• Quinoa-Banana Muffins

    Quinoa-Banana Muffins

    A new version of a much loved favorite adding some protein with quinoa.
    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 2 very ripe bananas
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup blueberries
    • Raw sugar (for sprinkling)
    • Cook quinoa in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10–12 minutes. Drain well and return to pot. Cover and let steam 10 minutes. Pour off any condensed water, then let cool. Set aside ¼ cup cooked quinoa for topping muffins.
    • Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray (do not use muffin liners). Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and remaining 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
    • Mash bananas, honey, and brown sugar in another medium bowl, preferably with a potato masher, until sugar is dissolved and banana is completely mashed. Add egg and continue to mash until combined. Stir in oil and vanilla.
    • Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in blueberries and 2 cups quinoa. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle lightly with raw sugar and reserved ¼ cup quinoa.
    • Bake muffins until tops are firm, just beginning to brown, and a tester inserted into muffins comes out clean, 30–40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
    • Do Ahead: Quinoa can be cooked 5 days ahead; cover and chill.
    (From joy the baker)
  • The Times are a changin’, but are they?

    My daughter has been working on the largest production of her creative career at University of Michigan. My mother and I drove over to see it. Camille works in many mediums. This project was all about imagery and videography creating the back drop for the actors/actresses to perform. She also moved among the actors, an actor herself, filming them in motion and adding another dimension to the visual. Very hard to describe.

    The show was titled “Night and Day“, performed in the Walgreen Drama Center on North Campus. A dance/theatre work by Charles Mee Dept. of Theatre & Drama. Directed by Malcolm Tulip with Dominika Knapik. In collaboration with the Polish National Academy of Theatre Arts, a work based on the Greek myths of Daphnis and Chloe, and Thyestes.

    Of course, we took her out for breakfast! Always Sava’s. Then, headed over to the Stamps Gallery. The current show is:

    Have We Met? Dialogues on Memory and Desire is a For Freedoms Federation exhibition.” For Freedoms exhibitions engage local perspectives on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: affirming the inalienable human rights of freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

    Exhibit at Stamps Gallery in Ann Arbor

    For me, this exhibit made me think about how even though we are living in a different decade, as humans, we continue to make the same mistakes of violence; cruelty to people that are different from ourselves; and just can’t accept that a different opinion is ok (just don’t hurt others with it). Can we just be kind, please?

    And, of course, I found a clay piece to consider and study. It was made by Michele Oka Doner in 1964. Porcelain and Iron Oxide. Love the texture, craters, and complexity.

    Porcelain Serving Bowl by Michele Oka Doner

  • “Art for Art’s Sake”

    Mayor McCaleb and Cyndi Casemier kicking off ArtWalk

    In West Michigan, you will find art everywhere in downtown Grand Rapids and Grand Haven.

    ArtPrize and ArtWalk is here!

    Lots of energy, questions, artists, and visitors asking “Is this art?”

    Oil Painting by Aziza AbbasiAziza Abbasi’s painting entry for GH ArtWalk

    Grand Haven has a smaller version of ArtPrize called ArtWalk. It is run entirely by volunteers. This year, we have more than 145 adult entries, 100 youth entries and 45 venues. Three jurors and I viewed every art entry yesterday. I always learn something either by just looking or listening to our jurors. This year, our jurors are:

    Sarah Weber, art professor at Grand Valley State University; Beth Purdy, art professor at Kendall School of Art and Design; and Sue Jerosvek, art collector. Thank you to each of them. I greatly appreciate their time considering each piece of art.

    Moon Totem ArtWalk entry by Lee S BrownLee S Brown sculpture entry for ArtWalk

    Last Tuesday, we hosted Grand Haven Area Public School’s 4th graders to ArtWalk. They viewed many of the art entries plus were treated to learning an interpretive dance movement led by the instructors at SpotLight Dance Academy.

    Spotlight dance academy leading 4th graders in a dance movement during artwalk

    The students and dancers from Spotlight Dance Academy performed a flash mob dance at our opening on Wednesday.

    Spotlight Dance Academy flash mob dance at ArtWalk

    This past weekend, we had additional art available for purchase in the Depot Building at our Waterfront and a family art day where kids and parents could paint their own piece of art.

    Family art day at ArtWalk

    You can vote for your favorite artist through October 2.

