Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Brooklyn Indie Market

A full day in the elements. Below freezing temperatures and a snow storm! I met other awesome venders and some wonderful customers. Unveiled my new Baby Basil Amethyst Ring and my Garlic Clove Necklace. Both soon to be on Etsy. Here's quick photo of me modeling the Garlic Clove Necklace. By the end of the night it had sold!
Good complements and conversations. It is nice to get out of cyberworld once in awhile and see some live faces! Drank hot coco, coffee, green tea, chai, pretty much anything warm was amazing!
Some heat packets stuffed in my socks over my toes saved me. Those outdoor December venders are tough cookies.
By the end of the day, I was worn out. But would I do it all again?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Craft Show this Saturday!

Production has been in full force lately. And for good reason. And here are photos of my shop to prove it!
Hightower Botanicals will be at the "Handmade Holiday Craft Fair" this Saturday, December 12th in Brooklyn, NY at the 3rd Ward!!! I have been burning the midnight oil getting ready for my first craft show. I will have my herb and seed necklaces, along with a few new things, and some surprises. (hint hint- cookies on the house!)
If you are in town, stop by. It is more of a shopping party than your typical craft fair. Many many designers, the first 300 people get a free tote bag, live music, free coffee, food and drinks, a V.J....(ha! I laughed at that one), demos, free silkscreening and much much more.
Click HERE for the 3rd Ward, And HERE for a map.
Directions to the 3rd Ward:
Take the L line to the Grand Street stop. Head East on Grand Street (the school will be on your right). Take a Right on Morgan Ave. We're #195, between Meadow and Stagg.
We are also easily accessible from the Montrose and Morgan Ave. stops on the L train
Take either the Q54 or Q59 bus to Grand St. at Morgan Ave. Walk South on Morgan.
Take the B13 to Stagg St. & Bushwick Ave. Walk East on Stagg until you reach Morgan.
From the BQE (I-278), exit on Meeker Avenue and take a left onto Morgan Avenue.
From Manhattan, take the Williamsburg Bridge (stay right) to the 2nd exit (S. 5th St.) and take a left at the 1st light. Take a right at the next light (Borinquen, which becomes Grand St.) Take a right onto Morgan.
Street parking is available check posted signs.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Best Turkey Ever!

This year I slooooooow roasted a turkey. The result were tender, moist, flavorful and delicious.

Sunday morning- I bought a 20lb all natural beauty from Trader Joe's.
Defrosted for three days. Partly frozen, it had until Tuesday night.
I then put in a giant ziploc bag with a solution of saltwater, maple syrup, raw sugar, lemon juice, a couple bay leaves, and thyme.
In the brine for about 12 hours.
Wednesday afternoon, out of the brine. Rinsed thoroughly. Outside and in the cavity. No stuffing this time. I wanted to keep it all meat.
Set my oven to 400 degrees and rubbed melted butter all over the bird .
Cooked for about 1 hour, 15 minutes at 400 degrees to burn off the surface bacteria and brown the skin. Then we got down to the business of slow cooking. Now, this was Wednesday afternoon at around 3. A full day before Thanksgiving dinner. I lowered the oven to 200 degrees. The turkey cooked all night and into Thursday. Around 10am I raised the oven to 225. I was a little leery of under cooking since I had not tried this slow cooking method before. So I raised the temperature again to 250 and then to 350. I think next time I'll keep it low. Cooked until 2pm. A full 25 hours. The meat thermometer read 185. Let it sit for 30 minutes. My boyfriend carved the bird. We served it with homemade Cranberry sauce. I had never made cranberry sauce from scratch before. Wow! Not hard and so much better than the canned stuff. All you do is put a cup of orange juice in a pan (I squeezed my own!). A cup of raw sugar and 12 oz of fresh cranberries. Melt the sugar, simmer and stir until the cranberries begin to pop*. Refrigerate and the sauce will thicken.
Thanksgiving dinner was held around 3. Dinner was delicious. All Thanksgiving staples were served. Mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato and apple casserole, garlic bread. All that mouth watering food covered our table and everyone had enough to eat. We sat around the table- my boyfriend, his mom and brother and me. Ate, talked, ate, laughed, ate... A Good time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You are a natural beauty.

Holy shit this is so cool!
Its native gold on white quartz from California!
And only $2,250. Ha!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

rocks, gems, cabs, trees,

Pennsylvania day trip. Met a friend at a gem show.

Country radio blaring down the freeway. Trees rolling beyond the horizon. I had the open road away from city grime. Yee ha!!!

My finds: Turqouise, Varicite, Mookite, a raw Emerald and raw Rubies.
Mmmm Mmmm pretty.

Friday, November 13, 2009

New! custom 18 karat pendant

Oooo, Friday the 13th!
AND my photo importing froze up at the 13th photo!...something haunting my computer perhaps?

