Archive for February, 2013

New in the Shop —MAV

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

It’s here! It’s all here! Our shop is fully stocked with completely new items. We love launch day!

I’ll take you through a bit of what you’ll find in the shop.

Our new Issue of 3191 Quarterly, No. 10, is a fun one. My nephew, Miles, is on the cover. This photograph was taken, on film, in late September of this past year. Miles and I were “fishing” together in the chilly early-autumn waters here in Maine. The sun was setting and we were both filthy from our afternoon adventures. I love this photograph, it has so much meaning to me. My hope is that this cover inspires you to get out there and adventure yourself!

Another favorite for me is our new “Favorites” series (pardon the pun). This time we did “Favorite Scarves.” This was tough for me because I am a scarf addict but I was able to narrow it down and choose some newer and some longer-time faves. SCB has some great ones in her section too!

SCB and I spent a week together in October at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. We were working (we’ll tell you more about the project very soon!) and it was a great, cozy place to lay our heads. Q10 includes a photo-diary, all shot on film, from our week at the hotel.

I’m feeling really wild about trail mix these days (I have the winter snack-attacks at about 2 p.m. each day) so I was excited that SCB included her favorite recipe in Q10. I will be making this, and her Brioche (also in the issue), very soon I’m sure.

Moving on, we have had a fully stocked new Found Collection. After a week of spending time around the items that SCB brought to Maine, I have decided that this Sun Plate is my favorite piece. I have such a soft spot for it. It’s so hard to let it go!

May I introduce you to Bunny No. 3? Well he’s my dearest favorite among SCB’s new Collection. Seriously! Did you know SCB makes these all by hand and that Bunny No. 3 includes her own indigo-dyed wool as a part of his body? It’s just amazing.

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Thank you for celebrating our Launch Day with us here. And thank you for your support. Now what are you waiting for? Get out of here and go and peek at our new Collections!

—MAV

0 Miles Apart 2013 —SCB

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

This week I have traveled 3191 miles and am enjoying some time in Maine with MAV as we readied the shop with new collections and Issue No. 10 of 3191 Quarterly. It is always such a treat to get to spend time across a table from MAV. Our days are full of work, but one of the many things I love about MAV is that she keeps me well fed—breakfasts at home, dinners out and treats and hot coffee from all her favorite spots.

I also love the amazing winter light in Maine.

I came with a suitcase full of bunnies and found items, and loved being able to stock the shelves at our 3191 headquarters myself (and so much has already flown off the shelves and is shipping out today!).

Along with our personal collections and our Found Collection, we have two new tote designs in the shop, and I am really excited about them! They both are silkscreened with illustrations by Christopher David Ryan that really evoke the feel of our two Portlands.

I am happiest when I am among the trees, and our Grocery Tote No. 2 is my new favorite bag. We have carried this grocery tote size before, and I think you will love the big square bottom that stands up on its own. You can really fill this one with a lot of groceries, library books or even pack it full for a weekend away.

Our mini tote features a charming cityscape and is a great little size to carry along a craft or knitting project, your lunch, or simply use it as a purse (it’s a perfect size for a little one too—toddlers love to tote things around).

Time just flew by this week, and it is already, sadly, the day for me to head back home. I will miss you, MAV!

—SCB

Beauty & Use IV —MAV

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Tank No. 1

I started making the Beauty & Use Collection a year ago (see Collections I, II and III) because I wanted to share with other women some of the pieces that I had been dreaming up for myself. I wanted to create garments that I loved and therefore ones that others might enjoy as well. I didn’t want to change the world or make a big ripple … just wanted to do my thing and hope that people might respond.

Tank No. 2

In this, my fourth Collection (where does the time go?), I still stand proudly by that same simple intention. It still feels right to me.

Tank No. 3

For Beauty & Use IV (coming to the shop on 2/22/13), I have chosen very special silks for Tanks No. 1 and No. 2; these are silks I could only get 10 yards of! They are amazing, just amazing.  I coupled those with a more basic, and yet just as charming, cotton/hemp for Tank No. 3.

This is the kind of tank you might wear to bed, get up and throw a cardigan over, and find that you have been wearing it all day long. My tanks are meant to be “intimate” pieces but in a new sort of way. They are tanks you might wear exclusively in front of your sweetheart, or just when you want to feel a bit more sexy, or they can just as easily fit under a blazer or a hoodie or be worn alone tucked into your favorite shorts. But, mostly they are created to be comfortable and to fit naturally into your own personal style.

