Christmas in July is an Etsy community driven event that will be held July 1st – July 1oth 2016.

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Strawberry Peach Buttermilk Scones — Cooking with a Wallflower

Slightly crunchy on the edges with a soft and buttery center, these buttermilk scones are filled with fresh strawberries and peaches. Easy to make, these strawberry peach buttermilk scones are perfect for breakfast or with tea in the afternoon. Happy Sunday! It’s been a super long week with 6 days of work. I’m ready to…

via Strawberry Peach Buttermilk Scones — Cooking with a Wallflower


Pesto Chicken Pasta with Mushrooms — Julia’s Album

Mushroom Chicken Pasta with creamy Pesto sauce and sun-dried tomatoes – delicious and easy (30 minutes from start to finish). Perfect meal for the Summer! I love pesto, and cook a lot with it in the Summer. I’ve been making this pesto chicken pasta for years, and only now finally posting it on my blog.…

via Pesto Chicken Pasta with Mushrooms — Julia’s Album



Dining in? Now you can! — fit2borganized

It’s funny, when I originally started this blog, my plan was to alternate organizing and fitness tips. I was going to go through every room in the house and write a blog on how to best organize it! As you see, if you have been following me, I have strayed a little!😄😄 Lots of other […]

via Dining in? Now you can! — fit2borganized


It’s A Good Day to Get Fired

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou

LOL. Not literally. But it’s a good day and about time I fired up my kiln.  It’s been a long time since I have been able to make pottery.  Life kept getting in the way.

As you may know I have been working on organizing my studio (aka the basement) so I have room to create and make pottery.  Well it’s not perfect but I have my slab roller, potters wheel and tables  set up and I’m off the races.

It has felt so good to get back to making pottery.   I was a little nervous about getting back into it.  But I have been following potters and watching their scopes on Periscope. #Pottersofperiscope  I have learned so much from so many amazing potters from all over the world.  A lot of new techniques and styles of  pottery.  I’ve even started a new collection.  I am going to buy a piece of pottery from each of my favorite potters.  I started with Jessica Putnam Phillips (the porcelain soldier on etsy)

Michael Kline, Adam Field, Heesoo Lee, Maude Andersson, Lisa and Alex Lapella, and so many more.

Sometimes I watch too many scopes and a voice in my head asked  “Are you crazy?  You’ll will never be that good.”  But then the other voice said “Yes you are… But don’t let that stop you”.

I’m not. So this is what I have done. I went downstairs and I made pottery.  Plates, platters, functional stuff.  Had a ball, fell in love with the clay all over again.

And now It’s time to fire up my kiln.  I loaded it up. It started like a charm.  It made the familiar ticking sound as the temperature started to rise.   I felt like it was saying “where have you been old friend? I missed you.”

So it will take about 11-12 hours to come to temperature and then a few more hours to cool down.  I can’t wait to open it up.  It is always like Christmas when I do.

I’ll let you know how it goes.






Springtime Inspiration

“Don’t knock the weather: nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.”
–  Kin Hubbard


Where to get inspiration for your artwork, well just go outside and look around.  There is a lot of blooming and getting ready to bloom going on.  Mother Nature doing her thing.  The weather is warming up. It’s been raining here but I have to remember that I  live in New England  and as they say here “If you don’t like the weather just wait 15 minutes it’ll change.

I always get some inspiration for my pottery from nature.  Colors, shapes and textures everywhere I look.  After awhile I don’t see just a flower, I see a piece of pottery with that flower on it.

A couple of mornings ago I was looking outside my family room window and something caught my eye. When I looked closer there was this hummingbird flittering (is that a word?) around my flowering bushes.  Can I just say AMAZING.!  So fast, so controlled, backwards, forwards it was truly a sight to see.

Now I’m trying to come up with ideas to incorporate the hummingbird into a piece of pottery.  When I do you will be the first to know.

I think we are all going 100 miles and hour and unless we slow down a little we miss so much.   Leaving my job and getting back to making pottery has forced me to slow down and look around and appreciate all the natural things in life that are so beautiful and precious.  I am really beginning to enjoy the process of living a calmer, simpler life.

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My little Mia

Well the rain has stopped so Mia and I are going for a walk.

Enjoy your day







Spring and New Beginnings

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~Robin Williams

I hope you all have been enjoying this wonderful weather.  I’ve been working hard getting my studio (aka the basement) organized so I can start making pottery again.  Now that I’m not working as much I can return to one of my favorite things to do,  make pottery.

I am so excited to get things in order, inside and out.

My husband Peter has been busy cleaning out the flower beds, while Mia supervises, so I can get some planting done.

