Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Hidden Lake near Logan Pass, Glacier National Park

My husband and I hiked the trail to this lake in September 2008.  What a magnificent place of beauty, Glacier is!  (I believe I will post more photos of this trail in the next few days.)  Anyone watching Ken Burns' National Park series?

more photos by me on this post.

a little more about the Hidden Lake Trail
about the Ken Burns' series on PBS--  a bit wordy, yet informative 
photo by me © 2008

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Designs by Vanessa!

Enter Vanessa, the birdie lover 
 and this month's featured etsy blogger!
 When asked,  "What is your current obsession?"  She replies, " If you couldn’t tell, I’m a little obsessed with anything bird related. Birdies are slowly taking over our home – inside (we have birdie soap in our bathroom) and out (our welcome mat says “Welcome Every Birdie”). Back when we lived in TX, a bird family built their nest right in front of our door every spring and would fly away with new babies. Because I’m homesick for TX, I wanted to find a way to bring TX to AZ and that was the start of my obsession."

And thus, the bird themed items in her shop such as  this swallow necklace

or bird cards

On her blog, she posts her own art work, some fabulous finds, and tutorials such as this oh-so-cute posy shirt.
This is a sweet post:  a wedding anniversary photo

To find out a little more about Vanessa, check out this post.

Want to know more about the etsy bloggers?  Check out this link

Friday, September 25, 2009

my "studio"

Let me be honest right from the start. There are so many crafts I love and they tend to take over most of the house.  Some parts of my crafts have permanent housing; others must be taken out and put away again.  There are 3 major crafts that I do most of the time--tie dyeing, jewelry making, and paper crafts.  

I will focus on tie dyeing here.  I have been tie dyeing for about 18 years.  Over the years I have developed my own processes.  I have sold in many venues--from craft fairs, wholesaling, commissioned work (team shirts, costuming, chamois, etc), to selling out of my own store.   Early on, I discovered that teaching others is such fun!

My tie dyeing studio can begin in my basement (sorry, no tours!) where all my tie dyeing equipment is stored.  There I mix up the dyes.  I also have a table under a window where I do the actual dyeing.

My kitchen table is where I plan and draw my designs.  I use actual dye to paint the colors.

Now it's off the the family room to tie up the items.  Here I am in the process of tying up chamois.  (These are soft absorbent towels that swimmers and divers use.  I custom dye them for Kast-A-Way Swimwear)

Here is Oliver, my special helper.  Actually, I think he is looking for an opportunity to sneak rubber bands!

Back down to the basement to check on the chamois which must "cure" for at least 24 hours.

some completed chamois are below

If I hand paint a design (with dye), I sit at my kitchen table.
Here is a dress painted with dragonflies and roses that was first washed, dried, soaked in a solution, dyed, cured, washed, dried, soaked in a solution, dried, painted, cured, washed, dried.

Sometimes, my "studio" is somewhere besides my home.  I teach the tie dyeing process in many places--homes, schools, churches, businesses, parks...wherever.

On the right is a Girl Scout camp where I taught this past summer.  See this post for more photos.  It was so much fun!

Below is a class taught at a school.  I rarely am able to take photos while teaching.

Here is a Girl Scout Troop proudly showing off the shirts I helped them make!
This post is for the etsy bloggers' carnival which will be posted on Monday, September 28 by Edi at Memories for Life Scrapbooks.
Here is  the direct link to Edi's post with links to all participants (actually quite a few!).

PS  Here's my blogging spot. 

photos by me © 2009 except last one which is also ©.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vegetable Jalousie

This recipe is so delicious! It takes time to chop and prepare the vegetables, but cooking it is a breeze.

PUFF PASTRY You can follow the directions on the package. But, this is how I did it: After thawing, I opened up each sheet, and cut into 9 squares. I placed the squares on a stone and baked for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.

4 T butter  
2 leeks, chopped
2 t fresh thyme, chopped very small  
4 t fresh rosemary, chopped very small  
4 medium cloves garlic minced or crushed  
@ 2 C green beans, chopped
2 medium green peppers, chopped  
1 medium yellow pepper, chopped  
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped  
@ 2 C asparagus, somewhat chopped  
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced  
12 oz vegetable broth

In a large pan, melt the butter. Add the leeks (milder than onions) and garlic. Stir and saute for about 5 minutes on medium to low heat till slightly tender. Add green beans and cook for @ 5 minutes till they start to become tender. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook @ 2 more minutes. (The vegetables should be softened, but still have a "bite" and retain their freshness.)

