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In my last post, I promised to show you the final results of my woodworking project.  My maple blanket chest is completely done now and pretty soon, I’ll be storing away my winter linens.  Ta-da!  I’ll be starting on another project soon, and this time I think I’ll be doing a book-matched Nakashima-style walnut coffee table.  We’ll see how that one turns out!  Stay tuned.

Ignore the driveway.  It needs serious work.

Ignore the driveway. It needs serious work.

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Another reason to celebrate: my ETSY shop, which has been open for a little over two months now, has just reached its 46th sale.  Combined with my craft fair sales, that makes nearly 70 pieces that are spread across the States, and a few pieces around the world (latest one is France)!  If you haven’t seen my site already, please visit at www.trulyenchanted.etsy.com.  I would appreciate it if you could also pass it on!  Thanks!
In terms of other news and happenings in my life, my parents are coming to visit our home this week and I’m excited to show them the surrounding areas, including Santa Fe and Taos.  I also start professional school in about two weeks.  But even though I’ll be in pharmacy school, I’ll still make time for more posts and more projects.  So come back and visit me!

 So it’s about 6:45 now and I’ve been up and running for awhile.  Took some time out to enjoy a cup of coffee outdoors with my garden, so here are some pictures I snapped this morning.  Since the last time you saw it, the patio flagstone has been completely laid down and our firepit has also been constructed.  The tomatoes are now ripening and my other vegetables are coming along…baby eggplants, squash, and peppers have all arrived! I’ll also be posting pictures next week of my woodworking project…a maple blanket chest.  It’s just about done but needs the final touches.  I’ll be sanding it down and staining it next week.  For now, enjoy!

Love the colors...

Love the colors...

 

Success!  I've trained one of our honeysuckle plants to climb up the trellis!

Success! I've trained one of our honeysuckle plants to climb up the trellis!

 

Herb box is doing well...though that dill is flowering like crazy!

Herb box is doing well...though that dill is flowering like crazy!

 

My vegetable box is growing like crazy too...it must be all that compost.

My vegetable box is growing like crazy too...it must be all that compost.

 

Now these are some hefty organic tomatoes!!

Now these are some hefty organic tomatoes!!

 

 

The lone chili pepper...waiting to be picked.

The lone chili pepper...waiting to be picked.

 

 

Crookneck squash blossom...I pick them when the squash are baby and still attached to the blossom, stuff with goat cheese and fry them! YUM.

Crookneck squash blossom...I pick them when the squash are baby and still attached to the blossom, stuff with goat cheese and fry them! YUM.

 

 

I designed this firepit as an extension of our patio...for additional seating during entertaining and for gathering around in the fall to enjoy hot toddies and smores.

I designed this firepit as an extension of our patio...for additional seating during entertaining and for gathering around in the fall to enjoy hot toddies and smores.

 

 

My maple blanket chest..the body is made of maple plywood.  The corner posts are wormy maple hardwood.

My maple blanket chest..the body is made of maple plywood. The corner posts are wormy maple hardwood. I still can't believe I built this with my two hands...okay, and with the help of a panel saw, table saw, compound miter saw, dado saw, jointer, biscuit cutter...ya get the point. Thank goodness for technology.

 

 

Here's the solid wormy maple top to the chest...I love this wood for its highly figured character.  Had cost not been a factor, I would have made the entire chest out of wormy maple.  Next week I'm going to surface it and sand it down so that the frame is level with the center panel.  Then it'll be finished with some Danish oil.

Here's the solid wormy maple top to the chest...I love this wood for its highly figured character. Had cost not been a factor, I would have made the entire chest out of wormy maple. Next week I'm going to surface it and sand it down so that the frame is level with the center panel. Then it'll be finished with some Danish oil.

 

 

My favorite treatment for wood.  Danish oil enhances the natural beauty of its grain and I love the natural finish for a soft lustrous sheen.

My favorite treatment for wood. Danish oil enhances the natural beauty of its grain and I love the natural finish for a soft lustrous sheen.

 

 

Here's the pine door I finished this morning with some natural Danish oil.  See how it brings out the grain?

Here's the pine door I finished this morning with some natural Danish oil. See how it brings out the grain?

Guess what?  I’ve been thinking about Christmas already…although it doesn’t seem like it is at all around the corner.  But dear friends, there is so much to be done before then!  First of all, I am so excited to announce that I start graduate school in (gasp) one month!  Since I’ve taken four years off from school since graduating from college in 2005, I know I’ll need to hit the books quite a bit before getting caught up.  But still, I am wildly excited about being part of my very own “school of fish”!

Secondly, I have already committed to a second crafts show.  This one will be a bit more involved than the first, so I’ve started to plan my inventory just for that show alone.  Exciting!

Thirdly, I’ve already gotten inquiries about wholesale orders…and I am still a one-woman show!  So before I drown in orders, I’ve got to get started on holiday inventory.

Anyways, enough of that.  Here are my latest items, which you can always find on www.trulyenchanted.etsy.com.

Attention getting and spectacular, this is a green amethyst (prasiolite) that will undoubtedly make everyone else around you green with envy!

Attention getting and spectacular, this is a green amethyst (prasiolite) that will undoubtedly make everyone else around you green with envy!

 

I call this my "Mojito" earrings---seafoam green chalcedony briolettes with a "spray" of Swarovski crystals and pearls

I call this my "Mojito" earrings---seafoam green chalcedony briolettes with a "spray" of Swarovski crystals and pearls

 

These I have named "Turmeric" because the colors are so Indian-inspired.  Lush and rich, the butterscotch chalcedony almost looks like carnelian.  Accompanied by gold vermeil wire clusters that are anything but ordinary.

