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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lemon Garlic Pasta

Tonight for dinner we enjoyed this awesome vegan recipe from The Glad Cow Cookbook by Summer Keightley. This is one of my favorites; I've made it many, many times. I encourage you to buy Summer's book - it has a great title, pretty cover, and lots of super recipes! A few of my own notes follow the original recipe.

Lemon Garlic Pasta

1 lb. pasta cooked with 1/4 cup diced sundried tomatoes
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup diced black or kalamata olives
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup vegan margarine
juice of 2 lemons

Cook pasta with sundried tomatoes, drain, and set aside. Heat oil and garlic in saucepan. Cook until garlic is soft, but not brown. Add spinach, olives, salt, and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted. Add nutritional yeast and margarine. Cook and stir until well combined and margarine is melted. Take off heat and add lemon juice and pasta with sundried tomatoes. Stir well and serve.

  • I use an entire bunch of spinach, not just 2 cups. It cooks down so much, you can really pack a lot in there and it practically disappears.
  • Next time I think I'll use 1/2 teaspoon of salt rather than a full teaspoon. The kalamata olives add a pretty salty taste already, so I don't think it needs much.
  • I like to use whole wheat pasta (for it's huge nutritional benefits) but Matt is not a fan... I've recently discovered a brand that is 100% whole wheat and organic but tastes lighter and, well - whiter, I guess. It's called Bionature and I get it at my local natural foods store. I like the fusilli with this recipe.
  • This is perfect served with a big, hearty salad. Yum!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Life's a Beach

In Humboldt County, if you wait for good weather to go to the beach, you could be waiting a while... so today, off we went, despite the cloudy skies and somewhat chilly temperature.

Carlos' adorable hat is from another Etsy seller, pdxbeanies. It's a little bit too big for him still but still so cute.

In vegan cooking news, today I made Better than Cinnabons. Holy crap. HO-LY CRAAAP. You might hate me for giving you that link. Prepare to become addicted to the vegan cinnamon bun deliciousness. Matt's commentary: "I think the reason I like these so much is because they taste normal," {Matt-speak for 'they don't taste vegan'}.

Also today, a package arrived from Vegan Essentials. Among other things, it included this mac-n-cheese in a box that is actually quite tasty (not as good as homemade but still edible, unlike many I've tried). We had the one in the green box for dinner tonight, topped with Parma; steer clear of the blue box, trust me. After the frenzy of cinnamon-bun baking this morning, I needed an easy dinner.

And in case anyone needs some advice for a good night's sleep, forget Ambien, all you need is a soccer ball to snuggle with. Or so Carlos says. Sweet dreams, and see you in the morning.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Double Chocolatey Goodness

This morning I made Low Fat Double Chocolate Muffins for breakfast. The recipe was from I think they turned out quite good - they aren't overwhelmingly sweet, which is nice for a breakfast muffin, but you still get your chocolate fix.

I don't have a jumbo muffin pan, which the recipe calls for, so I used regular muffin tins and it made nine muffins. Next time, I think I might mix half the chocolate chips into the batter and sprinkle the other half on top of the batter once I pour it into the tins, because the chocolate chips seemed to all sink to the bottom half of the muffins.

Also, I promised a review of postpunkkitchen's Mango Ginger Tofu recipe, which I made a couple of nights ago. Overall, I was impressed, but I should have cooked the tofu longer - maybe it was just my funky old oven, but it didn't get browned enough. I might also skip the extra sliced mangos and red peppers that you add towards the end - they were fine, but I didn't really feel like they added too much (other than aesthetically) to the dish; I enjoyed the flavor of the steamed broccoli I prepared as a side dish more than the mangos and peppers. The sauce was very tasty.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Finally, after many gray, dreary days in a row, the sun came out today, and it wasn't even windy! Carlos tried out his new swimming pool - it was a big hit (not that you can tell from his expression in the picture - he was having a great time but somehow every time I took a photo, he wasn't smiling...???)

Jewelry & Bead Sale!

I need to clear out some of my older inventory to make room for all the new stuff, so I've just marked down a bunch of beads and jewelry. Happy shopping!!!

