Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is it Time to Start a Modern Quilting Guild in Des Moines?


I think I want to start a quilting guild in Des Moines. Actually, I should be more clear by saying that I realize there might already be one, but I want to start a "modern quilting guild". What's the difference, you may ask? Well, thanks to this handy article on Etsy, I learned about the Modern Quilt Guild, an organization made up of chapters of "modern" quilters all around the country. I wouldn't have defined my quilting as modern before today, but I'm certain that these are my people (as far as quilters go) now that I've read through how they were defining the word—and after spending some time on their flickr page. Here's a sampling of some of my favorites from (Gabriel's baby quilt from broadloco is pictured above), along with more info about the MQG:

Concrete garden from Jaybirdquilts

The Modern Quilt Guild is a community of quilt guilds across the country. The online community of modern quilters is thriving and this guild grew out of a desire to also have us meet in person. The founding branch of the guild started in Los Angeles in October of 2009. Through blogs & the internet word spread quickly of the fun they were having and now branches have started popping up all over the country. We are a young organization just getting started with planning, organizing and sorting out all we will do as an association.


NB's Quilt 2 from Kate @ swim, bike, quilt

Modern quilting is a new twist on the traditional art of quilting. This may mean something as simple as using a traditional quilt block and updating it in a fresh fun new way. That includes using modern fabrics, modifying the block arrangement or even the scale of the block.  The piecing could be improvisational and wonky, or it could be very exact and measured, following a pattern or creating your own. The quilting could be traditional stippling, clean straight lines or a very “free” have fun, quilt as you go style. Fabrics could be upcycled vintage sheets, custom digital printed fabric, a yummy selection from one of the new modern fabric designers, or an old fabric from an ever growing stash.

Zig zag from  Lollyquiltz

Modern quilting is also about the attitude and the approach that modern quilters take. It respects the amazing artistry and talent of the tradition of quilting, while allowing the quilter to challenge the “rules”. In fact, if there were one rule in modern quilting it would be that there are no rules.

I think this sounds like it's right up my alley and I can imagine that meeting up with fellow quilters once a month to stitch, share and get to know each other would be really fun and informative. So if you live in or around Des Moines, and you make or are interested in this type of quilts/quilting, let me know. In the meantime, I'm going to investigate starting a chapter.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Q&A: Handmade Bag and Purse Maker Jennifer Ladd

Name: Jennifer Ladd
Location:  Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Facebook page:

Tell me a little bit about what you make, and why you like the process of making.
I make handmade bags and purses.  I love the challenge and excitement of using raw materials to create something cute.  Bags are especially great for this - they are generally constructed inside-out, and it is always thrilling to turn them back at the end of the process and see how it turned out!

How and when did you become interested in making bags?
I used to be a French teacher full-time, but we adopted our beautiful daughter from Vietnam in 2007 and I quit to stay home with her full-time.  I absolutely loved my new role, but after a few months, I did find myself getting a bit stir crazy and I needed a creative outlet just for myself (a bit if a break from Sesame Street!).  I started sewing a lot more and made myself a few new bags.  It was so fun for me that I decided to try selling them, and I haven't stopped since!

How would you describe your style?

When I design my handbags, I lean toward simple shapes and modern lines.  But I also try to add a surprise bit of levity to each purse with bold colors and eye-catching designs.  I'm also a fan of the unexpected ... an elegant clutch with an octopus on it, for example!

Where do you do your work?
I have my own sewing room in my house—such a nice space, and such a treat to have my own place that I can do with what I please (without toys, crayons, and Cheerios)!  I made sure it had bright colors so it is a fun, inspiring place to work.  Here are some photos:

Where do you look for inspiration?
I am inspired by beautiful fabrics.  I always get happy when I see a beautiful fabric combination. And
I think my work is most recognizable by its bright colors.

Is this your full-time work?
My daughter is my full-time job (the best one I ever had!).  My days are dedicated to her.  I sew at night as a bit of a mental break for me, a time to relax and express some creativity.   As she gets older, I do find myself having a bit more time to dedicate to my shop, but that will probably be short-lived ... we are in the process of adopting another baby girl from Ethiopia!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend Project: Feed Sack Pillow Cover

I started out the weekend intending to turn a stack of my granny squares into a throw pillow cover, but things veered slightly off course once I actually got to sewing.

