Friday, September 28, 2007


If you hadn't noticed - I've been cameraless for about 4 days now and I'm having withdrawals. I'm seeing things everywhere, reaching for the camera only to's at home, currently battery-less and I just haven't had the time to pick some up.

Nor have I had the time to send out my postcards for the autumn swap, despite the fact that they have stamps on them!

Nor did I take the time on Tuesday to post a happy happy 32 to this guy...

He looks a bit maniacal in this photo, but that's just par for the course with John and he will always be 1 year, 1 month and 9 days older than me.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Autumn Wanties

I’m feelin’ the closet woes as I assess my fall wardrobe...or lack there of. Hmmm…black dress paints, black dress pants, black dress pants. and white pinstripe dress pants, charcoal dress pants, grey dress pants and oh look, another pair of black dress pants…are you sensing a pattern here, yet? The sad thing is that I’m really feeling the budget pinch right now (yuck!), so all I can do is online window shop.

In about a month, I'm hoping (keep your fingers crossed for me) to hear some really great news that will lead to the end of the budget pinch and the ability to get a stable financial leg beneath me come January. When I have some positive news, I'll be sure to share.

Anyhoo, this year's autumn wanties are (and no, I would never-in a million years-ever pay these prices. I’m too cheap thrify...yes, thrifty, that's it...thriiiifty):

this sweater
these two coats
this top
this suit
this dress (the one to the farthest right)
these boots
and these shoes in cordovan

Ah, to dream! Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be so financially solvent that I could blow $10,000 on clothing spree and not worry about it. And again I say, ah to dream!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I ♥ Indian Summer

Indian summer is a harmonious collision of summer and autumn. You know, you have a week of 40°F and below mornings, 50°F and below evenings. You start dragging out the winter coat for the morning walk, stoking up the wood stove, prepping for winter and WHAM! It’s suddenly 20 degrees warmer in the morning; the highs for the day will be in the 80’s and the weatherman is saying, “Don’t pack up the sandals and t-shirts just yet.” Last night I had the windows wide open and walked the dog in a t-shirt rather than a long sleeve with a sweatshirt over it.

It’s like Mother Nature gave us a taste of autumn, to get us in the mood and then said, “But wait! There’s more…summer, that is.”

In a perfect world…or rather my perfect world (because my perfect world and your perfect world are probably not the same), Indian summer would happen every year and last until Nov. 1st…okay, maybe not 80 degree days, but I’m liking the 60 degree morning thing (I just like the idea of not freezing my butt off on Halloween night)! We’d get the true fall weather through most of November and the day after Thanksgiving, it would start snowing straight through to New Years. Come March 1st, spring – no more snow, no more ice, no more flippin’ freezing cold winds – just spring…warm weather, grass growing, flowers popping spring.

Mmmm…I love mentally visiting my perfect world to check the weather report.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Favorite Farm Stand

On Saturday, while visiting with my folks, we took a trip to their favorite farm stand – Beth’s Farm Market in Warren, Maine.

I’m in love with this place! It’s a little out of the way, but so worth it. They’re open until December 23rd and almost everything there comes from their farm.
Oh, there was sooooo much! There were free samples of everything – big bins of apples with signs saying “Please take a sample apple” (I snagged a sweet, juicy Paula Red – YUM!!! You can see my Dad by that bin looking for his own apple). They press their own cider; they make their own cheese (that is To. Die. For!); they have a mini bakery at the back of the shop with a big window where you can watch them making bread and donuts and biscuits. And the prices, oh the prices were excellent! I spent all of $10 and picked up a huge head of green leaf lettuce, a jug of cider, a big buttercup squash, a small pumpkin and 3 ears of on the cob popcorn.
The foliage was fabulous; I just wish the day had been sunnier, but it was foggy and misty all day.
And they had chickens running around outside, making their little chicken sounds that I love!

I hope your weekend was just as nice!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Plaid Stallions Rule!

Tears of hilarity stream from my eyes as I leave you this last little post before the weekend.

Go to this website: Plaid Stallions: Rambling and Reflections on 70’s pop culture

Anyone born in the 70's, old enough to really remember the 70's, this blog ROCKS! It's not so much the toys that I found interesting, though I remember playing with a lot of these, even though I was only born in 76 (I have a brother and a sister, 6 and 8 years older than me. I got A LOT of hand-me-downs). It’s the highlights from the Sears catalog of the late 70’s that really had me shaking and trying my damndest not to howl with laughter.

Start in the archives from the earliest…his N hers pajamas, loungewear, western shirts...TOTAL RIOT! I was dying over the comments this blogger makes.

