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Late Summer/Early Fall 2012 Vol. 2 Issue 3

Gatherings inspiring creative living crafts + vintage + food + interiors + style

cover photo: annetta bosakova photo this page: anna larisch

Table of Contents

pg. 8- portraits of a summer home pg. 16- cherry season

pg. 22- vintage pillowcase market tote- diy

pg. 34- late summer bloomers pg. 42- at home in hamburg


pg. 26- inviting purple- the hue between seasons

pg. 48- mother/daughter crafting duo pg. 60- 5 steps to a stunning instagram feed pg. 70- coastal in the city pg. 82- sorbet soiree pg. 90- hunting for hidden treasures in nashville, tn pg. 100- a room for baby wynn pg. 106- a southern girl moves west: finding inspiration in new surroundings pg. 106- delicious autumn pg. 120- honoring heritage with a moveable feast pg. 126- recipe index

Letter from the Editor

It’s a beautiful crisp fall day as I sit outside with my son listening to the

song of bubbling water flow into our pond. I never would have imagined this

life a year ago when I first started Gatherings. So much has changed in twelve

months. My entire world reimagined daily. With the piercing blue eyes of my sweet five-month-old looking up at me with joy and anticipation, it’s hard not to

smile in return with hope for what tomorrow may bring. For someone whose life seemed rather predictable for many years, I am finally able to see change as an open door. A door of hope.

Likewise, this issue is a doorway into possibilities. As a new mom and

small business owner, I am still uncertain of the future of Gatherings, as I

daily adjuest to this new juggling act for my time. However, I hope you will find these pages inspiration for today. Wherever you may be in your life, may you find a dose of imagination in these contributions from creative women who have offered their homes, hearts, talents and stories.

So, here’s to the future. The possiblility of tomorrow living in the day to

day. Thank you for being a part of my journey. Of all that I am still uncertain of, one thing is for sure....

These pages will not disappoint.


Contributors Ginny Donovan Food Blogger Gretchen Black Shop Owner/Designer Lesley Austin Writer

Heather Gill Food Stylist/Photographer

Lisbeth Steen Stylist/Photographer Anna L Photographer

Karin and Freja Schaefer Crafters/Bloggers

Laura Holder Jansen Crafter/Graphic Designer Claire Donovan Blogger/Stylist

Annetta Bosakova Photographer/Stylist Ingrid Henningsson Photographer/ Blogger, Floral Stylist

Liz Hanley Crafter/Collector/Blogger

Portraits of a



styling & photography by Lisbeth Steen

My name is Lisbeth Steen and I live in Bergen, Norway with my husband, 2 kids and a cat. We spend much time in our summerhouse in Hardanger. I love decoration, gardening, knitting, crocheting and stitching- too much really and so little time.

Juicy & Sweet

Photographer and Food Stylist,

Heather Gill takes us on her Montana excursion through cherry country.

photos and text: Heather Gill

Cherry Season

When I think of summer my mind imagines all the savory fruit of the season. Cherries are high on my list of must eat summer treats. Growing up, we had neighbors who allowed us to pick from their trees; eating as much as we could and taking the rest home for canning. This summer I had the pleasure of visiting Polson, Montana during their annual cherry festival, complete with cherry pies and chocolate covered cherries. Not to be missed were the fascinating contests including not only pie eating, but cherry seed spitting and stem tying!

The hills surrounding the lake country of Polson dotted with cherry orchards feature the small growers’ own road-side stands. The cherry sampling can be found nearly everywhere. Of the two varieties I tried, (Rainier and Bing), the dark red Rainier are my choice for cooking. From cherry jam, cherry syrup, cherry wine, and the all American cherry pie, the possibilities are endless.

Perfect for market, pool, knitting or crochet.

Vintage Pillowcase Market Tote

Last summer, my Mom and I crafted this inexpen-

sive sewing project straight from my Grandmother’s linen closet inspired by the original at Simply Sublime Gifts by: Jodi Kahn.

by: Elizabeth Hanley of LizlovesVintage


Supply list

-standard pillowcase (approximately 20” x 30” ) -iron -ruler -seam ripper -2 packages 8 yds. or 7.3 m 1/4’ 6 (mm) wide double-fold bias tape in contrasting color -sewing machine -thread to match pillowcase -bias tape

structions 1)

Iron the pillowcase to get out all the wrinkles. Fold the pillowcase in half lengthwise with the opening at the top and the fold on the right. One the folded side edge, mark a point approximately 15” (38cm) from the bottom. On the opposite side, mark a point approximately 16” (40.5cm) from the bottom. On the top edges mark points approximately 3 7/8” (10cm) in from each side. Draw the bag handles, connecting each side point to the top of the pillowcase. Use a ruler to help draw straight lines and to keep the straps 2 1/4” (5.5cm) wide for the most part, until they begin to curve toward the side edges. Open the pillowcase up; it will look like a tank top.

