• Eggnog Rice Pudding – Yum!!


    Eggnog Rice Pudding

    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup Jasmine rice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 strips lemon zest
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup eggnog
    1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in rice, salt, and lemon zest. Turn the heat to low and simmer the rice, covered, until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard the lemon zest.
    2. Over low heat, add 3 cups of milk, nutmeg, sugar, and vanilla extract to the cooked rice. . Bring to a low boil, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Stir often, until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 20 minutes. Add the eggnog and cook for 10 minutes more, until thickened. Place in a large bowl or serving dishes to cool. Serve cold or at room temperature. Garnish with ground nutmeg.
    Check out the bowl by Michael Kifer! 
    The rice pudding would look wonderful in one of these dishes.  


    Brightly colored ceramic serving bowls by Michael Kifer

  • Cookie recipe Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

    Cookie recipe

    Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Shortbread Cookies



    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 3 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped and melted


    1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add butter, vanilla, and egg yolk and process until mixture comes together into a moist ball. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    2. Place a rack in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
    3. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper. Lightly flouring the bottom piece of parchment paper. Roll to 1/4 inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch round or heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out dough and use a thin spatula to transfer cookies to the prepared baking pan.
    4. Bake cookies until firm to the touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cookies cool completely on wire racks.
    5. Melt milk chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, heating for 30 second intervals, removing the bowl to stir the chocolate and repeat until the chocolate is completely melted.
    6. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before dipping in chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt or sprinkles and allow to rest for 30 minutes to harden the chocolate. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

    By Joy the Baker


  • Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing, 1990. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A Look at the World of Male vs Female Artists

    When my daughter was in elementary school, often we visited art museums.  Camille made sure that we found the Mary Cassatt paintings.  For many years, Cassatt’s art  interested her.  I never really knew why Camille loved these paintings because later she focused on German Expressionism.  
    This blog posting is one of the more interesting that I read in the last month so I thought I would share it.  Let me know what you think.  It’s an interesting look at female artist’s lives in the 1890’s.  


    Mary Cassatt Painted Domestic Life in a Way Male Impressionists Couldn’t…


    Mary Cassatt, Five O'Clock Tea, 1880. Image via the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

    Gathered in an Eden-esque orchard, a group of women in fully contemporary dress pluck apples skillfully and intently. Turning, they pass the alluring fruits on to the next generation that waits nearby.
    This was Mary Cassatt’s vision of the modern world, painted on the wall of the Woman’s Building at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. In it, she depicted a new origin myth: Rather than Eve, causing the fall of mankind, these women presented a hopeful allegory where knowledge (and equal opportunity) was available to all.
    The message was true to Cassatt’s ideologies—she was a champion of woman’s ability to stand alone—but it was also radical. As Cassatt recalled, “An American friend asked me in a rather huffy tone the other day, ‘Then this is woman apart from her relations to man?’ I told him it was.”
    Although Cassatt was not the only woman painter to show with the Impressionists, she was the sole American to be officially incorporated into the movement. Today, she is best remembered for her arresting portraits of women and children in the private sphere. Her images of domesticity are as revisionist as her Biblical subversions at the World’s Fair—paying tribute to, rather than trivializing, feminine experience.

    Mary CassattYoung Mother and Two Children1908White House Historical Association

    Mary Cassatt, Woman Sitting with a Child in Her Arms, 1890. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

