Thursday, February 28, 2013


shenanigans by Stephanie Distler
shenanigans, a photo by Stephanie Distler on Flickr.
From the 11th Doctor Who, season 6, episode 6, Beautiful word.....shenanigans just one of the quotes fresh off the bench this week that will be listed soon!
18 gauge copper cut to have a faux paper appearance created with hammer and oxidation.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On the Bench -hallmark in the works

I am in the process of ordering a stamp for a hallmark on the metalwork and little metal tags found on the jewelry.  These tags will also include the PA Wilds branding stamp below.

This company makes great quality stamps.  I also ordered a larger 'wilds' stamp to be used on pendants as part of the design.  These pendants are being prepared now and should get photographed tomorrow at some point.  I love these stamps for the size is considerably larger than an average design stamp making it easier to achieve the sharp image desired.

Monday, February 25, 2013

walking around Warren, Pa. on a Sunday

I needed to take photos for a challenge I am involved in to fill in some of the voids this month so we took off for Warren yesterday.  We wanted to take the time to hike but, settled for the 'wilds' of Warren, Pa. taking shots of architecture, facades, landmarks and the Allegheny.
a photo of Pennsylvania Avenue West which is also where one of our fave old style restaurants is located, The Plaza.  I love their Greek food especially on Fridays and Saturdays for spinach pie w/Greek style salad. The pie is a layering of spinach, phyllo and a fabulous combo of chewy cheeses.
I am in love with the fountain installed 2010 as part of a multimillion dollar project for their downtown.
These roots are great of this beautiful Beech in front of what was The Jefferson Tea House when my oldest was a little girl we would stop there with my Brother and Mom.  We also love The Swiss Cross, both are no longer a part of Warren's downtown, very sad.
Great surprise coming upon The Crossing Cafe, closed on a Sunday but, definitely a must visit at some point.
great old metal sign from the 50s
photography studio find, love the signage and branding for Square Peg Round Hole.  Here is their facebook page. Great eye on life, talented photographer!
220 Hickory Street beautiful architecture New Process Building home of Blair.
fabulous clock that I have been admiring forever
This is looking down Hickory toward those beautiful stainless awnings on the New Process building. Another hidden restaurant/pub we need to stop at called Snuffy's Cafe & Lounge.  This is also next to the Crossing Cafe.
more of the streetscape towards the bridge off of Pennsylvania at sunset.
the railroad bridge from the base of the bridge.
heading back finally getting a photo of a cairn...not sure what it is marking the way for.
Ending the day with this gorgeous blue against the white.  The snow had a strange sheen to the surface as the sun was setting...I could not quite catch the emotion I was after.  I am still pleased with the shot.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

wonderful memorial pendant from a beautiful friend

My good friend Bobbi is a beautiful person inside and out and will never know how much this meant to me especially today.  I love it!!!!!!!
thank-you so very much,

attended Chainsaw Rendezvous 2013 yesterday

My friend Christine and I walked around Ridgway Pennsylvania yesterday, Ridgway is also the county seat of our county of Elk.  Ridgway is a wonderful historic town full of life in their history and also the energies of the people very active in preserving and continuing it's viability for generations.
One such event, The Chainsaw Rendezvous, has been very beneficial in helping the town's economy in February.  With it's wide variety of international talent the Rendezvous draws in tourists from all over the world.
located in back of the old Ridgway Record building
fire :)
Snuffy Destefano, Cheryl and my father in the mix
Snuffy and one of his beautiful hand hewn burl sinks
Cheryl's wonderful fiber items
Zombies and skull hats with Christine the hat was created by one of my very talented daughters.  Larissa's antique book and local foods business is here and then her and her sister's fiber and jewelry business is here
where is Mulder :) :)
Country Squirrel Outfitters is another spot where they were set up
ending with this very detailed carving by Scott Dow of Animalistic Chainsaw Carving 

Today is the auction and the last day until next year if you are interested head on over to not only the event by also to check out the rest of the town!

Friday, February 22, 2013

a colorful life.....

