Monthly Archives: May 2010

an Etsy favorite

Have I mentioned I love Whichgoose on Etsy?? Emily, the mastermind behind this shop, makes the most amazing and whimsically beautiful hair accessories, and I want them all! And her pricing (if you ever comparison shop between the really talented hair fascinator sites) is so reasonable, I love it ^_^

This gorgeous piece would be a perfect bridal accessory and it’s ON SALE right now!!

If I didn’t already have my hair accessory already lined up (shame!!) I would snatch this up in a heartbeat. I’m sure it won’t stay un-sold for long.

Check out her stuff and tell me you don’t smile – I won’t believe you, haha.

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Filed under Etsy, Inspiration

Clay projects

I’ve had several requests for custom ceramic pieces lately, so I thought I’d share what I’m working on for other people!

Continuing on my lace-textured trend, as seen in my cuff cups…
…I decided to use this texture in two other projects.

The first was commissioned by a friend – two wall-pockets. These are conical vases that are intended to hang on a wall or other vertical surface. They are pictured still in the unfired stage (bone dry) so the lace pattern isn’t easy to see. Once they are glazed, the lace will be much more prominent.

The second project was a request for something garden-esque for a silent auction basket donation. Whatever I donate would be added to other garden items, and the proceeds from the auction benefit the Woodland Park Zoo.

So to keep things simple and functional, I decided to make a set of 3 slab-built flower pots, again with the lace texture…

Each one is unique  (as handmade items are!) and I plan to glaze each one in a slightly different color.
I just wish things didn’t have to dry so slowly! Ceramics is definitely a game for the patient.

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Filed under Crafts, Jadeflower Ceramics, Uncategorized

Itadakimasu: let’s eat!

M and I had such a fun evening last night, I decided I want to share. And this is also a chance for me to showcase one of my favorite foodie blogs – Just Hungry! ( I love Maki, the blogger, who also has a  site called Just Bento; people who know me may be aware that I have a slight obsession with all things Bento!)

Both of Maki’s blogs are great sources of recipes, both Japanese and otherwise. Yesterday morning I decided to make a whole meal from some of her recipes, which evolved into a picnic dinner! With the spring sunshine finally arriving in the Northwest, I thought a picnic would be perfect, and these dishes are very picnic-friendly.

I started with Maki’s popular kinpira recipes – basically taking firm veggies, chopped into thin sticks, and stir-frying them briefly with a little oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and maybe some hot pepper flakes for some heat. I had a ton of carrots in my fridge, and also 3 crowns of broccoli (and I frugally only used the stems of the broccoli, and saved the florets), so I knew this would be a perfect to make.
Next I made fried tofu, which is a very simple process :
Take a block of firm tofu and cut into 1 inch cubes. It is necessary to get as much moisture out of the tofu as possible, so arrange the tofu on a surface with some paper towels, cover with more paper towels, and then weigh them down to press out the moisture (I used a cutting board and just let it sit for a minute or two). Meanwhile, preheat a pan – I use cast iron – with a little 1-2 tbsp of oil (I used peanut), and then place the tofu in the pan over medium heat. Don’t move the tofu once they’re in the pan! You want each side to get nice and browned, so give each side 1-2 minutes per side. Use tongs to rotate the cubes. A little patience will yield beautifully golden cubes of tofu that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I also sprinkled a pinch of garlic salt on them during cooking for a little more flavor. Yum!

{image from Just Hungry}

While the tofu was cooking, I put the water on for my soba noodles; Maki has a great article on soba right here. They are definitely picnic-friendly since they are intended to be eaten cold – no worries about keeping things hot outside!

So with delicious Japanese cuisine in tow, a blanket and a soccer ball, we headed to the park just a block from our place and had a lovely evening. OH, and to make the meal complete, I picked up this adorable little bottle of sake from the grocery store!

It was unfiltered sake (see the milky white color?), and very tasty for being the cheapest bottle on the shelf, haha ^_^


After eating we had some fun kicking M’s soccer ball around and enjoyed the sunshine that decided to stick around. M also played around with his new camera – it can take slow-motion video, and I filmed him doing a slo-mo bicycle kick which was pretty sweet ^_^ But I doubt he’d want me to post that here, haha.

Hopefully we’ll have lots more opportunities for picnics this summer, and certainly more times to cook up yummy Japanese foods!

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Filed under Day to Day, food, Recipes

It’s in the mail

We are reaching a major milestone in the wedding process today – mailing out the invitations!

They are stamped, addressed, stuffed, and ready to go 🙂

M and I spent a good long while mulling over and designing the invites… and, like our Save the Date cards, we did these totally in-house, hand-made style. They relate to the StD’s but go a step further in the design, and I really hope they make a great impression when our recipients open them!

Our RSVP cards were the element holding up our mailing. We actually had these printed at a print shop, since we didn’t have the heavy-weight paper.
We decided to do a postcard RSVP, for a few reasons. To save on postage, to save on weight in our invitations, and to save paper: all good things to save, in our opinion! The RSVPs are a bit more light-hearted in design that the invitations themselves, and we left a spot for folks to write us some comments, so we hope they do!

