Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the 12 project | may

the 12 project | may
May | A too short weekend at the beach. (Nags Head, NC)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

sneak peek

Lots of new art in the works these past few weeks. I probably won't have time to photograph them and get them listed in the shop before the art market, but here's a little teaser of what's been going on in my studio:
cardboard mosaic
paper plate palette
in my studio
felt garland
rainbow drops
blue bottles

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the weekend in pictures

Despite my long To Do List, I managed to have a fantastic weekend that was both productive and relaxing.

Saturday started with empanadas and flan from the Farmers Market and ended with jumbo marshmallows roasted over the fire pit.
giant flan!
(This is flan. Giant flan! Have you ever seen such a thing?!)
jumbo marshmallows!
(These are marshmallows. Jumbo marshmallows! Have you ever seen such a thing?!)

jumbo marshmallows!

Sunday started with crullers on the porch and ended with gin & tonics on the patio.
crullers on the porch
In between, we mowed, trimmed, weeded, planted, swept, and cleaned up the yard. We constructed weights for my art fair tent. We discussed landscaping projects. We played with the dogs. We sat by the fire and chatted. We used the Rolla Roasters for the first time (genius!) and ate marshmallows until we felt sick.
in our yard
building tent weights
gravy and the rainbow ball
gravy and the snake
Just how a weekend should be.

Friday, May 20, 2011


banner for funnelcloud studio
The Ballston Arts & Crafts Market is a mere three weeks away and I'm feeling woefully unprepared.

I've been crazy busy lately. Or at least, I am according to the number of things on my overwhelming To Do List. Problem is, the list is so long, I don't know where to start! I've got so many things to do that I feel like I don't have the time to eat. Or sleep. And then when I'm supposed to be sleeping, I can't, because I'm fretting over all the things that need to get done...
my To Do list
(This week's To Do List - notice how many items aren't crossed off?)

So here we go - I've got 21, actually 17 days (we're taking a long weekend at the beach - yikes) to accomplish the following for the market:

  • Buy a 10x10 tent/canopy.
  • Buy another folding table.
  • Build a display system.
  • Make tent weights.
  • Make a garland to decorate my tent.
  • Figure out how to hang my shop banner.
  • Make tablecloths to cover the tables.
  • Boxes to display small pieces/business cards.
  • Test run of display and set-up.
  • Figure out how all this crap is going to fit in my car.
  • Create 8 new art pieces.
  • Design and print a new screenprint.
  • Have giclee reproductions printed.
  • Print additional Hair, Cheese, Zinnia, Onion, and Blueberry prints.
  • Cut cardboard backers.
  • Package up art.
  • Make price tags.
  • Freak out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

the 12 project | january, february, march, and april

I've fallen a bit behind with my documentation of The 12 Project (one of my photography goals for 2011). Here's an update:

The 12 Project: January 2011
January | Busy with my shop and embracing messy hair.

The 12 Project: February 2011
February | We were apart - Larry was on a business trip in Central Asia while I held down the fort at home.

The 12 Project: March 2011
March | A glimpse of Spring? Hiking at Roosevelt Island.

The 12 Project: April 2011
April | Yard work.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

summer list 2011

As soon as spring started making an appearance here, I started dreaming up fun things I wanted to do this summer. Summer to me means Saturday mornings spent at the Farmers Market, hiking (when it's not too hot), eating blueberries and corn on the cob, grilling in our backyard and sitting around the fire pit, making fresh squeezed lemonade, beers on the patio, and frequent jaunts to our local ice cream shop.

I asked Larry what he wanted to do this summer so I could include his ideas on my list, and his response was "Not get too hot." So while Larry sits in the air conditioning, I plan to do this:

2011 summer list a reduced 3

Evidently, my mind lives in an idealized fantasy world where I spend my summers lazing on a hand-quilted picnic blanket while drinking wine and reading a stack of library books that I carried home in my bike basket. HA HA HA. Seriously, I think I've included Have a Picnic on every To Do list I've ever made, and to be honest, our so-called picnics usually involve unwrapping some Chik-Fil-A while sitting at a bird poop-covered picnic table in a crowded park and scarfing the sandwiches as fast as possible because the dogs are being whiny pains in the butt.

