Have your print and eat it, too

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Last night I worked on fish prints!

Yes. Fishy fishy fish prints.

If you can get over your revulsion for handling dead fish, you can make some gorgeous prints.

Fish printing, or gyotaku, originated in Japan in the mid 1800’s when fisherman wanted to record their catches. Since then, it has evolved into its own art form.

If you are a tactile person who loves graphic nature prints, then this is the DIY for you.fish.prints.8

You will need:

Paint Brush

India Ink (not toxic, if you want to eat your fish afterwards!)

Paper (Preferably thin washi paper, but you can use any kind)

Dead fish

Paper Towels

Paper Bags/Trash Bags

Step 1: Cover the surface you will be working on with your paper bags or trash bags.fish.prints

Step 2: Take your fish (which should be gutted) and stuff it with paper towels so it won’t ooze. Gross I know.

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Step 3: Place you fish on your work surface. Using your paint brush, apply a thin layer of ink to your entire fish. For a cool effect, don’t paint over the eye. You only need a very thin layer, you want to be able to see the texture of the fish scales. No globs.fish.prints.3

Step 4: Press your washi paper onto your fish. Press firmly and pat and give your fish a little fish massage, making the ink soak through.fish.prints.5

Step 5: Lift a corner and peek. If your print is too light, massage your fish a little more. Be sure to press the paper around the edges of the fish.fish.prints.7

Step 6: Lift paper and enjoy your fish print!

What I really want to know is which of you will be brave enough to cook your fish afterwards.  Send me a pic of your print and your meal!

xoxoxo

Rachel Eleanor

Listening to: Tam Lin by Anais Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer

9 Steps for Starting Seeds

9 Steps for Starting Seeds

I’m getting started gardening with pretty much no experience. Follow along. Tell me if I’m doing something wrong. Join in on the fun. Read my intro here.
-Christy

1. Raid the recycling bin. I had been collecting the white containers for awhile. They are single yogurts from Atlanta Fresh.

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2. Poke or punch holes in the bottom of your plastic containers for water drainage.

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3. Have your seeds handy. Do a little research on which should start as seedlings inside to be transplanted into the ground later and which should start directly in the ground. Pictured below, I’m waiting to plant the peas directly in the ground and I’m starting the cucumber and nasturtium inside.

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4. Figure out how you want to label your seeds. There are a million different ways to do this. I opted for using supplies I had on hand and put washi tape on clothes pins. I want to reuse the white containers as well as the clothes pins so I didn’t want to write directly on either one. Plus I’m always looking for an excuse to use washi tape! Keep in mind, the labels will inevitably get wet so choose your supplies accordingly.

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5. Fill containers with soil and add your seeds. The seeds should be buried as deep as they are long so that it doesn’t have to travel through inches and inches of soil before reaching the top. For example, tomato seeds are buried very shallow because they are so tiny. A bean would be buried deeper.

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6. Add your labels as you go along so you don’t mix up what’s what.

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7. Water your seeds! Make sure you have a tray or something to catch the water that drains out. You’ll be growing these seeds inside so you don’t want to mess up your table or counter or whatever.

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8. Have an adorable gardening assistant. The best ones like to wear their socks half on, half off. And love being outside.

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9. Consult some resources. These are some books I borrowed from Shannon. Read up on the whole process while you wait for your seeds to sprout. The seeds should be sitting inside where they are warm and get plenty of light.

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Gardening, Here We Go!

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I’ve decided to grow a vegetable garden this year. For several reasons besides just loving veggies. I want to know where my food is coming from. I want to eat food that didn’t travel far to get to me. I want to make sure I’m feeding my baby good food. I want a reason to compost. I want to spend more time outside. I want to turn my backyard into an asset. I want to save money. I want my baby to know what vegetable plants look like and not just what a vegetable looks like on the dinner table. I want to garden as part of my exercise routine. The list goes on and on.

Despite my excitement about this new project, I’m actually feeling very unconfident about it. Below I will list my gardening experience:

1) In 3rd grade-ish I brought home a cucumber plant that I started at school. My mom helped me plant it in the yard. It grew a tiny cucumber. I ate it.

 

Um, yeah. That’s it.

My next door neighbors when I was growing up grew a great garden of mostly tomatoes, and I tended to the garden a bit for them when they were out of town. My parents attempted to grow tomatoes once or twice, but I don’t remember being involved or if there was even any fruit to their labor. My grandfather grew a beautiful rose garden and yummy tomatoes when I was little, but he lived 2 hours away so I didn’t get to witness what went into that.

