Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Snacks!

It's Friday -- enjoy the snacks!


My handmade sign adorning my living room, visible to everyone going over the Manhattan Bridge :)

Speaking of my living room, got a scary old coffee table (like I do)? Upholster it! How easy and smart. [Via Craftzine]

Candy-schmandy. This is one holiday when you can indulge in something even better: deviled eggs! Here are nine recipes and a very thorough tutorial on making them perfect.

Halloween not your thing? How about prints? This weekend catch the Editions/Artist's Book Fair and the top-notch IFPDA show, and the recession-friendly $50-or-less show at Cannonball Press.

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Apartment Therapy's Coverage of the Furniture Festival

HUGE thanks to Miss Amy at Apartment Therapy for covering all four weeks of the Greenjeans Fall Furniture Festival at the Brooklyn Flea!

She posted about Week 4 today.

If you missed the Furn Fest or the coverage, here's the complete list of the Apartment Therapy links:

Week 1 (Oct. 5)
Week 2 (Oct. 12)
Week 3 (Oct. 19)
Week 4 (Oct. 26)

The furniture makers, the Brooklyn Flea, and I all greatly appreciate your time and attention to come back each week and report on our show, Amy. You totally rock!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image by Amy A. at Apartment Therapy, sourced here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Handwashing" Getting Some Legs

Thanks to the writers and bloggers who have recently picked up on my "handwashing" idea.

And please note to anyone mulling the issue: I do NOT mean handwashing to refer to those who really make things by hand.

I'm talking about faking or manipulating a handmade aesthetic or co-opting the idea of "hand-crafted" to look trendy. (I'm talking about YOU Michelob "Craft Beer" poster in the subway!)

Murketing (Oct. 24)
The Morning News (Oct. 27)
Closer Look (Oct. 28)

If you see a case of handwashing in your midst, send me a picture and I'll post it here!

Posted and image by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Civics Lesson: Who Elects the Electors?

Last night I was having dinner with friends, and as smart and informed as we all fancy ourselves to be, none of us could come up with an answer to this seemingly easy question:

Who elects the electors??

We all know that we don't really elect the president, the electors do.

But besides that, we didn't have a clue! So this morning I set out to learn more. Figuring we aren't alone in our mystification about the issue, I thought I'd share it with you.

How electors select the President
When you vote for a candidate, you're really voting for the electors pledged to vote for that candidate. In all states besides Maine and Nebraska, it's a winner-take-all situation, so whomever wins the popular vote gets all their party's electoral votes (barring any rogue activity by faithless electors...).

The electors are a group of 538 citizens who comprise the Electoral College. To win the Presidency, a candidate needs 270 electoral votes -- that's the magic number, 270.

Electoral Bingo
You can download a blank map with current electoral vote numbers like the one pictured above. Then on election night, you can play electoral bingo by filling in red or blue as each state goes to McCain or Obama and add up the numbers. Or use this handy dandy electoral calculator. When someone gets 270 votes, voila, the President!

Electoral Mechanics
According to the education materials on the National Archive's website on the topic...

"Each state is allocated a number of electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U.S. Representatives."

So, New York State, which as 29 house reps, has 31 electors. The site continues...

"The process for selecting electors varies throughout the United States. Generally, the political parties nominate electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party's central committee in each State."

To find our more about rules in your particular state, click here.

"Electors are often selected to recognize their service and dedication to their political party. They may be State-elected officials, party leaders, or persons who have a personal or political affiliation with the Presidential candidate."

So, there's the answer: NOBODY elects the electors.
They are essentially selected by the party machine.

How Electors Vote

Again from the National Archive's site: After electors are chosen, "Then the voters in each State choose the electors on the day of the general election. The electors' names may or may not appear on the ballot below the name of the candidates running for President, depending on the procedure in each State."

Soon after the Nov. 4 general election, each state must submit a Certificate of Ascertainment which lists the names of the electors chosen by the voters and the number of votes received.

On Dec. 15, each state holds the Meeting of Electors to deal with any problems or issues.

On Dec. 24, each state prepares and distributes the Certificate of Vote which lists all persons who received electoral votes for President and the number of electors who voted for each person.

On Jan. 6, Congress counts the electoral votes.

On Jan. 20, the new President is inaugurated.

Who are the electors this year?
Finding the names of the actual electors before the election is pretty hard -- in fact I can't find them anywhere online. But after the election the names become a matter of public record, and maybe will be found here after Nov. 4. Here's a list of the electors from the 2004 election. It is quite fascinating.

How are electors different from delegates?
Ummmm, I don't know. That's a topic for next primary season!

Don't forget to vote for your electors on Nov. 4! Class dismissed!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Furniture Festival - Pics from Last Day

What a perfectly gorgeous day we had on Sunday for the last day of our Fall Furniture Festival at the Brooklyn Flea!