2) Using a seam ripper, rip out the pillowcase hem at the top of all the straps and iron flat.

3) Fold the pillowcase in half again, as before, and trim straps so the whole piece measures approximately 29” (74cm) from the bottom of the pillowcase.


Open the pillowcase up again. Pin the two front straps to each other, right sides together, lining up the top raw edges (be sure to join the 2 front straps, not a front strap and back strap). Sew the straps together using a wide 1 1/4” (3cm) seam allowance. Iron the seam open, then turn under each raw edge 1/2” (13cm) and iron again. Attach the back straps to each other in the same manner.

5) Finish all raw edges with bias tape: beginning on the front, cut a piece of bias tape long enough to go completely around the inside “armhole,” cutting a few inches (5-8cm) more than you need. Open the folded bias tape so the smaller of the folded sides is open flat. Finish the first cut edge by folding over 1/2” (13cm) toward the wrong side of the binding. Press. Then, with right sides together, line up the raw edge of the side you just opened with the raw edge if the armhole, starting the tape a few inches (5-8cm) down from the strap seam you just sewed. Pin in place. Baste the bias tape to the front of the bag by sewing along the creased line (approximately a 1/4” [6mm] seam





urple the hue between seasons








Late S

text and photos by Ingrid Henningsson

Summer Bloomers Ingrid Henningsson shares her inspiration for creating simple transitional floral arrangements for summer’s end

Finding creative and inspirational ways to bring nature

inside can sometimes be both challenging and lots of fun. Late summer marks the beginning of a transition into autumn but it is still possible to harvest a little bit of summer.


Late summer weather can be unpredictable but if you are lucky there will still be some flowers with colour as well as some beautiful foliage left in the garden. Mix in a few bought seasonal flowers from your local farmers market and you will have a varied and inexpensive arrangement. I thought it would be fun and interesting to use all clear vintage glass containers and not traditional vases. These all come from flea markets, car boot sales and charity stores. It makes me very happy to re-cycle beautiful objects and using vintage is a perfect way of doing this. The containers don’t have to match. Here I have used an odd number of vintage apothecary glass jars and vintage laboratory glass containers. I grouped multiple containers together with single or multiple stems in each. With just a few flowers in the vase it is quite nice to see the individual stems through the glass and using clear glass gives a neutral base and the focus is more on the flowers and foliage.

Whatever flowers or stems you use remember to condition the flowers by stripping off all the foliage below the waterline and cut all stems at an angle. It is also a good idea to leave the flowers in fresh water for a while to give them a good drink before you make the final arrangement. An odd number of stems make a composition that is less regimented and looks more natural. It is all about balance and proportions. Use any flowers and foliage that appeals to you. In the foliage part of the arrangement I have used variegated hasta leaves, a few ivy stems and a couple of different ferns. Other textures come from poppy seed heads, the ornamental grass Stipa tenuissima and a few additional stems of Aquilegia that has finished flowering but the beautiful seed heads are still looking good. For colour I added a few sprigs of purple lavender, some Astrantia major that might still be in flower and the amazing coloured foliage of the Smoke bush or Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ is great as a background colour.

I have used hessian as a base for the arrangement. It is both informal and the brown colour gives some warmth and earthiness to the arrangement. To lift the brown of the hessian I have used strips of faded pink vintage floral Laura Ashley fabric that I bought in the 1980’s. It matches perfectly the colour of the Astrantia flowers. Put some of the wider strips of fabric on the hessian as informal and fun table decoration with strips of vintage lace and ribbons as a second layer. You might want to use double sided tape to make the fabric stay in place and lay flat. The lovely grosgrain purple ribbons are from the ribbon company Jane Means. The easiest and quickest way to do the fabric strips is to tear the fabric. I know it sounds scary but it is very easy. Start off by cutting the fabric about 2-3 cm and then tear the rest but at the end of the strip cut the last 1-2 cm to get a neat finish. I like the frayed edges so much that I unravel some of the threads along the torn edges. Strips narrower than 4-5 cm you have to cut or the strips will tear. This is a method that only really works on tightly woven cotton fabrics. I have decorated the glass containers by tying some of the narrow strips of fabric around the neck of two of the containers. Others are tied with purple raffia and a few strips of purple washi tape. One has a wooden plant label tied on with purple twine and the actual label has been decorated with washi tape. The little cards under the jars and containers are vintage marching band sheet music from the flea market all hand written and beautifully aged. The arrangement can be used in a row down the centre of a table, on a mantel piece or on a window sill. The arrangement will also look amazing grouped together like I have done here. At this time of year it is quite nice to use the few fresh and bright colours that are still left and they will also remind us of summer. Very soon the more earthy tones will take over and autumn will have arrived.


m Home in Dotted with Color


photography by Anna L



Pear & Mint against Storm Gray




Olive+ Gold+ White with Pops of Blue + bright pink

Anna lives with her family in Hamburg, Germany -two children, plus a pet Lemming named Lena. She has a passion for decorating, photography and cooking and describes her style as simple, clear with lovely decoration including vintage and Asian style accents.

