Etsy NY Rocks BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

Etsy NY has fantastic news to chase away your hump-day doldrums this week: Wednesday, June 8th marks the opening night concert for the 37th season of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! This music festival is one of New York City’s longest running outdoor performing arts concerts. Launched in 1979 to reinvigorate Brooklyn's performing arts scene and to bring people back into neglected Prospect Park, BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! was an early anchor in the park’s revitalization. Across the years, the festival has presented over 2,000 artists and ensembles reflective of the borough’s diversity.

What does this have to do with Etsy NY, you say? We've partnered with BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! for the past five years, and we're excited to work with them again this summer, running the sole merchandise booth!

Everyone loves a memento of an amazing concert experience, and Etsy NY is here to deliver. This is not your typical merchandise tent. Of course we'll have BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! goodies for sale, but you can also check out a carefully curated, all-handmade capsule market chock-full of goods made by Etsy NY local artists – your friendly staff during all the shows. Come in and talk shop to find out more about our handmade market collective, the techniques that go into producing our wares, or just to say hi when you need a dance break. Whether you are a local Brooklynite or a visitor to the borough, we're sure you'll find something to love.

Can't wait until tomorrow to see what's on tap this year? Here's a sneak peek of the Etsy NY makers to tide you over!

Rachel is the force behind Ye Old Stamping Grounds - your source for fun and quirky hand-stamped metal keychains, bottle openers, and carabiners. Her designs are inspired by Brooklyn, music, wanderlust, geek pride, and emojis. Put a smile on your face each time you use your keys. The lightweight and modern designs also work great as gifts.

Designed and made in Brooklyn, traceytoole designs creates everything your picnic needs. Denim picnic blankets, Hawaiian-style pillows, cloth napkins, and even something for the kids. Keep the little ones entertained with their own artist roll-up kit complete with color-me fabric and markers.

Suniq makes one-of-a-kind upcycled clothing and accessories. Upcycling makes her happy as she gives each piece a new life. Her one-of-a-kind designs can be worn many different ways.

Suit Up Peanut was created in 2014 - the day owner Maddy's nephew was born. Using Carter brand's amazingly soft cotton onesies and tee shirts, her clever designs are the perfect addition to any child's wardrobe, all at an affordable price.

Slope Girl Knits specializes in handmade personalized gifts and decorations to make the most special moments matter more. From hats, headbands, and scarves to buntings and tote bags, all items are knit, sewn, crocheted and embroidered in Brooklyn, NY by Emily herself.

Rock That Gem is owned by Molly, a gemologist working in the jewelry industry for over fourteen years! Using her gem skills and expertise, she chooses the very best stones to create fabulous necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

Rising Phoenixx makes all-natural bath and body products using simple and uncomplicated ingredients. Each item is formulated by Coleen Phoenixx, a mercurial, multi-tasking, do-it-all diva. Her products keep up with her rock n' roll life style, and yours!

Located in Brooklyn, Prairiefunk specializes in modern, easy-to-wear hammered metal and natural gemstone jewelry inspired by the artisans of antiquity. These elegant, eclectic, and stylish pieces can be worn in multiple ways.

Naturally Susan's products are what your sensitive skin is craving, with ingredients that stay as pure to nature as possible. Susan's products are effective, long lasting, and versatile. You'll want to add these eco-friendly, travel-friendly, and cruelty-free options to your daily routine.

konnichiwagrl makes quirky cards and other little accessories that serve as both an easy way to say "hey!" or a strike up a conversation. What's better than sharing a mutual love of pizza or poop than wearing one or gifting it to a friend?

Kaibelle creates block-printed stationery, textiles, and home decor. All designs are inspired by organic forms, hand-carved, and printed by hand in Brooklyn.

Jes Switaj creates unique and eye-catching graphic designs. These images are screen printed onto t-shirts, blankets, and handmade silk neckties.

J. Topolski hand-carves and acid-etches jewelry inspired by the city and animals. Don't miss the limited release special-edition charm jewelry just created for the Bandshell!

Brooklyn Owl creates magical unicorn horns, monster horns, and mermaid hair clips that are the perfect addition to any imaginative play adventure. Brighten a child's day with these Brooklyn made hair accessories.

Be in the Moment jewelry was established in 2010 with an eye for creating functional and original wearable artisan jewelry. Melissa works to create colorful and unique enamel jewelry as well as beautiful sterling silver bracelets and rings, perfect for every occasion.

Aperture Agog is a mischievous blend of photography, stationery, and textile art inspired by dirty NYC. You won't be able to resist these unique pieces of art!

Follow along with our adventures on the Etsy NY BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Facebook page!

See you at the Bandshell!

Wednesday, June 8th is the free opening night concert featuring Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings (6:30PM Gates, 8:15PM Show). Motown comeback queen Sharon Jones, and the Dap-Kings, the beating heart of Bushwick-based Daptone Records, are hellbent on topping their legendary 2010 closing night show. Check out the video for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' 2014 Grammy nominated album "Give the People What They Want."