I sewed my squares together—I wound up using all the same size because the fit together so nicely—and I love the somewhat modern and yet still traditional vibe that the finished rectangle has. I measured it to fit the front of a pillow that I have, and that needed a makeover, but the shape/size also lends itself nicely to a trivet. Or a placemat, which is what my friend Virginia called it before promptly requesting that I make her a set of 8 for the fall.

When I went to figure out which fabric I was going to use for the base, which was going to come out of my stash because as this was an experiment (and not worth brand new fabric in my book), I found a very cool feed sack that I'd forgotten about. I whipped it up into a pillow cover—which was fun because after the patchwork pillows, I really understand how the general design needs to work—and realized that it was perfect just the way it was.

So for now, I'm going to enjoy my granny square trivet and my new feed sack pillow cover and call this one a successful exercise in stream of consciousness crafting!

P.S. I also pinned the bias tape onto the big quilt that I've been working on for over a year and let me tell you, I am a VERY happy girl about being that close to being done. That and finally seeing flowers starting to bloom were definitely the highlights of my weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Inspired Image: Helen Summers of Thimbletop

After a brief hiatus, I'm bringing back the Friday Inspired Image series! I know, it's exciting stuff. I'd love to feature some of you right here on a future Friday, so if you have an image that speaks to you that you'd love to share, email me at thingswemake [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll give you a chance to share the spotlight! Now for Helen's pick, which I particularly love because I'm also from near Philly...

Hello, my name is  Helen Summers

You can find me at

This image comes from

It inspires me because although I am currently living in Western Massachusetts, I'm originally from just outside of Philadelphia, so the inside of 30th Street Station is a very familiar and inviting space for me.  I love the open space, and every single time I go in I am struck by how much I love the ceiling pattern.  I have spent plenty of time sitting on those benches after having just missed that train I was supposed to take, and every time I do I end up passing the time staring at that ceiling and imagining all of the various ways that I could use that pattern in a new embroidery project.

I particularly love  the way it captures the feeling of that huge, airy space in the main area.  Particularly as spring is finally approaching, this picture reminds me of being able to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere (and the people-watching).

It makes me feel more connected to my friends and family in PA.  I actually just visited this past weekend, and I am reminded of the amazing feeling of walking up the steps into that station and just immediately feeling right back at home.

The 3 words it conjures up are breezy, open, home.

Helen makes embroidered pieces with a sense of humor. Here's how she describes it:
"I learned to sew when I was about nine years old and my mother first taught me how to sew a basic rectangular pillow. When I was ready to stuff my first project, she tried to teach me how to turn the fabric inside out to hide the seam. I refused, arguing that I had worked hard on my careful stitching and wanted to show it off, not put it inside the pillow where no one could see it.

As the years have gone by my sewing has changed and advanced, going through stages of dresses and shirts and bags. However, it seems that I have finally come full circle. Through embroidery, I have once again discovered my love of creating stitches that everyone can see. I think that my nine-year-old self would approve of the fact that I try to keep a sense of humor in many of the items I make."

 And with those nice thoughts, I bid you lovely weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Q&A with Illustrator Judy Kaufmann

I'm really enjoying these bold, yet somehow also serene, illustrations from Judy Kaufman. I had no idea how transfixed I'd be by her answer to my question about where she finds her inspiration—I bet you will be too, so pour some coffee or tea and relax with a little light reading. Who knows, by the end of this point, your imagination might be ready to take you on a little journey.

Name: Judy Kaufman
Location: Barcelona
Site: etsy,

How long have you been illustrating/drawing and why do you like the medium?
I've been drawing since childhood, and seriously illustrating from 2003. That was the year when I took the decision to get into this medium and also to move from the city where I was born (Santiago de Chile) and come to live to Barcelona, an amazing city for illustrators and designers. I definitely like the medium when there is originality into it. I hate to find same illustration style everywhere, so of course I like when I see a lot of different styles from different people on the same city and at the same time. Makes me think about how inspiration work ...

What inspires you?
As I always say, I get the inspiration from what I don't understand, what I don't know, what I don't know how to do, what I am not. From the interest that I feel about all things that are outside of my life. That's where my imagination picks the inspiration. On the other hand, I have a bizarre and explosive inspiration when I go to museums and galleries and I get involved with different colors and formats, whether I like or not what I'm seeing.

