26 October 2008

a little hope (or maybe a big one)

I've pretty much abstained from talking politics here, but after spending an afternoon door-knocking for Obama and making sure people know where and how to vote, I feel that I have to share a little bit of that here. I'm working on managing my serious anxiety that things will not turn out the way they might be looking right now (and they are looking good). Or that something terrible might happen even if the election does go the way I want it to. Visions like this one make me so hopeful. But I'm so saddened (and frankly nauseated) by all of the hate and divisions that have arisen throughout these past months (there are some ugly youtube videos if you're really interested to hear what some people are saying about Obama and the Democrats; I'd rather not share them here). We think racism is gone in this country, but it is not. No matter how this election turns out, we know that our work is nowhere near complete.

Now get out there and vote! (If you live in the U.S.) And make sure that everyone you know is going to vote. Make sure you know the election laws in your state. Many states (like Minnesota) allow same day voter registration, so don't stay home because you think you're ineligible. There are lots of groups offering rides to polls, childcare, or anything you need to get yourself to the polls on November 4. Because we cannot afford to be silent, everyone's voice deserves to be heard. Especially yours.

24 October 2008

new cards in the shop!

Good evening friends! I wanted to let you know that I've put some new cards in the shop. I've been working on some regular updates over there, but I didn't want to bombard you with announcements every time I put new stuff up there. I thought I'd just remind you to keep checking over there if you're interested since I'm adding a few things here and there. Tonight, I've put six new cards up and a few more will be there tomorrow. Some of them are similar designs to what I've done in the past, and some are a totally new concept.

I've always been a big proponent of recycling and using found or old materials. Much of the fabric I use is vintage or thrifted. I just love giving such beautiful fabric a second chance on life. It reminds me of when I was younger and used to shop at The Body Shop. I had this comb that was plastic and printed on the side was something like "in my next life, I want to come back as a soapdish."

Anyways, a while back I was flipping through a Design Within Reach catalog and noticing the cool photographs on many of the pages. I started ripping them out, knowing that I'd come up with a project for them later. They sat in a stack next to my sewing table for months, until finally I got around to cutting and sewing them up into envelopes and using up the leftover scraps for the front of the cards.

LinkI just love these envelopes. At first, I contemplated selling just the envelopes, but then decided to just go ahead and make matching cards. Would any of you just buy some cool envelopes ever? I'd be curious if that's a good idea or not.

Also, I want to offer something a little special to all of you who have supported me here and at my shop, it really means a lot to me knowing that there are people out there reading what I'm writing and encouraging and inspiring me in all these adventures. Soooo, if you purchase anything at the shop, go ahead and type in "minecreationsfriend" in the notes to seller section, and I will refund you a 15% discount. Seriously, you people rock.

Anyways, I hope you all have a great weekend. I'll probably pop in here over the weekend as I have so much to share now and Jared's gone until Sunday (his birthday's tomorrow though!). Also, 'Roid Week starts on Monday, so I'll be sharing some new polaroids next week too...

23 October 2008

pumpkin carving

LinkLast night was my friend Milena's annual pumpkin carving party. It was a little more low key than in previous years (last year we had a few people bring power tools for carving their pumpkins), but still super fun. Featuring warm chili, delicious pumpkin bars, excellent pumpkins, and an adorable four year old who drew on every mini-pumpkin there and gave us each one to keep.

I also picked up these other funky pumpkins at Whole Foods. I got a lot of weird looks in there, but I think they're great! I'm not really that into holiday decorating, and at this point I have no costume or plans for Halloween (other than giving out candy to the neighbor kids). I'm not anti-Halloween, I just rarely seem to have any good ideas. Except when my friend and I dressed up as regional pie eating champions and staged a pie eating contest at the party. It was a draw.

How about you all? Anyone have any suggestions for me? What are your Halloween plans?

22 October 2008

fall is here (have i mentioned that yet?)

I promise there will be something crafty or food related very very soon, I know it's been a while. I do have lots to share. I'm on the brink of completing my first little knitting project in months, and (much to my mom's joy) I am definitely in the knitting zone right now. I almost bought more yarn the other day when I stopped in to get some needles, but I'm working on using up the big tub of yarn that I've accumulated from my mom and her very generous friends. Anyways, this week, I'll give you a little peek.

