Saturday, December 11, 2010

Amy Sedaris, a national treasure

Last Saturday Amy had a book signing and craft demo at Spacecraft, an adorable store in Brooklyn. We learned how to make her Marshmallow stars that are in her new book, "Simple Times, Crafts for Poor People".
I gave her a Hightower Botanicals Garlic Necklace and she put it on! We love you Amy!!!!!

Tomorrow she's at the Bust Craftacular.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cucumber Carrot Juice

On a cucumber juice roll!
So this time I used my Jack La'Lanne juicer. Added one cucumber and three carrots. Using a juicer filtered out all the chunks and made a much waterier juice but I still got a lot of juice out of one cucumber. The carrot/ cucumber combo was a little tart. Next time I'll throw in some fruit too.
Guess it depends if your in the mood for juice (use a juicer) or more of a chunky smothie (blender). Either way, keep those cucumbers coming!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cucumber Pineapple Juice

Yum! I had this at a restaurant last week. It was so awesome, I had to make it at home.

Cucumber is great for reducing swelling. I'm 36 weeks pregnant now and on hot summer days my hands, feet and legs start to balloon up like sausages. This drink makes me feel really good. But of course this juice is good for anyone.

Its easy! Chop up a couple cucumbers and a pineapple and get some ice. (Fresh Pineapple is best.) Throw it into the blender. To fit more in I blended just the cucumber/ pineapple for a minute and then added ice. But, I think it would have blended easier with ice on the bottom.

Next time, I'll add ice, cucumber and pineapple chunks all mixed up in the blended for an easier blend.


Now, if you don't like lots of chunks peel the cucumbers.
Blend away... if you really don't like chunks, you can strain the blended juice now. Otherwise it turns out a little foamy and has some texture (from the cucumbers I'm guessing). I think the restaurant did this.
I don't mind the extra body so I drank mine right away.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cracking the Cilantro

"Uggh." Eyes rolling back into her head.
"Keep that cilantro away from me."
Then. A minute later.
"Well, at least you killed it to make the necklace."

While sitting at my craft fair table I have come to expect this sort of remark. People out there HATE cilantro. I mean really despise it. To the point of shuddering and staring at there friend standing next to them like, "You know how bad it is, don't you???" I just sit at my booth, staring at my cilantro necklaces wondering what is going on here! "Its guacamole season people!"

Growing up, I was fed a standard meat and potatoes diet. It was all American food. Salt and pepper was usually the spice of choice and things like hummus or curry or cilantro were not in my vocabulary. My Mom and Dad liked the crock pot filled with beef, potatoes, carrots, a little onion, maybe one garlic clove and if was getting crazy, throw in some celery too. I was the rebellious daughter who snuck chili powder and garlic into the stew. Of course came dinner time panic shook the kitchen table, "What did you put in here!?" ready to spit on me.
I remember the first time I ate something with cilantro in it. It was a salad of some sort.
My Mom's best friend was a professional cook who did catering. She was always trying out new exotic recipes. I remember going over to her house and feeling like her kitchen held culinary discoveries. I think it was a pasta salad. All I remember is the foreign taste. So different. For the first second it did taste bad. Maybe soapy now that I think of it. But, after that night I fell in love with the mysterious taste. I wanted more. My love for cilantro was born.

So now that I have witnessed so many craft fair goers adversity with cilantro. I finally did some research. How else to explain this craziness? After reading a few articles, turns out Cilantro holds a few olfactory tricks up its leafy sleeve. The Coriander leaf... aka Cilantro... has aldehyde's which are very similar or the same as soap and some bugs such as stink bugs. All right all of you weirdo's. I guess there is a reason for your Cilantro disgust. Here's a great NPR article on this cilantro conundrum.