I have to remember to show my sister the Amish Lingerie - I know she had this!

Good Friday

**I got to sleep in this morning

**I felt like I had all the time in the world to shower and get ready this morning and I didn't feel rushed!

**I left the house early and had time to get coffee (and am totally worshipping the coffee gods right now....mmmmmmmmmmm)

**The radio offered up many good tunes this morning that put me in a dancin' rockabilly mood

**I'm the only person in the office at this moment

**All my housework for the week is done and I'm free and clear to head to the Lake this weekend without that nagging feeling like I've got too much to do at the house!

**I'm actually following through with setting aside time for drawing practice

**The photos I took in the fog yesterday morning came out funky

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Keyword: Ignore

So I did it. I ignored the pile of laundry. I ignored the pile of dishes (I didn’t ignore the dog – she wouldn’t let me). I just sat down and sketched! Now, I will admit that I’ve been slacking horribly, not practicing at all – so don’t laugh.
Sitting there, it just flowed. Everything that I learned in my class last year came back in a rush, but I’m still struggling with perspective. I did buy a copy of Betty Edwards Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain last year.
Did I sit down and start reading it? Weeeeeeeelllll…not really. I opened it! I read a few pages, I got bored and I put it away. I do that; I buy books that really interest me…until I start reading and realize that I couldn't tell you what the last five pages were about because my mind wandered. I have to be in the right frame of mind for a book lest I put them on the shelf, vowing I’ll get back to it. And I do…eventually. I think it may be time to pick it back up. I think it will have to become the new purse book (a book in the purse is a must! Esp. when you have time to kill at the chiropractor's office or lunch breaks when your stuck in the office).
And this little bird was just a doodle that took shape. I think I might work with this and add color. I keep seeing red in it...and maybe some sky blue and yellow. It just started looking very German folk art-ish.
I also think I need to pick up a little purse sized sketch book and pencils to keep with me. I tend to doodle on everything (esp. during staff meetings at work), so this would be a good thing to have, rather than a million scraps of loose paper that end up who knows where!
**update** Mum had an appointment near where I work, so she took me to lunch with a quick stop at the bookstore and art supply store where I picked up a small sketch book, pencils and an eraser...and you know I'm just itching to sketch! Thankfully only 45 more minutes left in the work day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Right Creative Mood, Wrong Time

Afternoon Light on the Living Room Rug - Sept. 14th, 2007
My creativity is out of whack!

Do you ever get these overwhelming moments of inspiration, so overwhelming that you can't seem to concentrate on anything else and you know that this could be a total moment of creative zen where you would push the limits of your imagination and come up with something so totally awesome that you just can't stand it...only you're somewhere that you can't indulge this inspiration, like at work or driving during 5:00 rush hour? Then you get home and think, "Okay, I'm set - I have everything I what was my great idea again?"

Grrrrrrr...I hate that! I've been getting it so much lately! I have all these ideas and I can't seem to translate them once I'm in a place where I can go all creative crazy. I'm at work and I'm itching to put pencil to paper, thread to fabric, but when I get home the brain seems to go into domestic goddess hell - "The dishes need to be done even though it seems you just did them, the floor needs vacuuming, there's dog and cat fur EVERYWHERE, the bathroom needs cleaning and would you just look at that dining room? You can't work in there, you'll never find anything. Maybe you should clean it first? But you should make dinner before you do that, oh and Sadie's going to need to go outside and you really should play with her - she's been alone and bored all day. Call your sister, you haven't talked with her in a week. Didn't you want to ask Mum something, better call her too" - by the time I'm done with dinner, done playing with the dog, done cleaning up what I can't stand to see sitting around, done talking to whomever needs talking to...I'm tired and I still haven't cleaned up the dining room!

Am I an art procrastinator or just excelling at the art of procrastination? I keep saying I want to do something and then come up with every excuse not to. Even when I say, "I'll leave the distraction of the house, go somewhere with a sketch pad and just sit and draw" I don't do it because my practical side (whom I like to call "Evil, Practical Tiffany" or EPT for short, though isn't that the name of a pregnancy test? Yikes!) pipes in with this list of chores that will nag at me the entire time I'm trying to be creative. I have yet to figure out how to shut her up. I think I need to just start making myself take time out. Ignore the laundry. Ignore the dishes. And ignore the dog? No, I can't do that. She has doggy guilt trip down to a science and believe me, it works every time!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gotta Short Little Span of Attention

they say goldfish have no memory
i guess their lives are much like mine
the little plastic castle is a surprise every time
it's hard to say if they are happy
but they don't seem much to mind
~ Little Plastic Castles by Ani Difranco

That's me today...Little Ms. "Oh Look, A Butterfly" - that's what my ex used to call me when I had my short attention span moments because I'd jump from random topic to random topic and expect him to keep up. I think the only one whose ever really been able to keep up is my friend Juli, because she's the same way.

