Wednesday, July 31, 2013

wiw vol 30 Orange is the New Black

Netflix Series - Season One


From the creator of “Weeds” comes a heartbreaking and hilarious new series set in a women’s prison. Piper Chapman’s wild past comes back to haunt her, resulting in her arrest and detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper trades her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and finds unexpected conflict and camaraderie amidst an eccentric group of inmates.

One of my new show obsessions. Netflix has consistently put out great new shows just for streaming viewing. This past Sunday was a rainy day, and perfect for marathon watching. 

Have you watched it yet?  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Market Mondays..weekend roundup

This weeks loot; corn on the cob, peppers, lemons, zucchini, plums, apricots, and cinnamon raisin bread. I forgot to take a picture of all the meat the mister brought home last week from him working on the farm. But we got five chickens, steaks, hamburg, bacon, sausage, and other random cuts of met that I've never heard of. It was A LOT of meat. We will be set for a few weeks. It's awesome because he will continue to get more and we will be able to fill our freezers. 

After the market we came home and I put together a basket of goodies for our friends wedding.

We actually ended up adding a couple more clay soaps to the basket as well. I was pretty happy with how it came out. I had crocheted the wash cloths and a towel from organic yarn, I cannot even explain how awesome and soft they were. 

The wedding was gorgeous and the food was completely amazing. (Buffet style - take what you want - lamb, beef, pork, homemade sauces, carrots, potatoes, beets, salad, and slaws. All the food was from their farm and other local farms. The cupcakes and cake were made by another farmers market vendor and friend, Martine. I don't even have words for how delicious those cupcakes were, a surprise of blueberry and rhubarb compote in the centers!

Hands down the best wedding we have gone to. And of course, who couldn't love Silas in his little tux onesie!?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 68

This week takes us back out to Los Angeles..

Name: Aaron Van Holland 
Age: 36
Occupation: Woodworker, Furniture Designer
Etsy Shop:

Tell us a little about yourself.
My wife, Claire, and I began MFEO as joint effort to handcraft reclaimed materials into unique pieces for the home. Soon after meeting, we discovered a shared love for great design and living a more sustainable lifestyle. We intend to reduce the environmental impact of production by designing products made primarily from repurposed materials. We also hope that our pieces help initiate a conversation around consumption and maintaining an ecoconscious lifestyle.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I began designing furniture about two years ago. Etsy was our first sales platform when we launched In September of 2011.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
MFEO is an acronym for ‘Made for Each Other.’ It’s originally a quote from the film, Sleepless in Seattle. We liked the idea that each piece we make is destined for a certain home.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Etsy isn’t our only sales platform. It was our first outlet, but since then we’ve branched out to other sites and also focus heavily on selling locally. Furniture is a difficult product to sell online.

How would you describe your creative process?
For us, a product design starts out as a need or a specific function to be met in the home. I generally envision the design right away. From there it’s very hands on, building a prototype and tweaking the construction until it’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Our primary source of material is from a 100 year old barn that I dismantled and carried off my grandfather’s dairy farm in Oregon. Oregon’s ecology and history inspires a lot of our creative direction.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? Yes
• What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 
So far, we’ve hosted a booth at the Unique LA spring and summer shows. We’ll likely be back for their holiday show. We’re hoping to attend the Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice. You can also find us at the Melrose Trading Post from time to time.

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
We’re getting better at prepping for shows. Organization is key. Even if we don’t have orders coming in, product is always being made. So we assess our inventory and determine what may be missing for the show. We try to always have a few new designs to feature. Large pieces f furniture like tables don’t typically sell on site so we use them showcase smalls that shoppers can easily carry.

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work.
We receive so much great feedback every time we do a show or market. Even if there’s a slow day where we don’t generate a lot of sales, the positive remarks are always so energizing. It’s really a great way to re-motivate yourself when you’re feeling burnt out.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
A bust of a mother and child that I found in my grandparents attic as a child. It was sculpted by Yucca Salamunichin 1957.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Running a small business and making all the product for it consumes most of my time. When I have a moment I like to try to rebalance. Hiking, meditating, reading and scouring eclectic estate sales are my favorite ways to unplug.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
As a little kid, I’d spend countless hours lying on the floor, drafting up floor plans of my dream home. I guess I should’ve studied architecture, but I’m happy with where I’ve landed.

Five years from now you will be…
Designing more, sanding less. By then MFEO should be at the point we have a sufficient number of helping hands, including bringing Claire on fulltime. We’d also like to curate a storefront that features our work longside other eco-conscious craftsmen/women.

