Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Snow Day Breakfast

chanterelle mushroom

This morning I had a late start to my day because the power was out at work, and I didn't have anywhere to go. I decided to get some laundry done, and make myself a good hearty scrambled egg breakfast burrito... like I do almost every morning. This morning's burrito was very special because of the ingredients.

When I saw my folks this past Sunday, my dad had just returned from his annual elk hunting trip where he also did some mushroom picking. He came home with a whole bunch of chanterelle mushrooms which he shared with me. The egg part of my burrito came from my mom's friend Carolyn's chickens. I also included some shallots and fresh parsley from the garden.

a pat of butter for sautéing
1 egg
3-5 chanterelle mushrooms (rough chop)
1-2 shallots (diced)
3 tbs fresh chopped parsley
smoked Gouda
1 tortilla
hot sauce
black pepper

Sauté the shallots and mushrooms on a medium heat until the shallots are clear and the mushrooms start browning. Grind in some fresh black pepper to taste, add the parsley and give it a quick stir. Just when the parsley starts to wilt but is still bright green, add your 1 beaten egg and scramble until the egg is cooked. Kill the heat and top the scramble with some smoked Gouda. Wrap the scrambled eggs up in a warm tortilla (use a dry skillet and not a microwave, kids) and enjoy with some hot sauce.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

sunday, bloody martini, sunday

So, my mister (and many of our friends) appreciates a good Bloody Mary. I hate tomato juice and felt little left out so I started experimenting with The Breakfast of Champions: the Martini in efforts to start getting used to the taste of bloody mary mix.

The Classic Gin Martini:
2 parts Gin
1 part vermouth

The Vodka Martini:
2 parts vodka
1 part vermouth

The Sunday Bloody Martini Sunday:
1 part* bakon vodka
1 part gin
1 part vermouth
1 part bloody mary mix (or 2 parts depending on how tomato-y you feel that day)
2 green pimento olives
1 pickled asparagus

Put all liquids into the cocktail shaker with about 4 or 5 ice cubes. Next, shake it about 7 times and pour everything** into a glass. Then, garnish with olives and asparagus. Finally, sip and enjoy!

* In my case, 1 part equals a little less than 1 oz
**I include the ice cubes because it's a little strong without the melt off from the ice.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

olive oyl and popeye

We had a great time at the Halloween party. I've decided not to make costumes on the day of the event! It worked out okay this time, but I probably gave myself a few more grey hairs.


Saturday, October 30, 2010


Holy pumpkins! After a marathon sewing sesh today, our Halloween costumes are finally finished. More photos to follow!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wine Stoppers

September was a busy month and I'm finally getting the chance catch up on blog posts!

Here are some of the finished wine (or oil & vinegar for the non drinkers) stoppers that Rebekka custom made for our wedding favors. They were perfect and it was so awesome to finally see the real thing after oogling over a sketch for so long.


Guest Book Details

Jeff, Sawyer, and I decorated the rest of the pages for the guestbook in time for our reception.
Here are some details of the pages:

Happy collage!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Black Berry Pie

Growing up in the pacific northwest, my favorite after school snack at the beginning of the school year was a heated slice of blackberry pie in a bowl full of cold milk (whole of course). For the first time in about 13 years I baked a blackberry pie. With the exception of a couple slices I brought over to C & B's house, I ate the whole thing and loved every bite!

This is the pie filling recipe that came from my dad's mom Virginia:
4 c blackberries
1 to 1 1/2 c sugar (I use 1 c)
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tbs butter

1. Mix the dry ingredients
2. Mix the dry stuff with berries
3. Pour in pie shell
4. Put cubes of butter on top
5. Cover with crust
6. Bake at 425 for 35-45 minutes.

If you're lucky, I may share my pie crust recipe in the future.

happy baking

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paper Crafts

Here is a sneak peak of the first pages of my guest book that I've decorated. There are quite a few more to go but I'm happy with the look so far.

Happy paper, happy glue!