In other news, fall is still here. And it's inching towards winter. Not yet, not yet. Do not worry. But we finally turned on the heat last night. I was trying to be tough and wait until November (I have absolutely no idea why), but I was shivering and so it was. I also baked a delicious loaf of my favorite banana bread last night, an activity I highly recommend on cool fall evenings when one is recovering from carrying a car battery around the night before (do not ask) and must help one's boyfriend with an English paper all night. Go ahead, give it a try. Oh, and leave the oven door open after you're done and try standing there for a couple of minutes. It'll really make your night.

These photos are some more from my long walk last week. I should have a few more photos from the dessert to share with you soon.

20 October 2008

in the desert

here are just a few shots of my weekend in arizona. we celebrated my grandpa's 85th birthday. we ate a lot. we laughed. we biked a lot. and my family sat in the car with the ac on while jared and i hopped out to try to get some desert shots (it was hot). i'll share some more when i get the film back. but for now, it's good to be home.

16 October 2008

more fall loveliness

Here are some of the photos I took on my walk the other afternoon. I'm headed out of town in about an hour. Somewhere that will look very different from these photos. It's 95 degrees where I'm headed, and I'm not looking forward to it. The weather, that is. The weekend should be great. My grandfather's 85th birthday. I'll be back next week, hopefully with some desert photos to share. Until then, enjoy these...

13 October 2008

a walk

One of my goals over the summer, which I didn't really achieve, was to take more walks. I woke up this morning really feeling like I needed to spend some time outside. I was pretty bummed all day because it was pouring rain, and I kept thinking that I wouldn't get a chance to have an after work walk. Miraculously, as soon as I got home, it cleared up and turned into a beautiful, crisp, sunny, fall evening. After seeing all these photos (here too), I was really craving getting out and taking photos. Of course, it would have been great, if I could have done it in the company of fourteen women and thirty cameras. But instead, it was just me. And two cameras.

Note to self: ALWAYS bring extra rolls of film. I had only made it about three blocks from my house when I finished my roll. I kept going. I decided to head to walgreens and try out the one hour photo there. I figured I'd buy a new roll there, bum around and shoot some film for an hour, and by the time I got home from my walk, I'd already have all the film shots ready to scan and share. Unfortunately, my local walgreens appears to be the only one in existence that doesn't develop in matte. Argh. The place I bring my film is a little out of the ways, and I never get my film quickly because of that. I was a little hopeful that I could get some more instant gratification, with only a little sacrificed quality. But, it was a no-go.

Oh well.
I still had a beautiful walk. And I'll drop off (and maybe pick up) my film tomorrow. For now, I have a couple spectra shots to share. And my contribution to Shari's week of paths. I hope you all get a chance to get outside for a nice walk sometime this week.

12 October 2008


Well, the show went great! I had lots of fun and did pretty well. A huge shout out to the fine ladies of i like you, for organizing yet another wonderful event. The shop is now updated with some new goodies, and I will add some more tomorrow and will continue to keep it stocked for the rest of the fall (and beyond, I hope!). If there's anything you've seen in these preview photos that you're interested in, but don't see up in the shop, just let me know. I can get it up there for you, or if it's sold, I can work with you for a custom order. Just a note, I am going out of town on Thursday, so anything ordered between Wednesday and Monday will not be shipped until next Tuesday.

These are some photos of my table today, mostly for my mom who made a special request for some photos. I've spent quite a while working on my displays and there's still a lot I'd like to improve, namely the bag rack! Right now, I'm using an old microphone stand of Jared's, which works really well, but just doesn't look so cute. What I'd really love is a vintage coat rack. I continue to keep my eye out for a good one. I do love using the suitcases for display though, and they work perfectly for transporting all my goods too! Anyways, I'm off to bed now. I hope you all had lovely weekends!

11 October 2008

sneak peek

I promised a little preview of tomorrow's show and next week's shop update, so here we are. These are just two more of the products I've been working on, one of them new, one old. I've already shown you the scarves, and the zippy pouches. I also have a boatload of cards, some in a totally new direction (I just haven't had a chance to photograph those yet), as well as a bunch of other goodies. Whatever doesn't sell tomorrow will be slowly added to the shop, beginning Monday, and I hope to continue to keep the shop stocked through the end of the year.

