Happy Thanksgiving! Spend a wonderful day feasting with ones you love!

This morning I searched the internet for “green” Thanksgiving ideas. One article I found stood out! Not only did I enjoy TheDailyGreen.com’s post on 5 “100 Mile Thanksgivings: How to Eat Local This Year, from Albany, New York, to Flagstaff, Arizona, but I was THRILLED to find my nearby city Albany was chosen as one of the five cities in the nation featured!

…here’s what The Daily Green had to say:

consider shaking up your Thanksgiving routine — why not create some new traditions? Each of us lives in a unique landscape with a food history all its own. Which foods are the symbols of the place you live in? Why not give them a place of honor at the center of your table?

With Albany, New York as an example, here’s the menu The Daily Green came up with:

  • Celery Root and Apple Soup

  • Roast Maple Turkey

  • Chestnut Stuffing

  • Buttered Brussels Sprouts

  • Roasted Acorn Squash

  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

  • Hard Apple Cider

  • Alisa Smith’s No Spice Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream and Fresh Grapes

 

 Farmer Jenny Rosinsky and organic squash - healthy Thanksgiving eating in Chatham, New York

…with friend farmer Jenny Rosinsky at our local Delmar Farmer’s Market

I’ll add a few more Thanksgiving-worthy, in-season ingredients to that list that I see when I have my booth at my farmer’s market: spinach (Jenny Rosinsky is still harvesting it under fabric-covered hoop supports at Solstice Hill Farm in Chatham, New York!), parsnips, swiss chard, beets, carrots, leeks, broccoli, dinosaur kale, radishes and turnips. And wine pressed of local grapes from my friend Dominique DeVito’s Hudson-Chatham Winery!

 

Margaret Roach Brussels Sprouts for Thanksgiving EcoHappy Style

Wow!

As far as the lure of local Brussels sprouts, I know that is true! Yesterday I came across a Facebook post showing Columbia County gardener extraordinaire Margaret Roach and her sister Marion holding two supercalifragilous organic bunches of brussels sprouts they just harvested for Thanksgiving! (…and Margaret’s gorgeous and smart  garden blog A Way To Garden is my new favorite blog crush!)

I never enjoyed Brussels sprouts as a child, but recently found I like them raw and sliced thin in slaw-like salad with dried cranberries and almonds. I was enjoying said salad at a potluck, and then realized what I was eating!

What favorite local ingredient do you have in your Thanksgiving feast today? For my half- Italian husband, it’s Hudson-Chatham Winery’s Blanc de Blanc, a Proseco-style dry white sparkilng wine! It will be poured with local pride!

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m turning the computer off for the day and joining my family!

Loretta

Cork on your walls?

Here’s a stylish and green option to birch-bark wallpaper (popular in the Adirondacks) made of renewable cork – Anna French’s Birch Cork Wallpaper in White.

Cork is a renewable resource, the cork “bark” is removed every nine years with no harm done to the tree. Cork can be harvested in a steady cycle over a cork tree’s 200 year old life, starting when the tree is 25 years old.

Would you try it?

Loretta

 

So busy this week! The Delmar Holiday Open Studios Sale I hold with my friend Liz Vigoda is coming up this weekend, and the signs are up around town. (Thank you to friends who let me put a lawn sign in their front yard!)

handmade sterling silver endpins

on the bench

I’ve been trying to put in as much time in the studio as possible to get new work done, here’s a photograph of  sterling silver wire on a charcoal block getting torched to add a little ball on the end. These little pieces of wire then go in a little crockpot of citric acid (eco-friendly!) to remove the oxides, then put in stainless steel shot to get tumbled shiny. I made over 300 of them this week!

 

Here you can see where I use the balled wires – to attach the pearl dangles to the earrings. Some people buy pre-made silver end wires that look like a pin, but I think the extra time taken to made handmade balled end pins is worth it.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my workbench, and if you are in the Albany, New York area please come by and visit the sale this weekend, November 23 & 24! Our website is www.delmaropenstudios.blogspot.com and our Facebook event page is www.facebook.com/events/654898471209408/

Loretta

My talented potter friend Liz Vigoda and I have a studio sale (with her pottery and my jewelry and photography) coming up – Delmar Holiday Open Studios at her home/studio in our hamlet of Delmar, New York on November 23&24. Every year I design the postcard for the sale and she sends some images of her latest work. The platter above, with the vintage tulip design, is the image I choose for this year’s postcard.

