Friday, May 29, 2009

Eye Candy Via Chicago.....

What a fabulous day this turned out to be:

9.  Pritzker Pavillion (the best ever place to see live music...period.)

and after this the Lincoln Park Zoo, Guitar Center (checking out keyboards for our budding musician (cue Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"), Binny's for a case of wine and home for pizza and a movie.....what more could you ask for from a Friday?

 1.  Chicago is an amazing city (Yes, Sam, I'm talking to you....)
 2.  There is a documentary about the life of Joan Mitchell  (Portrait of an Abstract Painter) being replayed Monday evening on The Sundance Channel ( thank you Mary Ann )
3.  Chuck wanted me to point out that you can't see the totem pole in "American Collectors" which has a smile that  matches the woman's.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

good company (for lemonade or coffee)

Hi there,
Just a quick note to share this yummy treat.  You can find the recipe for "melt in your mouth strawberry muffins" on the foil of Stoneyfield Farm's 32oz lowfat organic vanilla yogurt.  They are made with whole wheat flour, yogurt, eggs and fresh stawberries and are so delicious and smell like summertime when they are baking.  Yesterday we enjoyed them right out of the oven with ice cold lemonade and this morning they were the perfect bit of sweetness with a warm and much needed espresso..... 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Above are a few detail shots of a new 10"x 20" painting in progress.  The warm weather over the past weeks and a few trips down to the beach have filled my head with thoughts of summer (however, on the afternoon I started this piece it was 51 degrees and rainy outside).  The figure in this painting is standing with her feet in the cool and refreshing water as she stands in the darkness of the universe alone but not lonely, grounded not by the land but in the fluid and gentle movement of ripples in the water.  She is speaking to me and I'm hoping to finish her up by the weekend.  Despite the fickle nature of transition there are sure signs summer is on it's way.  The radishes are only days away from being ready to pick (thinly sliced radishes, a fresh baguette and a bit of butter and salt spell s-u-m-m-e-r!), there is lemonade in my fridge and I've ramped up my knitting (strange I know, but I tend to knit like a fiend as summer approaches every year).  It's been harder to get the kids up for school and making lunches has become more like a chore but in only a few short weeks the freedom and unstructured joy of summer will becomes a reality.....what tells you summer is just around the corner?

Friday, May 22, 2009

curiouser and curiouser!

Good Morning Sunshine!  My husband discovered this  little bundle of  sweetness curled up next to our porch behind a bush.  It seems Mama had tucked the little guy away for the night in a safe (????) place.  Not long after this photo was taken and lots of oohing and ahhing was done he got up and wobbled to my neighbor's backyard where he hooked up with his brother(or sister?).  They've been out there bleating all morning and Mama has come to visit once or twice.  Animal control told us that when the fawns are very young the Doe will his them and go out foraging for food and will return throughout the day.  We have much more wild life than you would expect for an urban setting only a few miles north of downtown Chicago but my house is located between Lake Michigan and a forested golf course....go figure!  Next to my special visitor is another glimpse at my now (almost) completed collaboration project painting.  I painted a woodland scene and found a fawn outside my door....curiouser and curiouser indeed!  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Moments to Savor

Ta-da!  Here is the Custom "House Built on Love" which I completed this morning.  I love it and am excited about shipping it off to it's new home  to mark a very special anniversary.  The clouds are made up of the phrases "earthly delights" and "moments to savor" which seem perfectly fitting for a celebration of family and home.  I would definitely like to open myself up to doing a bit more custom paintings and need to think about how to put this out there...hmmm?
It is supposed to get all the way up to 85 degrees today which would normally make me very cranky but instead I'm kind of excited because it is a nod to summer which is just around the corner.  I'm looking forward to getting my toes in the sand later today! 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

a sneak peek for you (and for me)....