Smock No. 9

Smock No. 8

And then there are two new Smocks. My seamstress and I worked the pattern a bit more on these and we are very pleased with where things came out. I think these are my two favorite fabrics yet—a black/navy/tan woven from Nepal that wears in like a good pair of jeans, and a faded red plaid hemp/cotton that is so cheerful and washes to a softness akin to sheets.

Handkerchief No. 1

Last, there is a lush silk handkerchief in this Collection which I have a huge crush on. The color is intense when the fabric is layered and then when it is spread out it is light as air. This is my springtime “must have” and I plan to wear mine around my neck daily come mid-March.

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The best part of every Collection is when I get to share it with you. I have appreciated your support of my past Collections more than I can say here and am grateful for the emails you have sent and the dedication of our wonderful by3191 customers. I hope you find something you love in this new offering but more than that, I thank you for supporting 3191 over the years so Stephanie and I can go on this adventure together. We’ll see you in the shop next Friday, 2/22/13, and you can join our mailing list to get a note when the shop is stocked.

—MAV

Bunnies —SCB

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Hi there.

I have been making stuffed toys since my kids were babies. I started to make them for my own family because I couldn’t find the quality, natural, well-designed toys I desired, then I gave them as gifts, then eventually began selling them online and in galleries for a few years. I am returning a bit to my roots with this collection of one-of-a-kind soft bunnies.

Crafted of wool and cashmere and stuffed with 100% wool, the bunnies are free of synthetic materials. Their small size and simple shape make them easy for baby to hold and easy to fit in mom or dad’s bag or jacket pocket.

Each bunny features wool polka-dots needle-felted by hand. Their nubbly texture provides a nice sensory experience for baby.  The long ears (lined in Liberty lawn prints and cotton ginghams) are perfect for grasping as well.

Sewn inside each bunny is a solitary jingle bell for a subtle sound.

Each bunny is one-of-a-kind, and I have made a little warren of them from which to chose. I hope that you will find that they would make a special plaything or keepsake for a little one in your life (my big kids like these too!).

We will also be adding a new Found Collection to the shop. I have had so much fun finding things for you, only hard part is not keeping everything for myself!

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We will be updating the shop on February 22nd (sign up on our mailing list to be the first to know). Along with each of our collections, you will find 3191 Quarterly Issue No. 10 in the shop next week. I am so excited to share this issue with you—subscribers may already have it in their hands. In order to make room, we are retiring Issue No. 8 from the shop on Monday, August 18th, don’t miss out on this fun issue, it’s a personal favorite of mine.

—SCB

Little Things of Love —MAV

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

A note I was given.

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most.

A waffle I made.

It’s the little things that wake you up when you feel like you’re dragging.

Cornbread I warmed up for breakfast.

It’s the little things that get you through a long week.

A paper star I sneakily left for my man. (You can find the Paper Star project by SCB in the next issue of 3191 Quarterly which arrives in our shop on February 22nd. Sign up for our mailing list to get an email reminder when the issue available!)

It’s the little things that inspire you and make you feel connected to those around you and to yourself.

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I hope you have a great week ahead celebrating the love you have in your life. Love for yourself, for your friends, for your partners, for your family, for your animals and for the planet. I want to also take a moment to thank SCB for 4 years in our 3191 Miles Apart space (and for the 2 years before that in our Mornings and Evenings space); love you, Steph! Let’s go for 6 more years!

You can find my previous love-day-related posts here, and here, here.

—MAV

Heart Day —SCB

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

This week we celebrate the four year anniversary of 3191 Miles Apart. After collaborating on our A Year of Mornings and Evenings projects, we started this space in February of 2009 as a place to connect with each other every week and share a glimpse of the rhythm of our days with you all.

Like our previous projects, we didn’t plan out our posts or discuss them ahead of time. It felt equally surprising and expected that we would both post chocolate hearts that week (MAV’s first post and mine).

Much has changed in the ensuing years (I have a teenager now—gulp!), but more has stayed the same. 3191 Miles Apart remains a place of connection—with each other—and with the folks that visit here.

Thank you for gathering with us here. Here’s to many more years!! XO.

Notes on the photos:

1. Heart branch weaving. Branch weaving instructions can be found in Issue No. 8 of 3191 Quarterly. Please note: This issue will only be available for two more weeks!!

