Wednesday, December 23, 2009
This photo of Pookles, one of the Oregon family cats, sums up my current attitude.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Alright alright, Gary gave me a few raised eyebrows yesterday evening about my lack of blog entries lately, to which I replied that basically I've just been really busy packing up card orders and such, and while that's great for business it makes for super boring blog entries. But I have something interesting to say today that should make you sit right up and listen!
Tomorrow is the last outdoor farmers' market of the season, hurrah, and that means the time for the annual International Rutabaga Curling Championship has "rolled" around again! It's the 12th Annual this year, and you can read all about it here. Basically it's like bocci ball with rutabagas, played on the bumpy floor of our market pavilion, and it's a fine example of Ithaca community street theatre. People turn out by the hundreds for this (not much else would bring them out on those cold days), wear costumes, form teams, and get pretty darned competitive vying for the title. In a fine example of nepotism, (I work for the Commisioner, Steve Sierigk of Acorn Designs), I've held onto the job of being the Rutabaga Goddess for the last several years. Registration is from 10:30-11:45, and the games begin with opening ceromonies and the arrival of the flame from Mount Cruciferae and a parade of athletes at high noon. This is tomorrow. Come on out. Wear warm clothes and don't forget toe wamers in your boots.
Word on the street is that there might be a Team Capoeira this year.
And it's the last chance to find me at market until next spring, since I'm taking off for Oregon on Monday for the holidays, and then only back briefly before my next adventure.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Just crawled out of a rough week. My cold is mostly gone and I feel like my usual energetic self, and I might even start answering the phone again soon. Only one more market to go for the season. Special orders are tapering off, seems like all stores are well stocked with my cards. My calendars are running low! Loads of houseguests! A looming birthday! And in a week, I fly to Oregon to spend the holidays with the west coast contingent of my family, including lots of time at my brother's pub.
The time has come to start thinking about making my crown for the Rutabaga Curl...which I will explain later since it deserves its own entry. Are you intrigued?
And since blogs are all about peering into the minutiae of people's lives, I'll let you know that I have some lovely-smelling butternut squash soup cooking on the stove right now. I make it with Thai red curry spices and coconut milk and leeks. Mmmmm-hmmm.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I mentioned a few posts ago that one of my new young chickens turned out to be rooster. All along I was kind of hoping that it was just a big, pretty hen. Newly renamed Harold, after my great-uncle, he's beautiful and turning very showy. Does anyone want to adopt him?
Plowshares was a great success, and now there are just two more farmers' markets and the store on the Commons to keep afloat. I see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I will also be on my way to Oregon for the holidays in two weeks, hurrah! But meanwhile, I have a wicked little cold and am feeling cranky and reclusive.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
It feels way later than it is.
It's that time of year again, sun goes down at about 4:30 and so I start burning the midnight oil mighty early.
I have been working full-out on my card business for several weeks now (and not blogging, in case you haven't noticed)...wholesale orders are up, and my website is once again paying for itself. Trips to the post office almost every day. This evening I finally finished the worst of the planning and packing for my biggest craft show of the year, the Plowshares Craftsfair in Syracuse, and now I am kicking back with a long hot bath and a well-deserved wee sip o' wine in front of the woodstove. Kind of an eye-of-the-storm moment. Read about Plowshares here, and come on up...loads of excellent artists and interesting treats for your Christmas stockings. This lion and lamb image seemed appropriate to talking about a fair put on by the Syracuse Peace Council. Oh hey, and it's available as a card, of course!
The Holiday Spirit Store is picking up...that's the one in downtown Ithaca. Working lots of shifts there and trying to encourage people to shop locally and support their favorite artists who needed pricey new brakes on their cars this week.
I had my first Etsy sale! A calendar to someone in Oregon. Excellent.
Farmers' Market continues on, we are at our outdoor location until December 19th (when we host the International Rutabaga Curling Championship). For me, that means two chilly markets on the 12th and 19th, and then I can hang it up for a while.
