Friday, September 25, 2009

New colors and grains

Sometimes we have some extra molding and decide to make it into a frame. When this happens, we use the frame to practice new graining designs or use a new color we've been wanting to try. The first two frames on the page are examples of this. The first is painted in a new color for us, 'Nantucket', and the graining style is based on one by Primitive Traditions' Cathy Campbell. We're tentatively calling it 'Peacock', because that's the first thing that popped into our minds when we saw it on this color, but that name may change before we make it official.

Many of our early frame designs are based on Cathy's, which unfortunately became unavailable since she closed her framing business to focus on designing. We've also been working hard to develop new styles and grains that are unique to us.

The following frame is a new grain that we're calling 'Burl' and the color is 'Mistletoe'. It's beautiful in this color, and I'm excited to try the grain on a more 'natural' looking color to see how it turns out. One of my favorite things is to try to reproduce the look of natural woods, and this burled look, as well as the birdseye grain have quickly become favorites.

It's amazing that such a simple technique allows such varied and lovely results, and we find that the grains vary immensely just between the two of us. Even when Mom and I do the same technique, the grain looks slightly different, making each frame truly unique and original. I think that is the thing I love most about false-graining. I'm starting to branch out into graining some other items too, but since some of these are intended as Christmas presents, I can't share the photos with you until after the holidays!

The next frame is one we've had for a while, but I haven't had a good photo of it until now. It is also based on one from Primitive Traditions. This grain is 'Swirl'.

Lastly, we're always showcasing needlework in our frames, but I wanted to show how nicely they work on other items. The following is an example, using the 'Peacock' grained frame above with a school photo of my son. Unfortunately, there is a bit of a glare on the photo (darned glossy finishes) but I think it gives a good idea of how well these frames work on other types of items. Other ideas might be to frame a wedding invitation, ketubah, diploma, or other cherished item.

We're getting geared up for the holiday season, and are planning a few surprises along the way. Expect a few recipes from our files, a history lesson with a new frame, and perhaps a new cross-stitch design or two.

Blessings to you and yours -

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chicken Sandwiches

I wanted to start providing simple, quick recipes that you can make and enjoy, but that won't take much time away from stitching or other projects. This chicken sandwich filling is one of my favorites - I came up with it one afternoon while digging through the fridge looking for something spicy but creamy. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Chicken Sandwich Filling

2 cups cooked chicken ( if I don't have leftovers, I like to cook about a pound of tenders - cut into cubes and sauteed in a little olive oil, and seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper, and chile powder. )

1 cup sour cream

8 oz shredded cheese ( I like sharp cheddar or a four cheese mexican blend)

1 small can green chiles

1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (to taste)

salt and pepper to taste

That's it! Mix everything together until well blended. I like to serve this on a toasted bagel. For extra heat, use a chile bagel, or spread on a little bit of jalapeno cream cheese. This filling is good warm or cold, and keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We have a website!

At long last, our website is up and running! We're thrilled with how it turned out, and hope you'll take the time to pay us a visit! The new site is located at It is a work in progress as we add new things, and we'll continue to update you using this blog as well. Coming soon are new frame styles, cross-stitch patterns, needlework tips, a history lesson or two, and some time-saving recipes from our kitchen. Please drop us a line at and let us know what you think! We'd love to hear from you!