Friday, May 31, 2013

these shoes are made for walking

linocut black cat shoes

A couple of weeks ago, I used the kitty head stamps that Zach cut to print a pair of boring old espadrilles. Even though I like the way they turned out, they are, at best, only half as awesome as the pair of shoes that Zach drew for me.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

meanwhile in P-town ...

We've been in Portland the last 2 days. My parents live on 20 acres and we love to walk in the field and play in my mom's garden.The sky always feels incredibly big when you are in the middle of nowhere.

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken with Rice

We are finding it hard to make elaborate dinners when the weather is this nice. Lately we have been all about easy light dinners that we can put together quickly and cook on the grill. So here's another simple but healthy and flavorful chicken recipe, served with a side of tomato, corn, and beans rice.

2 pieces of skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
salt, to taste

Marinate chicken breasts in cilantro, lime, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper for at least 2 hours.
Grill chicken till center is no longer pink.

Tomato, corn, and beans rice.

Mix together:
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 15oz. can of black beans
2 cups fresh corn, roasted on grill
2 cups of grape tomatoes, quartered
juice from 1 lime

Enjoy dinner, then go play outside!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Garden Update: May 2013

Last year, we weren't around for most of May because we were in Singapore. We left just as the garden was starting to take off, and because of that, we are especially happy we stuck around this time to see our plants growing by leaps and bounds. Here's a look at what's been making me smile all day :)

Zach with trays of loose-leaf lettuce. We made ourselves a little salad "bar" with lettuce, kale, pepper cress,  spinach, arugula, and pea shoots. All these plants have relatively shallow roots, so we are growing them in trays that came with our other planters. By staggering the planting, we've been able to have a steady supply of salad!

salad bar

The herbs are growing slowly but steadily. We have a great supply of cilantro but are currently struggling with the parsley. We also got tired of waiting on our Chinese chives (also known as garlic chives) so the one we have is a transplant. 

top row (L to R): silver thyme, chives, dill
middle row: (L to R): cilantro, lettuce leaf basil, thai "Siam Queen" basil
bottom row (L to R): oregano, Italian flat leaf parsley, Chinese chives

Swiss chard of the "Bright Lights" variety. It's been fun to see these grow. So far, no pests. I hope they stay that way. If you have a great recipe that calls for swiss chard, please email us! We need ideas!

The biggest change in the garden this month took place in our raised bed. We harvested a round of veggies, pulled up whatever had bolted, and tilled in the rest. We then planted eight pepper plants -- two chocolate peppers, one purple pepper, one yellow pepper, one red pepper, one green pepper, and two shishito that we started from seeds. 


And then there are carrots. Two different kinds -- tender sweets and little fingerlings. Right now, all we see are the bushy tips. I need to read up on how to know when to harvest.

We are growing four tomato plants, half the number we had last year. Since the sweet baby girls did so well for us last summer, we decided that we needed two more of those this year. We also have a roma and a bush hybrid champion. Tomatoes are such great plants to have around. Summer time would not feel right if we didn't have some fresh tomatoes to harvest!

Mints. We use the orange and peppermint variety to infuse water. It is hard for me to drink 8 glasses of water a day but when we have infused water, I can drink a gallon! Mint has good amounts of antioxidants and when you drink it infused in water, it helps with digestion too.

orange mint, peppermint, cat mint, vietnamese mint
top row: orange mint (L), peppermint (R)
bottom row: cat mint from Zach's mom (L), Vietnamese mint, also known as laksa leaves (R)

One of our goals for the garden this year, is to grow as many of the "dirty dozen" vegetables as we can. So even though I had read that it is hard to grow celery, we are being adventurous and giving it a shot.

We have significantly increased our number of fruiting trees and shrubs. Our blueberries, raspberry bush, and strawberries are at least two years old now, and they finally have fruits on them! Now we just have to make sure the birds don't get to them before we can! We also acquired an improved meyer lemon tree and are trying to grow watermelons vertically. Our greatest surprise has to be our dwarf mandarin peach tree. We weren't expecting any fruits, but it looks like there are going to be at least a dozen!

top row (L to R): raspberry bush, blueberry, strawberry
bottom row (L to R): watermelon seedling, peach tree, improved meyer lemon

Flowers! I am so happy we decided to grow some flowers this year. We have a great collection of violets and pansies, a colorful mix of snapdragons, some begonias and double impatiens for the shade, and marigolds as pest prevention for our tomato plants! We have plans to add a basket of red petunias in the coming weeks because I've been spotting hummingbirds in the garden ...

top row (L to R): pansies and violets, snapdragons, begonia
middle row (L to R): french marigold, some other kind of marigold (whose name I forget), white double impatiens
bottom row (L to R): blue sky salvia, lavender, "opal innocence" nemesia

And speaking of flowers, we also have some nasturtiums (golden moon and peach melba). I feel bad admitting that we only have these because we are using them as aphid baits. 

