PumpkinHouse Studio

pumpkin house studio prints

Just in time for the holidays, we are happy to announce Pumpkin House Studio prints: handprinted napkins, coasters, market bags, and stationery.  All made to order.  Stay tuned for an expanded product line and new colors and patterns (currently in progress!).  For now contact us if you are interested in making an order.

sunny shop

We had a wonderful pop up shop this past Sunday.  It was so great to see the storefront filled with beautiful crafts and art and happy customers.  It was a great group of women artists who handcrafted some fabulous items.  The sun came out just in time to shine down on us, and filled the shop with a warm glow.  Thanks to all who made it so successful – we couldn’t have done it without you.  And to all those who didn’t get their napkins before they sold out, please let me know how many you need, and your color preferences.  Pumpkin House studio will start handprinting napkins again next week.

pop-up shop

It’s coming.  I’m busy preparing.  And I don’t mean Christmas.   A sunny afternoon after a stormy morning warmed me up to take on the preparations.  Hoping to stamp some napkins tonight.

If you live nearby, please come to our holiday pop-up shop this Sunday December 2, 12-4pm.  See our storefront return to its origin.  We have 10 amazing local artists selling their beautiful creations, with something for everyone – from jewelry to knits, pillowcases to paintings, homemade skirts to essential oils and notecards.  Come in from the rainy weather anticipated for Sunday, and join us for hot tea and homemade treats.



I got inspired over the weekend to do some clearing in the garden.  And I can learn most of life’s important lessons from my garden.  I was looking for a place to plant squash and cucumbers.  It’s time to make room for those summer veggies.  I was looking into the spot where nasturtiums have been growing, and then I realized it was time to clear the favas.  I had planted them to feed the soil, but didn’t get to turning them into the soil until too late.  And once they bloomed – beautifully – I was easily convinced to let them grow pods for eating.  I have been harvesting the favas for the last week, mostly eating them raw in the garden.  But now it was time for a grand clearing.  And it felt great to make room.  I left the roots in the soil with all those nitrogen globules (my highly scientific name) in place, and added some compost in each large hole I dug for my new veggies.

Then I had to do something with the favas.  Usually I make a puree similar to the one in Chez Panisse Vegetables, great with homemade ricotta, by the way.  But that was too demanding for me, tired from gardening.  So I found a great recipe on 101 Cookbooks (Heidi Swanson) for grilled favas.  And how delicious they are.  I LOVE being able to just toss with olive oil and salt and throw them on the grill (like I do to my asparagus).  Then once they are done, you can relax with friends at the dinner table and shell and eat them, pausing and chatting (and drinking rose, if you like).  A lovely Saturday dinner it was (so great I made them again tonight) relaxing in the garden with friends.  And there are still more favas in the fridge……….

hanging out at the pumpkin house

We had a great Sunday at our craft sale.  It was warm and sunny, and many good friends stopped by to hang out and buy some of the beautiful crafts.  After all the preparation and cleaning and crafting, it was so nice to sit and relax and enjoy the place.  And eat all the delicious cheese, chocolates, and homemade lemon balm tea (more on that later!).

market bags

I happily finished one of my craft projects in time for the sale.  Muslin market bags – ones to take to the farmers’ market or any market and fill with produce.  Next time I will go for the bigger size; these are a little small.  But nice for a bunch of carrots or some onions or garlic, or a few apples.

And I am getting even better at printing on fabric; at last I am developing some better techniques.  It is helpful to minimize the number of stampings on each piece; 2 was just about right.  I still love carving using the rubber carving blocks.  You can’t get the same detail as with linoleum, but it is better to keep it simple when printing on fabric anyway.  And the ease of carving – particularly on the onions, made it so fun to do.  Here’s to the next project, likely those napkins in search of a stamp….

spring craft sale

This Sunday, May 6th, Pumpkin House Studio is teaming up with Darcy Russell of Feria Urbana to host a fabulous Spring Craft Sale at our pop-up storefront.  There will be 12 talented artisans selling locally handmade jewelry, knitted goods, fine prints and paintings, girls leggings and accessories, and more.  The garden will be open and we will have homemade lemonade, tea, and nibbles.  Come by and visit!

gathering in the spring garden

We had a lovely set of spring gatherings in the garden last weekend.  It was a great time for spring cleaning in the garden, and  be able to enjoy relaxing there.  We had done some pruning, but there was so much more to be done: weeded, cut, clipped, raked, swept.  And I’m not talking about finely manicured, just a basic level of tidiness – such that you could walk down one of the paths without getting pushed or punctured by roses or lavender, or slip on a gross grapefruit (or 2 or 10).  Thanks to a lot of hard work (and gratitude for some help we got), the garden is looking lovely, with roses, calla lilies, and wisteria blooming, along with the potatoes, peas and favas.  It was lovely to celebrate Spring’s renewal with friends and neighbors.


my favorite dirty word

………is compost.  Many cringe or get squirmy at the thought.  And please don’t look at the following pictures if you think they will present a problem.  But now that I have spent years perfecting(?) my approach, my visits to my compost pile bring me more joy than you might ever think.  Sometimes I just add the pail to the pile and walk away, but typically I fill the pail slowly with rainwater (from the rainbarrel) while I rake up some decaying leaves – which are plentiful in my garden.  I then add the leaves to the pile, and pour the rainwater on top.

If I have a little more time, I visit with my worms.  I take my favorite fork and turn the pile, hunting for the squirmy worms and other bugs and organisms in the compost, teeming with life.  I find the worms to be the PERFECT pet – no training or cleaning up required.  They just quietly do their thing, and turn our garbage into the most amazing soil for our garden.




using our grapefruits

We have a giant grapefruit tree.  It is one of the only things that stood in the lot when we bought our place – that and a lot of weeds and a funky old building.  The tree is huge, and the grapefruits are plentiful any time of year.  Only they are quite sour, bitter really, mouth-puckeringly bitter in fact.  They make the inside of your mouth feel fuzzy somehow.  We have tried various ways to use the grapefruits; my kids often have a grapefruit juice stand instead of a lemonade one.  But we have to add lots of sugar or agave or honey to make the stuff palatable.  And even then, it isn’t something I really enjoy.  And unfortunately I really DON’T like marmalade, no matter how much I try.  So when I saw the recipe for grapefruit ginger curd on Heidi Swanson’s 101 cookbooks blog several weeks ago, I took notice.  And today when the rain washed out our other plans, I knew what I wanted to do.  Out I went into the rain to pick some grapefruits, up I went to borrow an egg from our friend, and then got to making a delicious grapefruit curd.  Really lovely stuff, I love the taste and the texture.  I used only honey, and I think next time I will use a bit more, and definitely some sugar.  This time I won’t have to share with my kids; can’t wait for toast tomorrow morning, or maybe this afternoon……….