Friday, December 5, 2008

and another giveaway - win Coffee Corsets!

Heard about this blog giveaway thru Twitter. It's sponsored by the NC Triangle Street Team on their blog. Just click on the team name there to go to their blog and read up about it. You've got between now and December 12th to enter.

And if you haven't seen these Coffee Corsets yet, you're missing out. Go to Jenn Gee!'s shop and check them out, they're very cool. She makes the cutest coffee sleeves with a neat style to them, they lace up like a corset. And just about any color combination and fabric theme you could want. What a cool little holiday gift item. And here's your chance to win some - go and enter now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Figments' Giveaway Ends Tonight!

Oh, I've been sadly deficient in my blogging. I must remedy that. But I wanted to remind anyone and everyone that the giveaway from Sweet Figments' blog is ending tonight. Click on the photos on the right to go see what you need to do to enter the contest (blog about a shop and post the link...easy peasy!). There are 30 prizes available - isn't that wonderful?'ve got a few hours left!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kale is Good. Really.

Today in our box from the farm we got all sorts of good stuff - and something a bit different - some Lacinato Kale. Otherwise known as Dinosaur Kale it says. This stuff is huge - big long dark green leaves on crunchy stems. And as usual, along with our newsletter in every box there are recipes included. I love how Spiral Path Farm sends these along each week, especially since some of this produce is stuff I've not cooked with before. And in the interest of trying new things - I'm glad there are instructions with these, so to speak. So for dinner we had Lacinato Kale Wraps. Took me a bit to chop everything up (I need a sous chef!) but it didn't really take too long and it was very easy to prepare. And very tasty too - here's the recipe - give it a try, dark leafy greens are good for you and can even taste great!

1 bunch lacinato kale, rinsed as a bunch, slice the whole bunch thin including the stems
1 T. minced garlic
1 onion, chopped
2 C. sliced carrots
1/2 lb. bacon, chopped uncooked into small pieces or 1/2 lb. sausage
1/4 C. olive oil
1/4 C. chicken broth, or potato water, or water
1 t. sale, 1/4 t. black pepper, 1/2 t. crushed red pepper (only if you like lots of heat)
6-8 of your favorite tortilla wraps (flour, cornmeal or seasoned)
1/2 C. fresh grated Asiago cheese (or other hard cheese)

Saute the onions, garlic, carrots and bacon for about 10 minutes on medium high heat. Stir often. Add the sliced kale all at once and stir often for about 10 minutes. Pour in the liquid and seasonings and cover and steam for another 10 minutes. Gently warm the tortilla wraps. Spoon about 1/2 C. kale mix into a wrap, sprinkle with cheese, wrap and enjoy.

I actually used the bacon AND the sausage together...just sounded good to me. And the Asiago cheese is a good choice - just a bit of a tang to it and very flavorful. I ended up with the plain flour tortillas as I couldn't find the tomato ones that I really wanted to try with this. But nonetheless it was a very good meal, mostly thanks to our organic farm bounty.

Etsy Anniversary!

Today is our one year Etsy Anniversary! Gee, that seems like a long time but it hasn't felt like that long. But a year has gone by and we wanted to celebrate it somehow. So from now through Sunday, we're offering FREE SHIPPING with every order. Yes, that's shipping on everything. also get a gift - a FREE FABRIC COASTER! What could be better than that, a celebration where you get a gift? Christmas is right around the corner...better get that shopping done soon! Need a cute pair of earrings? A reusable, eco-friendly fabric shopping bag? Perhaps a handy and attractive travel makeup bag? Come browse our shop - avocado - and get in on the freebies while they last!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Stringmealong !

One of the many shops participating in the Blog A Day Giveaway is Stringmealong, an Etsy jewelry seller based in Canada. She's got a really nice selection of jewelry items including necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other items. One of my favorites are these earrings - Flight of Cher Ami. Very pretty beads and the copper sets it off nicely. I love the little birds on these - she has a number of other pieces that include bird charms, very pretty and delicate. And something else just a bit different - she has hair sticks with pretty beaded tops. If you have long hair, try fastening it up with some hair sticks, these would look really nice!

Don't forget to go to Sweet Figments and check out what you need to do to enter this contest and you could win one of 30 great prizes!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blog a Day Giveaway!