How do you usually work- do you have an idea in your head and you sketch it out in one fell swoop or are you more likely to come up with an idea and tweak it over time?
Once, I  read an interview done to Francis Bacon that really made me a lot of sense, he was always talking about the accident, the fact that you never can think a specific idea and take it to the end, there always going to be something (here the accident comes) that appears as a detail, but will change the perspective and the message of the artwork. Obviously between art and illustration there is a large gap and does not always work like that. But to answer your question, I never know finally what it's going to be...

Is this your full-time work?
This is not my full-time work, I work in the morning for a small design studio and I keep the afternoon for my freelance design and illustration work. I work at home with a lot of different materials and techniques, I feel lucky to have a really nice space where I feel free to create.
Where do you do most of your work?
Here is a picture of my desk (at home). The table was made by Marc, my boyfriend. It is an old door painted that has a sort of sunk to leave the pencils. I love it because is comfortable and It's perfect to separate the computer with the drawing area, That's the "serious" place where I work because I also can draw in the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, the bus, in a conference or anywhere where I can get a pencil and a paper...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Granny Squares as a Pillow Cover?

At the moment, I have my quilt to finish (getting there!), my dress pattern to figure out (turns out that using a pattern is wicked hard...this might take some time...and I might need a real live tutor...), and granny squares continuing to stack up. I've been continuing to crochet them whenever I'm away from home and need something to do with my hands, a situation I find myself in rather regularly, in fact. 

Over the weekend, I decided it would be a good idea to make new throw pillow covers for my bed using them, so I made two larger squares to be the middle. Mind you, I didn't have the rest of the smaller squares with me, so I was guessing on the size. I was pretty close, thankfully.

My plan, roughly, is that I will sew these together, much like they are laid out above, then sew the entire thing to a piece of fabric, out of which I will craft myself a new throw pillow. For those of you who crochet regularly, can you let me know your thoughts on whether this will work? I'm figuring that if it doesn't work—and I realize that I need to make sure the size of my top piece is somewhat close to a standard pillow insert and that the sewn-together granny squares might turn out to be one uneven whole—it won't really be that big of a loss since this crocheting business has been a really fun experiment. And surely I will be able to think of something else equally fun to do with these squares. 

If any of you have done something like this or have helpful thoughts to share, comment away!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sponsor Spotlight: Daylilies Creations

If you're interested in becoming a sponsor of Things We Make, email me at thingswemake [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll be happy to provide you with info!

Name: Debra of Daylilies
Location: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada   
Sites:, Facebook, Etsy

Tell me a little about what you do.
In a nutshell, I help creativity flourish: I help people to learn new things, to trust their creative instincts and to just ‘go for it’. I help when someone gets stuck with a creative dilemma like how much stuffing should go into a 12” doll or how much fabric is needed for a lattice smocking project. I provide access to great creativity supplies that are easy to use, great for the environment and for our health. I also provide ideas, patterns and tutorials (like how to dye with Kool Aid, pictured above) and will help someone pick out their next project - and will even send them all the supplies they need if they want to make their project even easier – and I am accessible to help them if they need any help throughout their project. And, if someone likes a project, but just doesn’t want to do it themselves? I will make it for them too – if it isn’t already in our Etsy store.

How can creative people use Daylilies?
We are here to help – so if that means that you just want to read the Daylilies blog for great ideas, then go for it! If that means that you want supplies or patterns, than our online storefront is there for you 24/7. If you want to purchase finished goods from our blog and our storefront patterns, our Etsy store is the place for you! And watch out for our creativity contests too! They are a great way to put your creativity to work to win you great prizes.

But, if you just have a question about a project you are working on – any project at all – you can touch base with the studio through the chat box on the blog or the storefront home page, or you can email the studio at any time. Our Personal Creativity Assistant program will also be up and running shortly to make it even easier to get personalized help throughout your creative projects.

How did you decide to start the business?
After spending the better part of 20 years on my own creative endeavours (I am a trained professional fine artist and a member of the Portrait Society of Canada), I studied for my Masters degree in Creativity and realized just how much creativity has slipped out of our day-to-day lives in society today. I strongly believe that creativity is a good thing – for health, happiness and general wellbeing - and that everyone is creative at something. And that a world without creativity is not a world I want to live in. Daylilies was created to help nurture creativity and to encourage creativity in the world today.

Is this your full time work? If not, do you have any tips for fitting a creative side endeavor into a busy schedule?

Yes, this is my full time work. I really do not know how I would be able to do this any other way! From researching, testing and building projects, and writing them up in the Daylilies blog (and providing illustrated tutorials, like the one below for loom knitting) to running the online store and being accessible to my clients when they have questions about their projects – this is definitely full time work.

