Dawn: The whole process of creating begins with an impression–from the weather, a moving picture, a book, a feeling, an experience. The materials–a vintage button from a flea-market in Berlin, Dutch wax cotton, the finest Italian linen or raw canvas or combed cotton–each element could well stand alone. Taken together, they create an irresistible whole. These are my paints.
The spring break season doesn’t really take place in spring at all. For many people, it typically starts in early February and goes through mid March, when many colleges have their breaks. I live in New Jersey, and growing up a lot of families flew or drove to Florida for a week in February. (A few went north to ski, but more went south.) This is such a popular time for family travel, suburban legend has it that the public school district in my hometown changed their spring break vacation from Presidents week to the week before only after being petitioned by many winter-weary parents who wanted to take families south but not incur ‘holiday week’ prices. (Watercolor by Laura Trevey, crab luggage tags from Salmon Barn.)
As I’ve mentioned, I do like winter. Just the other day, I happily walked through New York City bundled in a down coat puddle-jumping the sidewalk-moats. (A sidewalk-moat, for all of you non-NYC natives, is a disgusting phenomenon that occurs as the snow melts and forms ginormous slush puddles around street-corners, making it impossible to cross without fisherman-style waders.) I didn’t look as cute as this model from Charlie and Sarah’s shop. Not even close.
The sun felt good, and I was warm under my three layers of clothing. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t like a little tropical change of scenery. Someplace sunny, green trees, and blue seas sounds wonderful. Shedding the down coat might not be bad, either. (This dress from Ishkabiddle Designs screams for warm weather–and creamsicles.)
The local stores have shed their winter coats. Window displays are full of wonderfully light fabrics, brighter colors, and lightweight totes and beach bags. Perhaps my favorite item of the warm-weather get-away is picking out a new beach bag, like this one from Willywaw.
Although I’m not flying south anytime soon, I do like searching for the perfect warm-weather gear so I’m ready when it does appear.
Whether your farmer’s market is officially open for the season now or just holding a few special winter edition sale dates until warmer weather really ushers in most are now operating in one way or another. If they’re not they likely will be very, very soon.
But what can we — and maybe more importantly, should we — be shopping for now? That’s a very good question; one that can only be answered with the following: Thank goodness for greens! The long dark days of winter would be even longer and darker for locavores without them. Okay, maybe not the only way, but they certainly do make up at least a majority of what’s in season now.
More specifically, look for cold weather crops. Lettuces, spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, garlic and leeks are most common — and even better, easily prepared. Stretch your other foods further, especially those you’re not able to find locally right now, by serving a salad with every meal; experiment with coleslaw recipes of every type, one of our favorites is an asian variety that we eat with sweet and sour basted chicken that was grown in our backyard; add spinach to just about any dish for a nutrient punch. The options truly are endless.
Of course produce that has been stored in a root cellar or shed over the winter is also an option. Potatoes, apples, onions and squashes — among a few others — should they make an appearance near you will be just as good now as they were last summer. Scoop some up!
Things that were once ‘on the hoof’ are almost always in season and that’s not limited to meat — though looking for meats is never a bad idea, especially those that are raised humanely and sustainably. Eggs and cheeses, both products of animals, are also available year round from most producers.
Likewise, while their components are not necessarily in season keep your eyes peeled for preserves of all kinds. Traditional jams and jellies are nice for breakfast but heartier fare like canned tomatoes can also be found and when they are it adds a whole new dimension to the end of winter. Of course, if you’re like me it also makes you yearn for tomato season that much more.
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! Happy shopping and happy spring!
From warm pajamas to throw blankets, red flannel and bold plaids always bring warm and cozy thoughts to mind of sitting in front of the fireplace or curling up with a cup of hot chocolate. Plaids are always popular during the holiday season for obvious reasons, but this year even runway fashion designers have embraced this cold weather trend creating everything from pants to dresses to accessories out of the fabric.
This red and black Fireside Flannel Dress by One Avian Daemon features a classic cut, three-quarter length sleeves and a dramatic exposed zipper down the back. Made with a boat neck and an a-line skirt that falls just above the knee, this bold dress is both slimming and figure flattering. It is the perfect casual style for tree trimming, Christmas shopping or just about any other holiday activity.
If large flannel prints are a bit too over-the-top for your taste, try adding small touches of the fabric to some of your favorite winter weather attire. This plaid poppy pin by Wild Poppy Shoppe is the perfect accessory to spice up your current wardrobe. Pinned on a coat, scarf or jacket, this piece is a classy way to show your holiday spirit. Made of three layers of red, black and white plaid and topped off with a white button center, this sweet pin would make a great stocking stuffer this holiday season.
This bright red, black and white flannel scarf by Cody’s Boutique looks so warm and cozy–perfect for facing the snowy and cold weather. A bold scarf is a perfect way to add some color to your winter coat and this infinity scarf, made of soft cotton, will certainly do the trick. Best of all, the scarf can be worn many different ways, making it extremely versatile in addition to it being extremely cute!
**The amazing pencil drawing featured at the top of this post was created by Corella Design.
Can you feel the nip in the air where you live? Even in Southern California it’s starting to feel like fall. I love this sort of weather where I can crack out the sweaters for myself and the kids. But why stop there? Our fruit is chilly too! And even if it isn’t, it could use a little layer of protection from the other lunchbox elements.
Items from Unravelme’s shop make for fun and colorful fruit armor.