Cirque Americana x99

Each year, our marvelous Springfield Art Museum throws a party with a purpose, called “99x.” The purpose is that the museum raises money to restore permanent pieces for the next 99 years. So clever!

Both of us have been fortunate enough to put our creative crazy visions to work for the last two years. They don’t even check in on us! They trust us! Now that’s crazy.

Last year, the theme was “Gilded Glamour,” where we were inspired by John Frederick Kensett’s “Shore Landscape.” Stephanie was invited to create an interactive tableau, using the Newport Beach estate ”

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My project was to paint an interpretation of one of the Newport estates, using ‘illuminated’ qualities. It was then turned into a 10-foot wall hanging that was displayed in the lobby of the museum.

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It was such a magical, glowing night!

This year, though…was even better. The theme was “Cirque Americana,” where we celebrated Ben Messick and his clown paintings. Stephanie’s company Queen City Blooms was asked to help do a floral carousel-inspired centerpiece in the museum’s lobby, while I created an interactive tableau of a fortune teller.

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We had *so* much fun. Already we’re talking about collaborating on a tableau together next year. With so many talented and amazing artists in the area, though, the competition is fierce!

Looking to add a bit of fortune, gold, and circus-inspired bling to your life? Keep reading!

Book Club Bingo!

The Mixed Print Bookclub is relatively new, as in, I think it’s only met two or three times. But my other bookclub, Well Fed Head, has been meeting for about 15 years.

FIFTEEN YEARS!

The club originated from a local indie bookstore, Well Fed Head. Every month we meet, discuss, drink, laugh, and catch up. Recently, the concept of Book Club Bingo evolved, where we’d check off boxes from things our group says.

“A good yarn.”

“George Saunders.”

“The movie adaptation will be released…”

So of course I had to make our own set!

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photo by Lyndsey Strahan

We had so much fun, it made me want to make more cards, that are more generic for a variety of clubs.

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Want to play? Click the link to download your own version. The first three people to comment with what their club is reading will get a FREE download.

Happy reading!

Backpack, Backpack

Remember when wearing backpacks with both straps on your shoulders was uncool?

21 Jump Street

{photo via Slate article, which makes me SO HAPPY that there’s been an investigative study}

Personally, I was almost always a two-strapper, because it was just more comfortable. I had A LOT of books in those backpacks, because…well, I was a classic nerd. And classic nerds used both straps to keep their backs upright (well…as upright as possible while still maintaining their low self-esteem poor posture).

Thankfully, the garment itself, a backpack, will never go out of style. It’s practical, it can be “cool,” and it’s easy on the back. A win-win-win!

Easy Bruschetta

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Living in the midwest affords us plenty of farm-fresh fare. This year, my family re-joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) at Millsap Farms. We belonged a few years ago, and it was such an amazing experience. Each week we’d receive a box of fruits & vegetables. To offset the cost, we’d work the farm a few days over the season, which was an eye-opening experience. I mean, who even knew what Kohlrabi is!?

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This year, we are more hands-off, and the box of produce is delivered to our house, and we paid extra to skip the work hours. But the vegetables still taste oh so delicious! And each week, we’ve been receiving a giant bag of basil and a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes. That means one thing: BRUSCHETTA!

Now, I’m no connoisseur. But I do know that I like my bruschetta garlicky, oily, and full of flavor. So here’s how I make mine:

INGREDIENTS:

  • cherry tomatoes (pint)
  • about 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of basil
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • can of artichokes (drained)
  1. Slice the tomatoes in half. Put in a bowl.
  2. Roll up the basil leaves and cut them into thin strips for a chiffonade. { –> How to Chiffonade Basil via The Pioneer Woman }
  3. Add basil to tomatoes, drizzle balsamic vinegar to quickly coat the tomatoes. Start with a little, you can add more later.
  4. Chop the drained artichokes into bite-size pieces or smaller. Add to bowl.
  5. Mix everything together.
  6. In a skillet, add a few tablespoons olive oil and the garlic, and heat until just brown. Pour the garlic and oil on top of the tomatoes. Let marinate.
  7. EAT!

I love slicing french bread, buttering it, and toasting it in the oven Or prepare a big bowl of linguini and add this to the top, with a shaving of parmesan cheese. Or just grab a fork and eat straight out of the bowl. Serve with nice mineral-y white wine (I love J’s Pinot Gris), and you got yourself a summer dinner!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you use during an abundance of tomatoes? We’d love to hear!

Not even Semi-Homemade

If you’ve been following along, you know we love to entertain. Part of the fun is menu crafting, deciding what to make from scratch, what to collaborate on with the grocery store, and what to just unpackage and put on a pretty plate.

Last week Stephanie hosted a Bunco party for some friends, and because of her schedule, she didn’t have time to prepare much. But it looked like she did…

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Click to read more about easy entertaining!

Makin’ Whoopie (Pies)

There was a period of time where we made a lot of whoopie…pies. (har har)

They’re just SO tasty, and fun to make. And with such a variety of flavors, the options are endless! (Trust me…we’ve tried to make them all.)

The best still, though, are the classic version. A chocolate cake-ish sandwich, with marshmallow creme. Think a Moonpie, or a Double Doozie. Or, a Whoopie Pie!

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Click more for the recipe!

Poolside Reads 2018

As much as we’d love to say “beach reads,” living smack dab in the middle of the country doesn’t always qualify us for living the beach life. But poolside, yes.

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And with kids who are old enough and competent enough to swim, that means L I V I N’. However, it means not being upset if you’re in the thick of a whodunnit and your kids start dunking each other under water. So books need to be easy to look away from.

Are you able to read at the pool? What are some of your favorites? Keep reading for a list on our stacks…