    Cassatt was born in 1844 to an affluent family in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now Pittsburgh). Her parents allowed, even encouraged, their daughter to take drawing lessons during a years-long family trip through Europe—although they would have reservations later in life when she decided to pursue a career in the arts. At the time, it was uncommon for upper-class women to work as professional artists. The occupation, associated with mistresses, nude life-drawing classes, and public life, ran contrary to a woman’s expected role as mother. Throughout her life, Cassatt would vacillate between her unconventional choices (both professionally and personally—she never married) and the decorum of her upbringing.
    But back in Pennsylvania after her time abroad, Cassatt couldn’t help but yearn for the art world of Paris. Just after the end of the Civil War, Cassatt finally traveled with a classmate to France to study painting in the City of Lights, where she would spend most of her life. In 1877, after a dozen years of study, copying in the Musée du Louvre, and occasionally showing in the Paris Salon, she received a pivotal visit from Edgar Degas.
    Degas invited her to show with the Impressionists—the moment, Cassatt later said, that she “began to live.” By accepting, she became “part of an egalitarian art movement,” says University of Leeds professor Griselda Pollock. Degaswho would become Cassatt’s champion, confidant, and collaborator, indoctrinated her into his Impressionist circle. In a break from tradition, these artists were exploring everyday experiences on their canvases, painting “their own families, their social relations, the places they [went] on holiday,” Pollock says.

    Mary Cassatt, Denise at Her Dressing Table, ca. 1908-09. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Mary CassattLady at the Tea Table1883–1885The Metropolitan Museum of Art

    But in observing her lived experiences, Cassatt soon realized how different her world was from those of her male peers. “There would have been places she couldn’t go, even if she had dared,” explains Kimberly A. Jones, a curator of 19th-century French paintings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. “Even as a friend of Degas, she couldn’t go backstage at the Opera or hang out in the cafés.” Cassatt observed those differences in her work, exposing the complexity of gender and sexuality in the public sphere. In the Loge (1878), a painting of a man ogling a woman watching an opera, documents what Pollock calls “these extraordinary spectacles where women become part of the spectacle.”
    In 1877, as Cassatt was taking advantage of bustling art and theatre scenes of her adopted city, her family moved in. Her new chaperone-roommates generated a series of familial obligations, including caring for her sister Lydia, who suffered from a kidney disease. As Cassatt spent more time with her family, scenes of domesticity begin to dominate her work.
    In addition to the convenience of in-house models, Cassatt discovered that here, in the home, she had comfort and control. “Men were always interlopers in that sphere because they had the rest of the world to roam,” says Jones. “The fact that she was a woman gave her an understanding of that sphere that was her natural domain.”

    Mary Cassatt, Young Mother Sewing, 1990. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Although they are confined, Cassatt’s subjects are never decorative. These women are “educated or thoughtful or creative or in conversation,” Pollock notes. “They’re usually animated. Cassatt’s the absolute master (or mistress) of complex relationships articulated through expressions, through gestures, through space.”
    Her work rejects sentimentality, and her images of women and children “have nothing to do with maternity,” Pollock continues. “Images of maternity, you see in Renoir, with pink breasts.” Crucially, Pollock points out, the adult sitters of Cassatt’s portraits were usually nursemaids, rather than mothers. Her paintings juxtapose the unformed child and the formed adult, illustrating the process of “socializing women from little plump girls who have no reason to believe their lives will be limited, to becoming this finished project, where their lives will always be on show.”
    Cassatt’s brush revealed the tragedy and beauty of women’s lives in the 19th century, giving voice and dignity to the oft-overlooked domestic sphere. Like these paintings, her Chicago mural was populated solely by women. As she reminded that huffy American friend: “Men, I have no doubt, are painted in all their vigor on the walls of the other buildings.”
    written by Sarah Bochicchio , Artsy.net


