Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Come and Get It! Garlicky Vegan Beans & Kale

I am loosey-goosey with recipes, so feel free to tweak as you like.

Garlicky Vegan Beans & Kale

  1. Remove stems from 10 large leaves of kale and chiffonade them. Shake strips loose and toss in a bowl.
  2. Add  half a bunch of chopped parsley.
  3. Rinse & drain one can of white beans well and set aside. I used canellini.

  1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a wok or skillet.
  2. Add one generous Tbsp of diced garlic (I use the kind from a jar)
  3. Cook garlic for about a minute then add in greens mixture.
  4. Cook greens for about two minutes, stirring and tossing to incorporate garlic with greens.
  5. Add in beans and stir well.
  6. Season with salt, nutmeg (freshly ground is great if you have it) and if you want a bit of heat, add red pepper flakes or your choice of hot sauce.
  7. Stir well and remove to dish. Serve with a piece of crusty bread and a bit of olive oil drizzled on top.
  1. Enjoy & Be well!

I discovered that it is good with even more garlic (2 Tbsp total) and the addition of bite sized cubes of cooked yam. I just threw one in the microwave to cook and then peeled and cubed it when it cooled. Turned out to be a really good flavor combination. 

    Monday, October 25, 2010


    I am so pleased with the redo of our dining room shelving units.

    Before, 1970s pine. Okay, but really dated:

     After, lovely white shelving and a beautiful red painting, Hidden Heart, by Canadian artist Nathalie Van.

    You can see more of Nathalie's work in her etsy shop.

    Be well.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Kelly & Ellis & Leo

    I seem to be writing about dogs a lot lately! I can't think of a better subject.

    Kelly Heywood, one of our students, brought in two of her four dogs today. Ellis (13 and 1/2) and his son, Leo, (7).  Ellis and Leo are search and rescue dogs. Ellis is retired now, but has worked finding both live people and cadavers and has worked in avalanche rescue.

    Here are Leo, Kelly, and Ellis:


    It was hard to get everyone to pose! Ellis looks like he is ready for a nap and Leo wants to play. These two gentlemen are well behaved and know their commands. Leo likes to lean into you with all of his weight to tell you how much he loves you; I had to brace myself against the wall, as he doesn't know his own strength. Ellis liked to sit on my foot with his back to me and look up into my face.

    Kelly has been a vetrinarian technician for ten years and is now in her first semester of our nursing program. She is working to launch a training program for service dogs who would work with people suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

    Here is one of our instructors, Wade Hampton, giving the boys some love:

    A big thank you to Kelly for bring Ellis and Leo by. We hope to see you again soon!

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    New in My Etsy Shop

    I had a creative and busy weekend. Newly added to my etsy shop:

    Greeting Card Quilled Violet Posey Purple Green Victorian Scrapbook
    Victorian Violet Posey Card
    Cherry Blossoms in the Moonlight

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Pampered Pumpkins

    This was the beautiful display of Pumpkins at the Reno Whole Foods Market today. They definitely have the art of retail displays down pat.

    Here is the picture I took in the same location last year:

    Happy Fall!

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    Fall Berries

    One of the fences in our backyard is covered in this vine. It is green all summer but when fall comes, it turns a deep red and purple-stemmed blue berries are everywhere. It is a beautiful sight!

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Nevada City, California

    John and I took a day trip to Nevada City, CA today. It is a beautiful little historic tourist town about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento. The historic district is the main attraction. It is several square, hilly blocks of beautifully-preserved buildings that now house unique shops and restaurants.

    We at lunch at Las Katerinas. It was, surprisingly for a tourist town, one of the few places serving lunch at 11:30 a.m. I am glad it was, however, as the Mexican fare was some of the best I have ever had.

    After lunch we strolled around, visiting various shops and a seller of rare books.

    I enjoyed visiting My Favorite Things, which offers a large selection of unique and handcrafted items. Their displays are beautifully staged. I loved these large glass jars with bird-shaped knob handles. They held little birds and flowers that could be used in crafting or decorating.

    I really thought about taking this little cast iron guy home. Isn't he sweet?! Maybe on our next trip. There will definitely be a next trip. I did come away with a small bag of beautiful ribbon and tiny boxes for my crafting.

    Here are some shots from around town:

    Beautiful produce at the Farmers' Market.
    Click on the image and look at the size of those radishes!
     Hand-crafted baskets for sale

     Historic building with pretty gingerbread details

    So, you might wonder how a town in California came to be called Nevada City. According to wikipedia.org,

    It was first settled in 1849, during the California Gold Rush, under the name Nevada (meaning "snow-covered", a reference to the snow-topped mountains in the area). In 1850-51, it was the most important mining town in the state, Nevada County being the leading gold-mining county in the state. The town of Nevada was incorporated on April 19, 1856. In 1864, “City” was added to the name to avoid confusion with the State of Nevada, and since that time, the town has been legally, “Nevada City.”

    We ended our day with a wonderful cup of joe at Java John's. They serve a really nice coffee out of Seattle called Herkimer. Very smooooth.

    It was a lovely day. I'll leave you with a rose blooming in the front yard of a residence tucked in between two shops. Be well.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    A Day with Dogs

    Yesterday, the college where I work hosted its second annual Dogtoberfest, which is a fund raiser for United Way. I am on the organizing committee so I was there and had a ball.

