Thursday, December 30, 2010

last show of the year!

There was no better show to end the year than a Lemuria show. By far one of the best bands around right now (at least in my opinion). The perfect mixture of indie & punk, along with the vastly different vocal stylings of Sheena & Alex make them such a beautiful & memorable band. Their new album "Pebble" releases 1/11/11, and we got the chance to get one last night! Check them out if you haven't already, a few great tracks are "Pants", "Who Would Understand a Turtle?" and "Keep Quiet."

I didn't go to many smaller, local shows this year due in part to just being burnt out on the whole scene. Next year, I plan on getting back in to more live music.  I think I've finally detoxed from my time spent at the Halloween House.  And Austin is the perfect city to see lots of live music. :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

thanks to christmas....

...and my receptive & generous family, we have saved up about $1000 already for a move to Austin (fingers crossed Austin, at least)! A big chunk was added due to my family passing on getting me gifts and donating money instead, all of them giving me their winning lottery tickets, having a spending limit on gifts for James, and working hard at knitting as much as possible for special orders.

We are visiting in just 3 short weeks - can NOT wait! We're ready to get out of the cold and in to little bit warmer temperatures. Ready to explore a new city, rent some bikes, stay in a fancy hotel, eat as much delicious as possible, and feel confident about moving. 

Three places I am most excited about visiting (so far):

Paper Place - "...a delightful destination for special items such as: stationery, cardstock and envelopes, notepads, wrapping paper and gift bags, and paper plates and napkins."

 Snap Kitchen  - "...dedicated to bringing our customers flavorful, handcrafted food that supports our commitment to local, organic ingredients and healthy cooking. All of our menu items are portion controlled and labeled with the full nutritional content."

Sugar Mama's Bake Shop - "Our mission is to provide our guests with unparalleled customer service and the freshest, most delicious baked goods around. Your mission is to try them all. You'll find nothing but the highest quality ingredients in all of our from-scratch recipes. Ingredients like Nielsen-Massey extracts, Valrhona chocolate, and locally sourced cage-free eggs. No preservatives. No mixes. No shortening. No shortcuts. We're also doing our part to keep Austin green. Our cups are made from renewable, compostable materials."

If you've been to Austin, do you have any places you suggest we go?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

vintage dresses

I have a secret desire to own about 100 vintage (-style) dresses. I think if I can start with one, solid, stunning, quality dress I can move miles. 

Some dresses I love (all courtesty of modcloth):
Blumengarten Dress

Double-Date Dress

The Archaeologist's Daugher
After all these lovely dresses, I decided on this one to be the beginning of a collection:

Afternoon Company Dress
I already know exactly "where" I will wear this.  Thanks, mom & dad, for the Christmas money!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

christmas dinner

The Christmas tradition for the last 28 years of my life was to have Christmas dinner at either of my Grandparents house - sometimes both! Over the last few years, with everyone growing older - that tradition has fell to the wayside. My grandfather on my mother's side passed away quite a few years ago, and now my grandmother is in a nursing home, my other grandparents are getting older. Everyone's getting older, and there are no little kids running around (which I believe to be a big pre-requisite for Christmas traditions).

Last year, we still had dinner at my grandparents & visited my grandmother. This year, we're not having any sort of dinner - just snacks (which generally means shrimp cocktail and vegetable trays- blech! & boring). It's pretty sad - but my grandfather has trouble eating due to medications his doctor has him on. So to make things easier on him - snacks it is! We'll then go out to visit my grandmother & a few other family members. But there will be no conversation around the table, no passing of the mashed potatoes, failed dishes, second helpings.

If I had it my way - I'd cook dinner for everyone! This would be the menu:
Grandma's Deviled Eggs
Fruit & Cheese Tray

Hazlenut Cranberry Field Roast
Field Roast covered in puff pastry
stuffed with cranberrys, nuts, and
field roast sausage - the YUM!

Grilled Asparagus

Garlic Mashed Red Skin Potatoes

Bread Pudding

Maybe I'll have to try to make this dinner next week as a New Year's dinner - I have 3 days off! Perhaps this could also be a new tradition. I've got to figure something out because I expect last year was the last year.

Are you skipping any family traditions this year?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

what i'm reading

i'm never reading one book. and i never read one book quickly. here's what i'm reading currently - i can't wait for my THREE days off next week with no crafting planned to catch up on reading!
1. Eat.Shop Austin (for obvious reasons)
2. Please Feed Me (secret santa gift!)
3. Possum Living (to save even more money)
4. Body Ecology Diet (this book has been haunting me the past few days - i must need to learn something!)
5. Toolbox for Sustainable City Living (i plan on moving to a much more sustainable city with more resources)
6. Local Bounty (again, for obvious reasons)

Remember when I won the $100 gift card from Real Zest? Well, books 1, 3, 5, and 6 are all results of that! I am so happy to have been able to receive such great books!

