Thursday, March 31, 2011

Around the Studio

Stream necklaces fresh from the tumbler and ready to pack up.
I get a lot of requests for bracelets, and so although I'm not a big bracelet wearer myself I have been trying to expand that part of my line.  Here's a new sample I put together yesterday.  What do you think? It will come in many colors of cord.
Silver bay leaf earrings and silver clasps waiting to be soldered.
My assembly desk, cluttered as usual.
Friendship necklaces on deck to be soldered.

Although March is often a quiet time time for me, things have picked up quite a bit in the studio in the last few weeks.  I am beginning to get that feeling of how fast the Spring and Summer go, and that before I turn around it's going to be May, and then somehow May seems to slip directly into August, and so on and so on.  I am trying to remind myself to get ready for the busyness of Summer and Fall now when I have the chance.  And this year I am going to do some retail craft fairs (starting with Twist in Northampton, MA on May 6th & 7th!) so summer will be especially busy.  I've really been doing wholesale almost exclusively for many years, and I'm looking forward to getting out of the studio a little and talking to people!  I'll keep you all posted about upcoming events!  And, hey, while I'm on the subject, can anyone recommend any good indie craft fairs in the northeast?  I'm new to this whole scene and I'd love some suggestions!  Thx!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Arrived: Woodtec iPhone Charging Station!

I thought this Woodtec double iPhone charger would be the perfect birthday present for my little Mac Nerd in the Big Woods. (Anyone else out there read Laura Ingalls Wilder as a kid?  Little House in the Big Woods was a favorite read aloud book in my house.)  I think stylistically it really fits with our sort of Modern/Colonial New England aesthetic, ties in nicely with the wood stove, and if it starts to misbehave we can just toss it in! (No!)  Now we have no more visible trailing iPhone charger cables and something pretty to look at instead.  I'm very pleased with it, I hope TH is too!

To see more Woodtec products click here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Boys and Trucks

Like peas and carrots, smoke and fire, snakes and snails and puppy dog tails. . .
This is what the boys got up to while I was in the shower yesterday morning.

Monday, March 28, 2011

In the Sugar House

Our good friends are making maple syrup from our maple trees this year.  Maple sugaring is an amazingly labor intensive process that only happens in a very small part of the world for a very short season every year.  And it is a bit of a dying art due to the amount of work, equipment, and level of expertise required to do it properly.  Sugaring season begins when the temperature during the days is above freezing, but still below freezing at night.  This gets the sap moving around in the trees.  I'll spare you my amateur explanation of how the whole process works, but if you'd like to learn about it follow this link.  I just wanted to capture the feel of the warm steamy sugar house, and a little bit of the history and tradition that is such an integral part of it.  The picture of the writing on the wall are entries in the sugaring log that they keep every night that they boil.  The bundle of kindling is the wood that they burn to keep the fire hot enough to keep the sap boiling furiously at all times.  You can tell when the syrup is ready both by temperature and by consistency (the picture of the "slick" across the bottom of the spoon is how it looks when it's ready).  And then there is a very short window of time to draw it off before it burns in the pan.  I was told that the ratio of sap to syrup is 40+ to 1, which means it takes 40 to 50 gallons of sap (depending on the weather and how the trees are running) to make 1 gallon of syrup.  I was also told it takes about a liter of vodka and a six pack of beer to make a gallon of syrup, so you can extrapolate from that what the atmosphere is like in the sugar house.  Because it is so labor intensive it requires a lot of people to do it, which also makes it a very social process.  And there is about an hour between draws of talking, drinking, and feeding the fire. After the cabin fever of a long New England winter the business and togetherness of the sugaring season is a welcome change!  Plus, it is the true sign of early Spring, and a sure sign that true Spring, with actual warm weather, is on it's way! 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Is It Spring Yet?

