Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pssst...(giveaway time)

Oh 2009, 
I can't say I'm sorry to see you were a pip of a year and the only constant you brought was change.  But mixed in with all of that change was laughter, tears, heartbreak, growth, love and togetherness and I wouldn't trade a minute of it.  As a way to say thanks to all of you who have visited me here  I am excited to announce my 2nd annual New Year's Eve Giveaway!  Anyone who leaves a comment, hope, dream or resolution between now and midnight PST will be entered in a drawing for my new little block painting "Full House".  I will announce the winner tomorrow at noon PST and and share some of my own hopes, dreams and resolutions for 2010.  Thanks so much for reading.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Warm Wishes....

I'm afraid this will have to be my last post until New Year's Eve.  I've kind of been putting off the massive task of  packing for our holiday travels and I'm starting to get a bit freaked out about the fact that the coat I ordered for Phoebe hasn't arrived yet (day 7) and we have been unable to find her any boots so she may end up sporting a sweat jacket and Converse tennis shoes in the snowy midwest.  I also have lots of goodies to fit into just a few suitcases and looking at it all it doesn't really make sense yet.  Usually I can look at a situation, size it up and tackle the task at hand but this time I'm just not feeling it (Perhaps it is the fact that it is 65 degrees and sunny and my little one just put on shorts?).  Anyways, my shop will be open for orders until noon tomorrow (PST) and I will be back on New Year's Eve with a special Give Away.  It's been a very big year (we've laughed, we've cried, we've moved, we've changed) and I want to show my thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me over the past 12 months.  Honestly, I couldn't have done it without you....thanks for reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Thoughts of love...

                              brown paper packages tied up with string
                                                          3.5" x 4"

                                                   one by one x five 
                                                           3.5" x 10

have been filling my head.  Love in all it's forms is such a mysteriously fickle thing. These two paintings  are expressions of what we hope for (for love to surprise us and show up at the right moment, neatly packaged ) and what we get ( a collection of lost loves that form who we become).  Lots to think about (and keep one up at night).

Monday, December 14, 2009

a little bit of everything good...

Last night Sage drew the picture shown above for me and as he handed it over I couldn't help but notice how chock full of goodness it is and I really wanted to share it.  First, there is the warm and cozy house, a chimney with smoke, the  sun, a cloud and a bit of rain, the moon, a flower, a tree, a bird (with a house and a nest who appears to be dancing...)....I love it!  It is night and day, cold and warmth, hibernation and celebration all at the same time (what a fabulous way to see the world).  The second photo is of the two pieces I worked on today and plan to finish up tomorrow morning.  I'm not sure if the hearts will stay (that's why i needed to stop).  Sometimes as I'm laying out pieces something wants to be there but it doesn't quite make sense, you know?  It's like I have to step back and give my head a little time to make sense of what my heart wants to put out there.  Well I better get working on the homemade pizzas we are supposed to be having for dinner tonight.  They are of the "everything but the kitchen sink" variety which is a result of me trying to make use of any bits and pieces still in the fridge before I clear it out on Friday.
  As the Holiday madness gets into full swing what are you cooking up? 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A gift of sorts (food love)...

