Lovely Chili Hot Chocolate with Rose Petals

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Love-Me-Dew at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place, Boulder, CO

 

On a recent visit to Boulder, I had the pleasure of visiting one of my favorite restaurants, Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place. And one of my favorite things about Shine is their offering of “potions,” which are a “thoughtfully and lovingly concocted array of fantastic, non-alcoholic brews, using a rich assortment of herbs, vibrational-essences, juices, spices, coconut milk and natural sodas.”

This time around, I tried the Love-Me-Dew, which is coconut milk infused with cocoa, chili powder, rose petals, raspberry agave and vibrational essence of rose quartz. It is designed to enhance feelings of self-acceptance and self-love. It certainly evoked feelings of love for this drink – since I tasted it, I have been craving it! So, I thought I would try making my own version given ingredients I had around the house.

Here is my version:

  • 2 cups almond milk (best when you have time to make your own)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (more or less, depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (Shine uses chimayo; you can use more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
  • A few sprinkles of finely chopped dried organic rose petals for garnish (make sure you use culinary roses)

Heat the almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to steam. Lower the heat and add the cocoa powder, maple syrup and chili powder. Stir until well-blended and remove from heat. Divide into two ceramic mugs and sprinkle a half-teaspoon of rose petals on top of each. Share the love!

 

Please Join Us at Treat Yo’ Self Artisan Market on 2/8!

treat_yo_self_2_8_15We hope you can join us for Treat Yo’ Self, an artisan pop-up event at Derek Brown’s trifecta of Shaw Neighborhood restaurants Eat the Rich, Mockingbird Hill and Southern Efficiency. The event will be held on February 8, from 3:30-8:30, and we’ll be selling Valentine’s Day gift sets for him and her. Each venue will will offer food and drink specials for the day and will feature a music soundtrack curated by Derek Brown and One Love Massive.

Treat Yo’ Self is a pre-Valentine’s holiday market offering locally made distinctive gifts for from a hand selected group of DC-area artisans chosen for their consistency in quality, appearance and sustainability. It’s a perfect way to get something special and different for yourself or your boo this Valentine’s Day. 

Hope to see you there!

How to Make an Upcycled Bottle Cap Table!

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My husband has been saving bottle caps for as long as I’ve known him, saying that someday he planned to make something out of them. He wasn’t sure what it would be, and the bottle caps kept accumulating. Inspired by the colorful collection, I decided to turn them into a practical gift for him. And given the volume of caps, I thought it would be good to make something that used A LOT of them!

In combing through Pinterest, I found lots of bottle cap craft inspiration. The ones that used the most were tables, so that’s what I set off to make for him.

Here is a list of the items I needed to cover a 2’x3′ table:

  • 1 small table
  • Lots of bottle caps (I used 486 for a 2′ x 3′ table)
  • 1″x2″ wood strips for trim
  • 2″ wood nails
  • Wood filler
  • Aluminum foil
  • 16oz Gorilla Glue
  • 2 quarts ready-mixed grout
  • 2 quarts of pre-mixed epoxy resin
  • Sandpaper
  • Large grout sponge
  • Grout float
  • Bucket filled with warm water
  • Newspaper to catch the drips
  • A well-ventilated, minimally dusty room in which to work
  • At least 3 days to allow for curing time (in other words, don’t start this on Christmas Eve!)

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I found a sturdy, basic little table at a local thrift shop. It had a cluster of tiny princess and heart stickers stuck to the top, which I decided to just leave since I didn’t require a perfectly smooth surface.

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I started by separating the caps by color, then laying them out to see what type of pattern I could make given the colors and quantities I had. Once I figured it out, I removed the caps, placing them in cups by color.

IMG_8308In order to make the grouting and lacquering easier, I added a rim to the edge of the table by nailing on some 1″x2″s that I had cut to size.

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Because the table had rounded edges, and I am not skilled or patient enough to cut the trim to fit, there was a gap that had to be filled.

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I improvised by stuffing in some tightly wadded aluminum foil into the corner to fill in the space.

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Then I filled in all of the gaps with wood filler to prevent any grout or lacquer from seeping through. Once the wood filler was dry, I sanded it and removed any loose pieces.

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Next, I glued the caps into place starting from the outside. I used Gorilla Glue, which worked well. It provides a strong hold, but doesn’t dry instantly, so you can adjust the caps as you work. You don’t need to use a lot per cap, just a few drops. Once I had glued down all of the caps, I let it dry overnight. The instructions say it is 80% dry in 2 hours, but fully cured in 24.

