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Monday, May 31, 2010

Weekend Glimpse

It was a busy weekend, as usual.
The highlight was Sunday night supper with dear friends.

We grilled pizzas! They were rustic. And delicious.

Lovely table on a friend's deck.  
I think I need a deck.

Not pictured:
- making spaghetti sauce (recipe to come!)
- a much-needed nap
- Mario Galaxy 2
- brownie ice cream sandwiches
(Exactly what they sound like. Amazing.)

This is my husband, who is not a veteran, 
but who loves America with all his heart.

On this Memorial Day I want to thank all those who have honored our country with their service, and those who are currently serving us. I truly appreciate your sacrifice. 

I want to especially thank my grandfathers that served: John Bastine (World War 2) and Charley Volk (Korean War). I am extremely proud of them.

If you want to see a little bit of the emotions that go along with being in the military, check out PW's latest photo call: "Coming Home." Grab the tissues.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Charlotte Alexandra

I just stumbled across the lovely designs of Charlotte Alexandra. Besides being absolutely gorgeous, she makes scrumptious textile accessories. Here's what I'm dying to have:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recipe Cards

As I've mentioned before, I love paper goods. I love the feel of quality paper, the beauty of good designs, and the act of sitting, writing, and trying to make my penmanship neat. Giving or receiving something handwritten is becoming a rarity, so why not make the occasion even more special by using nice stationary.

A habit that I'm cultivating is the use of recipe cards, especially when I'm giving someone a recipe. To help this along, I'm stocking my desk with recipe cards that I can either write on or print.

Here are a few of my favorites from Etsy:

(I have these already and love them!)

I think I'm going to have to scoop up some of those printable options soon, my local copy shop has some great cardstock options and they'll even cut the cards for me.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Beautiful Baths

I don't know why, but I've had baths on the brain today. Maybe it's because things here have been so busy recently that I'm longing for a peaceful soak.

This first one is my absolute favorite, but I sure wouldn't say no to the rest!

All images via House Beautiful

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Pie

For me, fresh strawberry pie means one thing: Summer. It heralds the beginning of summer and bids farewell to spring. This is because fresh strawberry pie must be made with fresh, in season berries, preferably local. Unless of course you are desperate enough to work with the sad offerings in the grocery store, as I was a couple months ago.

This is the same recipe I used to make my 8 pies over the weekend, and all recipients declared it good.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 baked 9 inch pie shell (use your favorite recipe, mine is here)
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries (about 5-6 cups)
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1 c. heavy cream
confectioner's sugar

Wash and hull the strawberries, pat dry. Mash enough strawberries to measure 1 1/2 cups. Mix together the sugar and cornstarch. Combine with mashed strawberries in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stirring constantly, cook until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, let cool 10 minutes. Place remaining whole strawberries in baked pie shell. Pour cooked strawberry mixture over the top, move berries around slightly to allow mixture to sink through (or just toss together in a bowl before adding to pie shell). Chill for at least 2 hours. Before serving, whip heavy cream and sweeten to taste with confectioner's sugar. Spread whipped cream on top of pie, and serve.

If you're like me and have an addiction to creamy goodness,  you can beat in a few ounces of softened cream cheese to the whipped cream.

Note: This recipe is intended for fresh, local strawberries, which are usually sweeter than those you get in the grocery store. If you're using store-bought berries, or the ones you have just seem a little tart, you may want to add more sugar, an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Glimpse

My weekend pretty much centered around strawberries. Not a bad focus, if I do say so myself.

I picked 3 gallons worth of these sweet rubies at a local farm.

What does one do with that amount of strawberries? Make pies, of course.
Pictured here is a triple batch of Martha's Perfect Pie Crust. 
Please don't count the sticks of butter.

Why make one pie when you can make eight?
One for myself and the rest to share.
Pie fairies are real, you just have to believe.

Even with all those pies, I still had about a gallon of berries left.
So I flash-froze them. Now I have fruit for making smoothies, or ice cream, or berry compote.

