Heaven On Earth

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Oh, what a glorious couple of days we had visiting my brother and his wife at the cabin they just had built in the Adirondack mountains, on Lake Sacandaga. They had been planning and dreaming about building this log cabin for several years now and their dream has finally come true.

Of course there was lots of delicious food and drinks, but the best part of all was just being together. The ten of us laughed from morning until night and I swear my sides hurt by the time I went home. The cabin has a 32′ screened in porch where we ate, played games or just sat quietly and read.
They had a jig saw puzzle set up on two boxes with a large board on top (the coffee table hadn’t been delivered yet) and everyone took their turn working on it. There’s a loft upstairs with a huge master bedroom, bath, sitting room and a screened in deck that overlooks beautiful mountain views. The perfect spot for morning coffee and meditating. There are two bedrooms on the main floor and another two on the lower level along with an area they’re making into a family room. I fell in love with this place the minute I stepped through the door!

We had a fire outdoors in the evening and of course we had to make s’mores. I wouldn’t have enjoyed pastries from the french bakery any more than these gooey, chocolatey concoctions we toasted over the open fire. Unfortunately, these won’t be on the menu at home anytime soon. :(

So, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we went out on the boat and swam in the lake – it was the perfect week-end – the stuff beautiful memories are made of.

I hope you all get to make some beautiful memories this summer!

Susan
XOXO

Delicious Living

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The other day, as I drove up the hill to a local farm, taking in the incredible scenery, I was once again struck by how fortunate I am to be surrounded by such beauty and wonderful farms and farmers bringing us the freshest, most delicious produce and dairy products. I feel incredibly blessed.

Another of my favorite places to visit is a tiny french patisserie tucked away behind Main St. That’s where I found the wonderful brioche, croissant and little butter cookies the size of a quarter. Some is enjoyed the day it’s purchased, some of it goes into the freezer, all of it is delicious! Times have certainly changed – gone are the days of soft, white Wonder Bread of childhood. Though, to be perfectly honest, that bread still is perfect for “Thanksgiving sandwiches” as well as tomato and mayo sandwiches.

I don’t know if you’ve ever picked up an issue of Maryjane’s Farm – it’s a sweet magazine filled with
simple, green, healthy, crafty ideas. Anyway, in the most recent issue I found a recipe for a “Dutch Baby.” It’s a delicious, custard-y pancake with ingredients that are just popped in the blender and then baked in a cast iron skillet for 10 minutes. I substituted the regular flour for gluten free and decided I would use less butter than the recipe called for next time (you can see that when I added the batter to the pan, the butter dribbled over onto the top) but topped with a dash of sifted powdered sugar, it was heaven! Half way thru, I decided to add a touch of maple syrup, but, honestly, it wasn’t necessary. It was perfect for breakfast, hot from the oven, but I had visions of it topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, some seasonal fruit and a dollop (or two) of fresh whipped cream. Alas, it was just a vision.

Whether fresh veggies from your garden, or a trip to your local farmer’s market, I hope you are all enjoying the deliciousness of this season too.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Susan
XOXO

The Colors of Spring

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What could be better than this beautiful time of year, on the cusp of summer, with everything so lush and green and bursting with color. I really do enjoy each and every season, but right now I’m soaking up the sun on these 80 degree days, and finding joy in potting up some beautifully colored plants, reading on the deck with a delicious glass of iced tea, and even something as simple as a walk through the neighborhood.

After a bit of a health scare over the winter, I’ve learned to truly appreciate every moment of every day. It feels like the beauty of the season is a gift to be savored and appreciated, and I do. I look forward to days at the pool and beach with my husband and family, the bounty the farmer’s markets have to offer this time of year and spending time indoors in the cool ac on the days when the heat and humidity becomes unbearable. I can always find another book to read or something to sew or crochet.

Speaking of the farmer’s market, I bought the most delicious fresh spinach that turned into a great salad. There’s also a young man there that makes the best pesto I’ve ever tasted. We enjoyed that on slices of toasted baguette with a bit of homemade mozzarella. I can see we’ll be eating very well this summer.

Are you enjoying this time of year as much as I am? I truly hope so. Have a wonderful weekend.

Susan
XOXO

Country Living Fair 2016

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It was hot, humid, crowded and IT WAS FABULOUS! The 2016 Country Living Fair did not disappoint from the minute we arrived to the very last spoonful of ice cream we enjoyed right before we left. As always, there was so much to see – quilts, vintage linens, fabulous prints, beautiful handmade aprons and so much more.

I loved poking into one  booth after the other, never ceasing to be amazed at how all these vendors managed to turn these stalls into beautifully decorated little country stores.  So much thought and effort must go into all these displays which are so inspiring. I found myself snapping picture after picture so I could savor all of this country goodness again when I got home.   There were so many things made by hand – pillows, tote bags, clothing, quilts, painted cowboy boots.  What a great way to get your creative juices flowing.

Well, I really can’t think of a better way to spend the day – laughing, eating ice cream and sharing all things beautiful with two good friends, Chris and Judy.  I’m already thinking ahead to the next two shows  I’ll be attending in this venue – a fabulous craft show and the wool festival.  So much  to look forward to.

Wishing you all a beautiful week .

Susan  xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainy Days

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Today is day three of six days of rain. Sigh. Now, I can really enjoy a rainy day – hunkering down, putting on a pot of soup, sipping tea, reading. But, I must confess to a major case of ants in my pants! I have pots waiting to be scrubbed and filled with colorful flowers, patio furniture waiting to be uncovered and decked out with cushions and pillows. Yet, here I sit with visions of warm, sunny days dancing in my head. I guess I’ll just have to be patient.

I’m finding that being stuck inside also has some benefits. I’ve been spending time getting my guest room/office a bit more organized. I’m waiting for a console to be delivered to put my tv on and then all I’ll have to do is hang a few pictures, add some colorful pillows and a throw to the couch, and that room will be done. Yay!

I’m looking forward to this weekend when the sun is once again expected to make an appearance. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the pretty yellow roses on my dining room table, the green house plants and some quiet time to read a good book.

Wishing you all a beautiful week.

Susan
XOXO

Starting From Scratch

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I have always loved embroidery, but I haven’t done much at all in the last several years. Since I love the meditative quality of hand stitching, I thought I’d start back at square one with some running stitches, back stitches, blanket stitches and couching. I was inspired by Rebecca Ringquit’s book, Embroidery Workshops. I’m moving on to Kazuko Aoki’s book, The Embroidered Garden. It’s a tutorial on embroidering delicate, beautiful flowers, butterflies and bees and I’m looking forward to trying my hand at this.

I always used the standard DMC #25 thread, using all 6 strands at once. I’ve learned that you can use this (without using all strands at the same time) and also #5 and #8, different yarns and metallic threads depending on what you’d like to accomplish. Ooooh, it’s going to be a fun couple of months experimenting with all of this.

The last picture I posted is a piece I started many years ago. I can’t believe how thick the stems on those flowers are. What was I thinking? Both of these books have been very inspiring and I’m loving every minute of moving my needle in and out of the fabric, calmly envisioning the possibilities of creative projects to come. The perfect way to spend a Spring afternoon.