Monday, February 28, 2011

first friday - march

My top three picks for First Friday: March edition.

1. My favorite guy & gals over at Two-Thirds Studio are opening up their studio for The Outsiders Show. Two-Thirds residents Daniel Del Real, Lauren Ditchley and Katherine Fries are taking a break from showing their work and are lending the walls and floor space to their close friends. With 10 guests, free snacks, and Traveling Sideshow crafts - you can't go wrong!

2. First in Line at the Indy Indie Artist Colony. This exhibition& sale will feature original works of art on sale for just $100 each. But get there early, cause it’s one night only, and it’s first come, first served.

3. Harmony at the Artspace at the Athenaeum. This project is one that I am participating in. Each artist was assigned a shape and color for their piece. The combined works will form the letters of the word, HARMONY.

What will you be doing? 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

designer knitwear

If I had my way, I'd knit unique pieces for everyone's birthday. Unfortunately, I don't have that sort of time right now. The next best thing - luxurious handcrafted knit goods. Something like John Smedley Knitwear strikes me as a nice place to start.

John Smedley has been creating designer knitwear for both men and women for over 225 years. Made in England, each piece is handcrafted in their mill in Derbyshire from only the finest natural fibers. No one would be disappointed in such a finely made knitwear garment.

A few of my favorites in men's knitwear:

Men's Polo Shirt - Aiden

Men's Cotton Shirt - Alen 

A couple of women's knitwear favorites:

Women's Merino Sweater - Opal
Women's Cotton Sweater - Hollie
I'd love to be able to purchase something from John Smedley someday soon - if not as a gift, maybe for me!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

commodore von keepsie's craftacular music carnivale!

I'll be taking another trip down to Austin, Texas - this time to vend at Commodore Von Keepsie's Craftacular Music Carnivale! Standard Recording, Handmade Promenade, Hello Craft, and Yudu have teamed up to put on this awesome event during South by Southwest.  Your ears will be filled with music, your eyes with handmade crafts, you'll be able to take home a new shirt to wear, and even make your own crafts!

RSVP if you can make it - the party is free and open to the public, but space is limited. They'll try to let everyone in, but those who RSVP will be given preference.

I'll have all NEW items - which I'll give you a preview of soon. I'm knitting for spring!

Friday, February 18, 2011

looking for a new project?

How about 365 projects - one for each day of the year?

365 projects are gaining more and more steam every year. From food photos, to vector characters, to - yes - crafts! is a handy little website to get you crafting an item each day of the year (you wouldn't need to by any birthday/christmas presents!) There are all kinds of neat items like the soda coin purse, decoupage stool, and even a candy belt (although, I would recommend letting someone else eat all that candy). is a great jumping point to get your DIY spirit inspired. Not only are the craft projects available here quick and simple, a lot of them use materials you already have lying around your house for recycling!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

valentine's day dinner

Our Valentine's Day-a-day-early plans were foiled by Cheesecake Factory when they told us they don't take reservations. I'll gladly take the meal I made over Cheesecake Factory any day. This meal was made from ingredients we already had, and with no particular plan in mind until it started putting itself together.

Potato, Pear & Onion Gratin and Sauteed Polenta served over Mixed Greens with Tomato-Ginger Sauce. Serious Business.
Don't worry. I'll share my recipes. This was probably the best meal I've made this year - and only solidifies the fact that culinary school & I are a match made in heaven.  (ps. this was all made in a toaster oven & with a hot plate)

Pear, Potato, and Onion Gratin (adapted from this recipe)

6 tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread (seperated)
3/4 yellow onion, sliced
2 tsp dried thyme
2 - 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp sea salt
1/3 c water
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
2 tsp cane sugar
3 medium to large red potatoes, sliced
2 pears, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt 3 tbsp buttery spread in pan over medium heat. Add onions and thyme, and saute until onions are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a couple minutes more.
3. Turn heat off, add remaining 3 tbsp buttery spread. Melt. Add salt, water, balsamic vinegar, and cane sugar and stir well. Let cool.
4. Place potatoes and pears in glass baking dish. Add cooled onion mixture and mix well. Cover with parchment paper, then cover with foil (shiny side down).
5. Bake for 40 minutes - or until potatoes are tender. Remove cover, and baked 15 to 20 more minutes, until things are bubbly.

Tomato and Ginger Sauce

Olive Oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
3 - 4 garlic cloves, chopped well
1 vine-ripened tomato, chopped
1/2 cup ketchup (I had 1/4 cup ketchup + 1/4 cup spicy agave ketchup)
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp Ginger People Ginger Spread

1. Heat olive oil in medium sized pan over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft.
2. Add garlic and saute for a couple minutes more, until garlic is fragrant.
3. Add tomato and saute for a couple more minutes.
4. Add ketchup, water, and Ginger Spread.  Mix well, then turn head up to medium-high. Bring to boil & let cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, cool, and serve.

We followed the meal with Blondies topped with Jeni's Ice Cream Reisling Poached Pear Sorbet (it's vegan!). The sorbet tasted as if a frozen pear was just melting in my mouth. If you have yet to try Jeni's, I'd highly suggest hunting some down. This artisanal ice cream is made with fresh ingredients from the Ohio countryside. This was my first taste, and it blew my mind.

Well, I know Valentine's Day is actually tomorrow. Do you have any plans?

Friday, February 11, 2011

First Friday - February

I forgot to post a look at our failed couples show.

check out more work from Nathaniel Russell and Katie Coles
collaborative piece with mamus.

At least all the pieces were mega awesome!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ice storm! day 2.

Day 2 at home. A window shattered over night, leaving an opening for the cold wind to travel through the building. I slipped for the first time on the ice tonight while trying to get something out of the car. Lucky for me, I am still stuck here for one more day. I don't need to break any bones right now.

Today was my baking day. Here is a recipe for my Chocolate Coffee Cookie Pies.

2 cups unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon (to taste)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (you can add more if you like)
2 - 3 tablespoons ground coffee
1 tablespoon raw cacao nibs   
1 cup sucanat
1/2 cup canola or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup + 1 - 2 tablespoons water

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon well.  Add in chocolate chips, coffee, and cacao nibs.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix sucanat, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Mix in 1/4 cup water.
4.  Slowly add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. If mixture seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon of water until dough is no longer dry and all ingredients are mixed well.
5.  Place dough into un-greased, single-serving pie pans. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn pans 180 degrees, and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes.  Pies will feel soft when done, making a little "whoosh" sound when you press on them.  If you want to be sure, stick a toothpick or knife in the center and if it comes out clean, they're done.
6.  Let pies cool for a couple of minutes - they'll harden up a bit.  Top with ice cream, or my current favorite, Tempt Hemp Frozen Dessert.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

ice storm!

The midwest is in the midst of an ice storm right now. It's pretty quiet around & outside of the Murphy Building - businesses closed up, people staying home. The perfect excuse to be "stuck" at home (although, I already had the next two days off).
Looking out the window.

I'm busy working on finishing up our project for First Friday. We have a "couple-theme" going - we've asked some cute, artistic couples to create either a collaborative piece or separate pieces to show the differences in artistic style. It should be neat! Here is a little preview:

 First Friday is this Friday, February 4th. We're on the second floor in the Murphy Building: 1043 Virginia Avenue!