Friday, April 29, 2011

The 'little sisters' and a big secret sneak peek revealed!

I just happened to be about in the outer limits of my city when I recalled a certain thrifty spot I had long ago discovered. I thought that since I was not often in this neck of the woods, I ought to take advantage and have a wee perusal. As I sidled up and down aisles my hopes were slipping for there was nothing of note in sight, not a pillow case, not the red enamel pot I had imagined, nor any handbag of interest...I was just about to throw in the towel and call it a wash. Then, as I shuffled past the shelves of wooden misfits, I spied a flash of red coming from under a heavily lacquered burl-wood clock. "What's this?" thought I.

"OH, Hello little one I like you a lot, what's that you say, your sister?" Oh goodness me oh my - at the opposite end of the aisle there she lay, a bit befuddled behind a rather ugly breakfast tray. "Yes, you two will be coming home with me for certain! Now what was that you said about some babies, or was it pets? Can you speak above a whisper? No matter, I will see what I can do. By jove, I think I've spotted them!" And we all walked purposefully up to the register and paid the little money required, then all of the 'little sisters' and I went straight away home for a bit of clean up and a tea party!

Over tea I told them of my super secret, super exciting news. It was such a treat to able to tell somebody! We discussed it and decided that it was time to share it with you all and to give a sneak peek!

Mollie Makes is a new craft magazine coming out of the UK and Lola (yours truly) is in it! I am a bit beside myself with excitement! I have also come to find out that my dear friend Tif, Dottie Angel, will have a spread of her own in the magazine, so you know I am in good company. There is no doubt a gaggle of gifted folks sure to show up on the pages of this very pretty publication.

The magazine is due out in the UK May 12th and in the US June 9th. Mollie Makes will be available at Barnes and Noble and Joannes here in the states. If you go over to the Mollie Makes blog, you can order 3 issues for £5 for you in the UK. If you want to find out the latest, checkout their Facebook Page. Goodness, I'm so glad I am able to share the news, I was ready to burst! I am anxiously awaiting my very own copy.

I am wishing you all a very sweet weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Start the Bidding!

I recently found myself part of 'The Project Committee for The Night of Magic School Auction for Room 4.' Yes, a rather long-winded title for a Kindergarten Committee but, there you have it. It fell to a few of us Mums to come up with a project that involved creations from the kiddos that would be a biddable item in the school fundraising auction. There were meetings for brainstorming, ideas discussed, planning for work times, canvassing for donations, and then the actual making of the thing. It was fun, it was hard, I learned a lot.

As it was the first time on such a committee for all of us moms, we were sort of flying by the seat of our pants and crossing our fingers that this would all come out in the end.

We started off with the kids painting tiles with images of flowers. One of the moms took the tiles to be fired in a kiln. What happy bright tiles we ended up with! Next came a vintage door - onto which the tiles were set and grouted. Some of us pilfered our leftovers from home improvement projects for extra tiles to fill in (there's a bit of our shower tile in there!). The door was then given a fresh coat of paint and a vintage door knob for fun.

Then, the planter box was designed and beautifully made by The Engineer (well done dear!) It turned out so great, I am quite pleased for there were a few 'iffy' moments along the way.

But for the kid's tiles, the project was made with all reclaimed materials. Now it is off to the auction for Friday night!

I must thank all the moms who put in the time and hard work to help create this unique piece of art. And of course, many thanks to the very crafty Engineer who was volunteered by me without his knowledge!

I would also like to give a little mention to the wonderful businesses who donated materials - without them this would not have come together. So thank you...
The Rebuilding Center
Salvage Works
Miller Paint
Pistils Nursery

Now, I am off for a cuppa and a sigh of relief that this is one project ticked off the list. Have a lovely day!

Monday, April 25, 2011


The carnage was epic.

The bounty was huge.

