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So the wunderkind has returned from the Great White North… a while ago. The trip was great and since then so much has happened! I’ve got a new laptop, and although putting my photos on my computer is ridiculously quick with the SD card reader, it took a while for me to transfer my photos to flickr because our wireless didn’t really work and the days kept flying by.
Some highlights from my trip:
I apologize for the blog-silence. I don’t really have much of an excuse aside from the fact that I’ve been working a bunch and when I get home the last thing I want to do is listen to my loud PC hum at me while I wait for programs to load.
This weekend I am headed to the GWN (The Great White North!) to visit my parents. Contrary to popular belief, Whitehorse, Yukon, isn’t snow-covered year-round. In fact, it is often warmer there during the summer than in the rest of the country. The heavens must have heard that I was on my way and decided to start the rain this week, with no plans of stopping. I was hoping to spend a bunch of time on my parents’ deck in the hammock, reading or crocheting, but it looks like I’ll probably be doing that from the comfort of the couch in the living room instead. My dad sent me an MMS message to show me what awaits my arrival, this was taken on the back deck, when it was 32 C in the shade:
One of the other things I’d like to do, rain or shine, is collect wonderful Yukon-ey stuff for my big city friends (it’s true, they exist). Some need (I use this term interchangeably with WANT) things for their collections of natural curiosities, and others for crafty endeavours. One material that is so hot hot hot here is antlers. One could argue that this trend has passed, but I don’t think it ever got big enough to be played out (comments please?)
Check out this cast-ceramic version of an antler chandelier by Brooklyn-based designer Jason Miller. Here it is in an amazing AT house tour:
Vintage antlers are pretty popular too, especially in a flea-market chic decor. I spotted this set, used as a hat rack, in a vintage shop on Queen W near Roncesvalles (hard to see is the 90$ price tag).
I was inspired by the cherries I bought at the City Hall Farmer’s market a few weeks ago to figure out some kind of nice dessert to make with these juicy fresh fruit. I brought a bunch home and ate some, then pitted all the rest. I made a few turnovers, with limited success. I kept the rest of the pitted cherries in my fridge for a few days only to find out that pitted cherries don’t keep, even in the fridge, even if you mix them with lemon juice. OOPS.
I really wanted to make this fancy-sounding French dessert, clafoutis, to bring to the Workroom for Quilt Sunday. I looked up recipes on the internet, and found some really simple ones, and really complicated gourmet ones. In the end I pretty much free-lanced it, based on this recipe from epicurious.com.
Clafoutis sounds fancy, but is really a rustic dessert from the Limousin region of France. Traditional clafoutis uses un-pitted cherries, the pits then give an almond flavouring to the cake as it cooks. Since I was bringing this dessert to friends and strangers, I wanted to keep it easy to eat, and avoid having people choke on pits or have to spit the pits out in public. I added ground almonds to the dough, hoping to get a more authentic flavour. The cake itself is pretty much just pancake dough.
Here is my recipe:
- 1 pound of cherries, the darker the better!
- 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of ground almonds
- pinch of salt!
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup of milk (I used soy)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pit a pound of cherries – I cut them in half with a paring knife and used my thumb to push out the pit. The original recipe says to toss the cherries with corn starch and sugar, but I didn’t have any corn starch. Then, in order to avoid having the cherries soak the cake, I roasted them in the oven on a cookie sheet at 200 F for about 45 mins while I prepared the rest of the cake.
- pre-heat oven to 325 F. generously grease a rectangular pan (or any shape you like). I used a large pyrex dish
- mix the dry ingredients together (flour, almonds, salt) in a medium bowl
- mix the wet ingredients together with sugar (eggs, milk, vanilla) in a large bowl
- pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir it up so there are no lumps
- pour the mixture into the greased dish
- drop the warm cherries evenly throughout the dough. Don’t mix!
- bake for 30 mins, then take out and sprinkle the top evenly with granulated sugar then return to the oven for another 20 to 25 mins until the top is golden brown.
- cut into slices and enjoy!
Karyn took a much better photo of my dessert!
(yes, neighbourhood has a “u” in it when you live and spell in Canada)
So last week was super super busy! I finished moving, then there was Canada Day, then wedding prep for my friend’s wedding. I did manage to take some time for a photo stroll with a friend of the groom, Craig MacBride. Shortly afterward I put him to work helping me with wedding prep, scanning old photos of the bride for a slideshow.