In other breaking news, the new chicken of indeterminate gender proclaimed his rooster-ness today with a series of unmistakable cock-a-doodle-dooooos. I've been wondering about that chicken, and now we know...
Friday, November 20, 2009
A few years ago I went into the scary-yet-fascinating basement archives at the Paleontological Research Institute (associated with the Museum), and did some oil paintings based on sketches I made in their collections. These two paintings will be behind the welcome desk at the museum for the duration of the exhibit. A detail from one of them is shown here. The gift shop will also be selling notecards of this image!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
So that's me on the right, the short one. It was a gorgeous and we tramped around Valley Forge, meeting dogs and enjoying the sunshine. I love my friends.
I also learned that some of you read my blog without me knowing it...thanks! You know who you are.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Lots going on in the ol' hencoop lately! The flock is back up to 6 birds as of last wednesday. Here's a photo of the new residents, who are 4-month old adolescent chicks. Left to right, they are Edna (Barred Rock), Florence (Rhode Island Red), and the mysterious as-yet-unnamed Black Rock. I've been debating whether that one is a rooster because of the colorful feathers and larger size...but apparently Black Rocks are sex-linked and the males are a totally different color. So she must just be on her way to being a giant hen. They should start laying in January. It's fun having cute little younger birds, I've been picking them up a lot so they get used to being handled and will hopefully grow up to be friendly hens who hang out with me in the garden like the original flock. I have opened the coop door for them for the first time today, so we'll see if they go out.
As for the older birds, lots has been going on there too. The huge Australorpes (Ida Mae and Pauline) started venturing out and following Clara around, and they started laying again. Last week, however, before the new chicks arrived, one of the neighbor's dogs got loose and chased the girls around....one of the neighbor children handed poor traumatized Pauline to me after getting her away from the dog (she was fine, just scared), Clara came back by dark, and Ida Mae spent a night outside the coop.
Clara (the lone survivor of the original flock) is making up for her time as the low chick on the totem pole. She's definitely turning into the alpha hen. She's putting on some weight, pecking the new girls, and showing the Australorpes how things are done around here.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Let me fill you in on two upcoming events:
First, the Holiday Spirit Store is opening on Friday night! That's tomorrow evening, from 5-7, during Gallery Night downtown. Everyone in the store is scrambling madly around getting their displays and products ready, and Alice and Werner have been complete creative angels is pulling together a cohesive story and look to the place. Alice has a cool photo on her blog. Please come out, it is not just a great place to support local artists and find unique gifts, but almost a theatre experience. You can find more information here, regarding hours and such.
Second, the capoeira group I am part of is hosting an event this weekend in Ithaca! Oh, I am so excited! Three days of capoeira, our group's mestre is coming to visit and play, and there are music and movement workshops all weekend. The exciting part for YOU is that we're having an open roda on Saturday evening, from 5-7 at the the Bethel Grove Community Center...which is free and open to the public. If you're curious what this whole Brazilian martial art / dance thing is that I'm always talking about, please stop in and watch up play, you'll be amazed. More info on our website. I screened some cool t-shirts for the event, which you can get there too.
So now that I've filled your day with lots of links and calendar events, I must be off to cut some more mats and pack up some more cards. I'm looking forward to winter when I can paint again!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Happy Halloween y'all! Here's Nebraska modeling a cool cat mask made by a guy at the Farmers' Market... Speaking of, tomorrow should be a fun day down there, with a parade of cute little costumed kids and vendors all dressed up. Stop down, and get some winter squash and NOTECARDS! And CALENDARS! They are done and I will have them with me at the market for the rest of the year. I'll try to get them up on Etsy next week too, will keep you posted.
My blog entries have fallen off a little, as this past week has been exceptionally busy. I've been printing t-shirts for an upcoming capoeira event (there was a saga involved in getting the screens made, but now is not the time for that), and starting to move into the store on the Commons (which means getting a whole second set of inventory together, and lots of schlepping-of-display-pieces).