New giveaway starts on the lookout for info on this! Lots of really nice items you can win....keep watch at Sweet Figments!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I've been sitting here sewing these fabric coasters as promotional items for this show in NYC - the Holiday Handmade Cavalcade - at the Knitting Factory. These are kind of fun to make actually, and it's a useful item - much better than a boring old business card. You can sit at your computer desk, plop your cup of java on your cheery little coaster and shop online!

Anyhow - I've made a few extra ones and feel like just mailing them out to someone who'd like one and give it a good home. So the first four people that send me an email at will get a free coaster mailed to them! If you're one of the first four, I'll email you back to get your mailing address and it will show up in your mailbox PDQ!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The growing season is winding down...

We're getting down there on the fresh produce growing season. There are still four or five weeks left though on our deliveries of organic goodies. But some things are going to be gone for the winter and I'm sure we'll miss them. We've been up to our backside in fresh tomatoes - and it's been wonderful. But I'm kind of burnt out on them now. When the middle of winter is here, I shall probably crave a fresh, right off the vine tomato. But as of now we're trying to find new and different ways to use up the ones we've had. This tomato tart recipe came with our newsletter from Spiral Path - they've had some really good recipes every week.
One 9 inch pie crust - whatever is your favorite
4-6 medium tomatoes cut into 1/2 inch slices
6-8 oz. of Gruyere cheese, cut into thin slices
1 T. fresh minced basil (or 1 t. dried)
1 t. fresh minced oregano (or 1/4 t. dried)
3 T. or more freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper to taste

Cut tomato slices in halves, place on paper towels to drain. Allow tomatoes to drain for about 45 minutes on paper towels, occasionally blot. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake pie crust and let cool. Top cooled crust with cheese slices, then arrange tomatoes on top, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with herbs and Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting into wedges.

I made this a bit larger, using a 9X13 inch cake pan, then cut into squares. It turned out nicely - something a bit different with the tomatoes. And getting some good Gruyere cheese was a good excuse to run over to Wegmans to shop - I love their cheese department. Especially when they're handing out samples!

And just for fun, here's a lovely little bag for your makeup, eyeglasses and contacts, or a lovely cheese print fabric!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


So we went off to PennDOT for the youngest child to get his learner's permit. And lo and behold, after all the worrying about passing the exam...he didn't get that far because he didn't pass the eye exam. What the heck? Mind you, he passed the school eye exam just a few weeks ago. So we went right off to an eye doctor (time is of the essence here when you have a teenage boy who wants his learner's permit YESTERDAY) and had an exam done. Turns out he is nearsighted - and needs glasses to drive. The doctor couldn't believe that he didn't notice before that his distance vision was off. Off we went again to the eyeglass place to pick out glasses. Which was interesting - as he'd never worn them before. But we found a pair that looked good, waited an hour and then picked them up. And for the next hour or two, he was amazed at how everything looked through the new pair of glasses. Told me he never realized that his vision was crap - he thought things were supposed to look that way until it was actually corrected. And now is finally seeing everything like it should have been. Amazing, huh? So - the moral of my story here is even though you think your children can see fine, perhaps an eye exam once in a while is a good idea just in case - so they don't have to wait until the Department of Transportation tells them their eyesight sucks!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Autumn is here!

I love this time of the year - the weather cools down, the leaves change color, and the pumpkins and squash arrive at the produce stand up the road. I've always liked being able to walk up the road and get fresh veggies and fruit when it's in season. Yesterday I felt the need for some squash soup. I really like this stuff - everyone else seems to like it too, leftovers disappear out of the fridge quickly so you have to move fast if you want any. The recipe uses butternut squash, which is a bit difficult to cut and peel so I usually score the outside, put it on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for an hour or two - until it's soft and cooked through. Then I let it cool for a bit and scrape out the inside of the squash to use in the soup (or whatever else you need it for). Here's the recipe - thanks to my sister for this one:

