Tuesday, March 31, 2009

another treasury!

Thanks to Patti of peacoxcreations! This sweet little baby is one of a set of 6 tags. You can find it in my etsy shop
Here is the treasury
Check out Patti's blog Patti crochets the most glorious things and makes wonderful pine needle baskets. You seriously have to check out Camille and Oscar in her shop!

Bloggin' Blues Treasury

featured shops: HBIC, storybeader, memoriesforlifesb, AKeepersJackpot, spottedcowsoaps, NicoDesigns, roseworksjewelry, SparklyPark, miesmama, beadedtail, glorybe1024, DosrsetHillBeads

YAY! Etsy Bloggers' Street Team!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Thanks to Rasa of happyment for including me in her wonderful treasury!
Check out Rasa's wonderful blog.
and her etsy shop
Featured shops: Xenotees, PamelaAngus, SparklyPark, helisengezer, ememem, senayakin, Aranwen, eleanors, halcyonhands, dbabcock, vladlenas, LazyDaisyMarie
(My earrings --lavender, copper kissed and clear glass, sterling silver--are in the upper right corner.)
Rasa has inspired 2 of my blog posts that I call "snippets of happyment." "happyment " is Rasa's word, and I love it so much, I've borrowed it. It seems she's OK with that.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Turner Farm book club adventure

How fun was our book club's excursion to Turner Farm!

Look who came running to greet us! (such sweet little snouts!) They were like little puppies, so friendly and curious. Here 3 of them are trying to crowd into a photo.
Sally, the education director and our friend, led us on a tour of the property, a 60 acre certified organic farm in Hamilton County, Ohio. One of the farm cats and one of the dogs help to guide us along. Certified by the Ohio Ecological Farm and Food Association (OEFFA), Turner Farm is a non profit educational organization.

“Turner Farm operations promote connection between people of all ages and the land that feeds them, in body, mind and spirit. Through education and example, we nurture understanding of the rhythms of nature, and our place in the natural world, fostering recognition of personal responsibility for stewardship of the land and development of nuturing community." (1)

Turner Farm offers education for adults and children, holds events (like the upcoming sheep shearing), and has 4 CSAs--vegetable, meat and eggs, flower, and winter vegetable.

CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. Members pay a fee, work some hours, and get wonderful products in return.

This land has been actively farmed since the early 1800s. In order to protect Turner Farm’s agricultural lands permanently, including its historic, scenic, and conservation values, an Agricultural Conservation Easement was created. This land will forever be farmland. Lush and lovely, its gardens and fields are home to a variety of plants and animals. Bordered by woods, there are meadows and fields. Sheep and chickens graze in open pastures. The pond is fed by runoff from wetlands. Beauty and peace abound. One feels a sense of coming home.
As I turn down the long lane of the farm located in suburban Cincinnati, I notice the surrounding fields--some pasturelands, some waiting for vegetable planting. Many buildings are scattered about the property. There are hay barns, a dairy barn, 3 poultry houses, a swine facility (which by the way, has a solar "electric" fence), greenhouses, many smaller shelters for animals and equipment storage. There is a small building out of which produce and eggs are sold.
On this lush Spring evening, yellow daffodils dotting the landscape, are silently nodding their frilly heads. They are especially abundant ringing the almost one-third acre pond.

the farmhouse
Turner Farm uses draft horses to plow, disk, harrow, cultivate, and pull wagons. This traditional method of farming provides the farmer with a connection to the land. The driver is able to breathe fresh air and listen to the natural surrounding sounds. The farmer feels more in tune with the rhythms of nature and the farm.

greenhouse, cold frames, shed (above)

Here we are lined up along the fence trying to get a look at the 3 draft horses and 1 donkey. (left)

Many people are turning to local foods for a variety of reasons. Mainly folks just want to know where their food comes from and how it was raised. Local food, since it is not bred to travel long distances or be stored for long periods, just tastes better. And then there's the variety. Oh the variety! Who knew there were so many colors of potatoes, of eggs, of swiss chard, carrots, and radishes. And the lusciousness of a "home-grown" tomato sun-ripened and fresh off the vine! Variety and flavor are hugely important. But also increasingly important to people is to be able to eat food that has not been subjected to pesticides, chemicals, and cruel practices. We want food that has not been stripped of its nutrients.

more than just white, eggs of brown, beige, blue, blue-green

Turner Farm is committed to ecologically sound farming practices in order to produce food which is nutritionally superior and diverse. Maintaining healthy soil, which in turn produces healthy plants and animals, is of primo importance. No artificial chemicals, fertilizers, nor pesticides are used. Compost, natural plant-based supplements, and integrated pest management are the means to this end.

