Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve

We aren't having the traditional dinner at home this year. We are headed out to serve at our local Hospitality House. It is good, we have done this before. With just my husband and youngest son home it makes sense to share the day with others, some less fortunate than us. Still, I love to cook so I am in the kitchen prepping for the weekend. When my daughter was in high school she took a cooking class and she shared with us that your taste "evolves" about every 7 years. That explains why I grew an affinity for avocados in my early 40's! Late to the palette is pears. Yeah, I never had much use for them before 2010, then it hit...Pears!!! what had I been missing? I began the search for a pear sauce recipe and found it, made it, loved it and have since changed it. My goal today is actually to sew but the pears were calling. I thought you might enjoy trying this out on your family.

Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce
4 large pears, any variety
1/4 C water
1 vanilla bean

Peel the pears and cut into 1" or smaller pieces.
Add water to large saucepan and add pears. Cook on med-low heat until pears are soft enough to mash, approx. 10 mins. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 mins. Transfer cooked pears to food processor fitted with blade attachment (or use a potato masher to manually process pears).

Split 1 vanilla bean down center and with the blade of a small paring knife scrape out the seeds. Transfer the seeds to the bowl with the pears and process with pears until you achieve a smooth sauce...unless you want it chunky, it's your preference. Serve warm or cool, it's yummy either way. Don't throw that vanilla bean pod away! Place it in an airtight container with 2 cups granulated sugar and seal. Do not open for 2 weeks at which time you will have a vanilla sugar to sweeten your tea or coffee or add to a recipe. It also makes a great gift packaged in a pretty jar and given along with a couple of tea bags(may I suggest Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro).

Enjoy your pear sauce in a bowl of vanilla yogurt for a quick snack. Or top pancakes with it but don't forget it is great just by itself. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall has Arrived

Our 5 Acre Wood is littered with black oak trees. Scattered among the abundant black oaks & pines are a few live oaks. As we were doing some fall clean-up last weekend I noticed beautiful velvet capped acorns. I had to capture this one hanging from the tree in our front yard. Gorgeous! Several years ago I was inpired by this natural beauty to create an acorn and oak leaf smocking design, think I'll make a tea cozy using this pattern.

In September I had the thrill of visiting the French General store in Los Angeles. If you have not heard of Kaari Meng and her lovely projects check out her website My daughter was with me and we were able to meet Kaari, have her sign our Home Sewn books and purchase a collection of glass flower beads to create a very sweet bracelet. If you're ever in LA on a Monday (the only day the shop is open) swing in and get inspired.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Well, almost 6 months later again! I cannot tell you where the time has gone or what, of any significance, I have accomplished. I guess it's just life.

My husband and I were recently with family and my sister-in-law and I were talking about??? She is very perceptive and she said "you're not inspired". Those 3 words have hung heavy in my mind for the past week and she is right. Oh, I have sewn and baked but my heart is not in it. The results may be beautiful but it was pure determination to get them done.

It seems that inspiration may have arrived this morning wrapped in a precious bundle of pink. My third granddaugther took her first breath just before 7 a.m. PST and her first call was to anxious Noni waiting many miles away. I am reeling with the possiblities of wrapping her in handmade love. And so...we'll see if inspiration has truly returned. I have only about 4 weeks to accomplish something great to welcome our baby Princess, tho I'm sure just a visit from Noni & Boppa will thrill her more than anything.

In the meantime here are a couple of recent projects.

Snickerdoodles lovely blue eyes will shine even brighter in her gorgeous new winter coat. This vintage Vogue went together beautifully using Pendleton wool and black velvet I had in my "stash". The cut plastic buttons are from LaMode and were found on a sale table. I love the overall, classic feel. "Sunbonnet Jane" is an original smocking and dress pattern I have been working on. I love it, what do you think?

Happy smocking!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

6 months later........

October, November, December, January, February and now, here we are at March! Nearly time to be thinking ahead to the summer months. We have a new grandbaby due in August, that's always fun. For now, tho, I will take a look back at last summer and my little ladies who love to dress up-

Happy Spring dreaming to you all-