July 31, 2010

new project sneak peak

Hallo! That's how my daughter greets everyone!

I wanted to show you a sneak peak at a new "venture" if you will. I am making a few handmade sketchbooks. They are small enough to fit in a purse, and I am really excited to play around with this medium.

These are the covers. I still have to cut the paper and bind them. I will be selling these and lots of other goodies at a craft show in August. It will be my first craft show and I am so pumped!

Thanks for stopping by friends!


July 30, 2010

a big freelance whales thank you!

 You may recall last week's post when I highlighted the bungaloo and featured some of my favorite screen printed posters. Well, I went ahead and purchased the Algorithm Poster for my husband's birthday. He loved it, by the way. Imagine my suprise and delight when The Flreelance Whales Poster was included as well!
The colors and size are a perfect fit for my living room! I was in desperate need of some artwork to the left of my fireplace. Now it hangs proudly!

Thanks so much, bungaloo!


July 29, 2010

the shoe closet

I am so fortunate that in spite of all of the little quirks involving my home (floods, lack of windows, no carpet at one point) it has a good feature: ample closet space.
I do not really have an entry way in my home. Instead, as I walk into my home I have two closets. I took advantage of this space and made one a dedicated shoe closet.
I am not one of the most organized person on earth, and one of my pet peeves is tripping over shoes around the house. This way, as soon as my family comes home from work we take off our shoes and put them in our little cubbies. And of course my keys and purse go straight on the decorative Pier One hook in between the closet doors.


July 28, 2010

recipe: absolute best chocolate cake on the planet, and you can quote me on that

This is the only photo I snapped of the BEST chocolate cake that I have ever made. Nathan had his 26th birthday last weekend, so I decided to make him a homemade cake. I must have lucked out, because I found this recipe really fast on the food network website. I made the actual cake from this recipe, and used the chocolate frosting from this recipe.

The recipe is as follows:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by rubbing with butter, sprinkling with flour and tapping out extra. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon then set aside. In small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat well with hand mixer. Slowly add boiling water and mix. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold and stir until smooth. Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool on racks.

Frosting: (I left the coffee out, because the hubster is not a coffee fan)
  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
Chop the chocolate and place it in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and continue beating for 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.

Please believe me, this cake is so easy to make... and MOIST! Oh My Goodness!

Everyone loved it. Word got out about the cake, and neighbors started coming over for a slice....... okay, that last part did not happen. But even my Mother-in-Law liked it.

Can we all say WOW and YAY to in-laws liking their kid's cooking!?


July 27, 2010

mind your music: chiddy bang

Can i first say how excited i am about to see Chiddy Bang? Cause i'm EXCITED! i would type in all capitals but i feel like that would be rude. Regardless ... i'm still really excited!
Hey London
Who Are They : The East coast has done it again, this time producing the Philly college drop outs known as Chidera "Chiddy" Anamege and Noah Beresin. Part indie music, part hip hop, and all awesome. They've hit it big rather quickly, and are coming out with their first studio album next month. And all before either of them are 21.
Favorite Song : Chiddy Bang has put out two "mixtapes" that sample from everything and everyone. MGMT, Sufjan Stevens, Passion Pit, and Marry Poppins to name a few. Generally, i never listen to anything even hinting of hip hop or rap, but this infusion is fresh and addictive.


i love the illustrated covers!

Makes Me Think Of / Feels Like : Baltimore, my boyfriend's bright red high tops, and hot, hot summertime.

Gorgeous design by J Three Concepts, Francoise Nielly, and Tarikmikou Two more weeks! i'm kind of giddy. - Jenna

July 26, 2010

oh monday, what a tease

Oh, hello Monday. Once again, I woke up feeling like this Monday would be different. I would get to work on time. I would be uber productive. I would not need an afternoon coffee. I would come straight home from work, pick up Violet, and make dinner. Then, I would put Violet to bed and work on sketches.

Monday, you are such a tease. Instead, I was a bit unfocused all day. I came home from work, but instead of making dinner, the little one and I played with the camera. Dinner consisted of a slice of cake. Now it is thunder storming and I am watching re-runs on the CW!

But, I've gotta admit, today wasn't bad at all.

Did any of you have a case of the Mondays?

July 22, 2010

my dog: wallace

Have I ever shared with you how I came to have my pup, Wallace? A few months after I married Nathan, I had the urge to nurture something... either a dog or a baby. Yes, I know it sounds a bit crazy, but I am sure that some of you ladies understand that urge to love and take care of something! Nathan, being the smart mathematician that he is, took me to the Humane Society so that we could adopt a pet, thus putting off procreating as long as possible.

We adopted a puppy named Olive. We were told Olive was part Chihuahua, so she would be a small dog. 4 months later she weighed 50 lbs.... not really Chihuahua, huh Humane Society?

