29 May 2009

sf trip: part 4

The final installment of my San Francisco Trip, which by now feels like it was months ago. This last batch of photos comes from an incredible day with another incredible woman named Leah. This Leah, however, is not a new friend. We met when we both studied abroad on the same program in Ecuador in 2003. We were fast friends and spent a lot of time together while in Ecuador. We stayed close after returning to the states--she was in college in Maine, and I was in Vermont so we were able to visit each other.

After we graduated, we moved in together, with our other friend Mollie (also from the Ecuador trip) in Berkeley. Leah was actually probably the person who most got me to move to the Bay Area. Obviously I had lots of reasons, but I think it was really her who convinced me to actually move there. And I'm so grateful. We lived together for about a year, a great year. Certainly not a year without its ups and downs, like there always are. But despite any differences or disagreements we had, I will always know that Leah is just a really really good friend. When I found out my grandma died, she ditched a conference she was at for work and came straight home to be with me. I'll never forget that. She makes my brother laugh, which is a feat. And she makes me all around happy.

I was so glad I got spend a whole day with her, in her magical little corner of Oakland. Where we spent some time with her chickens, looked at books, watched a movie, walked her canoe (which was strapped to the top of a bike trailer) down to San Leandro Bay and went canoeing and just talked for hours.

More recently, despite us being in our own new-ish little worlds, our interests have continued to grow and take similar paths. We spent a lot of time that day talking about medicinal plants and herbalism, something Leah has learned a lot about, and I'm hoping to. She's recently taken up knitting. And for the past two years, we've had a jam swap, sending each other different types of jams that we've made over the summer/fall. Her passion and energy and curiosity and generosity is so inspiring. Despite being far away, and maybe not keeping in the closest touch, I know we'll always be friends.

24 May 2009

sf trip: part 3

Okay, okay. I know I've said this many many times here, but it is one-hundred percent true. The single greatest thing about blogging has been the people that I've met because of it. Seriously. In the last eight months, I have met, in person, a number of amazing ladies. Ladies that I most definitely consider to be my friends, not just my flickr/blog friends. It's wonderful.

Most recently, I got to hang out with Leah for an amazing day of lost car keys, cupcakes, windstorms, hot chocolate, massages, amazing conversations, and obviously way more cameras than I'd ever have expected to find among two women. For the record, I think there were approximately eight cameras present that afternoon.

I'm not really sure how better to describe the outing that we had together except to say that if you've ever had the feeling of meeting someone for the first time and truly feeling as though you've known each other since you were four, that was what happened. For reals. Also, she has the most incredible smile. Also...

21 May 2009

Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I love eating food that I've grown myself. I started my first garden when we moved to Minneapolis and as I embark on my third year, I think I'm more excited and energized about this than I have ever been before. Last year, I wrote about my first encounter with rhubarb, the first crop to show its face here in Minnesota. Even if I didn't love the taste of it (which I do), I would love it simply because it's what rings in the harvest for the year. Rhubarb is like the alarm sounding, it says "wake up! it's time to get harvesting (and planting, since it's usually ready to be eaten before anything else has even been planted yet!)". To be fair, this rhubarb was given to me by my boss, some excess from her plant, which is apparently way bigger than my own. Another thing I love about rhubarb is that it continues to produce throughout the season. I have a bunch of recipes I want to try, including another batch of raspberry-rhubarb jam!

You can read my post about rhubarb soda (which was made with my own first harvest of the season) over at homesteading, but I want to share with you this recipe for Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble. I would have to say that crumbles might be some of my favorite backed goods. They're so effortless, yet so delicious. This recipe came from an issue of Vegetarian Times (possibly sometime last year) and has only been slightly adapted. I think my favorite part about it is the fresh ginger in the topping, it adds such a wonderful, but unexpected, flavor. This would, obviously, be delicious with some kind of vanilla ice cream, but we didn't have any on hand. In fact, just this evening I was asking my mom about what ever happened to their ice cream maker, so if all goes according to plan, you may be seeing some recipes for ice cream and sorbet this summer too!

Oatmeal Rhubarb Crumble (adapted from Vegetarian Times)

Rhubarb Filling:
1-1.5 lbs rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 Tbl. arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup pecan halves
2 Tbl. canola oil
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9"x9" (or equivalent) baking dish. Toss all ingredients for filling together in a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes. Place all topping ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mixture is chunky and begins to hold together. Spoon rhubarb mixture into baking dish. If there is any excess liquid (there may or may not be) discard it. Spread topping mixture over the top and bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is lightly browned. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

{PS: I'm not quite done with the SF posts, two more I think, but I just had to take a break to share this recipe with you all!! Also, I'm thinking that the shop update will be on Tuesday sometime. And also, for all you feed readers, there is FINALLY a new header, no more winter!}

19 May 2009

sf trip: part 2

I moved to California after I graduated college. I had already lived there for a summer, and had a place to live with some friends. I didn't want to stay in Vermont (where I had gone to college) and I didn't want to move back to New York. Also, even though my entire family is from New York/New Jersey, about half of them lived in California--including my brother, my aunt and uncle and two cousins, and my two other aunts. My mom's sister and her husband live just south of San Francisco and their home definitely became my home away from home while I was living there. At the time, one of my cousins was living with them, while her older sister was not too far away, and the same for my brother. While my dad's sisters lived farther south, in Santa Cruz and San Diego.

