The Art of Home Companion

Please note that additional content and projects are available in the new magazine format newsletter.  (Due to space constraints as our publication grows, we can no longer include all content in this email version.) Please give our magazine format a try- you will love it :)

Spring is my favorite season! I love it when the weather finally turns warm and the days become sunnier! The low light in the Winter and early Spring months makes me feel slow and weary, but as the days get longer and the sun starts streaming in the windows earlier and earlier each morning, I find myself jumping out of bed, fully energized and ready to start my day!
This is also the season when I really look forward to seeing the earth come back to life- the browns and grays are replaced by greens and yellows and pinks, the birds chirp their happy songs, and we start seeing baby bunnies in the yard. My butterfly bush (Buddleia) starts taking over the side yard, and with its enthusiastic re-growth comes one of my favorite signs of the Summer to come: lots and lots of butterflies! This was my inspiration for this edition of this publication, which you will see as you flip through the pages. We came up with lots and lots of ways to celebrate this beautiful, delicate, remarkable creature- wood, paper, fabric, and even cookies take the form of the butterfly this issue!
One of the disadvantages of having butterflies in your garden is that the caterpillars will eat it right up! I am amazed every year as I watch the caterpillars eat unbelievable amounts of foliage- they can devour an entire large dill bush (their favorite thing in my garden) in a day or two. But I guess that is the price that you pay for their beauty when they emerge from their cocoons! I just plant lots and lots of extra dill for them to munch on, so that we can all share it….
Speaking of cocoons- maybe that is the real reason why I love Spring so much. After months of being sheltered away in my home, avoiding going out as much as possible, I am ready to be free…. Free to enjoy the gorgeous weather and warm sun and everything that the season has to offer... A time of new beginnings is always welcome…

Besides the season, there are lots of NEW things stirring around here:
  • I have a New Tagline for my business! As you can see from the cover of this issue, my new tagline is “The Art of Home.” After much thought, I decided that this tagline best reflects me and what I’m trying to share with you. The “art” refers to not just the illustration that I do, but also the art of homemaking and being creative in your home and with your family. You can read the full story on this blog post- click here
  • New Newsletter Name- You may have noticed that the newsletter is not The Newsletter anymore! I like the name “The Art of Home Companion” because I really do consider this publication to be a companion to my blog and the other stuff that I do.
  • My New Book is finally here
  • New Website- We’ve been working really hard on it and it should be up around first week of May- make sure you stop by to see it! It’s going to be really pretty, and hopefully very easy for you to navigate and find all the resources we have available, such as free patterns, projects, and recipes. You can find it at
  • I have a New Fabric Line, called Kashmir, debuting at International Spring Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon in May. It’s a bit of a departure from my previous lines, but I love the deep and vibrant blues, greens, and purples in it! If you love the peacock theme we are seeing everywhere these days in dishware, artwork, and bedding goods, I think you will really like this line…. 
Have a Lovely Spring!

In this issue, we celebrate Purple:

Starting top left:
Introducing - Kashmir

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Few drops of orange extract or oil
Few drops of orange food coloring (or yellow + red)
1/2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1 egg white
Colored sugar for decorating (optional)

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixer, cream butter; add sugar and continue creaming until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time; add vanilla.
On low speed, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds. Wrap 1/3 of dough in plastic wrap. Return 1/3 of the dough to the mixer and add orange extract and coloring. Wrap in plastic wrap. Return last 1/3 of dough to the mixer and add cocoa. Wrap in plastic wrap.

Place the 3 different doughs in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
On a baking mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet, roll and/or pat the orange dough into a 6 x 10” rectangle, about 1/4” thick. (Sprinkle with a little flour as necessary if dough is too sticky.)
Roll and/or pat the white dough into a 5 x 10” rectangle, about 1/4” thick. Leave dough on baking mat or parchment paper and place in refrigerator for about 1 hour.

In the meantime, roll and/or pat chocolate dough into a 4 x 8” rectangle, about 1/4” thick. Refrigerate for one hour.
Brush egg white on orange dough. Layer white dough on top of orange dough and press lightly.
Roll up along long side. Pinch seam together. Wrap in plastic wrap. Roll the log as if you were rolling a rolling pin to help seal the layers together. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove log from refrigerator. Cut into 1/4” slices.
Remove chocolate dough from refrigerator. Cut into 1/2 x 4” slices (you will probably have a little chocolate dough leftover).
Place chocolate log on baking sheet and arrange 4 pinwheels as wings. Gently press edges together. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired.
Bake 13-15 minutes until cookies are set but not browned. Allow to cool on baking sheet 5-10 minutes before removing to cooling racks.
Makes 8 very large cookies.

  • 12 oz package of wonton wrappers (found in produce department of supermarket)
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 oz cream cheese (regular or light), at room temperature
  • 2- 6 oz cans crab, drained
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green onion (green & white part)
  • 1-3 tablespoons horseradish (depending on how hot or “angry” you want it to be)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (found in Asian department of supermarket)
Equipment: mini muffin pans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Thoroughly combine cream cheese, crab, onion, horseradish, salt & pepper.
Place a scant tablespoon of mixture on center of wonton wrapper, bring up corners, and drop into muffin cup.
Bake for about 10 minutes until filling is bubbly and edges of wrappers are golden.
To make dipping sauce, mix together jam, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce.
Makes about 2 dozen.

Butterfly Projects

Patterns for above projects are available here.

This issue's free pattern. Have fun embroidering, appliqueing, or painting this pattern. Click here for PDF.

Kite Garland || Grilled Shrimp Tacos || Blood Orange Bars || Hair Clip Organizer

This and That.....

That's it for this issue! Hope you enjoyed it! Please check out the magazine version too, and let me know what you think!

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