Friday, August 28, 2009

Blogging about Blogging

I was excited today when I heard from a fellow Etsian that she had posted one of my woolies on her blog under her "Friday Finds." I have been following several blogs lately and I love hunting through the favorites of my favorites! So I'm starting a list and including Tara's blog first on the list. It is really fun to be recognized by others and to do the same....check out Tara's shop (Garden Girl Creations) on Etsy.

I'm thrilled that is is finally Friday...this has been a challenging last two weeks. I am anxious to get back to my sewing machine and provide myself with some "woolies therapy." There is wine wear to be made, flowers to be stitched and a brand new idea for glasses cases that I can't wait to get started on! Stay tuned...maybe by the end of the weekend, I'll have one of those made to show. I just felted lots of sweaters and as I pulled them out of the dryer I had visions of new woolies! So I'm off to the hum of my machine...Ahhhhh.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Abrupt End

Hi all! Well, the summer came to an abrupt end...and I started back to the real world of work and deadlines and driving miles and miles! Oh, how sad to be finished with lazy days and working in the studio and blogging! In between all of the preparation for a new school year, I have found a little time to go hunting for new ideas and inspiration. My friend Beth sent me a link to a documentary that I definitely want to see: Handmade Nation. See the article and youtube video here. It's amazing to me how one thing leads to another and before you know it you've found the coolest things online...I looked up some of the crafters in the video and bookmarked some great sites. Also ran across Cafe Handmade which is a nifty site!

I felted more sweaters yesterday, and today made a trip with Renee to the fabric store. Stocked up on lots of purse handles for some bags that I have planned. We are getting geared up for Holly Days which is a service league sponsored show in November. There are five women, including myself, who will be sharing a booth. We all work with thread, needles, fabrics, wool and yarn so we're The Knotty Girls! I've got to get busy...the weeks are flying by! Now that school has started, the weeks and especially the weekends will move at lightning speed. My fingers need to do the same! Until next time.... Happy New School Year to all of you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bees in the Garden


Remember that mountain honey shown in a previous post? I used every single drop of it to create a lunch menu for friends recently. It was a "honey of a lunch", and some of the recipes are worth sharing! I love putting together a luncheon for friends each summer. I always have some sort of theme for the day and this year I just wanted to celebrate summer. I had planned on having lots of fresh garden vegetables and biscuits with honey, but an unexpected (and wonderful) beach trip got thrown into the schedule. So I opted for simpler fare, the main dish which I cooked and froze before leaving for the beach. I served Chicken Florentine Lasagna which came out of my Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Bees in the Garden coleslaw was so easy to prepare and delicious! This recipe was found on the National Honey Board website. Yeast rolls and butter completed the plate....and then dessert was served. I found two recipes online for simple desserts including honey. I searched the Golden Blossom Honey site and found this recipe for Lemon Tarts. These were so simple and so pretty perched on my latest auction acquisition (jadite cake stand). I used fresh whipped cream, and topped some of the tarts with a blueberry and some with a little slice of strawberry. Pretty and yummy. (As you can see from the picture, there were very few left over!) I also made Honey-Peanut Butter Cookies which I found on I love this website, because of all of the comments connected to the recipes. You can find almost ANYTHING at this site. The cookies were old-fashioned flattened with the fork kind of cookies that I love the most! I served these in my cookie jar that resembles a honeycomb - perfect ! I always love to give a little treat to my guests as they are leaving. This year I found some small honeycomb shaped soaps and beverage spoons dipped in honey. With clear cellophane, I wrapped two tea bags , one soap and tied the beverage stirrer in with the black and white checked ribbon. Using a bee stamp, I made a little card attached to each favor. We had fun and the best part of the lunch was seeing friends and wishing everyone well as we head back into another school year!

Friday, August 7, 2009


Julie and Julia..the MUST see it. My daughter and I went today...the first day of this DELIGHTFUL movie. We smiled for the entire two hours. Meryl Streep is wonderful as Julia Child and the story is sweet and inspiring. I love cookbooks and Food Network and Top Chef and Iron Chef and all things food, so for me this was the perfect movie! What a complete TREAT....bon appetit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Perfectly Pastoral Penland

I have SO much to write about and SO many pictures to share today, so hang on! I just spent several days in the mountains of NC, visiting with my sister Jane and attending the Scholarship Auction at Penland School of Crafts. If you have never heard of Penland, you are missing something incredible. From the website, I have copied a portion of the description, which describes the mission and feel of Penland:

Penland School began out of a strong belief in a few simple values. Penland's founder, Lucy Morgan summarized these as "the joy of creative occupation and a certain togetherness-working with one another in creating the good and the beautiful." For more than seventy-five years, these principles have guided a remarkable institution which has had a pervasive influence on American craft and touched the lives of thousands of individuals.

Jane has been to Penland numerous times and has many friends there. She calls Penland "heaven" and I now understand why. What a beautiful and inspiring place. Jane, her neighbor Liza and I traveled on Monday night to Penland to have dinner and to attend the auction. The scholarship auction is a culmination of several weeks of work by artists attending Penland. Many students, their instructors and friends of Penland are represented in the work that is auctioned. The sale was so much fun and I left with a beautiful pair of (are you surprised???) FELTED earrings (made by Jennifer Moss of jemmetals). Between dinner and the auction, we were able to walk through the textiles and metals studios, talk to some of the students and drink in the creativity of this place.

The metals building was a feast for the many beautiful pieces there. Linda Darty was an instructor in enameling and pictures do not give justice to the intricacy and detail of these gorgeous pieces.

Jane pointed out that many of Linda's examples were plates from her book The Art of Enameling. (Have to put in a plug for my sister here: she created a piece which was featured in Linda's book.)

We then moved on to the textiles in the Lily Loom House. Be still my heart! I had such a good time looking at the looms, the beautiful woven scarves and then upstairs to the felted pieces. The workshop presently in session was focusing on the processes of hot felting and needle felting to create sculpture. Check out the little mice! They were my favorite thing and there was one sold at the auction, but surpassed my personal financial limit for the night! There was a beautiful mancala game, a gorgeous felted bowl and other amazing pieces. I would LOVE to be able to spend a few weeks at Penland doing nothing but learning new techniques, being taught by experts and feeding off the energy and collaboration of other artists. I hope one day to be there!

It was almost time for the auction, so we left textiles and walked down the prettiest path EVER. A beautiful feast for the eyes...plants and flowers emerging from a pottery lover's wall.

We couldn't resist eyeballing the clay and letterpress buildings on the way up to the auction in the Northlight building. Great work being produced everywhere! the auction...a great night full of excitement and fun and some good old healthy competition for desired objects! We all had a marvelous time and I can't wait to attend this auction again.

It's such a great cause...scholarship funding for deserving artists to hone their craft at such an amazing place.

I leave you with words found on the clay wall which I will remember fondly....