Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Beach Treasures

I'm fortunate to live in an area where there is an abundance of driftwood.  I no longer live in a residential community that has it's own private beach, but I still run across some interesting pieces here and there along the waterfront.  I've been creating a few sculptures with some I've been collecting over the years.  I love seeing  what nature has created with some of the pieces.  Here are my finished sculptures.  Two are for sale in my Etsy shop and I have more ready to be listed soon.  The fifth one is a solar light.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Birds of a Feather......

Winter is here and the large flocks of Trumpeter Swans and Snow Geese are everywhere when we drive across the bridge from Fidalgo Island to the mainland.  They're so beautiful.  It's been a few years since I've been serious about photographing them.  I've decided I've just got to get over there to get a few good shots before late winter when they began to leave.  I need to go early morning or late afternoon.  Because I'm not a morning person it will have to be late afternoon.  Or maybe I should just throw a coat over my pajamas and head for the fields.  We'll see. Decisions, decisions.   

Several years ago I photographed a few as they were flying in early evening.  I wrote a poem when I was feeling a little melancholy and included it with the photo in a chap book that I had printed for friends and family.  

Like Swans In Flight

Drifting through bleak darkness,
engulfed by silken clouds,
bound in discomposure
by imaginary shrouds.

Striving for a mission
like winter swans in flight,
chasing elusive solace,
I yearn for tranquil light.

Never let me waiver;
guide me in my quest.
Give me wings of power
to remain upon the crest
until I find contentment
in a field of silent rest.

©2002 Laura Crumm

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas Family Food and Gifts

Christmas has gone and we're nearly into the new year. I hope all of you had the wonderful Christmas that we had with our daughter and family.  It amazes me that we receive gifts that are so 'us'.  It's hard for me to pick just the right gift without an explicit description.  Ex:  Item on granddaughter's Christmas list...jewelry, silver, not gold.  Question: Big jewelry, dainty jewelry, statement jewelry?  So I gave up on jewelry and bought her a gift certificate.  I wrote on my Christmas list that I like jewelry...any type of metal.  Also would like to have a leather bracelet.  So I received a gorgeous unique gold tone bracelet with leather cords laced through the chain.  I love it!!  The leather and beads on it are green and I received two other green bracelets.  They can even all be worn together, and I had no green bracelets in my jewelry drawer. How perfect it that?!! 

Because the trip to Seattle is getting to be too hard on DH (dear hubby) we had dinner here with joint effort on preparing the meal.  Our granddaughter brought an apple caramel pie, DH baked a sour cream pecan pie and made a smoked salmon pate with his 'secret recipe' smoked salmon.   I made a cranberry relish from a recipe I got recently from a friend.  Our daughter brought a ham, scalloped potatoes, and after she arrived she cooked a wonderful vegetable dish from The Chew.  (Recipe below).  What a great day!  We're so fortunate to have loving family within driving distance. 


Squash and Sausage Sauté


¼ lb. sausage
½ tsp. chili flakes
4 c. butternut squash (peeled and diced)
4 c. Brussels sprouts
½ c. chicken stock
4 oz. goat cheese
3 T. olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.
When the pan is hot add a drizzle of olive oil,
followed by the sausage and chili flakes.  Cook,
breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon
until the sausage is nicely browned and mostly
cooked through (about 5 minutes). Add the squash.
Season with salt and pepper and cook until they start
to get some color (5 – 8 minutes).  Add Brussels sprouts. 
Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes. 
Add the chicken stock and scrape the bottom of the pan
to deglaze. Dollop the top of the casserole with goat cheese
and drizzle with honey to serve. 

