Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Owls and greiving

You may have noticed, my darling friends, that I've been away for some time. There's a lot I could say but for now I'll just say that I've lost a friend, and very nearly lost another.  Death is always a difficult truth to accept, but when someone so young and joyful goes it's a lot harder to fight back the bitterness of one's grief. Needless to say it's been hard to get excited about the holidays, and even harder to get anything done. My heart is heavy and my hands are idle. 
I am allowing myself to explore this place and patiently I'm awaiting the return to my usual creative exuberance. There is still the joy of the holidays ringing in our home but on a much smaller scale than years past. The hubs and I agreed to simplify our holiday this year by scaling back the amount of gifts we do. A usual holiday tradition for us is to hand-make as many gifts as we can. Currently Mason is obsessed with the book, The Little White Owl, which is adorable story of a friendly little owl. 
He has already worn his copy out!

When I saw this little Owlie at button bird designs I just knew that I would have to make an all white one for my little buddy, so that's what I'm doing today.

What gifts do you like to make by hand for your loved ones?

& health to all of you

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lilliedale Shop

Good morning friends, I am enjoying the peace and serenity of a very foggy morning here on the coast and I wanted to share a few things with you...

Lilliedale will now be offering items for sale through Etsy. I know, I know I'm about 3 years late to the party, but better late than never, right?... 
Today I'm working on new listings for my Esty shop and will soon set up a link on my sidebar, 
somewhere over there-------------------------------------------------------->
If any of you are Etsy sellers I'd love to hear your most valuable advice, so please tell me all about your experiences. 

It is only Monday, and already my week has had it's up's and down's. I am busily creating a few custom orders(Yay!) and am trying out a new medication for my Crohn's that so far makes me feel pretty icky(boo!). We were lucky to have my husband's parents in town this past weekend and my mother-in-law and I got to spend an entire child free day shopping all the thrift and antique shops here in town. I have definitely been struck by the holiday bug and have all sorts of great ideas to share with all of you in the coming weeks. 

To celebrate the opening of my new Etsy shop I will be doing a giveaway to be announced later this week, so stick around to find out more on that.

I hope you all had a beautiful weekend, 
it sure was sunny and warm here which has since been replaced but a cold autumn fog!

on the new horizon

Friday, November 11, 2011

No pretty pictures, just gratitude

Today is veteran's day, and unfortunately my veteran has to work. It's not fair really, I think all service men and women should get it off it as a national holiday, I mean school children and bankers get it off and they didn't even have to go through basic training. But you know, those vets they don't really complain about having to work their holiday. After all that's what they do right, they work so the rest of us can go on with our daily lives.

 There are quite a few veteran's in my life, some went around the world to serve and some never left the states. Some went into the service to expand their future and some had no choice, leaving their homes to fight in a war they may or may not believe in. 

Some may be marching in a fading parade today,
or reminiscing with fellow vets over a pint in their sleeveless BDU's.
Some may be alone with their terrifying memories of jungles, deserts and other far away lands.
Some may even just go about their regular day with hardly a thought for the time they gave.

What ever your experience was in the service, I hope you feel appreciated today and everyday 
for your willingness to give. I am grateful for you, all of you.

on earth, please.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A busy little bird

I have been zipping around my studio for the past few weeks and despite this ridiculous head cold that we all have, I am slowly making progress on my winter collection for my boutique. This year I have a few fun new partners that will be doing the boutique with me so at least I don't feel as stressed out as I did last year. 
Much like last year I am planning on listing whatever is left after the boutique sale on Etsy. Yeah, except there was nothing left after my sale last year, not that I'm complaining. :) 
Never you fear my dear, this year I am making a lot more loot!

Also, I will do custom orders on pretty much anything your little heart desires. So if you see something you'd love to have just email me and we can work it all out.
This year is still all about re-imagining used goods into beautiful new items. I am focusing on a few of my favorite things in particular this year nature, typography, and Glitter!
Here's just a peek at what these mitts are cranking out this year

Well I'm off to sip some tea, layer some more paint in my hair and make some more creations!

Have a beautiful day!

 & pretty birds

Monday, November 7, 2011

Left over, not left out!