These I have named "Turmeric" because the colors are so Indian-inspired. Lush and rich, the butterscotch chalcedony almost looks like carnelian. Accompanied by gold vermeil wire clusters that are anything but ordinary.

 

My "Nocturne" earrings with hand-made earwires forged from sterling silver that has been slightly oxidized for an aged patina.  Labradorite dangles from a 1.5" drop and would pair so well with my "Starry Night" necklace!

My "Nocturne" earrings with hand-made earwires forged from sterling silver that has been slightly oxidized for an aged patina. Labradorite dangles from a 1.5" drop and would pair so well with my "Starry Night" necklace!

David is coming back from a week-long business trip tonight and I wanted to surprise him with a dish that bears no resemblance to hotel or restaurant food.   Something homey, comforting, and luxurious.

Enter the classic French chicken stew: Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon and Shallots.

I used my own tarragon from the herb garden and made sure to brown it well in my Le Creuset.  I’ll sing the praises of Le Creuset in another post, I’m sure.  Cream, dry white wine, tarragon, broth, lemon, bay leaf, and shallots make for a great accompaniment to free range chicken.

From one Le Creuset....

From one Le Creuset....

 

...to another

...to another

 

I'll pair it with a side of white asparagus with hollandaise and crisp green beans.  Crusty French bread to top it all off and to sop up that tarragon goodness.

I'll pair it with a side of white asparagus with hollandaise and crisp green beans. Crusty French bread to top it all off and to sop up that tarragon goodness.

——–

 

 

Tarragon Chicken Fricassee—Gourmet March 2007

  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds chicken pieces with skin and bone
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté chicken in 2 batches, skin side down first, turning over once, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons oil from skillet, then cook shallots, garlic, and bay leaf over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, about 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Stir in cream, broth, and 1 tablespoon tarragon, then add chicken, skin side up, and simmer, covered, until just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered. If necessary, boil sauce until thickened slightly.

Stir in lemon juice, remaining 1/2 tablespoon tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaf; pour sauce over chicken.

We went to the lovely town of Westcliffe, CO—where the grass is green and mountains are lush.  Dear readers, I am so sorry that I forgot to pack my camera because it is a beautiful place.  It’s what I imagine paradise to be!

Anyways, I did well at the craft fair and I’m ecstatic that I exceeded my goals for my first time!  Now that I am back, I’m in the midst of a flurry of custom orders.  It’s great to be back in my studio.

Here’s what I’ve created for a bride…she asked for pink, purple, brown, green, and cream pearls.  As inspiration, she also sent a picture of her dress and it is GORGEOUS!  Hopefully this will pair with it nicely…

Amethyst, green quartz, smoky quartz, rose quartz, and cream freshwater pearls with a dollop of a Swarovski egg-shaped pearl on the very end.

Amethyst, green quartz, smoky quartz, rose quartz, and cream freshwater pearls with a dollop of a Swarovski egg-shaped pearl on the very end.

 

I love the way it catches the light.

I love the way it catches the light.

 

It reminds me of spring.  For a lovely spring bride.

It reminds me of spring. For a lovely spring bride.

I think the most difficult part of putting together a craft show is managing the inventory.  Although this is my very first one, I am already gathering that the display component is easy to control.  For instance, once I set up my trial booth, the display elements came together quite organically.  As I paced to and fro, I would add certain touches until it finally came together.  And it has.  I think I’m ready in that respect.

Now, in terms of inventory, I am frantically making more jewelry even though I had been prepping for months…in anticipation of the holiday season.  I have a lot of inventory already, knowing that I would be doing a major craft show in November, but even still, I feel like my boxes look so empty!  The question I keep asking myself is, what do I do if I sell out?  Pack up and go home?  And then I think, oh silly me.  I’d be lucky to even make ten sales!  Sell out?  That’s impossible.  Still, the part of me that reaches for the stars stays up late making more briolette drops because I imagine that there lies the possibility that I may run out of items!

It's finally done.  I predrilled some holes for hooks and voila!  A bracelet display!

It's finally done. I predrilled some holes for hooks and voila! A bracelet display!

 

Just in case I don't get to interact with all of my customers, they'll be able to refer to this.

Just in case I don't get to interact with all of my customers, they'll be able to refer to this.

 

I love this...and the fact that I made it myself.  So gratifying.

I love this...and the fact that I made it myself. So gratifying.

This upcoming weekend I’ll be doing my very first craft fair!  Yikes!  Let’s just say, I’m so nervous it’s been hard to sleep.  I’ve been up trying to plan everything…being the type A personality that I am.

So far, I’m working on my displays.  I haven’t gotten very far since my commitment to this fair didn’t solidify until just a couple of days ago.  But so far, I’ve glued and stapled some beautiful gnarly rustic upholstery fabric to some plywood boards.  Then I’ll put in some upholstery decorative tacks to hang my jewelry on!

Also made a gilded tree out of grape vine branches from our backyard.  It was easy, just spray with metallic paint.  The effect is something out of Narnia and I’ll be able to hang even more luscious jewelry from it.

Gotten some cards printed up and I love the glossy paper they’re on.  It is so exciting to see my brand crystallizing over weeks.

My half-completed display board.

My half-completed display board.

 

Love those flyers!

Love those flyers!

 

All I did was staple the fabric with an electric staple gun.

All I did was staple the fabric with an electric staple gun.

 

Check out my Narnia inspired jewelry tree!  It's simple, drill a hole or two into the base and put your branches in.  I found that using wood putty really optimizes the fit.  Then spray paint!

Check out my Narnia inspired jewelry tree! It's simple, drill a hole or two into the base and put your branches in. I found that using wood putty really optimizes the fit. Then spray paint!

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