Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Crafting

I've been thinking about the Earth and Earth Day all month, as the theme of my Etsy team monthly challenge was to create an eco-friendly/Earth Day craft. These challenges are so fun and they really force me to stretch and think outside the box.

Here are a few of my favorites:

This (on the left) is made from grocery bags by Something from Nothin'.

This (on the right) is made from VHS tape by Duncan Creative!




This was made using eco-friendly ecolana yarn by Sarah's Amiables. Looks SO soft!


And this is mine: made from old blue jeans! The two pairs of jeans I used were long ago made into cut-offs, but were once my favorite jeans! I think I got them in high school and wore them for the next 10 years!

If you'd like to vote for your favorite, you can check them all out on this post and vote using the poll on the upper right of the blog.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Green Goodness

I've been busily working away to prepare for my show, but I've taken lots of time out to enjoy the lovely weather and to make yummy food for myself (and Michele, if she's home). Recently, I made the most delicious Spinach Soup. I grabbed a recipe card from the grocery store and made this super easy, super delicious soup in about 15 minutes! I've found the recipe online to share it with you all as well. Oh, it's so good. I added a dash (or five) of cayenne pepper to give it a kick & it put it over the top. Just a note of a couple changes I made, if you do decide to use the recipe I've linked here:
  1. I used vegetable stock, instead of chicken stock (of course).
  2. I used Mrs. Dash and salt instead of the special seasoning salt the recipe called for (personally, I love Mrs. Dash and use it in place of pretty much every seasoning called for in savory recipes!).
  3. I added the aforementioned cayenne pepper.
  4. I omitted the poached egg that adorns the soup when finished.
If you decide to make it, please let me know how you like it! I felt like I was eating liquid sunshine (albeit GREEN liquid sunshine)!

Blog Neglect

I'm guilty of serious blog neglect. Spring is here, the sun is shining, and I have a show coming up, all of which have combined to make my life incredibly busy, but incredibly full and ripe for blog posts. I actually have several that I've 1/2 written in my head but need to get down on "paper," so be prepared for a few disjointed thoughts in the next few posts (as if my thoughts weren't disjointed enough normally!).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Beauty

I went for a long walk with my friend, Ed, today and as we were walking through the woods we came upon two deer. For a split second, their eyes met with ours and I felt a connection. Then they went on their way and we went on ours. After that experience, Ed, who carries his camara with him always, said, "That would have been a great picture, but at least we saw it." Then we had a discussion about the idea that beauty is in the seeing of the scene, whatever that scene may be. Art is in the communication of that beauty to others. I really liked the sound of that and thought I'd share it with you.

And I wanted to say that I looked, but didn't see any mushrooms on our walk today. I'm not sure if it's just not mushroom season here yet or if I didn't look hard enough (which is probably the case.) But, not to worry, Teresa and Anne, I will not be picking and/or eating any mushrooms found either in the woods or in the grocery store. I've tried HARD, but just never developed a tolerance for mushrooms, in general (though, finely chopped portobellos are divine stuffed in ravioli and smothered in smoked cheese sauce (then again, what isn't yummy smothered in cheese sauce!).).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mushrooming

Michele's brother Tim is what I would consider a very trendy, with-it kinda guy. He's my brother's age (just older than me and just younger than Kym and Michele) and enjoys hanging out with his friends, drinking, fishing, and . . . mushrooming! I'd never heard of mushrooming, or mushroom hunting, before, but Tim was telling Michele that for the next few weeks he'll be pretty busy because it's fishing and mushroom season. When she relayed that information to me, I got so curious and immediately fired off a series of questions, some she couldn't answer and a few she could:
  • What is mushroom season? The time of the year folks go mushroom hunting.
  • Hunh? What is mushroom hunting? It's when you go out and pick mushrooms. I know lots of mushroomers. It's really popular in Mansfield [Ohio (where Tim lives & Michele and Tim grew up)].
  • Really? LOTS of mushroomers? What do they do with all those mushrooms. Eat them.
  • How many mushrooms do they gather? Do they eat them all? Do they gather them for a particular recipe? What kinds do they pick? Why? Do they sell them at a farmer's market? Who in the world goes mushroom hunting?
At this point Michele stopped even trying to answer my questions and promised to call Tim to find out everything I'd ever want to know about mushroom hunting. I don't know if it's because I don't particularly like mushrooms or what, but I've truly never heard of such a phenomena. I mean, I know that the ones in the grocery store are picked by people, but I had no idea that regular folks made an event of going out and picking mushrooms! I hope I never stopped being surprised with new and fascinating information!

Any mushroomers out there who'd like to educate me more?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Livin' the Dream

From the time I first started creating things with my mind and my hands, I dreamt of selling my creations at a craft show. The dream didn't end there, however. I dreamt of selling my creations at a craft show with my mom by my side. It wasn't possible for my first show, but I am so excited that my mom will be right by my side for show number two in May! The Mayday! Underground show is shaping up to be a terrific success even before I've sold a thing! Livin' the dream with Mum means it will be a joyous day no matter what!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter

And wouldn't every Easter be a little happier if we all had a cookie like this one baked by my neighbor, Rita, for her little niece? It's actually the size of a small basket and has a real egg baked in the center of it. Rita says it's a traditional Italian Easter cookie and she told me the name of it, but I cannot remember what it's called. Whatever it is, it's pretty cool, and likely tastes delicious! And what fun for the recipient! I hope everyone has a lovely Easter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Back from the Wild Blue Yonder

Thank you all so much for the lovely comments on my anniversary post! Very kind words both here and on Facebook. Michele and I had a wonderful weekend together. We went to "The Grand Canyon of the East" (aka Letchworth Park). It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect: very sunny, but still cool enough that hiking was manageable. We've actually wanted to go since before we moved to the area, but it's taken five or so years for us to actually make it. It was well worth the wait!


After our whirlwind anniversary weekend, both Michele and I needed to head out of town for work: she to Wisconsin and I to North Carolina. I spent Monday through Wednesday visiting a co-development partner with several others from my company. We worked long and hard and were very productive! The coolest thing was that we stayed at the Proximity Hotel, which is "The Greenest Hotel in North America!" The space was amazing:
  • 60% of the water for the hotel and restaurant is heated by the sun (see the solar panels!)
  • The elevators GENERATE electricity going down that is used going up - too cool!
  • The wood for the bars was salvaged from trees downed during storms
And if I didn't watch a video and read several articles (and thoroughly explore their website), I wouldn't have noticed any of the cool "green" things about the hotel. It looks and feels just like a fancy, upscale hotel - it's just made ├╝bercool because of how lightly it "walks" on the earth!

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