March 8, 2012

The Beekeeper

by Jillian Douglas

I’ve shared with you before how enthralled I am with the process of keeping bees and harvesting honey… And someday, whether in the country or city, I will keep bees myself! I found this video the other day and immediately fell in love. It’s a beauty even if you don’t share the same honey-soaked dream as me (great job, Keith “keef” Ehrlich!).

Made by Hand is a series of short videos, each aiming to “promote that which is made locally, sustainably, and with a love for craft.” The two other videos that have also been released so far are The Knife Maker and The Distiller.

What do you think? Would you ever keep bees, in the country or city?

Is it important to you to buy handcrafted or homemade products? I’ll be posting again about this soon… in the meantime, happy video watching!

March 5, 2012

life with Bella

by adandelionchild

This week I’m taking  care of this lovely little munchkin named Bella. She is a french bulldog that is so quirky and sweet.

 

 

Bella and I have a few things in common.

#1. We appreciate food. And constantly think the world should know. Our food to non-food related thoughts ratio is a little skewed, but we are completely at peace with that.

#2. We make strange noises. I’d like to think that the gremlin/alien-esque type sounds that escape our lips are unique and endearing like a good Zooey Deschanel song. It’s more likely that they are mistaken for poor Stitch impersonations, but we will continue in our blissful ignorance if you don’t mind.

#3. If we want something, we have steel-like willpower. Okay, this one is more Bella. When she wants to play, she puts the rope in your hand. When she wants a snack she will do crazy flips and run back and forth to her food to try to charm you into slipping her some extra kibble. Luckily she is easily the cutest thing in the world, so I’m looking forward to many more games of tug of war this week.

This week seems to fall right in line with my weathly mindset goal for 2012. I am very appreciative that I get to snuggle up with this little love in front of the fireplace until our eyes get heavy and it’s time to say goodnight. What more can you ask for?*

 

*Bella says you can always ask for a treat. But other than that, nothing.

February 29, 2012

Do you ever dream about weddings?

by Jillian Douglas

I do all the time, it seems. Not even just my own future wedding- which I’ve been planning since I was in 2nd grade (back then my dream wedding had ponies, Cinderella dresses, and a honeymoon in Paris… just so I could pretend to be Madeline). Sometimes I even dream of potential weddings that wouldn’t necessarily be for me. Regardless, there’s a lot of wedding dreaming going on.

One of the best ways I’ve found to obtain wedding inspiration is the internet. Prior to Pinterest, I hadn’t really thought out of the box. Inside or outside? was probably the biggest quandary I pondered. But then, all of a sudden, Pinterest introduced scandalous new ideas such as having a country backyard wedding by choice, embarking on a very romantic elopement, or even just finding less expensive bridesmaid dresses that the girls will actually love.

And as everyone knows, Pinterest is really just another type of online messenger; there has to be a source of all this wedding goodness. So I compiled a list of favorite websites that have really inspired me and my ever-evolving wedding style.

1. Green Wedding Shoes. I love this website because they curate the quirkiest, most creative, most Portlandia-esque wedding ideas and inspiration. You’ll find photos of awesome real weddings, helpful posts about products and wedding-related companies, and dozens of DIY projects. Be prepared to be awed.

2. 100 Layer Cake is another website devoted to The Big Day. You’ll find ideas for everything from the Bachelorette party to what to use as a centerpiece. Style-wise, think somewhere between classic and indie. See their blog for further wedding love…

pavilion-wedding-reception-dinner

3. W. Scott Chester Photography. This blog is so great; really, it’s just the home of a wedding photography team. But the people who hire Cristen and Scott are usually pretty gifted in the wedding-planning area themselves, and the photography is out-of-this-world crazy good. So great subject + great photographer = amazingness. They are, by far, my favorite wedding photographers I’ve found so far. So be sure to check this blog out. You will be inspired.

4. Jill Thomas Photography is the home of another great photographer. Other than her awesome first name (wink), her photography bursts with real reflections of who her subjects are. Jill’s photos show less of the photographer and more of what really matters: the people in front of the camera. As a photographer, I find that difficult to master and incredibly admirable.

I hope this post has been helpful, even if you’re just dreaming like I am. Isn’t dreaming fun?

