Monday, April 20, 2009

tea time

My mom decided to have a tea to celebrate her birthday this year. I offered to make her a tea cozy and matching napkins.

In rare occurrence, I purchased all the fabric new. I used natural linen for the napkins and Park Slope and Heather Ross fabric from the workroom for the tea cozy and appliqués on the napkins.

slm - garbage/recycling-in-one-basket

Wanting to recycle with ease but having enough space to have 2 bins under my desk, I came up this 2-in-1 jobie. I put recycling in the fabric bag and garbage in the space left in the bin. This works really well as I often have many small bits of paper and having them in the bag makes it so easy to transfer to our main recycling bin.

To make the bag, I measured the diameter and height of the bin. I cut out a piece of thick cotton twill as wide as the diameter plus seam allowance (I pretty much always use 1/2") and double the height of bin plus seam allowance so I would only have two seams to sew (lazy me). I folded the fabric in half widthwise, stitched up the side seams and boxed the corners (here's a tutorial). Done!


Check it out here.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The art of the tote

I love a focused, one topic blog so I am thrilled that The Art of the Tote has posted about mr. sköna's Main St Market Tote Bags. Thanks Eliza!

Friday, April 03, 2009

shop update

Main St Market Tote Bags have been added to the shop.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

twisted bread

I mentioned this bread yesterday and thought it might be nice to do a step by step recipe to entice you to try it. Really, it's so easy. And cheap. Then you can spend extra money on organic butter, fancy jams and elaborate cheeses and have a special snack or meal. I mean, what's better than homemade bread?

Twisted Bread (from Design*Sponge and Karin Eriksson)

1 oz (25 grams) fresh yeast (If you are having trouble finding it, ask at your local bakery as they will often sell you some. I have also found it on and off at Whole Foods).
2 tbsp (30 grams) salt
2.5 cups (6 dL) lukewarm water
5.5 cups (1.3 L) flour (I usually use half rye and half spelt flour)

+ Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and add the salt. Pour in a little water and mix until the yeast is mostly dissolved. Add the rest of the water and stir to combine.

+ Add flour and stir until all the flour is incorporated. A wooden spoon is essential, I think.

+ Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and place in a warm spot (on top of the fridge or hot water heater, in front of a radiator). Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours (longer is ok too. I left it once for 4 hours and it was still delicious. Not a good idea in the summer though. You can also let it rise and then put it in the fridge overnight. Just let it return to room temperature before continuing).

+ Heat the oven to 480-530F (250-275C). Grease a large baking tray. Heavily flour counter or cutting board.

+ Pour dough out (it will be quite liquidy, don't worry, this is a good thing) onto floured counter but do not knead. Cover top and sides with flour.

+ Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 3 parts. Form into oblong baguettes and then twist. Place on prepare baking tray. Slice a few slices along the top of baguette. Cover and let rise for 10-15 minutes.

+ Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Then lower temperature to 300F (150C) and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

+ Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack to ensure crusty bottom.

That's it! Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

back on track

Where did March go? Anyone else feel like it just zipped by? There are many boring reasons why I haven't posted in awhile (reorganzing our apartment, preparing for craft shows, taxes, etc) but I shall skip them all and move on to good stuff I have seen/done lately.

+First up, I got a new bike! In the end, I choose (with Aren's expert help) a Batavus Old Dutch. It has similar lines to the Velorbis but at less than half the price. It's also available locally so no shipping charges. Mine is very similar to the one in the photos except it's glossy black, has my Brooks saddle on, a back basket and has a 3 speed internal hub. It's so nice have gears! It's a bit heavier than my old bike but I've gotten used to it and now love the gliding on air feeling.
+ I am now obsessed with bikes. I am constantly checking them out wherever I go. I even had a fleeting thought of being a bike mechanic.

+ I've been baking alot. Raspberry drop scones (I added blueberries as well), the biscuits above, chocolate chip and nib cookies, bread.

+ I've made the bread before. The recipe comes from Karin Eriksson via the In The Kitchen With series at the ever wonderful Design*sponge. I'm still using this recipe and loving it. It's so easy! The bread is lovely, hearty, crunchy and chewy. I usually use a mix of spelt and rye flour. Easy isn't always best but when it yields such great results, I'm all for it.

+ There are some new things for spring in the shop. Right now it's just scarves but soon (by the end of the week?) there will be tote bags, wallets, ties, pocket squares and possibly some new products if my prototypes turn out.

+ This stopped me in my tracks. I had no idea it even existed. via

+ I'm sure the One in 8 Million has been everywhere already but it's so good. I love how the images and photos work together so well to give you a sense of the person and their story. I feel it's more effective than a moving image somehow.

+ What else? I have been going to the gym 3 times a week and yoga twice. I think I finally understand what people were talking about how they feel so good after exercising. I also feel more balanced and focused. I agree with Holly, exercise boosts creativity.