Saturday, February 28, 2009


Last night to my excitement and amazement, one of my treasuries graced the front page of Etsy. It has been a long time since that has happened! 
It is always a thrill!
This is the front page!

This is the whole collection, with the alternatives!

Friday, February 27, 2009


Last night Mark made the dough for these yummy croissants, yes from scratch!!
He got up several times throughout the night to fold and roll the dough out to prepare for this mornings baking!  They are delicious.. there is nothing like a homemade croissant!!


2 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 pkg. active dry yeast
3 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 tbsp. water

Begin 8 hours or day ahead.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast and 1 cup flour. In a 1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat milk until very warm (120° to 130° F). With mixer at low speed, beat liquid into dry ingredients until just blended. At medium speed, beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping the bowl. Beat in 1/2 cup of flour to make thick batter; beat 2 minutes more. Stir in about 1 cup of flour to make  soft dough.

On a floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding more flour while kneading. Shape into ball: place in greased large bowl, turning over to grease the top. Cover; let rise in a warm lace away from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough; turn onto  lightly floured surface; cover with a bowl and let rest 30 minutes.

Roll butter between 2 sheets of waxed paper to a 10" x 7" rectangle. Turnover for even rolling; lift top sheet frequently to remove wrinkles. Chill butter with waxed paper.

On a floured surface, roll dough to 18" x 9" rectangle. Remove 1 sheet of paper from butter; invert butter on 2/3 of dough, leaving 1" margin on 3 sides.

Remove other sheet from butter. Fold unbuttered dough over butter. Fold buttered dough over center to make a 9" x 6" rectangle.

Press edges to seal. Carefully roll layer dough to 18" x 9" rectangle; do not press edges too hard or butter may ooze out.

Fold in thirds to make a 9" x 6' rectangle; sprinkle with flour; wrap; chill 1 to 2 hours. Roll, fold and chill twice more (dough may be left overnight for the final fold).

Cut dough in half. Roll one piece to 21" x 10". (Chill other piece.) Cut triangles 7" wide at base; join ends for sixth triangle.

From 7" base, roll up triangles. Place, pointed tip down, on ungreased cookie sheet, 2" apart.

Bend ends around toward pointed tip to form crescent shape. Repeat with the   remaining dough.

Cover croissants loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.  In hot weather, set dough inside refrigerator from time to time to prevent butter oozing out. Preheat oven to 425° F. In a cup with pastry brush, beat egg and water; brush over croissants. Bake 15 minutes or until puffed and browned. Immediately remove croissants to cool on wire rack 10 minutes.

Makes 12.

The recipe is from an old cookbook, The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. I hope you can figure out the recipe without the illustrations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Freshwater Pearls

Last week I got an order of pearls in the mail from a new supplier, I am impressed! While they are more expensive, their price is reflected in the quality. Gorgeous to say the least!

iridescent peacock
exquisite peacock pearl with oxidized sterling silver

forest moss
gorgeous earthy brown pearls, with stunning lampwork beads (made by the very talented Gillian) and copper beads

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pancake Tuesday & Heavenly Hots!

I have a large collection of cookbooks, one of my many obsessions! 
The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham has been an old faithful for many many years. I was reminded of this delicious recipe when I got my new copy of Gourmet magazine yesterday. I have not made this pancake recipe for years, but will make it for dinner tonight. These pancakes are very tender, light and delicate, and oh so delicious! I am so excited, yum! 
Maria, this recipe is for you!!

Bridge Creek Heavenly Hots

4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup cake flour
2 cups sour cream
3 tbsp. sugar

Put the eggs in a mixing bowl and stir until well blended. Add the salt, baking soda, flour, sour cream, and sugar, and mix well. All of this can be done in a blender if you prefer.
Heat a griddle or frying pan until it is good and hot, film with grease, and drop small spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle - just enough to spread to an approximately 2 1/2 inch round. When a few bubbles appear on top of the pancakes, turn them over and cook briefly.

Makes 50 to 60 dollar sized pancakes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lemon Chiffon and Copper Sapphire

I have been playing with my new supply of beads, hehe, I always seem to have anew supply of beads don't I! I am surprising myself and am loving the Lucite beads. Who would have thought I would love plastic... boy they are so pretty!
Lovely to work with, light weight, perfect for jewelry!
lemon chiffon
love this necklace, it is light and airy, just like lemon chiffon!

copper sapphire
pretty pale sapphire blue Lucite beads, with earthy copper!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Veggie Burger Recipe

I have been cooking for a friend who is undergoing chemo treatments. She eats chicken and fish and all things veggie. I made these delicious veggies burgers for her yesterday, well we ate them too! This is the best recipe for veggie burgers, I have found so far, and it is from Whitewater Cooks. I guess I am obsessed with this cookbook since I got it for Christmas, but every recipe I have cooked from it, is fabulous! This book is definitely a run out and buy at once kind of cookbook!

Whitewater Veggie Burgers

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1-19 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained and roughly pureed
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (or cilantro... yuck)
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup almonds, roasted and chopped
1 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and chopped
3 cups fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup soy sauce
5 eggs
2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups oats
flour for dredging
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

In a large skillet, saute onions and garlic in oil. Place in a large mixing bowl and let it cool a little. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well and shape into patties. Dredge lightly in flour. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan to brown the burgers on both sides, you may need to do this in batches with more oil.

Serve on your favourite buns with your favourite toppings!

Makes 12 burgers.