February 28, 2012

Emily + Matt

by Jillian Douglas

Three weeks ago I had the lovely opportunity to take engagement photos of my newly engaged friend Emily and her fiance, Matt.

Aren’t they cute?

This was my first time taking engagement photos. I found it really fun! I was a bit intimidated with how to pose the couple, since most of the photography I’ve done thus far was photo-journalistic. Better brush up and Pinterest some more…

Below is a gallery; just click on the photo to see it larger.

This is my personal favorite. I love those berries! They were a real find…

Actually, this one, too. I love the epic and adventurous feel it gives.

I don’t take photos professionally yet, but I am interested in helping someone else’s photography business endeavors. What do you think?

February 24, 2012

Opportunities

by Jillian Douglas

The Art House Co-op are the brilliant people behind The Sketchbook Project, which you might’ve heard of before. Both Ashley and I participated in it last year, and though it’s super challenging, it was exciting to be part of such a huge community art project!

So, coming from the same people is a new project, one that is completely free (besides postage and supplies): The 10×10 Series. The Art House Co-op basically offers “10 new community art projects in 10 weeks to celebrate our Year of Inspiration.” And every project is free!

There is one project you can sign up for right now: The 4 x 6 Exchange 2. The 4 x 6 Exchange 2 shares the joy of receiving art in the mail; after you sign up, you send in a 4 x 6 piece of art that will be swapped with someone else’s around the world. So not only do you get the joy of creating something, but you receive a little piece of art, too! Know that to be a part of this project you must sign up before March 1, and watch out, because there is limited availability…

One of the past projects in The 10×10 Series is The Jar Project, in which the Co-op sends each participant a jar that they have to fill or decorate in some way. I’m so bummed that all the slots are already taken! But I’m looking forward to seeing pictures of all of them together… maybe I’ll make my own little installation of jars. Hehe.

I really do want to do one of these small projects, just to jump-start some creativity in my life. The Art House Co-op is just one more thing to add to my list of Why I Need to Move to New York City. But meanwhile I’ll enjoy still being a part of one of these awesome collaborations!

What do you think? Are you inspired to join any of these projects? I can’t wait to see what the Co-op offers next!

2 More Awesome Art Opportunities:

Hey Hot Shot! The International Photography Competition is a contest for photographers “of all stages of their careers” that offers a lot of different ways to be found (through weekly newsletters, a 20×200 book, and even a gallery exhibition of your photography). These competitions are ongoing, but the deadline for the current one is March 14.

and

The 6 x 6 Exhibition held in Rochester by the Rochester Contemporary Art Center collects thousands of original art pieces from international and local artists that are only 6×6″ and displays the collection this summer. They also sell the artwork to raise money for the RCAC. Many celebrities (including Danny Wegman!) even submit artwork, although every piece is exhibited anonymously until after the exhibition. Submissions must be postmarked by May 5th!

February 23, 2012

Getting Through by Maxine Kumin

by Jillian Douglas

I’m not quite sure what this poem is really saying. But I think it is beautifully written and worth other people knowing about.

Getting Through by Maxine Kumin

I want to apologize
for all the snow falling in
this poem so early in the season.
Falling on the calendar of bad news.
Already we have had snow lucid,
snow surprising, snow bees
and lambswool snow. Already
snows of exaltation have covered
some scars. Larks and the likes
of paisleys went up. But lately the sky
is letting down large-print flakes
of old age. Loving this poor place,
wanting to stay on, we have endured
an elegiac snow of whitest jade,
subdued biographical snows
and public storms, official and profuse.

Even if the world is ending
you can tell it’s February
by the architecture of the pastures.
Snow falls on the pregnant mares,
is followed by a thaw, and then
refreezes so that everywhere
their hill upheaves into a glass mountain.
The horses skid, stiff-legged, correct
position, break through the crust
and stand around disconsolate
lipping wisps of hay.
Animals are said to be soulless.
Unable to anticipate.

No mail today.
No newspapers. The phone’s dead.
Bombs and grenades, the newly disappeared,
a kidnapped ear, go unrecorded
but the foals flutter inside them
eleven months in the dark.
It seems they lie transversely, thick
as logs. The outcome is well known.
If there’s an April
in the last frail snow of April
they will knock hard to be born.

