Monday, August 14, 2017

Painting Barn Quilts with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

 I just Love how the milk paint soaks into the raw wood!  I painted this with Typewriter and Marzipan ~ two of my favorite colors of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint!

Flow Blue and Marzipan

I will be hosting a workshop in September where we will be creating these~

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Painting up some Vintage Furniture Finds

I love these colors and how smooth and easy this paint is to work with.  Finally found a chalk style paint that has no VOCs and  natural ingredients in the finishes like hemp oil and bees wax and essential oils.  Another great quality is that is is so compatible with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint.  
The coverage is what really amazes me.  
One Pint covered a large furniture piece and two smaller projects. I painted this antique dresser in Smokey Quarts and also a display shelf and a sign with one pint.   I finished this piece with the Lemon Verbena Furniture Salve~ All Natural and smells so wonderful.  
 I have tried so many of the Liquid Chalk/mineral/milk paints on the market.... 
but have really loved Wise Owl.  

Painted in Smokey Quarts and finished with Lemon Verbena Furniture Salve

Painted in Vintage Duck Egg and the detail in Antique Villa, finished with hemp seed oil

So Many Beautiful Colors 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Diffusing Lots of Lemon Essential Oil

 Lemon is a great scent for Summer!  Love Lemon Essential Oil!  Here are some great diffuser blends using LEMON! 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cocktails from the Garden

Mixology 101 ~ create drinks from the freshest things growing in the garden

How to infuse herbs into your cocktail~

Muddling herbs:

This method gently releases the herb oil into the cocktail.  Place the herb in the glass and press the leaves against the side of the glass; releasing the fresh flavors into the glass, allowing them to permeate the spirits.

Pulsing herbs and vegetables:

Using the food processor , chop vegetables and herbs and then add them to the spirits or fruit juices.

Infusing herbs:

Adding  a spring of a savory of herb to the cocktail.  The scent of a strong herb is the first thing noticed when sipping the cocktail.

Spirits and Juices that make great Cocktails from the Garden~
Lime Juice
White Grape Juice
Agave Nectar
Tomato Juice
dark beer
Pomegranate juice

Cocktail Making Tools~
a shaker
a muddling stick
a jigger
a bar spoon

The best tasting cocktails come from using the freshest herbs, fruits, and juices and good quality alcohol.


Simple Syrup~
makes 1 1/2 cups
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to  a boil; simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 3 minutes. The Simple Syrup can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.

Here is another Simple Syrup Recipe~

Garden-Infused Simple Syrup

From The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart
"Simple syrup" is a cocktail staple for balancing the flavors in other ingredients. It can also be used to add a hint of sweetness and flavor to seltzer.
  • 1/2 cup herbs, flowers, fruit or spice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 oz vodka (optional)
Combine all ingredients except vodka in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir well, until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture cool and pour through a mesh strainer. Add the vodka (if using) as a preservative and keep refrigerated. Good for one to two weeks; lasts longer in the freezer.

Tomatillo Gazpacho~

2 to 3 firm tomatillos~ remove husks and wash well and chop
1 green pepper chopped
1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped
 5 green onions , white parts only
2 T fresh cilantro
2 to 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup white grape juice
Place first 4 ingredients in the food processor and pulse until blended.  Add lime juice and 1 cup white grape juice white grape juice. Pulse again until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cold.
Serve in shot glasses, using a flat leaf parsley stem for garnish.

The Best Bloody Mary~ Garden Style

4 to 5 roma tomatoes, coursely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and coursely chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and coursely chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 beet, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp celery seeds
6 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 Tablespoon grayd horseradish
2 tsp coursely groung black peppercorns
1 tsp hot chili sauce
1/4 cup guiness
3 cups vodka or gin

Place first 6 ingredients in a large pot and add enough water to cover, bring to boil,  heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 50 minutes or until vegetables are very soft. Discard bay leaf.  Add salt and lemon juice. cool slightly. Puree vegetable mixture in blender.  add enough water to make 8 cups. Cover and chill.

Grind celery seeds. Add celery seed, worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce  and guiness to the vegetable mixture.  Cover and chill over night.  Divide cold mixture among glasses with ice add vodka or gin. Stir and garnish.

The RoQuette
1 cup loosely packed baby arugala
4 1/2 tsp agave nectar
4 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
1/2 cup Gin ( Hendrick's ) This is a Scottish gin infused with cucumber and rose petals
ice cubes
Combine 1 cup arugula, agae nectar and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. using a muddler or long handled spoon, mash until arugala is wilted, atleast 1 minute. add gin. fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes,  Garnish with arugula leaves.
Yields 2 drinks

Basil Vice
2 Basil Leaves
1/2 shot glass of Vodka
dash of raspberry syrup

Roll the basil leave up tightly, cur into thin strips and chop finely.  Place the basil strips in the bottom of a shot glass, then almost fill up with crushed ice.  pour in vodka, stir and add dash of raspberry syrup.

8 mint leaves, plus one for garnish
1/2 lime
2 dashes simple syrup
2 parts white rum
1 dash soda water
Muddle the mint, lime and simple syrup.
Fill glass with crushed ice, add the rum, then the dash of soda water. Garnish with mint and serve with long straws.

