blue skies smiling at me…

azure, baby, midnight, cerulean, cobalt, royal, cornflower, navy, sky…the amazing variations of a color sorely missed.
The other day, one of my favorite blogs,TheLostEarring, posted some stunningly, serene photos, here, which they had taken recently at the beach. The color blue stood out so clearly, and completely astounded me. I’ve never been a huge fan of blue; never really gave it much thought. I do love blue skies (and the song by Irving Berlin), the water when it is reflecting a blue sky, and I’ve recently started really liking, what I call, pool blue.
I guess my strong attraction was due to the lack of blue skies we had been having here in sw florida lately. But yesterday…it was back in a big, big, glorious way.
While I was letting our jack russell out for a run, I had fun taking shots from beneath the leaves. I used my new Hipstamatic app on my iphone, and did not alter or edit them in any way. And, yes, the sky really was that blue.
The hipstamtic app is $1.99, and my personal review would be---it’s worth it. I’ve enjoyed playing with it and creating some pretty surreal images on the spot. When I posted these photos on facebook, a friend commented that they look like an underwater dream. I like that analogy and have to agree.

“blue days
all of them gone
nothing but blue skies
from now on”

I hope all of your gray and blustery days will be gone very, very soon.

one collage art bottle going on a trip...

One last picture of our Dreaming Eleanor bottle before it is shipped to its new home in the UK. A favorite of mine from the beginning; I thought it was just about perfect. It warms my heart knowing that someone else thought so too.

Materials: empty rain vodka bottle, vintage mags, paper tape, wood glue, shellac, dye, a bit of pine and oak, jeff’s imagination...

all is well,

simple egg rolls for the year of the tiger…

We were lucky enough to welcome in the Chinese New Year with our daughter’s homemade egg rolls. She loves Chinese take-out---being a vegetarian, however, she usually has to skip the egg rolls. So she taught herself how to make them sans any of the bits of meat.
Egg rolls are one of many foods eaten during Chinese New Year because they are a symbol for wealth due to their golden elongated shapes which resemble gold bars. We eat these because these are delicious; I especially love the flavor of the fresh ginger.
We offer you her recipe which meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike have raved about, with many warm wishes for a prosperous and healthy year.

--- excerpted directly from a compilation of her favorite recipes she gave family members as a cookbook one Christmas.

Egg Rolls

These are delicious! And they are just as good the next day, cold and right out of the fridge. When I can’t find fresh bean sprouts I usually use grated celery instead. You do miss the bean sprouts, but celery is a good substitute. Sometimes I use won ton wrapper instead of egg roll wrapper for a change. They’re basically the same thing but smaller.

2 tsp. sunflower oil
1 pkg. firm tofu
2 tsp. graded fresh ginger
Half a large head of cabbage
1.5 c. bean sprouts
2 carrots
3 green onions
2 TBS. soy sauce
1 pkg. square wrappers
Vegetable oil for frying

In a wok or large pot fry crumbled tofu with oil and ginger. Do not let it brown. Add diced cabbage, graded carrots, and sliced green onions and let cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and transfer mixture to a glass bowl to cool. Rinse out wok and begin to heat vegetable oil over high. Meanwhile, spread a couple spoonfuls of the mixture down the center of one wrap from corner to corner. Fold one corner over mixture horizontally, followed by the opposite two ends and roll tight. Repeat until all the wraps are used. Fry rolls in heated oil turning to let them cook evenly. Let cool on rack or paper towel where they can dry. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Jeff and I would like to leave you with a link to a blog post of some stunningly beautiful photos of preparations for and the celebrating of the Year of the Tiger from around the world. Take a peek into an up-close, personal and huge colorful window to the far reaches of our very small world.


hearts for Haiti is alive and well

Hearts for Haiti is a collective of hundreds of shops, from all corners of the world, on who have donated items to raise money to assist the relief efforts in Haiti. Proceeds from Hearts for Haiti go directly to Doctors Without Borders. Established within three days of the earthquake, so far, they’ve raised $ 28,531.

It began when Victoria Van Der Laan of exlibrishandmade posted a forum thread on Etsy calling on anyone willing to help organize an Etsy shop established to raise funds for relief efforts in Haiti. People answered and the next day the shop was up and running. Recently, Etsy featured Hearts for Haiti in an article on their blog The Storque titled Hearts for Haiti: Etsy Sellers Do Their Part where you can learn more about the shop and it’s amazing group of volunteers.
Jeff and I donated our True Red Glass Art Bottle. I chose that particular bottle to go with the shops Valentines Day theme. And…to help out even more, I plan to purchase something pretty to hang from ears. (big smile)

Our hearts are with you Haiti.

reconstructed fashion…for the diy fashionista

The art of transforming pieces of clothing into new and original fashions is alive and well, and I for one am very happy to see it. Almost 20 years ago I was deconstructing and refashioning clothing for my daughter. They were some of her favorite dresses. And for me, it was a very liberating form of sewing … I almost felt like an actual fashion designer. Back then, there was no help from books or the internet offering tips and ideas for restructuring clothing. But today there are dozens of titles in bookstores and websites which inspire us with tutorials using found and salvaged materials.

One book with really simple projects is Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay. It offers ways to cut, sew, deconstruct, reconstruct, and transform a t-shirt into a new addition to your wardrobe. Megan also has a website: Generation-T, where t-shirt projects are posted. I recently tried one out and turned an old t-shirt that my son was tossing out into a halter top for my daughter. She seems to like it; of course we are all fond of Pink Floyd in our family:-) Many of these projects are simple enough for even a beginner sewer---in fact, quite a few don’t require sewing at all. If you are so inclined, I highly recommend trying one out.

And, if you are not so inclined, purchasing repurposed clothing is one way we can commit to a greener lifestyle---here are few very talented and innovative designers offering their own altered couture…

brightpirate's Sepia Top

The last design, by econica, is made from organic cotton/bamboo fleece. I can only imagine how soft it must be. While technically it’s not a reconstructed/recycled garment, it is a ‘green’ and very inspiring design…and I love it.

So, how about yourself; have you ever repurposed or reconstructed anything wearable?