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Pea Soup and Hearts

Nestled behind a mountain of snow along a country road, is Susie's 1889 farm house,  a little crooked,warm, timbered home filled with a vast array of collections and love. Susie and her husband Michael have been avid collectors for years, displaying their treasures in artistic spreads in every cozy, cupboarded, shelved room.  Art lines the walls, antique lace and crystal prisms cover each lampshade, rocks from the lake hug the sink or lay on a lace runner in the living area designated as "Susie's Studio".
But more about her home another time.

This day we were invited over for Michael's homemade pea soup and to learn how to make hearts out of Susie's wonderful old tatting, lace, antique fabrics, buttons and beads. Debbie and I brought some of our own fabric but couldn't resist diving into Susie's treasures which she enthusiastically shared.



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 After a lunch on a long farmer's butcher block table in the kitchen, we cleared away the dishes and gathered our supplies. Debbie cut  up one of Frank's old shirts for her heart (this is my brother who just passed away) and she felt very nostalgic, sad, happy to be using something of his in her design. I chose a fabric that had little baby chicks on it as my name means "little baby chick" in Czechoslovakian. After we sewed our hearts together we embellished them with buttons and beads. We both put lace pockets in the front for future love notes. Susie is a master at making her hearts into exquisite gems so her kindness and patience at our beginner's attempts was very much appreciated, especially when her suggestions turned our "mistakes" into something more creative that we could have ever imagined.


Debbie's heart: Frank always wore blue plaid shirts.




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All that work required a mid-afternoon snack: the BEST

 chocolate chip cookies ever!




Sift together in a separate bowl:

2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Beat in electric mixer on medium:

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
at room temperature
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar


2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla

Reduce mixer speed to low and Add:

flour mixture,
 mixing until just combined

Stir in:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
(more if desired)
2 cups chopped walnuts
( less if desired)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a small ice cream scoop (about 1/4 cup size),
place scoops of dough
on paper, 2 inches apart
Bake at 375
14-17 minutes
until golden brown.

Cool on wire rack

Store airtight up to 5 days
(if they last that long)

I like to make a few cookies at a time so we can eat them warm out of the oven, keeping the remaining dough covered and refrigerated until ready to use again

As the sun shone through the plant lined windows we stitched and laughed, shed a tear, ate chocolate chip cookies, and stitched some more as we fell in love with the afternoon and our gracious teacher/hostess, Susie, the “Heart Lady” with a big heart.


Morning Light

She, the Sun, is peeking over a fresh blizzard of snow this morning, it’s so still, quiet. As her rays stream through my rooms she casts her golden light on objects in her path, each prism reminding me of the miracle of small things. She is the light that shines hope and faith into my heart. Inspiration is found in these fleeting moments. Take the photos quickly before the moment is gone, before she moves away.

‘And then out of its own goodness, out
of the far fields of the stars, the morning came,
And inside me there was a stillness a bell possesses
just after it has been rung, before the metal
 begins to long again for the clapper’s stroke.”  

                                       – Brigit Pegeen Kelly







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And so another day begins anew with infinite possibilities.



Grieving Days of Winter

I’ve been wanting to have a blog for along time, to share the blessings and inspiration that comes in so many moments throughout the day. I live in an artist community, there is art all around me, potters, painters, collage artists, jewelry makers, bakers, and then there is the infinite artist community through the internet. It’s so amazing how talented and sharing these courageous artists and bloggers are, because it does take courage to be vulnerable enough to put your heart and soul out there for everyone to see. I thank everyone for their amazing gift while I begin my journey with you along this blogging path.



The greyness of winter is all around, the sky, earth, air, cushioning me in a coziness that invites staying in pajamas all day, eating warm chocolate chip cookies, watching movies, making art and journaling as I plow through the reality of my brother’s death.

 “ Oh, God, make small the star-eaten blanket of the sky, that I may fold it around me and in comfort lie.”
            – T. E. Hulme

They say “live in the present moment”, I’ve heard that before but now I really GET it. When you create or deeply focus on something there is no room for anything else in that moment. So this time of grief is made more bearable by not only friends and family but also art, poetry, and that soft greyness outside.


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“Being present is a the best present I can give myself.”


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