December 26, 2010

New Knitting



Snowed in with a heaping stash of yarn! What could be more perfect?

Last night (Christmas night) I began knitting from a new pattern book that was a gift from my brother-in-law. The book, natural nursery knits by Erika Knight, contains a collection of wonderful patterns. The samples are in natural pinks, taupes, oatmeals and grays.

One pattern was so adorable I had to knit it the moment I curled up on the couch...a rattle in a warm oatmeal tone with a pink checkered sash around its neck. One night, a few hours of knitting and a few glances out the window to admire the falling snow and it was complete!

November 17, 2010

WheatonArts Annual Holiday Studio Sale!



WheatonArts offers a tranquil place to shop for unique holiday gifts for your loved ones. The museum stores are one of my favorite places to shop.

I would like to personally invite you to The Annual Holiday Studio Sale at WheatonArts. The sale takes place on November 26, 27 & 28 and then again on December 4 & 5. This is a once a year chance to purchase items that have been reduced 30% to 70%!

Artists featured in the sale include Terry Plasket, WheatonArts Ceramic Artist, and Melanie and David Leppla, two extraordinary glass artists. Glass art, including vases, bowls, platters and much more created by WheatonArts Studio glass artists, will also be on sale.

For more information about WheatonArts and the museum stores please visit their website at wheatonarts.org

November 8, 2010

Yummy Apple Compote

My husband bought a cheesecake to benefit a children's sports team of a nearby city. I am normally not a fan of cheesecake but today I was craving it and I thought, "It definitely needs a topping". In keeping with the season I thought a warm apple compote would compliment a chilled cheesecake perfectly. Below is my recipe for warm apple compote. In the words of my husband, it's divine!



2 apples, cored and peeled
1/8 cup white sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 of a lemon, juice squeezed
5 dashes of cinnamon

First, peel two apples. I bought this magnificent little tool that cuts an apple into sections in one push. You can buy them at any kitchen supply store. I bought mine at Bed Bath and Beyond. Once you cut the apple into 8 wedges, cut each wedge in half lengthwise and then in half again widthwise.



Place your peeled and sectioned apples in a small pot. Sprinkle the juice of 1/2 a lemon, sugar and cinnamon over the apples. Cook the apples covered on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

November 7, 2010

Baked Apples

This is my first time making baked apples. They are a wonderful fall comfort food so I thought it was about time I tried to make them! I must admit I do not follow exact measuring for these. Here is the very simple recipe for 2 baked apples:


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 whole all spice pieces, ground (or nutmeg)
1/2 cup sugar
2 apples (I used empire but granny smith would be good as well)
soy nog
2 teaspoons butter

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees



Mix the sugar, cinnamon and all spice in a small bowl, place aside. Core two apples while making sure to keep the bottoms solid. This will keep the juices in the apples instead of them leaking out the bottom. I like to use a spoon to scoop out the remaining core after I've used a knife to loosen it. Trim 1/2 inch of the apple peel off the top of the apple.



Fill each apple with the sugar/spice mixture. Place 1 teaspoon of butter on the top of each apple. Place the apples in a baking dish and poor just enough nutmeg in the dish so that the bottom is covered.



Place a piece of tin foil over the dish. (Do not forget this part...as I have done). The tin foil traps the juices and keeps your apples moist.

Bake for 45 minutes.

(I accidently baked my for too long and they fell apart...they are still very good but messy.)

November 3, 2010

The Sketchbook Project (2011)!

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

Hubby and I are participating in the 2011 Sketchbook project! Anyone can participate in this project. When you decide to participate you sign up on their website and shortly thereafter you will be sent a sketchbook. At time of sign up you must choose a theme (we choose lines and grids). We will have until January to finish our books. These books will travel to galleries and museums located around the country. To learn more or to participate visit http://www.arthousecoop.com/projects/sketchbookproject.

All sketchbooks will tour in the following cities:
Brooklyn, NY
Austin, TX
San Francisco, CA
Portland, ME
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Washington, DC
Winter Park, FL

After the tour all sketchbooks enter into the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library.

October 26, 2010

New Fabric Flower Brooches



These are three of my new fabric flower brooches. I used a combination of lace, satin and cotton fabric. When used as home decor, such as on a lampshade, they add a warm, unique touch.





Remember Westby? She is our 6 month old puppy. We've had her for a few months and her and Beauie, our 3 year old cat, are getting along very well!


October 19, 2010

Panini Idea


Tonight I made a delicious grilled eggplant and roasted fennel panini. I suggest it to everyone!

October 15, 2010

My Favorite Places

Hi Everyone! I added a new sidebar section (right) titled My Favorite Places. I love finding and supporting independently owned businesses. These are just a few of those that I absolutely love. As I stumble upon more I will add them to the list....check back often.

October 10, 2010

Woodfiring at Wheaton


WheatonArts is so many things to me. it is my place for employment, inspiration, my studio space for ceramics and a place to spend time with friends. Today was my birthday and I went to WheatonArts to participate in their woodfiring.

