August 27, 2011

The Calm Before The Storm

So last night was a beautiful evening here on the Chesapeake bay, you would never guess Hurricane Irene would be stopping by soon. Other then all the people scurrying around to pulled there boats out, or add extra lines to the boats that staying in to brave the storm. We pulled our J24 out, but my father brought his boat over because we are on a much more protected creek then he is.

The Wind is just started to kick up now, so we parked all the cars across the street so no trees land out them.

I always get really excited about storms and the energy that comes with them. All the reports are still non-committal about what Irene is going to do, weather she'll stay off shore or come closer in or even head up the bay.

We've battened down all the hatches, gotten our little generator out, have plenty of books to read and movies to watch. SO BRING IT IRENE!!, we waiting for ya.

August 26, 2011

Fall Preview - Sailor Knot Cuff

I've been playing with dyeing sailor knot cuffs lately to use as accent on handbags and scarfs. The dye doesn't take quite as well as with cotton fabrics but it gives the cording a muted washed look.

Here's a peek at a Fall Organic Bamboo Scarf with sailor knot cuff

August 25, 2011

What I Want Now - Antique Bird Cage

So I couple days ago we had an earthquake, which is odd because I live in maryland....Not California or Japan.

I missed the full effect of my little 1950's bay front cottage feeling like it was going to collapse because I was running some dye test for Fall 2011 out on the screened in porch that sits atop of a big concrete slap. PD however was in his office that is on the 2nd floor, and said the walls started swaying in unison and the flat screen started wobbling so much that he ran over the steady it before jetting downstairs and out to the yard.

At 5.8 on the rector scale it was big enough to knock pictures off the wall, make some of my things (treads, dyes, button cases) I have lined on a shelf in my studio fall off, and spill of cup of coffee I had sitting on my desk. But other then that we didn't have much damage.

When I talked to my dad later that evening, he said in a sarcastic tone "he had some bad news and that my Birdcage didn't make it through the earthquake." When I was 10 I had a Bird, and it was around for about a year. Then it hung is self with some flax seed strands from the side of the cage (no joke, that happened.) So the cage got put on the top shelf in the laundry room where it was forgotten for more then 15 years. Until 2 days ago when it was shaken lose and smashed to the ground.

That cage was nothing great, but I have always loved a little display of vintage cages in a foyer or on a porch. Ive even seen them turned in to light fixtures. I have not started to lust after the a handing version to have in my studio. Here is some of my inspirations.

Outdoor display
, on bookcase, yellow, turquoise, light fixture

August 24, 2011

Excursions - Luray Caverns

PD took me for a little over night trip for my birthday this past weekend, we headed down to Luray Caverns which is a short 2 hour 45 trip for us. Luray is the one of the largest caverns in the eastern Americas, and neither PD or I had been there since we were under the age of 10 so we thought it would be a fun to go explore again.

August 22, 2011

Some pretty Fine Twine

Ok... so I may have gone a bit overboard on twine last week. But, I have always loved bakers twine and the vast amounts of colors it comes in. Its a little bit vintage and a little bit preppy and a whole lot of fun.

I always wrap my packages with a piece of ribbon when they get shipped out, and I have been running low lately and I thought why not start to use brightly colored twine.

Divine twine and The Twinery have a nice selection... but at $15 for 240 yards I thought that seemed expensive.

I thought surely I could find a distributor that sold the real deal to bakery's for cheaper, sure enough I did. We Sell Coffee had 3400 yard cones for 9.95!! They didnt have nearly as many colors... But im pretty pleased with the colors I got. (Which was almost all the colors they offered)

So it looks like I now have a life time supply of twine....

Do you think my other treads are feeling dwarfed by the twine?

August 17, 2011

Hump Day Etsy Eyecandy - Matryoshka Dolls

I used to always play with my grandmothers all the time, and lately ive been feeling like i need a set of these in my studio to watch over me as I sew.

I want all of those...

