Friday, December 16, 2011

FOODIE: Bagel Sandwiches

Way back in the day I used to work at a Noah's bagel shop at 4am every morning. I hated that damn job, but I did learn to love bagels and to make a mean bagel sandwich. Not like it's that hard, really. Now I make them at home all the time. My favorites are bagel melts, which are so much cheaper to make at home than purchase at bagel shops.
We buy our bagels in bulk from Winco Foods. (Alice and I love everything bagels, Lucy only likes plain, and Eric prefers sesame seed.) Cut them in half, pop them in the toaster, butter lightly and layer the halves with toppings of your choice. We often make 'breakfast bagels,' which consist of whipping and microwaving an egg in the microwave, putting said egg on toasted and buttered bagel half, top with thin sliced ham and a slice of swiss cheese. Place on a cookie sheet under the broiler and watch closely, warming just until the cheese melts. We also make them for lunch with all kinds of veggies, lunchmeats, and tun, all topped with cheese, of course. Makes for a delicious warm meal on cold winter days, especially when paired with soup.

Friday, December 9, 2011

ARTSY: Trey McIntyre Project 10+1 pt. 3

So, I'm in this show again and I'm thrilled! A benefit for the renowned Trey McIntyre Project, a contemporary dance company based here in Boise, each year TMP invites local artists to create works inspired by dance/the company. Last year I made this. This year I made something inspired by this dance performance they did about two years ago. Here's a sneak peek:
If you're in town, you'd best come to the opening party tonight, TMP Headquarters on Fulton Street, right next to TableRock Brew Pub, 5-9pm. It's free, and sure to be fabulous!

Friday, December 2, 2011

ARTSY: Prison Art

One of my most favorite places in Boise, the Old Idaho State Pen. It's creepy and wonderfully preserved and well worth a visit. Or several. I can never get enough time here. Alice and I got the rare chance to access some of the cells in the 4 House and got these pics of the incredible inmate art.

Friday, November 25, 2011

CULTURE: The 2011 Wintry Market

Our inaugural Wintry Market was a huge success! Over the course of two days (Sat Nov 5 and Sun Nov 6) thirty different crafters, artists and makers filled the Ballet Idaho Auditorium space with good fun and terrific handmade gifts. Hundreds of people came through and the vibe was casual and eclectic and inspiring, by all accounts
And! You guys! The Ticky-Tacky shop did spectacular upon it's debut. Seriously, I got great comments about the quality of items and the originality. Several people even mentioned that I should have a store somewhere. As for now, though, I'm still just working the local booth/event market. I sold almost $350 worth of vintage goodness, though, in just two days. This exceeded my expectations, and totally got this girl a brand-new Kenmore vacuum.
My co-conspirators in all things crafty, Anna and Kristin. Together, we put together a pretty wonderful show and helped promote handmade and local goods in Idaho. I love these ladies. They also took way better photos than I did, so for more images of the Wintry Market, check out our blog and our Facebook page. You should also 'like' us/follow us to get info about other holiday markets in Idaho, as well as get updates on Wintry Market 2012!

Friday, November 18, 2011

STYLE: T-shirt Revamp With Men's Tie

I follow Craft Gossip on Facebook and saw this link to this blog's tutorial on upcycling an old t-shirt with a men's tie. Eric happens to have a plethora of old, quirky ties lying about, so I snatched one up.
My blue tee had another stain on it (as most of my tees do) so I crafted a few little fabric rosettes to cover that up, and to adorn the tie.
In the original tutorial, she uses a vintage button, which I also think would be darling. But this turned out pretty cute, don't you think? I can't wait to make more!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

