Ugly Spot Studio: 05.09

Inspiration for Today

I know, it has been an entire week without a post. I think that's blasphemy in the blogging world, but geez...I work at a K-8 school and we have 2 more weeks of classes left, so these last few weeks are insanely busy. I will try to be better. I have a few design pieces of my own I hope to post soon once they are finished.

I still manage to breeze through my *favorites* in the blogging world though and today, this caught my eye on Style Me Pretty

It's called Sunday Suppers and it is a wonderfully creative collaboration between Casey Solomon and Karen Mordechai from New York. Take a look at this amazing setup and visit their blog to learn more about what Sunday Suppers is all about. (all gorgeous photography by Karen Mordechai...super talented!)

For those who know me best, you know I am completely obsessed with fun dinner parties, cooking fun and delicious new recipes and in the spirit of planning my trip to NYC in June...I'm loving this...even though I will miss it by a month! Check out the details and tell me you aren't getting hungry just reading the menu for that day: 

Sunday July 19, 2009 
Morrocan Feast :: Featuring a Dessert Table by Amy Atlas (!!)


pan seared harissa brushed lemon sole filet, parsley and mint puree, lemon cilantro yogurt sauce

tajine w/chicken, preserved lemon and cracked olives 
coriander and feta polenta
roasted beet salad with fresh mint 

fig and sesame tart with orange cardamom cream
Yes, Please!!

Heading Out for the Long Weekend, Looking Forward to This...

This movie is going to be amazing:) So glad someone finally decided to step up and Spike Jonze is just the right person, I think.

National Stationary Show 2009...Best of the Best

A friend at work shared this little secret of awesome-ness with me earlier this year. Because of an event here in Charlotte, I couldn't make the trip to NYC for the National Stationary Show which is wrapping up today, but I am determined to make it up in 2010.

I've perused the many vendors that did make it this year, and there were some AMAZING pieces showcased from so many talented artists. I have a growing obsession with handcrafted invitations and even more so with letterpress...Here are my three favorites from the show:

Voted Best in Show this year: Kamal
(image via Design*Sponge)

I'm completely in LOVE with the reusable gift wrap and more amazing pieces from Chewing the Cud in San Francisco.

to wrap up my favorites from the show, here is a taste of the latest and greatest from SusyJack* in NYC

Enjoy these inspiring pieces and more featured at Design*Sponge!

Tea Party Invitations...Part Deux

I think after two orders for these specific invitations, I should officially name the collection, right? Maybe since they were first created for my friend, April, and her baby shower, I will name it the "Ethne Rain Collection" after her daughter, Ethne Rain Calnin. 

There it is...these tea party invitations are officially dubbed the Ethne Rain Collection. How fun is that! So, got an order for these invites, but changing the baby-terms to bridal. I think I have reached my limit on the handcrafting though...50 invitations is going to be the max for hand-making all the elements to this design. My poor hands look like they got in a slap fight with my x-acto knife...its all well worth it though to have that fun handcrafted look, right?!?

Enjoy the latest! Oh and ps...if you need any invitations for any event, please let me know...I do take orders and LOVE to do it. Email me here.

Step Aside Betty Crocker...

Introducing my new favorite cupcake baker: Nicole Godshall

Not only is she my favorite cupcake baker, she is one of my greatest friends...and hopefully with a little more practice, a lot more taste-testing sessions (yes, please!) and the "OK" nod from her hubby, she will be able to venture out into possibly opening a cupcake shop of her own in the neighborhood village. If you are in and around the Charlotte area and would like to place an order, contact Nicole here.

These aren't just your regular joe-shmoe cupcakes...she whips up these amazing concoctions from scratch that involve words like ganache and manages to look amazing in her apron (you know how i love aprons!)...Yesterday's experiment was the "Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache" recipe (via CupCakeBlog)

AMAZING...simply amazing...I was nearby sticking my finger in each of the bowls...taste-testing (it's my job...duh!) throughout the whole process. She even let me lick the spatula! I really hope she opens her own cupcake shop one day (soon!!) because I've already been hired as the Official Taste Tester...the OTT that is. Enjoy!