This woodfiring was the last class of a series of ceramic classes. The participants of this class spent two classes, taught by Terry Plasket, learning how to make pots for the wood kiln. Terry is a mentor and a dear friend of mine. I began studying under Terry when I was finishing my undergraduate degree at Rowan University. Experience is really the best way to learn and he offered me a concentrated time for hands-on experience that a formal education couldn't.

WheatonArts offers a variety of classes (glassblowing, ceramics, woodcarving, silk painting, knitting, etc.) Check out their website to learn more about WheatonArts' classes

October 7, 2010

Our Puppy/Dog


She is getting bigger by the day! My husband took this photo at the state park where we take walks.

Etsy Progress
I am revisiting my project to get an Etsy page up and running for The Little Teapot. I have a small inventory of items that I hope to be selling in time for the Holidays. These include scarves, flower broaches and prints. Stay tuned!

September 27, 2010

Antiques and Photos



This old lantern belonged to my grandfather. Before that it belonged to his mother. Unfortunately I haven't had the chance to hear the stories associated with this lantern directly from him. I found it as I was looking through his barn...my grandfather passed away a few years ago. He was always a very to-himself type of man. He was in World War II and from what I understand after that war his demeanor became very quiet.

He practically lived in his barn. He kept all his tools and garden equipment in this space. It was his and no one else's. As a young child I was never able to go into the barn because it had a large pit, which he would drive his car over in order to change the oil. Without a car over the pit, it was a good 10 foot drop onto hard concrete.

As I explored his barn I found all sorts of tools and notes to himself written on the worn wooden walls. It was like getting to know the man I never really knew. I didn't take much from that barn....a couple lanterns and some old gardening tools which my husband and I used to grow our first garden.


A Blog Give Away...and the chance to see magnificent photos!

As I think about family memories I would like to share a great site with you: Samantha Lamb Photography. This site has amazing photographs...Visit The Ardent Sparrow blog to enter for a chance to win one of this beautiful prints.

My favorite is Framing Light.

September 10, 2010

Harvesting Catnip


This season I planted one catnip plant with the hopes that I could make a few handmade organic catnip toys for my cat. Turns out that plant grows like a weed! I now have a beautifully lush catnip plant. Last night I harvested some of the capnip. Using twine I tied the sprigs into small bundles to dry. Tomorrow I will begin to make patterns for the hand-sewn catnip toys!

August 31, 2010

Online Renewal!




I've recently come across this wonderful magazine while poking around on the web! Its called Joie! That is exactly what it is...Joy! I've desperately been needing a way to unwind and embrace the creative side of my life..which has been on the back burner for a few months. I am elated to find this online magazine.

In addition to embracing my creative side I have been looking to embrace being a woman. This magazine helps me accomplish both of those goals! Filled with great diy advice, cooking tips, and home decor tips. I love it! Check it out! You will love it too!

August 30, 2010

New Drawing



I've been working on this drawing for quite some time...a month or so. I began by making the paper using scraps from my office. Next I cut the pieces into the shape of a flower. Then I sewed the pieces together using thread. The image is made using a combination of pencil, pen and watercolor...so far...more mediums may come.





I'm not sure if this is a keeper just yet.

August 29, 2010

A New Baby!


My sister-in-law is pregnant with her second baby! For her first I went crazy and crocheted and knitted almost an entire wardrobe. Back then I was in between college and a new job. This time I am working full time and writing my graduate thesis. So, a baby blanket is all I might be making...I began it a few days ago and it is coming along beautifully!

August 28, 2010

Snapper For Dinner



Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes

1 1/2 cup mandarin orange sections, chopped in half
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
3 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
2 (6-oz.) snapper fillets
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium (300-350 degrees).
2. Saute the onions in a small fry pan with olive oil.
3. In a small bowl combine oranges, onion, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Set aside.
4. Season the fillets with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with oil and remaining 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Place fillets on grill.
5. Grill 4 to 5 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork (145 degrees).
6. Spoon orange-olive mixture over fillets and serve.

Serves 2



August 23, 2010

New Sketch!



Next I will add watercolor!

August 4, 2010

Wildflowers!



We have a beautiful assortment of wildflowers around our vegetable garden. In the morning and early evening butterflies and hummingbirds fill these flowers!







Our veggies are still flourishing!





July 30, 2010

Westby is Home!


The SPCA called us and surprised us by saying that we could take Westby home early!


She was spayed today so she is very drowsy. By tonight she should be back to her playful self!


Beauie, our cat, is curious but is keeping his distance for a while.

July 25, 2010

Westby Visit


Today hubby and I visited our puppy, Westby, at the SPCA. We won't know if we absolutely get him until this upcoming Sunday. Since he just came in yesterday, there is a seven day period that he has to stay in the shelter before he officially goes up for adoption. If all goes well, we will be bringing our puppy home a week from today! This is somewhat good because it gives us a week to get our home ready for him!