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I’m sitting this morning in a ray of sunshine in my favorite room in my house.  It’s my study/sewing/sitting room, a converted bedroom with cozy club chairs and an ottoman in addition to the desk, files, supply closet, and sewing machine.  All of this is very appealing to me, but the key element is the east-facing window that allows the morning sun to wash in and fill the room.  It’s hard not to feel happy here in the morning – especially with a cup of coffee at my side.

So, as declared in my last post, February is Creativity Month, which works out well for me because in the past few years my friend Jane and I have had a lot of fun creating home-made valentines.  This year we drew upon the resources of one of my favorite artists, Robert Sabuda.  Mr. Sabuda, if you are not already aware, is the creator of many exquisite pop-up books, several of which are in my collection of children’s books.  He also has patterns for do-it-yourself pop-up cards on the Internet:  http://robertsabuda.com/popmake/index.asp .  We downloaded patterns for some of them and used old (fabulously beautiful) calendar pictures and watercolor paper to create valentines.

I also got busy sewing and made a set of cocktail napkins out of coordinating fun fabrics for Rebecca and a yellow lobster pillow for Rachel.  I failed to take a picture of the pillow before sending it off, but the fabric is one of my all-time favorites.  Here’s a shot of it.

Nothing like holding yourself accountable for enhancing productivity!

On the cooking front, I also created a new favorite soup.  It all started when my friend Ann guilted me into making a coconut cake.  (This was not difficult to do, as just the thought of coconut cake makes me salivate.)  At about the same time, I found myself craving mashed potatoes, so I invited Ann and her husband Wall and my friends Sarah II and Paula II (more on the IIs in a later post, perhaps) over for dinner and made roast chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and steamed broccoli as a preliminary to the coconut cake.  Remarkably, and perhaps because we knew there was cake for dessert, there were leftovers.  So, the next day I boiled the chicken carcass for broth, added chopped onions, celery, and carrots (the mighty triumvirate) and then the leftover gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and chicken.

Leftover Soup

The potatoes gave it a creamy texture and the seasonings from the roast chicken (thank you, Barefoot Contessa!!! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-chicken-recipe/index.html ) added incredible savor.  The soup was almost as good as the original dinner, although two things were missing – the fun friends and the coconut cake, the leftovers of which I made sure left my house promptly.

OK then, only a week and a half left of Creativity Month.  I’d better get busy.