ARTSY: Wintry Market + Ticky-Tacky

Early last spring, my friend Kristin Montgomery and I met for brunch and discussed Boise's need for a quality handmade arts and crafts holiday market. We had both noticed that our local handmade shops and markets were expanding and seemed to be successfully operating on a grassroots level that we both appreciated and enjoyed. We knew that we could add something special to the holiday scene and thus, Wintry Market was conceived!
We quickly secured Ballet Idaho's stellar auditorium space, thanks to the community-building mindset of their new development director, Heather Langhorst, and her commitment to artists supporting artists locally. Local animator Jason Sievers created our fabulous poster and we soon had all 30 available booths at the Wintry Market filled with some of the best makers in the state of Idaho. Big City Coffee was thrilled to help our customers satisfy their caffeine fix and sweet tooth and B29 Streatery is ready to park their popular food truck in the Ballet Idaho parking lot for the weekend.
Co-creating the Wintry Market has also allowed me to finally fulfill one of my dreams of starting my own vintage shop. I call it Ticky-Tacky, and it's a carefully curated vintage shop full of reloved and reused items for the home and the holidays. Items have been thrifted, repurposed, and handmade by yours truly. You guys, I'm so excited to share the goodness!
There'll be killer vintage Christmas goods! Clothes! Purses! Kids decor! Art books! Crochet! Needlepoint! Crystal! Melmac! Ticky-Tacky is overflowing with so much greatness it's gonna be hard for me to part with all the retro lovelies I've selected. Of course, everything is one of a kind, and is certain to go fast, as I'm a firm believer in reasonable prices. Vintage homes FTW!
So, if you're local, help us ring in the holidays season by attending the inaugural Wintry Market and supporting Idaho's artists and crafters. Seriously, you're sure to find the most unique and hip holiday gifts around. And, I'd love for you to stop by the Ticky-Tacky booth and say hello.
Here's the deets:
Wintry Market Handmade for the Holidays
Ballet Idaho auditorium
Corner of 8th & Myrtle, in downtown Boise's BoDo District
Sat Nov 5 & Sun Nov 6, 2011
+kids recycled arts corner!
+coffee and snacks!
+quirky holiday photo booth!

Friday, September 9, 2011

KIDDOS: BSU's Vertebrate Museum

We did so many fun things as a family this summer, that I can't wait to share them with you. As you can tell, much of our time was spent away from the computer and out of doors, meaning a severe lack of posting. Anyhow, one of our little day trips included a visit to Boise State University's Vertebrate Museum in the Science Building.

The Science Building is right next to the Morrison Center on campus and houses biology, chemistry and nursing. They recently reinstalled the quirky collection throughout the halls on the second floor of the building, and they are open to the public.
The girls had so much fun exploring taxidermied birds and fish and checking out all kinds of seashells, a thrill as we were headed to the Oregon coast the very next day. Also, we got in a little visit with daddy, a chemistry professor with offices on the third floor of the same building.
It is truly a gem of a place to take the kiddos, and you can even grab lunch at Subway on the first floor of the building or just across the lawn there's a mini Mai Thai in the food court that is too die for. You'll want to pay for parking garage parking, though, as there are just a few metered spots around the building that only last for 30 minutes and the parking ticket folks are ON IT.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

STYLE: My Five Home Favorites

My friend and talented interior designer, Kristin Montgomery, hosts a lovely little blog called Inspired Designer. Occasionally, Kristin invites other stylish and crafty folks to send her five photos of their favorite spots/collections in their home and writes a feature called 'My Five Home Favorites.' I'm lucky to have been asked to participate this week! Click here to see what my current favorites are at our tiny little 1950s homestead on Boise's Bench.
And speaking of style, what do you think of my new blog layout? Having just celebrated my second blogiversary, I thought it would be fun to do something a little different and update the look.

Monday, May 16, 2011

STYLE: Black and white photo collage

I've been collecting black and white photographs for quite some time. I have a nice framed collection of larger ones in a hallway, including a 1970 studio shot of the Brady Bunch family autographed by Barry Williams and one of an early 1900s parade in Boise's Chinatown. I've also quite the stash of smaller black and white photos, picked up for pennies at antique stores and garage sales, including about 30 images of historic architecture in Indianapolis.
But it was when my sister-in-law, Crystal, sent me this link to a darling San Francisco home tour featured on Apartment Therapy's website that I knew the little collection's true calling. There are so many things to take inspiration from in this couple's cute home, including the plate display on the wall (which I already have goin' on), but it was the pinned exhibit of old photos that really caught my eye.
I picked up some black and white ball-topped pins at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft up the street for under $2 and set to work. The photos aren't straight, but they do make a nice assymetrical composition that can grow as my collection does. I love that the photos are out of the drawer in the basement and next to my bed, where I can examine them and make up stories about the characters in them, including the one of the lady wearing her Sunday finest pointing a shotgun with a sly smile on her face.

