Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Back-School-Sewing time! I found the McCall's Patterns on sale at Hancock's for 99 cents!

Cool fabrics are from It takes a while to hunt out the perfect print on-line, but I love these!

I'm loving the BBC series, "Lark Rise to Candleford" which is on our local PBS station every Sunday. I read those books by Flora Thompson in the 1980's and was transported to a gentler world (it seemed!). One thing I started doing was making "griddle scones" for my children. Here is the official recipe from the BBC website, originally from the cook mentioned below!

Lark Rise to Candleford Griddle Scones from the Lark Rise cook book by Mary Norwalk
8 oz self-rising flour
1 1/2 oz butter (chilled)
1 oz sugar
1/4 pint (1/2 cup) milk
Cut the cool butter into the self-rising flour until mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and milk to make a stiff dough. Knead a few times and roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 2 " rounds [you can use a glass for this if you don't have a biscuit cutter!].
Sprinkle a hot griddle or thick frying pan with flour and place the scones on top. Cook on this side until golden brown underneath. Turn scones carefully and cook until the other side is golden brown. Serve with butter and honey or butter and strawberry jam!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The last shirt of summer.....

This was yesterday's quick sewing project. Such fun! A man's dress shirt ($2.00 at Salvation Army Thrift Store) is transformed into a peasant blouse for US! The easy-to-follow tutorial is here!

We can always enjoy one more white top on hot summer days! [Or, if you really get lucky with the shirt you find, it could be a lovely exotic (no, not Hawaiian!) colorful print which would be a great tunic for autumn!]


Yesterday, the library let me know that the book I had on reserve was in! I am enjoying it very much! It is a mystery in England in 1950. The sleuth is an 11 year-old girl. So far the plot has included poison ivy and a cucumber patch (in their kitchen garden) so I feel right at home!

NOTE: click here to see the collage bookmark I am using, LOL!


I may bake these today, I can't remember where I came across this recipe, somewhere on-line.
I have rosemary in the garden of course.

Recipe of the month: Rosemary Cookies ( by popular demand!)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
1/2 teasp vanilla
1/2 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp cream of tartar
2 cups flour
1 tbls. chopped fresh rosemary
Optional....lemon zest, 1 Tbls.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients except rosemary. mix thoroughly Add rosemary at the last. roll dough into small balls and put on cookie sheet. Press with the bottom of a sugar coated glass to flatten. bake 10-12 minutes. cool on rack.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Summer clothesline........

Monday used to be "wash day".....probably Tuesday was ironing?
Which ever day....I have to share the news about a new ( to me) "starch" product. It is Mary Ellen's Best Press! Lavendar scented clear starch alternative. It leaves clothes crisp but not residue on the surface of the iron (one of my pet peeves with regular starch). The lavendar scent is light and wonderful....if you can't have the scent of the great outdoors from hanging out on a clothesline, this is the next best! And there is the added bonus of no aerosol can to deal with....just a refilable spritzer/spray bottle!Check Spelling

As far as I know, large sewing centers like Hancocks and JoAnn and quilting websites offer this product, as does

[Summer clothesline watercolor by Lila.]

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It has been a weekend of blessings.... the word above is a "wall word" on our family room wall. This clock is on the mantel in the same room and beside it stands the figure named,

"Blessings"......she is a graceful Willow Tree figure by Susan Lordi. She reminds us of our granddaughter who usually wears her lovely hair just like this! We were blessed with the gift of this figurine by our friend Karen. Thanks again, Karen!!!!!


I am blessed, I am lucky, I am a winner!
JoAnn at Pieceful Afternoon drew my name for her embroidery pattern giveaway! I was a winner and chose the bird embroideries.

Thank you, JoAnn. I may share these with my granddaughter who is learning to embroider!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

This is my studio always, in transition, becoming better and making me feel more at home there. Yesterday, my friend Paula helped me with rearranging some of the things and building some shelves to help store others.

First we needed zip ties.....lots.

Then Rubbermaid closet shelving. 2 pieces 6 feet long for the upright sides and 2, 8 foot shelves cut in half at the store [Lowes].

These shelves are designed to hold bins of fabric at an angle....the front of the shelves being lower than the back so that the contents are more visible. I need more storage but it can't be in closets or armoires where I can't see the fabrics and colors which come together in my quilts. Out of sight, out of mind is too true in my case. My muse needs to see her materials!

Below is one end of the studio with my sewing machines and serger and a primitive antique hutch/closet ......

Now, on an adjoining wall is my new shelf unit. Thanks to Paula, and the zip ties we had it assembled in no time! The top shelf is level and holds baskets. The bins are on the slanted shelves and I can see the contents more easily! I love it!
Now the discipline is to keep the fabric collection to a rather constant size....sewing up some before more comes in so that I can have a sense of what is here!

A closer look at the shelf right after we finished it yesterday.....

What has appeared in the garden this morning??????

A closer look.

