25 September 2007

would you like soup with those two whole garlics?

or more adventures in the kitchen with lauren. So, I made a roasted acorn squash and garlic soup. I cut the recipe in half and used 1.5 squash and 2 heads of garlic. I roasted everything in the wrong kind of pan (heavy cast iron-- got too hot) so many of the cloves burned, then I blended all ingredients in the blender and it came out a roasted orange garlicy pulpy concoction. So, tonight's mission was to doctor the soup and make it yummy fall fare. I added a a few things including some stock to thin it and then I added maple syrup and put it back in the blender. It is much improved!

I totally exhausted myself today running errands and then re-potting some plants that had outgrown their original housing. Don't ask me why I felt the need when fall is around the corner. The beautification process never ceases! Also, I really wanted to get some yellow mums for the front porch- which I accomplished today. Yesterday I planted some bulbs in the garden.

Things I love about fall:
leaves changing color
cool evenings
hot drinks
the halloween edition of Martha Stewart's holiday magazine

Other things I am loving right now:
3 tiered cake plates
ice water with a twist of lemon
gourmet cooking
fresh flowers
cooking with fresh herbs
a slice of pear with blue cheese
a cool refreshing shower after a hot sweaty day

Today, I took D for a treat. A mid afternoon chocolate crepe and cafe au lait at our favorite creperie- Crepes Parisienne.
I love it! It's so decadent.

ah time for bed

ps: last week I volunteered at a party for work. Mostly, I ate the hors d' ouerves and wandered around the unbelievable 2.5 million dollar private home where the party took place. It was UNreal. It's called the Smart House and is a U or V shaped home perched on top of Mt. Washington with an amazing view of the city. One leg of the inside of the V is entirely made of glass. When you're on the patio on the 4th floor you look out to see the backyard complete with infinity pool, koi pond, fire pits, garden, the cityscape beyond, and all the incredible views into the house. It's a voyeur's delight. Every bathroom had a designer bowl sink. There was a dance floor, dj booth, workout room, sauna, gigundous walk in closet along the lines of Oprah's and a laundry room to die for-- not to mention all of the fancy furnishings and lighting fixtures.
Remind me to describe more of this later!!

18 September 2007

my life has given me an opening

I haven't felt much like writing lately. Maybe I will get in the mood soon. I'm just going to ramble right now to get back in the habit of writing. I just spent the weekend at home, in Buffalo, with some people who are dear to me. It was a really nice, mellow time. Now I'm back in Pittsburgh, with another someone who is dear to me. I brought back the things that I was missing but left the rest for another time. Choosing what to bring along and what to leave behind really begs the question, how much stuff does one need?
When I am in my old home, the ceilings are high, the sunlight is strong, the garden is flourishing, the fridge is full, the washer and dryer are brand new, things are always being updated and renewed in the house. When I am in my new home, I have all sorts of plans and ideas and desires to decorate, and paint, and fix up, and bring up to date. I have a vision of the garden. But all these things have to wait for the time being, till there's more time, and more money and more know how. and this waiting can get frustrating because our culture is all about now now now.
My mind plays out a constant battle about making more money and having a career versus taking a leap- and not working a full time job in order to give myself time in the studio. It's not an easy tradeoff. But how will I know unless I really try, I mean really try?

15 September 2007

the comforts of home

Home for the weekend. I've been ambling around the house remembering all the things I've left and how I miss them.

11 September 2007


This lettering by Me Up a Tree was the illustration for William Saffire's On Language Column in the Magazine section of the NY Times. I clipped it out and took it to my studio to study over for awhile. There were a couple of things in the paper this week that I clipped out and added to my inspiration collection.

I love this painting by Karl Benjamin, "Black Pillars," 1957. from another article in the NYtimes, "California Flaunts its Designs with Cool." I would love to see these exhibits at LACMA and the Orange County Museum of Art which focus on California's art scene in the 60's-70's and 50's.

Last but not least, I would love love love to see these collages by Mark Bradford up close and personal. They look so textured and layered even through my flat computer screen...I feel an art trip to NY coming soon! the picture came from here.

09 September 2007

Day of Domesticity

My favorite thing to do on Sundays...read the NYTimes at a coffee shop with a hot frothy coffee beverage in my hand. I didn't do that today though-- I made some pasta salads from Martha Stewart Living magazine recipes and cupcakes and now I'm doing laundry. It's a rainy grey day- the kind that is good for watching a movie.