We end our tour as twilight settles over the land. Feeling refreshed by breathing in the soft Spring air, we turn into the workroom where our dinner is waiting. Some of our dishes were made with fresh spinach, eggs, and butter from the farm. YUM! We settle in with our dinner, glass of wine, and special friends. A perfect setting for our discussion of Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.


Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association

local food can be purchased via CSAs, farmers' markets, co-ops, or directly from the grower
Local Harvest You can put your zip code in on this site and find locations near you.
USDA publications and information

Locavore--someone who eats food that is grown locally for the sake of environmental and economic principles. (The definition of local is somewhat loose being anywhere from 50-150 miles radius.)

San Francisco Locavore website

photos by me ©2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

book club fun

My book club has been reading this bookand tonight we are discussing it over a potluck dinner at a local non-profit, educational farm. I can't wait to tell you about it.

Part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Kingsolver, along with husband Steven Hopp, and daughter Camille, Barbara Kingsolver tells of her family's one-year adventure to feed themselves with locally produced food, most of it harvested by themselves.

"As the U.S. population made an unprecedented mad dash for the Sun Belt, one carload of us paddled against the tide, heading for the Promised Land where water falls from the sky and green stuff grows all around. We were about to begin the adventure of realigning our lives with our food chain."

"Naturally, our first stop was to buy junk food and fossil fuel. . . ."

Informative, yet humourous, this earnest and entertaining tale unfolds with Kingsolver's classic beautiful prose. The books sizzles with sensuality from vegetable eating in consort with the rhythms of the seasons to turkey sex.

Rick Bass reviews the book for The Boston Globe:
It's a rare book about which it can be said, "It will change your life..." "...this text will fold quietly into the reader's consciousness, with affecting grace and dignity, because of its prose and sensibilities."
"...a profound, graceful, and literary work of philosophy and economics, well tempered for our times, and yet timeless."

Barbara Kingsolver's own website
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle website with recipes and resources Barbara, Steven, Camille, Lily

Friday, March 20, 2009

"It's a book of hope."

Today is the 40th anniversary of the release of Eric Carle's famous children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. "This little, fat ugly thing ends up flying into the world as a beautiful butterfly." (1)

And so it began--a hole puncher and a stack of paper, and one of the world's most beloved children's books was born. This hungry caterpillar eats his way through a variety of fruit. After eating a green leaf, he builds a cocoon. And then, a miraculous event occurs. He turns into a beautiful butterfly.

Visit his official website and see a marvelous short video of him discussing this book and and painting and creating his wonderful collage art. "I love color!" declares the almost 80 year old Carle. He hand paints papers and then cuts and layers them to create his signature collages.

See a most interesting biography of his life.
How did his career begin? Bill Martin, Jr. asked Carle to illustrate a story he had written, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Martin was captivated by a bright red lobster that Carle had painted for an advertisement.

The themes of Carle's stories are drawn from his knowledge and love of nature. His books are visually gorgeous and entertaining. But they also offer readers the opportunity to learn something about the world around them. He has an intuitive understanding and respect for children. "It is his concern for children, for their feelings and their inquisitiveness, for their creativity and their intellectual growth that, in addition to his beautiful artwork, makes the reading of his books such a stimulating and lasting experience." (2)

last page from the newly released pop-up version

And, guess what? There is an Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art! 125 West Bay Road Amherst, MA 01002 website:

Published in 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has sold more than 29 million copies and has been translated into 47 languages. This book continues to sell about 650,00 copies per year.

references: (1) http://http//www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2009-03-18-caterpillar_N.htm (2) http://http//www.eric-carle.com/bio.html

Addendum: NICO Design pointed out that fabric is available. Here are some resources: Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric and quilt kits: http://http//www.fourthcornerquilts.com/CollectionProducts.aspx?CollectionID=109 http://http//store.besewhappy.com/servlet/-strse-Andover-Fabrics-cln-The-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar-by-Eric-Carle/Categories Brown Bear fabrics and fat quarters: http://www.fatquartershop.com/store/stores_app/Browse_dept_items.asp?T=1&Store_id=499&page_id=17

And, of couse, fabrics are available at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: http://http//www.picturebookart.org/Shop

check this out!

and Carle's own blog!
Mishkat of http://mishkathryn.blogspot.com/
informed me that there is an article about Carle in the March 23, 2009 Newsweek (pp.52-54).

