Google+ What I Made Today: 2011

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Win a Happy 2012 Whimsy!

To honor the flip of the linear calendar, I'm having a "Win a Whimsy" give-away. While I've participated in various giveaways throughout this past year, it's been far too long - a year! - since I've had one here on my own blog! Shame on me.

My inventory is a little slim right now, but I'm offering you a chance to win an item of your choice from any of my shops ~ ArtFire or Zibbet ~ whatever strikes your whimsy! 

The drawing will take place on the morning of Friday, January 6 and the winner will be announced at that time.

So … to enter this giveaway …
  • Have a public profile, otherwise leave your email address with your comments. If I can't contact you, you can't win.
  • Post each of your entries in separate comments on this post. Otherwise, entries combined in a single post will only be counted as one.
  • Any comments determined to be sp@m- or sp@mish will be deleted and not counted as an entry - so please don't leave links unless they're relevant to this giveaway.
How to enter? You have up to six ways to enter for up to six separate entries. Do one, or some, or all of the following, leaving a separate comment for each, each comment being a separate entry/chance to win a whimsy. Make sense?
  • Leave a comment  ~ any comment at all ~ and you're entered!
  • Visit any of my shops ~ ArtFire or Zibbet ~ and leave a comment about your what item you'd like to have, should you're entry be drawn. 
  • Blog about this giveaway and leave the URL to your blog post as your comment.
  • Tweet this giveaway and post the URL to your tweet as your comment. You can use the "retweet" button (below) if you like.
  • Be or become a follower to this blog, leaving a comment to let me know.
  • Be or become a walkinthewoods1 Twitter follower, likewise leaving a comment to let me know.
So there it is ... Best wishes!


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reflections in Popcorn Stitches

I published my first blog post on December 29, 2004. It's funny to think that I've maintained a public blog for seven years, and even funnier (in a very grateful way) to consider that some folks have been following it for almost as long, from ByRegion to MySpace to Blogspot.

Popping back to that first post, I'm reminded that I started blogging primarily for me - as a discipline in both witnessing and in writing. My secondary emphasis rested in a vague hope that what I shared might inspire someone else in some nurturing way.

Words took center stage those first four years. When I moved here in 2008 imagery quickly took over. This pleased me, and pleases me still, since I prefer visual stimuli and respond favorably to it in most every conceivable way.

Yet, I love words, for they, too, are powerful tools of expression … creative expression … healing expression. And as I conveyed in that very first post, "… diversity is at the heart of the people's medicine. We have choices. We have the will to learn about them. We have the power to choose. And we have the right to change!"

So today, I changed up my morning routine. The Boy was home and while he practiced guitar I taught myself a new crochet stitch, a popcorn stitch. I'm not sure what I'll do with this stitch, or what I'll make with it … but it's a form of medicine for me, and it's another choice, so I learned about it, so I can choose and change when the time is ripe. 

And this little exercise demonstrated to me, yet again, my propensity for the visual, given the source from which I learned this stitch.

That's what I made today. Peace.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Unfamiliar Blessings

It's hard to believe that honoring this winter solstice included harvesting two cabbages from my garden. I've plucked kales, collards and herbs, and even mulched root crops in the past, but never cabbage. It weathered the October snow and the several mild frosts we've had with a grace that feels both welcome and suspect. 

I'll enjoy this unfamiliar harvest with the seasonal comforts of carrots, garlic, onion, ginger, shoyo, beef and noodles. It's a different kind of winter solstice dinner … yet, if the times are changing, I'm obliged to change with them.

May you rest easy in the heart of darkness and in the promise of light as we move into the deep love of winter (or summer, as the case may be). Bright blessings ~ today ~ and every day.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Art as Medicine

Today I made a little art … me with my paints, mediums and Nature, and The Boy with his pens. It was good Medicine to soothe my soul as I watched the Giants loose so badly.   These "peaces" aren't done yet, but tomorrow I'll likely make some time to complete the final embellishments … in between everything else I have on tomorrow's list!