Up top there are a couple of the new snappy pouches for this fall. I've given or sold some of these to friends since I started making them, and I'm always super psyched to find out that they use them on a daily basis (my friend Jim, who bought one last December, showed me his recently and it's totally black from using it so much! I told him they were machine washable).

I'm really excited about these notebooks, it's an idea I've had brewing for quite a while, since I made some that were similar (though without the cover design) for holiday presents last year. I first stumbled on the concept of sewing notebooks like that over here, and then jumped right on it as part of my holiday gift extravaganza last year. Each book has 20 pages of blank paper inside and they are pretty sturdy. They'd be perfect for that everyday notebook you carry around at all times to jot down all your brilliant ideas.

Anyways, again, if any of you are local, please come by the VFW on Lake St. and Lyndale Avenue tomorrow from 10am-5pm (and don't forget to come downstairs, where I'll be), I'd love to meet you. For you non-locals, I'll begin stocking the shop on Monday. Happy weekend everyone!

ps: my friend Claire just opened her etsy shop today, go check it out!

10 October 2008

hello friday afternoon.

I don't know where you came from, or how you got here so fast, but you are most welcome. This week has clearly flown by over here, I don't know about you all. Yesterday, I mentioned to my mom that I was thinking of starting a little knitting project to bring with me on our family trip to Arizona next week (Grandpa's turning 85!). As usual, she jumped on it and we proceeded to spend about an hour on ravelry looking for patterns for some of the yarn I have. Apparently, I had gotten my invitation to ravelry back in February, but never signed up. I guess I haven't been knitting in a while! So, I signed up, and we found this pattern. I started it last night and I really like it so far. It's pretty easy, and will be very pretty. I'm really into the patterns that look complicated, but really are very simple. Hmm, I wonder what that says about me? Anyways, so here I am, Friday afternoon, in between two busy weeks, listening to some good music, enjoying the sunny fall day, and working on my knitting. Happy Friday, friends!

ps: don't forget about handmaidens on Sunday! I'll have a little sneak preview of some more of my new goods here tomorrow, so be sure to check back!

07 October 2008

apple redux

You might remember last year, and how I got (fairly easily) talked into buying an entire bushel of apples. Well, this year I did so willingly. So far, we've had two batches of applesauce (I think about 7 quart jars), one batch of apple butter (7 pint jars), one apple crisp, one batch of apple muffins, three or four jars worth of dried apples, and I've still got a few pounds left. Hmm, maybe I'll buy a little less next year? Probably not. I've come to the realization that we need a chest freezer, because we're running out of room...

Anyways, I know I shared a few apple recipes with you all last year, and in an effort to not just repeat myself, I've got a new one here: Apple Cinnamon Granola. I used some of the dried apples that I made with the dehydrator that Jared's uncles lent us last year. If you can't make your own dried apples, just buy some at the store.

I've pretty much been making Molly's granola since I first posted about that recipe last spring, and as much as I love it, it was time for a bit of variety. I wanted something a little simpler, with not too many extras. So this one is super easy. You can totally add any other nuts or seeds that you might like, you just might have to increase the sweetener a little (depending on how sweet you like it).

Apple Cinnamon Granola

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds (or any other nut you want)
3/4 cup flax seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tbl canola oil.
about 1 cup of dried apples (chopped into small pieces)

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Mix the oats, nuts, flax seeds, cinnamon, and salt together in a big bowl. Once everything is well combined, add the applesauce, maple syrup, and canola oil. Mix well. Spread the mixture onto two baking sheets, you want it spread out pretty thinly so everything gets baked evenly. Bake for about 35 minutes, mixing it up every 10 minutes. Let it cool on the pans before transferring to another container and mixing in the dried apples. Enjoy!

02 October 2008

come say hi!

Thank you all for the amazingly sweet birthday wishes! You really know how to make a girl's day. I had a nice low-key day, nothing too out of the ordinary. But will be celebrating with Jared tonight and having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night.