All of us bunnies are recovering.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things I can't do

I was catching up with a friend on the phone the other day, we were trading our current goings-on and I told her of my latest projects, school mum what-nots, my diabolical plan for home made energy bars. That is when she jokingly asked me, "Is there anything you can't do?" I've been asked this before and it makes me feel awkward. I'm never quite sure how the question is intended. Are you asking me this sincerely, is it a compliment of sorts, or is it an obtusely veiled snarky comment? How does one answer such a question, is an answer needed, it is rhetorical yes? One thing I do know, it is blatantly clear that I over think things. I also know my friend was just chatting along as we do, with no ill thought whatsoever, still...

It got me to thinking...

Well, of course there are lots of things I can not do.
I also imagine, there are lots of things that I can do.
Let's make a little game of it, let's name a few of the things I can't do. Also, let's name some of the things I can - do.

For example:

I can't - fly a 747 airplane. Although, I don't know if that is strictly true as I have never tried. It is entirely possible that I can fly a plane if only given the chance.

I can - can. I have been making my own jams, preserves, canned veg and fruit etc. for years. I have taught the engineer to can, we are teaching Pony girl to can, so we all can - can.

Well, you get the idea.

Things I can do but would rather not:
I can change a flat tire on my car, on a blind curve, in the pouring rain, in a party dress and heels.

I can make meatloaf. And it's really good, if you like meatloaf, which I do not.

I can hem your trousers.

Things I can't do but feel no pressing need to do:
I can not do advanced calculus.

I can not climb Mt. Everest. ok, this one is a bit tricky because I do have that "You can do anything you set your mind to" belief but the truth is, I have set my mind to no such thing besides, in my current physical condition, it would mean certain shame if not certain death.

I can not name all the US presidents in chronological order.

Things I can do that are quirky and that I am strangely proud of:
I can make a decent meal out of a practically nothing. Why just last night I turned an old potato, and a bit of stale cheese into a fine dinner. It's a gift.

I can talk to anyone. I can commiserate with old timers, I can curse with sailors, I can make friends with farmers, I can pontificate with philosophy majors, I can harmonize with hippies, I can space out with UFO abductees, I can discourse with delinquents, I can gossip with gilded Lilies, I can converse with cowboys and criminals. Yup! And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Whilst I am strangely proud of this quirky can-do, it can feel like a curse, as I am far less talented at extricating myself from these conversations.

I can fish. In fact, I am a rather decent fisher-woman.

Things I can not do but wish that I could:
I can't Speak a second language. While I do have very limited recall of my 8th grade Spanish class and my High School French, none of it seems particularly useful. I don't know when "I am a cat, I don't like to work." would be appropriate conversation in Mexico. However, if I were in France, I could ask everyone I see, "Do you have a red sweater?"

I can't Surf. My brother has been a surfer since we were small, he never taught me. I would love to know how to surf, how cool would that be?

I definitely can ramble on and on about things I can and can't do but, I'm done for now.

How about you?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Little Wing

The sun has graced us these last couple of days, sprouts are shooting up out of the ground, flowers are blooming, and butterflies are arriving! I have been capturing them in bell jars, framing them in old wood, and meditating on their transformational nature. I am ready for a change.

We have been host to a sudden pilgrimage of old friends from far flung ports, all arriving at the same time as the butterflies. There has been feasting, conversation, outdoor games and all manner of goings on.

Pony Girl has been chasing winged creatures from the seat of her pink streamer bedecked bicycle, practicing the difficult brake + steering maneuvers, only one training wheel whispering along the ground while the rest of her seems to take flight.

Oh, and there have been plantings, both of the edible and the decorative. Such a good feeling to get that gritty soil under my fingernails, so much promise in the act of putting something growing into the ground. Peas, potatoes, lettuces, greens, herbs, grasses, lavenders, and what will be legendary gargantuan Sunflowers! Oh happy sun, wont you make yourself at home for a while?

Would you like to capture some butterflies of your own? Here's how:
Simply look with your best butterfly spotting spectacles, you can often find them flitting about "google images". Once you have spied your most favorite 'little wings' you can print them onto card stock. You may, as I did, take colored pencils and markers to their wings for a bit of a gussy. For the framed lovelies, I stuck on a bit of tape to the backside and attached them to some tacks. For butterflies under glass, tape a thread to the critter and then to the lid of the jar to create a suspended beauty.

