Sunday, December 30, 2012

Made With Love

During these last few days and hours of 2012, 
I'm reflecting on goals I've met as well as  
those not yet met. Here are a few of my favorites 
that I just kept plugging away at over the year and 
now actually have a little something to show.
 Creating a handmade wardrobe was a big goal, 
but as it turns out, making only a few basic pieces 
was realistic for me this year. That's OK. 
I love what I've made, and I've made them with love. 
 These photos are of the NewLook 0152 
cardigan I made over the summer. 
A few basic skirts, tanks and T's are also hanging in my closet.
I've purchased and used only 100% organic cotton jersey 
knit from Alabama Chanin
Each piece has been an investment in time 
and experience. Learning to fit to my 
ever-changing form, learning about structure & patience. 
As I continue to Pin to my Folk Board, 
Handmade Clothing board, Lovely Lacey Board, etc., 
endless inspiration is coming together to 
 further shape a sense of style for myself.
(Now, that's a goal that goes way, way back!)
In true Alabama Chanin Style, 
I've hand sewn each piece.
No machine at all. 
Organic, hand sewn, custom fit, one piece at a time.
True Love.
Stay tuned for more pieces in 2013.
 Another goal was to make more 
quilts & blankets for Project Linus
With one girl's Feather & Fan knitted blanket finished,
the afterburners are on as I speed toward 
completing this boy's scrappy quilt, Storm Clouds. 
Here is the original post about this quilt 
and how it got its name.
From cutting and piecing, to steaming seams,
the entire process has been wonderful. 
Definitely made with Love. 

Tonight I'm curling up with peppermint tea, 
a fresh pad of paper and a pen, anxious to 
make a list of goals & hopefuls for the coming year.
How about you? Care to share? I'd love to hear.   

Wishing everyone around the world a peaceful, 
spectacular New Year! 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Today is my Birthday!
 So in the spirit of giving gifts,
for a limited time 
I'm offering 20% off everything in the shop!
Just enter WINTERFUN13
in the coupon code.

Treat yourself to a wintery-fun project bag, 
or a non-wintery, light-hearted zipper pouch!
Go! Have fun! Celebrate your self!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Simply Stunning

 Recently asked to make my favorite dessert for 
a dinner party at my dear friend Ellen's home, 
I gave it some serious thought 
and decided on a recipe that is a winner every time: 
If your holiday table is still in need of a stunning dessert, 
and if you like pears, gingerbread, custard 
and fresh whipped cream - this is the dessert for you! 
Don't be intimidated by the layers 
because you can make the gingerbread and the custard 
a day in advance, then cook the pears and whip the cream 
in a matter of minutes before serving.

(I leave out the brandy but I can see how it would 
add another layer of flavor!)

From Thanksgiving to New Year's, 
and any occasion in between,
this dessert is stunning. 
Just like you.

Be Joyful. Feel Peace. Give love. 
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dash Away!

 Need some holiday cheer?
Santa will soon be here!
 The shop continues to offer winter fun!
These bags are the newest additions and
no two are alike. The small pouch makes a 
nice lunch bag, while the large is
great for anything from books & e-readers 
to small knitting projects on the go. 
I love the wrist straps!  
Now dashing back to the Studio for more 
sewing adventures,
I leave you with Sheryl Crow & Brad Paisley
performing "Run Rudolph Run"!

I hope your week is full of holiday joy! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ready, Set, Give!

Now available in the Shop!
Perfect timing for holiday gift giving!
Orders ship within one business day.
...Hot chocolate anyone?


Wintery project bags & snack bags are coming soon!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Workshop

This Elf is busy finishing wintery goodies
just in time for holiday gift-giving!

Stop by Silver Trumpet's Etsy shop through the week
to see the arrival of a flurry of (knitting) project bags,
snack pouches, and cozy mug mats - sold as singles & sets.
All items will ship within 24 hours.