Mother & Daughter Crafting Duo

Karin and Freja Schaefer of share two projects with families in mind

Paper Straw Monograms

Supplies: paper straws, glue, paper and scissors.

We found monograms made of crayons on the internet and fell instantly in love. Since we didn’t have any crayons at home, we decided on making ours out of paper straws left over after Frejas birthday party.

To make sure your letters turn out smooth and nice, print the letter of your choice on a sheet of paper. Then, carefully trace it onto a nice piece of paper to be used as a background. Line up your straws and cut them to the right lengths using scissors. Now it’s time to glue the straws! Gluing the straws can be a bit messy but it doesn’t take long to finish. You don’t need to use a lot of glue. Let the glue dry thoroughly before framing. Our monograms turned out great, don’t you think?

Happy Coloured

Wool Bead Trivets by Karin and Freja Schaefer

This is a very easy craft but it requires wool beads. You can buy them, for example on Etsy, or make them yourself. String your wool beads on a strand. The number of beads you use is depending on how large you want your trivet. Tie the ends together and you’re done!

Supplies: wool beads, yarn and a needle.

It is important that the beads are made from 100% wool because wool can withstand heat. We have tested our trivets for a while now and they work like a charm!


Steps to a Stunning Instagram Feed

Styling, Words and Photos by Annetta Bosakova

I started Instagram just like everybody: empty. I had no images, no followers, and no clue where to start. I would longingly look through other beautiful feeds in awe of their beautiful images and many followers, wondering if I could ever get there. So I started taking pictures. After six months, I barely had 100 followers - and that was with begging, almost selling myself, for one more follower or someone to just like a picture. I was getting nowhere fast, while others were growing at a rapid rate!

After many months of frustration, I decided to change everything up. I determined to grow as an artist through instagram, to truly figure out who I was as an artist, as a photographer, as a person who loves beauty and has a desire to share it. Now I am honored to share what changed me, my feed and the way I create. What follows are 5 ‘rules of thumb’ that I observe, and which I attribute my instagram success to.

1. Consistency

Consistency is important to attract new followers and keep the ones you already have. There are many IG’ers, and the ones who distinguish themselves are consistent with their feeds. People who are interested in the same things can locate their feeds easily. For example, my news feed is very girly and artsy, usually keeping many of the same elements in the image. Now that I have followers who are familiar with my feed, I really can’t start posting too many of my personal pictures because that’s not what attracted my followers to my feed in the first place. If your feed is about your everyday life and you take pictures of whatever you want, then great - just do it with consistency. Also keep in mind that we are not celebrities who can post a picture of our messy room and get 1,000 likes. We have to actually put some thought into an image before we post.

2. Style

Style is along the lines of consistency, but adds much more value to your feed. Your style will speak to people, attract them, and keep them engaged. As a photographer and an artist, it took me a while to figure out what my style was. Honestly, I didn’t figure it out until I got serious using my instagram. After using the app for many months, I realized that my feed was going nowhere because it had no style. That’s when I stepped back and did some searching. I went to my favorite magazines, pinterest boards, and blogs to see what caught my eye, why I loved it, and how those pictures were photographed. Another thing you can do is go through the images that you’ve liked in your instagram, and figure out what you liked about them. Once I figured those things out, I started applying my answers to my work. It took me about 2-3 months to establish my style and take images I was proud of. Once that happened, people started to notice. They started to engage and relate to my work. I urge you to pin-point what your style is, apply it to your images, and see how your style transforms in front of your eyes.



I channel inspiration and harvest my images from the challenges I give myself when posting a new image. To keep my IG style consistent, I have to think outside the box to see how I can capture whatever it is I want to post in my feed in the same style. It’s amazing how many different ways you can capture a teacup when you get down to it. I use this challenge as a tool to jump-start my inspiration for my other work. I’m an artist, so remember that this is how I’ve chosen to use my feed. If you’d like to improve on your instagram photography, take everything you capture as a challenge for yourself. Use props, try other angles, different lighting, and, most importantly, practice, practice, practice!



There are also few courtesies I’ve learned since I first started posting my pictures. A big one was not to flood my followers by posting non-stop images all day. I limit myself. On an average day, I’ll post two pictures only, once in a while you’ll see 3, and when I’m very inspired I’ll post 4. I limit myself not because it’s a rule or because I have to, I do it to be courteous to my followers. Also, when you spread out your pictures throughout the day, you’ll have a more engaged audience.