Like the girl said, at least I killed the leaf to make the necklace! If you are one of those who is sensitive to cilantro's aldehyde's think the Hightower Botanical's cilantro jewelry as an alter to cilantro. The leaf is forever preserved as metal holding its evil smelly powers hostage and even warding off the live plant! Or maybe not if you actually like cilantro like me. Cast cilantro can plays homage to the herb too.
What can I say? I like my spices.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Renegade Raffle

Come to the Renegade Craft Fair tomorrow and enter to win in a seriously amazing raffle. One blessed person will win a gift package from Jezebel, a $250 gift certificate to Bittersweets NY and a Hightower Botanicals Helicopter Necklace! We are in booth 246.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gold "brass knuckles ring"

"Amazing ring! Love it!! Ordering the groom's band from here too!"

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brooklyn Indie Market!

Hightower Botanicals with special guest, Gunny Hightower!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 29th- Brooklyn Indie Market

Hightower Botanicals hits the craft fairs again!

Come meet us at the Brooklyn Indie Market.
This Saturday, 11-7, Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, NY
Intersection of Smith and Union Street.
Gunny will be there too!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kings County General Store

Tomorrow, 12-5.
Park Slope Brooklyn. Meet me and my jewelry!!!
Unveiling new designs!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Congratulations Mary!!!

Mary ordered a maple seed ring and turns out it was for her wedding band! A "flying helicopter" holds a special place dear to Mary...

"The picture does not begin to do this beautiful ring justice - it is much more delicate, brighter and amazingly intricate.
I am wearing it as a wedding band til death do us! Thank you, Julee, for my "Fly Ring", a one of a kind symbol of our marriage - we fly where God calls us.
Poem - "Fly" -
The transaction was very smooth. Julee communicates well with buyers and ships quickly.The ring was nicely gift packaged and Julee even included a polishing cloth in a personal card. Buy from Julee with confidence. ~ Mary ~"

Much love, wishing you the best!

Friday, May 14, 2010


My Rattlesnake Vertebrae and Moishe came in the mail today. I LOVE them!

roadkill has always been one of my favorite Etsy shops. Back when I first discovered Etsy I was searching for cast jewelry and this awesome antler necklace popped up and I though, "Wow! There is actually some great stuff on this site!"
So I just did a trade with roadkill!!!!! Its an awesome store, go check them out!
I finally asked Elaine Ho, the stores owner, if she would be interested in trading a
nd she was! I love my new necklaces. Moishe is soooo cute and a cha
racter from one of my favorite childhood books, "Where the Wild Things are" by Maurice Sendak. Haven't seen the new movie yet... on my list
of things to do. And the Rattlesnake Vertebrae is special for me too because where I grew up was ripe with rattlesnakes and I remember watching my dad skin a rattlesnake once. We used to find old bones too. I thought they were so cool looking how the vertebrae bones fit together like a puzzle.

Thanks Eliane!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

and the Rosemary Ring found a good home...

"A lovely, well-made ring from a very sweet seller! Thanks so much, Julee, for your quick responses to my convos and your faster-than-lightning creation of the ring and shipping. Packaging was pretty, too; a very nice transaction all around!"

Thanks Liz!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Making a Rosemary Ring

Here's a little tour of my Rosemary Ring making process.

All of my herbal casting start with making a mold off a real plant leaf or seed. I couldn't find any photos of my making the Rosemary mold, but <------here is one half of it finished. Its silicon rubber with the negative imprint of a Rosemary leaf which creates a negative space. Like if the Rosemary leaf disappeared in the rubber.
Making a mold is messy and time consuming work. And now that I'm expecting, I wont be making any molds for quite a while... the chemicals don't mix well with baby making! But luckily, I have lots of molds already made and you can use them over and over again.
After I have my mold (or molds) I melt wax in an old coffee pot double boiler. Then I close the mold and pour hot wax in filling the negative space.

The wax cools and then I have a cute wax replica of my Rosemary leaf. This is cast into silver using another mold making process... more on that later.

For the Rosemary Ring I use two cast Rosemary leaves.
They come out of the "oven" a little rough so some filing is needed.

