Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sweet Corn and Red Pepper Soup

We often give cookies as a gift around the holidays but you can also do hot meals that can be reheated soon after they are given away. You could give a neighbor this in a mason jar with a nice lid and a card, as long as they eat it within a few days.

7 cups vegetable or chicken stock
8 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
1 medium carrot, grated
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
2 tbsp vegetable or organic canola oil
2/3 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup dry sherry
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
Fresh parsley or cilantro, minced

In a heavy pot, bring stock to a boil. Add ears of corn and simmer 5 minutes. Remove corn and set aside to cool. Cut corn kernels off cobs. Then use the back of your knife to scrape the "milk" off the cobs into the stock. In a skillet, saute' a carrot, onion, garlic and green pepper in the oil until soft. Blend corn kernels, cashews and sherry in a food processor with enough stock to help puree the mixture. Add puree' to soup pot, bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with red pepper and parsley. Serves 6.

Please note:
This is from Mother Earth News Oct/Nov 2007 page 66.


Monday, December 3, 2007

Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company supplies everything you might need for your backyard and even some indoor things. I came across the store a long time ago and discoved that even though I'm more of a city dweller this store offered a lot of what I liked. The pricing on the goods in this store is much more competetive than Lowes and Home Depot. Even though you might think that you have to be a farmer to have any interest in this store, think again! You can buy anything from basic garden equipment to birdseed and things for your kitchen. The store publishes a free magazine that features recipes and stories from people around the USA living a rural life and many of them are successful business owners. The stock symbol for this store is TSCO. Even if you live in a city loft I can guarentee something will appeal to you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Opening of Fusion Studios

Jennifer Szalkowski and Kerri Frech are having a studio open house for the joint venture they have formed with Lake Erie Artists Gallery. The opening is tonight in a space next to Lake Erie Artists Gallery in Tower City Center. From 4 PM - 8 PM tonight they will serve wine and appetizers. Stop by and do some of the Christmas shopping that you have been putting off. Buy some original art and enter a raffle to win some original artwork by Cleveland area artists.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

With a name like Smuckers ...

Ohio's economy is moving away from manufacturing into different and much more diversified economy. However, we should not lose all of our manufacturing. With the manufacturing that is left, we need to make sure that employees are treated fairly with a decent wage.It is important make consumers understand that buying a jar of jam that is marked One or Two dollars higher than the generic store brand has the cost of the employee worked into the pricing. Sure the company profits but the employees get health care and above average manaufacturing pay. That is important. People complain about jobs getting shipped overseas but they are the same people visiting dollar stores and paying for cheap wares made in China. Word the the wise, buy quality not quanity and consume less.

I had the opportunity to visit the Simply Smuckers Store in Orville, Ohio a few weeks ago. Smuckers is a name that is synonomous with wholesome goodness. It is not a just a well crafted advertising campaign, it is the truth about the company. Sure all large corporations have pitfalls but this company has not strayed from its core values. I watch the ticker symbol and monitor the stock market based on Smuckers stock. You would never guess that they have many brands under the umbrella of Smuckers. Some of the brands are Borden / Eagle Brand, Pillsbury, Jiff, Martha White etc. The company is located in a farming community that is vibrant and has an excellent workforce. Think of fresh air not smokestacks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Tugboat print shop told me about the way they work and this is what they had to say:

Our work is our day job. Its much more work than a day job, and much
more stressful at times, but always more satisfying!

We have always known that we would have our prints for sale online
through our official website, The idea for an
additional online shop came to us when we discovered Etsy. Etsy provided
us with a easy-to-use template and the means to reach a broader
clientele. We are always eager to find new ways to let people know who we are,
what we do, and what we make.

Traditional Printmaking techniques are processes that are drawing
focused-media (etching, woodcut, lithography, etc). We love
drawing--especially detailed drawings. With printmaking, we create the time-consuming,
intricate drawings that we want to be making and are also able to
print multiples. Editioning allows us to share our work with more people at
more affordable prices.
It's true that digital media can also reproduce things. But giclee, or
offset or inkjet prints, have no real artistic merit. It is just a
file or an image, it isn't really an object of art.

