26 June 2008

Rhubarb Custard Pie

This may be my last post for awhile, so I thought I would leave you with something sweet, even though rhubarb season may have passed us by . . . this is my grandmother's recipe, used with rhubarb straight from her garden.

I'll be posting from New Mexico in a few weeks. Goodbye for now, dear readers!

4 and 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 unbaked pie shell (your recipe)
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
4 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp butter, softened
2-3 eggs, beaten

Spread rhubarb into pie shell. Mix flour, sugar, and nutmeg. Add butter and eggs. Pour mixture over rhubarb. Place into 450 degree oven and bake for ten minutes, then at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the center is bubbling.

The Future Miss Rumphius (I Hope)

Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney, was one of my favorite books as a child. It's a story about an "eccentric" woman who travels the world, becomes a librarian, retires, and ends up making it a more beautiful place by planting lupines.
I think I want to become Miss Rumphius someday. Perhaps I'm working on it right now. But until then, I can only photograph the lupines near my family's Vermont home (and I see some Gocco'd lupines in the future.). Almost as wonderful.

25 June 2008

How Sweet They Are

I spent the weekend and the earlier part of the week in what I'd call the "Feel My Feelings About New England Final Tour." Vermont and Boston, I'll love you and miss you.

You can see even more pictures on my Flickr page.

20 June 2008

Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone for the book and music suggestions! Some were long-loved favorites I needed to be reminded of (like Paul Simon's Graceland), and others I will definitely have to check out.

The winners of the giveaway are: Nicole, High Desert Diva, and Allison! The winners were chosen via the Random Number Generator. I will be contacting each for their address so I can send a cute little package!

19 June 2008

Raton Pass Vintage Postcard

I was going through my things and packing when I came across this vintage postcard of Raton Pass in New Mexico. A little excited shiver went up my spine, considering our move to New Mexico is why I was packing and I bought that postcard when I was probably eleven years old . . .

Or maybe I just like neat coincidences like that.

16 June 2008

Photobooth No.3

Perhaps the world's angriest baby? I love him or her all the same.

From my photobooth collection.

15 June 2008

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins

I am trying to be a frugal cook and use whatever we've got around the house before we leave. Thankfully, it hasn't gotten down to "Writer's Rice" (that awful mixture of rice and whatever else is in the pantry I oft conusmed in grad school). Instead, I was lucky enough to be "forced" to use up some frozen rhubarb from my grandmother's garden and some strawberries that were verging on overripe. And then there was all the flour in the pantry . . . a great smell to fill the house with on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

I took a muffin recipe and adapted it a little. Here it is for your baking pleasure:

1 and 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch nutmeg
pinch allspice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 egg
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 c. diced strawberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices, and orange rind. In a separate bowl, beat together egg, milk, and oil. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Gently stir in rhubarb and strawberries.

Grease 12 muffin cups and fill 2/3 of each cup with batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack before removing muffins from pan. Makes 12 muffins.

The Original Menagerie

This is my dad and I, circa 1979. Happy Father's Day, Dad!

My Dad has always been wonderfully supportive of my creative life. Here's a little project we worked on together when I was about three or four. It's entitled "The Dog, Cat, Cow, Horse, and Bird Book." I cut out the pictures and told him the story; he wrote it down. I had to laugh when I opened it back up today, because I can see some parallels to my Gocco work!

Some sample pages:
I think we must have seen a dead bird the day we wrote this, because it seems to be a sad running theme?
I'm so lucky to have a father who enjoyed creating together from an early age. Thanks, Dad. I love you.

14 June 2008

One More Little Giveaway . . .

Before I pack up shop. Recommend an album for my road trip, type out the perfect "mix tape," suggest an audiobook, or even list some leisurely summer reading.

Three readers drawn at random on June 20th will get some mail with some super-cute surprises.

13 June 2008

Sale Ends Tomorrow!

Just a little heads up that the sale in my Etsy shop ends tomorrow, when I'll be closing temporarily for our move. Look for a big relaunch in early September.

All items are buy one, get one free (details in the shop announcement), and not every item will return in September, so if you love anything, grab it while you can!

10 June 2008

For the Journey Ahead

My five-year diary came in the mail today. Such an inspiring object for our road trip this summer and for the years to come! I love the idea of being able to look back on five years in one sweet little book.

If you want one, see my original post here.

09 June 2008

June Grass

From the novel I read on the porch tonight:

Through my window I could see low weedy meadows beyond the CNR tracks, purply with June grass. I could see a bit of the Wawanash River, still fairly high, and the silvery willow trees. I dreamed a nineteenth-century sort of life, walks and studying, rectitude, courtesy, maidenhood, peacefulness.

-Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women

Cold Suppers

I don't have a name or even a very specific recipe for this salad. But after the third day of 90-plus degrees in a row (and teaching in a classroom that resembled a greenhouse), this is what I'm in the process of making tonight for supper. It's cool, hydrating, and easy-peasy.

