Pleasantly Surprised

  • 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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Pleasantly Surprised

The farmers' market is finally over for the season. Back at the beginning in May, I didn't have a job and my "plan b" farmers' market gig became my only job. Since then, I've added a part-time catering job and several freelance writing assignments and now, things are slowing down after a busy summer and fall stretch. I'm relieved to have made it through the six months with my kitchen (and refrigerator) intact.

I was pleasantly surprised with the warm reception that I got from market goers. I viewed the market as an experiment for me, an opportunity to make exactly what I wanted and a chance to set up my "store" with the benefit that I (hopefully) wouldn't have to eat everything myself! I was discouraged by several friends who knew the sort of desserts that I like to make. They wanted me to play it safe and make easy-to-like baked goods that would sell. But I stuck by my plan and used unusual flours, infused tea in my shortbread, made cocoa nibs as commonplace as chocolate chips....and people were excited by the choices.

The cookie that proved people were willing to try something different was a buckwheat-cocoa nib cookie from Alice Medrich. The baked cookies were a slightly unappealing concrete color but had a deliciously crumbly texture punctuated by crunchy nibs. Early Saturday morning when I was spreading chocolate ganache on one cookie and sandwiching another on top, I figured that they'd all be coming home with me later that afternoon. I certainly wasn't expecting the enthusiastic reaction that they received; people came back for more than one, and even asked for them the next week! That sleeper of a cookie was so popular that someone was talking about it still at the last market. I felt incredibly satisfied that my vision for Paper Cake Scissors was successful...and I achieved it on my own terms.

If there are any farmers' market peeps reading, thank you so much for your support and adventurous spirits. Meeting and talking to you throughout the season was the best part of my Saturday! The next holiday market that I'll be attending is December 18th–stay tuned, keep in touch, and place orders! My new brochure is finally up on my site.