Juliana and I met in the 7th grade. My mother had made Pizza Bread for some celebration in homeroom and Juli asked me for the recipe (which I don’t think I ended up giving her until I was well into University – what a bad friend I am!) and that’s what got us talking. But, even though we hung out in homeroom, we had different classes and a different group of friends. When high school started, we had classes together and realized we had a lot in common, but we still didn’t really hang out with each other outside of school.

In 1992, the summer before our sophomore year, I get this call out of the blue, saying “You’ve got to help me!” – no “hello, is Tiffany there?”, no “it’s Juli, how are you?” and I have no clue who the hell this person is begging me for help! Then she says, “My brother actually has a friend and he’s here and they’re driving me nuts – you have to come over here and save me!!” We ended up talking on the phone forever and made plans to go see Wayne’s World. And thus began the friendship that has lasted these 15 years.

When we were in high school, we used to forge our mothers’ signature on notes so we could skip out of school early. I think we both had a study hall at the end of certain days – and I was horribly bored with school…always (I had “senioritis” starting my freshman year and it only got worse by the time I reached my senior year)! We would walk to my house (until Ju got her license), heat up frozen chicken fettuccini and watch movies with guys we had crushes on.

So on Friday, in honor of our anniversary, I made chicken fettuccini (so much better than the frozen crap!), picked up an ice cream cake and watched Beowulf & Grendel (bad movie – I don’t recommend it, but Gerard Butler did look scruffy good) and to get that bad movie taste out of our mouths, we watched season one episodes of The Office.

Cathy’s Pizza Bread

1 loaf of bread dough (doesn’t need to be pizza dough. My ma uses frozen bread dough; I save out a little of the dough I use when I’m making loaves of bread)
Your favorite sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Favorite Pizza Toppings
Olive Oil
A Cookie Sheet or a Baking Stone (I prefer the stone, it just makes the dough cook more thoroughly)
1 egg, whisked

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Oil your cookie sheet or stone (just a little, not a lot).

Roll out your bread dough in a rough rectangle. Pour your fav. sauce down the center of your dough rectangle, covering as much or as little of the dough as you like (some people like very saucy pizza – like me) but leave an inch or so of clean dough on one side down the length of your rectangle. Spread the mozzarella cheese and parm over the sauce (I sometimes throw a little cheddar into it and my pizzas to add a different flavor – I know others who use every cheese under the sun, but those are my favs). Layer your toppings over the cheese, but don’t pile them. Roll the long side of your dough like a jelly roll and press that long edge to seal it, creating a seam down your rectangle. Put the pizza bread on your cookie sheet/stone, seam side down. Brush entire thing with a bit of the egg (gives it a nice glossy, golden sheen). Bake it at 375°F for 18-25 minutes or until light golden brown (a little longer w/ the stone - you just have to keep an eye on it). Let it stand for about 5 minutes or so and cut widthwise into slices.

When it’s hot out of the oven, I serve it with cold pizza sauce for dipping. If it’s the next day, I eat it cold w/ warmed pizza sauce. Mum makes this for most holidays and every year for the Christmas party where my Dad works (and the one year she didn’t make it, man did my Dad ever hear about it from his co-workers…for like weeks after! That next year, for a month, his coworkers would come up to him and ask, “Cathy’s making pizza bread this year, right?”)

I hope these directions make sense; this is an impromptu recipe, ingrained in my head from making it so often, so there are no measurements. I think this year I’m going to experiment with a barbequed chicken pizza bread, substituting the pizza sauce w/ a sweet BBQ sauce and throw grilled chicken on it. Mmmmmm, barbequed chicken pizza – *drooool*. The thought came from the To. Die. For. barbequed chicken pizza that my brother brought me the other day from a place called Joshua’s in Brunswick, Maine. Major drool factor with that pizza!

Tonight is another movie night with Juliana (we try to do this at least once a week). She said that she’s taking care of the movie and dinner and they’re both a surprise. Yea for surprises!

Enjoy your Wednesday all!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Projects In and Out of the Works

A sneak peek at the tote I made for the Muslin Tote Swap. It'll soon be on it's way to Melissa in Portland, OR. I don't want to completely give it away, so just glimpses. The fabric is sparkly, the handles are shiny and the buttons are all the way from Portugal courtesy of Paula.