Yesterday turned out to be a great studio day. I have begun making some pastel drawings. It took awhile but the studio is feeling more comfortable and gaining a creative and colorful vibe. I'm excited to see what is going to happen next. The creative process is so strange and mysterious- one minute a blank page stares back at you- the moment you make the first move, you enter into this conversation and the thing you're working on just keeps morphing and becoming new and different and guiding you.

07 September 2007

Ice Ice Baby

Last night, we went to the opening night gala at the Rep theatre and amongst the great food, beautiful flowers, and glittery people was an ice sculpture in the shape of a martini glass with a luge, meaning you pour the martini mix through a tube at the top of the ice sculpture and it comes out ice cold. It was the coolest thing! And I just read a very cool article about an ice sculptor, Kaz Adachi, in the NY Times magazine. He creates sculptures for restaurants and bars. Below is just an example of how ornate these sculptures can become but I'm not sure who did this one.

Click on the image to go to the originating site. As for me, it's a happy friday I will run some errands today including stopping by the art supply store and then go to the studio for a bit and see what happens.

Yesterday, I was very pleased to pick up some simple inspiration in the form of


There are so many things I would like to do around the house, I really should make a list, room by room.

05 September 2007

the starving artist budget

Yesterday as I was strolling around Target with two of my pals who are theatre people, we were all lamenting the fact that we wanted a lot of things and didn't have the cash flow to get them. On one hand, it made me feel better that my friends and I are in a similar boat- that we are all aspiring artists in different fields and that means sacrifices in some areas to allow room for surplus in others. Still though, it's very frustrating when I think about all the different ways I could spend a hundred dollars and then realize we have no food in the house. As an artist, I have to remind myself that the most fulfilling thing I can do is to create and bring something of myself out into the world-- and follow my dream instead of consume. But damn, is it hard! I just keep telling myself that it will not always be this way. At some point, I will be doing what I envision in my mind and getting paid for it.

i had a dream last night

that I was in a public square and everyone was walking across each other's paths with presents piled high. I was watching the scene from slightly off the ground. It was eerie. I didn't sleep well last night.
On another note, one thing I have learned from my job is that being on the receiving end of niceness from a customer really makes a difference. When I am talking to someone at work and they are kind and express gratitude for my help- It makes me want to go the extra mile to help that person. On the flip side, when someone is rude, accusatory, or being just generally ridiculous and/or unreasonable it doesn't inspire anyone to lend a helping hand.

Just a little venting.

After my 20 mile bike ride Monday, I have done no other exercise this week. I have not gone to my studio since Saturday but I have been doing some drawings at home.

I've been doing a lot of blog hopskotching too. Looking at all the art/design/photo/craft blogs I can find. I'm really inspired whenever I go to some of these blogs to see how lovingly people decorate and document their homes, their art, craft, or families. The love and care people put into taking photographs and making their blog into an ever changing work of art is quite amazing. All this looking encourages me to place more thought and care into my own blog. My goals have changed from blog as visual diary to blog as tool to discover personal aesthetic. Which I think I'm trying to do in my work too. I hope it's working!

04 September 2007

hello. Yesterday, D and I spent a glorious day driving out to Ohiopyle State Park and renting bicycles. We then rode our rented bicycles 10 miles to Confluence, PA and a cute little B & B where all the bikers had lunch before the trek back. When we arrived, I realized I had left my wallet in the car and D had to leave his credit card for the bike rental. We were so sad because we wanted to eat at the River Front Cafe as it was called. We went in to refill our water bottles and freshen up and luckily we ran into the owner who said, "please stay and eat whatever you would like and mail us a check when you get home." They were so nice and we had a lovely lunch outside on the porch overlooking a pretty garden. It was a perfect day and such fun and we rode a total of 20 miles which is awesome but my ass hurts a little!

01 September 2007

Ahhhh Morning coffee

I'm at the cafe on this fine morning. It's a glorious day and the first of September!

We had a lovely breakfast on the deck outside. The weather is perfect. I love this time of year. It feels like there is an energy in the air-- school is starting up, fall is rolling slowly in. I feel like my brain is turning on and the creative juices are beginning to flow.

Here is Murray, standing on four legs
and finished. I must say, he is pretty cute!