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Archive for May, 2009

leafing out

Let me tell you, it’s been quite a week. We have never been so antsy for news in all our adult lives. The date set for the closing on our house was May 28, and yes that was YESTERDAY. There is one last document needed by the title company and finally, right at the last moment, it seemed they had received it. It turns out though, that the document they received was one they already had… so we are still waiting. In the mean time, we went to make a little visit to the house this afternoon. On the way there, in a mix of excitement and uncertainty about all this waiting, I suggested, “Let’s look for an omen!” So down the road we continued, quiet, still and watching. We crossed the bridge, entering the south side of town, and continued through familiar scenery. A crow soared in the trees above, a fire warning sign indicated the danger was low, things generally looked the same yet seemed somehow sharper and clearer, as they often do when being still and present. As we passed the little golf putting place to the right, we both did a double take. The reader board sign read,

WELCOME

FUSION

Woah. We looked at eachother with surprise (I wish I could replay that look), and continued down the road, remaining quiet for a short while longer. I have seen that sign countless times and it usually announces something relevant to golfing. What the heck could WELCOME FUSION mean (besides being a message just to me, to us… except, HEY you forgot the IN)? So fast forward to post house visit (which is another wild story in itself!) and I made darn sure to check that sign again on our way back. The south side of the sign, visible on the return trip, said something about 3 par and 9 par golf. I thought, ‘ha! and it only said it on the side seen from our entry into this part of town!’ As we passed the sign I cocked my head around to look at the WELCOME FUSION sign again, only this time what I found was a repeat of the 3 par 9 par message. The WELCOME FUSION was gone! I am completely satisfied we found our omen, and it awakened a fresh excitement. And on the other hand I am a wee bit stunned by this event. Have you ever had something like this happen?? I have looked for and seen many omens in my life, and they are indeed in the moment, but none have struck me quite like this. Quite often I find omens in the natural world – a burst of activity in a pile of leaves, a pair of bids interacting in a remarkable way, a stone flying up and hitting the windshield, but these can all be viewed simultaneously as an occurrence of nature. This however, stands out in a way that can’t be explained away. How I wish I would have taken a photo of that sign.

In the more ordinary world of today, I am excited to be seeing signs of the bounty of the season returning! Here is some of what we brought home today. Not all local of course, but definitely all looking, smelling and tasting much more seasonal. And yep, this is where the dollar melon part comes in. We bought FIVE, and will have no trouble eating them this week. Steven wishes we bought TEN, but I don’t think we could have fit anymore in our car today.

produce in may

We also found a few things at the thrift store. Another vintage filing box (of which I found 2 others a couple weeks ago, just as I was vowing to get more organized but finding it so difficult to buy anything new), a vintage Fire King Philbe Sapphire pie plate and a miniature solid oak cradle, which looks to be handmade, that I will use to store little somethings in… of which I am not sure what yet.

thrifting may 29

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

And have yourselves a wonderful weekend, filled with sunshine, laughter and blue skies!

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Thank you everyone who participated. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments and tracking back to your blogs or photostreams where possible.

The results are in! I did the old fashioned draw method (and we had so much fun doing this little photo documentation for you all). I wrote each of your names on a piece of paper and put them all in my vintage measuring / mixing bowl… The suspense was profound! : )

giveaway drawing #1

The first choosing was for the slippers, and the winner is…. .Ellie! Ellie, of Petalplum, a new friend whose blog I enjoyed exploring. And in fact, I just discovered SHE is having a giveaway TODAY!

giveaway winner ellie

The second name was drawn for the winning of the hemp pouch and the little unnamed surprise.

giveaway drawing #2

And that winner is…. marri! Marri is a fantastic knitter, and you can view her works in progress (and her adventures with fun cats and rabbits) here.

giveaway winner marri

Congratulations Ellie and Marri! I will be in touch with each of you soon.

giveaway results

Thanks again everyone. I really had fun with this! There will be more giveaways to come!

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Hello! Help yourself to some savory herb corn cake. There is a lot to celebrate and it is due time we had a little party, don’t you think?

corncake

I will start by sharing a few things I am celebrating, for myself and for infusion

~ infusion (the shop) turned one year old back in March and within that little year has been successful in a way I would never have anticipated.

~ My beau and I will soon be first time home owners. Woo!!

~ Spring is really truly here (today in particular!), with the birds nesting, flowers in full bloom, bees happily wallowing in pollen, sun shining, and everything so very green to show it.

~ I am happy and healthy and look forward to each day.

~ and I have made so many supportive and wonderful friends here via the internets, in a way I did not know was possible.

~ This giveaway is for you, my friends, and this includes the friends out there I have yet to meet.

giveaway may 24

To make this twice the fun, there will be two gift recipients. The first will receive a pair of handmade slippers in their size, similar to the pair shown, and will have their choice of recycled leather or natural hemp for the sole. The second will receive a hand stamped hemp zipper pouch lined with mustard yellow organic cotton plus a little bitty unnamed surprise.

If you would please leave a comment sharing one thing (or many things!) you are grateful for or find worthy of celebrating at our little party, I will choose 2 of your names at random, to be the recipients of these handmade eco friendly gifts.

There are no restrictions. Anyone is invited to participate.

giveaway may 24

giveaway may 24

I will announce the results sometime Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, enjoy yourselves to the fullest *

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new shoes

I rarely ever, almost never, make anything for myself.

