recipe

Archive for the ‘Handmade’ Category

Page 1 of 1112345»10...Last »
Aug
05
2014

Farm Fresh From Vermont

Update: The goal was met and Swan&Stone are headed to NYC!!! Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!!

If you have ever visited my blog you know my love of all things Vermont. Vermont is my happy place. Anytime I get the opportunity to share it, I take that opportunity. And I take it seriously. I have something really special to share today.

logo_name_only20

It’s not often you see the word millinery. I found Swan&Stone a couple of years back when they were Little Hill Woolworks and bought a hat right then and there!

Collaborators Samantha Stone and Nora Swan, both former New Yorkers, are the brains, hearts and hands behind Swan&Stone. Both have contributed fascinating halves that make the whole of all that is now a thriving millinery housed in The Granary in quintessential, bucolic Brandon, Vermont.

IMG_6372 (2)

Robbin, my oldest and dearest friend, and I were treated to a personal tour of Swan&Stone when we were in Brandon last October. Yes, Vermont in October. Heaven on Earth! Our tour guide was Kelly, whom I met through the wonderful world wide web when we were both in business – she owned a handcrafted lollipop business and I owned Dahlem’s Soapworks. I don’t remember exactly how we met, but it was meant to be. Kelly is an amazing mom and friend AND an extraordinary photographer. I have given her credit on the photos that belong to her – though you could probably tell already – they are amazing.

IMG_6657

Stepping into Swan&Stone is a feast for the eyes for anyone – but for a couple of women who love Vermont, LOVE handcrafted, LOVE sustainable products, LOVE locavore culture, LOVE farms and sheep and hats…well our breaths were taken away! We tried on hats, admired and admonished our choices, and had an amazing and educational visit with Samantha. I am kicking myself for not purchasing my favorite of the day – a felt beauty that was a little steampunk, a little country with lot of attitude – you know, like me! LOL! The trim on it was bits & bobs of metal found after Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on beautiful Brandon back in August of 2011.

There are numerous articles written about Swan&Stone online and I will give you links at the end of this post. But the words that are their own are the best. What interesting women, business owners, and artisans. I have to admit, I will never look at hats the same. I say all the time: I wish people still wore hats. WELL, people do! Bold people. Confident people. People who don’t bend and give to the latest fashion trend. That’s what I love about Sam & Nora’s creations – they are timeless. Beautiful, extraordinary, handmade hats for now and forever.

IMG_6392

wooden hat blocks

IMG_6386

one of a kind hats for men

IMG_6384 (2)

hats waiting for embellishments

Dump 1-1-14 016

LOVE the blue!!

1238936_10202224198471397_6562650_n(from STRUT 2013) photo credit: Kelly McCullough

1002211_10202224201311468_121607454_n

photo credit: Kelly McCullough

there’s something for everyone!

felt hats, straw hats, fascinators, kids’ hats, hats for brides

These are literally farm to head hats!

10364011_10204365732128400_7337002065634544475_n

photo credit: Kelly McCullough

sheep1

photo credit: Kelly McCullough

sheep2

photo credit: Kelly McCullough (I need this one framed)

Now Samantha and Nora have a once in a lifetime chance to show their hats to the world! After a rigorous jury process they have been invited to show and sell their hats at the 2014 Grand Central Holiday Fair! Yes! THAT Grand Central – in New York City! There is a little bump in the road, a catch if you will – the $16K entrance fee. But you know what? This is very doable – and you, me, we can help them meet that challenge head on (no pun intended) and become the famous milliners they are destined to be. I believe in what Swan& Stone is doing. Grass to market isn’t just about food anymore. Every product that is made from sustainable goods should be readily available to consumers who care about that very important factor in producing goods & services. Fine hats should be no exception. So please visit their KickStarter page and contribute.

Every little bit will help them realize their dream.  AND you too can own an original Swan&Stone creation with your contribution.

8de2018c2322bc75a6c4d1033023aa7e_large

Please do you and me both a favor and follow the link, visit Swan&Stone’s Kickstarter Page and help this woman owned and operated business show in NYC! You know what they say: If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. And Samantha and Nora deserve this opportunity – they have worked so hard and offer beautiful handcrafted hats that anyone would love.

Be sure and watch the video on your visit to their kickstarter page. There is also an easy “go to” link in the right column – check it out!

You can read more about Swan&Stone here:

You can also follow them on twitter @ https://twitter.com/swanandstone and find them on Face book @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/SwanStone-Millinery/187059057992815

IMG_6383

With warmest regards,

Susan

Dec
04
2010

Happy National Cookie Day! Cookbook Project Announcement!

16435_1255243552046_1558315783_668313_5177480_n

If you will all send me your favorite cookie recipe with a photo if possible, I will put them altogether into a cookie book via PDF file and upload it so you can all have a copy.  Won’t this be fun!?  Come on let’s all make it happen.  So many times we get pumped about something and don’t finish it! Like where in the world is the round robin letter??? Or photos for November??? Not a one! Come on peeps help me out here! Send your recipe and photo to notquitejunecleaveratgmaildotcom. Of course you know to replace the at with a @ and the dot with a .