Another courtesy tip: I don’t tag my images in the caption when I’m uploading my image. I personally love reading the captions as it helps me process the images I see. But when I read a caption that says “I’m baking #food #instagram #pretty #styled #cookies #dough” and so on, I’ll generally go to the next image. Tagging your images is important if you’re looking for new followers or more likes - I highly recommend to do so when building your network on instagram - but be smart about it. What I do is that after I upload my image, I go back to it and tag it in a comment below the caption. It accomplishes the same, but leaves you with a clean caption.

5. Purpose

Go back to when you started instagram. Why did you start using the app? What was the purpose? I started my instagram as a way to capture my everyday moments, but quickly got bored with it as my images were very bland. I now use it to express myself as an artist, to make new discoveries there. This keeps me focused without being scattered from one theme to the next. Is your purpose to express yourself, put up your artwork, to display your family life? Figuring this out will help you be consistent, find your style and it will also challenge you if you let it.

Annetta Bosakova is an inspiration photographer and stylist that captures whatever it is that inspires her at the moment. She’s currently residing in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and 2 year old son.

Coastal in the


Design & Styling: Kristie Barnett words & photos: Heather Spriggs

Nashville, TN based interiors expert, Kristie Barnett, aka The Decorologist, brings

to life a coastal inspired home in the suburbs. What once read like every other dark 1980’s brick house on the block, now stands apart and speaks volumes of the home owner’s personal inspiration for all things sun-drenched, time-worn and beachy.

This home’s transformation is a testimony to entrusting the advice of a professional.

But for Barnett, the project became a working collaboration between designer and home owner.

Each room has been carefully tailored to fit the client’s needs. With watery paint

hues and crisp white linens Barnett worked her magic by uniting the family spaces into a beachy oasis. She reworked many existing pieces through the transformative power of paint. A bright yellow bench was painted pale aqua and placed in the foyer against a backdrop of variegated colored stair spindles. In the living room a black hutch was given a gray wash to blend with lighter furnishings and a newly painted stone fireplace. What once screamed at visitors with its orangey brown tones, under Barnett’s supervision, was painted a trio of soft grays and sets the tone for a coastal setting.

I was honored to collaborate with Barnett on the fireplace along with another

Nashville based painter/artist, Tresa Beard whose brush lighted on nearly all other surfaces.

Mismatched chairs from the home owner’s personal collection feel right at home around a distressed farmhouse table under a canopy of pale blue.

Slipcovers soften another farmhouse table in the breakfast nook overlooking the sunny backyard deck and pool

Although designed previous to this makeover, the kitchen is the central hub of the

home which Barnett tied into adjacent rooms.

The living room’s french doors swing into this kitchen space offering ease and

floods of natural light from one room to the next.

Barnett also reimagined the tradi-

tional dining room space, attached to the kitchen, into a music room for the budding musicians in the house. A gallery of family photos unified by color gather here too. A room that is at once functional, elegant and in keeping with the rest of the home testifies to Barnett’s talent.

The balustrade bedside table lamps were inspired from a flea-market find the home

owner spotted and enlisted Barnett’s creative talent to complete the design.

Gauzy ceiling to floor curtains whisper in whites and soft blues, while the chippy

painted surfaces throughout echo a playful, casual, coastal vibe.

For more before and after photos of this home and more interiors by Kristie Barnett visit

photos, words and styling by Ginny Donovan

Sorbet Soiree


flavor combinations are gifts to

share with friends. And a lovely characteristic of sorbet, the lithe cousin of ice cream, is it’s adaptability to a myriad of these flavors without the heaviness of cream. The varieties pictured here, Peach-Cardamom, Beet-Cranberry, and Milk & Honey Lavender, offer a fine sampling of the wide range of ingredient possibilities. Host a “Sorbet Soiree” and offer these seasonal treats paired with equally enticing cookies. Guests can create mix-and-match sorbet sandwiches to their heart’s delight.


common ingredient in many sorbets is a splash of vodka, the taste of which is usually undetectable in the final product.

The alcohol will not freeze, and a little goes a long way to prevent your delicate dessert from becoming a hulking block of ice. Specialty liqueurs lend delicate flavor notes to the dessert and also prevent over-hardening.


he cookies featured here embrace the essence of late summer and early fall. Lemon-Thyme cookies have both feet plant-

ed firmly in the lingering days of summer; they couple deliciously with the Milk and Honey Lavender and the Peach-Cardamom sorbets. The Ginger-Molasses cookies offer all the best spices of fall, from cloves to cinnamon, and create a lovely taste sensation when paired with the Peach-Cardamom sorbet. The Chocolate-Cayenne offer an exceptional taste sensation as the rich, velvety chocolate prepares the palette for the warm final embrace offered by the cayenne--a most divine gastronomic phenomenon! These cookies stand up well to the bold flavor of the Beet-Cranberry sorbet.

