SUNDAY NOTES + RECENT FAVS

What a weekend of mixed emotions. I won't even try to put words to the tragedies in Paris and Beirut- they would fall short and fail to convey the scope of the issues and the devastating losses. I heard this from Michel Martin tonight-beautiful, sobering words we should all keep in our minds and hearts. Thankful for her honest, compassionate coverage. 

Its cold and dark so early now. A good excuse to start lighting fires and nesting down for the snuggly season. I feel the itch to start knitting, crocheting, or felting something. I'm kind of a terrible knitter and only slightly less terrible crocheter but I persist because it feels good, and keeps my hands busy. It can be tough to head down to the basement studio at night once winter sets in so I have to find more mobile projects that can be done up here. 

The girls enjoying the first fire of the year. 

The girls enjoying the first fire of the year. 

 

The girls had the sweetest birthday party at the new Treehouse Kid & Craft in Decatur. They had so much fun with their friends; enjoying snacks and treats, stamping tote bags, and playing with some of the beautiful display toys. What a gorgeous shop and warm, fun staff. They really do carry the best selection of beautiful things for kids. If you're local and have kiddos to shop for make sure you stop in. My sweet baby boy is 6 months today! It seems impossible that this love has been here that long. But then I can't remember life without him. Ahhhh, parenthood.

This happy chappy is 6 months old!

This happy chappy is 6 months old!

 

I've been working away on the encaustic pieces I started last week. I have 4 completed-I want to make at least 8 of the 12"x12" panels and then I'm going to try my hand at some larger pieces. I also created a series of 8 inky, atmospheric pieces for a hotel project. They actually only need 2 but it seemed easier to make several at once since it was so messy and kind of unforgiving. 

Process shot of my abstract ink & pigment pieces.

Process shot of my abstract ink & pigment pieces.

The holidays suddenly seem so close! We try not to stress about them here, usually keeping it pretty low key. We don't go crazy with decor but I will probably add at least a few things to our stash of handmade, thrifted, and heirloom items-been gathering a few ideas here. I've been thinking about things I have on hand and in my studio stash and how I can use them to create a few gifts. Some ideas: felted slippers, indigo dyed scarves and pillow covers, soft storage bins, small paintings on panel. Lofty goals! We'll see how I do. 

RECENT FAVS:

Himalayan Spice: my sis in law and I accidentally ended up here on Friday night. What a happy accident! Its delicious. We had the samosas, garlic naan, palak paneer, and chicken tikka masala. Nothing too adventurous since it was our first time but I will be back! We have a bunch of good Indian restaurants close by but this is near the top of the list. 

Masala Chai: Its chai season! I've used the chai recipe from a 30+ year old Madhur Jaffrey cookbook for a few years (its excellent).  The version she references here is slightly different but I'm sure totally delicious. Bookmark this. 

Art of the Costume: I follow Molly (@remedialeating) on Instagram and was pulled in by some gorgeous images of exquisite detail work on "50 unique, hand-crafted garments, spanning the eras from Cavalier through the 1920's" created by her mother, Susan Pasco. Good grief what talent! They are currently on exhibit at the University of Washington. I hope she posts more images on her site for those of us who want to drool from afar. Also-reminds me of a beautiful movie "Sequins" (which apparently has 3 other names I've never heard of). 

Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Quick Pickled Green Beans: We happened to have all of the ingredients on hand from our CSA for this recipe I pulled out of the most recent Sunset Magazine. Their Fast & Fresh recipes are on usually on point and this turned out really well. I altered things slightly so it was all done in just one pot. 

Kiva Zip: Kiva, the internationally reaching microloan nonprofit has extended its concept to offer small businesses and entrepreneurs stateside their person-to-person funded, 0% interest rate loans. Meighan O'Toole talked about her recent Kiva Zip loan experience on her latest podcast-its really great to hear from creative professionals on the real-deal, nitty gritty of making small business dreams work.

 

SUNDAY NOTES + RECENT FAVS

RAIN. So much rain. ATL is having a PNW moment. Its a bit much even for those of us who dig an excuse to stay in and embrace our hermitic side. Our yard is soggy, our basement is damp, our windows are foggy. I have no clothes for this type of thing so I'm perpetually inappropriately dressed in weird layers and wrong shoes. Good for the water table but DANG. Kinda over it.

Fiona and Nila watching Dad try to squeeze yard work into a short rain free interlude.

Fiona and Nila watching Dad try to squeeze yard work into a short rain free interlude.

 

I was at the doctor daily again this week. The procedures have taken a lot out of me and its been draining for everyone in the family to be so off schedule, One upside is that I found myself with lots of time on my hands and the need to pre-occupy so I powered through some great podcasts and spent way more time on the Feedly and Pinterest apps then I could normally justify. I forgot how totally overwhelming the non-stop onslaught of amazing visuals can be. So much inspiring stuff out there but I have to kind of shut it all out periodically or I feel sort of stunted in my own creativity. I did delete the Facebook app off my phone this week. I've only had it on there intermittently but good riddance. What a time suck. 