That's what I made today.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cords and Cookies

I've been dismantling and reassembling some old jewelry pieces - some of my own and some pieces that have come from others. I'm using these to create some new Spirit Cord Page Savers. I've been busy baking cookies and spinning with these upcycled pendants and some new ones too.

So … that's what I made today.

What did you make?


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mini Journals & Baking

Today I finished listing all my latest Nature inspired mini journals at my ArtFire and Zibbet shops. Then I cleaned the house - especially the kitchen, rearranged some furniture (again), then donned an apron and began holiday baking and other assorted holiday kitchen tasks.

I'm still in the kitchen and suspect I will be for many more hours. I'll do my best to post the outcome of this busy, baking day.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Little Sweetness

It has been too long since my last blog post and I really must recommit myself to more frequent posts, for surely I make something every single day of this magical life.

The Boy had today off, so we made a pot of morning coffee and enjoyed a rather leisurely morning. I got some new Spirit Cord Page Savers listed at my ArtFire and Zibbet shops before we headed out to tend to errands and wander a local tree farm to listen for the Yule tree that wanted us. We gave thanks to the spirit of the tree, brought it home, set it up, gave it a good drink of water, and strung the lights. Now it relaxes into it's new transient home for a day before the rest of the decorating commences. The hut is pregnant with piney fir fragrance. Not to mention homemade bread that The Boy made.

I made some progress on preparing some base finishes for some upcoming works of art too.  Winter vegetables are roasting in the oven and soup simmering on the stovetop. Life is pretty sweet today. I hope the same for you!

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Heavy Duty Pot Holder #1

Remember the great balls of fabric I made the other day? Well, I've created the first pot holder from this batch of "yarn" and it's a doozie, so nice and thick and heavy. I've made these before with thinner strips and they do make nice pot holders … for tea kettles and warm handles and such. But these, these pot holders will protect me well when taking the cast iron skillet or dutch oven out of the hot oven, that's for sure. And they'll last near to forever too.

It's amazing what you can create with a simple single crochet stitch and some old fabric. And a closet shelf lightens a bit in the bargain too.

I'm looking forward to making another pot holder or two with the green "yarn" that's left, and then moving on to the other great balls!

That's what I made today.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Great Balls of Fabric

Goodness, gracious … today, among other things, I finished ripping the cotton strips from the vintage 70's fabric I had targeted for upcoming projects and sat down at the trusty sewing machine to bind the strips together to make these balls of cotton "yarn."

That's what I made today.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Latest Promotion Vid


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Spirit Cord Page Savers

I had a custom order for Spirit Cord page savers to work on today, so while I had the cotton floss out, and my collection of pendants, and while I was spinning like crazy and had a hard time stopping, I spun a few extras. I figure I'll keep the floss and pendants out for a few days and spin more. It's a groove that's so nourishing it really is hard to stop.

That's what I made today.


Friday, November 4, 2011

All Work & No Play


I was without electrical power these past five days … and I spun several new cords, took photos, and doodled …

… and doodled … 

… and doodled.

And today I took a hot shower, cleaned, vacuumed, sighed with relief at the state of my chest freezer, prepared packages for the post and started editing those photos so I can get listing more items. I made an offering of gratitude too.

That's what I made today.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

More of the Same … and Then Some

Today I owe a loving dose of gratitude to my friend, Sherrie, who came to visit and help me cut up the last of the tomatillos. Together we chopped them along with onion, garlic and hot peppers and got another two and a half quarts of salsa verde fermenting.

Two heads of cabbage were also prepared, and a half gallon batch of sauerkraut started too.