    Live Music at GH ArtWalk


  • Couldn’t attend First Friday? Check out our video of Julie Devers and me talking about Ceramic Traditions and Wood-fired pots.

    We had so much fun during our First Friday Art Hop. Julie Devers, our September featured artist, joined us to talk about her wood fired pots and her philosophy with regard making functional pottery.

    Bob Walma has produced a video of our conversation. I hope you enjoy it.

    Ceramic Traditions with Julie Devers and Cyndi Casemier, First Friday ARt Hop Video

    (Click on the image or this link)

    Wood fired vase by Julie Devers

    Wood fired Unami, tea bowl by julie Devers

    Wood fired cups and saucers with a teapot by julie Devers

    Three legged wood fired vases by Julie Devers

    We have several wonderful pieces still available in the gallery. If you can’t physically visit the gallery, call us, (616-935-7337) and we will send you images with more information.

  • Airport Museums

    Traveling by plane can test your patience. You basically “hurry up to wait”. Very early this morning, I arrived at the Phoenix airport, checked in, and what did I see? A ceramics display! LOVE IT!

    A nice way to wake up, just a little bit.

    Larry Allen, ceramic jar

    In 2016, local Phoenician ceramic art collectors, Billie Jo Harned and Joan Lincoln, gifted a sampling of their collections giving the viewer a glimpse into the variety of artworks that helped fuel their shared passion for collecting contemporary ceramic art.

    Ceramic dog, unknown maker

    I discovered that the Phoenix Art Museum is one of the largest airport art museums in the United States.

    Don Reitz ceramic platter

    Sultry Birch Teapot, by Eric Serritelia

    Suzanne Kane, ceramic folding book

    Les Lawrence, New Vision Teapot

    Ceramic Bottle, maker unknown

    Check it out the next time you are visiting the desert. These two displays are located in Terminal 4, Level 2.

  • White Beans & Tomatoes with Kale Pesto

    White Beans & Tomatoes with Kale Pesto

    35g Carb, Serves 4, Total Time: 20 Min


    1 cup packed baby kale
    2 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
    1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 clove garlic, halved
    1/2 tsp. lemon zest
    1 Tbsp, lemon juice
    1 Tbsp. water
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    3 cups grape tomatoes, halved
    2 15-oz. cans reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed
    1/2 tsp. ground pepper


    1. Combine kale, pine nuts, Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, salt, and 1 tsp. oil in a food processor. Process until nearly smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Set aside.
    2. Heat the remaining 1 tsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with pepper. 
    3. To serve, top the bean mixture with the pesto.


    Per Serving (1 cup bean mixture & 2 Tbsp. pesto each): CAL 288, CARB 35g (11 g fiber, 4 g sugars), FAT 11g (2 g sat. fat), PROTEIN 14g, CHOL 4 mg, SODIUM 435 mg.
  • Gabrial Lundy music Supporting Artists in West Michigan

    Musicians are Artists and we love them at C2C GAllery!

    On the First Friday of every month, we host live music in the gallery. Free to the public – a professional plays his or her favorite tunes. You get to hang out, listen, sip wine (or water), and look at great art.

    Gabrial Lundy Music

    West Michigan is also known as the Third Coast. Musicians traveling between the other two coasts stop here to perform and record in a variety of venues. Bill Chrysler’s studio, Third Coast Recording Company, is recognized as fabulous option for recording debut albums or with artist’s who have Grammy awards hanging on their walls.

    Bill Chrysler in recording booth Grand Haven MI

    Third Coast Recording Studio

    All around West Michigan, you can find live music on Friday and Saturday nights. A favorite venue of ours is Seven Steps Up, located in Spring Lake, Michigan. This is a listening room arranging shows for acoustical musicians – rock to folk to bluegrass.

    Seven Steps UpMichelle and Gary Hanks, Seven Steps Up

  • Fun trip to Chicago – Amtrak – Art Institute – Shaw’s Crab House

    Last week, I took Amtrak into the Windy City with a friend. We love doing these one day excursions. Hop on the train in Holland, Michigan and ride it into Chicago. You can walk or cab it to the Chicago Art Institute. While on the train, you can read, sleep, return emails, work, or just look out the window. It is great!

    Chicago’s Millennium Park

    We walked and arrived before the museum opened. So, walked around a bit more.

    Bridge to Chicago Art Institute

    I have been asking myself to watch for a “simple magic” each day. I think for me it was watching a young couple race each other up the downward flowing escalator. They were laughing and just having fun.

