amy azzaritocontests

contest winners

by Amy Azzarito

Image above: Horse Ribbon DIY. Because you may not have won the contest, but you still deserve a ribbon.

It’s been contest central here for the last couple weeks. There have been so many amazing books coming out! We gave away two copies of Lena Corwin’s Maps, five copies of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day and one copy of The Drawing Nature Journal by Jill Bliss. Whew! All the amazing entries made narrowing the list one tough task, but there can only be one winner. (Okay — so that’s eight winners!) –Amy A

Lena Corwin‘s new book Maps is a collection of 40 of Lena’s hand-drawn maps and includes illustrations of 20 American cities. To enter this contest, you had to leave a comment with a link to one of your favorite maps. There were some pretty amazing links in the mix. Lena chose her two favorites. (See all the entries here: Lena Corwin Map Contest)

April 3rd, 2011 at 7:38 pm
My grandfather sparked my love of maps, he had such great old globes and a hurricane tracking map that I used to love playing with. He even helped me make a salt & flour map of florida for a 3rd grade geography project. Now that I have wee ones to pass on my cartographic love to, I think that the map quilt by abby at hi + low and the almost an animal map by katie viggers
are two of my favorites at the moment. Thanks for the give away and great work on a beautiful book!

April 3rd, 2011 at 10:19 am
I’ve been following Lena’s maps on Elle Decor for a while now. I’ve especially enjoyed her Istanbul map and I kept it since that’s where I’m from. My favorite maps are oceanic depth maps – I can’t get over the beautiful shades of blue. Here is an example.

CLICK HERE for all the contest winners!

It was so fun to see how many people were inspired to put pen (or brush) to paper to win a copy of The Drawing Nature Journal by Jill Bliss. Jill said that she spent the entire weekend poring over the entries. In the end, Jill chose Leah because she loved that Leah began by drawing directly what was in front of her with what she had on hand (a ball point pen and a legal pad) — a clear indication that she was in need of a proper journal! (See all the entries here: The Drawing Nature Journal Contest)

Leah P.
April 7, 2011 at 7:39 pm

This was fun/daunting at the same time. I typically don’t like drawing because I’m “bad at it” . . . how silly! Shouldn’t it be fun? I would like to turn over a new LEAF and make myself practice drawing something from nature every day. For the purposes of trying to win Jill’s lovely book, I’m going to start with the one plant that I stare at quite intensely every day. The sprouting ivy plant on my desk at work! Thanks Jill and Grace for the inspirational push. :)

Heidi Swanson has one of my all-time favorite food blogs. Her new cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, was just released on April 5. I loved reading the most memorable food-experience stories left in the comments. This was a tough one! Heidi and Design*Sponge food editor Kristina Gill chose five of their favorites. (See all the entries here: Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day Contest)

April 9th, 2011 at 10:39 pm
A haiku for hot tempura in cold Kyoto with my husband:

Hot, crispy, tasty
As winter is so bitter
He is holding my hand.

April 10th, 2011 at 10:30 am
I was in my early 20s and vacationing in a small Swiss mountain village. A group of us had gone sledding down a 1.5 kilometer track under the stars. It was an exhilarating ride down the mountain on old wooden sleds, rickety in appearance but sturdy. After the ride of a lifetime, (I even got to sled with the guide and squeeze his waist!), we brushed the snow off our faces and sat down to the most amazing cheese fondue in a quaint Swiss restaurant carved into the mountain replete with a fireplace, and a long chiseled table. We shared our star-lit smiles and devoured the hearty chunks of bread dipped in the tasty melted cheese, munched on some gerkins and boiled potatoes and sipped on some white wine. It wasn’t the fanciest dinner I’ve ever had but no doubt one of the most memorable of my life.

April 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm
I remember the smell of the oven burning in my grandmother’s home in Belgium. It had a rustic smell that begged for some bread or tarte to be placed in it. Bonne Maman spoiled me and us (me and my two older sisters) whenever we came to visit. Our times there were short and far between, living in Texas, but our memories are long lasting. She would treat us to making bread shaped in letters of our names, and twisting the dough for the lattice top of her famous tartes. Years later, I now consider myself obsessed with baking. I like to think of my hobby now as not a penchant for something sweet, but rather a gift I inherited from Bonne Maman.

April 8th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
In 2009, I embarked on a year-long travel experiment across the United States. It was an exploration in traveling in the flow, trusting my intuition & exploring food and community. I WOOFed (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) on organic farms all over the country, volunteered in community gardens, work-traded at a raw food retreat center, visited farmers markets all over the US, and connected with locavores & healthy eaters all over the place. Everything I ate was the freshest food I’ve ever had. Most days were spent going straight out to the land to harvest what my soul felt called to prepare that day — picking the bounty straight from the earth. Fruit trees in Sedona, AZ created homemade coconut milk peach ice cream; a variety of both planted & foraged greens at an urban homestead in Asheville, NC created the most delicious wild salad; homemade farmers cheese in Maine melted on top of roasted garlic & rainbow chard gave us warmth when the sun went down; a feast shared with a community of 60 people in Savannah, GA deepened connection through nourishment of the body & the soul. There is no one memory – the entire year was full of the most amazing meals I’ve ever tasted or created, loads of new information about new ingredients and a continuous adventure into farm-to-table freshness.

Emily Fisher
April 8th, 2011 at 2:39 pm
In high school, I took a few trips to rural Mexico to work with a medical team. We would set up a small clinic in the middle of the desert and spend long, hot hours checking small children, old couples, and pregnant moms.

One night, we were tearing down and the woman who owned the home we had set up the clinic in told us she would cook for us. We were always a bit skeptical of food cooked in Mexico, but we did not wish to be impolite.

She began pulling out cast iron skillets and large bowls. She mixed her own tortilla batter and mashed some cooked beans in a large skillet. The meal quickly and amazingly came together. This woman — who lived in a tiny home in the middle of the desert — fed us some of the most incredible food I have ever tasted. Warm, fresh tortillas, beans, rice, and cool, crisp Coka-Cola —made with real sugar, as all Mexican cola is — on a hot Mexican night. Someone gave us what little she had in order to do what she loved — feed people good food.

Suggested For You


  • Congats to the winners! Now I’m going to BUY the lena corwin book…thinking of framing copies of maps of the cities me and the hubby have lived in

  • I was absolutely mesmerized, reading the entries of food memories while spending the morning sipping coffee and playing host to my lovebird as he snuggles my neck. Vivid, well written memories, each one taking me where the author intended.

Leave a Reply

Design*Sponge reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.