Do you ever use your holiday downtime to catch up on reading? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Monday, December 20, 2010


There are just 5 days left 'til Christmas. I have a lot of wrapping left to do, and a few present projects to finish up.  I'll be sure to post a holiday wrap up when I get done (haha - wrap up! get it?)
We have a Christmas tree! Awesome ornaments from Bebito, Melissa Sue Stanley, Orange Fuzz Boutique, and Purple Hippo Stitches

My first fully completed gift - for my secret santa recipient! Featuring Cake Pops, a handmade batman pendant from Sunday Afternoon Housewife, and a handmade ornament. 


Happy holidays from me, Mamus, and a heavy fucking fruitcake!

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 in review.

2010 in review via yarn. These scarves will be available only at the Handmade Promenade Last Minute Market tomorrow! They feature a lush blend of wool, alpaca, and cotton yarn.

Tomorrow, 5 - 9:30 at Pure Eatery!
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

handmade promenade!

The Handmade Promenade: Last Minute Market is next Saturday! Come support local artists & your community and find fabulous gifts for those loved ones you haven't yet bought for.  Check out the Handmade Promenade blog to get a sneak peek at the artists participating & their wares. You'll be able to find anything for unique christmas ornaments to plush toys to ceramics.

I'll have knit goods & christmas ornaments, some photos from our nom nom nom! show, calendars from pinups for pets, some sweet treats (maybe), and mamus, of course.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

pinups for pets

Who doesn't love supporting a good cause & a local artist at the same time?

Check out PinUps for Pets to grab your $10 pinup calendar by local artist, Kirstin Hill. She's a wonderful photographer with a passion for animals. She has put together this fab calendar in record time with record talent to help support

Her mission (from the site): "Every year animals in Indiana go hungry and suffer from poor living conditions, however local shelters help those in need. That’s where we come in, donating all proceeds to assist in these loving endeavors. This year’s beneficiary is IndyFeral, a non-profit organization caring for feral colonies and working to control populations through trap-neuter-release programs."

Preview Photos:

In an effort to help PinUps For Pets spread the love, I'll be selling calendars at our booth at the Handmade Promenade Last Minute Market on Saturday, December 18th at Pure Eatery. Stop by to pick yours up and help out our animal friends!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

katherine fries & rebecca stockert

I was fortunate enough to grab some Tidy Trays from Katherine Fries (Two-Thirds Studio) & work out a trade for an awesome wall pin-cushion (have you ever heard of such a thing!? It's a perfect wall piece for your sewing corner). Katherine is such a colorful person! Her items can be purchased from Two-Thirds studio in the Murphy Building on most First Fridays. Check her out (and Dany & Lauren, of course) if you get a chance!

We also got 5 magnets at Homespun over the weekend from artist Rebecca Stockert.  Although she's been at a few craft fairs we've been at, we hadn't had a chance to grab anything.

Luckily, one of these magnets is a gift. So, that makes one gift I've taken care of for the holidays. Ugh, better get to it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

my new favorite (healthy) food

I like food, that's no secret. I like food even more when it tastes good going down & is beneficial to my health! Enter Hidden Pond Farm's KimChi.  Delicious & locally made, the raw fermented kimchi offers a nice dose of probiotics.

"Kimchi contains the bacterium called lactobacillus kimchii as well as other lactic acid bacteria that are beneficial to our gastrointestinal as well as immune systems. A typical kimchi made with Chinese cabbage, carrot, garlic, ginger, onion and pepper is also high in vitamin A, C, B1, B2, beta-carotene, calcium and iron. Animal studies also suggested that kimchi may be effective against the avian flu virus." excerpt from

Because of the presence of probiotics, kimchi is known to help reduce indigestion and gas and helps you feel less hunger. Some studies have shown that kimchi can actually shorten the duration of a cold. Other studies have shown that kimchi can help clear up yeast infections and urinary tract infections. (A healthy digestive tract and immune system function are closely linked.) The chili peppers and garlic are believed to help lower blood cholesterol and aid in blood-clotting.

So, next time your feeling a cold coming on or are craving something spicy & delicious to eat, try some KimChi!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

nom nom nom!

On Friday, Mamus & I finally utilized our studio at the Murphy Arts Center for First Friday. Our "show" was called "nom nom nom!" and essentially consisted of food related items.

I don't think I've mentioned here before, but I was way into photography much of my younger life. I took 2 years of photography in high school, and then proceeded to start at Herron School of Art & Design immediately after graduating. That didn't last long as I didn't agree with the way Herron was run.  After quitting school, photography fell to the side. I've continued to enjoy it as a part-time hobby, but VERY part-time. I'm a bit old-school in thinking that photography consists of a camera & film - not a digital apparatus & computer. 

