Number 100

  • 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. 

  • Winter

    above image—not winter

    Winter is not my favorite season. It's cold, it's dark, it's icy....but with those restrictions comes permission to quiet your mind, think, make. It's the season when I have the most time. My daughter is in preschool, and farmers' markets are few and far between. It allows me to focus on my art and on all the other little projects that I think about during the summer. This year I'm stretching and taking Make Art That Sells, an online course from art agent Lilla Rogers. So far, I feel out of my element, which I'm taking as a good sign. Growth comes in fits and starts, and it isn't always comfortable.

  • Upcoming Holiday Season

    I'm getting ready for the upcoming holiday season! I'll be at the Bennington Farmers' Market on the first and third Saturdays of Nov. and Dec., and I'll be at the Williamstown Berkshire Grown Markets on Nov. 19th and Dec. 17th. I'll have lots of lovely linen aprons and tea towels, and delicious edibles, perfect for gift giving or enjoying with your family and friends. See you soon!

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Number 100

[caption id="attachment_726" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="My husband made breakfast"][/caption]

I've just realized that this is my 100th post...and since I've missed my blog's anniversary this year and possibly last, we're going to celebrate! I made an apple cake for the occasion.

This year, I'm on a quest to perfect those recipes that I feel every baker must have in her arsenal. Number one was brownies, which I finally nailed thanks to Alice Medrich (I highly recommend her book Bittersweet, which also contains the recipe). The secret to that one was cocoa powder rather than pounds and pounds of chocolate, which unfortunately seem to dry out the brownies and make them more cakelike than fudgy. We (my husband) adore fudgy brownies, so I can finally make one that he's not ashamed of.

Next was a good biscuit...found! My new (borrowed) biscuit recipe is flaky, fluffy, and not loaded with pounds of butter or tainted by sour cream. It's a straight-up buttermilk biscuit–with a substantial amount of guilt-reducing whole wheat flour.

So, number three is back to the above apple cake. I love my mom's cake, but after it sits for a day or so, it tends to get really dry. My new strategy for making cakes moister is to replace some of the butter with a neutral oil, like canola or grape seed. I subbed oil for all of the butter this time and incorporated pear juice and black Ceylon tea. Instead of chunking up the apples, I quartered them and sliced thinly along their length and layered them in the batter as done by smitten kitchen. Oh, and I thought it needed a walnut streusel topping. The real test is how much I like it tomorrow after it languishes overnight...but I'm hoping that I found my knight in white satin and walnuts.