Sunday, June 30, 2013

Red, White and Blue

 Here's what's happening around the house & studio today:

I started this Alabama Chanin-inspired cotton jersey flag 
last summer and am only picking it up again now. 
There's something special about hand sewing the American flag; 
between the stitching, the meaning of our flag 
and the end use of this piece, 
it continues to be a very satisfying project.
 Little experiments...
ready for steeping over the holiday break,
a bit of India Flint-inspired silk-cotton thread wraps.
Thread and silk gauze steeping in rose hips. (Wow!)
Today's grand finale:
Making good on this month's personal pie challenge,
Providing the rains hold off, tonight we'll slice into this beauty 
and savor it around the camp fire.
With cinnamon in the fruit filling and ginger in the buttery 
crumb topping, I have a feeling this is going to be outstanding.

If you try any of these pie recipes (one a month) 
let me know what you think. Pies are fairly new 
territory for me and I appreciate tips, tricks 
and darn good recipes!

Summer has indeed arrived, and if you're looking for 
summer reading suggestions head over to 
Tracy's blog, My Retiring Life for a fantastic list.

Here's to our Red, White and Blue! 
Wishing everyone a safe, fun and festive 
Independence Day Celebration.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pleasing Pinks

I don't know about you, but June is one of those months 
that sneaks up on me. BAM! The days fast become a blur.  
Thankfully, during the first week of June I can always 
look to these gentle giants, Japanese Tree Peonies, 
for a sense of calm. 
 Despite June's frantic pace, yesterday 
I managed to start a dye pot following ice flower 
dye instructions from India Flint's book, Eco Colour
After 24 hours in an Iris and Peony concoction, 
the roving (gifted from my dear friend Marjorie) 
and tightly bundled silk habotai & silk gauze 
achieved a light pink. 
Feeling their color wouldn't get much deeper, 
I moved them to a shallow tray containing the 
liquid remains of a jar of pickled beet juice (above). 
Tomorrow I'll check their progress.
I really hope the roving's color will wick
from deep magenta to light pink. 
Cross your fingers for some beautiful summer spinning!
At our house, pink yarrow is flourishing.  
Darn my luck, another dye pot in my future.
 French Breakfast Radish.
For eating, not for dyeing. ;)
While they're milder than round varieties 
we've grown in the past, their tender small 
leaves certainly spice up a tossed salad.
 I'm hooked!

 I've got a few more natural dye experiments
up my sleeve that I'll share right here 
over the course of the summer. 

I have a feeling this month's pie challenge 
recipe is one you won't want to miss
(not just any) Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. 
Come back next week for the lip smackin' results!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Postcards From Squam

Instant friends, just add water. And yarn.

I'm still coming down from 5 loving, brilliant days 
This year's center piece, Harriet Goodall's 
woven heart with twinkle lights.
If you're unfamiliar with Harriet, 
you'll want to visit her extraordinary website. 
Making the Blizzard Book on a drizzly afternoon.
Beautiful, busy souls. Exquisite paintings.
My painting buddy for 2 days, LauraLynn.
Yep, she's truly as radiant as she looks.
Close up of a painting I made in 
Alena Hennessy's workshop.
I found out I can let go, and I can play. 
I can leave a "mistake" alone for a minute 
only to see that it actually works! Huge for this Type A.
Each day started & ended with this incredible view. Sigh.
Imagine meeting you here, Debbie!
 A few of my favorite things from the Art Fair:
AWC Designs, leather belt & custom buckle
Ribbons from Germany (!)
Letterpress notecards from Pressbound
Kelbourne Woolens project bag
 (Cabin-mate) Ana's Toil and Trouble hand-dyed yarn

But wait, there's more! 
One evening around the fire, our
cabin-mate Julie told us about her daughter 
playing fiddle for a band, The Floorwalkers. New to me,
I went straight to YouTube and had a listen - now it's your turn.
Wow, thanks Julie! 

 Breathe it in....until next year!

More bags are being added to the shop, 
in case you're looking for a zippy little pouch 
perfect for all sorts of uses, INCLUDING
GRADUATION GIFTS (just think of what you can tuck inside!) 
 Thanks, and have a fun week!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sparkle and Shine

Hand beaded necklaces made in time for vacation
with hand dyed silk ribbons by Heidi of Jamnglass
by the very talented MaryAnn Carroll.

Our sparkling pink peonies after an early morning rain.

With summer fast approaching, it's time to change up our 
knitting accessories bags, pencil cases and travel pouches.
Fresh, new styles are landing in the shop - have a look! 

Today, Vickie and I are on our way home from 
Squam Art Workshops, and I'm
anxious to share all the fun we had!
Tune in next week. :)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Just Three Days

...until Vickie and I are once again Squamward Bound!
Last week, I introduced one of the two instructors 
whose workshops I'm taking: Alena Hennessy.
 As promised, here's the second instructor I'm excited 
to learn from: Franklin Habit,
writer, illustrator and photographer from Chicago, IL.
Check out his entertaining and informative blog,
 The Panopticon.
If you're a knitter, you likely know of him and his book 
of witty knitting cartoons, "It Itches."
For Franklin's Tomten workshop, I anticipate a fun day 
of fast knitting with fellow knit-a-holics, 
and perhaps even some yarn bombing from which 
even the most charming cabin cannot hide.
Before I head to the wilds of New Hampshire, I must share 
a beautiful gift from my beautiful friend Tracy  
who nominated my blog and three others for
The Sweetest Blogger Award!
  Upon accepting this award, I answer 5 questions about myself
and then pass the award to (up to 13) other blogs I adore.
1.  Cookies or cake?  
 Is there really an "or"?
2.  Chocolate or vanilla?  
I repeat... :)

3.  Favorite sweet treat?  
 Aunt Mardi's Carrot Cake,
especially the one Michelle made for my birthday.
(While it's not Aunt Mardi's recipe, if you're now craving 
carrot cake, click the cupcake photo above for
Gwen's recipe and bake up some carrot-cake-love
in your kitchen!)

4.  When do you get hit with cravings?  
2:00PM. Like clockwork.

5.  Sweet nickname?  
Super T.
I want my friends to know how great that makes me feel.

Thank you for your ever-present support, Tracy!
I happily nominate these 5 deserving blogs for 
The Sweetest Blog Award:
lil fish studio, Lisa Jordan

Have Needles Will Knit, Lara Smoot
Brichopas, use the translate bar for 
a review of handmade toys the world over.
Meet Me At Mike's, Pip Lincolne
Celebrate the sweetness and beauty in you.
You deserve it!