It varies slightly based on what I have on hand, but here's what I toss in:

1 package cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered, and cut into slices
1/4 red onion, minced or three scallions, thinly sliced
balsamic or red wine vinagrette dressing (my Uncle Len has an amazing homemade recipe I must obtain and post on here)
sea salt to taste

Combine above ingredients and mix thoroughly. Chill in non-reactive metal or glass bowl, covered. Just before serving, add:

1 avocado, cubed
2 heads Boston or Bibb lettuce

Enjoy with a main course hot off the grill, or alone with a glass of white wine. Great for lunch the next day.

08 June 2008

Yellow Lawn Chair

Another print on my wish list. Green, Vermont, summer come to mind. Just lovely.

By Groundwork.

City House, Country Mouse

It's going to be 94 degrees here in Boston today. I wish I was a few hours north, where it's verdant and cool. I bet the dogs do, too--- they're sprawled out in a very dirty bathtub.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago near my grandmother's house.

07 June 2008

Shop Sale Ending on Saturday, June 14

Just a heads up that the sale currently be held in the shop will end on Saturday, June 14th.

The shop will close temporarily and will relaunch in September with brand new items. Did you know you can keep an eye out by subscribing to the shop's RSS feed? Just click the link and look in the bottom right hand corner.


While I haven't been actively making much lately, I'm keeping myself busy by doing a few custom design orders that will actually be produced once we finish our move. I'm also trying to use the time to think about new products and where I want to take this little adventure.

One thing I really want to do is expand beyond cards. I had a fabulous little idea pop into my head yesterday that will combine Gocco printing and sewing techniques. There's a little peek from my sketchbook above--- but just a little peek!

More shall be revealed later.

(Please don't critique my drawing abilities in this quick sketch. Or poor Jane's painfully pointy boob.)

05 June 2008

Summer Reading

{Photo courtesy of flint knits on Flickr}

I'm hoping that I can carve out a bit of time for some summer reading in the next few weeks. During the school year it feels like, well, homework. Which makes me sad.

I'm very much into short stories these days, which is a genre I used to loathe. After taking a short story class a few years ago, though, I came to respect just how challenging the form is for writers.

My favorite short story collections include:
I'd love to have some recommendations, too, particularly short stories or nonfiction. What are you reading lately?

Lists and Lists

I've been running around like crazy and haven't had much time to blog . . . until I was inspired by Julia to answer the questions below. Anyone else want to play? Post your comments or share on your own blog.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Working like crazy to pay my college tuition! In June 1998 I was opening a bagel shop in the morning and waitressing until closing at a Matchbox-car themed pizza joint. Nine years ago was much more memorable--- I was nannying in Provence.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
A year ago my husband and I were meeting with caterers to plan the vegetarian menu for our August wedding. We had sage and squash ravioli, tomato and mozzarella salad, spinach salad . . . oh, and vegetable sushi rolls at cocktail hour! Too bad I didn't have time to eat any of it. My bridal shower was actually a year ago today, and I was so overwhelmed by all the loveliness from the women in my life!

Five snacks you enjoy:

Stoned wheat crackers with extra sharp Cabot Cheddar
Stoned wheat crackers with cream cheese and jalapeno jelly
Edamame with lots of salt and rice vinegar
Rhubarb Crisp (don't tell me it's not a snack)

Five things you'd do if you were a millionaire:
Start a nonprofit for adolescent writers
Buy a country estate and become a gentlewoman farmer
Donate to dog rescue organizations (more)
Quit my job and enjoy the handmade life
Travel abroad more (Spain, New Zealand, and Belize, please!)

Five bad habits:
To-do lists. The same ones. Over and over again.
Compulsive email-checking
Eating sweets late at night
Drinking too much coffee on Sundays
Avoiding cardio like the plague

Five things you like doing:
Trying new recipes
Drinking a cold beer on a sunny porch
Walking my dogs
Making new, neat to-do lists
Writing postcards from faraway places

Five things you'd never wear again:
The hideous blue (sequin!) dress I wore to prom
Overalls with one strap undone
Flannel shirts around my waist
Blossom-style floppy hat

Five favorite toys:

Sewing machine
Digital camera
Computer (Etsy, Flickr, blogs)
Nice blank Moleskine journals

01 June 2008

New Magnets in the Shop

I've had these made for awhile, but was finally able to list them in the shop today, along with some other sets. Don't you love the vintage tomato images? All I need is some mozzarella and some basil and it's summer.

And don't forget that the "buy one, get one" sale is still on in my shop!

In the City

We took this picture on Billy's cell phone last night during a ridiculously fun date where we went to see separate movies. If you recognize the drink, then you know which one I opted to see . . .
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