Liz Vigoda Pottery Delmar NY

Liz Vigoda Pottery

All of Liz’s pieces are high-fired, hand built and one-of-a-kind.

Holiday Delmar Open Studios Liz Vigoda Loretta Fontaine pottery jewelry

Liz Vigoda Pottery

I just love the cobalt blue in these new pieces.

Holiday Delmar Open Studios Liz Vigoda Loretta Fontaine pottery jewelry

Liz Vigoda Pottery

This piece is very similar to a planter I bought for myself two years ago.

Holiday Delmar Open Studios Liz Vigoda Loretta Fontaine pottery jewelry

Liz Vigoda Pottery

Many people come early to our sale on Saturday morning to see the biggest selection and choose their favorite Liz Vigoda piece. Once a one-of-a-kind is sold, it’s gone!

Liz always does her work in series, so I can’t wait to see what she brings to the sale. More info on our website: www.delmaropenstudios.blogspot.com and Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/654898471209408

What is your favorite piece of pottery?

Loretta

 

A friend sent me a link to a new  Toys-R-Us commercial, one that showed bored kids heading to a nature field trip. The kids were then told they were instead heading to Toys-R-Us and they suddenly all became very, very happy.

Watching the video was a shaky start to my day. Not that my kids wouldn’t love to be set loose in a toy store to pick any toy they choose, but why portray nature as boring?

Last weekend husband and I took bouncy puppy Violet and my kids out for a short hike in the Adirondack Mountains and we had such a great time. My Dad joined us as well, which was such a treat.

 

cavalier king charles spaniel hiking on sleeping beauty mountain

bouncing around the fallen leaves

We started at Macy clearing, and headed 1.3 miles up to the top of Sleeping Beauty Mountain.

 

Rock outcrop on Sleeping Beauty Mountain Hike New York

a little rest

Husband and Son H had hiked this trail in April with the boy scouts, and it was icy and wet (think melting snow). My son was SO excited to show us this trail that he “already hiked.” The trail was still wet in spots, and we did hit some ice towards the top. We had a gorgeous, crisp Fall day. With the leaves off the trees you could really see the outlines of the mountains as you climbed all around. Above you can see Son H and the rock outcrop in the high distance we’ll be hiking up to.

 

kids on the top of sleeping beauty mountain hike

kids on the top – made it! (Rosie’s friend E joined us, too)

top of sleeping beauty mountain ny

Son H on this perfect clear day

What a view from the top of Sleeping Beauty! It was freezing cold, so we couldn’t stay long. I wished I had brought a map so I could figure out some of the peaks we saw. Mount Washington in New Hampshire? I think we saw it, snow covered, in the distance.

 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy  hiking to the top of a mountain

{fantastic view of Lake George}

Violet proved to be a great hiking buddy – she’s four months old now and those legs have gotten longer. She had her nose to the ground half the time, but always stayed right by us on the trail. (I have to love a dog sporty enough to hike, but not too sporty as she’ll run off chasing critters!)

Any great (and not boring) nature trips taken lately?

Loretta

Isn’t this beautiful and creative? It makes me want to collect smooth pebbles from a nearby stream bed and start my own project!

Loretta

p.s. Don’t forget to enter to win one of two signed copies of my friend Porter’s excellent book Your Network Is Your Net Worth

Last Saturday I was back at the Delmar Saturday  Indoor Farmer’s Market with a booth selling my jewelry and photography! I’ve signed up for the whole indoor season, so you can find me there on Saturdays in November and December. I’m also working on the annual Delmar Holiday Open Studios with my friend and potter Liz Vigoda, we’ll be holding that event at her home/studio on November 23 & 24, the weekend before Thanksgiving! (…more on that event, later!)

 

Delmar Saturday Farmers Market logo Delmar, NY

It was so nice to be back! Our local Delmar Saturday Farmer’s Market is both outdoor (Spring and Fall) and indoor (Winter) – and when the market first started I did the outdoor market, but it proved to be too hectic with my kid’s schedules. So now, it’s only the indoor Winter Farmer’s Market I participate in.

