inspiration location: sycamore park

gosh, we have had some amazing weather lately.  today is a little dreary and chilly, but we have really been spoiled with warm sunny weather this spring (and winter, too, for that matter!).  because of the loveliness outside i was able to go spend time at a local park. 

don't you just love an old covered bridge?
and the sound of a creek flowing, gurgling, and splashing...
there were just so many blooming trees, bushes, and plants... it was hard to choose only one or two pictures.  blooms on the ground...

blooms on the bushes...

and blooms in the trees...

and then there were just wonderful lines and interesting designs in nature and made by man...

happy friday!

~ julie


in the kitchen: no knead bread!

crusty bread... yep, it was as delicious as it looks!
this weekend i had a great time making several new recipes, but my favorite discovery was a no knead bread recipe!  i love to make homemade bread... it taste sooooo good and makes the house smell delicious, too.  Mmmmm.  i found this recipe on pinterest, and then checked out the blog it came from as well.  janet at simply so good has great pictures & directions which are so easy to follow.  definitely check out her blog.

the bread is baked in a Le Creuset dutch oven... which i do not have, but i did get a cheaper, just as good, version at world market.  it was way cheaper than the Le Creuset's.  also someone in the comments on her blog said they used the inside liner of their crockpot and it worked great.  so, you have some options.

you mix the ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, water) the night before and just let it sit for 12-18 hours.  now, that is what i consider pretty easy-peasy. 

just mix together 3 cups flour, 1 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp yeast...

then stir in 1 1/2 cups water...
until it is a sticky mess like this.

once it is mixed in a large bowl... just cover it with plastic wrap and leave it be for about 12-18 hours.  i waited about 14 hours or so. 

heat your oven to 450 degrees, then put in the empty dutch oven pot thingy and lid for 30 minutes to let it get good and hot.  while that is heating, take your dough and put it on a heavily floured surface, shape it into a ball (although mine was too soft to stay in a ball), sprinkle with some flour on top, and cover with that plastic wrap you were using on the bowl.   when the pot is heated up, carefully take it out of the oven and plop that ball of dough right down into that hot pot.  the pot does not need any thing in it to keep it from sticking... mine fell right out when it was done.  OK, now put the lid back on the pot and put it back in the oven for 30 minutes. 

this is after 30 minutes with the lid on!  looking good, huh?
now, take the lid off and leave it for 15 more minutes.  remove it from the oven and place the bread on a rack to cool.

oh, happiness. 
i was curious if it would turn out like all the reviews had said... and it did!  so delicious.  i plan to make it again this week using some asiago cheese!  hey, panera... watch out! 

happy wednesday!

~ julie

ps... sorry this is late... my fridge decided to quit working, so i spent the last two days purging melted freezer food, fridge food that wouldn't hold up in coolers, cleaning out the fridge & freezer, getting a repair guy to fix it, and then neatly putting what survived back in the fridge.  all is clean and sparkling now... and it could be fixed which was very fabulous news.  yay!

so clean and organized... and kinda empty.


inspiration location: the union hall

my sweet husband and i sat down the other day to talk about my new business, my blog, and how they all blend together.  as we chatted, we thought it would be a great idea if i spent some time each week in a new location and see what interesting things i might find there.  what do i see there that could be inspiration for future floorcloths (or anything else i may decide to design or make, woop-woop!)??  so, with that in mind, each friday on my blog, i will post a variety of pictures from my 'inspiration location.'

so... this week i spent time at the columbus firefighter's union hall on st. patrick's day after the annual parade (which my husband marched in with his firefighting 'brothers'). it was a great day!  the older part of the building used to be the columbus railroad station. the union hall was added to the original building about 6 years ago.  here are some of the sights... hope you find something inspirational, too.


happy friday!

~ julie


fresh floorcloths...

i am so excited to have 2 new floorcloths in my shop!  i was hoping to have them online a little sooner, but, well, that just didn't happen. 'tis life sometimes.  they are up and available at the lime loft now though. yay!

a lovely 'worn' red & yellow floorcloth!

green polka dots. need i say more?
and let me just say, this crazy warm weather in the midwest is making it hard to concentrate.  i just want to go outside, sit on the front porch swing, and say "hi" to everyone walking by with their dogs!  which reminds me... our cute dog went to get a 'haircut' yesterday..

before... (and yes, he does have one blue eye and one brown eye)

and after... haha... they did leave a lot around his face,
so he looks a little lionish when he isn't looking up at me
like he is in trouble.
ah, now that feels better!  he loves it when he comes home from the groomer with his short military haircut. and there is A LOT less fur floating around the house, too. bonus!

happy wednesday

~ julie


in the kitchen... sort of

i am cheating just a little... i did not make anything in the kitchen on saturday.  we spent the day at the st. patrick's day parade in columbus and then hung out with some friends afterwards.  but, i did just returned from a quick visit to my parents' "snowbird" home outside of brandenton, florida.  i know, i know... tough life, right?  it was great fun to see my mom & dad, but a bonus was the fact that 3 of my nieces came to visit, too! they are so beautiful!

3 nieces & their grandmom! loveliness!!

we found lots to do including an afternoon trip to the beach, a picnic on snead island, and then my mom & i also made a small road trip to goodson farms strawberry market the morning before i left to come home!

if you are near sun city, florida... you must go here!

ooooooooooh, my! i couldn't believe how many strawberries there were to both purchase (if only i could have carried them on the plane!!)..

don't you just want to reach in here, pick up a strawberry, and take a bite?

