Time Together

My husband is the world’s sweetest, most capable plumber. This past year he had the opportunity to switch from running his 30-person plumbing and heating company, logging at least 60hrs weekly in winter, to working on his own. While he is getting used to this change, the kids and I are crazy about having him around a whole lot more. We get to spend weekends together, there’s more time in my studio and the girls love having afternoons with their dad. 02.01.15 photo1 02.01.15 photo2 02.01.15 photo4 02.01.15 photo5 02.01.15 photo6 02.01.15 photo7 02.01.15 photo8

Sunday Night Soup

Getting ready for what promises to be an exciting new week with, a big pot of fresh soup, a renewed sense of routine, and a packed schedule emphasizing Mid-Winter Sampler workshop marketing and Love Bombing  - More on both of those subjects coming in a future post (or series). To get through this busy week we need a healthy meal option for lunches and dinner tomorrow night. The girls and I made a big pot of Fragrant Vegetable Stew with Corn Dumplings.  The original recipe is from Jeanne Lemlin’s, Vegetarian Pleasures.  I tweaked it to be sweetener and gluten free.  As it cools, dumpling batter is chilling in the fridge, and my night is winding down after a truly wonderful weekend.

Here’s my version:

Fragrant Vegetable Stew with Corn Dumplings


2c. dried garbanzos

6 T butter

3 T olive oil

3 medium sized onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

6 cloves

1 t paprika

2 t turmeric

½ t black pepper

5 c bone broth

5 c water

1 t salt

28oz can organic diced tomatoes

4 carrots, sliced into rounds

½ rutabaga, diced

3 medium sized potatoes diced

3 c frozen corn

4-6 leaves kale, finely chopped


Heat olive oil and 3 T butter on medium heat.

Sautee onions and garlic with salt over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add bay leaves, cloves, paprika, turmeric, black pepper.

Cook another minute.

Add tomatoes, broth, and water

Add chopped carrots, rutabaga, and potatoes and simmer 30 minutes.

Add 2c corn and chopped kale, stir and turn off heat.



2c corn flour

4 T cornmeal

4 t baking powder

1 t salt

2 T chilled butter

1 c thawed corn

11/3  c cold milk


Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in medium sized bowl.

Cut butter into little bits and add to dry mixture, lightly mixing and smushing with back of spoon.

Add corn and milk with twenty strokes of spoon.


Tomorrow night I will:

Reheat stew to boiling and keep at a simmer.

Drop tablespoons of Dumpling Batter to cover top of pot.

Simmer 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to a dumpling comes out clean.


Here's to a productive week!


Planetary Rescue Squad

Planetary Rescue Squad – Are YOU worthy? This developing line of recycled cotton sweatshirts are reserved for the good, doing selfless good for the general benefit our fragile planet. Leave a comment telling us what you are doing to be honored this way. Personally, I am working on recycling discarded clothing into useful garb so others may be inspired to wear and create. Teaching by example to rethink and use what has already been made – reducing our ever growin’ footprint.

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Work, Wear, Wedding? Coverlet

Working through the mountain of projects started. This material for a double sized coverlet or picnic blanket was sitting in an organized pile on my sewing table for longer than I would like to admit. Funny how the wait improved the outcome. Dressed up the white and natural colored denims and corduroy panels with luster of silk satin edging and rich sparkly brocade patches.

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Kilt For the New Millenium

Last winter it was really cold and really snowy here in the Berkshire Hills. Being an admittedly addicted trail runner I found my bum uncomfortably cold most days. The answer was wool - a bum warmer of sorts - a simple wool wrap to keep the heat in and a pocket for my phone. It worked! People loved it and I began selling them as fast as I could conjure them up from the sweater pile. Well that was LAST year!

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Twistin' It Up in Northampton

Ever since I stopped running a production company, I have had several tons (really, probably 4 tons (8000 pounds)) of used wool sweaters on hand.  These were originally purchased for production and have been stored since May 2008 when Crispina dba Fuchsia, Inc. closed up shop.  My self inflicted task - was to use all the leftover material for highly value-added products/production.  It would not work for me to throw any of the mass away - even donating it to The Salvation Army or Goodwill seemed defeating.  (Admittedly, a 12 step program for recyclers is in order here ~).   I have slowly been working my way through the PILE, making and selling my own work, teaching workshops, and selling raw material to students and local makers.  This small demand was really not denting the VOLUME of used clothing in my life!   That was the case, until March, when I got a call from Melanie and Tiffany of Look At Me Designs.  They were interested in buying the rest of my sweater MOUNTAIN for their production.  I was so excited to clear out the sweaters out I surprised myself!  The bales of sweaters are gone.  My space is clearing making room for new studio tenants, and  you will see significant changes in my work and product offerings.  No more room-sized rugs in all one color.  No more 'monochromatic' blankets made from 100 shades of the same hue in beautifully textured recycled wool with cables, pockets and the occasional button.  Ragamuffins live on as do blankets, and rugs - but just differently.


I am recycling sweatshirts and t-shirts and LOVING it!  There are sundresses, richly appliqued tops, sweatshirts, bags, aprons.  The line ranges in price from $9-$500.  Come see it all at Twist this weekend.  Here are the deets:

Location Northampton Center for the Arts 17 New South Street Northampton, MA USA

Twist 6 Show Dates

Friday May 6, 2011 VIP Reception 4:00pm - 6:00pm Gen Admission 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Saturday May 7, 2011 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Admission Adults $4.00 Kids (6-12) $2.00 5 and under FREE

VIP Reception $15.00

Made Today

Well here is a pretty terrible picture of the blanket occupying my head for the last few days.  Finally got enough time in the studio and material cut to sew it together.  I edged it with buttercream colored silk charmeuse.  The material is soft and thick and about half cashmere half wool all from used sweaters.  It is 33"x42" and made with 3" squares - pixels.  There is a baby in mind for this one - but there are sure to others soon.  Stay tuned, my wheels are turning.    .    .    .    .   .    .    .