How much sugar does it take to fall in love?

Strawberry_empanadasChocolate_ganache_tartOatmeal_cherry_cookiedough

I’m not quite sure of the answer, my mom did all the baking while I was dating my dh.  I was away at college and she made my fiance apple crisp every time he visited their home.  (I’m certain it was a lot!)  However, I do know how much it takes to keep a good husband…

Bacon_pork_apple_reductionCookie_doughFresh_fruit

There was another kind of sugar I saw this week too.  She was just as sweet.

Sugar_baby1Pink_fingers

 

 

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spring and seattle

We went out to a wee farm this week.  Some friends of ours have sheep and their baby lambs were born, so we wanted to go for a visit.

This particular mother was very lenient towards us, thankfully, and allowed the munchkins to love all over her baby.  On this farm our friends also keep cattle, goats, gardens, rabbits, chicks, chickens, dogs, and everything that make children sufficiently wildly happy.  Being out-of-doors on a spring day was good for me too!  The light is so much kinder, the palette brighter, the air fresher.

My girlfriend also shared some of her fresh rhubarb which I made into a strawberry pie.  This pie plate was emptied in five minutes flat. 5 minutes.  I can’t wait until all the growing appetites in this house start to kick in.

Here is the Seattle chocolate shop that I promised to tell you about.  It’s just a few blocks up from Pike’s Place Market, across from the Seattle Art Museum (and just down from the Gelatto shop). It’s called Fran’s and it also has a wonderful hot cocoa station.  Dh and the munchkins were already ordering gellato up the street for us, or I would have had to have one. I did pick up a lovely egg filled with chocolate chicks for Easter.

 

We also stopped in at the French style bakery, Le Panier, after lunch for some take home treats. (No, I didn’t get all the ones pictured below, even though I would have wanted too!)

 

CroissantsDOrsayPaquesPetitsPuff_pastry

 

 

 

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Garden dreaming

Two more trees bloomed this week, both apples.  They all take their turns and I feel like I could call out their names from the conductors stand on the balcony.

I’ve just realized that all of my trees blossom white; cherries, apples and plums. However, at the front of Deer Haven, everything besides the daffodils blooms in various shades of purple.  Speaking of purple plants, if you have deer, take note that they really have turned up their noses at my Hyacinth, Hydrangeas, and Lavender.

While in Seattle last week near Pike’s Place, there was an international news and magazine stand. I was tickled to run across it and searched until I found just what I was looking for.  Marie Claire idees, spring 2010. This lovely French magazine jump started my thinkings about my garden in the most pleasant way possible.  The trick for Deer Haven is how to create small spaces out of large, flat, plain jane spaces.  I just love their cozy French patio room!

I’ve been thinking about “garden rooms”  in the landscaping meaning of the terms lately, due to the fact that I have three big outdoor parties to host in the next few months.

I have picked up furniture that lends itself to the shabby chic/garage sale special variety as well as a formal table.  What I don’t have is a green thumb or an already functioning landscaped estate.  What I found when I went looking for ideas was the concept of breaking up monotonous areas into “outdoor rooms”.  This could be created in so many different ways, but one that really appealed to me came with a set of downloadable plans!  Garden Structure’s website features a wonderful pergola and the design plan is all of

$25.   I also liked the idea of low walls in order to create a space without blocking a larger view.There are two on Sundance Landscaping’s website that would work for this.  One of them features low rectangular planters that would be just the right heighth to feed the deer. I mean, to grow vegetables. The other creates layers of walls, each higher than the last with plantings beyond the half height brick wall.

Next week I’ll show you a little chocolate shop I found in Seattle.

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Common Mother

It was only a five hour drive to another country last week.  We may even have gone up for the Olympics if I’d had realized how close it really was.  Nothing of those games remained besides the grumblings of the commuters about the shove of people on the mass transit while the games were there.

We got the benefit of coming after the games though in the hotel rates.  (They had a “spring special” on the website.)  We stayed at the Sutton Place Hotel and had two bedrooms as well as the pull out couch in the living room. The lobby was nice and the staff quite friendly, not at all stuffy about us being there with all the munchkins.

Our suite was much larger than I’d thought we were getting, and though a “bit” worn, perfect for us.  The munchkins took no time at all in turning the livingroom into a comfy space.

I’m really not much of a tourist, ever, at all.  However, I thought that we would like to experience a suspension bridge over a river and treetop bridges like ones in Myst, one of their favorite games.

We took the subway and the ferryboat to get there, which the munchkins just loved.

We only needed to stay for one night in B.C., to take care of some business there, so I hadn’t made plans for us to do too much.  It was very nice to just get a feel for the place in order to find out whether we wanted to come back.

I also found a little shop just down from the hotel, La Vie in Rose. Things were reasonably priced even though it was right on the main avenue.

I have to say that the whole city gave us a flashback of being in Europe, because of the British influence.  It’s so lovely that it was just a few moments over the border.  We really enjoyed our time there, and are already thinking about when we can go again.  It was cold while we were there though!

The sketch of the children is from Marguerite de Angeli’s Mother Goose Book.  The city of Vancouver had quite a few of the older houses on the main streets outside the city proper, similar to the ones back in the Netherlands as well as many Victorian homes of early settlers from England.  We stopped in Seattle on the way home, and I’ll show you  some places there next week.

These cities are a far cry from where my mother’s family grew up in Appalachia.  The watercolor on the left is from a book named Appalachia, illustrated by Barry Moser.

I ordered a wooden Indian stamp from England after watching a video on how fabric is hand printed in India.  The stamp arrived this we
ek and we are going to try it out in our fabric books tomorrow.  I’ll show you my book when we finish the class in four weeks.  It’s the same class I was teaching last semester, and I have just continued working in the same fabric book.  See the earlier photos here.

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Easter Table

Everyone is in bed and the bunny has come.  You can have the first peek if you’re still up!  I love to decorate our table on this special night.

The flowers on my mini tree are miniature flowers made following the instructions for Martha’s dahlias.

These eggs are simply cut plastic, but I love the way they sparkle and after the number of dyed eggs the munchkins broke today, I’m glad they aren’t glass.

The first of the three photos below shows a box with a purple ribbon.  I picked this up when we were in Seattle this week.  It’s a chocolate egg from Fran’s chocolates and I was totally intrigued by it!  The egg itself has an embossed surface and inside are chocolate chicks. Soooo cute!  I can’t wait to see the munchkins’ reactions in the morning.

Easter_eggNew_birthEaster_basket

 

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