Posts Tagged ‘martha stewart’

23
May

Further Reading 5/23/14

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading

Starting off with something fun, there’s the teaser for Shaun the Sheep, the next film from the creators of Wallace and Gromit. Shaun was the star of my favorite Wallace and Gromit film, A Close Shave, so I’m very excited to see what he’s up to in this movie. Guess I’ll have to wait until next year! Some extra links for your holiday weekend are coming up!

>> In case you were hoping to buy me a gift but were short on ideas, this handmade hamburger bow would be awesome. I mean, just throwing that out there. (Thanks, Dana!)

>> Two big brands have recently announced projects for handmade/fair trade products. West Elm has committed to giving $35 million to 20 artisan groups that make goods by hand. You can shop for anything from couches to gorgeous drawer pulls that are all handcrafted here. Similarly, Kate Spade, Jack Spade, and Saturday have started a project called On Purpose. They are teaching women in Rwanda to make accessories for their brands in order to help them earn a living wage. While there are similar programs out there (I’m thinking about Ricefield Collective), I think it’s really important to give companies like these a hand for taking on these ventures. Sure, there’s more work to be done, but we should encourage these bigger brands to keep adding fair trade and handmade items to their inventory.

>> I’m really dying to make some of these little fabric bracelets. They look super simple and very cute. I like to make and wear friendship bracelets as soon as the weather turns but I always want to mix it up. Looks like I’m going to the craft store this weekend.

>> Have you ordered your digital edition of Knitscene Accessories? (No pressure.) Here’s a sneak peek behind the scenes at the photo shoot for the issue. I’m always in awe of their hair stylists! And, gosh, do they have fun on these shoots or what?

>> I saw this recipe for tahini cookies in Martha Stewart Living and I immediately started to drool. I love the idea of using sesame paste instead of peanut butter in a cookie. Why didn’t I think of that? Maybe I need to make a batch of these this weekend, too. (Am I being over-ambitious?)

>> Knitty shared this amazing story earlier this week of knitter Eileen Scrivani. She loves to knit beautiful cable work and doesn’t let the fact that she’s visually impaired get in the way. What an amazing woman! Eileen is a New Yorker I’d definitely love to meet!

>> I am freaking obsessed with this handmade Clara Oswald dress! While Amy Pond is my favorite companion (ginger, duh), I’ve always coveted Clara’s style. This dress was absolutely my favorite thing she wore so it was very exciting to see that another fan had made her own.

Will that hold us over until next week? I’m hoping to spend the long weekend working on some upcoming posts. And knitting, of course. I’m still having some pretty bad startitis and general crankiness with everything I’m working on. There’s been a lot of bouncing from my sewing machine to knitting needles to cross stitch. I just don’t know what I want to do and I feel it kind of spilling over into the rest of life, like I don’t know what kind of music I want to hear on the train, or what I want to write about, etc. Am I in a creative funk? Or am I just overwhelmed by how much of everything I want to accomplish simultaneously?

Are you making time during the long weekend for crafts?

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13
Jun

I WANT MY KNIT TV!

Written by Sarah. Posted in Uncategorized

Pour yourself a drink. This is a long one. Apologies in advance.

Most Saturday afternoons when Jon and I are visiting his parents, his dad will settle in front of the TV with a cold beer and flip the channels. Almost always he lands on the fishing channel and that’s what we watch all afternoon while Jon fixes something with someone’s iPhone and I click away with my needles. Jon’s dad loves to fish. He wakes up early on Sunday mornings and returns home with something to grill for lunch.

Most Saturday mornings when Jon and I are visiting my parents, my dad will settle in front of the TV with a coffee and flip the channels. Almost always he lands on the History Channel and that’s what we watch all afternoon while Jon fixes their printer and I click away with my needles. My dad loves history. He takes time off of work to drive to historic sites in other states and has room full of books he’s read about the Founding Fathers.

I love knitting. And when I curl up on the couch with my work, I like to watch TV. That’s no secret. I’ve gone through seasons of Mad Men, Big Love, Doctor Who (to mention a few) in the name of my knitting.

So when a friend sent me a picture of this ad in the subway, I was delighted.

knitting wars pbs

 

Until I realized that it was just a joke. Thirteen has a series of ads that poke fun of contemporary television. “The fact you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV. Support quality programming.” I see where they’re coming from. I’m kinda snobby. I don’t know how many iterations of Duck Dynasty or Long Island Medium the world needs. Those aren’t things I’m into. I wasn’t offended that PBS was making fun of knitting (though it’s such an over-used stereotype that old ladies knit, it’s not even that funny), I was mad that there wasn’t a show for me to watch.

