Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

My friend Cheri sent this to me on Christmas Eve. 
It's too wonderful not to share, especially at Christmas time!

The other night, my nephew Bryce and I decided 
we were starting a new holiday tradition - 
 baking "ABC Gingerbread Men" cookies (look closely)
 and swapping ugly sweaters for ugly cookies!
That same night, Bryce bravely tried gingerbread  
and then said with certainty,
"Let's do sugar cookies next time."

Enjoy all of your holiday traditions, 
and from Silver Trumpet's Studio, I wish you a very
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Down the Chimney

Leaving a Christmas Eve plate of satisfying cookies 
for a gluten-free Santa can be a daunting task, indeed. 
Just in the nick of time I've got the cookie for you,
and kids can help, too!
Myself, I don't have the need to bake gluten-free. 
I'm just curious about what makes gluten-free baking different  
from traditional recipes, other than the obvious. 
Lucky for me, I happened upon the talented, passionate, 
gluten-free goddess herself, Karina Allrich,
and this is her Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.
Her informative blog introduced me to new ingredients,
offered helpful tips, and provided excitement about serving 
a whole new set of needs.
All told, the taste test was my favorite part!

5 out of 5 taste testers agreed that the flavor is excellent, 
the texture is appealing, and overall,
just like Santa, this recipe delivers. :)

Turn up the Christmas music 
(Ariana Grande & Elizabeth Gillies, The Christmas Song)
and happy holiday baking!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to #61, the winner of my festive bucket bag, 
part of SewMamaSew's December Giveaway Day:

How cute is that!!! I LOVE those little handles, and also the prints you've chosen. I think this would be so cute holding hot cocoa pouches for a hot chocolate bar, or for winter mornings.

 I was relieved to leave the selection process up to the 
random number generator because you all left 
fantastic ways to use this bucket bag.

Here are just a few of your fun ideas: 
fill the bag with ornaments and use as a centerpiece 
store holiday cards
fill with Krups coffee cups in the Kitchen
fill with dolls or toy tractors
hold kids crafting supplies
store notepads, remote controls, stuff that needs a home
hold pretty trims in the sewing room
store hexis (I'm so doing this!)
store fabric scraps or sewing tools
hold knitting, crochet projects by the couch (near & dear to my heart!)

Many of you like the fabric combination, 
so I thought I'd share the precursor to the holiday bucket bag, 
the (large knitting) project bag.
Knit through the holidays in style!
There's only one, and it's at Cinch!
This Giveaway event was great fun, and I'm already 
looking forward to May's Giveaway Day... 
suggestions welcome!  

Congrats again to #61, 
and I'm sending you an email, Amy!

Monday, December 9, 2013

It's Giveaway Day!

Each year, I look forward to this day - 
It's a fun way to meet other sewists, 
pick up a few new favorite blogs, 
plus enter to win beautiful and fun handmade items 
offered by talented makers.

Ready to join the fun here at Silver Trumpet?
Here's your chance to win my festive Bucket Bag, 
measuring approximately 6.5" high x 6.5" wide.

You'll find roomy pockets in the front and back, 
and one at the interior.
Comfy, durable side handles.
Machine wash and dry.
For your chance to win this festive all-purpose bag
just leave a comment describing how you would use it!
Remember to include your email address so I can let you know if you won.
Put it to good use in your home, or to give as a gift.
One lucky winner will be selected by random number generator 
on Friday Dec. 13th.
The winner will be announced here, 
and will also receive an email. 

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!
Oh, and a quick reminder that the shop sale ends this Wednesday,
and more bags will be posted there soon!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Welcome December!

 Silver Trumpet is kicking off December 
with a sale!
There's plenty of time to stitch up this sweet wool felt applique 
tablet case and coordinating cell phone case for the holidays! 
Or you could give the kit to your favorite stitcher.
Either way, it just got easier...

Kits are on sale for 20% off in the shop
Use coupon code: SWEETHOLIDAY13 
now through December 11th.

 Simple stitches and clear instructions mean great results
for beginners to advanced, and everyone in between!
The instructions include sizing for your own devices,
adding a button closure and other personal touches.
Kits provide materials, templates and complete instructions.
Visit the shop for more details and photos.
Happy stitching (or gifting!)

Spoiler alert:
There's a lot of love being stitched in the Studio,
so look for another wave of bags later this week

A spunky break from all the Christmas music...
Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing
"The Lady Is a Tramp", and having so much fun! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

They're Here!

