Monday, November 30, 2009

First Friday- I'm IN!

I love First Fridays in Portland, Maine! They are a great night where everyone comes out, visits and enjoys the art scene. I am participating this month in a group show at Corduroy, where I have two large prints and two gouache paintings. Above is the flyer, click on it to read it more clearly. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tis the Season for... PIES! (A repost)

I decided to repost this from last Thanksgiving- to offer our family pie recipe! Enjoy!

My Mother is the queen of pie making hence why at every birthday and at our wedding reception I asked for Pies please!

With her recipe you will be making delicious pies too! The recipes are SOO easy!


Pie crust:

1 crust- ie just a bottom crust for a pumpkin pie

1 and a 1/3 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
3 Table spoons of cold milk
1/3 cup of Wesson oil/ veg oil
1/4 cup of sugar

2 crusts- ie top and bottom- for an apple pie

2 Cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of sugar


Measure out your oil in a measuring cup then add the milk to the measuring cup- DO NOT STIR

In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients- the flour and salt. ADD the liquid to the flour mixture and mix with a fork. Here comes the improvisation- if the mixture is too dry and not sticking together then add a touch a milk until it begins to look like dough. Sometimes you will need to do this and other times you wont! Its part of cooking!

Then wet the counter and lay one layer of wax paper down (the dampness allows the paper to stick and not move).

Then put your dough on the paper and layer another piece of wax paper over top. Then roll it out with your rolling pin. Be sure to change directions to get an even circle and not an oval!

Then take the top piece of paper off and scoop your hand underneath the paper with the dough on it and flip it over into the pie pan and remove the wax paper.

If you are baking just one pie crust for a pie whose contents you don't have to bake- ie a French silk chocolate pie- then you will stab holes in the crust with a fork- to avoid any air bubbles being created btwn the dough and the pan. You will cook it at 500 for 5-7 mins.

APPLE PIE recipe- (what to put between your pie crust!)

NOTE when making an apple pie you will prep the apples before making the crust- because since this is an easy pie crust recipe it doesn't keep like the standard old fashion crusts do- and you will need to cook this one right away.

Peel and core 6-8 apples
Put them in a bowl and squeeze a lemon over them to prevent them from browning.

In a separate bowl mix sugar 1/4- 1/3 cup of brown sugar and the same of white sugar. 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and a pinch of salt AND mix!

ASSEMBLE the crust and place the bottom crust in the pan and then layer the apples into the crust.

After the first layer of apples- you will sprinkle on a layer of the sugar mixture. You will repeat the altering layers until you have reached the edge of the pie crust. I usually over layer because the apples cook down a bit and you want your pie to have some apples in it!

The last layer will be the sugar layer.
Then cut 2 Table spoons of butter and put it on top of the apples.

Put the top crust on and pinch around the edges of the crust- sealing the two crusts together.

Cut 4 holes in the top crust as a vent to let the pie breath when being cooked. THEN sprinkle a little bit of white sugar on the top of the crust.


Preheat the oven at 425- you will cook the pie at this temp for 15 mins
THEN turn the temp down to 350 and cook the pie for an additional 30 mins.

The pie will be done when the edges are golden brown and there is a nice bubbly over flow around the edges!


Black Friday shopping suggestions- online of course

Many people will be hitting the net this weekend to get a crack at some holiday shopping, although I am not one of them (i'll be selling though ;) )- I have some fun suggestions for new sites I've come across... maybe a wish list is in order?

Need Supply, modcloth, pixie market, abigailpercyJewelry, harvestgoldgallery, luckymebeads, Littlehousesclothing, isphotography, bluebellbazaar, blacksheepheap, moxieandoliver, marcig's, macslaps, prettysneaky

that's it for now!

Oh and free shipping at Urban Knitifits this black friday weekend!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Craft Fair Prep

Here is our Banner for our Craft fair booth! And since we have two fairs coming up in Dec, we thought this weekend would be the perfect time to get cracking! I had some leftover canvas and I zig-zagged the edge with red thread, and then Les cut out "Urban" from gray felt, glued it in place while I stitched "knitfits" by hand with this fun blue yarn. Then Les outlined the city skyline and we painted it with black fabric paint. Then I cut a bird shape out of an old red vintage sweater that was in my "sewing" box. And poof our bird! Just like our Etsy shop banner!

