Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hopes and dreams and a giveaway...

Past, Present, Future
(she dreamt of connecting the dots)

2012 you have been fleeting and full of life affirming joy, unspeakable heart-break, eye-opening realities and unbridled soul searching.  This past year I have started asking big questions and am learning to string together little answers and to connect the dots. In celebration of the new year I am hosting my annual New Year's give away.  Anyone who leaves a comment, hope, dream or resolution on this post between now and midnight on 12/31 will be entered (in a random hat drawing) to win the 4.75" x 5.25" block painting shown above.  The winner will be announced here on New Years Day and contacted by email about shipping.  Best of luck and warm wishes for the new year!

ps: . once again i raise my glass to all who have visited this little blog in 2012. i truly appreciated your insight, your time and your support and i thank you for stopping by....cheers!

Friday, December 28, 2012

unexpected and magical...

Remember yesterday when I mentioned I had a bit of snow envy?  We had two inches on the ground but no snow in the forecast for the next week and I was wishing for a little snowball fight, snowman building, snow angel type snow for us to enjoy over the break from school.  And then unexpectedly and magically it started snowing yesterday afternoon and it never stopped.  It was the big, light, fluffy snow that sparkles on the trees and makes everybody smile.  There was still no snow in the forecast as the 4 inches accumulated and I found myself shouting at the radio "but it's snowing here!".  Well it turns out this magical lake effect snow fell in a tiny band that only affected my town.  I love that.  It was like a special wish coming true and there is now talk of another 2-4 inches falling today.  I was able to pull together the fabric to start on the Mama Cat and her Skirt Dwelling Kittens pattern and make a pot of soup.  The dogs wore themselves out in the snow and then snuggled up inside and the kids got some much needed outside time and then settled back in with new books, toys and a silly game of charades.  
Have I mentioned that I am back in glasses after 6 lovely years with 20/15 vision?  I have very bad eyes and have had to wear glasses for near and far since 4th grade.  When we moved to our current house, only one block from the beach, I decided to have Lasik surgery which was super simple and successful.  They told me as I got older I may need reading glasses and I went on my way happily enjoying glasses free living.  But about 6 or 7 months ago my night vision started to decline, then my daytime vision and so now I don't need glasses for reading (or knitting) but I pretty much need them for everything else.  That is kind of unexpected but not so magical.  But in a way it is yet another thing coming full circle in this strange year that is on its way out.  Speaking of the new year in this I will put the finishing touches on a special painting that I will give away on January 1, 2013.   I will post a photo of the painting here tomorrow and anyone who comments on that post before midnight on New Year's Eve will be entered to win : )

Thursday, December 27, 2012

making & merry

Season's greetings! 
We are back from my parent's house and looking forward to a long string of unstructured days which have plenty of room for relaxing, reading, baking, cooking, knitting, sewing and playing (inside and out).  Although we have 2" of snow on the ground the big storms have passed us by which leaves me with a bit of snow envy.  There is something so magical about the dark winter days brightened by sparkly snow outside and the wood burning stove inside.  Of course this is the romanticized vision of winter which also includes a big pot of soup on the stove and hand knit hats on every head : )  So along with the sense of wonder and beauty that the snowstorm may bring I wish all of you in it's path warmth and safety in the days to come. 

ps:   I will see you back here Friday with info on my annual New Year's Give Away!

Monday, December 17, 2012

There are just no words...

you are not alone

There are just no words that make any sense.  It's as if we need a new word for this level of profound sadness.  Just this image today and wishes for the comfort of having loved ones close while our and hearts continue to break wide open over and over.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sharing x 2

homemade german spaetzle and heirloom apple salad

If only you could have joined me for lunch...
Yesterday morning I paid a long overdue visit to a friend from Germany for tea, homemade cookies and conversation.  As you know it has been a bit hectic and unsettling around here these past few months with our house being for sale, the adoption of two rescue dogs and all of the stuff that goes along with raising two teenagers and an 8 year old.  Well, I can't even tell you how lovely it was to sit and drink tea and talk and watch her little one toddle around with such openness and joy.  What a treat in the middle of the week and a reminder to slow down and connect.  I decided to take her a bit of the heirloom apple salad I had made for dinner the night before and she sent me home with some of the homemade German spaetzle with alpine cheese and caramelized onions that she had made the night before.  As she prepared to put her little one down for a nap, I returned home to prep the house for another showing.  Once everything was in its place and the house was ready I sat down and enjoyed an amazing leftovers lunch.  Sharing x 2 = super yummy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Work space...

Just a quick shot from the cleaned-last-night-so-now-i-can-think-straight studio.  I have a few pieces I have been working on but I had snipped so many bits of paper, dripped and scraped so much wax, scribbled so many notes and sanded so many edges that the mess was fogging my brain and I couldn't find a way to finish any of them.  But after clearing the table, switching out my work table paper and sorting through my pile of bits and pieces the fog lifted and I was able to start fresh this morning with a clearer picture of where these pieces are headed.  I know lots of people who can create out of chaos but I'm just not one of them.   I have to have some semblance (or at least the illusion) of order in my space to create.  So now with a clean table, music playing and the wax heated I'm off to work and play in the studio.  How about you create in chaos or calm?

Monday, December 3, 2012

The precious few...

Eggs that is.
With three of our four hens molting and the days getting shorter we are only collecting 3 to 4 eggs per week instead of 3 to 4 eggs per day.  I needed to purchase eggs for the 1st time in over a year just to get the holiday baking started.  What had become a staple is now a special treat and the few organic eggs from our backyard flock deserves some special attention. I finally got around to experimenting with this dish I spotted in the NY Times Magazine a few weeks back and it couldn't have been simpler or more delicious.  The article only gives a hand drawn diagram for the dish but a little searching on the internet helped me figure out the rest and I am sure this is something I will make over and over.  I only had two eggs and I filled both egg cups with the same filling of pesto, egg, parmesan, chives and thyme.  I made one cup out of whole wheat bread (which ended up being a bit to sweet) and the other out of sourdough (which was fabulous and balanced).  The possibility for variation are endless and this is a complete little dish which can be made ahead and reheated for a quick weekday breakfast but would also be beautiful (and delicious) as part of a lovely Sunday brunch.  Here is the basic recipe:

Baked Egg Cups
pre-heat oven to 350
spray or grease muffin/popover tin
remove crust from a slice of bread and mold into tin
put in pesto or filling and then crack egg into the cup
sprinkle herbs and/or cheese on top
bake approximately 15 minutes or until egg is set