    We saw the three special exhibits: John Singer Sargent and Chicago’s Gilded Age; Charles White: A Retrospective; and George Jensen: Scandinavian Design for Living. My favorite was the Charles White Retrospective.

    Charles White was a gifted draftsman,printmaker, muralist, and painter. He focused on African American history and culture. For me, the hands always seemed a bit larger than life. I wonder if he was trying to get us to think of the use and work of those hands. This artist focused on the Black Americans and only two white men. I am amazed by the talent. Loved this quote by White, “I like to think that my work has a universality to it. I deal with love, hope courage, freedom, dignity – the full gamut of human spirit.” My favorite pieces of art seen at the Institute on this trip.

    The Soldier by Charles White

    A collage focused on the angst of World War II for African Americans

    Birmingham Totem. 1963 church bombing by Charles White

    Elmira Castle by Charles White

    John Singer Sargent painting

    Thistle by John Singer Sargent

    Watercolor painting by John Singer Sargent

    Watercolor painting by John Singer Sargent

    George Jensen Danish Silver

    Helen Frankenthaler Print exhibit

    Chicago art institute print

    Print by Helen Frankenthaler

    Cyndi Casemier cold in the Chicago Art Institute

    And, then, we headed to Shaw’s Crab House, a REQUIRED restaurant when in the city (for me).

    What a fun day, living the creative life with a great friend. Take care everyone. C2

  • To Laugh Often and Much. Living the Creative Life

    About two years ago, I started a creative journaling process. Each morning, I read for 10 minutes. Journal thoughts, concerns, to do’s, favorite quotes. There is more to this process. Check out Lisa Sonora‘s website to learn about her books and courses. Lisa believes that journaling is more than being creative. It is about documenting your journey as a human; helping your learn more about yourself; and helping you create the life that you truly want to live. This writer is a high school dropout with an MBA!

    Mixed media painting by Denise LeClaire

    Anyway, back to this morning. Read this great quote and had to share it.

    Quick question: How many books do you read at the same time? ( I think I always have about 5 books.). I read this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson with regard to his best advice on living a good life.

    “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciate of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

    Have a great day and I hope you doing something creative TODAY.

    Abstract painting by Nora Faber

  • Just Getting it done – Life of a Potter

    Do you ever really know how your day is going to play out? I try so hard to make a list at the end of each day for the next day’s tasks. Wake up, check the list, and get to work on checking the items off.

    C2Ceramics porcelain houses

    Last night, my list had these items on it:

    Fire Gas Kiln, while doing this, do these things:

    Clean studio.

    Call a couple of artists


    Newsletter for Designers

    Newsletter for Loyalty customers

    Empty electric glaze firing

    Work out

    Make yogurt

    A fairly reasonable list. Instead, the day has run like this:

    Kiln stopped firing 5 times last night. Had to re-light it, of course.

    Did payroll.

    Completed Social Media posts

    REALLY Cleaned the studio. That means wiping down every surface. Moving every bucket.

    Emptied Electric Kiln.

    Read a couple of emails.

    Gas Kiln now has a fire coming out of a location it shouldn’t have flames. Yikes!

    Call Jim Bailey at Bailey Pottery Company.

    Inside of bailey gas kiln

    He was wonderful. Patient with me. He gave me a vocabulary lesson in kiln parts, looked at the pictures I sent him, and calmly reassured me that we would get this fixed. No, I was not going to have a serious problem. Read between the lines here.

    Gas burner for bailey gas kiln

    With the kiln firing on one burner and at 1793 degrees, I put on my Kevlar gloves so that I don’t burn myself, a pair of pliers, I listen to Jim tell me what to do. I won’t go into the details but we did get the problem corrected so that I can finish the firing. Yes, I am checking this baby every half hour or more, just to make sure. Learning to fire a gas kiln teaches you respect for fire and you do lose your fear of fire. Not sure how this is possible. Plus, if you are a potter, you can see that the paint has burned off the blower. I learned from Jim, that I haven’t had the correct balance between air and gas. Another lesson. It’s been an interesting day. Thank you Jim, for your help.

    Finished cleaning the studio.

    Huge Chinese Wok used for glazing dinner plates

    Made yogurt.

    Yes, life goes on. How has your day been going? If nothing else, I hope you have done something creative. Take care, C2

    Porcelain houses by Cyndi Casemier