It was excellent help and perfect company as we chatted, caught up, chopped, sipped tea, sampled the fresh-made salsa and the batch that was started a couple of days ago which seemed to evoke some misty memories. In any event, it's gonna be so good! And she went home with a wee jar of fermented salsa to enjoy at her leisure.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Salsa Verde Ferment

Today I start playing catch-up on a few discretionary tasks, including posting here on this silly blog. So, since this is catch-up, we'll just take a little literary freedom and say that I made this today … 

I still have tomatillos to preserve. If you remember, I made a batch of canned salsa verde last month and while it's quite good, I wasn't anxious to make more of the same. I'm glad I listened to my hesitant intuition, because this past week I got my copy of Food As Medicine - The Theory and Practice of Food, by Todd Caldecott. All other praises to Todd and the book aside, one little serendipitous piece in the book is a recipe for a naturally fermented salsa verde. Of course I had to make a batch. I adore fermented foods and honor the method as, perhaps, the premier method of preserving food.

Don't ask me for the recipe … rather, purchase your own copy of Todd's wonderful book. I'm glad I did. I'm sure that over time I will make my own adaptations that I will share with you. But really, fermentation is so simple and safe that recipes are really unnecessary, once you have basic salt/brine ratios under your belt. 

I'm looking forward to watching this particular ferment over the coming few days. I'll taste it at every "check" and will know within four days or so if I want to make more of it. I suspect I will.

That's what I made "today." Peace.

("Literary" freedom in a Blog?)

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Comeback

Ah, yes. I have been remiss in my blogging of late. I injured a toe and I don't do injuries as well as I used to, staying put and all. So I took a break from routine and did my best to heal and recover. During that time I prepped a number of mini journals and today I started the final stages of adding the little blessings of Nature to them. These are all still wet and will change in appearance as the medium dries. 

I also worked on some ACEOs that I will be trading with some of my Passion for Painting Guild friends. 

Healing is process, just like any creation. For me, to heal well, to heal whole, I must ...

That's what I made today. Peace.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lacto-Fermented Kimchi

Today I harvested a lovely head of Napa cabbage, a couple carrots, a nice big daikon radish, some green onions. I gathered my garlic and hot pepper flakes, the organic ginger I bought at the local health food store yesterday and my supply of whey from my homemade yogurt and made ...

Lacto-fermented Kimchi

1 head Napa or other cabbage, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped 
1-2 carrots, grated
1 daikon radish, grated (or any radish)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 T. fresh ginger, grated
2 T. hot pepper flakes (or more!)
1 T. sea salt
4 T. whey

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, massage to release natural juices. Transfer to a jar, pack down, cover with a loose lid. Allow to sit in a warm place, out of direct light for 2-4 days. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

It's so good and good for you.

That's what I made today. 


Friday, September 30, 2011

Salsa Verde Variation

I still have a lot of tomatillos to harvest, yet I choose to do things in bite sized, manageable doses. So today I made a batch of salsa verde ...

Tomatillo Salsa
11 cups tomatillos, husked, cored and chopped
2 cups red onion, diced
1 1/2 cup green cayenne peppers, sliced in rings
1/2 cup sweet pepper, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup apple cider vinegar
8 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt

Clean and sterilize your canning jars and lids, keeping everything hot until ready for packing. Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pan, bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes. Load up the jars, leaving 1/2 inch head room, cap and process in boiling water for 30 minutes (for pint jars). More detail can be found at Tigers & Strawberries which is where I found the recipe to adapt to what I had on hand.

If I had waited one more day, or even until evening, I could have added some nice organic cumin, but it arrived with my herb order after I was done. No worries though, I'll be making more because it came out quite tasty and I love the color that the red onion leant to it!

Also, I choose to leave the cilantro out and add it at serving time. I have a "pesto" supply of cilantro in my freezer and I prefer the bright flavor that it adds, when I don't have it fresh from the garden, that is.

That's what I made today. 


