Thursday, September 30, 2010

A three hour tour

I spent the past few days cleaning/organizing and de-junking my little studio. Because I haven't been very productive as of late, and not wanting to blame myself, I decided to blame my studio.

And then I kind of freaked out because I actually have a studio. And I hadn't been using it. And I'm not sure if I will always have a sunny little space to do my creating.

So I cleaned. And washed windows. And filled bags for the thrift store. And now I am ready to really appreciate it.

What sparkling windows you have!

Why thank you! I washed them myself.

My fun neighbor gave me this shelf shortly before moving to Hawaii.

She was a good person to have around and I miss having her pop over. She always knew the phase of the moon and my daily horoscope. And every time I'd see her, she would without fail tell me I was "such a virgo". But her astrologer told her it was time to move. And move she did (true story). And she gave us a ton of stuff (true story).

This is the flower corner. Where flowers are made.

(p.s. orange flower in the works!)

I started these flowers six years ago, and have since lost my reference. I think it might have been a Better Homes and Gardens magazine cover or something.

So probably they will never get finished. Sad.

So now that it's really clean in here, and the windows are so clear, I have no more excuses.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Super Awesome Ginger Cookies

Every time I make these cookies (which is more often than I feel comfortable mentioning) I get a standing ovation from Evan.

And every time I bring them somewhere or share them, I get asked for the recipe.

They are those kind of cookies. Secret weapon--will you water my garden while we're gone all week--kind of cookies.

And close up, the cookies look they are full of little diamonds. So please pay attention:

Ginger Cookies
from Once Upon A Tart

2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c. molasses
1 1/2 c. shortening, butter or combination of both (I usually do 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. shortening, because I think butter is important)
4 c. flour
1 T. cocoa powder
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cloves
2 t. cinnamon
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
extra sugar (we like crunchy Turbinado) for rolling cookies

Combine sugar, molasses, shortening/butter and eggs. Gradually add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated. Roll spoonfulls of dough in sugar before placing on a cookie sheet and baking at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Useful for bribes, thank-you's, and anything that ails you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


It all started a couple of weeks ago when our car was getting sick. We were debating whether or not to fix it or look for a new one. Bleh. I hate car decisions. Anyhoo, long story short, we decided that we would just get another bike. That way, if our car broke down, we would be extra prepared to travel the town in style. And since Evan was beating me in the bike numbers department, it was my turn.

We are so smart.

And so without further ado... Here is Miss Bike herself:

I know. Pretty, right?!? And since everything needs a name, I've been thinking all day about what to call my new baby. I've narrowed it down to just a couple options. And so I would appreciate any votes or recommendations. This is official business.

1) Minty
2) The Blue Canoe

So please give this some serious thought and let me know. Or not. Because you probably have a life. For the record, Evan named his new bike Sweetness. Which upset me at first, because I thought I was his Sweetness. But come to find out, I'm his Sweetheart. Which is better. So everything's alright now.

And she just so happens to match my mixer. Which makes me want to bake something right away.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Happy Fall! I love fall. And am so ready for it to be here. It's been cha-cha-chilly here this week, so I've already gotten in plenty of Fall activities.

Which around here, most definitely include drawing while wearing fuzzy socks,

with Fall-colored pencils.

And eating lots of fall colored things too. Mmmmm pumpkin. Gesso votes for the pencils.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Something that I love about big sewing projects is that there is almost always leftover scraps. And the Autumn Quilt was no exception.

And hating to let something good go to waste....

...a little patchwork pillow for the porch was made.

Which, I found out, is much easier than sewing a quilt.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Puppy photo-shoot

Confession: I think that pictures of animals dressed as people are hilarious. And I'm sorry if that means we can't be friends.

But I can't change who I am.

So when Gesso received this charming top-hat from my elder brother+wife, I was more than a little excited.

I had plans. I was going to make Gesso wear this whenever we had company over. And for Halloween. And our Christmas card??? A nice picture of Gesso wearing the hat.

And so I set out to take said picture earlier this week.

And this was the best shot I got. Can anyone say "Merry Christmas"?

Oh dear. Must think of new idea.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Holly Peanut Butter Cups

*important side note: Gesso ate Evan's Thesis. As in, he ate the leather bound book representing 2 years of Evan's life. I told Evan to just write a new one...but he wasn't in the mood. That is all.*

Peanut butter and chocolate? Yes please!

I grew up being a big fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. They were my favorite. I always hoped they'd contact me for some sort of sponsorship. Long story short, they never did.

Anyway, now that I'm an adult, my taste buds want a little more than Reese's can offer.

And so I came home from work today and played around in the kitchen.

And I am very (very, very) pleased with how things turned out. Plus, as an added bonus, I'll now be able to sponsor myself. Reese's can eat my shorts.

Holly Peanut Butter Cups

for the filling:
1/2 c. good quality peanut butter, chunky or creamy
1 T. melted butter
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar

for the chocolate sandwich:
1/4 c. whipping cream
1 c. good quality chocolate chips

For the filling, combine all ingredients in bowl and mix well. Set aside.

To prepare the chocolate, heat the whipping cream on stove top until just boiling. Pour over bowl filled with the chocolate chips. Let stand one minute and then stir to combine.

Set up 15 miniature cupcake liners. Put a small blob of prepared chocolate into the bottom of liner. Smush down with a spoon and then place a larger blob of the peanut butter combination over top. Spoon more chocolate over the peanut butter, filling the cupcake liner almost to the top.

Place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Eat. Smile. Repeat.

Store in the 'fridgerater.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Whew. She's a quilt.

Stitched together with blue thread.

Complete with two layers of cozy batting to make it a perfect weight for fall.

I'm very sentimental about things I make. It's not just the fact that I put so much time into something, but I associate all that was happening while I was in the process of making. And as for this quilt, whenever I look at it, I'll remember the fun afternoon spent fabric shopping with my Mom and Sis, and how we had to get milkshakes after (because we were so exhausted), and how we sent my little sister to get us a second order of fries, and then ate them all.

And how Evan was away with his work and I missed him so much it hurt. And how I had to sneak in quilting time during Puppy's naps (he likes to eat fabric).

All those things became part of this quilt.

And now I am officially ready for Fall. Well, after I get myself some Halloween candy I'll be ready for Fall.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My little pup...

...is getting so BIG! I can't even pick him up anymore without almost breaking my back. That big. Also, he is starting to get some freckles on his nose. He gets that from me.

Just thought you might want to know that.

You're welcome.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Weekend of Labor

:: photos by Evan the Magnificent ::

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quilting Fever

My older brother once told me that I have an addictive personality. Which I thought was really flattering and super nice of him. And as I was telling him how awesome he was and thanking him for the compliment, he told me that he hadn't exactly meant it that way. What he meant was that I have the type of personality that very easily gets ADDICTED to things. Like finishing a quilt.

I am officially addicted. He was totally right.

And absolutely nothing else is getting done around here.

Stitch. Stitch. Stitch. That's what I've been doing. All while eating dark chocolate m&m's, watching chick flicks, and getting a puppy pedicure.

Which is definitely a nice way to spend a very rainy, very fall-ish day.

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