Monday, September 27, 2010

Awesome Crafty Blogs

Anything Indie



Design Sponge

Etsy's Storque

Extreme Craft

Funky Finds

Hello Craft

Indie Fixx


Naughty Secretary Club

Plush You

Resources from Grace Dobush, author of Craft Superstar

Thesis Outline Draft

This is my first thesis outline draft.

     - Why Handmade Crafts?
    - What is DIY?
    - What is "Indie"?
    - Motivation and Inspiration
    - Art and Craft Movement
    - Interviews with handmade crafters
    - How to handmade and modern tech can coexist
    - As a handmade crafter
    - As a consumer
    - Finding balance
Resources (Cites)

Handmade Hypothesis

This hypothesis presents the concept of a peaceful coexistence between traditional crafters and artisans and modern technology. It will seek to build a bridge between the artist and consumers purchasing their crafts and improve their way of life through decoration and crafting, rather than just with modern devices, without being overwhelmed by the technology that stands to challenge and replace them. The hypothesis encourages both the consumer and crafter to update their habits, providing active information channels between the two, and giving the crafters a distinctive voice to provide the information and products they create to a community of like-minded consumers and fans.

Are you Etsy?

What is Etsy?

Etsy is one of the most popular interactive websites throughout the world. Etsy's mission is to "Enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is to build a new economy and present a better choice: Buy, Sell, and Live Handmade."

Who is Etsy?

 "Etsy was founded in June, 2005. We are a community and a company. Click the image to the right for a view of the community, and see below for who works at Etsy Inc."

Where is Etsy?

"The Etsy community spans the globe with buyers and sellers coming from more than 150 countries. Etsy sellers number in the hundreds of thousands. If each of these sellers stood outside at night with a really bright flashlight pointed towards the sky, it might look something like the image to the right."

Original post from here.
Visit Etsy, click here.

Who Are You?

As a Student : Graduate Communication Design at Pratt Institute in NY.

I was born and raised in Korea, moved to the US about 8 years ago for school. I currently am mastering in digital design emphasis at Pratt Institute.

As an Illustrator

I am working on a children's book with Adam Munger under the psuedonym 'Arimo'. I also do fantasy illustration and still love to use traditional mediums to do my illustration, along with digital medium.

As a Crafter: PoppyEater

I am a handmade crafter and own a shop on Etsy. Currently, I do jewelry, felting, sewing, and knitting. PoppyEater is a pair of artists working out of their little niche in one of the greener parts of Brooklyn, New York. PoppyEater seeks to overlap their interests, skills, and materials in a single symbolic artform. As neither artists are professional taught in jewelry design, PoppyEater, in the future, will not be limited solely to beaded jewelry pieces.

As a Foody

I love to eat and cook. It's the most simple way to make myself happy. I often go on adventures to find great places to eat out.
I can't decide who I truly am and I often get trouble when I thinking about it. However, I believe all of these parts are in me and it's the elements that make up myself.
It's just that I can't really be satisfied to limit myself to only one occupation or interest. So, what about you? How many aspects are in you?

Going Back to Beginning...

Food vs. Craft

I have been thinking about this problem non-stop for the past few weeks; whether I am sticking with my original plan or going back to the very beginning and doing something that is helpful to myself as well.
So, I decided to going back to the very first step and start over again.
This topic is another one that I was thinking about a long time ago too.

One, two, three... Step by step...

Monday, September 20, 2010

2nd Hypothesis Draft

This hypothesis presents the concept of improving human health and well-being through the open sharing and accumulation of knowledge of consumer eating and cooking habits. In contrast to the traditional informative methods of nutritional and financial health, which are oftentimes unreliable, the hypothesis encourages the consumer to approach their health with innovative and usable strategic solutions with a distinctive voice to modern society. By proliferating food enthusiasm through active and interactive channels, it opens the consumer up to more engaging ways to obtain the information they not only want, but need, and encourages group accumulation to further expand the nutrition information database.