Now we just have to have grommets placed in all four corners. Below the banner is one of the three aprons I made. I copied an industrial apron for size and pocket ideas. I made them out of this striped kaki fabric, attached some ribbon, then used the same fabric ink to paint on the letters- Urban with stencils and knitfits free hand. There are three pockets, two large- for all the Scrillah we'll be bringing in, and one slender and shorter pocket in the middle for pens.

Here's a detail of the banner. Once the bird dries (adhered with fabric glue) I will go around the edges with a zigzag red stitch for extra reinforcement and to ensure the knit sweater remnant wont fray. I might also stitch around the word "Urban" with black thread. (From a distance it doesn't read as felt, but rather paint... and we wanted a few different textures on our banner while keeping it simple and graphic.) If you've been to craft fairs you know that a banner is kind of important and the more unique and fun- the more eye catching and as a result- more visitors to your booth!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

How to make over a dress form, in case you were wondering!

In Prep for our Urban Knitfits Craft shows, I wanted a dress form for our booth- something that would act as a display and as an element that would transform our booth into a shop.
So I posted an ad on craigslist and the above dress form is the result. I knew that an authentic vintage form would run me $150+++ So I settled for this $40 one and I decided I would transform it myself. Here's a how to! (in case you ever find yourself in the same situation!)

I had a bunch of Canvas fabric around from a pillow project, so I dyed it in our tub with loads of generic tea bags. (I took pictures of the process and I might use these images in an art project down the road.)
I felt that the leg definition- or crotch, was a lot of things- unauthentic to the vintage version, visually distracting as a result and too mall mannequin. So I used some epoxy glue and adhered cardboard to the form.
Once the fabric was dry and ironed, I sewed seems and darts along the larger pieces with my machine, before using some sturdy fabric glue to ultimately glue it in place. Originally I planned on hand sewing the canvas to the form but soon realized I was insane and with some helpful motherly advice, I bought some fabric glue. -Above- is a picture of how I would glue the fabric and then keep it in place by pining it to the form until it dried.

Here is the final picture. I still have one or two things left to do- for example, I might take some sand paper to a few edges and fray the fabric as well as take fabric paint and stencils and add letters and numbers along the neck- to mimic the vintage forms. I decided not to put the wooden top back on, since even if I aged it, it still wouldn't look authentic. I'm not too jazzed about seeing the cardboard so clearly through the fabric, but ultimately I think it's fine. It's finally done to the point that we have been using it for pictures for our etsy shop and we might hang or write "Urban Knitfits" on it to act as another sign for our booth, as well as necklaces or scarves. We are making our banner for our booth this sat, I'll post pics once that's done!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Need some fun gift ideas!? Here are a few from etsy!

Here are a few shops and items to get the wheels turning and your heart inspired to buy some unique gifts this year! Support artists and the environment and buy hand made!!

Above, a print by Slidesideways, they have really great artwork and other silk screen printed items! Check them out!

LovePrint makes this fab necklace of your prints! Would look great on it's own or added to an existing necklace!

My friend and co founder of Urban Knitfits- Her brother has this insane shop called MacSlaps. He has been selling these great decals like crazy! He's hit it big. They make a great little add on gift, or stocking stuffer for 12-14$.

I Love this shop -Yann Pendaries, a photographer whose images are whimsical and inexpensive.
Hope you enjoyed, and happy shopping!
ps- I have some new artwork on my grayday shop you can check out too!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Second day in a row on the front page of Etsy!!

Check us out!!! It's the ski cap on the middle right!!! This is so awesome to be recognized for the second day in a row!! Hip hip hooray! and become our fan on facebook! And it sold!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Making it to the front page of ETSY!

Tonight we made it to the front page of etsy. That's me in the gray slouchy hat! And it sold, naturally, that's the blessing of being on the front page! (btw this is a big deal in etsy land!)

I'm in love with this site

I read about this site now and again through out the year... and now I suddenly find myself back on it after too much time away, it's called 20x200. The idea is to sell and buy affordable art- starting at $20 and going up from there to $1000 or more. In addition to Photographs, they sell prints and other fine art... I'm in love with this one above! here's the link! If for some reason you need to get me something for Christmas this year- eh hem family, this is a good place to start!

