In the Know: Andi Rose reduces pollution, handmade items made from recyclables

 In The Know, The Well  Comments Off on In the Know: Andi Rose reduces pollution, handmade items made from recyclables
Dec 042012
 

Author: Logan Martinez

Andi Rose, resourceress of Blue Sky Above was inspired to start creating products out of recyclables like bike tubes and vinyl records.

Andi Rose, resourceress of Blue Sky Above was inspired to start creating products out of recyclables like bike tubes and vinyl records. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

Three years ago, Andi Rose was inspired by the Colorado sunshine and a pile of junk to start making beauty out of what would otherwise have been considered trash. That inspiration led her to become the “resourceress” and owner of Blue Sky Above.

How did you start Blue Sky Above?

I was inspired by what most people consider junk. I see things like scratched vinyl records, bike tubes, scraps of wood and beer cans as blank canvases.

What is the meaning behind the name?

Blue Sky Above is a tribute to the 300 days of sunshine we have here in the great state of Colorado. It’s also a commitment to keeping our sky blue by reducing pollution, using what already exists and creating things out of what would otherwise be considered trash.

Andi Rose crafts cuff bracelets from vinyl records. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

Andi Rose crafts cuff bracelets from vinyl records. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

What is Blue Sky Above’s mission? 

With a serious appreciation for our handsome Colorado environment, it’s our mission to be creative while being mindful in preserving – and sometimes shakin’ – what our mamas gave us.

How did you come up with your products?

By excess. Believe me, I’m not one to shy away from consumerism – shoes are my weakness – but a lot of consumerism is based on virgin materials and overseas production. I’m not perfect, there are materials used in Blue Sky Above created items that come from overseas – no escaping it – but I source 75 percent or more of materials used to make items from what would otherwise be trash.

What do you enjoy about making your products from recyclables?

I love that each item turns out a little different. It makes items just as unique as the people sporting them and is indicative of handmade. I also love the process. When I come across a material that I like and that there’s a lot of, I study it, like any artist would a subject. I deconstruct it, and push the limits of what keeps it together as a substance to learn what does and doesn’t work.

Instead of throwing out old bike tubes, Rose cuts them up and creates necklaces and bracelets. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

Instead of throwing out old bike tubes, Rose cuts them up and creates necklaces and bracelets. Photo Courtesy of Andi Rose

What is your favorite product? Why?

It depends on the context. My favorite to make is record cuffs. They require so many steps and are very rewarding when done. My favorite to wear is the bike tube flower necklace. I have never not received compliments when wearing mine.

What do you have in mind for the future of Blue Sky Above?

That’s a good question. Blue Sky Above is so small right now that it’s super nimble, and could swerve in several directions without taking a bunch of employees on a wild ride. There’s no doubt I’d like to keep fostering and growing it, as has been done in the past three years, but not at the expense of the mission. A specific goal for this year is to start working on distribution outside of Colorado.

For the holidays Rose makes what she calls "Beer Angels" from recycled New Belgium beer cans. Photo courtesy of Andi Rose

For the holidays Rose makes what she calls “Beer Angels” from recycled New Belgium beer cans. Photo courtesy of Andi Rose

What are you making for this holiday season that is different from your normal products?

Beer angels! Made from local brewery six packs and more, beer angels are the perfect way to gift beer lovers in your life.

What is your favorite part about the holidays?

Being able to see your breath while the is sun shining, the lights hanging from trees in Old Town, the extra steps you have to take in preparation to go outside (coats, mittens, hats), coming out of a warm yoga class to the cold night, red and white stripes together, hearing bells every time you walk in and out of a grocery store, people spending a little more money on handmade items to gift to others, a sense of community, leftover turkey sandwiches, and a chance for rebirth with the start of a new year.

 Are you having any holiday promotions?

Yes. If you go to the http://blueskyabove.com/shop/, and then check out through Etsy, you can enter the coupon code GORAMS to receive 20% off from now until December 31st.

Products created by Rose can be found in local shops like Kansas City Kitty and New Belgium Brewing Co., or online at www.blueskyabove.com.

Top 10 songs for the holidays

 Scene & Heard, The Well  Comments Off on Top 10 songs for the holidays
Dec 032012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Christmas Ornament

Christmas Ornament (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Christmastime is Here by Vince Geraldi Trio

2. The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole

3. All I Want for Christmas is You by Michael Bublé

4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams

5. Sleigh Ride by Relient K

6. You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft

7. Let it Snow by Dean Martin

8. Happy X-mas by John Lennon

9. A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives

10. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney

A Quarter Past Beer: College Avenue’s Guide to Holiday Cocktails

 Features, The Well  Comments Off on A Quarter Past Beer: College Avenue’s Guide to Holiday Cocktails
Dec 022012
 

Author: Makenna Dubler

"Chocolate" originates from Mexico's...

