Monday, February 28, 2011

Lotsa' Pie

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Happy Monday!  Hope your weekend was swell!  Nik and I played the DIY renovation-game around the apartment. This happens every year, right around the time when our lease is about to expire and we spend some time crying on Craigslist.  Even though we desperately want to move (to a place that has a sink IN the bathroom perhaps?), we have really cheap rent in a really great area. Some day though! In the meantime, we decided to change things around and spruce up the place a bit to make us a little happier about staying here another year.  

In other notes, I have been testing recipes for Isa and Terry's new pie book and I won't lie, it's pretty awesome to be up to my eyeballs in pie.  

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake

Cashew Cream Apple Pie

Cashew Cream Apple Pie

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fake Spring!

Print available in my Etsy Shop!
8"x10" Pen/ink and Digitally Colored

So how about that fake Spring? Ha!  67 degrees F and gorgeous out on friday and it is 30 degrees F and there are 3-4 inches of snow (and it is still coming down!) on the ground today!  That's how this time of year always goes, but it is still painful anyways.  All is well though, I've been making lots of spring-themed artwork lately, and it puts me in a good mood.  The snow is really pretty and snow-globe-like out today, so that helps too.

Oh! Also, some really good news!  I'll be road-tripping down to Austin, TX in May to participate in the Renegade Craft Fair down there!  Woo-hoo! I'm super-excited about this. I've never been to Texas before, and I'm excited to see Austin and to visit with some family that I have down there.

Whimsy Birds, Purple/Green Colorway
Print available in my Etsy shop!
8"x10" Pen/Ink and digitally colored

Whimsy Birds, Turquoise/Green Colorway
Print available in my Etsy shop!
8"x10" Pen/Ink and digitally colored

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Love Day!

Happy V-day!  My valentine portrait that I made for Nik has been given, so it's safe to write this blog post about it now!   I hope everyone had a great day, whether it be a sappy, lovey-dovey version, or just a regular old Monday of the awesome-variety! 

Nik and I don't really "celebrate" valentine's day or anything, but I had been wanting to do a portrait of us anyways, so it was a good excuse.  We went and had yummy Mexican food Saturday night and watched The Kite Runner (disappointing, since I super-loved the book.)  Also, we are obsessed with the series, Weeds.  It's so funny!

I went to Dr. Sketchy's yesterday, for the Valentine's session with Raquel Reed. She is super-pretty and fun to draw!  Also, she's a really good model and holds her poses and has great costumes, so she gets and A+ in my book.  Here's a sketch I did:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

My thoughts on the Etsy Success Symposium

Etsy's new photo booth is fun!

So yesterday was an absolutely amazing day at the Etsy Headquarters, for the Symposium.  I met some awesome people, heard some crazy-great talks, got some great swag, and had an abundance of information thrown my way.  Lots of things to process! I was really super-inspired by the talks by April Bowles and Michelle Ward, but all the speakers were pretty amazing.  They have some of the talks up online, if any other Etsy sellers out there are interested!

Some things that I took away from it:

-I need to put in some time making my shop more SEO-friendly
-Put internal links in product descriptions
-I need to take more photos of my work in their environment (i.e. framed on a wall or shelf, "story" photos, more photo styling)
-I need to create a pretty mailing list
-I need to practice my "elevator pitch" in response to the "What do you do?" question.  Get better at talking about my work out loud, in general.
-Really concentrate on my specific target market and cater my product descriptions to them. Take away their hesitations.
-The theme of the day was how to separate your shop from others and to show it's uniqueness. Tell your "story" What's your story and why should people care? What is it about your shop that is unique?
-Take more studio photos, and in-progress photos, that can be "magazine-ready"
-More custom options
-What do I want to be known for? What difference do I want to make?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kitty Flop!

Kitty Flop!  Print now available in my shop.
In case you haven't noticed by now, I am a big kitty cat fan.  Furry ones, chubby ones, skinny ones, little ones, big ones, shy ones, crazy ones: I love them all! Certified cat-lover.  I love the little things they do, like stretching out their toes, yawning, the mischievous eyes, the love nuzzles, and the kitty flop. My cat, Miles, is pretty good at the kitty flop, and he's a little on the chubby side so it's even better. Three cheers for kitties!

p.s. Happy Monday!  I'm excited to go to the Etsy Symposium tomorrow!  I'll be sure to report back on the sure-to-be-amazing speakers they have scheduled!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Homemade Almond-Oat Milk and Tofu


I've been all about hot cocoa and tofu scrambles lately.  I recently purchased a soymilk maker and tofu box, so there has been an abundance of different nut and bean milks and tofu in my fridge.  My favorite milk I have made so far has been an almond-oat mix. So creamy and yummy! I don't like any flavoring in my milks, so I don't add anything into it except the almonds and whole wheat oats.   And um, making hot cocoa with this is amaaaaazing.  I like to throw some cashews, almond milk, a chunk of this awesome 100% cocoa chocolate I got in Peru,  a couple teaspoons of sugar, and maybe a swirl of agave into the blender and then heat it up on the stovetop for some yummy homemade cocoa. Forget the powder stuff!  The cashews give the cocoa a really nice creaminess.  Now if only I had some Sweet and Sara's to go with...

Tofu scramble wrap, with tofu, mushrooms, red peppers, nooch, salt, pepper, garlic, and some Daiya mozzarella mixed in.

And the homemade tofu, omg!  I have kept it straight, using just soy beans so far, but plan to experiment with some other beans or maybe some seasoning right from the start of the tofu-making process.  It's really easy to make and comes out nice and firm and tasty.  It's quite the experience to eat the tofu while still warm, right after it has been pressed.  I haven't bought the packaged tofu in years, but have usually bought the little squares of tofu from the cooler in my local Asian market.  It had started to taste a little funny recently, like chemicals or cleaning products or something, so that prompted me to start making my own.  

So glad I invested! No more packaging and it will pay for itself eventually because nuts and beans are so much cheaper in bulk.   It does take some planning ahead to make the milk and tofu, as you need to soak the beans or nuts overnight.  And it takes a couple batches of soymilk to make a decent amount of tofu, although it is mostly waiting-time, not active prep.  I've gotten into a rhythm though, and have it down so it doesn't take up so much time to make it a couple times a week.   So far, I love the machine I got.  It takes about 20 minutes for a batch of the milk to finish and it makes approx. 2-2.5 cups at a time.  I'll usually make a few batches at a time.  I can't wait to make some seasonal or special drinks, like pumpkin spice, chocolate, and chai with them!  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars

I miss the stars a whole lot, living in a big city. Every time I visit home, it is the one thing that always still surprises me, the night sky.  Billions of tiny sparkles, with the occasional shooting star. You just can't really see any stars here in NYC, so I do savor those times when I'm home in the country and they are crystal clear and amazing!  

I hope that you all had a lovely weekend! I had a lazy one, with lots of movie watching and home-cooking.  Nik and I watched A Single Man saturday, and it was so sad! I love Colin Firth in this.  Also, beautifully shot.  We also managed to watch the entire first season of Weeds. So funny!  Definitely looking forward to watching more of that show. 

Happy Tuesday!