NEW: I have just found the most wonderful blog, Children's/Fantasy IIlustrations! Hermes has posted a fantastic youtube animated version of the book here! You must see this!

NOTE: Apparently, the links not written in html are broken. And I don't have time to fix them right now. Copy and paste and you will get there. Sorry.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Raspberry Rhubarb Cobbler

served with vanilla ice cream and garnished with lemon zest and thyme (because that was the only edible green stuff growing in my garden today)
8 C raspberries (or 3 12oz packages frozen)

4 C rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1 C sugar

1/4 C flour
1/8 C arrowroot powder (or just use more flour)
3/4 C honey
1 T butter & 2 T butter
Butter a 9" x 13" pan with 1 T butter. In a bowl, gently fold together raspberries and rhubarb. Add sugar, flour, and arrowroot and mix gently. Mix in the honey. Dump this into the pan and spread evenly. Do not tamp down.

Cut the 2 T butter into very small pieces and dot the top of the filling.
Zest lemon onto top. (Use 1 lemon--optional)

1 C unbleached flour
1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour
pinch salt (optional)
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/4 C butter
1 C rolled oats
In food processor, mix together flours, salt, and brown sugar. Then mix in butter. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Add oats and stir. Coat the top of the filling with this mixture. Bake 1 hour at 375.
eat, enjoy!

NOTE: None of the proportions of the ingredients in this recipe are crucial with one exception. There must be enough butter to hold the cobbler topping together when pressed between your fingers. This recipe is not super sweet, so if you want it sweeter, add more sugar.
for more about rhubarb, check out these links:
http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/686/ This one includes a couple recipes.

On March 21, 2010, I am linking to Little Andalucia's Friday Features--Link Party.  Come join and/or see more creativity HERE.

 photos by me ©2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

snippets (number 2)

of happyment This post is inspired by a post on Rasa's blog happyment.
I just love that word because it is a combination of the words happy and content. Sometimes something small can just fill your soul with a thrill. So, from time to time, I will capture one snippet of happyment and post it here.

This is a crocus blooming in my yard, which means only one thing--Spring is coming!

See snippets (number one) here.

photo by me ©2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award

Sinclair from NatureWithMe has honored me the Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you! We do not know from whence this award originates, but it is fun to share some bloggy love. And it is lovely to be appreciated. So forth from me this award will go to four others whose creativity I enjoy (and you can, too):





How this works: You can state 6 things you are thankful for and pass this award on to others. Keep the badge for your blog if you wish.
I am thankful for much more than 6 things, but here are some: people I love, a happy life, good things to eat, fun things to do, wonders to see, and you (my reader), of course

Sinclair, in her blog Nature With Me, writes of the natural world around her, of getting back to basics with her family. She writes of home remedies, recycling, compost, sustainability, and enjoying artistic expression through handmade goods. Her most recent undertaking is the revitalization of a greenhouse on her property. I highly recommend her very informative blog.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sisterhood Award

Elizabeth of Softpencil has given me the Sisterhood Award! What a lovely honor! Thank you so much! Do visit her etsy shop where you can find lovely soft drawings of images from nature. Elizabeth is an artist form Buenos Aires. On her website you will see a gallery of her drawings including her logo, a beautiful pink cymbidium eikoh orchid.
I love the idea of "sisterhood," because this implies a connection of giving and sharing. So in that spirit, I will now pass this award to

Theresa J

This is how it works:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 5 blogs which show great ATTITUDE and/or GRATITUDE.
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link this post to the person from whom you received your award.

Now DO go read these wonderful blogs which have heart and soul!

Friday, March 13, 2009

my blogging spot

This one's for Elsie!
OK, Elsie, here it is! My husband and I share an office in a room in our house. In the last photo, my desk is on the right. His desk is on the left and you can only see part of it. There are fun things in this room--photos and memorabilia from various vacations along with random ephemera.

On February 23, Elsie posted a photo of her blogging spot. See it here!   If you read the comments on this post you can get links to others' blogging spots.

The original idea comes from Lillipilli at Frocs and Frou Frou. <  See her post here!
(Scroll down a little and then check out the comments for more blogging spots!)

To paraphrase the words of Elsie...
So fellow bloggers do you dare...? Show me where you blog (and how it really looks-- NO artful staging or mood lighting please)! 

Check out Lilli's original post and Namaste's post. Then post a comment with the link to your blog post here and I will pass it on to Elsie who will pass it on to Lilli - who is in Australia and wants to see how far this can go!

whew! have fun!

photos taken by me ©2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

little Spring flowers

for your ears!