  • Sue Boehme glass sculpture 10 Questions to the Artist – Sue Boehme

    Picture of artist Sue Boehme
    Sue Boehme
    I met Sue Boehme last summer.  She reached out to me, introducing herself as a local artist who works in many mediums.  I agreed to visit her studio and was immediately intrigued by this artist.  She has been walking the creative path for a long time and has created art using many mediums such as clay, metal, and glass.
    Sue answers our “Ten Questions to the Artist” so that we can get to know her, just a little.  
    1 & 2. WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY, SPIRITUALLY, OR EMOTIONALLY? And do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?
    The recurrent theme in much of my work references the natural world around us- from the cosmos to cellular structures. I spend a lot of time outdoors, and find it a source of endless inspiration. As a child, I adored science and studied everything from fossils and minerals to butterflies and birds.
    I have been fortunate to have experienced a number of careers in my life – I was a computer programmer in the eighties, a co-owner in a family millwright services business (I handle the accounting) for the past thirty years, an adjunct art professor for eight years, and now a private art instructor. If I could pick a profession, I would work for Warner Brothers to help design props for films, or Universal Orlando to design and sculpt the items that help provide an immersive experience for guests. Another great option would be an illustrator for a graphic novel, or an animator for Dreamworks.
    I wouldn’t care for any profession that includes handling sewage of any type.
    My favorite artists: Henry Moores’s drawings, Kathe Kollwitz, Lee Bontecoe’s early work, Japanese printmakers, Shaun Tan, Kazu Kibuishi, and Hayao Miyazaki.
    My favorite tool are my fingers – I am a very hands on artist.
    John Powell
    Formal education includes a BFA in Sculpture from Kendall College of Art and Design, and approximately twenty intensive glass workshops.
    Thank you, Sue, for answering our questions.  Stop in to the gallery to see her artwork. She and I will be hosting an Artist Talk beginning at 7:30 pm.  Denise will be in the gallery, Friday night, November 3, 7-8:30pm.  

    Fused Glass bowl by Sue Boehme

  • Cyndi Casemier holding a handmade ceramic bowl Treating Everyone with Respect and Being of Service

    Treating Everyone with Respect

    Cyndi Casemier holding a handmade ceramic bowl

    One of C2C Gallery’s core values is to treat everyone with respect.  You say, “well, of course”.  Sadly, this is not something that happens automatically in our world. As C2C grows, treating customers with respect is one of my personal core values and I am proud that is part of the gallery’s DNA.
    In my mind, treating people with respect should simply be part of the fabric of society.  We shouldn’t have to write it down.  It’s just the right thing to do.  We are all humans, (as one of my girl friends reminds me often). We’re all in this together and, for the most part, people are good and want good things for society.  What’s sad is how surprised people are to see this in practice.  That’s because we live in a world where people say and do very disrespectful things to one another on social media and in real life.
    So, I thought I would share my thoughts about respect and talk about change in the gallery.  Change is good.  Change will not include losing our focus on always being friendly, helpful, respectful, and offering the highest quality plus widest range of art in West Michigan.  Our goal is to help you include art in your every day life.
    You will see two new faces in the gallery – Julie Minnema and Joy Roach.  Joy will be helping us on First Fridays, special events, and other busy days.  Julie Minnema will be helping us on Sundays and Mondays with a focus on networking with interior designers, architects, and realtors.  We have relationships with more than 45 artists.  If you are one of these professionals or have a favorite pro, please consider scheduling a time to talk with Julie or myself.  We would love to learn if we can be of service to you, helping one another.
    Sarah Mattone will be in the gallery during the week managing the sales floor and other duties.  So where does this leave me?  I will be in the gallery several mornings a week.  Then, heading to my studio to make pots and create new forms.  I am excited to be able to focus on my art, plus the business side of C2C Gallery.
    C2C Gallery has always been about sharing the talents of our artists with you, our clients and visitors to Grand Haven.  As we grow, C2C is also supporting me, our employee’s families, our health, and our choice of lifestyle.  So, once in awhile, we will not be able to be open, because a child is sick; we have the flu; a kiln needs repair; or some other emergency that is out of our control.  I hope that you will understand because we only have one life – our family and our health are much more important than the gallery.
    For us, treating everyone with respect is a mantra that we will continue to do in ways both big and small….every day.

