Cyndi Casemier Blog

And the Winner is….

And the Winner is.... We would like to thank Michelle Courier for generously donating one of her gorgeous landscape paintings;  our customers who bought raffle tickets; Mary, Mary, Culinary! (Mary Van Oordt) for her catering services; Christi Dreese for helping at the sales desk; and Therese Magee for serving beverages. We raised $1,000 for our Ottawa County Parks on Friday, September 1, 2017.  We are thrilled to support our community in this manner.   And the Winners of our Raffle benefiting  Ottawa County Parks Foundation are:  

Piney’s Sweet and Sour Beans – a family favorite

Piney's Sweet and Sour Beans This recipe was given to me when I got married in 1980.  Edie Swart was my second mom for most of my life.  Edie's husband was my mother's business partner.  This bean recipe was much loved whenever it was made.  Last week, a friend asked about bean dishes and I remembered this one. Mom made it for lots of summer gatherings and other family events over the years.  Let me know how you like it.  Happy almost Labor Day Weekend!   Ingredients: 8 slices bacon 4 lg onions 1/2 - 1 c. brown sugar 1 tsp dry mustard 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp salt 1/2 c. viegar 2 can lima beans 1 can green beans - drained 1 dark red kidney beans 1 - 1 lb. 13 ou size of canned baked beans Instructions: Brown Bacon, remove from pan. Brown onions in the bacon fat.  Mix other liquids and spices in this mixture. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Combine the beans in a baking dish.  Pour the liquid onion spice mixture into the beans.  Add the bacon (torn into pieces). Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour.

Why Medical Schools are requiring art classes….