So I have all these fears…what if I get started with all this and then get busy with other things? What if I have some success but then animals eat all my produce? What if I “wing it” (something I do a lot) and don’t do the proper research and end up forgetting some critical step? I don’t know why, but I’m nervous about this project. It seems a bit overwhelming to me. Alas, who cares. I’m jumping in. What if I actually grow some great veggies for my family??? Then we’ll let the good times roll. And if it doesn’t work out, I’m sure I will have had some fun along the way!

I got started this weekend, and would love for you to follow along. If you see I’m doing something wrong, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, maybe you’ll learn something with me. Maybe you’ll give it a try as well.

A special thanks to Shannon who gave me a bunch of seeds and lots of tips! Stay tuned tomorrow for “9 Steps for Starting Seeds.”
-Christy

Christy’s Weekly Roundup, March 1

round Christy

Here’s a little Saturday morning roundup for you, a baker’s dozen to be exact, of some of the best things I read this week and everything I watched. Did you have any favorites this week?
Happy March! It’s my birthday month!
-Christy

Read This Week:
Colorfest/66 – DesignLoveFest
5 Essentials For Improving Your Food Photography – The Kitchn
4 Green Cleaning and DIY Beauty Recipes – Glue & Glitter
Good Art is Popular Because It’s Good. Right? – NPR
Micro Trend: Teepees – decor8
Oversized Landscape Pop Art – A Beautiful Mess
This 4-Year-Old Makes Paper Dresses With Her Mom – Huffington Press
Fully Loaded Kale Salad – Zooey Magazine
DIY Pantry Staples: 35 Crafty, Creative Recipes – Crafting a Green World
Make This: DIY Paper Crown Garland Made from Recycled Book Pages – Paper & Stitch
Orphans’ Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape a Child’s Brain – NPR
Start Tomorrow Right With 4 Energy-Filled Breakfast Ideas – Refinery29
Infographic Shows Every Best Actress Dress Since 1929 – Stylist.co.uk

Watched This Week:
House of Cards – Season 2, Episodes 1-6
Downton Abbey – Season 4, Episodes 8
Dexter – Season 8, Episode 7
On Golden Pond

Paint Dipped Pots

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I keep little pots of herbs in my kitchen most of the time. It’s convenient, economical, and it makes such a difference in my food! You can pick up a small plant for under $3.00.

The weather is changing here in Atlanta. The warmer temperatures are getting me excited about Spring and gardening. Last weekend when the highs were in the 60’s I dipped some terra cotta pots in bright white paint.

I love the dipped look. It’s something that you can only get with dipping an extra thick coat of color.  I think it would also be fun to try some bright colors or neon.

I used a satin finish interior paint that I had leftover from another project, terra cotta pots, masking tape, and bottles from my recycling bin to keep the pots elevated while they dried.

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Wash the pots and allow to dry. Tape the drain hole on the inside of the pot, this will keep the paint from seeping inside when you dip. I poured the paint into an old plastic container to allow for more space. You can dip either end of the pot. I also experimented with letting the paint run. I love the way they turned out!

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Why I Love Vintage

 

20140227-120704.jpgThis hangs in the guest bathroom at my grandmother’s house.  And has my whole entire life! 

It’s true. As a child, I got a lot of my clothes from the thrift store. My family had a tight budget, and this was one way to save money. It was embarrassing to me for a while. After all, this was the 80s and the brand name of your clothes actually mattered. There were several thrift stores within a couple of miles of my house, and my mom very strategically paid attention to half-off days and coupons that were printed in a local freebie publication. My sister and I would joke about being so poor that we had to use a coupon on half-off day at the thrift store. We weren’t really that poor. My mom just really knows how to stretch a dollar!

I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I began to love shopping at the thrift store. It was a fun outing with my mom and sister, and we were all quite good at the hunt. After patiently flipping through hanger after hanger, inspecting clothes for stains, tears and other irreparable problems and then trying everything on (which sometimes meant over your clothes because the shops didn’t all have a dressing room for some very bizarre reason), we would head home with quite the haul. I can remember giant bags of clothes purchased for less than one pair of jeans from The Gap. My sister and I liked clothes so this was exciting!

In high school and college, when thrifting was cool (grunge-era!), I already knew where to go and how to hunt. Over time, I discovered that the thrift store had more to offer than just clothes. Books, home décor, accessories (I have a crazy scarf collection!), cameras. You name it! The thrift store is where my love of vintage began.

