Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chasing the Blues Etsy's Front Page

So much fun - I spent 20 minutes (give or take) last night from 8:40 - 9:00 - celebrating the fact that my child's hat box was on Etsy's Front Page.  It is down on the bottom right - and currently hiding under some blog template.  This little fella had been featured in numerous treasuries and finally made it into the lime light.  Just minutes after it retired from the FP - it was sold.  I shipped it off to Washington state this morning! 

Handpicked Items

chasing the blues by sabrosavintage

There I am - bottom right corner - I wondered why my little hat box had been  favorited so  often this evening - and there it was the FRONT PAGE - Awesomesauce!!
I had purchased it last fall at the Burning Bridge Antiques Market in Columbia, PA.  It had two Spring hats inside - a child's and woman's.  

A collection - Calliology

I have spent the last 2 weeks off and on - mostly on...  creating this 'collection'.  I started with the dictionary page eggs (apologizing to any and all book lovers out there who are offended - the dictionary had some water damage and was most likely headed for the dumpster if not purchased by me - please forgive).  The collection moved on to other eggs - existing ones I had in great colors, others that had been crackle finished a while ago, and more that I painted (gasp!) AQUA.

Only the beginning of the eggs.  There are several dozen now.  For ease of sale they will be packaged in cello bags with white or kraft shred.  I didn't relish little price stickers all over my lovelies. 

That brought me to the realization I had some napkins that I had never opened - because they were too pretty to use.  And so I started on journals (only 2 of these so far). One of them is shown on the far left.  It has two sections inside - one with white paper and one with kraft paper.  These are small - in that they only have about 12 double sided pages in them.

Wood and paper mache boxes - hand painted and decoupaged - found objects, topiary.  As you can see, the recurring image of the napkin in various permutations shows up in a number of places.

More boxes, topiary, and an altered 'HOME' sign.

Metal stars that were rust colored have become canvases for paint as well as more dictionary page decoupage. 
Some of the collection is going with me up to It's Bazaar this morning.  The balance will be getting listed in bittersweetdesign - my handmade Etsy shop.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been up to.  Off to packaging and pricing!

Love, Liz

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cherries wet and heavy on the branches

I should be blogging about all sorts of things right now - but probably not this one.  However, whenever I make this meal for dinner - it takes me back to a most magical moment.  
During college I studied so much about European art, furniture, architecture - that it made my teeth hurt; I wanted to see it so badly.  As an American, I truly feel blessed to have been able to visit Europe (1990) during my lifetime.  I would give my eye teeth to go again.  
The meal - Cassoulet - eaten first  - in Carcassonne, the very south of France.
We arrived in the town around midnight, by train - and made our way to the hotel (the Termini, I believe) - close to the railway station.  The town of Carcassonne is two 'parts'.  The surrounding lower, modern town; the older town, on the fortified mountain above.  These were Roman fortifications that were later made into a town by the Visigoths.   This town was the first recorded 'exercise' in Historic Preservation.  Viollet le Duc, a French architect and theorist, was the man who spear-headed the preservation of this amazing place in 1853.  Having a degree in Historic Preservation simply meant I had to see this place.  Oh, I was in heaven.  We spent all of our first day in 'old town' walking the cobblestone streets, and exploring every nook and cranny.  Before we left to go back to the hotel in the afternoon, we made reservations at one of the restaurants in the restored mountain fortifications of Carcassonne. 
Early evening falls.  Storm clouds gather.  As we walk the paths winding up the mountain, the wind picks up, and the rain drenches us.  But - who cares?  We are in France.  The image that stays with me so strongly from this moment - is the cherry trees along the mountainside.  There are lights in odd places along the pathways - and the cherries are so heavy on the branches - that with the wind and the rain -the wet, bright red cherries, bob in and out of the light.  It is the most dramatic and fabulous sight - in my memory for all time.
At the restaurant, I believe it was the Auberge des Duc's d'Oc, we sat at a table for two, in a stone building with low ceilings and wonderful atmosphere.  
I ordered the cassoulet.  There were no words...
 I won't give the recipe here - but I use Martha Stewart's that I got out of her magazine years ago.  You can look there.  It is fairly long and complicated, but so worth it.  Because I know what it is supposed to taste like, I cheat when needed.  I rarely have confit of duck close by... 
 The dry, crusty bread (4 cups) is tossed with 4 tablespoons of butter - and put on top of the cassoulet towards the end.
 I do all of my cooking on this 1920s Oriole gas stove.  My favorite appliance in my home.
The cassoulet during one of it's liquid checks...
 The toasty crunchy bread on top; the bread underneath has absorbed some of the delicious broth.
Ready to savor, served in my antique ironstone soup bowls.  Because it is so rich and complex in flavors - a hearty red wine is recommended to compliment it.  
Enjoy - and with me, think of cherry trees, branches heavy with cherries, bowing and swaying in a May rainstorm.

Love, Elizabeth 


ORANGE second in a series ROY G BIV

Here is the second in a series - I hope you love it. Click on the photos to go to the items of your desire :{ And remember - you need to guess the theme...  Please comment below.  Thanks!


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