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Misty just enjoying the sun and the fact that she can go outside and stretch out on the back porch.  2016-04-16 12.49.28

I did manage to get my seeds started. Now that I’m back to being a housewife/cook/potter/jewelry maker I am looking forward creating in the studio and in the kitchen.   I love  having my own fresh herbs and vegetables again.  Nothing big lets not get crazy now.

Walking around our property I can see all sorts of signs of spring and the warm weather arriving.


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I really don’t think we can appreciate the beauty around us until we can slow down, stop working so much, stop over scheduling our lives and just take time.  Time to enjoy. Time to relax. Time to spend time with your children and grandchildren.  Time to breath.

And that’s what I am doing.  Slowing down.  Taking time to enjoy my life with my husband Pete, my home, my kids (3 daughters Felicia, Christina and Sondra)and my grand kids and my fur babies.  2016-03-27 16.04.31

Giuliana, our little lady bug is almost 3 years old.wp-1460818279960.jpg

Noah, our little man, is almost 2 months old.




Well that’s how I’m spending my beautiful spring days.

So go enjoy your day.  Do something fun, just for you.  It’s just what you need.




Stirring Things Up

Have I mentioned that I love to cook.  No?  Well I do.  And I have decided that Sundays should be fresh bread baking day.  Why you ask.  Well I don’t really know, it just sounded good.

Years ago my husband, Peter (isn’t he cute), found a recipe in the newspaper, for a no-knead bread.  2014-03-03 18.14.12Needless to say I was skeptical.  After all bread needs to be kneaded.  I was wrong.  I tried this recipe (mainly to prove him wrong) it was wonderful!  So I filed the recipe away planning on making it again on a regular basis.  Then life got busy and the recipe got buried among all my other recipes and was forgotten.  Until yesterday.  I found it, I wasn’t looking for it.  But I found it.   So what do you think I did? Yep.

Here it is: No-Knead Bread-Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Prep time: 1/2  hour hands on  plus 14-20 hours rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

1/4 tsp instant yeast

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Cornmeal  as needed

No-Knead Bread
  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt.  Add 1 5/8 (1 1/2 + 1/8) cups warm water and stir until blended: dough will be shaggy and sticky.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap.  Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature.  I left my bowl on top of my refrigerator where it is nice and warm.
  2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles.  Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it: sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with cornmeal or flour (I prefer cornmeal); put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal.  Cover with another towel and let rise for about 2 hours.  When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not spring back easily when poked with a finger.
  4. At least a half hour before dough is ready, heat over to 450 degrees.  Put a 6-8 quart heavy covered pot (I have a cast Iron pot, you can use enamel, Pyrex or ceramic pots) in oven as it heats.  When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from over.  Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into the pot, seam side up: it make look like a mess, but don’t worry it will be fine.  Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed: it will straighten out as it bakes.  Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15-30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned.  Cool on rack.  As it cools you will hear crackly sounds coming from the bread.  Best sound ever!!  Enjoy

Shy Buddha

“Do not dwell on the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the moment”. Buddha

In my creative space I have a small statue of a Shy Buddha.  You can see him periodically in some of the pictures with my pottery posted in our Etsy shop(www.doublemuse.etsy.com)  I truly don’t remember when or where he came from, I think it may have been from my daughter Christina.   He gives me a sense of calm when I find myself stuck for an idea.  Sometimes the thought that I have to create something or my day is incomplete causes me to not be creative.  2016-04-05 18.40.05

I tend to always put the pressure on myself and I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Yes you, you know who you are.  So creating a space that is warm and inviting, I believe, is essential.

Now that my youngest daughter Sondra has a home of her own I have turned her bedroom into a space where I can go and be creative in a bright, warm, peaceful, zen like space. The morning sun comes streaming in through the windows giving the room a wonderful warm brightness.  I find that’s the perfect time to create designs for my jewelry or sketch ideas for my pottery.  It is also a great time to take pictures of the pottery, jewelry and crochet pieces that Linda and I create for our shop on Etsy.

I believe we all have so much going on in our lives these days that it is hard to just stop, breathe and think.  Let alone be creative.  So I have found having an area I can go to get away from everything and sometimes everybody really keeps me centered and less stressed.

So with  Shy Buddha  and little Mia (my sweet little Shih Tzu) by my side I can be peaceful and open2015-12-26 16.10.21 to any creative idea that comes along.  Hopefully.

Do any of you have a special space where you can go to unwind, be creative have a glass of wine?  I would love to hear about what and where you go to unwind, relax and create.

Rose, Mia and Shy Buddha

Update:  I am still working on my pottery space downstairs, which is not quite as zen as the upstairs bedroom.  But it’s getting there. Slowly but surely.  I promise.



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