So here it is, why I love vintage:

1) You get to celebrate the style of days gone by. Today’s style is cool. And so is style from the 1960s. And the 20s. And the 80s. And the 40s. And the 90s.
2) It’s sustainable. This cool stuff already exists, and you get to give it a new life. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
3) It may not be one-of-a-kind but it’s pretty darn close. You’re probably the only person you know with that one particular (really awesome)(so cool) item. It makes your personal style unique.
4) If it’s lasted this long, chances are it’s going to just keep on lasting.
5) It just looks cool. Ok maybe this is basically the same as reason #1, but c’mon…it looks cool!

Saturday is the last day to apply to spring Salvage, our vintage market taking place on April 12. Go here to apply. We can’t wait to see your collection of treasures. 

-Christy

Building Blocks of Charleston

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This weekend I paid my first visit to Charleston. I was on a mission not only to drink in all the scenery, but to dig up some local handmade treasures.

What I found ended up having more of an international twist.

The friends I was traveling with knew I was on the hunt and sent me a mysterious text instructing me and my fiancée to head down Market Street.

“You’ll know it when you see it.” They said.

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Intrigued, Cam and I moseyed back a few blocks, scanning store windows for handmade jewelry, or perhaps another vintage shop. When we saw the colorful-wood-plank-toy-filled windows of the KAPLA Store, we did not care if we were right or wrong. We had to go in.

We walked up a short set of stairs into a quiet shop filled with the muted clacking noises of wood on wood. It smelled of pine. The sweet woman behind the counter welcomed us to the United States’ only KAPLA Store. She explained to us that all of the magical sculptures in the shop were made completely from small KAPLA planks and all but two were standing because of gravity and good engineering alone.

We were filled with awe. There was an Eiffel Tower, a lion, a clown and dozens of buildings. All were majestic tributes to physics, architecture, and engineering.

And they were pretty.

Then we turned to our left and saw a dozen of our friends seated cross-legged on the large grey rug in the center of the store, building alongside parents and their children.

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There is something magical about watching engineers play with building blocks. We all shared a semi-silent, blissful half hour in the little shop. That is, until the very end when everyone knocked their creations over to the sound of clapping and cheers.

KAPLA blocks were invented in 1988 by Dutch art historian Tom Van der Bruggen when he was renovating a farm in France into a castle! He made a small scale model of his dream castle from planks of his own invention that followed a 1:3:5 ratio. He named them “Kabouter Plankjes,” meaning “gnome planks.” But he later abbreviated them to KAPLA. Cute origin story, am I right?

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Well, it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting, but the KAPLA Store was my favorite gem in Charleston. I want to go back, especially because the store displays rotate on a weekly basis. My fiancée certainly wants to go back and stock up and asked if we could add them to our wedding registry. We’ll see how many crock pots we get first!

xoxoxo

-Rachel Eleanor

5 Things to Look for in a Business Partner

Today is our Shannon’s birthday – Happy Birthday, Shannon!

I’ve had the privilege of being Shannon’s business partner for over 9 years. I say privilege because she truly is a joy to work with, and I feel blessed to have her in my life. We didn’t know each other very well when we first started collaborating so this whole thing had the potential of fizzling long ago, but instead 2014 is positioning itself to be our biggest year ever. There was also potential for just being business partners, but instead I list her as one of my very closest friends.

Truth be told, I’m not a natural collaborator. I tend to not trust that other people will pull their weight. I assume that they will be unorganized, flakey, inefficient and not take things as seriously as I do. I’d rather do it myself (whatever “it” may be) than deal with the repercussions of someone doing it wrong. I also hate asking for help (HATE.) and usually try to go it alone where work is concerned. I’m a very social person and thrive off interaction with others, but I tend to be a lone wolf when it comes to work. This isn’t necessarily a positive thing, and being overly-harsh or critical towards others is a character trait I’m not super proud of (but I’m working on it!). I share this to illustrate how great Shannon is. I don’t collaborate with her begrudgingly. I do it because it’s fun! And over the years, I’ve learned that we can accomplish way more together than I could ever do on my own.

So in honor of Shannon’s birthday, I thought I’d share five things to look for in a business partner in case you ever find yourself on the hunt. This list is not definitive, and I could (and maybe will!) expand on it a lot, but these are five things that make working with Shannon a joy!

In no particular order……….

Generous – If Shannon knows I’m interested in something she brings me what I need. I’m about to start a garden in my backyard (exciting! terrifying!) and she brought me books to read and actual SEEDS. And not just a few seeds, she brought me an amazing assortment of seeds to choose from and only presented me with options that can be planted right now…because she knows how ignorant I am! This generosity is something that extends into our business practices and has helped us build a loyal following.