Corn and Squash Soup
12 Bacon strips, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped (I usually skip this because I usually don't have celery)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) chicken broth
6 cups mashed, cooked butternut squash
2 cans (8 3/4 oz. each) cream-style corn
2 cups half-and-half cream
1 tablespoon minced, fresh parsley (I use the dried)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Sour cream (optional)
In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels; drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, sauté onion and celery until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Reduce heat to medium. Stir in the squash, corn, cream, parsley, salt, pepper and bacon. Cook and stir until heated through. Garnish with sour cream if desired. Yield: 8 servings (2 1/2 quarts).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Sewing Machine Dilemma

So for six months I've had the BabyLock Quest machine. I really thought that this would be a wonderful machine. I had issues with the bobbin case right off the bat, and then assorted other minor aggravations along the way. All in all, I didn't much like the darn machine the more I used it. I started looking around and researching machines (again!) to see what my options were. The nice thing about it was that I could take it back to the dealer and trade up for a different machine and get 100% of my purchase price toward the new machine. After much discussion with other sewing machine owners and reading of all sorts of reviews online - and having to haul my machine into the shop a couple times for more aggravations - I decided to just go for it and traded it in for a BabyLock Espire. When I used this one at the store, it was SO much better than mine that I was instantly in love with it. But I did try out a number of features and checked it out just to make sure this was really it. I've had a couple of tension issues, most likely due to user error - I'm still getting used to the thing and still have to figure out what all it does. But I'm really liking it so far. I love the automatic threader, great for the old eyes.....and the thread cutter thing is pretty cool too. I can touch the screen and bring up all kinds of menus of stitches, information about what each is for - even little mini tutorials on how to do many things like flat felled seams, smocking, etc. I'm so glad I finally decided to get this machine I can get back to my regularly scheduled sewing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sewing, sewing....

I've been hiding out here in my little corner of the house, me and my sewing machine....trying to get stuff made. Got a wild hair and signed up for a craft show on September 20th. Then figured out I'd better get busy and make enough stuff so it doesn't look too sparse. Which means my sewing room is starting to look like a disaster area. I'm focusing on shopping/grocery bags first - this is what I've gotten done in the last two days. I loved the print here with the bottles and jars of olives, oil and vinegars - wish I would have gotten more of it. I think it's a perfect print for a grocery bag. The green, white and lavender circular print is neat too - it kind of reminds me of sand dollars. And then one of my personal favorites - this print by Michael Miller called 'Lettuce Entertain You'. Aren't these vegetables fun?? This would be a great conversation piece at the grocery store. Almost as good as the bag of mine that has bras and underwear print fabric. !! Hopefully these and the rest will find new homes at the craft show - whatever doesn't I can always list in the Etsy shop.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Random Kitchen Goodies

Happy Labor Day to everyone in the U.S. that is celebrating...or working (it bites to have to work on a holiday). Nothing very exciting here but cleaning, cooking, sewing..and all that jazz. I thought that I would share some fun stuff I've acquired lately for my kitchen collection. First off is one of my bright new switch and outlet covers I bought from rathina on Etsy. She kindly made me an entire set for my kitchen. Pardon the ugly beige walls - I plan on painting sometime in the next couple weeks or so - it desperately needs some brightening up. I love the vegetable print though - it's cute and bright and really adds some fun to the kitchen walls.

And here is a really interesting hot pad that I bought from zemphira, also on Etsy. It's like a little miniature work of art! I love this hot pad - it's too pretty to use even, I have it hanging up so it can be seen by everyone. She has some other neat things like art quilts - very beautifully done.

