Sunday, May 30, 2010

Diversions....

are keeping me away from creating lately....beautiful weather, the gardening, reading good books on the deck...just too nice to be working in my workroom!
The unusually warm weather has forced everything to bloom at once, it seems. By the time the trimming, etc. is finished in one area of the yard, it seems that it is ready to start all over again at the beginning! "Chasing" a particular weed right now, which grows like a vine, and looks like a morning glory, if it is allowed to remain in the garden that long. It has climbed every type of flower, flowering shrub, structure, in the gardens, and could be the source of every morning "workout" in itself! Right now, this "gardener" is determined to exhile this weed, but likely by the end of July, it is the weed that will win!
As for production....do I dare say that I need a rainy day? :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Special" angel....

In an effort to be ready for the fall shows, I have been trying to make up items that are part of the "line". This little angel ornament is one of the many ornaments that are made each year, but has a very special connection. The proceeds from the sale of these angels is directed to the "Victorian Order of Nurses" for their special projects. It was created for quite another reason. A client/co-worker was stricken with a terminal disease, and was being cared for in her home. This little angel was created for her, just to place in a little card with "thinking of you" wishes, because this lady collected angels, and had collected many of ours through the years. I was told that she hung the angel from her I.V. "drip" pole, and that this angel was with her during her illness. When she passed away, there was a note in the local paper from the family about all of the special floral bouquets, gifts, etc. that had been sent to her. Wishing that we had sent something more substantial than the ornament and our little "Fullabean" angel (from my friend and former partner in this work), it was not until my friend went to the visitation that we realized the significance of this little angel. This little ornament was in Evelyn's hands, and it with her still. Never underestimate the worth of whatever gift is given...we did not realize how important this was to Evelyn.
That year, at our annual open house, we filled a Christmas tree with one hundred ornaments, and raised $500.00 for the organization that had helped Evelyn in her time of need. Her name is on a special plaque because, although we had no idea, it was a year that the V.O.N. was trying to raise $500.00 from various businesses in the area for the 100th anniversary of the V.O.N.
So, along with all of these business names, Evelyn's name stands with them, for her unintended part in helping to raise the needed funds. We went on to sell angels for several years after that, in memory of Evelyn, and donations were made to two different branches of the nursing organization.
Getting this new "host" of angels ready for the season will hopefully help once again!
"Evelyn's Angel" is available at shows throughout the fall season, as well at the "Etsy" site, and at the "Nun of a Kind" site.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sister Holy Matrimony...


the wedding planner, has been attending wedding showers as "'tis the season!" A few weddings coming up, so June weddings mean May showers...
One of the showers recently attended had a unique theme. All of the guests were asked to bring items to suit a particular month. We were given lots of "notice" because the invitations to the shower were sent out a few months early. My month was October, and because of my fall craft show line, I was able to incorporate some of the items I create. This new bride hosts a Hallowe'en party each year, so that was the theme I chose, rather than "fall" or "Thanksgiving" (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October....) It was fun trying to find items to "go" with the items I knew that I was going to make for the gift....an oval ceramicware casserole (the base for the gift), some matching mini-bakers for small loaves, condiments, etc., black and white tea towels, some "Hallowe'en" plates, and the handcrafted items, soft-sculptured pumpkins (one has a face!), a "Fullabean" witch, and some "candy corn" diva dishcloths in the typical colors. All wrapped up in my favorite way to wrap....cellophane wrap, with "Hallowe'en" cookie cutters tied to the raffia ribbon!
Even though it was fun to put the gift together, it was even more fun to see what people came up with for the other months...the favorite being "June"...this was a group gift and they chose stainless mixing bowls, (nested), a strawberry dish that somehow was a huller, slicer, etc. all in one, martini glasses, strawberry vodka, and recipes for strawberry martinis. The "summer" months gifted a variety of items...coolers for the patio, dishes, chairs, etc. and the people who managed to have a "holiday" month had fun with their choices as well. It was as much fun to watch the presents being opened as being the one who received them! (well, almost...come to think of it, all my stuff needs replacing...an anniversary shower might be in order!:)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

No personal thoughts to add, other than wishing all "Mother Superiors" everywhere a great day and wanting to share some thoughts that came my way by email this past week....

Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back
to normal after you've had a baby..... somebody
doesn't know that once you're a mother,

'normal' is history.
* * *
Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by
instinct ... somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

* * *
Somebody said being a mother is boring .....
somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.
Somebody said if you're a'good' mother,

your child will 'turn out good'....

somebody thinks a child comes with
directions and a guarantee.
* * *
Somebody said you don't need an education to be a
mother.... somebody never helped a fourth grader
with his math.
* * *
Somebody said you can't love the second child as
much as you love the first ... somebody doesn't
have two
or three children.
* * *
Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother
is labor and delivery....

somebody never watched her 'baby' get on the bus

for the first day of kindergarten ...
or on a plane headed for military 'boot camp.'
* * *
Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her
child gets married....somebody doesn't know that
marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a
mother's heartstrings.
* * *
Somebody said a mother's job is done when
her last child leaves home.....

somebody never had grandchildren.
* * *
Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so
you don't need to tell her....
somebody isn't a mother.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Some Very "Punny" Sisters!


Janet and Greta Podleski are two very talented, funny, and creative sisters...they wrote a cookbook quite a few years ago which "started it all" for them..."Looneyspoons". They went on to create another called "Crazy Plates", and their latest effort is called "Eat, Shrink and Be Merry". I have enjoyed their cookbooks, not only because the recipes are great, but because they are so entertaining! Full of puns in their titles, and humor aside, each page also has great nutritional information as to how to change one's habits for more nutritional ones. Because of our common "love" of puns, I have been in contact with these great sisters a few times now, and have their permission to share a recipe with you!
Chapter titles such as "Beyond Beleaf" (salads), "Poultry in Motion", "A Chorus Loin", etc. , indicate an idea of what you are "in for" with the individual recipes names! The whole idea, though, that you can make something very tasty, and leave out, lessen, or substitute ingredients which are more health-beneficial, is the real beauty of the books. For a summer barbeque last year, I made a salad from the book, and it was a real "hit" because it reminded one of the more calorie-laden version from a while ago, and yet was every bit as flavorful! Plus, this particular one looked so nice because it was layered. (when it comes to my own cooking, it is all "smoke and mirrors"...I try to make anything look better than it might taste...but won on both counts with this recipe!)

"Titanic Salad with Iceberg Lettuce"
Dressing....1 1/2 cups light mayonnaise (not fat free)
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt

Salad.... 1 large head iceberg lettuce
1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced baby carrots
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup packed shredded light medium or old (sharp) cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions

* to make the dressing, whisk together all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
* To assemble salad, tear (don't chop) the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and spread evenly in serving dish. (use a dish that is about 9x12 inches in size and at least 3 1/2 inches deep. A standard glass lasagna dish is too shallow) Top lettuce with carrots, celery, red pepper peans, bacon, and chicken , in that order.
*Spread dressing evenly over chicken layer and spread to edges, like you are icing a cake. Sprinkle cheese over dressing and top with green onions.
*Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.

Greta and Janet add that iceberg lettuce, although not as nutritional as other types, is the one needed here for this type of salad. Also, they suggest that a rotisserie chicken cut up works well for the chicken needed.
Personal note: I had a large deep salad bowl which I used for this salad, and added a few extra lettuce layers to make the salad a little bit deeper. Also, since my version was for a barbeque, I left out the chicken so that this would be more of a sidedish salad than a meal salad.

Thanks to Greta and Janet for allowing me to share this recipe! Others you might want to "check out" from this book are "Oinkers Away", a great navy bean and turkey bacon soup, "Spud Light", a potato dish, and "Feast from the East", an Asian beef noodle salad. Actually, like me, you may want to try all of them. (and remember, this comes from someone who thinks that kitchens are for resale purposes only!)