Pink Copper Tutus

I got some new beads in the mail yesterday, always a big thrill for me. I fought the urge for months to buy Lucite beads, it goes against my grain, they aren't very natural, not so earthy, but their prettiness got me in the end. Look how pretty they are, like little pink tutus...
pink copper tutus

I do love the pink with the copper, soft and pretty!

Monday, February 16, 2009

My First Private Alchemy!

I received my first private alchemy request a few weeks ago on Etsy. I will admit, it overwhelmed me at first, just the thought of it. It seemed to make a custom order more complicated, with the Alchemy process. It isn't really, I just had to do one to realize it. It was fun and my pleasure to work with this wonderful customer to make this lovely, well actually, gorgeous necklace and earrings. The pearls are fabulous! I will be mailing it out to her tomorrow!
chocolate pearls, with gold and copper!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Rug Has a New Home!

A new customer messaged to say he had posted a photo of his new rug on Flickr. It looks as though I made it for that spot, it fits there perfectly. I am pleased, it is so nice to see where my rugs "live".
felted wool rug!
Thanks Charlie, you made my day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Handwoven Felted Wool Rag Runner

I finished weaving my longest felted wool rag rug runner today. It is seven feet long. Too long for me to take a full birds eye view photo from up above, well too long for me to do it in the house. Too much snow and ice outside to take outdoor photos right now.
full length view
grey, to blue, to green with a little beige

hey, look ma, not one pair of Keens but two!

Bean, my Valentine!

Who could resist this gorgeous face, a heart shaped face at that!
My Valentine!
She is a sweetie pie girl!
miss cali coco bean

objects in mirror are closer than they appear

I love this photo I took last night, Bean and the mill in the side mirror
Kinoje was running ahead smelling wolf tracks..

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Felted Wool Rugs and Peacock Plums

I am very pleased and excited to be weaving again! It felt wonderful this afternoon to take this rug off my loom and list it in my shop. My stock has dwindled somewhat, which is a great thing!

felted wool rug

peacock plums
I listed this gorgeous pair of earrings in my shop last night.
the colour is fabulous! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Yucky Day for a Drive

Yesterday morning we had to drive Thomas to Thunder Bay in pea soup fog and pouring down rain. Strange weather for February in northwestern Ontario! The roads were not good, thickly crusted with ice, for me a nervous passenger, it was not at all fun.

thick fog

on our way home, after dropping Thomas at my sisters house
fog, rain and snow, yuck...
dark trees whizzing by

the town of Nipigon, 
Lake Superior in the distance

Thomas just called, as I was typing here, he arrived safely in Vancouver.  I sure miss him already! Time for me to fill my life with weaving and such..

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Copper Heart & Blue Sky Green

Dreary foggy rainy day today, a perfect day to play with beads!

copper heart

blue sky green

Friday, February 6, 2009

Silver Ice

I have never had such a hard time taking photos of a piece of jewelry before, wow, 500 shots later and voila...
 I must say I am pleased with this shot.

silver ice

clear, transparent, hollow hand blown glass beads
sterling silver chain

The Big Lake Has Ice!

As far as your eyes can see, the Lake has an ice covering. It may not be solid ice, but it is a start. It is early this year, if it stays. I love the colours and light in these photos, grey...
main beach, terrace bay

Mark looking out towards the Slate Islands

Thomas looking at the undulating ice

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blue Ice

 I am totally loving the clear blown glass beads in this necklace, they are spectacular! Of course I have them paired with beautiful vintage glass beads, both variations of blue and white. They all look wonderful with the sterling silver chain.
I did however have a hard time photographing the clear beads. I also made a pair of earrings with the clear beads and cannot seem to get a good photo of them. I will try again in the  morning with some kind of contrasting background.

blue ice

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Warm Spinach Salad

I made this yummy salad for dinner tonight. I think it is now, our favourite spinach salad. The recipe is from the Whitewater Cooks cookbook.

warm spinach salad


3/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large shallot, diced
1/3 cup prosciutto, chopped
1/3 cup rice or red wine vinegar
1 cup fresh basil, julienned
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
10 cups fresh spinach washed and dried

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic, shallots and prosciutto and saute until shallots are translucent. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Keep warm. In a large mixing bowl toss the warm vinaigrette with the spinach and fresh basil. Top with parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
Serve immediately!

Serves 4-6.

I did not add the basil, I cannot get it here in town in the winter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lemon Yellow

Lovely lemon yellow vintage glass beads paired with equally gorgeous oxidized sterling silver ear wires! 
lemon yellow

Indigo Chocolate

I have always loved blue and brown together. I was so excited to find these blue coin pearls, but equally excited to find chocolate brown pearls. I had to search for them a few weeks ago, as someone requested a chocolate brown pearl necklace as a custom order. I am still waiting for some copper beads to arrive in the mail before I can work on the necklace. It will be my first private request through Alchemy. I am excited for this challenge.

indigo chocolate

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter Robins

Years ago in the winter, a neighbour called to say that a tree behind her house was full of robins. For a moment we didn't believe her but it was true. Robins were this far north in the middle of winter. Now we watch for them in January and February. They have been eating the mountain ash berries. My photos are not clear, I took them through our screened windows, but you can see that yes it is a robin.

a robin eating mountain ash berries

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Milky Orange Cabbages

Wow, February already, time is flying!
I have been playing with the new vintage glass beads and the gorgeous earring findings that I bought. They are all so gorgeous!

coppery milky white
fresh orange swirls

cabbage flowers