Fleur de lys Bracelet Cuff
Bracelet: Handmade from shrink plastic, leather cord and sterling silver chain.
Bike Chain pendant
The pendant is made from a purple square glass bead and a recycled bike chain which has been thoroughly cleaned and sprayed with a protective coating to help keep it from rusting.
Messenger Bag Black White Adjustable Strap Intricate Weave
Messenger bag in Black White with adjustable strap & intricate weave.This is a medium size messenger made in Black & White woven home decor fabric.It has plenty of room for carrying your daily needs with 3 pockets. It’s long adjustable strap enables you to wear the bag across your… details »
We interrupt this program to bring you the customary May Edition of ‘What’s In Season Now’. Many of the recommendations made in both the March and April editions are still applicable; if you missed it before, be sure to check those out now!
Last night I baked a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie. It was delicious both in that it tasted like heaven and that it’s a sure sign, even here in the land of never-ending winters, the season of fresh harvested bounty is upon us.
While the rhubarb was harvested just a couple hundred feet from my front door, the strawberries were not local. Had we not already devoured all of those I’d frozen last summer they could have been, but alas we had. And as unfortunate as it is, strawberries and rhubarb have yet to get the memo that they should ripen at the same time — what with them being so very complementary to one another when coated in honey, sprinkled with cinnamon and baked into a flaky crust — and my children have yet to get the memo that frozen strawberries are supposed to last us until the following strawberry season.
The uncooperative nature of strawberries and rhubarb aside, May is probably one of the most diverse months of the early growing season in the Northern Hemisphere. As the climate in the north just begins to warm to true growing temperatures, in the southern and more temperate locales summer’s gifts are making their first appearances at Farmer’s Markets.
Those strawberries I won’t be able to source locally for another month are already gracing farm stands in some places, for instance. And don’t be fooled by their smaller stature when compared to their supermarket cousins. In every one of those small berries is ten-times the flavor — and one-hundred times the ethical ego-boost.
Beside them early blueberries are making appearances as citrus fruits close-up shop; garbanzo beans — while a lot of prep work — and fava beans also start showing up in their fresh, rather than dried form. Greens of all kinds are still in their glory in many places and can inspire myriad dishes when you get creative by serving them sautéed, steamed and even raw in all their forms; collard and chard are delicious drizzled with a favorite vinegar. Radishes, like asparagus, may be winding down in warmer areas, but in the cooler north they’re producing at peak; and make an excellent addition to salads and atop crostini with dinner. Likewise peas are a raw treat for kids and adults alike and later in the month even cherries will start to make an appearance some places.
What are you seeing at the Farmer’s Market this month? And even better, what are you doing with it? Share your favorite May finds, tips, tricks and recipes in the comments below and I’ll feature the best of the best later this month in a column!
And just one last note before I leave you to your shopping: Not sure where to find a farmer’s market near you? Check out Local Harvest for help. Not sure how to shop a farmer’s market? Never been before? Check out the farmer’s market guide that was featured right here at Try Handmade last year for tips!
While other months may be able to stake claim to being most bountiful October is probably one of the most interesting months during which to eat local. Many places, even in the cold northern regions, still have the tail-end of summer harvests trickling in as the short-season, cool-weather crops we saw at the beginning of spring make their reemergence and the long-season, fall-specific crops make their debut. It makes for a combination of flavors and textures that cannot be accomplished during any other time of year; meals based on cool weather staples — many green and leafy — spiked with the fading flavors of summer and complimented by the hearty, warming hints of autumn and the impending winter.
As you venture to your local farmer’s market and on-farm stands this month take both plenty of reusable produce bags — small, lightweight — and larger, heavy duty reusable sacks to cart back your finds; they’ll range from tender baby spinach leaves to heavy, heirloom squashes. Here’s a short list of what you should be on the lookout for:
Winter Squashes & Pumpkins
- Pie Pumpkins
- Cinderella Pumpkins – like that pictured above, actually a scrumptious variety of squash.
As a bonus, hard-skinned squashes and pumpkins store well under even adverse conditions, making them prime candidates for edible decor. Stack a few of your favorite small varieties atop a cake stand for a center piece, allow larger varieties to adorn front walkways and porch steps until they make their way to the dinner table.
Late Summer’s Leftovers
- Peppers – hot, sweet, mild and bell.
- Beans – bush and pole
- Summer Squashes
Of course I would be remiss to leave out the star of last week’s column, apples, like those pictured above. And, since I couldn’t possibly include every in-season item in any one column, do be sure to check out previous installments of What’s In Season Now for more ideas.
