Thursday, October 17, 2013

Botanical Patterns

Botanical patterns inspiration at Garfield Park Conservatory

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Edge Painting

I'm working on a brand new custom stationery project, and I'm trying to step up its fancy factor a little by mastering a new technique that is really popular in the paper world right now called "edge painting."  Basically you stack the paper you want to edge, figure out a way to apply pressure to the stack so the paper doesn't move, and then use a brush or ink brayer to apply paint to the stack's edges so that when the cards are on their own, they each have a thin layer of paint covering the edges.  It's a small detail, but with the gold I think it's worth the extra work.

I tried two different paints, a gold leafing paint and a gold gouache that I already had in my arsenal.  I also went to Ace to buy a few small clamps to apply pressure to the stack of cards, in small batches of course.

Of the two paints I tried, brushing the gold gouache with just the tiniest bit of water worked the best.  The gold leaf paint bled into the cards some and was mostly just an oily mess.  Here's the stack once I unclamped them.

And here's one single card.  I took the photos on different days, that's why I have nail polish on in one and not the other.

 I can't show the design details yet because the stationery is a surprise, but once it's gifted, I'll show the finished set of stationery with gold edging!

The whole process took about thirty minutes.  What do you think?  Is it worth the extra effort?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How essential is the food processor to a minimalist kitchen?

I know that at first this seems like a petty and unimportant question, but I think it fits into a larger discussion about how we can be thoughtful about our actions as consumers, how we make our spaces more efficient, and how we can prioritize products that earn their keep over the long haul.

Rehabbed store bought pie crust, Chicago, IL. 2013

I don't have a food processor.  I keep going back and forth on whether I should buy one so I can make hummus, tapenades, and so many other things.  Then this morning I had a run in with a broken up store bought pie crust and Susan mentioned a future solution employing the food processor that made me think a little more about adding this mechanized tool to my arsenal.  I think in the past I would have considered it obvious, yeah just get a food processor, or one of those mini ones if your kitchen is small.  But I'm trying to be a super thoughtful consumer these days, so I'm wondering what you guys think about the usability and versatility of the FP.

I am trying to keep my kitchen ultra minimalist (i.e. manual tools like a moka pot instead of an espresso machine etc),  I'm doing this partly because my space is very tiny which I like for a lot of reasons, but mostly because I want to acquire as few material things as I possibly can so I can spend less, add less to landfills, and have a less cluttered/hopefully more efficient living space.

Obviously, if I want to make a large majority of my food at home though (which I do want), I'm probably going to have to make at least a few concessions.  But before I make these concessions, I want to make sure I'm choosing tools that are super versatile and can get used often enough to justify the space they take up in my small cocoon of prep/storage space.

So my questions are:  Do you use your food processor often?  What could I make with an FP that I'm not even considering yet?  If you could only have 1 or 2 mechanized kitchen tools, would you make the FP one of them?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Icy Spray

I've always known I wanted to include photographs in my shop, but it wasn't until today that I've finally been able to introduce the first one for sale.

I took this inaugural image along the turbulent wintry shore of Lake Michigan.  As is probably obvious, immediately after I clicked the shutter, I was covered in water which soon turned to ice.  I literally ran a mile home in some subfreezing temperature, out of fear that my bare hands and my sweet dog were getting frostbite.

 Find Small Batch's premiere photographic print here.

All images copyright Allie Hasson.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Family Monograms

I'm pleased to announce today that hand-painted, custom-made family monograms are now available in the shop.  Each painting is 4"x4" and comes with a high resolution digital scan, so the design is yours and can be printed on anything and as many times as you'd like.  These are great on notecards, holiday cards, tote bags, framed on the wall, and anywhere else you can imagine.  What would your family monogram look like?

Check out the shop for more details.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Better with Age

For the past two years, the pumpkins we've carved have been pretty sad.  We either way overshot our carving skill level in the design phase or just chose something that wouldn't really take into consideration the notion of how jack-o-lanterns work (Let's just do a moon!).  This year, we knew our limits and we considered how the light would filter through best, and I'm really happy with the way this guy came out.  Cheers to getting better with age!  

Frightened Pumpkin, October 2012.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Iceland Film Review #4

Here are a few more photos to round out the Iceland series.

The first three I took at a stop on our trip to Myvatn.

The following two images are from a waterfall called GoĆ°afoss which means "waterfall of the gods."  It's called this because "after the Icelandic assembly adopted Christianity in 1000, its leader threw his pagan idols into the falls." 

Quote from National Geographic Magazine