Monday, June 28, 2010

gaga for summer

We had a good weekend over here.

I delivered this quilt.

Farmers market was eventful. I sat and listened to a tuba and euphonium quartet playing the Beatles and Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. I was also fascinated by this giant pea sheller machine shaking the purple hulls and creamers right out of nature's garb.

Sadie opened her new Etsy shop and Sophie put together a happy summer outfit. I hope you had a good weekend too! Here's another cool cover of Bad Romance via Ken's excellent music blog.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

happy things

Here are a few things making me happy today:

Ice cold watermelon cut into perfect little chunks for easy grabbing.


And this song.

Don't you just love the whistling?
What's making you happy today?
Happy Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

hot dogs + cold soup

Summer officially started just yesterday and BAM, just like that, 100 degrees all week. Feeling a little sluggish? Not relishing the idea of heating up your kitchen? It's time to take a look at all my cold soup recipes again. Although I never ever grow tired of classic gazpacho and I love the avocado cucumber, this spinach and cucumber soup is a unique and very tasty alternative with minimal heat up in the kitchen.

I'd like to thank my sous chef, Olive. Stellar company in the kitchen.

My boy Buster was not so helpful. It looks like he partied too hard last night!

Spinach and Cucumber Soup with Feta from A Good Day for Soup
by Ferrary and Fiszer

2T butter
4 scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
fresh spinach leaves, about 2 cups coarsely chopped
1/2c. fresh chopped parsley
2 c. chicken stock ( I didn't have any on hand, so I used one bouillon cube dissolved in 2c. boiling water)
Fresh lemon juice from one lemon
1 c. buttermilk
salt and pepper
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over med/high heat. Cook scallions, garlic and cucumbers until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add oregano, spinach and half the parsley. Cook, stirring just until spinach wilts.
  3. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor with stock and lemon juice.
  4. Cover and chill.
  5. Stir in buttermilk and taste for salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with remaining parsley and some feta.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

my dad

My Dad

I adore my Dad.
He's present and always ready for what's next.
He enjoys his family of 5 kids and 11 grandkids and we enjoy him. Dad is a patient man. He'd have to be with this crew! Chaos? horseplay? constant chatter? endless questions? spilled milk? Bring it on. He loves to be in the mix. As Dad always says, it's not a party until somebody spills a drink!
My Dad is proud of his family and tells us so. He's encouraging, supportive and affectionate. His good, tight hugs are the best!
He was kind and devoted to his aging siblings. They babied him as a baby and he retuned the favor in spades. He gave them the gift of his time and said goodbye to each one. He's a good man.
Dad loves our annual camping trip, playing cards, working with his hands, his cats, a nice round of golf, a good firm handshake, clearing brush and making pies. He even makes his own crust! My dad can do anything.
I love you Dad. I always have.
Happy Father's Day!

P.S. Dad, thanks for getting me out of that jam with Columbia House record club when I was 10. Those 8 tracks were supposed to be free! xoxo

king of pops

Here is the card I made for my Dad. This idea is great for any celebration! Birthday queen, king/queen of best friends, royal kids, get the picture.
Speaking of pictures, that's where we begin. Blow up a copy of a favorite photo. Dad's handsome photo was used as an ad for a photographer. I love his flat top!

Cut out a crown from construction paper or newspaper or fabric, or whatever else you have on hand.

Sew or tape or glue crown to the honoree.

Since this is for my dad, I decided to top each point with photos of my dad's 5 kids.
These are from varying attractive stages of our lives. My apologies to baby brother David for using such a puny photo of you. I had to make room for my TEETH!

Next, grab some art supplies from around the house. I brought out Sharpies, watercolors and a little glitter. Glitter makes everything better!

Have some fun decorating. Don't get tripped up on how you want it to look. Be loose!

I went a little overboard on his rosy cheeks. No worries. It's still really cute.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

knitta please

On our recent trip to Austin, I saw up close, in living color, the handiwork of
Magda Sayeg, graffiti knitter.
The girl knits everything she can get her hands on!

Lamp posts, street signs, crutches and even a smart car!

So unexpected and fun. Here is a link to Magda's site if you'd like to see more.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

craft nerds

I recently spent a very pleasant afternoon crafting with Sophie, Sadie and Fay, my super fun sister in law. We signed up for the paper chandelier class taught by the cool girls over at Paper Nerds.

I made these "spacers" by winding colorful strips from magazines around a chopstick. I sealed the edge with hot glue and cut them into different lengths.

Mine isn't so much a chandelier as it is a mobile. Either way, I love it!

We started with a ring made from bendy branches. I wrapped mine in lilac bias tape from my Aunt Nadine's sewing box. She would've loved knowing a whole room of crafty girls enjoyed her rick rack and other goodies.

