Friday, July 24, 2009

Favorites on Friday

It's finally here! This freshly published book by Diane Gilleland (we all know her as Sister Diane and host of the awesome podcast, "Craftypod") just arrived on my doorstep this morning and I can not wait to dive into it. This easy technique book for fold and sew flowers in many styles with sooooo many ways to embellish everything on the planet is nothing but a big ol' pile of joy and inspiration! Beautiful photographs, easy directions, recycle opportunity (love that!) and page after page of "crafty goodness". Something for every age group too. I love that the "ingredients" are easily found and inexpensive. I hope you'll all check out this great book from a generous, hardworking great gal pal!

Oh wait....what's that in the background? Um is that a map? Why is there a map? Well, I might as well spill...We're pulling up tent stakes and heading west! To St. Louis. Never been there and will be moving there without even seeing it! Gotta really love a guy to do this...and I do. I love a fresh start and adventure. Both guaranteed in this story, I think. So if anyone out there knows someone I should meet in St. Louis, please let me know, cuz I need friends! Packing up my studio, kitchen, pups, and purses is going to be a BIIIIIG challenge... Better get to it.
But one more thing:

How cute are these? They are basically iron-on patches made in cute shapes. Pefect to add to a bag, jacket, jeans, pillow, or you name it. These came from rikrak and I highly suggest you support this lovely lady, but I think I'm also going to try making a few of my own using fusible web and some vintage prints I've been squirelling away for just such an occasion or project. I think it'll be a great way to use up all those scraps that are too small for even a quilt block and too nice to toss!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A package arrives, lumpy and bumpy. I don't recognize the return address, but something tells me it could be yarn and it is! Etsy. So bad, but so good.
It's hazy hot and humid in PA this week. No A/C in the windows at this house until the new paint cures, so we're hanging out in the basement a lot where it's very comfortable. And what do I do when the weather is hot? Make soup of course! Don't you? Made Ina's Vegetable Lentil Soup and Italian Escarole soup with white beans and bacon. Can heat and eat all week for lunches since the kitchen is virtually out of commission while getting sanded and painted.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


computers... Why do we trust them?

I accidently posted today on my OTHER blog which I am trying to phase out, but blogger (let's call it clogger) won't cut and paste the text from there to here, so now you have click over there cuz I can not fathom retyping it this morning... But please do stop over...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Freaking Friday already

Who says we don't look like our dogs?
Kira (my dog) is under the weather. She has had an upset stomach of the worst kind (speaking as the cleaning up person) ever since she was picked up from the kennel last Monday. Dave and I spent a glorious weekend in the Poconos with some really favorite friends hiking, biking, story telling, laughing, and eating great food (natch.) Kira and Rooty spent the time at "Mimi's Bed and Biscuit." From the name alone, you know this place is top shelf and the dogs get the utmost special treatment. Music, air conditioning, lots of socializing. Kira says, "Pfffthttt". Kira would like nothing better than to stay at home FOREVER and not be subjected to change, or vacation, or grandma's house, or vet visits, or God forbid...grooming. So when I picked her up I got the happy dance from go-with-the-flow Rooty and Kira looked askance and played the despondency/guilt card on me.
So the "squirts" started next day and the vet instructed us to give her the ol' Pepto Bismal treatment. I could tell you she hated it, but it would be obvious if you saw her with the now permanent pink whiskers that frame her lovely white face. Next we moved onto the rice and boiled hamburger diet- which she thought was great. However Dan Dan the Painter Man continues to work on the outside of our home and is surprising her (and all of us from time to time - just ask my husband about his streaking experience...) anyway, she FREAKS every time she sees him in the window. And then the mailman throws the mail through the slot and did I mention we've torn apart the kitchen moving their kennels (her safe haven) to a new location? THE GIRL IS STRESSED.
So today we made a trip over to the vet since I had to get up three times with her last night to make a yard run, and the stress diagnosis was called. She's taking some medicine to kill some the excess bacteria in her gut and on some special dog food, which she is tollerating thankfully. It's hard to explain to Rooty all the special treatment, including new food and car rides that Kira gets, so now I'm getting the silent treatment from her. We'll see how it goes.
I was so hoping for some good doggie antidepressants that I might perhaps test in my own wine glass, but the vet may have spotted the look of "close to the edge" on my own face and decided to stay away from that treatment altogether.
Oh well. Back to yoga. Ohmmmmmm.
Oh wait, it's Friday night. Back to merlot!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cherry Season

Woot! Woot! The cherries are here in a big way and they look amazing this season! My favorites are the Rainier Cherries that are a lovely golden color with a swipe of red blush on their plump cheeks. They have a slightly tarter bite than a Bing Cherry, and then they burst with the familliar sweet.
The snap and splash of eating a fresh, ripe cherry is an annual food love fest for me. I eat them all day long and look for new and interesting ways to share them with my friends.
Here's a recipe from the Ball Book of preserving, a magazine/booklet that the canning jar company has put out every year since 1909! Looking over the one with the recipe I'm about to give, I can't tell you which year this one is from but there's a luscious lemon-looking tart on the cover with a heaping pile of raspberries in the middle. The annual publication covers all the basics of canning and freezing foods including things like pickling, jellies and jams, butters, infusions, and condiments - to use virtually anything you can pull from the garden and then they make you a dedicated follower for life by adding many recipes for new and interesting ways to use the bounty from your Victory Garden.
Yield: About 6 half-pints
3 (12 oz) bags frozen sweet cherries, thawed and drained; or 36-40 ounces fresh pitted cherries
1 pkg powdered pectin
3/4 almond liqueur (I used a generic "Amaretto")
3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh please!)
4 1/2 cups sugar
While you make the jam, prep your canning jars according to Ball's Blue book or manufacturers instructions.
Finely chop cherries. Combine cherries, powdered pectin, almond liqueur and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if neccesary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.