Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

A new year and a commitment to get back to blogging. Hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve full of friends and merriment!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Making A List - Checking It Twice!

Christmas menu decisions - so much to cook - so many lists to make! It's all about organization and planning!
My annual ritual - scour all my recipe sources for my holiday cooking.

Baking - need to bake cookies for the neighborhood holiday cookie exchange - Rosemary Cardamom Pinwheels - so different, so delicious!

Christmas brunch at my brother's house - - - assignment - French Toast casserole - - - Mmmmmmm - Eggnog French Toast with Cranberry Apple Compote - sounds great!

And now for the true challenge - Christmas Dinner for my husband's family of 11 (and all of their families) - now you understand the lists - this is a well orchestrated event - - -
The menu this year:
Appetizers -
Buffalo Chicken Meatballs with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce - this recipe is from the Famous Meatball Shop in NYC!
Rosemary Parmesan Almond Savory Crackers (addictive!) - from Fine Cooking
Tangy Red Pepper Nut Dip with Pitas,
Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart with Thyme and Gruyere,
and ...
Shrimp and Andouille Cakes.

Dinner -
Fennel Garlic Roast Pork Loin served with
Mashed Potatoes and Rutabagas with Creme Fraiche - my recipe - no holiday dinner is complete without!
Celery Root and Sweet Potato Gratin,
Parsnips with Dates and Spiced Yogurt,
and a Crunchy Winter Veggie Salad.

My sister-in-laws bring the desserts. For libations - St. Cecelia's Society Punch and plenty of wine.

Now you understand the lists - and yes, I check them twice - and still I need to send my husband out for forgotten items.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Clickity - Clackity

Well, I've been busy with my knitting needles - trying to get some "potential" Christmas gifts completed - one of these days I want to keep something for myself - both of these projects may end up on my scarf hook in the mudroom - I'm overdue!

Here's the diagonal scarf - it's made from a fine merino wool that is very flesh colored - not really pink - flesh hued. The pattern is free from Churchmouse Yarns and is available on Ravelry. When it comes off the sticks it's all curly at the edges.
A quick steam and it lays nice and flat - - -
All five feet of it!I love the pattern - it's about 18 inches wide.
After finishing the diagonal scarf I moved onto this shield pattern done in a beautiful mercerized cotton with a lovely sheen. The pattern is available free at Ravelry - A Noble Cowl.

It's not difficult, but you really need to pay attention to the pattern - I like using lots of markers to keep track of my stitches.
It's a cowl - nice and over-sized so you can bunch it up about your neck. And best part for me - no wool, so no itch! Merry Christmas me!
I'm still busy with the needles - clickity clacking - busy with my sweater - second sleeve just about finished!

Quilting - next week I'll be back in the sewing room. I have lots of news and some great new quilts to share.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trying to Find My Focus!

Knitting - trying to find my focus - working my way back to the sewing room. Don't you love the color - not quite pink - a rose cremant - a blush champange.
Love the stitch - lace like but so simple - Diagonal Lace Scarf at Church Mouse Yarns.
I started drafting a new quilt pattern today - so much to share with regard to quilting - but not today - soon!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sneaking Back

Life has been so busy, but winter arrived today, ahead of schedule, and soon I will have more time to get back to sewing. For now check out this artist, Debbie Smyth - thread artist - so inspiring.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mr. Missoni

Dear Mr. Missoni - we love your quilt!
Missoni for Target - what did you get?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Basking in Success

So yesterday was the Grand Opening of the East Goshen Farmers' Market - a producers only farmers' market that I organized for my community - check out our blog for all of the details of opening day. Suffice it to say - much planning, targeted marketing and a whole lot of hard work from my committee members resulted in complete success.

Today, honestly I've been basking in our success - it really feels good to have pulled this off - without team work it would have never gotten off the ground. We're such a creative group that despite our success yesterday, today the emails have been faced paced with new ideas to add to the market.

Tonight - a little time to relax. For dinner we had a fantastic tart made by my new market friend, Gil - all locally sourced ingredients including the butter, cream , lard, and flour. It was filled with earthy mushrooms and a tangy chevre. Check out his blog! Don't you love his label! I've been following Gil's blog for over a year and never put 2 and 2 together when we invited him to the market.