And now it's Friday night, and I'm going to stop working for the evening as soon as I hit the "publish post" button. And hey, one of the chickens finally laid an egg today!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Please check our website for more info! And come out and SHOP!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So I'm working on my new calendar for 2010, and am pretty excited about how it's turning out. I'm using some of my botanical illustrations, and having fun with the design. It will fit in a cd case, which handily flips open to make a nifty little stand for the pages (same style as last year). Here's a little preview of one of the pages. I expect to have these done in a week or so and available at the farmers' market....eventually on the website too...or just email me if you want one!
Monday, October 5, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
I was taking a walk in the woods today though, dragged myself out of the cozy woodstove-warmed house, and I felt so much better. And my brain turned back on in the fresh air, and all kinds of ideas started flowing. One idea I acted on right away, and here are the results. I have a few small 2009 calendars left, and have started re-purposing the images...cutting up the pages and looking for ways to make things from the art. Today (and shown here) I made blank cards from sheets of luscious tree-free colorful Nepalese paper, and glued the artwork on the fronts...pack them up with some nice brown envelopes, and voila...cool new fancy-schmancy cards to take with me to the farmers' market tomorrow. I made some journals with these images last week too.
Exciting gossip in the neighborhood is that my housemates' birdfeeder was mangled by a bear! I wonder if bears eat chickens? The new hens now have access to the outdoors, but they are being timid and staying in their coop. Smart.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
You can check them out and order them here. Great little gifts!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
So today I have been enjoying a real Sabbath rest....you know, that concept of creating your world for six days and then taking the seventh to rest from your labors. I don't get to do this often enough, there's always something that needs to be attended to when I'm working here in my studio. It's pretty blissful, and I expect to wake up tomorrow refreshed and ready to work again.
It's raining and misty and dark here today, the dark side of the otherwise lovely Ithaca autumn. I lit the woodstove for the first time this morning, to take the chill off. And there are two new glossy fat black chickens in the coop, Pauline and Ida Mae.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Where did they go? I know there has been a family of young hawks in my woods, and I have seem them buzz around the coop. But I can't imagine that they could kill and consume five plump chickens in one afternoon without leaving any feathers or other signs of struggle. Did they get spooked and run away and then got lost? Did they miss me and set off in a quest to follow me? Were they nabbed by chicken rustlers? My friend Jean Elizabeth thinks they joined the circus.
So farewell to Martha, Ethel and Ruth, who have been with me since the beginning and laid such gigantic eggs. Also alas for Mildred and Agnes, the two lovely new wyandottes.
I hope to get two more hens tomorrow, black australorps...will keep you posted.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
All that to say, I'm back from my second trip to Yosemite, and had a great time. The fire was over except for some tiny sparks in the woods while driving through, and everything came together beautifully for a grand adventure. Highlights included a tour of my old friend Dan's legendary "ahmond" farm, being lucky enough to have my pack carried up to Vogelsang by mule train, getting completely lost in the dark while following a short cut and finding our way back to where we should be going by literally following the north star and Jupiter, painting on the kitchen wall at Merced Lake camp, being woken by high winds and looming cows at the Mammoth Hot Springs, cruising through Santa Cruz (where I went to grad school 10 years ago) and hiking a total of about 35 high-altitude miles in Chacos.
Then a red-eye flight home and what felt like a 24 hour sleep, and a few days of getting back into regular life...
Friday, September 4, 2009
On more adventurous topics, now I can start to concentrate on the fact that I'm flying back to California on Sunday for another 10 day adventure in Yosemite! And this time it might start with more of an adventure that I was looking for, because there's a forest fire that's blocking the road that goes up to Tuolumne Meadows, where the trailhead I seek is located. To begin with, it's difficult to get to Tuolumne with public transportation (there's only one road, and the bus schedules don't mesh), and my angelic friends Dan and Mary Lee who live in Modesto were graciously planning on making a family adventure out of driving me up there...and all was going to be perfectly lovely and fun. But the Big Meadow Fire, a prescribed burn that got hugely out of control, is in the way and the road is closed from the west. One can drive in from the east, but it's a really really big circle. Something will work out though, and we can all keep our fingers crossed that the road might open again by Monday which would obviate all my current worries.