"History of RICE" - USA Rice Federation

[Rice, throughout history, has been one of man's most important foods. Today, this unique grain helps sustain two-thirds of the world's population, yet little is known about the origins of rice cultivation. Archeological evidence suggests rice has been feeding mankind for more than 5,000 years. The first documented account is found in a decree on rice planting authorized by a Chinese emperor about 2,800 BC. From China to ancient Greece, from Persia to the Nile Delta, rice migrated across the continents, eventually finding its way to the Western Hemisphere.

Enterprising colonists were the first to cultivate rice in America. It began quite by accident when, in 1685, a storm-battered ship sailing from Madagascar limped into the Charles Towne harbor. To repay the kindness of the colonists for repairs to the ship, the ship's captain made a gift of a small quantity of "Golden Seede Rice" (named for its color) to a local planter.

The low-lying marsh lands bordered by fresh tidal water rivers of the Carolinas and Georgia proved to be ideal for rice production. The soils were rich, reasonably flat and highly fertile. They also were so soft a man could hardly stand on them, with twice a day tides pushing fresh river waters onto the flood plains, nothing else could be grown there.

By 1700, rice was established as a major crop for the colonists. That year 300 tons of American rice, referred to as "Carolina Golde Rice," was shipped to England. Colonists were producing more rice than there were ships to carry it.

Rice farming's extremely high hand-labor requirements is credited with having started the plantation era of the Southern States. Even with ox and mule-drawn equipment of those years, rice "farms" or plantations of only a few hundred acres required from 100 to 300 laborers to prepare the soil, plant, harvest and thresh their production—all by hand.

By 1726, the Port of Charleston was exporting about 4,500 metric tons of "Carolina Golde," which later became the standard of high-quality rice throughout the world. When America gained independence 50 years later, rice had become one of her major agricultural businesses. Then came the War Between the States and an end to the plantation era. This, together with the ravages of hurricanes and competition from other crops, moved rice westward. The sprawling plantations of the Gulf Coast, parceled out to soldiers returning from the war, became a new home to rice crops. Still, high labor costs kept the industry from expanding. Not until mechanized farming methods came into use would the Gulf Coast rice industry become viable.

In 1884, the Machine Age was beginning to affect every aspect of American life. It was the year an Iowa wheat farmer pointed out that the broad prairie land of southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas has solid soils which could hold up heavy equipment like the machines used for the production of wheat in Iowa. A revolution of mechanization followed, establishing what are today's major Southern rice growing states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas.

Meanwhile, the 1849 gold rush brought people from all nations to California. Among them were an estimated 40,000 Chinese, whose staple food was rice. To feed the immigrants, rice production became a necessity. Farmers in the Sacramento Valley found rice would adapt well to heavy clay soil conditions that were largely unsuited to other crops. By 1920, California was a major rice-producing state. More recently, farmers of Southern Florida began growing rice.

Technological improvements have evolved over the years to make American rice production the most efficient and advanced in the world. New mechanization and techniques have helped the American rice farmer reduce the costly time spent in the field to only seven man-hours per acre. Some Asian countries continue to require 300 man-hours per acre.

From its meager beginnings in South Carolina, rice has become a major U.S. agricultural product. Nearly 90 percent of the rice consumed in the United States is produced within its borders. Today, the United States is the world's most advanced, innovative rice producers. One of the largest exporters of rice in the world, the United States is respected worldwide for its abundant production of high-quality rice.]

By USA Rice Federation:

Food Consumption in America by Visual Economics

What Are We Eating? What the Average American Consumes in a Year

"The average American is 36.6 years old and eats 1,996.3 lbs. of food per year. The average man is 5’9” and weighs 190 lbs. The average woman is 5’4” and weighs 164 lbs. Each year, Americans eat 85.5 lbs. of fats and oils. They eat 110 lbs. of red meat, including 62.4 lbs. of beef and 46.5 lbs. of pork. Americans eat 73.6 lbs. of poultry, including 60.4 lbs. of chicken. They eat 16.1 lbs. of fish and shellfish and 32.7 lbs. of eggs. Americans eat 31.4 lbs. of cheese each year and 600.5 lbs. of non-cheese dairy products. They drink 181 lbs. of beverage milks. Americans eat 192.3 lbs. of flour and cereal products, including 134.1 lbs. of wheat flour. They eat 141.6 lbs. of caloric sweeteners, including 42 lbs. of corn syrup. Americans consume 56 lbs. of corn each year and eat 415.4 lbs. of vegetables. Every year, Americans eat 24 lbs. of coffee, cocoa and nuts. Americans eat 273.2 lbs. of fruit each year."

