The last Crawford House Market of the year is coming this weekend. The Jill & Jules Show will air on Friday, same day as the market kicks off. The holiday soaps are brewing and the Royals are winning! What a month it's been and God willing will continue to be. The future looks bright regardless of the horrible virus that seems to fresh on our minds. I'd be lying if I said that I'm not concerned. I am seriously concerned and praying for the nurse that somehow has contracted this deadly Ebola. Stay safe out there! I've gathered some new idees and spreading them out this weekend at the market show. I listed the first of the seasonal soaps on the web site. Planning on having a handfull 1/2 of new holiday soaps this season. What we need is lots of holiday soap!
Lennis is feeling under the weather and I'm preparing homemade chicken noodle soap. I picked up a small chicken, celery and carrots at the grocery store. I love homemade chicken noodle soap even when I'm not sick. Don't you? I'll be making my great grandmothers homemade noodles. So easy to make. Flour, egg, salt, cream. Gotta love it! The recipe is in my cookbook!
A new radio show logo. Do you like? Love the cobalt blue used in the Crawford House Advertising. I'm kind of into that color at the moment.
Soap, soap and more soap mixed in with Gone Girl and Radio Shows & Markets and Hand Made Shops...It's sure to be fun packed week!
Headed to the matinee to see Gone Girl with some friends this afternoon. I'm kind of glad that I didn't read the book now that the movie is out. Fresh new movie!
A bundle of organic cotton washing mitts pictured above in the collage. Handy, practical, and oh so soft!
Small Business Saturday coming in November! Hoping to exceed last years attendance at the hand made shop.
New fabric will be arriving next week. I'm going to make a few Christmas aprons to hang on the dress forms at the shoppe.
This Friday and Saturday, the last market of the year! I've decided to celebrate with an early peek into 2014 holiday collection! I also have some really cool vintage pieces to share. Grab some inspiration at the next Crawford House Market!
Jill & Jules Show... When the new recording equipment arrives and I fiddle around with it and hopefully get a feel for being plug in ready for the next show. All of these new terms, none of which are official radio talk I'm sure. I simply create these made up names. Possibly if I'm describing them I'd be the only one that knew what they were! Possibly...
It's a rainy fall like day. The other day while on a walk my nose picked up a familiar scent. The crispy, damp, brown aroma of autumn leaves. I know you're familiar with the scent. I love that smell! I've been feeling like an autumn squirrel. I'm in gather mode. Gathering new idees. I'm not hiding the idees though, I'll be sharing.
I've posted and shared the lavender perfume lockets before. The golden locket is filled with lavender perfume! Refills are available and if you wish you can place a keepsake picture inside after you indulge in the pure lavender aroma.
The shop kitties, Aggie and Dreamer. I captured this right after Dreamer jumped next to Aggie on the stone window sill. Notice Aggie's ears? She did not wish to share her spot with Dreamer. Don't you think?
Apple, pumpkin, vanilla, musk and cranberry soaps appearing at the soap shoppe. It's turned chilly and we made a big pot of white chili and pumpkin cake. I haven't iced the cake yet.
Next week marks the final market for 2014 and our radio show is on Friday! I am learning a considerable number of things about creating a radio show particularly learning about the latest gizmo's available and the vast number of electronic equipment to help aid a novice radio show host such as myself. Amazing stuff! Several interviews and some final prepping before the big day, needed still. Oh how I love this radio life!
Julie and I drove through the country to our favorite pumpkin patch. We gathered up gourds and white pumpkins along with some small pie pumpkins for cooking.
It was super windy that day! Isn't it more windy in the country? It seems so.
The night before our first radio show Julie and I were asked to be guests at a local wedding venue. I'm fortunate to live in a town that houses a handful of unique historic homes, buildings, museums. I've always loved visiting museums! Hang on, I'm getting off the subject, again.
The Wynbrick Inn as I have known it over the years has a new name, The Wynbrick. I've always been fond of the breezy climate and this place puffs great atmosphere! Maybe I'm a bit bias since this is the official location Lennis and I first met. Well, long story.... He was building the condo's that surround The Wynbrick and I was working for the city of Liberty. One of these days, if you're interested, and it is kind of a crazy story.
Back to The Wynbrick...
The owners of The Wynbrick are great folks. Amy had come in my shop and introduced herself awhile back and then we met the rest of the family the evening of the event.
The kind folks of The Wynbrick prepared lovely round tables for each of the vendors and each table had a darling hand made name plate with each business listed .
Julie and I met Adrianne. You can see more of her lovely work here. She's a jewell!
Julie prepared a vintage wedding display that really popped. I have been telling her for a long time how she needs to offer a vintage rental program with her unique vintage wedding items. Spring will be a good time to help her with that.
