Thursday, August 07, 2014

Garden Studio- Getting Started on Paper

Out growing a dedicated studio is frustrating but, also rewarding.  The rewarding part comes from all the knowledge gained over the years, that then also leads back to lack of space with equipment and bench tools gained, filling in the small space... making it crazy frustrating to work in.

November 2013 was the last blog update about the space and where we were heading. and are super when experimenting with rearranging your room and identifying stations

A free design program from was used to help out with space allowance and placement with worktables, benches, etc. and then for labeling.  I don't know about you but, I am very visual.

The conversation area set up, on the right of the plans, will be a nice touch for now but, is also interchangeable depending on event or need.  The patio is definitely an exciting detail bridging from studio to garden, with it also being a great seasonal addition.   You can see on the left a little entryway by the sink that is street side allowing clients a separate entry and bottom of plans where the door to our kitchen  leads also to the downstairs bathroom area.

This floor plan accommodates students and events from the PA Wilds Artisan Trail and other events that I missed out on the last few years due to a smaller studio which makes me sad...

"Good things come to those who wait" 
according to Heinz and Guinness : - )

Friday, July 25, 2014

Simple recipes- Home-made Ketchup

Making something tasty does not have to be an ordeal. Being able to throw a few ingredients together, we already have on hand, for America's 2nd most popular condiment with mayonnaise ranking one and soy sauce coming in 3rd---- is pretty terrific.  

Wee piles of spices, starting at the top:   cloves, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne and dry mustard.  Yellow dried dates are a good source of calcium, vitamin C and  fiber with also adding a deep almost caramel note to your recipe.

Using the Vitamix is perfect for pulverizing dried yellow dates, if you don't have a good blender omit the dates.

taste tasted :-)
This recipe can be a base for other variations such as a jalapeno ketchup, mango ketchup with thyme, Chipotle ketchup, Masala ketchup, sun-dried tomato ketchup with basil and also Molasses, of course....wait for it- KETCHUP.
Dried herbs, different mustard, sugars, vinegar, dried fruits such as raisins or figs thrown in to mix it up or to treat it as a specific meat accompaniment for pork, beef and chicken.  

Well that was fun!  Thanks for taking a look at my adventures in ketchup this summer!  Next I put garlic, herbs and lemon juice under the knife.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Garden Studio: July Studio Tour 2014

inside the studio for July 2014
Well made tools make all the difference on the bench which creates less fatigue for the artisan and assists in quality craftsmanship when it comes to the work. Why fill your studio with tools that you aren't physically comfortable using or that need replaced in a short span of time.  One statement my Father made to me, at an early age, was not to scrimp on tools or quality when it comes to food.

left corner metal forming tools, etc.

super little multi-functional German made Proxxon vise and the Crafted Findings Riveting System
choosing stones for new pendants on the workbench where the flexshaft tool systems and Wolf Belt sander live

I have not invested in the Foredom top shelf system but, have the Grobet and Prodigy .  The one is dedicated to the Wolf belt sander while the other is hanging from the ceiling by a small bungy cord allowing me to use it while wheeling around  from bench to bench in the small studio :)
part of the Pepe jumpring maker for winding wire

little sander is a super time saver when prepping ear-wire ends, deburring blanks and polishing 
This super useful 6 inch square bench block is from Romazone located on Etsy and is for sure a great addition to the bench.  I cannot seem to metal-stamp or hammer texture with out it.  The small 3 inch blocks are very nice but, I find the larger working space indispensable. 
a few tools on the cabinet door older saw, kitchen knife sharpener and ring sizer
some wire
Alexandra font stamps and some smaller Arial fonts stamps
view from the vise/sawing station on the right of studio
catching up on another Joy the Baker podcast with Joy the Baker and Tracy Benjamin 
The stations are all fused together, stamps on the sawing area, just crazy, lol
Tools are with us in what ever trips your trigger including cooking, hiking, photography or camping.