This all reminds me of one of my mannequin paintings. A few years ago my Dad scrounged some discarded store mannequins for me, and I used them for landscape canvas. Here's the forest fire.
Friday, August 28, 2009
I've been such a busy little bee these last two weeks. Here's the Quaker wedding certificate from last week, in watercolor and pen on 300 lb hot press watercolor paper. The couple was happy with it, whew!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
It's morning, and I just had to toss Turtle the cat off the bed when he tried to steal my toast. Gluten-free toast, not so exciting, but he seemed to be after the almond butter, the little weirdo. There's a cool breeze coming in the window, the weather has turned beautiful after last weeks' heat.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
It's a whirlwind around here! Haven't had a chance to turn around, let alone make a blog entry, since returning from Cali a week ago. A week already?!?! I really miss being there. The Artists' Market was fun and successful, lovely down there on the Cayuga Lake waterfront in the evening, and tons of people turned out to shop and check out the art. My canoe and I took another quick trip to the Adirondacks too, my annual college-friends-camping trip. Beyond that, I'll just say it's been mad busy rather than give you a tedious list.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
If you came here from Gary's blog, here's that chickpea curry he's talking about! (recipe courtesy of my pals Kendra and Peter):
2 cans (19oz each) chickpeas
1/4c vegetable oil
generous pinch asafetida
1t cumin seeds
1 med-small onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4c canned chopped tomatoes
2t peeled, finely grated ginger
1 1/4c prepared black tea (we like Lap Sang Su Shong)
1 to 2 hot green chilis, cut into fine rounds
2t ground toasted cumin seeds
1t garam masala
3-4T coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1T lemon juice
Rinse and drain chickpeas.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add asafetida and cook for a few seconds. Add cumin seeds and cook for 15 seconds, Add onion and cook until onion turns quite brown. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add tomatoes and cook until they turn dark and thick. Add ginger, stir well. Add chickpeas and remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It's been a very productive few days, on the heels of last week's sloth and indolence...and camping and friends visiting, and shopping, and la la la. I sat down on Monday and made a very detailed plan of attack for the week, with tasks to be completed each day before sleeping, and am pleased to say I'm cracking on like smoke and oakum (as Jack Aubrey is always saying in those Patrick O'Brian novels I read so often). I spent yesterday afternoon with my etching press, oh how I love my sweet etching press, and today pulled the prints out of the blotting paper and hung them out to finish drying on the clothesline on the porch. Makes for interesting blog photos too, no?
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I just got back from a few days in the Adirondacks, for my annual June trip with my pal Jean Elizabeth...she celebrates her birthday at Forked Lake, and I join her when I can get away. If any of you are looking for a beautiful camping place this summer, definitely check out Forked Lake, it's located between Blue Mountain Lake and Long Lake. The caretaker, Ted, is a great guy too. I took my lovely little solo canoe (her name is the Nutmeg of Consolation, after a Patrick O'Brian book), and we had the coveted small island site. Not much happened, except for a windy expedition down the inlet between Forked Lake and Raquette Lake. Here's a photo of as far as we got in the canoe, to where the river turned into a small impassible rocky stream. Great spot for lunch, and it would be a great spot for a swim too except the water was mighty cold.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It's raining here, and I am feeling like I'm on vacation. I was up early to work the breakfast shift this morning, but then biked back to my cabin and took a long nap for the rest of the morning, listening to the rain and enjoying a day truly OFF. "Off" in a good way, that is. Took a walk, made some sketches, wrote part of a letter, and started in on a very thick Neal Stephenson novel in the afternoon.