♥ Happy New Year! ♥

Happy New Year Everyone!

I feel like I have been greatly blessed this past year, I graduated from NSCAD University with an amazing solo exhibition at Anna Leonowens Gallery, took part in an exciting product photo shoot with Halifax Photographer Eliot Wright, and finished a residency this summer at the Nova Scotia of Center of Craft and Design with an unbelievable group of talented artisans. I am also very thankful to my supportive partner Cory and my little birdy who I adopted this year, Nimai, who stayed by my side, making everything and believing everything I dreamed could come true. Lastly, I am grateful for the wonderful people of the Halifax Seaport Market – it’s been a home for my business throughout the last few years, and I am excited to continue to growing with them in the new year.

Here is a photo recap of my favorite moments of 2013!

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MF

The Poison of Success

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Although I am a self made entrepreneur, sometimes throughout creative transitions I find myself myself in a lull of unmotivation – a procrastination of ideas brought to fruition. Rare as it comes, it is at these moments as an artist, we must push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and into the realms of success.

This quote is just the beginning to a series of blog posts I am going to write in relation to success and finding your own voice. Over the next few weeks after Christmas I am going to explore what it means to be an artist, how to find your own entrepreneurial path, and how to deal with the ups and downs of running your own business. Each week will have a specific theme – and under that theme will be a few posts for you to explore that week. Through this topic, I not only want to help others, but it is also an opportunity for myself to explore, change, and grow. Success is not only about what we strive to do, but it is about personal growth, adventure, and staying true to yourself ♥

Please feel free to let m know in the comments below if you have any specific questions or theme choices you would like to explore!

xox
MF

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Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

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I have always been a fan of rich and creamy soups, and this butternut squash soup is one of my favorite meals to make each fall and winter because this meal is beautifully spiced and creamy. Ever since I was little, soups has always been a comfort food of mine -it warms the whole body on a cool fall evening, and it can be a medley of all your loved ingredients.

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Fotor0927105115The secret to making this a successful soup is to not only add squash – but to add a verity of other root vegetables as well. This gives this delicious medley a mosaic of flavors. For added depth, I also add apples and pears to help sweeten and enhance it’s delectable richness.

Ingredients

Servings 8

1 Large Peeled Butternut Squash
1 Small Buttercup Squash
2 Peeled Sweet Potatos
1-2 TBS Olive Oil To Baste

2 Apples Finely Diced
2 Pears Finely Diced
1/4 Cup of Water
2 TBS Brown Sugar
Pinch of Salt

1 Medium Onion*
2 Celery Sticks
1-2 Cloves of Garlic*
Sprig of Rosemary
1 TBS Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt

2 Cups Almond or Soy Milk
2 Cups of Vegetable Broth
1 Whole Chili or 1/2 TSP of Crushed Chili Flakes (optional)
1 TSP Cinnamon
1/2 TSP Nutmeg
1/2 TSP Ginger
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Pour a thin layer of water in a baking dish (about one inch) and place the squash halves cut side up on the dish along with the modestly diced sweet potato and baste with olive oil. Bake for about 40 minutes –  1 hour, or until a fork can easily pierce the flesh. Cool slightly, then remove the peel from the butternut squash (easier to do when baked). Set aside.
  2. Turn a medium saucepan on medium high, and add finely diced apples and pears. When beginning cook, add brown sugar, pinch of salt, and the water a little bit at a time as needed. Cook down. As the pot starts to heat up higher, turn down to a medium low simmer. You want the consistency to be like a sauce. Set aside.
  3. In a medium frying pan set to medium high heat, toss in olive oil then onion when up to temperature. You want the onions to be golden brown, then add garlic and celery. Cook until the celery is soft and garlic is fragrant. Then add in rosemary. Do not over cook the sprig, 30-40 seconds – you just want it to be cooked enough to unlock the flavors. Do not brown it. Set aside rosemary.
  4. In a blender, puree to a smooth paste the squash, sweet potatoes, apple pear sauce, and onion, garlic, celery mix. To help it blend easier use the almond milk and vegetable broth. You may have to do this in a couple of batches – but don’t worry if it is uneven! It will be all mixed together later.
  5. In a large pot pour in the puree and heat to medium high then simmer. Add spices and rosemary sprig. If it is too thick, you can add more vegetable broth or almond milk to fit your personal consistency. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes to distribute the spices and flavors.

*You also may substitute onion and garlic for asafoetida and fennel.

Ready to Serve!

MF

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Let Your Dreams Blossom

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Go after the impossible, go after your heart. Fulfillment only shines when true passion comes from within us. As I get older, and as each year passes by, I have begun to notice that there will always be speculations and advice passed down from others highlighting the possibilities and outcomes of your future. Always hold dear the reflections given by the ones you love and who try to help you – but never forget you will not be truly whole until you let surface whats lies within you.  It will be hard, there will be blood, sweat, tears, and pain (so to speak), but that is what makes a dream so worth it. A dream, your dream. It is only what you can create – an atmosphere of your deepest loves; a breeze of joy and a whisper of ongoing trial of successes and failures.

MF

Friday Finds: Amber Vintage Daisy Earrings

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Almost every week, I find myself standing in a room amidst various vintage treasures in one of the many amazing antique stores in Halifax, NS. Ranging from old timeless spoons to sparkling antique jewels, your sure to never be disappointed in what you will find! My favorite to rummage through as always is those precious gems passed down from generation to generation in Halifax’s Urban Cottage. There is something unique about finding that one-of-a-kind necklace or that 1920’s Art Deco ring. I must admit, my collection grows bigger and bigger each year! And I often end up re-purposing some of the vintage pieces I collect into new life bearing forms within my jewelry line.

One of my favorite pieces I have managed to obtain are these sparkling vintage amber daisy earrings. Dated back to the 1940’s, their silhouette is nothing but feminine, and is a definite staple piece I wear often!

Maybe sometime in the near future, a vintage collection of jewels will be incorporated into FOXINE;)

MF

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