Friday, July 30, 2010

Just Finished Knitting Today!

Just off the needles and added to my Etsy Shop today is this cropped wool jacket with three quarters length sleeves.

The asymmetrical styling is accented with two over sized buttons at the neckline.

I knitted this jacket with a strand of ecru wool and a strand of Buttermilk Cottage's own boutique yarn, FUSION, held together throughout. This FUSION colorway is a blend of peach, lavender, yellow, mint green and beige.

How about a little armchair shopping this weekend?
Have a great one!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I have many weaknesses--I like chocolate WAY more than I should, I'm a sucker for SEX AND THE CITY. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, how many times I've already seen it, if I happen upon a repeat episode, I'll sit and watch it. But my biggest weakness is fabric. Lucky for me, there's SIRS FABRICS. Also, lucky for me, they are located six hours away from where I live, so I can't go every other day.

But when I do go, it's pure heaven. I can literally spend all day there. SIR'S has been in operation in Fayetteville, Tennessee since 1948. The surprising thing about it, is its size and that it's there at all. The business consists of two separate stores, one across the street from the other, and each is huge. Fayetteville is a lovely small, southern town in a largely farming area. You just never expect this explosion of designer fabrics when you walk through the door.

SIR'S is and always has been a family owned and operated business. It has been the mainstay of my tote bag business almost since its beginning. A side benefit of getting an order from a yarn shop for an an assortment of tote bags and needle cases is that it gives me an excuse for another trip to SIR'S to buy more fabric!

And did I mention trims? There is no lack of choice for those either.

Here's my latest treasure, picked up earlier this month. I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do with it...I just know I love it and I have about ten yards of it. I see it as maybe in a series of small totes, think fabric baskets, or I can always use it somewhere in my house, because the colors are perfect...more on that later...I need to go sew for a while...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010



Perhaps I'm a bit out of touch, but I had never heard of quinoa (KEEN-wah) until two months ago. My friend Betty was visiting from Miami and telling me about her trip to Peru, where she was introduced to it. Then, a week or so ago, I saw it mentioned at ALL THE BEST BLOG. Finally, this morning, it was mentioned once again, this time on the TODAY SHOW. Well, third time is a charm! It's time for me to share with you!

Betty had sent me a recipe which I had already tried by the time I heard the other two references to it. Although it looks like a grain, it's really a relative of leafy green vegetables. Quinoa is a complete protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. You probably cannot find a healthier food. Or, a tastier one, if you use Betty's recipe for...

1 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white or combo)
2 T. grated lime zest
2 T. fresh lime juice
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. sea salt (I used Kosher, because that's what I had)
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 14-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 small tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
Cook quinoa according to directions on package. Allow to cool.
Whisk together lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
Combine all ingredients and toss well. Add salt and pepper if desired.
Serve warm or enjoy as a cold salad.
This dish keeps quite well. It makes an excellent main course or a nice side dish. We had it warm the first evening I made it. Leftovers were just as tasty a couple of days later.
You'll find another quinoa recipe at the above link for All the Best Blog. I haven't yet tried it, but it sounds quite good, with feta cheese, thyme and Kalamata olives.
Thank you Betty!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Abundance of Zucchini

Zucchini Bread

There's an abundance of zucchini from the garden now and I have an excellent idea for what to do with some of it.  As a matter of fact, I've already  put six loaves in my freezer.  It freezes well and is great to have on hand if someone stops by for a cup of coffee or glass of tea.  Here's the recipe I always use:

3 cups flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained
2 cups shredded zucchini
3/4 cups (the recipe calls for walnuts, but I always use) pecans (it's a southern thing)

Sift all dry ingredients together. Set aside.   Beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and pineapple.  Add dry ingredients.  Fold in zucchini and nuts.  Pour into two oiled and floured loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seriously Cute Slippers

I've just completed knitting some seriously cute slippers.  They're not my design, unfortunately;  I wish they were!.  They are a design from Tiny Owl Knits.  I found the free pattern on RAVELRY.  They are called, Amy March's Slippers, remember LITTLE WOMEN?  If you want a little knitting project, I thoroughly recommend these.  Knitted from BROWN SHEEP'S LAMBS PRIDE,  they are a quick, fun project and won't I be "the cat's meow" wearing them???  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The "Be Sweet...Repeat" Bag

I was delighted to hear from fellow blogger, SIX THIRTY THREE, that she was showing one of my bags in her post today. Thank you very much! It's always nice when that happens!

This little bag is an eco-friendly, reusable tote and is available at my Etsy store here. The blue, faux animal print is a durable, outdoor fabric, so it can handle any job you give it, from hauling groceries, carrying books, or going to the beach. It also folds into a small 4x6 1/2-inches, so you can tuck it into your purse, glove box or anywhere else you might need an extra bag.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crepe Myrtles

The crepe myrtles in my neighborhood are now at their peak!

Here are a few I spotted this morning on my walk.

If you're interested in learning more about crepe myrtles, the current issue of SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE, August 2010, has a great article which includes tips on growing these lovely plants and different types.