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Next, I grouted the caps to give it a tiled effect. Using a grout float, I carefully worked the grout in and around the bottle caps, making sure there were no gaps. I then used the float to smooth the top to make it even and to the point where the caps were just visible. I then used the dampened sponge to wipe across the grout until the bottle caps were visible and the grout was even. It took a lot longer, and required more patience than I had anticipated! I then let it sit for 24 hours.

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Finally, I covered the entire surface with epoxy resin, making sure to fill in all gaps. I again let it sit overnight. While not perfect, I was very happy with the results!

Extraordinary Things Start Small: WunderAround Blown Glass Trunk Show at Herban Lifestyle 11/29

photo 10.56.48 PMHere is our interview with Etsy artist Beth Hess of Wunder Around. She will be demo’ing how to make terrariums using her handblown glass vases at our Small Business Saturday event, which takes place Saturday, November 29 from noon to 4pm at our Merrifield Store.

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When did you start your line and why?
I enjoy making colorful, functional pieces of blown glass that can be used (and enjoyed) everyday. I’m well into year two of my Threads Collections. These are highly touchable pieces with lots of texture. I started making white vases with various colors of “thread” on the outside and the collection has grown from there. I started my Duos Collection last year after returning from a trip to Iceland. The colors I saw there just begged to be recreated in glass. I started the Duos Collection to capture the intensity and juxtaposition of colors that I saw, and continue to find new color combinations around me everyday.

What were you doing previously?
I’ve always been a crafter and I love to experiment with new mediums and techniques. I took my first glassblowing class five years ago in June and fell in love with it. My professional background is in communications and I spent more than a decade helping nonprofits and businesses tell their story.

What do you love about owning your own business?
Doing it all. I enjoy things like making signage and updating my website in addition to the actual making.

What is the most challenging thing about owning your own business?
Doing it all. There’s always more that I could be doing, so prioritizing and making the best use of my time is a constant battle; along with keeping up with things like bookkeeping.

What inspires your work?
Color and the challenge of transforming 2,080 degree clear glass into something else entirely. Each color behaves differently as you’re working with it. I love the challenge of making an idea a reality in glass, the process of working with the glass itself and seeing what happens when light passes through the results.

Where do you see your line going from here?
I’ve been working for a while now with two-colors in each piece and recently started adding a third, and working on some new shapes to highlight them. I don’t know yet where it all will go, but am enjoying the process.

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Artist of the Month: Beth Hess of WunderAround

Inspiration Iceland_Vanishing Glaciers_Platter and Bowl by Beth Hess_Wunder AroundThe following post is by Beth Hess of WunderAround

I love making colorful, beautiful pieces of blown glass that help make your everyday feel special. Handmade by Beth Hess, each piece of Wunder Around glass is built layer by layer with heat & air, starting with a gather of clear glass from a 2,080° furnace in Hyattsville, Maryland.

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I think the stuff of everyday life can be special—from the glass you drink your morning juice in, to the bowl that collects your junk mail. And that having a fabulous vase to put flowers in is a great excuse to bring some home, to surprise your coworker or say thank you to your mom.

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My seasonal offerings include blown glass pumpkins, which make a great addition to your mantel or table, and colorful blown glass ornaments add handmade sparkle to your tree year after year. New for Fall 2014, I have created handmade terrariums feature clear glass and clean lines. They are great for air plants, small plants and the tiniest of fairy gardens.

Blown glass pumpkins by Wunder Around

You can find more about Beth’s products and process at her website, Etsy store, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

The Business of Crafting: Upcoming Workshops with Kelly Rand

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One of the most surprising things I found when I moved to this area nine years ago was the very active, highly involved crafting community – not something that is top of mind when you hear someone say, “Washington, DC.” When people ask how I have grown my business from a small Etsy Shop to what it is today, I always give credit to the support and resources provided by my fellow local crafters. In particular, Hello Craft and it’s board members (Sara Dick, Christine Ernest, Kelly Rand, Tina Seamonster, Debbie Lee and Liz Eckstein who were at the forefront of the DIY movement) have provided professional-level educational and networking opportunities for crafters interested in taking their businesses to the next level and have drawn nationally-recognized experts to their events.

In 2012, Kelly, Christine, Sara and Kimberly Dorn published Handmade to Sell, so that people everywhere can learn from their years of experience. And now, Kelly is offering a series of workshops, both in-person and online, for those who want to dive deep on various topics related to the business of crafting (here is a video one of the workshops she presented for Etsy).