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grape Vine Wreaths

The Boy cleared a patch of our little acre and amid the brush and such were grape vines. Lots of them. So I made wreaths. The Boy even made a couple. I made other stuff too and now I'm too tired to share them with you.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

T-Shirt Yarn

This morning I made time to go through my crafting bookmarks and I rediscovered this tutorial for making t-shirt yarn. Well, I was inspired to search through my Goodwill bags for t-shirts so I could try this technique, which is, by the way, simply brilliant. I'll be making more. I'm not sure what I'll be creating with these first few balls, but I'm sure some strands will find their way into some Spirit Cords and I'm thinking upcycled cotton place mats and pot holders are in my future.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Harvests to Seed

Autumn arrived to my little acre early this morning and I was awake, up and ready to greet her. Rains fell, off and on, all day, so garden harvesting was kept to just what I needed for lunch and dinner. I made packets for my keeping seeds and spun more Spirit Cords.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Merry Autumn, or Spring as the case may be!

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Way Back to the Garden

Today the garden dried up enough to get out in it. Many of the squash vines were strained, dying or dead so I harvested a few of the colorful fruits. There are still more to harvest, but so far there's several meals in my future.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Return

I woke up in my own bed this morning after a week away. It felt good, yet somehow I woke ripe with frustration and seething with more than a little anger. I got up, banged some stuff around while I fixed my tea. I journaled, finished unpacking and reorganizing, plowed through email, and started spinning some new Spirit Cords. All of these things proved to be good Medicine, especially the spinning. When the rain finally came, I went outside, despite the chill, and stood rooted in it to receive a blessed cleansing. While I was out there I picked a few onions and herbs to use with this evening's dinner. I still have messages and calls to return, laundry to do and other tasks to catch up on, but I'm almost home now.

I returned home to gorgeous clouds, circling birds of prey, the song of crow, baskets of tomatoes, a waning moon and a journal giveaway at Herbal Roots Zine. Be sure to drop by and leave a comment to enter to win my autumn inspired mini journal called, Goldenrod.

So, despite the rocky start to my day, I'm feeling more settled, centered, grounded … returned. Peace.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Fresh Batch of Spirit Cords

I was expecting to be on the road today, but a change in travel plans opened up the day for me to do … whatever!  It was chill and damp, with some pretty steady rains throughout the morning, so I pulled out my fibers and yarns, expressed gratitude for the opportunity, and began spinning some new Spirit Cords.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Recipe Concession - Pizza Dough

If you're a regular follower of this blog you probably already know that I don't really follow recipes when cooking. To me, cooking is mostly an intuitive alchemy that leans to what is fresh, local and otherwise at hand. Nonetheless, I do have a few guidelines that even I follow. Mostly.

Yesterday I made two pizzas and each of the bread doughs were slightly different. Both had (or as close as I get to) the same measures of wet ingredients, but one was made with less flour than the other, based on the following recipe:

Pizza Dough - enough for one large pie

  1. 1 ⅓ to ⅔ cups of bread flour (or any glutenous flour or flour combo you have on hand)
  2. a healthy pinch of salt (about ½ teaspoon, I suppose)
  3. ⅔ cup of tepid water
  4. a healthy pinch of sugar (about ½ teaspoon) - cane, honey, molasses, maple syrup … (optional)
  5. 1 tablespoon of yeast
  6. olive oil (about a ½ teaspoon)

I blend the first two ingredients in my food processor, fitted with the bread blade, though any blade will do.

Mix the sugar into the water until blended and then stir in the yeast. The liquid will become active within minutes (how many minutes, depends on the temperature of the kitchen). Once the liquid is active and foamy I turn on the processor and slowly add all the liquid. A ball of dough will form and I let that process/knead for several seconds.

Make ready a separate bowl by coating the bottom and sides with a little olive oil. Transfer the dough into this bowl and turn it in the oil so that all sides of the dough get lightly oiled. Cover the bowl with a cloth and place it in a warm, quiet place to rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes, but again, this depends on the temperature of your kitchen).

Once the dough is risen, turn it out onto floured board and roll out to your desired pizza shape. Place it on your desired cooking surface (a heated stone, a cookie or pizza sheet with organic corn meal or parchment paper) and let it rest in a quiet place while you prepare the toppings and preheat the oven.

