Monday, December 30, 2013

Dianne Hire Quilt Workshop

Here is something fun to think about doing
 in the new year!

“Delight yourself with spontaneous design discoveries”

Lily’s House has arranged a One Day Quilting Workshop
 with the infamous Dianne Hire on
 Saturday, September 27, 2014

Class Description:  Need to lighten up? Not having any quilting fun? Tired of prissy little piecing?  This workshop's for you. Improvisational and intuitive, we'llplay liberating games at your sewng machineallow creative juices to flow. We'll slice and dice fabrics, trade slivers of blocks, hunt for the bright colors just begging for a place to land in a quilt. Return home with a few oxymoron blocks, in random order.

“I honor diversity.
I celebrate new approaches.
I challenge concepts.

To stretch the rules and locate fresh boundaries is my desire. By approaching quilt making this way, I embrace technical skills while not allowing techniques to overshadow image.

I am a colorist who intuitively responds to the joyful way colors intermingle. I require vibrancy to speak out but never shout -- yet boldly sing. That song is interpreted in fiber, strings, strong design and intense vitality of color.”

 - Dianne Hire

Details:  Class will be from 9am - 4pm, the cost is $125 and will include a delicious Lily’s lunch and snacks. Along with the delightful instruction of Dianne and the cozy, warm energy of other quilters you will have design wall space, cutting tables and ironing stations.

To sign up for this awesome workshop or to ask any questions, you may contact me at or call 207-367-5936.  I am super excited about this opportunity and look forward to hearing from you.


Friday, December 27, 2013


The things I stumble into often get me
giggling, deep down inside.

Apparently seed catalogues to me are similar
to Victoria's Secret catalogues to others,
because with the simple intention of finding
Mache seeds to grow in my cold frame
I ended up buying all types of other seeds
labeled "for sprouting"

They came, along with a three page instruction packet
and it was seconds before I realized I had no idea
what I was doing.

So, to You Tube I went and I am now an official "sprouter"

What starts like this

Turns into this in about 3-4 days

And you end up with this!

Pretty neat isn't it?
Crispy, full of nutrition, kinda green and growing on my counter in mason jars
with no soil or weeding, all in the heart of winter
I'm tickled pink

These are Fenugreek, the little ones above are Broccoli,
I put Mung bean sprouts in my fried rice last night
and I am starting more.

Nothing like new growth to put a little
skip in your snowy winter step.

Speaking of winter,

I would like to end this post with a shout out
to all those struggling through
the stresses of the recent ice storm.

Gratefully, Stonington was not effected as severely as
our surrounding communities and I know that 
some folks are still without power, and at their wits end.

Here's to a happy new year.

Be well,

Saturday, December 21, 2013


Several years ago a wise old friend of mine left me with
a quote to dwell on through the winter

she said,
"The need is not the call"

That stopped me in my tracks 

She would also speak often about the ego and 
how its job was to protect us.
However, when let to get too big, that protection
turns into a barrier 

Just this morning another dear friend sent me a link
to an article that brought all these delicate thoughts
into the light rather eloquently 

 I thought I'd share:

Enjoy yourselves,
 and thank you so much


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

On Friday, the lovely Donna from Horsepower Farm brought me this year's supply
of freshly ground lamb, Renee picked up our pig from Old Ackley Farm on Wednesday,
Parsnips, Sunchokes, Butternut Squash, all from the garden,
Fresh eggs from my BFF .... 
I headed home loaded with the promise of a good old fashioned snow storm

Last night I cracked open a bottle of wine, along with two of my new favorite cookbooks
Jerusalem by Ottolenghi / Tamimi
and Home Made by Yvette Van Boven
and cooked up a storm!

Creamy Sunchoke soup with "fried" parsnips and mushrooms
from Home Made

Inspired by Jerusalem,  a delicious concoction of spiced lamb, sumac, 
roasted butternut squash and lemon yogurt sauce 

 Pork Belly in the oven with rosemary and garlic
Roasted Chicken to pick on during the football game
a new take on my Almond Cake with quinoa flour and cocoa powder,
I've included the recipe below

I love this time of year for so many reasons

Not the least being the time we receive to celebrate the
miracles of our lives and the gifts in our hearts

I honor with such awe and gratitude
my connection with all that is and all that we are

Here's to a wonderful season of celebration,
however you choose to enjoy it.