Describe yourself in five words:
Determined, mindful, hungry, visual, indulgent

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
The Von Bondies, Matthew Dear, The Janks, Radiohead, Pink Floyd

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft 
It’s an unbelievable amount of work, but I’ve never done anything so rewarding. If you want it bad enough, you’ll accept the lows with the highs and learn to appreciate them both.

Friday, July 26, 2013

fff vol 76

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

Cutest fabric barrettes. 

Please can I move in?

Love this little hut, I'm picturing the view to be a gorgeous lake.

Get in my belly!

This looks beautiful and super delicious .. gotta start changing up my diet and trying new things...

Tee shirt of the week:

So in love with this shop and everything in it!

Exciting weekend ahead including going to our friends wedding at their farm. It sounds like its going to be a great time, laid back casual atmosphere, home brewed beer, food from their farm, bon fires, camping (though we won't be able to camp out because we'll have to get home to our pups)..yeah how a wedding should be.

Any big plans for you this weekend?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

wiw vol 29 Ice Age Death Trap

2012 - 53 minutes - Nova Special
Streaming Netflix

Program Description

In the Rocky Mountains, archeologists uncover a unique fossil site packed with astonishingly well-preserved bones of mammoths, mastodons, and other giant extinct beasts. The discovery opens a highly focused window on the vanished world of the Ice Age in North America.

This was such an interesting special. I always have been in love with archaeology and think it would be so amazing to uncover bones from hundreds of thousands of years ago. Can you imagine finding and holding one of those bones?

I really loved this special, you can also watch it online on PBS if you don't have streaming Netflix.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Market Mondays

Another great weekend at the market and some spoils from a combination of the mister's hard work on the farm, bartering, and buying.

This week we came away with tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, plums, butter, hamburg, sausage, steaks, cookies..and more cookies.

We found out that one of the local "cheese ladies" apparently makes amazing cookies, so the mister wanted to test them out. He's already tried them and said they were definitely delicious. He didn't realize that we were going to do a soap barter - but one can never have too many cookies!

We played it low key this weekend. Relaxing around the house and taking the girls on walks. Polly is so out of shape we thought she was going to die. So we've said we will start walking with them every night to get them (and us) in shape. 

I was bad, I had plans to get my kitchen grit soap in the shop, as well as my Son of a Bee balm. I promise to do that over the next few days. I made the labels for the kitchen grit and it was a hot seller on Saturday at the market. So those updates will be up soon.

And lastly, we have a winner from last week's giveaway! Thanks all who entered and congratulations Filipa! 

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 67

This week we are off to Bloomington, IL

Name: Priscilla and Andy 
Age: 34 
Occupation: Owners of Bruno and Betty/Screen print artists/Seamstress
Etsy Shop: moxiemadness and brunoandbettyshop

Tell us a little about yourself.
We are a husband and wife collective inspired by all things vintage. We spend loads of time thinking up new design ideas, taking silly pictures, drinking coffee, taking random walks, listening to records. Both Andy and I find a huge gratification in making things, even if it's only dinner.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
Andy has been creating things for as long as he can remember. Building skate board ramps and making music. I was a bit of a late starter when it comes to creating. I started sewing when I inherited all of my crafty grandmothers supplies. I've been a buyer on Etsy since 2006 but only started seriously selling in the past year or so.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
Bruno and Betty came to life last summer when I retired from roller derby, my teams name was the Alpha Betties and I guess I got used to being called Betty all the time. Bruno is one of Andy's many nicknames. When we paired the two it was instant cuteness.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
Yes! I've been full time screen print artist since October of last year. I quit my day job that I had for over 14 years and decided to give it a go. It's super stressful sometimes but the best stress I've ever had! Andy still works part time at his day job, but hopeful that won't be the case for much longer.

How would you describe your creative process? 
Since there's two of us our creative process is a little crazy. It's not uncommon for one of us to randomly blurt out a concept while we're grocery shopping or taking a walk. My pockets are usually full of scraps of paper with ideas written on them, then once or twice a week we'll have a brain storming session where we go through and weed out all the jots and scribbles from that week or the endless backlog of ideas we haven't gotten to yet. Then we sketch it out and try to figure out if it's better suited for a garment or house ware or both, and what colors to use. Once that's done it's pretty easy, breezy to the finished product. We love to work in limited edition batches so there's always room for something new.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Most of our inspiration comes from things we adore like plants, nature, kitschy knick knacks and vintage eye candy from all the old movies we love watching. Lots of times inspiration strikes while we're at the thrift store or when we're listening to ever growing record collection. We refuse to make anything we wouldn't wear ourselves or have in our own homes.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
Yes, we did our first show; Green With Indie back in March, and just returned from the INDIEana Handicraft Exchange in Indianapolis a few weeks ago.

• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
Because we're still pretty new to the craft show scene we don't really have any special methods of getting ready. We usually start preparing about 2-3 months in advance but we don't actually feel ready until we get there and set up.

Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work
We were a bit nervous at our first show going from Etsy which is such a lovely community of people who don't mind helping each other. We really didn't know what to expect from fellow vendors at craft shows, luckily we've been embraced by our neighboring vendors who are much more seasoned then we are and have been super encouraging with tips and leads to other shows. One of the best experiences we had at our first show was a lady brought to tears over our "I Love You More Than Biscuits and Gravy" designs, because her mother used to say that to her everyday. Sharing a genuine moment with a stranger like that couldn't be done on the internet.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
It would have to be the sampler my mother made for me of a vintage sewing machine, which is a replica of my grandmothers sewing machine.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
We recently acquired a plot at our community garden, growing assorted heirloom veggies. It's insane how much time we spend out there but we love it. We also enjoy cooking together and hosting brunches for our friends and families.

We're always trying new things and have a sort of list of DIY projects that we enjoy mastering, like making our own cleaning products, laundry soaps and organic bug sprays for the garden. Our latest project was making black berry brandy for fathers day gifts. 

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
I always wanted to be a photo journalist when I was a young'n. Andy still talks about going to culinary school.

Five years from now you will be…
Still creating and selling our work, but hopefully via a micro farm somewhere. I really want chickens and goats!

Describe yourself in five words:
Kooky, quiet, headstrong, eclectic, maker

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
The Cramps, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Billy Childish, Kimya Dawson and Tom Waits.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Don't talk about it to much, DO IT! Also don't let nay sayers discourage you, most people lack the follow through of actually doing something. Whatever you do make it yours, love it and don't look back.

Friday, July 19, 2013

fff vol 75

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

This apron is so adorable, and that dress! Yes, please. I would love to wear this outfit while baking up some yummy treats.

Please can I move in?

I love this little hut. It doesnt look like it has a kitchen tho, but it is really awesome. Add just a little more square footage to it for a small bathroom and kitchen and it screams, perfect!

Get in my belly!

Oh my goodness, yum!!

Tee shirt Dress of the week:

I am in love with this dress..and it's on sale. Right now ModCloth is having great sales. Click on the banner on the side over here to be taken to all the greatness --------------------------------------->

So this week has been miserable. It's been over 100 and humid. If you know me, you know I HATE hot weather. Detest hot weather. I thrive and love weather that is between 40-65 degrees F. I love throwing on a jacket or sweater and curling up and being comfortable. When its over 100 and like 100 % humidity..there is no such thing as comfortable. How people like hot weather is a mystery to me. It makes me cranky and have no energy. Yuck!

So tomorrow for the market it's supposed to cool down a tad - be in the 80's but I have a feeling it will definitely be another lemonade day. Then after lunch at whole foods, woo hoo!

My plans for the weekend are to get up and share with you all my tattoo balm, I already sold some at the market last weekend. I was planning to do it this week, but again, too HOT to do anything!

What are your plans, has it been insanely hot where you live? Do you like it?!

Have a great weekend everyone! Oh and don't forget there is still time to enter the giveaway from Sunday!! Go enter now!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

wiw vol 28 Lost Angels

2010- 77 minutes - Documentary
Streaming Netflix


Los Angeles' Skid Row is home to one of the largest homeless populations in the United States. And we found, inside that community, the remarkable and enormously moving stories of Olympic athletes, Harvard attorneys, accomplished musicians, scholars. We found poverty, drugs and mental illness, of course - but more importantly we found life, hope and incredibly powerful human journeys.

I had seen this movie on Netflix and added it to my queue a while back, always meaning to watch it. Then my brother mentioned he had seen it and to check it out. So that night I watched it and was so inspired by these people, their way of life and how they got to where they are today. 