The toppings can be virtually anything, like those offered in yesterday's post. This is where I really exercise my free will and creativity!

Preheat the oven to its hottest setting, mine is 550° F. Get your the toppings on the pizza dough in whatever way pleases you. Once the oven is hot, bake the pizza for about 15 minutes. Then slide the finished pizza onto a cutting surface, slice and … enjoy!

There. A recipe. Ya happy? ::grin::


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Pies of Foolish Love

Among other activities, today I made two pizzas. One with rather standard fare, onions, peppers, hot italian sausage, fresh parsley, tomatoes, mozzarella and pecorino romano.

The other with grilled eggplant and peppers, fresh tomatoes, chinese leeks, parsley, provolone and pecorino romano. I'll be visiting my mom and I always make some slices for her freezer.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Tomato Puree

… Now … Back to work with me!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

September Harvests

Today tomatoes were harvested, sorted and several roasted. They will become puree for canning (The Boy is putting them through the mill as I type). Beans were picked, prepped, blanched, packaged and frozen. We enjoyed a big bowl of beans with dinner, slathered with fresh garlic, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. A big tomato salad too, with cucumbers, and grilled, marinated eggplant.

One freezer, recently defrosted and cleaned, was plugged back in so that tomorrow I can begin loading it up with this year's goodies and transferring the contents from the second freezer so that it, too, may be defrosted, cleaned and made ready for more garden goodness and pasture-raised beef that expect later in the season.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Passion & Equilibrium

The day blossomed in full sunshine, the air crisp and clear after the cleansing of yesterday's hurricane. Passion flower blooms guided me to one of my own passions, the plants. I invested several hours in my dispensary, reorganizing my many tinctures. It felt good to go through all the jars, reacquainting myself with old friends, many of them near forgotten. Other tinctures in process were strained, filtered, bottled. labeled and shelved. It felt good and right.

I moved outdoors in the afternoon, after the earth had a chance to dry a bit in the bright rays of the sun. Most of my sunflowers were leaning or uprooted from yesterday's winds, so I cut them down, a bittersweet gesture, and one the birds regret, I'm sure. I repaired a few tomato plants whose stakes had liberated themselves. I harvested tomatoes, lemon basil, more broad and string beans, and collard greens too. I trimmed the flowering tops of my tomatillos, much to the dismay of the bees, so the maturing fruit can ripen in the remaining days of summer. Garden paths were mulched with fresh grass clippings too. I enjoyed a cucumber and tomato salad with lemon basil and delicious collard greens for supper. All good Medicine for me and the gardens.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


The seasons are changing. Of this I am certain. Not only is summer stepping onto the stage of her final act, but something more … something that has, most distinctly, caused me to begin my season of reflection earlier than ever before. Today's rain magnifies this for me, for I see reflections in every drop, in every puddle, and in them I witness all that separates and joins.

Even as my gardens begin fading, they are producing like crazy. The annual blight is taking over the lower leaves of my tomato plants, even as they continue to produce fruit and seed for another season, with abundance.

I have been busy, thus my lack of blog updates, and in my time away from this facet of cyberspace I have found myself gathering all that I do, like drops of rain into a puddle, a lake … an ocean, and I am swimming in it. As I swim I open my senses to feel what resonates, comforts and nurtures, and I perceive the cold spots that refresh and the others that shock … the warm spots that console and those that encourage questioning. As I swim in this season of reflection, one that will last longer than I am accustomed, I will be creating a new pool, blending the cool and warm waters of my life. When I am done swimming, I will emerge and witness what I have created … in the reflections of the pool of my own making.