And I love this one just as much! Learn about it here... I say- go big or go home, I love big artwork and these would make a great impression in one's home!

Happy belated birthday- BLOG!

My Blog turned a year old on the 11th, and I missed it! I was reminding myself all last month and even this week, but I goofed (too distracted with upcoming craft fairs, I guess).

A little History: My blog was born out of frustration of the job search- of the limited format of a resume. I wanted to show potential employers my other skills besides the basic facts. How I multitask up the wah-zoo, my ability to problem solve, my interests and my drive.

Over the next year, I hope to reach a wider audience, acquire more "followers" and hopefully gain personal and professional opportunities as a result of my blog. We have had some good times together over this first year! Stay tuned for the next year!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GRAYDAY shop- makeover

Thanks to a good friend of mine and my urbanknitfit partner- I have this cool new banner for my etsy shop! With this new banner- I am able to launch my revisioned shop complete with all of your decorating needs. The concept is- that you can buy from all three categories and thus decorate your space with an eclectic vibe!

At the moment my shop has artwork and a few vintage objects, but soon it will also include found objects and handmade pillows, and other vintage treasures!

Green housekeeping: Drain clogs

It was just something we couldn't ignore anymore- we needed to clean out the drains in our bath tub and sink. Our Apartment has an old clawfoot tub and sink and thus we are only suppose to use mild cleaning products- like dishwashing liquid in order to avoid any damage or corrosion. And since we have been reading A guide to green house keeping we have begun cleaning with vinegar and baking soda, so I knew those ingredients would be included in our remedy but wanted to know some specifics.

So I quickly googled our problem and this was the remedy:

take 1/2 cup of backing soda and pour it in your drain (after you remove any visible clogs, which thankfully we did not have)

Then pour in 1/2 cup of white vinegar, let them foam and react together and then pour in boiling water to flush this mixture down through the drain. They recommend repeating this process a few times, which we did. We finished up with another 1 or 2 teapots of boiling water and the difference is awesome! Our tub and sink both drain almost immediately!

I will note that for our tub, we have those fitted screens that you can buy at the hardware store, and it keeps hair out of our drain, but regardless we still had this issue. But thankfully we accomplished our clean with a green technique avoiding any draino chemicals going into the water system!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Recipe: squash and white bean soup

Tis the season for squash! And since we have a direct hook up to a local farm- we have had a bounty of squash lying around! And thus we embarked on that pesky recipe folder that never sees any love... Until NOW!

This recipe comes from Real Simple magazine and we fudged some of the ingredients to accommodate our sparse pantry. The subs will be in parenthesis.

Cook 1 onion in olive oil in the bottom of your soup pot.

Then add in 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, 1 small butternut squash, peeled- should yield 4 cups once chopped.

1 table spoon of thyme, salt and pepper.

2 15 ounce cans of cannellini beans, rinsed. (we used one can of pigeon beans and one can of cannellini)

1 bunch of spinach, thick stems removed+ 4 cups (we used leftover beet greens from a farmer's market trip over the summer- they were kept frozen in our freezer)

1/4 cup shredded parm (we used cheddar slices- see pic).

It was super tasty, a great fall soup that provided many meals and great for taking to work!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Artwork and commission ideas...

I am participating in a craft fair this weekend at the school I work for, and am gearing up to market myself for commissioned portraits. ABOVE is an example of my niece, and below is the picture I worked from. (the image of the drawing is a bit dark... fyi) I am going to make a brochure with examples of the two and also have the original framed on display.

I am also gearing up to spruce up my other etsy shop- grayday, with new artwork and decorating items like hand sewn pillows and fun objects... Above is a pencil and gouache drawing of a french pumpkin.

And two mushroom drawing/paintings. The idea of my grayday makeover is the customer could buy items from all three categories and have an eclectic vibe in which they can decorate their space!

I'll update once my shop is revamped and running!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reinventing your Boots!- A look back

Since it's boots season again and the economy is still super "awesome" I thought a look back on this boot-upgrade post from last fall would be timely! Enjoy

In keeping with my ReINVENTING your Stuff- entries... I thought I would tackle something bigger. First came reinventing your unworn jewelry- and then how to display your jewelry so you DO wear it. And then how to embellish sweaters (more to come in that department btw!) and now BOOTS! That's right.

