Saturday, May 30, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

pie season

Ahh.. rhubarb pie. It's one of my favorites, maybe because rhubarb is the first fruit-like thing that's ripe in the spring? I really, really love anything with strawberries and rhubarb together, but there won't be any strawberries for about a week or so, so the humble pie plant was able to shine in this pie that I made for the party last weekend.

I really want to learn how to make a perfect crust, even though I'm still a bit freaked out about it. For this pie, I used this recipe from Martha for the bottom crust and I made a crumb topping by mixing 1/4 cup each of brown sugar, flour, and oats with 2 tablespoons of cold butter. The rhubarb pie recipe I got from here.. really simple and delicious. Overall the pie was fantastic (I ate a leftover piece warmed up for lunch yesterday. With ice cream. Shhh..), but I don't know about the crust. It was good, just a litte hard. Maybe I'll substitute some shortening for the butter next time to get it more flaky? Anyone have a great recipe to share?

Thankfully I have an entire season of pie-making before me to practice...

Friday, May 22, 2009

planting time

a day off yesterday + sun + temps in the 80s + a garden ready for planting + a bit of lounging = a very happy me :)

(I hope all of you here in the states have a great Memorial Day weekend! I have baking (rhubarb pie!!), maybe some thrifting, a painting party and bbq at my cousin's new house, and more gardening on my agenda for the weekend. Should be fun!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

old stuff

I love this little spot on my shelf in the craft room. I got the globe at the flea market for $2 and I found the plastic lion buried in the garden. I love it when I find bits of my childhood out in the dirt (usually it's old Matchbox cars!).

Monday, May 18, 2009

look who I just found

I was weeding away and minding my own business and I looked up to see this little fella hiding in the daffodils. He kinda scared me! What a cutie pie. Mama rabbit made her nest in the middle of the yard, so this guy must be out exploring.
He reminded me of all the years working at the nature center. We would get calls all the time from worried people that found a bunny nest that they thought was abandoned, or a tiny little bunny all alone. One day, a woman came in with a terrified bunny in a box. She said something like, "I had to chase this all over the yard to catch it, it's mother was no where in sight." Oye.

The mother only feeds them once or twice a day, usually at dusk and very early in the morning, so chances are you aren't going to actually
see a mother rabbit care for her babies. She stays away to keep them safe from predators - she has a scent, but the babies don't yet! Isn't that neat? Lucy, our beagle, didn't have a clue the nest was there until she saw the mother feeding them and she chased her away. She's already forgotten all about it (but we put a little fence up around the nest in case she remembers!)

I found a nice web site with a bunch of FAQ's about baby bunnies that I thought I'd share. I know people mean well and don't want the babies to die or suffer, but sadly that's usually exactly what happens when people take the babies away from where they were found and try to care for them themselves (or even if they take them to a rehabber). I'll also find one about baby birds soon and share it here.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

10 things I love

Hey everyone, how's your weekend going so far? I know I haven't blogged in a few days so I thought it would be fun to make another list of things I'm loving right now...

1. These little beauties next to my computer:

2. May Giveaway Day
on the Sew Mama Sew! blog. I would love to do a giveaway.. we'll see if I find the time. :)

3. I'm loving cross stitch more and more.. like this one by Etsy seller neawear. Isn't it adorable? (photo by neawear):

4. This amazing tilt-shift video
by Keith Loutit, which I found on the How About Orange blog. (Um, I don't know how to add videos, so you'll have to click the link. Sorry about that! But it's worth it.)

5. Also from the How About Orange blog, a tilt-shift maker. I spent more time than I'd like to admit playing with this thing. The photo below is one that I made.. I took it at Greenfield Village last summer. Doesn't it look like a miniature?

I'm almost finished with a big freelance job I've been working on so once that is done I'll be able to turn my attention to my garden! (and a million other things I want/need to do!)

7. All that green!

8. This Etsy shop I recently
found, ++SIESTA++. She's from Japan and makes the most adorable and beautiful hand-sewn items. Check out her blog as well.

9. This pretty paper mache bowl from The Lulu Bird:

10. And the summer quilt top is finished! I'll share more soon. :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

weekend finds

On Sunday my mom and I went to the flea market. It was a little slow, but here's some of what I found:
I found a couple more vintage puzzles for $1 each. These make me really happy. I'm in love with the illustrations on the one with the numbers.

And look! Some of the deer puzzle pieces are fun little shapes. Adorable!

I also found two embroidered doily things.. I love the simple look of the flowers. They look sort of modern.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

something for summer

Fabrics for a beach/picnic/backyard quilt. Inspired by the fantastic vintage sheet at the bottom. I love it!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I made this key lime pie for a party we had last weekend.. It was delicious. This was the last piece, as you can probably tell. I got the recipe right here, but I used regular limes because I made something like this with the lime peels. I used watermelon jello and added vodka instead of the 1c. of cold water! They looked awesome. And they were very strong. :)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

around our house

It seems like everything has just exploded around here in the last week or so. Yesterday I finally had some time to wander around and take a few photos..
The apple blossoms are open! It's my favorite flower.. the smell is heavenly. And the sound of all the bees busily gathering nectar is incredible! I would love to get married under an apple tree in full bloom. My favorite flowers and my favorite little insects surrounding us. :) (Would the bees freak out the guests??)
(This is Phlox subulata 'Candystripe'. It makes a pretty mound and is one of the first things to bloom in our garden.)

Every year the empty lot across the street gets painted in yellow. I think it's so pretty. I'll never understand why some people hate dandelions so much. This morning I watched two goldfinches enjoy a breakfast of the seeds.
My friend the carpenter bee. :)
Another one of my favorites - violets (mixed in with some lady's mantle, which I also love!).
And we have a robin nest on our back light! I've been watching her work on it for the last week or so and I peeked in it yesterday (I had to use a mirror!).. there's one egg in it so far.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

for the birds

I found this idea (can't remember where!) last year while looking for something else and I thought it was so fun. So I thought I'd try it. Just fill a suet feeder with scraps of yarn and strings from fabric and hang it outside for the birds to collect to add to their nests. I used only natural fibers - mostly cotton and linen and a bit of wool and I made sure they were all pretty short so no one gets tangled. I hung it by the feeders in hopes that they would notice it. I haven't seen anyone on it yet but I'll keep watching. :)

Friday, May 1, 2009

reusable produce bags

After finding some sheer lightweight fabric on clearance at Joann's, I decided it was high time to make myself some produce bags. I used my drawstring bag directions and made the large bags to be about the same size as the ones at the grocery store. They're about 11 ½” x 18” (I think they're a little too big though). I bought a yard and a half and I was able to make 4 large, 2 medium (8 ½” x 11") and 2 small (6” x 9”). They were easy enough to make but the fabric gave me a bit of a hard time. Folding the top over a couple of times for the drawstring casing was difficult because the fabric was slippery and you couldn't really crease it with an iron. After I gave up on having them look just right, the process went a bit smoother. Next time I think I'll look for something a little less slick.