Pantry Pasta

Two posts in one day - must be a record! After eating a yummy dinner of what I like to call "pantry pasta" I was inspired to post about it. A pantry pasta is one that you put together on the fly, with stuff you have lying around. Tonight, my pantry pasta included goat's cheese, walnuts, olives, lemon, mayo, tuna, red onion, sundried tomatoes and dried herbs, with a bit of parmesan grated on top for good measure. I don't cook the sauce, I just add it to the warm pasta with a bit of the cooking water and heat slightly. Don't ask me about the quantities, because I just chuck everything together willy-nilly.

Another great pantry pasta is the one pictured above by Jamie Oliver. It's simply linguine with lemon, olive oil and parmesan. Simply delicious! And there are so many variations, you can add herbs, artichokes and veggies. Jamie Oliver makes lots of wonderful pastas - there are a few recipes on his site, and his books are highly recommended.

My other pantry pasta idol is Donna Hay. She has loads of delicious and simple recipes in her magazine, and her book "Off the Shelf." Of all the cookbooks I own (and I own a lot), that's the one I refer to the most. And, all of her publications have beautiful photography and styling.

So, the next time you think that you have nothing to eat, have a closer look in your pantry - you could have the ingredients for an unexpectedly lovely pasta!

Long time, no post

It's been a little while since I posted. Things have been a bit crazy busy around here with book orders and Milo. Also, our phone/internet was disconnected for a few days when techincians cut our lines. Anyhow, a quick recap of the weekend - even though it's Thursday already! It was 13 and sunny on Friday, so we took Milo for a walk in the park. He was so happy and excited - it was probably the warmest it's been in all of his little life.
On Saturday, we left the little guy at home. After supervising a container shipment of craft supplies for Double Happiness (not really, but I love the colours and the juxtaposition of the industrial ship and the old wooden wharf).....we went out for coffee and delicious cupcakes. Not only was my lilac and chocolate cupcake beautiful, but it was also extremely tasty.
Finally, Milo got a new jacket. He doesn't mind wearing it, and it keeps him toasty on the chilly mornings (and afternoons, and evenings) that we're still having. And now, it's nearly the weekend again. Have a great one!


Inspiring images from Marie Claire Idees

A few months back, Marieke of Treats and Treasures kindly introduced me to Marie Claire Idees - a lovely craft magazine out of France. I thought I couldn't get it here, but then happily stumbled upon it in the French section of my local newsagents. I now have them reserve a copy for me each month, and I find so many great things - it's quickly becoming my favorite magazine. For example - check out the image above from this month's issue. What a great craft space, complete with those lovely jam jars with checkered tops used as storage.

Continuing my obsession with organization and craft storage, have a look at the image above. I think it's an amazing idea to incorporate storage into a room divider - could be a great solution for someone who doesn't have a dedicated craft room. Also great for storing home office supplies or creating a reading nook - magazines could be stored in the pockets.

I also have an obsession with trees and cherry blossoms, so I think this project is great. I am thinking of working something similar into my next craft display booth. I also just love the styling of this image - it really says something about the French lifestyle to have such a beautiful and whimsical piece in a utilitarian place like the laundry room. But, a lovely laundry room it is - I imagine that jug on the floor is filled with lavender scented water for the iron - almost makes me want to do housework. But not quite.

Finally - this is my favorite image. I love the muted yellow colours - perfect for Spring. I also love this project - I have been wanting to replace the shade of the light in my front hall for ages, but couldn't find anything to fit the existing fixture. I think that a beaded shade will look perfect there - and I can make it fit perfectly. Even if it turns out a bit wonky, that's all part of the charm.

Marie Claire Idees is great - there are so many more images I'd like to share with you. I want to make so many projects from this issue - there is inspiration on every page. The magazine includes instructions for each of the projects pictured above. All are written in french, but even I can pretty much follow them with my rudimentary skills. Now, all I need is more time to craft!


Martha + Craft Storage = Yay!

I just heard that Martha Stewart is releasing a line of craft storage and organizational products to be sold at Michaels and I have one thing to say - yay! Her ideas and projects - like the ribbon organizer in progress above - are so fantastic, I'm really looking forward to seeing these new products, which I think will hit the shelves in April/May. Apparently, she is also releasing a paper craft line at the same time. Again - yay!