We found a lovely home for Olive with a college friend of mine, but I STILL wanted a dog to take care of. You see, I am a bit of a one track mind girl: If I set my mind to something, I cannot stop until it is accomplished. So, one afternoon, about 30 minutes before my evening shift at Starbucks was to begin, I impulsively drove to the No-Kill Animal Shelter, which happened to be right down the street from my house.
There, while in my Starbucks green apron and collared shirt, I saw him: A 3 year old white dog with matted curly hair, sitting in a cage filled with urine (I know, I am getting gritty). The shelter had at least 30 dogs in cages wagging their tales, eagerly fighting for my attention, but the little white dog sat scared in the back of his crate.
 Perhaps it was fate. Perhaps I have a thing for underdogs. But, I asked the shelter volunteer to let me see this dog. The man took the dog from his crate and placed him in front of me. The dog and I simply stared at one another for a good 2 minutes. Then suddenly, the doggy waked towards me and put his paw on my leg. I was hooked.

Without thinking I said that I would take him! I paid for him, but had to leave him overnight, since my Starbucks shift was about to start. Did I mention I did all of this without really consulting my husband?
 The next morning, at 6 AM (that is when the volunteer arrived at the shelter to let the dogs out) I showed up to pick up my new dog! I brought him home and sat him on Nathan's chest. My husband, who really was not too thrilled with my impulsive purchase grumbled from the side of his mouth "His name is going to be Wallace." I couldn't argue with him, because this doggy was such a Wallace!

Wallace tried to run away on the first day at home with me. In fact, he got loose on Campbell Avenue during 5 PM traffic. I was sure that he would be a goner, but somehow he survived!

Wallace and I were meant to be! When we got Wallace, he was 10 lbs under weight, covered in blue marker on his beautiful white fur, and apparently had come from an abusive home. He was afraid of most men, was not potty trained, and really did not act like a happy dog at all. It took a good year for Wallace to become the sweet, perfect dog that he is now!
I would like to think that it was my nurturing that helped him heal from his scarred past. But really, Wallace probably always was this wonderful. It breaks my heart to think that there are people out there who are abusive to their pets!

I love my Wallace so much. He is the best pet and is such a joy!

July 21, 2010

ohdeedoh feature!


I will have more happy fun inspiring posts for you later this week! In the mean time, please celebrate with me, as one of my original goals when I started Gingiber has come true! My Owlphabet Poster was featured today on Ohdeedoh along with several other lovely alphabet posters! I am so excited!

You see, I have always loved, (well, adored is the appropriate word) Ohdeedoh. It is the parenting and kids blog that I most frequent! I have always hoped, neigh, dreamed that someone on staff would visit my etsy shop and feature an item! Now it has happened.

I am such a cheese ball, but this has gotten me so excited!

Tell me something that has gotten you all excited recently, please!


July 19, 2010

artist spotlight: bungaloo

Today I was browsing etsy and found this incredible shop called the bungaloo! The mastermind behind these undeniably awesome prints is John Vogl, who based out of St. Louis, Missouri.  He specialize in screenprinted concert posters and shirts. However, these posters are so beautiful, I would want to own several of them even if I had no idea who the bands were on the posters.

I fell in love with this print, as my husband is currently getting is Ph.D. in Mathematics. Generally when we are at family functions, people bring up allgorithims because it is the smartest sounding math word that people can remember.... my husband just loves that!

This print, House No 20, is simply beautiful. I adore the colors.

 Seriously, this Freelance Whales Gig Poster is so whimsical and gorgeous.

Be sure to check out Jon's website, thebungaloo.com to learn all about his incredible screenprints!

July 18, 2010

new page: violet's nursery tour

 So you may have noticed that gingibersnap has undergone a bit of a makeover. I am really going to try and stick with this color scheme and layout. In fact, I was inspired by these colors from my daughter's room!

In fact, I have just added a new page to the blog so that you can tour Violet's *finished* nursery (minus a rug) for yourself! check it out here!

My weekend has been great so far! I took Friday off from work so that I could spend the day with my mom and sister. We shopped for baby stuff, as my sister is pregnant with her first baby! So excited for her!
I bought a $12 chair from an estate sale to go with my dining table. It needs to be painted, but it will do!

How has your weekend been?


July 17, 2010

mind your music: stars

Okay, so you are going to have endure my Lollpalooza 2010 countdown for the next few weeks because i'm just that excited! There are many that i am looking forward to and one of them is the Canadian glory known as Stars.

Who Are They: It's one of Stacie and my favorites, and reminds me strongly of college and traveling abroad. Stars has a delicious twinkling night romance to it that is poigniant, bright, and mysterious. They are poppy but not annoying, and one of my first picks when introducing some one to the beginnings of alternative/indie music.

Favorite Song: All of Stars songs are somehow connected with a very distinct memory to me so it's hard to choose. I've loved all of their albums but i think my favorite is "Set Yourself on Fire" (especially the song below). Their new album "The Five Ghosts" is out right now and simply wonderful.

Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

Reminds Me Of/Sounds Like: snowy winter nights, childhood, and riding on the London Underground

Sources: Simon Crubellier and Richard Nabarro

i can't end without saying one, how incredible they are live and two, forcing you to endure this story:

i first saw Stars live on complete accident when I was studying abroad and spending the weekend in Belfast, Ireland. They were playing in a local pub. If seeing Stars with 100 Irish college students singing every word out loud with all their heart wasn't enough, i got the crazy idea to scribble a note to the band. Holding back all apprehension of looking/feeling like a complete idiot, i explained that my boyfriend and i had been (and were going to be) apart for 6 months while i was overseas. He was going to see them later on in Baltimore, Maryland that fall. i named the club even though i didn't know the date, and asked them to please tell him i loved and missed him. They kept the note for almost 2 1/2 months and to the utter surprise of my boyfriend (and myself!), told the story and dedicated the song below to us at the Baltimore show ... which is actually one of our favorites. And even if it seems incredibly sappy, i think it says something about what kind of band they are. To me, it's makes them one of the best.

My Favourite Book

- Jenna

July 16, 2010

christmas in july at gingiber! buy one get one!

It is Christmas in July at Gingiber! Buy one print, get any 8x10 or 5x7 print FREE!

If you have ever been interested in one of my prints, say, the Owlphabet Poster, you can also get a FREE print of your choice! How about them apples?

I am gonna be a bit tied up over the next few days, but will try to pop in as time permits!

Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart for checking out my blog! I am nearing 100 followers, and am thinking of throwing a little blog party to celebrate!


July 13, 2010

new (to me) sewing box

I cannot believe I forgot to show you my awesome little find from Dallas, Tx! I went to visit family and friends in May and went to the newly opened Antique Store called Lulu B's. Along with the help of my dear friend, Laura, I found this adorable little sewing box!
Look at that seal! Authentic Norwegian sewing box! The Brand Name is "As Strommen Bruk Hamar".
Does anyone know anything about this company? It looks like it was made in the 1950's, but I am not sure.
She holds quite a bit. Look at her, all stretched out! I love this sewing box!

What do you use to keep track of all of your sewing necessities?

Oh, and I re-did the blog layout... again

Yes, I have design commitment issues!


July 12, 2010

gingiber on paper n stitch

 I am featured on paper n stitch today! My LaLaLa Latte Print is getting some first class L O V E !
Check it out here!

In case you don't know, paper n stitch is an incredible online gallery where artists can share their art! It is organized in a way so as to make shopping for art, clothing, etc really quite simple. And, all of the items are lovely because they are curated. The blog is also amazing because Brittni, the owner and curator, will feature great content such as artist studios, daily art finds, and so much eye candy your head might possibly explode!

Be sure to check it out very soon.


July 11, 2010

a few new things

Sorry for the lack of updates. I had all of these grand plans of things to feature on the old blog, but got sidetracked! However, here are a few photos of some changes I have made to my house!

1st up: curtains
 Before: Long graphic green and brown curtains that drug the ground. Violet kept getting hung up in them!
After: Simple panels on tension rods within the window frame. It really cleans up the room and shows off the nice large windows. fabric: amy butler banana cotton

2nd up: fireplace art rearrange
Before: Mr. Einstein sat on my fireplace in front of a simple yellow canvas. unfortunately, Violet broke the glass on Einstein, so it was time for a rearrange.

 After: I painted a canvas with chalkboard paint and drew this pretty flower design, inspired by Nama Rococo's "Serious Bokay". 
Oh, and Mr. Einstein got a new come and a new painted frame! He is such a saucy little man with that green frame, isn't he?

3rd: framed postcards
I found these awesome green 4x6 frames at target, only $5.00 for 4! So I hung a trio of AshleyG postcards! Oh happy day!

4th: new chaise (ish) lounge
My mother-in-law is cleaning house and graciously gave us this adorable chair! It sits low like a chaise and it really rounds out our living room! So cozy! It is a little formal, so I am going to have to jazz it up with some great pillows. Please ignore the only primed wall and miscellaneous mirrors and frames on the floor.... still undecided on the wall color!

5th: new table!
 Nathan and bought this AMAZING table from a resale shop (thanks Tamara for the tip on this great store). It was really inexpensive, but did not come with chairs, so I am hoping to accumulate some one of a kind antique chairs and paint them, much like is pictured below:
(source is listed here in my original post about tables)

So, what do you think? I know my house has a lot of bright, saturated color, but it truly makes me happy. I have tried for a long while to change my taste, to make it more "mature" and approachable. But, I have found I actually can LOVE my home if I decorate it true to myself.

Thanks so much for reading! I really never know how to respond to comments, but I love getting them! Should I write thanks on commentor's blogs or comment on my own posts? I never know what is appropriate! Regardless, thanks for brightening my day by simply being here!