Thursday, May 31, 2007

Coffeecake Newsflash

Okay, it's not urgent, but I found what looks like the actual recipe online for the Ina Garten sour cream coffee cake mix I referred to the other day. The recipe is from Food Network from Ina herself, so I am happy to pass it along. Trust me. As a mix, it is the best coffeecake I have ever made, so I urge you to try it. Enjoy!

Ribbon Watches as Teacher Gifts

These past few days I have been making watchbands! Yes, it is "Teacher Gift" season and these have proven to be very popular. Part of what makes me happy is to "look at what I love." My ribbon watch business grew out of that. I went to Paris, swooned in the ribbon shops and then came home and made myself watchbands so that I could enjoy their beauty all day long. Well, my customers saw my arm and the next thing I knew I was selling them watches too. Kind of fun. And it falls within my goal: Make women happy. What? Oh, you can look at all of them at

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

It was a beautiful weekend in Northern Michigan, but alas, the iris were not quite ready. I will cross my fingers that they will still be blooming when I return.

This is a weeping cherry along my parent's driveway- the flounce reminds me of an old fashioned ballet skirt. Notice the blue sky!
I always make rhubarb crisp on Memorial Weekend. The garden had just enough stalks to make the recipe from Everyday Food magazine. On Saturday night, I made Ina Gartens' Sour Cream coffee cake box mix (whoa, butter!) so that we could enjoy it the rest of the weekend. We ate a slice every chance we got - breakfast/tea/dessert, you name it.
I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Friday, May 25, 2007

An Iris Farm! Yes, such a wonderful thing exists. This beauty is located at 5385 E. Traverse Highway (M-72) approximately 6 miles west of Traverse City. I can't wait to visit it this weekend - I hope they are in bloom. There are hundreds of varieties - it reminds me of a place Martha would go on her tv show. They give you a basket and scissors and send you into the field. Each stalk is $1 and usually boasts 2-3 blooms. They are glorious and you can make such a bouquet. My Mom and I go every year. I recommend taking along a bucket of water in your backseat and then you have a safe way to transport them home. You can also note which plants you love and order some for fall planting. I have a Ana DELIGHT cover featuring an iris at

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pretty Match Boxes

What do I love? When everyday items are pretty. Other than a fabulous large box of Martha Stewart Everyday matches from Kmart, all of my matches were from restaurants - not my thing. 

I wanted something sweet laying around suggesting candlelight. Enter my new little obsession: coordinating match boxes! A little collection in itself made by covering small Diamond matchboxes with scrapbook paper and embellishments.

Lily of the Valley

The meaning of Lily of the Valley:
"You will find Happiness."

Taken in my friend's backyard, her sweeping garden of lily of the valley, fern, snow-in-summer and forget-me-nots is truely naturalized and simply gorgeous. I like to arrange a small bouquet of lily of the valley in a little empty olive jar, tied with a piece of eyelet ribbon. It smells heavenly.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Sweet Tea

Lavender Sachet Tea Bags! Aren't they adorable! I was inspired by the table of contents in an old Laura Ashley catalog. They made tea bags out of fabric to display page numbers on. I thought to myself...I love the little tea bag shape, but what could it be. An adorable sachet, of course. I have been making and gifting them for the past few days. Fun!

Lilac Bouquets

Where is a bride when you need one? Can't you imagine scooping up this big fragrant bouquet and walking down the aisle? I am part of a Garden Club. The Roseglen Garden club, specifically. 3 neighbor girls (ages 10 & 8) and me. I expect to include many moments of garden-joy here as the Summer progresses.
Yesterday's quote:
"Will you tell me when the eat-able flowers (read: Nasturtiums) are ready? Cuz I wanna to eat one."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sheep Festival

What could be better on a Spring morning than to drive up to Romeo (romantic, eh?) and walk around a working farm. Yesterday was the Mt. Bruce Station Spring Fiber Day & Sheep Festival. Although much smaller than their glorious festival held the last weekend in September (stay tuned), it was a beautiful day and I found my self buying this and that from local vendors. Something fun was a "fragrance stick" made from beeswax and essential oils and housed in a thinner than chapstick-like container. It smells wonderful.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hot Olive Cheese Puffs

I brought this appetizer to a Junior League meeting and they are now my "most requested" dish. They are great for card parties or social events when you need something that is easy for your guests to eat. The cheesey salty taste is delicious with a glass of wine. I thought you might like the recipe.
Hot Olive Cheese Puffs:
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion finely chopped
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup flour
1 jar green olives (pitted)

Cream butter and onion in food processor. Add flour and cheese. Chill dough for 30 min. Wrap olives in cheese dough by taking approximately 1 tablespoon of dough, flatten into a circle and wrap around each olive. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes at 425*, then 12-15 more minutes at 350*. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reflections on Lake Lucerne

Ahhh...Switzerland. Even on a cloudy day it is gorgeous. This view is from the Beau Rivage hotel on Lake Lucerne. Love it. Ferry boats travel the lake stopping at each town and letting off passengers at the dock. A beautiful lake to paint. That's what you need...a travel paint set!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Notre Dame

Paris in the Springtime. foyer in the Springtime.
I bought this lovely paper Notre Dame in the city of light but just found the inspiration to put tab A into slot B today.
So glad I did! Situated by a "Diana, Princess of Wales" rose in a Laduree jam jar/flower vase, I have my own little French still life. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Royal Amethyst delight

The latest DELIGHT cover! It features my new Royal Amethyst rose and spring lilacs in a green glass decanter. It will be online at in the next week or so, with an article on making Lavender Sugar.

What am I looking forward to? Spring Fiber Day at the Mt. Bruce Station in Romeo, Michigan next Saturday. There is a woman that sells amazing beeswax candles and ornaments. She is always there at the Fall event - I hope she comes to the Spring one too...

It's finished! I made this "retro bohemian throw" in 2 days - the perfect project. The instructions are from Sew Simple magazine (Vol.4 Skirt on cover). I love how this simple pattern allows me to showcase a variety of pink fabrics all working together. And yes, I already bought more fabric (calicos in shell, stem, and cream) to make another!

Blueberry Pecan Coffeecake for Book club

What did I bring to bookclub this week? The most delicious blueberry pecan coffeecake. The best part? I use Pillsbury Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread and simply add whole fresh blueberries and whole roasted pecans. Follow the directions on the box and when you sprinkle the cinnamon swirl mix, include blueberries and pecans - yum! I bake this in a small silicone angel food cake pan and find that it needs about 50 min at 350. Try it! Easy and delicious.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Beautiful Day

The answer is Yes! Our three Adams crabapples are gorgeous. Thank heaven for the science of Spring!

Gorgeous Ice

Everything is okay! Remember this? After a "too warm" January, we had an ice storm that covered buds that had sprouted way too early. It was gorgeous, but my big question was, can the trees cope with the ice and the rest of winter and still make a show this Spring?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tulip Time daytrip

I love roses, peonies, name it, I love it when it comes to the flowers of English cottage gardens. What does a girl like me do when it is May in Michigan and my flowers aren't blooming yet? Plan a daytrip to Tulip Time in Holland, Michigan, of course. A mini-vacation filled with flowers, lemonade and gift shops. What did I buy? Cath Kidston paper napkins, Ginger Chews candies and the June 2007 Country Living UK edition. And ohhhh the pictures I took! Enjoy.