mm on the etsy front page!

Yahoo! The Modern Marigold made it to Etsy's front page today. Thanks to everyone who stopped by -- and if you're new around here, welcome!


today i'm excited about

:: It's a warm, sunny day & right now I have baguettes baking to eat with dinner tonight). They smell so good.

:: Gold strike! Embroidered mumus have been on my perpetual hunt-for list ever since Rachel at Smile & Wave fixed one up last summer. (What's on your perpetual hunt-for list, by the way?)

:: Also found this fun little book, published in the 1960s by a guy who wanted to preserve his grandfather's country wisdom and know-how. Chapter titles include "Sugaring," "Doing with Stone," and "Indians."

:: Heather's Joyful Life Library! Advertising with a beautiful purpose; I hope we start seeing more projects like this on the blogosphere.

:: MM scrap pack giveaway on the Vintage Sheet Blog! Jen's been hosting a whole month of giveaways in celebration of her one-year blogaversary. Congratulations, Jen!

:: Babies taking pretend naps in the laundry. The 3 of us had dinner at Denny's last night (the man was in the field) and had the. best. time. Kids eat free Tues/Thurs, so it cost less than McDonald's usually does. And with a lot less chaos.

:: Baguettes making happy crackling noises as they cool. Surely we won't need all four for dinner...


a makeupey mood

If you know me in person, you know I'm not a huge makeup wearer. On my wedding day, my sister had to all but hog tie me to get (what she said was) a decent amount of makeup on me. I may or may not have been muttering something about the whores of Babylon. Not in reference to my sister, of course. And that wedding-day makeup? Still usin' it. Seven years strong, baby. Ahem.

So it's not often that I buy new makeup. And when I do, it's not the fancy stuff. Anyway, I bought some today and I really like it, so I thought I'd share! First up is Neutrogena's revitalizing lip balm in soft caramel, which goes on silky and has just enough color to keep me looking alive (not an easy feat in this weather).

I also got some Maybelline Expert Wear in charcoal smokes, which I love because it has "base," "lid," "crease," "outer corner," and "liner" stamped into the little eyeshadow trays. There's even a numbered diagram on the back. Totally awesome if you're a makeup idiot (points to self). It's an easy way to give your eyes that sultry smoky look (at least that's what I'm hoping).

And just for fun, Pure Ice nail polish in siren -- el cheapo polish that's good for a red kick. I don't wear polish often, either -- a boy in high school complimented my lack of nail polish once, and for some reason I always think of that when I paint my nails. Silly, I know.

And you? Have you discovered any fabulous beauty products lately, drugstore or otherwise?

(Totally unrelated, but I am flipping my wig over this salted caramel ice cream recipe. Must find evaporated cane juice at the health food store tomorrow.)

citron/acid green

Is anyone sick of this lovely limey color yet? Me neither. It has been popping up all over the place the past few days (gosh, like it's spring or something?)...

:: in this month's blocks for do. good stitches

:: dresses! I made 2 on Saturday to go in the shop (+ plotting to make many more), as soon as the zipper and neck facings are in.

:: and even in my mailbox. Golly, how did that get there?


winner + maternity skirts?

Congrats to Gloria, winner of the bunting giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered -- if you still want a kit, don't forget that you can get free shipping through midnight tonight using the code HAPPYHAPPY at checkout!

I've been contemplating making maternity skirts for the shop... one of my dearest friends from back home is expecting her first baby and asked me to make one for her to wear at her baby shower.

(The waistband is folded over a little in the picture.) Skirts and pants with jersey waistbands are my favorite thing when I'm hugely pregnant (heck, even when I'm not). Nothing feels better, except maybe a late-night McFlurry.

I'm looking forward to some studio time this afternoon so I can cut some more rainbow buntings and do some dressmaking experimentation. It's a beautiful, bright Saturday in the North Country -- hope your day is the happiest!


inspiring artists: katie daisy

I have been in love with Katie Daisy's work since I first saw her You Are My Sunshine print over on Sea Water Tea Co. a few months back. Her style is so vibrant, fresh, cheerful, and color-saturated -- the stuff of your favorite technicolor daydreams. I finally ponied up for my favorite two prints -- strategic reminders to myself, really. My mouth fell open when they came in the mail. Katie's prints are even more beautiful in person, and I love looking at them every day. I have this favorite little daydream where we move back to Logan and I open a little juice shop where the carrots are always sweet, the staff are dreadlocked USU hippies, and the signage is by Katie. Someday!

