31 July 2008

Melon and Mozarella Salad

We had this along with grilled mushrooms and sauteed spinach for dinner last night. It's cooling and refreshing after a long day in the sun. It has a great salty-sweet combination.

1 cantaloupe, balled or cut into 1" chunks
8 oz fresh mozzarella balls
juice from one lemon
sliced prosciutto or vegetarian pepperoni
1/4 chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately.

Seen On Our Morning Walk

A clear blue sky, three hot air balloons in that sky, a palomino mare with her leggy colt, prickly pear in bloom, a hummingbird zooming up into the air and back down again.

Sometimes I'm glad I don't have a camera with me, because sometimes the world is too beautiful to capture.

29 July 2008

Shop Update: The Library Cards Are Back

. . . with a little redesign. I found a new illustration from a vintage textbook for budding librarians, so I just had to reissue them. Gocco printed in the same tones as those old books in the library: rich burgundy, forest green, and (poop) brown.

Now on sale in the shop.

28 July 2008

Suprint Results

A few days ago I posted a sunprint tutorial (so easy it was unnecessary, really) and promised to post the final results here. Here are a few scans of the dried sunprints, unedited and uncropped. It's not a perfect craft, and there are some splotches here and there.
Now I'm debating what I should do with these. I thought some Gocco printing inside the "frame" the leaves created might be interesting.
Or I could always make some pinback buttons with a little sunprint detail.
What do you think? Any ideas?

{A little note . . . I promise my next post will not center around this color blue, as much as I love it!}

26 July 2008

Lotta Jansdotter Sun Hat

The sun is brutal here. As someone with a fair complexion who hit her 30s this year, I need to do more to protect my skin. I'm also someone with a bit of time on my hands lately, so I decided to make one with some fabric I had on hand and a pattern from Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing . This was my second project since picking up sewing again, and aside from a few imperfections, the process was pretty simple.
The hat, however, looks a bit goofy. I had read other reviews of the pattern (including Julia's) stating that the sizing was off and the hat was huge. Once I cut the patttern out it didn't look so big, and I figured I have a huge head anyway . . . wrong. It's still big, even after trimming 1/2" off the crown.

On dog walks and days outside, though, it will do it's job!

23 July 2008

Sunprint Tutorial

We've been in Albuquerque for a little over two weeks now. The adrenaline has worn off and I'm starting to feel nervous, homesick, and unsettled, even though I like it here. The other difficulty is that while we're staying with family, I don't have a dedicated place to work and make a mess.

I've posted earlier about Victorian cyanotypes, and decided that today was the perfect day to dig out my Sunprint Paper Kit because it was a low-maintenance project I could play with a little. I thought I'd post a tutorial here, since it's a little project with a lot of possibilities.

Chesney and I went for a walk through the neighborhood, and I gathered some interesting leaves and plants. You could also use flat objects like lace or black and white photo negatives.
Next, you want to remove a sheet of sunprint paper and make your arrangement. You need to work fairly quickly, even indoors, in order to avoid overexposing the paper. Place the acrylic sheet on top and expose in the sun for one to five minutes (in sunny Albuquerque it took about 30 seconds).
Then, remove the acrylic and arrangement, and rinse the paper in water for about one minute. A large baking pan is the perfect size. Remove the paper and dry flat.
I made a total of six prints in all today, which are still drying. I'll share the final results later and possible plans for what I'm going to do with them.

19 July 2008

Local Color

Just thought I would share some pictures from my day.

17 July 2008

Let Me Eat Cake

I spent the morning savoring a lavender cupcake, coffee, and flipping through a magazine. It sounds lovely, and it was. But I was doing this because I am officially unemployed and have become a little unmoored without a schedule to stick to.

We moved here to make some changes, and I need to pause and remember that those changes won't happen instantaneously. Let me eat cake, and enjoy it without worrying!

16 July 2008

Shop Update: Thank You, My Deer Stationery Set

I do, do promise there will be new designs soon. But I just missed this sweet little deer design too much.

I updated the shop today with a stationery set that reads "Thank you, my deer." While I was at it, I printed up some flat notes in pale greens, lilacs, and pinks as little thank-you-gifts for orders, too.

