Archive for March, 2012

chocorua.03.20.2012

Today is the first day of spring, and along with it we have been blessed with unseasonably warm temperatures.  As a result, the ice cover on Lake Chocorua (at the foot of the glorious Mount Chocorua in Tamworth, NH) is receding quite a bit earlier than after an average winter.  I love how the ice cover contrasts with the calm water allowing the reflection of the mountain and surrounding countryside to be seen again.  A sure sign of the season to come.  It won’t be long now before the canoes and kayaks launch.

cbfThis could possibly be the coolest thing I have ever “found.”  OK, right about now you are questioning my recent claim of not succumbing to hyperbole as I say similar things with most every post.  However, all I need to say in my defense today are these two words:

CHALKBOARD

FABRIC!

You heard me, Chalkboard Fabric – fabric that can be written on with chalk and subsequently erased and used again.  I came across this great find on Nancy’s Notions, a sewing supply purveyor.

I can think of hundreds of applications for chalk board fabric, I can’t wait to get my hands on a couple of yards.

Find Chalkboard Fabric at Nancy’s Notions. 

sugruI remember an old Disney movie, The Absent Minded Professor, which is noted for the title character’s invention of Blubber, a substance that was way ahead of its time.  More recently, I discovered Sugru, a real world substance that quite possibly may be the coolest addition to the world since, well, ever.

Sugru is a moldable rubber that can be applied to all manner of uses and when cured is waterproof and just awesome.  Sugru is essentially a tool to help you repair things.  For example if a button on your favorite steam iron broke off, you can mold a new one and you are good to go.  Or maybe you want to add a grip to your favorite pair of scissors, you can use Sugru to mold custom handles.  But I am considering all the other possibilities you could use this stuff for – like artwork or creative enhancements to your stuff.

About Sugru: “Developed by a team of product designers and materials scientists, surge’s patented technology is unique in its combination of hand-formability, self-adhesion and flexibility when cured. It feels like modeling clay, and it’s that easy to use too. Once cured, its durable properties mean it’s comfortable in extreme environments from the dishwasher to the ocean to Antarctica.”

Sugru’s tagline is “Hack Things Better” – which I assume means that the product is designed to help you change things into something new and improved.  Check out the Sugru website to see all the ways this great product can be utilized.  My mind is already swimming with all the possibilities I can use this stuff for.  I just ordered a pack of the multicolored Sugru and the black and white version.  I can wait to get my hand on my Sugru and start creating. 

Learn more about Sugru here.

SPD

jamesI have often posted about my love of bourbon here on Lost Cowboy – I love the stuff.  However, while on my swing through Italy last fall, bourbon was no where to be found.  I was going to go without any alcohol on the trip, but my niece, with whom I was traveling, suggested I try Jameson Irish Whiskey, which was readily available.  I tried it, and I liked it.

I liked it so much that it led to some funny stories for my niece to tell at family gathering – but that is a story for another time.

Anyway, I made a note of Jameson Irish Whiskey and vowed to keep it in mind once I returned home to the land of readily available bourbon (I now have 19 varieties of bourbon on hand in my liquor cabinet).  I was thinking the other day that Jameson Irish Whiskey would be the prefect treat to help celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

About Jameson Irish Whiskey : “Jameson Irish Whiskey is distilled three times to deliver exceptional smoothness.  Triple distillation is what makes us unique to American Whiskeys, which are typically only distilled once, and Scotch whiskies, which are usually distilled twice.  This tradition began in 1780 with the Great Master Distiller John Jameson, who worked out that three distillations was best for his Jameson Irish Whiskey.”

I bought a few bottles of Jameson to give as gifts as well. 

One last thing, if you run into my niece and she tries to tell you about the time I drank whiskey out of a Diet Coke bottle on a train from Florence to Assisi… well, I plead no comment.

See more about Jameson Irish Whiskey here.

acspdSt. Patrick’s Day may not be the biggest of holidays, but I always thought of it as a nice milepost after Valentines Day on the way to Spring and Easter.  I have never been one to make a big deal about the day, although I know many people who do.  If you know someone who celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and you would to send them something fun, I recommend the special holiday cookies of Amy’s Cookies.

About Amy Cookie’s St. Patrick’s Day collection:  “Kick up a jig and a reel and get into a celebratory mood this St. Patrick’s Day. Our talented artisans summoned up the luck of the Irish to create this magical collection. Tucked into our tres chic gift box and tied with a bright emerald green grosgrain ribbon you will find two stylish Irish Top Hats, one large Two-Toned Shamrock, four whimsically decorated small Shamrocks, two Pints of Porter and one Pot of Gold. Erin go bragh!! Ireland Forever!! Total: Ten Hand Decorated Cookies.”

See the St. Patrick’s Day collection from Amy’s Cookies here.

See all the fine seasonal cookies and gifts offered by Amy’s Cookies here.

TGGBAGI am cheating this week with my Weekly Read.  I am in the middle of multiple books and want to finish them before I write about them.  So instead of talking about a book this week, I am sharing with you a cool book-related find: The Classic Book Cover Tote Bags from Out of Print Clothing.