If you knew me years ago, you know I did the BIG wholesale trade shows with my work – traveling to Philadelphia to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars in booth fees to be part of a sea of over 1,700 booths. I am so thankful for the shops and gallery owners I met while doing those wholesale shows (many of them still carry my work!)

I don’t do those big shows anymore. The booth fees have climbed even higher, and so many shops I sold to have closed. Now, instead I have a little table at my local farmer’s market – ten minutes from my house. Does it seem a step backwards from the big wholesale shows I used to do? Yes, sometimes it does. But I always  strive to make the very best work I can, and remind myself this little market fits my lifestyle perfectly right now.

 

Loretta Fontaine and Paul Barrett, Our Daily Eats nuts and healthy granolas

Celebrating!

…and you know what? See Delmar Farmer’s Market board member Paul Barnett and myself above? Why are we celebrating the number 51?

Our little local market, the Delmar Saturday Farmer’s Market was just named #51 out of the TOP 101 Farmer’s Markets in the United States, according to this story at TheDailyMeal.com. Not too shabby! According to our market manager Paul Tick there are over 8,000 farmer’s markets in our country. Do the math, #51 is impressive!

 

Loretta Fontaine EcoHappy Style Shop Tulip necklace with miniature original photography

Loretta Fontaine sterling silver Theresa necklace with gemstones and White Tulip

Here’s one of the necklaces I’ll be bringing to the market next Saturday. (This necklace is also in my EcoHappy Style online shop.) It’s so nice to get customer reactions to my jewelry at the market, something I miss when I’m in my studio.

 

Loretta Fontaine and eco-friendly fair trade basket, EcoHappy Style, Ghana

Our new bowl! Smiles all around!

The Delmar Saturday Indoor Farmer’s Market is held at the Bethlehem Middle School. My daughter Evie is part of the Middle School’s Helping Hands Club – and last Saturday they had a booth of African Crafts to benefit the Rafiki Project,  a project to care for children left behind by parents taken by the devastating AIDS epidemic. We picked out the GORGEOUS hand woven bowl that now holds our incoming mail. Her teacher, Bill Reilly, was just in the news for his upcoming trip to Uganda. (Donate to help at Indiegogo here.) I’m so proud of what her club accomplishes!

Our Delmar Saturday Indoor Farmer’s Market gives space to community and non-profits like Evie’s club. It is truly a positive place!

 

EcoHappy Style organic vegetables at the delmar Saturday Indoor Farmer's Market

How easy is it to “eat the rainbow”? Come to the market!

…and one last shot of the beautiful organic vegetables from Clemens and Jenny of Solstice Hill Farm, the booth directly across from mine. I picked up the most tender and delicious spinach from them last week – and can’t wait to see what they bring next Saturday! (I will get first dibs – I’ll pick my veggies during set-up!)

Do you have a local farmer’s market? What do you love about it?

Loretta

p.s. Don’t forget to enter to win one of two signed copies of my friend Porter’s excellent book Your Network Is Your Net Worth, drawing held December 20!

Happy Halloween!

We dragged out the Halloween decorations and found one of Rosie’s old school projects.

Haunted – Awesome – Lollipop – Licorice – Owl – Witch – Eeekkk! – Eerie- Night

Love it! What are you planning for Halloween night?

Loretta

p.s. Don’t forget to enter to win one of two signed copies of my friend Porter’s excellent book Your Network Is Your Net Worth, drawing held December 20!

Soup time? Yes, please!

I’m following Lauren Liess’s Pure Style Home Fall Challenge Series, and this week it was homemade soup.

I decided to use what I had in the garden and the cupboard. The garden is really winding down, but I could dig some beets and grab what swiss chard the deer haven’t eaten! I made some turkey broth from leftover bones in my crockpot, and when I found the rice noodles in the pantry I was very excited because I knew the beets would turn the noodles pink!

And pink soup was the perfect excuse to serve the soup in my Grandma Honey’s red transferware dishes!

 

Loretta Fontaine’s Quick Fall Crimson Beet Soup

4 cups vegetable or meat broth

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 cup fresh beets, chopped into small 1/8″ cubes

1/4 cup swiss chard leaves, sliced thin

2 cups flat rice noodles

salt and pepper to taste

 

Bring the broth and cumin to a boil and add beets. Boil for eight minutes. Take the pot off the heat and add the rice noodles. Soak until noodles are soft but firm, about ten minutes. Garnish with swiss chard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Note: I used the tenderest “newest” swiss chard leaves from the center of the plant. If your swiss chard is looking tougher, add the swiss chard to boil when you add the beets. If you are making this soup in Spring, feel free to use tender young beet greens instead of swiss chard.