With above-average attendance and nothing but blue skies, it was an enjoyable day for those who exhibited and those who came to check it out.

Click here for a slide show of 14 images from the day. Apartment Therapy was there again covering the scene, and I'll post a link to that, too, once it's up.

Exhibiting this week:

Anthony Sisto
Bergman Furniture (Scott Bergman)
Mine Metal/Art (Kristina Kozak)
SMC Furnishings (Amy & Brandon Phillips)
Standard 41 (Andrew Raible, who also showed on 10/5)
Wonk (who also showed on 10/19)

Ladies examining the beautiful white lacquered desk by Wonk.

Thank you to all the exhibitors and everyone who came out to see the Furn Fest, and to all the bloggers and press people who covered it before and during -- it was a huge success and we can't wait to do it again!

Sign up for our e-newsletter or stay tuned to Greenjeans Blog to find out when the next one is...

And remember, if you're in the market for new furniture, always check your LOCAL options first!
Scott Bergman of Bergman Furniture (r) -- who came down from Walcott, VT, to show in the Furn Fest -- and his brother (c) sit and talk with Steven, partner of by fave brocante dealer Un Jour, Georges.

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amy's Faves at the Brooklyn Flea

Looks like we're in for a fantastic day tomorrow -- sunny, mid-60s, a perfect day for grazing, shopping, and people-watching at the Brooklyn Flea!

I have been so focused on the Furniture Festival (did I mention tomorrow's the last day?) that I haven't been posting much about all the other great stuff cropping up at the Flea these days. So in anticipation that YOU will want to come tomorrow, here's my guide to the best of the Flea.

Follow along with the booth layout here if you want to plot your course.

Oh, and if you're working on your Halloween costume, need I say the Flea is THE place to find what you need? See this incredible gold lame cape recently spotted... Space Princess, anyone?

Here's my usual day of eating at the Flea. Yes, I'm amazed I eat all this too, but doing the Flea takes a LOT of energy!

During set-up: coffee and muffin from Choice Market (F4)

After set-up
: soft taco (not too spicy!) from Red Hook Ballfield vendor Hernando Martinez (F5) and lots of water

Around noon
: Soup from Artisanal Soups (F1) and a small brick oven pizza from Pizza Moto (F2)

Around 2:00
: Another coffee from Choice, plus a homemade cannoli from Salvatore Bklyn (E1) and/or a mini cupcake (or three) from Kumquat Cupcakery (E4)

An hour before take-down
: a cheese and bean pupusa from Redhook Ballfield vendor Rafael Soler (F6)

After take-down
: burgers from Five Guys in Brooklyn Heights or pasta from Grimaldi's. Or if I'm feeling like something cleaner and am not too tired, we head into Manhattan to Angelica's Kitchen or Soba-ya.

Image sourced from NY Times piece on food at the Flea here.

It's an occupational hazard, but I can't leave the Flea without buying at least something. These vendors are always happy to help feed my addiction:

FDR to JFK (B14)
For well-priced mid-century dishes, kitchen gadgets (everything works!), handbags, paint-by-numbers paintings, and much more, you can't beat the selections offered by ever-cheerful Paula and John.

Un Jour, Georges (L6)
I found the sweetest set of vintage Villeroy & Boch egg cups here a few weeks ago in perfect condition, for $20. Yum! French antiques and brocante share space with George's handmade floral centerpieces and mounted ostrich eggs, and plenty joie de vivre.

Shout Shimmy Records & Jellyroll Vintage (B16 & B17)
What's that awesome song? Wow, I've gotta have that! All your musical prayers will be answered when you visit Larry at Shout Shimmy Records. Jam to the funk while you peruse great vintage duds selected by Amy of Jellyroll Vintage.

Shoe Mine Sale (E25)
My favorite shoe store in Brooklyn, Shoe Mine, is having a blow-out sale at the Flea, and this is the second weekend. Get ready for sick deals of sweet kicks. Temah's famous hand-painted clogs are also on sale -- ridiculous!!

Unbreakable Records (E31)
Dollar records. Amazing selections. 'Nuf said.

LinkPicture from Country Living's recent coverage here.

There is SO much more that makes the Flea great -- the vintage kimonos, the many and varied antiques, the handmade stuff from Etsy sellers, the occasional designer sample or clearance sale.

The key is to just let yourself wander and explore. And keep eating so you don't get tired!

Hope to see you there on Sunday!

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans unless noted.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Snacks!

It's Friday -- enjoy the snacks!

Coverage from London's latest shows: Design/Art London and the Frieze Art Fair from American Craft Magazine's editor Andrew Wagner, and the London Design Festival from Inhabitat. [Bench by Pablo Reinoso at the Carpenter’s Workshop at Design/Art London sourced here.]