This is Sadie's dream catcher/chandelier combo. More is always more with Sadie. Love it!

Here is Sophie's creation. I love her double levels and great variety of trims. Beauteous!

Fay's is nice and colorful. Very ambitious design! She even took supplies home with her. Fay wasn't ready for the fun to end. Thanks to Shannon and Tish, THE Paper Nerds. This weekend they're teaching paper marbling. Check out some of their classes here. Or let your kids make one at home. Minimal supplies, big payoff! Happy Crafting!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

and four became five

This is my brand new niece Frances. Isn't she beautiful?!?

In March, my sister Dori, her husband Jim and twin daughters Georgia and Lillian traveled to Ethiopia to pick her up. They had only seen Frances in a photo and were most anxious to hug and kiss her and bring her home to Texas. And one week later, their family of four became five.

They will never, ever forget the week they spent in Ethiopia. And they will never forget the warm and caring people they met along the way.

Frances adjusted to her new life quickly. She likes a nice bath tubby.

And she loves her big guy Bert. When you join this family, you have to love dogs! It's mandatory. I think Frances got the memo.

First trip to the Airstream? A+++ of course!

And boy, does Frances LOVE her big sisters! And they love HER! These three sisters even share the exact same birthday, just 9 years apart. Isn't that amazing?!? Triple the birthday fun!

Sweet children everywhere. So much need.

Lillian and Georgia have designed a set of notecards they are selling to benefit a group of children they met during their stay. They have already raised $450! I'm so proud of them. They have big hearts.

A set of 4 notecards sells for $5 and will help an Ethiopian child attend school. If you'd like a set of note cards please contact me and I can fix you up!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

christmas in june

It's 100 degrees outside, still no AC in my studio, and I'm making Christmas stockings, or "socks" as my grandmother Mommy Elta used to call them. I hope she would love my modern interpretation. I use gorgeous hand dyed wools with names like Earth and Bubble Gum and Jack 'o Lantern. What's not to love? Secret pockets are sewn into the ultra suede lining for hiding treats.

Interested? email

Thursday, June 3, 2010

comfort food

This post originally ran about a year ago. I think it's worth a repeat. If you live in Texas, you'll be thanking me around Saturday for this delicious cold summer soup.

I'm not talking about mac and cheese, or meatloaf or mashed potatoes or roasted chicken.
You see, the dress I planned to wear for Sophie's middle school graduation is snug.......ish. Not obscenely tight or anything. Just a tad snug. This is a problem because I like to be comfortable. At all times. I like jeans and funny t shirts from Threadless and running shorts and tennis shoes and A line skirts. Nowhere on this list do you see snug dress. I'll use this deadline as an opportunity to eat smart this week for a comfy fit. If you follow the Weight Watchers core plan, this is a perfectly legal recipe. Just be reasonable about portions.

Here is what I'm eating tonight.

cold avocado cucumber soup - serves 4 - Everyday Food, long ago issue

1 english cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4 in. cubes
2 avocados, pitted and peeled
1/2 c. non fat plain yogurt
3 T. fresh lime juice
1 small minced jalapeno (seeds and ribs removed for less heat, if desired)
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
course salt and pepper
1 t. olive oil

  1. In a blender, combine half the cucumber and 1 avocado with the yogurt, lime juice, jalapeno, scallions, 1 T cilantro, 1 c. ice water, 1 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t pepper. Puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Cut remaining avocado into 1/4 inch cubes. Stir avodado and remaining cucumber into soup. Thin with 1/2 to 1 c. water, as desired. Season again with salt and pepper. Chill about 1 hour. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

some women just can't take it

My nephew Tyson graduates from high school tomorrow. There are sure to be tears. A toast to my brother and sister in law for raising such a wonderful guy. We're having a little family party in his honor. I was looking through some old recipes for a nice kid friendly punch. Kids love a good punch after sitting still for so long! I ran across this recipe from my Aunt Shirley who just died a couple of months ago at 97. Shirley was very social. She enjoyed having the ladies over for an afternoon of bridge. I got tickled when I read her personal note: Here's a recipe I use sometimes - but I leave out the Ginger Ale. It's good but some women can't take the carbonated water.....

If you're so inclined, by all means, add the ginger ale! Here's the recipe if you have a little shin dig coming up and you want a special drink for the little guys.

2 packages Kool Aid - Keep in mind, this was before they had Kool Aid with sugar added.
1 can 6 oz. frozen orange juice
1 1/2 pints pineapple juice
2 qts. water
2/3 c. sugar
bottle of ginger ale

You can add to or take from. Mix and it's better to set awhile. This makes about 18 glasses. Shirley probably meant punch cups.

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