Peach-Cardamom, Beet-Cranberry, and Milk & Honey Lavender


For Recipes See Index Pg. 120-126


he sorbet recipes offered here all employ an ice-cream machine. However, you can still easily

sweet, cold treats without the use of special equipment by making a granita. Granitas land som

middle of the icy-treat spectrum between sorbets and “Sno-Cones�. To prepare a granita, simply skip

machine step and pour the ingredient mixture into a large, shallow baking dish. It is important to stir

it freezes in order to break up the ice crystals to end up with the perfect crunchy texture. In order to a every half hour until the mixture is completely frozen (3-4 hours depending on the size of the pan).

y prepare these

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p the ice cream

r the mixture as

achieve this, stir





nashville Tennessee

photos and words Gretchen Black of Lullubelles

Looking for the perfect boutique and antique shopping getaway?

Well, then look no further than a quaint

little town outside of Nashville, TN. called

Franklin. I had heard about this town from some friends, and even read about it on dif-

ferent blogs. Lucky for me it worked out that I was able to plan a weekend getaway

with my best friends. This shopping trip did not disappoint.

One of my favorite places to shop in

Franklin is The Shop Around the Corner, an eclectic emporium. This place is an old

home turned into a beautiful boutique filled

with new home dÊcor items, vintage pieces, and lovely women’s clothing. And as a bonus, the second floor is a beautiful art

gallery, filled with original artwork by local artisans.

Another favorite place to shop is the

Franklin Antique Mall. It is filled with aisles

upon aisles of vintage pieces and antiques. It has all those perfect little chotchkies that

you have been looking for to fill up your bookcases. Lulu’s is another quaint boutique on Main Street. It has beautiful bedding, lovely dishes for your table, wonderful candles, and an adorable department filled with the cutest

items to decorate children’s rooms. Looking

for the perfect outfit for your little one? Then you have to stop by The Vintage Baby. The name really says it all. They carry so many

adorable lines of clothing for kids that really look vintage. And they have some of the

sweetest baby accessories, perfect for a little

one’s room. When in Franklin, be sure to walk

up and down Main Street, it really is a beautiful, picturesque town. However, make sure

that you go down some of the side streets, so you don’t miss the quaint little antique shops there too!

Since we were staying so close to

downtown Nashville, we decided to also hit up some antique shops located on Eighth

Ave. A great place to stop in while shopping downtown is the Downtown Antique Mall.

They carry some great industrial

pieces, such as the large vintage metal letters that seem to be all the craze! I also

found a large vintage storage cabinet with

multiple drawers. This would be a dream piece for any crafter to have in their studio.

They also had fabulous vintage lamps, pendants, and hobnail glassware pieces. Travel down the road a little and you will

find some other great mom and pop antique shops. We even stumbled upon one

that Taylor Swift had recently frequented a

month earlier. Another great place to shop for antiques is the Gas Lamp Antique and

Decorating Mall. It was filled with wonder-

ful treasures around every corner. One of

my favorite booths was loaded with beautiful vintage wedding toppers. Each one more delicate then the next. We were truly swooning over this booth. They also

had several booths with vintage tulle prom dresses. I am always amazed by the

craftsmanship that went into these delicate dresses. They are so girly, yet sophisticated.


Looking for vintage books?

Well, this antique mall had an

entire section of vintage books. I have seen some many great

uses for vintage books lately, they are beautiful to use for staging a book shelve, use them to decoupage a frame, or even line the backs of a bookcase. I

have also been collecting vin-

tage metal tins lately to use as storage containers for my studio

space, and found a wide variety of these at the various antique malls.

So whether you are collecting vintage hobnail dishes, brooches, dresses, or little chotchkies,

a weekend getaway to Nashville with friends is the way to go.

There really is an abundance of

treasures waiting to be discovered there.


A Space for Baby

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO styling & photos Beth Spriggs Stanion words Heather Spriggs



After a long anticipated arrival, baby Wynn was born last September to my sister and brother-inlaw. His rosy cheeks and infectious smile let the warm light of Autumn into their home. My yournger sister, Beth, always shared my passion for decor, design, color and all things nostalgic. Her uncanny ability to unearth treasures from virtually nowhere has enabled her to fill her new home nearly double the size of the former. Wynn’s nursery is no exception. In fact, I think the only item Beth purchsed is the new upholstery on the glider and the wooden animal figures and letters that she painted to match the softer tones in this nursery. All other items were estate sale finds, family heirlooms, or on loan from friends.