What have you found useful while #savingsummer this year?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Small Things: Elly and the crazy little pug she is missing

During the Summer, when the oldest Grandchild comes to visit, is a such a super special time.  Lots of Elly time on the big porch are a give in. Porch time includes bringing out toys from when our girls were growing up to all day just kickin' it snuggled in the hammock.  Legos, Tinker Toys, wood blocks, Lincoln Logs, old Disney story cassettes and my youngest's horse collection to name a few her favorites.  On this day she was especially missing her pug, Potato.  
Yayyyy for Pugs with wagging tongues!
Creating a 'mini me' with this little bean bag pup was a no-brainer for you can't miss Potato's leathery weathered tongue each and every time you come upon him morning, noon or night there it is, lol.
Awhile back, at a Church sale, a stack of Woolrich samples made it into my sewing stash.  That reddish stripe, on the Hudson Bay blanket samples, was a perfect match.
Just a quick outline with a Sharpie marker on that stripe and cut--- we were ready to sew.  After coming up through a seam on his underside with thread, turning under the the felt edge to then place against the right hand side of the mouth and a few quick stitches he is her beloved Potato.  Before going back down through to tie the thread off, a baseball stitch was then bordered around giving more play-ability to the piece plus a realistic appearance to that tongue.

swinging after puzzles with ME

I am baffled... where did this Summer go!!!

What small creative projects have you come up with lately?

Friday, June 06, 2014

This Year's Porch

I have been obsessing ever since purchasing Behr Deckover a month back for our wrap around porch.  It is a fairly new product, just coming on the market last year, so the negative reviews did not start rolling in until after we purchased 2-5 gallon buckets for the over 600 square foot of porch.
 Decided to just go for it starting with the porch 'stuff' move out in the back.  Here shot from the screen porch.
Shot from the studio towards the garden.  Lol, I don't know...just found it cool to have it all on the lawn.
Cutting in and filling large cracks or screw holes.  Tameryn and Thea did quite a bit of painting, especially Tameryn. Those railings were painted also from a sage green to a bright, clean white.  A pressure washer worked out great too for all the steps in this process including washing all that old vinyl siding from the mid 80's.  
 First coat after letting it dry and then the second 4-6 hours later.  It was a beautiful day to paint, painting until 9 pm.
The curing takes 72 hours before any major walking and also decorating of course.  It rained 2 days later making the paint seem spongy to me, dh said I was over obsessing to just move everything on if I wanted.... I did wait until later that day to start with putting on the Reversible Rugs, letting it dry a bit more and then the rest of what you see.

2013 showing a brown stain used originally and sage green railings.  The stain did last for quite sometime painting it in 2010 with only some chipping on the ends after the railing edge.  
The Desert Sand really brightened up the space, which was a welcome change from that dark brown shown here.

This morning's sun casting some great shadows on the newly painted decking boards.  The anti-gravity chairs seen here are for this summer's camping trips but, can live here for now for I am rather enjoying this more modern arrangement.
 Larger view from steps that lead to the back garden with my 4 year Bay tree and brightly painted Adirondack chairs.
After cleaning out and organizing a spare bedroom for the Granddaughter's summer visit, this outdoor checker set, my Mom bought the girls quite a few years back was found.  Hoot, hoot!
 Morning shots this am.  We wanted to have it all finished for Elly's visit this month.  She does love that hammock, porch swing, the hummingbird feeders and bright green Adirondack chair where she eats her mint chip ice cream during those super summer visits with the Grandparents.

We will see how the Behr Deckover withstands us and our Pennsylvania winters.  Fingers crossed....X
What is on your porch?   I love the quaint sign I just saw on Pinterest that goes, 

Here in the South we don't hide crazy... We parade it on the front porch and give it a sweet tea.  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

local restaurants- Route 62 Diner and cupcakes

crazy slippage on a Sunday morning
This Sunday's drive, like usual, consisted of which direction or rather which Wegmans to head to.  Jamestown, NY, State College, PA or Erie, PA are our choices when wanting to shop at a decent grocery store and if the location also has a Sam's Club for a few bulk pantry staples.
We almost turned around for heading north was a bit hairy with the snow and slippery roads.  DH also wanted to try out a diner we keep seeing on Route 62 between Warren and Jamestown.  For quite a few years we could never tell if it was open for business and then the last trip to Jamestown saw it was under new management and definitely open for business.