There’s a channel for my dad full of shows about the American Revolution (spoiler alert: we won). There is a whole network dedicated to fishing which (no offense, fisherpeople) is kind of notoriously boring (or is that a stereotype just like the old ladies knitting? If so, sorry again.). Guys (and pretty ladies) fish in the ocean, in the Great Lakes, in the carribean. They talk about fish and boats and gear. But really, it’s a lot of fishing which is great if you’re into fish porn. I could see how a guy like Jon’s dad could get into that channel. I said aloud, after hour four of Saltwater Adventures, “I wish I could watch a knitting channel all day.”

So I want my Knit TV!

Where’s my channel? The DIY Network is entirely made of home improvement shows since Knitty Gritty’s end in 2007. The same can be said for HGTV. Martha Stewart’s show was cancelled last year and she’s not just a little lady with needles. Even if I were to be less specific craft-centric, the Food Network has been bastardized by reality and competition shows. Good Eats and Boy Meets Grill and Julia fucking Child have been relegated to the Cooking Channel where actual cooking instruction happens.

So, yeah, PBS, I can see what you mean. And I see what you’re trying to do with Create TV (a channel that a lot of us probably don’t get with whatever cable we have). But I’m not asking for something that’s dry and awkward, Bob Ross style. Why can’t we have an exciting network with cool shows? The fact that Project Runway has gotten 10+ seasons goes to show that people like things being made and it can be done in a glossy, sell-able way.

What about a yarn and fabric-centric travel show? Anthony Bourdain has made a career out of eating around the globe. Why not knitting around the globe? How about competition shows like Craft Wars? (As an aside, I can’t complete this post without saying that I LOVE CRAFT WARS! Please tell me they’re bringing it back for a second season!) There’s a cupcake competition show on Food Network that’s had multiple seasons, I’m sure we can do better. There are home improvement shows about upcycling a la This Old House, why not something fashion-oriented or just plain design-savvy? And if we want to take the reality show route, instead of Cake Boss, how about a LYS show? Ravelry has 2 million members, there’s an audience for this stuff. I’ve got plenty of ideas, DIY Network, so feel free to hit me up. (In this 2009 blog post by Vickie Howell blames the absence of craft television on sponsorship. Home improvement shows are buoyed by the giant home improvement stores. I’m sure she knows more about the subject than I do but I can’t believe there aren’t stores and products – outside of yarn companies – that couldn’t advertise to such a great market.)

Until then, I’m happy to say that we crafters are taking the internet by storm. If there’s one place that we can have whatever we want, it’s online. With the rise of craft YouTube channels (shameless self promotion here), our audience is getting what they want. Shows like Nora Meets the Maker sheds light on different makers and projects while being fun and trendy and The Fiber Factor is giving that competition excitement to budding designers. And I must mention that there are a myriad of video (and traditional) podcasters sharing tons of content. We might be doing them on shoestring (read: zero dollars) budgets but they’re out there!

In conclusion, maybe cable is over. Maybe, if I can’t get the shows that I’d really love to watch, my subscription will end. Of course, there’s plenty of non-craft shows that I love but online accessibility (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc) is making television obsolete. So maybe we should just wait for these big networks to die out and then we can take over for craft video world domination. A girl can dream. Until then, it’s important to support those shows that we love so much by clicking the like button, sharing with our friends, commenting, and subscribing. (Please don’t take this as a plea for subscriptions for my own channel which has been coming back to life after a long winter! I mean every kind of content that you like from any maker!) It’s important that people know they’re being appreciated so they keep putting in their hard work. And, you never know, online popularity leads to shows on those networks I just sentenced to death. I’d love for any of these crafters to break out into the mainstream!

What craft shows do you like? What would you love to see on tv? What are you watching online? Say it with me: I WANT MY KNIT TV!

ps. Happy Father’s Day to Jon’s dad and my own!(?)

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03
Jul

Independence Day Tart

Written by Sarah. Posted in baking, cooking, food, holiday, life, recipe, summer

Sunday Jon’s parents threw a big 4th of July party (although, technically it was Canada Day). They have a huge BBQ every summer and there’s lots of drinks and swimming.