This warms my heart reading about U.S. medical schools requiring students attend interdisciplinary arts classes to help them develop skills such as critical thinking, observation, communication skills and empathy,  Throughout my life, I have had a wide range of physicians who were fantastic with their patients and others who were lacking.  I knew that I needed to be patient with the docs who didn't have the best bedside manner because many of them were so smart that they never learned social skills (didn't have to, they were so intelligent). First-year medical students discussing Dallas Chaos II (1982) by Peter Dean, Blanton Museum of Art. Photo by Siobhan McCusker. I found this article interesting and thought you might also: Why Med Schools are requiring art class? “What the heck does Impressionist art have to do with medical communication?” It’s a question that Dr. Michael Flanagan often gets after telling people about “Impressionism and the Art of Communication,” the seminar he teaches to fourth-year medical students at the Penn State College of Medicine. In the course, students complete exercises inspired by 19th-century painters like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, ranging from observation and writing activities to painting in the style of said artists. Through the process, they learn to better communicate with patients by developing insights on subjects like mental illness and cognitive bias. Flanagan’s seminar speaks to a broader trend in medical education, which has become pronounced over the past decade: More and more, medical schools in the U.S. are investing in curriculum and programming around the arts. Professors argue that engaging in the arts during medical school, whether through required courses or extracurricular activities, is valuable in developing essential skills that doctors need, like critical thinking and observational and communication skills, as well as bias awareness and empathy. While it’s become more common in recent years, some medical schools have been incorporating the arts into their curriculum for decades. Penn State, for example, was the first medical school in the U.S. to develop its own department of medical humanities, which launched with the school in 1967. And many schools have long required students to take reflective writing courses or interdisciplinary classes that tap into social sciences or the arts as part of graduation requirements. This coursework is meant to address a wide swathe of real-world scenarios, from medical decision-making to ethics. And within this framework, there’s room for the performing arts, music, literature, and visual arts, as vehicles to deliver lessons. Students from Dr. Michael Flanagan's class "Impressionism and the Art of Communication" at Penn State College of Medicine. Medical students at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, for example, are required to take humanities seminars in their first year, which range in subject from dance to poetry. And in the past few years, more schools, including Harvard Medical School and the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School, have developed their own arts and humanities programs. “It’s not just a nice idea to incorporate humanities into medical schools to make the education more interesting,” Flanagan says of such programs. “It’s protecting and maintaining students’ empathy so that by the time they go off to practice medicine, they’re still empathetic individuals.” He notes that while medical students traditionally enter their first year with very high levels of empathy, after three years, research has shown, the exposure to content around death and suffering can cause those levels to plummet. Engagement in the humanities can rectify this problem. Dr. Delphine Taylor, Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, emphasizes that arts-focused activities are important in training future doctors to be present and aware, which is more and more difficult today given the pervasiveness of technology and media. One of the most popular programs, adopted at schools including Yale, Harvard, and UT Austin, involves students meeting at art museums to describe and discuss artworks. At the most basic level, these exercises in close observation help to improve diagnostic skills—priming students to identify visual symptoms of illness or injury in patients, and (hopefully) preventing them from making misguided assumptions. But it’s also about delving beneath face value. Photo from the Art Matters event at MoMA, courtesy of Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.  “It’s a richer experience than just, ‘Check, I know how to observe now,’” says Dr. Taylor, regarding the courses Columbia offers, where students visit museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She notes that by verbally reacting to the art they see, and developing hypotheses around factors like what the artist was thinking or why they used a certain shade of red, students can prepare for future scenarios with patients and colleagues that will be uncomfortable and uncertain. These classes, which are most often led by museum educators, also serve to engender curiosity, to encourage students to ask questions, and, importantly, to consider the perspectives of others. One of the oldest courses of this type was begun at Yale in the late 1990s by dermatology professor Dr. Irwin Braverman and curator Linda Friedlaender, who created a class that takes place at the Yale Center for British Art, and continues to be taught today. After taking that course in 2013, current Yale med student Robert Rock, who studied art history as an undergraduate, took the initiative to develop his own art tour of the Yale Center for British Art.“The point is to create a critical consciousness,” Rock explains. “I think in medical culture there’s a deference to authority that holds people back from asking important questions about things that can mean life or death.” He notes that the museum is neutral territory where students, who often don’t much much experience with art, can feel comfortable voicing opinions or asking questions. His tour, called “Making the Invisible Visible,” has since been incorporated into the Yale curriculum.Beyond looking at and discussing art, students are also making it. At Columbia, students can take a comics course taught by Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Chief Creative Officer at Columbia’s Department of Surgery, who is also a contributing cartoonist to the New Yorker. In his classes for first- and fourth-years, students learn to create their own comics and, in the process, gain insights into the different vantages from which to see and understand real-life situations. Perhaps most importantly, they learn to practice effective storytelling.“When you become a doctor, you train really hard to learn another vocabulary and it really is almost like its own language,” says Dr. Schwartz. “You become so well-versed in it that you can forget that you’re speaking it and words that are common to you might be confusing jargon to the person you’re speaking with.” Making comics, he explains, can help to prevent these types of scenarios, and engender mindfulness.Efforts to better communicate with patients also drive much of Dr. Flanagan’s Impressionism course. One particularly original exercise sees students partner up to paint. One student is given a postcard with a famous Impressionist painting on it, while the other student, who cannot see the card, stands at a canvas with a paintbrush in hand, and must ask their partner questions about the painting in order to reproduce it. “The painter becomes like the physician who’s taking a history and trying to get information from the patient,” Dr. Flanagan says. “They experience firsthand how much easier it is to gain information when you ask open-ended questions, when you stop and let that patient tell their story.” At many schools, programming around the arts is also happening outside of the classroom. Yale has its Medical Humanities & the Arts Council, which promotes interaction among the medical school and other schools at the university, while also supporting student-run organizations and events—like Rock’s art tour and a series of drawing sessions started by one of his classmates, Sue Xiao.Yale med student Nientara Anderson says her involvement in an on-campus interdisciplinary group and other artists initiatives has helped widen her perspective on important issues—perspective that will ultimately make her a better doctor.“I noticed in my first year of medical school that we were talking about things like race, mental health, sexuality, and we weren’t really reaching outside of medicine and asking people who really study these things,” Anderson says. “I see art as a way, especially art in medicine, to bring in outside expertise.” Rock agrees, stressing that a sense of “criticality, more than anything, is what I would hope that the arts and the humanities bring to the medical profession.” He points to incidents of unconscious bias, where preconceived notions about things like how a certain disease presents or where an individual lives can negatively affect a doctor’s decision making. “There are a lot of apparent assumptions in Western society that can be extremely problematic and very dangerous when aligned with the power that a physician has in the clinic, operating room, or emergency department,” he adds.Dr. Taylor notes that at Columbia, students are similarly receptive to taking humanities courses. “The application to medicine is very obvious, we don’t have to tell our medical students why they’re doing this,” she says. And visual art, it seems, has a special role to play.Dr. Schwartz suggests that visual art is somewhat unique in what it can offer to medical professionals. “For me, the greatest asset with visual art in particular, when it comes to teaching medical students, is just that it gently takes us out of our comfort zone,” he says. “It gives us a great opportunity to have these stop and think moments.” Doctor or not, we could all stand to have more moments to stop and think. editorial by artsy writer:  Casey Lesser

