Archive for May, 2009

Hey everybody!

The Craft Begins is moving!  It’s bigger and badder and in a new place – thecraftbegins.com

It is a lot easier to use, there are some new features, and it’s a lot prettier as well!  I hope you’ll stop by.  All of the archives will be moved over there as well, so you won’t miss  a thing.  However, all new posts will be there, so you’ll have to come visit!  I’ll leave this site up for a while so you won’t lose it.

Hope to see you soon!

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On hiatus…

Hey everyone.

I’m taking a blogging break for a few days.  I’ve got lots of things going on here, things I think you’ll like.  The blog will be better than ever – doing a complete overhaul, and that usually takes a little while!  I hope you’ll like it.  In the meantime, if you’d like to be notified when the new blog is launched, let me know at thecraftbegins [at] gmail.com, and I promise you’ll be updated!  See you in a few days!

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Because apparently posting once a day is not enough.

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Here’s what I’ve been crushing on lately.

Satsuma Press‘s letterpress lovelies.  They make invites, stationary, calling cards, wedding invites, and just a whole lot of pretty letterpressed things.  I’m a sucker for it, I know, but they have nice modern design with a bit of a natural edge that’s really appealing.

I know that jewelry is all over the place, but that makes the occasional item that stands out all the more interesting.  I’m loving the line by Gemella Jewelry – the pieces are intricately crafted, with beautiful high-quality gemstones and a lovely approach to a traditional medium.  Great for mother’s day!

I was always taught in art school to NEVER use typography unless it killed you, especially in painting.  This lovely print makes me smile and say, screw that!  Love the message, love the execution.   Part of the 20×200 project (offering limited editions of awesome art prints for just $20!) I think that I need one on my wall.  Unless this year happens to kill me first.

Has anyone ever heard of this blog, Decorno?  I stumbled across it last weekend and did the thing where I clicked back so far, I felt a little ashamed of myself and had to stop.  At some point, it just gets creepy.  Anyway, the information is interesting, and the writing is FANTASTIC.  I’m not sure if it’s nobel-prize worthy, but it makes me laugh, and damnit, that’s enough for me.

I’m not afraid to admit it.  I go to garage sales A LOT.  At least I did before I moved to Arizona and discovered the wonders of one-stop flea market shopping.  However, it’s been a lifetime hobby for me and I can’t imagine going much longer without returning to the futile chase.  This amazing app solves the problem of “how do I hit as many garage sales as possible in one quick, efficent route?”.  It uses vulcan mind-meld to work google maps into craigslist listings and creating the perfect internet use.  All hail the almighty lifehacker.

A photographer from Boulder, Colorado is attempting to photography one million faces in just one year.  She’s turned it into a great way to raise money for charity, as well as meet lots of interesting people and support lots of interesting causes.  It’s fun to keep up with her progress and to see all of the amazing faces out there.  Check out more about the project here.

Speaking of photography – wow.  That’s all I can say to describe this photograph.  Taken by someone called Funambula (?) you can check out here tumblr here.  I love the sense of whimsy, and that color combination is just to die for.

Speaking of whimsical, who doesn’t want some rainbow cupcakes?  I’ve been seeing them everywhere lately and I’m dying to try to make some.  It looks like someone turned a leprechaun into a delicious, sweet sugary mess.  That’s right, I said it.  You can find a tutorial here to make your very own – if you do, I’d like to see what they look like!

That’s all for now, folks.  Thanks for allowing me to slowly dig through my bookmark list.  I hope you find something to pique your interest.

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It’s all lovely and springy, and I sat down near some pretty grass earlier to take a picture.  I’d like to give you a snapshot of my afternoon, and a great poem that I think goes with it, from one of my favorite authors, Shel Silverstein.


There is a place where the sidewalk ends

And before the street begins,

And there the grass grows soft and white,

And there the sun burns crimson bright,

And there the moon-bird rests from his flight

To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black

And the dark street winds and bends.

Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow

We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And watch where the chalk-white arrows go

To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,

And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,

For the children they mark, and the children, they know

The place where the sidewalk ends.

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So it’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe here!  I’ve been working on some things, and I think you’ll really like this recipe.  It’s a great appetizer at a party, and reheats really well for lunch.  It’s especially tasty with the green chili sauce, but be warned, it’s a little bit spicy!


1lb chorizo (look for something that is really fresh and really authentic – it makes a big diference in taste, and can be chopped up into smaller pieces)

2 boxes jiffy cornbread mix

3 eggs


1 c. shredded cheese (anything you like – cheese is always tasty)

1/2 c. green onions, chopped

1 tsp. chipotle powder (optional – this is a little extra spice).

Cook the chorizo in a pan over medium heat, making sure to use a wooden spoon and break the meat up into as tiny pieces as possible.  While you’re doing this, start working on the cornbread.  Prepare according to package directions, but add an extra egg (this helps keep the whole thing together).  Mix cornbread mixture until barely moistened, and then stir in remaining ingredients gently.  I like to put these into little bitty muffin tins to make them all the more bite-sized.  Fill muffin tins 3.4 full, and then cook 10-20 minutes, depending on pan size.  Pop out, and enjoy!!

