Sunday, May 26, 2013

Countdown to Squam

More precisely, countdown to three powerful days
among creative, gentle souls. 
That's right! In ten days, Vickie and I head 
off to the magic of Squam Art Workshops!
Fly, an original painting by Alena Hennessy
This painting is by Alena Hennessy
one of two instructors I'll have at Squam.
This is Alena's bio, which I found on her shop:

Along with being a full time artist since 2005, Alena studied to become 
a Transformational Healing Practictioner, which includes traning in 
various modes of energy healing, herbalism, meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda. 
Alena is a also a certified flower essence practitioner and Reiki Master. 
Alena combines these sacred wisdoms with her passion for the 
creative process and the joy that brings. Alena lives her life in knowing 
that all things are possible through our thought, action, and feeling. 
The Universe’s dream for you is far bigger than you could ever imagine.

Reading her bio & blog, I feel an immediate kinship 
as a painter, but even more so as a fellow creative spirit. 
I'm genuinely looking forward to two days with Alena, 
and perhaps even having a transformative experience.
(OH! Pick me! Pick me!!) 
While my BFA's concentration is drawing and painting, 
you don't see paintings on my blog because in 2005 
I happily traded paint for fibers (portable, odorless, compact) 
as a way to be productive and have quality time 
at home each night with Alyssa. 

I do miss painting, and I miss the painter 
I haven't yet become. 
I'll let you know who I discover in the woods of Holderness, NH.

See more of Alena's work here: Art Becomes You
Next week, meet another spectacular Squam instructor -
you really won't want to miss him! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Wow, Salted Honey Pie is one sweet pie!
And it's the first pie under my belt 
(quite literally for this one I'm afraid)
in my quest to discover if I'm a pie baker.  

It's buttery. Sweet. Custardy. 
Oh, and then there's that satisfying salty crunch. 
A scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream 
would only be added punishment. Hmmm.
If you or someone you love is a die-hard sweets fanatic, 
put this pie on the bucket list! 
(For the recipe, click "Salted Honey Pie" above.)
 And if you or some one you love is need of 
a quilting adventure, I'm excited to announce
 my free Storm Clouds-inspired quilt recipe
is now available for download. 
(Over there on the right, hooray!)

The recipe concept came from my experience of making 
a scrappy quilt for a boy, to donate to Project Linus
I had plenty of scraps, but no pattern.
As I was moving scraps around on the design wall, 
a storm rolled through our town and it gave me the 
inspiration that turned my scraps into "Storm Clouds".  

The recipe is really just that, a general list of ingredients  
and inspiration for creating your own phenomenal 
scrap quilt with a definite mood or theme. 
Let your imagination take you on a quilting adventure! 
I hope you'll share your questions and triumphs
with me here on the blog!
I'm smitten with Edie Brickell and Steve Martin's new CD,
Love Has Come For You.
This is their performance of the song 
"When You Get To Asheville", 
which by the way, goes perfectly with Salted Honey Pie.
Salted Honey Pie in all its sweet, salty glory

June's pie will be Strawberry Rhubarb.
I hope it's good. ;)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Shovel and a Fry Pan

 Before I get to the shovel and fry pan, here's my friend 
Hannah who has been coming over to the studio
to work on her pillow.
This is her first go with a sewing machine, 
and equally impressive, she didn't follow a pattern. 
What a pro!
 Since she was young, Hannah has shown a natural ability 
with color, texture and pattern. For her pillow, 
she selected scraps and efficiently arranged them in 
a beautiful pattern before sewing them together 
at the machine. Once her center panel was constructed, 
she quickly decided on the main fabric. 
Doesn't it go perfectly with her patchwork? 
She made it all look so easy!
 What a good sport for sharing the lime light....
This pillow was destined for her bed, 
and I'll bet it looks amazing!
Great job Hannah!
What will our next project be?
 Now for that shovel and fry pan.
Harvesting Fiddlehead ferns, ramps and 
stumbling upon other surprises made for a rewarding
Saturday afternoon in the woods next to our house.
 If you're heading in to the woods to forage ramps 
for the first time, please do some online research 
to make sure you know what you're harvesting. 
Ramps have a few look-a-likes that 
you wouldn't want to serve up....
I found this site very helpful. 
A (small) spade is essential because the bulbs have 
a tight grip in the soil. With a bit of gentle wriggling though, 
the bulb is easily freed.
After a rinse with the garden hose and shedding the husks, 
here's a look at the bounty!
My foraged Mother's Day breakfast:
Ramps & scrambled eggs with a side of 
Fiddlehead ferns in butter. A delicious treat! 

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, 
and Mothers every where!

Wait, wait! Which pie did you choose?!
Here's the winning selection for May, the first pie 
in my personal Pie Challenge:

Salted Honey Pie!

Thanks to everyone who participated!
With so many votes for Strawberry Rhubarb
June's pie is already decided, yay! 
Tune in again for the results of the intriguing 
Salted Honey Pie.  ;)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Which Will You Choose?

Lately, I've noticed a strange need to make pies.
I love the idea of pies. 
Flakey crusts and tasty fillings.
Baked pies. Refrigerator pies. Ice cream freezer pies. 
 Oh, but I'm a cookie and cake-baking girl, 
not a pie-making girl. Or am I?

Help me decide as I begin a summer-long endeavor 
making an assortment of pies, just for fun! 
I'll share them all here, even the failures....
so head over to my Pinterest board Pies, Pies, Pies
and leave a comment back here on the blog 
with your choice for my first pie. Thanks!
Early yesterday morning, as I was driving to pick up 
seeds for the garden, I drove by my dear friend Lori's home 
and lo and behold she was having a garage sale.
My lucky day! 
No sooner did I get out of my car than she was 
stepping off her porch, coffee in hand, 
walking right up to me with a huge hug! 
Then she proceeded to plunk a basket full of 
vintage lace trims (above) into my hands! Seriously?! 
It was as if she knew I'd stop by.
She brought out other vintage treasures, 
like an impeccable wool and velvet Victorian coat
with amazing woven buttons. 
I will forever marvel at how things were once made. 
Any way, I managed to find a few more treasures 
to bring home: a piece of plain linen so that I might 
fill it with my own embroidery, and this large 
vintage lace-trimmed bed sheet:
The reason I like it so much is that it has 
hand sewn patches.
Who today patches their bed sheets?
I just love that. And I love it so much that I intend to use 
it as the backing for a (near) future quilt. 
 Thanks so much, Lori!

On Pinterest, I saw a homemade detergent  
for cleaning vintage linens. I'm willing to give it a try, 
but if you happen to have a trick up your sleeve
I'd sincerely appreciate hearing about it
 To have a live look at the newly hatched, adorable, 
fuzzy chicks on Cornell Lab of Ornithology's (Ithaca NY) live cam, 
click here: Red Tail Hawk Cam.

Click the video above to watch 
the parents' antics from a few days ago. 

Remember, I'm counting on your help to choose the first pie! 
I hope it has fruit. No wait, ice cream. A meringue topping?
I must conquer my fear of the dreaded crust.... 

Tune in next week for the big reveal!