3 days

Tonight I have two things that I'm most excited to share with you! The first I can't take any credit for whatsoever, but it was such a find.

I have a very dear aunt and uncle who live nearby. I can't begin to tell you how tremendous they are. We've had serious medical scares with both of them this past year, so these days I'm feeling hugely lucky to have them both alive and well. Anyway, I've been at their house a bit these past few days and just happened upon this quilt.


Yes, it's entirely handmade. Hand pieced, hand quilted, all from scraps, handmade. I was in disbelief when I first saw it. I can't imagine the work that goes into something like that! Granted, I'm hand quilting my niece's quilt, slowly but surely, but doing all the piecing too? Gracious. Obviously, handmade quilts aren't all that rare, but I seem to think they're something of a legend, a myth, falling somewhere on the scale between four-leafed clovers and leprechauns.


I wonder about all the love that went into it, what else those fabrics were used for, what was going on in the quilter's life when she made this. Don't you put all of that stuff into your crafting? I think after I'm gone my projects will be able to tell my life story better than anyone, if only you could get it out of them. Anyway, It's the happiest quilt I've ever seen. You know, I think my favorite part is the red binding. Note to self - my next quilt must have a red binding. Till then I'll marvel at this one whenever I'm visiting my aunt and uncle.


Next up, a sneak peak! This year my goal was to give as many handmade Christmas gifts as I could. That was a great plan until I remembered that Christmas is also my busy season as a horn player. Thus, my family will be celebrating Three Kings Day and sending Happy New Year cards this year, but that's ok. Nonetheless, I've been wondering about how craft bloggers deal with Christmas. You don't want to give away any surprises, but what happens when most of your projects are meant as gifts? So I'm hoping the recipient(s) of this particular item still pretend to be surprised, whether they guess it or not. And I promise more pictures after the holidays are over!




These days I find my self drawn to the intentional use of white in decorating. And I don't mean the use of white as a safe default color, I mean a solid commitment to a neutral color scheme.

These are from emmas designblogg, and there's a great set on flickr as well.

from http://emmas.blogg.se/

from http://emmas.blogg.se/

from http://emmas.blogg.se/

from http://emmas.blogg.se/

from http://emmas.blogg.se/

Now, you've seen the orange walls in my living room. That's only the beginning. I once likened my apartment to the inside of a Crayola box. Truly, I don't think my apartment would wear white walls very well, and I do enjoy the colorful existence we have going on. But here's my thought. I have a large piece of canvas tacked above my couch in said living room. That canvas has traveled with me since my first apartment, and it's painted in colors from the house I grew up in. But what if I turned it over (it's not stretched) and painted the back white? It would certainly be a conscious, intentional decorative use of the color white, and maybe it would inject some clarity and peace into my otherwise untameable living room. At least it would be cheap, and I could always flip it back over if I'm not keen on the result. Any thoughts?

Living Room

Ouch, it's such a shock in comparison to the lovely white photos above. Maybe it's time to get on to recovering that couch too. Something must be done. Consider this a before picture!



Just stopping in to say hi. We had a Christmas party this evening, so I'm on my way to bed.

Orange Ornaments Orange Ornament

Today I dried orange slices and hung in the windows as ornaments. We haven't gotten a tree yet, unfortunately. Our line of work makes this a busy season. But for now, orange slices perk up our orange living room pretty nicely. The only trick will be convincing the monster, I mean cat, that they're not for him. Anyway, till tomorrow!



Fred always scolds me when I start a project without the proper preparation. Usually this involves paint. It's not uncommon for me to start painting without putting a drop cloth down, but I've gone so far as to paint a dresser without actually taking the clothes out of the drawers. Yeah, it's bad, I know. So it should come as no surprise to hear that I learned more about making marshmallows after I had started the process than before. My recipe looked good and was well reviewed, so I dove right in.


Well, the good news is that they taste great. The less fortune news, the part I figured out after the fact, is that marshmallows really do work better when fluffed up in a tabletop mixer. Sources say that 10 - 15 minutes with a whisk attachment allows the marshmallow goo to triple in volume. Alas, as this baby is not yet a part of my counter top arsenal, I tried using my food processor. I use that food processor pretty successfully for just about everything, so I figured it should work for this recipe too. And the results?


Yeah, they're a little on the skinny side. Maybe even leaning towards dense and slightly chewy. Bummer, you say. But wait, dear friends, there's hope! This is the perfect application for that multi-purpose life lesson: Chocolate makes everything better!

Chocolate dredged marshmallows

And now, just consider the possibilities! These handsome things are fated for so much more than your standard hot chocolate. Bite sized and delicious, they're the perfect size and shape for microwave smores! Come on, you know you love the idea....


Knock knock

Anybody there? Oh hi, it's me. Yowzers, it's been over a month. So here's my plan. I'd like to post once a day from now till Christmas. I'm going to subject you to whatever pictures I can squeeze out of my day, whatever updates and meanderings I find to blog about. I like the idea of getting some practice with my camera, and I love checking in on other blogs that update often. After that, we'll see where this takes us. Bear with me, folks.

In the meantime, let's gloss over the past few weeks, shall we? Fred and I did indeed make it up to visit my sister over Thanksgiving, despite a persistent ice storm. It was quite beautiful, once we got off the road.

Rose Hips

Then, speaking of ice storms, we battled another one this past week on our way out to visit my alma mater. I haven't been back since I left, and being there again was awesome. Gosh, I miss that place.


And for as much as I enjoy Boston, I've never found a coffee house quite like the one we frequented in Rochester.


I don't even want to tell you how much time I spent there during those 4 years. It hasn't changed a bit, thank goodness. Check out the painting up there, the woman with the red tights. I've wanted that painting for years. Alas, she's not for sale.

But enough of my nostalgia! Christmas is coming! That means homemade ornaments...


Wicked dark chocolate...


And handmade peppermint patties!

Peppermint Patties

Yeah, those guys are crazy good. Who knew that you could make peppermint patties with only 5 ingredients? I have this strange concept of certain foods, where I don't really perceive of them as having existed before they came in mass produced, individually wrapped sizes. Peppermint patties fall in that category, as do granola bars, cough drops, veggie burgers, and marshmallows. I mean, really, who came up with these things? But I am here to tell you that peppermint patties can be made with 5 ingredients, and not a single preservative. Love that. And just to tick another item off that list, tune in tomorrow for my expo on marshmallows! Thanks for stopping in, and have a good night!