Here are just a few of the things I've marked down
(click photos for more info):

faceted peridot rondelles

smoky quartz briolettes

turquoise lemon bracelet

turquoise drop necklacechocolate strawberry earrings

Sunday, May 27, 2007

What to do with all those Strawberries...

It's that time of year! Get ready to see lots of fruity recipes from me in the coming weeks and months. Today I'm making Mango Ginger Tofu for dinner, which I plan to serve with rice pilaf and steamed broccoli. I'll post a review of that recipe tomorrow. And for dessert, modified from a Vegetarian Times recipe...

Strawberry Parfait

2 12-ounce packages silken tofu (I used lite firm but I think just about any kind of silken tofu will do)
12 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups strawberries (this worked out to be about two of the little green baskets)
1 cup crushed walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine tofu, Tofutti cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and 2-1/2 cups strawberries in a food processor and puree until smooth. (You might need to do this in two batches; my food processor was almost maxed out.) Slice the remaining 2-1/2 cups strawberries and combine with mixture from food processor in a serving bowl (or individual glasses for a fancier presentation).

Spread walnuts in a small baking dish and bake until fragrant and lightly browned, 6-8 minutes (stir once or twice). Sprinkle parfait with walnuts and serve. (If you make and chill the parfait ahead of time, wait to sprinkle the walnuts on top until just before serving.)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mohawk Man

Much to my mother's dismay, we gave Carlos a mohawk yesterday. Hey, every kid has to have a mohawk at some point, right? I'm not sure how I feel about it aesthetically but it is pretty hilarious.


and After:baby with mohawk
And have I mentioned how obsessed this child is with balls? He plays with balls morning, noon, and night, and we've recently discovered the secret to easier bedtimes and longer naps is putting him in his crib with a ball. He holds it while he sleeps - it's too cute. I will have to get a picture of that sometime.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Labradorite Obsession Continues...

Is it strange that I sometimes post more than once a day? I like this blogging thing, and it seems like I often have both jewelry- and non-jewelry-related things to talk about, and for some reason I like to separate them. Anyhoo...

I am still totally in love with labradorite, and here's what I've made recently with it:

labradorite ocean necklace

Siren of the Sea Necklace

labradorite pearl earringsLabradorite Daggers Earrings (ooh, sounds scary!)

Jewelry for Charity

Earlier this month, I had a jewelry party at my mom's house and donated 10% of my sales to WINGS Guatemala, a charity providing quality reproductive healthcare and education to the Guatemalan people. This might sound familiar since I posted about it at the time.

I received a nice thank-you letter from WINGS the other day and the idea of business and charity has been on my mind a lot since then. Giving back is important to me, and with my business beginning to flourish, I like the idea of helping others through the sale of my jewelry and beads. So I've decided to select a charity each month to support, and a percentage of my entire sales for that month (I'm thinking 5%) will be donated to that charity. I'm going to finish out the month of May supporting WINGS, and June's charity will be Vegan Outreach.

My plan is to rotate each month (although after a while I will probably start repeating some of the same ones - my favorites), spreading my donations among humanitarian and animal causes, both locally and worldwide. I'm not making a ton of money right now, so my donations might not be huge, but it feels good to do something (anything!), and as my business hopefully continues to grow, so too will my contributions to these agencies doing good works in the world.

If you have suggestions for future charities for me to support, feel free to pass them along! I'll keep you posted about each month's new charity here on my blog.

On another note, I want to promote the idea of gift shopping on Etsy. There are so many amazing artists and incredible products on Etsy, and most people I know would rather have a totally unique, handmade gift than some mass-produced crap from WalMart (I know I would). I've decided to try as hard as I can to buy all my gifts on Etsy from here on out - it probably won't work for Matt, since all he ever wants is car parts, but I think I'll be able to do about 80-90% of my gift shopping there.

This month I bought this shirt for my brother's birthday (you'd have to know him to understand), and I just ordered something for my Mom's upcoming birthday. (I'm not going to post a link yet because she reads this, but I'll share later! I thought she might be ready to receive something other than my jewelry on every gift-giving occasion.) So, whether you buy something from me or from another of the many talented people selling on Etsy, enjoy your shopping experience and bask in the glow of knowing that your purchase is supporting independent artists! And if you get overwhelmed by the vast selection (it can happen), get in touch with me and I'll help you find the perfect gift for whoever you're shopping for, or for yourself - ooh, I could be an Etsy personal shopping assistant! Fun!

