The Jealous Curator, if you are not aware already, is a brilliant blog, which is, in the words of its creator:
“A collection of artwork that inspires and depresses me. I know it’s good when I’m left thinking damn I wish I thought of that.”
Isn’t that so true! I’m jealous of the jealous curator’s blog (such a good idea), but mostly I’m just jealous- or maybe just super inspired (a bit of both) by the awesome contemporary artists she features. I just heard about this blog today and it kind of hijacked my night. So check out the goodness here. The following are a few of the featured artists that I am super jealous of- I mean in awe of.
Check out their work featured at the ‘Jealous Curator’ by clicking on their names.
faig ahmed -amazing textile, carpet installation art
eva black – folded paper craziness
margie livingston -“both a three-dimensional painting and a sculpture made of paint.”
jennifer harrison - wonderful laneway paintings
hella jongerius -brilliant sculptor, especially with porcelain
david poppie- coloured pencil crayons!
kate Mccgwire- crazy crazy use of feathers… a little bit terrifying
dawn tan- ‘comfort food’
tara donovan – stunning installations all about repetition
kristi malakoff- just paper…just paper…and she is Canadian
anne lindberg – thousands and thousands of strings of thread
“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
—-St. Francis of Assisi—-
‘Nomad: A Global Approach to Interior Style‘ by Sibella Court
My new favorite book- I drool over and covet it at bookstores
‘Handmade Home: Living With Art And Craft‘ by Mark & Sally Bailey
Rustic and Lovely Simplicity
‘Collect Raindrops: The Seasons Gathered’ by Nikki McClure
The art of Nikki McClure- beautiful reflections on life
‘Quilting Line + Color’ by Yoshiko Jinzenji
Quilting as art and tips for how to do it
‘Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style’ by Lotta Jansdotter
I wish Lotta was my best friend…
‘Simple Sewing’ by Lotta Jansdotter
This is how I learned to sew–thanks Lotta!
‘Open Studios’ by Lotta Jansdotter
See inside 24 artist’s studios- super inspiring!
‘Women Are Heroes: A Global Project’ by JR
An AMAZING book. Look it up. Own it.
‘Portraits’ by Steve McCurry
The first book I fell in love with and saved up for as a teen!
The Cookbook Shelf
‘Turquoise: A Chef’s Travels in Turkey’ by Greg Malouf
Get taken on a food adventure with stunning photos and reipes!
‘Thai Street Food’ by David Thompson
The best cookbook on Thai food I’ve found! I lived in Thailand for 8 months and this book captures the heart of Thai food! Gorgeous photography!
‘Sunday’s at Moosewood Restuarant’
A must own. A collection of ethnic vegetarian recipes from the legendary restaurant.
‘Super Natural Every Day’ & ‘Super Natural Cooking’ by Heidi Swanson
The queen of the food blog! Awesome collections of creative vegetarian recipes. Check out her site: 101 Cookbooks
‘From Spiders to Water Lilies: Creative Cambodian Cooking with Friends‘ by Friends International
From a rad non-profit working with street kids in Phnom Penh come some kick a*^ Khmer Recipes!
Seattle is one of my favorite cities!
If I could have the perfect day in Seattle it would include the following:
- Boom Noodle. I love 3 things about Boom Noodle. Their appetizer called ‘miso broiled rice cakes’. Its so crunchy and right. Their ‘cucumber mint fizz’. Its refreshing as a juice or with some alcohol mixed in. Lastly I appreciate the great design.
- Now keep walking up the hill, because just a few shops further is where you will have potentially the best dessert of your life at Bluebird Microcreamery. You think I’m exagerating (which I maybe tend to do) but I kid you not, their homemade ice cream could change you life. There is no going back once you try their “Snickerdoodle” homemade ice cream. If as a kid, or an as an adult, you LOVED cinnamon toast crunch…you need to try this ice cream! Its worth the walk.
- Phnom Penh Noodle Shop House is locaed in Chinatown and has delicious and affordable Cambodian food. The ‘Battambang’s Favorite Noodle’ bowl with their homemade pickles is particularly awesome.
- I was introduced to Cedars 8 years ago and I keep going back. Its a chai lovers dream, with non-stop Chai refills! Their Indian food is pretty fab too.
- My friend just introduced me to Paseo where I had the best sandwich of my life. I’m not kidding around. There was a bit of a wait, because the secret is out that this place is flipping awesome. It was worth the wait. It was a bit messy. No big deal. Cuban food- in a sandwich. Just do it. Come hungry and come early, because once they run out of bread that’s it- so arrive noonish.