    Cyndi Casemier ceramic ladies and slumped porcelain houses

  • The Fearless Baker’s Brownie Pie

    The Fearless Baker’s Brownie Pie


    Give the pie a cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.  I love this pie just warmer than room temperature served with ice cream piled high.  Coffee ice cream is wonderful. Brownie Pie!  It’s an unexpected and absolutely joyful dessert. 
    Serves 8
    For the Pie
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • pinch of fine sea salt
    • 8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    • 3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
    For the Brownies
    • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    • 1/4 canola (or other neutral) oil
    • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% or so), chopped
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    • 1 cup chopped toasted almonds
    coffee ice cream or whipped cream for serving
    1. To make the dough, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter cubes, tossing them through the flour until each piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your palms or your fingers, flattening the cubes into big shards and continuing to toss them through the flour, recoating the shingled pieces.
    2. Continue to work the mixture together until the pieces of butter are about the size of peas.
    3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add 3 tablespoons of ice water and mix to incorporate. Then add more ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and continue mixing just until the dough comes together. As it begins to come together, you can knead it a few times to make sure it’s evenly combined. It’s important not to add too much water to the dough, which should never be sticky. It should hold together easily in a ball but still feel almost dry to the touch.
    4. Form the dough into an even disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
    5. Lightly flour the work surface. Roll out the dough to a circle 1/4-inch thick. Start in the center of the disk of dough and push away from you using even pressure. Return to the center and repeat, this time moving towards you. Continue rotating the dough and reflouring the counter as needed to prevent sticking.
    6. Transfer the dough to the pie pan. Trim away the overhang, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang all around. Tuck the excess dough under and crimp with your fingers or a fork. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes or freeze for 5 to 10 minutes.
    7. To parbake, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut a square of parchment paper slightly larger than the pie pan.
    8. Prick the chilled dough all over with a fork. Place the parchment over the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust until the edges barely begin to turn golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
    9. Take the pan out of the oven and remove the parchment and weights. Return the crust to the oven to bake for 2 to 4 minutes until just lightly golden.
    10. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the bottom of the crust with a thin layer of egg wash. The residual heat should cook the egg, but if it looks wet, throw it back in the oven for 1 minute more. Cool the crust completely before filling it.
    11. To make the brownie, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
    12. In a medium, heat-proof bowl, combine the butter, oil, and bittersweet chocolate. Set the bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water (with the bowl not touching the water) and heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is fully melted and combined. Let cool slightly.
    13. Add both sugars to the chocolate mixture and mix well with a spatula. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is fully incorporated. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix well to ensure there are no flour pockets, but do not overmix. Fold in the semisweet chocolate and almonds.
    14. Pour the batter into the piecrust and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownie comes out with moist, clumpy crumbs, 45 to 50 minutes. Do not overbake! Let the pie cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving. I love this pie served with coffee ice cream.
    By Joy Wilson, Joy the Baker and Erin McDowell,Adapted from The Fearless Baker
  • Women's table by Maya Lin Sculpture I find Interesting – Maya Lin

    Women's table by Maya Lin

    Women’s Table by Maya Lin


    I read an article today in the NY Times that I wanted to share and save, hence the blog posting.  Maya LIn has created many public sculptures in New England and across the United States.  Here is an excerpt and link to the article:
    “The table is inscribed with a sea of numbers in an exquisite spiral. Ms. Lin marks the presence, and absence, of female students through the years, creating a strong statement and pattern. After many years of zeros, the number grows quickly in the 1970s and ’80s, getting to 5,225 women enrolled at Yale in 1993 when the sculpture was finished. It is a meditation on social and gender progress. She is meticulous in her design: the stone is “Lake Placid Blue” as her homage to Yale’s blue and numerals use Bembo font as a link to Yale publications.
    “The Women’s Table” is understated, like so much of her work. Though it carries no explanation on it, people seem to appreciate it whether they fully understand its context or not.”

    For the rest of the article, click here.


  • Vinyl Record sales forbes magazine Did you know that more vinyl records were sold than music downloaded in 2016?

    Did you know that more vinyl records were sold than downloaded music in 2016?

    Vinyl Record sales forbes magazine


    According to Forbes magazine, “Fueled by that unique sound quality and a nostalgia wave, sales of vinyl records were up 32% to $416 million, their highest level since 1988, according to the RIAA. Revenues from vinyl sales last year were higher than those of on-demand ad supported streaming services.”
    What does this have to do with art and C2C Gallery?