The dresser had several rotations in other rooms but before mo

ished with a champagne mettallic wash and glass hardware. She k

mer White� which flow with the hallway and adjacent rooms. Wynn’ paired down, with a hint of vintage whimsy.


oving it to Wynn’s nursery Beth painted it a warm neutral and fin-

kept the walls simple and understated with Sherwin Williams “Sum-

’s nursery became an extension of the rest of her home. Subdued,

A Southern Girl Moves West: Finding Inspiration Through New Surroundings

words, photos and styling by Laura Holder Jansen

Sometimes, often times, inspiration is hard to find. Creative people thrive on creating, and even with a flexible daily routine, it can be tough to break out and discover fresh ideas. I recently rediscovered my inspiration by taking a big leap across the country. Born and raised in Arkansas and having lived in Nashville, Tennessee for the past 10 years, I am a Southern girl at heart. The move to Portland, Oregon has been one of the hardest, but one of the best things that could have happened to me and my creative inspiration. Though Portland is a fantastically creative place, I don’t know that it has as much to do with the location, as it does with putting myself through a change, a challenge... something that forced me to think new thoughts. My renewed inspiration started with our actual move last summer, our cross-country drive from Nashville to Portland, and has continued ever since. Moving is tough as you get older, especially when you have developed a real life for yourself somewhere. Feeling afraid, anxious, excited, exploratory, inquisitive, challenged...these things have brought so much newness to my work. If you find yourself creatively stuck, try something new. It can be as simple as changing around your workspace or working outside instead of inside, or it can be as complex as moving across the country. Regardless of how big or small it is, I hope you find inspiration through change, as I have.

Bio: Laura Holder Jansen is a graphic designer, crocheter, knitting designer, and maker of many crafty things. She currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her creatively-named husband, Pinky, and their brilliant/spoiled Border Collie, Mattie. Her days are filled with designing logos and wedding invitations, as well as sewing and crocheting pincushions and pillows, all while trying not to overwhelm her (entire) house with craft supplies. You can find her graphic design portfolio at and her crafty blog at Inspired by French linens and vintage handwork, she recently developed a line of crocheted pincushions/sachets, pillows, and more that she sells, along with her knitting patterns, on her Etsy store:

“Delicious Autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.” George Eliot



Delicious Autumn ...

Each month, especially these Autumn months, seem to hold their own special quality. When I can really tune into these qualities, in my home and my days, I find that when the end of November arrives I am ready to gracefully let it go...Autumn has been honored and savored. photos, words and styling Lesley Austin


SEPTEMBER is a month of new beginnings, a sort-of second New Year. School begins again...home may feel empty and spacious or quiet and a bit lonely. Even tho’ school has been off of our scope for a few years now, I still feel the pull each early September to gather fresh supplies about me. It is a perfect time to sort

through what you have and sharpen some amongst your shelves and drawers for a notebook (don’t we all have some empty ones tucked here and there?) and make note of small plans and hopes for some of your September hours.

It can be a lovely month to take care of some tasks that have waited patiently through the busy Spring and Summer months, especially those that use paper

and paste and other “schoolish” supplies. This poem from an earlier century puts it well:


by Ethel Romig Fuller Lest I should be losing A single one of these, Odds and ends and lovely bits Of vacation memories... These dawns and dusks and sets; These bird and water tunes; These fragrances these friendships; These stars these copper moons... I’ll sort them out and tag them, And file each one away In my heart for reference, So some winter day When wind sings chimney chanties, I may at will cajole The witchery of summer From a pigeonhole.


OCTOBER speaks of both luxuriating and ordering. Luxuriat-

ing in all the color and motion and peace of this month, and bringing it indoors in every way possible. And setting things to rights is always a favorite pursuit. Usually inspired by my September planning, the crisp air and lively sunshine of these Autumn months are a powerful muse... as are the pale warmth of the trees and sky, the glimpses of spare beauty, the delicate embellishments of vines and wind-tossed leaves. It seems to call out for an answering simplicity inside and by simplifying now, the late Autumn and early Winter festivities are all the easier to prepare for.


Halloween has never been a focus of my deep interest in celebrating the special days as a family. I really don’t appreciate much about it, except the parts that focus on Nature...the pumpkins and cornstalks and fallen leaves......oh, and candlelight.

Many years ago I came across a book that had some unusual and creative ways to celebrate the seasons. I gleaned an idea from that book and added some of my own touches and it has become my favorite part of this holiday....and the one that remains even after our children have flown the nest. It is a rich mixture of Autumn and All Souls Day (the day after Halloween) and I usually set it up a day or two before Halloween. Leaves that have been picked up during walks or that I gather for the purpose are scattered on the piano (the middle of ours since the top is a little above eye level) and set amongst them are candles and the photographs of those we love who have gone from the Earth. I try to keep the candles lit day and evening. It makes a meaningful counterpoint to the candy and hijinks of the end of October and is evocative of the tender feelings this season seems to bring. I tend to keep it up for many a day beyond both Halloween and All Souls Day... to remember our dear ones.