It was extremely sad at times, but also uplifting to know that some of them are just truly happy with their surroundings and want to be there. They are fighting to keep skid row and we should fight right along with them. It is more important than you can imagine and also cost effective to allow them to stay. The city could create even more low income housing, but instead trendy "hipsters" are trying to move in and butt these people out. While I understand, to some regard, the need and want to "clean it up" there is a different way to approach the situation. More police harassing them, giving them tickets and sending them to jail for stupid violations is not going to solve the problem. Places like Lamp are really making a difference. I only hope the city can actually look past the "homelessness" and look at the people. This movie is really well done and is extremely touching and sad. 

If you watch one movie this week, please make it this one and you will understand what I'm saying.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hungarian Cherry Strudel

Cherries have always been one of my favorite fruits. When I was little I used to hang out with my grampa and every day we used to each eat a small jar of cherries! haha This weekend when I saw many of the vendors at the markets with their fresh cherries I knew I needed to get a bunch! I got two different types, but both are sweet cherries (the following recipe calls for sour)

Last week I had found this recipe and I knew I needed to make it as soon as cherries showed their faces at the market. I've never worked with phyllo dough before, so that was a new experience. Surprisingly it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be and I actually didn't follow her instructions to a T.

She advised to cover the phyllo dough with wet/damp tea towel. But when I did that the first layer of phyllo was extremely difficult and sticky to work with. So I took the towel off and just worked quickly. Because I knew it was going to make the dough sticky, I also did not assemble them on a tea towel, but rather right on my parchment paper and cookie tin. Maybe I did something completely wrong here - but I seemed to make out just fine doing it my own way.

I also did not have walnuts (and actually don't like nuts) so I left them out of the recipe as well.

Here is her RECIPE (taken directly from playin with my food blog)

(you really all should check out her blog, she has amazing recipes and gorgeous photos to boot)


  • 1 package frozen phyllo dough, defrosted according to pkg. directions
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup walnuts, ground
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 1 cup plain, dry breadcrumbs
  • 3 cups sour cherries, pitted and stemmed


  • 2 dampened tea towels, excess water squeezed out
  • pastry brush
  • baking sheet
  • sharp knife


Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a baking pan. Toss the cherries with the sugar in a bowl and set aside for 15 minutes. When you are ready to assemble the strudel, line up the walnuts, bread crumbs, melted butter, and cherries in separate bowls. Carefully unwrap the phyllo dough, leaving it to sit on its wrapper, covered in the dampened tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Lay the other tea towel in front of you. Place 1 leaf of the phyllo dough on the towel. Using the pastry brush, sprinkle, do not brush, a little butter over the dough. Go light. You don't want to cover the entire surface. Sprinkle lightly with the bread crumbs and the walnuts. Repeat with 5-6 layers. Add about 1-1/2 cups cherries to the top layer. Make sure you've squeezed out some of their liquid. You don't want them to be too wet. Using the towel as a guide, roll it up into a log. Brush the entire loaf with melted butter.  Using your knife, cut diagonal slices, being careful not to cut all the way through. Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes or until golden. Cool in the pan on a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice, and enjoy!


Oh man they are so good, we prefer them when they were chilled , but I didn't complain eating a little piece when they first came out of the oven either! It was such a simple recipe and I'm thinking of all the fruits to do these with. Next up, apples. 

Oh and to make you all drool a little bit more today..I also made this Jumbo zucchini bread. It took forever to bake. I used my gramma's recipe that I posted last year. Oh so good! A yummy baking (hot, over 90+ and humid) weekend, what was I thinking having the oven on so much?!

Monday, July 15, 2013

market mondays..

The market was another good weekend for us. While it was hot and humid, were our spot is located it is awesome because we are shaded by some trees (and of course our tent). But these hot weekends I splurge on hand squeezed lemonade that is so delicious.

We didn't get too much food because Adam and Kelly are going to be giving Kevin a "cooler full" of food on Tuesday when he goes out to their farm. So we only picked up some cherries (stop in tomorrow to check out that yummy post!!), peppers, and bread.

A band set up right behind our booth and were playing music for a couple hours. It's so fun when bands set up or people sit and bring  guitar. The market is really large, over 100 vendors each week. I tried to take a short video, but it was extremely hard to hear the music on it. Here's just a little snippet of the market at out area of the park. There are roughly 100 vendors, lots to see. Maybe one of these weekends I'll walk the entire market and take a video.

After the market we went to our favorite shop, Hamilton Whole Foods (not to be confused with 'Whole Foods Market' massive chain shops). Hamilton Whole Foods sells real yummy organic, vegan, vegetarian and local foods and goodies. They have a small area up front for people to drink coffee and an area in the back to sit and have lunch and dinners that they cook up. We always talk about having lunch there but never do...until this past weekend. 

