Tag Archives: flowers

Pickled Plans

It was a great weekend – Art in the Open was awesome and there was the most beautiful weather ever – so perfect for Farmer’s market – really cool and bright days.  I managed to get a lot of work done this week and it feels somewhat good. The trick is not looking too far ahead at all the stuff on my ‘to do’ list. All things will come with time.

I bought a big bunch of cukes to make the annual dill pickles and got them canned yesterday. Today I am making Lord Grey’s Peach Preserves out of the amazing peaches I bought.  I have really been feeling the cooking bug lately – more than ever now that I am adding ‘A Salad a Day’ to my diet. One of the highlights of the fresh eating was this zucchini noodle salad that I made.

It was a nice side to the steaks marinated in merlot that Mike grilled. Last year I went to a raw food class and purchased a machine to make these noodles. I love it! It is a great substitute for having pasta and very fresh, palette cleansing and cool for summer. I added little sprigs of cauliflower and then made a dressing from pesto, oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped cherry tomatoes, diced black olives, kefir lime leaves and finely chopped red onions. It was yummy!

I am also really in love with all the fresh flowers at the Farmer’s market. I don’t ever see myself as a flower grower. I think when I have the land to farm I am going to concentrate on fruit and vegetables because they serve more of a purpose. But that just means I can support other farmers by buying their amazing flowers! Look at these!

 

While I am writing I should likely mention that Worldwide Spin in Public Day is fast approaching! Check out events near you here – http://www.wwsipday.com/. If there aren’t any – book your own by emailing me through the website! My event will be on Sunday, Sept. 16th in Mississauga at Hiawatha Park – I can’t wait. I love sitting under the big willow tree and playing with all the fibres and hanging out with friends.

 

And I leave you with Toasty the amazing hand-balancing acrobat!

Noodles and Doodles and Such

It’s hard to believe that Rhinebeck and Maryland vacations have come and gone and once again I am up to my ears in show preparation and loads to do but I am doing it with as much love and passion as I can and trying to just breathe when it comes to real world work stuff and stress. I have come to a bunch of big decisions as it relates to my future, further education and career moves – it’s too early to talk about now but I am already feeling warmer inside thinking about big changes.

Rhinebeck was fantastic – I got some great fleece, lovely yarns and some sweet gnomes from http://www.goinggnome.com/ who are probably my very favourite gnome felters. I myself have been working on loads of wet felting and I am planning on expanding my own wet felting knowledge and figuring out more techniques so that I can invent my own and add to my educational repertoire a bit. I also got to spend a bit of time in Catskill, NY and did some great antiquing – my biggest find were some amazing old doll mods.

Maryland was quite relaxing and filled with loads of fun. I got to see some a great Shonen Knife performance at The Ottobar. Also, The Degenerettes and The Quarantines were awesome.

I was totally stoked at just how energized the performances were. Shonen Knife are such a fun group – they really love what they do and it shows so much, and they just put on a really fun, high energy and happy show.

I got to have a nice day of relaxing going hiking at Susquehanna state park, one of my favourite places, and that was really great. It was a lovely fall day and it was gorgeous. I came across a lot of really lovely mushrooms, some big spiders and even a little red salamander.

Then we went to an amazing haunted house at Eastern State Penitentiary and it was freaky, but fun. It was cool because we got to see the cell corridors, which were creepy and learned a bit about just how terrible prison life was back then when things were really a lot more about punishment and penitence and not at all about trying to make people heal and become better. There was Al Capone’s cell and the a weird story about Pep the dog who did a life sentence for killing the governor’s wife’s cat.

We also did some antiquing in Ellicot city and in different parts of Philadelphia, went to PA dutch country and kitchen kettle village. We ate too much good food and hung out with friends. It was overall a great time.  I have learned that shopping at Wegman’s dangerous. I can never leave there without spending a fortune. Also this time I found awesome baby cake making machines and picked up one for making mini donuts and one for making whoopie pies. The website of the people that make these, and have fun recipes is http://thebabycakesshop.com/ but I have been winging it and just making up my own.

The one in front is a carrot cake with raisins, with a cream cheese icing, rolled in crushed chocolate covered almonds. The one in back is a devil’s food cake with a fudge icing rolled in ground candy cane Hershey kisses and ground candy canes. They were awesome.

And, the boy brought me flowers. This has been a nice weekend.

Spring of Creativity

First off, I was given a massive load of pure cashmere yarn and I am giving a lot of it away here because I simply don’t have the space!

It is starting to feel very like spring outside with the sun waking up so early, birds singing and that last bit of frost finally starting to dissipate. I have been really productive lately trying to prepare for late-April to early-May vacation, Maryland Sheep and Wool, Stitch n Kitsch and all sorts of other things involving yarn and artwork.

Also, I should mention, as many have asked, there is finally new Candy Sprinkles yarn up in the shop.

