Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Getting it so right...

This is the extraordinary wood block print  I found inside an envelope in my mailbox today.  Shortly after our 13 year old Welsh Terrier passed away I asked long time on-line friend and-oh-so-talented print maker Brenda Everett (of Tea and Ink Studio) if she could create a print of Porter from one of my favorite photographs.  The block she carved and the print it created simply blew me away this morning.  I can't even begin to thank her for this piece of art which captured our sweet, mischievous, dearly missed friend so perfectly. It is more beautiful than I could have even imagined and I love it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

in which swimsuits and bees dominate the landscape-

Q & A
(she was learning to ask herself the right questions)

Do unto others...

Hope and Honey

Just wanted to say hi and share some new work : )

Monday, June 18, 2012

a little of this and a little of that-

1. Norby at the beach while Chuck took each child out sailing
2. Dilly Beans and B&B Pickles canned with C 
3.  Honeybee paintings in the works
4. Anniversary No. 17*

*no, i did not finish the anniversary sweater but it is off the shelf and back in the works : )

Friday, June 15, 2012

a quiet moment-

Hello there and happy Friday.  I just came in from a quiet hour in the garden weaving in the ends of Agnes and starting Norby.  A full sized bulldozer has taken up residence in the yard next door and has been noisily (that's an understatement) tearing down a garage, deck and addition.  The poor chickens are stressed out and the constant banging, pounding and screeching is wearing on all of our nerves.  But, I took full advantage of the construction crew lunch hour and enjoyed a blissfully quiet hour outside.  Now they're back at it so I'm heading into the studio and cranking up the tunes.  I have two new bee paintings in the works and hope to share them Monday.  Have a lovely weekend and enjoy a little quiet for me if you get the chance : )

ps:  the brooklyn tweed color card is so gorgeous that  i may need to knit up 2 or 3 norbies!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Forget about using your inside voice...

A force of Nature

They Found a Bit of Magic That Day

Living Out Loud

What if we were all to forget about using our indoor voices for a day, a week, a year or a lifetime.  What path would that lead us to?  Would it be so very different from the one we are currently on? Would it be chaotic or magical?   Just thinking out loud in pictures and in words today...

Monday, June 11, 2012


It's Monday, it's 90 degrees, and yes, I'm sharing a cozy new wool sweater.  It's the first official day of summer break around here and I am already beginning to think that I totally overestimated how much painting I will be getting done in the weeks to come.  Each child has one activity/camp scheduled and my oldest two both started this week.  One has cross country camp from 6am-8am  every day this week (yes, i said 6am).  Ever the optimist, I thought that I might head into the studio for some early morning painting time after I drop her off....yeah, right.  I'm so close to finishing up three new pieces, but my head just wasn't in it after the 5:15 wake up call so instead, I'm sharing the sweater I finished up over the weekend.  I love the shape, the fit, the color and the yarn and am sure it will get lots of wear this Autumn.  One of the reasons I love knitting is that you can keep creating in the midst of chaos.  In other words, if you have a whole houseful of kiddos and can't get into the studio you can still create with color and texture at the kitchen counter (while someone eats breakfast), in the car at school (waiting to pick someone up) and at the orthodontist, dentist and/or doctor's office.  So, knowing how things may play out here I ordered one skein of yarn to start a hat to go with my new sweater.  I spent lots of time trying to decide on a color and ended up going with 'soot' for my 1st Norby (but ordered a color card so I could choose a pretty color for a 2nd one).   I know it seems crazy to knit in the summer but I always seem to get the bug at this time of year. Are you a summer knitter and if so what's on your needles right now?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Weekend-