So when I heard about a show that Renaissance Fine Art & Design in Carmel was having, I couldn't help but giggle. "Harry Sandler's Allusions of Reality features images from his frequent travels to various parts of the world. All the images are captured and processed using the IPhone 4 and the various applications available for the same." excerpt

Don't get me wrong, I love all the applications available for smart phone photography. I think it's great to take a quick snapshot you weren't expecting and being able to give it a vintage feel, brighten it's colors, or catch action. But downloading a few applications doesn't necessarily call for a gallery show.

Anyways, I couldn't help but poke fun at it. I shot all photos with my HTC Droid Incredible phone.


 I made delicious vegan chocolate cups to sell - which were fantastic & well received.

Mamus created these awesome food sculptures.

All in all, it was pretty fun. I drank some sweet wine, knit in public, talked to new people.

If you're interested in any of these pieces (sculptures or photos) let me know. All items are available! (Well, the baked potato sculpture may be called for)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

vegan chocolate cups!

After reading this post over on The Dainty Squid I realized it was once again that time of year. The time of year I always try to make candies but fail miserably. But, I always try and try again.  This year = success! These vegan chocolate cups turned out marvelously, but I changed a few things around. 

What you need: 

chocolate cups:
1+1/4 c vegan chocolate chips
candy cup liners

1 large spoonful of peanut butter + dash of salt + 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large spoonful of Suzannes RiceMellow
1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
(or whatever other yummy stuff you have in your pantry!)

What you do:

1.  Melt chocolate chips over burner - use a double boiler if you have one or - heat water in large saucepan, melt chips in large bowl over saucepan.  DO NOT boil water! Just heat water enough to melt chocolate chips - about medium heat will do.

 2. When your chocolate is nice & melty, gently fill paper cups with thin layer of chocolate. I found the best way to do so is to use a teaspoon measure. Scoop warm chocolate out with measure and fill each cup with just a bit less than a spoonful.  After filling about 20 cups, place in freezer on plate or pie pan for about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your fillings. Heat the peanut butter over the "double-boiler" just until easy enough to work with, then add in salt and vanilla extract.  Mix thoroughly. (At this point, if you've removed the chocolate bowl to heat the peanut butter, put that chocolate back over the warm water! You need it warmed again!) Fill a ziploc bag with the warm peanut butter mixture, then cut off the tube. (Alternatively, if you have pasty bags, use those!) Repeat process for RiceMellow.

4. Pull hardened chocolate cups out of freezer, and proceed to put fillings in. Squeeze small amount of peanut butter or RiceMellow in cups, or place a few pieces of chopped crystallized ginger.  After filling all cups, pour just enough warmed chocolate on top to cover.

5. Stick filled cups back in freezer to harden tops. I suggest freezing at least 20 minutes more, overnight is even better. It's easy to use these as holiday candy gifts! Pop them in a clear plastic bag, tie a ribbon around the top - and voila! 

Last but not least - check out what a cheap, easy, and handmade gift these can be! (ode to Lilly over at vegan on a budget)

1.  Vegan Chocolate Chips - bags cost about $4 - $5 (depending on the brand).  I went with bulk grain-sweetened chocolate chips from Georgetown Market for $7.29 per pound.  About half a pound ($3.65) is all you need.

2.  Peanut Butter - I don't usually keep peanut butter around, so I picked up some bulk peanut butter for $2.79 per pound (at Georgetown Market, of course). For one batch of 20 cups, you don't need much! Half a pound ($1.40) is more than enough for about 3 batches.  

3.  Salt - most of us have salt laying around. But, for fun, let's say I had to buy a small jar of sea salt for $1.99.

4. Vanilla Extract - again, most bakers have this laying around. But you can pick up a bottle of organic vanilla extract for about $5 - and this will last for way more chocolate cups than you could ever need.

5. Suzanne's RiceMellow - these 10oz jars cost around $5.  You will have plenty of left to make peanut butter & ricemellow sammiches (just like grandma used to make)!

6. Crystallized Ginger - you can get ginger in bulk & packages - it's so cheap! Pick up what you need - it's no big deal having some extra lying around for when you have a tummy ache.  A nice sized jar will cost you about $5.  

So, if we add up the ingredients, we get $22.04.  That's including buying all the ingredients from scratch.  If you're like most people, lots of these ingredients are ones you already have. And you don't have to even use ricemellow or ginger! That takes the cost down to about $5 - that's only 25 cents per cup! You can give friends & family a delicious handmade gift for about $2!

Don't worry, I won't be giving EVERYONE these for Christmas. But I will if you ask...