Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


All summer long, I waited for the fall colors to hit. I do this every season - too excited for the next to enjoy the present.  It's something I have to work on.  All the time.  Enjoy the now.

Right now, life feels busy.  Good busy.  The kids are all doing things.  Getting involved and figuring out what they like to do and how they want to spend their time.  It's been a (good) trip seeing them blossom.  We are pretty lucky duck parents. 

We remark on that often.  How blessed are we?  Most evenings once all the ducks are in their nests, we sit.  And remark.  And plan.  We've got this plan.  It's loose.  Maybe more of a direction?  There are things we are doing and things we are not doing.  Evaluating our choices....prioritizing, etc.

: :

Our little home was starting to look a bit shabby. A weekend of scraping and painting and things are perking up. 

I've been painting on canvas, too.  Some good things are happening on that front.  I'm excited.  So far everything is fitting in the loose direction plan.   

Enjoying the now.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday, September 2, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013


I live in a little house built in the 50s. 

My living room is a little 50s living room.   So, for a long time, I've been looking for little furniture.  Most contemporary pieces in my price range are overstuffed and oversized.  The same goes for chairs and coffee tables. It's all too big.  But I get it.  When you live in new homes, living rooms are big.  And little furniture looks  ridiculous.  Big homes need big pieces.  Scale and whatnot.

 I had my heart set on something midcentury modern.  But then that show came along and everyone else got their hearts set on MCM.  It's The Thing.  So MCM is no longer in my price and demand, you know.

I did some self reflection.  Am I really a midcentury modern kind of gal?  Or am I an old lady kind of gal?  Do you know what I discovered?  I am an old lady!  AND!  Old ladies take THE BEST CARE of their things.  I found a couch on Craigslist.  She is a thing of beauty.  She is sturdy and pristine.  She lived her entire life covered in plastic.  We named  her Granny Lou.  Do you see Granny Lou's sister?  That coffee table?  Eighteen dollars.  Ha!!  She needed a little bit of love in the form of Murphy's and Mineral  Oil.  These gals are right at home in my old lady living room. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

We went camping last weekend. 
It was nice to get away, but the time flew way too quickly.

Summer is winding down and I wish I could press pause. 
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Friday, July 26, 2013

this is livin'

Husband + kids @ movie.   
Gorgeous breeze - windows open wide - curtains dancing. 
iTunes playing All The Good Songs loud.
Coffee perking.
Painting jeans on.
Paint brush in hand.
Paint in hair. 
Totally hit jackpot.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

fall junk market

getting ready

Sunday, July 14, 2013

the bread

This is my husband's grandmother's recipe for banana bread. 
It's my favorite.  It's super easy to tweak - I substituted the tangerine jam for the bananas.

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk (I just sour skim milk with a dash of vinegar)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup mashed bananas

Grease pans, bake at 325 for 40-50 minutes.
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

refrigerator jam

The other day I walked into my kitchen and something smelled great.  Like a fruity candle. Or a middle school hallway at the beginning of the day.  The culprit was a basket full of super ripe nectarines.  They were dangerously close to the point where I normally would have cut my losses and tossed them out.  But this time, I just couldn't.  They were too soft to eat without making a terrible mess, and just enough to them to make discarding the lot painful.

So I stepped into the 1950s and turned them into refrigerator jam. 

Since then, I've done the same with a carton of strawberries that were too tart for my kids liking.  It's such a simple process that requires only three ingredients: fruit, water, & sugar. 

First, wash the fruit and cut away any stems.  Put them in a sauce pan with some water.  Not so much water that they're completely covered, but enough so that if they were little children they would be splashing in the kiddie pool.  Set the pot over medium high heat and let the water cook them a bit.  After a couple of minutes take a spoon and start smooshing the fruit.  At this point, add sugar.  This is not an exact science...I just dumped in sugar until I felt good about it.  Maybe 1 part sugar to 3 parts fruit.  If you like things less sweet, use less.  Allow this mixture to cook over low heat for a little while.  I set my stove to the lowest setting and went outside to pick weeds.  About  20 minutes later I came back to it, smooshed it a little more and poured it in a jar.  (The nectarines I ran through the food processor because I had left the skin on.)

This will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.  Use it on toast, crackers, ice cream, cupcakes, pancakes or a spoon.  If you made a ton, you can turn it into bread.  I'll share that recipe tomorrow.  I've got almond/nectarine bread in the oven right now...I'll let you know how it turns out. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

home again, home again, jiggity

I had such a blast last weekend. 

I started my road trip on Friday late afternoon.  Nora Efron's I feel bad about my neck talked me through rush-hour-stop-and-go traffic. Six hours later, I pulled up to my sister's house and crashed on her couch. 

In the morning with a delicious cup of coffee in hand, I drove to the wind swept Eco Chic parking lot to set up my wares.  My vendor neighbor's were the. best. ever. 

The ladies from Modern Textiles had the most wonderful fabrics.  And were so so great.  I want to be their bff and chat with them all day over coffee and muffins. 

I sat right next to The Honey B Soap Company's soaps.  Oh my goodness.  Some of them smelled so good I wanted to taste them.  I refrained.  I now have a bar of her golden flax goat soap in my kitchen and I can't say enough wonderful things about it.  Brittany was so sweet and nice, and passionate about what she does and why she does it.