- I usually just do day trips to Seatlle, but last time I visited I stayed at The Green Tortoise Hostel. It is located just steps from Pikes Place Market and it is clean and friendly. They even have a free breakfast with eggs! Also your bed, on the bunk, even has its own wrap around curtain, so it feels really private!
Things to do in the city:
- I like Gas Works Park. It’s lovely both during the day and at night. At night the view with the lights reflecting on the water is dreamy like a Van Gogh painting. On a windy day it is also the perfect place to fly a kite.
- I really enjoy exploring downtown Seatlle. There are always things happening and it’s fun to admire the lovely brickery, eat great street food, see interesting sculptures and check out the SAM (Seattle Art Museum). Last time when I visited, the ‘Color Me Rad’ run was happening and there was a whole block of blue trees!
- Stopping by the ever touristy and crowded Pike’s Place Market is a must. There are some fantastic reasons why you should go there:
- Lots of free food samples (come ready to snack)
- Market Spice Tea (if you like cinnamon-give it a try) I’m a bit obsessed with the stuff.
- The gum wall. Just below the Market Spice shop you will see an entire brick wall covered in people’s gum. Its pretty magical-or gross depending on your perspective. Bring some gum to add to it.
- Of course, there is much more to do than that. There is a magic store, coffee shops galore, the famous men throwing fish… Also if you explore the surrounding back lane shops you will find some fun ethnic stores that sell stuff like Mexican hand-painted tiles. So if you have never been there, take the time to thoroughly explore, but know there is much more to Seattle than just Pike’s.
- However, it’s important to keep walking up Pike Street. This will take you up a hill out of downtown. Keep walking until you start seeing a funky neighbourhood with lots of great shops. This is a funky neighbourhood with lots to see and taste. (the walk is about 20 minutes)
- Once you are up Pike Street, you will want to turn onto braodway to properly check out Capital Hil. There are lots of great shops to see such as record, clothing, design and art shops. Also there is a pretty decent Value Village which I might take the time to look through if I were you.
- To end my perfect Seattle Sunday, I would stay on Capital Hill and go to the compline (kind of like a vespers) at Saint Marks Cathedral. Saint Mark’s is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been in- ever. I can’t to do it justice with words. Its grand and simple and moving. Everyone from all walks of life comes here on Sunday nights at 9:30pm. Just find a place on a seat or the floor. I like the floor, because you can lay down and just soak in the beauty of the sining and the building.
Hint: Come on a Sunday. Sunday’s are great, because there is free parking- and parking in Seattle normally is terrible. Terribly expensive and terrible to find. Another option though if you’re from Vancouver, is to take the Amtrak train down or the Bolt bus. The Bolt bus is amazing and is between $5-$15. What the heck?!
This past season I have been thinking a lot about being okay with making ‘mistakes’ as an artist. As I stared at a new big white canvas the other month I caught myself feeling full of fear and I felt paralyzed. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t want to ruin the expensive canvas. I didn’t want to have to restart if I didn’t like it. What if, what if, what if…
What I needed and longed to do was to just dive in and let the rhythms of creativity and colour capture my thoughts. It was only once I took the plunge and started to acutally paint-and not think so hard- that the process took over. Time ceased to matter. Risks were taken. Some paid off. Some things I had to do over. It was okay. I learned a lot. One day I’ll show you the painting…that I am still working on…2 months later!
Later that night as I stepped out of my small little studio space, I saw a cut out that a fellow artist (Jenny Hawkinson-http://jhawk-art.blogspot.com) had made that read, ‘I am willing to make bad art’. I decided to take that on as my summer mantra. I even put it on a t-shirt, just so that I wouldn’t forget.
Repeat it with me…I am willing to be make ‘bad’ art, I am willing to make ‘bad’ art, I am willing to make ‘bad’ art…
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” -Scott Adams
Ever since I drove through this cozy city on my way to San Fransisco I have had a love affair with Portland. The books, the food, the bike lanes, the bridges, the little shops… so many good things all in one place. So much inspiration for ‘making things’ all in one place. I love taking my bike on the train and cruising around this very bike friendly city! If you live in Vancouver it is very easy to take the Amtrak to Portland. Here are some of my favorite places to visit:
- Farm Cafe in East Burnside has the most phenomal homemade ketchup and veggie burger
- The Grilled Cheese Grill, in the Alberta Arts district, on Alberta and 11th makes awesome griled cheese sandwhiches in a phenom old school bus! I personalllyl love the ‘kindergardener’.