Happy day to you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Comfort Food

Ah, the rediscovery of an old favorite! Perfect for a rainy day; comfort food that is healthful and satisfying.

Baked Tofu Pesto Sandwich with a salad of mixed greens, pears and walnuts. Delicious!

Want to make it? The recipe is Vegan but I can assure you that meat eaters like it too.

*Baked Tofu Recipe:
1 block (package) firm tofu
1/3 cup vegetable stock
3 Tablespoons Soy sauce
1 Tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar, or honey, or brown rice syrup
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Drain and rinse the tofu. Cut into 6 equal slabs. Place the tofu on a clean folded tea towel on a flat surface. Cover with another folded tea towel and place a cutting board or other flat object (cookie sheet) on top. Place a moderate weight on the board (a heavy pot or canned food items) and leave to drain for 30 minutes.

In a baking dish just large enough to hold the tofu, stir together the remaining ingredients. When the tofu has drained, place the slabs in the baking dish with the marinade in a single layer. Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Turn the tofu pieces over half way through the marinating time.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Place the baking dish uncovered in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the tofu over and cook for an additional 30 minutes. The liquid should be completely absorbed and the tofu should have a nice dark "crust."
You can eat this immediately or it keeps in the fridge for a few days.
*Recipe adapted from The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Hadler & Toomay.

To make the sandwich I use a sprouted grain english muffin that is hearty and delicious but, you can use a roll or bread of your choice.
I toast my bread, spread with pesto (I am not including a recipe for pesto since there are thousands available, easy to find if you don't already have your own recipe). Add the baked tofu, a thick slice of a good tomato, some avocado and ta da!
Other additions that are tasty: Sweet bell pepper, sprouts, grated carrot, lettuce, etc.

I paired this with a nice salad of mixed baby greens, sliced pear, and walnuts with a simple vinaigrette.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Week

This week I'm borrowing from this lovely lady. Though I am late on the uptake, I still think I can make it work.

This week I am going with light duty on the blog. I am in need of a good catch up with chores and such. I've been a bit under the weather, I am frightfully behind. So, if I haven't come visiting, or I owe you an email...have patience wont you?

This week I am going to get my calendar out, make some lists, set some goals and look ahead.

This week I am going to choose the last three songs for the album.

This week I am going to make Pony Girl a journal to put her stories and songs in (a clever way to get her to work on handwriting and words).

I had better get started as we are already 2 days in to this week!
What are you getting up to this week?

Friday, April 8, 2011


Welcome to my weekend project, part of it anyhow. There is more, in bags, on shelves, strewn on the tables and floor of my studio, and coming out of my ears. Scraps, loads of scraps, mountains of scraps. They are taking over...what to do? Organize, purge, make the craziest quilt ever? Hmmmm...

What are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I wish you all the best!

Edit: There was an issue with comments not being available earlier. Thanks to Sherri, this has been fixed!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Reveal

Whist I lack a certain finesse in the haircutting department, she has refused my attempts to make it come over all even. She has also scoffed at my suggestion of calling in a professional to "do a little clean up". She claims it is perfect, that I am indeed a great hair cutter, in fact, as she looked in the mirror at her new 'Do', she turned and pointed at me me saying, "You The Mama!"
I think she was just a little light headed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Engineer's got a brand new bag

I first heard of Wood & Faulk when I spied a piece on Matt, the man behind Wood & Faulk, over on the sfgirlbybay Blog. You can read the piece HERE. It just so happens that Wood & Faulk is located here in Portland, actually just up the street from me.

When I saw the Wood & Faulk Carpenter's Bags, I knew I had to get one for the Engineer. Matt was very helpful when I contacted him, reassuring me his bags were definitely made for the craftsman, for the heavy duty carrying of tools. So, I ordered one as a late birthday present.

It's a thing of beauty this bag. Made wonderfully and just the right thing for transporting all of the Engineer's special hand tools. There is one tiny problem, I wanted to keep it for myself.

It's a great feeling to buy a well crafted piece from a local artist.

Wood & Faulk also has a cool blog to check out, with the tag line, "Documentation of experiments, style and craft." Go have a look see.