Eek, that was another word-heavy post. Here's a picture of Hazel (alpha dog extraordinaire).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Latest Creations - Labradorite Necklace & More

Once again I have been creating. Last night and this morning I have been working on this labradorite and sterling silver necklace. It's not quite done yet but it's close. I am having a hard time deciding whether to antique the silver or not.

It's similar to the ornate Eni-style pendants I've done several of in the past (here - scroll down a bit and you'll see them), but I usually mix the coiled wire with beads for a wilder, unplanned look, whereas with this piece I've used only the coiled wire for the bezel, which I think gives it a more formal feel.

I also put this fun, summery bracelet together last night for a custom order. This one is spoken for but if you like it, I'm sure I could make another one similar to this!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Best Vegan Dessert In the World. Period.

As promised, here is what I (and my friends and family) think is the very best vegan dessert ever made. I have become rather well-known in my own little circle for this recipe and am often asked to make "the tart." I can't take too much credit though, it was easy to veganize from a recipe published in one of our local papers, the North Coast Journal, a couple of years ago.

1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) soy margarine

Creamy Layer:
12 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Fruit Layer:
Your choice of, um, fruit

1 cup orange (or other) juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch

To prepare crust, sift together 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and flour until, then cut in the margarine until it resembles coarse crumbs. Press into tart pan(s). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.

Blend cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla thoroughly (I use a hand mixer) and spread evenly on cooled crust.

Top with sliced fruit arranged artfully over creamy filling.

Combine juices, cornstarch, and 1/2 cup sugar in a small-medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened and pour over fruit. Chill in refrigerator for one hour or more.

  • The original recipe called for a 14" tart pan. The largest I could find was a 12" so I bought that plus a mini 4" tart pan, and this recipe makes one big and one little tart. If you don't have a tart pan, a springform pan should work.

  • You can use any kind of fruit you like - in the past, I've used mandarin oranges, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries. You can also use different kinds of juice - once I did pineapple juice with kiwi fruit - be creative!

  • Beware of razor blades disguised as tart pans. The first tart pan I bought had an edge so sharp that I cut myself washing it, almost bad enough to need stitches. I returned that pan and found another one with a slightly rolled-over edge. Much safer for clumsy cooks like me!

Oh, okay...

I'm feeling guilty about the length and weight of my last blog (which leads me to question my guilty feelings... why should I feel guilty??? It is my blog after all. Am I afraid you will leave me? Am I that insecure?) so here's a picture of Carlos with juicy watermelon running down his chin, taken mere moments ago. {{{please don't leave}}}

Doesn't he look like a poor neglected little vegan waif??? HA! Actually, to tell the truth, Matt feeds him eggs once in a while (against my wishes) so technically he's not vegan - wouldn't Ms. Planck be proud?

Okay, must go. It's too nice of a day to be in here blogging.

A Tragic Event Exploited by Nina Planck & The NY Times

I know I promised you sweet vegan goodness in my last post, and I promise, it will be here soon, but in the meantime, there's something that's bugging the crap out of me and I have to get it off my chest. I apologize in advance for this very long and text-heavy post, you know I usually like my posts to be pretty with pictures and all, and I'll get back to that tonight or tomorrow, but this subject does not lend itself to pretty pictures.

On Monday, the New York Times published an op-ed piece entitled Death by Veganism. The article was written by Nina Planck, a cookbook author who is heavily pro-meat/dairy/eggs (and who, coincidentally, also has business interests in the meat and dairy industries). She asserts that the recent tragic death of six-week-old Crown Shakur was due to the fact that his parents are vegan, and goes on to state that no baby raised on a vegan diet can thrive and be healthy. I hesitate to even provide the link to this ridiculously irresponsible and biased article, but I want you to have the whole story so here it is.