As we transition into warmer weather here, it’s often a little too warm for my winter slippers, a little too cool to be barefoot, and with so many wool rugs in the house my socks end up completely covered in fuzz… so with all the shoes I have been making, why on earth do I not have my own pair???

In the midst of this quandary, I found a bag full of beautiful leather scraps at the thrift store. While I appreciate leather as a functional and durable material, I do not go out of my way, for ethical reasons, to purchase it new; though I have been secretly hoping to find some scrap to use for soles. So, you can probably guess where this is going… I have some new shoes, and yep they have leather soles (and organic fleece linings, of course!) : )

new shoes

AND, perhaps even more exciting… tomorrow evening I am having a giveaway!

So do come visit tomorrow for a fun surprise!

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Gluten Free, Whole Grain, Organic Chocolate Chip Brownies

gluten free brownies

I have always been an improvisational baker, which allows for a freedom that I enjoy, and it is fun (most of the time) to have that little element of surprise at the end. The problem is, when I get a recipe REALLY RIGHT I usually can’t reproduce it, and then I always wish I had written it down. So today, I decided that what ever I did, I would keep track. I did pretty well, although there were at least 3 instances where I forgot to pour ingredients into the measuring cup and poured straight into the mixing bowl instead… so I had to estimate the amounts on paper (this is my disclaimer).

Today’s brownies turned out pretty awesome, so I thought I would share my recipe. We are not big sweet tooths, so if you are you will definitely want to up the sweetness. These are sweetened almost entirely by the chocolate chips. All ingredients used were organic.

gluten free brownies

Dry Ingredients:

2 Cups brown rice flour

1/4 Cup flax seed, ground (I do this with a coffee grinder)

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, ground (I also do this with a coffee grinder)

1/3 cup millet flour (I grind the whole grain in a coffee grinder)

1/2 Cup cocoa powder

1 Tbs arrowroot powder

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of xanthan gum

pinch of sea salt

1 Cup (approx) semi sweet chocolate chips (yes, this is quite a lot of chocolate)

1/3 cup raw, whole, unsalted cashews

gluten free brownies

Wet Ingredients:

1 fresh egg

1 Cup whole milk

4 Tbs melted butter (1/2 stick)

drizzle of maple syrup.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all your dry ingredients well.

Melt butter.

Beat egg.

Mix all your wet ingredients together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir. It will be very thick at first. I then add milk, stir, add milk, stir… until the consistency is that of cake batter. I probably used about 2 total cups of milk in the end. (I do it this way out of habit, since each recipe is different and different whole grain flours behave differently).

Pour batter into an oiled and floured cake pan. I baked for approximately 45 minutes, but you should check it periodically, since all ovens can be a little bit different.

To test whether they are done or not, poke a wooden toothpick in the center. When it comes out free of batter (you will find melted chocolate on it though), your brownies are ready to come out of the oven.

I liked these best after they had fully cooled, and set well, but we had our first serving as soon as they were cool enough to eat.

This is a hearty brownie, denser than you might be used to, very chocolaty and not so sweet.

gluten free browniesEnjoy!

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I thought you might have needed a little extra sunshine to warm those toes. Come have a peek!

eco toes. yellow linen and colorful stripes.

buttercup

It’s a beautiful sunny day here today. So many migratory birds are back as the weather warms up, and I am hearing some of my favorite evening songs again. It seems like the plants just can’t contain themselves and there are explosions of new growth everywhere. The landscape looks different in all the places I frequent. I feel like I can drink the air almost, it is so lush and green.

I hope you are having a fantastic week, and enjoying the life all around you!

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for the girls

A new pair of boots are in the shop, just for little girls. Made with vintage linen, cotton, hemp and organic cotton/hemp fleece. I am happy with the end result of the balance of pinks and earthy tones.

Organic Baby Boot for Girls

Organic Baby Boot for Girls

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a place to call home

parkway

As we move through our process of obtaining our new home, we get more and more excited in a more and more real and grounded way. Discussions have moved from ecstatic and giddy speculation, to where and how to lay new flooring (much of the carpet is beyond cleaning) and when and how to replace the roof over the garage that leaks. We are SO excited about a garden and I hope we get a few hens. There are a lot of projects on our list of priorities and really, we look forward to all of them. This house needs quite a bit of TLC and being avid do-it-yourselfers, we are all for it. We now have the reports back from our whole house and septic inspections and everything has checked out very well. This week we will get the appraisal report back and then all these things we have been working on completing will get sent to the underwriter and we will just have to wait. Maybe as long as 3 weeks. Hopefully less! Everything has gone very smoothly and has been moving relatively swiftly, it seems. I have posted some new photos, taken today, in my flickr photostream. We had a major wind and rain storm here today! We saw at least 2 trees blown down while driving through town. One was broken right in half. It was fun to be inside the house and hear and feel what it was like in heavy wind and rain. Very comfortable and very cozy.. it is so easy to imagine really being here.

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camera bag

A new design for the shop.hemp camera bagWe have been complaining here in our house for months, about needing one, well 2 actually, and I finally found a little window of opportunity to make one. We are pretty excited. The fun part is this camera bag also makes a very cute and  compact purse. It’s in the shop, so come check it out!

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