And so we find ourselves in NOVEMBER...bright leaves mostly gone... all feels nicely bare and clean-swept. I usually spend the first few days bringing the same feeling to my home. It is a time of preparing...for Winter and for the Home Festivals of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Â Thanksgiving stirs her ruddy fire;

The glow illuminates November: -Lucy Larcom

Early November might be the perfect time to set up a kitchen altar, to bring some of that glow to the quiet days before the bustle later in the month. A corner of a counter, the top of a set of drawers, a small table or shelf are all you need to make a space to contain the tokens of the season and the focus of your heart and mind. The elements that bring it to life are simple and few-a candle that can be safely lit, gatherings from Nature, pictures and words.... the possibilities are endless.

I light the candle in mine to remind me of friends who need my loving thoughts...or fill a small tea cup taken from the cupboard with the stones collected on a memorable walk and place it there-for remembrance...its small footprint makes it easy to honor a special occasion with just a photo and a tiny vase of flowers or feathers...and sometimes it is only a place to scatter a handful of November leaves in and around a favorite piece of crockery...but oh, the power of containing Light and Beauty!

It may become for you, as it has for me, a calm haven for my eyes to light upon and my spirit to find refreshment in as the Autumn days come to their rich and bountiful close... -Lesley Austin Wisteria and Sunshine

Cooking Club Fall 2011

Honoring Heritage

with a

Moveable Feast A Nashville cooking club shares their themed event, based on the new Southern cuisine dubbed


style/concept: debbie day photos: heather spriggs

The Setting . . a classic rustic

dining room

This once plain dining room in the home of hostess, Debbie Day, recently received a makeover with fresh paint, draperies and upcycled dining table with a new gray distressed finish and a collection of mismatched seating. Design by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist and paint effects by Heather Spriggs

The Food..

Lardcore: The New Southern Cuisine Menu:

*Kentucky Cousin Cocktail *Pecan-Crusted Goat Cheese With Warm Peach Chutney *Butter Bean Soup *Roast Lamb with Bourbon and Mint *Skillet Greens with Crispy Shallots And Cider Gastrique *Baked Cheese Grits *Rice Pudding with Butternut Squash And Sweet Milk Tea *Orange-Chocolate Tea Cake Sandwiches

Lardcore is the term coined by Josh Ozersky of Time Magazine for the NEW style of Southern Cuisine. As Mr. Ozersky explains, there have been many attempts over the years to update traditional Southern favorites, but, finally, “…a slew of young chefs are taking modern Southern cooking to a new place, forming a movement in the crucible of high ideals, virtuoso technique and hardcore attitude. Call it lardcore. It’s meticulous, it’s ballsy and it doesn’t care what you think of it. In that, it’s very Southern.”

That evening was the perfect combination of two of the dearest things in my life- Cooking Club and cuisine. To say that getting together with this amazing group of women once a month to try new recipes is a highlight would be an understatement.These ladies are my sisters- we have a bond that only years of

The Fellowship

cooking, eating and sharing life together can create. - Debbie Day (hostess)

Recipe Index



Peach-Cardamom Sorbet Makes 6 servings

½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup water ¼ teaspoon cardamom 6 very ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon vodka First, make “simple syrup” by adding the water and the sugar to a medium saucepan. Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool. Place cooled syrup, peaches, cardamom, lemon juice, and vodka in a food processor or blender and process until mixture is completely smooth. (Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve if larger pieces of peach remain.) Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Adapted from Rebecca Franklin: About French Food

Beet-Cranberry Sorbet Milk and Honey Lavender Makes about 6 servings


1 ¼ pounds red beets (about 3 medium), peeled, 4-5 servings quartered, and roasted 1/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup cranberry-pomegranate juice 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon vodka

2 cups milk 2 cups water 1 cup honey ¼ vanilla bean, split lengthwise 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender

Combine roasted beets, sugar, juices, and vodka in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water, a steel blade (or in a blender). Process until mix- and honey. Scrape vanilla seeds from the split ture is very smooth.

pod into the water/milk/honey mixture; toss in the pod, too. Heat the mixture until it begins to

Place pureed mixture in an ice cream maker and steam; do not allow to boil or it may curdle. follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Once steaming, immediately remove mixture

Recipe adapted from Rebecca Franklin – French from heat. Add lavender to the mixture and al-


Food Guide

low blossoms to “steep” for 30 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove lavender blossoms and the vanilla bean pod. Chill mixture for at least three hours.

