Sunday, February 14, 2016

Love Hurts

To mitigate the damage be careful where you step in matters of the heart 
(and on the winter landscape), but by all means go for it!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2016


.... is ready for love, are you?

Valentines signed, sealed and delivered?

While the mustache is cringe-inducing, the penmanship  is divine and totally swoon-worthy.

We give Alphons a perfect ten for style and hope it got him somewhere with Mlle. Marie Louise. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Available for Immediate Occupancy

Prime Location: Tasteful, no bedroom, no bath, unfurnished, newly landscaped clay pot with high ceilings, natural lighting and great view located in quiet neighborhood just steps away from downtown. Utilities not included or needed.* 

To get a garden fix on a winter day we took a little class at Down to Earth Garden Center and 
came home with a lovely little green oasis for a partly sunny indoor location

Many gardens like this one are inhabited by fairies, but most modern day fairies are not content to live in a hollow log or under a toadstool anymore and require stufflots of stuff. We suspect many of them will soon be in need of fairy storage units for all the diminutive merchandise they are acquiring for the new standard of living in the realm of pixies, sprites, and elves. 

We wanted to see who might show up to live in our garden as is, without need of a house or gazebo, arbor or patio set, or even an Adirondack chair.

First to apply for the vacant habitat was this guy, but being a bit of a swinger he decided this neighborhood was likely not "happening" enough for him and shuffled off, knuckles dragging.

Then these two showed up, but they were really hoping for something swampier. When they left they said they were going to check out a place on Tainter Lake.

It was love at first sight for this couple.They moved in immediately and were thrilled to be first occupants of  what they proclaimed would be "their own little Eden" .

Perhaps things will evolve and some companions will come along if no meteor hit (in the form of a lapse in watering) occurs.

Based on past experiences this landlord could make no guarantees of successful long term upkeep so the lease is month to month. We did however, waive the damage deposit. We have much confidence in these tenants being quiet and responsible. If they were on the second floor it would be an entirely different story.

* Tips on the art of writing rental ads here. Interesting and apparently effective.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


On our recent bonus trip to Florida we needed to choose a micro shell to collect as we were banned from bringing home our usual giant haul-o-seashells.

Darling, colorful little coquinas fit the bill.

So many on the beach this time. Even the one who discouraged the idea of taking home shells became addicted to finding the pretty pairs.

One of the only other bivalves to make the cut and join the coquinas in the carry-on bag looks like a Big Kahuna coquina, but it is really a sunray venus clam which we learned from our googling is tasty and may soon be more common on seafood menus near you (if you are in Florida).

Every time we think or type coquina we want to say Coquina! as in Tequila! The perfect, circa 1958, top hit of The Champs, soundtrack for sipping our Sunshine State vacation beverage of choice, the Grapefruit Margarita.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What's a Little Fussy Cutting Between Friends?

It is a true and generous friend indeed who will supply all the materials for, 
and teach you how to make a

quilt-as-you-go trivet, 

and then let you fussy cut a prime image right out of the center of some precious Spoonflower fabric.

Verily I say unto you such a friend is Jeri(sew(s)).

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Must Go Here

Stitch Supply Co. kindly let us have a look around even thought they were still unpacking and not officially open yet. 

They have cleverly displayed

bright, contemporary fabrics

in a brand new, colorful, airy space.

A highlight for this sewist - designer fabric lines not previously available in local shops.

Beautiful yarn too!

Friendly (and tolerant) staff.

Temptations galore.

You have been informed and warned. Our job here is done.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

(Peach Pit) Loon Magic

There was a period of time when one could find in every discount retail store a kiosk with a motion activated device that would play clips of the CDs on offer from a certain easy-listening music/relaxation sounds genre label. We blame the regrettable '90s and George Winston in particular.

You would be walking down the aisle headed for the Rubbermaid bins, potting soil, or printer paper and all of a sudden you might hear waves rolling in and out of the ocean onto a beach, the rustling of aspen leaves in a gentle breeze, or frogs peeping in a pond at twilight. After realizing you were not crazy you would go way out of your way to avoid that aisle on all future trips, but if you forgot, as we usually did, and passed by it again you might be surprised by one of  those aforementioned sounds or, perhaps one of the many, varied, haunting calls of a loon. Our memory is that that particular CD was titled Loon Magic. 

Here at NDL studio we have created, with a little help and enabling, er, encouraging from a Canada-connected friend a little loon magic of our own.

 To do so we revived a craft first seen in Canadian Living magazine two decades ago to make a new flock, or as some sources call it, a raft, of peach pit loons. Yes indeed, these little cuties are at their core humble, naked, peach pits. 

Ta dah! Incredible, eh?

And, since the original instructions are lost somewhere in our archives of pages torn from magazines we have had a devil of a time finding any guidance for round two of peach pit loon making. So, to get this almost lost art on the Google radar (personified new technology meets old technology in this wording), in other words make it Googleable here is a visual of what is needed to turn a peach pit into a loon. And just to make sure a Google search can find it. Peach pit loon. Peachpit loon. Peachpitloon. (Google may appreciate this effort, but Spellcheck is having a fit.)

And why would one want to make peach pit loons? Well, can you think of even one reason why not?

Thank you to the relatives both American and Canadian for consuming a half bushel of peaches during Canadian American Friendship Days 2015. 

Loons are pretty magical. We never fail to be enchanted when we hear them.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Merry Making and Taking

The 2015 Bachman's Holiday Ideas House closes today. Here are a few photos to show just how thoroughly the design team carried out the Make it Merry theme. 

Have gnomes, will travel. 

We wish for you much merriment in your household, and suggest you take some "merry" with you wherever you may go this holiday season.