Thursday, June 30, 2011

for a special someone...

wings give her flight
(but the stars hold her dreams)

What you can't really see in the photo is that the wire
between the two antiques screws in the top hold
countless little silver stars from Germany.
When the piece moves they shimmer
like real twinkling stars (like magic).
I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

how summer is playing out...

Summer has been a bit tricky this year with many distractions involving summer school, a two day power outage and chilly temps (just to name a few). These happenings have left me a little late in getting my summer groove on. But a brief get away (on my own) this past weekend with very special friends and a beach town set things right an I'm moving into full time summer mode. Tara inspired me to fire up some homemade pizzas but I have a problem. I have so many great crust recipes I can't decide which I like best and which one consistently results in a beautiful blistery crust. So this week we are doing our own little pizza cookoff to determine which recipe will be our tried and true favorite. I'm also experimenting with toppings and am going to start with black olives, rosemary and roasted garlic, spinich, feta, slow roasted tomatoes and pine nuts and pesto, roasted red pepper and goat cheese. In other kitchen news I am addicted to sweet and spicy goodness of the caramelized cashews with cayenne pictured above. I've made peppered pecans and candies walnuts in the past, and while they are lovely, they've got nothing on the buttery cashew encrusted with crunchy maple syrup with the kick of cayenne and warmth of cumin (although i have been using 1 tsp ground cumin instead of the 1 1/2 whole cumin called for). In the studio I've been working on a block print which still needs a bit of tweaking. I've gotten the image where I want it to be but still have to fool around with the text for the dinner plate. This week I will surely find my way back to encaustics and hope to share some new works by the end of the week. I hope your summer is in full swing!

ps: what's your favorite pizza topping?

Friday, June 24, 2011

This week and this guy...

Over the past seven days I have celebrated a 16th wedding anniversary, Father's Day and a 44th birthday with this guy. There is so much I could say about Chuck here but once again I'm going to let Billy Collins do the talking for me:


You are the bread and the knife,

The crystal goblet and the wine...

-Jacques Crickillon

You are the bread and the knife,

the crystal goblet and the wine.

You are the dew on the morning grass

and the burning wheel of the sun.

You are the white apron of the baker,

and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,

the plums on the counter,

or the house of cards.

And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.

There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,

maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,

but you are not even close

to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show

that you are neither the boots in the corner

nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,

speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,

that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,

the evening paper blowing down an alley

and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees

and the blind woman's tea cup.

But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.

You are still the bread and the knife.

You will always be the bread and the knife,

not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.

Billy Collins

Monday, June 20, 2011

discovering what they were meant to do......

Watching these chicks over the past two and a half weeks has been like a meditation of sorts. Witnessing their journey from cute and clumsy balls of chirping fluff to their first outside experience where in an instant they discovered their inner chickeness has been fascinating.

this was day one...

They were such sweet, clumsy, chirping balls of fluff just over two weeks ago!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Some summer news...

seen but not heard
(there's so much more to it than this)

sun, rain and a sea of color
(hello summer)

everything has it's place
(but some things are always shifting)

Summer is up and running in these parts with a bit of rain induced coziness. It's funny how even on a 70 degree day the wind and rain can bring about a chill that makes the wool socks a must in June. My oldest is attending a 3 week prep class at the high school every day and while she gets out the door early with Chuck the house seems so quiet with just the boys, the dogs and the chicks. Actually the chicks are getting louder by the day and flitting and flying about in their new expanded digs. I'll share a few photos (or maybe a video if i can figure that out) of them soon. We'll be taking them outside for the 1st time this weekend if the rain holds off and the temperature really reaches 80. I can tell these girls are ready for a little outdoor adventure (of course they will be safely enclosed in hardware cloth to protect them from the foxes, raccoons, hawks, falcons and stray cats we have around here). I am so happy to let you know that I was invited to be a part of ETA 10 which runs from September 1st thru October 2nd at Nahcotta Gallery in NH. I love being a part of this amazing series of shows and have started a small body of work for the show which I'm really excited about that I hope to share a bit of next week. The other summer news is that 2 of my paintings were selected to be a part of the "Autobiography" exhibit at this years' Milwaukee Avenue Art Fair here in Chicago(7/29-31). I haven't shown work locally in a while and will be sure to post more details once they are ironed out. I hope your summer is off to a creative, inspiring and engaging start...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saving some Summer for later...

A big thanks to Erin for lighting the jam making fire in me last year which I finally got around to acting on this year. Many hands helped with the freezer jam, the no-knead bread, the yard work, the coop building and the chick maintenance this weekend. And after one hour of school tomorrow (to make up for a snow day in February) we are ready to officially kick off summer around here. I've got two new painting in the works, an idea for a block print, and an itching to get to the beach. Wilted spinach salad from this book for dinner tonight and a glass of wine with my name on it waiting for me...cheers!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I wasn't planning on being here until the week of endings had ended but I came across something very special. Very share worthy. Evanston's first food truck. I had spotted it once last summer right after it started rolling around town but it was at the beach catering an event and so I kept my distance. But today, just as I discovered my parents were arriving two hours later that I expected (due to a miscommunication..ahem) I was out running a last minute graduation errand when I passed the Hummingbird Food Truck. I did what any super-hungry-can't-wait-another-two-hours-type-hungry girl would do and pulled into the next spot I found and got myself a little something to hold me over (fries are not really a hold me over type snack but the only other two items on the menu were sandwiches and i really wanted to support the truck while saving room for what will have to be a very small lunch with my p's). The fries were cooked to crispy on the outside-light and fluffy on the inside perfection and the were tossed with shaved garlic cloves and chili flakes (they were addictively spicy and possibly the best fries i have ever eaten). I'm so excited about this trend which brings amazing and diverse food to the street for a reasonable price thanks to the low overhead. I mean walking down the street and coming across a tuna nicoise sandwich on a fresh cibatta roll with roasted veggies and black garlic aioli....pure yum . Do you have food trucks near you? What's your fave?

Monday, June 6, 2011

The last Monday....

Accessing a Place of Wildness

Star Spangled Dream
(home sweet home)

This is the last Monday before school is out and everyone got out the door without much of a fuss this morning. There are field trips, parties and an 8th grade graduation to keep us busy and then just like that another school year will have ended and next year I will have kids in elementary, middle and high school. I meant to post these two new paintings Friday but am finding myself very distracted by my four new office mates. They are all chirping away right behind me as I am writing this and then all of a sudden there is quiet (which draws me over to the box to see them all snuggled together in a big fuzzy, sleepy pile). "Accessing a Place of Wildness" is actually painted on a piece of scrap wood from the coop : ). Today the chicks move to a bigger box and I paint more boards for the coop which is coming along nicely. The bounty at this weekends' farmers market reminded me of the joy of summer dining. A bit of this, a bit of that all enjoyed outside and savored. Because of the extreme weather things are coming in a bit slow but there are lots of great greens, radishes, carrots and spring onions around right now. Lots of salads going on in these parts...what's in season and on your table?