archive for March, 2010

a photo tutorial: cookie clouds!

hi y’all!
happy sunday. 

the skies were crazy blue here yesterday,
bright and clear and perfect.
it was chilly still, but the blue of them
had me pondering the lazy days of summer.

i was thinking of half circles of red,
enveloped in green.
of juice on your cheeks and seeds at your feet.

of legs stuck to chairs
and nights without coats.
of evenings on the veranda,
and of jugs filled with tea.

of fried chicken
and biscuits and tender collard greens.
of bourban and mint and 
large cubes of ice.
of metal gates that squeak 
when you enter the yard.
and of cotton dresses, and flips,
and shoes made for summer.

i’m patient though, there’s a lot good to come 
before the month turns to august.
april rains, heavy branches, 
and first-season-swims.

i’m kinda bouncy with anticipation.

that said,
in honour of spring and of skies filled with blue
from me to you, cookie clouds!

[download and print your own copy here]

find more cloud cutters 
in my shop later today!
hooray, that. 5pm est.

a big thank you to tara
the recipe has roots with her.
[and i think you should make that pie]

xox, n.


and a few things: 

a wedding cuff. melt.
 prague railway station. where do i sign up?
 the blue of a pool. awesome. 
four stacks of books
boys and boats.
a cotton body suit. yes please.
a note on the semicolon.
and a table that would fit right in.

and thank you eva!
your illustration makes me miss the rain.

[ps: need help flooding your cookies, pop over here.]


posted on March 28, 2010 by Nikole

comments: 67

on salt air and messy hair

a quick hello and thoughts on the sea.


i’ve been missing the ocean
something terrible these days.
the shiny blue 
and bubbly white.
the sandy shores 
and worn hillsides.
 the bendy trees and dark coloured rocks.

and that feeling that comes, when you stare out over it all.

i’d like to dip my feet in the cold ocean water
and peer in tide pools along the shore.
i’d like my hair to mess, from blowing salt air
and i’d like the waves to catch on the bottoms of my jeans.

i’d like to dig for clams when the tide is far out
and i’d like to eat smores when the night turns cold.

i’d like to wear a wool sweater, 
that’s worn and old.
and i’d like to slip into shoes, meant just for the sea.

i’d like to hop in the car and drive down the coast.

i’d like to stop in cities and towns 
and places unknown.

and i’d like to buy fresh walnuts 
from a man with a stand.

i’d like to see the skittle of sandpipers
and the swoop, 
of ocean birds.

i’d like to go where the air is blowy
and where there’s fishing poles leaned up against the walls.
i’d like mid morning vistas and cups of warm of tea.

i’d like my hair to be messy and dirty with salt.
and i’d like to take breakfast with views of the sea.

what do you think, do you want to come?
hope your week is swell,
and you’re nearer to the sea than me.

xox, n.


plus, this looks a neat place.
and a flour scoop, hells yes. 
and three photos that explain well, my mood.
one, two, three.
and my, where we blog from. thanks jane!

[hg news]

left from yesterday’s update:
one child’s rolling pin
the sweetest set of yew bowls ever
and four pretty spoons:  
one, two, three, four 
[the 4th my very favorite]
oh and our cloud cutters are sold out, [whoa!!]
but i’m hoping to add more later in the week.
[join our list here]
plus, watch for my newest download soon.
and, how sweet is this sugar set? melt. 

a lovely mention on poppytalk today. thanks jan!
and one from oh joy eats, thanks joy!
plus, my cakes over on 100 layer cake. thanks rachel!


not mine today
credit to wemby, lucie
and geoff.
thanks, you three.


posted on March 22, 2010 by Nikole

comments: 24

on citrus cakes and tea and how things come to be

hi, hello!
how are you?
happy middle of the week.
hooray, that.


it’s rained here the last while.
but the sun shines today.
that familiar feel of spring floats in the air.

i’m all about anticipation these days.
the anticipation of spring.
of dinners taken outside,
of strands of twinkly lights.

like the feeling
just before the spinning wheels
of your aircraft connect with 
the dark and worn of the ground.
those few seconds you hover there,
suspended and waiting.

i love those moments.
the anticipation of them.
anticipation of landing.
and anticipation of a season about to change.

it’s those days

the ones just before spring, that i find myself 
all but absorbed, in the season before.
momentarily stuck in the last legs of winter.

and it’s then that i bake with citrus more,
and i drink, so many cups of tea.
 i fiddle with flour and sugar
and rinds of pithy fruits.
i bake lemon loaves
and pound cakes
and citrus-scented puddings.

the last bits of winter baking,
 before the tart curds of spring. 

it’s more than the change of season though.
my fondness for citrus grew someplace else.

perhaps you remember
a man i told you of once before.
the one who taught my father
to prune a tree.