The wind threatened to blow us away, and I nearly lost my toes to frostbite.  But!  The good people of Fargo, North Dakota came out in droves.  Thank you, Fargo, North Dakota.  You are swell.

If I didn't hug you, I wanted to. 

(And if I did hug you, you're welcome.  Or, I'm sorry.)

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

to market

I've been a busy girl getting ready for Junk Market.

If you'll be in Fargo ND, on June 1st stop by and say hello!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

happy mother's day

The good dishes get used. 
Then broken.
Worth it. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

and now I mother sons

My tweenage daughter came into my bedroom past bedtime last night.  Blinking fast away the tears, she told me she wanted to stay home from school in the morning.  After asking all the questions, it was revealed that "all the girls" were going to be attending an all day event for an extra-curricular in which she does not participate. 

"All the girls?" I asked.

"Almost all," she said.

I had her list off the ones that would still remain, and it was a small list.  It wasn't that she would be left alone, so much as she would be left with few girls in a group already lopsided...there are a lot of boys.  A lot of tweenage boys.

I totally understood.

We talked a little bit about it, until she was able to hear reason.  I said I remember boys that age, and promised that it starts to get better in a few years.  Although, only some of those boys grow all the way up.  I didn't tell her that.

Our conversation brought me back to 7th grade.  Or thereabouts.  I know my experience was not special.  I think it's very typical for boys that age to be inappropriate.  For conversations to be laced with sexual innuendo.  Sitting in math class, the boys were asking girls about cats.  If they owned cats, what color their cats were...cats, cats, cats.  But they weren't talking about cats.  What I remember most about that day was the moment it became clear that "cats" were symbolic of something else.  And how every girl wanted to sink into the floor.  Become invisible.  Be left alone.  Be left the hell alone.

This type of thing was par for the course.  No one complained.  No one stood up.  No one punched anyone in the face or the privates....filed lawsuits, pressed charges.

Why did we let it continue?

Where were the grownups? 

Where the hell were the grownups?

I'll tell you where.  I am right here.  I didn't realize how mad this would make me as I pull these thoughts out of my head. 

Here's what I'm going to do about it:  I'm going to teach my girl to be bold.  I will give her the words to say...."knock it off." "Not cool." "What do you mean by that?"  And I'm going to be the one to hold feet to the fire.  Sexual harassment is against the law.  These boys grow into men-like people that think it's okay to blur the line.  It is not okay.  It wasn't okay then, and it's most definitely not okay today.  Someone has got to show them that the line isn't a line.  It's a wall.  An immovable wall.  I want to electrify the wall, fill it with porcupine quills. 

And also?

I birthed boys.  Who will know these things.  They will know that girls are not objects.  That everyone deserves respect and to be treated with dignity.  And should they ever, EVER, try and get away with harassment, innuendo, crude and objectifying behavior?  No one will come down harder on them than their mama. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

h k j a

Growing up with three sisters was pretty great.  There were always socks in someone else's drawer when there were none in your own.  If you hated all your clothes, you just walked to the next nearest closet and picked something out.  And if your sister got mad, you reminded her that if she didn't share, neither would you.  Same thing with shoes, bikes, makeup, hairspray...
If you started too get full of yourself, you always had someone who would help you deflate.  But if you were having a rough day, they would help make it even rougher.  Kidding. 
I was only four, but I remember when my babiest sister came home from the hospital.  We pulled blankets around the floor of her crib to be near her while she slept.  And we had to be very quiet until she woke up.  So we quietly jiggled the crib, hoping she would wake up and we could hold her.  Our real live baby.
Today is her birthday. 
She's 31. 
We're all old ladies now. 
Time for burgundy hair and big jewelry.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

now, with 20% more sass

painting, painting, painting.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

kitchen studio

One day I won't make meals in my studio. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

no chickens

We like to pack up our crew after baths and jammies and drive out into the country.  We look for things like deer and hawks and fox and coyotes. 

And land.

And houses.

With sturdy old barns to convert into a workshop and studio.

It's fun to dream about 'one day.'  Sometimes I imagine that we'll drive by the perfect place, on the edge of a hill, partially surrounded by a grove of trees with a river running through it...and that Santa from Miracle on 34th street will be standing out in front and he'll toss us the keys.  It'll have a golden retriever puppy and some barn cats.  Maybe a little horse.  An old slow kind little horse.  Also a woolly sheep.  And a goat that likes to stand on top of things.  But no chickens. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

dining room walls

If they were full before, they're bursting now.
 Getting ready for a show.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Peter and Gwendolynne

:: for Annie ::


Monday, January 21, 2013

it is swell with my soul

I started the new year with lofty goals of losing weight and being more intentional.  Which are the exact same goals I have set for myself every year since 1997.  Maybe there was an Oprah show about it back then. 

I don't know if it's taken me this long to finally get comfortable in my own skin?  I feel like I'm finally at a place where I'm content.  I don't live up to my own imagined standards of perfection, but it's okay.  My kids are all great in spite of me.  My house will never be featured in a magazine.  I would never want the people I went to art school with to critique my stuff, and I don't ever want to wear a swimsuit in front of anyone but the other moms at the kiddie pool.  And I'm okay with all that.

When people that I haven't seen in a few years ask what I've been up to and I say, "Oh, you know, the same sort of thing as before."  That's okay.  Because life this way is pretty swell.