Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Banner Day

Happy Birthday to me!

 This morning, I went straight to my new 
favorite shop, Inspiration Art & Antiques,
and picked up two of these orange 
kindergarten classroom chairs.

Before I arrived back home I knew 
exactly where they were going:
In the Studio, on my Great Grandfather's 
dresser which holds loads of fabric for 
another year of Silver Trumpet sewing. 

I love these well-worn little chairs. 
They make my heart giddy with delight!
Now, how about some cake?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa's Workshop

Coldplay's Christmas Lights, enjoy!

Inspired by Coldplay's video, 
paper ornaments and imagination are in store 
for this final installment of Santa's Workshop! 

 Meet 3 of my favorite Elves who recently joined me 
for an afternoon of holiday crafting:
Hannah, Grandma Nancy and Cameron

 Hannah made so many fun paper ornaments
that she had enough to share with friends!
(Ornament tutorial links below)
The Elves hard at play. Cute Santa hat, Hannah!

Rightly proud, Cameron made this festive 
paper gingerbread house.
 Awesome Paper Houses

Caution: You will want to make several to  
spread across your mantle or hang from your tree.
They're super fun to make and display!

Hannah with just a few of her ornaments!
Looking for last minute gift toppers or tree decorations? 
Look no further, links for you:

Paper strips, glue stick, a stapler and 5 minutes...easy-peasy!
Paper Ornament

No Christmas paper? No problem! 
Use up magazine pages, maps and calendars.

No fuss, no muss, just a few folds in a few minutes
 and you're done! 
 Origami Wreaths

Always a classic, how about some cut paper snowflakes?
I love Vintage Junkie's supreme PDF's:
3 Paper Snowflakes
Wait, there's one final detail to address: Santa's plate! 
What will you put on your plate for Santa?
You may recognize the brittle & peanut butter cups 
but Santa has to have cookies, so here's what's going
on our plate, carefully observe....
 "ABC" gingerbread men. Hysterical, right?!
These cookie cutters are a highly prized gift from my dear friend 
Mardi, and I've patiently waited a whole year to use them.
Now all that's left is the ultimate, melt-in-your-mouth, 
perfectly spicy Gingerbread recipe.
I'll bet Santa loves a good laugh.
A giant thanks to Cameron and Hannah, YouTube and 
all the fabulous bloggers who offer free inspiration 
and tutorials so we can all share in the fun!

I hope you've enjoyed Silver Trumpet's month of Santa's Workshops
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas full of peace and joy!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

Two Silver Trumpet Friends under the Toy Tree

The Big Countdown has begun: 6 days remaining!
The Studio is sparkly, festive and messy, always a good sign.  

In the Studio today, the view is our snow-covered lawn,
which goes perfectly with Christmas present-making, 
gingerbread men & tiny lights.

December is a hectic month for us all and I, for one, 
like to give myself an occasional present.
 I've been eyeing Rebecca Ringquist's "Mistletoe"
sampler for several months, and then she had to go and 
make it even more irresistible by creating this kit, 
complete with embroidery hoop, needles and floss. 
If that isn't enough, it's all tucked into this adorable, 
sweet bag onto which Rebecca added her own personal touch. 
My present-to-myself arrived yesterday, *squeal*,
   and I'm anxious to sink some needles into it, after Christmas!

This is another of Rebecca's samplers: "Paisley".
I started this beauty in August, then life got in the way, 
and only now am I beginning to even think about 
picking it up again...after Christmas!

For tonight, it's back to the Studio to continue preparing gifts
for the people I love and hold dear. 

Don't forget, Wednesday is Santa's final Workshop 
where you'll find simple, fast paper ornaments to liven up 
kids' rooms, presents under the tree, or the tree itself. 
Last minute baking? You won't be disappointed!
See you then!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

 A labor of love, most certainly.
A snapshot of the kind of handwork happening 
in the Studio these past few weeks.

 My head is full of ideas to try and
my hands are just trying to keep up.
Today, I'm hand sewing petals, listening to 
Christmas music, drinking lemongrass green tea 
and contemplating the magic of dragonflies: 

The most beautiful fused glass tray from my dear friend Atu.
Life is never quite the way it appears, 
but it is always filled with light and color. 
Dragonfly can help you to see through 
your illusions and thus allow your own light 
to shine forth. Dragonfly brings the brightness of 
transformation and the wonder of colorful new vision. 

- From "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews
Enjoy this clip from one of my most favorite movies:
Finding Neverland.

I hope you make time to escape to your own Neverland.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Santa's Workshop

Enjoy this lovely video, and then play it 
all over again when you make 
Santa's Workshop tutorial below!

How about a Festive Swag to adorn your front door? 
This project is quick, gratifying and uses materials you 
already have on hand. I love that!

My smartly dressed front door.
Yes, I admit it needs lights, 
but that's a project for another day.

So, let's smartly dress your front door:

 Step 1: Round up evergreens, wire/twine, a focal point
and 40" of wide, pretty ribbon.
Hand held pruners and wire snips will come in handy.

I cut 3 pine boughs roughly 18" in length (far right), 
1 -16" branch of golden thread cypress (far left),
and 2 boxwood stems about 10" in length (center).
What you clip is entirely up to you, 
but this will hopefully help you see 
how little it takes to get a decent sized swag.

Focal Point:
  Jingle bells, red holly berries, a metal or wood ornament, 
you get the idea. I wouldn't recommend anything fragile.

 Step 2: Stack the sturdiest branches and arrange 
so that they fan out. Wrap an 18" length of wire or twine 
sturdily around & around at a spot about 3" down from 
the cut ends, weaving through some branches if you can. 
That's kind of a prickly job.

