Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To Do

I have a new project to add to my mile-long never-ending you've-gotta-be-kidding me to-do list.  I stopped by the thrift store yesterday and found this awesome chair.  I've been wanting to make myself an adirondack chair for out in our little screen gazebo, but haven't found the time.  When I saw this baby for only $3.98, I couldn't pass it up.  It will be perfect for the gazebo.  I even like the avocado green color.  All I need to do is sew up a couple of cushions for it, and I'll be ready to go.

And of course by putting this here, I'm holding myself to completing this task.

$3.98!  Isn't that awesome?

My wheels are turning over what kind of cushions to make. 

Can't you just see this fabric by Betz White on there?

or this one by Cicada Studio?

Really, it's like the chair was made for these fabrics.  (le sigh)  Love!  My budget of course runs more towards the "whatever I can find in the stash o' fabric in my workspace" arena, but a girl can dream.

Have you re-fashioned or rehabbed (re-fabbed maybe?) a good thrifty find lately?  I'd love to hear.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Butternut Squash Pancakes

Oh how I love the farmer's market.  We grow a garden of our own, but it's really wonderful to be able to pick up things that we don't grow here like colorful carrots, heirloom tomatoes, and herbed goat cheese.  While there I also picked up a few squash as ours aren't ready yet.  We had some with dinner the other night, but I had leftovers.  What to do with left over squash?  Pancakes.  Yes sir, pancakes. 


1 butternut squash, roasted and mashed. (truthfully, I microwaved mine...)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves (or allspice, pumpkin pie spice, etc.)

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Combine the mashed squash (redundant?), eggs, and milk, then add the dry ingredients and mix well.  The batter should be a little thicker than your normal pancake batter, but not so thick that you can't spread them out on the griddle.  Add milk until you reach desired constency. 

Heat your griddle on medium heat and grease it.  Ladle the batter onto the griddle and cook about 2 minutes on each side.

I served mine with local honey, chokecherry jam, and real butter.  The cakes themselves have a smooth, almost pumpkin pie-like texture inside, and combined with the fruity jam...oh.my.my.  SO good.  I think they'd be really good with a little vanilla yogurt too.  Definitely a new autumn favorite.

These were so good that while I was snapping photos of the pancakes, my family devoured the entire batch.  Thank goodness I still had my photo props. 

I love squash of all kinds, do you have a favorite squash recipe you can share with me?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crafting For Ourselves

I was really struck by the amount of fun I saw in the Crafting For Ourselves group this week.  Zombies, clay acorns, travel desks, and more!  Fun!  I, (hanging my head in shame) haven't done much crafting for myself lately and really need to.  I recognize that I was happier when I was making the time, so it's my goal to have something to show off for next week's mosaic.  In the meantime, please enjoy these wonderful pieces.

1. clay acorns, 2. 228:365 stones and threads, 3. B's Travel Lap Desk, 4. back brown sweater, 5. Prehnite and Sterling Silver Pendant, 6. curve and wisp, 7. Upcycled Recycled Deconstructed T-shirt, 8. London themed cushions, 9. Xirafa de cartón

You also have to see this beautiful creation from Nicole of Brizel Handicrafts.  She shared this with me through the comments on last week's Crafting For Ourselves post and I'm so glad she did.  Pop over here and read the story behind it, it's a really meaningful project.

Do you have something you've made for you, for your home, for your family lately?  Show us!  Join us on Flickr, leave a comment, or email me.  I'd love to see.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Brief Encounter

SMACK!  You know the sound... a bird has hit the window, poor thing. 

My oldest had been standing near the door and peeked outside to see a little goldfinch passed out on the patio.  Our curious dog, who routinely chews on cinder blocks, was sniffing it.  It was alive, but really out of it so I told him to put it somewhere safe before the cement-chewing dog decided to have a tender little snack.  He gently picked it up and walked out into the yard.  He must have been trying to find just the right spot, or maybe just enjoying holding this sweet little creature, because he walked around for a while.  Before he could find a place to set him the tiny bird awoke. 