HEY I HAVE A GREAT IDEA! I tell you what, I will make this super easy.  December’s photo theme is COOKIES!  So send a recipe WITH a photo and you have killed to birds with one stone!  I will pick a winner from the cookie photos sent in! Can it be any easier?  Play along here…I need some inspiration! And let me bait you a bit more.  There will be a prize other than a very cool cookie book from Not Quite June Cleaver & Friends and a $20 Snapfish gift certificate.  I will throw in a one of a kind Not Quite June Cleaver Apron, handmade by yours truly.

The deadline is the same as the photo contest – last day of the month.  I will begin working on the cookie booklet as soon as the entries start arriving.  Then the first week of January I will announce the winner and finish up the booklet and and upload the pdf file so you can all have a copy!

Okay, there you have it! Let’s kick of December the right way!  Join the fun!  Have a great weekend.

Aug
24
2010

I am not going to let Facebook ruin my blogging!

Seriously.  I find I update my facebook page and feel like I would be repeating myself here! Not so.  Plenty of people have not gone the facebook route.  Many times I wish I hadn’t! So I am going to make it right!  Starting today!  I am going to catch y’all up on what has happened in my life since I last posted and reinstate some things that kept me writing and hopefully you reading!

WOW, where to start? Go ahead and get that cup of coffee or tea and a biscuit and have a seat, this may take a while!  And I will try not to confuse you and keep my timeline straight.

It honestly isn’t like I have been holed up not living life.  Au contraire, mes amis! This Summer of 2010 has been crazy busy!  Gardening, mowing, kids, grandkids, short adventures, long adventures.  I will admit the cooking bug has been squashed in this horrible endless heat.  We have had so many days over 100 and even a couple with the heat index into the 100-teens.  I don’t know all the statistics but July broke records for heat and drought in my area.  I will never believe anyone who says “But it was a dry heat so it wasn’t so bad.” BULL!  Hot is hot.

Last time I posted was my birthday.  And it was a very very good birthday indeed.  Big OLD 51.  Not a milestone but something about starting on the second half of a century is kinda mind blowing.  I got this great wagon from Jerry.

wagon2

Isn’t she a beauty?  We have already put her to much use hauling pears from our one, insane pear tree.  These pears are inedible unless you are a raccoon or a possum.  And I forget how many Jerry said he hauled the last day he picked them up but it was a ridiculous amount.  They are gone and now the mama raccoon and her four little bandits are eating our cats’ food like crazy!  When Jerry gets home, if they are still around we are going to trap and relocate them before someone (namely Mo, Julius or Siobhan) gets hurt or killed.

Okay, so August moves along ~ rapidly it seems!  Jerry headed back to Tunisia the Monday after my birthday.  Here are a few pictures of the highlights of August. On the gardening subject, I have started some tomatoes I hope will be winter/greenhouse tomatoes.  This is a new thing for me.  I will see how it goes.  This is an early picture.  They are still alive, and have 6 little leaves, so that is a good sign, right?

tomatoes

Oh and I have new overalls!  I bought these for myself – sort of a birthday present – sort of I fell in love with them and needed them!

38505_COF

And the color is coffee!  Perfect!  And of course I needed new rubber boots and have been needing them for forever.  The ones I have are so dang heavy I can’t walk very far in them without getting leg cramps!

38026_NVY

Cute huh?

Okay, let’s see.  OH both girls, Hannah and Rachel started college yesterday.  That is sort of getting my cart before my horse in the timeline but it is pertinent to the next bit of what is going on and what will be going on.  So yes, they are both Northwestern State University Demons as of yesterday.  Hannah is in Accounting.  Rachel in Fine Arts.  I am sure as time goes on, they will provide me with tales to tell!

With Rachel starting college, she is dropping the baking biz all together.  That was a given.  Baking does not fit in her very busy schedule.  So I did this order all by myself last week.

Karen2

NOT FUN by myself!  Yes, that’s 16 boxes you count!  Petit fours, decorated cookies, mini Bakewells, cream wafers, chocolate chips…but it all turned out lovely and the customer was very very happy.

Karensorder

The person I made all this for is a friend from way back and she called yesterday to say it was all a hit.  So happy to hear that!  And I have a little baking order today and one for this weekend for family and I will try to get postings made of those.  But I learned a lot doing this big (to me) order by myself.  One thing, I want/need help for something that big.  Two, it’s not that much fun working in the kitchen by myself on something so important.  Three, I miss making soap.

There I said it.  I have been saying it to myself for 6 months. And to Jerry for almost that long.  Just blurting it out every now and again in the middle of a discussion that has nothing to do with soapmaking.  Then I would follow up with “I don’t mean that do I?”  I know how much he hated how the soap took over our house before.  Here is just a small example.  Look at all the soap stuff! My poor kitchen!

kitchenwitch

He even built me a shoppe.