Then there's my latest fascination - melamine! I know, this stuff has been around for ages - but I have recently developed a fondness for these plastic spatter patterned items. I saw a bowl in Fishs Eddy in NYC once, but they were gone when I went back later some time for one. So I cruised Ebay and found some neat vintage bowls. And one day I hit the jackpot - a set of melamine trays! Oh, do these remind me of my school cafeteria days...collecting lunch on a divided plastic tray...with the little slot for silverware, food stuffs and of course the little square carton of milk. And they are the most beautiful shade of green - my favorite - with a fantastic pattern of many colors. I love these trays! I like to get them out for picnics and such...and hey, at least your food stays separate so your potato salad doesn't touch your hamburger - what anarchy that would cause! These have got to be on the top of my 'fabulous finds' list for this year - may everyone find some little gem that makes you happy.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Furry Critter Heating Pads niece is a veterinary technician at a clinic. She asked me about making some microwaveable heating pads for them to use with the dogs and cats. So I scrounged through my fabric scraps and came up with some assorted sized heating pads. I used some flannel fabric that I had, and filled the bags with wheat berries. I thought maybe someone else might want to make some of these and maybe donate to your local vet clinic so I decided to come up with a simple tutorial on making these.
First of all, get yourself some sturdy material - I decided on flannel, and I have some odds and ends here to use. Decide on a size and add about an inch to your measurement for a seam allowance. Here is my fabric, cut in a 15 inch square - I cut on a fold on one side, you could use two separate pieces also.
Put the right sides together and stitch three sides of your heating pad, leaving one end open. If you cut on the fold, you'll only have to stitch up two sides. Here is what you'll have so far: Turn right side out and press. Then you will want to take the open end, fold over the edge approximately 1/2 inch and press to the inside. You don't want to forget this part! Next we're going to sew 'channels' on this so that the wheat berries will stay distributed across the pad somewhat, instead of being one large lump in the corner. Lay the pad flat and measure where you want your channels to be - I went with 2 inches on this - as it was 14 inches wide it worked out well. I pinned the open end, placing each pin at the 2 inch interval. I also placed a pin at the opposite end at two inch intervals so that I could keep track of where I wanted to sew. You can mark this however you want - chalk, pins or some other removable method since it's on the right side of the fabric. I just love my little pincushion - it's an emery cushion, from Dottyral on Etsy. It gets a workout!
Now you're going to sew from one end to the other, using the pins as a guide, or whatever other method you used to mark your fabric with. It's not that hard to keep the lines relatively straight once you get started. And anyhow, it doesn't have to be perfect - it will still work if it's a bit crooked! And here it is, ready to fill - see why you wanted to press in that edge now? It's all ready to stitch up as soon as you get it filled.

Now get out your wheat berries, or can use either, and your funnel(makes way less of a mess) and carefully fill each section about 2/3 full. You can lay it down and distribute the berries to see how full it is and adjust accordingly, just be careful not to spill everything out! Now all that's left to do is to stitch up the end, just be careful not to spill out the contents - make sure you are stitching both sides. I always backstitch beginning and end to make sure it is secure. And here is your finished heating pad - along with my quality control officer Icarus, checking to make sure it's acceptable :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Salsa Anyone?

Gee, everything seems to come back to food. But food is so good...and we're having so much fun with our farm goodies. This time I got the wild hair idea of making salsa. Mind you, I've never made salsa before in my life. But we've bought this fresh salsa from a store in Lancaster that is just fantastic, and I thought 'hey, I can make this can't be that hard'. I have this little cilantro plant that I'm trying to grow, or keep from dying...whichever. And then in our box of produce from the CSA we got heirloom tomatoes, onions, garlic and a fresh bunch of cilantro. It was a sign - I definitely needed to make salsa. The stuff we bought from the store had cilantro and extra garlic - the other ingredients were simple so I figured it was worth a try. Chopped up a fresh organic onion, fresh organic garlic, fresh organic heirloom tomatoes and fresh organic cilantro. Added some salt to it and there it is - homemade fresh organic salsa! It tastes better after it sits for a while to let the flavors mix together. I did learn that a little cilantro goes a long way. And you should always watch where your fingers are as you're chopping it - thankfully, I still have the top of my thumb although it does hurt. Ow. Next time maybe I'll throw a dash of lime juice in it just for fun. A big bag of tortilla chips and we're good to go!

Monday, June 30, 2008


On Saturday, Chelsea and I went berry picking at Spiral Path Farm. This is the CSA farm where all our organic goodies come from each week. It was a bit of a drive (like an hour and a half!) but we really wanted to see the farm though. We got up at the crack of dawn and drove forever it seems to way out in the middle of nowhere. Very pretty countryside way out there - and the farm is beautiful. We scrounged around the black raspberry bushes but they were already sort of picked over by the time we got there. We did manage to get some though. Picked up a few extra vegetable goodies, had some mint tea and grape juice...and some really awesome raspberry dessert stuff - yum!