With love,

Gluten Free Chocolate Almond Cake

2 cups almond meal
 (I use the meal from making my almond milk)
1 cup + 2 T quinoa flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup + 2 T coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 can coconut milk
1 T vanilla extract

Grease a 9" springform pan with butter

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl,
whisk to mix well
In a separate bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients
until smooth and completely combined
Pour wet into dry and stir to combine completely
Pour into prepared pan
Bake in a 350 degree oven until
moist crumbs come out on a toothpick 
when tested for doneness
Approximately 25 - 30 minutes


Monday, December 9, 2013

Portland, ME

Renee and I journeyed to Portland for the weekend
and have come home in a delightful food coma

(which was topped off by a wonderful meal
 and the warmth of community
 at the Community Pot Soup supper last night
 at the Congregational Church in Deer Isle)

With so many superb choices for good eats in Portland
I wanted to give a shout out to the outstanding establishments
we wandered into on Saturday and Sunday

The picture above was taken in the Munjoy Hill neighborhood at Rosemont Market 
This sweet place shot me straight up with inspiration around an
entrepreneurial program I have in the works for this summer
(more on that in the future)

Across the street from the Rosemont is 
The Blue Spoon where we indulged in their Saturday Brunch
 I can honestly say
 I wanted to camp out on the floor and eat 
all the rest of my days' meals here.
I loved everything about it, the paint colors, the counters,
the staff, the windows and the food was SO GOOD.

Salt and Vinegar fries at Nosh, of course
as an appetizer to dinner where we met friends

I know I've posted about Eventide already - this spring to be precise-
but it was Evenbetter - get it?

Raw oysters covered our table, of which I admit, I am not a fan
so I had two small plates that were outrageous:

 Poached Char stuffed with something glorious 
and served over magically bronzed Brussel sprouts

and then this Scallop Escabeche dish with this
 amazing smoked white fish custard underneath
and little crispy potato things...

Brunch on Sunday morning at Cailo's 

and then home in time to watch that ugly,
 heart stopping, crazy Patriots game yesterday.

I hope you had a good weekend, are enjoying
this festive month and taking some time to cook, eat and share
really good food.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Socca (Farinata)

At my last Quick Bites cooking class,
 one of my students offered to 
share with me a
 recipe for a gluten free flatbread with
 onions and rosemary
a friend had served her recently

She sent the recipe that night and I was surprised to find it
to be a version of Socca - a chickpea flour pancake that I had highlighted 
with lobster at my Chef's Dinner in July

Long story short, I've made it three times already,
even bringing it as a contribution to Thanksgiving dinner

My favorite version being with scallions instead of onion slices

I thought I'd share the recipe on 

Quick to make, delicious hot from the oven, 
 very versatile and chickpea flour is
full of protein - a true winner.

Thank you Callie


p.s. The swiss chard is from my garden - I've kept it covered with row cover
and even when it freezes I am able to pick it and cook it before it
defrosts - like my own Green Giant frozen vegetables!

Recipe: Socca (Farinata)
From Mark Bittmann in his erstwhile NYT column:

Published: October 19, 2005
Time: 45 minutes
1 cup chickpea flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon, at least, ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil
½ large onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, optional.
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a well-seasoned or nonstick 12-inch pizza pan or cast-iron skillet in oven. Sift chickpea flour into a bowl; add salt and pepper; then slowly add 1 cup lukewarm water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. Batter should be about the consistency of heavy cream.
2. If using onion and rosemary, stir them into batter. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into heated pan, and swirl to cover pan evenly. Pour in batter, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pancake is firm and edges set. Heat broiler, and brush top of socca with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil if it looks dry.
3. Set socca a few inches away from broiler for a few minutes, just long enough to brown it spottily. Cut it into wedges, and serve hot, or at least warm.
Yield: 4 to 6 appetizer servings.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


"Things don't have to last forever to be perfect"

-Daydream Nation

Have fun on Thanksgiving
Enjoy the moments


Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Unlike one of my cats,  I have been feeling a bit overstimulated lately,
Hard to settle down.
So this past weekend I unplugged my phone,
turned off the computer and said no to movies.

I read magazines, an entire book,
and sewed, sewed, sewed.

Yesterday, at a lovely impromptu sew gathering,
I watched how to make an awesome covered button

made this child's apron with a velcro
closure for little busy hands.

Whew, I feel much better.

Back in the noise today,
 I am determined to return to center as quickly as I get knocked off.

Just have to create that quiet -
Not always easy.

Be good to yourselves!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Many of us speak about the artistry of hand made,
the power of supporting individual artists and
the inspiration shared by others beautiful work

 I experienced all of those things
so profoundly yesterday, that I feel the need to share

Following the suggestion of 
Chris Leith, owner and artist of Eggemoggin Textile Studio
I took some time out of my day to

The first booth that drew me in was FX Dressed
- handmade dresses -
at a very reasonable price.

I bought two thank you very much
from Jessi, the lovely woman who makes them
(and want to look like that in my garden next year)

I then came upon this appliquéd tea towel
which, for obvious reasons, I could not pass up
(Unfortunately I can't find the girl's card who made it)

As I rounded the bend to Chris's booth
the energy coming from Circle Stone Designs
 across the way was incredible

The stone and hand hammered silver
jewelry by Anita Roelz really struck a cord,
I found just the right things to go with my new dresses!