I seem to be having a particularly strong and visceral reaction to her article, more so than I probably would have before I became a mom. I am taking it really personally - I know I probably shouldn't - but who is this woman to tell me that my diet, and the way I feed my beloved child, is cruel and irresponsible??? I did plenty of research before Carlos came home to make sure that his diet would meet his nutritional needs. I bought and read Raising Vegan Children in a Non-Vegan World (the ultimate guide for vegan parents, in my opinion), I carefully studied the chapter on nutrition, learned about each nutrient that can potentially be hard to get enough of on a vegan diet, and I came up with this handy one-page guide to hang on the refrigerator as a constant reminder and guide to feeding Carlos (and myself and Matt) a healthy vegan diet. I talked with Carlos' pediatrician, who has absolutely no problem with us feeding him a vegan diet. How dare this woman call me irresposible and ignorant after all that???

Okay, emotional rant over - I want to provide you with some rebuttal information so you can see just how insane this person is. I have a feeling this article of hers is a well-planned publicity stunt to bring the author and her book into the limelight.

First of all, I must say that regardless of your dietary preferences, *anyone* who feeds a baby inadequate quality (or quantity) food is being neglectful/abusive to their child. There are, sadly, all to many cases of abuse and neglect (including malnutrition) among non-vegan households as well. Whether a parent is vegan or otherwise, it is their responsiblity to educate themself about what their baby needs to eat to be healthy. Obviously these parents did not do so, and the outcome was tragic and preventable.

There are so many things wrong with her article that it's hard to know where to begin. I think for now I'm going to exerpt what others have written and provide links to their full articles, because they have said it better than I probably could, and I'm afraid I might be a little too upset to be coherent.

vegan_noodle writes:
[Nina Planck] has taken a tragic, heartbreaking story of abuse and neglect and turned it into a self promoting attack on a way of life that seeks to reduce suffering and promote compassion. {read more}
the urban vegan writes:
In 2003, a Collingswood , NJ couple was charged with starving four of their adopted children over several years. One child died. The issue was clearly neglect. Yet the headlines did not read "Omnivores Starve Child to Death."Let's see all these sad cases for what they are--neglect.And let's see Ms. Planck's op-ed for what it is--an opportunistic misrepresentation. Ms. Planck is a businesswoman who has vested interests in the meat and dairy industries. She is not a nutritionist (which becomes clear when she touts the benefits of lard in her book). {read more}
Amy Joy Lanou, Senior Nutrition Scientist with the Physicians Committe for Responsible Medicine writes:
I am a nutritionist who testified as an expert witness for the prosecution in the criminal trial of the parents of Crown Shakur. As the lead prosecutor in this case told the jury, this poor infant was not killed by a vegan diet. He was starved to death by parents who did not give him breast milk, soy-based infant formula or enough food of any kind.Well-planned vegan diets are healthful for pregnant mothers and their infants, as well as for older children, according to a large body of scientific research ... Studies have found that vegan children are within the normal ranges for weight and height, and I personally know vegan mothers and vegan children who are healthier than many of their omnivorous peers.
Vive le Vegan! writes:
As vegans, we talk endlessly about animal suffering. Well, this is a clear case of human suffering. Baby suffering. I am a vegan, but I am a mother first. I would never risk my child's health. It is a parent's responsibility to protect their child. But this baby's death is not about a vegan diet. It's about inexplicable parental behavior. Being vegan and raising healthy children are not mutually exclusive ... This is what bothers me so much about this article. People read this and think that vegans are so staunch in their beliefs that they would put their child in an unhealthy - risky - situation, because they are 'extreme' vegans. Bull. This is media sensationalizing a story for their own benefit. This baby's death is gut-wrenching, and this article is
D. Hines writes:
My opinion: Nina Planck is as misinformed as those two parents who thought they could feed their newborn baby only soy milk and apple juice. I'd be willing to bet that family did not have any prenatal healthcare (with a knowledgeable provider) since the American Dietetic Association supports a well balanced vegan diet as healthful for infants and pregnant women. I'd also be willing to bet that they didn't have health insurance- which is the real tragedy in this country - not some sensational crap from some food book author with no credentials. The headline should have read "Death by Ignorance Caused By Corporate Greed and Government Indifference."If mom was not able to breastfeed then any soy based formula could have been used satisfactorily. If an ignorant omnivore feeds their baby only cow's milk and apple juice and then the baby dies of anemia or renal failure would the headline read "Death by Omnivorism"?
John McDougall, MD writes:

The scientific truth is: Babies at 6 weeks of age require human breast milk and any other diet means malnutrition. Imagine if the exact opposite approach killed an infant with a formula made of pulverized beef and cow's milk, would this have received similar worldwide press? I believe the case would have been properly considered child neglect (intentional or not) and have gone unnoticed except for those intimately involved. "People love to hear good news about their bad habits" so the tragedy of the death of an infant caused by misguided parents who fed their infant apple juice and soy milk for the first 6 weeks of life has been used to justify eating meat and drinking cow's milk ...