The spaghetti squash pictured above has been on my mind for the past two days (I intended to write about it yesterday but needed time to get over the idea of doing an entry on squash.)  Two days ago my eleven year old son came into the kitchen (where I was in the process of making a big pot of vegetable beef soup) and said "Is that a spaghetti squash?"  I said yes to which he replied "Awesome!  Can we have it tonight?".   Now this may not seem like a really big deal but I've been thinking about how things got from point A (3 years ago when we first tried the squash) to Point B (two days ago when the squash became "awesome"). 
 If you've never tried this mild-flavored squash you should.  It gets it's name from the fact that after it cooks, the interior separates into a glorious golden tangle of long spaghetti-like strands.  There are two simple ways it can be prepared:  after piercing the skin 10-12 times with a knife tip (to prevent it exploding) you can roast it in a 350 degree oven for and hour and 15 minutes or cook it  in a microwave on high for 8 minutes, turn over and cook for an additional 8 minutes and then allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then you slice it in half, remove the seeds, and then shred the interior with a fork.  I toss the "spaghetti" with a bit of butter (or olive oil), parmigiano-reggiano, salt and pepper (of course the possibilities are endless but it's mild nutty flavor shines through with this simple mix). 
 So anyways, I first served this squash to the my children about 3 years ago and the response was "it's ok...not good but not terrible" (ok, that's a start..."not terrible" means the door is open).  So every two months or so I bring home a squash, make it, get the same reaction but tell the kids they have to eat the small portion they have been given while C and I eat up our larger portions.  It's not that I really care if they end up loving spaghetti squash (or anything else I introduce them to) but I think it's important that they are exposed to things and that they give foods second and third chances.  So two weeks ago I served this same recipe I had been serving for the past three years and during dinner Phoebe said "Mom, this is so good...I love it" and went on to have seconds as did Theo.  And then the other day I picked up another one and got the "awesome" comment.  So I guess the reason this has been floating around in my head is that I learned such a valuable parenting/life lesson about letting people come to things in their own time and what a gift that is.  There are so many other foods that this has happened with over the years but for some reason this one seems special because I realized that now this is in their catogory of "food likes" it will probably be there forever.  And so concludes my post on the humble yet delicious spaghetti squash.  

Thanks for reading...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've been a bit distracted.....

                                                          this is how I knew.....

                                                    the past is never far behind

by a decision that needed to be made about our house in Evanston.  We were planning to put it back on the market at the end of January and get it sold quickly but a few things happened between point A and point B.  C's job out here is not all it was supposed to be and he is traveling to the midwest often.  Old friends came to visit, followed by my parents, followed by my in-laws (it is a big trip which none us will be able to make very often).  Then Sage and I went back and spent some time with our neighbors and bff's in Evanston.  All of these things really got us thinking, and talking (and talking, and talking) about what is important and what is smart and what just is.  We all truly love our new town.  We love the schools, the weather, the produce, the redwoods, and the community that we have dipped our toe into but at the end of the day our home is in Evanston.  We know that.  And despite all of the drama we endured last summer that door is still open and I truly believe that there is a reason for that.  So we have decided that we will be moving back across the country to our lovely old house by the lake once school is out. Hashing all of this stuff out and talking to the kids and letting people know has taken all of my energy over the past few weeks (thank you for being patient).  But now it's like a weight has been lifted and I am ready to get back to work.  Of course the wheels are already turning about what is will take to move again but for the next few months my plan is to enjoy where I'm at (although i have already started obsessing over what color to paint the living and dining room when we get back home....).  

Thanks for listening.


Friday, December 4, 2009

what's for dinner?

Have I mentioned how much I love Mark Bittman?  Seriously, the man is a genius (even the title of his weekly column in the NY Times food section has me smitten).  I clipped this recipe Wednesday and put it together tonight with a half a bag of pasta in my cupboard and a bit of chicken left from last night.  I used brown button mushrooms and varied from the recipe a bit by using  cooked chicken from last night's roast and adding 1/3 of a cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano at the same time.  To say that it was fabulous would be an understatement....the umami level of this dish is sure to make it a staple in our household.

ps:    still to chilly to paint and I have lots to update you on monday...

pps:  you can find the Martelli Pasta for less at a local market but i love Zingerman's  descriptions (have i never mentioned them is that possible?) and look forward to visiting everytime we are in Michigan to stock up on a few key ingredients, fresh bagels and cheese (ahem...i've been known to spend 40 minutes at the cheese counter).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Ok, truth be told it is 50 degrees here today but there is a damp chill hanging around.  So here I sit in my fleece jacket sharing a few pieces I'll have to get back to tomorrow (the wax is cooling too quickly with the garage door rolled up at this temp....sigh).  I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to do with these small boards I prepped yesterday but as usual life unfolds and inspires once again (more on that tomorrow....).  My studio is a mess after two weeks of piling bits of paper, text and ribbon like a bird feathering her nest.  It made it a little tricky to work  but I just started cutting , dipping and painting while the Crows and Ravens cawed loudly outside my door and Andrew Bird filled my studio with melancholy and poetry.  Loving life today, how about you?