Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hello Sunshine

My dad tells me he's been learning to play the guitar and the ukelele. Since he reads our blog daily, here's a beautiful song just for him!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Garden Update: Late March

The sun's out and the snow from the other day is melting! Finally, a day in the 50s! We've been itching to play in the garden, so we decided not to let the day go to waste.

We cleaned up some of the herbs and plants from last year ...

lemon thyme
blueberry bush
And we also went to Bennett's Greenhouse, where we bought ourselves some new plants ...

"opal innocence" smells fruity with a hint of vanilla. zach always lets me get a "fun" plant when we go to Bennett's and this was my pick today! 
everbearing strawberries

If you remember, we had also sown some seeds a couple of weeks ago. Not much has grown, except the following ...

a mix of different wildflowers
And finally, we filled our raised bed with a variety of leafy greens. I'm so excited to see them grow! :)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Mee Soto (Indonesian Chicken Noodle Soup)

A different kind of chicken noodle soup! This one, Indonesian in origin. I used to eat mee soto at the school canteen during recess. A hot bowl of noodles, delicious spicy broth, shredded chicken and crunchy bean sprouts. Yum. Who doesn't like something you can slurp down in a couple of minutes and have your belly be all happy?

indonesian chicken noodle soup

This wasn't an easy dish to replicate because of the large number of spices. So I'm just going to put it out there that this is the simplified version of Mee Soto!


(for broth)
8 cups of chicken broth
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise
1 bay leaf
5 cardamon pods
2 stalks of lemongrass, snip tips off and bruise the bottom half

In a blender/ food processor, blitz the following ingredients together for spice mix (that goes in broth):
1" piece of ginger
1 tbsp of minced galangal (found this at Whole Foods)
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tbsp tumeric
1 tbsp white peppercorns
1 small red onion
2 tbsp water

Shredded chicken
Egg noodles or vermicelli, blanched and set aside
Handful of bean sprouts
Hard boiled egg, quartered
Green onions or cilantro

indonesian chicken noodle soup


In a large stockpot, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise, bay leaf, lemongrass, and cardamon pods; cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Add spice mix and cook till it is a little dry. Be sure to stir often so paste does not burn.
Add chicken broth and shredded chicken, bring to a boil then cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes.

To serve, place some noodles in a bowl topped with bean sprouts, eggs, and some crispy fried shallots. Ladle hot chicken broth over.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Tilt-Shift Van Gogh

A couple of days ago, I shared these amazing pictures on Facebook as part of the tribute/ memorial for Sunnie. These van Gogh paintings come to life in photoshop. You can read the interview with Serena Malyon, the third-year art student who performed the magic, here.

(pictures via

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

the drive home

today i finally delved into my art house co-op print exchange project.  the theme of the project is called 'the drive home.'  i am of course doing a block print, with my version of color blocking using spray paint and stencils underneath the black ink.

initially i cut a block of a kid walking down a sidewalk with a backpack.  it ended up seeming a bit sad for what i thought should be a fun project.  so i re-thought and decided to reproduce an image i do often: the space between lafayette and chicago.  i wanted my print to be very much about where i'm from and the drive between chicago and lafayette on I-65 is such a familiar drive for me, but more than that, it is indicative of this place, with the windmills, and the space between big cities and small cities.

i used this method to try a new production method for these smaller prints too.  i made repeating stencils so i could do four prints at a time.  this piece is a four color stencil with the single black ink linoblock on over top.  i hope whoever gets one of my 10 prints that are shared with the other artists really digs it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Excited!

It snowed all day yesterday and when we woke up this morning, there was 9 inches of snow on the ground. I'm snow excited! I love snow. This wet and sticky snow will melt in a couple of days, and then we'll hopefully be able to start setting some plants out. In the meantime, a cautiously hopeful song ...

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Color Off!

My very first Christmas gift from Zach was a handmade coloring book. He knew I love to color, so he drew me a bunch of pictures in a hand-bound book. Yesterday, we celebrated the approval of Zach's mural proposal by having a color off!

zmedceramics mural

zmedceramics mural

zmedceramics mural
zmedceramics mural
Mindy's. Zach said he thought this reminded him of a Romare Bearden-inspired color scheme.

Since this is going to be public mural, we thought it would be fun to have the public involved. So here's a .pdf file of the image. If you want to print it off and color it in, email us ( a photograph of your completed work and we'll share it on the blog!

Friday, March 22, 2013

a new mural in the works

this spring TAF, again, has allowed me to blend their mural arts initiative program with the after school arts program and take a group of kids through the process of creating a mural for the city of lafayette.  we take 8 sessions to brainstorm, sketch, discuss, develop, and install our mural.  the kids ideas are implemented in every step of the process.  i put everything they do through my filter and create something that we can all agree on.

