Sunday, December 30, 2012

Travel journal part one

It's a long trip; the road was icy and the cold wind whipped the snow into a mini blizzard. We were packed into the covered wagon like sardines - always glad when the flap blew open to let in some fresh air.

Day one was lasagna day. We made fresh noodles and meatball sauce, baked with lots of mozza and served with a very spicy jalapeno. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas treats

We thought that a twenty pound turkey would be a problem (I ordered a 7 kg bird but they came in a little bigger) but it turns out that four people can polish off a quarter of that and then have enough leftovers for lunches and all sorts of other meals such as midnight nibbling.

It would not be Christmas without chestnuts, especially Italian chestnuts. Thanks to TG, we all got to enjoy this holiday must-have.

Normally, Christmas breakfast is a meal rich with eggs, cheese, and whipping cream. This year I tried a new bread - Apple Oatmeal - which is so good that I think it is going to become a tradition. This loaf is full of unpeeled apples, oatmeal, and walnuts. The recipe is from the 1983 issue of Family Circle.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I awoke to the sound of snow falling; tiny flakes coming down fast and furious. The mountains invisible in their cloak of clouds, the tips of the cedars all done in a soft white. Our patio furniture, the cedar table and bench, the blue plastic chairs are slowly disappearing under a fine, white film. The bird feeder has no customers this morning, the birds are sleeping in so it will be brunch by the time they get going. The Siberian crab apple tree is still lush with fruit; tiny, tiny yellow orbs that should have been picked and bottled in our favourite vodka. Instead I decided to leave the tree as is for the birds to feast on. 
I walk out to the garden, snowflakes thickening my eyelashes, and gently harvest the velvety leaves of the sage plants. A gift from the garden; is there anything better?

Friday, December 7, 2012

The shell box

Over the years I have used my collection of seashells sparingly knowing that once I run out I can't just go down to my local beach and get more. One of my favourite projects is the matching bedside lamps that we made, a really fun collaboration between Mr. Cowboy and myself. He made the wood bases and did the electrical. Choosing shells from my collection from Haida Gwaii (I spent hours beachcombing) I encrusted the rectangular pine forms with all sorts of shells. These are true works of art because I did not spend a lot of time in the thought process, I just glued the shells on and that was it. But for the box I designed in the above picture, it took me hours to pick through a new collection of tiny shells that I bought at the Auction House in Penticton. Once I decided on the center medallion, the rest was easy.

The inside of the vintage box is lined with cork and painted a robin's egg blue.
Photographed at Art We Are.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Blue and white

Years ago I made a panel of one inch squares just to use up the scraps. A few months ago I started adding more scraps to that panel and all of a sudden I have a completed quilt. The colour scheme is blue and white as this is for a special little boy. It has been machine-quilted using a baby blue thread and it looks great.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The stamp box

Doing a stamp box is very simple; I just choose a variety of stamps from the millions that I have collected, bought, or been given over the years, decide on the pattern and then with a quick swish of a brush dipped in mod podge I layer the stamps all over the cedar box, smooth out the edges, give it a seal coat and it is done. The inside bottom is given a liner of cork but the rest of the box is left as is so that one may enjoy the grain of the wood.
Photographed at Art We Are.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The butterfly box

Another button box done and ready to go to the store. This one is done in white and silver buttons and other trinkets.

The inside is softened with a mini quilt and a little something extra. As soon as I saw the ceramic hand I knew that it would be perfect for this button box.
And in the corner of the vintage mirror a butterfly button just because.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Move over pancakes, the strata is here. We love this breakfast because we (meaning Mr. Cowboy) can put this together the night before and in the morning while you read and have a coffee this concoction is baking in the oven filling the house with the aroma of roasted tomatoes and spicy mushrooms. The recipe is from the movie The Family Stone.

After that egg and cheese saturated breakfast a walk is in order. First we stopped in at the Hospice to make a donation in memory of our dear neighbour who passed away recently. As we walk, the sunshine warm on our faces, we remember Gus, a sweet gentle man who always put his family first and reminded us to do the same.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Perfect dinner

A glass of wine, insalata mista, a crust of bread, and steaming hot cannelloni. What more could you ask for?