Monday, August 16, 2010


An unexpected surprise in my flower bed. I had never seen a fuzzy mushroom that revealed gills on the topside as it opened up.

happy discoveries

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Great Find

I recently found this super great wine stopper on etsy. You can check this stopper out along with other really cool merchandise at Rebekka's shop: jadeflower .

Not only does Rebekka create really cute things, but I'm happy to have stumbled on her shop because she is very nice, easy going, and has been a pleasure to work with. She has agreed to make some stoppers for me using my own color schemes and I can't wait to see the finished product. Below are the sketches I made to show the requested colors.

Happy Finding & Happy Doodles!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


My friend Ernie told me about a web project called Learning To Love You More that lists "assignments" to carryout and submit to the project founders. By the time I had looked at the website last fall, the project had ended and the website was not accepting anymore submissions for their assignments. Disappointed, my determination to participate fell into the dark abyss of "projects never to even begin for this reason or that". However, by some weird stroke of luck, a gust of wind or something blew my will out of that pool of despair (It may have something to do with 80 degree sunny weather & my body's increased production of Vitamin D) and I've decided to try the assignments out on my own and post them myself.

Here are the assignments that you can look forward to seeing on The Char Makes. They are in descending order:

70. Say goodbye.

69. Climb to the top of a tree and take a picture of the view.

68. Feel the news.

67. Repair something.

66. Make a field guide to your yard.

65. Perform the phone call someone else wished they could have.

64. Teach us an exercise.

63. Make an encouraging banner.

62. Make an educational public plaque.

61. Describe your ideal government.

60. Write a press release about an everyday event.

59. Interview someone who has experienced war.

58. Record the sound that is keeping you awake.

57. Lipsync to shy neighbor's Garth Brooks cover.

56. Make a portrait of your friend's desires.

55. Photograph a significant outfit.

54. Draw the news.

53. Give advice to yourself in the past.

52. Write the phone call you wish you could have.

51. Describe what to do with your body when you die.

50. Take a flash photo under your bed.

49. Draw a picture of your friend's friend.

48. Make the saddest song.

47. Re-enact a scene from a movie that made someone else cry.

46. Draw Raymond Carver's Cathedral.

45. Reread your favorite book from fifth grade.

44. Make a "LTLYM assignment".

43. Make an exhibition of the art in your parent's house.

42. List five events from 1984.

41. Document your bald spot.

40. Heal yourself.

39. Take a picture of your parents kissing.

38. Act out someone else's argument.

37. Write down a recent argument.

36. Grow a garden in an unexpected spot.

35. Ask your family to describe what you do.

34. Make a protest sign and protest.

33. Braid someone's hair.

32. Draw a scene from a movie that made you cry.

31. Spend time with a dying person.

30. Take a picture of strangers holding hands.

29. Make an audio recording of a choir.

28. Edit a photo album page.

27. Take a picture of the sun.

26. Design an article of clothing for Mona to crochet.

25. Make a video of someone dancing.

24. Cover the song"Don't Dream It's Over".

23. Recreate this snapshot.

22. Recreate a scene from Laura Lark's life story.

21. Sculpt a bust of Steve.

20. Take a family portrait of two families.

19. Illustrate a scene or make an object from Paul Arensmeyer's life story.

18. Recreate a poster you had as a teenager.

17. Record your own guided meditation.

16. Make a paper replica of your bed.

15. Hang a windchime on a tree in a parking lot.

14. Write your life story in less than a day.

13. Recreate the moment after a crime.

12. Get a temporary tattoo of one of Morgan Rozacky's neighbors.

11. Photograph a scar and write about it.

10. Make a flier of your day.

9. Draw a constellation from someone's freckles.

8. Curate an artist's retrospective in a public place.

7. Recreate 3 minutes of a Fresh Air interview.

6. Make a poster of shadows.

5. Recreate an object from someone's past.

4. Start a lecture series.

3. Make a documentary video about a small child.

2. Make a neighborhood field recording.

1. Make a child's outfit in an adult size.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How To Plantling

It occurred to me, that I didn't explain how to fill the cups with succulents. Someone out there reading this may want to try this also. Here is my explanation.