Tomato Pep
1/2 apple~ Pink Lady
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 T fresh basil , chopped
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped
1 cup baby tomatoes
Roughly chop the apple and strip the leaves off the thyme sprig. Press the herbs through the juicer, followed by the apple, then press through the tomato.  Stir the juice and pour into a glass, garnish with thyme leaves.

Ice Water can be so interesting~
 Slice cucumber with skin on and add to cocktail
Key Limes ~ puncture about 4 to 5 holes in the limes and freeze them and use them like ice cubes
Cherry Tomatoes can be pierced and frozen
Star anise can be frozen in an ice cube tray of water
Freeze grapes or raspberries
Mandarin oranges can be cut into circles and frozen

Yummy cocktails can also be made without alcohol~

15 mint leaves
1 tsp raw sugar
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
4 ounces chilled ginger ale
in a cocktail shaker, muddle the mint, sugar, lime juice and simple syrup. Add ice, shake well and pour into a glass. top with ginger ale.

Cucumber Cooler ~ makes one drink

1/2 small seedless cucumber, grated plus 4 thin cucumber slices
1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
2 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
1 oz chilled club soda

Strain the grated cucumber through cheesecloth-lined strainer set over a bowl.  twist and squeeze the cheesecloth to extract as much liquid as possible ~ 2ounces of cucumber juice

in a cocktail shaker, muddle the pineapple chunks and juice with the simple syrup.   Add the cucumber water and ice. Shake well.  Pour into a glass and top with the soda and cucumber slices.

Fresco ~ makes one drink

4 ounces club soda
1 1/2 ounces fruit nectar
1 oz cranberry juice
3/4 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simle syrup
2 dashes if angostura bitters
2 sprigs of thyme

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except one thyme sprig and shake well.  Strain into an ice filled glass and garnish with remaining thyme sprig.

Porch Crawler~

5 cherries, pitted, plus 1 cherry for garnish
3 mint leaves
1 hot chili, halved and seeded
white rum
1 ounce lemon juice
2 ounce simple syrup
2 ounce chilled club soda
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 5 pitted cherries, mint leaves and chili. Add ice and rum, leon juice and simple syrup; shake well. Strain into and ice filled glass, stir in the club soda and garnish with a cherry and mint sprig.

Replanting after the storm damage

Planting Several Tomato varieties in the Heat of July.  The June storm smashed all my plantings of herbs and also took down several large trees above my studio patio.  This leaves lots of clean up and more sunshine.  After cleaning up most of the branches and some of the trees,  I wanted to get something planted before summer was over.  A garden friend had some extra tomato seedlings struggling and in need of planting.  I potted them up in new soil and compost but plan to plant them in the next few days above my studio patio.  I am excited to try some of these varieties:

Gardener's Delight~ This old German heirloom cherry tomato boasts many clusters of 6 to 12 tomatoes all summer long. It's indeterminate, crack resistant and very prolific. Proven tops for performance, flavor and wide adaptability.

Tommy Toe~ A larger size than most Cherry tomatoes, contain lots of Juice/gel, and have a old-time tomato flavor. They are acidic and slightly sweet. The plants are super productive and very vigorous growers.

Sweet 100~bears long, branched clusters of deliciously sweet tomatoes high in sugar and vitamin C. But Super Sweet 100 is known to be more disease resistant, giving plants in a better chance where certain problems may be soil-borne. You’ll be eating them right off the vine before they ever make it to the salad bowl! They are perfect for snacking, salads, and even juice. Super Sweet 100 lives up to its name, especially when harvested that the peak of ripeness. The indeterminate vines continue bearing until frost. Give them a tall support because they grow and grow over the top of the cage and back down again. Resistant to disease.

Glory~A semi-indeterminate that grows at least twenty tomatoes with continuous production. Tomatoes are in the 8-10oz. range and very sweet and juicy. Taste even better when picked ripe and allowed to stand a day .Becomes even juicer. Fruit stores well and is a firm slicer with few seeds. Seems to be very high in disease resistence. Supposedly is a cross of two heirlooms. 

HawaiianThai Red Turtle Egg~ 

Yellow Pear~ Heirloom. Long, indeterminate vines produce a seemingly endless supply of mild flavored, pear-shaped tomatoes all summer. The tiny tomatoes are borne in clusters. This is one of the prettiest tomatoes in the garden — it’s beautiful in salads! This variety is known to bear fruit dependably through summer weather. Vines can grow 8 feet or longer, so give them a tall support or place to ramble.

Red Pear~A bright red, pear-shaped heirloom with an American pedigree that goes back to Colonial times. Attractive and tasty, the 1-2" long fruits are delicious in salads or roasted in the oven. Indeterminate.

Stupice~ A great potato leaf variety that comes from Czechoslovakia. One of the best early tomatoes, this is among the earliest. Perfect for gardeners in northern climes. Excellent flavor for an early type; these produce lots of red, small to medium sized fruit over a very long season. Highly popular in areas with short summers.

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