Not Pictured:
- celebrating a sister's birthday with a movie marathon
- my strawberry hulling record: 3 gallons in 31 minutes!  
       My paring knife was smokin'.
- an impromptu LOST party

Friday, May 21, 2010

Amy Atlas

For those of you who have been hanging around design or entertaining blogs, you've no doubt seen the stunning work of Amy Atlas. For those of you who haven't, prepare to be amazed. Amy Atlas is the queen of the dessert table (and she has a super cute name). She designs sweet spreads for various clients, often high-profile. Here are a few of my favorites:

Freaking gorgeous, right? Can you imagine getting to eat from one of these beauties?

She recently worked with Brides magazine on a few spreads: vintage birds and blooms, modern citrus chevron, and spiced chocolate.

To see more of her loveliness at work, visit her website. You can check out her expansive portfolio under eye candy

And if you ever hire her to do a table for a party, you MUST invite me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pioneer Woman

I was able to go to one of Pioneer Woman's recent book signings in Charlotte, NC. What a blast! Ree is even more sweet and lovely than I had imagined, and getting to meet her was a real treat.

Her fans love her, that's for sure. I drove over 2 hours to see her, but many others had gotten there far earlier than I to wait in line, some had even taken the day off of work. And so many people brought her presents! You'll notice my gift to her on the table in the first picture. I made some goodies for her and her punks from my shop: a ring, necklace, earring, and hair pins. I even made Ree a pair of dangly vintage earrings that had pictures of Charlie under glass. I was so busy making and packaging up these delights that I neglected to take pictures of them, and I'm kicking myself for it now.

I was able to get in to see her as soon as we got there, thanks to my VIP tickets. After saying hello and getting my book signed, a friend and I stayed to have dinner in the store's restaurant. 3 hours later, after a leisurely meal and looking around some, we headed out. And Ree was still going strong! I took a peek at her and the large group still patiently waiting, and she was just as kind and bubbly as when I met her hours before.

In case you are unfamiliar with Pioneer Woman, get yourself over to her website and start drooling.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lemon Mousse Pie

We were going over to a friend's for dinner, and I was to bring dessert. No problem. However, by the time I finished all my errands for the day, I got home at 5:30 pm. And we needed to leave at 6:30 pm. Problem time.  I decided to go the cheater's route and use a boxed mix, but I didn't want it to taste like a mix.

I used a Jello No-Bake Cheesecake mix that I kept on hand for emergencies such as this, and doctored it up until it turned into a Lemon Mousse Pie. While the pie was chilling, I dipped some fresh strawberries in chocolate. They were dry within a few moments, so I placed them on the pie. Off we went, and when we arrived at the friend's home, I whisked the pie into the fridge to finish chilling. By the time dinner was over, it had set up perfectly. We served dessert, and the pie was killer. Light, refreshing, and no one would have ever known it started as a mix. I will definitely be making it again, even if I'm not in a rush.

Lemon Mousse Pie

1 pkg. Jello No-Bake Cheesecake mix (plain flavor)
2 T. sugar
5 T. melted butter
1 1/2 c.  cold milk
2 oz. softened cream cheese
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. grated lemon rind
1 c. Cool Whip

Prepare the crust as directed with the included crust packet, sugar, and butter. Press mixture into a pie plate or 8 inch spring-form pan (my preference). Set aside. Place softened cream cheese in bowl. Gradually beat in the milk until the mixture is smooth. Add the included cheesecake packet, beat on low speed for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon rind, and Cool Whip. Beat just until combined. Spread mixture in pan, tap on counter to settle. Chill for at least  2 hours before serving. Garnish with strawberries or other fruit. Serves 8.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Land Carpet

Land Carpet via Apartment Therapy

I'm loving Florian Pucher's new rug series: Land Carpet. These rugs were inspired by the aerial topography of Europe, the USA, even the tulip fields of the Netherlands. As Florian says, "Based on satellite images, Land Carpet is a captured aerial view to touch. The stylized fields are of different height and let Land Carpet appear like a miniaturized landscape." How cool is that! 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend Glimpse

It was a whirlwind weekend. Packed full, lots of fun, but exhausting. My parents were visiting for a few days, so we were busy with them as well as a family wedding. I toted my camera most everywhere, but only managed to take pictures of the wedding flowers. Annie did the flowers for the wedding, and as usual, I assisted her. This time it was fun to have my mom and little sister helping as well.

