Sweet, pretty and simple — perfect for a night out. I love Lisa’s work, and you should too. u handbag is mainly a site to buy specialty purse-making supplies but if you move fast you can be lucky enough to get one of her lovely sample bags like this one. Sweet.
There are few statements that strike me so bizarre. “I don’t cook.” One might as well tell me they don’t breathe. Or drink. Or use the restroom. If you do not cook how do you eat? I always want to ask, despite already knowing the answer.
For some cooking is a dreaded task; another chore at the end of a day already filled with them. For those people the advent of jarred sauces, loaves of bread in plastic sleeves and whole dinners requiring no more than a swirl or two around a skillet are sanity savers. For me they’re the bane of it. But I wasn’t always this way.
Here is a fact that almost everyone who knows me will tell you – I love stars. I’ve always been fascinated by them, both the actual stars in the night sky and anything with their shape on it. I’m so into stars that I even have 12 of them tattooed in various places on my body! This week, I’ve rounded up some fabulous star-themed handmade goodies for your enjoyment.
The inspiration for the earrings up top started with the finish, which Caroline, the artist, discovered by accident one day while working with a piece of silver. She realised that just by using a steel file, she could create a wonderful shimmer effect on the surface of the silver. Caroline has always loved star shapes in jewellery – “I feel the shape is simple, yet fun and also timeless…so what would be better than a star that gently shimmers in the light. ”
I love this print by Deb of Champignons, it reminds me of looking up at the night sky and feeling very small indeed. Deb was inspired by the juxtaposition of big things like cosmic hares and stars and tiny things we treasure and keep safe. She says, “I’ve always liked the idea of tiny world systems, there’s nothing to say that worlds have to be giant, either, so there might be tiny worlds all over the place, with stars and hares and even smaller worlds within them.”
How adorable is this zombie/stars colourful print? “The idea behind the little zombie lovers is to share some love!” says designer Rhi, who intends the expression of the zombie about to recieve the heart to depict warmth, shyness and surprise. Rhi paints these designs with the hope that someone can give the painting to another, as a gift that says ‘I love you’ in an alternative way.
Nautical stars like the ones in this cushion cover remind me of my husband, who has one tattooed on his forearm. Ruth was inspired by her daughter, who loves skulls and pirates – she also thought the red and black stripes were very piratey! “I just love being creative with fabric, it is a bit of an obsession!! I am always looking out for beautiful, luxurious and quirky fabrics.”
My oldest daughter refuses to eat beans. As a matter of fact, she can pick through a bowl of chili eating everything but the beans with incredible accuracy and persistence. Ask her to clean her room and it “takes too long, Mom”, but she will sit for hours picking the beans from any dish without blinking an eye.
The rest of us, on the other hand, adore the musical fruit. Entire meals can, and often are, be based around beans — of one variety or many, we’re not picky. Black, dark and light red kidney, great northern, navy, white, and yes, even lima. Soups, stews, salads, pasta dishes; the options are endless.
And why not? They’re not only essentially a super food — packed with protein, fiber and nutrients galore — they’re easily grown and even easier to store. Whether canned, frozen or dried beans keep well for months and lend themselves equally as nicely to both hearty winter and light, yet filling summer fare making them prime candidates as a year-round local eating staple.
My favorite for meals is the black bean (chick peas, for obvious reasons — hummus! — win out for snacks.) Tossed with onion, sundried tomatoes, roasted corn, a generous handful of fresh chopped cilantro, a pinch of ground pepper and the juice of a freshly squeezed lime — or three, we love limes — they’re always a hit. Served warm next to fish tacos or cold as a mid-summer lunch all their own after a night spent marinating in the fridge, it’s versatile to boot.
What are your favorites? What beans must I try this year and in what inventive ways should I prepare them? Share with me your tips, tricks and recipes — my oldest daughter will not appreciate your kindness, but the rest of us sure will, and who knows her taste buds just might come around someday.
Are you missing the hilarious Crafting with Lotta column? Me too… But instead of Lotta’s humor, check out her creativity. (Don’t make me use the word “craftivity” — just go look at her shop.)
Tanya Svoboda is a local Chicagoland artist that creates one of a kind jewelry. Whenever possible, she uses vintage beads, charms and buttons. She loves a good story and tries to find pieces with a unique history to incorporate into her work.
Tanya’s studio is named the “Mom O Matic” in a cheeky nod to the Automats of the early 1900s. Where women sat behind vending machines and dispensed treats to patrons day and night. As she herself frequently dispenses goldfish crackers to her two smallest patrons.