I've mentioned recently that I'm preparing for an upcoming craft fair, so I just wanted to put the info out there for all you local folks! I would love to meet any of you who can make it. The show is on Sunday, October 12 at the Uptown VFW on Lyndale Ave. and Lake Street. It's sponsored by the amazing ladies over at i like you and will run from 10am-5pm. There will be a raffle, over 50 great vendors, and lots of fun. For those of you who aren't local, I will be updating my etsy shop with any leftovers on Monday October 13. I am hoping to keep the shop stocked through the end of the year, so keep your eye out for fall and holiday goodies!

01 October 2008

two six

Yup. It's my birthday. I was thinking about doing a birthday year list (as in 27 things to do before I turn 27), but since I just made my fall manifesto, I'm feeling like that's good enough for now. So instead, I thought I'd share 26 things about me. Here goes:
1. I grew up in Manhattan, and the first place I moved when I left was rural Vermont. My parents wondered what had happened to me.
2. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 20 years old (see above re: living in Manhattan).
3. My parents gave me my first car. Now Jared and I drive a 1983 (almost as old as me!) Mercedes station wagon that runs on biodiesel (when it's available).
4. I've also lived in Bar Harbor, Maine; Berkeley, California; Quito, Ecuador; and now, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
5. When I lived in Ecuador, I once spent a night riding in the back of a coconut truck. It wasn't so bad until it started to rain and the drivers had to put the tarp over the coconuts to keep them dry. I had to lie down on top of the coconuts, under the tarp.
6. I'm not claustrophobic. Or afraid of heights, or bugs.
7. I've traveled to 18 countries (that I can think of right now).
8. I've traveled to 24 states in the US, plus DC plus Puerto Rico (that I can think of right now).
9. I love to cook, but I love to bake even more.
10. I worked in a bakery for a year when I lived in Berkeley. I would totally do it again if it didn't require getting up so dang early.
11. Other jobs I've had include door-to-door fundraising, anti-sweatshop campaign organizing, sandwich/smoothie jerk, office assistant, climbing wall monitor, freelance event planner.
12. I once got kicked out of Niketown in New York (see above re: anti-sweatshop campaign organizer).
13. I have nine holes in my ears (total). Four of them were made with a safety pin by myself.
14. After I got my rook piercing, I passed out on the sidewalk. Luckily my best friend was standing right next to me and caught me. She laughed hysterically while yelling for help. Now she's a doctor. A nice stranger bought me some orange juice.
15. I have some pretty good scar stories, including a run-in with a ceiling fan, and a parasite that made its home in the side of my head for six weeks.
16. I've been a vegetarian since I was 12 (I think, having a hard time remembering) and have only eaten meat a few times since then (when I was in Ecuador and sort of had to. And by "had to" I mean a woman killed a chicken for me- you don't exactly refuse that!).
17. I love cheese. This is the single reason that I can never be a vegan.
18. I have 25 pairs of shoes. A few years ago, I think had 5. I blame my grandma for being a bad influence. And my mom. In a good way.
19. When I was in middle school I played the saxophone. I haven't played an instrument since, except for one sorry attempt to learn how to play the guitar in college. I sort of learned to play "Blackbird."
20. I think I'm tone deaf. Jared says there's no such thing.
21. Jared and I met at a party at his old apartment in San Francisco. He thought I was cute. Then his roommate (who was also my friend) set us up. I had to spend the night on our first date because I missed the train from SF back to Berkeley. It was not on purpose, I swear.
21. I really hate cats. And it's not just because I'm allergic to them. It's nothing personal against any particular cat, just the species in general. Sorry to all you cat lovers. I love dogs.
22. I have a very small immediate family--two parents, one brother, two first cousins, one grandparent, three aunts, one uncle-- but they've managed to scatter themselves all across the country.
23. Being far away from my family is the thing I hate most about living in Minnesota.
24. Being with Jared, having a job that I love, living in a city that exemplifies my values and has four seasons are some of the things I love most about living in Minnesota. And I do love living in Minnesota.
25. I love fall. And I even love winter (note to self: reread this in January). I missed cold weather when I lived in California.
26. When I was younger, people always thought I was younger than I was. Now, people always think I'm older (even though I'm kind of the baby of all my friends here, or maybe that's the reason). Sometimes, I forget how old I am. I'm pretty sure twenty-six is going to be a very good year.