I love books and I love the cover art from the mid-20th century that are iconic.  Out of Print Clothing offers a whole line of items – including clothing and these tote bags – featuring the cover art of books like The Great Gatsby and Animal Farm.

About Out of Print Clothing:  “Out of Print celebrates the world’s great stories through fashion. Our products feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art. We work closely with artists, authors and publishers to license the content that ends up in our collections. Each product is treated to feel soft and worn like a well-read book.”

I think the Classic Book Cover Tote Bags from Out of Print Clothing are the perfect carryall for your books, Kindle, magazines and all your reading material.

See all the great products of Out of Print Clothing here.

ccowbA friend of mine accused me of hyperbole the other day as a result of my effusive praise of a local restaurant in a Facebook post.  I suppose Lost Cowboy fans have often thought me hyperbolic with some of my posts here.  However, today, when I say that I adore the products of Cath Kidston and that her vintage cowboy collection includes some of the coolest things I have ever seen…  I am just keeping it real.

I first discovered Cath Kidston’s shops on a trip to London a while back and really enjoyed her sensibility – mixing vintage items with her own inspired designs.   I was reacquainted with Ms.  Kidston’s work recently when I saw her vintage cowboy print wallpaper in a design magazine.  I was taken back to my childhood bedroom and some cowboy print pajamas I once had – and I needed to see more.

About Cath Kidston“Cath Kidston Ltd was founded in 1992 when designer Cath Kidston opened a tiny shop in London’s Holland Park. She began by selling the vintage fabrics, wallpapers and brightly-painted junk furniture she remembered fondly from her childhood. Her clever, witty re-working of traditional English country house style meant that her shop soon became a cult success. Gradually Cath began to design her own… prints and products.”

I was thrilled to find that Cath Kidston has a full line of vintage cowboy items, including tee shirts, wash bags, towels and pillows.  I just want it all! 

Best…  Vintage… Cowboy…  Stuff…  EVER!

See all the vintage cowboy items Cath Kidston offers here.

See all the inspired designs of Cath Kidston here.

AEMI love when someone you knows reads a book which makes them think of you and in turn sends you a copy as a gift.  This has happened a few times to me over the years and it is always special. 

Recently, I was thrilled to receive a copy of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler from my good friend Lynda.

Lynda had mentioned the book to me and at first I was a little dubious about why she thought of me when she read it, but once I threw myself into it, I knew exactly what she saw.  An Everlasting Meal is part cookbook, part memoir and overall an intimate collection of essay about food from a passionate cook.  More than anything, Ms. Adler makes even the most basic things about cooking interesting and entertaining.

About An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace: “Through the insightful essays in An Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler issues a rallying cry to home cooks. In chapters about boiling water, cooking eggs and beans, and summoning respectable meals from empty cupboards, Tamar weaves philosophy and instruction into approachable lessons on instinctive cooking. Tamar shows how to make the most of everything you buy, demonstrating what the world’s great chefs know: that great meals rely on the bones and peels and ends of meals before them.”

I have always been a creative and fearless cook – one who is not afraid to experiment and try new and creative things.  Likewise, in An Everlasting Meal, Ms. Adler shares tales of making creative dishes out of things she finds in the cupboard and trying new things.

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace is the type of book you can pick up and read sections without feeling you need to finish the whole thing.  Each time you pick it up, I am confident you will be entertained and inspired in your everyday cooking.

An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.

ancientageimageLast summer, my brother and sister-in-law took a trip to Kentucky.  Before they left I told them to pick up some bourbon for me while they were there.  Although their trip to Kentucky was not bourbon-related, they did manage to stop for some shopping.  As a result, they presented me with a nice bottle of local bourbon on my birthday which just happened to occur shortly after their return.

When they stopped to purchase the bourbon (at a store they said was called something like “Bourbon World”) they asked the proprietor to recommend a brand that one was not likely to find in New England.  The bottle they gave me was branded Ancient Age, and indeed, I had never seen it before.  Although Ancient Age is not what one would call a “top shelf” bourbon, it was very good and rekindled my interest for collecting various bourbons.

Anyway, bourbon is having a renaissance, and the folks in Kentucky are embracing that fact.  I am now thinking my own trip to Kentucky may be in the cards.  There is a great online resource, called Bourbon Country, which is totally devoted to helping you plan a bourbon-related trip to Louisville and the surrounding Kentucky countryside.

About the Bourbon Country resource:  “Visit Bourbon Country and you will not be disappointed. There’s so much to do here, you won’t know where to start. And that’s where we come in. Let us tell you all about what Bourbon Country has to offer. Build your own Bourbon inspired trip or we’ll be happy to build one for you. Interested in touring our distilleries and seeing where America’s official native spirit is made? The Distilleries of Bourbon Country are just a click away.”

I know there are people out there that may think that a trip like this is silly.  However, visiting distilleries and tasting bourbon is really no different than a trip to Napa for wine lovers.  Ok, well that may be silly too, but hey, I like my bourbon.

Begin planning your visit to Bourbon Country here.