Tuesday, May 14, 2013

"And now, let the wild rumpus start!”

During a recent 12 hour period I met with a landscaper, carpenter, plumber, electrician, air conditioning contractor & rented a floor sander. Indeed, the rumpus has started!

Just a few days ago my arbor looked just like this. Those rafters on top had once been the pine beams holding up the roof of a 100 year old garage. I'm into recycling, so when we had to take down that garage to make way for the TreeHouse, I reused them on top of the arbor. Everyone told me that at age 100 they were more like stone than wood. The part they left out was "as long they're under a roof". Oops. Now, in order to replace those rafters, over 900 lbs of bougainvillea & rotted beams had to be taken down. It took almost an entire day.

The remaining structure looks positively naked, so it's the first project to get started. Soon new cross members and a polycarbonate roof will be installed, then it's just a matter of time before those vibrant blooms return. In its new life, the arbor will become an outdoor room.

Lots of landscaping issues had to be addressed, including trimming trees, moving plants to better locations, removing ugly & dead ones and clearing swaths for newly designed garden areas. Amazing how much better things look when they aren't part of an encroaching jungle.


My most exiting project will be enclosing the TreeHouse's second floor deck. I'm planning on using mostly clear acrylic to maintain the inside/outside feeling, but with lots of screens to let the northern breezes in and keep the bugs out. I'm still designing the space & furnishings at this point, as well as a large garden structure inspired by an exhibit I saw at a Berlin museum.

Since I'll be wearing my designer/contractor hat for a while, I've taken off my baker's apron & won't be at the last few sessions of the Palma Sola Farmers Market or baking to order for a few weeks. But, I won't be hidden away. 

I'm part of a FANTASTIC YARD SALE THIS SAT MAY 18th. Four families, all across the street from each other in the Village of the Arts on 12th St West between 9th & 10th Ave West. From 8am - Noon. 

We're also sprucing up my former BONNI BAKES bakery/cafe building at 930 12th St W and installing a new a/c system (hint: never run an a/c system without a clean filter in place!) & refinishing the gorgeous 103 year old pine floors. Very soon it will become an extension of my home as a temporary POP-UP SHOP filled with furniture, kitchen items, pharmacy antiques, Spanish dishes (including cazuelas) & things I've collected during my lifetime. Now that I'm down-sizing it's time for them to be loved by new owners. And of course, my homemade yummy baked goods will be there too. I'll post details as I get ready to open the door.

I'm happily working with several professionals who do excellent work and are a pleasure to work with. Many of them built my TreeHouse. If you need a referral for carpentry, a/c, electric or landscaping just drop me an email at bonnibakes@gmail.com

Hugs from the RUMPUS,
Bonni & Twinkie (the OSHA inspector)

Monday, May 6, 2013

The weather's great & there's change in the air

For some reason I'm suddenly getting a torrent of annoying sales calls despite having signed up for the national "do not call" list. Today I discovered that there is also a Florida "do not call" registry and it only takes a minute to add your name & number. I did it and it will become effective as of July. If you're experiencing the same problem, their website is www.fldnc.com 

It's a time of transition for me. The tenants at my former bakery/cafe in the Village of the Arts have closed their business, leaving me with an empty building. But not for long. After a thorough cleaning, I'll be opening a POP-UP SHOP featuring all of the items I've collected over a lifetime, and am now ready to relinquish. Antiques, kitchenware, Spanish dishes, pharmacy collectibles, baskets, frames and a lot more. It will only be open for a short period of time. Look for details in my blog next week. If you're looking for something in particular, let me know because I have a LOT OF STUFF!

Meanwhile, here's what I'm cooking up in the kitchen this week.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid   $3/slice

It's blueberry season in Florida, so what could be more appropriate than a slice of this yummy braided pastry embracing local berries & a creamy cheese filling.

Cheddar Mini Boule   $2.50/each

Back by popular demand, the small French breads bursting with oozing cheese. Perfect when shared or sliced, but known to make a filling meal for one.

Also on the menu this week:

Big Cookies   $1.50/each
Individually wrapped & available in the following flavors:
Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Orange Dark Chocolate Walnut, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Pecan Coconut Milk Chocolate       

Chocolate Orgasm Cookies   $5/pkg
My legendary chocolate delivery system made from melted Belgium Bittersweet chocolate, toasted fresh almonds & chocolate chips. Available in a plain brown bag if you don't intend to share them with others.

Roast Garlic Blue Cheese Breadstix   $4/pkg
Crisp, hand-made sticks bursting with flavor. Delicious paired with an appetizer, soup, salad or cocktail. 

Cranberry Orange Muffin   $2/each
One of my most requested muffins, made with plump fresh cranberries and Florida oranges.

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Flatbread   $4/pkg
Irregular large shards of crisp flatbread adds drama to your bread basket or can be broken into smaller crackers. 

                    Pre-order by 5pm Wed to guarantee availability for pickup later 
                             in the week.   Order early, most items in limited supply

Everything is hand made in small batches. Items listed on my menu might be available at the Sunday Palma Sola Farmers Market, unless sold out.

TO PLACE AN ORDER call me at (941) 746-6647   or

 email  bonnibakes@gmail.com  
by 5 pm WEDNESDAY 

 Pay by cash or local check made out to Bonni Brown

 at my home in The Village of the Arts  (932 12 St W)
FRIDAY or SATURDAY from 2-5  

Palma Sola Farmers Market  SUNDAY 11-3
held at Geraldson Community Farm in NW Bradenton
Find driving directions  & more information @

 Hugs from my kitchen,