Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brooch Bouquet

T minus 5 days until my son and his finance wed in Vegas.  I have tied the last knot on the wedding bouquet for my soon-to-be daughter in law.  I began collecting inspiration ideas last fall.

 brooches, earrings, bits and bobs
Thanks to the many donations from my mother and vintage sellers RecentHistory and AuntHattiesAttic.
...and several months of scouring antique and thrift stores
(the musical note and tiny bull dog are special to the couple)

 4 silk hydrangea blossoms formed the bundle that I attached the wired jewels
a large heavy glass vase supported the work for months.

I just about can't fit another piece on...fingers cramping!
At this point I am wiring new pieces to existing, and have added some beaded tendrils to some of the tying wires.  Tiny H in foreground found a home.

Once I wrap the stem in some satin cloth it will be ready to go in my carry-on!

 August bridal shower: Ione, me, Cerenity (bride to be) and my daughter Caroline

me and Cerenity

bridal shower photography by kayla pieper

Friday, July 24, 2015

Got milk glass?

Last week, my treasury Copper River was honored as winner 
in the Age of Metal Treasury Challenge

Cool black and white is the theme for today... and it's going to be a scorcher with high humidity and a heat index of close to 100 degrees.  Stay cool and drink your flax milk!

the live link to this treasury can be found here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Controlled Burn

So I'm working in the lower level with the windows open and sniff sniff..."mmm...smells like smoke!"

Yes indeed, less than a quarter of a mile away, there is a controlled burn being executed in what I had though was a no burn, high drought situation.
Me being the good neighbor to the north, thank you WCCO, hopped in car and headed south.
The crew was not appreciative of the photo op.

Controlled burns can be beneficial for prairie restoration. And I know my neighbor is developing organic farming and bee keeping in an area of 120 acres that was previously farmed with traditional chemical use and non treated pastureland. still stunk to high heaven.  There was no water truck.  And there was no notice given to the good neighbors down breeze.

from Wikipedia
Agricultural use
In addition to forest management, controlled burning is also used in agriculture. In the developing world, this is often referred to as slash and burn. In industrialized nations, it is seen as one component of shifting cultivation, as a part of field preparation for planting. Often called field burning, this technique is used to clear the land of any existing crop residue as well as kill weeds and weed seeds. Field burning is less expensive than most other methods such as herbicides or tillage, but because it does produce smoke and other fire-related pollutants, its use is not popular in agricultural areas bounded by residential housing.[citation needed]

What burns you?

Monday, March 2, 2015

One Skillet Supper

One pot meals are favorites of mine for obvious reasons.
I was scrounging for something quick and satisfying this weekend and I found a package of shiitake mushrooms tucked way in the back of my refrigerator crisper that seemed no less worse for wear since the 5 days I had purchased them.  With a few stand-by condiments and a bag of fresh spinach leaves I had supper within 15 minutes.

Lemony Risotto with Shiitake, Shallots and Coconut

Saute 8 ounces of sliced shiitake mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of Penzy's Dried Shallots and 1/4 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes in enough coconut oil & butter to coat the bottom of a 9" skillet.
(Shiitakes hold their meaty texture far better than just white button mushrooms.)  When the mushrooms, shallots and coconut is just browned and still tender, set aside.  Use the same skillet and add 3/4 cup arborio rice.  Turn heat to low/medium and add your first half cup of chicken or vegetable stock.  Do the risotto thang of cooking down and adding stock 3 or 4 times until the rice is creamy and al dente.  This may take up to 1 and a half cups of stock.  I did not have white wine which is nice to add to the cooking risotto but I did have lemons.  Add the juice of one half lemon to the last cooking.  Add a small handful of shaved parmesan, stir and serve immediately over fresh spinach leaves with extra parm, freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

photo credit Alexis Zaharis CustomDeluxeDesigns

Enameled cast iron cookware is perfect for cooking one skillet meals as it holds the heat so beautifully.  I bought this set of three nesting Descoware skillets in flame orange from Etsy seller CustomDeluxeDesigns last year.  Descoware preceded Le Creuset and was made in Belgium in the early mid century.   It was the preferred cookware of Julia Child.
Search for more vintage enameled cast iron cookware here: cast iron cookware  