The photos above are a first look at my collaboration with November Moon.  We exchanged ideas via snail mail and each decided to create two pieces based on our agreed upon concept.  Once I finish my two paintings I will send them on to Cathy to assemble with her two pieces.  I can't wait to see how the whole project comes together (and I'll be sure to share).  The shift I mentioned earlier this week lifted a fog that was hanging over my part of the project.  I suddenly knew just where I wanted the piece to go and was able to commit to the idea.  This is only the first step but I'm planning on breaking out the oil sticks and wax later today while listening to this sneak peek (and loving it!!!!).  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

a shift....

Do you feel it too?  Suddenly my dreams are becoming more vivid and ideas are appearing out of nowhere.  I keep seeing the image of stones being tumbled on the shore...they are being worn down by the water but becoming softer and more beautiful at the same time. The photo above is the beginning of my first custom order.  Someone contacted me and asked what the clouds in my "House Built On Love" painting said (she was thinking of purchasing it as a gift for her parent's anniversary).  I took the opportunity to offer her something even more special which I had been thinking about for a while....I asked her to send a photo of her parent's house so that I could create a custom "House Built On Love" just for them (I'm really excited about this piece).  I sketched out the house and will start painting it later today (it's inspection day so we have to be out of the house most of the day...yes, we've had another offer!).  Once I get the basic shapes and then the details painted I will coat the whole painting in clear encaustic medium.  The final step will be to incise the fine details with a pin tool and fill the lines with black oil stick ( It should take about a week to complete the whole thing).  My tiny studio is happy to be humming with energy again...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day....

The pride and anticipation of giving a handmade gift is so amazing.  The kid's were so eager to share their beautiful work this morning and I thought I would share it with you:

watercolor of the lake (with a special note about my cooking on the back...)
 tissue collage butterfly which glows when hung in the sunny window
amazing wood burned plaque made just for me
fresh lilacs from the garden and a special mystery dinner???

I love these guys!  May all of you enjoy a day filled with sunshine, hugs and good food....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Not too much going on here today.  I'm trying to finish up a larger version of "House Built On Yarn" for my sister (Hi's almost done!).  And I am surrounded by unconditional love x 2.  Is there anything sweeter than a boy and his dog?  Sage has decided recently that Porter (our 10 year old Welsh Terrier) is his best friend and they are now constant companions.  This photo was snapped after a rousing game of fetch which left them both happy, thirsty and worn out (ok maybe only one of them is worn out....)

Monday, May 4, 2009


marinate carmelize braise
cut good bread and build

Hi there....(please excuse my feeble attempt at panini inspired haiku).  I left here on Friday so sad and teary eyed and I want to thank everyone for the words of wisdom and encouragement.  After a few good nights of sleep and sunshiny days  I'm feeling loads better.  I am absolutely ga-ga over my new panini press and am sure it will be living on my kitchen counter.  The kids were totally into making their own crispy, melty masterpieces and are continuing to brainstorm on new compositions of sandwich craft. My first panini was grilled chicken breast with vermont cheddar, thinly sliced tomato, balsamic onion marmelade and was delish!  Here are a few more combinations I'm looking forward to trying: 

fried egg with bacon, gorgonzola and frisee
cheddar with smoked ham, poached pear and mustard
smoked turkey, brie and Mendecino Mustard
chopped chickpeas with roasted red peppers, black olives and feta
tuna with fennel black olives and black pepper mayo

....some of these are from Tom Colicchio's 'wichcraft book (thanks Mom!) and some are from my dreams about portable meals.  I've been a fan of TC since his days at Gramercy Tavern (the bar there is still my hands down favorite place in NY to chill out with a glass of wine and  small bites before a show or after a day of walking the city)

Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day or MAYDAY???

Well it's May Day (which also happens to be my birthday) and I feel more like shouting MAYDAY!!!!  I have a crummy cold, it's still in the 50's and rainy here and the sale of the house fell's a lot for one week.  The bright spot in the day was ice cream for breakfast (birthday tradition) and this amazing panini press the kids gave me (the possibilities are endless for yummy creations with this machine!).  We are headed to my parents for the weekend (panini maker in tow) for my Niece's First Communion.  I'll be back next week with new work, panini inspiration and some thought on Spring.....