so much rain today. there are flood warnings, and it's pretty gloomy. Totally a day to hunker down and I made some tea. I've finally found a tea that I like, I've tried so many times and I just have never liked the taste. But I decided to try rooibos, and I found a chai flavor by numi. Cinnamon is one of my top spices, and I love the chai flavors. I really wanted to find something like that in an herbal tea. I really enjoy it with half water, and half scalded milk, with a little sugar. Like a chai latte. Today I had run out of milk and I didn't feel like going out to the dairy, so I decided to do half water half apple cider. I put in some brown sugar, and it was like a really great warm apple cider with kick of ginger. I also want to try soy milk, I'm on a quest to find my perfect combo, and I won't stop until I find it!
Anabela really had a great post on tea. She made me really want to try some chocolate rooibos. Her blog is one of my favorites, I can't wait to meet her at little winter. Check our her new ties she's got in the works. Love them!
I am going to do my best to not let the rain slow down my to-do list.
We have had many weekend projects lately, but this one was really fun and easy. I had seen some mason jar lights when we were in Portland, and I was inspired to make my own for my studio. I was going to use wide mouth quart jars so they would fit larger lights, but I couldn't find them, they were sold out. I decided to go to my favorite thrift store, where I had seen lots and lots of vintage jars. We went, and I found these really unique vintage blue glass jars. I have never seen any jars with a shape like this, and trust me, I've seen a lot of jars. We also found some really amazing clear vintage jars, but the shape of the blue ones really struck me. And for 2.50 apiece it was practically a crime how inexpensive they were.
We then had to find bulbs that would be skinny enough to fit. I found some bulbs meant for display cases, and they were the perfect shape. We used the light bases from ikea that were up before, which have an attachment to rest shades. Tyler cut a hole in a lid with a screwdriver and a hammer, and we slipped those over and then just screwed the jars in. It was really so simple.
I love the light, it really works great, and isn't really blue, as I thought it might be. The vintage glass with its bubbles and imperfections create beautiful light streaks on my new white walls.
*update: I was searching online, and these jars seem to be made before 1910. wow. I might have to go back and pick up that one other jar that I didn't get.
Happy Friday all! This week has been pretty productive, my DVR is starting to get a workout again, I'm so happy to have Modern Family, 30 Rock, and Community back in my life. I am feeling confused with all the new shows, I have no idea what to watch. Do you have any new shows you like? I'm a little bit of a tv addict.
Well with working on my new stuff, I'm closing up my etsy store soon. I wanted to offer my readers and friends a special sale as a thanks for just being here. BOGO! Or in other words, buy one, get one free. Purchase an even number, Enter BOGO in the message box and I'll refund the price and shipping for the free ones. There might be some extra little things thrown in as a bonus, I'm feeling pretty generous. This will only be a limited time, I'm going to close my shop and they'll be gone forever.
hello! I've been a bit cryptic the last couple months on what I've been working on for fall, mostly because I was still trying to figure it all out. I wanted to give you the first sneak peek. I've been putting my weaving lessons this summer to good use.
It seems fitting to return to fiber. It was my first crafty love, and after everything I've done, the call of a fluffy ball of yarn still beckons me. This is a project that I've had in my mind for a long time, and I'm thrilled that I finally made it happen. I'm excited to show you all more, and am hoping to launch very soon, I will for sure keep you informed. Little Winter is coming up a lot quicker than I would like, but it's all pretty exciting.
Occasionally I look over from my couch and catch gigi like this. I never see her get to this spot, but all of a sudden she's there. She kinda straddles it awkwardly, but she'll do anything to get the sun.
I've been thinking about her a lot lately. It's almost been a year since I first walked into a shelter to look at her puppy and instead I instantly feel in love with the old lady. There was just something about her and I knew she was destined to be mine. She was 11, and all I could think was that someone needs to give these older dogs a home. It's funny to think that I was just a 7th grader when she was a puppy. I felt like I was perfect to give this girl the best rest of her life, even though it may not be very long. (even just thinking about this now makes me a little teary.)
I wrote down at the time that I was really concerned that I wouldn't be able to bond with her, that maybe she wouldn't love me. I don't know why I ever doubted for a second that she would steal my heart entirely. I am obsessed with her. I hold her and squeeze her, and just love the way she smells. Yeah, I'm a little nuts. I think she likes me well enough, not as much as she is obsessed about Tyler, I'm a little jealous. She pines for him. She would die for him. And I'm the one that gives her conditioning treatments and wipes the gook out of her eyes! Whatever. I'm not bitter.
All I can say is this old girl is one of the best things in my life and I'm glad I could adopt her. I guess I was giving someone with no one a home, but I think she gave me more.
One thing that always means fall has started is pumpkins. Every year my mom sends me a pumpkin in the mail. So because she was here this weekend, we picked out some pumpkins and gourds to put in our house. She always can We still need more though! Usually we leave our pumpkins out until we have forgotten about them, which has been February or March the last couple years. Have you gotten pumpkins yet? I'm going to have to make some pumpkin cookies soon.
My parents came to visit this weekend. We had some fun showing them our home, and exploring. Seeing caverns by boat, getting farm fresh fruit and veggies, and playing some serious mini golf. We ate some great food, which was made at home. It was so great to have them here. Now I have to get back to normal life and get really busy this week.