Shiny green handles and matching buttons (look, tabby toes)
the pocket
New Faery Tree Creation tags! I've wanted to make new tags to put with all of my creations for a while now and just didn't find anything that worked for me. But this weekend, I stumbled upon this image in a crafter's book of images and I loved it! It just worked out so well. I fabric glued it in and used sparkly fabric glue around the raw edges.Here they are up-close:

And an update on Juli's lap quilt:

From this... To this...
I wanted to unfold it to show it off...but I was glared at - and nobody can stare ya down better than a grey tabby who knows when you're about to roust her from her cushy spot!

The quilt isn't finished totally (about 90% finished though). I'm going to "attempt" a free-motion quilted butterfly in the center of all the 12"x12" squares, then do the binding. I need to practice the free-motion. Machine stitching motifs is not one of my strong suits.

Anyhoo, that's the latest haps from the studio (read dining room table) of Faery Tree Creations (someday I'll actually get some creations made and into my Etsy shop...someday).


For about a week, I kept hearing something scrabbling inside my chimney, near my woodstove. It wasn’t all the time, only once in a while. And being the chicken that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to go down into the cellar and open the trap to see what it was (shades of Clark Griswold and the squirrel in the Christmas tree from Christmas Vacation kept going through my head), so I called the one person that I always call in matters like this…my brother (he has not fear of the cellar, nor of wildlife springing out of chimneys at him!).

Come to find out, it was a poor little mourning dove trapped in the chimney and unable to fly out! Derek was able to get him out, bring him outside, hose the soot off of him and put him in a tree in my backyard until he was ready to fly away.

Poor little thing was probably terrified! But he’s safe now and will live to tell the other mourning doves of his adventure in the chimney.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Gathering Tree

When I left for work yesterday morning, I heard the chittering and chirping of birds on high…not loudly, mind you, but ever so gently. I looked up to see this tree with the one crow perched, but upon further inspection I was able to pick out several chickadees, a couple nut hatches, 2 sets of mourning doves and a wood pecker. They all blended in so well that I really had to look to see them all. Apparently this was the place to be as the sun rose.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Setting Sun over Newcastle, Maine - August 19, 2007

Post #205 - I never would have thought that I had that much to say


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Long Overdue Post

Hello! I'm back from a lovely and wonderful 10 days off! 10 days of hanging around my house, relaxing and avoiding the computer at all cost. It has been wonderful! I must say that I have missed reading all of my fav blogs, but the past 10 days were just so beautiful, I couldn't bring myself to stay inside and sit at the computer!

This is going to be a very picture filled post. I promised a garden update and I have to show off my new kitchen cabinet doors! I spent many of those beautiful days outside painting these puppies and after a year of living with this (but imagine the lower cabinets painted all white):
I now get to look at this whenever I enter my kitchen:
I love them so much! They make the room so bright and cheery. The yellow is the same paint that is on the walls. Of course, the moment I had all the upper doors back on, I immediately got the urge to take off all the lower doors and paint them in the same manner and paint the drawers all yellow....then I kicked myself for not just enjoying the moment and taking in those splendid doors.
I've tried to keep the kitchen redo as inexpensive as possible, trying to reuse what I have or what my parents started with. I already have the tiles for the floor, but need to buy underlayment and staple that down (I just haven't done it yet) and though I really wanted to buy new door handles for the cabinets, I knew that wasn't going to happen - so I revamped the ones I already had! I used colored clay, baked them and sprayed them with clear sealer. Each handle is different and funky; they really add some life to the cabinets! Aren't they pretty?
My cukes are tiny...but tasty!
And the major cucurbit section of the garden (my pumpkins, summer squash, zucchini and gourds) has exploded! Remember these picts from back in June?
Crazy explosion of twisty tangly cucurbit vines, I tell you!

Creeping pumpkin vine twining itself through the raspberry patch and is now doubling back
And my Jack-Be-Littles are everywhere! They're just so cute.
Summer squash
And a gourd! It's just been the last 2 weeks that these guys have popped.
You can just see the orange tops on my carrots. I pulled one out yesterday and though it was only as long as my thumb, it tasted sweet!
My Early Girl Tomatoes didn't really live up to their name...this is the first one and it's still green!
Oh, and my driveway now looks like a lumber mill puked in it! But I will be warm come winter...well me and my parents, as ¾’s of this will go to their house. Once the weather gets really cool and autumny (is that even a word? I think my brain is still on vacation), I will be a stackin'! Enjoy the day!