I was meaning to write a post these past few weeks, but was struggling to find a single topic to focus on, largely in part due to my current studio production which is completely lacking in singular focus. Instead I have several (really exciting) projects happening all at the same time. I'm working on much larger sets than I'm accustomed to, which is a challenge I'm greatly enjoying. My shelves are filled with dozens upon dozens of pots, to the point that I'm probably hitting (and passing) triple digits, an exciting accomplishment for my growing studio. Rather than attempt to extract a single topic, I decided to share some images from my Instagram stream (I'm over there @suiteonestudio), which I think pretty perfectly capture life in my studio right now.
Spring is beginning to show itself in North Carolina. The days are noticeably longer, the grass greener with each passing day, and the temperatures significantly warming. We've had many little visitors in my backyard lately including a Great Blue Heron, a Woodchuck and hundreds of birds including the spring heralding Robin (Right on time little guy, thank you!).
With the increase in production comes the increased reliance upon my equipment. On cue my kiln required a little maintenance, so Kim and I pulled out our heavy duty power tools, safety googles and propane torch to do some electrical work. Which still amazes me that we can do. I guess that's a Girl Power moment, because we seriously know our stuff now... which is totally cool, right?
Shop updates are a little less frequent than my goal, which is to have at least two huge updates each month. I'll definitely get to that, but there are so many changes happening with my business right now, that making is really my focus. A focus that will show itself online within the month. Promise the coming inventory will exceed your expectations. I have some major collaborations in the works that I think will make many of your giddy, or at least that's my goal. So seriously stay tuned, k?
One of the most interesting things about owning a business that has grown into a business, rather than one that began that way, is that I get to share the entire process with the very people that continue to make it happen. So thank you again and again for your support, social media shares and encouragement! You all rock. Simple as that. Happy Spring!
The moment I pulled these baking dishes from the kiln I knew they were destined for melty-cheesy-deliciousness. I found a great Mac and Cheese recipe from Bon Appetite that I adapted to our flavor preferences. The thyme was switched to rosemary and the bolder cheeses replaced with milder varieties making this dish an easy crowd pleaser.
These Suite One Studio oven-to-table baking dishes made presentation a breeze. A few scattered sprigs on top of each dish and this simple recipe gave the illusion of a very laborious dish, when in fact it was a deceptively easy recipe. And who doesn't need a cheesy, crowd pleasing, simple to make, beautiful to serve, oven-to-table-ready recipe?
I tend to do a million other things while I'm cooking so from start to finish this recipe took me about 90 minutes. But, the active time is much, much less. I'd say a less distracted person could easily have this meal on the table and ready to serve in about 45 minutes. Ready, set, go!
Ingredients:1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups grated colby jack cheese
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
5 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cups whole milk
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from a French baguette
1 pound penne pasta
. Mix all cheeses. Set aside 1 cup to use later to top each serving; cover and chill.
. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat.
. Add flour and stir until mixture turns golden brown. (Original recipe says this is about 4 minutes, but it took nearly twice that for me. So just keep a watchful eye as you stir. The color will noticeably change to a warm golden brown.)
. Add rosemary and cinnamon.
. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until the mixture has thickened and is a smooth consistency. Stir frequently. (Original recipe says the mixture will thicken by about 4 minutes. Again, this took considerably longer. To the point that I began to worry... but it did thicken up after about 15 minutes.)
. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat.
. While the butter heats add pieces of the French baguette to a food processor and process until the bread looks like.. well, breadcrumbs. That is small, even crumb sized pieces.
. Add the breadcrumbs to the melted butter in the skillet and toss. Stir until golden, about 2 minutes. (Season the breadcrumbs if preferred. I used a small sprinkling of a salt and pepper mixture and a few dried spices, sparingly.) Transfer to a plate.
. Preheat oven to 375°F.
. Cook pasta in boiling salted water. (Cook until tender but still firm to bite.)
. Drain and transfer to a very large bowl.
. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and toss.
. Divide the pasta for baking as preferred. (I split the entire batch between two glass baking dishes. The recipe should fill about 8 custard cups, or 6 Suite One Studio small baking dishes.)
. Sprinkle the divided portions with the chilled cheese that was previously set aside.
. Top with breadcrumbs.
. Bake until the tops are golden and the cheese is bubbling, about 20 minutes.
Adapted from Bon Appetite's Cheesemonger's Mac and Cheese.Shop the Suite One Studio Baking Dish Collection now.
Yesterday I received a much anticipated copy of the March 2013 issue of Southern Living magazine, and a complimentary issue at that! (I love when editors, stylists and photographers go that extra step to credit or acknowledge the artists they work with! So nice!) Why the excitement and anticipation? Well, this new issue includes one of my new cupcake stands! I've been dying to share this information for months now, but I try to wait until I have a copy in my hand before celebrating. Many, many spreads are cut before the final issue is printed, and sometimes things don't go quite as planned, so I try to wait (if I can!) to share the good news. I now have a copy in hand and there are issues appearing on newsstands nationwide, so I think it's officially time for a full on celebration!