Find them here

Lavender hanging dolls
, Necklace, Measuring cups, Vintage nesting dolls, Letterpress cards, Coin Purse

August 16, 2011

Raspberry, Almond, & White Chocolate Trifle

For my step moms birthday last week, I decided to make the desert. I wasn't really in a cake mood and didn't want to do the normal strawberry short cake we always have for summer birthdays.

So PD suggested a trifle, and boy am I glad he did. I love a good trifle they are fun to make and usually come together really quick.

So I looked for a good recipe and sort of combined a few different ones a came across to make my own. And i have to say, it was really really good. Much better then any other trifle I have had before. It was light and had lots of flavors, and wasn't overly sweet.

It was a little more involved then some trifles, but totally worth it.

here's what you'll need.

* 3 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
* 12 oz package high-quality white chocolate, I used ghirardelli.
* A few pieces (like half a Hershey bar worth) Milk chocolate.
* 2 teaspoons almond extract, divided
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup water
* 7 ounces or one package English biscuits cookies/butter cookies.
* 1.5 cup raspberry jam, melted, divided
* 1 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, partially thawed.
* 2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
* 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

On the stove simmer 1 cup of the whipping cream and once warm add about half to 3/4 of the bag of white chocolate chips, and the milk chocolate pieces. (I broke mine in little pieces so they melted faster) Wisk until melted, Then remove to heat and let cool to about room temperature.

In a bowl empty partly thawed frozen raspberry and sprinkle with sugar, put in fridge to continue thawing.

In a small saucepan simmer 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tea spoon of almond extract.

In another small saucepan pour raspberry jam and simmer.

Start whipping the other 2 1/2 cups of whip cream and ad the last 1 teaspoon of almond extract. Just before it starts to form soft peeks, and once your whipping cream has cooled the to room temperature (I popped mine in the frige for about 10 mins because i was in a hurry) fold it in and keep whipping.

Now its time to start layering

1) Take your English biscuits and dunk them in to the sugar/water/extract syrup and then layer them along the bottom of your trifle dish.
2) Use about 1/3 of the jam and drizzle it over the biscuits
3) use about 1/3 of thawed raspberry and spread around, I also sprinkled a few fresh raspberry in this layer too.
4) Spread about 1/3 of whipping cream mix over the top.
5) Sprinkle with some sliced almonds
6) repeat 2 more times
7) On top mound fresh raspberry's and sliced almond

Cover and place in fridge for 5 hours or over night. The flavors seem to meld more if you leave it sit over night.


August 15, 2011

Monday Inspration - Dark and stormy

So its been on and off thunder storms here all weekend. In fact the lightning has kept me up the last 2 nights. Which is fine by me, because there is nothing I love more then a good thunder storm. And here on the Chesapeake bay we get our fare share of good ones, in fact it was almost a year ago that we got a direct hit. It blew out everything electrical in the house, blew the battery in the boat in to a million pieces and got battery acid all over the interior, and melted a plastic broom that was in the shed in to one big nub of plastic.

Even after that I still love storms, there is something about them that make me feel alive. The energy in the air and power the wind, rain and lightning have.

So with that here is this weeks inspiration board

All pictures from here

August 12, 2011

Treasury - The collector

View it live here

I was lucky enough to be featured in this lovely treasury today. It was put together by jess Rowe who runs the etsy shop jessrowe, which features very pretty watercolors.

I love all the rustic finds... my favorite of which is the table made from the type box tray. I have a couple of old type box trays that hung on my wall and a young child and have been wanted to turn them in to end tables or a small coffee table for my bedroom for quite some time. I might add that to the DIY To do list soon.

Happy Friday all!... im off the play on the boat and enjoy this beautiful (Cooler!) weather we have finally gotten.

August 10, 2011

Hump Day Etsy Eyecandy - watercolors

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Watercolors have always been one of my favorite paint mediums. The watery colors you can dilute and blend always make an image look soft and pretty. The brush skills I got from one painting class in college are a far cry from the following artists, but just looking makes me wish I had taken more.

Find them for sale here
Feather, Octopus, Crab, Whale, Stones