Buche de Noel (and Merry Christmas!)

Happy Christmas! Having spent years in jr high and high school taking French and therefore coming across the occasional creative and cultural assignment, I am familiar with the French Christmas cake "Buche de Noel." Buche de Noel is the French name for a Christmas cake shaped like a log. It is a flourless chocolate cake rolled with chocolate whipped cream. Traditionally, Buche de Noel is decorated with confectioners' sugar to resemble snow on a Yule log. I do not miss making these for class (although my mom misses me making them for the family at the same time). It is cool to do at least once in your lifetime, though, so if you are feeling adventurous, here are the directions:


* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 6 egg yolks
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 6 egg whites
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* confectioners' sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.
2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt. In large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners' sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.
4. Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Frost the outside with chocolate frosting if you don't have enough filling left over, decorate accordingly, and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Concert Posters - The Small Stakes

For a few years, I have been following the work of Jason Munn of The Small Stakes. I very clearly remember getting an email from Daily Candy with a link to his website, and what I discovered was amazing design overload. His style is so clean and elegant. Over time I have noticed many recurring concepts, but the designs do not feel redundant. Here are some of my favorites:

Mass Market this weekend, etc...

The Bazaar Bizarre was so much fun! I am so happy to have been a part of it and so thankful to my special helpers Erin and Kristina - I would have been lost without them and had a lot less laughs throughout the day :)

If you missed me at the BazBiz, fear not! Fraske Designs will be doing an encore presentation at the Mass Market at the MassArt Gymnasium at 621 Huntington Ave in Boston MA this coming Sunday, December 13, from 11 am to 5 pm. I'll be sharing a table with Elizabeth Brennick Designs... and sharing the floor with lots of great artists and crafters!

If you are up for a craft marathon this weekend, stop by the SOWA Holiday Market in the South End of Boston at Cathedral High School. You'll find such artists as Chroma Lab, Lucie Wicker Photography, Vintage by Crystal, and more!

Boston Bazaar Bizarre - Less than a week away!

The time has almost come - Boston's Bazaar Bizarre is less than one week away! It will be my first time selling at this event, I really can't wait to see how the day unfolds!

If you do not have any plans on Sunday December 6, you should definitely check us out. Details are as follows:

Boston Bazaar Bizarre @ BCA Cyclorama (directions)
Sunday, December 6th, 2009 | Noon-7pm
539 Tremont St | Boston, MA Admission $1

Get there early... it fills up FAST and you don't want to wait in line long!

Boston Handmade Gallery Opening Reception

Join Boston Handmade for our Opening Weekend Celebration!

Saturday, November 28, 5 - 8pm

505 Washington Street |Downtown Crossing | Boston, MA

Meet the artists, share in our holiday cheer, enjoy all things handmade!

If you want to fly first class, pump up and air out.

I challenge you to find someone who was not in awe of the Reebok Pumps when they debuted in 1989. I remember my brother begging my mom for them (he never did grow out of his sneaker phase... ).

It has been 20 years since they were unveiled, and in honor of the Reebok Pump, the Bodega is releasing a limited edition sneaker: The Reebok X Bodega PUMP 20 "Outback":

If you are still not fully pumped, check out Sneaker Freaker's Story behind the Reebok Pumps... it is pretty rad:

Dentyne's Print Campaign

Have you had a chance to see Dentyne's new ad campaign? It is pretty clever. Below are some of the ads. If you visit the site, it even closes the tab after 3 minutes to promote "real face time."

Boston Handmade Downtown!

For the second year in a row, Boston Handmade is going to have a storefront in Downtown Crossing for the holiday season! How awesome is that? From November 27 through December 24, 2009, Boston Handmade will operate a retail gallery at 505 Washington Street, in the heart of Downtown Crossing Boston, between West and Temple. We are open for business Wednesdays through Sundays, 11am - 7pm.

The store will offer original goods handmade by more than 30 local artists, artisans, & craftspeople.

I have made the decision to not be a part of the store this year, but I encourage everyone to visit while it is open for business! I WILL be joining the Boston Handmade Team at the Bazaar Bizarre on Sunday December 6 at the Cyclorama... be sure to save some energy to come see us there!

Mass Market - Sunday, December 13, 2009

A week after I am at the Bazaar Bizarre, I will be at the Mass Market at MassArt! I'll be sharing a table with the wonderful Elizabeth Brennick Designs.