    Fordite Bracelet with sterling silver by Julie Sanford

    I have been thinking about how we use the words “hand-crafted” when discussing things like beer, watches, shoes, arts, and bicycles.  So, what does hand-crafted really mean?  I am sure it is deliberate when marketing uniqueness, quality, and care taken when an item is created.  Yet, isn’t is strange that while we respect well made “hand-crafted” items, there is also a desire to demand low cost and immediate availability.  So, how is an artist to survive?  

    Murini Hand blown Glass vase by Eli Zilke

    How many of us notice the art in an hotel or restaurant? Or is it like streaming music, where we are barely aware of it?  Does this cause us not to value or even see the art in front of us unless we are in a place where art is supposed be noticed, such as:  galleries, art fairs and museums?

    On the edge of fall landscape painting by Mark Mehaffey

    As an artist and a gallery owner, I have worked hard to learn how to use social media such as Facebook and Instagram effectively for my ceramic work and for my artists.  Each of my posts have a goal of sharing our artist’s art and who they are as people.  I have always felt that you are more inclined to fall in love and ultimately purchase a piece of artwork if you feel that you know a bit about the artist and why they create art.  

    Michelle Courier with her paintings

    From taxi cabs to skincare, technology is disrupting economic systems. The need for service that exceeds expectations will keep a place for excellent businesses. Art that transcends the commonplace, even occasionally art on a hotel wall, will find its way to those who value and notice the art. Technology will allow more people to find and hopefully collect our art. Deliberate practice is necessary to become ever better in our art. Ongoing marketing helps take our art beyond the commonplace.
  • artprize 9 winner Every One is Creative. Yes, you are!

    I found Sofia Ramirez’s ArtPrize entry interesting showing the public of her daily creative practice – drawing.  As in all things, in order to become “good” or accomplished at a craft or skill, you must practice.  Many times, customers come into the gallery and I hear them  saying how they have no artistic talents.  I always try to have a conversation with them that being creative takes practice.  Our artists have tens of thousands of hours invested into their art medium.  I also believe that being creative does not mean only using an art medium.  Everyone is creative daily making decisions, cooking meals, choosing clothing, and even in how they choose their words to communicate.  We are all creative.  
    Flint – ArtPrize 3 Dimensional Juried Winner
    Another ArtPrize and ArtWalk wraps up today.  Three weeks of all things related to art in West Michigan.  It’s fun to hear the comments about the entries with discussions about “Is this art?”  In Grand Haven, I felt that the entries were of high caliber across all categories.  Our artist was Denise LeClaire with a mixed media entry, awarded honorable mention in this category, “In Honour that Life is Short”.

    In Honour of Life Collage by Denise LeClaire

    With Grand Haven’s smaller, volunteer organized version of ArtPrize, we gained a new mural in town by Chris Protas, who won the Juried Painting Category for Grand Haven’s ArtWalk event.  

    Mural at Dee-Lite by Chris Protas

    Sofia Ramirez Draws Every Day – It is Non-negotiable. 

    Art for Life


  • baked brie cheese with pistachios and honey Baked Brie with Pistachios and Honey


    Baked Brie with Honey and Pistachios


    A simple, yummy appetizer that is quick and easy –
    plus designed for a handmade ceramic baker.  
    1 (6-8-ounces) round Brie or Camembert
    1/4 cup lightly salted pistachios
    (about 2 ounces), shelled and roughly chopped
    2 tbl honey
    1.  Using a sharp knife, score top rind of cheese in a cross-cross pattern, spacing cuts about 1 inch apart. 
     2.   Remove the packaging and place in ceramic baking dish.  Put cheese and dish into a cold oven.  Set the temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake until top is soft and runny, about 25 minutes.
      3.  Top with chopped pistachios and drizzle with honey.  Let rest 5 minutes, then Enjoy!