Just when I think I can't have anymore fun,
Chris tells me that her pin cushion caddy has been
the topic of much conversation in her booth today
-and it is the one I made!!

"yes, I would be happy to send you one,
what colors do you like?"

Feeling giddy, Chris and I mosey down to Jody Meredith's
booth, Hard Boiled Designs, and start trying on hats.
Of course she found the perfect one for me

What do you think?!

I drove home so full of love and light.

I met new friends and felt like each one
had made something especially for me.
Plus, the money I spent went right into supporting
the lives of people
 creating beautiful things from their hearts.

How cool is that -

Here's hoping we can all keep it real this holiday season.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A few design moments

I've been meaning to share these little bursts of inspiration
with you all for weeks, but jeez, where is the time going?
I know I keep saying that - but I am really looking forward to gaining
that hour on Sunday

I saw this photo of a carpet sample display in some exotic place
and cannot wait to use it as the design base for my next quilt

Then, my friend Becky - designer extraordinaire-
was telling me about a fireplace she did in a house redo located
on the shores of oyster fishing heaven in Connecticut

She said she placed each shell herself and found the awesome
old barn beam for the mantel among some rubble

How cool is this?!!!!
I love it and the room's neutral palette surrounding the masterpiece
makes the whole thing glow

And,  I finally have had some success with what to do with my curved wall
 and foyer space upstairs at Lily's

While cleaning out my office I found these two black frames
 with an inch of dust on them.
Quick art! Those sweet little birds on the vine are pieces
of fabric that I fussy cut

Then I found these scrolly wall sconces at TJ Max
(on clearance, because who else would buy them?)

Add two neat old cupboards that gave me crazy amounts of
storage space so I could store all the stuff that was cluttering my karmic walkways

And I'm pretty happy with the results

Now if I could find some cool old banister I'd be all set

Hope you are all well and enjoying yourselves

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Union

This pumpkin was (grown) and carved by Debby Chappell
in honor of a small ceremony held last night
to make Renee and my 17 year relationship official.

We both feel such gratefulness for the efforts made
in this country to make this possible and
for the love and support being offered by so many.

I didn't expect the warm safe feeling
that has come along with all this.

Thank you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

So Many Gifts

My time in Michigan is so centering, last year I came home with a list
of intentions of which I have truly followed through

But after being away for 8 days I am bowled over - deep down inside - at how
luscious it is where I live.

The colors, the light, the depth of texture.  When I woke up on Monday 
and looked out the bedroom window I was awestruck with what
seemed like a 5D snapshot

 It seems that while I was away my garden has become this magical place of intense growth.

All the things I bemoaned not being able to grow this spring
are thriving like crazy

  As I gratefully harvested and thanked all the bounty this afternoon I was reminded of 
a conversation in early summer with Jen from Carding Brook Farm

She said, "your garden will grow what it likes to grow"

I'd like to add to that wise statement,
'in its own time'

What an intense reminder that we all blossom when we are ready,
not when we are forced to.  

Today, I also watched a group of young adults
unexpectedly offer patience, respect and interest to an older adult
as he shared his life story 

It has intensified in me a sense of hope and belief in this young generation 
 and solidified my intention to offer the chance to all of us
to blossom 'in our own time'

And to continue to seek beauty in unexpected places

Enjoy your days,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Michigan, One Last Time

I'm just back from my yearly pilgrimage to White Birch Lodge in Michigan
for what was Gwen Marston's 30th and final quilt retreat here.

My daily message on the day I arrived was this:

Go into this day with your open eyes and your open heart. Allow yourself to exceed any expectations. 

So, I did just that,
 day after day,
and observed the wondrous moments unfold 

80 degrees and sunny on the lake
( I blew off a whole day of quilting to enjoy this day - 
and it rained every day after!)

An eclectic Farmer's Market that included late raspberries, foraged mushrooms
that I had never heard of, purple broccoli and this plumage like blossom

I couldn't resist these italian plums 
I roasted them with a bit of maple syrup and we ate them over
organic greek yogurt with toasted pistachios -YUM!

Local, Sustainable food was everywhere

With this quote over one kitchen doorway

And this fine young Barkeep is just moments away
from producing his own brewed beer professionally

Here is the cool thing: this cafe, where I had the best
pork belly ever - is going to feature his beer
in three of their taps and make it a combined effort

Gwen shared many of her masterpieces 

and the quilt work from
 this year's workshop ranged from


To contemporary- 
with everything in between

The best part is the laughter - all throughout

And the incredible message over and over that 
we are all part of the whole and we need everyone to make it work.

I hope you have been enjoying yourselves,