Anyway, get a warm mug of something and head on over to The Wheatfield -- you won't be disappointed!


happy happy! (plus a giveaway + free shipping)

It's been an incredible year, you guys. Each sale, each comment, each encouraging word -- they all fill me with such excitement and such gratitude. If anyone reading this has ever wanted to write a blog or open an Etsy shop, do it! Both are amazing outlets for creativity and growth, and the blogger/Etsy community is so welcoming, dynamic, and inspiring. Love it.

I would be a complete fraud if I didn't give a colossal shout-out to Jane, Evelyn, and especially my sweet husband, Richard. The Modern Marigold would be no more than a daydream without their love, hard work, and support. Most of all, I thank my Heavenly Father for the gifts He gives to me & my family & for the joy that comes from sharing them; He is the true and only source behind all of this!

I'm pleased to announce that I'll be launching a new blog at the beginning of May. Little Cumulus (500th post this week, though I didn't realize it till afterwards!) has been a wonderful place to grow, but it's time to merge blog + shop. (Eee!)

And since I'm fresh out of pie, how about a giveaway instead? One lucky winner will get to pick a bunting kit from the shop (and hey, if you don't sew, I got your back)! Just leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner at random on Saturday morning. I hope you'll also enjoy this little coupon code -- free shipping for all in-stock items (custom work not included), worldwide, through midnight (EDT) Saturday.

Thanks again, guys -- friends, family, commenters, and lurkers alike -- I couldn't do this without you!

deco tape :: pugly pixel
fonts :: learning curve & print clearly via dafont
graph paper :: lost and taken

porch reading's return

I offer no apologies for prattling endlessly about the weather. Spring is a joyous event in any climate, but perhaps especially more so where the winters are long, deep, and very cold.

Right now I'm savoring the return of porch reading -- so delicious to read while the girls piddle and poke and prowl the drive, the yard, the woods.

You're invited to the Modern Marigold's 1st birthday party {tomorrow! eek gad!} -- tomorrow, right here -- stop by for pretties and presents {for you!}

:: photo overlays :: lost and taken ::



new spring buntings

Just wanted to surface from a maple + sunshine-induced haze of springtime happiness long enough to say that I'll be re-stocking DIY bunting kits in the shop all next week. I had originally planned to make them a one-time thing, but ended up changing my mind (happy shrug). Lots of loves to everyone!

color is so happy

1. party napkin quilt top , 2. SG quilt progress report, 3. pin cushion for giveaway, 4. Hello March!, 5. do. Good Stitches {A Charity Bee} - Hope January Quilt, 6. All Dressed Up..., 7. Cheery Pillows!, 8. This is so practical! And looks nice too!, 9. Untitled

Flickr has been killing me with all the amazing things people are doing. I hope you are having a deliciously springy weekend. Be back next week with more photos from the sugaring!


when life gives you lemons...

Not that life has been tart around here, per se -- but a little practice never hurts, ya know?

Shaker lemon pie is one of those things that, if it were in me, I'd bake and FedEx overnight one to every single person I know. It isn't my #1 favorite pie, but the novelty of it just kills me -- whole lemons! pith, peel, and all! -- baked into a custardy, marmaladey, unforgettably zesty conglomeration (maybe not the right word for pie?) of deliciousness. It makes my eyes smile (mouth, too).

These photos are of the second recipe I tried for this pie, which was good, but we liked the first version we tried even more.

Shaker Lemon Pie
from Cook's Country Magazine, April/May 2008

Note: Slicing the lemons is easiest if you put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then slice them with a serrated knife.