bon app├ętit

Thursday, February 26, 2015

mirror mire

Rift Hardwood Walnut and Oak Full Length Bedroom Mirror
antique beveled mirror, wood frame mirror
Cute cat mirror, decor for cat lovers, nursery room wall decor, plastic mirror, modern design mirror, I love my cat
Beveled mirror with hanging mechanism and backing
Vintage Round Bevelled Edge Wall Mirror with Wood Art Deco Frame
vintage brass mirror tray rectangular white washed metal frame
Antique Wooden mirror, grandpa's shaving mirror
Awesome Deco Make Up Mirror
large victorian ornate oval wall mirror / decorative gold wall hanging / lightweight
Vintage wall mirror - design - wood frame - ornate - gold - rectangle - tall - wood - plaster - design in mirror - beveled edge
Antique Silver Ornate + Feminine Hand Mirror + Free Shipping
Vintage Brass Travel / Shaving Mirror - Around the Neck Mirror - Hands Free Adjustable Mirror
Large Frameless Mirror - Antique Wall Mirror - Bevelled Hanging Mirror
1950s Mirrored Wall Console - Mid-century Modern Design
Vintage Gold Mirror Tray Vanity Oval - Floral Flower Bird Filigree Trim Rim Jewelry Display - Hollywood Regency - Wall Hanging Girl Nursery
Antique gold gilt mirror/large Antique scrolled iron mirror/vintage ornate mirror
Powered By Toastie Studio - Etsy Tools

It took me several tries to find a workable tool that imports code for treasury on blogger.
Thank you Toastie Studio....this one was too good to pass!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Best Roots

The light dry air of late winter can make one feel floaty and unconnected.
Experiment with a few ways to get grounded.

Best Rooting Yoga Posture

stand with feet comfortably apart no wider than hip width
draw your shoulders up to ears then let them ease down and back
keep your eyes forward and then close them
lift your toes and lay them back on the ground without gripping
distribute your body's weight throughout the soles of your feet
breathe, relax
notice the energy of the ground (insert grass, sand, carpet) coursing up into your feet 
your legs, hips and back
then release it down to the ground 

Best Roasted Root Vegetables 

3 large parsnips
3 large turnips or golden beets
3 large carrots or 12 baby carrots
6 cloves of garlic sliced thin or chopped
2 T coconut or olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh or dried rosemary leaves

     Wash all the vegetables and peel the parsnips.  It is not necessary to peel the beets or turnips as the skins are edible or easily removed after roasting.  Cut all the vegetables into equally sized pieces.
Melt 2 T of coconut oil in a 10" x 15" jelly roll pan or roasting pan and toss the vegetables lightly to coat.  I use coconut oil and finish with just a drizzle of olive oil as high heat can damage the nutritive qualities of olive oil. (The effect of heat on its monounsaturated fats)
     Sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 325.  Add the garlic and rosemary and roast for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When the vegetables are caramelized and tender they are done!  Enjoy as a main dish, side dish or as a breakfast accompaniment.  

Honor Your Roots - Talk to your Ancestors
     When I was little I was taught to pray and include my grandparents Nick and Annie at the end of each nightly prayer.  After falling away from traditional prayer, I find nearly fifty years later that there is comfort and a power that comes from invoking their names out loud.  I keep their wedding portrait  on an easel on a small table in my bedroom next to the black and white photo of my parents.

Instant Ancestors on Etsy

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January Thaw

(here you go, Bruce)
Celebrating my birthday in Minnesota is generally time to hunker down with shoulders shrugged to ears.  This mid January has brought a blessed respite of temps rising to 40 degrees.  Collar bones can soften down the back and possibly some creative juice can flow.

my heart picks its way around the house
my mouth proceeds the white cane blindly 
tapping bumping bruising smarting

I understand that the muse 
often becomes the doormat
I've been in up in the rafters 
and under the rug

what's a body to do 
in order to live in the center - 
where blind desire is shown to the door
and kindness and gratitude 
given the best seats in the house?

If you have wondered about the how the muse inspires contemporary writers as well as how the ancients viewed genius vs inspiration check out Elizabeth Gilbert's TED TALK here.