Saturday, September 22, 2012

my hero?

You can watch this and shop here.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How to make your own natural floral crown

Hello and happy Saturday! I just read this beautiful how to this morning on how to make your own head wreath using natural flowers on the Etsy wedding blog. It was so lovely I just have to share it with you. Learn how to here! Enjoy! -hil

The beautiful photo above is by Brittany Watson Jepsen and Amanda Thomsen via the Etsy wedding blog.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sourcebooks and their importance for artists

I want to talk about finding sources this week. Sources are important for artists and craftspeople; they spur on the creative mind and offer tools to accomplish it's vision. Therefore I think it's safe to say that searching out a good source is a worthy use of one's time, and once you've found a good one it's often a spring that can be visited again and again without running dry. One of the most valuable places to find this? A book.

A sourcebook is any book that you use in your work, whether it's as a drawing reference or for clip art in your graphics. It can also be a book that you simply find full of inspiring images. Obviously we also have the phenomenal sources that the internet brings to our fingertips, but there is wisdom in keeping close a small arsenal of books as sources. Having something immediately tangible comes in handy for an artist now and then. Join me after the jump as I catalogue a few different kinds of sourcebooks.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Now you too can make Gino's Famous Meatballs

Whilst we were in New York, our host, Garin, was kind enough to pass down a recipe to me he learned once upon a time from a large Long Island Italian man named Gino. There are a few things I really like about this recipe. The first is that it isn't written down anywhere and there are no precise measurements, so you'll have to use your instincts. The second is that it's resourceful and simple and though it tastes like it's from scratch, it doesn't have to be completely, which allows you to save time. Now, if you have a tomato sauce recipe that was passed down from your great grandma and you swear by it alone even though it takes you a week to brew it up, so be it. You can use that recipe with this ignoring the sauce part.

The first order of business: make the base of all the things. For this meal you'll be making sauce, meatballs, and garlic bread. There are a few key ingredients that go in all of these, so you can blend them all together at once in the very beginning. Into a food processor, throw a lot of peeled garlic cloves (AT LEAST one whole head), a torn-up bunch of italian parsley, and parmesan cheese.
Your mixture should look like this. Now it's time to get the sauce started. Take about a third of this mixture and throw it in the bottom of a large stockpot on medium heat with some butter, olive oil, and diced onions. Let that simmer until the onions begin to turn translucent, making sure not to let the garlic burn.
The visual how-to continues after the jump!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It never hurts to ask...

So, I don't normally do this, but (oh gosh, isn't that what all bloggers say before they hit you up with a pitch, ad, or favor?) nonetheless, it must be done. Because it's important.

Some of you might know that I work for a program called After School Art at the Oxford Community Arts Center. Earlier this year I applied for some funding through PNC Bank. They're running a program called Neighborhood Wishlist, which is aimed at providing communities with money to start and sustain programs in their area. It's pretty cool because it allows anyone out there to try and actually make something happen in their community. So I saw this and thought, "wow! With that money we could bring in another visiting artist for the kids! Also, we could buy special materials for them to do unique projects!" And so I sent in my proposal and (drumroll please...) it's a finalist!

So, what does that mean? Ok, here is where I do it. Here is where I ask for help. I'm just going to rip off the band-aid:
I need you to vote for my program on Facebook.

Whew! There. I said it. Yes, you have to log into Facebook. Yes, you have to add the PNC app to vote. But here's the thing: for every single vote, the After School Art program receives a dollar. That's literally like you donated a dollar out of your pocket to a worthy cause, except it costs nothing. Except maybe one minute of your time. So please (don't make me get desperate) please vote. It's legit. It's a huge help to us running this arts program. Plus, you get three votes for the Wishlist program to use for other worthy causes. There are tons of cool projects out there just waiting to happen in neighborhoods all around us, and you can help make them happen!

So all you have to do is click this link then click the "go to our Facebook app to vote" button. It will prompt you the whole way, and I'll be ever so thankful.

Seriously, how can you say no to those cute little faces? Ok, ok, I'll stop. Please vote for us. The end.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New York house + studio tour

Today I want to draw the veil back just a tad on Sean and I's time in New York. If you're just joining us, my husband and I recently had the opportunity to spend six weeks in the Hudson River Valley while he apprenticed with painter Garin Baker and I worked in my own studio developing products for my Etsy shop, HomewardHandmade. It was a productive and exciting summer for us both, and I thought the best way to fill you in would be to give you a little tour of the property on which we were staying.
Garin's home is an old revolutionary era farmhouse that has been fixed up and refurbished over the 20-odd years he's lived there. The house has an old carriage house in the back which has been renovated to become a large and beautiful studio, hence Garin has dubbed it Carriage House Art Studios. He works solo in the back section and holds workshops and open model sessions in the front. When he hosts larger workshops spanning a few days, he rents out the bedrooms in the top floor of the farm house, one of which we stayed in for the duration of the summer.
First, let's head back to the studio. You can see the original door still in place on the front of it, and much of the old wooden beams preserved inside. In the top shot you see the front of the studio where workshops are held with both Garin and Sean working away, and in the bottom shots the back portion of the carriage house.
Next, let's head inside the house. Join me after the jump!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back in town

At long last, Sean and I are back in Oxford. New York flew by and now we're busying our little fingers preparing for the school year, unpacking our new home, and generally getting back into the swing of things. That, of course, includes this blog which has sat sad and neglected all summer long. Well no more, my dear friends. I have quite the slew of material saved up, including a house and studio tour of our New York adventure, thoughts and reviews on hunting down quality materials, and of course a new recipe or two.

Ah, life as I know it. It's good to back.

To get you caught up Cliffs Notes style, I'm just going to hook you up to my Instagram IV. A quick rundown: road tripping to NY, our attic room window, studio, NYC times, our live-in dog Lincoln, Sean painting (a model at the house + Grand Central at night), some new Homeward Handmade pieces, supplies, and home again. Enjoy! -hil