Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pioneer Beeswax Candles Coming to M Design Boutique This Fall 2011

I am excited to announce that after a whole lot of research, testing and experimentation, I have found my way through the world of Beeswax Candlemaking! The candles will be offered in only the natural light honey/botanical fragrance of the wax, which, as it turns out, comes from the flora the worker bees bring to the wax and the honey produced in the hive.

My new line of Beeswax Candles will be called "Pioneer Brasa" drawing from the Swedish term for bonfire. I will be offering Hand-rolled, Hand-poured, Hand-kneaded Pillars, Tapers and Votive Candles.

The techniques I will use come from Scandinavian traditions and American Old West Pioneer techniques, which reflects my Scandinavian heritage and my Colorado, Montana and California up-bringing and life until very recently. I have always been interested in doing things the Old World way, which is part of my passion for making things. It captivates my imagination to envision the difficulties my ancestors encountered that I do not have to navigate in my modern life. My work reflects my interest in the tedium of everyday objects that is eliminated by the candy-like world of American consumption. Getting dirty is transformative. Learning to do things the hard way makes me tick.

I am currently working on building a multi-taper dipping set-up. I suppose I should put on my prarie skirt & bonnet and my wooden shoes, just to make it interesting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recipe of the Week (Catching Up!) -- Martini Steaks!

Tired of the same old steak? Here's a crowd-pleaser inspired by the classic martini.

Things you'll need:
  • Your favorite cut of steak
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Green Olives 
  • Grill & Charcoal 
  • Vodka 
  • Vermouth 
  • Olive Juice 
  • Pepper, Salt
 Place steaks in a large Ziploc bag or a Tupperware container that seals well.

Add the following ingredients to marinate:
1/2 cup vodka per steak
1/4 cup vermouth per steak
1 Tablespoon green olive juice per steak
dash salt
dash pepper

Marinate for several hours, or overnight but no longer than 10 hours or the liquor flavor will take over.

Remove steaks from fridge and bring them to room temperature. Light coals piled on either side, or on one side of your grill. This is called "indirect grilling".

Once coals are white, place steaks on the part of the grill with no coals underneath. Place lid over grill.

Cook steaks per guidelines found here:

Remove steaks from heat once they are cooked to your liking. Plate them, adding a generous heap of blue cheese crumbles to the top, and sticking an olive into the top of the steak with a toothpick. Serve with your favorite side dishes!

Tips & Warnings:

While marinating, keep the steaks moving. Turn them every hour or so if you're around.

Use the indirect method of cooking to prevent over-cooking your steaks.

The perfect cocktail with this steak is of course: a dry dirty vodka martini!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fall Fragrances 2011 Preview!

Nothing like dreaming of crisp Fall weather on a sweltering Summer day!

That explains why today I sat down and decided on the upcoming additions to my already awesome line of Fall Candle Fragrances in M Design Boutique.

Last year's favorites were Maple Pumpkin Pie, Autumn Leaves and Warm Sugar Cookies.

Here are the fragrances I will be offering in addition to my current line, beginning in September. If you must have one or two prior to that, be sure to comment on my facebook wall and I will indulge you:

  1. Fresh Baked Bread
  2. Peanut Butter Cookies
  3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
  4. Amaretto Nog
  5. Mulled Cider
  6. Maple Bourbon & Apples
  7. Buttered Rum
  8. Hazelnut Coffee
  9. Honeycomb
  10. Vanilla Cedar
  11. Firewood
  12. Blue Spruce
I am actually comforted on a hot July day by the thought of a cool Autumn day making all of those cozy that wrong?

Let me know what you think of the new line...and what Fall fragrances would you like to see added to my shop?

M Design Boutique Moved!

The New Studio!

While it remained "business as usual" throughout the move of M Design Boutique from the Boston area in Massachusetts to the Providence area in Rhode Island....behind the scenes kept things interesting!

The Gazebo at The Eager Homestead where we said our vows June 20, 2009
 My husband Mike's company 38 Studios moved from its home in Maynard, MA to beautiful down town Providence, Rhode Island. When we first got the news (about a year ago) that it could happen, we were shocked and pretty shaken by the news, as we had just celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary in our amazing historical home in MA where we were married in our yard. Over the course of the year, though, we began gathering information and looking at houses in RI to see if we could find something to ease the sting of leaving The Eager Homestead. The company moved several months ago and Mike was commuting as we cranked the gears on finding a house we would both fall head-over-heels in love with. Not an easy task to beat out a major gem of a historical home. But we did it. We found a home that we both fell in love with.

We celebrated our 2nd anniversary at The Eager Homestead three weeks before the move.

It was no fun saying goodbye to our home in Mass, but we had time to leave it the right way, with plenty of ceremony (mostly grilling, watching the Spring blooms and celebrating our 2nd anniversary watching fireflies from the gazebo where we said our vows).

One of the "Walls of Windows" that make the studio a bright, beautiful place to work!

The new home has a beautiful space for M Design Boutique's ever-growing studio and business to thrive. I am a nature-lover and two walls of the studio are windows that look out to the woods and over our yard where our pets hang out. Lots of cardinals, gold finches and humming birds, among others, hang out at our feeders as I pour candles and do all of the other behind-the-scenes work at MDB. Last night we even saw our first deer in the back yard!

First batch of candles made two days after moving in.

I truly feel happy and thankful to be working and living in Rhode Island. I look forward to creating a whole lot of beautiful things in the new home of MDB!

First grilled dinner by MDB Candle Light, of course!