Monday, May 9, 2011

FOODIE: Making Breakfast

As a radical homemaker, I've been trying to make more of our food from scratch, including staples. This past month I've tried, with varying degrees of success, to make some breakfast items that we eat regularly. One is homemade yogurt. A few months ago I tried to make this recipe in my trusty crockpot, but it was a big fat fail. A few weeks ago I tried this one pictured above, using a warm water bath in a cooler. While it was more successful than my first attempt, the yogurt really never set up to the thick consistency I like it to be. We do make a ton of yogurt fruit smoothies in this house, though, and my homemade yogurt worked great for that. I'm giving it one more try, using my friend Rachel's tried and true recipe, and hoping that the third time's a charm.
I have tried to make a variety of breakfast/granola type bars in the past, and they've just been okay. When my favorite Montana blogger, Nici, posted this recipe for her homemade figgy bars, I made them the very next day. I didn't have figs on hand, but made the filling using dried prunes and some homemade apricot jam and it turned out wonderful. So good, in fact, that I gave a box as a gift to a new mama and her young family.
My girls love the Nutrigrain Eggos for breakfast. It's so easy to pop them in the toaster before school. I decided one Sunday morning to whip up a huge batch of whole wheat waffles and freeze them instead, to aid in the cost of the Eggos as well as the nutritional content. While Alice liked them the first few days, Lucy refused them. It's been over a month and I still have one or two in the freezer. Obviously they weren't a huge hit. But the figgy bars were loved by all and many were stolen by Eric for a healthy afternoon snack at work. One out of three ain't bad, right?

Monday, May 2, 2011

STYLE: Vintage souvenir travel plates

It's probably only been about a year now that I've been collecting vintage souvenir travel plates. But I'm a wee bit addicted to hoarding quirky things.
I find them, typically, at rummage sales and thrift stores and have never paid more than $4.99 for one, and most are around $1. They were popular tourist trinkets in the 1950s and were made for most states, large cities, and national parks. I've found some odd ones, like for the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma, and, for some reason many local churches marked significant anniversaries with commemorative plates.
Events like the Seattle World's Fair in 1962 (when the Space Needle made it's debut) were also popular to memorialize in a plate, and the dimensional relief on this particular piece if pretty great. They often hung on the walls of people who bought them, servings as memories of family vacations and roadtrips, made doable by the automobile in the mid twentieth century.
The plates went out of fashion and people are getting rid of them now, gifting them to the Goodwill as they find them in old boxes of grandma's stuff. As a sucker for Americana and kitsch, I'm intrigued by the architectural features and natural wonders chosen to represent each state/city on their plate. It's telling of the time and era, and also acts as a historical document, as this New York City plate does, with the Twin Towers standing tall pre-9/11.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

KIDDOS: Big Blue Birthday Bash

As most of you know, both Alice's and Lucy's birthdays fall in April, just two weeks apart. Therefore, for the rest of their lives, they'll be forced to have a joint party. So far, this has worked out well, as their four year age difference hasn't really caused a thematic problem yet. This year I had the girls pick a color to coordinate the theme around and much to my surprise and delight they chose blue.
I happened to find plain blue t-shirts for them at the dollar store and ironed on letters I had in my crafty stash to spell out their names. I also found these funky blue paper hats at the dollar store, hot glued some blue silk flowers on and cut out their birthday numbers with some old Contac paper I had. We made our invitations out of paper cutouts of blue balloons tied with blue string and invited our guests to share in the celebration by wearing the color du jour.
The party was originally scheduled to be at a local play park outside, but the stormy spring weather didn't really cooperate. At the last minute we changed the locale to our house, and I set up the ever-popular recycled art station in our garage. It was a huge hit, especially with the 7-8 year old girl crowd.
I am not a big fan of junky birthday party favors for kids, so we went with these packages of fizzly fruit Skittles we found on sale for 50cents a piece at the local Rite-Aid and tied them with blue yarn. The kids also, of course, got to take home any art project they made in the garage.
I made these homemade basic vanilla cupcakes from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book with The Pioneer Woman's basic cream cheese frosting, topped with colored blue sugar. Blue and white polka-dotted cupcake papers and blue and white striped candles topped the mini cakes, as did blue plastic police officers we found at the dollar store. Two thrifted Rummikub game pieces with the girls' birthday years on them marked their cupcakes.
Of course, the decor was all blue - from tablecloths to bowls and plastic forks to platters. We kept the other decorations simple, stringing blue streamers around doorways and Eric picked up 6 or 7 blue star shaped mylar balloons that morning. As the party was from 2-4pm, we had finger foods and lemonade for snacks. Again, the best parties seem to be homemade on a budget and this time around with a simple color theme, the dollar store was really a treasure trove.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