See I think its all about making something "Feel" new without the cost of buying something new. So I took on my standard brown leather boots. They are about 4 years old, from j-crew, but they needed to be spiced up a bit, to set them apart, giving me a project and something "new" in my wardrobe!
I will admit I did spend about $10 on a few specific buttons and one special needle for sewing leather. I took some ribbon from my grandmother's sewing stash I inherited- and I folded the ribbon in half and sewed it together with a zig zag stitch on my machine. I thought Blue would be different- and would make the buttons POP.
Then I attached the ribbon on to the boot at the top- by folding it over the edge and hand sewing it in place- and then I attached the ribbon to the bottom- again with needle and thread. Then I marked where I wanted the buttons to go- and sewed them on as well. I did NOT attach the entire ribbon to the boot- where it is attached -by the buttons- I think is sufficient. (later- I might reinforce those spaces between- if necessary). And remember it's all about ODDS- in decorating and in applying buttons to a boot- ie: 5 looks better than 4 and I learned for me 5 looked far better than 3!
And Voila! Here is the final product. Kind of different and a little funky.

There are other ways to change your boots- 1) You could sand them down just a bit to scuff them up and then polish them with a different shade of shoe polish- lighter or darker from the original in order to have a greater impact. 2) You could also SEW on matching patches of fabric on to the back of the boots. I have a pair of boots that I bought a few years ago- that came like that, and I think it would be easy to do yourself. 3) THEN there is always doing a little leather work on your boots- using leather tools to punch holes in the top edge of the boot and then weaving in leather strips...etc The possibilities are endless.

4) AND if you are a little nervous to tackle this yourself- you can always take them to your cobbler and get them to spruce up your boots for you- It wont cost nearly as much as a new pair of boots - PLUS its good on the ol environment.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

2 New books to Spice up my knitting!! Thanks MOM

WOW, I love these two books! and thanks to my mother and amazon they belong to me! What a great surprise to get in the mail- and on my day off no less!! I don't even know where to begin! But I will say my knitting and crocheting is going to get a lot more interesting from here on out.

Now to the books! The first one is this new book called "Crochet Adorned" by Linda Permann and is full of fantastic crochet projects from embellishing a top, adding a fun hem to a dress and a little border to some flats! The second is "Reversible Knits" by Lynn Barr and is full of some AWESOME projects- most reversible, with some fun open knit patterns that look like crochet, but are knit instead. There is even a reversible sweater- that you can wear it either right side up or upside down!!!

What a great gift to get BEFORE the Holiday knitting season!!!

Thanks MOM!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

transition shoes

I love the barefoot sandle clad days of summer, so I am never one to rush to socks and shoes come the cooler months, but since relocating from the Philly area to Maine, I am discovering the differences between the seasons... and finding I need to accomidate a little earlier than what I am used to! Thus I have been searching and mostly admiring -due to funds, some transitional shoe options- something that is not too heavy a shoe or heel, that will cover my foot more than a ballett flat, that I can easily slip on- run out the door and still look like an adult (relatively!).

Above a fun converse option from Urban outfitters- love the blue! at $45

Love these gold shoes from Anthropologie! (just wish I still had my discount!)at $138

These are on my christmas list- from Urban outfitters, I bet they look cute with skirts and dark tights. at $248

Fun new fall Toms shoes. I've still been wearing my regular toms- sans sock so pretty chilly toes, and I'm pretty sure my boss thought I was wearing slippers the other day! So these would be a fun upgrade! at $69

Another funky pair of black shoes from urban outfitters by Frye. They would add a little edge to the wardrobe! at $178

And from Pixie market these studded oxfords, aren't your average oxfords!
at $88

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

it's my sister's b-day

Happy Birthday Lizard!!!


Well I put this on my facebook status a month or so back- but after reading this blog on What I Wore- I am inspired to list my goals and intentions on my own blog. In the past I have found that by listing my projects on this blog actually holds me accountable for them and helps me get them done since they are more public!! So I figured if I do this on a bigger scale it will translate! Here goes:

I would love to be my own boss, to determine my own schedule, to make a living off of living, off of my interests and skills, or talents. To paint and get paid for it! To do some freelance decorating, to have a little bit of everything in my life that my "job" is an effortless expression or extension of my daily interests. I want to be one of those cool etsy sellers, while also being an active member of my local art community.

there, now it's public! awesome


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