Wednesday, December 31, 2008

chocolate & bourbon

do you ravenously read orangette?
i do -
when i saw this recipe for 'winter warmth' i knew it was inevitable that i was going to bake it.

it's was a chocolate bourbon bundt cake.
(chocolate and bourbon are my two favorite foods)
there's a wee bit left and it's about to be my breakfast.

i took the whole cake to a lovely dinner party last night. some of the diners were almost worshipful, almost everyone had two pieces. so, if i took it to a party why is there some at my house this morning? i told the hostess i needed a leftover piece for research - to taste if it was indeed better on the second day as orangette promised. pretty smooth, eh?

want even more chocolaty goodness?

the carolina chocolate drops - memphis shakedown
amazing! they are my jug band obsessed, indie record store owning, husband's new favorite band.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

market gloves

yesterday was a rainy december saturday at the public market.
we all hunkered down at javas for coffee after some damp shopping.
jackie was wearing the fingerless gloves i made her for christmas.
(stop looking at the diamond and look at my knitting)
the pattern is called fetching and it was free from knitty.
we bought a huge grocery bag full of hard, pale, unripe roma tomatoes for $2. i know that doesn't sound very appetizing, but after being slow roasted all day in the oven and served over a big bowl of creamy soft polenta for tonight's supper they were delicious.
a perfect winter meal - yum.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

bump on a log

lush moss, lichens and water droplets.
a long heart focal bead, almost exactly 2" long.
it's a mix of brown and black glasses wrapped in silver foil, dotted with a grass and teal green stringer, somewhat melted down and then heavily reduced.
want it? it's in my etsy shop.

Friday, December 26, 2008

black glass blackbird

sometimes the percolating time between the first flush of a good idea (last october) and creation (last week) is quite embarrassing.

but here it is, my first glass cocktail ring.



ordinary black glass with a bit of gold stone ribbon.

i was absolutely a nervous wreck while i was torching it - forgetting to breathe and all that sort of nonsense, but the next morning it came out the annealer intact. i am loving this little crow who perches on my pinkie.

eartha kitt

you will be missed miss eartha.

boxing day

baby it's cold outside & i am living the dream of staying in my pajamas all damn day.
our christmas day was just about perfect.

from the decadent gift of domestic caviar and whole wheat blinis that were warmly brought to our home for brunch...

Photobucket an extravagant 4-layer chocolate cake for late night dessert.

everything and everyone was wonderful.
here's to frolicking with good friends, exchanging loving & thoughtful gifts, feasting on delicious foods and even indulging naughty dogs.

Monday, December 22, 2008


we survived the winter solstice by attending a rather 'spirited' party.
i gladly said goodbye to the shortest day of the year and am thankful to be heading back towards those long perfect nights of summer.
i absolutely loathe winter - how did i end up living in the snow belt?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

fancy pants candy canes

awww...we had some mother daughter craft time and made these little felted candy cane ornaments.
the tutorial came from felt cafe via whipup.
we sat at the kitchen table and made this big batch of wooly candy in a little over an hour. it was especially fun because we gossiped and watched sleazy tv at the same time. is there anything as fun as crafting, yakking and watching trash tv? i think not.

Friday, December 19, 2008

snow day

snow dogs
kiki p. oodle
napoleon p. oodle

miss margaret in her russian army hat (etc) on her way out the door to shovel the driveway.
she says "in soviet russia the snow shovels you."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the purr-fect present

little hand knit catnip filled mice -
with little glass seed bead eyes and needle felted ears.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

more chickadees

there has been so much knitting and sewing around here lately perhaps you're thinking that i have forsaken my beading? nah.

i gift bagged two brand new pairs of chickadee earrings up today and delivered them.
someone is going to get these for christmas.
i did the encasing on these two little chickadees (above) in transparent pale pink. i always like to encase in a sheer color rather than with clear, i think it makes the colors in my beads richer.

this chickadee was encased in pale transparent gray. the earrings have little garnets on the bottom under the black stick pearls.

Monday, December 15, 2008

knitted gingerbread ornaments - done

i planned to make dozens of these to give as gifts -
but they take forever.
so, for now, there are only four.
each one of these fussy little cookie boys is 6" tall and took about 3 hours to make.

winter berries

another pair of my felted mittens.
these are a dark chocolate brown that are made from an especially soft and heavy recycled wool sweater that i felted.

the berries were needle felted on with red and pink roving.

this time of year the ornamental tree at the end of my driveway is covered with little red berries. it was the inspiration for these mittens.

i might make another pair with the same berry motif on a frosty blue-gray pair of mittens - but at the time i cut out this pair of mittens i was more interested in chocolate than wintery skies.
the mittens are up on etsy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

mighty mittens of joy

what a long and delightful day. the little holiday show i did today was fun - i sold a fair bit and traded even more. phew - now some of my hardest shopping is done.

as promised, here they are -
the mittens.

this green wool pair have little felted nests on them.
the 'eggs' are vintage carved (shell?) buttons.

i love it when a plan comes together. all summer and fall i collected sad wool and cashmere sweaters at estate and garage sales. no sweater was too dirty, stained or moth eaten. i brought them all home and washed them in steamy hot water and then tossed them in to the dryer. what i ended up with were two big baskets of gorgeous felt.

these are a luscious coral cashmere with little birds needle felted onto them with a little free motion machine stitching on top of that.

the birdies are already sold and the nest mittens are up on etsy.
i will post pictures of the other ones tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

kittens & cabbages

i have a little show tomorrow -
so i made some new merchandise tags this evening.
this one is for all the mittens i made today.
it is 2" wide and 3" tall, big enough to really see and enjoy the vintage kitten illustration. i am in love with making mittens and can't wait to show them off.

q: is making fancy tags worth the time?
a: yes, they absolutely increase sales.

this little tag is smaller than a business card. it is something i like to have on my selling table so that i can give people my blog address.
why a cabbage?
because if i were a vegetable i would be a cabbage.

p/s i downloaded these wonderful free clip are images from clip art etc. then hand colored them in photoshop and added the text in corel draw.

waffle perfect

such a feat of breakfast precision can mean only one thing...
miss baby is home from college.

i can't seem to remember that it going to get dark outside at four-thirty. i spent a delightful day crafting my brains out. the plan was to stop mid-afternoon and take some photos to share. by the time i looked up from my trusty sewing machine it was pitch black outside and i just can't take a decent snapshot without natural light.

so the needle felted cashmere mittens, new beads and wool frosted knitted gingerbread men will be on tomorrow's blog menu. please, stop by for some crafty holiday snacks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


knit knit knit as fast as you can
you can't make enough gingerbread men.
they still need their white wool icing, but they are coming along nicely.

and while i knit, napoieon naps.
apparently his christmas crafting is done.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

holiday hen

a christmas bird.


pea green with carrot red swirls encased in a thin layer of clear with a white head and red beak.

Monday, December 08, 2008

a fresh flock

finally, some new beads to share

here's a little glimpse of my home -
a tiny nest that sits on a sill in the library.
it's rather silly to call it the library - it's just a tiny room with built in bookcases where we keep a ridiculous amount of art books. there are books everywhere in our home, it's kind of a problem, but a nice problem.

this batch of beads included another pair of chickadee beads - and i still need to make more. everyone wants chickadee earrings.