrown in would be heaven!) Thanks for the giggles you provide!

yoborobo said...

You are the best vacation. Thank you for making so much merry in the world! xox Pam

maninthemoonherbs said...

I am so convinced if you are really good as a human you get to come back as a dog. Thanks for having coffee with me this fine morning!

Sue McPeak said...

There are so many fun things to comment on in this post...where to start...with a list:
-Only GuySwans have legs and stand like that...still!
-Holy Toledo...that's alot of cookie dough.
-Sugar Cookies with cream cheese...I'm trying this recipe..Thanks!
-Yarn and Crochet Thread Snow Folks...perfect for Knitting Group Gathering luncheon...I'll use DPN's instead of sticks.
-Anna Pavlova...amazing photo...studied her in Modern Dance Class...amazing woman!
-Now I know what my ChaWeenie Ruby is thinking...she's a #17!
What a way to start the day...BigSmiles, Coffee and Cookies! Thanks!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Okay....I never had those window decors either, and wanted them like all get out. Mother had the same reasons as your mom---hmmmmmm--I smell conspiracy here! BUT---my hubby had them and said they were so much FUN to put up and easy to get off the windows (and believe me, if you knew his mom, that comment would make much more sense....). So at least SOMEONE got to put those cool things on the windows!
Second, where did you find that pic of me from the earlier days, shaking the packages to see what I got???? ;-)
And lastly, as I don't want to be a complete bore---children were all dressed the same in the Victorian era until they were, oh geez, I can't remember how old. Yes, boys wore gowns like girls and no wonder that kid was trying to express himself....
Okay, I've been *Tristanized* and now I can go on with my day/week!


Janet Ghio said...

Another fabulous post Tristan!1 I don't know where you find all the fabulous photos you post--love them! said...

I wonder why I don't know you, possibly because I made the mistake of leaving NYC long ago when I didn't make it into the Rockettes and gave up my dancing career hopes to go off in search of something new over the rainbow.
I blame men like you that I am single again, once gets a glimpse the small entourage of men like you in the world, one never really can settle for less. Applause to your SO who must be equally talented and witty to have captured you!
Thank you for being you and being out there for all of us.

Kaerie Faerie said...

Lovely fantastic voonderbar love your post thanks for sharing all the goodies
crazy for that white room "the sled in the corner to die for"

Frieda Oxenham said...

I agree, I would love to be a doggie too, where it not for the fact that I wouldn't be able to read your blog in that case.

Patty said...

Tristan - we met in Michael DeMeng's class at Art Is in October. I'm so glad I found your blog! I love your artistic spirit and your fabulous sense of the absurd. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Patty

Georgina said...

Oh Tristan, how I love your blogs! I'm sorry you were so deprived as a child!! We did the was stencils when we were kids...had a blast mother would stand-by to clean up any drips and there were many, but otherwise, she was a good sport for being a bit OCD!! LOL

Thanks for the sugar cookie recipe. I've never been much into sugar cookies, but I'm going to try this the idea of sour cream and cream cheese...I LOAVE CHEESE!! Am making my traditiona Mexican cookies...Biscochos and Mexican Wedding cookies...the only time I use lard EVER during the year, but biscochos just aren't the same with butter-flavoured Crisco....bleh!!!

Have a great week and if I don't get a chance, have a wonderful Christmas and create some mischief!! Shouldn't be difficult!!! LOL

Glennis said...

Those swan costumes are hilarious!

And I covet Edith's wedgies!

What a fun post. As always, you never disappoint.

Sue said...

As always, such a fun post to read with a cup of coffee! Great break to the day! LOL, I always wanted those tacky flocked pics on our windows when I was younger and my mom would never agree either! We had mean moms Tristan LOL

Going now to check out Gypsy Honeymoon!


Sue said...

PS...thanks for the sugar cookie recipe, it looks delish.....and, thank you for the dog poem - it's a keeper!

Victoria Sayer said...

You really are a lot of fun. I had lots of chuckles along the way while reading through your latest posting. Thanks SO MUCH!!

Anonymous said...

Love this post Tristan!!!

That little boy dressed like a girl cracked me up .. a terror in a dress!

My childhood Christmas's weren't a pretty story either so I can relate to all that glitters.....

Merry Christmas Tristan!
xox Pattee

DVArtist said...

Tristan I have missed you so much. I am very happy you are back. Ohh and thanks for bowing out of the IPAD contest for me. :)


Deborah said...

I think the sleigh goes very nicely with the revolving pillar lamps. You have an excellent eye and of course the hats in the last picture would go wonderfully with your outfit at your Christmas party. The cookie recipe looks kinda complicated. Is it? I have to come up with some gifts in the next four days and am looking at cookie recipes but I don't want to be in the kitchen any longer than I have to ..

