Letterpress, Crawfish Boil & Stained Glass

Wheat once told me that people would get bored if I kept calling my weekend recap posts “Weekend Recap.”  So please excuse the randomness of the title.

However, that is precisely the three main things that my weekend consisted of: a trip to visit the badass gals at Paperworks Press in Tallahassee, a Crawfish Boil at Ventry Farm with Marc and Anna Jo, hitting the stained glass jackpot on Craigslist, and then spending all day Sunday in the shed working on a stained glass project.

I shared this video on Instagram Saturday morning, but it’s worth sharing again.  Letterpress is so fascinating! I think because it is such an old technique – you know me: the older the better!  Sheri and Alicia created some custom letterpress notecards for me with the oyster and pearls I hand drew for my logo.

So cute!  Much more to come on these two ladies very soon!

Saturday afternoon, Wheat, my parents, and I went to a crawfish boil with Marc and Anna Jo at Marc’s family farm. His parents go to Louisiana a few times a year and always bring back an insane amount of mudbugs.  We were SO excited to be invited to the 75-pound feast!

Live Crawfish | Oysters & Pearls Crawfish Close Up | Oysters & Pearls Boiling Crawfish | Oysters & Pearls Crawfish Boil | Oysters & Pearls Crawfish Boil at Ventry Farm | Oysters & Pearls

Believe me, it was as awesome as it looks.

Back to Saturday so I can tell you about Sunday.  After an impromptu lunch date on Saturday with a friend at Whole Foods, I hit the stained glass Craigslist jackpot.  I am a firm believer that if you put good vibes out into the universe, what you want will come to you.  I wanted a glass grinder, and I found one in no time flat.  Along with a tupperware full of glass, extra grinding bits, soldering iron and stand, lots of tools, patinas, and other supples – even a pair of gloves that somehow fit my tiny hands!  It was meant to be.

Craigslist Stained Glass Jackpot | Oysters & Pearls

I took a stained glass course my last semester of undergrad, and I’ve wanted to get back into it ever since.  Now that I have a shed/workspace – never mind that I most likely have no business taking up another hobby at this point in my life – I’m back at it.

I had some scrap glass leftover from that college class (I finally made it worth toting it around in all my moves in the last 4 years) that I had made some random pieces with a couple weekends ago, including a couple of sun catchers, a wall vase, and a couple of necklaces.  Nothing mind-blowing, of course, but good for practice and getting reacquainted.

Stained Glass Mini Projects | Oysters & Pearls Stained Glass Necklace | Oysters & Pearls

Also in the Craigslist box, was a tiny, unfinished project from the person it all once belonged to.  I felt compelled to finish it for her before I got started on my own project on Sunday.

Found Stained Glass - Unfinished Suncatcher | Oysters & Pearls Tiny Stained Glass Suncatcher, Finished | Oysters & Pearls

I don’t know if the original owner intended for this to be a sun catcher or part of a larger piece of work, but it’s a sun catcher now and I’ll think of the original owner when I see it. :)

Once I got all my new-to-me supplies and tools organized and that little sun catcher finished up, and set about starting my first bigger project utilizing my new grinder.  You can do so much more with a grinder.  It makes tiny pieces and curves possible, so I found a hummingbird stained glass pattern I loved (along with a few more I plan to make for a certain mom who loves hummingbirds) and got to work.

Cut Glass for Stained Glass Hummingbird Suncatcher | Oysters & Pearls

Again, I’m a complete amateur, and my pieces aren’t pattern perfect, but it will be okay.  And just to give you an idea of how time-consuming a hobby this is, I started this project around 1:00 p.m.  I took a quick break for lunch and another for supper, and got to the point where I took this next picture around 10:00 p.m.

Copper Foiled Stained Glass Hummingbird Suncatcher | Oysters & Pearls

First you have to pick a pattern, use pattern scissors to cut out each piece from a copy of it, label each piece, pick out glass for each piece, trace the pattern pieces on to the glass and label them, rough cut each piece of glass, grind each piece of glass, wash the glass, copper foil each piece, then you finally solder them all together.  Whew!  It’s a long process, but it’s really meditative for me.  I’m so glad I jumped back in after all this time.  And thankful for a husband who cooked me a steak dinner while I was doing it.  (In my defense, he did get to play golf all day…  And then eat a steak dinner.  ;)

At lunch yesterday I soldered everything together, added hooks, painted on the black patina, waxed it, and added chain.  It’s hard to tell how pretty it is, but here are some iPhone pics of the finished product.  I’ve still got lots of practicing to do, but I was pretty excited about how this turned out!

