Friday, November 30, 2012

A Good Thing

Yesterday in our Real World class, the ladies from
Island Quilters Guild came to give the kids
aprons they had made for them upon my request

They were super well received and oh so appreciated
and made from really wonderful fabrics too!

Then, Mr. West (the principal) taught them how
to make pizza

 The real way

We had our chopping station

and our saucing station

 our topping station

and the best station....Eating!

There was a lot of energy in that room.

And it was a really good thing.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let there be light

Amber's last public Sassy Pumpkin Bistro
was the day before Thanksgiving

Look at the afternoon sunlight pouring in on her homemade oatmeal bread

and here is morning sun on her molten lava cakes

There was a funny hush at Lily's when I went in on Friday
I'll miss that little sassy pumpkin, and her inner light.


Here's something to cheer me up..
Renee put a new window in our tiny kitchen
and the sunlight just pours through!

Tip: take that screen out of your window for winter,
you get double the light without it

And I made a batch of fire starters for our wood stove

I save all my candle ends throughout the year
and some egg cartons, and a bit of dryer lint -
the best being after you dry that batch of cotton bath towels -

While the wax is melting,
put a bit of lint in each egg cup, pour in the hot wax
(I do this on a brown paper bag or wax paper so it doesn't go all over the counter)
and let it set up

Rip them off as you need them,
lighting the edge of the egg carton like a wick.

They work like a charm!!

Barley certainly appreciated it

Have a good day - filled with light and love -

Monday, November 26, 2012


It appears that I will have to buy the ability to continue posting photos on my blog.
This leaves me a bit betwixt and between about what to for now I will leave you with this thought:

"Today is the only now....
All that is wonderful is already in existence"

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Mash

There is a different quality to the energy in my house
 on Sunday mornings in Winter

 a wise quiet, almost like the house
knows it has survived a busy week and 

might get a little easy playtime today

Even outside the house there is this 
confident, quiet beauty

 daring me to take it in

So, Renee and I went for a lovely walk in the woods...

and I came home wanting to give you my recipe for
mashed sweet potato and butternut squash that I make all the time
 and thought might come in handy for some of you on Thursday


 Something wonderful happens when you combine 
 these two orange flesh wonders.
  Roasted and mashed, 
they bring out the best in each other

I learned years ago not to let water touch either of these squash
Roasting them and scooping out their sweet flesh is the only way to go

2 large sweet potatoes
(organic garnets are my all time favorite)
1 large butternut squash
2 - 4 T unsalted butter
Sea Salt
Ginger, powdered or fresh, your choice
A bit of freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

Split the potatoes and squash in half lengthwise, scooping the seeds from the squash
Place on a baking tray brushed lightly with oil, cut side down
and roast in hot oven until tender and a knife slides easily into the flesh

Remove from oven and scoop out the flesh from the skins into a bowl

Add butter, you decide how much, I like a lot :)
Salt to taste, 
ginger - I use about 1/2 tsp powdered
nutmeg, I use about 1/4 tsp
and Black pepper to taste

Use a potato masher and mash everything up until
well blended and smooth
Taste for seasoning

Serves 4 as a side dish


And Happy Thanksgiving 
I hope for all of us; 
 love, laughter and good food

Friday, November 16, 2012

Peace and Balance

"When you have peace and balance within, you are in charge of your thought processes..."

"Even when there is complete chaos around you, if you have the ability to be
at peace, you have the ability to control your thoughts, master your mind 
and keep it from running amuck.....
It is crucial that you find this place....."- Jovius

This 'place' for me comes most easily in my sewing room
and I have made a serious commitment to myself and my mind
to be in there for a solid amount of time at least two days
a week come December.

Nothing clears my mind and opens my creative door
like a fresh, organized work space.

I found these cool water color crayon things that I had bought
at a yard sale, who knows when.
The colors are like candy!

and here is some graphic inspiration for a design
in progress for my new business -
Lily's House

Some ribbon for linen pillows for the newly
fen shui-ed living room!

And the beginning of making this awesome little
pin cushion caddy thing that I have coveted since
watching Rhea at Alewives tote one around in August
at the Denyse Schmidt workshop.

Here's the coolest part - I was asked to be a vendor
with my textile work at the Blue Hill Fine Craft Fair
this summer.  I am so excited for the opportunity
and am grateful for the inspiration to begin creating a new body of work

For me, this seals the deal on my sewing room time commitment.


For many years I believed that "mastering my mind"
or meditating, was just not in the cards for me.

But a few years ago I realized that it doesn't
have to be a huge special process.

It's just quieting your mind, finding that peaceful place,
whatever that looks or feels like - 
Even doing the dishes!

and being in charge of your thoughts.

My thoughts.... which I am trying to
create with love and dignity.

