Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blue Skies

I kind of jumped out of a plane a few weeks ago. Now I'm sorting of floating in the air figuring out where to land.  Perhaps inspired by my situation, I came up with this idea for Wylie's room.  We took a trip to a weird little party store in Berkeley and got these deep blue paper lanterns and some plastic paratrooper favors. I cut four 12" pieces of bakers twine for each lantern and attached them using a tiny hole punch and the base of the bottom opening, using different twine colors for each lantern. I cut the parachutes and strings from the figurines and tied the strings through the loop at the top of their heads.  They can hang at different lengths from the ceiling to look like they are coming in for a landing.


Monday, January 30, 2012


Jens Risom House.  Image courtesy of LIFE magazine

So...you may have noticed that you are not reading Make Do. Welcome to Poppy Haus!  For several reasons it was time to take the look and feel of my blog in a different direction.  When I started I just needed to get typing and the name Make Do worked, but it is ubiquitous and I'd never be able to do more with it as a brand.  I am also beginning a new chapter in my life.  After 5 years, I am striking out of my own so to speak.  My wonderful creative partner and I have parted ways. She will run Jasper Hearts Wren and I will pursue whatever this will become. 

While beginning the process of reinventing my creative self I had to accept that I have a good eye for design but not all the technical chops to create.  I looked to Etsy for a little help and found this beautiful blogger template. I'm a huge fan of prefab.  The process is streamlined, and often customizable.  I'd love to replicate the house above, maybe to live in, maybe to vacation in, I just need to get a hold of the kit plans. It's the Jens Risom Home. For those of you who don't know him, he was Knoll's early design partner, and struck off on his own and made beautiful things like this prefab home and color paneled credenzas that I will surely hack. I guess I'm looking to him right now as a source of inspiration. 

The name...  Poppy was my girl name. I didn't have a girl, instead I have two crazy haired boys. Haus is obviously German for House. Urban Dictionary claims it is also a term for someone who is really good at something. I kind of think they made that up, but I like it. This is a blog about the homestead, and being of fraulein descent,  I also love myself an A-frame. I've been kicking around these words for a while and decided to put them to good use. 


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Very Pinteresting...

It all started when I found this super amazing DIY project on the blog JKJK.  I knew I couldn't do it now, I have like 10 projects in the pipeline and I'm running out of wall space.  If I bookmarked it, I'd forget about it...so I did what all the cool kids are doing and I invited myself to the Pinterest party.  I've got a couple of boards going at this point, one called Rainbow Connection another dedicated to my favorite textile prints.  It's therapeutic to curate little collections and it's nice to know that they are waiting for you when you're ready to use them. You can see my boards on Pinterest under the username "wemakedo". 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Whole Enchilada


I got cooking today after our weekly visit to the Farmer's Market.  We found some great poblano chili peppers so I decided to make enchiladas stuffed with roasted butternut squash and red quinoa in a poblano cream sauce made with greek yogurt.  Here's how I did it...

Poblano-Butternut Enchiladas

4-6 Medium poblano peppers
1 cup chicken stock
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cracked sea salt

1 butternut squash, peeled cut into 1" cubes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup red quinoa
2 cups water (or stock)
10 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
Put washed poblanos on a sheet pan
Roast for 20 minutes until skin blisters (turning half way)
Remove from oven, allow to cool in a cloth covered bowl
Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees
Toss butternut squash with olive oil and sea salt 
Place on a sheet pan and into the oven for 25 minutes
Meanwhile, peel and seed the peppers.
In a medium saucepan bring stock,garlic, salt and poblanos to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes (to build flavor)
Tranfer to a food processor, pulse until blended
Add yogurt, blend until smooth.  Return to saucepan, low heat
Prepare quinoa 
When the butternut squash is roasted, remove from oven
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees
Transfer to the food processor, blend until smooth

To assemble the enchiladas:
Spoon 2 tablespoons of the poblano sauce into a 8X12 baking dish
With one hand palm a tortilla, with the other spoon two heaping tablespoons of butternut squash puree, 1 heaping tablespoon of quinoa. Roll and dredge in the poblano sauce, place seam side down, repeat. Spoon remaining sauce over the top, bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

Serve with black bean, whole avocado, and a little fresh salsa.

For the kids plate all ingredients separately, no sauce, eat happily together.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

We Built This City!

Pardon the title.  I've been forced to listen to Jefferson Starship's anthem over and over since a visit to the movie theater to see The Muppets.  This year I've been volunteering as an art teacher in my son's kindergarten classroom.  Real art projects get lost in world where worksheets and traced hand print turkeys dominate. Since my Alexander Girard paint chip experiment was such a hit with big people, I thought I'd scale it down to work with the kids.
Inspired by the city-scapes on Girard's blocks I created a project made from basic shapes (a topic of study in class). I pre-cut shapes, but left it so that can scale and create their own shapes by hand with scissors.  This project is great because it is really low cost/low mess.  To make you will need: Several paint swatch colors cut into basic shapes (which can be easily acquired at Home Depot), glue sticks and graph paper card stock. I think they may be nice enough to frame, and will definitely be a keeper pieces.  I'm particularly excited because I get to talk about my favorite artist, who made textiles and objects and collaborated with designers to make furniture and installations.  

Monday, January 2, 2012

You Say You Want A Resolution

Yesterday my family and I met up with our good friends for a hike in Redwood Park, in the Oakland Hills above our home.  It's pretty unbelievable that this piece of nature is in our backyard. I spend a lot of time driving around, running endless errands, carting kids, and cooped up in the house working on projects and working on work...I seldom I get out there to clear my head and run away from it all.  I'm not one for resolutions, but I think a new year is a time of self-contemplation.

At the beginning of class, my yoga instructor asks us to set an intention for our practice, which is tough, I always feel a little silly talking to myself that way.  I think of resolutions that way.  I don't need to quit smoking or lose 20lbs.  I do think I need to take more care, with myself and the people I love and of the things that matter most to me... Resolution done.  Check. 

Happy 2012 and THANK YOU for reading Make Do!
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