Friday, December 4, 2009

'tis the season

mmm, the holidays are my favorite time of the year, and pulling out the christmas wares gets me all giddy every year! i was fortunate enough to score some of these lovely cypress evergreen boughs off freecycle that someone had just clipped during their tree pruning ... adds that perfect christmas aroma to the room (haven't purchased my tree yet). and it looked so lovely, i went back today and gathered some more for my deck!

these little gnome ornaments from ikea are just so sweet (especially with the sweet treats tucked inside!) i had intended these for the tree, but they made the perfect little garland... i always loved pulling holiday treats right out of the decorations when i was a child... candy canes off the tree, little chocolates hidden inside ornaments. looking forward to my niece and nephew emptying these for me ;)

the lovely beeswax candles are from buzzhandmade, while the stockings were a gift - handmade by my mom

what a joy to have a fire under a freshly decorated mantle!

Friday, November 20, 2009

i'm excited to add some more of my holiday collection to the shop over the next week or so... just trying to finish up a few custom orders this weekend. i did add this new originally designed conifer to the shop... i'm just loving this gray, red, and white cotton, and have made a few more coordinating pieces, which will also be added to the shop

busily creating holiday nests, tree toppers, trees, and wreaths, and hoping my hands stay strong this week for the onslaught of ideas floating about in my head!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

saturday shopping list - oops

little grey donkey, by littleloveblue
(oh how i wish i could snatch him up!)

handwoven throw in christmas red, by lindahighhandweaver

wee three gnomes, by thetinyhouse

wing dress in madras, by verypurpleperson

okay, okay, i meant to post the 'saturday shopping list' on saturday (makes more sense, right!), but i'm running about three days late in general these days with everything, so i figured why not

as you can see, i'm thoroughly excited about the holiday/winter season this year, and i'm so looking forward to adding christmas loveliness to my new home in a few weeks time. i've also been enjoying this ridiculously long autumn here in georgia... has it been a long fall elsewhere?

i'd been told that the autumn beauty made georgians forget the humid summers here (although this summer was actually pretty decent... not really so different than the normal brooklyn summers i'm used to... but perhaps that was unseasonal); but, wow, trees blooming in waves for three months? beautiful autumnal temperatures, allowing you to wear your autumn apparel without covering up with coats, scarves, and hats in november? i'm actually rarely comfortable with any temperature (my body doesn't seem capable of regulating either heat or cold!)... really, 68-72 with a soft sunshine is my ideal comfort zone; and, oh, how many lovely days we've had just like that

it all makes the long months of bundling up in layers of coats and scarves seem so much more bearable when it is actually confined to the winter season! i will admit that i'm hoping for some snow this year... especially now that i can bundle in front of the fire and watch the flakes swirling in the woods behind my house

hope everyone is enjoying their autumn... any great thanksgiving ideas? i'm always eager to hear of fun family traditions

Thursday, November 12, 2009

grosgrain giveaway and eye candy lusciousness

well, it's time for another fabulous grosgrain giveaway... this time i'm hoping to win for a certain best friend of mine who is expecting her first baby next spring... you know who you are ;)

this is a guest giveaway from layla grace, for a 'little giraffe blanket in chenille dot' with a matching 'little giraffe security blanket in chenille dot'... your choice of color! looks so deliciously snuggly

to enter yourself, you can simply link to the giveaway on your own site... click here for details

and, if you haven't discovered the loveliness of grosgrain, CLICK right on over there! along with lovely guest giveaways, kathleen shares many wonderful sewing tutorials, along with giveaways of her own creations. and, i will just say it now... her garments and pictures are so absurdly beautiful! such luscious eye candy. i still giggle every time i see the lengths she went to not only in her sewing but in the staging of the photography! i had to include some pictures of her work:

*** p.s. you can vote here for a grosgrain dress in the 'dare to design' contest on shabby apple

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

sewing for independence

while conditions for women in the dr congo are already deplorable, women left widowed face financial ruin... left with very few options for ways to support themselves and their children. in the virunga national park, death among park rangers is very high (125 deaths in the last 10 years) as rangers continue to put their lives at risk to protect the park, the extremely endangered mountain gorillas, and other wildlife. while emergency donations for rangers widows through the iccn (you can donate on the website) greatly help these families in the short term, a new program is helping these women gain financial autonomy

with help from the igcp (international gorilla conservation program), a group of 32 women are learning the skills of sewing... giving them the opportunity to learn a skill that will ultimately give them a way to support their families. upon completion of the program, each woman gets her own sewing machine to set up shop independently!