Soap, soap, and more soap! The holiday production is full speed ahead and mounds of hand made aromatic soaps are filling the apothecary cabinets.
This fall I have love and admiration for the color plum and silver. They're rich and frothy and full of fastidious fall perfection! Autumn is a short and sweet interlude at the shop. The final curtain falls and then the grand finale.
At the hand made shop the third season always arrives swiftly and exits in a blink of an eye. Knowing how time scurries in retail life is mind boggling even after all the years I've been it. Also know, and continue to feel that the holidays are spectacular! Snow covered landscapes appeal to me and Christmas is my favorite time of the year both at the shop and at home.
Going back, since it's only October...
I have some great friends, customers, Frank & Suzanne that frequent the hand made shop. Suzanne grew up in France and shares amazing childhood stories often. So funny, I've even had her translate a Carla Bruni cd that I play every now and then. I was curious about what she was singing in a song. She came in on Saturday and we chatted about Halloween. She said in France they don't celebrate Halloween. As a child, she never experienced dressing up or candy collecting. I can relate with the French, as I really don't understand the meaning of Halloween nor do I wish to. It's my least favorite of holidays. There, I said it, honestly. Sorry, Halloween loving folks.
I'm mixing up soap today. In fact, the oils are brewing as I type. A collection of plum, orange, cinnamon, cranberry, clove, and allspice infused with rich olive oil will create an array of aromatic cheers to the season soaps. I mentioned how I'm incorporating days gone by packaging into the 2014 holiday collection.
Each season I create new holiday soap wrappings and every year I'm always surprised with the variety and eclectic mix of design. I'm not sure where the idees come from, they just show up. The new soaps will be available before Thanksgiving.
The mood at the hand made shop is mellow. We're whipping up soap like there ain't no tomorrow! It's true, I am and always will be a happy soap maker. Autumn always gently reminds me of those blessings time and time again.
I've been creating new marketing material for Bittersweet. I'm drawn to a particular era lately and I'm incorporating those thoughts into the holiday soap packaging. Coming...
Special attention goes into my holiday soap packaging idees. Sometimes it's the road less traveled packaging thoughts that capture my attention. The French paper adorned with a simple bow do just that. Isn't that funny? A designer always loves it when this happens. When you try too hard, it tends to warp or disconnect the design. Don't try to hard.
Gone Girl is out! The CBS morning show just featured Gillian on their show. They posted a picture of her as a child along with her family. I was thrown back some when I saw the picture as this is how I remember her. A small child. Her father, mom and my cousin in the picture too. Such a talented girl, that Gillian Flynn! My cousins half sister.
New scents of the season aroma mists have arrived at the soap shop on water street!
I found this little antique trunk at a barn sale. The original label is affixed to the lid and it still has its leather handles.Often, either one of the handles is missing. Small trunks appeal to me. They're an ideal size for display. I'll share some pics later. Especially wish to share the label. It's a beautiful image.
I collect old scales. My favorite is an old market scale that I found while on a jaunt with my aunt Vivian. Finding treasures while with someone you love makes it even better! The vintage scale is accurate and I use it to weigh salt at the shop.
The old scales are a favorite item to use in product photo's. I'm particullarly fond of the chippy creamy one. Evident by these pictures.
I promised to share my friends roasted pumpkin pasta receipt. We love this stuff!
Peel and cube a sugar pumpkin (a baking pumpkin, not the kind you carve) add some cut up onions and pancetta. Toss it with a blob of molasses, some olive oil, a generous splash oh balsamic vinegar and fresh black pepper. If you can get your hand on some whole nutmeg, some fresh ground nutmeg is fab too. Roasted 400 for 45-60 minutes in a large, wide pan. Until pumpkin in tender (the pancetta and onions will be caramelized) and toss it with cooked pasta. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and fresh sage!!
Fallosian,The power or process of creating a cozy autumn setting.
Plush plaid and orange pie pumpkins, broom corn and plum colored mums. It's beginning to look and feel like autumn. Yes, I've turned the office calender to October. A gentle reminder of the anticpation of it all, fall!
I'm taking one of the pie pumpkins and cutting it into bite size pieces later. We're preparing my friends Roasted Pumpkin Pasta. Oh so good and a special treat this time of year. I eagerly await the pie pumpkins to become available at the farmers market. I also roast the pumpkins and then scoop out the meat, freeze it for later to use in pies, muffins, breads, etc.
yes it is a mixture of molasses, balsamic vinegar, a drop or two of olive oil, fresh grated nutmeg, dried granulated garlic salt and pepper. Toss it with cubed pumpkin, onions and panchetta. You can use bacon instead bit cook it on it own.
