Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit
I had to share the beautiful print that I recently bought from my online friend, Cat, of Darkling Woods Studio. She does the most gorgeous watercolors that have such an ethereal quality to them. You can see more of her fairytale art in her DA gallery too, so check them both out. Alice in Wonderland has been a favorite book of mine since childhood so when I saw this I had to have one!

It's been a crazy couple of weeks here at Casa Fairiesnest! First the roof started leaking in a totally inaccessible place least for us!...and we had to get that patched. And while the guy was up there he noticed that there were several "soft spots" so we have to get the whole roof replaced! Big fun. Then on Saturday, right before we were expecting a house full of people for the weekend, first the dishwasher, then the vacuum, then the lawn mower all decided to quit. So I'm wondering did they all get together the night before and decide this together? My darling husband was able to fix the vac and the mower but the dishwasher is a goner...Sigh...I know it's a luxury but I love it and it does use less water then washing by hand. But a new roof is the priority right now, drat it! Owning a house...always interesting!

Monday, February 18, 2008

An Interview!!

FiddleLee on Etsy did an interview with me that's up on her blog, Etsy Treasures, this week. She did a great job and any incoherences are mine so go read it and leave her lots of comments! Heck, leave me comments here, I'd love to know what you think!
And to liven up this post some, here's my latest fae, Calliope the music fairy. Her hair is actually even brighter in real life..VERY colorful!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Winter Wonderland

This was the view out my back door this morning. As my grandmother would say, "It's a Winter Wonderland!" she lived in upper state New York and would say this even in blizzard conditions, but that's another story.... Of course this being N.Carolina the snow is almost completely gone this afternoon and the forecast is for 62 degrees tomorrow. But it was a nice Valentine's day surprise.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Happy Valentine's Week

I'm not feeling very well, but I felt that this picture of some Valentine cuties to start off Valentine's week would be better then my previous whining about how sick I was! So here for your viewing pleasure, the Valentine's Pixies counting out their candy stash. This week is the last chance 'til next year to purchase one of these because I will be taking them out of the shop next weekend.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Queen of Tarts

It is a widely accepted fact ...well among my circle of friends ...that I am the queen of tarts. Now before you swerve onto the wrong track of thought let me assure you it is due to my tendency to bake a tart for any and all occasions and NOT because of anything tarty in my dress or relationships. I love to make tarts. They're easy, versatile, and they always make a big impression. My favorite and a hugely popular tart with most of my family is a fruit tart that I actually adapted from a recipe of my maternal grandmother's. It's so delicious! Of course we do have a lone fruit hater but that's another story...

You start with a pre baked tart shell, preferably a sweet shortcrust. My favorite one is from the book Festive Tarts by Sylvia Thompson. (This is a fantastic tart book that I highly recommend and although it's out of print you can find used copies really cheap.)But I digress...
Cut up enough fruit to fill your tart; peaches, berries, plums, all of one kind or a mix ...whatever you think is yummy. Mix together 1 cup sugar with 3 cups OJ and 4 tablespoons cornstarch in a saucepan. Heat this stirring constantly until it thickens. Put about 1/3 of the mixture in the bottom of the tart. Now place in the fruit in a pretty pattern or all mixed up, it doesn't matter. Then carefully cover all the fruit with the rest of the OJ sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but not more than 4 or 5 because you don't want it to get soggy...though it'll still taste good! One little trick; if you're using fruit that might brown, like peaches, toss them with the OJ first and then drain them and proceed. It also gives the OJ a great peachy taste... This works well for freezing peaches too!

And why all the talk of tarts? Well I had been planning on making a Queen of Hearts doll and when I mentioned this to my darling hubby he said, "Like the card?" and I replied, "No, like the one who made tarts." Now my husband had a childhood seriously deprived of children's literature so he said, "Huh? Why would a queen make tarts? Couldn't she get the cook to do that?" Well that got me thinking...Why indeed? It had to have been out of love! (She was the queen of hearts!) Love of the King? Love for the little heirs? Or maybe, like moi, she just loved to cook!
And so here is the finished queen ready to hit the kitchen and cook up some tarts. Please note that as well as an apron, she carries two of my favorite tart books....