Spending a month in Austin, TX

I'll be spending a month in Austin, TX, starting mid-June, and I'm super excited about it!

I'm a native Texan, went to college at UT, and still have a bunch of close friends who live in Austin.  I love that town and have already tried to leave California to move back there once (my job at the time moved me back).

That job is where I met the wonderfully talented Marc Johns.

That job is where I met the wonderfully talented Marc Johns.

I can't wait to fill up on breakfast tacos, humidity, Topo Chico, friends & fried avocado tacos.  It's always time for tacos.

I'll be housesitting for friends and part of the arrangement includes access to a full art studio. This is the cherry on the ice cream sundae. I'm treating the month as my own made-up artist-in-residence experience.  I'm housesitting for a UT Fine Arts faculty member so he's on board and already gave me some guidance. I'm going to experiment with new materials, have tons of uninterrupted studio time & plenty of room to make a mess.

I have lots of Texas reminders in my home.

I have lots of Texas reminders in my home.

Naturally I'll still be working & making money to pay the billz; I'm mailing supplies ahead of time & will take my Featherweight sewing machine on the flight as my carry-on. Good thing my Featherweight is so small, light & comes with a custom box.  I've consciously fashioned my work with Featherweight Studio to be flexible to do along with traveling, but this will be my biggest stretch away from my own studio. 

I'm looking forward to new inspiration, lots of new work & to connect with new collaborators & clients.  See you in Texas!

Homemade Prickly Pear Soda Recipe

Do you ever have a hard time getting started on a long project?  Whenever I have a project that's going to take a couple hours of concentration, or involves a big setup like a photo shoot, I like to motivate myself with a tasty beverage.  Usually that's coffee, but lately when it's after 2pm I've been making myself a prickly pear soda.  To me, it tastes a little like hippie Sunkist.  

HOMEMADE PRICKLY PEAR SODA RECIPE

  • 2-3 T prickly pear syrup - My neighbors have a giant cactus that supplies plenty of prickly pears, so I usually have some prickly pear syrup in my fridge.  
  • 1t - 1T apple cider vinegar (it's good for you & adds tartness)
  • 3-4 squeezes of lime, up to half a lime depending on your taste buds
  • optional glug of maple syrup to sweeten
  • sparkling water to fill the rest of your glass
  • tiny ice cubes

Serve yourself, and get back to work.

Support Small Biz: Matcha Bar NYC

For the past few months, I've been starting most mornings with a cup of matcha tea with honey and coconut milk.  It tastes so great and it gives me a kick without giving me the jitters.

I adore the taste of coffee, but because I'm so sensitive it's very easy for me to OD on it.  And it's hard to tell when I've overserved myself.  One minute I'm in the coffee-clarity zone and the next minute I'm untethered, scattered & having caffeine tremors.  

Needing a more gentle and reliable way to start my morning, and I chose to try matcha because:

  • it's a source of dietary fiber & chlorophyll
  • it contains Vitamin A, B-complex, C, E & K
  • it's rich in antioxidants including EGCg
  • it provides chromium, selenium, zinc & magnesium

I watched this video to learn how to prepare it:

The video above might make the preparation seem a bit complicated, but it's really not. It's quicker than making coffee and you don't have to wait for it to steep like other teas.

Now that I'm a few months into drinking it, I was curious about trying some other makers and varieties of matcha.  Much to my surprise, my local shops only carry one variety. Yes, Peet's and Starbucks offer it, but that's not where I go for high-quality ingredients.  If I only have one coffee, cocktail or tea, I like to make it a fancy one.  

I searched online and found MatchaBar NYC.  They sell just the powder, as well as starter kits. I contacted them asking if they'd put a special package together for me, and they were game. Here's what I got in the mail yesterday:

Matcha, bamboo scoop + sticker from MatchaBar NYC

Matcha, bamboo scoop + sticker from MatchaBar NYC

Great customer service & fun packaging.  I made my matcha this morning with the MatchaBar powder, and it was the best I've tried so far. Matcha is so easy, tasty and rich in nutrients, it's bound to keep increasing in popularity.

Are you a matcha drinker?  If there are other brands I should try, let me know!

Images from Austin, TX, Part 1

Some scenes from my recent trip to Austin.

My friend Jesse Dayton plays old school country at the Spoke every Thursday night.

My friend Jesse Dayton plays old school country at the Spoke every Thursday night.

How many Torchy's Tacos can I eat per day?

How many Torchy's Tacos can I eat per day?

Courtney Love's wardrobe prior to being steamed. I really wanted to look inside the bag to see the labels but I restrained myself.

Courtney Love's wardrobe prior to being steamed. I really wanted to look inside the bag to see the labels but I restrained myself.

Vegetarian lasagna with homemade pasta and homemade sauce, courtesy of my multi-talented friend  Jeff . 

Vegetarian lasagna with homemade pasta and homemade sauce, courtesy of my multi-talented friend Jeff

A brief break in the rain.

A brief break in the rain.