guest post: whitney stoepel

I like a lot of things. So when Lisa asked me to share some of the things I like, my brain subsequently exploded because there are just too many! And my constant scouring and bookmarking of the Internet doesn’t help in narrowing it down (I know Lisa shares this past time/addiction with me). But then I gathered my brain bits and thought about the best way to introduce myself to the Black Dog Green Thumb readers. A little about myself: I write about art, I think about the environment, and I live in Chicago with my fiance Justin (who’s doing the flowers for our wedding you ask? Why, pot & box of course!). Now let me share with you some things I like that I think you’ll like too:

Palms I (DETAIL) 2008 Hand cut collage on paper by Stephen Eichhorn

Stephen Eichhorn:
Stephen creates these cool hand-cut photo-collages. Some are wild fern-like explosions, some are stacked wood that remind me of those decaying beams roped together in Chicago River, and some are flattened wreathes of flowers, all set against stark backdrops. Along with being on practically every top-10 Chicago artist list last year, his work is also featured in Longman & Eagle, the trendy, laid-back Logan Square restaurant-cum-inn.

Enamel coated cast iron skillet from greenpots


Beautiful cast iron pots and pans made without any toxic chemicals. No Teflon, no aluminum, and they come in so many pretty colors.

I have yet to actually eat one of these but isn’t the prettiest fruit you’ve ever seen? It’s a cross between a pineapple and strawberry.

Ceramic Foo Dog from BackGarage

Back Garage
Katherine Raz is the genius behind this gem. She scours places like estate sales, Craigslist, junk shops, and thrift stores to collect things she sells on her website (by the way, she’ll ship anywhere). She also started “Chicago’s Hottest Flea Market,” with Libby Alexander.

Erlene Howard and son Kevin load containers of food scraps. Photo by Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune

Collective Resource, Inc.
During one of my visits to San Francisco, I began to notice a compost bucket in a every house–something I have never seen in Chicago. Collective Resource is trying to change this by offering to pick up your compost and put it to good use. I love a good community-friendly idea.

Metropolis Coffee's Redline Espresso

Metropolis Coffee
This is some of the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. They are a small batch artisan roaster on the North side of Chicago. You should try it.

Futurefarmers' Shoelace Exchange

I always been a fan of Amy Franceschini’s–the founder of Futurefarmers–and her environmentally conscience art. Futurefarmers is a design studio and art in residency program whose work is based in ecologically and socially activist projects. Futurefarmers has about a gajillion good ideas, give or take.


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