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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Grab Your Camera

This fine morning, my dear friend Tracy and I hopped 
into the car for a photo-shoot road-trip primarily to see 
gaggles upon gaggles of geese before they leave us for the winter.

 Photographer and writer extraordinaire, 
Tracy has an entertaining and visually stimulating 
blog she calls My Retiring Life.   
Once her post is up, I hope you'll enjoy 
experiencing the refuge through her eyes. 
You'll be glad you did.

Until then, here are a few of my photos:

 Sun dried curls.
 Dancing light.
 Shimmering seeds take flight.

And not one goose.
(Saving them all for Tracy's blog!)
A sparkling day in the wind and sun,
among rustling grasses, rippling water 
and even a soaring falcon. 
Here's to the power of girl friends & road trips.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

 Oh, the joy of one extra hour!
Thanks to that hour, today is shaping up to be 
a productive day spinning, baking and finishing 
a couple of sewing and knitting projects.

 Another great bag is finished, and  
here's a warm congratulations to 
the bag's designer herself, Rebeka Lambert
and her new baby girl, Cecilia!

 After several previously auditioned options, 
it turns out that a hand made button worked best.
This fabric reminds me of a quiet winter day.

 Three cheers for mug mats, tea pot mats, 
and French press mats!
Call them what you want, 
make them any size you want,
I love them all. 
Who wouldn't want to rest a mug 
on one of these?!
These and more will soon be in my Etsy shop!

 This "Nicole" jacket, designed by Jane Ellison 
(Queensland Collection), 
has patiently waited 2 years to be seamed. 
Yes, I am embarrassed about that, 
but it's done, it's cozy and it's all mine. 

Stanley used the extra hour wisely, too.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Soul Satisfied

To avoid pauses in the above video, 
go directly to YouTube here: Mumford & Sons
Album: Sigh No More
Song: Awake My Soul

Need more soul-full goodness? 
Here's a tasty soup that will warm you from the inside: 

T's Cuban Black Bean Soup

Dice 1/2 yellow onion
Slice a carrot
Mince 2 cloves garlic
Saute in 1 Tbsp. olive oil for 6-7 minutes, medium heat.

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon (OR 1 teaspoon cumin)
Add 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
Cook for 1 minute, stirring often being careful not to burn.

Add 1-15 oz can rinsed black beans
Add 1-15 oz can diced tomatoes
Add 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.

You can use an immersion blender before serving, or not.
Either way you have a heart-warming, soul-satisfying soup.
Serve with sour cream & grated cheddar cheese. 

What satisfies your soul?