Cover the skillet to help the goat cheese melt and to keep the
dish warm.  Don’t stir the vegetables until they are crisp and
caramelized.  Peel the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts so
they don’t come apart 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Brass and Glass

I've been creating glass flowers using found glass, china, ceramic for years. A few weeks ago I was going through my stash and saw some brass items that looked interesting.  Hmmmm, I thought...flower.  I combined the two brass items with an amber glass candle holder that had an open bottom.  Hubby screwed the brass pieces and the spoon on the back (for slipping into a copper pipe) together and I glued the candle holder in the center.  I love it!!!  I'm going to be searching for more brass pieces. 

I love making flowers for the garden and have branched out into creating them for inside use.  I call them 'wall flowers'  I say 'inside' because I use old jewelry for the centers and I'm not sure how well they would hold up outside.  I could probably seal the jewelry  with a weather proof sealer.  Maybe I should give the seller a choice of inside or outside.  If they want outside I would seal the flower centers and put the spoon on the back for placing in the pipe or a hanger for hanging on an inside wall.

I only have three 'wall flowers' listed on etsy so far.  I'm wondering how much interest there will be for them.  I got the idea from a friend who said she would be more apt to hang one on an inside wall.  Of course even the outside ones can be hung on a wall or fence using a bracket on the wall to slip the spoon handle through.  I put a metal hangar on the back of the 'wall flowers'.

I've also been making home decor items from found objects....candle holders, serving plates, candy dishes, sculptures, etc.  For awhile I had two shops, one for outdoor art and one for home decor.  I decided it was too time consuming to keep up two shops, so I'm fazing out the home decor shop and putting all the items into RecycleRoom.

Check it out.  I've been busy creating and listing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I'm Thankful For

When going through the ups and downs of life it's sometimes hard to think there's much to be thankful for, but we're really very fortunate to live in a country like ours.  Even though we have poverty, crime, hunger  (and I'm not downplaying the seriousness of this) we enjoy so much more than war torn and third world countries.  Here are some things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving season:

1. A warm home with a cozy gas fireplace for a little extra heat on a cold, wet day.

2. A loving husband and family. Some of us will be gathering together for turkey and all the trimmings.

3. A beautiful area of the U.S. where we live.  Mild climate, beautiful views of bays and mountains.

4. A wonderful church where the Bible is taught, the pastor is super and the members are friendly.

5. Exceptional medical care locally and within forty five miles driving distance.

6 Our little dog KCee who went to doggie heaven this year.  We had her for fifteen wonderful years.

7. Close friends who care about us and are always willing to help when necessary.

8. Beautiful and handsome grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

9. A husband who cooks and cleans up, vacuums and does laundry.

10. The fact that I wake up every morning to a new day which is sometimes mundane, sometimes full of surprises.

What are you thankful for?  I would like to see your responses. 

...and a HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you out there.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Back in the Saddle Again

I was just blown away when I saw that I hadn't posted here since August!  I'm not sure what I've been doing all this time.  I do know that hubby and I have done some much needed yard work.  Also, last month I flew to Oklahoma to see family members and to attend my 60th high school reunion. Yeah, that shows how old I am!  The reunions in my hometown consist of a three day bash so between the activities and trying to visit with all my family I was a busy girl....errr...woman.  I had a good time, but I'm glad to be home.

Now that most of the yard is put to bed for the winter I intend to get back to creating items for my Etsy shop.  I'm moving all the items from the Artistic Butler shop to Recycle Room.  I've decided it's much easier to maintain one shop than two. The items in Recycle Room have been art for the garden.  Artistic Butler had items for the home.  They're all created with the same type of materials and created in a similar manner so I'm hoping it will work out well.  Check it out.  There are some great items for Christmas gifts.  .

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sultry Summer Sun

sultry summer sun
lazy days
basking in the hot 
gleaming rays

sunrise early morn
golden dawn
children running through
sprinkled lawn

sultry summer sun
rising high
cotton fluffs adorn
cobalt sky

gentle waves play tag 
on the shore
seagulls ride the breeze
eagles soar

fall will soon be here
leaves ablaze
vivid hues replace
summer days.

©2012 Laura Crumm