Month: June 2009

Hoisin Glazed Salmon and Bok Choy

Salmon 1/2 lb slab of salmon 1/4  cup hoisin sauce 1 tsp sesame seeds salt and pepper Preheat oven to 400.  Season salmon fillet with salt and pepper and spread hoisin sauce on top.  Bake salmon about 15 minutes or until it flakes easily with a […]

Fusion Beauty LashFusion XL

Okay, I admit it, I’m easily swayed by the newest products.  I’m the kind of consumer that ad execs dream about. If you tell me it will make my thighs look slimmer, I’ll buy it.  If you tell me it will make me appear an […]

Ensalada Capr'easy


This super easy to prepare salad says Summer to me.  The colors are as pleasing to the eye as the flavors are to the pallette.

  • 1 ball of fresh mozzerella, sliced about 1/4″ in thickness
  • zest of one lemon
  • chiffonade of fresh basil
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsalmic vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

Assembly couldn’t be simpler.  Lay mozzerella out on serving platter and top each piece with a slice of tomato.

Zest lemon over top and sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsalmic vinegar and finish off by adding basil.

DIY Leather Button Ring

Weekend project!  This is a great way to pass the time on a rainy Saturday, I did!  Super easy, very unique and comfy as all get out thanks to the leather. What you’ll need: Leather scrap An old button Needle and thread Take the leather […]

Turkey, Goat Cheese and Portabello Meatloaf

Trade in the beef for turkey, add in some goat cheese and portabello mushrooms and this certainly ain’t your Mama’s meatloaf! 1 lb ground turkey 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles 1 container of baby bellas, finely chopped 1/2 cup oats 1 small white onion, finely […]

Kate Cusack


So I was putting together my piece on Exposed Zippers and came across Kate’s site.  Since getting into this whole blogging thing, I’ve stumbled upon so many amazing designers on accident.  Makes me think I should have gotten into it a lot sooner….

Anyway, onto Kate!

No, she’s not related to John or Joan.  I wonder if she gets that a lot?

Kate wears many creative hats including costume designer, sculptor and jeweler.  Check out this Marie Antoinette inspired wig she constructed using only plastic wrap!


True artists obviously see things we don’t.  I look at Saran wrap and think, mmm…leftovers. Kate on the other hand, having the artist’s eye, sees all of it’s potential.

Kate earned a BFA from MICA (in my hometown of Baltimore) and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama where she studied costume design.

When she’s not designing costumes or sculpting gorgeous works of art, she focuses on her jewelry line that is made up entirely of zippers!

She thinks of her jewelry as a mini-sculpture for the body.  Sure to get noticed, the wearer becomes sort of a mobile gallery if you will.   Her jewelry line includes pins, bracelets and necklaces.  Earrings and rings may not be far off either.




I recently got the chance to conduct a mini-interview with Kate and here it is!

You use materials in very unexpected ways, how much is that unconventional viewpoint a result of your costume work?

I think my love for transforming unusual materials into exciting creations is not as a result of my costume work, but is a result of my growing up in an artistic household.  My mother is an illustrator who creates stitched artwork and she depends on various patterns and textures of fabric to create realistic images. (  She looks at a certain kind of fabric and sees a brick road or a roof of a building instead of just a red-ish looking piece of fabric.  Her ability to see more than what is simply in front of her is what I grew up around.  Our family also used to throw a huge Halloween party every year where kids and adults would arrive wearing home-made costumes.  Part of the challenge was to make something outrageous and unusual and, typically, it involved whatever materials were around the house.

These days fashion is driven by celebrities and magazines, how much do you think that success as a designer depends on getting access to that arena?

I think a lot of people who are not confident in their own personal style will always look to the magazines and the celebrities to see what is “in” or “cool”.  So in that sense, the success of a designer can depend on being show in magazines, etc.  Magazines are always looking for “the next thing” so I think the bigger challenge is to be featured in magazines/on celebrities but then to continue to develop and stay relevant.

Obviously there is a creative difference between designing of costumes and jewelry for a larger consumer market.  Do you think your career will lead more towards one field or the other in the future?

Right now, I have decided to really put most of my efforts into developing my Zipper Jewelry.  Recently I designed costumes for a multi-media opera/dance piece.  I used a lot of unconventional materials –like plastic forks and clear recycling bags.  It was definitely a wonderful creative experience, but once it was complete, I was happy to return to my studio to continue my work with the Zipper Jewelry.  The two experiences are wildly different–one is extremely collaborative and the other is very solitary.  I think I may continue to create costumes or sculptural-wearable-art, but it will not be for traditional theater.


I love that Kate doesn’t set artistic limitations on herself. Says Kate, “Because I see everything as an artist, it means I am freed up from certain constraints that typically come with certain professional approaches. I can see the material for what it is, what it “should” be used for, and then I can decide how I want to re-imagine it.”

Whether she’s designing elaborate costumes for stage productions, making wigs out of kitchen essentials, or reinventing the zipper, one constant with Kate is her love of unusual materials and her ability to transform them.

You can, and should, purchase one of her designs here:

Be sure to check out Kate’s blog too!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

Made this for a friend’s birthday party recently that was a Cinco De Mayo theme so this seemed only fitting.  It came out great! I was inspired by Mexican hot chocolate which is traditionally made with chilis and cinnamon. Cake: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips […]

Nation Ltd. by Jen Menchaca

Jen’s rise to fashion designer is a somewhat unlikely story.  In fact, her father always wanted her to follow in his footsteps and become an engineer for NASA but Jen never had the passion for this and she wasn’t exactly feelin’ the whole spacesuit thing. After […]

Cheesey Chicken Quesadillas


This is the best way to use up leftover chicken and throw together a weeknight meal in minutes.

  • 2 cups leftover chicken breast, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 2 wedges of  The Laughing Cow Light Cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 whole wheat tortillas (I love Tamxicos!)

Take one tortilla and spread it with The Laughing Cow Light Cheese.  Top with chicken, onion and shredded cheese and place second tortilla on top.

Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cook quesadilla over medium heat about 3 minutes per side.  Once heated through, slice into wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Gossip Girl Fashion

Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, you gotta love the fashion goin’ on here! If I ever had the luxury of meeting the man behind all of this, costume designer Eric Daman, I would literally bow at his feet.  He never ceases to amaze […]