Friday, August 26, 2011

Map Art Wants

Map cutout lampshades by simple & handmade.

Plates by uncommon goods

A set of these would make a nice little gift: DIY card & envelope by Wear The Canvas.

This map table is such a great DIY rehab project for old furniture!

This is perfect for a study/office. Dublin map sculpture by littlewhitedog.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Vintage Lover's Cup of Tea

If you like vintage then you will love Retro Threadz. And best yet, this chic vintage outfitter is having a giveaway, where you can enter to win a $100 gift certificate to their store! I really don't know if it gets any better than that. These are some of my personal favs. Check out all the giveaway details here. Don't miss out – this giveaway ends Monday, August 22nd.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Zucchini Bread

My farm plot is yielding a ton of veggies, not to mention what neighbors give me. Here's just a little snippet of what we got this week (guess I ought to do some canning). Since we're all tired of eating zucchini I figured it'd be nice to make some bread with it and since I've been experimenting with gluten-free baking I decided to make my zucchini bread gluten-free. After all was said & done I still had like 8 zucchinis left so I'm going to have to figure out some other things to make with them - brownies maybe? We'll see. Enjoy the recipe. If you try it, comment & let me know how it turns out!

A friend gave me this little sign as a gift a few weeks ago. I introduced her to the farm plots where I garden. Such a profound statement. I love this sign.


1 1/2 c all-purpose gluten free flour mix*
1 1/2 ts xanthum/guar gum
1 1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/2 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts baking powder
1/4 ts ground nutmeg
1 egg + 1 egg white, beaten
1 1/2 ts vanilla extract
1 1/4 c brown sugar
2 c finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini
1/4 c veg oil
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 c toasted walnuts/pecans

* I usually make my own gluten-free mix, although you can also purchase all-purpose gluten-free mixes in stores. This time around I used 3/4 c soy flour, 1/2 c tapioca flour, and 1/4 c brown rice flour.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease the bottom & sides of an 8 x 8 x 2" loaf pan. In a medium bowl combine flour, guar gum, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture & set aside.

In another medium bowl combine egg & egg white, vanilla, sugar, shredded zucchini, oil, and applesauce.

Add zucchini mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Batter should be lumpy.

Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan & bake 45-50 min.

Cool in pan on wire rack 10 min, then remove bread from pan. Hang your apron & enjoy!

Liam loved it!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting Ready

My first Memphis show is just 5 weeks away and I have been chugging away preparing for the thousands of people that will be there perusing my booth. My goal is to complete 100 new bags by September 16th and so far, I'm on track! Ben and I are still figuring out structural logistics for my space, but I'm sure everything will come together nicely. I also plan to have some new items not (yet) on my site so if you're local/plan to be in Memphis Sept. 17th, come to the Cooper-Young Festival & say hi :}. I'll be in booth D38. Now, back to more bag-making!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Santa Monica

Nan, Lulu & Sally

My sister Nan and I went to LA last week to visit some friends from childhood. We had a really great time and I can't stop thinking about the trip. LA is such a beautiful and inspiring place to be. Our last day there Lulu took us to the Santa Monica farmer's market where you can sometimes spot celebrities wanting to grab some fresh produce & such. Now I never considered myself the star-stricken type, but you must excuse the caps & exclamation marks that follow, as there will be many.

The following is a true Santa Monica story:

Sunday was our last day in LA and we went to the Santa Monica farmer's market for brunch. After we ate we walked around a bit and Nan saw a crepe stand a ways down & wanted to get one to go. The line was pretty long so she went ahead of us to get in line. The meter where we parked was about to run out so Lulu & Sally headed back to the car while I stayed behind to wait with Nan. When I walked up she was talking to some older guy. My sister introduced me. We shook hands & he said, "Hi, I'm Andy." They had been talking about her shoes, which he liked – some olive green Ed Hardy sneakers. He asked us a lot of general questions like where we were from & what we thought about the cities where we live, work, etc. – the usual just-meeting-someone-for-the-first-time conversation. He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a handbag designer. I just happened to be wearing my one of my adjustable button bags, so I showed him my bag & gave him a card then asked him what he did, to which he responded–after slight hesitation, "Oh, I'm retired.." There was about a second of awkward silence afterwards, but I sorta kept it moving & said something like, "Oh, that's great. You get to sit back & enjoy life now." In my mind I was thinking, "I think this guy is famous. This guy's gotta be famous or something," but my brain couldn't think of all the (right) last names of famous Andys and the shades & beard didn't help.

I wish we could have spoken longer but we were on a tight schedule being that we were flying out that evening and still had more to do. Before we parted he suggested we check out Montana Avenue & said it was his favorite place in Santa Monica. We told him thank you, shook hands again & said, "bye Andy" in unison and then I added, "Enjoy the rest of your retirement!" trying to come up with something nice to say.

On the walk back to the car Nan thought he might be Andy Garcia & asked me to look him up on my phone. I was starting to freak out a little at the thought. I looked him up, but didn't think it was him because the search was bringing up mostly photos of a younger man and I hadn't seen Andy Garcia in anything recently to know how he looked now. In the car we told Lulu & Sally (halfway joking) that we were just talking to Andy Garcia & how he told us to check out Montana Avenue. Lulu said Montana Avenue was all luxe shopping. Then I found some more recent photos–Dude. That. was definitely Andy Garcia.

I am still flipping out one week later. I can't tell you how many times I've replayed that conversation in my head and the whole chain of events that lead up to it – not to mention all the subtle clues screaming out to me that he was famous: beard + shades = the perfect celebrity cover-up. I can't believe I gave Andy GARCIA!! a card! Dude?! I wonder if he laughed to himself when I handed it to him. Or if he even kept it. I hope so. What if Nan didn't put on those shoes that morning? If only I'd known who we were talking to!!! Well.. I actually don't know what I would have done. But I told him to 'enjoy the rest of your retirement'???? That's not something to say!! Ugh... how stupid. I don't even think he's really retired! I IMDb'd him & it looks like he's working on stuff for next year. Then again, he probably just didn't want to be noticed.

You know, I can only believe that that was how it was supposed to happen. And maybe he appreciated just being able to have a normal conversation with some non-celebrities without someone going crazy. He was so nice and down to earth.

Honestly, I don't even know what the best part of our trip was. All I know is I'm going back to LA!