Running a business is something that is new to us, that we learn more
about everyday.

We work to keep ourselves scheduled for more and more shows, projects,
and opportunities each year. This keeps us attuned to what is going on
and propels us to make new work that is part of what is going on in the
arts. Also, our lifestyle basically centers around constantly making
newer and better work. Thankfully, we're the type of individuals that
tend to find inspiration/ideas in nearly everything! We are
continually bouncing ideas for new projects off of each other and often
experience a back-log of ideas (too many projects--so little time!)

Our best advice for people selling work online is to maintain your
vision for your work. Take good pictures, communicate with your customers,
ship fast, and deliver something you can be proud of!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

I had the chance to meet Kerri Frech from Frech Studio. Her work is in a case in the back of Lake Erie Artists Gallery in Tower City Center in the center of downtown Cleveland. She does beautiful jewelry with a victorian flair. Her creativity doesn't stop there. I saw some beautiful snow flake ornaments that are made out of glass. Buy her ornaments because they make wonderful additions to your holiday display. During the dark days of December they catch light. Put in your order and support handmade products for your holiday instead of mass produced junk that is often shoved down our throats from September until January. See her snowflakes and other pieces of art by visiting her shop. Kerri Frech

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sweetest Pea

This storefront is fantastic. Handmade stuffed animals. Great design concept from Boston.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Scientist's Take on a Creative Life

When did you know that you were cut out to be artistic?

Late. Very late! Everyone in my family is very artistic. My Mom, brother and sister all draw and paint. My dad and brother build awesome things and put on amazing Halloween “Haunted Houses” that are like Hollywood productions. They’re famous in the San Fernando Valley! I was the ugly duckling of art, the poster-stepchild for artistic deficiency, the black sheep…baaaa. Then again, I made doll furniture, clothes, mini doll food and household items. I just didn’t think it was art. I was a purist at 7. So I went the other way and I became a scientist and banned all artsiness out of my mind. But as I grew older I realized people copy my style, my decorating, my outfits, my original ideas in SCIENCE! A friend got me to make jewelry with her and the creative side of me finally busted out and couldn’t be denied! I still tend to think “Art? Me?” and then I realize that a lot of my science –like worrying about the composition when taking electron images of tiny structures in fish IS art!

How did it make you feel when someone bought something that you made?

Amazing! The most wonderful part is when you realize someone actually “gets it”; that they share your aesthetic. So much that they have to own a piece of it. I find it so weird that we go about the world looking for like minds. To be understood. And when it happens it’s a BAM! moment. It’s so exhilarating! I’ve had people at shows say “I want every single thing on your table” and “This is the exact…(ring, necklace, object)…I’ve been looking for!” or “ I like how your stuff is a little random” or “your color combinations are weird but so right”. It’s like two minds have been wandering around and slam into each other in a moment of recognition and it’s very strange and satisfying. It’ s why I love doing shows and I think it’s why we all like the Treasuries on ETSY so much. A chance to express this shared aesthetic and fish for other like-minds!

What keeps you inspired?

The desire to make something that will strike a chord with people. That will become one of their favorite things. The work of other amazing artists in all genres. I strive to become better and better to deserve to be in the company of such artistic spirit, inspiration and originality. To get something just right, even just for me. The things I haven’t tried yet, the tools I haven’t bought yet (!), the shapes I haven’t produced yet, the colors I haven’t combined yet, the ideas I haven’t expressed yet. There’s a whole world of possibility and even if I’d started at birth there would always be more to try!
Intelligently Designed

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Recipe of the Week

I was flipping the pages of my old Real Simple Magazine from May 2007 and found this recipe:

barley risotto with asparagus and Parmesan

5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups barley
1 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1 pound asparagus, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan

Warm the broth in a small saucepan over low heat. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute or more. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until tender. It should take 30 to 35 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the Parmesan. Spoon into individual bowls.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photographer Susanna Corson

Susanna Corson has shown her work all over Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. She is currently in talks with galleries in New York City.