sweet little eating establishment along Route 62
We walked in about 9:30 sitting at a 2 person table, right under the OPEN sign where we were in the thick of it.  The table was actually in the kitchen, I loved it!.  They do have a second seating area off of where we were to the right.
it was a great mix of people from locals to travelers
super menu filled with scrambles and homemade additions
I decided on The Carjack with 3 scrambled eggs, mixed with ham, green peppers, onions and pepperjack cheese served with a side of home fries and toast.  Changed it up a bit with onions in the homefries and pancake instead of toast.  They had me at the pancake with it's cake like, not dry, texture and super moist/flavorful scrambled mix.  Herb got his usual 2 eggs, homefries, sausage and toast.  NO homemade sausage patties but, I am sure at some point perhaps, this family ran and owned establishment, will bring that to the table.  Same old, same old with his order, par for the course... never changing :)

to the point plating (nothing fancy) with nice portions along with a very good cup of coffee

fluffy eggs, is a good thing ; - )
The owner has a sweet smile awaiting every customer.
What you will find unique:  small town diner feel, kitchen placement in the dining area, egg scrambles, homemade baked goods, daily food specials & hot/cold drinks up on the board.

Janet Hansen opened the diner 7 months ago after much success at the Warren Farmer's Market with her and her daughter's baked goods and cupcake business, The Cupcake Girls.  The restaurant is open 6 days a week 6-am to 2-pm Tuesday-Sunday, off Mondays.  After talking to Janet for a bit, before we headed out, she talked a little about mixing it up since the menu is small with different dishes, on the specials board.  That day she also offered 3 different tea blends along with another scramble variation, good stuff.

The Cupcake Girls choosing to open up a diner... reminds me of something I heard on an episode of The Splendid Table podcast around Thanksgiving.

 Mo Rocca told Lynne Rossetto Kasper , "I'm actually sort of anti-cupcake. There is an aversion to intimacy that has led us down the cupcake path. Whatever happened to the days when everyone was sharing a cake? 

  *The diner totally celebrates this coming together vibe from the food to the atmosphere.  The Cupcake Girls moved away from the singular thought into a more social atmosphere at the Route 62 Diner, let's share cake!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I List- Vitamix on the counter!

Vitamix Creations TURBO 64 oz. 15-in-1 Blender w/32oz. Dry Container and 3 recipe books
I cannot count the times one of these crazy powerful blenders was in my brain while preparing different recipes.  Now that it is occupying a pretty big space on my counter even more uses come to mind.  A starter list of 10 reasons I could not go any longer without a Vitamix are below.  Bare with me, I am a just a little excited.

  1. fresh veggie/fruit smoothies
  2. green smoothies  with loads of kale and spinach 
  3. frozen libations like a frozen peach margarita with fresh goodness
  4. nut butters especially pistachio, yummmm
  5. Ginger beer type of concoctions sounds like the way this summer is going to swing, perhaps adding vodka here and there ;)
  6. make coconut butter with unsweetened shaved coconut
  7. make fresh coconut milk made from water and unsweetened shaved coconut
  8. make fresh nut milks using toasted sesame seeds and raw almonds
  9. grind coffee beans for pressing coffee with the French Press that is sitting around on the counter too 
  10. grind wheat berries for baking breads and such
green smoothie with spinach, 1 carrot, 1 oranges, apple, cucumber, honey, ice and hemp protein 
wild berry smoothie with yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries,  honey, organic milk and ice
Yes, I could not wait until the next shopping trip to pick up the sesame seeds, unsweetened coconut, agave, stevia, raw almonds, cacao powder and flaxseeds.  So to start checking off the LIST, ordering from Amazon today for delivery on Friday was the way a rolled this morning.  Amazon Prime is excellent that way, with groceries arriving at my door in 2 days or less sometimes.  

Stevia is an excellent way to reduce blood pressure, which is pretty spectacular, when it comes to my husband's issues these past couple years.  I also love that many wonderful for you vegetables, fruits, supplements, yogurt, etc. can be blended into a tasty drink for my family each and everyday without complaint.  Yes, they ask for them all day long with even my picky man enjoying a bright green frothy mix daily including a few drops of Stevia to sweeten the mix to help reduce blood pressure YAAAAY :) :)

cold tea infusion- here jasmine green tea and Celestial Seasonings 'peach' for the liquid in yesterday's green smoothie lunch
On Friday I will have a go at sesame milk for sesame, honey and banana smoothies.  What do you think?  Sounds good to me!!  
This summer a blended theme garden is going to be planted including parsley, basil, mint, cilantro, cucumbers, tomatoes and celery come to mind.  I can't wait until it is porch sitting weather...where the HEY is the warmth..crazy Pennsylvania weather!!!!!

What is in your blender? 
Find me on Instagram and please share your creations @hammeredandbent


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