This year I made two berry tarts which are currently my favorite things to bake because they’re simple and easy but they taste delicious and look impressive. And I’d like to share the recipe with you!

Berry Tart
yield 8″ pie

Graham cracker crust adapted from this Martha Stewart recipe
10 graham crackers
1/4 c sugar
1/4 t salt
6 T butter, melted

In a food processor, pulse together graham crackers with sugar and salt. Mix in melted butter and press into a pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Allow to cool completely.

Mascarpone cream
8oz mascarpone cream
1/4 c sugar
1c heavy cream

Stir together mascarpone with sugar and heavy cream. Pour into cooled crust. Top with berries and allow to set in the refrigerator for an hour before serving.

Next time I plan to use a rectangular tart pan. I’d love to make big berry stripes! I was so serious about the circles of raspberries and blueberries that I almost had my tweezers out! I hope I made Martha proud!

Enjoy!

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18
Nov

My First Pie

Written by Sarah. Posted in baking, CSA, food, life, photos

I have an announcement to make! Last week, I baked the first pie I’ve ever made completely from scratch! Baking a pie from scratch has always been on my bucket list. And I did it! I feel like, going into it, this was a huge milestone for me but now I don’t see what was so terrifying about it at all.

We’ve gotten 6 pounds of apples from our CSA for the past two weeks! (The summer CSA ended yesterday. As much as I’ve loved bundles of beautiful veggies and experimenting with new foods, I have to admit that I’m relieved it’s over. We just couldn’t keep up with the volume of food we were getting. Lesson learned!) I knew it was time to take the big leap and make apple pie. Our favorite apples are the courtland. I can’t remember what other varieties ended up in the pie…probably a little of everything.

I used Martha Stewart’s old fashioned apple pie recipe. The crust is her pate brisee. Wow! It really was a brisee to make. (Sorry, had to!) I feel like a champ! I didn’t think the pie crust was going to turn out because apparently I have the tiniest food processor in the world. I gave up and just started mushing with my fingers. This is the point I recognize in everything I make when I decide that I will not get too emotional over the outcome because it doesn’t look too good so far. But after chilling in the fridge, it turned out great. I did a little dance in the kitchen.

Yummy! I can’t wait to make another one! (Next time I will actually take pictures of the pie cut open. I’m so bad! I was too busy devouring it! Delicious!)

Have you made a pie before? Were you scared? Am I being silly? What’s your greatest baking achievement!?

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31
May

Uncork!

Written by Sarah. Posted in DIY, holiday, party

Hello, World! I hope you had an amazing holiday weekend (if, of course, this weekend was a holiday for you). I had a wonderful stay-cation which included well-deserved massages, long-overdue manicures, and lots of grilling and wine! I hope you all saved your corks from all of the partying you did because I have some fun wine-centric projects!

A few weeks ago, at brunch, I snapped a quick photo of this cute cork table. The table is a frame lined with wine corks and topped with a piece of glass. Pretty simple idea but super cute result!

It got me thinking and here are some other wine-spired projects.

First is this bath mat. Very fun! There is a great tutorial for making your own at CraftyNest.

Next up, this cool cork ornament posted at Green Wedding Shoes.

And lastly, this handy trivet from Whole Living. Very easy to make!

I’m excited to start crafting these corks! But the first step is collecting them so bottoms up!

What cork designs have you seen? I’d love to hear some more!

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17
May

Lavender Butter Cookies

Written by Sarah. Posted in baking

Things have been so busy around here for so long that I haven’t had two minutes to bake! I finally made some time to whip up some delicious lavender shortbread cookies and I am so in love with them. They are salty, sweet, and a little exotic!

I used the Martha Stewart French Butter Cookie recipe. I love Martha’s cookies (her iPhone/iPad app is to die for but I’m not allowed to use my phone as a cookbook anymore! Oopsies!) and I feel like I can follow her blindly into any dish. She’s my hero.

I took the plain butter cookie and I added about 3 tablespoons of dried lavender along with the vanilla. (The second time I made it I was feeling frisky so I added about a teaspoon more. Why not!) The lavender adds another dimension to the flavors. It’s subtle but it’s definitely there and everyone notices it. Lavender is not something that people are passive about, though. They either love it or think that it’s soapy.

This recipe is so great. It’s so quick and requires so few ingredients, I’ve made it twice recently. It’s not fussy at all.

I hope you make them and I hope that everyone loves them. How do you feel about lavender? Love it or leave it?

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