We've had three sessions of discussions and by the end of the third session we'd nailed down some concrete ideas and sketches layouts.  i brought what we did in class home and put it through my filter, cleaning up perspective and details and balancing out the image.  This is what we submitted to the city:

It is based on Picasso's '3 musicians' painting.  i started with an outline sketch of Picasso's painting and then put a pile of musical instruments on the table.  i asked the kids to fill in all the spaces with musical instrument parts or other mechanical parts.  i told them the lines are only a suggestion and we ended up adding 2 more musicians and a ton more shapes and spaces, turning picasso's flat shapes into a steam punk band of robots.

we received approval from the city today.  now if i could just get someone to kick winter out of here we could get out there and get started.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A lovely memorial

Our friend, Lisa N., has organized a really lovely tribute to her mom Sonja (Sunnie) on Facebook. In memory of her, Lisa requested for friends to create a Spring Full of Art, where participants post one beautiful thing per day starting from spring through the summer. I thought it was such a meaningful thing to do, so I told Lisa I would participate!

It's only day 2 but I've had a lot of fun scouring the web for beautiful things. On the first day, I shared with Lisa some artful sandwiches.

Damien Hirst-inspired
this one cracked me up! the Christo-inspired sandwich!
Georgia O'Keefe-inspired. Also wins my vote for the most delicious looking sandwich!

You can see the rest of the sandwiches here! And if you'll like to keep up with my posts "For Sunnie," follow along here.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Indian-style Fish Curry

Are you a friend of our blog on Facebook? A couple of days ago I had shared on our FB page that my cousin Gillian (who splits her time between Singapore and Princeton, NJ while her husband works on his PhD) sent Zach and I some really cool spices. She had raved about this awesome spice shop so much that when I received her package in the mail and everything looked and smelled so good, I went online to see what other kinds of spices this place had.

To my surprise, they had dried curry leaves! I urgently bought a bag of it. Curry leaves are not the same as curry powder. Curry leaves are used to infuse the oil you cook with, and they add a distinctively fresh, aromatic, herbal flavor to your food. The smell is addictive. And if you jazz it up with some mustard seeds, you may just find yourself in culinary heaven.

curry leaves Murraya koenigli
dried curry leaves
On Sunday night, I made beef ularthiyathu according to this recipe on my new favorite food site Zach helped out in the kitchen and he made the thoren and yogurt rice. These were altogether an unbeatable combo. So delicious we just sat and stared at each other; speechless in the presence of such gastronomical bliss. Zach joked that he'd never eat green beans and carrots any other way. And later that night, we were online searching for a way to grow our own curry plant so we would always have curry leaves on hand. If you're interested, Logee's Greenhouses carries the curry plant (Murraya koenigli). I'm not sure it would survive the Indiana climate, but we are going to try and see what happens.

Last night, Zach and I came up with a recipe for fish curry that we thought was to die for. It is similar to the one for beef ularthiyathu, but the taste is, in our opinion, a lot better, and lighter.

3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
a handful (slightly less than 1/4 cup) dried curry leaves
1 shallot, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp tumeric
2 roma tomatoes, chopped in wedges
1 (15oz) can of coconut milk
1 lemon, juiced
3 cod fish filets
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large pot, heat coconut oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop (be careful here!), add in the dried curry leaves and cook until brown (about 30 secs to 1 minute).
Add shallots, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and a pinch of salt and cook until shallots soften.
Add fish and stir in coconut milk, chili powder, garam masala and tumeric. 
When the liquid comes to a boil, cover and lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
When fish is done, stir in lemon juice and cilantro.
Serve over rice.

For Yogurt Rice:
3 cups cooked basmati rice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
handful of dried curry leaves
1/3 cup of plain greek yogurt

In a large pot, heat coconut oil and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop (be careful here!), add in the dried curry leaves and cook until brown (about 30 secs to 1 minute).
Turn heat off, then add rice.
Mix in yogurt.

Big yums.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{Share your ZMEDCeramics pictures} Barb Ray

This is a slightly older piece, from back in the day when Zach was working in stoneware and taking custom orders to do those wonderful slab/wheel-altered pieces.

Barb and her husband live in a log cabin in Wisconsin, so that was the image she requested for. The shino and celadon glaze reminds me of a lakeside sunset. So beautiful.

p.s. These pictures were provided by Barb herself. She is a photographer, and if you would like to see more of her work, go here.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Name Card Blocks

This is Zach's old name card:

zach medler zmedceramics etsy blog

Since we are on a short break from working in clay, we think we need a new image for his name card. Here are three new linoblock designs:

zach medler zmedceramics etsy blog
zach medler zmedceramics etsy blog
zach medler zmedceramics etsy blog
zach medler zmedceramics etsy blog

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Planting

Okay, so it's not officially spring yet. And it most definitely does not feel like spring in Indiana. It is grey and cold. But Zach and I are too impatient to wait much longer ...

We started some seeds today. It might still be a tad early but we just had to do it to get the planting fever out of our systems!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ireland is beautiful

Ireland, I believe, is breathtakingly, heart-achingly beautiful.

Ben Bulben, County Sligo
The Anvil, Tory Island
The Skellig Islands
Cliffs of Moher
Kylemore Abbey, County Galway

I've never been, but I'll get there some day. In the meantime, I'll just sit and wait for St. Patrick's Day ...

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