Friday, December 31, 2010

A new year

Always did like a clean slate,a blank piece of paper... Oh, the possibilities of it all!
I have some goals for the year 2011- gives me something to live into.

Been thinking about what my word might be for 2011,I was pretty happy with 2010's word- mindful. and I think having a word did help me be more mindful and blogging did, too.

My word for 2011 is Serenity. I became mindful of my desire for it this year. I'll retitle my Year of Mindful Living blog but you will still find it here
Happy New Year!

Silhouette giveaway on Brown Paper Packages Blog

Don't miss out on this great giveaway of a Silhouette on Brown Paper Packages blog!
Lots of other fun things to check out, too.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Party Mix- it's Sue's fault

My friend, Sue, gets me into all kinds of trouble. She posts fabulous links every Wednesday to the most fun things to make, look at, dream of, cry about...... I could go on and on. Two weeks ago she posted this fun link to this fun recipe.
Of course I had to make it! And of course it is a Sunday night when I have to work tomorrow, am having company for dinner and I should be finishing wrapping the guests' gifts and maybe cleaning a bathroom, but no, I am making cute Bugle Santa hats. One thing I would change is to add a whole cup of craisins.  It is so sweet that it needs the tang of the craisins for balance.
It is super cute and delicious, too. I added a bit of cinnamon to the white chocolate when melted. I recently have acquired an addiction to some white chocolate and cinnamon popcorn thing at Target for the holiday season. I have been through two canisters and gained 5 pounds (and I'm not kidding about that).
My new addiction is to Caramel Bugles, thanks, Sue! They are yummy!

Last Farmers Market 'til spring

It was an icy, and at times slip-slidy, walk to the market today. But, I couldn't miss the last one, and I totally forgot to ask Anne about the caramels-shoot-just remembered that.
Oh, well, as you can see it was a carnivorous trip with some apples thrown in- last chance for Gold Rush until next fall.
I'll still get to see the meat and chicken vendors over the winter. They come for two hours on Saturdays some just every other week. But, no Anne or Claire, no Charles, no radishes......
So, today's haul, the last whole chicken of the season, cut-up only from now on, a pork roast, ground buffalo (this and chicken will be available through the winter), apples with a couple of pink cameo thrown in, Kenny's cheese-Garden Havarti- for my girl, Amy, and goat cheese- which is so expensive I only get it a few times a year. What's not to like about a cheese called Fromage a Trois? It's beautifully layered color and flavors are a real treat! The Bourbon-soaked, chestnut leaf-wrapped cheese will maybe be a gift. Yum. See you next year, farmers.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Where Women Create 12 Days extended

Tonight is the last day to enter the 12 Day contest on Where Women Create. You can use the button in the side bar to get there! Lots of good reading from creative women. Enjoy!

Day 5

 Today's gift and card are from Kaye. The soldered slide is beautiful and I love the beads at the bottom.  Sadly, the postal service went crazy with it and smashed the glass.  Boo.  But, I appreciate the creativity Kaye shared with me. It truly is lovely. Thanks, Kaye!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 3 and 4 Byhandartists swap

Day 3 was Romona's gift from Germany! Isn't it sweet? It is about 1x2 inches.
I think the colors are wonderful and it is so nicely made. I'll enjoy coming back to it over and over again. The quote is one of Suzanne's stamps.

Day 4 is from Barbara R. The wreath is exquisitely done with beads and attached with ribbon to a velvet backing. It will hang on my tree!

Many thanks to both artists for their beautiful gifts.

A Martha Stewart today

 I took advantage of my morning off to make this quick wreath Christmas card holder. It was in Martha Stewart this month- a re-run from a prior year for their 20th anniversary edition.
So simple but cute.

You'll need:
Embroidery hoop
mini clothes pins
hot glue gun

I put the clothes pins about 1 1/2" apart with one clip out and the next inward. I've had this vintage ribbon forever and thought it perfect for the hanger for the wreath.
I'm grateful to get any cards, I haven't sent a one- people will have to get a Winter Solstice card from me this year. :(

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 2 Byhandartists 12 Day Swap

Today is my day!  I always have a tough decision to make about what to create. Since I had been using sticky back canvas, I decided to incorporate that, but you wouldn't have to.

