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Archive for April, 2011

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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{this moment}

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

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The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook has been kicking around our kitchen for some time now.  It’s one of those cookbooks whose pages are splattered and creased.  The kind of cookbook where you can open automatically to the recipe you want because the pages are so used to falling open just so.  A cookbook whose cover has developed quite the patina from heavy handling by greased and floured fingers.  How refreshing then, to take the same well-used book off the shelf and dive into an entirely new recipe! Thus began my slightly obsessive baking streak with cinnamon bread.

I have a little baking friend.  An 8-year-old girl who lives down the street.  She comes over to play with Eli, but always seems to wind up in the kitchen with me, her hands covered in flour.  The Cinnamon Bread recipe (really Cinnamon Raisin Bread) yields a hefty 3 loaves.  And, knowing that Eli wouldn’t dream of touching a raisin, I knew only one loaf would actually contain my favorite sun-dried treats.  I planned on keeping the other two plain in courtesy of the non-raisin-lovers among us.

We used the roll-up method, since it’s fun and pretty and what doesn’t taste better with butter and cinnamon swirled up inside it?  We rolled up the raisin loaf and one plain loaf and with her hands on the rolling pin readying for the third, my little baking friend implored me to stuff it full of chocolate chips.  No way, I said at first.  I want to eat this for breakfast.  She was insistent though, and I finally relented.  (Okay fine, it’s not that hard to convince me to stuff something full of chocolate).

All three variations have proved to be delicious.  But while we’re still enjoying  our cinnamon breads as breakfast toast (particularly good smothered with my friend Renee’s Blackberry-Crab apple Jelly), the Chocolate Swirl Bread is long gone.   Sometimes it really pays to listen to an 8-year-old.

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So I agreed to showcase my work at a local fundraising event.  This meant, in theory, that I had the opportunity to reach out to some new customers and make a healthy amount of sales.  It meant, in practice, that I needed to generate some serious volume in a short window of time (a short window for a busy mama, anyway).  What’s nice about generating a lot of a particular something, I have rediscovered, is getting into a groove where it all flows nicely.  It’s a kind of bliss to busy myself with cutting and scoring while the printer drones on with the next round of cards.  A nice, well-timed chain of operations for this one-woman show.  Like it.

Anyway, here’s the result of my busy weeks.  I did a mock-up table display at home and then my folks took the show on the road.   I spent the night at home doing the mama-thing (the whole baby-who-drinks-from-his-mama-but-won’t-touch-a-bottle thing) while my good parents manned my booth for me at the event.  Love them.

It is so hugely satisfying to put a month’s worth of effort out onto display.  It makes me feel, I dare say, pretty darn productive.  And oh how I love that the result of my production is beautiful little bits of paper for people to write on.  For people to reach out to one another through the timeless and hearty thing called correspondence.  Love it.  Love it.  Love it.

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It’s been mighty quiet on this here blog of mine.  Meanwhile, it’s been a blur of designing and cutting and scoring and readying over in this here studio of mine.

Last week left me with the satisfaction of having completed two big work projects.  The first being this wonderful 50 page photo album for my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday.  The second being a small show in which I was a vendor and we can just leave that one for another post, can’t we?  (Yes we can, especially when I’m averaging one post every other week).

Chip’s album was commissioned by Jef’f’s Dad, who supplied me with a comprehensive 75-photo stack to chronicle some of the highlights of Chip’s 40 years on planet Earth.  It was my job to then mat and crop each photo, add captions to some, put it all together in some logical format, bind it all together and exercise good editing all the while.  It felt like a big undertaking with a busy 7 month old alongside me.  But great undertakings allow for great satisfaction once they are completed, don’t they?

I don’t like my albums to be too scrapbook-y.  I think simple is best when making something to hopefully last for years and years to come.  Yet, it is nice to have a little fun with colors and patterns and text.  Just enough to make it special.

I always find that making albums like these for family members is such a rewarding process.  I get to construct a small chronicle of their lives and immerse myself in all the fun and emotion that each photo conjures up.  Chip has been such a big part of our lives that I found much of my family scattered throughout the pages of this book.  It reminded me of just how very rich I am with the love and presence of warm, funny, generous, good people.  A rewarding process, indeed.

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{this moment}

…taking inspiration from SouleMama in celebrating {this moment}.    There are no words to this Friday ritual.  Just a sweet and simple moment from the week to remember, cherish and absorb just a little bit longer.

Read Full Post »