I have plans to do about a million things beginning with finally podcasting tonight. That is my big priority. There have been endless hurdles getting me to the next episode. Holy cow..hopefully we won’t talk forever. But, otherwise I have been really feeling inspired to work on pottery lately as well as spin. I feel like I just don’t have enough time! My knitting time has been seriously suffering. Can someone please win the lottery and buy me out as an entertainer of the arts or something?

Here’s a bit of what has been happening around Casa del Studioloo!

This is a blue/purple circular pinch bowl that I made by rolling tiny balls of clay and pressing them into a bisqued bowl mold. It’s a fun easy project for when you have days that your clay just won’t cooperate on the pottery wheel but you still want to accomplish something. Beside it are a couple of new yarns that will be heading to the shop soonish. One is my Oak Leaves in Fall for a challenge involving this photograph:

This is a bowl that I handbuilt and printed with a lace doily.

And, here are a couple freeform dishes that I made

I don’t want to overwhelm you with pottery photos however, so for those interested, the evergrowing photo collection of pottery is here.

I am starting to plan for a whole bunch of different types of clubs for yarn and pottery and tea and so on and so forth so more details to come on that very soon. 🙂

For the month of April I have started a ‘Make your own Supplies-along‘ in which you make some of your own creative add-ins for art yarns, share your methods and tutorials or just inspire us with pictures and ideas! So, join in!

Here are some loomed flowers I made:

This weekend also we are having an Easter Bunny Spin-along so, pull out your wheel and spin along with us! It’s the last day of the work week today! Woo hoo!

Longwood Gardens, Vacation Recap and Spoils in Winter

I am back from a very fun and restful vacation! Among my journeys was a beautiful visit to a lovely B&B called Sweet Water Farms. I would definitely recommend this B&B – the cottages and the house are so beautiful and they have really awesome dogs, which for me is always a super bonus becuase I love dogs! They also have sheep, fainting goats, horses, whirpools in the cottages, a hot tub, pool, nice breakfasts, etc. etc. etc.

Before arriving at the B&B however, I was treated to a lovely visit to Longwood Gardens, which I cannot begin to gush enough about. What a vision this place is! This is a massive property with a huge indoor and outdoor garden – all sorts of incredible and rare breeds of plant, flower, bonsai, tree, cactus, etc.  Right now they have a show called Orchid Extravaganza running. It’s amazing. Here are a few of the tonnes of photos I took. The whole set is here.

This was one of my favourite flowers:

Some of the orchids:

It was so nice to get inside the greenhouse, the minute you walk in the smell is heavenly. You feel like you are in the garden of Eden or that spring has just injected itself into your soul, right through your nose. I wish I could somehow express the delightful smell of this garden. They had a room with lovely, fragrant citrus trees.

 

I also didn’t know how awesome a nectarine tree is – they grow so interestingly, all spread out very wide. As such, the garden grows them against these gates to support their branches. I am not sure if you will be able to tell how this tree is shaped from the small photo below but worry not – here is the big one.

I was also dumbfounded by the hall of bonsais they have. Some of them are decades old. They looked like diverse forests, in a tiny format, in these little pots. This one has been growing since 1949 but the oldest I recall was 1929 (but that was only when I started to pay attention to the actual dates so there could be some even older).

Next to blow my mind were these great big flowers:



They look like a big fist before they come into bloom.

The entire garden has a romantic, beautiful feel to it and it would be an amazing place for events..they have a lovely ballroom, a giant organ the size of several rooms and you can peer into the back of it at all of the working parts, chimes and knobs.

I definitely have a lot more to talk about form this vacation. It was a lot of fun. I went to an amazing import/antique store, loads of yarn stores…did a little stash enhancement and just generally spent some good time away from the stress of the day to day 9-5. It was much needed and despite falling back in to the crazy schedule, I am still feeling renewed.

One of the nice things about coming home is that I received several packages from Ravelry swaps I have been part of. One of the greatest presents I received was my new Cloak of Ravens that was knitted by my swap partner.

It was from the Mythology swap, in which my partner chose to focus on Freya.
I learned so much about the Norse goddess Freya and wow, what a beautiful mythical being.

Here are a few pictures of my stash enhancement:
Schoppel-Wolle Ambiente (from Lovely Yarns in Hampden)

Claudia Handpainted in colourway ‘Red Wagon’ (from Nangellini in Philidelphia)

Alchemy Juniper (from Loop in Philidelphia)

Since getting back I have been feeling very much like getting lots of things done, prepping for upcoming workshops, etc. and I did manage to get a little shop update done yesterday.
There are a couple new art yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm
A couple new sock yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/yarnpages/bootsie.htm
A load of new spinning fibers here: http://www.studioloo.com/spinningfibers.htm

I am also in the midst of preparing the next Muststashyo podcast and shop update. So, much to do but I’m planning to have fun doing it.