I think the whole thing about being creative is that you can’t just ‘fit’ it into a busy schedule. It is more a mindset of doing everything in your life creatively so that when you do have 5 or 10 minutes to work on a creative project, you are already in the creative zone and ready to have fun.

What is the best part of running the business?
The best part of running Daylilies is when I get to hear about the creative work that other people are doing. I love it when I get an email from halfway around the world asking for my help with a creativity question or from someone down the street with bored kids looking for something to keep them busy. The best part of the business has got to be the people that I meet and the things that I learn from them.

What inspires you?
Again, I would have to say that what inspires me is the very same thing as the best part of running the business. I find it tremendously inspiring to meet other people involved in creative work – whether it is their first project or their 4000th project – any creativity is inspiring and the people I meet and the things I learn from them are the most inspiring of all. And I can’t wait to see all the pictures from our Kid’s Creativity Contest. There is no better way to get inspired than to see what kids create!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Highlights: Snow, Sunshine and Spoonbread

Just for fun, it snowed four inches here just in time for spring. But, with my optimism in tact (even as I read multiple texts and status updates about the 68 degree weather back home in the Northeast), we headed out to Lake Red Rock to see some eagles.

I didn't bundle up as much as I should have, so the long walk that was intended turned rather short in the face of biting wind, but seeing the eagles—where these pelicans were in the fall—at the base of the dam was pretty great.

We were also nearly charged by a flock of geese on our way out of the walking path, which was both funny and somewhat terrifying (mostly due to the hissing).

To help us warm up, we had hot chocolate when we got home and then I had my first spoonbread adventure. If you are new to spoonbread, it's sort of a cross between cornbread and grits, with beaten egg whites in the mix to add a bit of sponginess.

The recipe came from this cookbook which I love because each entry is from a real Nebraska woman, but I'm intimidated by the lack of specific instructions. With the recipe that I used, there wasn't an oven temperature given, so I guessed and was more or less on target—though I admit that had it stayed in the oven for a minute longer than it did, the top would have been burned.

I enjoyed the dish, and it's certainly easy to make even with the need to beat the egg whites, but I think I'm going to tweak this recipe the next time I make it: I'm going to increase the cornmeal to 1.5 cups to make it a tad denser and I'm going to replace the teaspoon of sugar with 1/4 maple syrup because it was neither salty or sweet and I'd prefer a more definite directional leaning. Over dinner, we thought up all of the variations that spoonbread could take—leave out the sweetener and add Parmesan and crumbled and cooked sausage, add cheddar cheese and sweet corn kernels, or go gruyere and ham for a breakfast casserole. Looking forward to seeing where this takes me!

I'll have a granny square update later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Friday: All A Flutter

We've had a few glorious days of sunny weather here this week which has been completely uplifting. I want to spend more time outside, even when it's still chilly, and I have an intense urge to clear out and clean up my living and work spaces. These vintage-style paper butterflies from the Gilded Bee on etsy are simply delightful and pretty much embody the way I'm currently feeling. At $4.99 for a group of 6, this might be one surefire way to keep this feeling nearby, regardless of the weather.

Photo via the Gilded Bee; shop found through Oh, Hello Friend

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quick Weeknight Dinner: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Even though I'm not Irish and I've never really felt the need to celebrate St. Patty's Day, the fact that there was a raucous parade outside of my office inspired me to at least cook one green item for dinner yesterday. I'd had my eye on this Broccoli Cheddar soup from 101cookbooks for a while now and not only was it a cinch to pull together (I even used a no-fuss bag of frozen broccoli!), but it was completely delicious and very flavorful. We added a mostly seeded jalepeno pepper for a bit of a kick and had it with some garlic bread and chicken cutlets. It's definitely going into regular rotation!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mixed Media Collage from Wendy Brightbill of a Girl and her Brush

Wendy Brightbill sent me the link to her etsy shop a few weeks ago and I'm so glad that she did. Over in her shop, a girl and her brush, Wendy shares some of her mixed media collage work as prints of her original work. Let's take a look at some of my favorites (which includes the one above, which I Love!):

Wendy says that she loves to "create one of a kind, happy, life-giving pieces for the home" which entirely makes sense as I can just imagine the energy that having one of her prints in my house would give me.

When she's not painting, Wendy says that she's "a wife and stay at home mom to two beautiful girls" who, I imagine, fuel each others creativity.