Smart perspective on Joe the Plumber from Murketing's Rob Walker. An excerpt: "I think Joe may be acting in the interest not of himself, but of a theoretical future self. When Joe told Obama “I’m being taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream,” he was, objectively speaking, wrong. He is not being taxed more and more, because he is not fulfilling the American dream.He is dreaming the American dream..." [Image sourced here.]

Speaking of plumbers, before you buy that "authentic wood" toilet seat cover from your local big-box, learn about the illegal international lumber trade in the New Yorker Outloud podcast [via Brooklyn Modern].

Speaking of big box stores, as more and more of them go out of business, USA Today reports on how towns are finding creative ways to reuse them: as schools, senior centers, and even museums. [Image by John Wise.]

Recipe for homemade vegan candy corn from The Urban Housewife, because even vegans sometimes need a holiday sugar fix.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

LAST DAY of Furniture Fest this Sunday

We have a fabulous line-up of local furniture makers (and one from VT!) on tap for the LAST DAY of the Fall Furniture Festival this Sunday.

I've been a bit under the weather this week, so for a nice preview of who's exhibiting this Sunday, check out Senor Flea's post on the Brooklyn Flea blog here.

Click here for more on the Furn Fest -- and hope to see you Sunday!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Report from Week 3 of Fall Furniture Festival

Week Three of the Greenjeans Fall Furniture Festival, held at the Brooklyn Flea on Oct. 19, was fantastic!

See all the pictures here.

This week we featured work by seven designer/makers based in Brooklyn:

4Korners (Scott Raffaele, table pictured top right)
Aswoon (Susan Woods)
Benton Custom (Roger Benton)
Counter Evolution NYC (Jim Malone, who also showed on 10/12)
Nightwood (Nadia Yaron and Myriah Scruggs)
Uhuru (Bill Hilgendorf and Jason Hogarth, who also showed on 10/5)

Over 4000 visitors passed through the Flea on Sunday, braving the suddenly seasonal weather to see great local furniture, taste delicious food, and enjoy the always evolving scene that is the inimitable Brooklyn Flea.

We also enjoyed a third welcome visit from Apartment Therapy, who beat me to the punch this week with their blog coverage of the Furniture Festival booth. So did Reclaimed Home. Thanks, guys!

This coming Sunday is the LAST DAY of our Fall Furniture Festival, and it's a biggie -- I have nine furniture makers on tap to show! So come on by and check it out!

(The list of this Sunday's exhibitors will be posted soon... stay tuned.)

Taking a card for future reference to Counter Evolution NYC.

A pooped kid experiments with lounging on this ribbon-y chair by Susan Woods of Aswoon.

Overall view of the booth, with Aswoon at front (ribbony low chair and steel screen).

Here, Flea organizers Eric Demby (left) and Jonathan Butler (right) help to wheel in the brick oven used to make the most tasty and toothsome mini-pizzas you could ever want. (In fact I had two on Sunday, and am craving one right now....)

Posted and photos by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obamaware by Ayumi Horie

Hudson Valley potter Ayumi Horie has organized an auction of "Obamaware" that kicked off last night and ends on Wednesday. Proceeds go to the Obama/Biden campaign, and there are some awesome mugs, cups, and plates to bid on.

27 ceramic artists have contributed work including Alleghany Meadow's elegant bowls, Julia Galloway's Vote for Hope cup, and the organizer's own awesome mugs.

There are a LOT of items to select from, so browse and bid away!

Link to the Ebay auction here.

Learn about the ceramic artists here.

Read an essay about the project here written by Greenwich House Pottery director Sarah Archer.

This is a great way to both support ceramic arts and the Obama campaign. Great contribution to the cause, Ayumi!

P.S. Love Ayumi Horie's work? Check out her annual studio sale this weekend!

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image via Ayumi Horie.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday Snacks!

Due to being unexpectedly out of town last Friday, I missed offering you Friday Snacks, my weekly links list. So I'm topping this week's helping with seconds...

Enjoy the Snacks!

Autumn is chrysanthemum season, and here are two very special examples:
LEFT: a diamond and conch brooch by Tiffany & Co. [seen in Nov. 08 issues of Vanity Fair] RIGHT: Skateboard Flower by Ted Hunter [via Craftzine].

Don't miss Alexander Calder: The Paris Years 1926-1933 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. I went to the opening Wed. night and it is WONDERFUL, full of playful, imaginative wire sculpture, line drawings, early abstractions, and his awesome circus, with lots of historical video footage. Thru Feb. 15, 2009.

Craving a a feast of delicious little perfectly-lit paintings? Go see the shamelessly beautiful show Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton at the New Museum. Thru Jan. 11, 2009.

