News / winter

ENAMEL MUGS ARE HERE! and you could win one for free!

ENAMEL MUGS ARE HERE! and you could win one for free!

You guys, I am SO EXCITED to announce that the enamel mug design I did this summer is FINALLY here and they are up in the shop! These came all the way from Poland, where they were manufactured by Emalco, a family business and high-quality enamelware maker. They use traditional methods with some modern innovations to create gorgeous, durable enamelware. Designs are fired on to the enamelware with high heat, so they won't scratch off! 

I'm celebrating with a giveaway! Head over to my Facebook page and leave a comment before Thursday, 1/11/18 to be entered to win a free mug! Let me know what you'd like to drink out of this mug and I'll send a spiffy new mug to one lucky winner! Comment on my Facebook page to be entered in the drawing.

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Staying warm, baking cookies.

Staying warm, baking cookies.

We've been taking advantage of a few quiet winter moments to bake a few batches of our favorite cookies. Hattie's a great helper, she's not really gotten the concept of cutting or frosting cookies yet, but she's pretty good at mixing and very good at tasting. The recipe is from The Joy of Cooking, and it's been my go-to cookie recipe since I was as little kid helping my mom with baking. We always add a few extra drops of almond extract for extra yummy cookies. 
Rich Roll Cookies from The Joy of Cooking
Copyright 2006: The Joy of Cooking
Yield: About thirty-six 2- to 3-inch cookies

Beat in a large bowl until creamy:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
Add and beat until combined:
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or almond extract
Stir in until blended:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Divide the dough into thirds or quarters, shape into disks, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Working with 1 portion of dough at a time, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out cookies using 2- or 3-inch cutters and arrange about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.
Reroll and cut the scraps. If desired, sprinkle the cookies very lightly with:
(Colored sprinkles, decorating sugar, or nonpareils)
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until the cookies are lightly colored on top and slightly darker at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.
Let stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool. 
I make icing for these with cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, a bit of milk or cream, and a few drops of vanilla. I start with mixing up a cup of confectioner's sugar, a half package of cream cheese, and a few tablespoons of cream, and then just add a bit of this and a bit more of that until the consistency is right. If you let the frosted cookies set up for a few hours, the frosting gets nice and firm! For fancy decorating, I mix in food coloring and spoon the frosting into zip-loc bags, then snip a tiny hole in the corner for writing or drawing. The results aren't always very tidy, but they are always delicious! 
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Lacy Blue and Silver Scarf

Lacy Blue and Silver Scarf

I'm kind of proud and maybe a little bit embarrassed to admit that I've been working on this design for at least two years!! And it's finally done! 

I've always loved intricate, lacy designs and always find myself doodling these kind of starburst patterns, so it's hard to say exactly when this idea started. 

Lacy Inspiration

There was one very slow craft fair a few years ago, where I had lots of time for sketching and dreaming (that's the last time I sign up for a craft fair in May! I think it's just not the right season) and I started sketching up this idea for a scarf or bag pattern. 

Then it took months (or years?) before I had the time to start making the design for real - it's been always on my mind, and often in my sketchbook doodles, but it can be hard to find the time to sit down at the computer and translate sketches into reality. Finally I had a beautiful week of quiet in October, in between the hustle of late-summer craft shows and the start of holiday production rush, a moment of peace with no looming deadlines, when I could sit and start drawing. 

I use a pen tablet for drawing my designs on the computer. I have to wait for those quiet afternoons when the toddler is at her Nana's house for a few hours and I can sit down and plug in my laptop and tablet - otherwise the toddler can't resist grabbing cords and pounding on the keyboard. It was really meditative work, peaceful and satisfying, to sit and and draw out intricate patterns, one piece at a time, then link them together as if joining them by fine threads. It took weeks of work to do them all, sneaking in a few minutes here and there, or waiting til the toddler was asleep in bed to pour a glass of wine and sit down to work quietly. Sometimes it's hard to know when I'm done with a design, I just want to keep tweaking and adjusting it forever... I decided to try and finish it before this season's holiday craft fairs, so I had to rush to finish it up in the last few weeks of November. Once I've finished my designs, I print them out on transparent film which is used to create the stencil on the screen.

I was so excited to finally get it printed onto fabric, I had to take a picture before the ink was even dry! I had worried a bit that the details were too small and it would be difficult to print neatly, but the scale turned out just right - it looks beautifully intricate, but the lines are bold enough to print neatly. I'd gotten the blue fabric a few months earlier and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it, just loved the color and wanted to work with it. Once I saw this design, it seemed like a perfect fit to print it in silver on the blue fabric. I tested out a few other combinations but the blue and silver was totally my favorite, no contest.

Super excited to have this finally complete! Out of my head and onto the fabric... and now it's up in the shop and out into the world!

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