you can read more about the ranger widows, the work the rangers give their lives for, and ways you can help, over on the blog

Friday, November 6, 2009

apple pickin'

well, it was that time of year again... pick your own apples (or apple pickin' as it's called here in the south!). this year, it was a drive up to ellijay (the apple capital of georgia), with a stop along the way to eat a picnic lunch by a lovely lake. thanks to my sister's in-laws for the amazing 'picnic', which included clam chowder, pasta, and bread with a variety of cheeses (my picnics usually consist of peanut butter and jelly!)... complete with jack-0'-lantern grilled cheeses for my niece and nephew. i should have captured a picture of this lovely spread, but i was too busy eating ;)

this picture reminds me of a gateway to a fairyland!

yummy rome beauty

we were there for the last week of the harvest, and enjoyed munching on the delicious rome beauty variety, which ended the season. my niece shouted 'hooray' everytime she picked an apple, while my nephew waited excitedly for his turn with an 'apple cannon.' we finished the adventure with some apple donuts and apple cider slushies (again no pictures of the food... you can see a pattern here!)


apple cannon

i had to include these two pictures as well... these side eyes are a flash forward to the teenage years! makes me laugh every time

Saturday, October 17, 2009

saturday shopping list - october 17th

fingerless mittens by shadeofshadow

village town blocks by prettydreamer

vintage lumberjack dress from thevintagemistress

although it is a bit cloudy to start this saturday morning here in atlanta, the weather report calls for abundant sunshine with brisk (by georgia standards) autumn temperatures... high in the low fifties. can you get a more beautiful blue sky than you find on a crisp sunny fall day... with golden tones shining all around... people bustling about in bundled up contentment. the list today is definitely a reflection of nature around me right now

off to watch my nephew's soccer game in just a bit (go fireballs!)... some time with the family, and perhaps a few cups of hot chocolate! drinking a warm cup of cocoa takes me instantly to that place in childhood... the excitement of a new season and approaching holidays (even in california, where i grew up, and where the temperature often remained quite hot this time of year!). hope everyone is enjoying their october weekend ;)

you can find links to all the saturday shopping lists over on fancypicnic

Monday, October 5, 2009

fly, fly away

vintage partridge by sweetlovevintage

the pearly eyelet dress by jessjamesjake

flora retro cream pitcher by brightwallvintage

fringe in copper by seedknits

apologies for the lack of posts this last week ~

it has been a week where i've felt continually anxious to do something, yet can't settle to actually accomplish anything i really need to do... does anyone ever feel this way?

hmmm, i guess the best way to describe it would be that i feel that i have some really wonderful and exciting life changing event about to happen that i can't wait to begin working on, yet i've somehow forgotten what that event is? it is a mixture of excitement, anxiety, and frustration all at once... perhaps it can be attributed to the change in weather and season?

hopefully my mind and body will settle this week to something productive... i have many ideas for the shop for this holiday season, so i'd best get creating!

in the meantime... i thought i'd share a few of my current etsy favorites ;)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

the bird or the egg

phewwff... we are finally swimming out of the rain here in atlanta... in my befuddled, soggy state this weekend, i accomplished very little i must say (fortunately i was able to stay safe and dry in my home)... although i did take a pair of scissors to my hair for some new bangs. a new season always seems like the time for a new look (and i am rather impulsive when it comes to my hair)

the emerging sunshine has been moving my hands to create once again

just added this set of two pieces of mixed media fiber art to my shop... which asks the question of which came first 'the bird or the egg'

combining ink illustration, hand stitched fabric, felted and stitched roving, and needle felting on canvas, each piece is mounted on a vintage metal embroidery hoop, with a circle of wool attached on the back

Thursday, September 17, 2009

pretty things

some pretty images on this stormy night (here in the peach state anyway)... we've had three consecutive days of rain... or should i say RAIN! the sky has just seemed to open up, spilling out the oceans over our heads... where is noah when you need him? they're forecasting two more days of the same

it is nice to sit on my covered deck, watching the sheets of rain... when it's not lighting that is. although last night, we has such torrential storms and strong winds, the rain was actually hitting the roof and returning skyward in a solid sheet of upside down rain!

