Friday, October 8, 2010

Onsie for My Onsie

I thought Elijah needed a special shirt to wear to school to celebrate his first birthday, so I cut a "1" out of fabric from Amy Butler's Lotus line and his name out of brown corduroy and sewed them to a plain onesie. Ta da!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Greeting Cards

This month's Martha Stewart featured a vintage bicycle layout with a photo spread of bicycle baskets. I liked the photos so I cut them out and glued them to some blank greeting cards. To make them glossy, I formed a paper frame to protect the paper and sprayed the photos with clear glaze.

Monday, July 5, 2010


During a weekend visit to Madison I made a stop at Vom Fass, a shop that specializes in spirits, liqueurs, flavored oils and vinegars. A table in the middle of the store featured a full set of absinthe accouterments, and I was immediately transfixed by the stunning absinthe spoons. I wonder how many of my culinary exploits are attributable solely to cool equipment...

The salesperson at Vom Fass spent some time with us explaining how to pour the absinthe. When I sampled their pour, I found it to be milder and tastier than those I've tried in the past - an herbal anise taste, to be sure, but not bitter and medicinal. I left the store with my own bottle and, of course, one of the charming spoons.

Here's the recipe as described by one salesman of fine spirits.

The ratio of absinthe to water should be 1:3. I don't have a special absinthe glass with a built-in divot for measurement. I started with one part absinthe in my own cocktail glass.

Position the spoon on top of the glass with a sugar cube and slowly drip ice water over the cube. The absinthe will become cloudy and chartreuse.

Continue to pour two parts ice water. Set spoon aside and drink. The aperitif was tasty with a radish & goat cheese sandwich, for example.

(Recipe: Slice of bread, slather of goat cheese, scallion slices, radish slices. Optional: Chives, basil or ground pepper. Eat open-face or as sandwich. Thanks to Rachel for this recipe!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Patio Lights

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I've been admiring a neighbor's strung patio lights for some time. So I finally hung my own.

Target is selling patio lights for about $12 a string. I also purchased a 20' outdoor extension cord, some pond pebbles and an 8' pole at Home Depot. Martha Stewart helped me figure out how to anchor the pole. (She has some other nice outdoor lighting ideas as well).

First I salvaged a 5-gallon pail and drilled holes in the bottom to allow for water drainage.

I had someone hold the pole in the middle of the bucket while I poured the pond pebbles. The bag of pebbles was so heavy I could barely lift it, which seemed ideal for anchoring. But the pole still moved side to side, so I found some large rocks in the yard to buttress the pole.

I left several inches from the top of the bucket for potting soil, where I planted wheatgrass seeds. I like the idea of furry green grass springing from the base of my anchor.

I attached the outdoor extension cord outlet to the house using two screw eyes and plastic fastener strips. I screwed 3 small hooks into the house and used plastic fasteners to anchor the 3 strands apart from one another. I used the same technique to run the extension cord along the eaves to render it less noticeable.

We really enjoyed the lights during our Memorial Day cocktail party last night.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Amy Butler + Wallpaper = BLISS

My sources tell me that Amy Butler is introducing a wallpaper line! My powder room walls are very excited.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dresser Dress-Up

I have two large bureaus in my bedroom that belonged to my grandparents in the 1960s. The drawer handles have become very worn and tarnished over the past 40 years, so I removed one and took it to the hardware store in hopes of getting advice about metal polish.

The hardware store employee showed me the dull, black backside of the handle and informed me that they were lacquered "pot metal," and could not be polished. I asked him for other ideas and he suggested spray paint. I removed all of the handles, sanded them down so the paint would take to the surface.

The paint worked beautifully. A nice facelift for my family heirloom.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Spring Quiche

Last weekend I attended a clothing exchange brunch with a wonderful group of ladies. It's an event we plan a few times a year to purge our closets and bring home crazy new fashions we otherwise wouldn't have the guts to try (hilarious highlights from this exchange included a two-headed dress, a floor-length satin queen of hearts dress, and I came home with a vintage juicer!)

For the brunch, I wanted to find a quiche recipe that could include some fresh tarragon I had in the fridge (tarragon is also really good in egg salad). I added asparagus to this goat cheese leek quiche recipe from Whole Foods. I'm really picky about pie crusts, ever since I started to make my great grandmother's pie crust recipe (below). So I substituted my crust for a store-bought one. I usually keep these balls of dough in the freezer to be thawed and rolled out as needed.

Don't be grossed out. This is the quiche before it went into the oven. The cooked-quiche pic came out blurry.

Alterations to the quiche recipe:
I cut up several spears of asparagus and simmered them with the leeks, then proceeded with the recipe as directed.

My Great-Grandmother's Pie Crust Recipe
*Makes enough for 3 double pie crusts

3 c. flour
1/2 lb. chilled lard
1 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. COLD water
1 egg
1 tsp. vinegar

Using pastry knife, cut the lard into the flour. Add salt and thoroughly combine into a fine meal. (Be patient). Then add cold water, egg and vinegar. Combine. Separate into 6 equal balls and roll out with flour. Crusts can be frozen between sheets of plastic wrap for later use.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Holiday Sweatshop Item #8: Peppermint Bark

In keeping with the holiday project theme, here is the only batch of peppermint bark I managed to make this year! Placed in Ball jars topped with Moda fabric (Figgy Pudding line) and a bow, it made a dangerously tasty and cute holiday treat!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Holiday Sweatshop Item #7: Felted Slippers

These slippers were one of my first serious knitting projects. I needed to take a class to decipher the pattern. Able to memorize none of it, I had to cross each stitch off the pattern once complete. Since that first pair I made one pair for my mom (with the wrong yarn - they felted up into huge fuzzy Muppet slippers. Blessed be the mothers who wear these sorts of "gifts" with pride).

I love my slippers so much that I keep wanting to make them for people. This pair is for my stepmom. Thank goodness I paid attention to the yarn this time.
Here's what they look like before being felted.