A Guest Post by Sandy Buffie and Jamie Birch
Calling all Artists, Crafters and Snackers!
Yes, we are talking about all of you that have dunked your paintbrush into the chocolate fondue by mistake. Do you have a favorite snack that is your companion as you work in your studio? Is there a special treat that someone always brings to your art group to share? How many of you have very specific road food you take with you when you spend the weekend showing your art? WE WANT TO KNOW!!!
It was when we were first in an art group together, that we noticed a trend. We discovered a primal connection between art and food—especially snacking! Our art group met every week. Everyone had a very different personality, different backgrounds, worked in different mediums, but the one thing that connected us was the reaction to the words, “Anybody ready for a snack?” Suddenly, there were smiles and a twinkle in everyone’s eyes, work was momentarily put aside, and the bond between artists was reinforced.
Many times, snack time also became show-and-tell time, a safe place to express ourselves and share new projects and ideas. What was really fun was when all that creativity spilled over, literally, to the snacks people brought! Let’s face it, craftspeople get as excited about snacks as they do about those 40%-off coupons at Michael’s. In our group, snacking became equally as important as making art! So, it got us thinking.
We have been devouring (no pun intended, of course!) all the recent publications that highlight amazing artists’ studios. (Talk about eye candy!) One is more beautiful than the next; lovely, large spaces with great views, in amazing old buildings with tons of character, and all are beautifully designed. While drooling over them is even more thrilling for us than daydreaming through the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalog, they are, often times, just as unattainable as the dinner and tequila tasting with the internationally known top chefs.
We want to put together a book showcasing what “everyday” people do when they want to create. We so admire people who, in the midst of raising families, full-time jobs and taking care of aging parents, still find time to make art and express themselves. It is that part of them that even if it means taking over part of the garage, or turning a closet into storage for fabric, insists on keeping a creative sacred space.
As we talked about what we would like to see in a book (great work space, fun small space solutions, an example of their art, contact information of course!), we looked at each other and said, “I wonder what they have for snacks!”
As simple as that, the idea was born! The title, Studio Snacks, seemed obvious, and we immediately started asking all of our creative friends what they thought of the idea. They all wanted to see the pictures of the studios to get ideas for their own, then when we told them we wanted to include the artist’s favorite snack recipe as well, the immediate response was, “Oh, I hope they are all chocolate!”
Then we took the idea to the masses. Well, maybe not the masses, but a whole lot of artists that joined us in attending the Art and Soul Retreat in Virginia Beach, earlier this year. We asked the attendees to take a written survey. We wanted to know if they would buy a book like Studio Snacks and if they would be interested in participating in the book. We got an amazing response, 412, with 99% of those asked saying they would both purchase the book and love to participate. We were encouraged!
We are so grateful to CreateMixedMedia.com for allowing us this opportunity to share our ideas about this project. We will be here for the next several months, highlighting a different artist, their work, their studio, and their favorite snack recipe. You will get to know them a little bit, take away some great ideas for your own space, and have a great new snack recipe to try.
Even better, you get to tell us your opinion! Really! We want to know. We love this idea and putting this book together will be a labor of love for us, but we want to know if you share our enthusiasm. We REALLY hope you will leave your comments below, and if you would like to reach us (especially if you have a fabulous recipe for something chocolatey), you can find us at www.studiosnacks.com. We want to achieve a regular dialogue to help bring this project to life. Who knows, maybe your studio photo and snack recipe will be next month’s feature!
The first artist we are highlighting is Neldina Maynard. She has a passion for dying fabric, felting, quilting, doll making and so much more. If you need something done, done well, and quickly, you just have to ask Neldina. She’s so versatile and amazing!
She took the bonus room of her home (after those pesky children were finally on their way!) and made it her own. As you can see, it is full of all the things she loves best. Notice the M&M guys on her wall who keep her company as she works! No surprise what her recipe includes!
Neldina says that after taking care of her family and working at a very demanding and stressful job, coming home to her studio is what feeds her soul, and “gives me a place to breathe.”
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is a super easy recipe, and also a great option for those eating gluten-free! The original recipe was from Bon Appetit magazine, but we reduced the sugar just a bit.
1 cup peanut butter (plain or chunky)
3/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup mini chocolate chips (although the big ones work too!)
Preheat oven to 350º. Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl. When well mixed, then add chocolate chips. Using about 1 tablespoon for each cookie, roll into balls (moisten hands if it gets sticky). Place on ungreased baking sheets about 2” apart. Bake until the cookies are puffed up and still soft to touch in center and the bottoms are golden, about 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks.
OK, start those comments “NOW.” Artists and snackers unite!!
A very little note about us
Sandy Buffie is a mixed-media artist, mother of 3, wife of one, living in Kiawah Island, South Carolina where she hosts monthly art nights in her ground floor studio.
Jamie Birch is a specialty food trainer and blogger, jewelry artist, graphic artist and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina where she enjoys feeding all 2- and 4-legged friends.
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