It is a cauliflower teapot!
Every cottage garden outside an artist's studio can use a bit of whimsy and charm!
My garden benefitted from a consultation day with my friend Paula who is an excellent gardener and thrift shop queen! We spent the morning on several projects here (more about them in the next post), then had a delicious, easy, light lunch of her homegrown White Pearl cucumbers along with a hearty dip for tortilla chips (recipe to follow). In the afternoon, we visited a new thrift shop nearby, came home and measured my spacebeside the back door.....
It worked! we went back and brought it home...I now have a "mystery" ?What ever is this thing?" of a wrought iron shelf unit outside the back door.

Paula also gave me several boxes of broken glazed floor tiles which I can recycle into a mosaic in concrete to use as a little patio, or back door entrance....that will be so wonderful! Hope to start on it tomorrow!
This is similar to the "Texas Caviar" recipe which was so popular a few years ago.
Southwestern Veggie Salad
In a large bowl, combine
1, 15 oz can whole kernel corn, ( I used frozen whole kernel corn instead of canned)
1,15 oz can black beans, do not drain
1, 10 oz can Ro-tel tomatoes, do not drain
1, 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)
Cumin to taste
garlic salt to taste (or fresh garlic and some sea salt)
ground black pepper to taste
LOTS of fresh chopped cilantro
[can also add fresh chopped onion and/or bell pepper]
Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top if desired!
Serve with Tortilla Chips
[similar recipes can be found on line by Googling "Southwestern black bean salad recipe"]

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Right after Tuesday's wonderful rain, which lasted for hours that morning, this is how the garden looked.

Heavy, wet leaves had pulled down the vines.

With a little help Tuesday evening from the stronger person who lives here, the vines were soon standing upright, and re-inforced with bamboo supports. [below]

This morning, sunny and cool, the squash were in bloom, seen here along with rosemary and the purple ruffley plant, perilla.
Caught in the act! I was so excited to see a pollen-laden bee actually working in my squash blooms. Bees seem scarce and may be endangered....what would happen to our food supply then?

Of course, if these guys wander from blossom to blossom we may have 2 kinds of squash mixed...this will be fun to check on! [Just hoping they don't add the cucumber pollen to that mix!]

I found a project from the past down in my studio closet last night.

From several years applique pattern was much loved! This is a quilt called "Simply Delicious" by "Piece 'O Cake" quilt designers.

These patterns are still available in PDF files for $3.00 each on their website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A brief history of a tomato....
Young tomato plants are set out in the garden in early May. Here a week later, May 21st, they are happy.
The plant on the right side is the Cherokee Purple, heirloom tomato. [Click on photos to see more detail.]

June 11th, we have blossoms and 2 "babies"!
June 18th, they are so cute....but no more have formed.

A month later, July 16th, while treating the garden for poison ivy, the now large, heavy tomatoes are harvested. They are beginning to turn from green to dusky red.

Here is a close look. July 16th.

Now, on advice from an older gardener, they go into a brown paper ripen.

By the morning of July 21st they are ready for their close up....and smell like wonderful fresh tomatoes, too!
That evening, the largest one is sliced to reveal beautiful rich red flesh and a heavenly scent and taste! [Shown here with basil which was added to the lettuce on the BLT that was enjoyed moments later!]
Note: the vines are beginning to produce, but none of these newer tomatoes will be as carefully watched as these first two "babies"! [We will be eating the smaller of these, in the background above, with our supper tonight!]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Before I can eat these tomatoes....first from the garden, I have to sketch them in my watercolor garden journal! Cherokee purple tomatoes due to become "Basil BLT's" for supper tonight. That is fresh basil for part of the lettuce on a BLT!

Last night's baking project was PLUM KUCHEN. I read several recipes on-line then adjusted them for what I had in the pantry. I can tell you that my version used turbinado sugar and for part of the all purpose flour (always unbleached!) I used spelt flour. So this could be healthy, right???? Of course, I had to make a watercolor of one the red violets and ruby jewel tones that appear when the plums are baked this way!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sweet Success! Is this not gorgeous????

The rays of the early evening sun striking the freshly baked tart and bowl of organic, whole milk French vanilla, cream top yogurt which will set it off nicely! [ Scroll down for the earlier part of this post where there is a link to the recipe!]

OK, I'm baking this today. I have been tempted for weeks and now it will happen.....(partly due to the 6-day steroid pack to help heal my poison ivy...I have LOTS of energy and I'm hungry!)

This rustic strawberry tart will be our dessert tonight! It is a Woman's Day recipe .

I hope to be back later with a photo of my tart!

Another fresh painting this weekend.....

Sharing it here with you as I look for minor changes to make before putting it on ETSY for sale to the discriminating art lover!

The daylily is from out front garden and the little wooden bird figure was from my last trip to a flea market. I love how he poses so perfectly in my still life!

The Delft pieces are from Holland, Michigan (small pitcher) and the Netherlands (tiny house vase). In spite of using real objects I paint for joy and whimsy! [for instance adding the beets which were not on the table, LOL!] Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Remember the tomatoes we picked on Thursday evening? Cherokee Purple heirloom variety?

Then we put them a paper bag to ripen.......

This morning we are definitely seeing some progress. I'll check again in a couple of days!

Related Posts with Thumbnails