Monday, February 28, 2011

Blue Monday

It was a dark and stormy night...

It really was, and now it's a dark and stormy day. Still, I woke up this morning determined and enthusiastic about the tasks before me. Lot's of work to do you know. Morning coffee was made, there were clean school clothes, I ate a very lovely piece of toast slathered with homemade marionberry jam, I fetched my happy dots umbrella, and school drop went off without a hitch. Returning home, I thought of the post I would write for my shiny place here before getting on with the very important business of the day.

And this is where it all starts to turn out differently than I had planned. I should have known something was amiss when I saw the hundred crows descend from the sky and land on my roof with a whole chorus of raspy shouts.

I sat down at my desk, the place I do my very important work and online window shopping (I swear it's all research!) My photo editing program was having fits and would not save my files. The internet was slow as molasses but, I forged ahead and wrote my post, waited ages for some other photos to load so you would have something nice to look at...I hit publish and all went dark! No post in sight, no post hiding in the corners, no post under the bed. O.k. once more with feeling! I tried again and the entire computer crashed. Now, at this point I kinda had the urge to do some throwing, kicking, stomping exercise all over this here computer but, a few deep breaths and a get back on that horse attitude, have given me the patience to give it one more go. If this fails, it may be days before I'm heard from again. I am crossing my fingers and making promises to the cyber forces that be. I promise, I will defrag and do my due diligence disk cleanup as soon as this goes live!

Now that I am significantly behind for a tutorial re-shoot (on this dark and stormy day with nary enough light for cats to see by) I think I will retire from this tantrum tossing computer and dream of rainy day yarn and a cozy corner to while away the afternoon whilst I try to get my shots. Ooh, which reminds me, I have camera confessions to share later in the week!

I hope your day goes off without a hitch!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Come Spring

The weather 'round here has been plain silly! Now the sun is out in full force but, the temp. has dropped and the wind has picked up, so cold. I am feeling the need for a burst of color and to sing a song of springtime. I'm inviting Spring with a few of my flickr favs. Have a colorful weekend my friends!

1. Tea and Biscuits, 2. happy hearts..., 3. Annie Necklace, 4. a touch of color..., 5. Blooms, 6. Flutter ~ Floral, 7. Imperfection is underrated., 8. Old wood spools, 9. Valentine roses

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Snow-BirthDay!

The chickens woke me with their squawking at 4:30 this morning. When I looked outside to see what the ruckus was all about, it was snowing! Pony Girl is extra excited to have a snow day and woke up the Engineer to shout "Happy Snow Birthday!" Yup, it's the Engineer's Birthday today, so the girl and I are heading out into the fluffy stuff, donning our big coats, mittens and boots, to fetch the ingredients for a special birthday dinner. And cheesecake!

Happy Birthday my love!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


What a lovely long weekend I've had! There was lots of special time with my girl due to school holiday and a gorgeous helping of sunshine on Saturday. Though it was still quite cool, there was no way the small one was going to come inside, or put shoes on. There was chook tending, egg gathering, flower spotting, horse races, daring princess rescues, bug hunting, and sidewalk chalk masterpieces.

I was also most fortunate to get to spend some quality time in the company of a couple of very creative and wonderful women. As grand as this community of bloggers/friends is, and as thrilled as I am to have such kind and talented women within a click of my fingers...there is something truly special about sharing a glass of wine, or a cup of tea with someone face to face. Being able to chat at leisure and laugh out loud together in the company of someone you really enjoy, is a gift and a blessing. It filled me up and still has me smiling. It may be something I don't get to do very often but, I suppose that makes it all the more special.

I am so grateful for this sweet long weekend. I have been inspired, spent some very happy times with my family, and laughed a lot. How lucky am I?

I am wishing you all a week full of smiles and laughter.
Let It Shine!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


The Daphne is beginning to bloom! I couldn't wait to cut a few sprigs and bring their glorious scent into the house. The promise of Spring hangs in the air and I am trying not to be impatient. I can not wait to get into the garden and get my hands dirty! If we get a break in the rain and the cold snap moves along, I will be ready to get some seeds in the ground. I'm dreaming of salads made with our own lettuce and nasturtiums.

All this Spring wishing has me in mind to clean away the cobwebs and move things around in the little green cottage. To invite Spring in and make her welcome.

Little stripey birds and happy Holland clogs above the sofa might do the trick!

And then yesterday, I woke up with a wild idea and set about painting our dark hallway. Which in turn meant taking all the books and CDs off of their dusty shelves and deciding new homes for things. Well, this morning I am questioning the wisdom of such a plan...for suddenly there are books and papers in piles all about the house and I've only managed to prime the darkness in streaky white so far. Oh, we have guests coming this afternoon? How nice. Perhaps I can convince them that an earthquake hit our house only, what you didn't feel that? How curious. I am off now to see if perhaps there is a little door behind the sofa that leads to a magical dimension in which I can store all the extra junk...wouldn't that be convenient?
Wish me luck.