As any Elf would, I'm on my way back to 
the Workshop with a chocolate crinkle & glass of milk! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bryce 'n Me

 Yesterday, my nephew Bryce and I enjoyed 
a long-overdue dinner date making
Lobster Mac'n Cheese!
 Bryce is 14 and loves to cook, so I put him to work
while I snapped a few pictures. 
He shelled his first lobster (above) 
and was an all-around excellent Sous-Chef.
 We used my Mom's traditional mac 'n cheese recipe 
and turned up the volume with lobster and Gruyere cheese.
 That green stuff on the plate makes up for the 
mac 'n 'cheese, and the Nutella Fudge Brownies 
we made for dessert!
 I was too busy enjoying the brownies to take pics, 
but click here for a previous post sharing 
Abby Dodge's scrumptious recipe.
He's going to make an excellent chef some day.
Or veterinarian. 
Or what ever he decides to do. :) 

Big Apple Mug Mats available in the shop now!
 I'm so excited to be adding one-of-a-kind goodies 
to the shop again. New items added weekly.
Affordable useful gifts, all handmade with love. 
Order now in time for the holidays!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grace Under Pressure

Thanksgiving Day with my two favorite girls, Meagan and Alyssa
 Now back from Buffalo, one of many Thanksgiving Day 
highlights was seeing our daughter prepare her first 
Thanksgiving meal, and so successfully! 
We dined like royalty. Thank you Alyssa for that 
succulent brined turkey, Meagan's family recipe for 
sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, baked brie,
green bean casserole, Grandma's stuffing, homemade gravy,
two pumpkin pies...and all from your tiny apartment kitchen!
Now that's grace under pressure.
 Congratulations for making your first 
Thanksgiving meal look effortless and taste amazing.
You truly shine in the kitchen.
 In the Studio: 
Building inventory for the shop just in time 
for easy holiday shopping. 
Plenty of fun, handmade goodies coming soon!
More happenings in the Studio:
Renewed activity on Storm Clouds for Project Linus.

What's your Thanksgiving Day highlight?
I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Festive Favors

 Hosting an intimate dinner tomorrow night, 
and looking ahead to Thanksgiving dinner
I felt inspired to make little tipis as favors or place settings. 
Here's the lo-down on how I made them in case 
you and your tribe of smalls need a simple, rustic adornment 
for your holiday table:  
 Materials Round Up:
Scraps of paper
Plastic lid (anything to make a large circle)
Coin (anything to make a small circle)
Medium to fine String
Hole Punch, or Needle & Thread
Sturdy but narrow Sticks, 3 per Tipi
 On the back of your paper, trace around the plastic lid.
Center the coin and trace around it.
Draw a line from the inner to the outer circle.
 Cut the outer circle, 
then cut the straight line, 
then cut the inner circle.
 With the right side of the paper now facing you, 
spiral one of the straight edges of the paper toward the inside 
and gently keep pulling it around. It will eventually look like this.
 Using the hole punch or a sewing needle 
punch two holes, catch two layers of paper each time 
and place the holes about where shown above.
By hand or with needle & thread, bring a 3" length of string
up through both holes from the inside, 
and tie a square knot on the outside, as shown above. 
Trim string ends to desired length. 
I used dried lily stalks but any sticks about this size will do.
I used three sticks per tipi, and cut the sticks 
a little longer than the final length.
 Tie another 3" length of string around your three sticks 
about an inch from the top, wrapping the string 
one or two times around the sticks before tying a square knot.
Trim string ends so they're not visible at the top of the tipi.
Trim the bottom of the three sticks so the tipi 
sits nicely on the table.
Once you make the first tipi it won't be long before 
an entire village spreads across your table!
While I'm not using these as place cards,
printing each guest's name beneath the tipi's tie closure
would be fun. However you use your village, have a great time
making the tipis. I'd love to see pictures of your village.