A lovely customer wanted the "Helicopter Maple Seed Necklace" as a charm. No chain, just the maple seed. And she wanted it in 18 karat gold.
Great! Sounded like fun to make. And it was! 18 kt gold= luxury to work with!

Friday, November 6, 2009


Here is me at my day job! I make molds, cast sculptures, fabricate, help set up film and photo shoots among other things.
Notice my big glasses... I won't be wearing those anymore. Yesterday I had LASIK surgery!!! Upon arriving at the doctors office I took a Vicodin and Xanax. I swallowed the pills gratefully and waited for a wave of relaxation to fall over me. It didn't happen. I was so amped up. I kept thinking, when will I relax? Can I make a run for it? The elevator is right in front of me...
The final waiting room was next to the operating room. When we arrived, another patient was waiting for her procedure. She was excited. Happy. A guy walked out of the operating room. Everyone whipped around to take a good look at him. He looked good! Wearing big sunglasses, lead the way out. "Wow" I thought, it cant be that bad. More patients filed into the room. Most accompanied by a partner who was trying to downplay the foreboding situation. Me and my fellow nearsighted patients sat facing one another listening to the sound of the laser cutting. K.K.K.K.K.K.K.K. A grating, high pitched sound. "That's her eyeball being cut!"
One big tough looking guy sat by his girlfriend staring solemnly. He was silent. The woman beside him whispered into his ear and he sat fixed. Trying to transport himself out of that room. "He was so nervous." my boyfriend later told me. That guy was not alone. My heart was pounding, hands fidgeting, trying to breath. We were all anticipating something unspeakable. One by one the patients were released from the room. Everyone looked a little dazed. Reborn. Gone would be waking to fuzzy faces. Gone would be my headaches from glasses pushed against nose and temples. Gone was the insufferable irritation and pain from wearing contacts.
I was in the operating room for about 15 minutes. The doctor and nurses were so nice and comforting. They talked me through everything. I held onto two stress balls under a blanket. I tried to squeeze and my hands wouldn't make a fist. Maybe those drugs were working! First they put lots of numbing drops in my eyes. I was terrified that those drops weren't enough. "You can put more" I laughed. The Vicodin was kicking in. It was hard not to smile. I was getting LASIK!
A big suction cup latched onto my eyeball steadying them for the initial laser cuts. The computer operated laser cut a flap into both eyes over my cornea and the doctor bent the flaps over. The doctor check and rechecked everything. I was temporarily blind with the flaps up. Only a fuzzy grey and a faint blinking light. "Keep looking at the light"
"Oh, there it is" I laughed. "Holy shit" I said to myself. "I can't feel the cutting, just some pressure. Its OK. Everything is going to be OK."
I wore big full face "retirement" sunglasses while my boyfriend drove me home. The rest of the day was spent in bed. I felt like I had an eyelashes in my eyes. Some stinging. But sleep heals. The eye's are amazingly resilient.
Today, I am taking off from my day job. The doctor said that I can go back to work today but for my job, I don't think so. Too much dust and fumes there and I want to play it safe. I will take it easy this weekend. My sight is AMAZING now! I have some halos around bright lights at night. This is normal. My eyes are dry and this is normal. I have three types of eye drops, and they are my best friends right now.
I will have a check up later today, I expect my vision will be near perfect.
This is a life changing event. I am so happy with my decision to get LASIK! I have had surges of emotion throughout this journey. Tears well up when the reality hits me that I can see. I just received a text from my wonderful boyfriend, "How's life with the new eyes?"
It is incredible!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

gourds for fall

Love the textures.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Best Vampire!

In the spirit of halloween I want to share my baby vamp necklace from Bittersweets NY which is an awesome jewelry store specializing in the delightfully grotesque.
I have the rose gold version and I love love love it. Bite me, please!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New HB Facebook Fan Page!

Hightower Botanicals caved! We are now on Facebook!

Getting ready for 2010, we are now part of the mighty interweb giant of profiles and status updates.
It will be The Place for discounts, new designs, my Brick and Mortar consignment shops... good stuff. SO, fan me!!!
And don't worry, I will continue to blog about everything and anything that strikes my fancy here on Blogger.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Delicious Bath and Body Shop

Succulent aromas fill my bathroom every day and I have to share!

I bought the "Woodland Rose -Creamy Shea and Mango Soap" from "Soft Shell Bath and Body Shop" recently. This soap is made from scratch. It smells outrageously good! A rosy, creamy mango comfort in my nose after every shower. Wow. And fragrance lingers on my skin after the shower so I can savor it. The Woodland Rose blend is not currently available, guess its a summer fragrance. But I have confidence in ALL of Soft Shell's soaps and highly recommend.