My 12 Days of Christmas gift for my art friends.
Sticky back canvas brooch
I painted the canvas with distress ink that I stamped on a craft mat and misted. I used a variety of reds and greens. Then I stamped the canvas, some with word background stamp, some an Asian background, just what ever I was in the mood for. I cut the flowers using my Tim Holtz die. I ran the cut flowers through my cuttlebug with different embossing folders and hit the high spots with some more ink. I cut one flower out of brown felt. I cut a 1" circle of paper for the base and sewed a vintage button through all of the layers. The layers stuck together where I wanted and where I didn't, I brushed baby powder to absorb the stickiness. These can be kind of scrunched up for more dimension. I hot glued a pin to the back, hole punched some decorative card stock and pinned it on! Into the bag it went with a button tied to the top. I'll try to find a closer picture of the pin, too. Hope everyone enjoys them. I plan to wear one on my brown wool coat!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 1 Byhandartists 12 Days of Christmas Swap

All of the beautiful presents that have arrived so far!
This is such a fun swap and everyone is always so creative!  Day 1 package arrived in the mail today-perfect timing, no?
Deborah had Day 1 and it came in this beautiful bag, which I will use over and over again I am sure. The partridge is cut wood that has been covered in paper and embellished. The stamp on the tag is from Suzanne at Quietfire Design. You can see it has made a lovely addition to our tree. It is the first ornament  placed on the tree this year will always have a spot reserved for it! Thanks, Deborah!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Byhandartists 12 Days of Christmas Swap

I tried three ways to rotate this picture, no luck, bizarre!
Here are some of my 12 packages that have hopefully found their way to recipients in the US, Canada and Germany! Isn't that fun? You'll get to see what my gift was on Day 2! I only had 10 of the drawstring canvas bags so I sewed up the two brown felt ones to finish the group. I always enjoy sharing art and seeing what others create. There are no parameters for the swap except that it be small and hopefully slip through a mail slot. Let the fun begin!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Ten Two Studios Countdown

Fun images compliments of Ten Two Studios! Go and enjoy!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Where Women Create 12 Days

Another place to head over to get into the Christmas spirit- Where Women Create 12 Days of Christmas celebration. Hear from women artists daily and register to win one of the prizes!

Tim Holtz 12 Days of Christmas Tags

If you love tags and techniques, don't miss Tim Holtz's blog. His 12 Days of Christmas tags started yesterday.  Lots to see!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Farmers Market 11/27/10

Farmers Market purchases from Saturday.
There was a huge drop in number of farmers there this week. But, love what I got! The apples are delicious- some of them literally- yellow delicious!
This sweet centerpiece was made by Claire, the dixie cup flower lady.

As was this great swag for my dining room

And this swag for my door for the holidays!
I'm looking forward to them already....

Crafty Crow Book giveaway

If you have kids or are a kid at heart, head over to Crafty Crow for a fun book giveaway today.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Farmers Market Post-REALLY!

It was a quick journey today. I had choir practice for our Christmas concert, and I haven't done a lot of practicing- so it was a must if I was going to participate. I sat out last year, and while really nice to enjoy the concert and an audience member, I prefer the performance end of it. This year it is nice that all choirs are singing all of the concert, I like that. We are having a live orchestra, too, I think, and that is a big plus to me.

Anyway,I got up early enough to grab a quick shower, head to Day's for coffee and on the the market. I grabbed green beans first, Charles said he thought he'd only have a bushel and better get there early! To my great surprise, our cut flower folks were there with mini sunflowers and eucalyptus! Yea! Then on to Anne for a cumin seed gouda cheese and reminder that I wanted a pound of her homemade caramels when she did them. Yummmmm.

It was hard to pass up the omelets, I looked at my time, darn. I stopped for radishes- watermelon ones and a black one I hadn't seen before. Peppery, he said. So, for color alone I had to have a bunch. They are snow white inside which is a visual treat! Spinach, too, from this farmer.

Fennel will be on the Thanksgiving menu somewhere.
I haven't decided on the menu exactly. It will just be me, Jim and Mom. I like trying new things so other than turkey, dressing, orange cranberry salad, pumpkin pie-the rest is up in the air. I sure liked the potato gratin I made last Christmas, if I can find the recipe, it will be on the menu. Mom is bringing a vegetable or vegetable casserole.
What are you having?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Farmers Market Post-NOT

Well, it is true- I have temporarily lost my mind. I did arrange my small farmers market fare yesterday, and even left the buffalo out so long that it began to thaw. But, somehow didn't get a picture of it. Sheesh.

