Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scratching an itch

Way back during a high school art class I had a lesson in block printing. I sort of fell in love with block printing that day. I worked tirelessly on my carving, careful not to end up in the emergency room with a nasty Speedball injury. I vividly remember inking the block and printing, wow the results were so fun. For some reason I haven't block printed since then but it's always been a little nagging voice. I'm not sure I'm ready to carve linoleum yet but I've had my eye on this most fabulous book by Lotta Jansdotter for awhile now. Today I spotted the book at Barnes & Noble and I carried it all over the kids section while following my little one, trying to read a bit here and there. I ended up buying it. I'm seriously obsessed with printing now. My first try was the potato print because I had all of the supplies on hand. I may just open the Church of the Potato Print because I'm so totally in love with it. I think I've been afraid to print on fabric, like I'll mess it up and what a waste. What a wast of time because it's pretty darn forgiving if you ask me. If you've got a potato in the fridge and some paint on hand grab that blank T or that simple skirt and start printing! c.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Autumnal colors at the farmers market today. The pallet is so rich and mesmerizing.

Black (green) beans. These were new to me and I couldn't find anything about them on the web. I should have bought some.

It was a nice day to walk around the market with a very dear friend. c.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Perfectly poached

Sometimes you just have to try something right away. I once saw Gordon Ramsay on the F Word poach an egg using a whisk trick and I was promptly in the kitchen creating the perfectly poached eggs. My mom was here on Saturday and she mentioned a video that shows an easy way to peal a hard boiled egg and she couldn't wait to give it a try.

Ramsay's poaching trick is to crack the egg into a little dish and boil water in a pot. Once the water boils, vigorously whisk the water in a circle to create a whirlpool effect. Add the egg quickly so that the whirlpool rolls the egg around the pot a few times. It results in perfect little oval poached eggs.

So... guess what we had for breakfast today? Poached eggs of course, we like ours on an English muffin (the American variety) with black pepper and tomatoes. c.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pink star fish

We had a chance to visit the aquarium this weekend.

I think I enjoyed the sea life inspired architecture as much as the sea life. c.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stringa penne

Sorry about this because I know that no one else but me would find this little necklace made of pasta anywhere near as exciting as I do. It's just that she made it in preschool today and I am loving that she has made something by herself out there in her world. To me this represents the start of her having her own experiences and ideas. The pasta is a little mangled because our dog got hold of it. Not a good moment for any of us, disaster averted, barely.

I'm not a really big jewelry person but I've been loving the latest Sundance catalogue. c.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I have been trying to find a new little craft project for little g. to play with, one that would magically keep her happy and busy for hours. I found one that has me busy and her happy, homemade stamps.

After a trip to JoAnn's then Michael's I finally ended up at Dick Blick, a place I try very hard to avoid because I am tempted to spend, spend, spend. I picked up the stamp ink at JoAnn's and some printing blocks and a Speedball carving tool at Dick Blick. With a pencil I drew out a design then used the Speedball to carve it. You could also print the shape then cut it out so that you could trace around it. That's what I did with the polar bear shape that I made a few days back. I think that stamp is a bit too big though. It's hard to get it to look uniform and little g. has trouble using it. The smaller ones work best. c.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Past, present & future

I'm without a camera for a few days. It's going to be a challenge to blog but I'll give it a shot.

I was lucky enough to have a girls weekend with Lindsay complete with painting our nails and having a Housewives Tarot Card reading. I got this reading online today and I may be a fool but I'm feeling pretty good about my future card given the sort of day Wall Street had yesterday. It was so nice to spend the weekend talking and laughing a lot, thanks L.

Got this photo last week of the mums that are showing up all over now. Little g. is in a touch everything mode. It's a nice way to explore the world.

Had another visitor over the weekend, Flat Stanley. A school project for Lindsay's son that involves taking him places, photographing, journaling and then sending him back. His first stop is here in cyberspace. Say "Hi!" I figured out that he's a football player ready to tackle. I wonder how he's going to feel about going to a princess tea party today? c.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sticky spoons

It happens at this time every year, I start to crave soup. Snuggle-up with a book and blanket food. I've taken a page out of my neighbor's book and started to precook dinner at lunch time. What a difference this makes. Dinner time used to be a really stressful part of the day but it is so much more relaxing now that I've got a meal on the ready for when little (or big) tummies get hungry. Today I decided to make one of my favorite soups, pasta and white bean. It's so basic and it's so tasty. Little g. made her own "soup" while I was cooking. It was a good little diversion for her.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
pinch of chili pepper flakes
1 large onion chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup green beans chopped
1 large potato cut into small cubes
1 half red bell pepper chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 can of great white northern beans
4-5 cups veggie (or chicken) stock
1 cup of cooked pasta (I like ditalini because it's small)
salt and pepper to taste
grated fresh parmesan

I saute the onion, garlic, red bell pepper and chili flakes until semi-soft. Add the carrot and green beans and saute for 5 minutes more. Pour in the stock and then add the potato and tomato. Simmer for 15 minutes. Next add the beans and simmer for 5 more. Check to make sure the potato is cooked through. Add some salt and pepper if necessary. I serve this by putting a spoon full of the cooked pasta in the bowl and pour the soup over it. We sprinkle a little fresh parmesan on top which makes our spoons sticky. We all love the sticky spoons. c.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monster mash

Do terrible 2's happen at 3? Does it have something to do with giving up naps? Is it about adjusting to preschool? Here she is (passie in mouth which is not allowed anymore) throwing her toys like a little maniac while jabbering something that sounds a bit angry. When I saw her do this with all her lovely toys I thought to myself - do you know how lucky you are just to have toys to toss around? I know the finer points of that argument would be lost on her. Hummm, so what to do, an understanding look and a cuddle did the trick (this time at least).

I guess we all have to blow off a bit of steam here and there and I bet tossing some stuff around feels pretty satisfying. When I worked at an agency downtown I used to fantasize about tossing my crash happy computer off a 7 story building more often than I care to admit. Maybe the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. c.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A small town

We were in Cedarburg, WI over the weekend. A beautiful little town on a beautiful September day, very quaint and idyllic. Most of the shop signs were wooden cutouts. What a difference that makes. It's so simple but it changes the feeling of the street so much.

K's - we are still thinking about all of you. c.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


I'm only responsible for two of these, I swear. c.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rain rain rain

The heat wave we had over the last several days helped me forget that Fall is near. The cool rainy day we are having today brought it back into focus. I'm a Spring sort of person. I have trouble letting go of all the green. I really hope we glide gently into winter this year.

A rainy day inspired card. c.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


My husband's mother brought this with her when she came to visit last week. It was a toy he had once played with. I just love the illustrations on the dominoes. Turns out it was designed by some interesting toy designers Paul and Marjorie Abbatt.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Jack of all trades

That's how I feel sometimes, most times. Jack of all trades, master of none. Oh dear. Maybe we could change that to master of "some." Want to design a card for me? Sure! Can you embroider this? Yup! How about programming a web site? I'd love to! I'd probably be better off focusing on one thing but what the heck something has to pay the bills.

I've spent a chunk of time this weekend working on a really fun project. I've been designing a website for an amazingly talented interior designer. Her designs make me want to rip apart my house from bland wall to bland wall and remake it to look like grown-ups live here. It's not live yet but once it is I'll add the link. c.