2. Some impromptu Valentine-decorating in our mud room.

3. A favorite heart-shaped wood plate.

4. Pomegranate fruit gels. I use the recipe on the Knox gelatin box and use this juice (I add no sugar).

5. Happy heart day. A good read on the history of the heart as symbol of love.

—SCB

Carrot Cake —MAV

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Well, I’ll be honest, my weekend didn’t go exactly as planned. I had a different post in mind for this space. But, we had to say a sad goodbye to a family dog … I didn’t get a lot of time to myself … my “weekend” list still sits unfinished and this and that, blah blah. However, I did get to make a birthday cake and that is what I’ll share with you here!

I’ve been making this Carrot Cake for the last few years and it has been requested for many-a-birthday. Today is such an occasion. It’s a very simple recipe and I don’t use nuts or raisins. I like it plain and so do the folks I’ve been baking it for. I think you could easily add those things in though.

Today we are wishing a happy birthday to our dear friend Lynsey and I am wishing you happy baking of this delicious Carrot Cake!

Carrot Cake
adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s Carrot Cake recipe

1 C spelt flour
1 C all purpose flour
2 -1/2 t baking powder
2-1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
3/4 t ginger
3/4 C canola oil
3/4 C natural cane sugar
4  eggs
1 t vanilla
3/4 C unsweetened applesauce
3 1/2 C grated carrots

Preheat to 325°F/170°C. Butter either a 9-inch round pan or two 9-inch round pans if you want to make layers. (I have also used an 8-inch round pan which makes a lovely taller cake. It just bakes a bit longer to bake.) Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk together well and set aside. Using a mixer beat the sugar and oil together until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add the vanilla and continue beating. Add the applesauce and beat well. The mixture should be a pale yellow color and have a silky texture. Add the flour mixture and mix in slowly. Fold in the carrots. Turn the cake batter out into your cake pan(s) and bake for 50–60 minutes (if you are using two 9-inch rounds it is half that time). Use a tester to make sure the cake is done in the center. On a few occasions I have under-baked this cake. Let cool completely in the cake pans and then turn out and frost. You can make the cake a day in advance and just store it with plastic wrap. I’ve found, actually, that making it a day ahead makes the taste even better. Enjoy!

For those of you who have 3191 Quarterly, Issue No. 6 you can use my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from the Chocolate Stout Cake—that is what I used here. For those who don’t you should try Molly’s recipe because it is very good! I use mostly honey as a sweetener with very little sugar myself.

—MAV

Winter Survival Tips —SCB

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

So, it’s February. I quite love winter. I love the change to the landscape. I love the cozy, dark evenings. I love dressing in layers. I am not terribly bothered by cold or wet weather. However, I still find myself dragging a bit and my mood getting a little dark come February. I wanted to share some of my tips for making it through to springtime. I have done this before, but I thought we could all use a reminder (especially me!).

Get out. I know that some of you have quite extreme weather conditions, but most of us merely have inconvenient ones. Bundle up. Invest in boots that keep your feet dry and that you can wear year after year. Walk—around the block or for miles and miles—any little bit will help. When the sun does come out, make time to be in it, rearrange your schedule to spend the afternoon at the park or just take fifteen minutes to have your coffee on the front steps. When the sun is not out, when it is wet and cold and blustery, go out anyway; you will not regret it—I promise. It is not just about getting exercise (going to the gym doesn’t count), it is about being out in the world.

Take care. Drink water. I can easily pass the water glass up for a hot cup of coffee in the winter months which is why I drink hot infused water this time of year. Make sure your diet is full of fresh fruit and vegetables (this means buying produce that is not local for me, but it is worth it—frozen fruits and vegetables are great too). I eat a lot of grapefruit in the winter months (I really crave it!). I have it on its own or in a salad or smoothie (you can find my grapefruit smoothie recipe in 3191Q Issue No. 8).

Brighten things up. My favorite way to brighten my home is to bring in plants and flowers, but I like to brighten up my food a bit too. Winter cooking and vegetables can start to feel a little heavy, so I add fresh herbs (I buy potted ones which do double-duty). Lemon zest is the smell of happiness for me, and I find myself adding it to everything from my granola (before I bake it) to salad dressing to soups. The roasted potatoes above were tossed with lemon zest and rosemary.

Get things done. Take advantage of dark evening spent indoors. Put on a movie, podcast, or favorite album and get busy with a small project that you can complete successfully. Pick up a handiwork project (I am working on my next collection for the shop). Organize a drawer. Sort through paperwork for tax season. Write an overdue thank you note. When spring comes, you will have something to show for the dark days of winter.

Hope this helps. Happy February!

—SCB