FOODIE: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

I've been a fan of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for years, well before you could buy them at every gas station in town. In fact, I was a fan of them way back in the day when they were exclusively a southern chain and had to wait until I lived in South Carolina as a college student to taste my first piece of HOT NOW! gooeyness. I remember when people would buy dozens of the tasty treats and carry them home on airplanes from visits in the south. Then they went and expanded and now sell day-old boxes at Target and blueberry donut holes at Maverik. But I still love them, and will buy them there, too. It's a visit to the doughnut shop, however, that is the real treat. I'm thrilled that we have one here near Boise, even though it's clear out in Meridian on the nightmare that is Eagle Road. Because of it's location, we don't visit there are often as I'd like, which is probably a good thing.
On a recent morning adventure, Alice and I took our time at Krispy Kreme, watching the freshly fried circles make their way through the glazing waterfall. We picked out our dozen favorite donuts, including Alice's favorite - chocolate icing with sprinkles.

I tried their newest delicacy, Banana Kreme Pie, and it was as yummy as it's advertising promised. Coffee is always necessary, as is a paper bakers hat for the girl. I love the sun-filled space at the Meridian location, and at 10am, the place was pretty quiet. Alice loved standing on the tile bench watching the bakers at work. As a lifelong doughnut lover, Krispy Kreme still tops the list for me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

FOODIE: Easy Pita Pizzas

This post isn't so much a recipe as it is a really easy tip for feeding kids or pulling together a quick meal on a whim. We've made these for years now, since Lucy was a wee one. My girls, like most kids, are huge pizza lovers. Also, like most kids, they are incredibly picky eaters and we're lucky if we can get them to eat one vegetable and one fruit a day. And believe me, like most parents, we try like hell to introduce new foods and keep them on a balanced diet, yadda, yadda, yadda. But guess what? These little pizzas help mama keep her sanity on the whole food issue.

We always keep a stash of whole wheat or white pitas in the freezer, along with a jar of bottled pizza sauce. I take them out as needed; I broil the pitas a bit after rubbing them with olive oil and sprinkling with a bit of kosher salt to crisp them up. I usually take the sauce out of the freezer ahead of time to defrost on the counter or, if I forget, just put it in the microwave for a minute or so. After toasting the pitas, spread on some sauce and whatever toppings we can find in the fridge, pantry or leftover. The individual sizes are perfect for kids and my girls love 'decorating' their own pizzas. They love pepperoni, so I buy large bags of the lower fat turkey pepperoni. I often add fresh veggies to mine and feta if we have it. Leftover taco fillings with salsa as the sauce instead of tomato make great Mexican pizzas, as do fresh tomato slices and basil from the garden during the summer. Toss the toppings on and pop them in the oven. I often broil mine for just a few minutes if I'm in a hurry and, if not, bake on 350 degrees for about ten minutes. And I usually use a cookie sheet to bake our mini pizzas on, not a muffin tin, but it was already out on the counter and I was being lazy.

I love the simplicity of this for a quick lunch for the girls; kitchen shears cut up tiny slices perfect for little hands. These pizzas also make a delicious family dinner paired with a quick tossed salad.