Peek inside the mysterious Brooklyn Navy Yard through photos and video [Via Brownstoner, image from Bluejake].

A recipe to make your own (and my favorite) "Samoa" Girl Scout Cookies [Via Craftzine].

Last but not least, the editors of Living Crafts magazine sent me some sample copies to check out a while back, and I don't think I ever mentioned it. I think it's a wonderful mag: it has the cleverness of Martha with a much warmer, more kid-friendly angle, and conveys the reassuring/edifying mood of Yoga Journal. (Think: how to make Waldorf-y felted wool animals, instructions for a DIY travel candle, and a lovely meditation on what tangled yarn has to teach us.)

I wanted to make practically all of the projects described, and have kept the copies in my "keep" pile over a half dozen mag-sorting binges. Living Crafts is worth checking out for anyone who enjoys making stuff (especially fiber-based), and definitely worth subscribing to if you like doing projects with kids. (It's about $20 for year of quarterly issues.)

Live local? Come check out week 3 of the Fall Furniture Festival this Sunday.

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Showing this Sunday @ the Furniture Festival

How much furniture-making talent can one borough hold?

Come find out this Sunday when we present work by seven more Brooklyn-based furniture designer/makers at the Greenjeans Fall Furniture Festival at the Brooklyn Flea!

Top right:
Curvaceous lounge chairs (like the one Jae's trying out here) and undulating screens by Aswoon.

Minimalist pieces with hints of color by Wonk.

Counter Evolution NYC returns with long lean pieces made from salvaged bowling alley wood.

Uhuru is also back this week with their bourbon barrel and truck spring Bilge Chair, and other pieces.

Flea regulars Nightwood will be exhibiting in the Furniture Fest booth this week, and I'm told the two lovely ladies have collaborated on new pieces just for the Fest!

Salvaged wood becomes fabulous furniture in the hands of 4 Korners.

Benton Custom will show this rad three-tiered table along with other pieces built in his workshop at Bushwick's 3rd Ward.

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Images by Greenjeans or courtesy of the furniture makers.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Report from Week 2 of Fall Furniture Festival

If you missed Week 2 of the Greenjeans Fall Furniture Festival at the Brooklyn Flea, it was a great day with perfect weather and an awesome group of furniture makers.

Here is a slideshow of pictures I took this past Sunday (Oct. 12).

Six Brooklyn-based furniture designer/makers exhibited this week along with Brian Braskie of Canterbury, NH:

Counter Evolution NYC (Jim Malone)
December Box (Mark Williams)
New York City Water Tower Furniture (David Gibbs)
Palo Samko
Scott Behr
Todd McCollister

There are two more Sundays in October, which means there are two more Furn Fest weeks to come -- on Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 -- and a LOT more to see...

Learn more about the Furn Fest here.

See pictures from Week 1.

Posted and images by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trip to Hyde Park, NY

After completing a monstrous freelance project, and needing some respite from all the bad financial news, I packed a bag on Thursday and whisked Jae off for a spontaneous short vacation.

I was craving broad vistas and fresh air, and felt a pull toward the Hudson Valley. And with all the comparisons to the Great Depression buzzing around (which with today's market re-bound seem irrelevant, but we'll see) I thought a pilgrimage to the home and presidential library of Franklin Delano Roosevelt would perhaps bring some inspiration and insight.

So we headed for Hyde Park, NY, where we visited historic sites, ate great food at Twist and the Culinary Institute of America, and stayed in a quiet, clean little motel for next to nothing. (Read my Yelp reviews of Twist and the Roosevelt Inn.)

It was lovely, refreshing, and only about 2 hours from Brooklyn. If you're needing a dose of fresh air and fall foliage, I recommend it!

Image at top right: entrance to FDR's house.

Down the driveway to FDR's house, Springwood.

The FDR Library had a great exhibition about Roosevelt's first 100 days, during which time he launched his many New Deal programs and overturned prohibition. Here are a couple snippets of the wall text -- indeed!

The FDR Presidential Library also houses a collection of items related to his (arguably more interesting) wife, Eleanor Roosevelt. An avid knitter, this is her knitting bag -- she was working on a little blue sweater when she passed away. Next time, I'm going to visit her house too.

The very inspiring full quote reads:
"Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight."

In the stables, I noticed the auspicious name of one of the Roosevelt horses.

We also visited the Vanderbilt Mansion up the street. This is the back portico. This is all that would fit into my camera frame from where I sat on the grass overlooking...

... this view of the Hudson Valley. Heaven!

We returned Friday night, but took Saturday off too, relaxing in the park and watching movies. Yesterday was Week 2 of the Fall Furniture Festival at the Brooklyn Flea, and I'll be reporting on that soon. Vacation is great, and now it's back to work!

Posted and images by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.