Category Archives: artisanmaskers

Recipe of the Week ~ “Lemonies”

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I happened across this recipe through pinterest, and had to give it a try!  We’re a big fan of brownies at my house, and I ADORE chocolate, but sometimes I just want to switch it up a little.  So, why not lemon “brownies”?  This was even quicker/easier than making brownies from scratch (because you don’t have to melt any chocolate!), and they would be a fantastic dessert option for a bridal shower or luncheon because of the light, fruity taste!

“Lemonies” (or Lemon “Brownies”)

Brownies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Lemon Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish and set aside.  Zest and juice two small lemons; set aside.  (I used one large lemon and had more than enough juice and zest!)  Beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Pour into the flour mixture and beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.  (Don’t worry if it looks lumpy at first!  It will come together if you just beat long enough!)
Pour into baking dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before glazing.
When brownies are cooled completely, make the glaze by whisking together all three ingredients. Spread over the brownies with a rubber spatula.  Cut, serve, ENJOY!  (I should probably mention that I actually added a little more–okay I doubled it–lemon juice in both the “brownie” mixture and the glaze.  But I like things pretty darn lemon-y, so you may want to try the recipe as written here first, if you’re not sure. ;D  )

Recipe of the Week ~ Navajo Fry Bread

Looking for a quick, easy, versatile dinner idea?  Congrats, you found it!  Navajo Fry Bread (again, courtesy of pinterest) is an easy-to-work-with dough that you, well, fry.  And, if being fried isn’t enough to convince you on it’s own, consider that it’s basically just as easy as tacos to throw together as a meal, but seems so much fancier!  (Unless you’re one of those people.  You know, the ones that even make their own tortillas?  Yeah…  I’m not one of them, obviously…)  You fry up the bread, then serve with whatever toppings you have on hand:  rice, sour cream, ranch dressing, shredded cheese, salsa, lettuce, chopped tomatoes or sweet peppers, corn, olives, leftover taco/fajita/whatever meat, refried beans, kidney beans, pinto beans…  you get the idea.  It’s also really easy to make it vegetarian!

Two things before you dive in:  1. I know you’re looking at the ingredients and thinking, “Powdered milk?  I’ll just leave that out since I don’t have any on hand…”  DON’T DO IT.  Every traditional fry bread recipe I’ve EVER seen uses powdered milk.  For a reason.  It makes your dough more manageable for one.  It also affects the flavor.  (True story.)  Plus, powdered milk will stay good for a LOOOONG time, so just suck it up and get some already.  2.  If you have a second, check out the place where pinterest got this recipe so you can learn a little about the history of fry bread, too!

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Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
Extra flour to flour your hands

Stir together the flour, salt, powdered milk, and baking powder into a large bowl. Pour the water over the flour mixture all at once and stir the dough until it starts to form one big clump. Flour your hands well. Using your hands, begin to mix the dough, trying to get all the flour into the mixture to form a ball. You want to mix well WITHOUT kneading (which will toughen your dough).

Cut the dough into four (4) pieces. Using your floured hands, shape, stretch, pat, and form a disk of about 5 to 7 inches in diameter. In a deep heavy pot, heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees F. Take the formed dough and gently place it into the oil, being careful not to splatter the hot oil. Fry until brown, and then flip to fry the other side. Each side will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to cook. Place the cooked Fry Bread on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Shop Announcement!

ArtisanMaskers doing a benefit auction!

“We have 7 or 8 masks that we are selling to benefit a local high school drama department.  Help us get the word out?   Our starting bids are well below wholesale prices!”

www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431047820306438.95227.12069948800…

Featured WedEclectic Shop — ArtisanMaskers!

We will be featuring the winner of each month’s Team Treasury Challenge…here is our first interview, held with Amanda from ArtisanMaskers!

Working together as a group of cousins, sisters, and friends, they create simply fabulous masks!

How did you start your shop?

The Artisan Maskers started making masks because we wanted to throw a masquerade ball and couldn’t find any masks ANYWHERE that didn’t cost a fortune!  (This was almost ten years ago–there are LOTS more options now, thank heavens!)  We didn’t really think of selling them until a few years had passed and we made some to auction for a charity event.  They went like wild-fire and we thought, “Hey.  Maybe people would actually buy these!”  It wasn’t until 2008 that we opened a shop on Etsy and really started creating and selling masks as a business.

Tell us about some of your favourite items in the shop.

Our favorite items tend to be the ones that were long in the execution and quick to sell, because they weren’t sitting around long enough for us to get tired of them!  Any that are totally unique are also favorites because they took more creativity and artistry.  Here are links to some favorites that have come and gone…

Who or what would you say has had the most influence over your craft?