Check out the other items in Wendy's shop and please feel free to share your work with me by emailing thingswemake [at] gmail [dot] com. I might not always respond or post about your work right away, but I promise you that I have a special folder for blog submissions that I am working my way through—and hearing about what each of you is making is the best part of this blog!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quilting Inspiration from Oh, Fransson!

I reached a big milestone with my quilt over the weekend—I am off the hoop. Which means I'm just working my way around the edge, quilting the 3-5 inches that stayed out of the hoop. If you're not a quilter, that might not make much sense, but the important bit is that this is the final step before doing the binding—which is the Final step before finishing. It's big! To help me stay motivated through the final push, I've been looking at Oh Fransson's quilts, like the one's pictured here, a lot.

Elizabeth's quilts are much more geometric and planned than mine, but I think that's what I love about them—they are ordered creativity which as a person who takes as much joy in a color-coded excel spreadsheet as I do, is pure genius.

I also love how she works so well within a range of colors and uses such pretty collections of fabric.

Images via Oh Fransson, where you can find pdf patterns to purchase and pages of inspiration on her blog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

March Mini- Print of the Month: Seedlings from Abby Try Again

I first saw this print towards the end of last week and I've been thinking of it ever since. Amazingly, it was in the 50s here this weekend, and the sun came out yesterday afternoon just in time for a long walk. I realize that I'm not the only person who's feeling this way and I apoligize if this sounds trite, but I am so relieved that spring is coming I can't even begin to explain it. I'm not sure whether this feeling is more intense after the winter we've had in Iowa or if I've just blocked out how I've felt at the end of previous winters, but I'm esctatic to be wearing a coat without a layer of down.

This seedlings print is from Abby Powell of Abby Try Again, who is the source of many of the floral prints that I have in my house. I think having these seedlings on my wall will help me remember, in future years, this moment when the weather suddenly turns towards warmth.

This is my fourth purchase in this year's mini print of the month series, which is my commitment to buying a photography or illustration print from an independent artist each month this year. At the moment, each print is helping to add life to my guest/sewing room.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Photo Friday: Crocheted Flower Bed Sprouting Spring

This Hope Springs Eternal print from knittalatte's etsy shop sums up exactly how I'm feeling lately—entirely ready for brighter colors, with an eagerness to reach up and stretch out after being bundled up all winter long. They are just so pretty.

I'm taking the day off on Monday because I could use a personal day, so Josh and I are going to take a day trip to Iowa City.  I've never been and am very curious to see what it's like there. The rest of our plans for the weekend include a lot of catching up on relaxing since there's been a lot going on lately. I'm going to pop over to Ephemera for the Urban Posture trunk show (and because it's cupcake day) and if I can swing it, I'd like to spend the remainder of Saturday sewing. I'm feeling the need to dive into a project for a few hours, so check back Monday to see how things go! Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Knit Necklace/Scarves by Ohsomilla


I am in love with these merino wool necklace/scarves from Camilla Bourbon of Ohsomilla.

Here's how she got the idea for her line (which also includes some earrings and purses):

“OhSoMilla” was born as I was going through some of my 106-year-old grandmother’s things. I was admiring her vintage purses, which are so well made and immaculately kept, but which needed something to bring them up to date and I thought “Why not add a modern touch to them?” This process not only brought back my childhood joy of decorating practical items but it also allowed me to practice what I believe in as a designer by not contributing to the wasteful consumer culture, which throws things aside once they are out of style. OhSoMilla’s mission is to promote reinvention and re-use, combined with the magical artist’s touch.

I think it's sometimes hard to rethink what we're all used to making, but this new take on a scarf is seriously inspiring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring is in the Air (and Around your Neck) with Luckyduct Jewelry

Rachel Pfeffer's etsy shop, Luckyduct, is filled with jewelry that's just perfect for spring. Plus, I love the simple, yet playful, way that she packages her creations.

It's also likely that since we're under flood warnings here in rainy Des Moines, I'm fixating on these items today because all I really want is for the sun to come out and to be able to take a bike ride.

But until then, I'm just going to enjoy how pretty these bikes are and dream of riding mine in a pretty dress come summer.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sponsor Spotlight: Button Up Creative Designs

Name: Jacqueline, Jessica and their mom, Cheryl of Button Up Creative Designs
Location: Seattle, WA

Tell me a little bit about what you make.
We make handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry created with our collection of new and vintage buttons. Each piece is unique and features our distinctive technique of stringing the buttons to achieve our desired look. We are a family-run business comprised of two sisters and their mother, all bringing their specific talent’s to the table to produce this craft which we love!  

