New Website Design for: Belisama Dance

Belisama Dance has been a longtime PR client, with Kristin covering their stunning Irish and contemporary dance performances, recently getting much-deserved coverage on the front page of The New Mexican! When the time came to update the design of their website, we were very pleased they chose to work with us again on this special design project.

Belisama is a dance studio offering ballet, modern, jazz, and Irish dance instruction, and the home of internationally renowned Belisama Irish Dance Company. One of our challenges when building their new site was to make these distinctions clear and obvious for visitors. We decided to streamline the  components of performance and school, and merge them into a new single website versus two separate entities in the cyberworld (fewer urls = more traffic!).

They already had a beautiful logo, so we based the website design around Belisama’s established colors. Since the logo has a lot of movement within it, we wanted the rest of the site to have a clean contemporary feel and to showcase rather than compete with the branding. Black, hot shades of oranges and reds, and a modern serifed font all help promote that cool contemporary energy.

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Featuring beautiful photographs by local photographers Kate Russell and Cynthia Whitney-Ward, we designed a full width fade-in/fade-out slideshow banner using images from all the different dance classes and performances that Belisama offers.

Features in the site include a completely editable perfomance and class schedule Calendar, a Blog, and password-protected Press Page. The site was build in WordPress, allowing Belisama staff full control to login and update the site as they wish.

Visit the site online >> www.belisamadance.com

New Website Design for: ARCOS Dance

ARCOS Dance website design

Our amazingly talented friends at ARCOS Dance have become a top performing company here in Santa Fe in just the two short years since they hit the stage, and they have recently branched out into Austin, Texas. We are very excited to follow their journey to the Lone Star State, and their growth as a professional touring company!  To kick it off, we helped the dancers create a brand new website to welcome them into their latest travels.

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Our new WordPress website design embodies the edgy ARCOS branding we created with the company for their launch in 2011. We started with their Renaissance-inspired logo to create a contemporary look with a strong, clean graphic presence. Distressing and scratches in the background slideshow and the menu rollovers of the design play off the lines found in the logo, also referencing the feeling of motion found in dance.

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With dramatic black and white photographs, responsive functionality, and galleries of imagery, press coverage, dancers, videos, and staff—as well as donor pages with immediate online payment processing—the new site offers easy updating capabilities and is feature-rich.

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The new site allows the company members to easily update their content, present their latest news and performances, show off exciting current imagery, and manage fundraising and sales all on their own.

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Our goal was to make a website as beautiful and powerful as these wonderful dancers; don’t miss them performing this weekend at SITE Santa Fe!

Check out our graphic design work for ARCOS, too.

Visit ARCOS Dance online >>

-Kristin + Jackie

In Our Kitchen: Raspberry Pie

This recipe was the fate that awaited all of those raspberries we picked.  The fruit’s flavor is natural and fresh, with juices thick enough to keep the crust light and flaky.

Really Good Raspberry Pie

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Butter crust:
This recipe makes 2 double-crusts; if only making one pie, you can save the extra half of the dough in the freezer until you bake your next pie.
4 c flour
1 c chilled unsalted butter
3/4 c vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar

Mix the 5 ingredients with a pastry cutter until the dough begins to form small pebbles.

In a separate bowl, mix:
1/2 c cold water
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 egg

Whisk together and add to flour mixture.  Work in with a pastry cutter and knead till just smooth.

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Split the dough in half, and in half again.  Wrap each of the 4 portions in plastic wrap or freezer baggies.  Chill at least 15 minutes while you prepare your filling, or up to 3 days in the refrigerator, or freeze until ready to use.  Each portion makes half (one top or  bottom shell) of a double-crust pie.  The dough is easiest to roll when slightly cold, kneaded a few times with floured hands, on a lightly floured surface or a pastry cloth and with a floured wooden rolling pin. Dough should be rolled about 1/4″ thick.  Loosely fold the dough into quarters after rolling, in order to transfer it to the pie pan without tearing.  Unfold gently and quickly once in the pan and trim excess from the overhanging edges with a sharp knife.  Be sure to leave enough excess to fold and pinch into place with the top crust once the pie has been filled.