Beauty is in the details of life from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning as you step out of bed until the end of the day with that nightly glass of water in the way it glides past your tongue with that cold sensation traveling down your throat.
 In today's treasury I tried to capture simple thoughts and those small events that make up our day or week.  Some of the collection is nostalgic with the vintage travel trailer print or the little owl transistor radio that I have been in love with for quite sometime or a new handmade utilitarian piece such as the blue textured pitcher that would hold juice on the breakfast table each morning. I chose some with the idea of looking at that simple thought in a new way like the Let's Go Ride Bikes' letterpress print or that fab wooden leaf puzzle.  What is your moment or moments in the day that bring you to center?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Elderberry 'Herb of the Year 2013'

Back in 1994 when I first opened my herb shop, Sweet Posie Herbary, the herb of the year was Fennel.  It was very exciting handing out copies of recipes, tips on use and making recipes to serve in the shop or during open houses   I also created a Fennel and Herb tea with spearmint, thyme, sage, rosemary, chamomile and fennel seeds that I also blended with a good quality rich in flavor black loose tea to serve to customers and visitors as they entered my home, toured the 12 herb gardens then visited the tiny shop.  I also had a pretty good selection of herbs and scented geraniums that you could not find anywhere locally which is ultimately why I decided to open an herbary ;)
When a good friend, Pat, still had her gallery in Mt. Jewett we planned this sign out to mimic the four square English style garden I had with the shop.  A culinary or kitchen garden, tea, edible flower, physics garden and then a Victorian tussie mussie garden in the center or language of flowers with each flower/herb having a meaning such as lavender for devotion or roses for love.  
I still have a love of herbs and pay attention to such things as the necessary kitchen herbs on the counter and window sill, how the aromatic herbs and spices knit together to create an adventure on my family and friend's palettes or what herb the Herb Society of America has chosen for said year.  Well, like I said at the beginning of this post, Elderberry is 2013's Herb of the Year!

I remember this robust berry bush very well from my childhood with Grandmother Stump making elderberry jelly, later as a young adult my friend Kay making elder-flower fritters or later on my experimenting with Elder-flower wine and then making the concoction into Elder-flower jelly.  
To read more on this very versatile herb The Herb Society of America has created a PDF here that you may read at your leisure.
A quick note:  an herb is a plant, shrub, vegetable, fruit, fungi, fern, moss  algae or vine that can be used for culinary, medicinal, aromatic, industrial or a dye plant.   This leaves a very wide spectrum of possibilities open to all sorts of adventures.  I closed up shop in 1999 with the birth of my 3rd child for my true love was creating artisan jewelry and that needed to be my focus.  I guess you could say jewelry making is my major while herbs, cooking and gardening  are my minor :) :)  For every single day is a day for teaching yourself something new.

Stir-frying love

I stir-fry often using different types of lean meats, vegetables, herbs and spices not following a recipe just doing.
For this pork steaks from Thompson's Deli were used with organic cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onions, celery and garlic evenly cut up for uniform cooking.
I started off marinating the sliced pork in 1/3 c. light soy, 1 T. rice wine vinegar, 1/3 c. canola oil, 1 T. honey, 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger, 2 clove garlic, 1/2 tsp. 5 spice powder & 5 or 6 grinds cracked black pepper.  I don't add salt for the soy is my salt.
The bay leaf was there just for a pop of green.  I have a tree in my kitchen at all times along with basil, rosemary and thyme.
Chinese 5 Spice Powder includes Anise, Star Anise, Cloves and Cinnamon.  It is so aromatic and lovely wafting throughout the entire house.  I am so loving spices at the moment in my cooking also adding cinnamon and ginger to even a pot of chili plus, unsweetened cocoa.