well, he taught me too.
he taught me, to listen.
oh and to always add, an extra lemon.

he was right on both counts.
when all else fails, listen.
and every other time, just add more lemon.

i smirk, saying that to you now,
 becasue, he really believed it so.
and i love him for that.

i remember the
wooden of his pick-up truck,
filled with that days market goods.

cardboard boxes brimming.

 lemons and grapefruits and oranges.

the sounds of its tires
bouncing down our gravel drive.
as clear today,
as when i was ten.

he’d take water from our well,
and he’d chat with my father outside.
and then, he’d come in for tea and a game.
and for my favorite bit, 
the bit where,

we’d trade stories over cake.

he’d tell us of the bees he kept.
or of his days in asia.
he’d tell us of
the cold mornings in saskatchewan.
or the days, as boys when they collected
mushrooms for pocket change.
he’d tell us of
his friends lost at war.
he’d teach us their history,
we’d learn about life.

and it’s becasue of him
that today and any old day at all
i’m happy to trade cake 
for a story.

this weekend,
i baked vanilla sponge.
i cooked yuzu custard,
and i whipped eggs for icing.
and you know what else,
i ate three pieces in honour of him.

happy almost spring friends.
hope your day is grand.

xox, n.


love. yup, i said that.
a gentleman’s tie.
nail polish.
a print.
 sandals. i think they’d wear well.
(i’m imagining them in 5 years)
chairs and light. love.
the grey brooch.

[and in hg news]
next update, march 21, 5pm est.
including these cutters and oh, these too.
and yes, the pretty pedestals.


posted on March 17, 2010 by Nikole

comments: 23

on sandwiches and beer and things that matter

whoa, march already, that was fast.
i feel kind of like i’m still getting my footing sorted for february.
no matter, i saw that snowy month out with a little bang!

i packed a bag and i boarded a train.
and i spent the weekend
away from home.
i laughed with friends and i joked with strangers.
i ate good sandwiches, i drank great beer
and i had those kinds of moments,
 the ones when your tummy hurts 
you’ve laughed so much.
and when you catch yourself smiling at nothing at all.

i walked down streets new to me,
i spoke a language i don’t quite know,
i cheered for canada from the seat of a train.

i met a man whose presence pleased.
his frame slight, his hair grey,
his kindness obvious.
he had a glint in his eyes and work on his hands.
i heard tradition in his voice
and saw history in his story.
i wondered if he needed another grandchild.
i thought to myself, i’m so up for the job.

he had a small shop, all perfectly blue.
wooden molds for hats

and brass stands for shoes.
worn wooden chairs and mottled glass cabinets.
things hanging from hooks 
and polishes in tins.
newspapers abound and
cafes in short paper cups.

opened in 1938,
his father repaired hats,
and now he the same.
teeming with business then, but slower now.
it keeps him just busy enough, he said.
seventy-two years of craftsmanship
passed from father to son.

it got me to thinking about
how easily things are lost.
of how tradition sometimes falters in the space, 
from one generation to the next.

and it got me to thinking about people and their craft.
and of the things we choose to do.
the ways we use our hands, 
the ways we use our minds,
the things we choose to buy.
 and too, of the people whose stories we choose to listen to.
of the histories we care to remember.

it got me to thinking,
that craftsmanship is so easily lost these days.
and that the division of labour so changed the world. 
and that, while we build a small piece of something,
we so easily loose sight of the whole.

it’s no revelation of course.
i’ve a soft spot for people and their craft.
for family businesses and for tradition.

the truth is, 
i just think we should listen more to stories.
we should make sure they are, well, less easily pushed aside.
i want to know where my cheese came from.
and i want to know the story of the family that started the farm.
i want to know who made my bread
and i want to know why they made it.

idealistic perhaps, but attainable just the same.

it’s simple really,
i’m keen on a sandwich with meat smoked by hand.
i’m keen on a passion that stands the test of time.
and i’m keen on the story.

i drank beer this weekend, the kind made in small batches.
i ate maple butter this weekend,
the kind made in someone’s backyard.
i tasted smoked meat this weekend,
the kind that is that way, because tradition made it so.
and it all made me happy.

it was really good.
 i hope yours was equally so.
happy tuesday all.

xox, n.

i can’t get over this light.
a new subscription, the art of eating.
this photo screams, waiting on summer to me.
moccasins for a friend’s new baby. love.
plus, i’m currently obsessing over meat pies.
do you have a family recipe?
feel like sharing, i’d love to try.

the new recipe download i promised,
it’s coming,
it’s just that there’s a surprise involved
and that bit, it’s taking a little longer than expected.
soon though, promise. 


posted on March 2, 2010 by Nikole

comments: 30

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