“Getting Through” by Maxine Kumin, from Selected Poems 1960-1990. © W.W. Norton, 1997. Reprinted with permission.

February 22, 2012

Love Is Making Its Way Back Home

by Jillian Douglas

A fabulous, fabulous song by Josh Ritter set to an even more fabulous music video… made with over 12,000 pieces of construction paper. You must watch (and hear)!

“Love is Making Its Way Back Home” is a single off of Ritter’s new album, Bringing in the Darlings, which came out yesterday. In addition to this, he set up an Etsy shop featuring screenprint posters of frames from the video!

I can’t wait to hear more of Ritter’s new album… I bet the indie world is giddy about this one!

Found via the Etsy blog.

February 20, 2012

winter’s here

by adandelionchild

do yourselves all a favor and listen to this gem. please and thank you.

 

P.S. I will be sharing my obsession with one of these artists as soon as I get a chance, but this amazing little collaboration can’t wait until I have that moment.

February 20, 2012

Chocolate + Water + A Little Furiousity = An Extraordinarily Scrumptious Dish of Yummy

by Jillian Douglas

The Best and Easiest Chocolate Mousse Recipe Ever

“As a chef, you’re always taught that water is an enemy of chocolate.”

Oh, right.

I knew that.

“This is nonsense. I’m going to show you with this recipe that that doesn’t hold true.”

WHAT?! Ridiculous!

Anyways, maybe you should just watch it for yourselves:

Evening Dream

And being so inspired, I called Boyfriend up and insisted on us partaking this wild culinary adventure of whisking up some mousse. At first we were really confused about the ratio of water to chocolate (what I had found was in the metric system) but then Boyfriend summoned up his magical math skills (scary) and figured out that for 2 3.5 oz. Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolate bars with 60% cacao, we needed a little more than half a cup of water.

And you know what? It came out beautifully! Because there’s only 2 ingredients and the majority of the mixture is chocolate, the mousse tasted so rich and dark and awesome. Seriously.

So I thought I’d write out the recipe for you. I also (later) found this recipe that could be useful, too.

Simply Mousse

1. Fill a large bowl with a layer of ice and place another smaller bowl on top and set to the side.

2. Break up the chocolate with a knife so it melts faster.

3. Melt the chocolate in the water in a pan on the stove. Don’t take too long, you don’t want to cook it; just heat it up.

4. Quickly pour the chocolate into the bowl over the ice and whisk furiously. It took us pretty much a whole eternity, or maybe 10 minutes, which is a wicked long time to whisk furiously, even if you’re really furious and in to it (rarr!). In fact, it took so long we almost gave up. But then I saw how it looked the slightest bit thicker… so we kept to it… and it kept thickening! By the time it became mousse I was yelling “BABE, IT’S MOUSSE! IT’S MOUSSE!” but he was so furious, I don’t think he noticed and whisked a bit longer and made it a little grainy. Butnevermindthat’sokay. It was still really, really, stuff-your-face-as-fast-as-you-can scrumptious. (Apparently at that point, you could remelt it and whisk again, so say these people).

5. Try it at this point, and if it’s too bitter (60% cocoa is ridiculously dark, even for me. And the original recipe called for 70%!), you are allowed to add some powdered sugar (but only if you’re good).

So anyways, fancy it up a bit if you so desire with some blueberries, raspberries, mint or orange extract, etc. The great thing about this stuff is that it looks pretty fancy all by itself. Look at ‘choo, makin’ your own mousse. Fancy schmancy. Also, it tastes way great if stuck in the freezer to cool down for a while.

Let me know if any of you dare to test your furiousity!

Top image by Cafe Fernando. Bottom image by Ghirardelli Chocolates.

February 13, 2012

a modern impressionist

by adandelionchild

Today my painting professor shared this video with us about portraitist Sandro Kopp. He’s a very talented artist who began doing his portraits via Skype. His work takes on a unique style as he incorporates a sense of movement and pixelation. Personally, I enjoy impressionist work immensely and Kopp’s innovative approach to portraiture is very compelling and beautiful to me. Watch this video about his process and to see some of his work!