Last summer was Japan. Next I’d really love to spend some time in Sweden. I probably won’t be able to make it until next fall, 2010, but until then, I’ll peruse the photos in this great guide to Stockholm’s crafty places from craftzine.com‘s Travel Crafty series.
A basket of trim for sale at Folckers, by Sabrina Gschwandtner, craftzine.com
It’s true. As a child I didn’t love all vegetables, there were some for which I had a particular disdain, like onions. Now I can’t say I LOVE onions, but I don’t hate them. As a vegetarian, I think it’s important for me to eat all vegetables.
Living here in the “South” – relatively anyway, I grew up in the Yukon – I relish going to farmer’s markets and buying super fresh produce and baked goods. I just moved to a new apartment in a new neighbourhood, and I’ll be close to the Sorauren Park Farmer’s Market, yay!
Now that the municipal workers strike is on, I won’t be dashing down to City Hall for the regular Wednesday Farmers Market. However, I went a few weeks ago and took some shots of delicious veggies in the bright sunlight.
I apologize for the relative silence on this blog these days, but as some of you may know I moved and had a job interview and I’m helping my friend get a few things ready for her wedding this Friday.
What a wonderful surprise it was to come home to not one, but TWO packages in my mail box last night! One was a giant package full of goodness from overseas, and the other was a smaller, but also exciting, package from San Diego, California.
I ordered this cute little to-do list from BoyGirlParty during the most recent shop live event on etsy, hosted by Marichelle from Heart Handmade. It was my first time in the virtual labs and I was there with a bunch of other newbies. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend, but I’ve always loved BoyGirlParty‘s illustrations so when I saw that she had something small and affordable, I had to grab it!
(sorry the photos are a bit blurry and dark, I took these with my phone)
Now I’ve just got to write some lists, then do the stuff, then check “done”!
Woo! so last night just after midnight I got my first scarf order on etsy. I made a bunch of lightweight spring scarves and put them online last week. I’m really happy that someone found something they liked in my shop and they didn’t even know me!
I’m also really excited about the Garden Party Trunk Show hosted by the workroom and City of Craft later this month, Sunday, June 21st, to be exact. I always love shopping at the trunk shows, and during my very first time as a seller at a craft fair last August, I met so many wonderful people. It was so rewarding to have strangers give me feedback on my crafts. Of course my friends and family are always really supportive and positive, but they have to be, they are my friends and family!
This trunk show is not to be missed, it will be inside/outside with free snacks, and vintage treasures on top of amazing local handmade goodies! Just look at the list of people I’ll be rubbing shoulders with (list below)!
**news: Karyn has written about the Garden Party and has beautiful photos of peonies.
Garden Party Trunk Show flyer by the workroom.
It’s true. I’ve taken a zillion (plus or minus a billion) photos in my life. I had supportive parents who allowed me to take photos with their film camera since I was about three years old. Maybe when I go home this summer I’ll dig around and find some of these old shots and scan them.
You can see on the right here <—– links to my flickr account. Right now the most recent photos are those I’ve taken of products for my etsy shop, but if you dig around, there are a few gems like this photo I took of a duplex on my old street, Palmerston. I was surprised to see it used as the photo for this article in Torontoist on loud neighbours.
Then, this photo was also used, but now I can’t find the link! I think it was used by the DesignExchange for some online thing…
And this is one of my favourite most recent photos, a magnolia blossom.
Last Friday I attended a really awesome meeting with the Etsy admin (yeah, I’m a slow blogger too). The Toronto visit was part of their international tour. Etsy started as a smallish project that has really exploded over the last 4 years, and the etsy admin is doing some research on how it can grow and keep the etsy “product” without losing the grassroots company and community that it was built on.
Etsy’s own description of what it is:
Etsy is an online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.
Our mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers.
Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice:
Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade.
It was great to feel like they valued Canadians as a real part of this community (they even made pins in French for us!) and to see the faces behind the website. I was also really energized by meeting and talking to other etsians, especially Michelle and Ele, who I had only known online until then.
My photos were all blurry because it was dark, and I was excited so my hands were shaking…