The Joy of Nesting said...

Hi Kiddo!!

Thanks for catching me up with all the holiday news!! By the way you might have noticed that the legs belonging to swan-horses are men's. And if the rest of them looks as good as their legs, they have done the world a great favor by hiding inside those swans!! :)

Thanks for all the good wishes!! Surgery went swimmingly! I can still see and I still have my close up vision!! I have graduated to the eye drop, resting, no mascara part of the recovery. As long as there is a no mascara rule this girl will be staying at home!!

Pattie ;)
Mazatlan Mx.

Shell said...

It is good to see you back in all your Tristan glory. I agree, I love a home theater like that too. It would be like having a slice of Heaven.

Rembrandt Charms    said...

Nice photos, thanks for sharing they are pretty adorable and the christmas tree is simply stunning. This holiday season all I want is rembrandt charms.

Unknown said...

I thank my dear friend Penny for finding your blog! You have a way with words that I love. Love the dog poem, the pictures...your comments on them, all served to brighten my day!

Ingrid Mida said...

Every post you write leaves me breathless. It's all fabulous of course but I really appreciate the recipe for your sugar cookies. I've never made any with sour cream before. They are undoubtedly divine!!! I can hardly wait to give them a try and then I'll sign on with you for your new part-time job!!
When you make it to the Whitney, please email me to let me know what you thought of the Charles LeDray exhibit. Best wishes!

Unknown said...

Oh Tristan, your posts are so delightful, filled with photos to smile about. Love, Love the stencils. Tristan I loved these when I was little. I think I need one of those Christmas Tree hats, and thank you for the recipe. How did you get my photo of me on that scale? I love baking, my mother and sisters are wonderful bakers too. I am going to wish my merry wish tonight, because things are started to get crazy around here. And it is starting to snow and will snow the next few days. Wishing you a white Christmas too.

Wishing you and yours a beautiful Christmas.

Merry Christmas


peggy gatto said...

Actually I am having a glass of wine(cupcake chardonney) and enjoying the photos, the poetry, the memories, and the nonsense.!
thank you!!!

Pretty Things said...

OMG. Just found your blog, and this is the post I landed on! Best. Ever.

LMAO about the damned swans.

Loving the owl in the boat.

Averting my hundred-and-plenty eyes from the cookie recipe (stop it).

Glad that little boy in the dress wasn't in my class in school, he'd have kicked my ass. And looked better in that dress than I would have.

Nelly said...

Hey there! So glad you're back. Your posts are always so fun to read and the photos are just funny, intriguing, unexpected, swoon-worthy, etc. etc.

Wish you the best for Christmas! Have fun baking. I still have to bake yet too and I intend to catching up this friday.


In the Light of the Moon said...

Goodness Sweet many wonderful links here to wander in and swoon over..Ann Wood here I come..Oh my love the fabric boats!!

I really really wish I had stopped by yesterday as I already purchased the ingredients to make some boring sugar cookies..and well yours seem heavenly..Sour cream..Mmmmm may have to try them anyway!!Yum!!Big Hugs,Cat

Deanna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deanna said...

Good grief Tristan!! It's been a VERY long time since I've been over here. How are you doing?

Bénéficiant ma douce vie sucrée!
Deanna :D

Cookie recipe...I'm doomed!

Pam @ Frippery said...

The dog poem is wonderful, and so true! I don't know which is worse, having to put a swan over ones head instead of a bag or needing a plus size scale and baby doll outfit to go with it. The paper boat with owl and the "home" theater are both things I would covet. I see nothing wrong with the rotating lighted pillars on each side of the entry door to your home. I think they would scream "Tristan lives here and it is fabulous!" At the risk of making you fall on the floor in a tantrum we were allowed to put the fake snow stencils all over the windows when we were kids. We also got to spray the snow in the corners of the windows so it looked like we had a snowfall indoors. If it is any consolation I do believe I read that that very same spray causes brain damage and other health problems so maybe you have been spared! Have the Merriest of Christmases, you always brighten my day, Pam

Jorge de Rojas said...

Oh Tristan! I so missed your revelry! Caught up in my own little world forgetting how much light your musings can bring. Thank you so for sharing my friend!

Kim said...

Perfect Christmas eye and mind candy..your pictures and comments. Thoroughly enjoy your blog!

Nancy Malay said...

Oh, Tristan, a trip to your blog is always sheer joy! Love looking at the world through your eyes!

Happy New Year, my friend!!