With snow piling up outside my window I feel much like 
one of Santa's elves busily sewing, snipping and pressing 
in time for the holidays...and I love it!
I'm so excited to tell you that one batch of 
stylish (project) bags is available locally at Cinch Art Space 
  and another batch will soon be available in my Etsy shop.
Perfect for holding your projects on the go, 
these roomy bags are among my favorite to make. 
By easily undoing the button loop closure, this fairly compact bag 
instantly turns spacious, and has seven roomy pockets!
Any project can quickly be made portable and at the ready 
during your lunch break or while traveling for the holidays. 
All bags are sewn by me and have a (carefully chosen) button closure.
It will cheerfully hold your knitting, crochet, hand sewing, embroidery, 
creative writing, journaling, scrap booking, card making...
and just imagine how much more you'll get done!

Be stylish and productive. 
You and your work deserve it. :)

 I couldn't resist sharing "Kid President's" 
hysterical 3 minute message to moms. 
And if you enjoy that video, don't miss this one
where he briefly shares his inspiring story.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Make Every Day a Picnic

I'm thrilled to announce the forthcoming release
of my first quilt pattern, "Ladies Who Lunch"!

I originally designed and made this quilt for my 
spunky, energetic and fun-loving niece, Fabrizia, 
and I'm excited to now share it with all of you!

The pattern, complete with templates and step-by-step photos,
will be available for sale after December 2nd
in my Etsy shop and at Quilters Corner in Ithaca,
where this quilt will also be on display.
How about a workshop?
Mark you calendar now for my 2-day workshop 
April 12-13, 2014 at Quilters Corner
where you can make this sweet decorative quilt top 
which will then be ready for quilting and binding at home. 
We'll use simple fusing and machine sewing techniques, as well as 
a tiny bit of simple embroidery for the most charming detail.
Invite these charming Ladies into your little loved-one's 
nursery or bedroom and make every day a picnic. :)

As the workshop gets closer, more information will be provided. 
I hope you'll join the fun!
 On the hunt for holiday dessert ideas?
Look no further, Apple Clafouti is both impressive and easy!
(Click the link for the recipe)
This French batter cake entertains as it 
puffs up high beyond the sides of the dish, and 
 soft, sweet apples balance the popover-like cake texture. 
Quick to put together, it's best served straight from the oven, 
or shortly thereafter, and I can personally recommend 
adding a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream 
to make it a home run. Enjoy!

One last thing - 
shop owners and shoppers alike, mark your calendars:

Small Business Saturday is November 30th
...a day to celebrate and support small businesses 
and all they do for their communities.  Please join the SBA and 
organizations across the country in supporting your local 
small business by shopping at a small business. 
- US Small Business Administration

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


"Craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing
opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, 
your compassion deeper & your quest for
justice more infinite."

-Craftivist, Betsy Greer

I had the good fortune of being invited by my
dear friend Cheri to attend the opening 
of this powerful show. 
If you're in the Syracuse area, it's truly a moving  
collection of work not to be missed. 

An excerpt from ArtRage Gallery's postcard:

Spoken Threads is a collection of fiber art
that takes its inspiration from the traditional
women-made crafts such as quilting, 
knitting, weaving, sewing and cross-stitch.
It features women artists from across the USA, 
including Central New York,
as well as those from Canada and the UK who use 
their art to speak wisdom on a variety of social and 
environmental issues. During the time of year 
that many consumers reach for something mass-produced
off an end-cap display, this exhibition is a celebration
of the handmade. 

November 9 - December 21, 2013

ArtRage Gallery hours: 
W, Th, F 2-7pm
Sat 12-4pm
505 Hawley Ave., Syracuse

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Knitting From the Heart

Each year, the chilly arrival of Fall triggers  
my desire to knit hats and scarves for some of my 
most favorite charities (scroll down for links.)  
 While I've knit scarves, I admittedly have a penchant for hats. 
Afterall, they're always in need 
and let's be honest, they're fast! 
They're great canvases for handspun and hand dyed yarns -
both of which occupy a fair amount of real estate in the studio.  
Hats for kids can be playful and colorful, 
while hats for adults can show off cool patterns. 
Sometimes the two collide with decent results:
Here are 3 hat patterns most often on my needles: 
Little Scallops (above) free pattern by Maria Carlander 
Kim Hamlin's hat patterns in Last Minute Knitted Gifts
And my brand new favorite,
Barley hat pattern by Tin Can Knits (8 free patterns)

Each year, as a new stack of knitting grows beside my chair 
I feel such happiness and love sending out 
a little bit of comfort into the world,
whether to a nearby hospital or the streets of NYC

If you knit for a charity, please share it in Comments. 
Like so many of us, I'm always looking for another 
great reason to pick up sticks and string. :) 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Stuffed To the Gills!