Just about every Sunday night, I'd take BART down to the southern-most station where someone would pick me up and bring me over to their house (this was until the last few months I was there, when I finally got a car). We'd hang out, have snacks, eat a delicious dinner and dessert, watch the last few minutes of 60 Minutes, when we all got a laugh out of Andy Rooney complaining about something, then the Simpsons, and then go home. It was perfect. When I was growing up, we didn't get to travel that much back and forth to visit so it was such a treat to get to spend so much time with my aunt and uncle, and with my cousins (one of whom is just a few weeks younger than me and the other one is a few months older than my brother), who are our only first cousins. Sunday dinners is one of the things I miss most about living in California. And not having family in Minnesota is the biggest downer about living here, for sure.

During my trip, I got to have a wonderful Sunday dinner, and then stay over at my aunt and uncle's house. Have I mentioned how much I love their house? I don't even really know how to describe it, but I hope these photos give a little bit of peek into the coziness. I think I love all the little corners and "things" around the house. And all the little "things" aren't just "things"--they have a story, or a history. I love that this house is more than a house, it's a home. It's lived in. I'm glad I documented all these little corners, looking at these photos now is making me really happy.

18 May 2009

sf trip: part 1

Hi everyone! Things are finally starting to calm down over here, so I thought I'd finally tell you about my trip to San Francisco. I've been home for over two weeks, but it's been such a crazy busy two weeks that I'm only just getting to scan my three rolls of film now!

The main reason I went out to California was for my dear friend's bachelorette weekend celebration. We had a surprise engagement party for her and her fiancee (and thirty of their nearest and dearest friends) on Friday evening, the day I arrived. It was a blast, and they were totally surprised (I realized that it's pretty easy to keep it a secret when you only finalize the plans a week in advance!).

On Saturday, ten of us women rented a white limo (which, I just realized I didn't get any photos of!) and headed up to Sonoma for a little bit of wine tasting. The day was pretty much as gorgeous as it could have been and, despite a few minor mishaps, we all had a wonderful time. We went to two vineyards, whose names I cannot remember, both of which were outdoors, which was so key. We had some good wine, sat in the sun, but most of all, just hung out together. It was good... (see more photos here)

Back tomorrow with part 2 (and I'll let you know soon when the next shop update will be)

15 May 2009

another preview

Happy Friday everyone!! I hope you've all had a great day, or are at least looking forward to a great weekend. My week was crazy busy--yesterday I left the house at 7:30am and didn't get home until 10pm! But then I took today off and spent most of the day in the garden, woohoo! I'll have lots of garden goodness to report next week. I also plan to begin blogging more over at homesteading (where I've been a little remiss this past month, or maybe more!) so be sure to check that out in the next week or so.

In the meantime, another preview from my show coming up tomorrow and Sunday. These are a couple of new bags that I've been working on this week. They are similar to some simple little totes that I made a few years back, but the design is a little more interesting, with the stripe of contrasting fabric (or vintage lace) a bit off center. These also have a small pocket inside and close with a magnetic snap. Again, if there are any leftover after Sunday, they will be in the shop next week (I'll let you know exactly when, probably Wednesday or Thursday). If not, I will make some more soon.

Just a reminder, for all you local folks, Johnstock is Saturday, 10-6 and Sunday 10-3 on Johnson Street NE between 28th and 29th Street (across the street from Crafty Planet). And while you're there, you can check out all the other great open studios and shows that are part of Art-a-Whirl. Have a great weekend!

11 May 2009


One of the things that's been keeping me so busy these days has been preparing for an awesome craft show that's coming up this weekend. This weekend will mark the third year that I am participating in Johnstock, a super fun spring craft show in NE Minneapolis (Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am-5pm in the Johnson Street Merchants Parking Lot- across the street from Crafty Planet). I hope any of you who are local can come out and say hi, I'd love to see you! I still have some products leftover from my December craft shows, and my last shop update, so I didn't have too much to make. But I wanted to work on some new designs that I've come up with in the past few months. I'll have some new, summery patchwork scarves that are backed in a lovely lightweight chambray, perfect for summer nights.

I'll also have some more pleated clutches, which I think might become essential for little summer outings (though this may require getting a basket on my bike, since there's no strap/handle). I'm also working on a couple of simple totes that will be ready by the weekend as well (I'll post photos later in the week). For those of you who aren't local, I'll be posting leftovers in the shop sometime next week.

10 May 2009

some favorites

LinkHappy Sunday (and Mother's Day!) everyone. I hope you've all had a lovely weekend so far. I certainly have. Things have continued to be busy busy here and I certainly have a lot to share, so I'll hopefully have some time this week (I know I keep saying that, but I really do mean it). In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of my favorites from Polaroid Week (click on the mosaic for individual photo credits, and as always, you can find my polaroids here). There was so much beautiful polaroid love happening out there that it really did ease all the stress I was feeling. Between traveling, Jared starting a new job while still being in school, lots going on at work, getting my garden planted, and preparing for a craft fair that's next weekend, I feel like I've been running around with my head cut off. But seriously, it's amazing what some beautiful photography, especially that magical polaroid, and sun (oh the sun!) can do for you.

04 May 2009

Back Just In Time

LinkFor Polaroid Week 2009! I've missed being in this space. I had an excellent trip to San Francisco and have three more rolls of film to share soon! Though I promise to take a break from traveling photos for a bit before diving back into that. I have a lot of other goodness to share, but I'm also super busy over the next few weeks. I'm going to do my best to carve out some time here as best I can. In the meantime, you can find me (and many many amazing polaroid photographers) over at Polaroid Week this week. Above are my contributions for today (and how sweet is it that the first day of polaroid week collides with bench monday!). I can't believe that it's been under one year since my mom sent me their old Polaroid Spirit 600 camera and I began the long and windy spiral into Polaroid addiction. You can see all my polaroids since then in my flickrset. Though I must say, it's a pretty nice addiction to have...