She slowly started coming to, sitting upright in my boy's hand and clutching him with her tiny feet. 

She allowed me to take a few photos and when I lowered my lens, she promptly flew off, leaving us both amazed and grinning in his wake.

May you all be left amazed and grinning at something today.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some Days Are Just Like That

My wee ones spent the better part of the night/early morning being awake and making sure I was awake too.  The coffee maker decided to wake me up much earlier than I would have liked, and I have to go into town today to get my 5 year old ready for school.  So I'm feeling a little tired and old today.  And a little beat up, thanks to a spectacular fall I took this weekend.  (it was a thing to behold, let me tell you) 

So instead of the fun button Monday post I hoped to do, here's a glimpse at what I've been working on, and a glimpse at what I've seen lately.

Happy Monday, everyone.

a squirrel snack - the inside of a pinecone

Friday, August 20, 2010

Crafting For Ourselves

I'm so excited about the beautiful pieces I'm seeing in the Crafting For Ourselves group on Flickr. These are things we've made for ourselves or our families.  It shows we're enjoying our own talents a bit.  Our group recently topped 105 members, how great is that? Won't you join us?

I have to boast a little...see that gorgeous silver and button necklace?  It's mine!  The talented Lynn Bowes made that for me as a thank you for sending her some vintage buttons.  Can you believe it?  While I'm not technically family, I am a friend and a lucky one at that, don't you think?

Made something for yourself lately?  Even if you're not on Flickr, please share!  I'd love to hear what you're working on.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another Post About Mushrooms

I know, I know. What can I say? I'm a bit obsessed. It's been a banner year for mushrooms so I'm enjoying them all before the snow flies and my world is covered in white.

After my mushroom dyeing experiment the other day, I took the advice of the talented Kim and decided to alter my technique a bit. I needed some more mushrooms in order to re-dye so I headed back into the woods for a look.

I snuck out early in the morning while kiddies were sleeping and everything was still wet with dew. It dampened my pant legs but it highlighted the spider webs and made smoke stacks out of broken tree trunks.  A good trade, I'd say.

can you see the steam?
I was after more lobster mushrooms of course, but saw some other beauties along the way.
(click on the images to see them a little better)

love the purple edges

tiny amethyst deceiver

love this color palette

I passed by an old man of the woods, laying where he had fallen.  Poor old man.

I saw a few mushrooms that I have never seen before, inclulding this spiky pair, sprouting from the moss-covered base of a tree. They sort of reminded me of crab legs with all those bumps.

scaly pholiota - poisonous but not deadly

I also saw this, which at first I thought was deer feces. Upon closer inspection (yeah, I inspected it even though it might have been deer poop...I know...) I saw that this was a clump of deep green mushrooms.

not deer poop, it's a green-headed jelly club

I also saw this little furry guy that I thought at first was a blob of mold or a errant pom pom. I saw several of these, but have never noticed them before this trip.  I think they're some sort of young mushroom emerging maybe.  Underneath it is just a small tan stalked mushroom.

I saw these guys too. We know who you are, Destroying Angel twins.


It's so hard to resist poking these little dried up puffballs. Aww, who am I kidding? I poked them.

jellied false coral next to a little puffball

The colors on these false turkey-tails are amazing.  They're very thin, like potato chips.

I've been watching this tree decay over the past few years.  Nature's work in progress.

Finally I was at the lobster mushroom spot. I peered around the corner...

...and there they were! 

Oh no, it's not that simple.  I have to work a little for my lobsters.  Do you see him?

After I had gathered the few I could find, I headed home to try dyeing again.

with some acorn caps and rocks, too

It's subtle, but the color on the right is my re-dye. I took Kim's advice and heated the wool with the dyestuffs this time rather than adding the wool to a cool dye. I was still concerned about the lightfastness so I dried the wool in the sun and it still retained a deeper pink shade. Thanks Kim, for the tip!

on the left is my first batch, to the right is the re-dye

If you've hung with me all the way to the end, thank you!  You're troopers. (or maybe mushroom fans like me)

Happy Thursday.


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