Handmade Hummingbird Stained Glass Sun Catcher | Oysters & Pearls Handmade Hummingbird Stained Glass Sun Catcher | Oysters & Pearls Handmade Hummingbird Stained Glass Sun Catcher | Oysters & Pearls

If anyone has any great stained glass resources they recommend (either online or IRL), I would love to hear about them in the comments!  Or feel free to shoot me an email.

Now back to that steak dinner. ;)

Jones Meats Ribeye, Hopkins Farms Squash and Onions, and Whole Foods Truffled Mac n Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

While at Whole Foods, I picked up a couple of these truffled mac n cheeses from the deli counter.  They were so good alongside a hand-cut ribeye from Jones Meats and some fresh Hopkins Farms squash and onions.  This meal was a little ridiculously indulgent, but I think we earned it.

We have some exciting things going on this week that I’ll share when the time comes… but until then, I hope everyone has a great week!

Shop this post:
custom letterpress goods (Paperworks Press)
waxed canvas koozie (Anhaica Bag Works)
stained glass supplies (Glassworks by Susan)
stained glass necklace (unintentionally similar by Canadian artisan Here and Now)
stained glass wall vase (inspired by Athens artisan Copper & Torch)

You may also like:
Southern Makers: Southern Restoration Furniture by Marc Ventry
Southern Makers: Anhaica Bag Works
Southern Makers Series

Until Next Time

Announcing O&P’s Newest Venture: Maiden South

As you may have already gathered from social media, I have an exciting announcement to finally officially make: my friend Jessica Grace and I are opening a shop together in downtown Bainbridge!

Maiden South: Quality Crafted Goods in Downtown Bainbridge, Georgia

It’s called Maiden South (say it out loud… get it?) and as the tag line states, we will feature quality crafted goods, along with some of our favorite vintage items.  We just launched our brand-spanking new website this week, and I am so excited I could burst.  I suppose I have it in my blood.  My grandfather started his own little shop in Bristol, Florida after he got back from World War II.

Bristol Novelty Shop | Oysters & Pearls

Conveniently, his last name was also Bristol.  And although we won’t be selling the same things he did, it will still be a shop full of novelties of sorts.

We had a little picnic to celebrate our venture together, and my sister Anna Jo took some really great pictures.  I thought I would share a few of them with you today, then continue to shamelessly plug ask you to head on over to our new Maiden South website and check out the rest.

Maiden South Summer Picnic | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South, Featuring Julie Guyot and Heartwood Forge | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South, Featuring The Refinery Candles | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South, Featuring Anhaica Bag Works | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South: Quality Crafted Goods in Downtown Bainbridge | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South Maidens | Oysters & Pearls Maiden South Maidens: Jessica Grace and Natalie | Oysters & Pearls

Cheers to new adventures, friends, the handmade economy, shopping locally and shopping at small businesses, Maiden South, and the weekend!

Maiden South  | Oysters & Pearls

Photo Credits: Anna Jo Bristol
Styling: Jessica Grace Allen

Shop this post:
You’ll be able to purchase items from these makers, along with many more, at Maiden South this Fall!

snack bowl (Julie Guyot)
candle (The Refinery)
bag (Anhaica Bag Works)
orange necklace (Knot and Bow Designs)
gold cuff (Christina Jervey Jewelry)
linen top (Thimble and Acorn)
knife (Heartwood Forge)
serving tray (Natalie – Maiden South)
cheese (Sweet Grass Dairy)

You may also like:
Southern Makers: The Refinery
Southern Makers: Heartwood Forge
Southern Makers: Anhaica Bag Works
Southern Makers: Julie Guyot
Southern Makers: Knot and Bow Designs
Southern Makers Series
Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Making Class

Now go check out our website!

www.maidensouth.com

And thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting me and supporting these artisans.  Y’all are the very, very best!

