Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Best Banana Bread Recipe Ever. Ever!

My art room overhaul is progressing, but I just can't show you any more photos of the ceiling in here. The electricity is done for now and the painter will come tomorrow. Then there will be improvements to show. In the meantime, I'm trolling craigslist and enjoying this final week of school and all its festivities.

Thought I'd post a favorite recipe - banana bread seems perfect since we're in the season of fruit ripening much too quickly. Joey's friend submitted this - his grandmother's recipe - for our school's fundraising cookbook a few years ago and it never disappoints. "Where is the cinnamon...and the nuts?" you may ask. I know! But trust me. It's so moist, so delicious...I'm not a natural cook and this is a sure thing every single time. Hope you enjoy it! xo

Grammy Sue's Banana Bread
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I use raw sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
3 ripe bananas, mashed
chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Bake in a greased loaf pan for one hour. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heidi Sever: :Jewelry

Today we are visiting the studio of Heidi Sever, jewelry designer.
Heidi's studio is perfectly perched on the 3rd floor of her North City home.
She's up here most days with her dogs Minnie and Harry.
The space is bright and airy and inspirational. Heidi has three work stations - one for creating with glass,
one for beading,
and one for precious metal clay and metal work.
These cabinets house Heidi's beading station. She found these cabinets at the ReStore. In addition to her beading, the cabinet on the left houses her business paperwork and the top cabinet above her work space houses all of her shipping supplies. (The table to the left is where she creates with precious metal clay.)
Heidi began making jewelry about six year ago. She started with stringing beads and eventually her husband gave her a starter kit for glass blowing as a birthday present. Heidi said, "I told my husband, 'If you think beading is expensive, do not give me a glass blowing kit." 
Birthday. Kit. Class at Glasshopper. Sold. Heidi was hooked. She then took classes in precious metal clay and seed weaving and began selling her work. You can find her lampwork beads at Lady Bug Beads in Webster.
Heidi has one closet in her studio, and it is packed full (and organized) with her light box, her inventory and her tools. She uses the organizer below to hold her instruments and takes drawers to her work space as she needs them.
Heidi's husband Ben built this light box.
Heidi's glass work station is just beautiful. 
She keeps her small blue kiln right where she works.
Her work has evolved in her six years, and right now she is really enjoying creating with "droplets" of colored glass on wire. 
She can string them, weave them and coil them into all kinds of organic shapes.
With a background in sales and finance, Heidi also teaches a business class to new jewelry artists. "I see a lot of new artists pricing themselves so low that they price themselves out of business," Heidi said. "I tell new artists, 'If you're not uncomfortable, your price is too low." 
Heidi participates in approximately 20 art shows each year. This year she'll be traveling for the first time to venues in Illinois, Oklahoma and Indiana.

Heidi's next few shows:
Paseo Arts Festival in Oklahoma City, May 28-30
Art & Air in Webster Groves, June 3-5
Wells Street Arts Festival in Chicago, June 11 & 12
Thank you Heidi!

Treasury List!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nature in the City

Look who popped in on us yesterday.
The smaller birds went crazy - chirping all over the place and sitting closer than I ever would. I love this photo because it actually shows three yards - my neighbor's garage (below the bird), the circus tent thing is yard 2 and the house behind is yard 3. City living!
We were so careful for the first 20 minutes or so, being so quiet, not letting the dogs outside, calling neighbors to tell them to come see. Then we realized this bird could care less about us and what we were doing.
 Then he up and flew...
...to the back of our carriage house. (See the small bird again just lingering a bit too closely?) I met a new neighbor out in the alley because of this bird - love that.

 Then up again...
 ...to the top of our carriage house. And there he sat for a very long time - close to an hour.
He was large and in charge man. There was not a squirrel to be found anywhere - how can I get this bird to come back daily and protect my garden?
I could not believe all the birds hovering around and chirping (squawking really). They almost sounded hysterical.
 And then they began playing chicken almost, trying to fly by his head and see who could get the closest.
I was thinking about the book Big Al. And bullying - who was the bully here? The big bird or the teasers?
And finally, after more than an hour, dinner not made, my arms tired from trying to hold my little point-and-shoot as still as possible, he fluffed up...
 ...and was gone.
Fascinating. I found it fascinating. xo