Archive for August, 2018

“I’m going to need a bigger watch roll…”

I have scores of watches, so I need a storage solution that can accommodate way more watches than today find, the wonderful Waxed Canvas Watch Roll from the fine folks at Cool Material. But since I usually bring five or six watches on a weekend trip, this is the perfect travel watch solution.

The Waxed Canvas Watch Roll from Cool Material:

“As time goes by, we seem to collect important watches in our lives. There’s the one passed down from our pops, the one we received when we graduated from high school, the first one we really invested in, and a few knockarounds for everyday wear. The one thing they all have in common: They need to be protected to last. We teamed up with Bradley Mountain to create this custom watch roll designed for traveling with your collection of timepieces or keeping them on display at home without the fear of getting them scratched up. We designed the Waxed Canvas Watch Roll in-house and it’s available exclusively in the Cool Material Shop. Each roll holds up to 6 watches and is secured for traveling by a simple oiled leather strap. Each is handmade in the USA and designed to last a lifetime so you can have a watch or two to pass down to your son when the time comes.”

Find the Waxed Canvas Watch Roll from Cool Material here.

Find all the “cool” products from Cool Material here.

When you think of a tobacco scent, you may think of cigarette smell, which is not so pleasant. But the fine scent of the Tobacco Bay Travel Candle I found from the fine folks at Great Bear Wax Co. is quite sweet.

About the Tobacco Bay Travel Candle from Great Bear Wax Co.:

“Tobacco is traditionally a southern fragrance that, when blended with Bay Laurel, creates a well rounded earthy and sweet scent. With notes of Fir, Cedarwood, and Bergamot, Tobacco Bay is reminiscent of late nights with good folks on a good porch.”

Find the Tobacco Bay Travel Candle from Great Bear Wax Co. here.

See all the fine scent from Great Bear Wax Co. here.

So, another week, and much more activity in the garden. I have been picking the tomatoes while still green to prevent the critters from getting them. I also have a few varieties of peppers looking pretty healthy, as well as more swash and soon my eggplant should be ready to pick. Thankfully we have has some rain over the past couple of days, we have been in a drought this summer so every little bit helps.

It is still summer, and I do not want to rush the colder weather, but I have been away from soup too long not to try this recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup with Lime Crème Fraîche I found from the fine folks at Rachael Ray Every Day.

About the recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup with Lime Crème Fraîche from Rachael Ray Every Day:

“Brighten up asparagus soup with a drizzle of citrus-spiked crème fraîche.”

Find the recipe from Creamy Asparagus Soup with Lime Crème Fraîche from Rachael Ray Every Day here.

Find all the great recipes from Rachael Ray Every Day here.

FF: The Belmont Gold Plated Flask from Viski

Life is too short to not have an heirloom quality flask in your collection. Which makes the Belmont Gold Plated Flask I found from the fine folks at Viski the perfect gift for your friend who may or may not be celebrating a milestone birthday in August.

About the Belmont Gold Plated Flask from Viski:

“Curious how even the best liquor tastes better from a golden flask. Ours is plated in 14-karat gold, with a liquid-tight lid and six-ounce capacity. Raise a toast to living in a Golden age. Accommodates 6 Oz Comfortably. 14K Gold Plated.”

Find the Belmont Gold Plated Flask from Viski here.

See all the quality items from Viski here.

FF: The Crocodile and Silver-Plated Hip Flask from Sir Jack’s

Meanwhile, for those who prefer silver over gold, give nothing up in the quality department with the Crocodile and Silver-Plated Hip Flask I found from the fine folks at Sir Jack’s.

About the Crocodile and Silver-Plated Hip Flask from Sir Jack’s:

“A vintage hip flask from prestigious Sheffield silversmith Walker & Hall. Features an oval shaped glass wrapped in crocodile leather, fitted with a removable silver plated drinking cup and hinged doorknob top. A one half pint liquid capacity with viewing window complete this magnificent flask. Excellent condition.”

Find the Crocodile and Silver-Plated Hip Flask from Sir Jack’s here.

See all the flasks and other great items from Sir Jack’s here.

While at the Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago this past June, I spent a long time in the tent of artist LaVerne Thorpe, who calls her work All by Hand Fused Glass. I fell in love with her work and enjoyed chatting with her about her process and inspirations.

About All by Hand Fused Glass:

“I design and create beautiful fused glass art that is both functional and decorative.  All of my pieces are created one at a time.  If you see something on this site or at one of my shows that you like I can reproduce that item or make in it with your favorite colors.”

I particularly fell in love with her Jungle Scene (above right) which is spectacular and is not truly represented by photos.

About the Jungle Scene from All By Hand:

“This 10 x 10 piece is a cast block jungle scene made with several layers mounted on a beautiful custom wood frame.  The block is 1 inch thick creating a multi dimensional scene.”

Learn more about the Fused Glass from All by Hand here.

I like a good old fashioned grilled cheese sandwich just as much as the next guy, but I always thought there were way too many varieties of cheese to settle for the basic American and cheddar we use for the basic sandwich. So, I was thrilled to find a ton of options for jazzing up the old staple with the recipes in Grilled Cheese Kitchen by Heidi Gibson.

About Grilled Cheese Kitchen by Heidi Gibson:

“Melted cheese between slices of toasted bread—the ultimate in comfort food. This mouthwatering cookbook features 39 grilled cheese recipes created by Heidi Gibson, winner of seven grilled cheese championships and the co-owner (with husband Nate) of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco. The classic Mousetrap is dripping with three kinds of cheese. The Piglet wows with its thinly sliced ham and sharp cheddar. And grilled cheese makes a great breakfast—just add an egg! With 40 additional recipes for great accompaniments and side dishes—including hearty soups, many varieties of mac & cheese, spicy pickles, and tangy spreads—plus tips on choosing the best bread and cheese and techniques for grilling each sandwich at just the right temperature, anyone can create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.”

I like to experiment when I cook but often get nervous about trying something different (like swapping out a tried and true cheese for a new kind) so I like book like this that give you options, inspiration and ultimately permission to try something new.

Grilled Cheese Kitchen by Heidi Gibson is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.

Continuing to catch up on the fine artists I found while attending the great Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago this past June – today, I feature the fine folks from Great Lake Art. Great Lake Art produces a series of artwork featuring 3D reliefs of lakes (and other things) from all over the country.

About Great Lake Art:

“Lake art is a special process developed several years ago.  Using Russian birch, we transform it into a 3 dimensional lake, with details and facts regarding the lake.  We can also add or personalize your lake art.  We believe the beauty and uniqueness of lake art will forever be an enjoyment to view and to share with family and friends.”

Learn more about Great Lake Art and see all their fine works here.

While attending the great Gold Coast Art Fair in Chicago this past June, I came across the work of Jackie Mortillaro, who produces a fine collection of coasters featuring images of Chicago (among other things), which make them a nice memento of a trip to the city or a gift for someone special.

I was tempted to buy a few of these finely crafted coasters, a set featuring images of Wrigley Field and the Chicago Cubs – but I decided not to in the end. However, I did take Ms. Mortillaro’s card so I could order when I got home – and I am finally getting around to it.

This set of Chicago Cubs coasters (right) from Jackie Mortillaro will go nicely with my growing collection of tiles from places I have visited.

Learn more about the work of Jackie Mortillaro – including her coasters – here.