inhale...exhale...relax your shoulders...repeat as often as needed

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

roasted cherry tomatoes

Batman starts some of our garden bounty from seeds, early in the season, tucked along various sunny windowsills around the house. But we usually buy tomato starts at the farmer's market...this year down in Norwich. (I think we went to King Arthur Flour for breakfast on the way). Priced to sell, Batman bought a bunch of starts and now, a whole summer later, we have cherry tomatoes galore! 

We can't keep up with the volume of sweet little orbs that practically drop into our hands as we pick them. So, I have been roasting them in the oven and freezing them. Last winter, we often used the frozen tomatoes as a topping on homemade, wood fired pizza, baked in our Home Comfort.

It's super easy to roast tomatoes in the oven, be they fresh from your own garden or your local farmer's market, or neighborhood store.
  • preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • rinse and drain your garden fresh tomatoes.
  • spread them out on a parchment paper covered rimmed baking pan.
  • drizzle a bit of olive oil over the tomatoes and move them around to lightly coat them.
  • add some freshly cut herbs, yesterday I used oregano and rosemary.
  • sprinkle with sea salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. 
  • roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes, then give them a bit of a gentle stir.
  • after stirring them, give them another 10-15 minutes, until they have all burst open and shriveled a bit.
  • remove them from the oven and let them cool completely.
  • I usually remove the twiggy bits leftover from the herbs and drop them in the compost.
  • put appropriate portions in small freezer bags, clearly marked with the date and content.
  • store in your freezer until you have forgotten what garden fresh tomatoes taste like. 
  • open your freezer, grab a bag to defrost and start your pizza dough!
This sew and sow life really comes on strong at this time of year. Harvesting and stitching and living the dream.

What's happening in your kitchens at this time of year, friends?

Monday, August 29, 2016

triptych 35

After being away again for a bit, I spent some time wandering around our place today, soaking in the last little bit of August and I took lots of colorful pictures.  These three, tho, with their muted colors and gentle mood caught my attention. 

-Sweet Wilma
-dried poppy seed heads from the gardens and a bit of birchbark, stashed for an upcoming winter project
-Honeybee's paws

I'm going to try to be around here at sewandsowlife more often, with show and tell.
Autumn is my favorite. xo

Please remember, I am now responding to your comments right here, in the comments section below. It's such fun to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

honeybee and wilma and getting along

My Mumsie's kitty Honeybee has moved to Vermont to live with us. She is on the left, above. Her life has been turned upside down and she misses my Mumsie (who is working on some of her own changes), her home and the peace and quiet she used to enjoy.

Our growing kitten, Wilma, is on the right. She is SO EXCITED to have a new friend and she just won't give Honeybee much of a rest. 

They are working things out, very slowly. Honeybee does much growling and hissing with ears laid back and she gives warning swats. Wilma just dances around her on tip toes, chirping kitten chirps and follows Honeybee everywhere.

Make no mistake, there are "time outs" during the day and they are shut apart at night. We don't want to push our luck...

But twice now I have caught them napping in the same room.

I watch them and wonder why new relationships are sometimes so difficult to navigate. "The Other" looms large for so many of us. 


Over and over again the magic word is patience.

Maybe trust, too.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

these days

These days are filled with changes. I've been away for a bit, but am back at home for now. Recharging my batteries for whatever comes next.  Soaking in the restorative air here on the ridge. Watching the fog drift around the birches. Breathing in and out. 

Gathering supplies to dye with plants.

Reorganizing my ebb project, to extend the size of the piece. An "in process" photo has been submitted for consideration for inclusion in a special exhibit by the VTMQG at the Champlain Valley Quilt Guild show in October. (eek!)

Reading The Housekeeper and the Professor for book club this Friday. We share a themed meal along with discussion. I plan to make these to take along.

How about you, dear readers...what are you reading, knitting, sewing, growing, thinking about these days?


Saturday, August 6, 2016


A few weekends ago I spent a day with quilting star Carolyn Friedlander, participating in a workshop hosted by my favorite little shop in Burlington, nido. It was great fun to pack up my supplies, drive north along gorgeous interstate 89 and then unpack in a classroom full of friends, both old and new. Carolyn was a wonderful teacher. She shared clear directions, encouraging comments and introduced a few products and techniques that were new to me. I love her emphasis on "slow stitching" and her book Savor Each Stitch has become a source of inspiration for me. 

In the morning we worked on paper piecing with her pattern "outhouse". I had done plenty of paper piecing before, years ago. The technique came right back to me and I was reminded that it often feels like one is thinking "inside out" when doing paper piecing. It was such fun to see all the different versions of the wee little houses that classmates made. Such a variety of interpretations!

We broke for lunch hour and then switched gears and took up hand applique.

In the photo at the top of this post, you can see progress on my own version of her applique pattern "ebb". I rummaged thru a lot of my scraps and collected fabrics that remind me of our meadow. The piece is hand appliqued, and I am loving Carolyn's needle-turned technique. The biggest challenge to getting this done in a timely fashion is the trouble caused by a certain kitten who is ever so intrigued by a needle and thread...

Have any of you been trying something new? My friend Anne over at My Giant Strawberry has inspired some folks to try daily work in sketchbooks. She's got a wonderful series on her blog, highlighting various artists and their daily habits, and she is offering her own class at Skill Share as well.

Also, please note that from now on, I will respond to your thoughtful comments here on the blog, right under your own comment. I look forward to more dialog with you, dear readers!

You may also notice a new blog over in the sidebar. "A Repository For Growth" was my answer to my aging brain. Sometimes I hear a great piece on the radio or read something and then forget where it came from. The new blog is my attempt to keep track of these things. Maybe you will find something of interest there, too.

It's also my intention to update our reno blog eventually. There is so much to say!