Megan Nolton, of Art Shark Designs, created this awesome print representing her hometown – but her shop also includes many prints representing other cities, including Philly, Venice, and Portland. Trained in graphic design, Megan also fancies printmaking and painting. Her “city love” prints are created using a Gocco printer and the red umbrellas are delicately added with watercolor. [Read more…]
A couple of weeks ago I planted a bed of peas. It was pushing the season, to say the least, but I did it anyway. And less than 48 hours later I awoke to a house without power and a yard and garden covered in no less than two inches of slush and snow and ice. Mostly ice. It’s a good thing peas don’t mind a freeze or ten.
Mother Nature is a finicky lass and though April first seems to be the unofficial start to spring in this part of the world there’s no guarantee she won’t pummel us again.
Yet, I remain optimistic. The sun is shining more days than not and the earliest spring plants have been seen shooting up from the cold, brown ground. The grass is beginning to green and I know sooner or later the growing season simply has to make an appearance again.
In the meantime we continue to dine on whatever is left of what we put by last season, taking careful stock of what exactly is left with every new jar we open. There’s not much. And we dream, of fresh picked, newly harvested. Of another season of preserving because it’s those last jars that truly get us by when fresh, local food is so close to being available we can taste it.
And while we’re dreaming and waiting we are a bit envious. Okay, more than a bit envious, because in other parts of the world — parts not even very far from our own little corner — there is fresh food in abundance already. If you’re in one of those parts here’s what you should be looking for at the market:
- Greens — Spinach and lettuce and kale and chard galore!
- Radishes — Spice things up by looking for colors other than the traditional reds and pinks. Chinese Green Luobo, for instance, are a bright green variety.
- Brassicas — Broccoli, Cabbages and Cauliflowers make great side dishes and also lend themselves well to center stage, making a hearty late spring meal when roasted or sauteed in a little oil and garlic.
- Asparagus — Look for thin, tender shoots.
- Rhubarb — Great raw, cooked, in pies and even makes a lovely jam.
- Herbs — Chives are some of the first herbs to pop up in spring gardens. Look for Parsley, Chervil and even Sage and Thyme to follow shortly thereafter.
- Peas — Both pod and sugar-snap are hardy and among the first producers of the season.
- Onions — Especially green, but also be on the lookout for bunching and short day varieties in the south.
Of course, there are always preserves and storable produce — apples, potatoes, winter squashes and the like — to lend flavor and variety to the menu. And those items that are ‘on the hoof’ — meats and dairy products — never go out of season. Pair some with a side or two of the above in-season veggies and a baguette from your local baker and you’ll have a meal worth sitting down and thoroughly enjoying!
Until next month, Happy Shopping!
My step-sister, Kate, is back in Pennsylvania this week for some visiting before she starts graduate school in the fall. She might be in between “homes” right now – aren’t all students? But she’s called Maine home for the last 5 years. So in honor of her and her own fabulous creativity, “Shop Local” is coming at you from the land of moose, snow, and trees!
Anabelfuzz creates delightful children’s bonnets, clothing, and accessories. They are quite obviously inspired by the climate of Maine. Some bonnets are lined with soft and warm cotton sherpa. Others are meant to keep ears warm on cool spring mornings. There are also apparel items with a distinctly New England shore feel. [Read more…]
Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about myself; just ask my fella. He knows firsthand that it’s one of my favourite topics of conversation. When it comes to this column, though, I prefer to shine the spotlight away from myself and towards the dozens and dozens of talented artisans and crafters that I come across on the web and in person. Save for the one upcycled pillow of my own that I managed to sneak into a piece, in the 11 months of writing my weekly “Going Green” articles I have pretty much resisted the urge to toot my own horn…until now. I have recently joined a local crafters cooperative and with the recent opening of our brick and mortar shop, I am absolutely bursting to tell you all about it.
Taking over a former art gallery space in Winnipeg’s funky South Osborne neighbourhood, the Mozy Rue ECO Collective opened its doors to the public on Tuesday, June 13th. The collective itself is made up of several members of Winnipeg’s art and craft community, who met through local craft shows and Etsy street-team events. The collection of handmade goods on the shelves will be constantly changing and evolving (much like the people who make them), which will give shoppers a completely new shopping experience with every visit. Organized into little “boutiques” within the bright, open space, customers can browse for everything from jewelry to furniture and, believe me, everything in between. The only commonality (besides their inherent coolness, of course) is that all items are handmade and “eco-friendly” in some way, either created from new, natural, sustainable materials, or upcycled/recycled/repurposed from discarded items. This is just a small sampling of the many members and consigners at the shop, but it should give you a taste of what we’re all about.
The shop takes its name from Jody, aka Mozy Rue, the visionary ECO-crafter who brought us all together and has been working tirelessly to make the shop a reality. In addition to being the driving force (and muscle) behind the venture, she is an talented artisan as well. Visitors to the Mozy Rue ECO Collective shop will be both surprised and impressed by Jody’s eclectic collection; her line of upcycled goods runs the gamut from boots made from men’s suits and repurposed leather (pictured above) to pendants cut from bottles, which are also available in Jody’s online shop.
Regular readers of this column will recognize EmmsgEMs from previous mentions, as well as a recent full-length interview . In that feature, I introduced Emily’s new line of eco-friendly jewelry, which makes use of natural and sustainable materials. When I found out that Emily had signed on as a member of the collective, I was thrilled…but a little worried. It’s definitely going to take a lot of willpower for me to work my shifts in the shop with lovely things like the ones in the EmmsgEMs display case tempting me. I know I will be unable to resist her recycled glass earrings, like the ones pictured above. Visit the EmmsgEMs shop to see what I mean…and, really, don’t even bother trying to “just browse”.
When you move into a house, you hope for good neighbours. Well, the same goes when you set-up shop in a new place. My own hopes for “good neighbours” at the ECO Collective store were more than exceeded when I saw the display right beside mine. It is a rare that I am speechless (again, just ask my fella), but that’s exactly what happened when I saw dconstruct’s beautiful (and beautifully presented) line. Working in feather-light concrete and 40% recycled resin, the award-winning team behind dconstruct create jewelry pieces that are simple, stunning and, well…simply stunning. I absolutely love the resin cuffs with embedded natural materials and concrete pieces, pictured above.
Needless to say, I am thrilled to be in such great company and part of what is promising to be a very exciting (ad)venture. As for my own little “shop-within-a-shop”, I have filled my space with all sorts of upcycled goodies, like my signature Domino Pins (below), collage mirrors and upcycled t-shirt pillows. I have already begun expanding my line, though, and I am sure that being surrounded by so many talented and like-minded women and men is going to be a fantastic inspiration for me. I can’t wait to see what the future holds…
The Mozy Rue ECO Collective is open for business at 531 Osborne Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba. If you can’t make it out to say “hi” in person, please visit our online shops, or visit our blog for more info.