Following is a list of Kelly’s upcoming workshops (in-persona and online) taking place from today through October. For more information on Kelly, her books, her workshops and speaker services, you can check out her website KellyRand.com. I highly recommend them!

Navigating the Handmade Marketplace

Join Kelly at the Maryland Institute College of Art for a lecture on how to navigate the handmade marketplace as an illustrator.

Monday September 15, 2014
12:15 pm
MICA, Lazarus Center Auditorium
131 West North Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland
Open to the public

Start Your Creative Business (The Right Way) WORKSHOP

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Tuesday September 16
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
at Analog
Washington, D.C.

Have a great business idea but not sure what to do next?
Get ready to work through common questions and misconceptions and start to think like a business with Kelly and Lisa. This, in person, interactive workshop will help you develop a clear picture of what it takes to start your creative business in Washington, DC. Think of it as a two-hour business boot camp, but with a softer kick in the pants.

During this workshop you’ll learn how to develop a product line, who your target audience is, how to price your product(s), the ins and outs of DCRA, how to budget and plan effectively. All while enjoying light refreshments.

You’ll also receive a workbook with class notes and resources that you’ll find handy long after the class concludes. As well as your very own copy of Handmade to Sell to help you further your business goals after the workshop.

Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair

Find Kelly on Sunday September 27, at the annual Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair at Union Market. She’ll be offering hand carved animal stamps from her Cute Animal BFF series, stamp making kits and stationery kits. She will also be doling out crafty business advice. Sign up for a local business class or take home a workbook aimed at making your crafty business a success. So stop by, purchase a stamp or book and ask your burning business question. The Crafty Business Doctor is In.

Starting Your Creative Business (The Right Way) ONLINE Workshop

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Monday September 29 through Friday October 3, 2014

Can’t make it to Kelly’s in-person workshop on how to start your creative business? Join her online! This is a special introductory price, so sign up today!

Get ready to work through common questions and misconceptions and start to think like a business with Kelly and Lisa. This, online, interactive course will help you develop a clear picture of what it takes to start your creative business. Think of it as a weeklong business boot camp, but with a softer kick in the pants.

During this course you’ll learn how to develop a product line, who your target audience is, how to price your product(s), and how to budget and plan effectively.

You’ll also receive a downloadable workbook with class notes and resources that you’ll find handy long after the class concludes.

Once you sign up, you’ll receive information on how to access the class. All you need is a WordPress login.

Marketing Your Creative Business

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Tuesday October 7, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Old school
Wednesday Ocotber 8, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. New school
At WeWork: Wonder Bread Factory

You’ve done your research, designed an amazing product line or list of services, and set out your shingle to alert people you’re open for business. But no one’s coming in, yet. In this two part marketing workshop, we’ll teach you how to market your creative business in a smart and effective way to find your customers and make them into fans.

In Part One: “Old school” you’ll learn marketing 101 which will lay a solid foundation for your future outreach. From finding your audience, to press releases and print advertising, you’ll walk away with an understanding of what magazine and newspaper writers need and want to be able to write about you.

In Part Two: “New school” we’ll build upon the lessons learned in “Old school” and teach you how to apply those lessons to the online world. We’ll talk about paid and earned media online and how to run effective online outreach tailored to your business.

As a part of this workshop series, you’ll receive digital handouts such as a sample press list, a sample press release and more. All aimed at helping you to hit the ground running.

Hosted by Lisa Rowan of Beltway Vintage and Kelly Rand, author of Handmade to Sell

Buy your tickets now for Marketing Your Creative Business

Artist of the Month: Paige Mattson of Sprout Bottle

IMG_6104The following was written by Paige Mattson of Sprout Bottle.

Sprout Bottle is a handcrafted, reclaimed beer bottle, garden kit.  Each 4-pack is uniquely blended with organic soil, fertilizer and seeds and packaged with recycled materials to lighten our impact on the planet.  All of our ingredients are sourced in the US and distributed from Virginia.

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Sprout Bottle strives to provide a high quality, unique product that is sustainable and affordable. As part of our commitment to be sustainable, Sprout Bottle has partnered with 1% for the Planet.  This means that 1% of all Sprout Bottle sales goes to save land, protect forests, rivers and oceans, make agricultural and energy production more sustainable, getting toxics out of the environment, plastics out of the oceans and more.

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You can find more about Sprout Bottle on their website, Facebook Page and Twitter Feed.