Friday, January 21, 2011

red curry soup with rice and kale

when i saw this soup from PPK scroll through my RSS feed, i knew i had to make it. it is a mission of mine to eat kale every day, and i've been doing great for a long while. i was also recently thinking that i need to get on a soup kick again, so why not start ASAP. here's to kale! and other good ingredients. i chowed on this soup all weekend.

the recipe
is another great one from post punk kitchen. it is easy to make and there's not much prep or cook time involved. i lucked out and actually had all the ingredients on hand except the lime. see here for more recipes from the PPK.

ingredients: olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, rice, vegetable broth, red curry paste, (purple) kale, sweet potato, coconut milk, agave syrup, and juice of one lime. (i used green kale instead of purple.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

crafty book: simple times, by amy sedaris

some people regard martha stewart as the queen of craft. i tend to associate martha with cupcakes and sleek design... and find that the hilarious and ever-crafty amy sedaris is more my style. she is one spunky little firecracker. i'd like to see a craft-off between the two, or perhaps some jello wresting featuring jello made by martha. to go even further, i'd like to see martha stewart cooking hot dogs on a rake, making panty hose lights or a mouse ghetto. i love amy sedaris because she is insane. also because strangers with candy is a super TV show and her brother david writes the funniest damn books, including little snippets of a young amy.

her newest book, simple times: crafts for poor people, written with fellow strangers with candy cohort paul dinello, is amy at her zaniest.

what is crafting and is it right for you?
crafting includes a whole host of activities associated with skillful attempts at making useful things with your hands and resulting in stocking stuffers, grab bag items, and painted rocks.

all crafters must excel at precise high-velocity hand movements not unlike the jaws of a snapping turtle or a lizard's tongue, if that lizard could decoupage with the same agility he uses to catch flies.

the book has plenty of crafts using reclaimed stuff, junk and doodads, for projects on the cheap (free). there are crafts for jesus, a bit of getting craftilicious in the bedroom, unreturnable gift-giving crafts, crafts for mourning, and don't forget the yummy edibles, and much more.

it's more than just the wacky projects in this books, it's also the display.... the photographs of sedaris as many characters, bringing the projects to life. the text offers directions and advice on the crafts. luckily, this book also contains a chapter on safety! and shows the results of messy workspaces and overconfidence. let's not forget about the tutorial on stretching before and after crafting. i need to add that ritual to my routine. (i hear that you get bonus points if you have a leotard as awesome as amy's.)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

crafty robots

it seems only natural that robots and craft should coincide. i mean, think of maker faire! and make + craft. i taught a build-a-bot workshop to a group of the cutest 8-12 year old girls at blue house ann arbor last saturday, and oh what fun we had! we looked at some books and talked about what robots do in real life. i provided a table of bits, bobbles, junk, metal, fuses, buttons, etc., for robot building, then we came up with our own ideas...


Tix II: is a room-cleaning robot! the middle-schooler who made Tix wrote up some lovely details about him and what he likes to clean and not clean. too cute!


Stella-Bot 42: my sample robot. she likes to organize parties, game nights and dance-off competitions with fellow robots. she loves baking cupcakes, doing handstands, eating edamame, and dogsitting. if you want dancing, she's your bot.


Patch: one motivated builder built three robots! this is Patch. he comes complete with a remote control and a super cape, and is ready to spread st. patrick's cheer!

MacClaren: this dog-bot was named after the dog of two attendees. check out the dog food bowl and jingle bell collar! (the real MacClaren came to blue house to pick up the girls, and oh, he was cute too!)

Carol: made by blue house owner, Siobhan. carol is a crafter-bot, in case you can't tell. her crafter's apron is complete with scissors, and an iphone to process those credit cards. she's got on handmade earrings and is wearing a peter pan collar. she is now the resident blue house-bot, bringing crafty and robotic creativity to all those who enter.


Bella: the cooking robot! she is wearing a lovely full-front apron in silver, and is carrying a matching hand towel to help guests. her frying pan features a fresh batch of bacon and eggs. her antennae keeps her fine tuned, and did you check out that curly hair?!

Candy or Rose: her official name wasn't decided, but both names sound sweet, just like this bot and the young girl who made her. she has hearts for eyes and mouth, and golden and pink ribbons for hair.


and here is the whole gang, programmed and ready to work.

this workshop was so much we'll have to do it again.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

blue house workshops + d'argyle = robots, sewing, collages

hello in the new year, friends!

this saturday kicks off a few of my workshops at blue house ann arbor.

blue house ann arbor is currently offering a mini makers series of craft workshops for kids. elana is teaching the ones for the preschoolers and i'm doing the school age ones. next up for me:

build a bot... for kids aged 8-12... you'll use all sorts of bits and bobbles and metal and gears and parts to design and create your own robots! charge up your circuit boards for this one! if you have any random bits you think would be great on a robot, do bring. it happens 1/15, 10am-12pm, registration required, $20 per session.

adult basic sewing happens later that same day, from 1-3pm. it's just the basics. the class is designed for those with no skill, limited skill, or rusty skills. we'll go over the functions of the machine and get you feeling confortable with working it and getting some stitches done. i'll have some supplies on hand if you want to get a small project started. there will be sewing machines at blue house, but if you want to bring your own, please do! it's easier for you to get comfy with sewing on your own machine. fear not, sewing is fun and awesome. registration is required, $30 per session.

also, in february i will be teaching my final mini makers workshop of the season:
crafty collages. we'll use images from magazines and found things to create crafty collages, finished and ready for hanging. it all happens saturday, 2/5, 10am-12pm for ages 8-12. registration required, $20 per session.