When I have two perfect leaves I bend them into a rough ring shape keeping in mind the desired ring size.

Then, I clamp the two leaves in the correct position and solder them together one side at a time.

More filing and fine tuning. Lots of polishing.

I have made a beautiful shiny ring!

And YES, It is hard to keep long nails while making jewelry!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair

Mark your calenders!
June 5th and 6th, 11am-7pm
Hightower Botanicals will be at the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, New York!

Look for us at the Bittersweets NY booth, our good friends who feature Hightower Botanicals in their store from time to time.
Stop by and say hi! Try on Hightower Botanicals jewelry in person! Enjoy the summer outdoors! We will offer deep discounts...
And free snacks, entertainment (our lovely personalities), and will be surrounded by amazing handmade crafts with everything between clothing and accessories to pottery and housewares and of course, awesome jewelry!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

growing babies

So. Its been what, a month since I showed you my indoor garden! Wow. Well, lots has happened over here at Hightower Botanicals. The herbs are growing well despite being stuck indoors. Purple basil wins for the fastest growing herb. The wildflowers and Nasturtium are out in front though growing with outright passion! And they are not all that's been growing rapidly around here... I am having a baby!!!!! At first I was sick, tired, and not just tired. I mean exhausted beyond all know reality for me. As a result, my jewelry was pretty much abandoned. I was also nervous about the toxic exposure from soldering and working with metal. At my day job I quit working in the shop immediately after discovering my pregnancy. Luckily, I have other, cleaner work to do there now.
And, I am back to the neglected Hightower Botanicals shop now! I have passed the first trimester and am now healthy in the second. With safety practices I am making jewelry again for Etsy and for some upcoming craft shows...(stay posted) Life is good. I have discovered a whole new world in pregnancy. My husband and I are so excited and happy to start a family.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Garden Power

I am sick of being confined to my yard-less apartment. I'm growing an indoor herb garden this year! Just planted seeds in a little sprouter box. This is the first time I've used one and I'm very excited! I'm going all natural with only organic herbs this year. I bought herbs from two lovely etsy stores, The Little Ragmuffin and Homegrown Healthy. I doubt the sprouter kit is organic but its so cool, like miniature burlap sacks filled with soil, and when I transfer the baby plants to pots and boxes I'll use organic soil so good enough for me.
My husband and I are looking forward to fresh herbs this season. We will have so many yummy choices! Sweet and Purple Basil, Chives, Dill, Cilantro and edible flowers... I want to add mint and mini tomatoes and peppers too (but my space is limited so we will see). So many cooking possibilities and for flavor fresh usually far out beats dried.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Botanical Pottery

Hawthorne Pottery
is an Etsy shop that i came across while searching for Rosemary stuff. Since I am an avid herb lover, sometimes I peruse the Etsy's gigantic library of goods in search of herb-related items. Usually, I gotta say that I'm pretty dissapointed... nonetheless, I was very excited finding Hawthorne Pottery! They have some great stuff.

And, I just bought this beautiful mulberry leaf imprint soap or serving dish!!! I think I'm going to put it on my bedroom dresser for jewelry. Thanks Hawthorne Pottery!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh don't forget the Meteorites!

A few weeks ago I visited The American Museum of Natural History in New York. This is my all time favorite New York City museum. Its been a few years since I've made the hike, I only live down in Brooklyn but its a 50 minute subway ordeal to get there. Well, I rarely venture into Manhattan actually! Only if I have to. But, despite the tunnels and lines and transfers, this museum is so worth it!
For every ones inner child. And if you have any kiddies, they will love this place!
The Hall of Meteorites always gets me excited! How cool is it to see a giant rock of stone and iron that fell from space. The Hall of Minerals is awesome too...
Natural gold nuggets-

Beautiful, giant opals-
Stunning quartz crystals-
There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy and its charm.
-Theodore Roosevelt