Nina Planck has been allowed by the New York Times to exploit the tragedy of a family and to spread commonly held, but scientifically incorrect, information on human nutrition. The author and the newspaper should be held accountable. Hopefully, the end result will be that people desiring the truth will take the trouble to look at the evidence. If this were to be the case, then this New York Times article could be the beginning of long overdue changes in the ways people eat. Write and tell everyone you know that the New York Times has done a sloppy job, and damage to the public, by allowing harmful lies to be spread-especially when you consider that Planck's message promotes a diet known to cause obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and major cancers. {read more}

And finally, here are some letters published in today's NY Times regarding this article.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Treasury Time Again!

I started another treasury last night - in celebration of my 400th heart, I am featuring the work of some of the talented people who hearted me. {Those of you who are not Etsy people are probably wondering what the *heck* I am talking about - all I will say is, go join Etsy and find'll be glad you did!}

Here's the link, which as usual will only work for about the next day and a half.

King of the Sandbox

Carlos got his first sandbox, and he is having a great {and messy!} time with it...

carlos sandbox
carlos sandbox
While I was outside this morning taking pictures of Carlos, I was thinking how amazing it is that such pretty things can come from a garden as neglected as ours!

pink rose garden

yellow eureka rose
pink flowers

I haven't paid any attention to the yard this year, and it shows, but it's still pretty, just in more of a wild, unkempt way.

And on a totally unrelated topic - I got new jewelry cards yesterday and I'm really happy with them! All this time, I have been printing out these silly little labels that say 'McFarland Designs,' cutting each one out, and sticking it on the cards, which was not only time consuming, but didn't look that great either. Now they are colorful and shiny and pretty and I don't have to cut labels anymore! What do you think?

smoky quartz earrings

Last but not least, a teaser... in a few days I will be posting the vegan dessert recipe that I am famous for among my family and friends - it is the most amazingly delicious dessert recipe in my repertoire, and anyone you make it for will be awed and inspired by your superior vegan baking abilities. I'm not exaggerating. Check back soon, perhaps on Thursday?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A little burst of creativity

It's funny how I go for stretches of time without feeling inspired to create much - I'll just be content to play with my beads and work on the business side of things for days or even weeks at a time, but then all of a sudden that creative itch strikes and it must be satisfied! Late last night I got this image in my head of long, swingy, gemmy earrings. I tried a few more casual versions...

dangly tourmaline earrings

long, swingy tourmaline earrings

vegan pearl earringslong, swingy Swarovski pearl earrings (vegan)

They were fun, but not exactly what I had in mind. So I tore through my bead stash until I found the perfect stones - gorgeous little faceted hessonite garnet rondelles - then I encased them with a delicate herringbone wrap of sterling silver wire - and I love them. I really want to make a pair for myself but I think they would be way too tempting for Carlos and I would end up having them painfully removed from my earlobes.

dangly gemstone earrings

long, swingy hessonite garnet earrings

I also finished work on about two dozen rings yesterday. The ring project started innocently enough... about a month ago I fell in love with this ring from RaesCreations and bought it on Etsy. Once it arrived, I decided I wanted a vegan pearl version as well, so I experimented until I had the technique figured out and made one for myself, and a couple of extras. I gave one to my mom as a thank you gift for hosting a jewelry party recently, and the few extras I had sold as soon as I set them out, two at my mom's party and one at Arts Alive.

