Happy Abby Day!

It’s that time of year again! If you’ve been following Ribbons for a while, you might know what today is…. It’s Abby Day! (in this case, I have to say Abby instead of Abigail, because it works better)

That’s right, it’s Abigail’s birthday today, and I just have to do another blog post all about her.

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So, imagining Abigail’s birthday was a national holiday (because it feels strange that the rest of the world isn’t celebrating this day with us)

What to eat: Well, Abigail is the raisin fairy, so just throw spices, pumpkins and raisins into your favorite dish and there you go! Don’t forget to make a pot of chai or London Fog, or if tea isn’t your thing, a cup of coffee once per hour should do.

What to wear: We sew a lot, so generally, if there’s a holiday, there’s an outfit for it. (I am wearing a sort of special dress today) Anything brown will do, but it is essential that your outfit has pockets. If you have something brown, but it’s lacking pockets, feel free to get a patch of fabric and sew it on top for a pocket.

What to do: Go for a walk. Pick your favorite place and take a nice, 9 hour hike. Be sure that you bring along a nice pillow or tablecloth so you can stop and sit for a while somewhere nice. It is essential that you bring something to read or write, preferably something that matches the surroundings.

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If hiking isn’t your thing, feel free to stay home and write and make soufflés. Be sure to have a cat in your house. Better yet, see if your local pet store has an owl or fox.

Most importantly: eat lots of dark chocolate and stay up late.

Doesn’t sound too bad. Maybe we could make September 29th National Author’s Day.

OK, I have to admit, I’d only thought the blog post out this far. I thought it would be funny caricature-ize some of the things that make Abigail unique and loveable. But now I’m not quite sure how to complete it. So, if in doubt…

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Finish with Abigail’s new favorite song!

I love you, Abigail! You are the best Abigail ever in the whole wide world!

I hope you continue to have one of the best days and weekends ever! (I don’t want to restrict this to being the best day ever, in case something better comes along)

May God bless you all the days of your life, as much as you are a blessing to me. Love you!

Sarah

 

Heading into Winter

Running a shop, even if it is online, is good for me. It makes me plan for the future a little more.

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I decided to make a few items that are…. well, gift-able. The kind of thing it’s easy to get someone, because you know they’ll probably like it, but at the same time it’s not a huge phenomenon. Probably cheap. A little seasonal. Cute and different.

However, I have to admit, I actually had the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in mind when I made my latest listings.

We went to the Balloon Fiesta a few years ago, and I remember distinctly that it was much colder than I expected. Early October doesn’t tend to be that cold in New Mexico. However, when you’re getting up before the sun is anywhere near rising, it’s quite chilly, and some nice hot chocolate is in order.

img_1675That’s exactly what I had in mind when I made a couple Winter Headbands – one pink plaid, pictured on the left, the other black.

Sometimes you want something that will warm you, but you don’t want to go all the way and wear a hat. I thought these would work perfectly. They’re flannel, so very nice and cozy.

I had an interesting time designing these. The pink one was supposed to have elastic in the back, but what with one thing and another – I chickened out. Hopefully next time. I thought adding a flower would complete it nicely. I think it has a nice rustic, lumberjack (except for girls) style.

img_1695The second Winter Headband I made was interesting to take pictures of. It’s very, very black!

This isn’t actually the first time I’ve taken pictures of it. A lady on Etsy asked me to make a couple Seatbelt Covers out of black flannel. I had enough left over of this wonderfully soft fabric to make something else. So, I managed to get a headband out of it.

It’s such a dramatic, simple color, I thought I should go for a very classy look, with white buttons sewn on one side. It should look really nice in a snowy setting!

img_1696This turned out to be a strangely difficult project to finish. It was just one of those times you’re tired of working on something, no matter how interesting or simple it is (as these headbands ought to be)

However, I am super pleased with how these turned out. They have a lot of promise, and there are so many options, so hopefully I’ll be making more to put on my shop.

I also think these would work really well for the Balloon Fiesta! It’s really crazy there, so it’s kind of nice to have something that will fit snugly, but doesn’t get in the way.

Here is a link to my Pink Plaid Winter Headband on my Etsy shop…

And a link to my Black Winter Headband.

As for what you can expect on my Etsy shop in the next couple months… well, I’m still thinking about that, unfortunately.

I think I’m going to go on working on some gift-able things, including more headbands and fuzzy things.

As for actual Christmas items, I’m definitely still thinking about that. However, I would love to hear what you think I could do for Christmas! I invite you to leave your ideas in the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from you!

Sarah

 

Saturday Random Recipe: Quinoa!

Here’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to share with you for a quite a while. For weeks I’ve been building up to it, so now I’ll finally get to it!

This recipe was a part of my collection of Summer Recipes, great for doing when you don’t feel like heating up the house, and generally enjoying the produce of the Summer. Unfortunately, Summer is practically over, and my thoughts are turning to soups and apples. However, I will share this recipe in celebration of Summer. September is generally the best of Summer anyway, when we can usually get access to good Summer fruit, and enjoy cooler days.

I think I’ve already mentioned this recipe, from Mireille Guiliano‘s cookbook, for Fruit Salad with Quinoa, which serves 4-6. Here it is:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (or lemon juice)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon zest lime (or lemon, or omit)
  • 1 pound mixed fruit (strawberries, peaches, grapes, melon, blackberries, raspberries)
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Drain and cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid ingredients

Prepare the fruit. Place all the fruit in a serving bowl and add the cooled quinoa. Add the liquid mixture and toss to combine. Garnish with mint and serve.

dscn7895First of all, this recipe is really flexible and fun. You can probably use whatever fruit you have on hand. I find I really like peaches or nectarines with it. (and don’t worry about measuring how much fruit you use. Just do as much as you want)

A few important things to know:

rinse the quinoa! I didn’t for a while, but it really helps to lessen the unusual, sort of bitter flavor. Also, the mint garnish is very important. It provides a fun, fresh flavor. Plus, be ready to add more lemon juice or honey, depending on what you want.

I also find that it’s not necessary to let the quinoa cool completely. I like how it softens the fruit a little when it’s warm, but this salad is best cooler.

I really, really like this salad. It kind of helped me get into quinoa, which I find has it’s own personality that you have to get used to. I also really like this recipe for get-togethers with friends (they have to be the right friends. If you bring a fruit salad with funny looking soppy bits, they may not get the idea). It provides a fresh, unusual, side dish thing that, conveniently, provides some protein, which is sometimes needed with these random get-togethers.

And there we go! That wasn’t so hard…

Oh, and keep Mireille Guiliano in mind, because I’ll be bringing her up again soon.

By the way, I’d love to hear what your favorite quinoa recipe is! I’m still trying to figure it out, so I’d love to hear from you!

Hope you continue to have a great weekend,

Sarah

Friday Featured Favorites: Like Stars

The first word that came to mind when I found this Etsy shop was: Perfect. Naturally, nothing’s perfect, but sometimes you find something that’s exactly right, and this time I discovered it on the Etsy shop: ForestsOfWildflowers.

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I really like this shop because of how delicate it is, and, like the Wedding Hair Vine on the left, might be raindrops or stars, or even baby’s breath flowers falling from her hair. It’s elegant, ephemeral and sort of quiet, if that makes sense.

I actually thought this shop seemed a lot like Abigail’s, with her lovely Ephemeral Earrings. It has the same delicacy.

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ForestsOfWildflowers is a fairly new Etsy shop, opening in 2015, run by Paige. She’s only a few sales away from 50 – which is amazingly wonderful and inspiring!

I got to talk with Paige, and asked a few questions. I generally try to think of something unusual, and somehow related to the shop. But I also try to change it up a little.

Among what we talked about was what her favorite color is to work with. Many of her creations are originally white and metallic, which, as she points out, is very chic. She also mentioned she has several colored hair vines coming up that she’s excited about.