Freeze sorbet in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Recipe slightly adapted from

Chocolate-Cayenne Cookies Makes 4 dozen small cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup brown sugar 2 eggs 2 cups flour 1 cup cocoa powder, plus a little extra for rolling 1 teaspoon baking soda ¼ (heaping) teaspoon cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on your heat tolerance) 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until they are well-incorporated. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, and salt. Whisk mixture after sifting to ensure even distribution of the cayenne. Add the sifted mixture to the butter/egg mixture and mix just until flour is blended. Do not overmix. Gently stir the chocolate chips into the dough. Freeze the dough for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or greasing it. There are two methods of forming this cookie. The first is by “drop scoop”, the next is by rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter. Drop Scoop Method: Remove the dough from the freezer. Drop cold dough by teaspoon onto the cookie sheet about 2” apart. Bake for 1012 minutes or until the cookies have set. (This method will yield about 4 dozen cookies.) Cookie Cutter Method: Remove the dough from the freezer. Set a large piece of parchment or waxed paper on the rolling surface. Lightly sprinkle cocoa powder on rolling surface, place the cold dough on top of it, and then lightly sprinkle a little more cocoa powder on top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 8”-10” circle, about ¼” thick. Working quickly, use a 2” cookie cutter and cut the dough, placing the cut cookies on the prepared baking sheet. (The longer the dough has been out of the freezer, the more sticky and difficult it will become to work with; it will help if you place the dough back in the freezer for a few minutes if it gets too sticky.)

Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 2� apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until

they are crackly on top and firm in the center. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (This method will yield about 22 cookies.) Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Whims food blog


Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Set a large piece of waxed or parchment paper

Makes about 30 (2-inch) cookies

mixer bowl and place it on the paper. Shape the

on the counter. Remove the dough from the dough into a flattened disc shape, wrap the pa-

2 cups flour

per around the dough, and refrigerate until firm,

2 teaspoons ground ginger

about 30 minutes.

1 teaspoon salt

When you’re ready to bake the cookies, line a

1 tablespoon baking soda

baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

the oven to 325 degrees.

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

from the refrigerator. Place the 3 remaining

Remove the dough

1¼ sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter at tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl or teacup. room temperature

Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll

1/3 cup plus 5 tablespoons sugar, plus 3 addi- it quickly between the palms of your hands to tional tablespoons for rolling

form a ball, and then roll the ball in the sugar.

1 large egg

Place the sugared dough ball on the prepared

¼ cup molasses

baking sheet. Repeat. Then flatten the dough balls with the base of a 2-inch drinking glass, keeping the flattened balls about 2” apart on the

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, ground baking sheet. ginger, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ground Bake for 8-10 minutes until edges are golden cloves. Set aside.

brown. Let cookies “rest” on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes after removing them from oven,

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together then transfer to a wire cooling rack to allow them the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about to cool completely. 2-3 minutes. Mix in the egg, and then pour in Adapted from the molasses while mixer is running. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter/ sugar/egg mixture. (Do not over-mix.)

Lemon-Thyme Cookies Makes about 22 cookies 1 ¼ cup flour ¼ cup cornstarch ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup unsalted butter, softened 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/3 cup sugar 1 egg 1 egg yolk ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon lemon juice Zest of 2 lemons 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves Additional flour for rolling surface 2 teaspoons granulated sugar In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, use a paddle attachment to beat together the butter and the olive oil until “fluffy”, 2-3 minutes. Then add in the sugar and beat for 2 more minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice and mix until smooth. Turn the mixer off and use a spatula to gently incorporate the lemon zest and the thyme into the butter/egg mixture. After the lemon zest and thyme are well-distributed

throughout the batter, pour in the sifted flour mixture and use the spatula to mix well. Do not over-mix. Set a large piece of waxed or parchment paper on the counter. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it on the paper. Shape the dough into a flattened disc shape, wrap with the paper, and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. When ready to bake the cookies, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lift dough from the parchment paper it was wrapped in and generously sprinkle flour under the dough and then again on top of it. (Dough will be soft, so the extra flour will aid in the ability to roll it out.) Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into an 8”-10” circle about ¼” thick.

Working quickly, use a 2” cookie (or bis-

cuit) cutter and cut the dough, beginning at the outside edge of the dough and working toward the center. (The longer the dough has been out of the refrigerator, the more sticky and difficult it will become to work with; it will help if you place the dough in the freezer for a few minutes if the dough gets too sticky.) Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet about 1” apart. (continued on next page)

Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, just until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes and then transfer them to a wire cooling rack until completely cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Recipe slightly adapted from:


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Fall 2012  

Gatherings Magazine is a seasonal online publication to inspire your creative life! Each issue spotlights articles on crafts, food, interior...

Fall 2012  

Gatherings Magazine is a seasonal online publication to inspire your creative life! Each issue spotlights articles on crafts, food, interior...