1 double-crust pie dough
3 large lemons, halved lengthwise and sliced as thinly as humanly possible
1 3/4 c sugar
1/8 t salt
1 T cornstarch
4 eggs
1 T cream

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 F. Line 9-inch pie plate with 1 dough round and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Squeeze lemon slices in fine-mesh strainer set over bowl; reserve juice (you should have 6 T). Bring drained slices and 2 c water to boil in a small saucepan, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Drain well and discard liquid. Combine softened lemon slices, sugar, salt, and 1/4 c reserved lemon juice in bowl; stir to dissolve sugar.

Whisk cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in large bowl. Whisk eggs into cornstarch mixture, then slowly stir in lemon slice mixture until combined. Pour into chilled pie shell. Brush edges of dough with 1 t cream and top with remaining dough round. Seal, crimp edges, and brush top of dough with remaining cream. Cut 4 vents in the top.

Bake until light golden, about 20 minutes, then decrease oven temperature to 375 F and continue to bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack for at least 1 hour before serving. Pie can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for 2 days.

chalkboard :: kitschy digitals
fonts :: print clearly and learning curve via dafont
buntings :: lemon tree studio

tutorial: finishing raw edges without a serger

Hi guys. Today I've got a video tutorial on how to finish raw fabric edges with a regular sewing machine. The background music for the video popped into my head a few weeks ago along with a little voice saying, "You know this would make great background music for a tutorial, right?" I shot it late at night on a bad hair day -- that's North Country chic to you. I have been really overdue for a haircut and finally got one today, glory be. But that is neither here nor there. Hope you enjoy!


the sugaring :: part 1

:: neighbor's drilling sends us scurrying outside to see the long-awaited tapping ::

:: sugar shack, nearly ready to come to life ::

:: season's first sugar bush hike ::

:: syrup's first stop ::

:: little one along for the ride ::

:: free to roam outside again -- so beautifully free ::


old jail antiques

So I discovered this out-of-control awesome antique shop on Saturday. It's inside an old jail, so the back part of the store is a row of claustrophobically narrow hallways packed with antique-filled cells. So rad. I think I was in an aqua mood.

van gough :: mellowmint
washi :: pugly pixel
photo textures :: lost and taken
font :: mom's typewriter via dafont
font :: learning curve via dafont


new skirt for me

I've always had a little seller's remorse that one of my first skirts ever sold. I think I was secretly hoping that no one would buy it, but I guess it's a good thing that someone liked it, right?! Anyway, I had some very good luck lately (as usual, in the form of Evelyn) and scored another yellow butterfly sheet. I was using it making a new skirt for the shop, and was nearly done with it when I noticed a few tiny holes in the striped fabric. I'd be lying if I told you it upset me, because it made me do a little happy dance that I get to keep it. Maybe I shouldn't always wait for the rejects?

Another happy dance and a big thank-you to Sew, Mama, Sew for featuring my Bold Statement top on their blog yesterday!

filmstrip textures :: blowback photography
scallop punch :: the pugly pixel
font :: impact label via dafont
flower bling :: kitschy digitals


macaroons in half an hour

You love macaroons or you hate 'em. I've never been one to say "no" to a macaroon, but I'm not in the habit of making them. That might be about to change.

I needed cookies for an Army pot luck last night (hence the phrase "too easy" -- an Army oddity). Enter macaroons. 6 ingredients, 4 dirty dishes, and 35 minutes later (including baking and cooling time), we were in business. And, like pretty much all recipes from Cook's Illustrated, they're really freaking good.

Fast Macaroons
From Cook's Illustrated: The Quick Recipe

1 large egg white
1/3 c sugar
1/8 t salt
1 1/4 c sweetened flaked coconut
2 T cornstarch
4 oz semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk together the egg white, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Toss the coconut and cornstarch together in a medium bowl, making sure to thoroughly coat the coconut with the cornstarch. Pour the liquid ingredients over the coconut mixture and mix with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened.

Drop heaping tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Form the cookies into loose haystacks with your fingertips.

Bake until light golden brown, 12-14 minutes. Cool until slightly set, about 2 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack.

While the cookies are baking, melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power or over a pan of simmering water. Dip the cooled macaroons in the chocolate, scrape off the excess with a spatula, and replace on the parchment-lined baking sheet. If you need the cookies to set quickly (all the sooner to eat, right?), pop the sheet in the freezer.

Makes 12 (and multiplies easily).