My sandwich was a grilled panini 'nature/vegan' patty, with tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and vegan mayo (they make their own condiments). They also usually put cheese and an herb dressing on it as well, I passed on both - but next time might have them give me the herb dressing on the side. It was delicious!!!

The mister had a falafel wrap, full of lots of veggies (not sure exactly everything that was in there) He scarfed his right down and then helped me finish my sandwich, so I'm assuming his was tasty too! 

(sorry for the bad pictures, my iphone didn't want to focus apparently - it was too hungry)

So we have decided that every weekend will be our little treat to have lunch at the market after. 

Do you have a local spot you have special lunches at?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 66 AND GIVEAWAY!

This week we are in Los Angeles..

Name:Tamara Mello
Occupation: Actor,crafter
Etsy Shop: blackbird design houseand madre de olivia

Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Southern California. And have been making things for as long as I can remember.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I’ve always made stuff. I get it from my mom who is super creative. I’ve been on Etsy for about 5 years. I created my Etsy shops when I decided to take time off from acting to be home with my daughter Olivia.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
Madre de Olivia is the name of my jewelry shop so I guess that’s pretty self-explanatory.
Blackbird Design House came from my favorite song being Blackbird by the Beatles. I used to sing it as a lullaby to Olivia when she was an infant.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
 Etsy has sometimes been a full time job and sometimes part time depending upon my schedule. I’ve just gone back to acting again after a 5 year break so I’m kind of juggling.

How would you describe your creative process?
Once I get an idea I tend to get manic about it. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best way to execute my vision. There’s a lot of trial and error. Once I have a rudimentary sample created I start refining it and streamlining the process.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
EVERYWHERE! Most of my inspiration comes from nature or found objects. I love the idea of form following function.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
An inlaid wood table that was made by my grandfather.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Gardening, yoga, cooking, laying on a beach with a good book, hanging with my husband and daughter.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
Nope. I’m pretty fortunate that I have a few different jobs and they’re all things I love and am passionate about.

Five years from now you will be…
If 5 years from now I’m doing what I’m doing now I’ll be a pretty happy girl. 

Describe yourself in five words:
Motivated, grounded, creative, silly, and eclectic.

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?

The Beatles, Mumford and Sons, Nina Simone, Hedwig, Simon and Garfunkle.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
I say if it’s something you’re passionate about and you feel like you have a particular niche, go for it! It’s very competitive and not for the feint of heart so ambition and determination are key elements for success. 

A special treat from Tamara.. one reader will win a signed copy of her book; Heart Felt Knits!


Knitting something by hand and then applying the centuries-old technique of wet felting results in gorgeous pieces that are durable, eco-friendly, and timeless. In Heart Felt Knits, actress-turned-crafter Tamara Mello offers twenty-five knitted and felted projects, from darling nesting bowls to elegant hats, cozy wraps, and chic hair accessories. Knitters will love watching their pieces take on surprising forms and textures through the felting process. With easy-to-follow knitting patterns, simple felting instructions, helpful how-to photographs, and lavish shots of the finished projects, this special book shows knitters of all stripes how to create unique accessories and keepsakes to last a lifetime.
Tamara Mello is the founder of the online shop Blackbird Design House (voted “Best of the Web” by InStyle magazine in 2010), where she sells her felted goods. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

fff vol 74

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

I came across a while back, then saw them again this past week in a treasury. I am just so smitten with them and think about how awesome it would have been to have one as a child.

Please can I move in?

What a great house and backyard..

Get in my belly!

As soon as someone at the market has cherries...I will be making these!

Tee shirt of the week:

My brother just moved to Brooklyn last week and is loving it. I love baseball tees and this one looks so comfy.

Anyone have exciting plans for the weekend? I'm getting antsy to go on an adventure. But we will probably stick around the area. The mister is working on the brakes on his truck - I cannot wait until that gets on the road and when we can take random little road trips for ice cream in it!

We are also updating out backyard and are learning about permaculture gardens and learning about foraging for food. So maybe we will work on that. 

I also need to create stock of my new Son of a Bee™ balm and start marketing that and getting it to local tattoo shops. 

So much to do. Oh! I finally found BPA-free deodorant containers I'll be able to use for my deodorants. Just saving up for the labels and then will be able to get those in the shop. If you want to donate to the "labels for deodorants" fund I'm gladly accepting donations! haha

Have a great weekend everyone, it was a long, stressful week at work - I'm soooo looking forward to a couple days off.