So today, you get photos of my Peruvian finger puppets that will be gifts for Christmas and next Easter for baby Ophelia. There were probably a hundred or more to choose from at Just Creations. Each one cuter than the next!  I want to go back and get a really cute Moses that I didn't get the other day. There is also a Christmas set. I wish it was the nativity but it is Santa, et al.

I can't decide which is my favorite, the cute monkey scratching his head and belly?

Or the lovely bird? (There was a swan I found after my purchase, that is coming to live with me soon, too)

Or this lovable kangaroo complete with baby in her pouch?

Maybe this really "hoppy" bunny?

All so cute I can't stand it. How can you pick a favorite????

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sweet surprises

We've had a freeze but the last few days have been Indian Summer days in the 70's.  I knew this would be a great time to tear out the morning glory vines. But, look what I found on the front porch this morning! It will have to wait.....

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Brisk Market Day and Green Bean Potato Salad Recipe

Don't you love the fall colors?

Our nippiest morning yet, but we are not deterred from the joy of the farmers market!  And look at the reward-yumminess!
Who could pass up this pointed head cabbage- which I shall name the "Rosebud" cabbage-though it would be one gigantic rose! This is a lot of cabbage for the two of us, but we'll manage somehow.

A view of the broccoli and green beans- I might squeeze one more green bean potato salad out of Jim since it is returning to the 70's this week and there are buffalo brats in the freezer.....

Green Bean Potato Salad:
1# red or any waxy potato
1/2 # green beans
1 shallot, chopped
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
basil ribbons, I like a lot of basil (1/8 cup or so)

Wash potatoes and boil for about 20 minutes, remove from water onto dry towel and add green beans for 6-7 minutes. Shock green beans and add to towel.  When potatoes are cool chop in 1/2 inch slices.
In bowl add shallot, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil and vinegar. Blend well with fork. Add potatoes, basil and green beans. Lightly toss.  This tastes best at room temperature with a bit of time for the flavors to settle in together. Great the next day, too.

These cukes looked so good
The apples are Fugi and Gold Rush

The apples last week were wonderful, hard, crisp-tart- Gold Rush. I couldn't remember their name to I paid more attention today. Grabbed a couple of Fugi, too.

Bok choy for the stirfry Jim made last night for dinner. Which was so delicious!

I picked out 8 gourds from Claire. The marble topped chest in the dining room needed a little fall decorating. I used these in there. My decorator sister, Richey, guided me through the process. I'll post a picture later. It is a grouping that will transition to other seasons easily.

The mini sunflowers, zennia and eucalyptus were all that the flower folks had this week.  I think the mini sunflowers are cute as can be, I just had to buy more than the big ones and use a smaller vase. This might be their last week at the market, there was a hard freeze last night.

There was a long line for omelets when we arrived but by the time we finished shopping and talking, just a couple ahead of us!
I'm off to reheat the part I couldn't eat yesterday- it was huge!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Baby Ophelia Elizabeth

Hours old
Day one with Big Bro
Day two sweet brother
Can't help but post about this cute baby girl! My new granddaughter- we, of course, think she is special! Her brother is such a good big brother to her and adjusting very well I think. I had the pleasure of his company for two days and Jim had the first experience ever of taking a kid to school!!
Day 2
Big Brother today!
I have to say she looks even more like my family than E does. I think she looks like both my mother and dad's families.
She will change a lot over then next days and weeks, so we will see. While she definitely looks like E's sibling, I think she looks very different.


Another perfect farmers market

Lookin' good...
Needed some potatoes for that green bean potato salad. And, doesn't that broccoli look yum?

It was beautiful yesterday. I love a nip in the air to put me in the fall mood. I can't believe it is the end of October, though. The cool weather crops are doing great and the green beans are holding out which we are LOVING! Had that delicious green bean potato salad with buffalo burgers for dinner last night. And I'm already looking forward to leftovers for lunch today.

I got a winesap and, hum, forgot the name of these supposedly sweet/tart crunchy apples
The cabbage from this farmer last week was the best we had all season. More today. And bokchoy- I'm feeling some stirfry coming on. Another wedge of cumin seed gouda for snacking with the apples.

Ah, roasted fennel, can hardly wait!
A little Dixie cup arrangement- no more sunflowers :(
We left after shopping to go to Es soccer game. He played his cousins's team so that was extra fun to watch.  Then, we headed back to the market for breakfast- one of Brent's omelets, which was soooo good today. Add that to a trip to my favorite coffee shop. It was a wonderful day.
Here are some more of those great watermelon radishes.