I have not done an “In the Studio” post for a long time! For this year, I would like to do a post every month to show you what’s going on behind the scenes in both my business and my life…. so that is one of my goals for 2019!! This is January’s post- hopefully this “resolution” won’t flop come February!!

Another 2019 goal- more “me” time! I was talking with designer friend Pat Sloan the other day, and we were talking about how we work too much- we made a pact for 2019 to do at least one fun, non-work related thing each week. We will check in with each other at the end of each week! I got my nails done in this gorgeous red, and even splurged and spent the extra $5 to get a snowflake design:

We can’t have a blog post about the studio-goings-on without a photo of Alfie!! Here he is relaxing in a basket that I had on the floor with a project in process- it had piles of fabric, paper with notes on it, and some pattern pieces- the perfect spot for lounging, lol.

If you’re interested, I did a video a few months ago, talking about how I use baskets like this to organize my projects as I’m working on them:

I worked on some applique and embroidery for The Art of Home Club’s January project. For the applique, I used gray thread for everything- I like how it looks, plus I was kind of in a hurry and when you use all one color thread, it saves you a lot of time, not having to switch your thread colors in your machine:

I also tried doing my embroidery as redwork, same idea. By using just one color of thread, you can go much faster. I had some wool thread in my drawer that I thought I’d try… Great textures, but I’m trying to decide how much I mind all of those little “fuzzies” that show up on my white fabric:

Something I am always encouraging our readers and Club members to do is get outside of their comfort zones… whether it’s experimenting with a new technique or different colorway in a project, or trying something new in your personal life. You don’t have to go swinging on a trapeze or skydiving to do this!! LOL. Last week, daughter and I decided to stop in at the Mexican Market and pick up some new things to try. Here are some of the things that we found:

Cheese!! We often buy queso fresco at our regular grocery store for use on tacos, salads, etc. This market had some slightly different kinds of cheese to try. We like these because they are mild and have the consistency of feta cheese, but much, much less salty.

If you’ve never had mole sauce, you really need to try it!! Now, let me clarify that it is pronounced mole-A, and it has NOTHING to do with the little ground dwelling animal!! Ha ha. It is a thick and creamy sauce of chocolate (yes, really!! but it doesn’t taste like chocolate), ground spices & nuts, raisins, and peppers. It is delicious! Very smoky and complex flavors in this – it’s really a work of art. I’ve had it in restaurants, and I occasionally buy the kind that comes in a jar in the Mexican food section of our grocery store. I don’t have the patience to make it myself because the list of ingredients is as long as my arm. This time, I decided to try the refrigerated kind to see if there’s a difference (haven’t tried it yet.) If you want to try it, just thin the mole with a little water or chicken broth as needed, toss in some raw chicken, and simmer until the chicken is done and the sauce thickens (I like to use the crock pot.) Then remove the chicken, shred, and return to the sauce. Stir so the chicken is coated in the sauce. Serve over rice with sliced avocado, or in tacos. Magnifico!!!

This is a persimmon. I just picked it up in the produce department on a whim- I had NEVER had one! We got in the car and looked it up (maybe we should have done that BEFORE we bought it….) Anyway, according to the interwebs, the ones shaped like a tomato are sweet, and the ones shaped like an acorn are very tart. This looks a little like a cross between a tomato and acorn??? What do you think??

Once it was really soft, we cut into it to reveal an absolutely gorgeous flesh. It’s very much the color and consistency of a ripe mango (but without all of the stringy fibers that mangoes tend to have.) It was sweet and slightly tangy.

Rice. So, this appears to be just regular rice, but the grains are kind of short and round, so I thought I’d give it a try. Haven’t tried this one yet either.

So- if you want to get out of your comfort zone- just try something new and unusual from the grocery store! Maybe it will be delicious, maybe it will be terrible, but it will be NEW and DIFFERENT- and that is always fun!!