Now, this style of ring (which I've often heard called 'nest' rings), is pretty common and popular on Etsy; however, I couldn't find anyone making them with Swarovski pearls, which was what I really wanted.

vegan pearl rings
(The middle one is my favorite color.)

swarovski pearl rings

antiqued (top) and shiny sterling silver (below)

wire wrapped rings

playing around with different stones

wire knot ring

a sweet little knot ring

* Here are a few other Etsy sellers I like who make this style of ring:


Saturday, May 19, 2007

I'm Jumping on the Bandwagon

The Etsy-sellers-interviewing-other-Etsy-sellers-on-their-blogs bandwagon, that is. What the heck, it's fun, it's a good excuse to get to know some of my Etsy idols, and it's just good karma. Don't worry though, I won't be interviewing just anybody - I have standards! I'm going to be carefully picking artists who I think are the best of the best to share with you. The first of these super-talented people is Irene Suchocki of Montreal, Quebec. She is an incredibly talented photographer, and, well - I'll just shut up and let you see for yourself!

irene suchocki treeTell us a little about your work…

I’m actually fairly new to photography. It became a serious hobby of mine about two years ago. But since then, I have become rather obsessed with it, spending many many (oh so many) hours taking photographs and learning how to manipulate them in my digital darkroom, Photoshop.

What is the best/most exciting thing about working with your medium?

Having a creative outlet is relatively new to me and it has been wonderful. For me, the work in Photoshop is as important as taking the initial photograph. I love working on a photograph in Photoshop to manipulate color and mood. Sometimes I know what I want the final image to look like and sometimes I just start experimenting without any clear idea. I like both processes. Having a final image in mind and being able to achieve it is very satisfying. But so is just approaching an image with a sense of play, without any particular notions about it, and then to watch it emerge is quite exciting. I don’t know how to paint or draw, and so I sometimes really manage to surprise myself with the images that I am able to create.

irene suchocki agave
What is the most challenging/frustrating thing about working with your medium?
Finding enough time to do it! Ideally, the best time of day to shoot is either in the early morning (sunrise and just after) and around sunset. Because of that full-time job thingy, it’s very hard for me to structure my days to do that. Unlike painting or drawing, which you can do in the comfort of your own home, with photography you actually have to go to the darned place! Which I love doing and I’ve discovered so many places I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. But again, time restrictions mean that I don’t get out nearly as much as I’d like to.

How else do you market/sell your work besides Etsy?

I have a personal website:, as well as a flickr site. Earlier this year I must have given out about 700 business cards to various Etsy sellers to include in promo packages during art and craft fairs this summer. I have also tried a couple of ads on popular blogs, but it’s hard to tell if they had any impact.

irene suchocki zebra
What Etsy sellers have you recently bought from?

I have purchased gorgeous jewelry from Vintaj and mattskiss99, a business card holder from flickaalice, ACEOs from heather91 and asilart, and some yummy smelling soap from SoapbySeaBlossom. There’s so much great talent on Etsy. I plan on buying as many gifts as I can from Etsy sellers.

irene suchocki photograph
What advice can you offer for other Etsy sellers (especially newbies)?

It takes some work to promote your store on Etsy. Use the mechanisms available to you: Showcase, the forums, listing items daily (I try to list at least twice a day). The key is to do what you can to keep your store visible and that means being active on Etsy on a daily or near-daily basis. Customer service is also critically important. Giving buyers the status of their order, dealing with problems (lost or damaged goods) in a professional manner, including personal touches in your packages (thank you notes, coupons) all go a long way to establishing a good rapport with your customers. Also, try not to get too attached to whether or not you sold anything today, or how long it’s been since you last sold something. It’s too much of an emotional roller coaster.

Do you have pets?

Yes. I have a plump cat named “Six” (because she has six claws on her front paws). She is, of course, the best cat in the universe.

irene suchocki photo
Do you have a day job?

Sigh. Yes. By day I’m a mild-mannered Technical Writer (which means I write user guides for computer software), but by night I’m a … well … still pretty mild-mannered … photographer! I’m also a certified yoga instructor and I usually teach a class a week to some of my friends.

irene suchocki art
What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

It used to be reading, but now I more often find myself buying a bunch of flowers to photograph indoors.

What is your least favorite chore?

Cleaning out the garage (something I’ve been procrastinating on for a while now).

What is your favorite sweet treat?

Bananas Foster

irene suchocki artwork

You can visit Irene's Etsy shop at

Items currently for sale in her shop range from $14 - $32, and she has some great gift ideas for Father's Day!