One of the bouquets

Corsages and boutonnieres, my specialty.
Here they are, ready to be whisked off to the bridal party.
I wish I had gotten some shots of them individually, they were luscious.

Not pictured:
- attending the lovely wedding that the flowers were for
- a Greek festival (Spanakopita!)
- mulching. and mulching. and mulching.
- attack of the sinus allergies (again! always worse on the weekend.)
- running to and fro with the family

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fabric Flowers

If you have ten minutes and a scrap of material, you can make a fabric flower. This is the same technique I used to make the white flowers for this chair.

Cut 6 circles of fabric: 2 large, 2 medium, 2 small. Stack the like sizes together.

Cut slices into the circles, leaving the middle intact. This will give it the floppy petal look. If you want yours to be un-floppy, you can leave them uncut. I rotate my circles so that none of the cut lines match up to make them more organic and haphazard looking.

Stack your sets of circles from largest to smallest. With a needle and thread, sew a gathering stitch in small circle.

End the circle with your needle on the bottom. Pull gently and firmly to gather. Sew through the base a few times to secure, finish off.

I decided to make mine into a pin, so I hot-glued a small felt circle on the back and attached a bar pin.

All done! You could sew these on a pillow, a shirt, a headband... anything! If you're using several together, make them in varying sizes to add interest.

Here is one that my sister Julia, the queen of fabric flowers, made for me. She attached it to a hair clip with hot glue. I wear it all the time.

Want to know who my lovely dark-haired model is? I'll give you a hint: he has a beard, like to draw monsters, and does not typically wear flowers in his hair. Yes, my husband is a dear.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

25 Candles

I had a birthday a few days ago, and it was lovely. This is the cake Annie made for me, don't you just want to stick your face in it? She made an amazing pound cake, the recipe for which I must steal. She cut the cake into small rounds, stacked them with this strawberry buttercream, and garnished with a cold strawberry sauce and a fresh berry. It was perfection.

Here is what the husband gave me:

 An otomi-inspired table runner

A marvelous white leather purse

A pasta roller! Which he graciously let me have early.

A friend and I made mountains of homemade ravioli a few weeks ago. I keep meaning to post about it and but get waylaid by other things. It's coming, I promise.


We have a winner! Congrats to dmw212, commenter #19.  dmw212, I'll be contacting you for your address so I can get this prize into your hands very soon!

I want to thank you all for your kind comments, I'm so glad you enjoy these designs!

This drawing was powered by

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Here is a scan of the article I was interviewed for, click on the image to enlarge (that way it's readable). The article ran yesterday in Link, a division of the Greenville News.

It was a fun experience, and the writer did a great job organizing my scattered thoughts.  They did take photos of several areas of the house, but due to space constraints, there was only room for the one photo. Thankfully, I am not making a weird face in the photo, although I was sure I must have. Even though they weren't able to run the other photos, I'll show some of them here over the next few weeks.

My only regret is that I said "Hawaiian shirt". Why? Why did I say this? No one wears Hawaiian shirts! I don't wear Hawaiian shirts! Oh well. I guess it could have been worse, I could have said something completely ludicrous like "SpongeBob" or "Dung Beetles." Not sure if those are worse or just weirder.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shop + Giveaway

Ta -da! 17 Dove Street has opened a shop! It's a happy place where you'll find sweet accessories for your hair, ears, neck, fingers, and clothes.

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

So there you have it! Please poke around in all corners of the shop. I'll be adding a few more items in the next week: large rings and necklaces. 
I'm very excited to have this come together. To celebrate, I'm doing a giveaway.

To enter, simply comment on this post, stating which item from the shop you would like to win. If your name is chosen, you'll win that item!

This contest will run until Wednesday midnight, EST. The prize will ship anywhere in the world. Please make sure your email is on your profile or leave your email in your comment.