21 December 2011

Cookie Season

So many cookies, so little time! Now the orders have been shipped, time to turn to softened butter and sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, icing and sprinkles and chocolate chips, chopped nuts and powdered sugar!
Baking cookies has become a tradition in our family! My favorite cookie is the pinwheel cookie it looks beautiful and tastes even better than it looks. I created a video series on facebook last year to demonstrate how to prepare the dough for this prized cookie. Here is the recipe for Pin Wheel Cookies (we always triple this recipe, as it is labor intensive and we always want more!!) 
2/3 c sweet butter 
2/3 c sugar 
1/2 vanilla bean 
1 egg 
1 3/4 c unbleached AP flour 
1/4 c dark cocoa 

1. cream butter & sugar, add vanilla bean seeds and beat in egg until smooth. Set aside 3/4c batter 
2. add 1c flour to remaining batter, beat until smooth, roll out dough between waxed papers to 12"x8", refrigerate 
3. mix remaining 3/4c flour with the cocoa and beat into remaining butter/sugar mixture, roll out as with white dough 12"x8" and refrigerate for 15 min. 
4. place black & white cookie doughs together and roll the rolling pin over both doughs to consolidate, then roll up dough into a tight jelly roll lengthwise and refrigerate wrapped for 1 hour. 
5. preheat oven to 375. lightly grease baking sheets 
6. cut roll into 1/4" slices, arrange on cookie sheet and bake 12 min or until golden brown, cool on racks.
Spiral Cookies, Russian Tea CCakes, Ginger Snaps and 
Chocolate Wafers and Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing 
What is your favorite cookie? Please feel free to share your favorite cookie in a comment. Perhaps some interest may be generated for a cookie exchange in the future? I fancy the idea of baking again tomorrow!

18 December 2011

The Waiting Game

We are still waiting to hear back from Ginnifer Goodwin about the hand painted shawl I made for and sent to her along with a group of artisans via The Artisan Group.
Satin Trimmed Shawl by Joyflower on Etsy

Apparently the parcel has been received by her agent's office in West Hollywood, California.

But the word is she's out of pocket until further notice. I believe she's filming Once Upon a Time in Canada and otherwise having a bit of fun for the holidays!

04 December 2011

Quest for the Perfect Christmas Tree

This weekend I participated in the 3rd annual Dodge Power Wagon Christmas Rendezvous in Adin, California. The National Christmas Tree Association says that "about 23 percent of the consumers will purchase their trees from a "Christmas Tree Farm" while about 62 percent will buy trees from a retail lot." I occupy the 15% who seek out the centerpiece the holiday season in nature. 
Wreath-adorned Dodge Power Wagon.
Saturday morning we met up with a fun-loving and friendly crew of vintage Dodge military truck enthusiasts who had gathered from Reno, Santa Barbara, Santa Helena, LA and as far as Florida to drive their restored vintage Dodge trucks and military vehicles to find the perfect Christmas tree. We gathered at the Adin General Store in Modoc County to drink coffee before we drove up to the snow to cut the trees. I really had no idea how cool vintage Dodge vehicles were until this weekend! 
Sorensen's Catering of Santa Helena provided hot minestrone soup.

By the time all the trucks were admired, warmed-up, test-driven, and repaired, the sun had climbed higher in the sky and it was at least 20 degrees warmer than when we had first set out. We had perfect weather as we caravanned up to the snow, it was 33 and sunny! After finding and cutting 11 suitable trees, we enjoyed hot delicious minestrone soup from Sorenson's Catering for lunch, then dinner was the best BBQ in Modoc County at The Oney Frosty in Town - wow, did we manage to eat our way through this weekend or what!?! 
We fit eleven trees in the back of this old Dodge pickup. 
I not only got the perfect tree, but I also met some new friends who I hope to see again next year and hopefully there will be more snow, so we can go x-country skiing next time. 

23 November 2011

Big Love

I'm a little Twitter-pated, I'm having one of those moments that I've only dreamed of up until now. I have a grand opportunity to get one of my hand painted silks into the hands of a Hollywood celebrity! I come by this stroke of good fortune by belonging to The Artisan Group, an exclusive close-knit community of talented artisans, who collectively provide a lovely sampling of handcrafted products to celebrities and members of the press at major award show luxury gift lounges leading up to The Academy Awards, The Golden Globes, and The Primetime Emmys. At this time I have been chosen in a lottery to present to Ginnifer Goodwin. 

I did some research to check her out, to see what she looks like and what she's about. I actually had a personal communication with her via Twitter a few days ago when she was on set filming a new episode of Once Upon a Time. When I asked her what her favorite color is, she tweeted back that she likes purple, but doesn't wear it, her next twitter clued me in to the fact that her favorite accessory color is red! Click here to see additional views and details of the shawl I made especially for Ginny. 
You may be familiar with her since she's had more than 18 roles beginning with her debut as Erica in 2001 on Law and Order. Most notable is perhaps her 53 episodes as Margene in Big Love. Interestingly enough she's recently appeared on Sponge Bob Square Pants as the Teenage Mermaid and she's currently starring with Jennifer Morrison in ABC's new fantasy adventure series Once Upon a Time, a modern-day take on Snow White. 
Here she is ostensibly naked again
Ginny seems to be a spirited, talented and lovely young lady, I hope she will like her custom-made art to wear shawl. The plan is to deliver the artisan gifts to her in the very near future, at the beginning of December. Keep your eye out for paparazzi photos showing her wearing her red and black JHS satin trimmed shawl during the holidays! 