I've been working hard on new things for the shows I'm in this fall, little winter, and second storie. They both should be really great, and I can't wait to show you a little sneak peek real soon.
Lately these afternoons feel like the last bits of summer. Cool breezy mornings turn into sunny afternoons. I've been working hard to get ready for some amazing shows in a couple months, so I've been holed up inside most of the day. I let gingie out, and now her favorite thing in the afternoons is to plop down in a sunny spot and just close her eyes to the sun and sniff. She'll sit there forever. I was trying to get her to come inside so I could eat my lunch up in my studio, so I coaxed her in with a treat. She took the bait and snatched the treat but immediately turned around and ran outside before I could stop her.
I looked at her and realized I should be more like gingie, enjoying the warm sunshine while it lasts. Oh dogs. So I took my lunch outside and sat in the sun. Just thinking. Enjoying that last bit of summer and summer tomatoes.
I made this salad out of what I had in my house, which was lots of fresh summer tomatoes, some given to me, some from the farmers market, and a couple from my own garden. It was a little bit of an experiment, but it turned out pretty great.
summer tomato salad
1 cup israeli cous cous (or any other pasta/grain could work but I am in love with israeli cous cous, it's my favorite for salads right now.)
2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a combo of black cherry, sun gold, and regular reds)
1/2 small red onion sliced thin
1/2 cup cubed fresh mozzarella
red wine vinegar
In a medium saucepan over med-high, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Put in the cous cous and toast, stirring continuously until golden, about 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water and salt, bring to a boil and cover and lower the heat to low and let simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
While the cous cous is cooking, combine the tomato and onion in a bowl and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and a couple tablespoons of red wine vinegar, add a dash of salt and pepper. toss, put in the cous cous and mozzarella, and season to taste if needed. Let sit in the fridge and let cool for a couple hours at least.
We have had a good number of visitors over the last year, and I think having guests directly correlates with the amount of decorating we get done in our house. And how clean our house is. I've made pillows, decided on arrangements on the walls, organized, styled, and Tyler has refinished and spray painted furniture, hung shelves, made desks, and hung all those pictures. I don't think I can make a decision without an impending deadline. Which is why with an overnight guest last night and my parents coming in tomorrow I have cleaned the house, we spray painted the lamp we got for 5 dollars, and two posters are getting ready to hang tonight. I kept thinking about making pillows for our bed, but I know that will not get done.
Maybe for our next guest.
Meet Harry. He's 83 and he's in the stamp-making business. When I first called about getting a stamp made, I thought I would be going to a store, not to an old dimly lit basement. But Henry is a sweet old man. He handsets everything with old type from decades ago. He also told me lots of stories from his life. He's had many near death experiences, one involving a shark that got chased away by a porpoise. He used to be in taxidermy and pictured is the squirrel that he patched together that had been hit by a car. He has pictures and memorabilia (not to mention dead things and pictures of dead things) from his life all over the place.
He was nice enough to let me watch him make my stamp. I was able to help him, and he explained the process. Meeting craftsmen like him makes me even more determined to buy handmade. His job has been overrun by computers and automatic machines which can do it cheaper, faster, and flashier. That can be said for a lot of trades. But there are people still out there, making things by hand in their homes to support their families. There is really something special about seeing exactly where your money is going. The craftsmanship and quality that used to be so common have been pushed aside for poor quality and lures of cheap prices. I think the maker and the product have been removed from each other, so people only see the dollar signs.
I know most of your probably feel this same way, I've just been thinking about this a lot lately. Occasionally I've had to defend my craft, and the prices that go along with it. It's hard to feel like someone is telling you to your face what you make isn't worth anything. Luckily there are so many people who are so supportive of the handmade/buy local movement or I guess it wouldn't be a movement, right?
I'm on a student budget and don't have the luxury of buying everything the way I wish, but it makes me feel good to know that I can make some choices that directly effect someone else for better.
**little note: all these photos were taken stealthily with my iphone.
I had a bunch of apples that we picked in Vermont left over from our camping trip, and I decided to make a galette out of them. Maybe a galette is technically where the apples are all arranged in perfect rows, but I didn't really have the patience. I love these rustic pies because the edges are crispy sugary, and to me they look perfect in their imperfection. I stuffed 8 large apples-worth in this, and it was huge, I'm always amazed at how apples cook down. I love making pies this way because the juices run out and then you don't end up with a juicy pie. (you know the kind... where you cut a slice and a puddle forms? fail.)
I used smitten kitchen's pate brisee, and just tossed the apples in sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice with maybe a little flour, I don't exactly remember it was just your basic pie filling. Served with ice cream it was pretty fantastic—I think it might make another appearance this week.
Happy Friday! I'm going to leave you with some delicious-ness. Tyler made fresh squeezed oj (so good!), and I made some cranberry orange scones. I used the same recipe that I used from Ina before, but I went against her stanch recommendations for absolutely not using fresh cranberries "they're too tart!" she said. Whatever. I used about a cup and a half of frozen cranberries that I roughly chopped and then put them in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar before stirring them in at the end.
And they were, as Ina would say, fabulous.
Ok, this is it about our weekend. We went to an orchard, found covered bridges, boulders to climb, long nights by the campfire, camping meals (aka great restaurants), lots of laughs, and made lots of memories. Pretty much one of the best weekends ever. There's just something about looking up into a clear night sky and seeing millions of bright stars that makes you pause.
Click on the pics and see the rest for captions.