I also purchased the "All Natural Facial Oil". A unique blend of high quality oils. Watermelon Oil is one of the main ingredients! Yeah, Watermelon oil! "How weird", I thought when I first read the description. How much oil can you get out of a watermelon? The blend here is really different. Rosehip Seed oil, Jojoba oil, Plum Kernel oil, Orchid extract... Actually the first time I opened up the bottle and dotted my finger I was confused by the smell. A bit earthy, floral, citrus, spicy. I just didn't know what to think. But I tried it and it felt good on my face. I have a mix of dry and oil skin. According the Soft Shell, this facial oil is good for both. So I continued to use it. My face feels great and now and the scent has grown on me. I can appreciate the complexity of exotic (for me!) ingredients. definitely recommend this facial oil for anyone with dry/ problem skin.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lancaster county, PA

I went to Pennsylvania Dutch Country yesterday for a day trip. Rainy, but we decided to go anyways and just go with it.
At an Amish roadside stand. Everything was glowing with color. I picked out three gourds and a pumpkin. Going to make pumpkin soup!

Wilbur Chocolates americana museum and store in Lititz. "Road Apples" can be found here only I believe! Amish country!
And here are some old chocolate molds! Wilbur chocolates is the oldest continuously running chocolate factory!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gearing up for Halloween

Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft.
Two of the greatest horror writers, perfect for Halloween! I've been wanting to make a treasury in honor of them for awhile. Finally snagged one! "Lovecraft, Poe, Oz and Ozzy!!!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love letters to my new designs!

Ahhh, Sweet Basil! So green, so succulent... we will meet again next spring dear Basil!
But Sweet Basil, I have you now... everlasting in silver!

Raw Rose Quartz. I love your light pink hues. Iridescent layers. Soothing feel of your stone...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beware, the Basilisk

Get out your Basil leaves! For they are considered the best cure for a basilisk bite. That is, If you haven't looked him in the eyes yet. Those eyes hold a great power- instant DEATH! Some say you will drop dead to the ground. Others say you will turn to stone.
I found this awesome basilisk illustration by Richard Svensson.
Consider yourself warned and keep a lookout! If you do see him, advert your eyes and now you know what to do. Grab a basil leaf... I wonder if a Basil Leaf Necklace works just as well!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

studying spinning maple seeds

You know, the "helicopters" that you threw as kids. Looks like playing around with maple seeds has gone to a whole new level. I found this cool photo of a maple seed in an article for the California Institute of Technology.

Here is a quote from the article-
"Maple seeds could represent the most basic and simple design for a miniature helicopter, if the swirling wing could be powered by a micromotor," says Lentink. Single-rotor helicopters have been built and flown successfully with wing spans of roughly a meter, but never at the scale of a maple seed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New stuff!

baby basil studs
I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Etsy Labs

Last night I went to my second Etsy lab craft night! Etsy headquarters are in Dumbo, Brooklyn, under the Brooklyn Bridge.
I have to say that the first time I walked into the space that is Etsy I was nervous! After spending hours and hours in front of my computer in Etsyland It feels like some kind of a friend. So being there in person was actually really weird! Interweb Etsy is real. Dumbo Etsy is am impostor!
I did see some homemade looking soap at the sink...
For me craft night is reverting back to art class in kindergarten. Last night we made exquisite corpse cards with Esther K. Smith. Esther demonstrated how to make our own Halloween cards with magazine cut-outs, including some magazine paper used to clean her press so the paper had a pretty metallic ink wash over it. Made for great craft supplies. Esther was a very good teacher. I pretty much used the colored pencils. Like I said, I was back in kindergarten! I made some new friends, and will be back!

Esther's website for Purgatory Pie Press, a bookmaking and printmaking company.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cleaning Silver

I've heard about an easy cleaning method for silver tarnish. Memories of a lazy Sunday afternoon a few years ago. Me watching an infomercial about a book of home remedies. The frantic salesman on TV demonstrating entries in the book. Little sneak peaks. This one really caught my eye. It seemed so cool, cleaning silver in an aluminum pan.
Well, I finally tried it out today and its awesome! Easy and cheap. Most likely you will have everything that you need on hand!
Baking Soda, Salt, Aluminum pan or foil, hot water. And my dog Gunny's helping!

Get a disposable Aluminum pan like I have here or line one of your pans with aluminum foil.
1Tbs Baking Soda and 1Tbs Salt into the pan. Heaping Tbs's are fine!
Boil some hot water and pour a little bit into the pan.
Stir for a second and dissolve most of the mix.
Dunk your tarnished silver in!
Watch it clean magically.
I don't recommend trying this on jewelry with gemstones. Some stones might be fine, but i would do some research first. Also, don't clean your oxidized jewelry this way. It will take the oxidation off too.

Its so cool! Here are my tarnished silver necklaces. Tarnish city! Especially the feather necklace. Its so dirty! I cant see how dunking that into anything will clean it.

Let the silver soak. Depending on how dirty it is, a few seconds might be good enough. Or a few minutes. I scrubbed the feather some with the undissolved solution in the aluminum... it was so dirty.

And here they are a few minutes later!!!