• 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!

  • Inktober Almost Finished!

    I challenged myself again this year to participate in Inktober. It's an Instagram challenge where you post something drawn or painted with ink every day of October. You can make it as limiting or free as you'd like, and there's even a prompt list if you prefer to follow that. I decided I would work on patterns as a continuation of my recent Sketchbook Skool class with Ohn Mar Win. (I also wanted to practice drawing/painting people, but I enjoyed and got wrapped up with the patterns!) You can head over to Instagram to see the whole month!

  • Honored

    This is an image of an artist book that I submitted to Uppercase Magazine, and here it is actually in the magazine!

  • Permission

    I've been playing with the idea of home for many years now. For a while, I tried to convey this in a nonliteral way, but lately all I want to draw are tiny houses! And they make me happy, so I've allowed myself to do so.

  • Radio Silence

    Well, I've been busy with life, baking, and painting. After a many year hiatus, I'm making stuff again! It feels great to play around with long-forgotten supplies and skills. Check out my instagram to see the latest.

  • It's Holiday Market Time!



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Process

I'm not good at recording what I do when I'm in the kitchen. I have tried to correct this quirk, especially with my preserving recipes so I can replicate it (or not) the following year. Usually my best strategy is to have a little notebook next to me, preferably one which can lie flat open and is just the right size to stay in one place while I'm writing. This notebook is used expressly for in-process recipes because it winds up too close to my projects and picks up spills, or at the very least, water spots from my hands all over the pages. Luckily, the recipe I want to talk about here doesn't need directions. It's a simple, one-ingredient wonder with a history.

We planted St. Croix variety wine grapes several years ago from a friend's pruned cuttings. My husband built a lovely structure (Geneva double curtain) for them to grow into and has been vigilantly pruning and caring for them. Every year they produce slightly more fruit, and we are always at a bit of a loss as to what to do with the crop. Last year, I made grape jam and jelly, and I wasn't really thrilled with either. I happened to catch a tweet from Mario Batali giving advice on what to do with excess Concord grapes—he recommended making mosto cotto (also called saba and vin cotto). I checked out a few recipes and decided that it was a perfect use for the grapes and maybe a perfect condiment for us. It is also a traditional "slow food" which is not made very often anymore, even in Italy. After convincing my husband that we did not have enough grapes to make wine this year, we harvested them and I got to work. About 25 pounds of grapes were destemmed, crushed, strained, and cooked down for two hours to make about a quart of mosto cotto. It's good—sweet yet balanced with tart acidity, an unctuous texture, and amazing color.

Not only did I create something useful and a product that will last well into the dark days of winter, I felt my husband's grandmother peering over my shoulder, remembering the process from when she was a little girl, growing up in the south of Italy. It's a food with a sense of history and a strong sense of place.

**If you're interested and want to read more about mosto cotto, see the NY Times archived article here for recipes and sources.

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