..and piled on top of our shortcake & sundae!

strawberry shortcake for me. strawberry sundae for my mom.
we couldn't eat it all!

the weather was wonderful, but then again... i think it was pretty fabulous in most of the u.s. this past week, too.

i can't wait for june and the strawberry season here in ohio!  with the way the weather is going right now though, they might be arriving in may.  and i am not complaining about that. not one bit!

happy monday!

~ julie


'sew what you love' review

back in november, i talked about a new book that was coming out in december... sew what you love by tanya whelan.  life was busy, and i just this week was able to check the book out at my local library.  this is a great plan if you don't mind being on a waiting list sometimes.  it gives you a chance to look over the book and decide if you need your own copy or if it is not something you would really use.

sew what you love has lots of cute projects!

sew what you love is a book full of a variety of projects from skirts to baby blocks.  it is a great book for quick projects to keep you motivated and smiling at your accomplishments.  none of the designs look to difficult, so if you are a pro... this might not be a book for you, but if you are a beginner or intermediate then it is a perfect book.  the pictures are beautiful, and, of course, the fabrics are lovely. and... there are patterns included for the projects, too. yay!

sweet pincushion!

do you like the little pin cushion i made yesterday evening?  i really needed one, but had put it off for whatever reason.  and, just like i mentioned earlier, i needed a little motivation. i needed to complete a project after being away from my studio for almost a week! this was a perfect way to get back into the swing of things.

there are several other projects from the book which i hope to tackle in the next few weeks.  remember... check out sew what you love at your local library or find it on amazon as well.

happy friday!

~ julie


uncluttering feels good!

in the bootcamp class i am participating in for creative businesses, i began and completed 2 classes: "the 3-step clutter-free formula" and "taking back your space."  both were much needed classes.  cleaning, uncluttering, and organizing my studio.  mayi (our instructor extraordinaire) had such great suggestions and guidance.  and without further ado...

the befores:
lots of paint that took up LOTS of space under my work table.
i bought the metal shelf (white one in pick) and was able to stack & reduce the
space all the cans took up.

ok, lots of stuff packed under there with no particular 'rhyme or reason.'
not a pretty site, is it?

and the afters: 
moved in a bookshelf to organize my fabric 'collection'
for all my sewing projects

the paint is now condensed into one corner of my table.

sorry about the lighting on this one... but can you see that i purchased two large
plastic bins (with wheels) and got rid of a lot of 'crap' that had accumulated?!

i still need to find the proper screws for attaching my clear plastic container for the pretty folders i purchased (at hobby lobby) to keep my paperwork a little more organized. 

aren't these files cute? and the clear plastic container lets their beauty show. 

it is amazing how much more room i have now.  and how much more relaxing it is when i come into the studio without all the mess laying around. 

finished updated, reorganized, cleaned studio.
that feels so much better!

ahhhhh, this is nice.  let me just say that this is needed in the rest of my house as well.  but that will have to wait until another week.  maybe spring cleaning 2012? 

are you an organized person? what makes you feel good in your 'space'? 

~ julie

ps.  the new martha stewart line of organizational items at staples is lovely.  just sayin'.


a work in progress... me

over the last week or so i have been adjusting my daily schedule. this is not an easy task... even though it does sound easy: make a new schedule for what i want to do each day and do it, right? uh, not really.

the beginnings of two new floorcloths

as i begin designing and creating more floorcloths for my etsy shop, i must figure out a productive schedule and try to stick with it. and there, in the 'stick with it' part, is the difficult portion. at first i planned to be up early every day! oh, that sounded great. by 9am i would already have eaten, read some, showered, answered emails, and be into a project.

polka dots are great, aren't they?

hmmmmm.... well, let me first say that i am naturally not a morning person. once i get up and have a cup of tea, i am good to go. i actually do not like to go back to sleep. but, it is that 'getting up early' part that my body battles with each day. then there is the getting distracted by finding things that need to be done which are not on 'the list', making something for breakfast that takes a little longer, wondering into pinterest wonderland, and so on.

another lovely new floorcloth... this red & yellow is looking good!

frequently i find myself at 9am still needing a shower and not in the middle of a project. time to re-assess this situation. i think it is important to have a schedule that works for me that also embraces my natural tendencies and at the same time pushes me just a little to be more organized/productive. but, not so structured that i end up not wanting to be working on that new floorcloth, market bag, or whatever the project of the day is. so, i am still adjusting that. i realize now that at 9 am i am usually starting my 'work' day.

one last look before it is all finished...

i am using the wonderful planners by mayi carles which you can find here if you are interested in also organizing. i actually like 'to do' lists and these are perfect to get my monthly plans, weekly plans, and daily plans in order... there is even a cute list for my weekly menu plan! i realize i am a work in progress... after 48 years, it should be obvious that i will always be a work in progress! but isn't that a wonderful thing? learning new things, changing up your life a little, experiencing new places and people. i am embracing my new life of an entrepenuer/artisan/sewist/explorer... and the challenges that come along with that. including figuring out that perfect schedule that works best for me.

do you also have a hard time keeping a regular schedule? if you have any hints on what helps your day go well, let me know!

 ~ julie