100_2280

100_2276

And still there were oils in every corner, soap curing all over the place.  Stacks of wrapped. Girls wrapping soap.

girlswrappingsoap

Boxes waiting to be mailed.  UPS delivered something nearly every day. And this was a picture of my porch ONE DAY the week before Christmas 2007:

mailingboxesxmas07

The post office sent a separate truck to my house. They were so excited!  So was I – as far as I know not ONE mistake in that day’s shipping!  Business was so good and then along came MaryJanesFarm!  WOW.  Amazing.

And then my mom got sick. And everything changed.  Everything.  Soap was WAY down on my list of things that mattered.

When I sold the internet part of my business and forwarded my wholesale customers information about the new owners, I agreed not to go back into the internet soap business and compete with the people I sold that part to.  However, I just learned last week that they are no longer making soap to sell.  And have closed their internet shop.  I found this out when an old customer of mine emailed me to say the site was down, she had been ordering from them since I closed, and I sent out an inquiry to try and help her get what she needed.  I got a response that said “I am still making soap, just not selling it at present.We have closed down the web site and do not now for the time being have an internet presence.”

WOW! Really?  So what does this mean?  Will they never?  Could I make and sell again without breaking my word?  I am still mulling all that over.  I never want to do wholesale again.  About all it did was keep a little money in the kitty for ingredients and work me half to death!  I don’t want to put up a website again.  For one thing I don’t want to maintain one.  That alone is a lot of work.  But I don’t think my making soap for customers who have asked for it since I quit, doing an catalog in pdf form and talking about it here and on facebook violates that.  Especially since they are no longer doing business.  It was almost like that was the door I was waiting to open.  I have not sold soap locally in over three years.  And that was always part of the agreement.  I could make and sell all I wanted to locally.  I don’t want it to get overwhelming again.   Some months I mailed 2000 bars of soap not counting the local wholesale and local retail.  It was too TOO much for just me. I always, ALWAYS, wanted to have my hands on every bar that left here. I never expected it to grow into something I needed to hire someone besides the girls to help with. And as girls grew up and got jobs outside home, they didn’t have time.  And now they are both in college.  And I don’t think Ben has one bit of interest in soap. Other than for his personal use ;)

So yeah…I’m a nut. That’s not news to anyone.  I have felt so happy since I decided to give the soap pot another stir.  I just have to keep it real.  Keep it manageable and do nothing to violate my agreement.  An agreement that may or may not exist any more.

Enough of that.  Here is what’s coming up.  Interviews this Autumn that you will NOT believe.  Seriously. I get butterflies just thinking about it.  Oh please, please, please don’t fall thru!  Opportunities of a lifetime!  To pick these brains!  And then share my pickins with you happy people!

So let’s see.  Soap? covered.  Interviews? said all I can at this time.  Squeeeeeeee!!!!!!! Now…more stuff. I am going to reinstate and reorganize some “Days of The Week with NotQuiteJuneCleaver”:

  • Magpie Mondays ~news from here, chit chat, talkie, talkie, interviews{squeeeeeeee!!!!!}
  • Treehuggin’ Tuesday ~ pretty self explanatory – I’m a treehugger and I am going to talk about it on Tuesdays! Green products, etc
  • Wednesday’s Woman ~ I will introduce you to a blog I follow and the woman who writes it-maybe even a short little something from her
  • Thoughtful Thursday ~ What ever is worth thinking about. Words of wisdom from all sorts of people who have inspired me & made me think.
  • Foodie Friday ~ Recipes and menus, food photography, trends, you know – food news ;)
  • Simply Saturday ~ things that simply find themselves bound to Saturday – movies, books, gardening, housework
  • So…It’s Sunday ~ recapping my week, announcing what’s coming up the next week, soap news – stuff, know what I mean?

This does not mean I will post everyday but I will at least have an outline!

AND I would like to do a  Photo Contest every so often.  Working on the details of that. Will announce that pretty soon.

So…whew.  Told you it would take a while. Okay, that’s what I have in mind.  Actually I have quite a lot in mind.  But the things I am most excited about are stirring up some soap and the interviews.  Whoa, baby! So excited!

By the way peeps, I LOVE comments.  So leave me some, mmK?  I know you visit.  I have a stat counter!  But you never comment.  I don’t mean NEVER never…but I do love comments.  Nice ones that is ;) Okay, neither do I.  I visit the same wonderful blogs everyday but seems someone always beats me to the punch.  I think awwww someone already said that.  Well I have a new rule! I am not reading comments before I post mine.  If I repeat something well so be it!  I am saying my piece anyway!

Now for your Treehugging Tuesday Tidbit: Recycling Soup Cans – so cool! Click on the pictures to read all about it!

fuse-can-2heinz-fuse

See you happy folks tomorrow.  It will be Wednesday’s Woman so stop by!

Page 1 of 1112345»10...Last »