 Step 3: Stack the next layer of evergreens 
and repeat the wire wrapping step.
Repeat with the final layer of evergreens, 
in my swag's case, the boxwoods.
Arrange and fan the branches as you go.
Step 4: Add the focal point.
Hopefully your focal point has a loop or 
some easy way to secure it with wire or twine to the 
swag. The jingle bells I used have a loop so this step 
was easy & fast, and gladly so because 
I made this in this morning's cold wet snow.

 Step 5: Make the hanging loop. 
Take one last piece of 18" wire, wrap 
all branch ends together really well, and use 
the last 5" of that wire to make a loop. 
Use about 3.5" to shape your loop, then twist the last 
1.5" of wire around the base of the loop 
enough times to hold up to snow and winter winds.
If you're using twine, simply make a loop and knot (twice.)
Test to make sure the loop holds.
Step 6: Hang the swag, tie a pretty bow to cover the tips,
stand back and admire!

 Warmly welcome all of 
your friends & family this season!

Come back next Wednesday for another 
fun edition of Santa's Workshop, Silver Trumpet Style.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

A seasonal treat fit for a Woodland Queen:

Easy to whip up, moist, flavorful - 
share them with your neighbors, 
finish off a holiday meal
or enjoy as a tasty after-school snack. 
They'll quickly disappear.

A short day in the Studio today, 
I've tossed aside my project list,
pulled out my stash of bobbles, bits & pieces
and have indulged in play.

A long-simmering, much-adored idea is finally 
on the work table. I'm threading needles, 
ruching (speaking of which, don't miss the 
phenomenal link below!) and beading. 
I'm positively giddy about the potential
It's all handwork, which takes time, but
I promise myself (and you!) there will be more to share.

Before you start those amazing cupcakes,
take a moment to soak up this bit of brilliance by Ruche:

What's on your personal wish list that you can start today?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Be Of Good Cheer!

A treasure from Cady's trip to Australia
Yes, be of good cheer!
Beginning December 1st, Santa's Workshop is here!

Time to make our list and check it twice.
Who has been naughty & who has been nice?

Workshop Wednesdays will be the days
to see what's new in Santa's sleigh:

 festive food, plenty of fun, 
and free projects for every one!

Lay it on thick the whole month long, 
revel in all that is hand made with love!

Now, to get us all in the mood
a special duet that is "my Winter Song to you."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

 Today is my dear friend Renee's birthday!
I couldn't resist making this mini version of Herself.  
(You can find Debbi Crane's Artful Rag Dolls pattern in  

 Infusing the rag doll with the Birthday Girl's 
current tresses, sweetness, fun-loving spirit, 
and rockin' approach to life was so much fun! 

 Many of Renee's knitting friends gathered today 
for a casual Birthday celebration at Spun Right Round.
The Birthday Girl, far left, with Vickie, Colleen
and Tracy. Friends came and went all afternoon
sporting gorgeous yarns, working the needles and
laughing & eating. Of course. 

 And then Renee's amazing Kent strolled 
into the shop balancing a lit, candle-topped 
cheesecake, champagne and Raspberry Chambord. 
Now that's a party!

 Knowing Renee's love for cinnamon buns, making
these sticky buns (from this favorite book) seemed 
more fitting than a traditional cake.

Nuts, because every Birthday Girl needs choices. 
Oh yes, this recipe is a buttery, gooey keeper.

Watching from above as we
sang "Happy Birthday" and Renee 
blew out candles & made wishes.
Here's hoping they all come true.

Happy Birthday Renee!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

 Meet my companion in the Studio today.
She doesn't have a name yet. 

Soft ears and a sweet face.
Waving hello and sitting up by herself.
Yesterday this bunny was a sketch, 
and today she has become a friend.

After making a few modifications, giving her a name
and maybe even a smaller bunny by her side, 
the sewing pattern will appear in my Etsy shop.

 Every good bunny loves a lettuce patch, and this is ours,
a cold frame built by my husband in late September.
It's November 20th in chilly upstate NY and our lettuce, 
baby spinach and chard continue to grow.

 Cold frame with the lid pulled half way back.
Measuring roughly 4' x 4', we can hardly keep up 
with the produce. My husband stapled plastic 
across the lid because it's what we had on hand
at the time. Considering we've had a few light snowfalls,
the plastic is holding up really well. Nice job honey.

Brussels Sprouts! 
Will a heavy snowfall beat me to them?!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Music Fix

Recent music playing in the Studio 
includes David Gray.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

 Hello Amanda Tote!

Introducing Silver Trumpet's newest sewing pattern!

Appropriate for all sewing skill levels, 
it offers plenty of style, pockets and uses,
but my favorite part: it's deceptively roomy.

Three pockets float across the front & back of the bag, 
although I can't tell which is which. 
With fabrics affording looks from funky to chic, 
 I can't wait to try them all! 

The Amanda Tote is ready for some serious, 
and not so serious, toting. 
Look for the sewing PDF in my Etsy shop soon, 
and sew this amazingly versatile tote for
 you and someone you love! 

While you choose fabrics for your Amanda Tote, 
let this simple stew simmer away and 
before you know it, your delicious dinner awaits.

 Serve it up with toasted homemade 
wheat bread & organic butter, or over brown rice.

Seafood Stew

1 medium onion, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 green pepper, diced (or celery)
8 oz. clam juice

In a large pot, combine all of the above and 
simmer on med. heat for about 30 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium low.
Add 1 lb. white fish, cubed, and 1/2 lb. scallops
(or shrimp, or a can of clams, etc.) 
I also add chopped greens like spinach or kale.
Because the fish and greens will cook quickly, add  
them when you're 10-15 minutes from serving.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving: squeeze a bit of lemon or lime 
and sprinkle chopped cilantro over each portion.