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The other day, I found myself browsing online, trying to find something to hang in my kitchen window to take advantage of all of the the spring sunlight that has been pouring in lately. Halfway down the Pinterest rabbit hole, I found this video about Janel Woo and her spectacular stained glass. Janel discovered her passion for stained glass while she was learning jewelry making. Her pieces blend traditional glass fusing techniques with modern shapes. One of the things I liked best about her work is how she played with color and texture but still managed to create clean, minimalist shapes.
Quite the mouthful for a name, right? Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, local artists, crafters and antique sellers get together on the edge of town and have a fantastic market. My first trip was a couple of years ago, but as soon as I stepped amongst the tents, I knew that I needed to make sure I at least made it an annual tradition.
There is always so much to see! In the past, there have been booths hosted by my favorite tea shop here in town, the woman who teaches the expressive painting class I take occasionally, and the soap artisan that I see at the Saturday morning Market Square Farmers Market. This spring there weren’t any familiar faces, but there were plenty of interesting artists and vendors.
This year I walked away with two elaborate antique frames and a landscape painting. I was lucky enough to get to share the spring market with the childhood bestie who was in town for my birthday. If you are interested in making it to the fall market, you can watch this website for scheduling and vendor information. Who knows, you might even bump into me.
If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time you know that I like to bake. Quite a bit actually. But in a world of Pinterest and Instagram, it can be a bit misleading when it comes to the difficulty level of certain things. One of the things I’ve struggled with is lemon curd. Not just lemon curd, I’ve manged to screw up both grapefruit and blood orange curd as well. I watch the Great British Baking Show all the time and I see those contestants whipping up a “quick curd” like it’s as simple as making whipped cream or boiling water. It’s frustrating! While I am by no means a baking expert, I’ve put in enough time that I expect a certain amount of success right off the bat, especially with a recipe that usually is qualified by an “easy” or “simple” in the title. All of that to say that I decided I wanted to make Lemon Meringue Cupcakes the other day, but I didn’t want to do all of that work just to find myself with a ruined filling AGAIN. So I did took to the internet to find a different EASIER curd recipe. That led me this recipe for a quick and easy vegan lemon curd by Domestic Gothess. And you know what? It worked!!! Easy peasy and I could give the leftovers to my vegan coworker who told me later that she put it over ice cream. So a big thank you to Hannah, you are a lifesaver!
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons (optional – omit for a smooth curd)
- 3 Tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 100 ml (1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp) water
- juice of 4 large lemons (about 200ml)
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or soya milk)
- 70 g (4 Tbsp) vegan spread (or use coconut oil)
- Place the lemon zest and cornflour in a non-reactive pan (such as stainless steel). Gradually whisk in the water to make a smooth paste then whisk in the lemon juice and sugar.
- Place over a medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to cook the curd whilst stirring until it becomes very thick.
- Turn the heat down to low and add the almond milk and vegan spread, stir until melted and smooth then remove from the heat.
- Pour the hot lemon curd into a couple of clean (preferably sterilized) jars. Seal them and place in the fridge overnight to set before serving. Store in the refrigerator and use within a couple of weeks.
That’s right, you heard me, I am now a newly minted 33 year old. I am going to preface, I do realize how strange this is going to sound, but three is my favorite number and I’ve always thought that 33 was going to be a big year for me. To give this year a bit more of a karmically auspicious start, I decided I wanted to have fun and do something a bit charitable. One of the first things I thought of was this video I’d seen by the Kitten Lady about making safe and easy DIY Cat Toys. She offers this up as a way for people who aren’t in a situation where they can foster to still contribute to their community and help felines in need. I reached out to our local cat cafe, The Tally Cat Cafe, and asked if 1 – they’d let us rent out the cafe for a couple of hours and 2 – if they’d be interested in accepting DIY cat toys. Both questions met with an enthusiastic YES! So that’s what we did.
The Tally Cat Cafe is one of my favorite places here in town and although they’ve only been open for 10 months they have placed over 230 kitties in forever homes. We were so happy to be able to donate a HUGE basket of hand made toys to them and spend the evening with some incredibly sweet fur babies. A fantastic way to start this new year.
My home has seemed a bit lack luster since the holidays. We took all of the decorations down and… didn’t put anything else up. The mantle is bare; the shelves where I usually keep my unusual finds contain nothing but dust. Honestly, it’s kind of a bummer. I’ve sort of trained myself to look past it, but I was sitting in the living room this weekend, looking at the riot of color bursting forth in our backyard and thinking maybe it’s time to do something about it. Usually, I am a more is more kind of girl, but I have really been enjoying some of the more minimalistic decor – softer color pallets with clean natural accents. Here are some of the things on my current wishlist.
Glass Terrarium – Anthropologie
Fern Wall Mix – West Elm
Garden Party Garland – Terrain
Embroidered Cover – H&M
Marina Adirondack Chair – Target
Carter Wall Shelf – Urban Outfitters
Solig White Net – Ikea
Fern Wall Art – World Market
Loungie Floor Chair – Jane
Can you tell that I’ve been fantasizing about laid back lounging? Now I just need to get my tax return filed so that refund “fingers crossed” can be put to good, strategic design use.