Line a 9-inch pie pan with one crust.  Line the bottom of the crust with mixture of:
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:
5 cups fresh raspberries, gently rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 fresh lemon, squeezed

Combine:
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 c flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon corn starch

Sprinkle the sugar and cornstarch mixture over the berries and stir gently until blended, just before placing the berries into the crust.  (Doing this step too early will make the berries too juicy as the sugar causes an increase in liquid the longer it sits on the berries.)

Scoop the berries into the pie shell, and top with:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into thin slices

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Cover the pie with the second crust, trimming, folding, and pinching the edges together with the bottom crust and being careful to cut enough venting to let extra juices evaporate (I slice 7 vents into the top crust on this pie).  Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes at 450; reduce heat to 350 and bake 45-60 minutes until golden brown.  If the edges of your crust begin to brown before the top, cut narrow strips of aluminum foil to make tents to cover the pie’s edges while the top continues to bake.  Remember to turn your pie halfway through its baking time.

Cool completely on a rack before serving, to allow juices to set.  If you serve the pie warm, it will be extremely runny and juicy but still delicious.  If you have another piece for breakfast the next morning once it has finished cooling, the filling will be set and firm.  I refrigerate any leftovers for this pie unsliced, in its pie plate and under plastic wrap, after the initial baking day.

Best with vanilla icecream on top, and alongside a glass of Prosecco!
-Kristin

Modified from the Joy of Cooking Fresh Berry Pies recipe for the filling, and my mom’s famous piecrust.

What the Font: The Raspberry Truck

On a recent trek to New Mexico’s largest you-pick-it raspberry farm, we stumbled across this trailer full of sun-ripened fruit while snooping in the fields behind the pie stand.  We love the giant truck’s bold pink and purple paint job, and rotund 1970s/80s font choice. The typography and palette brought notorious Bubblicious bubble gum wrappers to mind (sample wrapper design below, courtesy of the world wide web).

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For more about this magical berry ranch in the heart of the state, keep reading.

-Kristin

 

Open Roads: Northern New Mexico Day Trip

Maybe it’s the nip in the air, or the last dregs of late-day sunshine—but, there’s something about fall that makes me want to hit the road.  This is one of the loveliest northern New Mexico day trips I have taken: October, Santa Fe to La Cueva by way of Las Vegas, then back to The City Different on a big, scenic loop through Mora and Taos.  It was one of the most beautiful drives and pretty, sunny days I could have asked for, with lots of fun stops along the way.

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The old Grist Mill in La Cueva (Spanish for ‘The Cave’) can be found at the junction of New Mexico Route 518 and 442. According to the historic wooden marker, legend has it that  village founder Vicente Romero named the town this way because he lived in a nearby cavern while building his ranch house in 1851.

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Another sweet local gem is Salman Raspberry Ranch.  The harvest season is typically August through October, depending on the first hard frost of the season.  We grabbed four delicious pounds of warm, you-pick-it berries from the field (and probably devoured that many more on the spot).  We then proceeded to the cafe to eat raspberry pie with raspberry ice-cream and raspberry sauce, topped with more fresh raspberries.

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Cosmos, roses, sunflowers, and sage are in the last stages of full bloom, and bustling with bumblebees in wildflower gardens throughout the old village.  A walk through the paths was the perfect way to soak up some precious golden-afternoon autumn light.

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Our drive capped off winding through the country roads of Mora Valley, beside the river and beneath aspen leaves turning yellow—ending with a little live music and tequila at the Taos Inn‘s Adobe Bar, and a mountain sunset seen from the driver’s seat as we dropped back down toward Santa Fe.

 

-Kristin