Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Six word stories

pulling back sweater i finally finished
flirting with disaster over and over

have you heard of this project?
what's your six word story this wednesday?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

the loveliness of beans and bears...

                     rancho gordo beans::yellow eye::garbanzo::cranberry::good mother stallard
                      midnight black::rio zape::yellow indian woman::eye of the goat::cannellini

Yesterday as we were enjoying bowls of yummy white bean soup for lunch I mentioned that I really wanted to visit the recently opened Rancho Gordo retail store.  You can purchase some of their heirloom beans at the SF Farmer's Market and on-line but I'm all about food pilgrimages.  And so within a half an hour (with all three kids in the car) we started the 40 mile drive to Napa.  The small store was easy to find and didn't disappoint (as you can see from the photos above).  I'm looking forward to trying many of the recipes from the Rancho Gordo cookbook but also plan to re-make the White Bean Soup from this weekend to see the difference in taste of dried vs. canned beans (there's been lots of new information coming out about the fact that BPA being used in the linings of most canned foods, did you know about that?).  I know they have a flat rate for shipping so if you feel like trying something really special check out their website...

Bedtime last night:
Sage:"Where are Sealy (stuffed sea lion) and Flipper (stuffed otter)?"
Me:  "Here they are."
(I notice Mrs. Bear at the end of his bed)
Me:  "Mrs. Bear is kind of big but would you like her too?"
Sage:"No she can stay there because when I wake up in the night she fluffs my pillows."
Me:   "I love you, Sage"

I wish you all a special and magic bear to fluff your pillows when you wake...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

organized chaos...

If you have checked in here before, you've probably heard me mention my OCD tendencies.  I live in a clutter free house (which is not the same thing as a clean house).  People who visit marvel at the fact that I am able to pull this off given the fact that I live with three children, a man and a dog.  I find it really hard to free my mind up to work with lots of "stuff" around.  It clutters my brain so I do my best to keep the "stuff" to a minimum not let things pile up.   The fact that I'm about to move for the 5th time in a dozen years probably has something to do with it as well.  That said, I alone am responsible for the recipe mess pictured above which takes up one entire drawer in the kitchen.   This culinary mash-up of main course, veggie, appetizer and baking recipes has taken on a life of it's own.  When I got my first place in SF many years ago I tried using a recipe box but soon outgrew it (and it was never really organized anyways).  I then toyed with the idea using a binder which I could store on the shelves of my rapidly expanding cookbook collection (that never materialized).  So now, all these years later, I keep my recipes in an entire drawer in the room where real estate is most precious just like my mother did (let's not go there...).  I think of this drawer as organized chaos which I use to sharpen my mind (like a crossword puzzle or soduko).  I know that Nana & Poppy's granola is on orange construction paper, the grilled romaine salad with caper dressing is on newsprint and Mom's vegetable stir fry is on yellowed paper with faded handwriting.  As I sort through the pile looking for one thing or another I am reminded of friends, family and time well spent in the kitchen.  As I took the photos for this post I pulled out the recipes for shaking beef , italian white bean soup  and gnocchi with oxtails (the white bean crostini mentioned in the article is phenomenal as well).   What will you be cooking this weekend?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


                          she dragged her baggage blindly (but dreamt of letting it go)

                              her hidden self floated free (and passed through her dreams)

The kids are keeping me busy this week but today was a day they stayed in pajamas  and I painted.  I needed that .  More tomorrow.....

Monday, February 15, 2010

the start of something...

                                                                           ::before and after wax::

did I mention the kids are off this week?
 i've got three pieces in the works.
 i'm hoping to share them tomorrow.
we'll see....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day 2010....

              handmade goodness::chocolates(of course)::an unexpected surprise::french press to go
                                                                    tulips(my favorite) ::classic::hip::chewy

I hope your day was full of love, sweets and surprises. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Hi. How are ya?  It seems like I've been up to a whole lot of nothing.  I'm at the point in a few projects where I'm 3/4 of the way there and so it feels like nothing is getting done because nothing is being completed ( i like to complete things).  Yesterday I prepped two 8x8 panels and un-did one of the oil paintings I was working on.  I actually posted it here on Tuesday but after two hours of angst deleted the post and heat-gunned the painting back to the starting point because I knew that it was just not what it wanted to be (i now know exactly what it wants to be but once again i'm waiting for paint to dry).  The larger of the two oil paintings is 3/4 of the way done but of course it is giving me trouble as well.  It seems that every time I try to work larger I hit a wall.  I was out of small blocks and had just finished the group of eight paintings for ETA7 (all eight sold opening weekend...YAY!) and so I thought it would feel good to change things up.  I was wrong.  It felt frustrating.  So Yesterday I picked up my freshly milled maple boards which C will cut into about 120 blocks (there's going to be lots of tiny art in the weeks and months to come....i'm not giving up on the larger pieces but I need to set them aside for a while).  In the scrap box I found two awesome pieces of 2" thick oak (pictured above) which I hope to turn into something really special.  So the re-energizing  title comes from the new wood and from the Bikram Yoga class C and I went to last night (remember i said i was going to try it?).  It was crazy hot (like 110 degrees hot) and I'm not a fan of hot but I really liked it.  I am a creature of habit and I like the fact that the same 26 poses are done (twice) in each class so you know what to expect.  I also like that it's an amazing workout but it's calming and cleansing.  At the end of class C wanted to lie in the darkness and relax for five minutes and I wanted to run outside (standing directly under a heating vent is not a good idea).  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Bringing fancy back... school function at a time.  Sage (pictured above) is such a funny little guy.  At first mention of any activity out of the norm (visit from grammy and pop, dinner out, school concert, etc...) he immediately pulls out the "fancy clothes".  It was all I could do to keep him from wearing the still two-sizes-too-big sport coat handed down from his big brother (as a scientist with an exploding volcano it was bound to be too messy for a sport coat, right?).  It is absolutely endearing and this smart little chap was a bit hit at Science Night.  As we were walking out Phoebe (his big sister) looked at me and said "The tie was a good move".  

Sadly, there hasn't been any painting going on here with all of this school stuff going on (which is making me a wee bit cranky) and the weekend isn't looking any better with the pierogi making extravaganza scheduled for tomorrow morning.  I hope you've had a good week and I wish us both a few stolen moments to create this weekend....

Monday, February 1, 2010

hello monday....

             she felt at home in the garden::drifting in a dream::queenie's pond

and a quick hello to you too.  I finished up these three pieces over the weekend and am ready to get started on the two larger boards I prepped with encaustic gesso.  I am always so hesitant to make that first mark on the clean white surface but have been mentally playing with images in the wee hours of the morning.  I'm going to get started today and hopefully will be able to share a peek in a day or two (or three).