This little guy was inspired by the giant brown mushrooms 
that grew this fall beneath one of our pine trees.  
I was captivated by the cracked brown patches covering the caps,
  similar to a tortoise shell.
Sewing ruffles and pleats through the quiet evening hours
filled my heart with giddy anticipation of more to come!

 Feeling a little hungry, I ventured into the kitchen 
and look what I made
Alton Brown's

Briefly, here's the process:
 Roast potatoes and butternut squash. 
 Use a hand-held potato masher and mash well. 
Mix in an egg, nutmeg and salt.
Gradually add the four until a soft dough forms.
Easy so far, right?
 Next, working in batches, scoop out a handful of the dough and 
roll into a rope. Cut 1/2" pieces and set them on a floured tray (above.)
They can be frozen at this point, but I was hungry....
 Again, working in batches, drop these little gems 
into boiling salted water. They'll float when they're done. 
Place them directly into an ice bath, 
dry on a towel (above), move to a dish and toss in oil.
 Once all of the dumplings are boiled and cooled
they can be finished in a brown butter and sage sauce
by first melting butter in a skillet. 
Once brown and frothy, add a bunch of sage leaves chiffonade
quickly followed by about a cup of the dumplings. 
I let mine brown up on a few sides. 
Topped with a little parmesan, these tasty treats didn't stand a chance.
Seasonal comfort food well worth the effort.
I highly recommend this recipe, 
and it's the first time I've successfully made dumplings. 
If you'd like the recipe, click here.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Leaves, Stenciled and Steamed

Too pretty to eat? 
Scroll down for details!  

These days, seeking to make the most  
of fall foliage before snow falls, I'm often in the yard 
gathering every last good looking leaf.
Above, a bundle of bronze fennel and some rusty bits.
Below, the same bundle is unfurled, washed and dried.
From a bundle of Sugar Maple and iron bits.
A bundle of fern, onion skin and bronze fennel.
  That same bundle unfurled, backlit by the sun.
And finally, washed and dried.
    I'm excited about the growing pile of colorful, patterned silks 
in the studio patiently waiting for winter sewing. 
Stay tuned for future work incorporating these gems. 
Together we'll see what comes of all this work (and play)!
With just a few months of dedicated natural dye experimentation 
under my belt, I'm hopelessly smitten and
I'm already making notes for spring. :)

Rising to meet my Personal Pie Challenge for October
is my cousin Abby's Velvety Pumpin Tart, 
found in her book The Weekend Baker.
I'm extra proud of myself with this one because 
it's the first time I've used my tart pan, and 
c'mon - that stencil rocks!
Abby's clear directions simplified each step from start to finish.  
After slicing into this seasonal treat I completely agree with Abby - 
it's so velvety and flavorful that it's definitely replacing 
my (old) Thanksgiving pumpkin pie!
Did I mention the gingersnap crust or the very flavorful filling? 
Thanks Abby. This one is definitely a winner!

Well, this slice of pie and a fresh hot cup of coffee are
heading back to the Studio with me for the rest of the afternoon - 
I hear some silks calling my name.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

All Treats!

My talented, handsome, fun-loving nephews, 
Brett (left) and Bryce (right), recently came over 
for an evening of pumpkin carving and seed roasting!
 Nothing but laughs as Jeff pretended to be Martha Stewart  
waxing poetic about each pumpkin's carving potential.
 Getting down to brass tacks, Brett and I opted for simple faces, 
while Bryce took time for detailed expression....
 Guess which one is Bryce's?

With faces glowing and seeds roasting, 
our evening wound down with (burn-our-mouths) hot apple crisp!  
Here's Ina Garten's Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
and as our burnt mouths can attest, it's a keeper!
Serving as September's contribution to my 
year-long Personal Pie Challenge, 
this crisp is everything you want a crisp to be. 
Adding pears, cranberries and walnuts would  
likely create crisp bliss.

If you follow this blog you may know 
I'm a long time fan of Alabama Chanin / Natalie Chanin 
and have steadily been hand sewing my own wardrobe 
in the AC style.
 Organic, cotton jersey, stenciled and reverse appliqued.
If you're in the Cortland area and want to learn 
the simple pleasure of hand sewing 
your own basic fingerless gloves (advanced shown above), 
sign ups are happening now for my workshop 
held at Cinch Art Space on
Saturday, October 26th from 11:00-1:00.
At Cinch on Saturday, November 9th from 1:00-4:00
I'm teaching an advanced sewing workshop (the two photos above)
where we'll learn a variety of easy, gorgeous hand sewn 
embellishment techniques.
This workshop turns up the volume on the basic gloves.
The basic glove workshop is recommended, but not required.

Quick, effortless and addictive.
Sign up now and join the fun!