Archive | October, 2010

Carve a Pumpkin

21 Oct

Last weekend my lovely friend Kate was in town for a fall visit and it was determined that pumpkin carving was in order.  After a trip to a local produce stand for pumpkins and an art supply store for wood carving tools, we got to work. Both our pumpkins looked lovely, but for some reason, they’re already starting to wilt.  I figured I better capture them before it’s too late.  Pardon for the poor photo quality- this is what happens when I take my own photos.  Trust me, they’re beaut’s.   Both of us were inspired by past pumpkins created by Ms. Martha Stewart (or, more likey, her creative staff).

Kate chose to create a lace-like pattern by punching out shapes a la this tutorial.

Kate's lace pumpkin looks so much lovelier in person (or rather, in pumpkin).

I decided to carve a fake wood (or “faux bois” if you’re fancy, French or both) pattern into a white pumpkin based on this snippet I happened upon.

Faux Bois!

And let us never forget the power of a tiny bale of hay, some assorted squash, and luminaria (made of course with a paper bag, gravel on the bottom to weigh it down, and a votive candle).

 

Is the baby stalk of corn too much?

Baby Bunting

19 Oct

I love getting commissions, so you can imagine how happy I was when Whitney, my beau’s lovely coworker, asked me to make something to hang above her soon-to-be-birthed baby’s crib.  We decided I’d make a bunting banner saying “Be Lucy” (Lucy, of course, being her baby’s name).  I’m really happy with how it turned out and honored that this will be in Ms. Lucy’s nursery.  I can’t wait to meet her.  Thanks Whitney (and Lucy)!

As usual, photos by Shawn Poynter

Dale Sale Conclusion

18 Oct

The Dale Sale has officially concluded.  Thank you all so much for your support and interest.  In the end, I’ve saved a total of $181.00, including a small cash prize I received from a poetry contest and threw into the retreat fund.  This is enough the book myself a cabin, pay for gas, and take myself out to dinner to reward myself after a day of writing (or comfort myself after a day of staring at a computer screen and banging my head against a wall).  If nothing else, I’ll be writing a haiku for each person who bought something in the sale and posting them here.  The only problem now is finding an open weekend in the fall…

Air Plants in Vintage Vessels

15 Oct

The air plant madness continues.  I just got s shipment of 15 in this week and have “potted” them in vintage cups and other sundry vessels I’ve been collecting.  They’ll be for sale at this winter’s Holiday Handmade and (spoiler alert) I love them so much I may just have to order another batch for Christmas presents.

Open Road: Gray Stones in Hungry Mother State Park

13 Oct

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road somewhere along the way. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.

I wrote the twelfth section of the poem under the platforms built for camping in Hungry Mother State Park near Marion Virginia. Hungry Mother is the only campground I’ve been to that has platforms built for camping in hilly areas. It kind of makes you feel like you have your own little balcony in the middle of the forest. I spent two nights there, camping, eating, talking and playing bocce ball with six wonderful people.

You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!

Check out where the poem’s been on Everlater and follow its route stanza by stanza at the Open Road page.  Where it’s gone so far:

Open Road: Porches and Windows in Abingdon, VA

12 Oct

When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road somewhere along the way. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project.

I left the eleventh section of the poem tucked into the ice cream menu at Ellis Soda Shoppe in Abingdon, Virginia.  I was traveling with my beau Shawn and dear friend Lila and we stopped to fortify ourselves with sandwiches and sundaes before heading to Hungry Mother State Park for a weekend of camping.  Lila called her fabulous niece and wonderful nephew and they joined us for a snack.  If you ever find yourself passing through Abingdon (and I recommend you do), stop by Ellis for their French Onion soup and cookies and cream milkshake.

 

see the poem tucked in the bottom left side of the menu?

 

 

faithful dining companions

 

You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!

Check out where the poem’s been on Everlater and follow its route stanza by stanza at the Open Road page

Pomegranate Gin Preserve

11 Oct

What with leftovers from the hootenany and an upcoming Halloween cocktail hour and performance, I’ve got enough booze-soaked fruit to make a fruit salad that would knock out even the most seasoned drinker.  When I saw a recipe for pomegranate seeds in gin, I knew I had to make it.  I love pomegranates- they way the look, the way they taste, the crunch of their lovely little seeds.  The flavored gin will be great to add to cocktails and the seeds will be a lovely garnish.

Here’s the recipe from New York Times:

Pomegranate Gin Preserve

Time: 5 minutes, plus at least 3 weeks to macerate.

2 cups pomegranate seeds (from about 3 pomegranates)

1/4 cup sugar

3-inch strip orange zest

About 2 cups gin.

In a large jar, stir or shake together pomegranate seeds, sugar and orange zest. Pour in gin; cover seeds by about an inch. Cover jar and let sit in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator) for at least 3 weeks.

Yield: About a pint.