Welcome to the Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en!

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Cocktails For A Great Cause!

I'm very excited to announce that the "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" has a new fundraiser underway, this one benefitting Feeding America, one of the nation's top hunger charities! And we're creating special, holiday-themed cocktails for our donors! Donate $25 or more and we'll create a custom holiday cocktail for your party, celebration, or just to imbibe all by yourself! Donate $50 or more and we'll feature your cocktail on an episode! Click here to donate and for more information. And thank you! Let's put those lovely libations to work for a great cause!

This time we're drinking for a good cause!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Napkin Folding for a Fancy Thanksgiving

There are nothing like cloth napkins to make a dinner table really fancy (or to distract from some non-fanciness on a fancy table). Take those napkins a step further with a festive fold! These illustrations are from 1978's Napkin Folding, by Irena Chalmers. If you're anything like me you might need a few tries to master these folds, but it will be worth it when you see the looks of awe (or disbelief) on the faces of your guests! Happy folding!








Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Big Thanksgiving Dinner, Small Kitchen

I just moved the turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator to begin the defrosting process, so Thanksgiving is feeling very close! I'm doing all of the cooking this year, so fortunately I have a spacious, luxurious kitchen in which to prep all of the fabulous dishes. Ha ha ha! Good one! In reality our kitchen is pretty darned small and counter space is practically nonexistent. I'm used to it by now, so I thought I'd share a few of my workarounds for creating a holiday meal or big party in a small kitchen.

1. Do as much as you can ahead of time and freeze. I've already got the corn pudding, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, an apple tart and half of the stuffing done and I plan to do more later this week. I have the luxury of an auxiliary freezer in the basement (which is lucky, since our ice maker just broke and lovely libations require a lot of ice) and getting these things done ahead of time means I won't be scrambling for space to prep those dishes later. If you have room in your freezer, freeze!

That freezer is about half the size of our kitchen!

2. Co-opt space. I just watched the Thanksgiving episode of "That Girl," in which Ann tried to make many more dishes than her kitchen would allow, and she cleverly borrowed her neighbor's oven to get it all done. Of course disaster ensued, since "That Girl" is a comedy, but the idea is sound. If you can borrow oven or refrigerator space, do it! 

Poor Ann

3. A solid cutting board is your friend. We have a Corian cutting board that I can lay over the stove to create counter space. The stove should, of course, be off - you don't want to set yourself on fire! And make sure that it's resting evenly, so it doesn't move around. But it beats using the floor!

What I wouldn't give for those cabinets!

Do you have a small kitchen? If you have any tips you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!











Monday, November 14, 2016

The Holidays Are Going To Be Nuts!

Tomorrow's episode will show you many ways to cope with the nuttiness of the holiday season, but here are a few cocktails from the booklet Create Intrigue...Taste The Possibilities, from Frangelico, the hazelnut liqueur of which I'm a big fan, to get the party started! I expect to taste the possibilities many times over the holiday season! Who's ready for a cocktail?


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Taking Positive Action

This is not a page for politics. However, I feel a tremendous need to take positive action today. There are some things I've been meaning to do and I may have just had the kick in the pants I needed to get moving.

First of all, I've long wanted to expand the charitable component of what we do. Last year we raised money for AIDS Walk New York by creating cocktails for our sponsors. If you sponsored us for $100 or more you got to choose the theme of one of our episodes. I definitely anticipate doing that again next year, but that's still months off. Right now it's time to donate to another of our pet charities, Toys For Tots. If you're interested, here's the link. I'm also looking into charities that seek to end hunger, particularly in children. I'm still researching how this could work in terms of getting the show involved, but just writing about it here is a step.

I'm also working on ways to grow our audience. There is a world out there that really needs a drink right now and I'm determined to give it to them.

Finally, I'm planning to sign up for self-defense classes. Grab my you-know-what at your peril. I just hope Paul is there with the camera when someone tries.

AIDS Walk New York 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Night Punches, 1970s Style

We'll be shooting three "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" episodes here tonight, so our lovely libations will take care of themselves. However, if you're looking for something to take the edge off of election night, here are a few punches from Anchor Hocking's 1970s (no date, but I'm going to confidently say "bicentennial era") pamphlet, Americana Punch Recipes. I'm even including one with no alcohol, just in case you feel like showing up for work tomorrow!


I'd go with the Liberty Bell Bracer or Log Cabin Cooler. They're the booziest!

Friday, November 4, 2016

How long does it take to create an episode?

We're often asked how long it takes to create a "Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en" episode from start to finish. Sometimes people are surprised to learn that it's not just three or so minutes, since that's what you see on the screen! The answer is, it varies tremendously. On the short end it might be a couple of days. Currently, we have one in process that we've been working on since summer (and I'm determined to finish it this year)! Most fall somewhere in between.

Every episode starts with an idea. I'm not ashamed to say that some of those ideas are pretty mediocre and get tossed! Once we have a good idea, the recipe testing begins. Depending on how quickly we need to get that particular episode online, this could take from a day or two to a month or more. Once we have the recipes, I write the episode (which typically takes an hour or so), then a day or so later I shoot the food shots and our green screen backgrounds, if we're using them.

Floating cheese doodles. I was proud of my makeshift doodle mobile!

Green screen background for our Nightmare Before Christmas episode. You should have seen my "tripod!" :D

If there are any special costumes to be made, I typically make those a day or two before we shoot, though I've been known to make hair accessories minutes before!

An offering from the costume closet
If we're shooting at home, it takes about three hours to get ready to shoot an episode, between setting up lights, arranging the ingredients for drinks and the bar top, makeup and hair, etc. It takes a lot of makeup to look like you're only marginally made up!

Shooting at a location can either increase or lessen our shooting time, depending on a number of factors, like how long it takes to get there, what we're using for equipment and so forth. If we're just using our portable light or available light, we can actually be pretty quick if we need to.

On location at Otto's Shrunken Head
Once the shooting is done, Paul dons his editor hat and takes the reins. He often, though not always, edits the episodes on his train commute!

I guess my performance didn't keep him awake that day!

Once it's edited and we're both happy with it, it's time to upload to YouTube, Facebook, REVRY, Instagram and anyplace and everyplace else! I maintain our website, which is the last step in the process. You can find all of our recipes there!

That's the process in a nutshell! We're always open to episode ideas, cocktail suggestions and anything else you'd like us to cover on the show, so be sure to let us know what you'd like to see!