Dangerous Raspberries

  • 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


    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!

  • Plugging Away

    I'm trying to enjoy the quiet stillness of winter. We've had lots of snow (and snow days) and rain, which has made for long weeks of nasty weather. I'm drawing daily and I can see myself steadily improving. 

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Dangerous Raspberries

[caption id="attachment_986" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="These beautiful berries caused me a lot of pain."][/caption]

New Englanders like to exaggerate. On a nice day in June, they like to scare you with tales of how it snowed two feet on the same day when they were kids. So, when I heard about the perils of poison parsnip, I filed away the information but wasn't terribly concerned about how it might affect me. Yes, I heard that contact with its sap caused blistering and painful rashes, but I didn't know until last week (when I was forced to do further research) that the scars from the rashes can last for years. I didn't know that two things have to happen in order for a reaction to occur: contact with the plant juices and then immediate exposure to sunlight. These two factors created a perfect storm of problems for me last week while I was picking wild raspberries along our road. I was excited about how prolific the fruit has been this year, and even the wild bushes have been producing bowlfuls of bright, juicy berries that I've been baking with and freezing. It's been hot here lately, so I've been skipping out every morning in shorts and flip flops (you can see where this is going!). Apparently, I got some sap on my ankle, and by Friday morning, I had a purple-brown streaky burn and my foot and ankle were swollen. Grossly swollen, like my foot could witness its own weather patterns and have its own zip code. It's made it difficult to bake and do my market stuff this week, and it pulled the plug on me hiking with my husband on his Long Trail journey. I guess I'm a believer now...I certainly won't take poison parsnip for granted again, although I still don't believe in two feet of snow in June.