22 December 2007

Branching Out in 2008

I'll be taking a bit of a blogging break and will return in January to show you lots of new projects, ideas, and inspirations. Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy New Year.

Tabletop Christmas Trees

We barely have enough room in our place for an, erm, table, but I love the idea of tabletop Christmas trees. I remember a childhood neighbor who used to have tabletop trees in every room of her house, including her child's bedrooms. It seemed so magical at the time. These images are from Martha Stewart.

18 December 2007

Winter Comfort Food: Curried Lentils

Last night it was bitter cold in Boston, and cooking vegetarian comfort food is, well, so comforting. Cooking is definitely a relaxing activity for me. I made a simplified version of Indian food--- curried lentils (the recipe is here) over brown basmati rice. It's fabulous leftover, too.

17 December 2007

Blueprint's Soft, Pretty Christmas

There's been a lot of sadness over Blueprint magazine closing shop, and I thought I would post a few fresh images from their Christmas issue. I only picked up the magazine a few times, but I really liked their younger take on decorating (younger without cheesy dorm furniture, that is).

The blog Bluelines (an extension of the magazine) is still available online, for all those who need a fix.

16 December 2007

Gazing from my window to the streets below . . .

On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.

Said Simon and Garfunkel. Happy Sunday morning from a perfectly snowy, quiet Boston.

Green, Wasabi Wonderfulness

Please note that I do not take full credit for this recipe. It's a simplification/combination/variation of two recipes from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics and Jeanette Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures.

To prepare tofu:

3 tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 block firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combined all ingredients except for tofu. Toss tofu in mixture until well coated. Spread on tightly oiled baking dish with some space between cubes. Bake for 15-20 minutes, while preparing rest of meal.

Wasabi Noodles with Greens

1 crown broccoli, chopped
2-3 heads baby bok choy, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 8 oz. package soba noodles
1 and 3/4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp wasabi (paste, not powder)

Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add soba noodles and boil for 7-8 minutes, until almost done. While noodles and vegetables are cooking, combine vegetable stock, tamari, mirin, and wasabi to a small pot. Bring to a boil. Add broccoli to soba noodles. After one minute, add bok choy. Wait another 1-2 minutes. Drain noodle and vegetables.

In a large shallow, bowl, ladle wasabi broth over soba noodles and vegetables. Top with baked tofu and scallions. Enjoy a really comforting but healthy meal!

15 December 2007

Craft, Inc. Review

For the last couple of months, the book Craft, Inc. has been making the blog rounds. Written by Meg Mateo Ilasco, it seems to be the "must read" for everyone setting up Etsy shops and longing to do their craft full time.

I read the book back in November and would recommend it to others. While I found some information rather basic and common sense (and readily available on the web for free), the book has inspiring profiles of independent designers who "went pro," including Jonathan Adler and Port2Port Press. There's also a handy list of web resources in the back of the book, information on building wholesale accounts, and tips on considering trade shows. Overall, it's a good reminder of all the things I should be doing . . . someday.

14 December 2007

Rural Decay

I love old places. I love open spaces. I grew up in Vermont and have a irrational fondness for tumbledown barns and rotting fence posts. I've traveled to places like Provence and driven cross country, and my favorite sights are always "old and musty," for lack of a better term.

That's why I was so pleased to discover the Rural Decay pool on Flickr today. It's a visual tour of the beauty of overlooked and forgotten things.

08 December 2007

Les Invasions Ephemeres

The vinyl wall decals from Paris-based company Les Invasions Ephemeres have been making the blog rounds lately, and I can totally see why. I'm lusting after both the pink Liberty-print deer decals and the Marie Antoinette-style ceiling decals. Just lovely. Now if I only had a Paris apartment to put them in . . .

Stop in The Name of Craft, and Another Holiday Show

I was with the lovely ladies of Boston Handmade this past Thursday as we participated in the Jamaica Plain First Thursdays on Centre Street. I cannot say enough lovely things about the community--- it's like the Vermont of Boston neighborhoods. People always stop to say hi, ask you about your process, and are truly interested in your work. I love doing shows here (plus, it helps that Miss Jessica Burko seems to anyone and everyone in JP).

BUT . . . did I mention we had a space in a bank lobby? Wainwright Bank was kind enough to lend us a space and it went very smoothly until the end of the night, when a rather aggressive armed security officer appeared, told us the alarms were going off (unbeknownst to us), and that no one was leaving without showing him their ID. Six little crafty ladies stood strong, everyone refused, and the whole mess was finally cleared up when the owner of the building came in. Hrrrmmm . . . perhaps this is one of those "you had to be there" situations.

In case you are doing any holiday shopping this weekend, I will be showing at the Holiday Arts Happening in Worcester, MA this Sunday from 11:00 to 6:00. You can click on the link for directions and other artists. Hope to see you there!

02 December 2007

Let It Snow

Feeling festive? Use old plastic toys or vintage figurines to make adorable homemade snow globes. The how-to is available on Martha.

Terrariums on Flickr

Awhile back I posted about my desire for a terrarium, along with a lovely picture of Ann Wood's version (you can see that post here).

Some Etsy people were very helpful in giving me some advice, and hobbledehoy found a whole Flickr pool of terrarium images! I posted some of the most inspiring above.

I plan on gathering some lichen, moss, and ferns near my family's cabin in Vermont. I wonder if I can do this successfully in winter, or if I need to wait until spring? I'm also shopping around for some cute vintage figurines to place in the container.

All this thinking about plants also reminded me that I'm woefully behind if I want to force paperwhite bulbs in time for Christmas! Oh, the projects I come up with . . .
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