Washed up our rasberries - decided that what we really needed was a pie. Everyone needs raspberry pie, don't they?? : ) Mixed up some crust, then the berries and stuff....and here we have a fresh baked black raspberry pie!

Wow, this was really good......hit the spot. I must tell you though, after the heat, bugs, scratchy bushes and all....I'm much more willing to pay the price at the grocery store for berries!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthday time again...!'s that time again. Mom's birthday...but what to get an 86 year old woman with dementia? (same thing as last year, who's to know?) Ok...I know that sounds bad...but hey, I know there are plenty of you caregivers of elderly people with Alzheimers who will understand. I think the weird sense of humor keeps us a bit saner. But I digress....back to the issue at hand. After much back and forth about what options there were, we decided that a swing to put out in the yard out front might be a good idea. Mom seemed to like the one my aunt has, and we figured it might get her outside to sit and enjoy the fresh air once in a while. And then on a trip to Wegmans, we saw this swing set and thought "Aha!"...this is perfect.

Unfortunately, what we got to bring home was this lovely picture of a swing on a freakin' huge cardboard box.

What fun...this thing weighed a ton and was awkward as all get out. Pry the thing open and, wow.....what a fun bunch of metal bars, fabric stuffs and a whole raft of hardware. At this point I am wondering why this seemed like a good idea in the first place. Wouldn't a nice sweater or some earrings have been a wiser choice??
But hey, it's here now...make the best of it. I can follow directions and put stuff together. The parts are sort of large, heavy and a bit difficult to wrangle around but after a day and a half, much swearing and dropping of tools...we have progress:

Not bad, huh? It was finally starting to look like a swing. A bit more aggravation, going back to tighten up all the bolts (because Mom falling on her butt in the front yard with swing parts all around her was not what I had in mind for her birthday and I'm sure she wouldn't have been thrilled either) and we finally had us a swing. Now for convenience sake, and to keep it a surprise, I was putting it together out back - we then had to carry/drag the thing out front. Another bit of mad fun. But it all worked out in the end, and Mom seemed to like it, except for the part about perhaps we should put it here, there, and everywhere else but where it was. Mission accomplished - Mom's birthday gift looked good and next time I'm going to pay someone else to put crappola like this together. :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Organic Veggies!

Well...welcome to my first ever post on a blog. I have absolutely no clue as to what I'm doing here - read at your own risk!

I'd like to share with anyone that is interested, our newfound fascination with organic vegetables. We decided that to do our part to stimulate the economy, we'd spend our government money on a share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). For more info on CSA's check out this link:

We bought a share in a local farm, not too far off - they deliver to drop off spots in the area and we get to go pick up our bounty each week. Fresh veggies, fruits, herbs.....whatever is in season at the time. What fun! And we get to try new and different stuff we've never had before.

A few days ago we picked up our first box. A little strange at first, driving up to a stranger's house and creeping into their garage to haul off a box full of goodies. Boy, were we excited...imagine getting all worked up over
some vegetables and stuff?? We came home and checked out our fresh, organic goodies - here's what we got:

Carrots, spring onions, redleaf lettuce, basil, potatoes, baby spinach, swiss chard, radishes and frissee(a type of lettuce).

What fun - everything was fresh and tasty. We had a couple of awesome salads and the carrots were crunchy and sweet. The farm so nicely provides a newsletter in the box, which includes some recipes also. As we were sort of new to swiss chard I decided to make the swiss chard and potato recipe that they included. If you'd like to try it too, here you go:

1 bunch of red or green swiss chard, chopped fine
1 large onion chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1-2 red or green peppers diced (left these out, peppers and I don't mix!)
1/2 lb. bacon minced before cooking
3 Cups sliced boiled potatoes
2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat 2T olive oil in a large skillet. Add bacon, onion, garlic and red pepper. Stir until veggies are cooked through. Then add chopped swiss chard, stir until it wilts, then cover pan and let steam for another 5 minutes. Butter a 9 X 13 inch pan and cover bottom with half the chard mixture. Then layer with half of the potatoes and half the cheese. Top with the rest of the swiss chard mixture, rest of the potatoes and the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

<---This is our dish of swiss chard and potatoes - it was very good!  Can't wait until the next box of farm fresh organic edibles....mmmm!