As some of you know, I work the pastry counter at Amelie's French Bakery two days a week, serving up delicious treats to Charlotte locals. I love this job for two reasons... #1: I love food. I love talking about it. And I love sharing my passion for it with other people. #2: I love people. The rest of the week, I'm working in my home studio, designing, sewing, and doing all the things it takes to run a crafty business. I love to be able to get out of the house and interact with other people for the day. It helps keep me sane!
Next week, I get the wonderful pleasure of combining my two "jobs" once again, as I teach a craft class for Amelie's at their new Amelie's Annex. Using my crafty expertise, I'll help you get that eclectic Amelie's look by creating your own upcycled dishes.
You'll have your choice of two projects (or you can do both!): hand-painting dishes or creating your own tiered pastry platter. Both projects are great for all crafting capabilities, and all instructions and supplies will be provided. Guests will also enjoy Amelie's pastries, wine, and tea while they work.
If you'd like to join me for Dishes & Dessert, just call Stefanie Haviv from Amelie's to reserve your spot and arrange payment: 704.701.0874. The cost of the class is $25, and this includes all of your supplies, dessert and drinks.
Amelie's a 24-hour french bakery that is open every day of the year. (This is seriously dangerous for people with chocolate cravings, like me!) Check out this video for an idea of what a whole day at Amelie's looks like.
A little news from the shop today... Verabelle gift cards are now available on Etsy! Each certificate has been hand-embroidered onto cardstock with the Verabelle logo, and I've left the back of the embroidery exposed so that you can see the work. Currently, I have the gift cards available at $15 and $30, but just let me know if there is a different amount that you'd like.
This pill box used to sit on one of the end tables in Aileen's formal living room, and I remember tiptoeing in there to rub my fingers over the flowers in the dark. I loved feeling the smoothness of each rounded petal, like the prettiest Braille. My imagination was taken with the beautiful, bright colors too, and I thought that it was one of the most special things that Aileen or Granny had in the house. It was the tiniest little trinket. To me, it was delicate and lovely, and I don't remember ever picking it up off the table to hold in my hands. I just ran my fingers across it in the secrecy of the dark.
I still hold the flowered pillbox near and dear, and it now sits on a small shelf in my sewing room. Every time I touch it, it reminds me of my Granny, and I remember being little again, peering over the edge of the end table in the dark.
"Objects of Affection"is a series of blog posts that allows me to share some of my favorite and most special things with you. I'll pick something different from around my home each time and tell you a bit about it. I think photographing and writing about these objects are a way to help me appreciate all the things around me and to reflect on the meaning they hold for me. It's nice to linger over these little things in our lives.
My heart beats a little faster at a sewing boutique: bright colors, beautiful patterns, whimsical designs. How can you not get inspired? I adore this little shop I found in Atlanta called Whipstitch and wish we had something in Charlotte like it.
Owner, Deborah Moebes, considers her shop a modern sewing boutique. "A lot of us consider sewing as something as old-fashioned... [but] more and more women want to learn to sew because they are beginning to see opportunities to bring that into a modern lifestyle," she explained on a recent interview with SCAD Atlanta students.
Whipstitch offers fabric and notions beyond what you'd find at the typical craft store. They carry fabrics produced by smaller producers and make an effort to feature the full line of fabrics by all local designers. From dress patterns to embroidery patterns, everything from start to finish has a more modern twist.
With a space for classes and a lounge area by a shelf of craft books (including a vintage sewing encyclopedia set!), you're invited to settle in and get creative. Whipstitch offers an array of exciting classes and events, including a Monthly Sewing Circle, summer camps for kids, and Sewing Buddies, where they pair you with another crafter to help each of you improve. All I know is I want a sewing buddy and I have my fingers crossed that a shop like Whipstitch will open its doors in Charlotte one day soon!
Photographed: my friend, Lisa, who I was visiting in Atlanta
My friend, Melissa, has a fig tree behind her home that is bursting with ripened fruit for the taking. Melissa lives in a series of a quadraplexes, and the tree is in back of the property. She had so many of the figs that she was ready to pop, and since none of her neighbors seemed to be enjoying the fruit, she invited me to pick as much as I wanted. I gathered a basketful of delicious figs from a huge tree that had more than I could ever need, want, or reach. I was so happy that I could take some so that they wouldn't all go to waste. Now to figure out what to make with all these figs... I'm thinking some canning and drying might be in order.
If you'd like to fill up your own basket of city fruit, here are a few rules of urban foraging, taken from The Urban Homestead, by Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen.
"It goes against homestead principles to let food go to waste - whether it be on your land or someone else's... The law states that any fruit growing in a parkway strip, or branches hanging over a sidewalk or alley is in public space and therefore fair game for you to pick. Of course it is better to ask permission when you can, and of course we don't need to tell you not to break branches, climb on fences, or otherwise behave like a hooligan when you are picking fruit.
"If you spot an overloaded tree in someone's yard on your wanderings, and if your surreptitious sampling proves it to be tasty, inquire with the owner and see if they'll let you harvest the whole thing. Odds are they will be grateful to you if you would relieve them of this burden, and will just tell you to take what you want."
I'd love to hear about any successful urban foraging adventures you've had. Please share your story in a comment. And happy picking!
This past Saturday, we woke up early to join our friends, Kassie and Marisa, for a group yard sale. Kassie and Marisa are both collectors of all things vintage and fabulous, and really, I wanted to take home about everything they had laid out on their front lawn. But I was able to exercise a little control and spend a few bucks on just an armful of things. My favorite: this little collection of vintage travel stickers at ten cents apiece!