Post by Rachel Soares // xoxo from NYC // Ye Old Stamping Grounds // Instagram // Facebook

Eating with the Seasons: Spring Menu - Appetizer

With the vernal equinox and daylight savings giving us warmer temperatures and more hours of sunlight, spring has officially sprung! Flowers are popping up and so are delicious spring vegetables. A vegan my whole life, I was raised in line with macrobiotics, keeping a yin and yang balance through eating whole grains, vegetables, legumes, seaweeds, and fruits. There is a strong focus in macrobiotics on eating only what is in season in your area. Your body and digestion shifts and changes with the adjustment in climate each season. Nature provides the vegetables you need to smoothly make these transitions at exactly these times of the year. The advent of supermarkets means that every kind of fruit and vegetable, culled from all over the world, is available to you night and day. If you want to know what is truly in season, visit your local farmer's market. The colors you see around you should be reflected on your plate!

Many of you are fellow makers and creatives, developing beautiful products and handling all the aspects of running a small business -- maintaining your shop, mailing orders, vending at craft fairs, crunching the numbers. It can be stressful and chaotic, and in those moments you may reach for a candy bar or salty chips to keep you going. When you eat with the seasons your mind is clear and your body is able to maintain its energy more evenly through whole foods. 

I put together a perfect spring menu to get you started. For the next three days I will post a new recipe each day so you can create a lovely spring meal by the end of the week! Today we start with the appetizer. Remember to always chew your food well, eat until you are satisfied but not stuffed, and be thankful for all that you have!



1-2 artichokes (make one for a friend!) 

Green and purple artichokes -- green ones are the most common, purple was a brand new find!

Green and purple artichokes -- green ones are the most common, purple was a brand new find!

Artichokes are in season from March to May, and again briefly in October, lining up perfectly with the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. These two seasons are times of detox for your liver, especially in the spring after a long, cold winter of heavy foods and excess. Artichokes contain nutrients that help your liver in this cleansing process. Many of you know artichokes in two forms -- either pickled to a yellow color and canned, or baked and slathered in butter and breadcrumbs. This recipe cooks them as close to their original state as possible, retaining the nutrients and resulting in a sweet and delicious appetizer before your meal!

Preparing the artichoke: Cut a half inch off the base and remove any small leaves. Using scissors, cut the very tips of any leaves that have a spiky point -- not all artichokes have them, but they sure do hurt when you get poked with them! Using a knife, slice off the top inch of the artichoke, revealing this beautiful pattern of inner leaves.  

Rinse the artichoke under water, opening the leaves slightly to make sure the water rinses out any dirt or sand. 

Cooking the artichoke: Fill a large pot 2/3 of the way with water and heat until boiling. Place your cleaned artichoke in the pot and cover. Depending on the size of your artichoke it can take shorter or longer to boil. Most are ready within 20-30 mins. Check on it at the 15 minute mark, to make sure it is boiling evenly (if not, turn it in the water to the unboiled side). You will know the artichoke is ready when it is no longer a bright green color, and both the leaves and base are tender. Remove the artichoke using tongs, and let the water drain out from between the leaves before placing on a plate. 

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Eating the artichoke: Boiled artichokes are most delicious when they're hot. Starting at the base, break off a leaf and look for the half moon shape on the bottom fourth of the leaf where it was connected to the rest of the artichoke. Scrape this area along your top or bottom teeth to remove the tasty flesh. It will have a light, sweet, and tender taste. Repeat with each leaf, working your way up. If you can, compost the discarded leaves to thank nature for this treat. This slow method of eating an artichoke, piece by piece, is the perfect occasion for mindfulness. Take your time with it. Enjoy the moment. 

When you get down to the leaves that are translucent and don't yield much flesh, it's time to scrape out the choke and get to the tastiest part, the heart! Pay very close attention to the fuzzy and thin fibers of the choke -- they are not edible, and have the name choke for a very good reason. These spiky fibers can get stuck along your throat. Using a spoon, start at the very edge of the choke and scrape it away, making sure to leave the tender flesh behind. 

Halfway done with scraping away the choke to reveal the delicious heart!

Halfway done with scraping away the choke to reveal the delicious heart!

Once the choke has been scraped away and there are no more fibers you have reached the delicious heart. As you ate the flesh from the leaves you were getting small morsels -- think of the heart as one great big bite of that goodness! You can eat the whole top portion. The base can get a bit fibrous, but feel free to split it open and eat any tender flesh inside as well. One of the most magical things about artichokes, besides their ability to support your liver and stimulate bile production, is that they make everything you eat afterwards taste sweet and delectable. Go ahead and try drinking a glass of water after eating an artichoke. See how the water is now magically sweet? Artichokes contain cynarin, an acid which inhibits the taste buds that detect sweetness. When you take a bite of food or sip of a drink, the cynarin is washed away and your brain perceives the contrast as a rush of sweetness. This makes artichokes perfect to eat as an appetizer before a meal -- they make the main dish and side dishes even more delicious!

See you here tomorrow as we make the main dish and side vegetable! And make sure to comment below and tell me how your artichoke comes out, I would love to hear!

Molly Clarke // Rock That Gem