Happy Thanksgiving!! 
I remain grateful for my many blessings, 
and am looking forward to my daughter 
cooking her first Thanksgiving dinner! 
How will you spend your Thanksgiving,
 and have you ever slept in a tipi?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Many Hands

Amyla on Flick'r
 For ages, human hands have been drawn to felt.
I Pinned the above picture on my Handmade Board because 
my hands, too, are drawn to felt. 
Ginny's festive felted brooch made earlier today
So, when my dear friend Tracy reached out to our 
local knit group to make felted brooches to 
benefit a local charity, I couldn't resist! 
Earlier today, a few of us met at Tracy's and set to work. 
See Ginny's gorgeous example above.
Tracy's Dining Room table was piled high with beads, 
buttons, felt, glitz & other assorted shiny bits, and we had FUN!  
The brooches will be sold at Thanksgiving time 
at our local yarn store, SpunRightRound.  
100% of the proceeds will benefit our local Library.
Melissa's stack of jewel-tone felt circles destined 
to brighten lapels every where!
As our afternoon progressed, so did our brooches. 
We all agreed that once we made a few 
our confidence grew.
Worker bees, from left to right: 
Ginny, Tracy, Melissa and Kimberly. 
(Colleen and I prefer to be off stage.)
Many hands make light work....Melissa's hands in this case!
One of Tracy's masterpieces!
More of Tracy's creativity: festive Poinsettias.
As brooches began to pile up, we realized 
we definitely worked up an appetite. 
Thankfully Colleen's hands had been busy earlier, 
making these delicious lattice-top cherry pies!

Once the felted brooches are put on display for sale, 
I will follow up with pictures of the whole lot!
Each one is unique, handmade and beautifully detailed. 
They will look perfect on lapels, headbands, tote bags, 
scarves, topping gifts and anything else in need of 
a little something special this winter!

I'd love to hear what other individuals or groups do 
for charitable giving. Hey, the more ideas the merrier!  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Human Rhythms

A big fan of Taproot Magazine,
I savor each issue from cover to cover.
Filled with thoughtful, uplifting articles, 
personal and enriching stories,
practical recipes and projects,
the magazine's contributors are a varied 
and talented bunch.

Pictured above is Taproot's third issue 
which includes a knitting pattern called 
"Family Mittens" by Carrie Bostick Hoge.
My dear friends Mary, Vickie  & I thought 
these squooshy mittens looked fun to knit.
Mary continues to teach me about the potential 
of hand spun yarn, color and texture. 
Vickie encourages me to learn 
all that I can about fleece and fibers, 
knitting & spinning techniques, 
and pairing just the right yarn and project
(a skill that still eludes me.)

No longer able to resist whipping up a pair of these 
cozy mitts, I reached into my handspun stash and found 
enough Into The Whirled merino-silk blend 
to knit a pair of the Child-Toddler size for my niece. 
I think they turned out pretty well. 
I hope my dear friends agree.

Oh! Here's my big find this week - 
The Lumineers.
Debut album released in April 2012.
On the David Letterman Show last Wednesday night.
Somehow they've slipped by my radar...until now!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wild Skies

 Wild skies put the joy in yesterday's 
spontaneous joy ride around Cayuga Lake!
 Here I was standing with my camera facing west, 
and I literally spun around facing east and took the top photo.
I snapped this photo a few steps away from the previous two,  
and you can see the rain burst is no where in sight. 
I saw thee full rainbows at various times traveling down Rt. 89.
One was a double rainbow, and I chose to simply 
enjoy the moment rather than try to capture it with my camera.
A glorious fall day in upstate NY, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
 During the wee morning hours before work, I knit. 
Over the course of this past week, I managed to knit up
this huggable, lovable bunny rabbit
for my one and only niece. She's almost two, 
and while she will surely have many friends in her lifetime, 
I'm hoping this little long-ear will be counted among them.

For anyone interested in whipping one up: 
Small Rabbit with Sweater 
by Debbie Bliss, "Toy Knits" 

Catherine's 2008 blog post positively transformed 
my cold-weather beverage of choice  
from the classic wedge of lemon, 
slices of peeled ginger, 
cinnamon and honey 
into this one-scoop jar of gold
Catherine has clear (simple) instructions, 
just click on the link above.
I like using organic lemons and local honey.
With cold season already upon us, give this a try 
and let me know what you think!