Have a wonderful, mindful, weekend 
and hopefully the beginning of a fun holiday season


Sunday, November 11, 2012

To the Mountains

On Friday morning Renee and I jumped into Black Beauty (my truck)
and headed for the hills.....the hills of Maine (and New Hampshire)
to see Nanci Griffith at Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield

Neither of us had ever been before and were a little giddy with the
change of scenery
 and playing hooky on a Friday

Renee had bought a package deal that included an overnight
stay at the Inn on Crystal Lake in NH with dinner, a shuttle bus to
the concert and back and unbeknownst to us, front row seats!!

We pulled up in the dark to this big barn with lights twinkling from inside

We walked into a big empty room filled with tables and a bar, 
and I thought maybe we were early.

But then we were escorted thru a secret breezeway,

where a door opened us into
this beautiful post and beam barn
 filled with 200 people
Eating, Drinking and Chatting up a storm, waiting for the show.

The Kennedy's opened for Nancy with warm voices and an amazing
message of warmth and gratitude about Maine's passing, on popular vote,
the right for Gay Marriage

 The audience's pride and enthusiasm was emotionally overwhelming
and really hit home to me what a life changing event has just occurred

Nancy joined them, frail and birdlike, three songs in
and I was a bit taken aback as she came onto stage,
 I had no idea she has been
 battling an illness

But let me tell you, her voice and spirit, filled the room - to the 
stars and mountains surrounding us. 
 I feel like she sewed a little
bit of her spirit into my pocket
of which I will always take good care.

We meandered back roads coming home Saturday,
and of course stopped at Chase's Daily in Belfast
where I stocked up on farm fresh produce

Here is a recipe for a cauliflower puree I made
last night to accompany some braised country ribs -

A wonderful substitute for mashed potatoes


2 small heads of cauliflower, or 1 large
3 T butter or Olive oil, or a little of both!
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
A few T of fresh chopped parsley

Core the cauliflower and cut into florets
Steam until tender

Place hot steamed cauliflower into the bowl of
a food processor, add the butter or whatever you are using
and the salt and pepper to start

Puree until smooth and creamy,
taste for salt and pepper and add a touch more
oil if needed

Stir the fresh parsley in last

Serve hot in place of mashed potatoes


And thank you so much.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Amber's Sassy Pumpkin Bistro
has become quite the Wednesday lunch scene

In fact, after serving 60 guests  
Amber decided she needed to "hire on"

She suggested a fellow graduating senior, Dakota
who was having a struggle deciding which direction to go in after graduation

Dakota's advisor, Ms Katy and Principal Mr. West
did some tweaking to Dakota's schedule and this allows
her to intern in the cafe on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 4 hours

They are doing a great job


I continue to be amazed at Amber's dedication to the project.
As things ramp up, she becomes more focused

The best part is that she is allowing herself to be taught 
and is putting out some wonderful food!


Ready, Set, Go!

Have a great weekend
and enjoy yourselves

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Simple Solution

I think I began to realize that I wasn't motivated to sit in my living
room by the end of last spring

But then summer hit and we lived out on the screened in porch
and I didn't stress about it
I figured it was cabin fever

I love everything in the room, even the wall color
But with the screened porch shut up
and darkness upon us, it felt stagnant to me again

So, while vacuuming on Sunday, I pulled the couch
away from the wall and moved the chair over to the wood stove

Voile! The room started to sing!!

The chairs that felt awkward all fall together perfectly

I get to sit by the window on the couch

And Renee
 (whom I can legally marry now in Maine) 
get's the wood stove

A wonderfully easy fix!

My next challenge: a linen slipcover for the couch.

I found this crazy website for linen -
I bought 15 yards of natural, heavy weight linen for $9.00 a yd!

Check it out and wish me luck

Happy, Happy

Monday, November 5, 2012

My first quilt class (as a teacher)

I know how to be a quilt student

I do it often

And I've had wonderful teachers

and some that weren't very effective

but you always learn something - especially from the students around you

What a trip to be learning from the students around me,

yet also be the one they are looking to 
for teaching and guidance

Knowing when to push

and when to simply allow

Achieving balance of teaching actual technique

and not squashing the ability of original creative expression

is very important to me

And of course, so is lunch!

If all else fails, I know I can bake chocolate cakes for a living

I had the luxury of a teaching assistant, Holley

and found the offering of two different personalities 
to be helpful in meeting the different emotional needs 
of each student 

I found I relished in the delight of students asking for input
and discussing possibilities

and loved watching them take off in their own beautiful directions

and learned to understand the individual need of resistance
to outside input

I hope I offered as much as I learned 

My students seemed pleased, 

even asked for a part two of the 
class so they could work together with me on 

Honestly, I can't think of a better way
to spend a Saturday at Lily's House

Thank you all for your beautiful ideas and energies