Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thrifted Thursday

It's been a rather barren couple of months in the thrifty treasure department around here. I haven't been going to my local haunts much, and when I have given in to the impulse, there hasn't been anything to get excited about. I have walked out empty-handed more often than not. Still, there are a few little things I have collected that I am quite pleased with.

These lovely blue glass canning jars, complete with lids that have the unbroken glass inside...very rare to find that these days. And this super cool old industrial looking hand-held lamp, quite "Steampunk" if you ask me. The curved handle is made from wood and it has a great feel to it.

I had been wanting a food dehydrator for some time. This one in "mint" condition came home with me for a mere $5! The dried apples came out perfect! We used 'Honey Crisp' apples and they have a wonderful flavor when dried.

Then I came across a pile of these! I started collecting 'The Family Creative Workshop' Series last year. They are these awesome craft/art/self-reliant type books from the 70's and they rock! The information and how-tos they contain are varied and fascinating really. I now have over half of the series, hooray!

If ever the rain stops should be close to yard sale season soon. I wonder what treasures may await. Until then, what has been your favorite find of late?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spanish monks can not keep a secret

And for that, I thank them.

Of course we must thank the Aztecs for chocolate, also acknowledge Columbus, and er...while I don't particularly feel like thanking Cortez for anything, he certainly realized that chocolate was the next big thing.

The Spanish aristocracy was smitten. Spain wisely and quietly began planting cacao in its overseas colonies, which gave birth to a very profitable business. Remarkably enough, the Spanish succeeded in keeping the art of the cocoa industry a secret from the rest of Europe for nearly a hundred years. Cheeky tarts!

So there were these Spanish monks see, who had been consigned to process the cacao beans for the mucky-mucks profiteering. After a night of feasting on chocolate and partaking of aged spirits - I can't say this is exactly how it happened but, it's how I like to imagine it - they got a little chatty with some fellows from the nearby village and spilled the beans. Once the secret was out, chocolate was on everyone's lips.

When The Engineer's folks were here last, my mother in-law spent an afternoon with me showing me how to make chocolates. It was so much fun, and now I have a rather fantastic (possibly dangerous) skill to add to my repertoire.

We made hand rolled truffles with different coatings. The toasted almond were my personal favorite. I don't know that I will ever become a master at the rolling of the truffles, apparently I have hot hands. These 'hot hands' of mine melt the chocolate too rapidly and it all becomes a rather slippery, misshapen mess. Perhaps if I could find me some temperature controlled gloves...anyway they may have looked a little funny but they tasted lovely.

Nancy brought along some chocolate molds and we set about making chocolate cherries, how fancy is that?

At the end there was some chocolate left, and there were strawberries. I'm certain you would have come to the same conclusion we did.

Thank you so much Nancy! What a sweet and messy happy afternoon. You can also be sure that I have been dreaming up new flavors and experiments in my mind for days now.
I have a feeling a few of you who have managed it to the end of this post, are now quietly making your way to the pantry just to check, you know, in case you might need a bit of chocolate for later.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Think good thoughts

Hello Monday, I am so pleased to begin a new week. A week of thinking good thoughts, healing thoughts, grateful thoughts.
Speaking of...I deeply appreciated all the kind comments you left me. They truly made my family and I feel cared for. Thank you.

Now that it is a new week, I can share with you a moment of sweetness from a certain 6 year old's party. She had such a grand time! We crammed our itty bitty cottage full of kids and grown ups. I think everyone had a nice time. There was mask making with feathers and glue (a very big hit). The sun came out long enough for the wigglies to run and chase chooks as well as each other. And of course there was cake.

I used the recipe from this blog post with yellow tinted whipped cream as frosting and topped with fresh strawberries. It was lovely and light and gone in record time.

And there was that yellow dress...well, it's mostly yellow.

Made from a sweet vintage seersucker with wee raspberries on it. The fabric was from my mother; it had apparently been biding it's time patiently in my cabinet for a few years for just this moment; the moment that Pony Girl declared her yen for yellow!

When asked how it felt to be 6, Pony Girl replied in a surprisingly world weary tone, "Old."

I will be back with more good thoughts, good stuff, healing stuff, grateful stuff...
That's right, it's all about chocolate!

Friday, March 25, 2011

hard times come again no more

On Sunday, March 13th, 2011, three young people's lives were tragically and senselessly cut short. My heart is aching for the families and loved ones. My heart is breaking for my own family. I wish us all peace.

Thank you my friends, for your sweet comments last week. I appreciate them greatly.

As hard as it is to be away from my other family, it is so good to be home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Weight

After the terrible tragedy in Japan, all the loss and ruin, my heart so heavy with sadness...I felt so grateful, as many of you have, for the ordinary every day life - warts and all. And as we in the little green cottage kept on in our blessed, ordinary every day, another tragic event hit much closer to home.

I will be pausing for a moment, travelling next week to be with family. Rest assured that all of us in the little green cottage are fine. I am grateful that I have this shiny place to come back to, and that is because of you my friends. Thank you for every comment, every email, every kindness, and all the serious goodness you have shared with me!