Right now my husband and I are sitting on the patio - what an incredible night - just finished a cup of espresso prepared with Joe's Honduras Dark coffee from the market. Every good cup of espresso needs a sweet - Gil's caneles were perfect - heavenly little caramelized morsels with a custard-y interior - their addicting.

To keep the bugs at bay we decided to infuse ourselves with a touch of Grappa - all too often known as nectar of barbed wire - however this small batch grappa from Cedar Creek Distillery out of Portland, OR is smooth as silk! The perfect summer night! Thanks Gil and Joe!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Feeling Peachy

I've been so busy and it's all good!!! Tomorrow is the grand opening of the East Goshen Farmers' Market in East Goshen Township Park, every Thursday, 3 - 7 PM. Please check out our blog - we have an amazing list of vendors that are simply going to knock your socks off.

Take a look at these stunning peaches from Frecon Farms - just picked and ready for market tomorrow.
This market has been a labor of love and I simply could have never done it without my committee members - Donna, Kathy and Vicki - in 7 weeks we have pulled together the most amazing market.

Quilting friends - you're all invited - please attend the East Goshen Farmers' Market. Once this endeavor settles down it's back to the sewing room - promise!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Back in the Sewing Room

I have been completely absorbed the past few weeks in my community's soon to be launched farmers' market - East Goshen's Farmers' Market! It is a lot of work - just like starting a small business. Well today I decided to collide my two worlds - sewing and the farmers' market - what do you think of my aprons? I didn't actually make the aprons, just embroidered them.

We are having a big launch of the market next week at a township event and I thought my team and I should look the part - this should get their attention!

Hmmmmm - this shot reminds me of something in the news these days - - - did I really go there???

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Hot Weather Recipes to the Rescue

I promise to return to sewing next week - this week is just too busy to think of starting (or finishing) a project. I did however find time to purchase some fabric on yesterday - - -

My, oh, my - - - toile - who - - - me??? Certainly not my standard fabric selection - - - and they are definitely not destined for a standard "Lisa" sewing project - - - nothing quilty!

The East Coast is centered under Mother Nature's blow torch again this week - - - aggggrrrhhh!!! Not to worry --- I've got 2 recipes to help you beat the heat - yummy, light, easy, healthy, low in calories - - - feel good food, despite the heat!!!

Cold Chicken and Rice Salad from this month's Cooking Light - followed the recipe exactly plus added an apple for some crunch and sweetness! So delicious!!!

And, Cuban Papaya Salad from the current issue of Clean Eating --- as a dietitian I simply I love the premise of this magazine - responsible, honest eating and cooking. This recipe was to be served warm but I opted to make it a cold salad - i did not saute the spinach and beans - just chilled everything after sauteing and then tossed it all together - so nourishing! Sorry - the recipe isn't on-line yet - - - you're gonna have to buy the current issue - - - don't fret - there's plenty of great recipes in this issue to try!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Meg Cox Visit

Meg Cox, author of The Quilter's Catalog, was speaker at my guild today - - - what a motivating speaker! In addition to her professional achievements in the world of journalism, Meg is also the current president for the Alliance for American Quilts - an organization that I learned a lot about today. Meg is one busy and passionate woman!
A few interesting tidbits that ended up on my notepad:
1. The red and white quilt show that was on display in NYC for a little over a week - the one I missed - it's going on tour - we're going to get another chance to see it - hopefully it will be hung in the same setting. As soon as I get the info I promise to share it!
2. Quilters SOS - Save Our Stories - is nearing the launch of their upcoming challenge - a 16 inch square quilt challenge - if I'm not mistaken, and I could be, they are to be in the shape of a house - details pending - get on the mailing list!
3. August 5th and 6th of 2011 the Alliance for American Quilts will be hosting a fund raiser at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, followed by a cocktail reception at City Quilter - that might just work with my schedule.
4. The demand for quilt patterns is declining while the sales of accessory type items is increasing - interesting!
5. The Folk Art Museum in NYC is closing - this is not news to me - just terribly sad. I find it fitting that the quilt exhibit, now in it's second installation, will be the last show in the current location. The Lincoln Center branch of the Folk Art Museum will remain open.
6. Ami Simms is one of the funniest speaker - well, with that info I came home an blasted off an e-mail to Ami to see if I could book her for the guild - working on the date now!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Squirrel Got Into The House!!!