Alice in Wonderland Photoshoot

My friend, Bracken, is a wonderful painter/mixed-media artist here in Charlotte. She asked me to model in an "Alice in Wonderland"-themed photoshoot today. I am totally flattered that she would even think of me (refer to uglyspots story...)

Inspired by vintage clocks and antique mirrors, here is a sneak peek at the genius of my friend and her vision. She will chose a photo and then use it to create a mixed media painting. I can't wait to see the final product.

Thanks for the opportunity, Bracken!!

These are a few of my favorite things...

I'm actually in the middle of a couple invitation designs, so today I wanted to share one of my favorite things...APRONS. Step aside you feminists and woman activists...there is something quite empowering about cooking and creating culinary delights in the kitchen (um...hello TOP CHEF) and what better way to enjoy cooking than to be SUPER stylish and adorable at the same time.
My obsession with aprons is constantly fed by Anthropologie. They have truly made an art with the designs showcased in their store.

I know this is probably nothing new to most, but is such a great website for creatives. Check out some of these two aprons featured on there right now via Pamwares and Sassyapron. Enjoy!


My First 5K Race

The last time I tried to run more than 2 miles at one time, I passed out on the track in high school. Ha! No really...but the last 2 months, I've coached a "Girls on the Run" team at the school. If you don't know what GOTR is, you've GOT to check it out. In short, it is a program created by Molly Barker to educate girls in grades 3-8 on healthy living and self respect. 

Our group met every Tuesday and Thursday each week, learning great life-lessons specifically for girls... like how to stand up for yourself, how to see and respect the beauty of every girl, to not gossip, etc...each lesson involves running and training for the big end-of-the-season 5k race. 

Our race was this past Saturday and here is my lovely 5th grade running partner, Genna. We finished our 3.1 miles in 36 minutes. We had beautiful weather and my hula skirt didn't slow me down one bit...long story:)

Maybe I'll run another...soon!

Recipe of the Week

It all started at a little whole in the wall Chinese restaurant in Atlanta with a crazy group of friends. The Chinese. Luckily, our friend, Stephanie, was able to translate for us and we decided the best way to eat was to order 11 plates of different things and taste them all. Perfect plan! They had a HUGE lazy susan on the table, so the plates were set and feasting began on the turntables.

Out of the 11 plates, there was one in particular that was the overall favorite...Honey Walnut Shrimp.

That night of feasting-fun was a couple of months ago, but the dish remained in my mind. This week I decided to journey through the web to find a recipe that could give me that dish. I think I found one yesterday, so I made it last night for dinner. See below.

Here is the recipe (via


  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 4 egg whites
  • 2/3 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying


1. Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry.

2. Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in the mochiko until it has a pasty consistency. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimp into the mochiko batter, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

3. In a medium serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top and serve.

Honey Walnut Green Beans and Fried Rice (compliments of Trader Joes) complimented the shrimp deliciously. I'll definitely add this recipe to my collection. I loved it! Let me know if you do too:)

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

One of my favorite days to celebrate! In the spirit of Cinco De Mayo, we will celebrate with margaritas and mexican tonight with friends...but in the meantime, here are two of my favorite things for today. 

Spent the morning perusing the web for margarita drink is one that caught my eye and tickled my taste buds...Blackberry-Thyme Margaritas (pictured above via well fed) look amazing!! Click the images to learn how to make this recipe!

I was introduced to Tres Leches (three milks) a couple years back and have loved it ever since. The idea of "wet cake" really freaked me out, but I made it for my husband's birthday fiesta one year and have never been the same. The moistness (I know, I hate the word moist too) of the cake is so good and topped with the whipped cream icing and is perfection. Find the recipe I usually use at

¡Asga un margarita y tenga una ráfaga!


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