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Monday, September 30, 2013

There is no bad fruit, just people who don't know what to do with it....


I have lately been a little obsessed with food preservation.   Well I guess it's that time of year.  And, no this is definitely not a food blog.  Like if you read about my little experiment drying figs in the convection oven, remember, experiment is the operative word.  That was mostly disaster unless you wanted to pulverize the dried fruit and use it like wierd sugar or something.  So when I finally lucked into a fig chutney recipe (thank you Terry Narva!) my world was made complete.  Finally after 15 plus years I have discovered something delicious to do with the figs growing outside my door .  I think one of  the trick with figs is the riper the better.  Stay tuned for more fig obsession.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Dreaming a Little of Summer

Sometimes photos really can take you back - like right now I'm dreaming about this warm summer day at Chanticleer Garden just outside Philadelphia, close to where I grew up.

I pretty much like anyplace that has koi. 

And who knew pond scum could be so beautiful?

 It's a well endowed, small, public garden with twelve groundskeepers.  Each of them gets their area to nurture and do as they will (well not exactly like that but there are distinct personalities).  It's  a little quirky with bathrooms fashioned after Japanese teahouses,

 fields of nerine lilies,
 little fairy boxes with plant lists inside, fieldstone staircases, and cottage gardens. 
 Plus, as I recall, nothing is labeled (hence the plant list boxes)....which I like in a garden.  I find all those tags and names and reading just highly distracting in the garden. 
There's a little something whacky about it and yet  it's really classic too (hello lead mullioned windows on balcony).  I'd go back again.  Maybe at a different time of year.  Come to think of it, would be fun to do a whole tour of gardens of Philadelphia.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Starting to have a thing for Purple

I made some grape juice the other day....it was super fun and easy although ultimately a little sticky.....I just piled the washed grapes in a steamer and let it do it's magic.  And there was a little dionysian mystery involved as the first batch came out, what my friend described as, looking like paintwater when she watercolors.  That's code for muddy greyish, greenish, brown....and then the second batch came out looking like.....well pretty dang delicious. I could go on and on and thank goodness this blog is providing an outlet, as I have been banned from discussing any  more of the intricacies of making grape juice at my house.  And I think I've developed a fondness for drinking grape juice warm!!
Plus wondering how lovely it would be to drink the grape juice from this Juliska pressed amethyst  glass goblet?  Which begs the question, how exactly do the utensils you use while dining change the experience?  Off to work as I ponder the question for the day.  And fairly soon here, we shall be finished our fall reset and shall have some photos for you.
top photo courtesy Ms Becky Tonkin and bottom photo courtesy Juliska

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Flowers that I LIke

More shots from New York Now show.....I always see flowers that make me happy.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

John Derian Melamine Plates

I told you that the camera and I haven't been spending too much time together.....hence going back in the photo bank to some shots from the New York Now show....John Derian melamine plates...in stock now and may we say looking pretty fun and fabulous....I'd love to eat a big green salad on this floriferous plate. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The First Days of Fall and the End of the Wedding Season....

The first days of fall, the rain has returned, the chill is in the air, our wedding season is coming to a close.  We had the particular pleasure this summer of working with lots of brides with strong visions for their weddings.  Which made us very happy.  Deep gratitude and big thanks to all our brides and their friends and family for letting us do what we do best.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

All Fired Up

Note to self:  I know you especially love burning a candle in the dark wee hours of these fall and winter mornings.  It's just a great way to start the day. But  make every effort to blow those candles out before you leave home! 
Like maybe I need to make a ginormous note to self and post it by the front door.  
Wondering if there is a hashtag for "almost burned the house down"?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Times they are a Changing

They're here in all their wondrous autumn glory - our velvet pumpkins...homegrown and handmade in Oregon...... 

Come and get 'em.
Both photos courtesy Hot Skwash

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Mother of all Mothers

How outrageous is this piece of jewelry I spied at the Pyrrha booth at the New York Now show?  It's halfway between amazing necklace and breastplate. Let's just say it was so outrageous, they didn't even have a price on it.  In the meantime, I bought a whole slew of lovely Pyrrha miniature pendants which i though would make lovely layering pieces. 


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Beautiful Brides at Passionflower

Wedding photos are coming at us fast and furious.  Big thanks to all our brides for getting us copies of their photos.  Here's one we loved that was out at the barn at the Blue Rooster Inn.

Birthday Flowers

Summer vacay (you know the little vacation I have going on in my head that is that summertime state of mind) is coming to an end and I'm going to start hunkering down for the winter. Got to get a little disciplined. The new merchandise is coming in at breakneck speed. And we're doing our fall reset. And that's fun .Lots of candles and tea, and gloves, and cozy clothes. Then there's massive amounts of food (and fruit flies) at home that want's to be dried or canned or frozen. And that's kind of fun too (except for the fruit flies). And I want to get back to blogging. Plus I'm in a strong nesting mood. Un peu overwhelmed.

But the days have been warmer and on one of the last of summers evenings, we all headed over to Alison's House for a summer birthday party for yours truly, celebrating my 55th. It's a speed limit kind of thing my friend tells me - the 55th year. And though it was weeks ago, between travels and wedding work and general busyness, in a better late than never fashion, and devil may care, we shall celebrate when we can and how we please, we sat under an outside garden room which had an arbor dripping with grapes ( no joke, you looked up and there were green grapes hanging everywhere) and the walls were various kind of dahlias - in such a room we dined on tamales and fresh corn and greens and later we (I think there were eight of us) ate peach pie by candlelight. And it all felt faintly Dionysian. And I got world's loveliest bouquet in world's loveliest container for a present. Which all made me feel deeply contented and happy. And then Becky snapped a photo of me with a purple dahlia floating above my head.  Happy end of summer to us all.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wooden Ships

Brrrr......the days are still warm, but the mornings are cold.   Must be September.   And we've got some lovely cotton knit sweaters from Wooden Ships upstairs.  Plus lots of other great clothes just came in.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Catching Up

We had a most lovely First Friday event with Mary Briggs, really lovely, very special.  And the seasons they're a changing and so is the store....bringing in all kinds of fall goodness.  And I did some hunting and gathering  in Portland and even hired a new manager!  (More on that in future post)
But nary a camera in sight....so instead some pretty flower pics for you.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Nature in some of her most amazing magnificence....simple pendants with butterfly wings inside them.  I have my favorites.  How about you?

No two alike.
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Mary Briggs at First Friday

Uh oh, what happened?  It's September and I haven't even told you about my trip to NYC and a few other things too.  But before it's over, want to tell you about Mary Briggs's' show coming up this Friday and Saturday.
Couldn't be happier.  She never fails to delight.  And if this platter is any indication, we're in for a treat.
Come down for First Friday and since fall really is in the air, we'll be serving apples and chunks of cheese, which somehow seems just right with Mary's bucolic work.