15 July 2008

O Happy Day

So I am an aunt today. The best part was that I got to play with my darling two-year old niece while her mom and dad were at the hospital, and I had an excuse to buy some local sunflowers and delphinium.

Welcome to the world, little baby girl!

14 July 2008

Shop Update: Hello, My Deer Stationery Set

I recently decided to offer the popular "Why hello, my deer" cards in a sweet little stationery set. They're printed in chocolate brown ink on super-luxe, 100% cotton paper in aqua.

Now available in the shop.

Lavender Love

Just a few more shots from yesterday's Lavender Festival in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. I can still smell the lavender on the purple cotton sundress I wore yesterday (yes, I've become that sort of dork)!
I've been doing some printing this morning, little stationery sets on luscious cotton paper. Look for a shop update and pictures later today. I'm also planning on making some sweet free gifts for orders, and other new items are in the works.

13 July 2008

A Day in Provence

As disorienting as the move has been, I wasn't sure if I was in New Mexico or Provence today . . . my mother and I attended the annual Lavender in the Village in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. The grounds of the Los Poblanos Inn were beautiful, as were the luscious figs on sale.

If you're curious about the event, you can see a few more pictures on my Flickr page.

12 July 2008

Swiss Chard and Mushroom Quiche

I have resolved to make crustless quiche from now on (which is technically a frittata, I suppose). I always burn the crust anyway.

This improvised, crustless quiche uses fresh-from-the-farmers'-market Swiss chard and garlic, along with baby portabella mushrooms.

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 10-oz. package baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
5 large eggs, beaten
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

In a medium pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, saute one minute. Add mushrooms, saute until browned. Add Swiss chard and saute until wilted. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, beat eggs and add Cheddar cheese.

Grease pie plate and transfer vegetable mixture to plate. Pour egg and cheese mixture over the top. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Shop Update

It feels really good to have the shop up and running again. I did a little update today--- two themed magnet sets made from vintage childrens' book illustrations. You can get them here and here.

A Perfect Saturday Morning

It's only a little after 9:00 in the morning here and shaping up to be a lovely day already. There were hot air balloons in the bigblue sky on the way to the farmers' market in the village of Los Ranchos. The nice folks from Fair Field Farmers were kind enough to let me take some pictures of their gorgeous array of flowers, and the breakfast burritos were amazing--- just the right amount of egg, crusty potatoes, and smoky green chile.

On this beautiful Saturday, Albuquerque is really starting to agree with me. I'm going to trek back to Los Ranchos tomorrow for the annual Lavender Festival, and will post about that later this weekend.

11 July 2008

Custom Thank You Notes

I spent today printing up an order of custom thank you notes for an August wedding in California. The client liked the popular "Thank you, my deer" cards in my Etsy shop, so we just added a bit of personalization to them.

Printed on pool blue cardstock in chocolate brown ink.

Interested in a similar item? Feel free to email me!

Terrarium Accoutrements

While we still haven't found permanent housing in Albuquerque (and are relying on the very generous hospitality and dog-friendliness of family), I'm dreaming of nesting and starting some long-longed-for projects. I posted about terrariums here and here previously.

Since this, I've noticed cute little terrariums with, shall we say, accessories. I think I'm partial to these vintage cupcake toppers from ableemporium's Etsy shop. Wouldn't some little deer or gnomes be a great mix among some moss and ferns? You could just insert them right into the soil.

Speaking of deer, I can't wait to break out the Gocco again. I have a custom order I'll be printing later today and some lovely paper for a new run of cards for the shop. Can't wait to share them with you!

10 July 2008

Settling In

We have finally arrived in Albuquerque! Our trip from Boston was smooth and uneventful (save for the foolish idea of pulling off the highway in a torrential downpour in Colorado--- downpours in Colorado create mud pits). We stopped at a big family event in Boulder along the way, and celebrated our arrival by satisfying a craving for margaritas and tamales at El Pinto, a favorite Mexican restaurant.

I like the efforts to settle in to a new place, establishing routines that make it feel like home. I joined the neighborhood food co-op today, and tonight we're off to watch a movie under the stars. Little things like getting a library card and walking to the store are helping me feel my way around.

Most of the Etsy shop has been relisted, and I'm printing up a very cute custom order this week that I'll share later. I'm still planning a big shop redesign for September, and am very excited about new starts all around!
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