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All Produce featured in this week’s column was photographed by the author and sourced from local, Michigan farms. To find farms and farmer’s markets near you check out Local Harvest.
Saria lives in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI only 45 minutes away from where she grew up. She’s a Cheesehead born & raised! Go Pack!! Saria loves living in Wisconsin, having grown up on snowmobiles in winter, ATV’s in the spring & fall, with summers saved for a jet ski, boat or riding horseback; she wouldn’t want to live anywhere else! She lives with her husband, Neil and their son, Nathan, along with their three cats – Little Man, Baby Girl and Naughty.
Saria describes herself as a little bit crazy, but with a big heart. She loves her family, friends and working with color in her makeup. You can view all her products at her store. When she is not creating, you might find her reading a good book.
Saria’s favorite quote or saying is – “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” -Anais Nin
How long have you been creating makeup?
I have been making mineral makeup for almost 4 years.
Why did you start?
Basically I started out of necessity. I have such sensitive skin that I had never really been able to wear makeup for more than a day at a time without breaking out in hives, pimples and a rash. When I decided to go back to school for cosmetology, wearing makeup was looked at as pretty much part of your dress code, so I had to figure something out. I had heard of mineral makeup and that it was supposed to be great for sensitive skin, so hoping it was what I had been searching for, I went out and bought my first jars of mineral makeup.
I had several friends who wore mineral makeup and swore by it, so I thought for sure I would be set! Unfortunately, what worked so well for my friends did not work so wonderful for me. Within hours of putting the products on my skin I had hives, bumps and a rash that started at my collarbone and came all the way up to my nose. People at school were shocked to see how drastic of a reaction I had- but I was used to it. It was the same thing that happened every time I put makeup on – even brands that worked for others with sensitive skin. It was starting to look like mineral makeup was not for me after all.
Being a former RN, I knew if I could figure out what it was in the mineral makeup that set off such an allergic reaction, I could then try and find a brand that didn’t use that ingredient(s) in their products. It was when I was researching the ingredients that I came to the realization that if I wanted a product that was made specifically for me, the best way to do it was to make it myself. So after spending a ton of time researching, I ordered my first batch of ingredients!
Needless to say, it was not as easy as I had thought it would be! It took me over a month to come up with a foundation that was even remotely close to my skin tone. It was several weeks after that when I realized that the color was perfect but the product felt and looked like I had just dusted powder on my face. I should mention I have VERY dry skin as well, so the idea of wearing a powder seemed a bit ridiculous to me, but having seen the great results my friends had with the mineral makeup I couldn’t wear, I knew it was possible to make it look like you were not covered in flour!
Long story short- I know, too late! After about 6 months of trial and error, and hours and hours and days spent researching the ingredients, their chemistry, color theory, and anything else related to minerals, I finally had a formula for a foundation that I could wear! It didn’t look like powder, it matched my skin tone, it didn’t have streaks of color when I put it on, and most importantly, I didn’t break out!
When I started wearing my new foundation to school everyone noticed! Not in a bad way, but in a good way! I had more compliments on my skin in one day than I had had in my entire life. People didn’t notice my makeup- they noticed my skin.
April 22nd is Earth Day. For 40-years, activists and non-activists have been using it as a platform to raise environmental awareness. It has evolved over the years into a month-long event, where on any given weekend in April, you can volunteer to help clean up the parks, beaches, forests, any green stretch of earth; or plant new earth.
Here at Try Handmade we have our own resident Going Green guru, but in the spirit of Earth Day, I decided to find out for myself what fabulous things other people do in the spirit of recycling and renewing.
The most popular act (aside from separating recyclables) that anyone can do is to bring your own market bag shopping with you, passing on plastic bags whenever possible. There are so many options to choose from, like this cool, upcycled coffee bag tote from Its Our Earth. Similar to Sea Bags (one of my favorite shops, located in Maine; they create bags from discarded sails), Its Our Earth uses discarded burlap coffee bags to create everyday bags.
If you want something less earthy, but still 100% repurposed, there’s a bag for you, too, like this tote, that uses a vintage army laundry bag, repurposed leather straps, and vintage blue and white cloth.
Some people happily recycle their trash, but aren’t as quick to buy recycled and refurbished products because they think they look used. Some of the most fabulous finds are these exact products. These white baskets from Tuuni are one example.
Some items aren’t what they seem at all, but still exquisite. This stunning chandelier from Metamorphosi is made of recycled plastic.
Crafters are some of the best resources you can find for people who creatively repurpose, recycle, and recreate. I’m repeatedly amazed at the outcome.