Mass Market is a one-day event
Sunday December 13th, 2009
from 11:00am - 5:00pm .
The event will be held at the Gym at MassArt.
621 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115.

Stop by and say hi!

Mom Style Icons

Have you seen My Mom, the Style Icon? It is a site devoted to pictures of moms from their fashion heyday. I first heard about it through the Bust Blog and I couldn't resist submitting a picture of my mom... well it was posted!

Here are some others I love:

Financial Creativity

A few years ago I read this article with insight on what to do with extra paychecks.

Extra paychecks?

Yes! If you get paid weekly or every other week (as opposed to monthly or bi-monthly... if so, stop reading now, this post will make you sad), and regularly budget based on 2 or 4 paychecks a month, then a few months out of the year, you will have an extra paycheck!

October 2009 has 5 Fridays. If you are a lucky winner of an "extra" paycheck today, the "bonus" Friday in October, consider sending it straight to your savings account, paying down debt, growing a down payment, setting it aside for holiday gifts, or splurging on that last-minute luxury Halloween costume.

Where did the summer go?

Pictures from my trip to the Cape with the girls to kick off summer... where did the summer go?

SoWa: Market of the Living Dead - Sunday, October 25, 2009

Taken from the SoWa Blog:

120 amazing vendors are expected for the final market this Sunday, October 25, Market-of-the-Living-Dead that is.
SoWa will be holding their annual vendor costume contest which for the first time will be accompanied by a customer costume contest with BIG prizes for each. Come as your most horrifying, disturbing zombie and win fabulous prizes, what could be better? Customer Costume Contest judging begins at 2pm, Vendor Costume judging begins at 3pm.

Vendors Prizes:
1st Prize - Free booth for 2010 season
2nd Prize - 5 free markets for 2010 season
3rd Prize - Free booth space for Opening Weekend 2010

Customer Prizes:
1st Prize - $350
2nd Prize - $200
3rd Prize - $100

IN ADDITION, The Gaslight Grill will be hosting a fruit and veggie carving contest on their patio sponsored by AFAS. The event is open to the public carving and begins at 11AM, judging at 4PM. The farmers market will have tons of fresh gourdes, pumpkins and fruits dying to be cut.

Travis Reckner from the Roger Williams Zoo will be displaying some of his renowned carved pumpkins and doing demos outside of Rooca Restaurant starting at 1PM, next to the Sowa Produce Market at 500 Harrison Ave.

Art, craft, free treats, live music, and jolly mahem for one and all, this event is not to be missed.

The Sowa Open Market is a rain or shine event, open from 10AM to 4PM. at 540 Harrison Ave, Boston MA. For more info: http://www.sowaopenmarket.com

Sidewalk Driver - CD Release

I recently designed album artwork for Boston based band Sidewalk Driver, for whom I also design show flyers. It was a lot of fun coming up with concepts and executing the ideas for the album artwork. The album title is "For All the Boys and Girls," so our initial idea was to have a kind of Dick and Jane feel, like the old children's books, but with some manipulated imagery:

Then we worked on an alternative concept themed similarly to the Dangerous Book for Boys/Daring Book for Girls covers. We tried for a neutral background color and storybook font:

After some back and forth, the third and final album concept was born: a kid's birthday party. We found a retro kitchen (in the beautiful home of another Boston musician Sarah RabDAU), set up a birthday party scene, and also included some symbols found in some of the songs on their new album (I'm not telling what the symbols are... you'll have to buy the cd and find out!).

Here is the final cover:
Inside left cover:

And actual disc:

I haven't seen the finished product yet. I'll be picking up my copies at their upcoming CD Release Show this coming Saturday, October 3 at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge. Here is the invite, bring all your friends!

Little People, Big Song

I really like the Little People - A Tiny Street Art Project website which features macro shots of small figures in street scenes. I also really like the new song "Uprising" by Muse. So wouldn't you know... the music video (they still make those?) has some similar styling to the Little People website:

And who doesn't like teddy bears...?

2009 Boston Bazaar Bizarre!

Mark your calendars for the 2009 Boston Bazaar Bizarre! I'll be showcasing my work as a member of the Boston Handmade team and in the company of 80 amazing and talented vendors.

Boston Bazaar Bizarre

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

BCA Cyclorama
539 Tremont St
Boston, MA

Admission $1

Because of the awesomeness of this event, it fills up quickly, so plan to get there early and avoid the long lines!!!