April 24, 2012

Susan has been telling me that I can guest post, so here we go.

This morning we had tea and oranges.  It made me remember that the simple things are sometimes, well most of the time, the best things.

I couldn't help but think of the great song (one of those desert island songs to be sure), Suzanne, by Leonard Cohen.
 "She gives you tea and oranges that come all the way from China"

Now on to the oranges.   They were Minneola oranges.  Not from China, but I think you get the gist.  

They were what an orange should be; sweet with juice that runs down your face as you savor a segment. 

I was transported back to my childhood trips to Florida.  The oranges at the roadside stands were  just like these oranges I was eating in my kitchen.   The thin, hard-to-peel skin was mottled with black spots.  But, there was always an explosion of juice as a reward to the challenging peel.

What a great way to start a Saturday morning.


November 3, 2011

road crafting

have you ever wondered what it was like to craft in a hotel room? 
well, wonder no more!
yes, that IS a sewing machine amongst the tin/boxes of supplies

this is the second year in a row that i find myself creating stuff for Katie's show from a hotel room.

i know that housekeeping staff have probably seen it all, but maybe, just maybe this is a first for them...

piles of vintage paper being clipped, folded, glued and clamped into all sorts of configurations

i like to spread the sparkly stuff, it's quite festive, don't you think?
i really do wonder what the housekeepers think about my magical mess

April 26, 2010

Nesting Swap Box

After admiring all the participants' craftiness for a while, I decided to join an inspiration box swap hosted by the Speckled Egg.   Heather set the theme as "nesting". 
I got the notion of creating a specimen box.  The rules of the swap stated that you must with a large match box, embellish it

I decopaged the inside of mine with vintage encyclopedia pages pertaining to all things aviary.  To aid opening the box I sewed a vintage brass button on the side as a pull.  I painted the sliding outer cover (which will appear in other photos) and the exterior of the inner box black.

and then fill it with "inspirational items".

vintage French embroidery floss, vintage beaded flower and tiny vial of vintage "pearl" beads

The outside of a completed box.

 I cut out the center ofthe outer sleeve to imitate a true specimen box.

It is just as fun to decorate the mailing box.

back of mailing box

I received very pretty boxes from three talented ladies that I will feature in a later post.

March 23, 2010

Pink Gold

A couple of days ago, the pot at the end of my rainbow looked like this.

After a minimal amount of work the contents of this pot looked like this.

When the plate was clean we looked like this.
The corned beef was extra extra delicious-not because we had the help of leprechauns or the luck of the Irish.  Our secret is that we "corn", or brine, the beef ourselves.  That way we have control over the flavor.  It is easy and sooo much more interesting than store bought.

A final glamour shot of the succulent beef.


January 20, 2010

Mini Meltdown

Yesterday afternoon I looked at this lonely little bowl and decided I should go to the grocery store to procure something to fill it up with.

Last Saturday Glenn discovered a new Ben & Jerry's ice cream that I became smitten with immediately. Of course, the ice cream lasted about twenty-two minutes (I AM exaggerating here, but not by much). So off to the frozen food aisle of the grocery store I went.

But, I could not find the new variety any where amongst the vast sea of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. I started wondering if I had dreamt the whole experience. The panic really started setting in. Usually I am able to spot the most obscure items with ease. I even read all (or so I thought)the tiny shelf-placement labels looking for a trace of what was now the most important thing in the world to me. If Glenn was not at a business dinner he would have gotten a frantic call from me.

Just as I was about to resign myself (and the cute bowl at the beginning of this post) to an ice creamless night, I looked in the bowels of the freezer and found this lurking behind tubs of Chubby Hubby ice cream.
Meltdown averted. I almost broke into the Hallelujah chorus right there in aisle five.

Let me tell you as a if-it-is-not-chocolate-it-is-not-a-dessert kind of girl, this ice cream is AWESOME. It takes copious amounts of self-control for me to not eat the entire container by myself in three minutes flat (and I hold the world's record as the slowest eater). But, (there is always a "but"), in the interest of full disclosure, I doused the ice cream in chocolate Magic Shell. I can never be parted from my beloved chocolate!

January 18, 2010

Pretty Pajaki

Before Christmas, my mom and I were out running errands and decided to stop at the Polish Art Center in Hamtramck. It is filled with so many beautiful handmade things. Because of my Polish heritage, I find the items that much more lovely (I guess it is a nostalgic sense of ancestral pride).

Hanging from the ceiling were dozens and dozens of tissue paper chandeliers, pajaki, as they are called in Poland. Most of them were brightly colored. However, there were a couple of faded beauties. I only saw price tags on the brightly colored pajaki. Even though they were reasonably priced for such an exquisitely detailed handcraft, they were a little out of my league (It was right before Christmas when I should be buying gifts for others!). On a whim I asked how much the faded ones were. The faded pajaki were a fraction of the cost of their bright cousins. The owner explained that traditionally, families replace the pajaki every year around Christmas. In other words, I was interested in what was clearly last year's model! Oh I felt so smug getting the chandelier that I thought was the most beautiful for a discount.

Even though it was a little difficult, I waited until after Christmas to hang my beauty. So, in honor of Glenn's January 9th birthday, up went the pajaki along with some paper garland I made. It looks so pretty!

December 16, 2009

The Unexpected

Dad and me at our favorite place in the world: the beach

When I haphazardly launched this blog in January 2009, I had no grand plan. I started blogging with only a couple ideas. First of all, I would focus on writing and photographing my crafty endeavors. Secondly, I would keep an upbeat, kind of Pollyannaish tone.

My first idea sort of undid itself. Even though I only have a handful of blog posts under my belt, I see a clear trend of food/eating as a subject matter. That is O.K. - food is a fine thing about which to write. I mean everybody has to eat!

It is my second self-imposed directive that has prevented me from neglecting my blog for so long. The happy tone that I wanted to use in this blog has been temporarily silenced. My family and I were abruptly thrown into the dark dark world of grief and mourning on May 18. My dad unexpectedly died. There was no warning, there were no signs that he had a sick heart.

During the summer I thought that I was ready to write about the lighter parts of life. As a matter of fact, I thought it would provide a good escape from my grief-laden world. I had taken a slew of pretty photos and had plenty of happy/beautiful/tasty things I would have loved to share on this blog. But, I had no desire to do so. I thought that waxing on about the breathtaking beach in Florida or the fabulous food in New Orleans (both of which I experienced in the second half of 2009)would be hollow - if not to others, at least to myself.

There are no two ways about it, I can not completely flex my creative muscle without acknowledging the emotional havoc I have been going through since May. I really really want to continue blogging. I have no intention of turning my blog into a cyber-therapy session. And, anyway, right now my grief is too raw and too intimate to share.

Hopefully, I will be back better than ever, sharing my latest culinary adventure or a paperlicious-crafty-wonderthing.
"You can't always get what you want. But, if you try, sometimes, you get what you need."


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A Few of my Favorite Things Tea*Chocolate* Lake Michigan in Leelanau County*Vintage Crepe Paper Crafts*Prince circa 1980's*Pork*California Redwoods*Outsider Art*The Smell of Lilacs and Summer Rain*Burlap*Food prepared from scratch*The Color RED*Hats