Until Next Time

Healthy White Vegetable Lasagna

Thanks to the recent influx of summer vegetables from our favorite farmers at Mountain Shadow Farm and Hopkins Farms, I’ve done a lot of cooking lately!  Making up for lost time I suppose.  Our (weight) gain is your gain!  But it doesn’t count when you’re cooking with summer fruits and veggies… right?

Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

This veggie lasagna is full of creamy white sauce, but don’t let that fool you.  It’s perfectly healthy while still being indulgent.  This is one dish that actually might not increase your waistline!

Patty Pan Heirloom Squash from Mountain Shadow Farm in Bainbridge, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls

Start with farm-fresh vegetables, like these beautiful little patty pan heirloom squashes from Mack at Mountain Shadow Farm. They make up the backbone of this hearty dish.  You can sub crookneck squash and/or zucchini for them if you can’t get your hands on any patty pan squash.

Building Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

You’ll roast most of the veggies, and this will require multiple pans and lots of things going on at once in your kitchen, but stay calm.  Just cover every baking sheet you own in aluminum foil to make it less overwhelming, because that cuts your cleanup time way down.  Just breathe, read the directions a couple of times, and relax.  And don’t forget to watch your roux!

Healthy Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna Recipe
serves six to eight
Barely adapted via myrecipes.com

ingredients

Vegetables
- 10 very small sweet onions (or 3 large shallots), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 to 3 pounds baby pattypan squash (may sub crookneck or zucchini squash)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 4 very ripe large tomatoes (or two pints cherry tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

Sauce
- 3 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Cooking spray
- 9 cooked lasagna noodles
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese
- 3 ounces shredded Italian Blend Cheese (or fontina if you can find it) (about 3/4 cup, packed)
- 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil

instructions

Preheat oven to 450°.  Combine onions and squash; drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss. Arrange vegetables in pan; roast at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring once.  Don’t allow them to burn, but you do want them to have some color. Preheat broiler to high.  Place tomatoes in a roasting pan; broil 10 minutes or until blistered. Combine squash mixture, tomatoes, 1/4 cup basil, chives, and garlic; toss gently.  Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil; swirl. Combine broth and flour, stirring with a whisk; add broth mixture to oil. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a whisk. I like a flat whisk – they are perfect for making roux.  Stir in cream, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer gently 4 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Place egg in a small bowl; slowly add 1 1/2 cups sauce to egg, stirring constantly. Return sauce to pan.

To build the lasagna, spread 1/2 cup sauce over the bottom of a broiler-safe 13 x 9–inch ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles over sauce; spread half of squash mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with half of the shredded cheese and dot with ricotta. Repeat the layers with remaining noodles, vegetable mixture, and cheese, ending with noodles. Pour remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly.  Turn broiler to high.  Broil lasagna for 4 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons fresh basil. Let stand for 12 minutes.  Slice and enjoy!

Roasted Veggies and Fresh Herbs Make this Healthy Vegetable Lasagna Extra Flavorful | Oysters & Pearls Roasted Veggies and Fresh Herbs Make this Healthy Vegetable Lasagna Extra Flavorful | Oysters & Pearls Healthy Veggie Lasagna with Homegrown Summer Vegetables and Herbs | Oysters & Pearls Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

This is such a pretty lasagna… before you cut it.  Is there really any way to make a slice of lasagna look pretty??  If there is, I haven’t found it yet.

Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls Healthy Summer Vegetable Lasagna | Oysters & Pearls

Feel free to roast and add any hearty, meaty veggies you have and add them in.  It’s so good and satisfying, creamy and rich without any of the guilt.  And a bit lighter than your average lasagna, so it’s perfect for summer gatherings around the table.

Shop this post:
farm style table (Southern Restoration Furniture)
flat whisk (Cuisipro Silicone Flat Whisk)
everyday china (Lenox French Perle in White)
blue baking dish (Staub Ceramic 9″ Oval Dish (Dark Blue)

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Farm to Table Supper Club
Farm to Table Supper Club Part Deaux
Hopkins Farms CSA
Harvest Moon Farm to Table Program
Shaved Summer Squash Salad
Southern Restoration Furniture by Marc Ventry

Until Next Time