Have a lovely day my dears!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

and it only took me a year to make

Last week whilst I was dabbling in the studio, I went a-looking for something amongst the piles of fabric which got me to wondering, 'Where has that maid gone, she should really tidy up this joint!' Oops, I'm pretty sure we don't have a maid, we just have me. I gave myself a good talking to, in which I used the phrase, "Shape up or ship out!" then I had a proper sulk for I didn't need to be quite so hard on myself. After all that was done, I still hadn't found the item I was searching for but I did find this! A jacket I had started a year ago for Pony Girl, I'd nearly forgotten all about it and felt terrible for neglecting such a shiny bit of possibility. Would it still fit? Would I recall the seam allowance I had used?

Well, I forged ahead and put all the last bits together...

and it fits!

With some room to grow even!

and I even managed a wee stuffed bunny to go along.

Avalon Jacket and Insa skirt from the Book "Sewing Clothes Kids Love"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello Monday - Be Mine

Well hello! Last week just slipped away from me. While I did accomplish some of the tasks on my 'To Do' list, some of them have come undone again. Such is the nature of those lists, they are not static, they are self perpetuating things indeed. I did manage to get my sew on, which was grand. I realized that taking a break from the computer did give me more time to tackle other things. It's good to be back though!

I sent Pony Girl off to school this morning with a sack full of cards and lollies, she was beside herself with excitement. I on the other hand, was feeling the love for my cozy bed and was hard pressed to leave it. So, as I was pulling up the covers I whispered a sweet Valentine to it, and made a promise for some quality time together later on.

While I was tending to business last week, it appears my followers have tipped over the 500 count! Oh my goodness, I am flabbergasted! Thank you wonderful readers, what a happy Valentine gift, you have made me blush!

Now, I'm not too big on the whole Valentines Day hubbub but, I do enjoy seeing Pony Girl all whirly with joy about it. A tradition was started a couple of years ago as a special treat for the small one; a little package of goodies, including Valentines Pajamas! This year I out did myself with one pair of jams and a precious nightgown.

Made from the softest Robert Kaufman flannel with McCalls 5744 pattern. It has been a while since I used one of the 'Big 4' patterns and while it was very simple to sew (I don't think I even looked at the instructions) the proportions are slightly wonky. The torso is very wide but, the arms and sleeves are a bit on the snug side. If I were to make it again, I might adjust the pattern with a deeper under-arm and a wider sleeve.

I love the fabric, look at those sweet butterflies. Pony Girl will get her goodies after school today, I'm sure she will come home laden with cards, sweets, and that 1000 mile stare that comes from a really big day of school mayhem.

I wish you all a day filled with love!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Gone Chicken Wrangling

Hello lovelies, I am taking a few days off from the blog to attend to some administrative duties, housely chores, school volunteering, and general "To Do" list maintenance. See you on the flip side!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I've got Heart

Have you noticed - it's February?!

I am not entirely certain how that happened. Seems just moments ago it was the first day of the new year. How odd.

In honor of my recent discovery (and apparent falling through the cracks of the time-space continuum), I think I am going to crank up the stereo.

Look out February, I'm gonna go Crazy On You!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In The Kitchen with Lola

Southwest Salad

It seems I recall mentioning something about a recipe in my last post, and why not? It seems this week I am up to my elbows in domestic chaos bliss, and there's been a lot of cooking and baking going on in the little green cottage.

Today I am bringing you not one but two, easy peasy, healthful recipes that work together. The first is for a southwest black bean and rice salad. It's something I put together years ago and has become a regular in my kitchen. It is great as a side salad to a Mexican or southwestern dinner. We use it as a burrito filling, wrap it up in a tortilla with cheese and avocado, add some Salsa Chicken (recipe to follow) and enjoy!

Southwest Salad*

2 cups water
1 cup brown rice (I use a brown basmati rice because I like the slightly nutty flavor)

1 can black beans (about 2 cups), drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 scallions (spring onions), sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Place water and rice in a saucepan uncovered on high heat and bring to a soft boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cover. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed (about 45 min.) and remove from heat. Or cook the rice according to your preferred method.

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and mix together in a large bowl. Once rice is done, I let it rest for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork. I usually let it cool uncovered for a few minutes as well. Then add the rice to the other ingredients and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste. The mixture will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can serve it room temp. or cold, or as I mentioned heated up in a tortilla. *This recipe is vegan.

Salsa Chicken

This recipe is one of those throw it together and stick it in the oven types so, there isn't a set measurement of all depends on how many people you need to feed.

Salsa Chicken

2 - 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Jar of your favorite salsa
Garlic Granules
Chili Powder

Preheat oven to 350 F. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with garlic granules, chili pwd., salt and pepper. Place chicken in a baking dish. Cover each breast with a large spoonful of salsa. Cover the dish and bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Let chicken rest for a few minutes then slice the chicken into strips.

As I said, we put this with the bean and rice salad in a tortilla with cheese etc. as a burrito or wrap. It can be served over the salad with sour cream and extra salsa for more of a meal with warm corn tortillas or tortilla chips on the side.

There you have it, 2 easy recipes that are not only yummy but, very healthy too!