"These foods include 29 lbs. of French fries, 23 lbs. of pizza and 24 lbs. of ice cream. Americans drink 53 gallons of soda each year, averaging about one gallon each week. Americans eat 24 lbs. of artificial sweeteners each year. They eat 2.736 lbs. of sodium, which is 47 percent more than recommended. Americans consume 0.2 lbs. of caffeine each year, about 90,700 mg. In total, Americans eat an average of 2,700 calories each day."

Insight on Asia - Noodle Road

"Noodle is a food that has captured the taste buds of people all around the world. But who invented it in the first place? Why in such a shape? And how did it go all the way to Italy in the name of pasta? Join our journey tracking down the meandering road this simple but unique food has taken in human history. Now you are on the road never trodden before, the NOODLE ROAD." By KBS World

Interesting Blog "Serious Eats"

I found this interesting blog the other day call "Serious Eats".
This blog provides many useful recipes, how-to-cook tips, and best tasty restaurants information. Check out

Monday, September 13, 2010

1st Hypothesis Draft

This thesis presents a simplified design solution to encourage users to obtain knowledge in improve their overall physical health and financial well-being. In contrast to the difficult to follow, traditional solutions to nutritional health and obesity, which are oftentimes unreliable, my hypothesis presents various strategic designs and innovative approaches which provide simplified and usable solutions to society. Such a hypothesis could create the right format to act as an information database, opening the audience to fuller and more readily accessed information.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

10 Surprisingly Healthy Foods

Sometimes I have to convince my friends that some foods are healthy for you in order to get them to eat it, so I researched a bit and found this fun article from the Cooking Light website, revealed by Katherine Brooking, MS, RD.

1. Mushrooms
According to Katherine Brooking, mushrooms are the only vegetable source of vitamin D and mushrooms like white portabella and crimini are good sources of vitamin B, like riboflavin and niacin.

Pork can be a healthy choice for protein and is great source of vitamin B, such as niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and B-6(pyridoxine). Just be sure to trim off the fat!

Okay. Who doesn't love chocolate? And guess what, it's good for your body too. Why? Small portions of dark chocolate may reduce high blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol known as LDL. It also boosts insulin sensitivity, so it also helps reduce the risk of diabetes.

Katherine Brooking emphasizes the key to knowing the healthies cuts of meat. She says beef tenderloin is rich in protein and vitamin B12 and is a good source for selenium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins.

She also says one egg contains 13 essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality proteins, and healthy unsaturated fats for just 75 calories. If we watch our cholesterol, eggs can be a very healthy source of protein.

Coffee is my favorite drink ever! Her studies show that drinking coffee regularly may reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and even headaches. Even other scientists believe that coffee may play a role in memory improvement and decreasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, but drinking too much coffee (more than 3 cups per day) could be poison to your body.

Her research indicates that turmeric and cinnamon are among those studied by for their potential disease-fighting compounds. Preliminary studies have shown that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric powder, may carry a broad range of anti-inflammatory and potential cancer-fighting properties.

Her research shows that pistachios offer more than 30 different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants associated with a reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration. Pistachios are one of the nuts lowest in calories and fat, so you don't have to worry about calories.

I used to hate avocados, but what she's saying is fascinating to me. While avocados are high in fat, most of it is “heart healthy” mono and polyunsaturated fat. One-fifth of a medium-sized avocado has about 50 calories, but it containing nearly 20 vitamins and minerals. It's not bad at all.

One medium-sized potato (with skin) has just 160 calories and is one of the best sources of potassium and fiber in the produce section.

Eating too much of anything is bad for you. If you prepare it well and watch what you're putting in your stomach, it could turn into healthy, nutritious, and inexpensive meal for you and it taste just so good, right?

Original text by Katherube Brooking, Original article can be found from here.

Obesity and Taste buds?