Nora makes these cute earrings from polymer clay and, sells them in her etsy shop, Design by Nora. They will make your ears feel like partying. (And check out her uncle's purses.)
Nora's etsy shop: http://www.designbynora.etsy.com/
Nora's blog: http://http//norademirjian.blogspot.com/
Be sure to check out her very yummy recipe for Napoleans: http://http//norademirjian.blogspot.com/2009/03/whats-for-dessert-napoleon.html

Nora was chosen as the etsy bloggers' street team blogger of the month. If you have a blog and sell on etsy, consider joining the street team. Team requirements are easy--basically 2-3 blog posts per month with a choice of topics. And every week there is a fun thread to follow in the forums as we chat and get to know each other. http://http//etsybloggers.com/

These photos are, of course, by Nora.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Spring is an experience of immortality. I love Spring. The earth bursts into song, going from seeming dispair to riotous joy. 
 ... an April hike in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville in 2006....Four of us spent many serene moments watching a stream of ants laboring to carry a few huge crumbs through their secret tunnel to their underground nest.

 ... a display at the 2008 Cincinnati Flower Show...The Cincinnati Flower Show is awesome! It is probably the largest flower show in North America, and the only North American show endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain. Better Homes and Gardens honored it as the "King of all flower shows." One's spirit is renewed while walking among the many acres of flowers, a feast for the senses. Oh the colors, the smells! Glorious Spring has arrived!
This year will be the 20th anniversary of the show.

A young boy holds a butterfly at Krohn Conservatory during the annual Butterfly Show.
Eden Park's Krohn Conservatory is a nationally recognized showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from all over the world. The palm, tropical, desert and orchid houses exhibit permanent displays of exotic plants in natural settings, complete with a 20 foot rainforest waterfall. It is a garden paradise under glass.

This one's for the etsy blogger's street team's blog carnival.http://http://etsybloggers.com/

photos taken by me © 2006-2008  all rights reserved

Saturday, March 7, 2009

an etsy treasury!

icons of SpringI had been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to post an etsy mini of my first treasury. Then Sinclair from Nature With Me explained how to do it.
Check these goodies out!

TIP: To check to see if you are in a treasury: http://http//www.craftopolis.com/
this tip courtesy of http://http//bejeweledbycandi.blogspot.com/

And be sure to check out Sinclair's very interesting blog! http://http//naturewithme.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I made this dessert for a dinner meeting last night. The recipe is my own, synthesized from the reading of 3 different recipes. I did not want to make them very sweet, but more sugar can be added for a sweeter scone. I used a food processor, but these can be made by hand.
3 C flour ( I used @ 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour to give a richer flavor.)
1/2 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 T buttermilk powder
1/4 t salt (opt)

6 T butter

1/3 C pecans, chopped
1/3 C fresh cranberries, chopped
1-3 t orange zest

@ 1 C water (I added about 2T orange juice to the measuring cup before adding water.)

In bowl of food processor, combine dry ingredients till well blended.

Here are the dry ingredients in the food processor before mixing.
Chop butter and add to dry mixture, pulsing on and off on low till mixture resembles a coarse meal. If doing this by hand, use two knives and cut the butter into the dry mixture.

chopped butter and extra ingredients

While pulsing on low, add the water a little at a time. If mixing by hand, use a fork or two to combine. Check mixture before using all the water to see if it will hold together when pressed with your fingers. ( I used all but a tablespoon or two of my water-orange juice mixture. See note below.) Now remove from processor to another bowl. (see photo on right.) Using two forks, mix in extra ingredients.

Scatter some sugar on a counter. Pat the scone mixture on top of the sugar till it is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into scones. I used a 3 inch diameter biscuit cutter. Brush a little water or orange juice on the tops and sprinkle on a little sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on greased sheet and bake at 375 degrees for @ 14 minutes. (The amount of time baking takes will depend on the size of your scones and the heat of your oven. I suggest checking after some minutes to see the progress.) They should be slightly golden brown on top when they are done.

I served the scones with a goat cheese spread. The ingredients below are a suggestion. Add whatever you like, as much or as little of it as you please.


4 oz goat cheese
2 t fresh cranberries, chopped
2 t dates, chopped
1T honey

2 t sugar
water or orange juice to get desired spreading consistancy

Mix well. I made this a little sweeter to go with the not-so-sweet scones since this was dessert.

Serve scones with the spread, butter, small slices of cheese, and fruit.


NOTE: How much water to add will depend on the flour and the humidity of the air.