Room 790 xxx
iPhotos by gluttonforlife

10.27.14 Mood Indigo

This weekend I attended a workshop to learn how to dye with indigo. It was put together by L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, an arist supply and housewares store founded by Brooklyn artist Sara Moffat, and held in a lovely, airy space upstairs at Isa restaurant on Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg. For a couple of years now, I have been very focused on the idea of learning to dye with natural dyes, and have gone so far as to acquire several books on the subject, and even grow a few relevant plants in my garden, but I never seemed to be able to find the time to launch myself into an actual project. So, when I found out about this opportunity (on Instagram!), I signed up right away. In just a couple of hours, I was able to learn a bit about this beautiful pigment, explore some shibori/tie-dye techniques and come away with a couple of transformed pieces of clothing.

Being in Brooklyn on a Saturday, also meant I was able to visit Marlow & Daughters, a favorite market; have oysters and salad sitting alone at the bar at Marlow & Sons; and visit Brooklyn chocolatier Mast Brothers, where I was dismayed to learn they are no longer selling their enormous chocolate tablet, but did inhale the unbelievably intense smell of cacao beans being roasted right there. In addition to their elegant factory (tours are available), they have also opened a new Brew Bar, where you can indulge in hot- or cold-brewed chocolate.
Tagged — natural dyes
Pots 790 xxx
photo courtesy of jennifer parry dodge

5.29.12 Mood Indigo: Britt Browne's True Blue

Britt Browne has a mad case of the blues: she’s in love with indigo. Her affair with this magical plant has her dreaming of a utopian art farm and she’s on her way to making it a reality. She has studied printmaking in Vermont, fashion in Paris and typography in NYC, and worked as an art director at places like W magazine, Abercrombie & Fitch and Ann Taylor. As an artist, she works primarily in prints, though she made her first short film, El Niño Encantado, last year. Britt lives in LA and has many interesting collaborations brewing, including design work for a new restaurant venture affiliated with the wonderful Echo Park green grocer Cookbook, where she has also held crafting workshops. And now she has founded Growing Indigo, an art and agriculture concept project currently the subject of an exhibit, Growing Indigo: A Hydroponic Installation and Superfine Prints, at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles, through June 9th. 
Along with hydroponically-grown indigo plants (nurtured by magenta LED lights), the exhibit features a stunning collection of Britt’s vibrant indigo-ink prints that are also for sale at Stampa, our favorite online gallery.
Tagged — natural dyes
Beaver dam 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.9.12 Eastover 2012: Part 1

Our annual combined celebration of Easter and Passover came and went in a frenzy of cooking and eating, as usual. I was in charge of the bulk of the menu this time but, as always, our 15 friends brought traditional treats and specialties that really pushed things over the top. I'm going to spread out the telling of this event over the week, posting a different recipe each day, or else it will be too overwhelming for both of us. As you can see from the photo, above, we gathered at Beaver Dam, the gorgeous upstate home of a very chic French gallerist I am lucky to call my bosom friend. Big dogwood branches, hyacinths and other spring blooms came from the city, as most plants are still dormant up here. The sun was shining, the air was cool and fresh, and we had a roaring fire going. Spirits were high as the advent of spring always brings a rush of renewed energy.
Dyed eggs 790 xxx
natural colors

Tagged — natural dyes
Dyed 790 xxx

3.27.10 Eastover Celebration

Raised between 2 religions and 2 cultures, I have retained some of both and all of neither. Dyeing Easter eggs is a tradition I hope never to relinquish. This year I will be heading to Turks & Caicos for a beachy holiday that will most likely obviate both Passover and Easter, but I may still find time to dye some eggs when I return home. And maybe even cook the meal we've begun calling Eastover, a funny hybrid that might start with a ham and finish with macaroons. Would it surprise you to know that for dyeing eggs I no longer use anything artificial? Yep, I'm going to try to get you to make your own dyes from natural ingredients! We have the ODG (Original Domestic Goddess) Martha Stewart to thank for these great instructions. I followed them last year and look at the gorgeous bowl of eggs I got out of it. I still have a big jar of beet juice in the fridge. I thought I was going to dye some piece of clothing but I never got around to it. Just like those geranium sachets I was going to make for Christmas presents. Maybe next year. Inshallah.
Tagged — natural dyes