So this is the moment of truth! No turning back now (haha), the invitations in the mail means it’s official, and we are less than 2 months from the day. I know that the next several weeks are going to fly by like none other, but I plan to do my best to keep it all in check and ignore those pesky wedding-nightmares that pop up every week or so (yes, I have had multiple wedding nightmares – the kind where you show up without your dress, or have no idea what your vows are, or you don’t recognize anyone at your own wedding, haha).

But really, I’m so grateful we have such generous friends and family who are helping us with so many things along the way. We literally couldn’t do it without you. So here’s to the final-stretch countdown 🙂

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Filed under paper, Wedding

Little birdies

Sneak peak of two cute little birdies I’m making.Perhaps to go atop a cake? or even just beside…

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Salmon Patties

Growing up, my dad was the culinary wiz in the family. While my mom probably cooked the majority of our family meals, my dad was the one who cooked the ambitious menus. If dad was cooking, it meant it would be something special. One of my dad’s favorites (and mine too) was salmon patties. He’d serve them fresh from the frying pan to the plate, then smother them with a fresh cheddar cheese sauce and a mound of bright green peas.

I decided to try my hand at this beloved recipe from my childhood, since I had some leftover salmon fillets, and a craving for salmon patties. Turns out, they’re not difficult to make at all!

salmon patties with broccoli and cheese sauce

Here’s my take on how to do it:

Homemade Salmon Patties

2 cups leftover cooked salmon, shredded & bones/skin removed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 scallions, diced
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten

Get your leftover salmon finely shredded by flaking it apart with a fork.

Stir in your chopped parsley, scallions, Parmesan, pepper, and bread crumbs until well incorporated.

Stir in your beaten egg – work it in thoroughly. Once stirred in well, use your hands to really work the mixture into a nice homogeneous “dough”. Shape the salmon mixture into round patties, as large as you want, but making sure they are uniformly thick so they cook evenly.

If your patties don’t stick together well, your mixture is probably too dry. Add just a teeny bit of water at a time until the dough holds together.

Preheat your frying pan over medium heat with 1-2 tbsp of oil. When the oil is shimmering, but not smoking, gently place the patties in the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

You can serve these in a variety of ways! Put on a bun and treat it like a burger. Serve with a tangy yogurt dill sauce. Hollandaise sauce goes great with these. Or my favorite – sharp cheddar sauce.
Pair these with a fresh steamed green veggie and some wild rice, and you have a beautiful meal that’s fun to make and even better to eat. Enjoy!

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Filed under food, Recipes

Market Recap

So yesterday was my first experience as a vendor at the Fremont Sunday Market. What a day!

I shared a booth with two of my lovely & talented friends, Tiffany and Stacie, so our booth had an awesome variety of items – ceramics from me, unique fashions from Tiffany, and beautiful handmade cards and journals from Stacie.

The day started early and slowly: non-member vendors (i.e. not the regulars who come every week to sell) have to sign up at the Fremont Market desk to get in line for a spot at 7 AM (ug!). After arriving at about 7:15 and getting my name on the list, Tiffany arrived, and we headed over to Peet’s for coffee. We didn’t need to be back at the desk until 8:30 to get our assignment (members get priority before non-members), so we just hung out for a while and Stacie met up with us.

The whole process of getting a market booth was really easy (although I was totally antsy up until they called my name) and the folks who run the market were really friendly, but I am still so glad that Tiffany and Stacie were there with me. It’s always way more fun to do these things with other people!

So when we finally got our spot, we rushed into action! Setting up the cheap-o ten-foot canopy I bought from Rite Aid was not as embarrassing as I thought it would be (next to all these professional-looking vendors with their pop-up tents). Stacie was great and had 2 six-foot tables for us to use. By ten o’clock (when the Market officially opens) we were pretty much ready for the day!

our team at the market - ready to go!

I was really happy with how my table looked, especially since I spent a good chunk of time Saturday figuring things out. Everything looked very cheerful and inviting!

jadeflower ceramics display

jadeflower ceramics display

And like I said yesterday, I looked at this day as a Spring Cleaning attempt – to clear out stuff that I’ve had in storage for a while, so my display had all sorts of odds n’ ends!

The day seemed to go by so quickly. It was lots of fun to spend the day hanging out with Stacie, Tiffany and M (who came for the whole day, the sweetie!), and we couldn’t have wished for better weather! The sky was perfectly blue and clear, it was warm and sunny, and lots of people came out to the Market to enjoy it.

sunshine at the fremont market

I ended up selling quite a few things, which was certainly nice (and I made back my booth fee and then some). But I definitely didn’t sell as much as I wanted to (ain’t that always the way, though?), especially since I wanted to clear out all this stuff and it was all priced so LOW! haha oh well!
We made a few friends with some vendors around us, and everyone we encountered was really nice. All in all, it was a most satisfying day 🙂

I have visions of becoming a regular member of the market, but for now those ideas will have to wait. I’m just not ready to do this on my own yet. But I would certainly do this kind of shared booth again. It was certainly fun enough!

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Filed under Crafts, Events, Jadeflower Ceramics, paper