    There were many events, including best dressed dog:

    I believe Sparkle placed in the top three and for good reason! She also excelled in the Fastest Fetch contest.

    Holly, the Golden Retriever, also did well in Fastest Fetch and is a real sweetheart with a wonderful personality. She is two years old and loves to play.

    One of the event co-chairs is seen below with her two lovable Leonbergers, a German breed that was bred to resemble a lion. They have a heavy coat and are wearing wet vests here to keep them cool.

    Here we have Hattan, short for Manhattan. I have a soft spot for Westies, as I had one growing up. Hattan was excited about all of the goings-on.

    Mystic is a white Great Dane and is deaf. The coloring and lack of hearing is the result of an unfortunate breeding between two Harlequin Great Danes, which gives the pink skin and deafness. Mystic won the Biggest Dog Contest, which is measured by height. She was often accused of being a pony. Such a loving and energetic dog!

    These two golden retrievers are rescue dogs and loved sitting in the shade and watching all of the dogs go by.

    Everyone had a such a fun day for a good cause. I'll never forget the little Pomeranian sporting a pink and black dress and four wee pink sandals for the Best Dressed Contest. I wish I had gotten a picture of that!

    If you are thinking about a new pet, I urge you to consider adopting a dog or cat from your local shelter. So many wonderful animals out there need homes.

    I will leave you with a picture of our own rescue, Bookie.

    Be well!

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    October's Top-Notch Talent

    In addition to selling my own work on esty, I try to think of etsy artisans first when I need (or just want!) to buy something for myself or others. Last year, I did about 90% of my Christmas shopping on etsy. I know how much love and work I put into everything I make and I know that other artists do the same. In my new montly feature, Top-Notch Talent (TNT ha!), I will tell you about some of my favorite etsy artists. I encourage you to take a minute to visit their shops and look around. You won't be disappointed.

    Red Chair
    Below is one of many stunning and original necklaces from the TNT Maryland jewelry designer, Heidi Hopper, over at Red Chair. You gotta love a woman who designs a bracelet named after Judy Jetson! Congratulations to Heidi: according to her blog, she recently hit 600 sales on etsy and her beautiful jewelry is now also being sold at Chez Lucy in Luxemborg! Manifique!

    Simplicity Necklace - Crystal Quartz, Rhodium Fireball Clasp
    Simplicity Necklace by Heidi Hopper at Red Chair

    I have purchased three necklaces from Heidi (two just recently; they are on their way to me) and I receive compliments every time I wear her jewelry.

    CAMLO designs
    Oh, my goodness! If you love sparkling, dangling earrings and wonderful design, Tawny's jewelry shop is just the place for you. I ordered my first pair of earrings from CAMLO designs and they arrived yesterday. I was stunned by the beauty and handiwork in them. In her blog, the TNT Seattle resident says that she is "a self-taught silversmith who cannot solder unless barefoot." I have a "happy" friend in mind who would love her earrings and Christmas is just around the corner (already??)!

    SALE Candela- 14k Gold Fill Teardrops with Pink Topaz and Citrine
    Candela by Tawny at CAMLO designs

    Can I tell you how much I love this rooster??  Red is my favorite color and this watercolor print just captures the essence of roosterishness soooo well!  TNT artist Amber lives and works in Vermont with her husband and "two crazy poodles". She paints wonderful and whimsical animal portraits and sells them in her etsy shop. I'm know I'm going to end up owning a piece of her work before long. She has a charming blog, too!

    Rooster by Amber at amberalexander

    One of a Kind Mosaics Gallery
    Contemporary, Modern, Abstract Art by Nathalie Van

    Did I mention how much I love red? Big, bold, fresh, beautiful color is what I think of when I think of TNT Canadian artist Nathalie Van. She works in acrylics on stretched canvas and creates some eye-popping designs. She sells both custom and ready-to-ship art.

    30x30 Available for Immediate Shipping Modern Abstract Palette Knife Painting Original Textured Art Burnt Orange Warm Reds and Hints of Yellow
    Abstract Palette Knife Painting by Nathalie Van

    From Natalie's etsy profile:  Her art has found its way into the collections of the likes of [American actor and playwright] Harvey Fierstein , and was recently reviewed by the popular TV Chef Martin Yan who wrote ".. you are truly talented, a master of your craft."  I am proud to say that Nathalie's work has also made it into my own personal collection and will shortly be hanging in our dining room.

    There are so many wonderful artisans to explore on etsy and so much beauty available at a variety of prices. I hope you will consider an etsy artist the next time you are looking for something special for yourself or someone else. I look forward to bringing you more featured artists in the November edition of TNT!

    Be well!

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    "We Do"

    I have always wanted to learn how to quill script and I recently decided to give it a try. I am working on a larger version of my wreath design for a new Wedding section of my etsy shop. This wreath will be about 4.5" wide, an inch wider than many of my other ones.

    I'm really happy with the way the script turned out:

    Now I'm adding in the vines:

    I'm hoping to get it finished and up for sale this weekend.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010

    Gone to the Pumpkin Patch

    After several months on hiatus, I recently reopened my etsy shop. My goal right now is to build up my stock and add items at a variety of price points.  One of my new creations for fall, a pumpkin lotus greeting card, was featured in a treasury yesterday. The creator of the treasury calls it "Gone to the Pumpkin Patch". You can click on the screen shot to enlarge it.

    It's in the middle row on the far right. There were some beautiful items there. Here is the card: