Archive for December 2008

Berry Medley Cordial

Last year, our studio group got together at Dorian's home and had a potluck. We are truly good cooks and Jeff even BBQ ed up some of his famous tasty wings. We were in heaven. Then Dorian pulls out this little bottle of Blackberry Liqueur that her son's in laws had made for them. So nice of her to share. We fell in love. Turns out Gale and I have many, I say many kinds of berries just in our back yard. We have blueberries, marrionberries, several kinds of raspberry, including autumn golds, strawberries, blackberries, black caps and boysenberries. We have to schedule friends to come pick the berries so they won't go to waste. And we always pick them and freeze them, but end up with so much, we give the frozen berries away to friends and family. Not this year. We have found a solution to the problem and that would be making Berry Medley Cordial/Liqueur.

We started a test batch last summer, Yummy. So we made a 4x batch and just bottled it the other day. This will be Xmas tokens to a few friends. We have alot of berries still in the freezer, so we are now starting up our next batch. It takes about 3 months to do a good job of letting it ferment and the flavors to blend. This stuff is pretty snacky, although very potent, definitely a sipping situation. Hope to have a batch or two done for the McLean/Cotten family reunion in June down in the Bay Area.

Our main concern was whether we could use berries that had been frozen, sure enough, it works great.

The sun is peaking from the east and is showing off with a wonderful pink eastern sky for our sunrise. It's been a while since I have seen this view while playing on the computer. The garden calls. (really posted 12-30-08 6am) Grins

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Mushrooms and Granny

I did a post not long ago about the mushrooms in our neighborhood. This little guy being one of my favorites. He popped up in our yard before the big cold spell came along and I shot several photos of him as his life's journey progressed. He starts out very compact and red with spots, but over the next several days he grows in width--to be about 7" across and shows his underside. It was such a treat to have one show up close so I could watch him.

My son Aaron, who has set this blog up for me, asked the other day if, wouldn't it be cool to set up a blog for "granny"? Granny was my mom who at 88 decided she had had enough fun in this life and needed to get on with her next adventure. I can't even express how much she was loved. Her life was simple and all about family and loving unconditionally. She had 5 children who went on to give her 17 or 18 grandchildren and they went on to give her several great grandchilden and one of them had a great, great grandchild on the same day she had her heart attack and stroke. Granny got to meet this new addition and it was a very special moment for all of us. Her children were given enough time to arrive from other states, and counties, and be with her while she finished up saying her goodbyes to those who loved her so much.

Aaron has set up a blog about her life and decendents. It has been a healing process to view the comments, photos and posts that the family is sharing and to reflect on all that she started all those years ago when she fell in love with, and married my dad. This is a way that the younger generations can really get to know who she was as a child through grannyhood. Thanks Aaron, what a sweet man you are to have thought of such a thing. Still grinning, mom

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Pretzel Perfection

I do love the stories of entreprenues and how they come up with an idea and follow it through. One such friend has come up with a fun idea and a great last minute treat for Christmas or really any time. She is a young mother who started making these treats for her son's kindergarten class a couple of years ago and then started taking them to adult parties where folks thought the idea was novel, not to mention delicious and there was born . And there it starts, the research and development, the lifeblood of all small businesses. The thrill and excitement of this process leads us in directions we would never think to go. Always tweaking the product or finding new resources to bring down that bottom line. Listening to all around you, sifting the great ideas from the far fetched. It's rewarding to be in business for yourself and nice to have so much control over your schedule.
I have tried these treats and they are YUM! Let me know what you think.
It is very cold here in Oregon today and for most of the next week. Unusual weather for here, we even had snow yesterday and school was cancelled for both days. Right now it is crisp and around 25 degrees with the sun shining. This feels very cold to me, but after all I have lived in Montana and Alaska, so in perspective, it's very warm. The birds are enjoying themselves and the cats are enjoying watching the birds (behind glass of course). Staying warm here at the Central Oregon Coast,, Bari

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Oregon Sunsets and Art Shows

Last night was a most beautiful sunset. It has been like this for several days now and I was able to catch it on camera. The show just kept going for maybe an hour, just beautiful. These were taken on the street just out front of our house.

It's starting to get cooler here as with most parts of the country. We have been getting up at 6 and walking the neighborhood. Headlamps are a must, but it's very clear and crisp at that time of morning. I end up with noticeably more energy on the days I walk. So why don't I do it every day??

This weekend was our Eclectic Artz show in Waldport. There are five of us who on Memorial weekend and usually Thanksgiving weekend gather and show/sell our art at Debra's studio. It was a nice success. We have a new artist in our group who does kelp, seaweed and driftwood creations. I took some photos to give an idea of the range of art. Enjoy. Bari

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Christmas with Cats

Well it's that time of year again. We have traveled to Mexico the last two first parts of December, so that by the time we got back off a very warm vacation, the xmas mood had passed. We did not do decorations and felt a bit sad about it. However this year we went on our vacation to Hawaii in early November, thus leaving plenty of time on our return to get in the xmas spirit. Last year we picked up some green garland and lights at the after xmas sales thinking that this year we would decorate our center beam. We have 4 cats who, if given the chance to destroy a xmas tree, would literally jump at it. So we decided the beam was safe.

It has been a treat. A tradition, my partner Gale and I started a few years ago, was to exchange the 12 days of xmas wtih each other. I had gathered 3 sets of Harry and David boxes that used to hold 12 different fruits, nuts and candies for the 12 days of xmas. So we choose a set of boxes to give to the other and start handing out the treats on the 13th of December. When you see these pictures, that is what the little boxes hanging from the garland are all about.

After not decorating for xmas for several years, it was like coming across old friends when we unearthed our individual ornaments to hang. What a journey. I have an ornament from when I was in my teens and my sock is from when I was born. That's a lot of years. The ornaments tell a story of journeys across the country. Ornaments from Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Oregon. They bring back such sweet memories of times past that have been forgotten until that moment when they appear out of the colored tissue paper.

This weekend we will do baking and get packages ready to send to our loved ones across the country. It's supposed to snow and be very cold. Our original plan was to go to Belknap Hotsprings to test out our new tent trailer. But with 3 mountain passes and temperatures in the 20's and snow level to 500 feet, we decided xmas baking was a safe bet. Bari

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Stained Glass Mosaic Framed

It has been a very busy several days around the dreamtyme studio. We have finished another fifth of the ceiling and only have 3 more fifths to go. The problem with insulating all at once is that we would have to empty the studio first. So we moved many things out of their places to get the insulation in. It will really help this winter--if you can call Oregon weather winter, to have the extra bulk in the ceiling.

It also meant we were able to scrape old paint off the windows and wash them. We are going for the shabby chic look in the studio--anything goes. It is giving me the chance to really go through stuff and reorganize and clear out things not being used.

I am including some before and after photos of the stained glass mosaic projects that I created for the eclectic artz sale this weekend. A few are a bit fuzzy, but I think you can get the general idea. These are inexpensive 5x7 and 8x10 frames, hung with eye hooks and chain.
The before photos here, were on my earlier blog

This has truly been a fun project to work on and it is always nice when they are completed. When the sun comes through they look magical.

Today is a day to play in the studio,, see what we can rustle up. So many colors and so many mediums to choose from. I will keep you posted. Bari

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Stained Glass Mosaic Window

A few days ago I was writing about creative energy and the wish I had that it would continue to be part of my life all day long for many days in a row. I have to say that it is still there and I am totally enjoying it's presense. See the previous post on creative energy and the stained glass mosaic projects.

We had a beautiful, warm day at the Oregon Coast yesterday which allowed me to "play" in the yard. I had the kiln going in the studio and I try not to be in there when it's running. So I "fluffed" the breezeway and potted up baby seedling trees for sister Sammi's new property in Culver, Oregon. It was nice to clean up a bit around our back door and breezeway/studio entrance.
It was also nice enough to finally take a few photos of the finished installed stained glass mosaic window above the door to the breezeway. This first photo is from the outside. The glass was glued with clear glue to a clear piece of glass the size of the the window opening, then grouted. We then framed the window in from both the outside and inside so it is "sandwiched between boards.
The second photo is of the inside. The design shows much better with the light behind it.
And the last photo is of the inside of the breezeway looking out through the glass door. I am very pleased with how it turned out. If I do it again, I would purchase thicker clear glass for my window base. We will need to reinforce this with caulking to make sure it doesn't move in the high winds. All in all it was an easy project and enjoyable to create. And the best part of this project is that it is installed and can be enjoyed. I am looking around thinking up what else I can use this method on. I'll keep you posted.
Today we will get further along on the insulation of the studio. I have had to be realistic and know that we need to do a little at a time. So we will do one roll of insulation at a time. Then we won't have to store the left overs and the studio won't be in such an uproar for longer than necessary. Bari

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