Hoarding of a Surprising Nature

  • 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!

  • 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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Hoarding of a Surprising Nature

In my everyday life, I am not a hoarder. I am not one of those people who squirrel away their obsessive collections that make others squirm. I am a reasonably organized person who regularly empties her purse and throws away old receipts and coupons. But I have a weakness: collecting culinary ingredients. No, this is not sensible. These things turn bad and unusable if kept too long. And yet, I ration the maple sugar because I know how expensive it is if I run out. I don’t use the pricey jar of coconut oil that I bought for recipe experimentation.

As we’re nearing spring, I look at the things that I’ve preserved with the same eye. When the strawberry jam is gone, it’s gone until strawberry season finally rolls around in June. I want to hide those precious little jars and make sure that there’s enough to last. I’m trying to come to terms with using ingredients that I so carefully preserved before they turn into fossils rather than food.

I’ve made progress in the last few weeks. I pulled out a jar of pickled pears to slice and serve with cheese. Frozen raspberries were cooked into a puree that I added to marshmallows. I defrosted rhubarb and cooked it down with tart dried cherries into a lovely compote; it filled pocket pies at the last market and I enjoyed the rest on top of oatmeal. The dehydrated corn that was languishing in the cupboard made a deliciously sweet addition to a roasted butternut squash soup. Despite myself, I enjoy these pure tastes of the season as my larder steadily empties and prepares itself for the bounty of the coming months.