I asked Paige what she would sell if she opened another Etsy shop (a new favorite question of mine, since there always seems to be something else you could start an Etsy shop on). She said she’d sell the mountains and mountains of beads she has. She apparently goes in to clean but ends up creating a new piece out of the things she meant to put away. I certainly know how that is!

il_570xn-906089329_mqfqI always try to make sure I have one question that’s almost completely unrelated to Etsy, to find out more about the person behind these wonderful shops.

So I asked Paige what is her favorite recreational activity. She’s always loved reading, and finds it a good way to get away from things.

She also has a labrador, named Samson (who sounds adorable, but just because anything doggy is adorable). She and her husband walk or play with Samson, or just sit on the couch and relax.

I really enjoyed featuring this shop, and I’m sorry this blog post is basically over. I invite you to take a look, since it’s really, really fun to look around this beautiful shop.

Here’s a link to Paige’s Etsy shop, ForestsOfWildflowers (I love that name!)

Hope you have a great weekend!

Sarah

 

Cogs & Gears: Sunflowers!

Around this time of year, an explosion of sunflowers hits the arroyos around our neighborhood. They’re everywhere! It’s a lovely small variety of sunflower, which started somewhere (either in somebody’s yard, our from a wild area of the Bosque) and then seeded and spread year by year. They’re also very pickable, and make for the most amazing arrangements.

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Inspired by all of this amazingness, I created my very first Etsy Treasury!

(Here it is)

It was surprisingly easy to make, since sunflowers look beautiful and make for beautiful jewelry, shawls, vases, and too many other things to mention! I discovered that having a strong theme is an asset for a Treasury: It turned out beautiful and vibrant, please take a look!

Hannah’s stunning painting of sunflowers made it on the Treasury, of course (Here’s a link to it)

 

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I also put a pair of recent earrings from my own shop on it. (Technically, you’re not supposed to do this, but they turned out so perfectly that I couldn’t resist!)

(Please have a look!)

Sunflower Nuno Felted Scarf. Summer Silk Scarf. Flower Felted Shawl. Artistic Accessories. Felt Clothing. Nuno Felt Wrap. Black Summer Wrap
Here’s another of my favorites – though you should really check out the Treasury to see them all!

(Voila!)

I couldn’t fit these two items on the Treasury, both from new lines on my shop which I will have to introduce in a later post! But here is a link to their listings: Sachets, and Fingerless Gloves.

Bumblebees, also out in full force in our neighborhood (and landing disconcertingly in one’s hair), made it onto my Treasury too. So here are a couple more pictures to take us out on the sunniest of notes!

-Abigail-

A Trip to the Mountains

Sometimes, quite irrationally, things become irksome. Like blogging, for instance. One loses focus, gets stuck in a rut, forgets a time or two and then feels so guilty about it that one forgets again, other things get busy. And so on. You know how it is!

So, yeah, I think we’ve kind of fallen into one of those times here in “Ribbons”-world. So sad – because we’re actually really excited about what we’re doing and what we want to share!

As we figure it all out and prepare for what I hope will be a grand re-entrance into the blogging realm, here is a gallery of our most recent excursion into our local mountains!

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A venerable tree, upon which I will base a bonsai (when I get into bonsai-growing)
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A wonderfully climbable rock face
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Sarah (who will climb anything climbable – she’s the most adventurous of us!) coming down the rock
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Me! Also on the rock, right before the incident when the boulder that I was leaning from fell down on me. Adventure has its perils! The boulder mostly broke up, so rather than being squashed like in one of those cartoons I just have a few scrapes. It was still a very climbable rock face!
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The falls for which the trail is named! (we live in a desert – we’ll take what we can get)
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It’s a beautiful spring, satisfactorily cool and verdant!

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There’s a little cave nearby
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I always love looking out at the green through the black!
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The lovely path
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(as you can tell, no lasting damage from my mishap on the very climbable rock face!)
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Annie our dog likes to be in our pictures!

A very pleasant Labor Day hike! It’s always good to step away for a bit, when things get too irksome, and do a little relaxing.

What recreation have you attempted lately?

-Abigail-