And the guest blogger is...

  • Artist Book at Bennington Museum

    I made a new artist book for a show at the Bennington Museum. It's a carousel book, inspired by poems by Robert Frost. Here's the cover, which is all done in colored pencil. It felt really good to make a "real" piece of art for a "real" show! It's for sale as a part of the museum's gala event fundraiser. It can also be viewed in the galleries for the entire month of December. Let me know what you think if you see it!

  • More Food and Drawing

    For some time, I've been meaning to submit recipes to the They Draw and Cook website. I finally got two finished for a recent food geometry challenge. I submitted the recipe above, along with another. It was a really fun project for me. Especially challenging was getting the piece in the correct format and size (my Photoshop skills are still lacking), and doing some digital touch up work to make them look their best. I was ultimately happy with how they turned out, and proud of myself for getting it done!

  • Food + Drawing


    I don't know why it took me so long to start drawing food. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine my two interests somehow. In the last eight months, I've done lots of food drawings, beginning back in October with my Inktober recipes. I wanted to illustrate for someone other than myself, so I reached out to friends who have a coffee business. I'm working on a series of illustrations for different methods of brewing coffee. It's so much fun for me, and I find it satisfying to be working for "clients" other than myself.  

  • Chickens

    These chickens were modeled on my own chickens, Duck and Cluck. I took an online class from Anita Lehman through Carla Sonheim's website that was a very thoughtful look at composition. Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and see how structure influences outcome. And, on a side note, it's been nice to have fresh eggs to eat and use in baked goods!

  • A New (Old) Way of Working

    I don't know why it took so long for me to go back to making collage and mixed media pieces. Maybe I didn't think they were "serious" enough, or I forgot how much fun it was for me to work this way, or maybe I just forgot how to do it. Recently, I found some fruit that I painted simply on canvas paper. I took out cheap, thin acrylics, poured green and yellow on top, and pushed the paint around the paper. After it dried, I tore out the fruit and saved them for a collage. That's where my playing around with fruit bowls began the other day. For a slight change of pace, I took a yellow piece of painted paper and turned it into a French press. I've mainly been using really smushy media, like a soft pencil, conte crayons, and Faber Castell gelatos. These collaged pieces really feel like me, and I'm loving all the color!

  • New Things!

    I'm test driving some new products at the market this Saturday. It's so much fun to play with color and shape on functional bags and totes. I like the simplicity of playing with fabric, paint, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes! That's what I used to make my stamps......and, they're compostable!

  • Stretching

    I decided to challenge myself with an online course, Explore Florals, taught by Victoria Johnson. It was three weeks of design briefs, each focusing on a different way to think about florals, with an accompanying palette. It was harder than I thought to get out of my own way of doing things and try something new. Just like life, I suppose.

  • Creative Thinking

  • UPPERCASE!

    I am so thrilled to have my very first drawn illustration in the current issue of UPPERCASE Magazine! 

    I drew this on Thanksgiving, 2017. We decided to stay home and celebrate, just the three of us. I wanted my daughter to feel like that even though we weren't going anywhere, it was going to be a special day. So, I let her pick the drinks!

  • Pushing Forward

    I'm trying to remember this and to boldly learn new things without getting bogged down by self doubt. It's hard!

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And the guest blogger is...

Dana Seith! Dana is the twin sister of one of my very closest friends. We discovered a few months ago that our lives are taking somewhat parallel courses, and we really should stay in touch and exchange jam. Actually, the jam didn't have anything to do with anything, but it was fun. So, here's Dana on her current adopted city of Atlanta. You can continue to follow her here...and read my guest post for her!

Atlanta Night 2 copy

A Taste of Atlanta

A few years, ago one of my editors summed up Atlanta with this metaphoric phrase, “we are the bratty little sister.” And unless you actually live here, you certainly wouldn’t understand what that really means. But, it’s the honest truth. We’re brats. We look to imitate our older siblings - like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami - while trying to outdo them at the same time – and I think we are often successful.

I moved to Atlanta nine years ago, and it’s taken me about that long to fully grasp the true heart of this city – distracted as I was at first by simple appearances – dogwood-lined streets (most of them with names that include some form of the word Peachtree), bungalow homes complete with porch swings, and the surprising lack of the stereotyped images I held of the South - antebellum estates and Spanish moss. To find the true South, you have to travel west to Birmingham or east to Savannah or Charleston.

So now, on closer inspection, I’ve discovered the heart and soul of this city and found that I love it. I especially like Atlanta’s little neighborhood nooks - Inman and Candler Parks, Virginia Highlands, Midtown, and Buckhead, each with its own distinctive personality.

Another surprise? Atlanta is an incredibly transient city. Because so many large companies (UPS, Coca-Cola, Turner, Delta, Home Depot and Southern Company, among them) make their home here, they draw people from all over the world making Atlanta a melting pot. A little less concentrated than maybe NYC, but still, distinctly there. The natives you will find are few and a very tight-knit group.

That makes this a city whose sense of self constantly ebbs and flows with the influx of new ideas and new blood. We have myriad homegrown ideas and some amazing natural wonders that those cities can’t even aspire to. This city is remarkable for its seamless integration of urban and country. The pace of the city suits me, as does its size. It’s just big enough to feel like a major metropolis, but not so big that you’re swallowed up in it.

But, really, what I adore the most is springtime in Atlanta – there’s no other spring quite like it.  After a mild winter (to say the least in comparison to Vermont), Atlanta comes alive by late February and early March – and its perfect patio weather can often last clear till June. Those Saturdays where you can garden and be outdoors all day, then cook something great and eat al fresco... Heaven on a plate.

That leads me to Atlanta’s culinary scene – the chefs and the farm-to-table movement that predominates on many restaurant menus are right up my alley. Below is a recipe from one of the best chefs to come out of the South – Ms. Edna Lewis. Lewis is largely responsible for teaching Chef Scott Peacock – Southern Living columnist and owner of The Watershed – the famous Decatur Georgia restaurant owned by one half of the Indigo Girls.

Now, back to Edna Lewis – below is her recipe for lemonade. Because, it’s just perfect for a nice, spring day in Atlanta, or wherever you are.

Lemonade

2 cups sugar

½ gallon well water (bottled spring water)

1 ½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Ice

1 lemon, sliced into thin slices

Fresh mint (optional)

Dissolve the sugar in the well water. Add the lemon juice, a solid piece of ice, and lemon slices. This can be put into a stone crock or a glass ice bucket and decorated with mint, if desired.

Dana Hazels Seith is a journalist who lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. She is founder and editor-in-chief of danapop, a mashup of all things culture, life, food & drink, and travel.