12 November 2011

Dying Light: Photo Shoot

Some days are longer than others--today has been one of those days. I woke in the quiet of the dawn and realized that I had a big day ahead. First I needed to get the car packed for the Farmer's Market. I was in a great mood starting off with my cappuccino from Noble Coffee. Then the drive to Grants Pass was glorious, we've had a wonderful autumn and the fall color has peaked during the last week. The sky was clear blue and the trees and orchards along the interstate were absolutely glowing in shades of red, yellow, orange and green, some are brazenly colorful and others more tender.
The Farmers Market was a lot of fun, familiar faces of farmers, artisans and friends gabbing, shopping and gabbing about the fantastic fall weather. My booth looked great with a light breeze and the sun shining through the silks. People were sort of excited to see me again, since I hadn't been to Market for a few weeks! The chill in the air seemed to inspire folks to want to buy scarves, and we had a few interesting chats about how to tie a scarf to what color looks best with brown hair and who has the best organic produce and bakery goods. I love talking to people and sharing tips on styling your look with scarves. I'm always surprised how many women have drawers full of scarves, but they lack the confidence or know how to tie one on, so they just don't wear them!  We have lots of fun when I show them how to "pinch an inch" and the many ways to wear a scarf.
Photo credit: Pete Gauthier
After market closed, I took a stroll in the park along the river to soak up more glorious fall color, and take a little break before doing an outdoor product photo shoot. I had one idea, but we ended up shooting in another location while the afternoon light faded away. The sunny afternoon turned to high clouds and I thought the light was just about as perfect as can be. My goal was to get some pictures to create some new product listings in my Etsy Store. Which backdrop do you prefer, the corrugated metal or the rustic wood? 
 And so the day continues, now I'll edit some of the images from today's photo shoot and write some product descriptions, and maybe even get to post a few new items online. . . zzzzzzzzzzz

07 November 2011

Celebrating 1000 Fans Giveaway

Joy Hand Painted Silk is CELEBRATING one thousand fans on Facebook!  Join us in the celebration and enter to win a peacock silk shawl from Joy Hand Painted Silk!

How to Enter:

1. Be a current fan of Joy Hand Painted Silk on Facebook

2. Comment on this blog post, then

3. View Joy Silk Studio Photo album.

4. Leave a comment on a photo or photos of your choice by Friday, November 11, 2011.
*The person whose comment has the most "likes" by the end of November will win.

5. The winner will receive a one of a kind hand painted silk peacock feather shawl by Joy Hand Painted Silk, which has a retail value of $130.

Good luck!

14 August 2011

Bergamot iced tea

The best summer tea is organic bergamot from my garden. This mint produces dense whorls of rose-purple flower spikes, and sometimes (but not always) there are flowers between the upper leaves.  It grows in moist ground or other wet places like stream edges (or my garden hose bib) blooming from July to November, and is naturalized from Europe. 

You may gather the fresh mint at any time of day, I like to pick it when I go outside in the morning to  check the weather. Mint iced tea can be made with most garden varieties of mint, each has a distinctively refreshing flavor.

1. Gather: with your kitchen shears, clip a handful of stems (get a few extra to pop in a little vase, the leaves smell so good). 
2. Clean: first shake the mint outside, then rinse it in cold running water while you put a kettle on to boil  (I love my Capresso Boiler).
3. Steep: when the water boils pour it over the mint stems in your favorite teapot and steep. I like mine unsweetened, but if you prefer yours sweet, add your sweetener of choice while the water is hot and the sugar or honey will easily dissolve. 
4. Enjoy: pour over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with lemon wedge if desired. 

Greetings from Planet Joy!

24 March 2011

Hand Made Life

 Hi, I'm Joy and I am a full-time artisan and a craftsperson. I design and paint silk fashion accessories and home decor accents in Ashland, Oregon. Painting silk began as a hobby and has grown to be my passion and career focus. I consider myself a designer and when people ask me "what do you do?" I unwaveringly reply "I'm an artist, and I like to garden".
 In the beginning, when I first moved to Oregon, I would paint silk outdoors when the weather permitted. In my former home I had a nice, but small room that was dedicated to my hobby, but now I've  got a proper studio in my two-car garage. You can see I've got a lot of room, enough for a sewing station and two large tables on wheels, which allows me to move them out of the way when I want to do a photo shoot. It's great to have this much space to work! And when the weather permits, I continue to enjoy painting en plein air.
I am pretty organized and have systems for keeping my supplies in stock. I have quite a few frames for stretching the silk out to paint on in different sizes. I use DuPont brand of Silk Dyes, I love their vivid colors and the way they keep their brilliance forever once they are steam-set. Because of the superior quality and consistency, I favor Chinese silks over Indian and Vietnamese silks. Before I got my fab commercial steamer I had "invented" my own using a commercial stock pot and some dowels - I cooked my silks on the stove like a mad scientist! 
I like making accessories because scarves are so easy to wear and so versatile. A scarf is an instant wardrobe update and so effortless. Even when I'm wearing jeans or sweats at home, when I have to dash out to the grocery store or pick up the kids, I just throw on a scarf with my jacket and I feel pretty (and the compliments I get prove that out too)!
A silk scarf will definitely take an elegant outfit up a notch as well. Here I'm wearing a satin trimmed ruana with a vintage Bill Blass silk chiffon cocktail dress. A silk shawl or wrap is elegant and practical on a summer night or for any special occasion. 

This is the same ruana as in the black dress shot, but it's just been taken from the steamer so it's still stiff with dye and salt. After it's washed and ironed, there is nothing softer than a silk scarf against your skin. I love making accessories, because you know, you just can't have too many scarves!