It is best to keep your washed veggies as dry as you can get them.  I only really dried the broccoli in a kitchen towel for as you can imagine it holds a lot of moisture :)
Starting off now with frying at a medium high temp the denser vegetables in canola oil or peanut if you have it until tender crisp adding the broccoli last for maybe a quick 3 or 4 minutes to keep it also tender crisp and bright.
Remove all the vegetables to a bowl or large platter, now start frying the marinated pork a small batch at a time, to keep your wok to temp, until done.  You can place the batches of meat next to the vegetables.  Now combine all of the veggies and pork together.  I don't usually create a sauce but, you can after the meat is finished deglazing your wok with a your liquid of choice, perhaps a light gravy also would work nicely.  I kept it dry only adding a couple tablespoons of..... buttttter, unsalted of course ;) You do this before bringing all of the ingredients back in the pan.
 Toasted sesame seeds, fresh snipped basil, dash of sesame oil and maybe more 5 spice powder and also light soy can be added.  Taste test first for it is seasoned quite well from the marinade.
plated and finished

I would have added mushrooms with the broccoli if I had them plus, cilantro.  


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On the bench- SC-3 Paragon Jewelry Kiln run down

A little about the kiln I am using here at at the studio:
The Paragon SC (Silver Clay) series kilns by Paragon are wonderful small jewelry kilns designed especially for the studio jeweler. The SC3 kiln is the perfect choice for studio jewelers, metal clay artists, firing services, and classrooms working in any type of metal clay and traditional jewelry making techniques:

-fire silver & gold metal clays
-fire copper, bronze, brass, sterling, steel ---clays in carbon
-fuse dichroic glass
-slump glass
-enamel silver and copper
-fire and glaze bisque
-co-fire gemstones, glass, and other inclusions
-co-fire sterling silver
-anneal glass beads
-fire glass decals
-create reticulated metals
-heat treat metal
-lost wax burnout
...etc. etc.

The SC3 is digitally controlled, so you can set it and forget it. Use one of 4 customizable heat, hold and stop programs, or build firings up to 8 segments long saved to 4 customizable programs.
The firing box measures 8" wide, 8" deep, and 7-3/4" high. A maximum of 3 kiln shelves can be fired at once. Any of the stainless steel and ceramic firing vessels we carry for carbon firing will fit this kiln.

The SC3 plugs into a standard 110V household outlet (3-prong) and draws less energy than most hair dryers.

I really liked this description from Cooltools.
I need a reminder now and again for being very visual this helps me to jump start.
The small metal cart is perfect to keep it away from the other surfaces and objects in the studio while firing.

Tuesday night quiche

Real men do eat or rather devour quiche with uncured organic bacon, saute peppers and onions, mozzarella, swiss, jack, cheddar, fresh basil, tomatoes, and a lovely flakey crust. I love making extra to have in the fridge also for my youngest daughter to just grab after school for a quick snack. I don't follow any specific recipe I have used leftovers as well as crust less. Recently Panko crumbs made it on the bottom of a glass 13x9 buttered glass pan the the cheeses, veggies, herbs, etc. and finally pouring an egg, milk or sour-cream whisked mix over top for a crust less variety. It was quite good for we love the Panko. The kicker is always Wegman's uncured organic bacon once you have this bacon you will not go back to that over salty cheaper type....

Monday, February 18, 2013

it is cold outside

Saturday's theme for Photo a day was 'cold' and it sure was cold.  I took this at Kinzua Dam while we were coming back from the Chautauqua area on a little day trip.  I also took some photos on the lake right at Lakewood.
between a couple of cottages at Lakewood

thinking of summer treasury

A recent treasury I created to get me thinking about summer...

Friday, February 15, 2013

My most popular pinned recipes

on my 'foods that I love making or need to' board on Pinterest, everyday these 3 recipes get pinned many, many times.  They look absolutely delicious but, why these 3.  They look unassuming, very simple in thought and execution...soo..why these 3?

This lovely looking cake gets crazy amounts of pins each and everyday as well as this roasted tomato soup
and also this very tasty looking chewy bread recipe
It is pretty amazing how certain things gain popularity.  I loved the thought of them that is why I pinned them and eventually will make them and will then see, I imagine, what all the hub bub is about.



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