Crepe myrtles are near and dear to a Southerner's heart.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Recommendation

I've just finished, THE WINTER GARDEN by Kristin Hannah. I listened to it as an audio book on my Walkman. When it first starts, the story seems a bit trivial, but it builds into a very compelling story. It's a contemporary story of two adult sisters, who have always felt unloved by their seemingly cold mother. At their father's deathbed, he makes them promise to make their mother tell them her "fairly tale." The book develops into a story-within-a-story as the mother tells her story, which is actually an account of her life as a young woman in Leningrad during the siege of Stalin. I recommend it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Bag at my Etsy Shop

You'll find a new bag today at my Etsy Shop, This is the Katherine Bag (named after my daughter.)

This one is done in a pretty cream colored upholstery fabric with ribs of pastel orange, violet and mint green.

The lining is a pretty stripe.

There's a loop and stick button for closure and inside you'll find a handy pocket.

Great bag for whatever, but I like it for knitting and travel!

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fun with Fiber

I've had a couple of busy sewing days.

I've just completed an order for a shop, FUN WITH FIBER in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Now, all I have to do and pack it up and send it on it's way via UPS.

This time next week, they'll have a new selection of knitter's totes with matching accessory bags. If you're in their area, stop in and take a look.

Time now to enjoy the weekend! Have a great one!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Knotty Ewe

I recently had occasion to be driving through Lynchburg, Tennessee and came upon an unexpected surprise--a new yarn shop! Actually, THE KNOTTY EWE is not brand new, they've been in business for about a year. But, I had not been in, and since all I had to do that day was get back home by the end of it, I stopped.

The shop is owned by two long time friends Gloria and Jeanie. Only Jeanie was there the day I visited and we had quite a nice chat, surrounded by skeins and skeins of alpaca, bison, camel and soy yarns. One especially unusual yarn was of "chitin" fiber, a naturally antibacterial yarn made from shrimp and crab shells!!! The shop is filled with exotic yarns, knitting, crocheting and weaving implements, and a great collection of sheep.

It was an unexpected pleasure to find the shop and have such a nice visit. Of course I couldn't leave empty handed either. I picked up one skein of a yarn I've never used before. It's a fingering weight, space dyed blend of superwash wool and nylon called Trekking, Hand Art. If I were a sock knitter...but I'm not. So, I'll have to find another creative use for it.

If you're ever in the Lynchburg area, please stop in and tell them I sent you! While I'm mentioning Lynchburg, let me urge you to visit it if you're ever nearby. It's the home of the Jack Daniel's Distillery and it's probably worth a visit all by itself. They offer tours of the distillery year around. You'll also find Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House, a locally owned eatery devoted to southern cooking, served family style in a historical home. Miss Mary Bobo's has been recognized in the past by SOUTHERN LIVING Magazine as a readers' favorite. You'll also find numerous interesting shops, all within walking distance of The Knotty Ewe. (ALL this and I haven't even mentioned my all time favorite fabric store, SIR'S FABRICS which is about twenty miles away in Fayetteville, Tennessee. But that's another posting, all by itself for another time.) Did someone say, "road trip"???

Sunday, July 11, 2010

To Chair or Not to Chair...

Perhaps it was the colors yellow and red in this photo that first caught my attention. Add some blue and you've got my color palette at Buttermilk Cottage. When I recently saw this image at apartmenttherapy it hit a note with me. Particularly after reading the text, "Just because you have a small room doesn't mean you have to downsize the furniture. Sometimes going with big or overstuffed items helps to fill the space and pull the room together." This is music to my ears!

Buttermilk Cottage is a good size house. But dividing that space into two separate living spaces (my sister Nancy lives upstairs, I have the downstairs) can really decrease each individual living area.

Lately I've been yearning for a comfortable armchair for my bedroom. I have a small wicker chair borrowed from my dining room there already. You can see it at the bottom right side of this picture. This chair is fine for a quick sit to put on shoes, or to drape a jacket over the back. But I want something soft and comfy, with arms that I can sit in and read on those nights I'm wide awake at 2 AM.

Here you can see the chair and the space where my "new" chair would need to sit. Am I crazy? Would it be way too much? Knowing myself, if I got the chair of my dreams, I'd probably end up wanting some sort of foot rest too. I KNOW there's not enough space for that too! And what about a reading lamp and side table???

I think this is the dilemma of many armchair (no pun intended) decorators--so much desire to decorate more, yet so little space...

By the way, the bedside table/sewing machine base was my grandmother's. I don't know what became of the actual machine, but I'm thrilled to have the base and cherish it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Be Careful...They're Addictive

Be Careful...

They're Addictive!!!

Have you tried a Mocha Frappe from McDonalds? I'm sure they're loaded with all things not good for you, but they are a perfect lift on these impossibly hot July days we're having!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Showing Our True Colors

Showing Our True Colors...
Not just today, but...


I'm thrilled to live where I live,

To have the freedoms I have!

Happy 4th of July, 2010!

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