I've deliberately left off all the projects I hope to accomplish in the coming months (paint the upstairs, rebuild our trellis, clean out the mudroom, build some furniture) because summer is supposed to be fun.

What's on your summer list?

Edited to add: Forgot to include Drink a good gin & tonic on my list!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

international meal | spain

international meal | spain
Back in January, Larry marked a recipe for Catalan Fish Stew with Pimenton Mayonnaise in Food & Wine magazine and it's been on my list of recipes to try ever since. I hadn't intended for it to be one of our international meals, but when I was at the store shopping for ingredients, I realized this recipe was going to cost me a fortune - so I decided to make something special out of it. I grabbed a hunk of Spanish cheese, some crusty bread and a bottle of Spanish wine and decided that tonight was Spanish night.
international meal | spain
On the menu:
This was our easiest and quickest international meal yet, and the results were delicious. Despite its fancy name, the fish stew was a fast recipe to make and we both loved it. It was loaded with chunks of fresh halibut, serrano ham, and green olives - which is why it was so expensive to make. The pimenton mayonnaise topping was out of this world - we have recently discovered the deliciousness of smoked Spanish paprika, and once again it didn't fail us.
international meal | spain
international meal | spain
I hadn't planned on making dessert, but once I got home I couldn't help but google "Catalan dessert recipes" and Crema Catalana popped up. Crema Catalana is the Spanish version of Creme Brulee and I had all the ingredients on hand so I decided to give it a go.
international meal | spain
Wop wop, it was a flop. The recipe warned of over-cooking the custard and causing it to break, and I think I may have undercooked it because it was extremely runny. Before serving, I put it under the broiler to create a caramelized crust. After 20 minutes (!!!), the sugar still hadn't caramelized much and the custard itself was boiling and bubbling like molten lava. Oh well.
international meal | spain
(Sad news: My beloved Nikon D40 DIED. Did you know that a camera's shutter can wear out? I had to resort to charging up my little point & shoot camera to take these photos.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

boys and their toys

chainsaw fun
We've been spending our weekends this spring attempting to clean up our yard after months of neglect and natural disasters followed by a long winter.

The other weekend's yardwork required the use of just about every tool we own, PLUS a trip to Home Depot to purchase more tools. Each tool (both in our yard and in the store) was tested by Larry for its ability to be used as a sword, a gun, and my personal favorite (in his words), a shillelagh. The tools being used as weapons clearly cut down on our productivity in the yard.

Me: Do you have to play with every tool?
Him: Yes! Especially my own!

Monday, May 9, 2011

weekend adventures: seven hours in philadelphia (via iphone)

philadelphia via iphone
This weekend I took a last minute trip up to Philadelphia for a wedding. I traveled with my mother via train from DC to Philly and it was a great reminder of how much I love train travel - I'm adding a train trip to my To Do list for the summer!

I have to admit, I have never been a fan of Filthadelphia Philadelphia. The only city I may hate more is its neighbor, Shitsburgh Pittsburgh. That being said, the last time I was in either city was almost 15 years ago when I was looking at colleges. (Needless to say, I did not choose a college in Pennsylvania!) Cities can change a lot in 15 years and I was interested to visit Philly based on the sole fact that it is the home of several Jose Garces restaurants AND Buddakan, home of the dip sum donut.

Unfortunately, I was only in Philadelphia for seven hours - we went up and back the same day, so I didn't have a chance to check out the restaurant scene. Guess I'll have to go back to get my hands on some of those donuts!

I didn't bring my big camera with me - so here's a photo essay of the trip via iPhone:
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
philadelphia via iphone
*Not pictured: Being stuck on the DC metro at 1:30 am due to track work and sharing a metro car with a drunk sorority girl who puked on a) a stack of newspapers, b) the floor of the metro, which is carpeted...ew!, and c) her own feet. She then slid off her seat and into the pile of her own barf. Gag! I do not miss riding the metro late at night!

P.S. Philadelphians and Pittsburghers - if any of you read my blog, let me know what makes your cities worth visiting! I am willing to give your cities a second chance!