We always have leftovers, it's a sickness really because If we do not have leftovers I feels as though I did not prepare enough food. In this house we cook about 3 nights a week and feed off our leftovers the other 4 days. So If we eat all of a meal that means we have nothing for the next few days. Now before you feel sorry for my hubby and kids I suppose I should tell you that I usually remix the leftovers into an entirely new dish, so it's not as they are eating the same thing day after day. Also, much like any good restaurant, I usually have some sort of leftover soup or stew in the fridge for a quick meal. So often on leftover nights you have a choice of a a main dish or soup. 
Today (rather than fold laundry and finish painting my chest of drawers like I should) I want to talk about 2 very delicious leftovers I have in the fridge Aacheesy bechamel sauce and some whipped acorn squash. The bechamel is left over from some cheesey cauliflower, and the whipped squash is from last night when we had a mini thanksgiving dinner. Tonight I'm going to combine them with some delicious noodles and make Acorn Squash Mac'n Cheese.
Now I know what you're thinking, and yes I do have a decided bias towards all foods rich and comforting this time of year. This is the season where I let loose and really enjoy cooking. It's finally cool enough to want to run the oven and I'm gonna make up for those few months when it wasn't!

Savory Whipped Acorn Squash

1 or 2 acorn squash
1/2 c. Milk
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
Salt & pepper to taste
I'm starting with the whipped squash we had for dinner last night, which is not only tasty but also pretty darn healthy. I bought these locally grown organic squash for $1 each, can't beat that! Slice it in half and remove the seeds. Then you may either wrap the 2 halves tightly in plastic wrap and microwave until soft or place the 2 halves cut side down on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until soft. For this I chose to bake my squash as I already had my oven going for the bird. Once the squash is soft scrape it into a bowl  add a little hot milk, cold butter, salt, pepper, and garlic salt and cumin powder beat on high until smooth like mashed potatos.I used about 1/2 milk and 2 tbsp butter. Now enjoy your whipped squash but be sure to save some for the Mac'n Cheese!

Acorn Squash Mac'n Cheese

1 lb.Good quality pasta rigitoni, elbow or penne
Leftover whipped Squash
bechamel sauce
extra cheese to sprinkle on top
bread crumbs (optional, but I like panko)

For the cheesy bechamel:
3 tbsp.Unbleached flour
3 tbsp. Butter
2 c. Milk 
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
1 clove of garlic chopped finely
1/2 c. grated cheese of your choice (I used sharp cheddar)
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
Salt & Pepper to taste

 To make the bechamel you first make a light roux by browning the flour and butter in a sauce pan. It takes only a few minutes to reach a nice golden brown that helps enrich the flavor of the sauce. 
Then toss in the onions and garlic and cook just until they have softened.

 Next add in milk and allow to simmer of a few minutes. 
The flour will cause the sauce to thicken. Add in cheese and spices and stir to combine. 
Lastly add the cooked squash and stir until it is combined. cook the sauce just long enough to get it hot

Remove from heat and pour onto boiled pasta.

 Spoon pasta into baking dish and sprinkle lightly with cheese and bread crumbs. Rather than bake an already cooked and hot pasta dish I like to just put it under the broiler for a few minutes.
Remove from Hot oven and enjoy!

I served my Mac'n cheese with some yummy sauteed kale and the kiddos gobbled it all up! 
In fact I'm not sure they even knew that there was squash in it at all so this might be good if you have veggie squeamish little ones. 
What recipes do you enjoy adding autumnal ingredients to? 
I'd love to try a few of your favorite fall foods, so feel free to share.

& Cheesy Sauce

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Please take my card

Today I'm thinking about our Christmas card.
Yes, yes it is only the 3rd day in November, and Yes it does seem pretty kooky to be planning Christmas before we've even finished eating all our Halloween candy, but hey, it's who I am. Every year I hunt and search for the perfect Christmas card. Something that best represents our little family to all of our friends and loved ones. I am not alone in this and I know that many of you probably also spend hours on your holiday card. This year I am using Tiny Prints for my holiday cards. I love how their website makes it simple to narrow your search and to keep a list of your favorite designs. While I have not decided which will actually be the one I will share a few of my favorites...

My criteria for our card is as follows:
1. Must say Peace on it somewhere (Ya know, that's kinda my thing!)
2. It must be unique, I don't want it on Gramma's mantle with others that are the same!
3. Since we only put photos of the boys on it it must represent where they are in life,
 no stodgy card for my rowdy little ones!
4. It must be something frame-able, 
As I frame one every year and display them in consecutive order in our home
 I like this one because lot's of pictures means less stress over getting 1 perfect shot

This one has the whimsy I love and it would go well with a B&W photo

I love the saying on this one and I especially love the shape, I know a few grandparents who would love to hang this on their tree!