I have a couple of weeks in between radio show and market. I'm relishing the quieter moments and embracing our Indian Summer.
While on my morning walk I saw these. A bounty of toadstools popped up through the crisp fall earth. I've always been fascinated by toadstools!
Little spots of autumn popping up through town. I love and even admire the first tiny tales. When you stop and think about it, it's pretty darn amazing. Don't you think?
The Autumn Festival arrives today!
I do especially love my little downtown this time of year!
The hedge apples are starting to fall from the tree down the street. I filled a paper bag with the lime green balls. Soon the buckeye tree will free the nuts and I'll gather a bounty. Always intrigued by the old folk tale about keeping a buckeye in your pocket for good luck. Have you heard that old wise tale?
I love decorating with natural living things. An added perk that they usually don't cost anything, sweet fall contentment. You may recall the story about the freeze dried bouquets.
My sweet soft spoken mom turned me on to the freeze dried flower method.
I'm on the hunt for a pair of plum colored tights. I do believe I've encountered every color on the tight rack, but plum. Pumpkin & Plum together, very interesting...I think.
I made these pumpkin muffins last night. They're yummy warm, but even tastier the next day at room temperature. Easy to make and a crowd pleaser at home. Only a few left! I'm pondering these now.
A sweet customer brought me a bundle of broom stalk from her garden. I love this stuff and yes this is the plant they used to construct brooms. Amazing!
I'm working on some new projects. I purchased a vintage suitcase and pondering some of those plum thoughts while working on the packaging. I picked up a chalky plum and a really cool rubber stamp to add to the look. I'll share later.
What a grand fall day we're having. I picked out, yes you guessed it, plum nail color and lipstick.
I am in love with this color!
Our Autumn festival kicks in on Friday. I believe the color plum will certainly turn heads at the shop.
What a week! It was packed with adventures and happiness. We taped our first show on Friday and then came back to the shop to listen on the porch. Low and behold a crew of friends and family came to listen with us. The porch was filled! Thank you for making our first radio show a success. Your presence made it even more wonderful. I'm hooked on this radio thing! Love it, love it love it! Already lining up guests for the next show and pondering topics. A special thank you to our friend Darren for operating the board and controlling the technical parts of the show. Should we call him Mr. Producer?
I've sold all the shop birds, oh no. Planning on using the bird in a Christmas scape at the shop so I'll have to see if there are any more available. This is what I did last season.
I'll be switching things up this holiday season, but I really would like to include the bird or birds.
I started a notebook for the radio show. The pages are beginning to fill. I've attached business cards, notes, call in times, etc. One of the topics I'd like to touch on is canning. There's a great article in Mother Earth News this month about canning. If you're pondering ideas of canning jams or chutneys to make as Christmas gifts, you should pick up a copy of the magazine. You don't need a pressure cooker to can, you know. Especially if you're making jam or chutney. I make cranberry chutney every year to give as gifts. It's so yummy and makes a unique and favorite gift.
We have a friend that owns a mum and pumpkin farm. It must be fun to own and manage a mum and pumpkin farm, don't you think. That pic was taken a couple of years ago. Lennis went crazy with the mums that fall! We had mums everywhere, everywhere.
I'm touched by how creative moments with friends turn into soulful memories.
Thirteen years ago I asked my life long friend Gayle if she could help me create a pouch or sack of some sort to hold potpourri. Gayle was a top notch seamstress. I recall the day we met at the fabric store and I picked out fabric, ribbon and lace so that my friend could make a prototype. The finished product that Gayle designed and made blew me away! Her creations always had that effect on me. My friend passed away thirteen years ago from breast cancer. Her sweet sharing and caring remnants remain in my heart forever, but I still miss her tremendously.
I just received a bundle of organic cotton. The fabric is soft and smooth and oh so nice for making the popular soap pouches available at the hand made shop.
New fall, winter soaps are here for a brief visit.
A few spriggs of fall here and there at home. I love this dried flower wreath.
A few market items for the show this weekend. Just a preview peek because I don't want to spoil it. My friend Kathleen will be mangaging the shop while I'm taping the radio show and during the market. Thank you Kathleen for offering to help.
This morning I was pondering the idea of how this might be the busiest week I've ever had. Our pop-up starts on Friday as does our new radio show. In between, a show and networking evening at this cool place. I've always loved this unique setting. Peaceful and elegant, but in a home sweet home feeling. Not an easy task to pull off. Jules will join me offering a wedding ideas wrapped in vintage and Bittersweet will be offering love bird soap.