When did you first know that you were going to do something artistic?

Someone gave me a used and outdated (but still highquality) camera - once I saw what I could do with it,I was totally hooked. It developed very organicallyfrom that point.

How did you feel when you sold your first piece of art?

I sold my very first piece to my mom, so I don't know if that counts! When I sold my first piece to a non-related-to-me customer I was kind of shocked. The interaction was very brief, it sort of went: she saw the piece as I was setting up my show, grabbed it,asked how much, and then pulled out her wallet. I was kind of amazed at how quickly she connected to my work. I often say that photographs are the language I use to express emotion, and it was a truly wonderful feeling to be able to connect over something so meaningful to me with a complete stranger.

What makes you stay creative?

I couldn't be any other way. I've done the traditional 9-5 life and it always felt empty, constrictive and meaningless to me. Everything about photography stimulates me, on many different levels. I love the business side of being an artist - trying to come up with creative ways of getting your name out there and being able to pay your bills, I find great satisfaction in the production side of it - creating a finished product with a framed print, and, of course, I adore the creative side of it. I lose myself when I go shooting. I become totally in tune with my environment in a indescribable way. I see things I've never seen before, and find beauty tucked in the most unexpected places. Photography has changed my life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Barbara Danin

Barbara Danin is an artist based in the Philadelphia region. Philadelphia is a hotbed of artistic activity. She is an experienced professional who is in various collections. She has an impressive resume. Make sure to visit

Here is what she had to say about her creativity:

I honestly didn't know I was doing anything artistic but when I was ayoung child I got lots of support from my parents who valued all the craftsand paintings I was creating. I then realized this was refered to as"Art" by others but it was what came naturally to me and was simply what I enjoyed.

I felt great when I sold my first piece of art. It happened in college ata student show and was followed soon after by a gallery discovering my work and wanting to represent me. So all of this was great motivation to continue. I was very fortunate to get this encouragement so early on.

I stay creative since life inspires me and I want to express this on paper. It is also a form of meditation for me and something that nourishesme at a deep level.

It is all Natural Historie

Straight out of LA.

When did you know that you were cut out to be artistic ?

My elementary school was a public academy for the visual and performing arts, and every Thursday afternoon my first grade fingers itched for all the delights of the art studio – oil pastels, colorful papers, watercolors and clay. We'd do line drawings, collages, paintings and sculptures, we'd emulate Picasso, or view slides of Van Gogh, and sometimes we'd even go outside and draw plants and flowers – my very first plein air excursions.

How did it make you feel when someone bought something that you made?

Selling my first print was very exciting. For me it marked a significant point in my journey as an artist, and even though I do not plan to make art my livelihood, it is very heartwarming to know that others enjoy my work as much as I do.

What keeps you inspired?

Natural Historie is a fanciful collection reminiscent of the past and of nature, crafted in girlish pastels, delicately designed and prettily packaged. I'm inspired by the natural world, the historical past, antique maps and old photographs.
My Etsy URL:
My blog URL:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Support Your Local Farmers Market

Scout out the local farmers market and get good produce and locally made goods.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Paper Crafts and SoCalledMommy

Have you ever gotten tired of the racks of greeting cards at the commercial kiosks in chain stores like Target? Try supporting paper crafters who can design works for you.

Read on to see what Stephanie had to say:

When did you know that you were cut out to be artistic?
I'm pretty sure it goes back to a couple of things when I was much
younger. Perhaps it was when I was decorating place cards for all my
friends coming to my 12Th birthday party. Or maybe when I snuck a
cross-stitch project out of my backpack during a movie in 9Th grade
biology. But I love being able to make something with my hands, and
with the scrap booking and albums that I do, my cute kids end up in the
final product too.

How did it make you feel when someone bought something that you made?
I was glad that my husband was at work the afternoon that I made my
first sale, because I seriously did a little dance at the computer. It
was so great to know that someone else also liked something I had made.
One of the hard things about being and artist or crafter, is that you
want so much to find your own unique style, something that's really
you. Yet at the same time, you love to get that validation through
someone else that what you do appeals to them also.