In the end I think that card will have to depend on the picture I will have of the boys. I am sorta procrastinating taking the boys holiday photos as someone here has their very first wiggly tooth and I am hoping to capture his toothless grin in this years brotherly photo.

Tiny prints has lots of gift options as well, like the always loved photo books which come in a large variety of sizes from 5x7 all the way up to 12x12

This year I am thinking of giving the boys each a small 5x7 book of them! It would be sweet to include some of their artwork, handwriting and their favorite photos of themselves

or I may make one of these photo canvases for my hubby, Since he already has a photo book!

Head on over to Tiny Prints to glance at just a few of their options and I'm sure you'll find a card, a photo book or a canvas that screams you! 

And for all my blogging friends you can go here to sign up to feature tiny prints and receive 50 free cards! I did this last year and had the cutest cards to show for it.

is having your Holiday card finished before thanksgiving!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Cowboy and the Lego Man

I hope you are all enjoying your Halloween. We are back from candy collecting and are all snuggled up with our favorite halloween movies and bellies full of sweets. Speaking of sweets here are a few highlights of mine...

This year My oldest decided he wanted to be Lego Luke Skywalker
So, 1 Costco sized red vines container and a cardboard box later we had a pretty good Luke, complete with black glove covering the hand Darth hacked off!

My little Lego Jedi was pretty popular, he even won a costume contest

Then there was my little cowpoke. His exact words were "I wanna be a cowboy with a rope!"

We had a blast at our annual Halloween party

We decorated cupcakes, read some spooky stories and played a lot!

Then we carved our pumpkins, making sure to save the seeds so we could roast them and make a delicious snack

luckily, daddy was able to help 

then it was finally time to go trick or treating

and get some "CANDY" !!!

Happy Halloween from our home to yours! I hope everyone is enjoying a safe and sugary sweet night!

pass the candy

Fairly Magical

As you know last year I was Ms. Mirriam A.Webster the Diction-Fairy for Halloween. 

You can go here for more information

This year I shared my tutorial and am happy to say that I have had loads of people copy me! I have received so many sweet emails from all sorts of people thanking me for the idea. A few crafty people have even won costume contests! Here are a few adorable fairies that were sweet enough to send along a pic. I love to see how each person has made it their own by adding special little touches!

From My friend Katie who made all 3!

From Jessica in Louisville, KY

This year I hope to see a whole army of book fairies out and about but so far I'm still the only one in my area. I wore my costume to the school carnival on Friday and then to work Saturday night, I know I'm a crazy lady! While waiting tables in a paper tutu and wings wasn't the easiest thing I've ever done it certainly was fun to see peoples reactions. My Favorite was the guy who just couldn't understand and kept calling me a newspaper!
 If you are also a Literary Fairy this year please send me a pic, I'd love to add it to these! 

Happy Halloween and watch out for paper cuts!

& Popcorn balls!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It just keeps getting better

Yesterday was my birthday. I have never in my life felt as loved as I do on this my 27th birthday. As I ease into my late twenties it's hard not to notice how much more comfortable I am with myself than I once was. As far as birthdays go, this year had to be the best one yet. 
A few days before my boys made me some new Halloween decorations

thanks boys!

My sweet husband took me out to my very favorite Creperie (after dropping the boys at school). Oh that giant hot chocolate was AMAZING, le sigh! 

We came home from breakfast to find that my sweet daddy had sent me some beautiful flowers, Thanks Daddy!

Then Jess got to work finishing making my little decorative shelf over my baking area in the kitchen. It looks kinda jumbled now but once I paint it all a creamy white it will look perfect

My friend and neighbor brought me a warm apple pie, you know you have some seriously awesome friends when they bring you pie! I was more than happy to have them and a few other friends/neighbors over for cheesecake and pie later. It is so nice to live in the same neighborhood with 3 of my very good friends!

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with another one of my favorite girls and a few of my co workers. I'm gonna wear these, my other gift from that wonderful hubby. 

Today my mom and I have to get to work getting ready for our kiddo Halloween party on Friday. I also have to finish making someones Lego Luke Skywalker costume. 

I hope you all have a great day!

of leftover pie for breakfast

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