If it sounds like I am paranoid about bugs, slugs, insects, and worms living off my plants, it's because I am. Zach can attest that I spent two agonizing days organizing our garden. I read extensively about companion planting, and was trying to place friendly plants next to each other while keeping the hostile ones at a distance. I thought I had succeeded, but then this happened ...

Our blue lake bush bean plants, that I had affectionately dubbed "Mr. Strong Bean" and "Mr. Even Stronger Bean" succumbed to nasty leaf miners and flea beetles. We pulled them up immediately. I was keen to start a new batch but Zach decided we are done with beans for now. We'll try beans again next year. In the meantime, we are going to continue working away in the garden. I know this has been an excessively long post. Thank you for reading!

p.s. here's my May mini garden update
p.p.s. here's our garden back in April

Monday, May 27, 2013

memorial day song

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mystery pink flowers

Can you identify this flower? 

Zach and I saw them in our neighbor's yard this evening. They are gorgeous and I am dying to know what they are!

**Update** These gorgeous flowers are Mexican evening primrose.

Friday, May 24, 2013

burnt pot

burnt pot boiling eggs
absent minded rookie gaffe
two month old pot trashed

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gallery Walk last Friday

zach medler graffiti

zach medler graffiti street art

zach medler graffiti street art

Last Friday evening, Zach painted a new mural on the garage door of his studio as part of Gallery Walk. We got to meet some new people from the community and hang out with friends till it got dark. There were lots of laughter, lots of carpenter bees (who, I am pretty sure, did not appreciate Zach spraying so close to their holes in the wall!), and lots of music. Thank you to everyone who stopped by. We appreciate your support!

Haley Checkley, from the Purdue Exponent, also stopped by to interview Zach. She may have misspelled Zach's name, but I thought her coverage was really fun to read ...

(original article can be viewed here)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese Turkey Meatballs

Last week, we shared a recipe for no-cook tomato sauce pasta. This week's recipe, sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese turkey meatballs, is the perfect accompaniment to the pasta.

(recipe from the website I Breath ... I'm Hungry ...)


1lb ground turkey breast
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped finely
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup almond meal (or almond flour)
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
coconut/ avocado/ olive oil for frying

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well. Form 16 one-inch meatballs and saute them in oil till brown and crisp, and cooked through.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Art House Co-op: Print Exchange: The Drive Home

today after dinner we stopped by the letter box to unload our overflowing mail we collect only when we remember.  arriving amidst the bills, bulk, and bullshit was our art house co-op print exchange prints.  i had honestly kind of forgotten about it, but what a nice surprise in the mailbox.

we received 10 prints, all vastly different in technique, vision, and quality.  suffice it to say, some were better than others.  i mean, come on, miranda lambert lyrics?  that one would go in the toilet paper pile, if only it weren't printed on some cheap-ass card stock.  there's a couple of bad linocuts too, but those were to be expected.

then there are a couple of middling cute prints.  i really dig the station wagon print.  we had one of these when i was a kid.  ours was a rusty orange color, with no wood paneling.  we weren't quite in clark w. griswald's economic class.  the dreaming dog is fun too, but i'm not quite sure it fits the theme.  we also received 2 photo etchings.  the syria one is cool, because of its postcard look and the fact that syria is probably not a place to be visiting these days.

joolie b.
artist: Joolie B.
chris selin
artist: Chris Selin
servane briand
artist: Servane Briand
amy lowey horowitz
artist: Amy Lowey Horowitz

my favorite is an etching of a little girl playing.  i'm not sure of the print techniques involved, but the narrative is great, and i love the drawing style.  it, far and away, outshines the other 9 prints.

lo zappicante
artist: lo zappicante

what a fun experience this was.  getting the package in the mail was a bit like opening a pack of baseball cards as a kid.  you never knew what was going to be in there, but you were excited just to open it, and sometimes one stellar card could make you forget all about the less-than-stellar others.  i hope they do this again next year.  it's a super project and such a fun way to discover some new artists.  i hope whoever received my print looks me up ...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Time-Lapse-ish Jazz Action Heroes video

Watch Zach and the students from TAF's After School Arts Program transform a blank wall into this Picasso-inspired Jazz Action Heroes mural.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Gallery Walk is tonight!

gallery walk lafayette indiana
We're hosting an open studio/ spring cleaning sale at Foam City this evening. There will be a lot of generously discounted paintings, prints on paper, and older pieces of pottery that you can shop from, and also stencil paintings that Zach will spray on the spot for you for $10. If you come between the hours of 6-9pm, you can also watch Zach re-paint the mural on his garage door! Need more reasons to come? Well, it's Friday and what better way to start the weekend then with the first Gallery Walk of the season! There are also many other new shows and exhibits downtown that you'll want to see and talented artists you'll want to meet! We hope to see you even if it rains! I promise you won't melt! :)

p.s. if you are not within driving distance of Lafayette, we are also having a sale over in our Etsy shop. Use coupon code "SPRINGCLEAN2013" for 15% off everything in the shop. Coupon good through Sunday!

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