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archive for 'handmade'

- clue town books: oakland cemetery -

clue town oakland cemetery - photo by: angela nichols

for my birthday, we got a babysitter and tried out our first scavenger hunt from clue town books. we had a blast for sure! we started out at the republic for some cocktails before walking over to historic oakland cemetery for our adventure.

for those of you who are unfamiliar with clue town, they are these great scavenger hunt books from local kirkwood resident jay carlson. the books come with a compass, a little pencil, and lots of puzzles to solve along the way. he has released 4 books so far, including: piedmont park, oakland cemetery, downtown decatur, and the beltline eastside trail. the scavenger hunts take roughly 60-90 minutes to complete, depending on which one you go with.

for our first clue town adventure, we went with the historic oakland cemetery. the hunt took us about an hour and a half, which was longer than the 60 minute estimate. we took our time strolling through the historic atlanta site however, soaking in our rare outing away from the kids. the puzzles were challenging at times, but definitely fun and not too hard. the compass was used quite a bit as well, which added to the experience!

although we didn’t bring our kids, the oakland cemetery hunt definitely seemed kid-friendly. everything was self-contained within the cemetery walls and parking was close and free, so it would be an easy scavenger hunt to try out with the kids.

you can buy clue town books directly from jay at most atlanta festivals, or you can find them at select atlanta shops, including: the beehive, youngblood boutique, heliotrope, oakland cemetery gift shop and the high museum of art gift shop.

up next for us is piedmont park, we can’t wait! we are going to try it out with clementine and grey!

- ryan & gub

historic oakland cemetery

248 oakland avenue se
atlanta, ga 30312


the republic

437 c memorial drive se
atlanta, ga 30312


- starbucks handcrafted sodas -

i recently tried out starbucks new line of handcrafted sodas. i had a buy-one-get-one free coupon, so i sampled both the spiced root beer and the golden ginger ale.

i would have to say i was unimpressed. the sodas were light on carbonation, so they tasted a little flat from the get go. more carbonation would definitely have helped. the spiced root beer was a little too spicy and not enough root beer tasting and the golden ginger ale was a little bland.

i like the idea of a handcrafted soda made without corn syrup, however i doubt i’d order one from starbucks again.

- ryan

- sunflowerman -

i was in condesa coffee not too long ago and took a liking to the artwork on display by sunflowerman. they were just small watercolor paintings on torn out pages from books, but i liked the style quite a bit.

after a little more research, i learned sunflowerman is actually a design agency, not just one artist. they are based out of atlanta and focus on men’s fashion illustration. (i kept picturing the j peterman catalog when reading their bio!) you can order custom paintings and view more artwork on their website.

in case you’ve never been, condesa is another local option for coffee in atlanta. they are known for handbrewing coffee with chemex coffeepots, and also for serving beer and wine. i’d say condesa isn’t as good as dancing goats, but they are still a great local place for coffee treats!

- ryan

condesa coffee

480 john wesley dobbs avenue ne #100
atlanta, ga 30312


- all the buildings in new york -

i recently discovered this great blog by australian illustrator james gulliver hancock. hancock set out on the ambitious goal of hand-drawing every building in new york in 2010. he still has a lot of buildings to go, however you can now purchase a book featuring every drawing he’s done so far.

here is a new york times interview with james from a few months ago.

- ryan

- will you be mine -

happy valentine’s day! clementine loved her valentine’s balloon. she was too small to fully enjoy her last encounter, so she made the most of it this time around.

gub created some sweet home-made cards for the family and in return received flowers and treats from cacao atlanta! this included handcrafted truffles, dark chocolate peanut butter cups & muscadine cordials. yum yum!!!

be sure to stop by one of their atlanta locations or factory store for some local “bean to bar” treats and good ol’ fashioned chocolatiering! here is their boutique menu or you can purchase items from their website.