 

Loretta

p.s. Don’t forget to enter to win one of two signed copies of my friend Porter’s excellent book Your Network Is Your Net Worth, drawing held December 20!

 

My friend Porter Gale was a keynote speaker at the BlogHer PRO conference that wrapped up yesterday in Silicon Vally, California! I so wish I had been there! I’m thrilled BlogHer chose Porter to speak – she’s smart, articulate, engaging and inspirational!

For a wonderful treat, I’m giving away not one, but TWO signed copies of Porter’s new book Your Network Is Your Net Worth: Unlock The Hidden Powers Of Connections For Wealth, Success and Happiness In The Digital Age to TWO lucky readers of the EcoHappy Style blog!

 

Your Network is Your Net Worth by author and speaker Porter Gale

My summer reading! {photo credit: E. Lalor}

I know the bookstore shelves that hold the self-help-inspirational-business titles can be crowded, and you might not be the type to read that “sort” of book – but hear me out!

You’ll want to read Your Network Is Your Net Worth because everyone, no matter if they are just hatching an idea or living their biggest dreams, needs a little self-reflection once in a while to clarify if they are on track. Or if they might consider jumping the track and boarding a new ship!

And what makes it an easy read is that the whole book is full of stories. Porter is not only a speaker, entrepreneur, and brilliant marketing executive (think Virgin Airlines), but she also an exceptional storyteller. (A little aside – she’s also a award-winning documentary filmmaker!) Her book contains not only exercises to reflect on and complete, but real life examples that make the lessons come alive. And two wonderful people I know are in the written about, and even I learned a few new things about both of them from Porter’s book:

So, you look at an amazing woman like eco-activist Zem Joaquin and assume she “must have been born with it!” to be able to connect and network with people so easily. Well, Zem learned those skills by frequent moving when she was young. She attended nine schools and three universities. “Connecting was a survival skill… now I can socialize with anyone!”

Brent Ridge lives an hour from me, so for years I’ve heard stories about him and his star-kissed life as one half of the Fabulous Beekman Boys. It would be easy to assume that he’s never had any bumps in a rocket-ride rise to success. But a long shot, a letter, and then the same letter in a really big envelope to a gal serving time got him a deal he had dreamed of. And the fabulous business he founded with Josh Kilmer-Purcell? The result of losing a job and being forced to make a get-away home sustainable.

 

Porter Gale speaking, mentioning the launch of her new book Your Network Is Your Networth

Porter in her element – speaking on stage!

For me, the variety of stories Porter shares made reading her book enjoyable. I’ll admit, it’s an real assignment to go through a book like Your Network Is Your Net Worth and actually complete all of the tasks and exercises Porter sets out.  One of the exercises in the book is a “funnel test” to develop your strengths into actions. For fun, I’ll share what I came up with:

 

I recently asked Porter how the response has been to her book. here’s what she told me:

I’m thrilled with how many emails I’ve received from a very wide range of people. Just this week I had an email from a Marine, from a young ad executive, from a woman that just moved to NYC from Africa, a dad that is having his high school daughter do the funnel test for college apps and more. My intention with the book was to help others and inspire people to live the best lives possible – with a focus on relationships and connections. It’s not about numbers for me…I just like hearing about people making positive progress forward!

 

 

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of this book, order it online or visit your local bookstore. And if you live in the Albany New York area, I’ll let you borrow my copy! Really.

 

To WIN one of the TWO signed copies of Your Network Is Your Net Worth, simply leave a comment below and tell me why you’d love to have this book.

For an extra entry, share this giveaway on your choice of social media (Facebook, Twitter, anything!),  and for a third entry “like” my EcoHappy Style Facebook Page (find link here).

That’s three easy chances to win, leave a comment for each entry.

I’ll draw two lucky winners on December 26, 2013 at 12PM EST by www.random.org

Congrats winner #1 Christine K.: “I would love this book! Great giveaway!” and winner #2 Peter:”Would love a copy of this book – need some good strategies to find what media I need to focus on to reach out to people – it’s getting too complicated out there!”

Loretta