I made a gravy for this, but cannot give you exact proportions. It is very simple and very delicious. I never measure, and no doubt make it differently every time.

chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour  (provides the flavor that makes this gravy special)                                                                                   
tamari (soy sauce)
little fresh rosemary, chopped fine (optional)

In a sauce pan, melt the butter. Add chickpea flour and whisk. It will be quite thick at this point and will pull away a bit from the pan.  Quickly start adding water little bit by little bit whisking all the while.   Add the water to desired consistency (actually a little thinner since it will thicken up).  Add a small amount of tamari (for flavor and saltiness) and the rosemary if desired.
TO SERVE: Cut the puff pastry in half horizontally. Open up and place on plate. Spoon vegetables on bottom half of pastry. Drizzle desired amount of gravy on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

LINK for more information about chikpea flour.
To see more food photos, go to
The Brenda Photo Challenge!
photos by me © 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

a most special day!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, sweetheart!

Here is my dear daughter many years ago on her 5th birthday.
photo by me © 2009  all rights reserved

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daylily: Today's Flowers

This post is for TODAY'S FLOWERS. Click here to see other entries. I was introduced to this site by Squirrel Queen at Through Squirrel Eyes. Come join in the fun!
photo by me © 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pink: Today's Flowers

bottlebrush (Phoenix, Arizona, April 2009)
cactus (Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden, Arizona, April 2009)
bougainvillea (Sint Maarten, NA, July 2009)

This post is for TODAY'S FLOWERS. Click here to see other entries. I was introduced to this site by Squirrel Queen at Through Squirrel Eyes. Come join in the fun!
photo by me © 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unveiled!...the mystery plant

It's a pumpkin!
In early August, I found a very vine-y plant with huge dark green leaves growing out of my compost pile. See it here. Many of you guessed correctly. The plant is now sporting 3 orange, rather small pumpkins.
How fun!
Ѽ Pumpkins are believed to have originated in North America perhaps as far back as 7000 BC.

Ѽ The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon
" which is "pepon."
Did you know that Native American Indians dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats?!
Ѽ Depending on the variety, pumpkins can weigh 2 pounds up to 100 or more pounds. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
Ѽ Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.
Ѽ Pumpkins grow all over the world except for Antarctica.
Ѽ Pumpkin flowers are edible as are the leaves (see recipes below).
Ѽ In the US, 90% of pumpkins are grown in Illinois.

Ѽ The largest pumpkin pie ever made weighed 2,020 pounds. It measured 12 feet, 4 inches wide and 4 inches deep. See it here.Links
Ѽ recipes
Ѽ pumpkin records
Ѽ fried pumpkin flowers recipe
Ѽ an Indian style fried pumpkin flower recipe (note besan is chickpea flour)
Ѽ pumpkin leaves in peanut sauce recipe © by Melody Mundawarara

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After removing the seeds for the pumplin, rinse to remove pulp. Mix with salt and spread onto a large baking sheet. Bake at 150 degrees (low heat to retain nutrients) till fairly dry, stirring occasionally.

And there's more! from tamdoll-- In my town we have a Giant Pumpkin Regatta - 1,000+ pumpkins are hollowed out - outboard motors attached - and town officials race them up and down the river... it's crazy!   Some pictures here!

photo © by me 2009 except pie photo which is also ©

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6 is...

books and friends go together from AliceinParis
Oh and PS: She's written a cook book! See it here!

Emma the flapper re-reads Main Street by Sinclair Lewis, her favorite book of all time. from flapperdoodle

A Reader's Diary from greenchairpress for keeping track of all those books you read!

banned books locket necklace set with 4 interchangeable magnetic lids from Polarity

paperback book cover with embroidered Kuna bird from QuiltSewCover

bird bookplates (personalized) set from darklingemily. To find out information about bird causes, check the listing description of this item.
photos by individual artists © 2000-2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Color Purple--The Brenda Photo Challenge

The The Color Purple is the theme for this photo challenge
I discovered this challenge on Squirrel Queen's blog!
You, too can join in! Upload anything purple that you've photographed and post the photo(s) on your blog. Then simply click on the "photo challenge" link above, and follow the directions to leave a comment about your post. Look at the comments to see others' posts.
Have fun!
photo by me © 2009