- ryan

cacao atlanta factory store

312c north highland avenue
atlanta, ga 30307


- homemade in kirkwood -

our friends ben & meredith brought us some delicious pickled goods they made from their garden this year! they included pickled peppers, okra, cucumbers, squash, green tomatoes, as well as jams and tomato sauces. we are so thrilled!

- ryan & gub

- the perfect cup of coffee -

after my recent tour of the batdorf & bronson roastery, i went on a quest to brew a better cup of coffee. i learned on the tour that there are many factors that go into a good cup of joe. these range from the quality and freshness of the coffee, to using the proper ratio of grounds/water, to hitting the ideal brewing temperature of 205°. the problem is most consumer coffeemakers never reach such high temperatures. for that, you need a hand-brewed method where you are in full control and as much as i love my french press, it sounded like a pour over coffeepot was the way to go.

after a little research, i decided on the stylish chemex coffeepot. it’s both a great coffeemaker and a beautiful piece of design, even 70+ years after its creation. plus it only set me back $31.95 at dancing goats in decatur. i did have to buy special chemex filters for it, but they were just $5.95 for a 100 pack, which wasn’t that bad.

for my inaugural pot, i picked up some nice costa rica la minita del sol coffee. the description on the bag was “full bodied & sparkling sweet, maple, almond & orange juice,” which sounded interesting. the beans were 100% sun dried instead of fully washed, like most central american beans, so it’s supposed to be fairly unique.

the brewing process was pretty easy to follow. i put a chemex filter into the top of the coffeepot and added a tbsp of freshly ground coffee for each 5 oz cup, 8 tbsp for a full pot. i boiled 40 oz of water and removed it from heat for roughly 20 seconds until it reached ~205°. i then wet the grounds with 4 oz of water and let “bloom” for 30-40 seconds. from there i added the rest of the water, making sure not to overflow, and composted the spent grounds. voilà, the perfect cup of coffee!

the results were definitely worth the effort! the coffee had that fresh, strong taste you get from a french press, but seemed cleaner and less-bitter since the oils and sediment were filtered out. it was a nice, crisp cup of coffee where I could actually distinguish some of the descriptive characteristics. i wouldn’t say i sensed the orange juice, but i picked up some sweet and nutty elements, especially when sampled next to a cup of french roast. it was some of the better coffee i’ve made at home!

on top of that, the actual coffeepot is gorgeous and looks great on the countertop! it’s on permanent display at moma and was featured in the modern by design exhibit at the high museum of art, further proving its elegance.

for more thorough brewing instructions, or to check out some great mid-century illustrations, head to the chemex website. there are also some slightly different brewing instructions offered from dancing goat, although i tried this method and didn’t care for it. it used almost twice the coffee and was a little strong for my taste.


- ryan

dancing goats coffee bar

419 west ponce de leon ave
decatur, ga 30030


- homemade baby food -

we bought a food chopper and started making some baby food for clementine. we have this great book called super baby food, which has been a big help in preparing and storing the food, as well as when everything is age appropriate. so far we’ve made apples, bananas, sweet potatoes and carrots!

- ryan & gub

- indie craft experience -

the indie craft experience holiday shopping spectacular was fantastic as usual! we nearly finished our holiday shopping, so i would consider that a full success. and in case you missed it, don’t worry, ICE is also hosting a pop-up shop inside criminal records from december 1st through the 24th! they will have a ton of amazing handmade goods for sale.

i filmed some time lapse footage of the two-day event with my friend chase. below you can see the work-in-progress and also find more videos here. i plan on editing the footage together, but i thought it looked great and wanted to share! if you have high-speed internet, be sure to watch the clips in HD.

- ryan

- diy shed renovation -

gub’s mom converted an old playground in her backyard into a super cute gardening shed! it was a gradual renovation, but it turned out great. we were impressed with her clever re-use of the playground, which hadn’t been used in ages. here are some photos of the process!

- ryan & gub