This last April, I came across an article, while researching about obesity, about the relationship between taste buds and obesity.

A study at Deakin University in Australia found a new result that human taste buds can detect a sixth taste, fat, and they argue that this may be the key to reducing obesity. The researchers found that humans have a fat-taste threshold and and the subjects were found to have lower body mass with higher sensitivity. They believe that developing new low-fat foods and diets will reduce the obesity problem.

Researcher Russell Keast says, ''We are now interested in understanding why some people are sensitive and others are not, which we believe will lead to ways of helping people lower their fat intakes and aid development of new low-fat foods and diets.''
He also says, "So when we understand one of the factors involved in developing obesity - which we think this certainly is - it could help us look at a set of strategies to reduce obesity.''

The original article can be found from here.

Back to blog with new name! TASTY PLACE!!!

I am back to blogging! It's been awhile since I have posted here. I took Direct Research class at Pratt Institute this last spring and this place will turn into my data base platform for my Thesis project. Here's my Direct Research Design Problem Statement.

Direct Research
Spring 2010
A-Young Lee

Direct Research Design Problem Statement

When I would go grocery shopping with my friends from school, I often saw them head directly to the frozen TV dinner section or grabbing junk food for their meal. So I asked them why they don’t just cook something simple and healthier than that premade crud. They said me that they are either no good at cooking or don’t know how to cook in the first place. They also told me that they have tried before, but cookbooks don’t help them, because they’re too hard to follow and they always need to go buy a lot of extra ingredients or equipment to finish. I understand that they are busy college students, but I am concerned about their health probably more than they are.

It’s not surprising to hear that eating frozen TV dinners, junk food, and fast food is not good for people. While I was researching to collect data about direct relationship between your health and the food a person eats, I found out that those who have poor eating habits like that often have serious health problems occur in their lives from high-cholesterol foods like cheap fast food. Eating cheap is great for our wallets, but what matters is if you are eating smart or not. The average person who loves eating fast food for lunch and dinner is much more likely to be overweight, compared to other people and they often have higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, so they a greater chance to have a heart attack or diabetes.

Then how can we encourage people to cook more often for both themselves and their loved ones or friends? Why do they have so many problems to cook a little something? The major problem of most current cookbooks are that they are hard to read, since there’s more than often no walkthrough to assist the reader with their step-by-step help. Even on-line cookbooks also contain these problems. They’re full of text instructions on how to cook certain dishes, but they’re still difficult to read in most cases and this makes it hard to focus with measurements and using luxury ingredients that most cooks do not know much about. Most new cooks don’t know how to read the measurements properly and they get often overwhelmed, even before they start to cook. I believe that major cookbooks and on-line recipe sites don’t show enough clear and legible information step by step; too often relying only on short snippets of text, hoping that the audience understands.

However, with the current economy, more and more people are trying to cook at home, but they are still unsure where they can find easy-to-follow recipes to pair with their low budgets. I think cooking also needs a lot of practice, like anything else, but the process of learning how to cook can be simplified and we need a solution to solve this problem in order to encourage people to cook more often and to think more about their health. We, as designers, need to come up with solutions for our audience, which must be easy and clear information contained for them. I think writing a recipe is a job for a cook and creating the right format to act as our information container is our job as designers. We need to think about how we can approach our audience easily and freely, without overwhelming them.

The most common and easily accessible medium to create the information container will be web-based. It’s easy to use; one just needs to get access to the Internet through a computer or smart phone, which is common enough. With wide-open, web-based recipe data and instructions, people can easily gain access to these design solutions and learn something useful to improve the quality of their everyday lives and their health at the same time. Once you learn something basic in cooking, it stays with you for a long time, because your tongue and body will remember what you learned. Nowadays, people are into more personal health and body issues and they want to know what is in the food that they are getting from restaurants, where nutritional data just isn’t available to them. When they realize their favorite fast food contains too many calories, trans fat, or carbs, I believe that they will try to cook more at home, instead of eating out all the time. It’s a good way to save money in the current economy as well. With good marketing and branding on the design solution system, people will find out about or come across the easy, simplified design solution and find that it will give them help to improve, not only cooking skill, their lives in a healthy and positive manner.