We're pretty desperate for spring up here.  I'm so ready to see some green growing things that I'm even trying (for what must be the 100th time) to grow an avocado tree from a pit.  No luck so far, although it's only been about 5 days.  Here are some of the other things we've resorted to: 
Sandbox toys in the snow.
Mexican asparagus. This is only sad because in Vermont, if you grow them in your garden, asparagus are the 1st thing to come up. They are also the first local produce to become available in the market. But I'm rushing things and trying to fool myself that spring is here. I also paired it with the freshest summery thing I could think of homemade tzatziki. (recipe here)  They were good though: blanched lightly and then drizzled with good olive oil and salt.
    Alas, the world is still white, with little patches of brown, and there's nothing we can do about it.  I guess we'll just have to hunker down a little more, squeeze our eyes shut and pretend it's February.  Sigh.  At least dump trucks and shovels work just as well in the snow as they do in the sand!
Have a great weekend everyone!  

p.s. Small milestone, this is my 200th post!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birthday Dinner

Here are some pics from the dinner I made for TH's birthday on Monday.  Sadly, I got so wrapped up in the cooking and eating I completely forgot to take any pictures of the finished product!  But at least I got a pic of dessert!
Remember how I said I'm not a good baker, and I tend to leave out ingredients?  This time I left out all the ingredients, and we just had cheese.  The one with the candle in it is the Bonne Bouche from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery is one of my all time favorites.  The other two delicious little babies on the board are the Winnimere, from Jasper Hill, and the Invierno, from Vermont Shepherd.  It's so nice to live in a place with such good local cheese!

The main dish was strozzapreti with ham and peas in a cream sauce from The Geometry of Pasta (pictured above).  We also had a salad of baby arugula and watercress with shallot vinaigrette, and cured meats, bread, and roasted red pepper spread.  It was a menu geared towards TH's taste, and I think he was happy and satisfied!

Spring Look Book

I just updated my look book for spring because I needed to send it out for yet another show application.  I'm hoping to have a busy 2011!  I'm happy with the way it came out except for that I definitely need a better printer, and I could really use some book binding lessons.  (wouldn't that be a fun thing to learn anyway?)  Also, the darn things take so long to put together, and are currently bound together with sterling silver jump rings, so it isn't really feasible for me to send them around as much as I would like to.  If anyone has any ideas about how I could make them quicker and easier to make, but still looking good please send them my way!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Bride!

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for!  The lady herself!

Here is Holly's got her beautiful dress.  I know the pockets were a big selling point, I'm pretty sure she carried around her "something blue" in there.  And, a little note on the unusual bridal footwear: Holly and Zach hiked around all over Zermatt in their wedding clothes for hours before the wedding with their photographer, so boots were for sure the right choice.  I don't know how she didn't freeze to death!  See below for a couple of the photos from their photo shoot.
photo credit for above 2 photos: marc kronig
She did her hair in a loose chignon and topped it off with a fascinator with feathers and a little sparkle.  So pretty!  And don't you just love a bride in glasses?
She topped the whole look off with a vintage faux mink stole.  All together I think she achieved a completely fresh and current look, but still with a little bit of a 60's feel.  So pretty Holly!

Follow the links listed below to get Holly's look! 

Hair Adornment: Ann Leslie on Etsy
Vintage Stole: Olives, Brooklyn

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alpine Wedding - The Beauty is in the Details

Here are some of the stylish and thoughtful details from my friends Holly and Zach's wedding in the swiss alps.  Holly did an amazing job of creating a cohesive look for her wedding in a style that very much fit both her and the place.  She calls the style "mid-century modern meets lodge," which, by the way, is also how she has decorated her chic and cozy apartment.  Here are some of the elements she used. For starters, the above photo is of their cake topper, from Melabo on Etsy.  Such a perfect choice! 
The programs, door tags, menus, and place cards were all designed by Holly's very talented sister and brother-in-law Wendy and Earnest from Dear Hancock Paper Goods.
The favors were delicious hot chocolates on a stick made by City Girl Chocolates on Etsy.
Holly's flowers were a beautiful mix of ranunculus (a personal favorite of mine), tulips, thistle, lotus pods, and I believe anemones (somebody correct me if I'm wrong!), in rustic bark and wire vases.  Thanks so much to Holly and Zach, for letting me share so many details of your wedding on Campestral!