That's what I made today. Peace.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Victorian Afternoon Tea

Today, among other things, I made 34 little sample packets of my "Victorian Afternoon Tea" blend to include in this week's CSA share for Dinebergs Farm. I'll be dropping them off at the farm early this evening for tomorrow's delivery. Then I'm off to Passiflora Tea Room where I'll be offering a lecture and discussion centered around the ways in which we can preserve our herbs for health, wellness and enjoyment in every season.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Time for Flora

Today I made time for flora. The morning started with a weed walk with Connecticut Herb Association friends at the lovely Holcomb Farm in Granby, Connecticut.  We met poison ivy, jewelweed, wild grapes, raspberries, joe pie weed, garlic mustard, plantain, yarrow, sumac, clover, wild carrot and more. It was a good time with good people.

On the way home I made stops along the way to pick up this and that. When I returned to my little acre I harvested some collards, cucumbers, lettuce and flowers. Flowers cultivated and flowers wild.

That's what I made today. Peace.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Half Sours

I've been on the road this past week. Got home yesterday afternoon. Today, I reflected a bit,  didn't over-focus and I grounded myself. Well, I did my best. I lounged long in the morning, sipping coffee while cleaning up and catching up on a lot of stuff that landed on this computer. I went out to a late breakfast with The Boy. We browsed a pawn shop and antique store. When we returned home we tied up tomato plants, trimmed suckers, removed some fallen sunflowers, harvested cucumbers, beans, horseradish, lettuce and trimmed some low branches from a wild cherry tree. Some of those trimmed branches may make a nice walking stick or two.

One cucumber was added to dinner's salad. The others made their way into jars along with some garlic and a 3.6% brine … and over the coming days these will become delicious half sours. I will add a grape leaf to each jar tomorrow, the tannin in them helps to make for a nice crispy pickle, especially for keeping, though these little batches will no doubt be eaten quickly. The upcoming gallon batches will have grape leaves a-plenty at the bottom and top of those jars. Horseradish leaves too.

That's what I made today. It felt fitting. Peace.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An Agreement ...

… to past, present and future … to the eternal present. 



Monday, July 18, 2011

Rhythm and Melody

The Boy had the day off, so last night and today we enjoyed some time and space on the deck, he drumming on salvaged bins and me creating melody on my gangsa jongkok, a handcrafted Indonesian xylophone, also called a saron. We managed to tend to a few practical matters too.

A sweet deal, really. That's what I made today.



Friday, July 15, 2011

Pickled Produce

… pickled beans … pickled summer squash … more for the freezer … more with dinner … more for the days ahead … and still more tomorrow - zucchini … all from Dineberg's Farm.

That's what I made today.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Currant Cordial Jelly

I invested yesterday morning with my mother-in-law. She is an expert jelly and jam maker. I've make jams and preserves over the years, but never jelly … so I had the opportunity to witness her process and help out a bit too.

When I got home I simmered up some of my red and black currants and strained them for the juice. This morning, while it was all fresh in my mind and heart, I made a small batch of currant cordial jelly. Yeah, I couldn't help myself in changing things up a bit. I added some brandy. It looks like it's setting up nicely and I'll likely pick up more pectin during my afternoon travels … and I should have another currant harvest, enough for another small batch … and I think I'll add a touch of cinnamon to that one. Not only that, but I found a couple quarts of wild grapes in the freezer from last season and made a juice. I see some wild grape jelly in my future too. Wonder what I'll add to that?

That's what I made today. Peace.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Black Gold

Today I harvested more berries … black currants. I must have a total of four quarts picked and there's still more coming ripe, maybe one more quart or so. 

One batch will become a cordial, another a sauce or maybe a syrup … the rest might become preserves or maybe a small batch of mead. What makes manifest will depend on the time, space and energy I am willing to bend to my will … or the will of the mighty black currant.

Whatever is made, I am confident it will be more valuable than gold. Peace.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Liquid Jewels

Today I simmered some of my glimmering, red currants in preparation for jelly-making. This is not a skill of mine, so I've elicited the skillful support and wisdom of my mother-in-law. I consider her a master jelly-n-jam-maker.

I'll be freezing the resulting juice, strained and filtered as glistening clear as I can get it, and heading to her home with juice, sugar, pectin and jars, to watch, help and learn. It's about time, too!

That's what I made today. Peace.