Craft & Consumption

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shadow Boxes: Joseph Cornell

I was reading a post over at Crafty Nest about repurposing old drawers for shadow boxes. It reminded me of artist Joseph Cornell's beautifully eclectic works of assemblage. I learned about Cornell's work via Professor Bertolo, a Photo and Imaging prof at NYU who taught a collage class there while I was pursuing my un

dergraduate degree. He was a super interesting character, a recluse. Check him out!

A few of Joseph Cornell's shadow boxes:

Another shadow box idea DIY from Design*Sponge.

The original Crafty Nest old drawer-->shadow box DIY is below. I don't love the finished product, but I think the drawer transformation is a genius idea. What an easy way to experiment with this format! If I make my own I will definitely draw on Joseph Cornell for inspiration.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Do It Yourself Organization

While checking out my Google Reader feed this afternoon I stumbled upon Apartment Therapy's DIY Storage & Organization post. Since my mail is always cluttering up the house everywhere, I was immediately interested. Mark and I recently found a utilitarian little box from IKEA to satisfy our key hanging and mail holding needs, but some of these fabulous DIY Mail ideas are tempting! 

Like this turquoise shutter mounted as a letter holder:And this beautiful little old bird cage converted to hold mail and stationary:

This is genius. I love the rustic tool box convterted to a file folder idea.
 Check out more DIY storage ideas from Better Homes and Gardens DIY Mag here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Paper Artwork

Australian artist Jaq Belcher makes beautiful works of art via intricate paper cuts. Her fingers look surprisingly intact for all of this work she does with paper. 

First of all, I love the layering of the works in the image above. I also really love the way the cut out pieces remain on the floor, reminding you of the whole that once existed.

I have to thank my sister Ivy for bringing this artist to my attention via our shared Google Reader feed. If you haven't used Google Reader yet, you need to check it out. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Scrabble at Miss Wieders

bird print by Fanny Shorter at Boxbird. This is a bit more pricey at £100.00 but I love the color and detail here.


I found this van gogh-inspired screen print from elizabethbrinton on It's only 8.5 x 11, I wish it was larger, I would love for it to take up my whole living room with color! 

Keep Calm & Carry On

Words to live by from letterhappy at etsy. Mark showed me a print from this seller a few weeks ago, and I found myself stumbling upon their fresh prints again today. I should buy this for $10 and keep in in plain view at all times. I have a tendency to lose it every now and again. I also love turquoise, so it's a win-win.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dear Brother- feliz cumpleaƱos!

Decorating my brother Collin's birthday package on Easter morning

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chocolate Easter Eggs

My Mom and I found an old chocolate mold at the Renninger's Farmers Market last weekend (at this little shop which I am slowly falling in love with). The mold has 4 egg designs, each with a unique bunny/peep imprinted on the shell. I was worried the mold might leak and be a big mess, but it was sealed perfectly. We ended up with 2 dozen BEAUTIFUL chocolate eggs after an afternoon of candy making.

STEP 1 of our candy making adventure: Use the double boiler to melt "Wilbur Buds" melting chocolate, we picked some up earlier today from our local dry goods/health food store, Echo Hill. 

STEP 2: Pour melted chocolate into the hinged metal molds (no butter or PAM or oil required). We put the mold on a bed of ice so that the chocolate would begin to cool immediately, but this isn't necessary for successful eggs. It just helps to make sure the walls are coated a bit more evenly.

STEP 3: Add your choice of filling. We started off with milk chocolate eggs with crushed almonds and then moved on to dark chocolate eggs with marshmallow interiors. The marshmallow + dark chocolate were my favvvvv!!

*Note: If you don't have an apron on by this point, put one on!

STEP 4: Close the hinge carefully and shake a LOT! Shake in all directions to make sure chocolate is completely covering the interior wall of the mold. This is the step in which you hope and pray that your mold is sealed tightly. Chocolate all over oneself and one's house is a possibility at this stage, depending on what type of mold you have!

STEP 5: Place the entire mold in the freezer for 3-4 minutes. After the first 3 minutes, flip the mold over on the opposite side and keep in freezer for an additional 5 minutes.

STEP 6: After 8-10 minutes in the freezer unhinge your mold and carefully "rock" the chocolates out of their metal cases. (It's a good idea to use a napkin so that your finger prints don't damage the smooth exterior of the chocolate shape).

And wah-la! Delicious chocolate concoctions that are sure to delight every Easter guest. I can't wait to show these to Nana tomorrow!

Not-too-sweet Butter Cream Frosting

This recipe is from the wonderful How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook by Mark Bittman. I made this frosting for my almond coconut cupcakes this week, and it was delightful. If you don't have a favorite-favorite frosting recipe on hand, this is the one to try.

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream or milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Use a fork or electric mixer to cream the butter. Gradually work in the sugar and salt, alternating with the cream and beating well after each addition. 

2. Stir in the vanilla. If the buttercream is too thin, refrigerate; it will thicken as the butter hardens. 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Making chocolate Easter eggs

More to come about my cooking adventures with this new Easter egg
mold. Will post detailed pics of the step-by-step process, and the
fancy finished eggs!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

An apple a day...

So I went to my family doctor this morning for a check up. We talked about cholesterol levels. Eating right. Blood pressure. And then she asked me if I make it back to NY often. I told her once, sometimes twice a month. And then, as a spin off of her NY question, she paid me the cutest compliment - something along the lines of:

"I love seeing what you wear when you come to my office, your outfits are always unlike anything people around here would wear."

And then she wrinkled up her nose and we said good bye. Me with my ProAir inhaler prescription in hand. Thanks Doc, for making my day :0) 

Below, the outfit I wore to said doctor on this beautiful April Thursday - 62 degrees it was! And sunny!! Oh wait... I forgot to tell you, as if this day couldn't get any better, I totally passed my breathing test! My lungs are getting better and better what with all this usual exercise I've been doing. Woopee!!!!

My "Sorrelli of the day" - Captain and Teal chandelier earrings from ages ago.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This is why Easter is awesome

Gorgeoooouuus flowaaaaas!

I recently met with my childhood babysitter, Di, to catch up on the last 10 years in which we haven't been a part of each others lives. She brought me a fragrant purple hyacinth. I will plant it come May and think of her when it emerges from the soil each year. Happy Easter, and happy planting!!!!


Still reading the Adventures of Auggie March. I have a big problem with not finishing books. I read them half way, slowly, and then give up when another literary adventure peaks my interest. It's sad. It makes me feel like a failure sometimes. Why can't I just read a whole damn book!? But then there are good books, ones I really like, which I read the whole way through, sometimes even  quickly. Hey, I managed to get through Anna Karenina. That says something, right?

So I picked up a date at the mall the other day.... dark and handsome. The usual. He tells me his name is Ed. Pretty hot, huh?


Monday, April 6, 2009

Cupcake Dance

Mark was so excited for Round 2 of our cupcake eating adventure that
he did a little dance. I will definitely make these again with a
response like this!

Amazing buttercream frosting

Last night I made almond coconut cupcakes with a stellar just-the-
right-amount-of-sweet-n-sugar buttercream frosting. I will post the
recipe from my lovely How To Cook Everything Vegetarian cook book as
soon as I find it online!