on days such as these, i really spend too much time here on the computer... as does my kitten tula! i heard strange voices in my house today, and, before i could pick up my phone and dial 911 to report burglars in my home, i found tula sitting in front of the computer. she had somehow managed to get on youtube, and was intently watching a 'twilight' trailer... she just gave me a look like 'what?... i get bored too'. i guess she's a fan, who knew. i guess she'll have to catch me up on the 'twilight' phenomenon

i did manage to create a bit as well today. just listed this new acorn wreath in my shop... again, created using found branches, wrapped in a lovely leaf print cotton. the fabric acorns are made using a mixture of new and vintage cotton, attached to real chinquapin acorn tops. the leaf was made using a delicious green wool, from purl soho in new york

Sunday, September 13, 2009

blackened salmon ~ a delicious mistake

here are a few meals made using ingredients from this week's trip to the decatur organic farmers market:

first up, one of my very favorite summertime meals (you'll find this one in my house at least once a week during the season) broiled salmon, green beans (deliciously combined with fresh tomatoes and onions), and red potatoes

i have to say, this week i had a blackened salmon... a delicious mistake! quite the drama in my kitchen as the aluminum foil the fish was cooking on somehow caught fire! of course, i naturally assumed it was simply one of my neighbors ("hmmm... someone must not be a very good cook!", i thought), only to open my oven to flames growing by the second! fortunately, i was able to keep my head (while screaming... with images of my charred apartment, gone up in flames, racing through my mind), and instead of whipping out the fire extinguisher and ruining the fish, i grabbed a cup of water and splashed the aluminum... after a few last bursts of flame, the fire went out with a hiss. the salmon was now a little blackened, but actually quite yummy. i may have to try my hand at blackened salmon again... but, perhaps without the fire next time ;)

the salmon was seasoned with fresh basil, rosemary, and garlic chives from my garden (oh how lovely it is to finally have a space for growing herbs!). these herbs were all purchased from my local community garden. the green beans and heirloom tomatoes are from the farmers market

tonight, i made a lovely eggplant casserole, made using this recipe (only substituting with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella) , with the gorgeous local purple japanese eggplant, also from the organic farmers market... no fire tonight ;) so yummy, and i think left overs will pair nicely with a bit of pasta

(oh, and the milk i scored this week is positively scrumptious!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

local food 9/9 ~ a season of change

summer was definitely shifting into autumn this week at the decatur farmer's market... apples, gourds, baked goods, and pumpkins are beginning to appear in abundance. autumn being one of my favorite times of year, the sight of harvest produce excites me greatly... makes me want to settle down with a warm drink in front of the fire (although i think the weather still has a ways to go before this becomes a reality)

it makes me sad, however, to see the summer crop coming to a close... the farmer from whom i bought these luscious heirloom tomatoes told me these were the last few of his crop. and, oh, the end of green beans! a vegetable i eat at least twice a week during the summer... i suppose i will have another good month before these beauties say goodbye for the season. instead it is time to begin focusing on pumpkins and mums, pies and savory stews (vegetarian for me). there was an absolutely gorgeous sage green pumpkin at the market this week... i'm regretting that i didn't take that one home. the farmer selling it told me it would make at least two large delicious pies... perhaps he'll have another next week. i did pick up a sweet little pumpkin... of the decorating variety... to get me started on my autumn adventure

and the milk hunt was a success this week! i knew immediately from the long line in front of the johnston family farms booth, that i would finally be in luck (these family farm tours look like such fun too!). can't wait to try the milk out... i was told by the farmer selling the pumpkins that his wife raves about this milk, although has had to adjust her baking measurements accordingly... tastes and cooks so differently from the grocery store variety

~ in shop news, i'm continuing to add to new autumn pieces to the shop this week, and am excited to see that i'm only one sale away from one hundred ;)

Monday, September 7, 2009

and the winner is...

congratulations to emmaandmaha, the winner of the handmadecharlotte and nest with eggs giveaway! and a big thanks for all the lovely entries!

look for another giveaway this autumn ;)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

freshly roasted peanuts

today was peanut roasting day... these were the raw peanuts i picked up from the decatur organic farmers market this week. here they sit awaiting their oven roasting ;)

oh, that smell, that delicious aroma... the scent of autumn has entered my home!
i used this recipe i found (incredibly easy!)... i didn't have any peanut oil on hand, so i used olive oil instead, which worked really well

the deep purple color of the peanut is just gorgeous

i have another batch in the oven now, so i may make a bit of peanut butter... if i can keep from eating them all first!

*** one more reminder, tonight (sept. 6th) is the last night to enter for a chance to win the lovely handmadecharlotte skirt giveaway below! good luck everyone! i'm enjoying reading all the entries