Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Winners!

Just a quick note in between baking pies to let you all know that we drew two giveaway winners from Random Number Generator.  Congratulations to Relyn Lawson!  You've won the painting of the gorgeous purple peaches plums by Elizabeth Floyd!  And congratulations as well to Lynne from Dreams on 34th Street for winning the set of notecards!  

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, and thanks as well to you, Liz, for sharing your beautiful art with us.

Wishing all of my friends here in the United States a Happy Thanksgiving.  I am thankful for much this year, including your friendship and inspiration.

xo Gigi

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Very Special Giveaway!

I have a fabulous surprise.  This week I am thrilled to be hosting a giveaway of this beautiful painting of plums by Elizabeth Floyd.  

One of the the things I love most about blogging is the opportunity it gives me to meet talented and inspiring people.  Liz stumbled upon my blog a few months back.  She left a comment, and as so magically happens in this blog world of ours, this in turn led me to her blog and her website, where I fell immediately in love with her still-life paintings and landscapes.  I also came to realize that, while she is a visual artist and I am a writer, we share many of the same inspirations and ideas about the creative life.       

I think we both realize how much work and discipline it takes to even begin to master one's craft, but in the midst of all that work lies the discovery of profound beauty and joy.  Like me, Liz works at her art daily, and her dedication is obvious.  Her paintings have been shown in numerous exhibitions across the country and are in collections all over the world.  

And one of them could be yours!  Liz is offering this gorgeous framed painting of plums ($200 retail value) to one lucky reader of The Magpie's Fancy.  Simply leave a comment between now and next Wednesday, November 21st at noon EST to enter the giveaway.  The winner will be announced later that same day.

Plus, if you would like an extra chance to win, simply subscribe to Liz's mailing list here.

And as a special bonus, we will draw one more winner, who will receive a set of 5 fine art notecards printed with with a detail of Liz's floral still-life painting on the front, Still Life with Azaleas and Bowl.

To see more of Liz's paintings and notecards available for purchase, visit her Etsy shop here.

It's an honor and a joy to get to share Liz's work with you.  I have one of her paintings (pink zinnias in a chartreuse vase) resting on my mantle at home, and Mr. Magpie and I both love it.  Liz's work is even more beautiful--and more luminous--in person than digital photos can capture.  Trust me when I say that this is one giveaway you don't want to miss! 

I hope you are having an inspiring and creative November, my friends.  xo Gigi

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Falling Leaves and Pumpkin Seeds

Happy November, my friends!  My three-month-old MacBook hard drive crashed last week, and it's still not back from the Mac Store yet.  I miss it, but in the meantime, Mr. Magpie is lending me his laptop.  I know I've been promising photos of the house, and they are coming, but delayed furniture deliveries and other hold ups are slowing down progress on the house.  We're loving being here all the same, so it doesn't really matter to us!  For the moment I thought I'd just share a moody late afternoon instagram shot of one of my kitchen windows. 

October was wonderful here in our new neighborhood.  One highlight was a visit from our niece, with whom we built an entire fairy village, complete with street signs, a hospital, school, a senior center--yes, she's that thoughtful a girl--a restaurant, farm, lookout tower, and much more.  I have tons of photos that I'll share once my computer is up and running, but in the meantime, here's one of the fairy houses.  This one's long gone now, as it was one of the first to be eaten by the giants squirrels who invaded the village.

Our lovely dead end street just an hour before Hurricane Sandy hit.  We have wonderful woods for exploring and for gathering fairy village supplies at the end of the street.

The morning after Sandy hit the waves at Portland Head Light were monstrous--beautiful, but monstrous.  We were fortunate to lose just a few tree limbs during the storm.  Our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones or whose homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed. 

As the winds raged around our little house, we nursed a sick kitty (who is now on the mend, thanks to antibiotics) and made Halloween cards. 

And the first Halloween in the house was a good one.  We bought far too much candy, as we had no idea how many ghouls and superheroes would show up, and we didn't want to run out.  So leftover m&m's it is for dessert from now until . . . well a long time from now.  Sigh.  I like m&m's too much for my own good.

Last but not least, I roasted pumpkin seeds this morning from the seeds leftover after carving jack-o-lanterns last night.  The recipe follows below.  More just as soon as my MacBook's up and running.  Thanks for bearing with me, lovelies!

Quick Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • approximately 2 cups washed and dried pumpkin seeds
  • about 5 dashes worchestershire sauce
  • a dash or two (or more) of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • about 1 teaspoon cajun spices
  • salt to taste
  • about 1 tablespoon demarara sugar
  • about one tablespoon olive oil.
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl.  Let sit.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Once the oven is heated, pour the coated seeds onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes.  Take them out, stir well, then put back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Stir and repeat.  I ended up roasting mine for a total of about 25 minutes, but it will vary depending on how wet your seeds are to begin with.  Just keep checking on them and stirring them every five minutes and you won't burn them.  Let cool, then munch away!

A warm welcome to new readers and a big hug to old friends.  xo Gigi