31 October 2007

Boston Handmade November 18

For those in the Boston area, I will be doing a "Boston Handmade" show on Sunday, November 18th from 12-5:00 PM. There will be complimentary wine and hors d'ouvres! Other Boston Handmade members featured include Amy Olson Jewelery, Creatively Anew, Designs by Lulubelle, Jessica Burko, Ship by RLS, Thirteenthstory, Stonehouse Studio, and Zesty Betsy.

The show is being held at Dalias Wine Bar and Bistro at 1657 Beacon Street in Brookline, Massachusetts. Come by, say hi, do some holiday shopping, and enjoy some wine and cheese!

30 October 2007

Poppytalk Handmade!

Paper Menagerie will be participating in the Poppytalk Handmade online holiday market starting on November 5th! Please check for us then.

29 October 2007

Vegetarian Chick'n Pot Pie

(Handmade bowl by my Uncle Len)

There are some meat-based comfort foods that I miss. A lot. One is chicken pot pie. Using Morningstar Farms Chick'n Strips (and a recipe from Martha as a basis), I recreated a great vegetarian version that my husband and I love!

Here's a basic recipe:

1 packet Morningstar Farms Chick'n Strips
1 tbsp olive oil
4 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1-2 stalks celery, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 large potato, cut into small cubes
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups lowfat milk (or soy milk)
1 10 oz package frozen peas
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Trader Joe's phyllo crust (or 6 phyllo pastry sheets), thawed.

You can also add mushrooms, green beans, or other veggies you have on hand.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Microwave Chik'n strips according to package directions and cut into chunks. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions and potato and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, and thyme. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Add flour and stir to coat. Cook one minute. Add milk and stir until smooth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 8 minutes.

Remove from heat and add peas and lemon juice. Spoon mixture into oven-proof dish. Cover with thawed phyllo crust. Bake until golden and bubbling, 20-25 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

28 October 2007

A Green Christmas

This year, I am designing my first line of holiday cards--- and made the commitment that they will all be on 100% recycled paper. As my business grows, I am more and more cognizant that about my responsibilities and the choices I make about my products. I try to live in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner in my daily life, and am making a more concerted effort to carry that over into my business practices.

I love the natural kraft paper with folkloric and botanical prints (available in my Etsy shop).

27 October 2007

Arthur Wesley Dow

Last weekend my husband and I went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the exhibit "Symbols of Power: Napoleon and the Art of Empire Style". The exhibit itself was a bust (I find the Napoleonic aesthetic rather hideous), but I was pleased to discover a small collection of printmaker Arthur Wesley Dow in a small side exhibit.

Dow's cyanotypes and prints are so lovely, delicate, and natural. They recall not only the era in which they were made, but the sunprints I made as a child and the Zen calm of Asian art.

24 October 2007

Angela Adams Rug

If you haven't noticed from the cards in my Etsy shop, I adore deer. Which is exactly why I'm coveting this rug from Angela Adams (via Oh Joy).

23 October 2007

Literary Leanings

I have both my B.A. and M.A. in English and have been an avid reader all my life. I love books as objects as well. I collect old books (I have about ten different editions of Jane Eyre alone) and find myself drawn to colorful, vintage covers--- especially with my growing interest in graphic design and printmaking.

These are two of my favorite covers, from the first editions of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Not only did both these books change the way I think about the world, but the design of each cover is lovely to consider.

I was also thrilled to stumble upon Kate Spade's "An Argument for Looking at Books Instead of Reading Them," an online collection of fabulous book covers from the 1950s and 60s. You can even download gorgeous book covers like the one below.

19 October 2007

Fall Fruit at 3191

I love these images of seasonal fruits from my favorite visual blog, 3191. Cozy, lush, and just plain pretty.

18 October 2007

Charley Harper's Birds

Oh Joy! recently had a post on print artist Charley Harper, and I just had to find out more about him. I love the midcentury color palette, I think his prints of birds are particularly gorgeous. It makes me want to learn so much more about printmaking.

There is a great slide show of Harper's print and more on the new book of his work by designer Todd Oldham here.

Meet Chesney

Chesney is my six year old Jack Russell mix who is finally calming down. Chesney came into my life during graduate school at a time when I really needed some furry, unconditional love. He and I have been together ever since. And it was tough on him when I met my husband--- who was referred to (in our human heads, at least) as the "evil stepfather" for quite some time.

Chesney's quirky personality brings humor to my life almost every day, in one form or another. Along with him, my general love of dogs inspired a new line of "dog pun" cards. The "Jack Russell Terrorist" is first in the series, and designs two and three are coming soon!

All card designs are available in my Etsy shop.

17 October 2007

News From Nowhere

After experiencing some success (and having a lot of fun) on Etsy with my Gocco cards and prints, I decided to formally name my line and open a new shop under the moniker Paper Menagerie.

This blog will show my works in progress, finished projects, and where I get my inspiration from. Hope you enjoy!
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