Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet Weekend

Dying flowers, that are still pretty. 
 Happy Monday! It was a gorgeous weekend here. We celebrated Nik's birthday on Saturday (actual b-day was on Sunday,) with some friends at a local place. Friends, food, laughs, and the start of Oktoberfest, what more do you need?

Lemon Mousse Pie, for Nik's birthday. mmmm...

Nik also had a little (HUGE) surprise for me on Saturday...we went to the local park to play some games on the ipad in the pretty sunshine, and he gave me this beautiful book that he had made, and asked me to marry him. I said yes, obviously! :D 

The most beautiful book ever! :D

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Cards!

I Miss Your Face.
I have a few new card designs to share today, that I've finally gotten up in the shop. More to come soon with calendars and new prints!

Which is your fave? I think I like "i miss your face." the best...

Woodland Party
Welcome Baby!

Eat Cake

Hello Hedgehog

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chicago Road Trip, Part 2

Annnnd here are the rest of the (phone) photos I took on my road trip to Chicago last week. Turns out, it's hard to take photos driving, but the scenery on the drive wasn't anything spectacular anyways. The prettiest part is from western NY-->NYC, near Naples NY. It's super-pretty there, especially in Autumn. The leaves were just hinting at starting to change color when I drove through. 

In Chicago, my friend and I went to the Swedish-American Museum in his neighborhood. There was a special exhibit on the first floor, paintings by Jennifer Saxell. They were nice, and reminded me of quilts. Upstairs in the museum were lots of cool relics from the passage of people from Sweden to America. 

Left poster shows all the food each person was given at the beginning of their voyage to America, Right shows the clothing/utilities they could pack.

This blew my mind! It's a terrible photo, but it's called a "Spit Cake."  They dripped cake batter over the spit, shown on the left, over an open fire, and it made the cake on the right. 

West Side Market in Cleveland, OH. My friend took me here for the best ever falafel and hummus. 

Lake Erie

Took my Mom and sister out to lunch to a favorite place from college. Veg platter from Aladdins, in Pittsford NY. 

Aladdins is right alongside the Erie Canal. Pretty!

I love this time of year when summer is kinda lingering, but with a hint of Autumn in the air.

My mom's pretty flowers

Bam and my sister, Jenna.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Renegade Chicago 2012

Hello! I'm back from a whirlwind trip to Chicago for this year's Renegade Craft Fair! It was crazy-successful and I packed a lot into my week-long trip. I drove to Chicago solo this year, and let me tell you, that was a LONG drive. I stopped in Cleveland, OH for an hour to have lunch with a friend, and then continued on my journey last thursday. After 3 hours of sleep the night before, leaving at 4:30am, and drinking a crap-ton of coffee, I finally made it to another friend's home in Chicago around 8pm that night. Phew. I had a free day on Friday, in which we stayed local to my friend's neighborhood in Andersonville, checking out the local Swedish-American Museum, and then heading to the Chicago Diner later on. I had a heart-attack-scare that night when we went to go to my rental car, and found an empty spot and a paper sign suddenly saying that it was now a tow-away zone (wasn't there in the morning when I moved my car there!) We freaked out, I called 311 and gave them the license plate number, to which they told me it wasn't in the system. They transferred me to the towing place and the same thing, no record of it in the system. I was beginning to think the worst, that it had been stolen, until the lady on the phone asked me if I had looked around the area for the car. Um, no? Apparently it is common for them to just MOVE the car instead of towing it away. I thanked her and my friend and ran around the blocks looking for the car. Found it a few blocks away! No ticket or boot or anything. Crazy. And weird! I've never ever heard of that happening before!

Renegade was awesome! I was so happy to have my full display this year (I flew last year, so basically only brought inventory and not much in terms of display items.) I was matched up with the same awesome ladies that I shared a booth with in Brooklyn this year, Mr. Sogs Handmade Creatures. Our stuff goes well together and the sisters are super-fun booth-mates. The weather was absolutely amazing and the crowds really came out. I sold so much stuff and all my new stuff went over really well. You can peek at my new Dogs and Cats calendars here, as well as the 24 new illustrations in it, and they will all be up in the shop in a week or so. Turns out, Chicago loves cats more than dogs! I'm pretty curious to see what is more popular in Brooklyn during upcoming holiday shows...

After a great weekend, I hit the road again Monday morning and headed to Cleveland again, to have a longer lunch-dinner with the same friend, and afterwards driving to Livonia, NY to hang with the family for a day or so. I finally made it back to Brooklyn Wednesday afternoon and it was utter relief to return that rental car and get back on public transportation. I'm still playing catch-up being home and trying to get back into the groove. I have lots of new things to show you! I'll have another post soon with some of the sights from my trip, other than my booth. 


Monday, September 3, 2012

Vegan Homemade Cheeses

Hello September! Did anyone wake up this weekend and have that holy-crap-time-is-moving-too-fast moment? I did. I think I do every September. It's like someone just hit the "play" button after the slow-moving sorta-lazy summer. Like BAM, get-a-move-on because the holidays are going to be on top of us any minute now. Maybe that's just me, prepping for my busy season and the psychology of the shift in seasons happening. Leaves were totally falling from the trees this weekend!

I'm down-right psyched for Fall. Bring it on. I've been feeling that itch to be in the kitchen again (after trying to avoid it in the heat of the summer), to organize my space and purge, and to work on five different projects all at once. That desire to cook and bake things again is exciting and as a result I bought a few new cookbooks recently. One of those was Artisan Vegan Cheese, by Miyoko Schinner, and I am having sooo much fun with it. I've made two of the cheeses so far, Fresh Mozzarella and the Sharp Cheddar. Both are made from culturing cashews, using the homemade Rejuvelac (also in the book.) The Fresh Mozzarella is very soft (like a soft tofu texture), very easy to spread, but stays in those little ball shapes nicely too. It has a really mild and creamy flavor that was pretty amazing paired with some fresh tomatoes, basil, olive oil/balsamic dressing. Like whoa.

The Sharp Cheddar is my favorite on it's own, and the author says this just keeps getting better with age. I'm heading out of town for a week on Thursday, so I'm really curious on how the taste will change when I'm gone. I cultured this one for four days and it was so fun to taste a little bit each day and see how much the flavor changed. It tasted very much like miso and nutritional yeast the first day and then it magically took on this very tangy cheesy taste after a few days. The texture changed, creating little pockets of air. It didn't get super-firm after refrigeration, but that's okay. It's tasty on it's own and spread on some homemade bean burgers in a wrap. I need to make some crackers to spread it on!

Next up, I am planning on trying one of the air-dried cheeses, perhaps the Brie, and the meltable mozzarella and muenster (just need to locate or order an ingredient). Nik was super-weirded out by my strange kitchen experiments, but he liked them both after I forced him to try them! I'm not really sure how close these taste to their dairy versions, but I do know that they are damn tasty in their own right and that they are super-fun to make. I will update on them as I make more!