- Gravy in the Mississppi district knows how to make a Southern breakfast! I really love their biscutis and gravy.
- I also really enjoyed eating at Kenny & Zukes Delicatessen, which is close to Powell’s, in downtown.They make great salads and I discoverd that they also pack up picnic baskets for you if you give them a couple hours notice.
- Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention the amazing food carts lining the city scape. Its a food lover’s dream. The food carts in Portland like to hang out in pods and my favorite pod is downtown along 5th. There are lots of carts to choose from. Once I tried a bibimbap burrito- a Korean Mexican fusion and I loved it. So be brave and try something fun!
- Stumptown coffee shops are all over and a must if you are a coffee lover.
- Voodoo donuts, has a ridiculous wait at their downtown location, but it is worthy of your time, at least once!
- My dream is to stay here: Ace Hotel, but in the mean time I take pictures in their vintage black and white instant photo booth and stay in these rad hostels:
- Hawthorne Hostel is a wonderful, clean, environmentally friendly hostel with free bagels and bike rentals! It’s in the Hawthorne district (go figure) and has an awesome communiy vibe. It was about a 25 minute bike from downtown.
- Recently I discovered and stayed at the Inn Alberta Arts and loved it! Its similar prices to a hostel with private rooms and a bunk hostel style room. Its much smaller than the Hawthorne Hostel and is newly renevated. It is in the heart of the Alberta Arts district and about a 20 minute bike ride downtown.
Things to do in the city (besides eating and biking):
- The infamous Powell’s Books in downtown Portland = heaven. As my friend exclaimed, “I just didn’t know what to do with myself. A city block of books!” It really is a book lovers Mecca.
- The Hawthorne district is a fun area to explore and (in my opinion) starts getting interesting around 31st ave. It has some fantastic T-shirt shops as well as thrift stores and an old school movie theatre where you can drink beer and eat a burger (Bagdad Theater and Pub). For the Vancouverites out there the Hawthorne district has more of a Commercial Drive type feel to it.
- I really love the The Alberta District. This street is packed full of quirky neighborhood shops with art and craft supplies as well as good design. It reminds me of Vancouver’s Main Street between Broadway and 30th.
- The Mississippi district is a quick bike ride down from Alberta. Its an older area with great bricks and even more amazing places to eat (is that even possible?!). There were some really unique shops and one in particular called, Land, which is where I discovered the amazing artist, Nikki McClure.
- Museum of Contemporary Craft in downtown Pearl District is awesome and brimming with creative inspiration. Last year when I visited Portland they featured Nikki McClure!
- East Burnside also is a fun neighbourhood to check out!
Alright, go and enjoy Portland aready and report back with your favorite places!
At my job I work with some pretty amazing interns and the hardest part every year is saying goodbye. This year our interns were quite the foodies, so when I decided to put together a farewell brunch for them, I found myself in quite the panic. I had no idea what to make. So instead of doing the logical thing and cooking something that I had made previously and knew was great, I decided to make a frittata (what a wonderful word!) for the first time. However, I also, midway through cooking, got an idea and decided to try out some new ingredients and a muffin tin!
Disclaimer: Sometimes this approach to life works fabulously and other times the better descriptive word to use would be disastrously.
Luckily this time my little experiment turned out to be quite tasty, easy and pretty.
Ps. the foodies approved
What you need:
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, diced
- 1/2 cup milk (or I used almond milk)
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/2 cup green onions, diced
- 1 tbs flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
- 1/2 cup mozzarella
- 1/4 cup of feta cheese
- 1 tbs olive oil
What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F
2. In a medium skillet brown onions, peppers and mushrooms in olive oil.
3. In a separate bowl mix eggs, flour, milk, feta cheese, green onions and sun-dried tomatoes. When the other ingredients in the skillet are browned add them also the mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into a muffin tin that holds 1 dozen muffins. Fill each cup until almost completely full. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
5 .Bake for about 15 minutes until firm and golden. (checking often).
I served my little creations with some roasted red pepper sauce and it was pretty delicious. I also served it with some roasted yam hash browns on the side. Two Frittata Bites each seemed to fill everyone up.
What creative twists can you come up with for your next brunch?!