“Chocolate” originates from Mexico’s Aztec cuisine, derived from the Nahuatl word xocolatl. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you like:

Hot Chocolate

Try:

Mexicocoa

Ingredients:

4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa (not hot chocolate mix)

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 cups milk (almond milk preferred, can also substitute Irish Crème),

1/4 cup agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup

4 oz. silver tequila

Paprika

4 Cinnamon sticks for garnish

How to make it:

Toast cocoa powder, cinnamon, chili powder and cayenne pepper in a saucepan over low heat until spices release aromas (about two to three minutes). Slowly stir in milk with a whisk or wooden spoon.  Raise temperature to medium-high and bring to a simmer.  Stir in agave nectar and remove from heat.  Dip the rims of four mugs into a saucer of hot water, blot, and dip into a saucer of paprika. Pour in one oz tequila to each mug.  Add one-fourth of the hot cocoa mixture to each mug.  Stir with a cinnamon stick and serve.

Serves 4

 

 

Poinsettia

Poinsettia (Photo credit: flagondry)

If you like:

Punch

Try:

Poinsettia Cocktail

Ingredients:

4 cups (1 quart) vodka

4 cups (1 quart) champagne

8 cups (2 quarts) cranberry juice

Crushed ice

1 orange peel sliced into 1/4 inch wide strips, about 2 inches long

How to make it:

Combine the vodka, champagne and juice in a large punch bowl. Add crushed ice and stir until well chilled. Twist orange strips over bowl and drop into punch. Pour into glasses and serve.

Makes one big bowl of punch (16 cups or 4 quarts)

 

roasting a marshmallow

roasting a marshmallow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you like:

Fire

Try:

S’more Shooters

Ingredients:

12 large marshmallows (or 35 mini marshmallows)

1 cup half & half

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups whole milk

3/4 cup amaretto

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (to rim shot glasses)

About 12 tbsp. Bacardi 151 or other flammable liquor

A lighter

How to make it:

In a small saucepan, bring the half & half to a boil. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until melted.  Return the chocolate to the pot and whisk in milk. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir in half a cup of amaretto. Pour the remaining amaretto into a small bowl. Place graham cracker crumbs on a small plate. Dip the rims of shot glasses into the amaretto, then the crumbs. Transfer the hot chocolate to a measuring cup with a spout and fill the shot glasses.  Top each with one large marshmallow (or 3 mini marshmallows) and pour a tablespoon of liquor over each glass. Ignite with a lighter to toast the marshmallow. Blow out before drinking, and serve.

Makes 12 shooters

 

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock (Photo credit: Bernt Rostad)

If you like:

A festive beerTry:

Samuel Adams® Winter Classics Variety Pack

Includes:

White Christmas

Chocolate Bock

Boston Lager®

Winter Lager

Old Fezziwig® Ale

Holiday Porter

What it’s like:

Ranging from light to dark, this pack of six different seasonal beers is sure to spark up your holiday spirit. Like unfiltered light beers with citrus and cinnamon flavors? Try White Christmas.  Or if you prefer a rich, dark beer, try the Chocolate Bock. The Boston Lager® is a classic, with a nice balance of sweet with spicy, and the Winter Lager and Old Fezziwig® Ale are both bold and full of holiday spice flavors.  For a more hoppy brew, the traditional Holiday Porter is your drink.

Available in 12 or 24-packs

DIY edible holiday gifts

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on DIY edible holiday gifts
Dec 012012
 

Author: Michaela Koretko

Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like the taste of a homemade treat. For a simple (but delicious) gift or party platter, try these recipes.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Give adorable little gifts people can enjoy like Hot Cocoa Mix in a jar. Photo by Michaela Koretko

Ingredients:

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1 cup marshmallows

 

Suggestions:

Layer these into a decorated jar for a perfectly festive gift. When ready to use, the recipient can separate out the marshmallows, mix the cocoa, sugar and cinnamon together, and add two or three tablespoons to a cup of hot water or milk (possibly with a little eggnog). Add marshmallows to preference.

 

What a cheap and easy gift to give, homemade chocolate turtles are everyones favorite! Photo by Michaela Koretko

Ingredients :

2 dozen candy caramels

2 dozen pretzels

1 23 oz. bag of chocolate chips

2 dozen pecan halves (optional)

 

 

Directions: Put the pretzels out on a microwave-safe plate. Unwrap the caramels and place one on each pretzel.  Microwave the caramel-pretzel plate for 30-60 seconds, until the caramels start to get soft. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (following the instructions on the bag). Put a spoonful of melted chocolate on each  caramel-pretzel. If desired, press a pecan half onto each one. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Package them nicely and give them as a gift, or put them on a plate and enjoy!

 

Rice Krispie Wreaths

Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies Treats (Photo credit: stickyii)

Ingredients:

6 cups Rice Krispie cereal

4 cups mini marshmallows

3 tbsp. butter

3  drops green food dye

red-hot decorating candies

 

Directions: Melt the marshmallows and butter in a large bowl by microwaving and stirring the mixture in 20 second intervals. When melted, stir in the food dye. Stir in the rice cereal. Spoon onto wax paper and make into wreath (donut) shape. Add red-hot decorating candies. Allow to cool and harden, then package or serve.