This latest issue is really breathtaking. Such a beautiful, colorful issue that completely puts me in the mood for spring. Yesterday also brought snow, which down here in North Carolina is always a bit of a celebration in itself, and maybe admittedly a bit disorienting. It snowed all day, though none of it accumulated. Winter though not quite winter, that's how yesterday felt to me. The drifting white flakes seemed an immediate contradiction to the cheerful, floral centric issue I held in my hands, but I took the snow as (I'm hoping) a final sendoff to winter, at least for us here in the South. I'm ready for March which has been reassigned in my mind from a winter month to a spring month. I guess that's to be expected when you live 800 miles south of where you grew up. Or maybe it's global warming. Sad face. Anyhow, the latest issue of Southern Living also seems to promise March as a springtime month for us Southern Folk, I'll take it.
There is a discount code in the issue for use right here on this site! With the reader exclusive coupon code you'll save 20% on your entire order! There's no limit on that, so use it as many times as you like while the issue is on newsstands. Now, I can't give you the code... but I can give you this little tip-- pick yourself up a copy of March issue, you'll get the coupon code and a very, very welcome winter pick-me-up from the bright springtimey contents! You won't be disappointed! Promise!
What do you think of my new jewel toned glazes? They're pretty luscious aren't they? Or at least thats what comes to my mind when I look at them. Luscious, rich, delicious... food words. Maybe I'm just hungry every time I look at them. But seriously, who wouldn't be hungry looking at these pieces? They are clearly made for food. Clearly longing and waiting to serve slices of cheesecake, pour dark chocolate ganache, hold a handful of berries, plate your favorite cheeses.. endless options. Hungry yet?
All these pieces will be heading into my shop. Which brings me right to shop talk. Let's talk shop. There are some changes ahead, or rather already in the works. Here's the new plan:
New items will be listed twice monthly, only. This will be less for you all to keep up with, and also a more organized way for me to work. As most of you already know I am a one-woman-everything. I make each piece by hand, make every glaze from scratch, fire all my own work twice, maintain and repair my studio equipment, pack and ship orders, all of it. The idea is this new plan will make certain days my "firing days," others my "making days," "shipping days," etc. The old plan was an "everything day" every single day. Basically, barely managed chaos. Well, no more.
Sales will happen twice a month as well. These sales will be for selected, designated, markdown items only. Storewide sales will happen on rare announced occasions. Sale announcements will happen through the newsletter: www.suiteonestudio.com (found on the bottom right of the homepage) and all my social media platforms. If we're not already friends, come find me!: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. And yes, my Instagram feed is all pottery, kitties and puppies. I can't help it, it's what I love.
My Etsy shop will remain in operation, but very limitedly. The selection of items will be greater here, at www.suiteonestudio.com and in many cases 10% cheaper here than on Etsy. I'm doing this to entice you to move over here with me. Yup, I'm being that transparent. Come shop and hangout with me here on my dot com. You'll love it. Promise. And if you don't, tell me. It is really helpful for me to understand the site experience you have as a visitor, blog reader, shopper. Help me make this site awesome.
I think that about covers everything. Lots of changes, but they're all exciting, forward bound jumps. The new plan will (hopefully) make things clearer and more organized (for you and for me) and it will offer consistency delivered oh-so-conveniently right to your inbox! Be sure to join my growing subscriber list to be among the first to know about shop updates and sale announcements! (Bottom right of the page: www.suiteonestudio.com) Thanks again and again for your continued support!
Hello and welcome to the new home for all things Suite One Studio. I know, I know I've moved you guys all over the internets these past few years, but I think we're here to stay. What do you think of the new site? Kinda fun? Kinda fancy? Kinda awesome? That's what I was going for. There are so many great options out there for artists to use to run their online businesses. Like so, so many. Which is exactly why I had to try them all. This new site is brought to you by Shopify, and seriously, I'm in love.
This isn't a breakdown of all the (gazillion) selling platforms out there, although that post may come in the future, because boy, was it ever hard to find a simple comparison that included every single option, from Wordpress plugins to that loveable giant, Etsy. This post instead is my first post on the new site, a big "hello" to you all and more importantly a huge "thank you" to each and everyone of you for being a part of this journey with me.
I'm beginning a new year with a full heart and hands just itching to create. I've returned to using a sketchbook everyday (which I highly recommend to all the artists out there reading this) and I'm already quickly gaining ground toward the middle of that little book. My focus for this new year is to get organized, to accept and understand more deeply the growth of my business and to, if I'm totally honest, mentally catch up and process all that I've done these past two years. I'm in an organizing and planning stage now for something. I don't know exactly what that something is quite yet, but I can feel it on the horizon and that's where I'm heading, sketchbook (and new website) in hand. I look forward to sharing this journey with you as it unfolds before me. Hardwork, passion, opportunity and now, the recent addition: preparedness. I'm ready (and bursting with exceitment) to see where this year will go!