I've got a few new little projects on the books to finish up in the next few weeks. 2 small works on paper and 2 larger canvas or panel pieces. Both should be fun and challenging. I needed a creative interlude after spending so much time in the medical vortex so started work on a new series of encaustic pieces. If you follow me on Instagram you'll see my progress. I'm loving these! One of my goals is to create a large body of personal work and start participating in gallery shows. Progress!

                                                     one of my new encaustic pieces

                                                     one of my new encaustic pieces

RECENT FAVS:

  • TREEHOUSE KID & CRAFT: Really excited about the new Treehouse Kid and Craft store that just opened in Decatur. Its a beautiful, charming store that stocks well crafted and unique toys, books, and art supplies for kids. They have a sister store in Athens that we just love. We're celebrating the girls' birthdays there with an art party! Should be fun.
  • ON BEING: The On Being episode I heard today had such an interesting interview with Adam Gopnik, a staff writer for the New Yorker. Its worth a listen in its entirety but this phrase from Krista Tippett caught me: "The mystery of the fact that these people you gave birth to and raised are these surprising strangers, that you continue to discover them, and they continue to emerge in ways that you feel you had nothing to do with, that is so remarkable." It speaks so perfectly to the bittersweet magic that is parenthood.
  • SWEET DREAM SPRAY: My Aunt Rachel visited this summer and mixed Nila up a special aromatherapy spray to help ward off bad dreams. It has become a special part of our bedtime routine to spritz it all around the room and the girls now call it their "Sweet Dream Spray." It makes the room smell so fresh. Its a tad sweet with a pleasant hint of earthier herbals. Mix 2 oz distilled water, 1 oz alcohol, and 5-6 drops each (or more depending on how strong you want it) of neroli, basil, and rose absolute oils. 
  • COVER: I just discovered there is a new bookstore in town! Cover is over on the Westside, and purports to be Atlanta's "new source for visually beautiful and culturally important books about food, wine, art and design." You've got my attention! Will be paying them a visit very soon. 
  • ART FOR YOUR EAR: The Jealous Curator (one of the best art bloggers out there) has a fab podcast I am just getting caught up with. I'm loving it! Artist interviews, behind the scenes gossip, just the type of stuff I geek out over. 
  • SHEPHERD'S PIE: I made a dang good shepherd's pie last week that was a hit with the whole fam and really easy to whip up. Ground beef, carrots, kale, onion, peas, corn, mushroom with a mashed sweet potato topping. Almost everything was from our CSA! I was just winging it but this recipe is kind of similar to what I did. I am going to have to recreate it soon and will take notes to post a proper recipe here. 

Cheers to a fresh new week! 

 

SUNDAY NOTES & RECENT FAVS

Oh what a week it has been. A strange mix of celebration, loss, injury, and victory. Suddenly feels like there is a lot of upcoming stuff to anticipate that I am going to try to frame as INSPIRATION and MOTIVATION rather than STRESS and AGITATION. Sometimes pulling a Pollyanna is the best bet for my sanity. Smile on people. 

Watching this sweet slice of moon rise over the North Georgia mountains was a highlight from my weekend.

Watching this sweet slice of moon rise over the North Georgia mountains was a highlight from my weekend.

There has been LOTS of good stuff coming out of the studio. I finished up and said goodbye to the beautiful blue and gold commissioned painting and started work on a big (6'+) dimensional wall piece that is super fun to make and I think its going to be really special when it's done. I'm working on a post that will talk a little about how I typically work these commission type projects that will give some fun behind-the-scenes process goodness.

Progress shot of the dimensional wall piece I'm working on.

Progress shot of the dimensional wall piece I'm working on.

In the meantime; some recent favs:

FIRE TONIC: tried an amazing homemade version this weekend and am now on a mission to make my own. Equally good for a good morning kick-in-the-pants or kicking a cocktail up a notch or 12. 

NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHT SWEATS: I'm pro hand-clapping and cursing so this band is a win for me.

LENNY: Lena Dunham's take on a modern, Feminist newsletter

SHADES OF GREEN: We are working with Brandy on a master landscape plan incorporating tons of multi-functional /edible plants and brilliant permaculture concepts. Just looking at this thing makes me happy. 

YES KON-DO: I know, I know...you can't walk down the street without tripping over a pile of schtuff that some overzealous kondo convert has decided DOES NOT SPARK JOY but dammit, her approach is great. My interest has been building ever since reading Sanae Ishida's blogpost on "The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up" early this year and I'm finally tackling some big stuff, making progress, and enjoying the benefits of LESS. 

MYSTERY SHOW: I could do a whole blog post on podcasts-I'm always on the hunt for more. They are truly an artist's best friend for the long, solo hours in the studio. I've always loved Starlee Kine from This American Life and her new show with Gimlet is just so fun and clever. I think my favorite so far is Case #3: Beltbuckle