What keeps you inspired?

I've got to do something to start chipping away at my mountains of
scrap booking supplies I have! But really, it's my way to unwind and
spend some time by myself. I love looking for new ideas and
and then seeing how I can make them blend in with my style I already

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Artist Statement

I wrote this statement a few years ago:

About the Artist

I define my work as a series of small paintings, drawings and prints that have graphic design devices such as lines and fields of color paired with an image. My content ranges from botanicals to architectural, figurative and lifestyle subject matter. My materials are canvas, acrylic or oil paints and ink. I have done silk screened pieces that are in the same kind of series. I'm currently working a series of drawings. My inspiration comes from advertising in magazine and newspapers. Color trends are a part of my body of work. Artists and designers that have influenced my process or way of thinking are people such as: Raymond Loewy, Milton Glaser, Elsa Schiaperelli, Dale Chihuly and Tim Burton. The competitive and economically thriving nature of the East Coast near Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE has played a large part in feeding my creativity as well us growing up with a creative family. I now live in Cleveland, OH.


I interviewed projectfelt and discovered a great store while I was at it. Felt is fun!
I like the storefront on this shop.

This is what projectfelt had to say:

When did you know that you were cut out to be artistic?

I knew from the time I could understand what artistic meant. I was constantly re arranging my bedroom, buying $12 Vogue Couture magazines at the age of 10. Cutting our clippings of room designs out of magazines and keeping them in a shoe box for later in life. one proud thing I remember from middle school was each month we had an artist of the month for the whole school. And each month, I was chosen. Kids got angry and thought I was a suck up but I truly felt alone as I was the only artistic person in my class. In High School I worked hard to graduate early so I could study fashion design with my art teacher. She helped me perfect my drawing skills while my Home EC. teacher taught me how to sew. I planned on attending college in Miami Florida but a series of events prevented me from going. That's when I got heavy into the craft/indie world. I realized that I was talented on my own and didn't need a teacher or college education to tell me that. I started to experiment with jewelry making, clay sculpting, paper crafts, crochet etc. till I stumbled upon my true passion, felting. And that's when I really realized that this is what I wanted to do the rest of my life. My goal is to create enough revenue from Etsy and other outside venues to quite my 9-5 and be a crafty momma till the end of time.

How did it make you feel when someone bought something that you made?

I was honestly shocked. I could not believe that someone would actually spend their hard earned cash on my handmade stuff! I was hooked from day one when I discovered Etsy. It was hard in the beginning when sales would come and go and you always wonder during those slow months when sales are slow, what you are doing wrong. The key is consistently. Without that, you have no sales.

What keeps you inspired?

Color inspires me. I'm always looking at magazines to see what the new "in" color combo is. I also like to gather free paint samples from home depot and bring them home so I can play around and create my own color palettes. My shop is based on color. My sections are separated into all the color pallets I currently have listed. I'm always on the prowl for more ideas!

My shop is

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Napa Style

Napa Style happens to be a catalog that I get in the mail sometimes. The catalog does a good job of highlighting recipes. Check it out online and enjoy the autum!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thom Glick Illustrates

Thom Glick has an impressive illustration portfolio. You may have seen his work in print. He's being represented by Langley Creative.

Rep: Langley Creative
T. 312.782.0244

Monday, October 8, 2007

Glass Artist Jenn Szalkowski

I asked Jenn Szalkowski questions about her creative self. This is what she had to say:
When did you first know that you were going to do something in your life artistic?

I can trace my artistic roots back to my early childhood spending time in my Mom's ceramic studio in the basement of our house. I remember feeling artistically inclined to the materials and the ability to create a beautiful object with my own two hands.
I first knew that I was headed for a life traveling the artistic path during my college career at Kent State University. The 'glass bug' first bit me when I took a Beginning Glass class as part the art program requirements. I fell instantly in love with the medium....the glowing heat, the raw power and the ability to shape a molten material...and we lived happily ever after...

What are your goals?

My ultimate goal is to create a life where I support myself by doing what I love: creating glass art, while being able to share my talent with others. I plan on opening my own glass studio where I can create my own work while offering instruction and advice for other artists. My studio will house an art gallery for exhibiting my own work and the work of talented, local & regional artists. I want to foster an environment of creativity and help contribute to the thriving art culture in Cleveland.

What makes you get up in the morning?

Well I'm more of a night-owl so not much makes me get up in the morning :) ...but what drives me to live every day to the fullest is creating beauty through my art work and the happiness that it brings to so many people, including myself. Everytime I open the kiln, I am amazed and delighted with the beautiful glass treasures that lie inside. Art is why I wake up in the morning, the wonder of creating glass art inspires me to sieze the day, everyday. Carpe Diem!

You can contact Jenn by the links below.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Mail Order Cup Cakes

Etsy isn't just for crafts and artistic items. Buy baked goods! Mail order cupcakes.
Fat Daddy Loves You Bake Shop.

Style and Shopping

Sundance isn't only about the Film Festival that comes along every year. It is also about rustic style. Check out these western chic pieces. Rustic elegance is the way to go.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Featured Artist This Week

Check out the work of Robert Patricy. He is based in the Columbus metro area. Make sure to check out his comprehensive bio and his stunning pieces. He has a great resume. Contact him directly.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Storque

I will be one of the many sellers showcased on The Storque website on October 5, 2007.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best Transportation System in North America

Greater Cleveland has the best transportation system in North America according to the news on October 1, 2007. Thanks RTA.

Blogs of Note

Monday, October 1, 2007

Snapshots From the Summer

It is now October and I can not believe summer is over! I took some pictures of my garden over the summer just to remind myself of warm summer days.

Recipe of the week

Bleu Cheesy Broccoli Potato Soup

1 large onion, diced
1 leek, cut into thin rings
3 large colves garlic, minced
5 tbsp butter or olive oil
2 to 3 medium potatoes, grated
1 carrot grated
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
1 large head broccoli, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
5 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (milder cheeses can be substituted)
1 cup half-and-half or cream
1 cup milk (all dairy can be replaced with soy milk)
1/3 cup dry sherry
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, minced

In a large pot, saute'onion, leek and garlic in butter or oil until soft, about five minutes. Add potato, carrot, green pepper and broccoli. Saute' 2 to 3 minutes, then add stock. Simmer until all ingredients are soft. Pur'ee soup in a food processor or blender. Heat puree over medium heat, stiring cheese, cream and milk. Simmer a couple of minutes, then add sherry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley. Serves 6.

Please note: this is from Mother Earth News Oct/Nov 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kingwood Center

For great inspiration go to Kingwood Center ( ) or other botanical places. It is free and open to the public.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Financial Knowledge

I would like to debunk the myth that creative types and fine artists are somehow idiots when it comes to finances and business. My suggestion for anyone starting a business or wanting to have some kind of creative endeavor, is arm yourself with as much knowledge about the economy and where local business and national businesses are thriving. Pay close attention to the stock market and live below your means. The living below your means part is what many people have a problem with. Living below your means helps you to be able to take entrepreneurial risks. Without risk there is no success. Sometimes trial and error is the best way to become successful.

Car Free Cleveland

Good morning to everyone. I have had my first cup of coffee this morning. To spread a little of my morning cheer, I want everyone to know about Eco city Cleveland and a car free life style. Touting this as an option for folks wanting to move here from large population densities might be the way to go. Make sure to check this out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Garden Noir in Cleveland

Stay tuned for Spaces Annual Benefit & Silent Auction. Saturday November 3, 2007.
Garden Noir: Where the Wild Things Bloom
I will probably submit something. I'm designing different compositions at this point.

Cleveland is excellent for artistic activity!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Red an Orchestra

I had a great time seeing Red an Orchestra at Spaces Gallery on Thursday evening. Spaces an artist run galleryin Cleveland .

To see

To see my latest creations go to

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Art that has sold

The lemon and the sunflower have both been sold within that last month. I like to work with oils on canvas paper. Canvas paper can be shipped in a poster tube.

Thoughts from a person living a creative life.