August 23, 2016

Instagram: Late August Edition(!)

How is it possible that it’s late August already? This summer has flown by, mainly because it’s been so busy. But it’s never too busy to snap some pictures for you and for Instagram!

Dill flowers from the garden at Halcyon House Antiques. I love this image.image

After a massive rainstorm, we had the most vibrant rainbow!image

Who knew pumpkins had thorns! This will be a tiny pumpkin, a volunteer from one a threw in the garden last fall.image

I think this is one of the most beautiful buildings in Baltimore. Another reminder to look up!image

Just in the last week, we’ve had several big storms, which come with great clouds.image

Getting very excited for the Portobello Pop Up in September. image

Late 1800’s flow blue cup and saucer. So modern looking!image

It drives me crazy for Figue to have her hair in her eyes, so I chopped it off. It didn’t work too well.image

Alice’s White Rabbit – one of the designs for a tea-towel for the pop-up sale.image

I am heading to the beach for a few days with one of my English cousins who’s visiting, so I will see you next week!

August 17, 2016

Summer Suppers

I love this time of year mainly for the fact that two of my favourite things are in ample supply: Tomatoes and Peaches. As children, we always had plenty of both and they evoke such great food memories of picking and eating tomatoes straight from the garden, and going to a farm and getting bushels of peaches. image

To me, there’s nothing better than a simple tomato sandwich. Just white bread, Dukes mayonaise, freshly picked and sliced tomatoes and some salt and pepper. You have to eat them immediately or the bread gets soggy. I could eat these for supper every night during August.

I also love Insalata Caprese, which is just tomatoes, good mozzarella and basil leaves, drizzled with some good balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. image

Additionally, if you’ve got a huge bounty of tomatoes, you can make sauces, or do like I do and dry them in the oven until they’re leathery, and then preserve them in olive oil. Simply slice them, put them on a cookie sheet in the oven at about 200*, and leave them for several hours. An added bonus is that your house will smell amazing!

On Saturday mornings, when I work at Halcyon House Antiques, I stop at a farm stand and pick up provisions for the week, including peaches. While they don’t always look picture perfect, they are delicious! image

Again, my favourite thing to do is wash them and cut them into quarters or eighths, sprinkle them with a tiny bit of vanilla sugar, and eat them, skin and all. I know that some people can’t stand the fuzzy skin, but if you wash them and rub them a bit, the fuzz comes off.

If I have a couple of pounds of peaches, I love making peach and bourbon jam.image I wrote about it here, and think that it tastes amazing on a good vanilla ice cream. It’s fun to make enough to share with friends as a host/hostess gift at a summer supper.

What’s your go-to summer meal?

August 8, 2016

Bizzy Bizzy Me!

Yikes! Last week was the first time since I started writing the blog that I didn’t post at all. I kept meaning to, but things kept getting in the way.

To start, I am busy preparing for my Portobello Pop-Up in just about a month. It’s being held at the fabulous Halcyon House Antiques, just north of Baltimore, beginning on September 16th, and running for about a week.image

In addition to vintage and antique china and silver, I am also designing a line of tea-towels that we will be selling at the Pop-Up.
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All of the towels are printed on a 50/50 blend of linen and cotton, and the details in the images are really amazing. It’s been such fun playing with a lot of different designs and finding fascinating old images. Of course, in addition to designing these, I am also sewing them into towels.

Another related project was finally, after five years, finalizing the Toile de Baltimore print. Literally, five years of playing with this pattern, trying to get the repeat to work out. I have added a trellis background, but want to play with it a bit more. However, for now, this will work for some small pieces, and pillows. imageThe images are the Patterson Park Pagoda, the Pride of Baltimore, Fort McHenry, the Washington Monument and Homewood House, all icons of Baltimore.

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Dear sweet Figue is also taking up my time. imageShe’s a scamp and finds a way to get into everything. After having two dogs who never got into anything, I really have to keep on my toes and make sure anything that ever had some food in it, is put away immediately. Between the time I walked into the house, let her out, went to the loo and walked back to the living room, she’d snatched a packet of prosciutto!imageAlso none too fun was giving this little wiggle-worm a bath and a wee hair trim! Her hair is very curly and I brush it every day, but a bath was in order after she rolled in something stinky!

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My new favourite summer drink is F’Rosè! You have to say it out loud to get it. It’s frozen rosè, sort of like a slushy. image

The Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section had the simplest recipe the other week, which was the one we tried. It’s just 3 oz. of rosè, 2 oz. of simple syrup and ice. Blend and drink. We questioned the need for simple syrup and tried it without, which was fine. But the addition of maybe two tablespoons, not two ounces, of the simple syrup really made it sing. Of course, we couldn’t leave well enough alone, so we added some fresh peach puree! Magical!

Hope your summer’s been great. Hard to believe we’re in the second week of August!