I feel amazed...

Via Cool Hunting, I came across a site called "We feel fine" by Jonathan Harris. It's absolutely amazing - it searches blog posts from around the world for the words "I feel" and then takes the results and sorts them in wonderful ways. It's hard to explain - I guess I would say it's like a snapshot of the blogosphere as it relates to our humanity. It's great, and very addictive - I would definitely recommend checking it out.


Library Thing

I was looking for a widget to display the books I'm reading in my sidebar, and I stumbled across a site called "Library Thing." It's a site where you can catalogue your library of books, get suggestions on new reads and create a lovely widget like the one you see in my sidebar. I know that you can do some of the same things with Amazon, but sometimes it's nice to have a non-commercial reference source.

I'm actually thinking of doing an Amazon order soon. I want to get a few things I've had my eye on for a while, like Flea Market Style, Simple Sewing with a French Twist, Japanese Bookbinding and - as if that's not enough! - a fiction book, but I'm not sure which one. With all the suggestions from Amazon and Library Thing, I'm a bit overwhelmed. Any one out there have any ideas?


Days and Nights

I've spent my days this week on the upper campus of the university, taking some computer courses. I actually love working on the University campus - it's got so much more life and soul than an office tower.
I like the old buildings, and the character and texture of the bricks. The blue sky and sun we had earlier this week helped my mood, thank goodness for the beginnings of spring.
Nighttime is puppy time - I can't wait to get home to this little guy every night. I am so glad that the weekend is coming - the days will be busy with walks, errands and crafting, the nights with relaxation and fun. TGIF to all!


Dog Judo

Ok, this is the last of my dog-centric posts - for a little bit anyhow. I just had to share this funny site called "Dog Judo." It's been around for a while, but never fails to make me laugh. It's two dogs who, well...do judo. They also read the morning papers, go on "powerdates" and all in these really great English accents. Martin pointed out last night that Rexley, the mean little black dog, looks a lot like Milo. Anyhow, if you're looking for a silly laugh, check out Dog Judo. You won't be sorry.


I broke a promise...

To myself, and to my dog. Milo, I am so sorry that I made you wear that little red jacket. But, you were shivering everytime we went outside. But, you obviously hate this - so back to the shop it goes. I promised myself when I got you, that I wouldn't be one of those people who dresses their dog up in little outfits, but I couldn't resist. I think that I am well on my way to becoming a "crazy dog lady." But, I promise not to put bows in your hair - honest. Well, not 'til summer anyhow....


Henhouse in "Style at Home"

I have mentioned "Henhouse" a number of times in my blog. They are my favorite shop here in Halifax, and they carry my books. They were my favorite place even before they carried my work though! The shop is a treasure trove of wonderful items, from whimsical little accessories, to Eastern European antiques to custom furniture. The owners, Sappho and Denise, are amazing and supportive - as are their staff. Henhouse was featured in "Style at Home" this month and Sappho is interviewed on the website. So, if you're in the area - check out the shop. And if you're not, check out the website and the magazine. You'll be inspired!



I haven't posted in ages, but this time, I have an excuse. His name is Milo, and he is a terrier poodle cross. After wanting a dog for ages - it was my dream to get a dog when I owned my own house - and convincing Martin that it was a good thing to do, I found Milo on the internet, and went to meet him on Friday. It was love at first sight - on my part anyhow - and he must have thought I was okay too because he licked me. It's been a tough few days though - Milo got sick on Saturday, and we ended up in the emergency animal clinic with him wrapped up in a blanket, limp and shivering. He spent the night there on an IV, and now he's on the mend - turns out it was a mild virus brought on by the stress of all the changes in his little life. I know he's feeling better because he even chased a cat yesterday!
Despite all the frustrations of housetraining in below freezing temperatures, and the way he cries each night when we put him in his bed, I've already developed quite a bond with this little guy. Every night when I come home, we head up to my studio and he sits on a blanket and just watches me work. I'm looking forward to a lot of nice times with Milo, and I'm sure that you'll be hearing about all his antics (ad nauseum!) here in the future. He's curled up sleeping beside me as I type this and looking extremely cute.