Hi there.  It's been awhile since I've posted about food here but with the garden filling out and the farmer's market filling up I figured it was time for a food and flower post.  I picked up a few Peonies at the farmer's market and I have to say I so miss having them in my yard.  The last house I lived in had gorgeous butter yellow peonies with pale pink centers that had be growing there for decades.  In our current yard I've tried to grow them in two different spots with very little success and as much as I love them I can't justify giving up sunny food growing space for their short lived beauty.  But, I do have huge white hydrangea bushes and I scatter a variety of flower seeds in between my veggie plants and along the edges of the beds so that by mid-summer I have beautiful color and a feast for the honeybees.  I harvested some of the dinsaur kale and curly kale from the garden to make Garlicky Pork with Greens for dinner last night.  I threw everything in the slow cooker in the morning, mixed up the white bean salad and after working in the yard, running errands, a late afternoon walk to the beach and dip in the lake it was a super easy, super yummy outdoor meal (it would also make a great winter dish with a warm, smokey beans underneath).  And then, there are the berries.  Raspberries for eating right from the box and strawberries for eating of course, but also for jam (yesterday) and shortcake (today).  Well, I've rambled quite a bit here    but what's a girl to do in the face of all the fresh and yummy goodness of summer?  Leftovers are on the menu today (along with the shortcake) so I'll be spending some time in the studio finishing up two new wild women I hope to share tomorrow. 
 Happy Weekend : )

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Signs of Summer....

Honeybee No. 2

The Stars Aligned

School is out, the beach at the end of the street is open and the garden is beginning to feed us.  Those are sure signs that Summer is officially on.  Today, despite a houseful of kiddos and a few appointments to keep I was able to get some quality studio time in (bright and early this morning) and I see signs of Summer showing up in my work as well with pops of color, honeybees and beach people.  The radiant energy and warm and easy vibe of the new season are a welcome change that I'm looking forward to. Where are you seeing signs of summer these days?

Monday, June 4, 2012

a gift that is more than the sum of it's parts-

my gorgeous new hot box

a peek inside 

my 1st monoprint

Shortly before my birthday I mentioned to C that I was really interested in experimenting with encaustic monotypes.  I knew a Hot Box was not in the budget and suggested that maybe he could order one of the anodized plates and then we could rig something up. On my actual birthday we made a trip to the lumber store to gather scraps and end pieces for my paintings and we found a gorgeous walnut scrap that was 1/2 off the marked price ($15) and the box began to take shape.  Chuck had already decided that he could build the box so he continued to gather materials and began assembling the box after work and on weekends.  This past Sunday(just 4 weeks later) he presented me with a gorgeous and fully functioning handmade Hot Box.  This is truly a gift that is more than the sum of it's parts.  This box says I believe in what you are doing and I support your need to stretch and experiment. It says we are in this together. It says I love you.  It is a thing of beauty and it's perfect.  I'll share more about the process and some of my experiments in the days to come but today I wanted to show you the box and say thank you to C from the bottom of my heart.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Oh, Friday...

Honeybee No. 1::Pastoral Dream
Contemplating Beauty::Taking Flight

Oh, Friday I was so ready for you.  I welcome your quiet, unscheduled, cold and rainy hours as I sit here, taking a moment to collect my thoughts from the last week.  The long weekend with my parents was lovely but it has been non-stop activity since we returned.  End of the school year things for all three kids and lots of activity in the school (and home) garden despite the un-almost-summer-like-weather this week (low 50's, windy and rainy).  I've wanted to write a bit about these four pieces I finished up last week but each day has slipped by without the time to sit quietly and think.  But that's the way it is sometimes, right? When it's time to wrap things up you have to take that final big in breathe and hold it all together before the big relaxing out breath ( i  a m  s o  r e a d y  f o r  s u m m e r t i m e).  I really like the group of four painting I finished up last week.  Honeybee No. 1  feels very clean and simple and I love the way ms. bee's rich yellow color stands out above the cherry blossom image.  Pastoral Dream, what can I say, I spend a lot of time thinking about sheep.  I have 6 hens for eggs and 5 raised beds for fresh veggies here in my little patch of land just north of Chicago and just one block from lovely Lake Michigan.  But I dream of having more land, 10-20 acres would be perfect.  I dream of keeping 3 or 4  sheep, many more chickens and maybe a few goats.  I'm not sure when this dream will manifest itself or where this land would be but C is on board and we talk about it with the kids often so I feel like it's a dream that may become a reality someday.  Contemplating Beauty started out as another piece entirely but as the woman in painting revealed herself I went in a different direction and I truly love this piece for it's muted palette and quiet beauty.  Taking Flight is similar to other butterfly pieces I have created but the butterfly as a symbol of grace, beauty and fragility fascinates and inspires me.  And now that I've taken a moment to reflect on last weeks work I'm heading into the studio for some much needed painting time. What are you up to on this 1st Friday in June?