Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Golden Gate Bridge - 75 years old!

JetBlue was having an amazing sale a couple months ago that I couldn't resist: $300 round-trip from Boston to San Fran for Memorial Day weekend.  How could I say no?  See, I couldn't.  My fun friend from Chicago, Heather, and I had been talking about wanting to go there and this was the perfect opportunity.  Unfortunately JetBlue didn't have a deal for her, but she found an even cheaper flight through United.  Yay!

So, last weekend we spent 3.5 days in the lovely Bay Area.  I have to say, I can't wait to go back!  Here are some photos of the fab places we visited.  Don't worry, I'll share more...

Golden Gate Bridge... the building at the base is featured in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, in the scene where Kim Novak throws herself into the water, hoping to drown.  Fun!  We also saw the building that served as Jimmy Stewart's apartment, on Lombard St.  Pretty neat-o.

We treated ourselves to a day in Napa & Sonoma, complete with our own driver.  This vineyard was our first stop.  We highly recommend the wines from here.  Delish!

Scenic wine country

Amazingly giant redwoods in Muir Woods.  We couldn't get over how fresh and clean the air smelled here.  The scent should definitely be bottled.

Standing in the base of a redwood.  So huge!

Fisherman's Wharf

On a cable car, not to be confused with a trolley car

Golden Gate at sunset - waiting for the birthday fireworks to start

Spring Cleaning

It's so cliche, but once warm weather is here, I'm ready to unclutter the stacks of junk mail and magazines that have piled up in my office, wipe the baseboards clean of dust and cat hair, and tackle any sort of spring-cleaning-organizational-type project.  Put those wool sweaters in a plastic bin in the basement and bring out the terracotta planters for the back-porch tomato plants.  Spring is here and let's get it together!  (And summer's less than a month away, I'm realizing... must pick up the pace!)

With uncluttering and re-organization being the mission this time of year, consider some adorably stylish and perhaps unexpected storage accessories: soy dishes.  That's right, those cute little dishes you might find at a sushi bar also make for great desk-top or kitchen organizers.  Store paper clips, spare buttons, fancy sea salt, loose change.... the options are endless.  I have a few in my desk drawers that hold some stamps, earrings and rubber bands. 

Spring cleaning is a little more fun when you have something cute to stick your junk in, don'tcha think?  Available this weekend in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Need a Baby Shower Gift?

I was going to say it's baby season, but in reality, every season is baby season.  Someone, somewhere is giving birth, regardless of what month it is.  I guess it just seems like baby season in my world.  A couple of friends and co-workers recently have given birth and other gals I know are just about ready to pop.

A gift I like to give new moms and their spawn is a piggy bank - artfully hand-painted by yours truly, of course.  It's never too soon to start saving for that college education, I say.  Here are a couple piggies I've given to my friends... maybe you'd like to give one to someone you know who's expecting?

If you're wondering, the pig's faces are different pig-tones.  The one on top is more of an orange-y color and the bottom one is on the pink-ish side.

Interested in ordering one?  Visit my Etsy shop and send me a convo.  We can discuss which size pig, color scheme, time-frame, etc.  You can also send me a message via my Facebook page.

Also, for the expecting parents, "Mom" and "Dad" mugs are fun.  I have so many styles of mugs and tons of color combinations - there are a million options.  Custom orders take 3-4 weeks.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More new pieces for Spring!

Soap pump - in my new Ho-Jo's inspired design & colorway

Ho-Jo snack set: funky triangle plate and bowl

Close-up of detail 

Ho-Jo snack set in alternate colorway

Aerial view

Ho-Jo snack set from another angle
Remember Howard Johnson's?   Not just a restaurant and not just a motel. The distinctive orange, sloped roof of the restaurant, topped with a turquoise spire.  Inside you'd find all-American favorites like grilled cheese, meatloaf, tuna salad and orange sherbet.  Thinking about it now is bringing back memories from summers in the 70's on Cape Cod - crossing the Bourne Bridge and spying the orange and turquoise as we crested the bridge's peak and headed toward our vacation destination, hoping my parents would let us stop for ice cream.  Such simple times back then, it seemed...  Anywho, that's what inspired me to create these new pieces.  Well, that, and seeing a recent episode of Mad Men that featured Ho-Jo's.

I created the snack sets thinking they'd be nice for serving hors d'oeuvres in non-mammoth portions.  To go off on a tangent a bit, I've been reading so much lately about the war on obesity.  This is not a new problem in America, but it seems like portion control and eating food that's closer to where it came from (e.g., local fruits and veggies rather than a chemical-laden Twinkie that could survive the Apocalypse) could help solve the problem.  With that in mind, I thought why make a giant serving set?  Why not do my share to help and make some smaller-sized pieces to encourage smaller portions?  Right?  You're welcome.

I had some issues color-correcting these photos.  The turquoise is all the same color, though it doesn't look like it here.  The top two pictures are the most accurate, color-wise.  The orange, in real life, is a warm, cantaloupe color.  Hopefully your monitor will show the shades in a more uniform tone.  Maybe I will re-edit and re-post, since I have so much free time.  Yeah, okay.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Made-Up Recipe: Vegetarian Fresh Spring Rolls

There's this amazing Vietnamese restaurant in Harvard Square, Le's, formerly known as Pho Pasteur.  It's located in a building that used to be a parking garage, and thus named The Garage.  I love everything I've eaten there... warm and fragrant pho, steaming vegetarian noodle dishes, shrimp salad with shredded cabbage and deliciously sweet dressing... but my favorite are their shrimp fresh rolls.  Thin, clear rice paper wraps around shredded cucumber, carrot, fresh mint and cilantro, and slices of cold shrimp.  Once this marvelous handful is dipped in the spicy sweet sauce, you've got a mouthful of heaven going on.  My creation is based on the amazing rolls at Le's, but with a few different ingredients.

I started by using two pieces of crunchy Boston lettuce instead of rice paper.
Shredded one small cucumber.

Sliced up a hard-boiled egg instead of shrimp.
Arranged the egg on the lettuce.

Dressed the egg with shredded cukes and chopped cilantro.

Added shredded carrots and a dressing made from Key Lime evoo and Honey Ginger vinegar, muddled with cilantro and mint, and a dash of S&P.


Happy 2012 a little late!

It's been a few months since I've last written.  Lots has been going on.  I moved to a new place, set up a new studio and am getting re-organized.  Though the Boston winter wasn't harsh in the least this year, I feel now that spring is here, I'm ready to get back on the saddle with my pottery, the blog and trying new vegetarian recipes!  I am also planning on growing my own tomatoes this year.  So crazy!

I've been working on some new items that aren't ready to be photographed yet. To satisfy your desire to see some "new" pottery, here are some pieces I've only brought to shows and haven't tried selling online.  I'll be adding them to my Esty shop very soon!

Yellow flora appetizer dish

Dark grey circle pasta bowl

Pair of grey pasta bowls
Green wave soap pump

Royal line and dot tumbler

Stay tuned for more pottery, an easy vegetarian spring roll recipe and some vacation photos, taken with my fancy new camera!