I don’t know that you could say it’s had the “most” influence over my craft, but one thing that has definitely inspired me to branch out is the “green” movement.  I hate being wasteful, so when even tiny scraps were being trimmed off of other masks, I would hoard them until I found something to use them on.  Which led me to the unique “scrap masks.”  (i.e. OOAK_Mask and OOAK Fox Mask) As far as I know, they aren’t like anything else being done on masks right now.  (After all, who else would bother saving all those broken, tiny things!?)  Another HUGE influence on our craft is simply the fact that we set out to create something beautiful and unique for LESS.  We don’t use traditional clay molds to create our mask bases, which saves us time and money in the mask-creating process.  That makes it possible for us to create something that is unique without charging a fortune for it!

What inspires you?

Each of the Maskers is inspired by something different, but I (Amanda) am personally very inspired by literature.  You can often see what book I’ve been reading by the names of my masks…  We are also all inspired by music (another one you can see reflected in the masks’ names at times) and by the many and varied materials we use.  Sometimes a mask comes about because we just found the perfect combination of things to put on it!

What is your favorite wedding trend (now or past)?

I have to say that I think the best trend in weddings is that just about “anything goes”.  I’m pretty conservative and traditional, BUT also a very casual person!  And it was nice that our low-key reception wasn’t frowned upon by those attending because wedding receptions have become anything and everything the bridal party want them to be.  If something doesn’t reflect the people who are getting married, then it shouldn’t play into the day celebrating their union.

What is your unicorn – that is, what is an object or skill that has eluded you so far?

“Appendages” are always difficult (think: horns, long/crazy noses, antlers, animal ears, etc.).  We have yet to find one perfect way of doing them all…


What do you think the future holds for you / your shop?

Since most of the Maskers are busy with other aspects of their lives (kids, jobs, school, etc.) and mostly design masks as a creative outlet and expression, I actually don’t see our business growing much more than it already has.  We like to keep things small and personal!  It is wonderful to be able to run the shop at my own pace and not get sucked into over-commercialization.  We LOVE getting to know individual clients and creating something unique for them!  That is, after all, what got us going in the first place–the desire to do something unique and individual.  So, luckily, I don’t see that changing anytime soon!

Visit ArtisanMaskers on Etsy and Facebook !

Recipe of the Week

Apple-Avocado Salsa

I happened across this recipe in an old library book (which I can’t remember the name of now–dang it!).  And, I know what you’re thinking:  APPLE salsa!?!?  But, trust me, it is delicious!  The tart apples and lime juice are perfectly balanced by the creamy avocado and zippy cilantro.  I get compliments on this stuff whenever I take it to a potluck of any kind; it’s also especially great when served with fajitas.  Plus, it looks gorgeously festive for the upcoming Holiday season!  Enjoy!

 

 

1 Cup Granny Smith (or other tart) apple, diced

1/2 Cup ripe avocado, peeled and diced

1/4 Cup sweet red pepper, diced (as you can see from the picture, I also used some yellow peppers)

1/4 Cup purple onion, diced

1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons jalapeño, seeded and minced (I never actually use this, because we like it a little less spicy!)

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

1 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice

1  small clove garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss well.  Make an hour or two ahead for best flavor results.  Yield:  2 Cups.

Recipe of the Week

From Amanda’s kitchen, of ArtisanMaskers

Mock Apple Crisp

Doesn’t this Autumny apple crisp look delicious?  Well, if you thought those were apples you’d be  WRONG!  Believe it or not, this is a picture of my sister’s “mock apple” crisp, which uses not apples, but ZUCCHINI!  (Great way to use up all the excess zucchini from your garden, right?)  Here we go!

First, to turn all that zucchini into “apples”!

8 Cups Zucchini, peeled, seeded, and chopped into “apple-like” chunks or slices

3/4 Cup Lemon Juice

1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

1 Tbsp Cornstarch

Boil zucchini pieces in lemon juice until tender (about 15 minutes).  Add sugar, spices, and cornstarch and simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool slightly.

To make “crisp” topping, cut together with a pastry blender:

1 Stick Cold Butter (1/2 Cup)

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Cup Oats

1 tsp Cinnamon

Pour your mock apple mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle crisp topping crumbs evenly over all.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until top looks slightly browned.  Enjoy hot with ice cream!

September giveaway

This month’s WedEclectic giveaway is hosted by

Just look at the unique masks that Amanda and the team from Artisan Maskers creates! If you are looking for a way to make your wedding unique, their shop would be an ideal place to look for possibilities!

And they are running a September sale on select masks…perfect timing for finding the perfect mask for your October masquerade!

September Sale

And now for the parade of their gorgeous creations!

And don’t forget the Circus Themed Wedding Shoot that was featured on the blog this summer!

Summer Circus Wedding

Amanda and her team are offering a $30 gift certificate towards your purchase from their shop for this month’s giveaway…choose 1, 2 or more masks you would like to use it towards, or contact them to order a custom mask! It will need to be redeemed by December 31st!