Learning radio stuff... Really cool and the owner of the station said I might become addicted to radio. I have a feeling she's right!
Our farmers market manager has the most amazing voice! For the life of me, I don't know how on earth he's not doing voice overs, commericals, etc. I kindly asked if he would do a radio promo for our new show. Kind of a western John Wayne kind of voice, don't you think?
Apples on my mind. Then comes pumpkin. I'm ready to pick up a couple small baking pumpkins to roast and scoop out the fresh pumpkin. I then freeze it and save it to make pie, cookies, muffins. Nothing in the world better than fresh pumpkin! Ditch the can stuff. My friend Clarice turned my on to this idee a few years ago.
I've been spinning busy with Bittersweet, Aggieal's, Crawford House, and Jill & Jules Show!
Bittersweet always takes center stage because that's where I make moo la, green backs, currency. It's lovely to break and make an early September Apple Caramel Cake. I always use my moms recipe and I know I've shared it before because I make it every year about this time. It's not overly sweet and believe it or not, minus the stuffed apple caramel icing calories. I didn't use to be concerned about calories. Now I am! I guess you reach a certain age and new little pop-up, stop and think bubbles appear. Where the heck do they come from? I guess it's an age thing. I'm not that old! However I am seeing things from an experienced perspective more and more. The more you're on this earth, you've heard the story, right? Happy to still be on this earth! I don't feel I'm quite ready to visit the next one, quite yet. Thank you God.
My moms Applesauce Cake with Caramel Icing...
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cake, beat the first 3 ingredients with a mixer at low speed until well-blended (about 5 minutes). Add applesauce; beat well. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to applesauce mixture; beat just until moist. Stir in raisins, pecans, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Spoon the batter into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on rack.
To prepare icing, combine 1 cup brown sugar, milk, butter, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and simmer until slightly thick (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth and slightly warm. Cool 5 minutes (icing will thicken as it cools).
Place 1 cake layer on a plate; working quickly, spread with 1/3 cup icing, and top with remaining layer. Spread remaining icing over top and sides of cake. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
NOTE: You may be wanting to not add raisins or nuts. Make sure you do!
It's hard to believe Bittersweet is 17 years old! Oodles of hard work and determination keep it going, but passion guides the way.
Without passion it's hard... Passion fills, feels in the gaps always.
New pumpkin soap has arrived and is also listed on the web site. Yippee! Or should I shout, Yippee Pumpkin Soap?
The happy mood at the shop is enhanced by the anticipation of fall. I love summer and its bountiful glory, but to me autumn is dazzling and triumphant. The illustrious season of all, fall.
Missouri ushers in the most beautiful autumn hues. The fall countryside is filled with golden yellow and rusty reds for as far as the eye can see. We don't have mountains in Missouri, but the rolling lush green hills and golden prairies wind through acreage, farms and fields while colorful mounds of wild flowers peek through the tall grass.
This is a picture of Watkins Mill. I love traveling the winding country roads to escape to this favorite family retreat. I have fond memories associated with Watkins Mill State Park. Last fall I traveled alone and simply set under an old cypress tree gathering thoughts. It's good to do that now and then, I think, don't you? Across from the cypress a healthy herd of sheep graze and poke their heads through the split rail fence. I've always loved the old split rail fence. What a clever idea created from necessity.
The farmers market is filled with a variety of apples and pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn. Glorious Autumn!
Enjoy a caring and sharing beginning of the season.
My friend, customer brought two of these beautiful bouquets from her garden to the shop last week. I told her how much I loved the lime green zinnia's and that they were on my flower growing list. Last week was full of blessings. Not only did I receive the sharing and caring gift of those beautiful flowers another customer chatted about buckwheat noodles. Then on Saturday she brought me a package of the noodles as a gift. On Thursday I received a phone call from a new customer. She wanted to call and tell me how much she loved Bittersweet products. She was excited and ecstatic to tell me how the headache stick had cured her migraines and how the lemon nail creme transformed her dry brittle nail beds into soft beautiful one's. She also loves the lavender perfume!
I would imagine these blessings don't happen by accident. The folks that walk into my shop are special souls. Everyone of them. I'm often humbled and taught valuable lessons through their kind and compassionate gestures. I guess the wood plaque that hangs on the shop wall holds true. All you need is love. Our world if filled with corruption and hate, but it's also pouring with love. In case you sometime ponder...
Summer will soon be ending. Warm southern breezes will switch to cool crisp mornings. I love em!
At the studio I'm harvesting pumpkin soap! Autumn wrappings and apple thoughts fill my mind. Ideas brewing and some rare flea market finds are going to get a fresh coat of paint. Thinking about my moms applesauce cake with caramel icing, yummy!