Succulents are very hardy plants that require little water, little care, and have an amazing ability to reproduce itself with ease. As pictured in my last post, there are 2 types that I'm trying to propagate: Leafy ones, and Pokey ones.

The stalks of these leafy succulents have the ability to grow hair like roots very quickly. I might even be comfortable saying in a matter of days, or within a week or two. I snipped the stalk below the leaves and stuck 1/2 inch of stem in the soil. Viola.


The Pokey ones shoot out runners with baby Pokeylings attached to the end. I snipped the little Pokeylings off of the "parent" Pokey, then stuck the stem 1/2 inch into the soil.

In this photograph you can see runners with baby Pokey succulents attached to the end along with little bits of stalks that I trimmed off of the pink and green Leafy ones.


An idea sprouted in my head over the past few weeks: To create terrariums in glass fishbowl/vases for table centerpieces. Practicing my habit of being as economical as possible, I've decided to use all the resources that are available to me for this project.

Since the Rents rid themselves of their chickens, we've been saving our egg cartons to use as an alternative to peat pots for starting seeds next spring. It is still summer, and I've already found another similar but different use for the cartons: succulent propagation. Once the little plantlings take root, they'll be ready to go into the terrariums!

Step 1. Poke holes in every cup.
Step 2: Fill cups with soil (courtesy of Mell)

Step 4: Fill cups with succulents (courtesy of the Morris Family)

Step 5: Water and wait.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Simple Prep, Yummy Meal

cucumber, celery, green onion, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, olive oil

wild rice with sauteed mushrooms and bacon

pan fried chicken thigh with mango salsa
(mango, cucumber, green onion, grilled white corn, roasted red pepper, jalapeno, lime, and cilantro)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Some Swings

This is a swing set card that I made for my favorite 3 year old O's birthday. The entire family got together to help contribute to a swing set for O and his sister.

card stock
washi paper
a bit of black twine
and even a bit of hot glue.

Ah, how I love being a part of a strong supportive family, and cutting & pasting paper.

Happy Birthday!
xoxo char

Saturday, June 12, 2010


inspired by watching Ponyo last night

If you're familiar with my doodling, you'll know who this is.

As I stumbled along the web this morning, I rediscovered a scribble generator. I made a couple doodles, selected settings and colors, and let the generator do the rest!

happy doodles! xoxo char.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

work doodles

In times of stress, I like stopping time all around me. As time stops outside of my personal space, it keeps going in the very spot that I am at. During this time, I create a moment.

happy doodles
xoxo char.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pots and More Pots

Flower Pot 1 (above)

Flower Pot 2 (Below)

One of my dearest friends Susan organized and hosted a crafts and cocktails event on Saturday.
So I spent a beautiful afternoon sipping Sangria with with lovely ladies and painting flower pots.

I made 2 creations:
Flower pot 1 is a floral design with decidedly interesting broken pottery and buttons.
Flower pot 2 is an illustration of happenings in the sea.

(I'd like to make a notable mention to my friend Danielle for the beautiful azalea who is modeling in the sea-pot.)

Happy Pots

Sunday, May 16, 2010

flower power!

rhododendron and wild rose

A few weeks ago I made a flower arrangement out of hawthorn flowers I found at work, and discovered that they don't smell very nice. Until today, they sat on my airy front porch where they wouldn't offend anyone. After spending the whole morning tinkering about the yard today, I decided to update my vase with my own flowers and channeled some inspiration from my Grandmother in Japan (who is licensed to teach ikebana). Since it is much cooler outside , the flower arrangements last much longer than indoors. It's a cheerful sight to pull up the driveway and see the colors of spring displayed at my home.

happy arranging.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Things in Pots

Violet from my parent's farm planted in a reclaimed tea cup that my mom made.
The cup's handle broke so we drilled a hole in the bottom to transform it into a flower pot.

Pink Strawberry.
I'm hoping the pink blooms will attract hummingbirds to my feeder.

Ceramic egg pot and a little succulent.
Once again, thanks Mell!