This weekend, say I love you to those you love; notice the small things; sing out loud; make a mess; make a wish; forget the rules; be good to each other; stay up late; go to bed early; give yourself a nice hug; waltz around the kitchen...just L-I-V-E live!

and be well


My beautiful girl, you amaze me! I love you more than words can express.
Happy Birthday baby!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ninja Knitters

I stole this movie from Flaming Nora. If you have not yet seen it, you must! It is something that makes me so very happy, and we could all use a little cheering up right about now. Now, Nora blames me for this bit of mischief (due to a photo of "yarn bombing" I had on my blog a bit ago)but, all credit belongs to the Ninja Knitter geniuses if you ask me.

Nora has just posted a follow up HERE. Go see what's brewing!

I'm considering starting up a local chapter...if the Ninjas will let me. Of course I don't actually knit but, "Ninja Crocheters" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

New Time, New Day

Waking up this morning was a little daunting. That one hour change seems such a small thing but, I'm still wiping the sleep from my eyes. There is a tiny bit of sun poking through the dark clouds after last night's storm, signaling the start of a fresh week.

This weekend we finally had to face facts and retire our computer. A new one came home and the Engineer did his engineer thing and got it all set up. Now, all that is needed is to sort out our internet issues...there appears to be a ghost in the machine. Our house seems to be a bandwidth black hole. Which means that I am well behind in my postings and visitings. There was so much I meant to gab about last week. I will try to catch up this week. There have been some happy, exciting things going on around here!

The big news, The Little Green Cottage has been featured on! If you would like to have a look just click HERE. Kerrie Kelly did a lovely write up and feature. is a great place for home inspiration!

And in local news last week, my most favorite fabric shop in town gave me a nice little shout out on their blog HERE. Where you will also see a unique bit of chicken fashion by another local sewist! Bolt Fabric Boutique's blog has some great projects and pattern reviews by the amazing shop staff.

Well, I think that's enough goodness for today. Tomorrow, I have a thrilling movie to share with you!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

and then along came yellow

Just over a week before Pony Girl's 6th birthday and she 'allofasudden' up and changes her favorite color!

"I loved pink and I cared a lot for purple but then, along came yellow!" She tells me. "It's my favorite color. Oh, and sometimes red."

I wasn't expecting yellow. Blue, green, and sometimes red certainly - but, yellow? O.k. so...those amazing pink curtains I found at the local thrift to re-do your room as a birthday surprise...not gonna cut it.

She's been sick with a fever for a few days now, feeling pretty miserable, so in an attempt to take her mind off the ick, I started asking her about birthday plans.

"I want a yellow lemon cake with yellow frosting all over and maybe strawberries, yes, strawberries." Fine, but I had better give it a trial run as I don't think this girl has ever had a lemon cake in her life. When asked if it would do she said, "It's good but, not those other colors of frosting, only yellow - all over, and strawberries...and not sour."
So, not lemon then. But yellow, definitely yellow.

As she lay in her nest of blankets watching me crochet she asked, "Who is that for?" For you, I answer. "How come it's not yellow?" Because when I started it, pink was still your favorite color. "Oh."

And because she knows that I make her a dress every year for her birthday, she wants a yellow dress. A quick look in my rainbow fabric cabinet reveals a serious dearth of yellow. Oh dear. "Well, it can be Golden then," she says. La dee da!

Oh, speaking of room re-dos for kids, you need to check out the super fabulous and creative room idea that my dear friend over at Schtuff at Home put together for her boys, so awesome!

Well, now that we are firmly in the age of Yellow, I have some pondering to do. And even though it isn't yellow, Pony Girl has decided that her new cardi is good enough to wear to school.

Where Credit is Due:
Urban Girl Cropped Cardigan free pattern by Lion Brand HERE (I added the shell edging on the front to hide my (no matter how hard I try) wonky edges. I used an acrylic worsted wt. yarn in 'Not Yellow'

Lemon Cake Recipe HERE and it is delicious! I did add a squeeze of lemon juice and a tsp. of vanilla extract to the batter which is not listed.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hello Monday

Well hello!
If you were in the neighborhood yesterday, and just happen to peek into the windows of the little green cottage, you would have seen my little family all in our pajamas well past a reasonable hour. You might have witnessed a baby bird in a nest of fluffy blankets, eyes glued to an episode of Scooby Doo. You certainly would have noticed the Engineer concentrating on a recipe in the kitchen. You may also have seen Lola on the couch, cup of tea by her side, and a look of confusion as she read through a new pattern.

Yes, the three of us were feeling a little poorly yesterday. Not the horrible horrendous kind of poorly that has you knocked out flat and moaning (thank goodness) but, the take it easy in your pajamas all day and make a nest on the couch sort of poorly. The Engineer who was the least poorly of us all, took over the duties of feeding the family with a masterpiece of slow food, something cooked over hours and hours with love.

What a good man!

I on the other hand, decided to try something may remember that I have set the goal of being brave this year so...well, I was just sitting on the couch anyway.
I have begun some hookery in pink, following a pattern! with sleeves! (at least I'm hoping it will have sleeves, as opposed weird dangly bits when I'm finished with it) Now, you may wonder what the big deal is, it is simply that I have never, not ever tried such a thing. I am not expecting perfection, only that it turn out vaguely similar to the pattern picture. Baby bird is still in her nest today with a fever and another episode of Scooby Doo, I'm off to keep her company and get a few more hooky rows in.

Have a lovely day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lola Interupted

So, I have been taking an unintentional blog break this week due to afore mentioned internet interruption and computer confusion. The situation is still in limbo but, I thought I would take this moment whilst things seem to be functioning somewhat, to wish you a happy weekend. I hope to be back next week with the regular ramblings and random thoughts.