Summer Succotash Salad

Summer Succotash Salad We wanted to lighten up stodgy, old-school succotash by using fresh vegetables and minimizing the flavor-dulling cream and butter. For a summer succotash salad recipe that lightens up succotash with fresh vegetables, we cooked all the vegetables in the same pot of well-salted simmering water, staggering their cooking times to ensure they all finished at the same time. Once the vegetables were tender, we rinsed them under cold water to stop their cooking and conserve their bright color. Most succotash salad recipes call for finishing the dish with butter or cream, but we opted for a light vinaigrette spiked with lemon juice, red onion, and basil. Ingredients: 3 tbl olive oil 1 ½ tbl lemon juice 1 tsp honey     ½ onion, red (small and minced) ¾ lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in half crosswise 2 ears corn, kernels removed from cobs ½ lb frozen lima beans 2 tbl chopped fresh basil   Instructions: This salad can be kept covered and refrigerated fro up to 1 day. If making the salad in advance, add the basil just before serving. Stir oil, lemon juice, honey, red onion, and salt and pepper to taste together in small bowl. Bring 2 1/2 quarts water to boil in large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and green beans and cook for 1 minute. Add corn and lima beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain vegetables into colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain vegetables well and transfer to serving bowl. Toss vegetables with dressing to coat evenly. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper. Serve. From the Cook’s Illustrated magazine,

A Painting I Love – A Day at the Beach

Donna Zagotta A friend suggested that I consider Donna Zagotta's painting for C2C Gallery.  I was intrigued by her artwork.  I love her unique use of watercolor.  She likes to paint women busy or not, with their lives.  Days at the beach, walking the streets of a new city, or bustling through their day.  These paintings are not large in size.  Each painting  is  filled with vibrant color.  Stop in and have a look.  If you live out of town, we would be happy to email images to you allowing you to select your favorite.  We will ship.  

“Crafted” versus “Craftsmanship”

Julie Sanford at work What is the difference between "crafted" and "craftsmanship"?  There is a lot of talk around the world about things being crafted.  Many times, I think when we use the word "crafted" we mean handmade and the maker is highly skilled at his craft - whatever that may be.  So, you could use the term "crafted" across many industries such as;  tool and die makers, engineers, artists, cabinet makers, etc.  But, are we using this word correctly? I found a blog, Nebo, that encourages everyone to think more like a craftsman, "Even if you don't think of yourself as creative -- say you've never made something with your hands in your life --it doesn't matter.  Craftsmanship is an attitude, and one we believe is important enough to cultivate."  This blog writer took craftsmanship a step further by listing 8 characteristics that mark a master craftsmen: Motivated by mastery rather than attaining a status. Willing to make sacrifices in finances, free time, and relationships. Believe in the end-value of what they are making. Balance a passion for history and tradition with a drive to innovate. Plan and think things through first. Immerse themselves and can maintain focus on their work. Put in the hours for their craft to become a habit of daily life. Know that you've never really "made it". One of the reasons, that I opened C2C Gallery is because I believe that having well crafted handmade art in your home is important to creating a well lived life.  It connects you with other people in the world.  Also, it  creates an inviting, calming environment for you to live your life. "Craftsmanship is a way of life.  It is about fully engaging our heads, hands, and hearts in our labors.  It is about adhering to a set of values and principles that produce objects that are not only functional and beautiful but also make for a sustainable lifestyle." Excellent craftsmanship is a way of thinking and doing.   There are challenging issues in our world today.  Surrounding yourself with excellent art - both functional and decorative - supports your own personal well being and the local economy.  Just my two cents. (excerpts from the  

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail

Avocado and Lime Shrimp Cocktail makes 4 large or 6 smaller servings Ingredients: 1 pound chilled peeled, deveined and steamed shrimp and tails removed 2/3 cup ketchup 2/3 cup Pico de Gallo 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons hot sauce (like Tabasco or Crystal) sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste 1 ripe avocado, sliced into chunks 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped tortilla chips for serving lime wedges for serving Instructions: In a medium bowl, stir together ketchup, Pico de Gallo, lime juice, olive oil and hot sauce. Taste a bit of the mixture and add more hot sauce, salt and pepper to your taste. Add the steamed and chilled shrimp, the avocado, and the cilantro.  Stir to combine.  Taste again and season accordingly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  Serve chilled with crisp tortilla chips.   Recipe adapted slightly from The Hot Sauce Cookbook by Joy Wilson

Glass I Love! Check out Eli’s Installation.

What's new in the gallery?  Glasswork by Eli Zilke and Hot Shop ValPo. New Colors and styles.  I will show you which vessels are the ones that I love.  He and the Hot Shop ValPo crew just finished an amazing custom instillation for an university.  Check out the video showing their process and the considerations that went into its creation. Thank you to Bob Walma for this image.

Come visit us in lovely downtown Grand Haven.


Handmade Art & Gifts

104 Washington Street
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Cyndi Casemier, Owner


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Fall Hours:
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Friday: 10am - 6pm
First Fridays: 10am - 8pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sundays: 12 - 5pm

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C2C Gallery | C2C....Art For Your Everyday Life