Friday, August 28, 2009

State Fair (Part 2)

I never miss a spin through the Agriculture/Horticulture building at the fair. Check out this awesome display of vintage seed sacks. They are hard to find these days because most were re-purposed to be of use on the farm (towels, rags, bags, even clothes)

However, the main draw for me is the crop art:

And finally - check out these awesome scarecrows!

Scenes from the fair (Part 1)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Urban Knitting aka Guerilla Knitting

I'm not a knitter. It's been something I've been meaning to get around to learning but there are always so many projects to choose from! Anyway, have you guys heard of urban knitting (aka guerilla knitting aka yarn-bombing)? You can find out more about the phenomenon on this site (in addition to lots of other sites around the web):

The phenomenon is particularly popular in the pacific northwest, but this is the first example that I've seen in the Twin Cities, This is a fairly humble piece of work compared to whole trees covered in "sweaters" but still pretty cool, right? I noticed it at the 46th Street Station while waiting for a downtown train.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Cat Days of Summer & Zucchini Bread

I haven't been doing very many art or baking projects lately. We just went through a hot spell where the cats and I weren't feeling really active. That's not unusual for the cats as they sleep all the time, anyway. Hot summer days are ideal for them - roasting themselves in a patch of sunlight seems to be a favorite activity. They also enjoy sleeping on cold days, too, of course but usually in someone's lap. I guess being a cat is pretty ideal, in general.
I've been reading a lot of books (Including Julie & Julia, which was okay but not my favorite because the author is, well, kind of a jerk)
So, it's mostly been too hot to bake. I did just finish grating a million zucchinis for freezing and made a batch of zucchini muffins from this recipe:

I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour and used yogurt instead of oil to make them a little healthier. I don't think all muffins or cakes should be tampered with that way but zucchini and carrot breads are already pretty heavy so the wheat flour and yogurt blend right in. It doesn't work for light and fluffy cakes, no matter what health nuts say. Don't do it! Just enjoy a smaller piece of cake.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vintage Posters

My friend gave me several vintage Smokey the Bear posters (from the late 70's/early 80's, I'm guessing). I especially like the mushroom one below. I'm considering hanging them all in the guest room, since I really like them but they don't really go with the rest of the decor in the house.

Two Upcoming Events

Melanie and I will have a booth at the Uptown Market this Sunday, August 16th. It looks like it will be a lot of fun and have a wide variety of cool things. Check out their website and flickr pool:
We'll also be at the Defeat of Jesses James Days festival in Northfield. We'll have our booth in the Central Park locations. I've been to this event before as a vendor and has a visitor and it's pretty fun. Re-enactments of the famous bank raid, bingo and other games, lots of food, a carnival, arts and crafts....tons of stuff! And Northfield is a beautiful town.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Zucchini Fritters

I couldn't quite find a recipe that worked for me on the web so I took a little bit from lots of recipes. These would probably be tastier if fried (what isn't really? I mean, you can improve oreos by deep-frying them and who woulda thought you could improve oreos?), but I cooked them in a non-stick pan to keep them as healthy as possible.

Zucchini Fritters

1 large zucchini, shredded (about a cup or a little more)
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1 small onion, diced or 1/2 cup green onions
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
salt & pepper to taste

milk (optional)

Beat eggs lightly in a bowl. Add zucchini, carrot, onion, and basil. Add flour and mix until all the vegetable mixture is coated in flour. The mixture should form a ball that sticks together easily but isn't too wet. If too dry, add some milk. If too wet, add a little more flour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drop a tablespoon of mixture into skillet. Squish down to flatten and cook until browned.

I served mine with a peanut sauce (peanut butter + curry paste) and a plum sauce (plum jelly, soy sauce, red pepper flakes) for dipping.

New wall display and some collecting

We moved some things around in our apartment, and I had to figure out what to do with this wall in the dining room. There are lots of solutions that would have worked but I decided to hang this group of embroidery hoops. All of them are done with some scraps of vintage fabric.

I don't really collect anything anymore (unless books count!), but I think everyone has accidentally started a collection at some point. Usually it happens when well-meaning friends and relatives decide that you collect something. If people notice that you have two or three things with roosters on them or if you casually mention that rooster paintings are cool, expect to get a flood of rooster-related gifts for Christmas. My mom started a teapot collection this way. My aunt started a pig collection this way. My sister received teddy bear themed gifts until she was 21 or so.
I don't collect owls or frogs but do like them and noticed the other day that I have a few of each. Please note - this is not a request for these items. I just thought they looked cool grouped together.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little Bird

I am experimenting with adding stitching/embroider to my canvas paintings. This isn't the best photo but it shows the general idea.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Library Books

I've always been a big reader but haven't always had a great selection to choose from. In high school, our town had a tiny library that was only open during the day on weekdays. I read anything - school assignments, my grandmother's Louis L'amour collection, the shampoo bottle. In college, I didn't have much time for recreational reading and the non-academic book selection in the library was abysmal, anyway.

The Minneapolis libraries are like an all-you-can-eat buffet to me (better, actually, because there isn't any mystery meat and big vats of mayonnaise-drenched vegetables, blegh. So, maybe more like a make your own sundae bar!) I'm not sure what I'm going to feel like reading any given week so I try a little bit of everything. My eyes are bigger than my stomach (er, my books are bigger than my book bag?)

The other great thing about the library is that it helps me curb any online shopping urges. Instead, I got over to the library website and reserve a bunch of books and dvds. I get the same feeling of anticipation waiting for it to come in to my local branch and also can pay my rent each month (always a bonus).