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I posted this photo on Facebook a couple of years ago with the caption, “Christy and Shannon have a new idea for ICE. Davis is not amused, haha.” The photo was staged and in reality Davis, my husband, is very supportive of everything we do, but it’s true…we have new ideas that require a lot of hard work ALL THE TIME.

Full of Ideas – OMG. There are times when I have literally said, “No more. I can’t take any more right now.” Shannon always has new ideas. This is wonderful for a business. It means we always have new things to try. We’re never standing there like, “Well, I guess we’ve tried it all. Better shut it down.” Ideas are what has kept us going this long and will help us succeed in the future. I tell her I can’t take any more with a laugh. I always want more ideas. There are just occasions when our plates are full to overflowing!

Hardworking – I’m a hard worker and I need to feel like the person I’m working with is working just as hard as I am. If this isn’t the case, I start to feel resentment and the arrangement just isn’t going to work out ultimately. Shannon and I have both maintained full-time jobs for the last 9 years while working on ICE, which is…really hard work. We both juggle a lot. I never have any doubt that Shannon is taking care of what needs to be taken care of, and if she says she will do something, she does it. Lucky for me, she handles a lot of things that I have no desire to take care of, which makes this dream job I’ve created for myself dreamy. We both magically gravitate towards different tasks. Yay!

Fun – If you are picking a business partner make sure they are pleasant and fun to be around. You are going to spend A LOT of time with this person. I get sick of everyone when I spend insane amounts of time with them but it’s very, very rare with Shannon. When it does happen it usually means I’m exhausted and would hate any human I had to deal with at that particular moment. It isn’t specifically about her. We always make each other laugh and find ways to make even grueling tasks more fun. There are few people I would sing classic rock hits to for an extended period of time while driving through the mountains of Tennessee on the final stretch of the drive home from Chicago after a long craft market weekend in hopes of not only keeping them awake while they drive but also hoping to offer some silliness to lighten the gravity of the sleepy situation! And there are few people who would want me to do this. Shannon is one of them.

Enthusiastic – I’ve always felt that enthusiasm is infectious. If you aren’t enthusiastic about your business or project or whatever then no one else is going to be either. Shannon and I are both enthusiastic (and passionate for that matter) about what we’re doing. This is particularly important when you have to work really hard to make something happen. Enthusiasm can wane. Luckily, we are able to share the burden of keeping enthusiasm up by taking turns during tough projects. There have been times when tears were shed (like when we set up our first pop-up shop and had too little time + didn’t know what we were doing) and sometimes you need to take turns remembering why you got into a project in the first place. Shannon is always able to get me back on track with loving what we’re doing.

Thank you for being my business partner, Shannon.

-Christy

Join us for Salvage

Salvage will be here soon, and we are taking applications for vendors until March 1st (that’s Saturday!!!). Salvage is a super fun vintage marketplace on April 12th.

We are seeking vintage vendors who sell everything from all decades! Books, homewares, clothing, accessories, bikes, vinyl, cameras, furniture, jewelry…all of it! We are also seeking crafters who make vintage inspired items.

Apply here!

Atlanta Photographer | LeahAndMark.com | ICE | Salvage | Wedding Day Hooray

Christy’s Weekly Roundup, Feb 22

A little roundup for you on a Saturday morn.
Of all the everything I read online this week, here is a baker’s dozen of my favorites as well as a list of the TV shows I watched this week. What did you read or watch this week that was really awesome?
Enjoy your weekend!

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Read this week: 
DIY Home Decor: Make a Luxe Serving Tray for $8 Apartment Therapy
Sparkling Grapefruit Margarita – Glue & Glitter
In the Studio: February – Clever blog
Tech Disconnect: I’m Banishing My Phone from My BedsideApartment Therapy
DIY bookends made from cement and toysOffbeat Home & Life
Her Creative Exuberance Has No LimitsThe New York Times
Start from Seed: Tips to Grow Your Garden CheaplyApartment Therapy
A New Idea for Your BookcaseLonny
Triple Chocolate (Crockpot) Custard – A Beautiful Mess
Software & Apps That Save My Bacon – Oh My! Handmade Goodness
10-Second Shop Tour: Burrow PatisserieDesign Sponge
5 Things To Do 10 Minutes Before You Go To BedApartment Therapy
Art Inc :: Coming Soon!Today Is Going To Be Awesome

Watched this week:
Girls
– Season 2
Downton Abbey – Season 4, Episodes 6-7
Dexter – Season 8, Episodes 5-6