Actually, I invited him in - - - isn't he adorable!!! It was love at first sight!!!
Who could resist such a cute face?

I picked him up in Boston this past weekend at the SoWa Market in South Boston - it takes place every Sunday offering up an eclectic collection of arts, crafts and foods - what fun!!! I'm so lucky to have a daughter living in Boston - I just love visiting Beantown!

The back of the pillow is made of a sturdy twill, complete with the label - - -

It was created by Erin Flett of Maine - visit her website and her etsy shop - - - she has beautiful designs!

Take a close look at Nutley - he needed a name - he's screen printed on barkcloth!!! And, who loves barkcloth - - - ME! Erin found a source for solid barkcloth - Full Swing Textiles - - - guess who is going to be ordering her own solid barkcloth to play with - - - ME! Can't wait to see how it takes to paint and dye!!!

She uses her out-of-date calendar pages as her calling card - aren't they beautiful? If you're planning a trip to Boston on a weekend I highly recommend visiting SoWa - take in a lovely outdoor brunch while you're in South Boston. Oh, and yes - there is a quilt shop close by - Grey's Fabric and Notions on Harrison Street - a great selection of patterns for non-quilty projects!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Eyes Were Bigger Than My Stomach!

West Chester Farmers' Market yesterday - and as usual - I over did it! I simply cannot say no to gorgeous produce - look at my cache - 5 different kinds of salad greens, broccoli, baby beets and their beautiful greens, Swiss Chard, radishes and local tomatoes!
And my favorite vegetable - spring's candy - sugar snap peas!!!
From Highland Farms - lovely sheep's milk feta, Camembert and fresh yogurt.
It will take careful menu planning this week to be certain I use all of my produce. Tonight - grilled salad pizza. I made my own pizza crust with organic flour - my husband manned the grill topping it with spring onion slices and Camembert while on the grill. After it came off of the grill I topped it with salad greens and flavorful tomato slices - and dressed it with a simple shallot vinaigrette - - - CRAZY DELICIOUS!!!
To accompany our pizza I made a quick saute of sugar snap peas, radishes and carrots - tossed with lemon zest and lemon juice - so refreshing!

Have a look at the flowers I picked up at the market - peonies, and - - -
a beautiful mixed bouquet - - - thank you to all of the amazing farmers who work so hard to put this amazing food on our table!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What Did I Do To My Serger Now???

Had to head out to Hinkletown today - - -
I tried to change my serger to a flatlock position - - -
But I got the cutting knife stuck - - - drat!

Then it happened - - - I found the first strawberries of the season - - - real strawberries, locally grown - - - not those styrofoam berries sprayed with strawberry smell that they sell in the grocery - - - real, honest berries - - - perfect!

I love this little tool to clean the berries - it makes such quick work of it.
Oh - - - and yes I got my Bernina fixed! Perfect!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bathing Babes

Yes - I am using a doll as my model today - all of the neighborhood babes were napping when I wanted to snap my photos! Spring brings a flock of new babies - time for one of my favorite baby gifts - a homemade hooded towel. Back when I had my babies a neighbor gave one of these little gems - I actually still have it! They are perfect - all you need is a wash cloth and a bath towel - make sure it's super soft for the baby!
It just couldn't be simpler - fold the washcloth in half, right sides together. See the pins on the right end - that is my back seam of the hood - just sew a quick seam, making certain you back-tack.
Now, create a cuff on the front of the hood and secure with pins.
Find the center of the bath towel along one of the long sides. Position the seam of the hood at the center point - right sides together as shown.Now pin the hood to the towel - your towel will not lie flat at this point - don't worry. Sew the hood to the towel - back tacking to secure the ends of the seam
There you have it - a great hooded towel. I will typically add the name of the baby using my embroidery machine along one end of the towel, but the name of this yet to be born baby boy has not yet been made public.
I always include a nice collection of my favorite baby bath products - Burt's Bees - just smelling these products make me remember bath time with my babies!
Here's another pic of the towel on my doll - I always leave the tags on the towels.