Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Sweets

I made my first strawberry rhubarb pie last week with berries picked from a local farm. I used the recipe from this book. If you don't have this book, and you like to bake, I strongly recommend it. It's huge and thus far every recipe I have tried but one (and I think it was my fault) has turned out perfectly. I like that all the recipes are tested over and over until they are perfect. I also used the pie crust recipe from the book for the first time and it was great. I think it's going to be my new pie crust recipe, perfectly flaky and lightly sweetened. Unfortunately, said pie was devoured before it could be photographed.

I did make some donuts yesterday and managed to photograph them. The recipe is here. They were delicious. Not too sweet and definitely not as heavy as fried donuts. I dipped some in cinnamon and sugar and some in powdered sugar. The cinnamon ones were hands down the favorite.

In gardening news, I recently discovered a most unwelcome garden guest, the cabbage worm, happily munching on my broccoli plants. So I mixed up some natural pest spray and pried them off and now I'm on cabbage worm patrol. Other than that, all is well in the garden. I think we'll have some tomatoes within a few weeks. Yippee!

I hope everyone had a nice fourth of July. Ours was very low key except for the neighbors very loud party and the insane amount of fireworks in the neighborhood. Fireworks are illegal in the town I grew up in, so it's still a bit of a shock each year when I start hearing them in the days leading up to the fourth. I like fireworks ok, but I would not be in least bit sad if they were outlawed here. I know many little animals who would be fine with that as well.

I've got family coming to town on Monday and so much work to do around the house. Have a lovely weekend!

Me Hot

It's muy caliente here in Portland today, 97 to be exact.

Yesterday we drove to a local farm and had a picnic with friends under a giant oak tree.

It was such perfect weather, we could see Mt. Hood.

Another set of felted coasters is in the shop. I love these colors together!

I'm off to hug the air conditioner.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friend Flax

More coffee cozies are in the shop.

I got some new linen over the weekend and have fallen in love with it. It's a bit darker than my usual linen. I find it funny that I have a "usual" linen. Anyway, it's very beautiful and has a really nice drape to it. I bought the last of the bolt, so I'm hoping I can get more. I think linen is the only fabric that looks as good wrinkled as it does nicely pressed.

A couple of new bags:

Some mushrooms, photographed on my new favorite background. I'm trying to use it sparingly so I don't get tired of it's rustic woodiness, though it does seem unlikely that I could get tired of such a thing.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Some new wooly goods have made their way into the shop the past few days.
Mama Bird and Her Nest:

A Happy Apple Friend:

and some felted coasters:

I just added a new print to the shop also. I used chalk pastels for the first time and I really like the sort of dreamy effect they add.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Very Nice Day

After getting some work done, we were able to spend some time outside in the sun, it was delightful. It started with gelato and a cappucino on the patio at Mio Gelato down the street, then some time in the garden winding yarn into balls and knitting, followed by a walk to meet a friend for dinner. A perfect summer day. I'm always amazed at how much we miss when we're in the car. You really notice the little things when walking. Today, for example, I fell in love with peonies. Why haven't I planted peonies yet?

I've added a few new prints to the shop.
Small Town:

Business Bear:

and Bedtime Story:

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sun and Prints

The sun has been out for the past two days, and although it's still chilly, it's been so welcome.

I spent a good part of today working on some new art prints. These two are in the shop.

It occurred to me that I've only got a couple of months before I need to get into holiday stock up mode. Scary, huh? It's still hard for me to shift my brain to retail timing. I don't really want to think about Christmas card designs in August, but alas I must.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hey, It's Raining

Again. And it's going to rain until the end of time, I'm pretty sure.

Anyway, I've just updated the shop with some new cup cozies.

Sorry for the blah post, but I am rained out. I had to turn the heat on this morning, this June morning. WTF?

Happy Thursday! The weekend is coming hurrah!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How My Garden Grows

One of the things keeping me busy the past few weeks has been the garden. I have been craving the ever so elusive Pacific Northwest sun this year more than usual. We've been outside nearly every day planning and digging and planting. Every year the garden and backyard become easier to maintain. A lot of that is due to experience. I've had to move a few things that were planted with no real thought as to the size, shape and space requirements. Lesson learned, don't plant a hydrangea in front of an azalea bush in a 3 foot wide bed.

This year we built two raised beds in the garden bed. I'm so happy with them. They took half a day to build and are already making things easier. I've got pretty much all of my vegetables in and now we just water and wait. The only things I'd still like to have are spinach, brussels sprouts and some peas. This year I'm growing 2 tomatillo plants, 4 varieties of tomatoes (roma, amish paste, carlotta and cherry), english cucumber, butternut squash, pumpkin, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, and butter lettuce. I've also got a little section devoted to herbs.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Busy as a Bee

Here is my submission for Spiralling's Ice Breaker:

1. Jenn's birthday cake, 2. Diesel Fried Chicken, 3. Tamarack, 4. feathers and roses, 5. Flor de Cera!!, 6. Strawberry-Rambutan Boba Tea - Homemade Vegan Mix!, 7. Google Japan Vending Machines, 8. SWEETIE PIE, 9. done!, 10. laundry, 11. Mao~ What a beautiful gal?! CRW_3677, 12. Handmade Love 1
The Questions:
1. What is your first name? - Jenn
2. What is your favorite food? - Fried Chicken
3. What high school did you go to? - North Central
4. What is your favorite color? - Aqua
5. Who is your celebrity crush? - Michael Cera (yes, I know he's technically a teenager)
6. Favorite drink? - Bubble Tea
7. Dream vacation? - Japan
8. Favorite dessert? - Cake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? - Fabric Designer
10. What do you love most in life? - Linen
11. One Word to describe you. - Funny
12. Looked up my flickr name and found something about me - "chetanddot" Several sweet pictures of my handmade stuff (peanut).

And a new friend in the shop: