Michaela Murphy is an incredibly gifted storyteller, among her many talents, and on March 18, she’ll be part of an ensemble Liar Show. (Michael’s the third from left in top row in the poster.) This special edition of the show features eight unbelievable performers telling short-and-sweet stories. Six are true, two aren’t. Expose either lie to win. Just way too much fun, from what I hear. For tickets and more info, click here.
Karl Lagerfeld in Paris March 10, 2009
I live each season for the Karl Lagerfeld show in Paris, and it never fails to amaze me. Never an imitator, always an originator, Karl marches to the beat of his own drum, in futuristic military style. See it here.
At Close Range: Craig Taylor at Edward Thorp Gallery March 9, 2009
My painter friend Craig Taylor will be part of a group exhibit at the Edward Thorp Gallery in NYC, March 12 to April 18, that examines the boundary between abstraction and representation. Craig’s work is described as “off-kilter and ultimately surprising compositions, often produced by encroaching architectural fragments” but you really have to see it to believe it. See Craig’s work here.
New short fiction online at Anderbo.com March 8, 2009
Read the latest on Anderbo.com, short fiction from Maria Modrovich: BRATISLAVA. You’ll find lots of great reads on this literary website. It’s marvelous way to stay in touch with new writers and writing. As esquire.com said: “Anderbo stories are perfect for a quick coffee break in your cubicle.”
Easy Haute Couture Sewing Class: Make your own piping March 7, 2009
Last week I was learning about all sorts of hems, including the bias-faced hem with piping and faced hem with piping, and of course, since we are a couture class, we make our own piping. It’s the easiest and most wondrous thing, and all you need is a strip of bias fabric and some cording. We’ve all seen piping on slipcovers and throw pillows, but as a hemline edge, it can’t be beat for adding a little structure to a skirt, sleeve, neckline or whatever sort of edge you want to stiffen and embellish. I’ve gone into a piping and facing frenzy, and I’m quite sure I’ll be using it any chance I get.
While I can’t vouch for their taste in projects, technique-wise here is a wonderful primer on making cording.
Haute Couture Tip: The key to perfect cording (as with anything couture) is the basting. Run a basting line down the center of the bias strip and line up your cord along that basting line to keep it centered as you sew. Don’t pin, except one pin at the beginning until you get it secure under the zipper foot (unlike pic above).
And on to Paris March 6, 2009
So the let the last leg of the Fall ’09 collections begins with opening day in Paris. And as everyone know from “Devil Wears Prada,” Paris is it when it comes to the collections. See the Day 1 shows here.
Homemade Soup Stock: Mystery solved March 5, 2009
By Julia Pantoga
One of the ways to “trick” people into thinking that you’re really a pro when it comes to cooking is to make the same thing over and over again and stock your freezer with it. This is what I do with soup stock. I’ve been making soup stock from the same two recipes for years now; and since I make soup once a week, I end up making soup stock over and over again.
Making soup stock isn’t really easy, but it isn’t really hard either. The word I’d use is “satisfying.” Making soup stock involves chopping, making a mess and squishing vegetables with your hands, all good things in my book. In the end, you have at least three quarts of homemade stock in your freezer, which I guarantee will gain you instant domestic goddess (or god) status.
Vegetarian cookbooks of the seventies will have you believe that all you have to do to make vegetarian soup stock is save the cuttings from your vegetables and boil them. I haven’t found that to be true. For one thing, your stock will always taste different depending on the scraps you have. For another thing, it’s just not likely that, in these days of packaged bite-sized carrots, you will ever have enough carrot scraps. Most importantly though is that soup stock made from a recipe is an awesome addition to soup; it makes a huge difference flavor-wise.
What follows are recipes for stock, not broth. What is the difference, you might ask. Stock is an ingredient in soup, broth can be eaten alone.
The first step to making soup stock is assembling the equipment. When I tell you what you will need, you may think this is going to be complicated. This is where doing the same thing over and over comes in handy—after you do this once you will always have the equipment on hand.
Here’s what you’re going to need: 2 eight-quart stock pots, a colander or strainer that fits on the top of one of your stock pots without falling in, cheese cloth (enough to generously line the colander) and containers to store 3 or 4 quarts of stock. The two types of stock I make are vegetable and chicken, which look exactly alike, so I also have packing tape and a permanent marker on hand to label each container “V” or “C”.
Here are the recipes I use:
4 carrots – chopped into 2 inch pieces
4 stalks of celery – chopped into 2 inch pieces
4 onions – cut into eight pieces each
15 parsley stems
2 bay leaves
1 small chicken
In addition to the equipment listed above, you will need two bowls for sorting the chicken from the bones.
1. Put all the ingredients in a pot and cover with water.
2. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer for four hours.
3. Turn the heat off and let cool.
4. This is the messy part. Put your extra stock pot in the sink. Put your colander on top of the pot and line the colander with cheese cloth. Go change into a T-shirt that you can splatter chicken grease on and wash your hands. When the stock is cool enough to put your hands into, pull the chicken out and plop it into the colander. I’ve tried using tongs, big spoons and other devices to remove the chicken from the pot and found that good old hands work best. Over the colander, to catch any broth that drips off the chicken, separate the chicken meat from the skin and bones. This step is a mess, but totally worth it. The chicken you will gather is great shredded chicken for chicken salad and/or to put in soups.
5. Once you recover from that step by throwing the chicken bones away, putting the shredded chicken in the refrigerator and washing your hands again, strain the rest of the stock by pouring vegetables through the cheese cloth and colander. Squeeze the cooked vegetables with your hands to get the juices out. Wrap the (now smashed and sorry) vegetables in the cheese cloth, give the whole thing a final squeeze and throw them away. At this point, I move the stock pot to the counter, wash my hands again and have a cup of coffee.
6. Pour the finished stock into freezer containers, label and freeze.
(much neater, but involves more shopping and chopping – and no great shredded chicken leftovers to show for your efforts)
3 tablespoons butter (for vegan broth, use olive oil)
3 large onions
3 big carrots
1 broccoli stalk
1 large leek
2 stalks celery
1 small zucchini
1 ¼ cup white wine
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove – cut in half
1 whole clove
1. Cut the onions into rings and sauté in butter.
2. Add broccoli, leek. Carrots, celery and zucchini and sauté.
3. Add wine and 4 quarts of water.
4. Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, garlic and clove.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
7. Put your extra stock pot in the sink. Put your colander on top of the pot and line the colander with cheese cloth. Strain the stock by pouring vegetables through the cheese cloth and colander. Squeeze the cooked vegetables with your hands to get the juices out. Wrap the (now smashed and sorry) vegetables in the cheese cloth, give the whole thing a final squeeze and throw them away.
6. Pour the finished stock into freezer containers, label and freeze.
I’ve discovered Joey Heatherton March 4, 2009
So my good friend E says today: “When I got to work and took my hat off, my hair looked just like Joey Heatherton. And I say, “Who is Joey Heatherton?” And he gasps in horror, like he always does: “You don’t know who Joey Heatherton is?” So we google the girl, and voila, I have a new style icon. This is, for sure, my next haircut. Check out these Joey Heatherton clips.
Made in China March 3, 2009
Check out these gorgeous fashion pages from China. They are completely out of this world and put American fashion editorial to shame. See it here.
Totally Handmade: New By Hand Website March 2, 2009
The following is excerpted from one of my favorite websites, Wickedly Chic, which effortlessly combines shopping and indie, handmade culture—a perfect blend, in my opinion. (Their tagline, “Independent Shopping for the Wickedly Fashionable” says it all, doesn’t it?)
By Liz Nonnemacher, Editor-in-Chief, Wickedly Chic
I’d like to introduce a unique new website to Wickedly Chic readers. ByHand is the creation of husband & wife team, Adam & Rebecca. I’m just starting to play around with it and there are so many cool features for both sellers & shoppers. Let’s talk to Rebecca and find out more about ByHand.
What is ByHand?
It’s a social community for handmade artists AND handmade buyers created with the purpose of putting the personal back into handmade. It is NOT venue specific. We have an artisan directory where anyone who creates handmade can list themselves for free and it allows them to list all the venues they sell on whether it’s Etsy, Artfire, Silkfair, Dawanda, their own website or anywhere else that they sell their items. My husband feels very lucky to have a stable job in this economy when so many don’t…so this is how he felt he could give back. We are paying for everything for the site out of our pockets including the new server and back up external drive we just purchased.
What are some of the features that ByHand can offer both buyers & sellers?
Our big key feature right now is what we call Spotlights. Basically they
Do you have other features to offer buyers & sellers?
Yes, we do. We have a Community Blog where users who set up an account (remember…it’s free) can post and we also have a Chat feature. There’s a complete listing of Artisans that have joined us at ByHand and a Clubhouse where you can join groups or create your own. There are many opportunities for the seller to showcase their items and for buyers to find cool stuff to spend their money on!
Who are some of the sellers that you have on ByHand?
Here’s a short list of some of our fabulous sellers:
Mama’s Little Monkeys (Custom gifts for mom, baby & more).
Heather Knitz (Unique rag bags and rag bag kits. Sassy hair and jewelry accessories. Funky art and crafting supplies. DIY patterns and tutorials).
Peaches and Kream (jewelry & needle felted items).
Infinite Vision Photography (photography).
BeachyRustica Practical Art (furniture knobs & hooks).
Splashin (handpainted clothing).
Broken Hallelujah (crocheted accessories).
Weird Bug Lady (plush bugs, spiders, reptiles, etc.)
Timothy Adam Designs (metal)
Lumina Jewelry (affordable jewelry)
Tilley Jewels (fairytale jewels for the everyday princess).
BookWormz (stylish bookmarks).
Be sure to take a look at ByHand today & find more great artists….and if you have a shop yourself, why not join & promote your products?