Shipping will be the responsibility of the winner…

This giveaway will run until midnight, September 30th, but don’t wait!

Entries will be accepted for:

Commenting, including your favorite item from Artisan Maskers‘ shop.

Commenting that you hearted Artisan Maskers‘ Etsy shop (and your Etsy name for verification).

Commenting that you friended Artisan Maskers on Facebook (and your FB page for verification).

Follow @WedEclectic  on Twitter.

Friend WedEclectic on Facebook.

Tweeted this giveaway (please copy your tweet here).

Posted this giveaway on your Facebook page (please copy your post here).

Posted this giveaway on your blog (please include the link here).

Posted this giveaway on a wedding/social network (please include the link here).

The giveaway is open worldwide.

The winner will be chosen randomly, verified, and contacted on October 1st via email with the good news!

Summer Circus Wedding

Over the summer the Artisan Maskers collaborated with a whole team of amazing artists to put together a fantasy Circus-themed wedding shoot.  Here’s a quick spread of the carnival madness that ensued!

 

First, we have our Tightrope Walker bride.  She preps for the big day with a gorgeously bizarre assemblage of bridesmaids (below): a Clownette, a Lion Tamer, a Fortune Teller, and even a mustachioed Ringmaster!

 

Next up, our Clown of a Groom and his fabulous Groomsmen: the Magician, the Roustabout, and, okay, the “Lion”, too…

 

A few choice shots of the Bride and Groom…

 

And, then, the gang’s all here!  Time for the party to START!

So, what do YOU think?  Could a Circus be in your marital future?  ;D

 

 

Please, have a look at all of the incredible artists that made this shoot possible!

Mini Top Hats, Clownette Ruff, Dog Ruff, Feather Bouquet – Because It Sparkles

Crystal Bridal Headband and Belt – Clay Bouquet Shop

Bustle Skirt and Groom/Best Man Jackets – DAS

Little Miss Muffett Garter – Never A Plain Jane Designs

Corsets and Petticoat – Period Corsets

(Not pictured:  Wedding Streamers – Extravagant Exits )

Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – #6 Do it Yourself

By ArtisanMaskers

Doing it yourself seems the obvious choice when trying to cut back on expenses.  BE WARNED, though, that sometimes going  “DIY” doesn’t save you enough money to be worth the extra headache!  Jennifer, from ClayBouquetShop, wrote a fantastic article about this very topic.  She offers some great tips if you are planning to take some elements of your wedding day into your own hands!  That being said, if you are artistic or good with your hands or just already know your own talents and limitations well enough, it can be a great way to save some money!  So go ahead and ponder the possibilities, just know that you personally won’t have the time to do everything.  Pick and choose wisely.

My real-life example, Julianna, wanted her bouquet to last beyond the wedding day.  She also wanted something that was uniquely her.  With a little craft-store savvy, she rounded up the elements that fit her vision, and came up with this gorgeously unique bouquet for around $20.

Looking for some more DIY inspiration?  Check out these fabulous posts right here on the Wed Eclectic blog!

Mercury Glass DIY

DIY Photo Booth (with Props)

How to Edit Your Own Photos

Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – #5 Be Creative!

By ArtisanMaskers

This tip is exactly what the Wed Eclectic Team is all about, so if you are reading our blog, you probably already have creativity in the bag!  This step is all about the question: who wants a wedding just like the next?  This is a chance to share your joy and excitement with those who care about you most, so it should reflect who you are, even in the details.  Often, with a little creativity, you can not only express yourself better, but save some money, as well!

My wedding colors were based on citrus tones, so my center-pieces consisted very simply of artfully piled limes, lemons, and tangerines among greenery and “filler” flowers (which can be purchased inexpensively at a floral supply place).  It was a cheap, but pretty, alternative to candles, glassware, or floral arrangements.

Another way I was able to save some money with a little creativity was by having our engagement announced with photos taken in one of those old black and white photo booths.  We found one, took two tries and used them on the back of the announcements.  It was definitely quirky (like me!) but you can’t beat spending $2 for your engagement photos!

Julianna wanted her bridesmaids to look cohesive, but not hate their dresses.  She purchased fabric in the colors she liked and then allowed each bridesmaid to have a dress of their choosing made for them in that fabric.  They were guaranteed to like the style (as their dress was made for them), and she liked the unified look.

Looking for more ways to give your wedding a splash of creativity?  I loved the creative use of color in this post (especially on simple things like fingernails and chair ribbons), the many alternatives to the “traditional” toasting flutes in this post, and some alternative lighting ideas offered in this post!  If you are having a hard time defining how to imbue your wedding with your own personality, I highly recommend starting with MyHaleyGirl‘s post about skipping the “cookie cutter” wedding, too.