How did you decide to start the business?
Fifteen years ago, my older sister, Jessica, encountered a very serious illness. While recovering in the hospital she filled her time with crafts and made our very first button necklace as a gift to our mother who remained at her side throughout her stay. The necklace has always been my Mom's favorite piece of jewelry in part, I believe, because it reminded her to be grateful for my sister's recovery. It also didn't hurt that strangers would approach her to admire it and ask where she purchased it, every time she wore it out. It seemed to always be a conversation starter…

…Fast-forward fifteen years later, when Jessica got engaged, we decided to make more necklaces in our small effort to help pay for her upcoming wedding. That is when the business truly got its start. Although Jessica is now happily married, we have continued making necklaces and even expanded our button line. 

 Why buttons?
As a child, I remember often getting in trouble for rummaging through our recycle bin to find materials to craft with. I loved turning old, useless items into something artistic and special. I think this trait has made its smooth transition into our current button business. We create beautiful pieces out of a collection of buttons that are primarily recycled and/or vintage. We are often gifted a box of buttons someone may have had in their attic for decades which, in my mind is just like creating treasure from the items in the unwanted recycling bin all over. This approach to our creations gives us an opportunity to turn “trash” into “treasure”, so to speak and to create something new and wonderful out of often old and unique materials.

What makes your creations unique?
Without a doubt, our materials. I like to think that each of these vintage buttons we use has its own story and at one time belonged to a very special garment. Some buttons look as though they must have come from an army uniform while others I can imagine lining the back of my grandmother’s wedding dress. Pulling these materials together into one piece is what gives them their distinctive special look.
One of our favorite projects is to take the old buttons from an individual's loved one who may have passed and create a special necklace for them from these buttons as a piece that will act as a reminder of their love for that individual and their gratitude for having them in their life, much like our original necklace served to do for my mother.


I love the idea of a female family business- how would you say that your relationships have changed? 
The three of us actually live in different areas scattered throughout the west coast. Yet despite our geographical locations, our business helps to bring us together. We meet up to represent our creations at selected handmade craft shows throughout the year and we talk often to discuss our inventory, new ideas, sales, etc. It has been a very fun experience working together and continues to give us an excuse to gather. As I mentioned we all bring different skills to the business; my mom being the most creative one, my sister the most web-savvy, and me with the wild-card ideas and creations. I think our unique combination has absolutely helped to shape our business and the products that result from it. In addition, my sister and I represent a different generation than our mom, so our ideas and tastes often vary, just as our those of our customers.
Is this your full time work? If not, do you have any tips for fitting a creative side endeavor into a busy schedule?
We each have separate full-time jobs and view this side job more as a hobby. Viewing it as a hobby allows us to enjoy creating button jewelry rather than looking at it as a job and as something that eats up our free time.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weekend Highlights: Indian Grocery, Beer Tasting and Granola

While we were out and about on Saturday, Josh and I stopped for lunch at a random Indian restaurant. It wasn't really planned, but when I saw it, I immediately suggested (strongly) that we eat there since it had been too long since I'd had naan or chicken tikka masala. The food wasn't anything fancy, but it made for a nice and easy lunch, and I got to peruse the attached market. There were aisles of dried beans and grains (I bought some Kaleem Wheat because it looked like a cross between a wheat berry and barley). 

 There were also stacks of something that looked like a tortilla and these, which I photographed simply because I liked the packaging. It was a nice reminder that I need to explore the many ethnic markets around town more often—particularly around lunch time.

After lunch we headed to the Beer N' Bread event at Living History Farms (a local farm dedicated to showing how agriculture has changed over the years-with a blacksmith and authentic turn of the century farm dinners!). It was a beer tasting of micro and home brews, plus a few artisanal bread makers, which is totally my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon. I learned that I dislike hoppy beer, but that I really like Heifenwizen.
 I also think it's pretty fun to be able to taste a lot of beer and then stroll through the gift shop and look at vegetable seeds and books on everything you need to know to survive country life.

Sunday I spent a bit of quiet time quilting and did a brief stint in the kitchen. I made a big pot of veggie chili and cornbread for dinner and a tray of vanilla cranberry granola so I felt like I was sending Josh home with plenty of yummy provisions to start his week. I definitely take after my female relatives in that regard!