going on a trip

once i made one handbag (and by the way... growing up, we called them pocketbooks... and i still do) i just had to make another one.  i used an amy butler pattern called frenchy handbag.  and the fabric is so cute! 
it was for my trip to ocean isle beach, north carolina this past weekend. i visited one of my bestest friends, cam!  we went to college together... just a few years ago (more or less).  she and her husband, alan, were the masterminds behind the amazing lighting at my daughters' wedding last summer...

isn't that just beautiful?  just like my friend!  more about my trip another day...


blackberry buttermilk cake

i made the most delicious cake.  it is a blackberry buttermilk cake.  my neighbor knows how much i love berries and she brought me an article from bon appetit with some lovely recipes.  i chose this one because we'd just received another 3 pints of the most amazing blackberries from our csa.

don't these look delicious?   
it said to wait until it was totally cool to eat... i did not wait.

this upside down blackberry cake is perfect with blackberries, butter, and sugar!
dusted with some powdered sugar.... perfection!

 hope you are eating something delicious as well!


have you seen 'delish'?

are you a magazine lover?  i am!  but now the best magazine around is online and is free! (so they don't pile up on the nightstand, coffee table, or any other horizontal area in the house... not that this happens in our house... )

it is a quarterly publication, and i wait for it soooo impatiently.  checking my link on a regular basis to see if the new issue is out yet.  and the summer issue came out just recently!  it is called delish and you can find it here:

enjoy... i know you will!



handbags & frozen yogurt

on saturday, my daughter and i spent the day together.  it is always a great day when she is around!  we were able to get quite a few things done.  first we purchased fabric for some handbags we were going to make.  then she worked on an art lesson she will be teaching on monday while i whipped up some blackberry frozen yogurt made from our fresh blackberries.  while that was churning, we started working on our handbags.  we made the abby tote.  and they turned out soooo cute.  and they are reversible, too!

anna's (for a gift)...

mine (for a friend)...

and the blackberry frozen yogurt turned out, well, yummy!

i think there is still some in the freezer... gotta go...


blueberry heaven

one of my most favorite foods are blueberries.  i just love them!  i especially love a bowl of frozen blueberries on a hot summer day.  ahhhhh!  there is just nothing better.  trust me.

so, in preparation for my addiction, my husband and i went blueberry picking with his mom and her husband in wild, wonderful west virginia.  the farm is blueberry hill and is located just south of beckley.  they have 14-15 acres of blueberries.  10,000+ blueberry bushes!  the folks who run the place are so nice and friendly.  if you have a chance to go pick your own blueberries, definitely do it!  it's a great family activity.

we picked 25 pounds of blueberries!  and by the way... blueberries picked straight from the farm are WAY better than any of those ole stinkin' blueberries you get at the store! 

oh, and we are going to another farm closer to home tomorrow morning (in thornville, oh).  i would take another 25 pounds.  i need enough to get me through the winter! 


craft... to business?

my husband and i sat down last week and discussed starting to sell my floorcloths... as a business.  it was a great conversation, and i am really excited about the idea of doing something that i really enjoy and hopefully making a little money, too.

we made an initial business plan... you know, just a start.  and now, i have already started to implement some of our ideas.  it is a little scary and exciting all at the same time.  i am hoping to call a couple people i know who have started their own businesses and see what advise they have for me.  i am also planning to talk with some folks who have floorcloths i've made and see what comments they have about them...  i really want to make changes that will improve the quality and usability of the floorcloths.

what is a floorcloth you ask?  they are 'art for your floor!'  it is very similar to a painting you might hang on your wall which has been made from canvas.  i first start with blank canvas, prep it by 'shrinking' it, hem it, paint some gesso on both sides to help protect it, then the artwork begins.  i will paint whatever the design is in my mind (or sketchpad).  this can take many days depending on the number of colors being used and the detail of the design.  when all is complete, i then paint 5+ layers of polyurethane on the floorcloth to protect it from all the feet that will be stepping onto it.  (which hopefully is a lot!) the art of floorcloths actually dates back to colonial times... folks used floorcloths made from the canvas of the ship sails to cover their dirt floors. 

here is the most recent floorcloth i completed.  it was a gift for the cutest little fabric shoppe around, 'sew to speak' in clintonville, ohio.

here is another one i made last year which i just love.  i used a technique which makes it look like it has some worn areas. 

in those worn areas, there is a different design underneath.  i think it is a great effect and allows more colors to be incorporated into the floorcloth.

sooooo, i am working on some new floorcloths now, and i will keep everyone up-to-date as to when they will be for sale!  if you have suggestions, etc, feel free to leave me a comment!