Green Chili Sauce

(this is super easy and tastes great on many things other than just the muffins)

1 c. sour cream

2 c. beef broth

1 tbsp. green chili powder (mild to spicy, depending on your preference, but beware, hot means IT WILL BURN YOUR FACE OFF.)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, stirring frequently with a whisk.  Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture has thickened and lost about half of it’s volume.  It will seem really liquid when it’s warm but be warned, it will thicken when cooled.  Serve over cornbread muffins, eggs, breakfast burritos, anything!

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And I don’t mean the kind that deals with fishes and the like, although I love that too.  The underwater world is so astounding that it is amazing it can be captured on “film” and shared with those who aren’t lucky enough to venture into its depths.  However, I’m talking about a different kind of underwater photography.  I got my Anthropologie catalog today, and the first few pages were all shots of their items captured floating in the water.  They were so beautiful and ephemeral, they could easily stand alone as art instead of just product photography.  I have a few crappy underwater cameras that I’ve been longing to play around with and this might just provide the inspiration that I need.  Now all I need is some water (rather difficult to come across in the desert) and we’ll be good to go!  Here’s some beautiful pictures that I find inspiring.

(this is going to be a long post, there’s too many beautiful pictures to choose from!)

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Hope everyone is having a great day!

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I’m in Colorado, and though the weather can’t quite decide what it’s doing (somedays it’s cold and rainy, somedays its 70 degrees) the days are getting longer and the weather is moving towards something a bit more consistent.  There is absolutely nothing better than a summer in the mountains, with a full creek running by a field of aspens and gorgeous wildflowers.  I feel lucky to be able to experience this even once in my life, but it also gets me to thinking about having the possibility of doing it full-time.  Obviously, that’s never going to happen, but it’s a lazy Sunday, and a girl can dream, right?

If I could have my own little slice of heaven, it would be in an alpine meadow somewhere in a tent or a yurt.  I know that sounds pretty unpleasant, but I think that the market has definitely gone more upscale.  I ran across a flyer for a company called the Colorado Yurt Company, and they manufacture yurts, tents, and tipis to fufill all of those Sunday dreams.  You can go lo-buge, or you can also go all out and get your framework house wired and plumbed and all of the good things that make a woodsy retreat palateable for the long term.  Yeah, I want one.

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Apparently the guy’s from Denver, and I’m town, reading the paper (which I never do) and I see an article about this guy.  I tear the sheet out, because it instantly grabs me, and of course, promptly lose it.  I even forgot the name of the artist, and I’m too lazy to try to track things down on the internet, so I thought it was all over for me.

Denver has a great First Fridays art scene.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s the first friday of every month that the galleries throw their doors open and stock the counters with cheap booze and crackers and invite people in to look at art.  Me, I like going to make fun of it, but every once in a while something grabs you.  The area I was in isn’t exactly known for famous artists; it’s more the haunt of the up-and-coming.  But glory behold, I walked into a gallery I’d never been in before, and there it was.  Rex Ray.

I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been living in Arizona for a while now, or if everyone’s just so depressed they need a little bit of escapism, but I am loving the 60’s-swing thing that’s all around us nowadays.

I love the bright colors, the wonderful patterns and the irrepresible cheeriness of his works.  I had an opportunity to talk to the curator of the show for a few minutes, and he gave me the lowdown.

Apparently, the man hand-creates all of the papers you see in his “paintings”, and then meticulously cuts them out and applies them to these canvases.  It’s not so easy to see on your computer screen, but the texture and depth of these works is amazing.

Clearly, being able to afford one of these works is out of the question (some of the smaller pieces were going for $24k – yeah, not in this lifetime) but I did manage to pick something up.  He did a major installation at another Denver location and had wallpaper specially made for the wall.  It is apparently impossible to get, as it is way too expensive, but I did get a poster of a portion of the wallpaper, and it was signed!  That will have to do me for now.

I love him.  That is all.

Coming soon (I promise, I know)….some more wedding stuff, a blog redesign, and hopefully some more content.  Life is pretty crazy.  When it rains, it pours they say.

PS – a hilarious side note – my spell check wants to capitalize the word “internet”, and it refuses to acknowledge that blog is a word.  Excellent.

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mercenary-copySo I’ve been running into the problem lately of people asking me what I “do”.  I do lots of things, but I find that I’m always at a loss for words, there’s an awkward pause, and I try to find a way to explain all of my creative endeavors to someone who just asked a simple innocent question and didn’t want a 10 minute answer.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of labeling myself a “creative mercenary” since I usually just appear for short periods of time to work on a specific project, whether it be photo styling or picking out a wall color for a friend’s apartment.  I’ve heard some reactions that thought the concept was too violent, but I think it’s better than a “will work for food” business card.  Here’s something I’ve been playing around with – I’d love to know what you think!

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