Blog Archive for December, 2009

12/29

paint

12/11
I’m in the studio painting again today, listening to the radio and watching another storm front come in. I think this is my favorite part of my job: pulling all the abstract ideas and inspirations together and watching them turn in to a new group of prints. Today I’m working on travel and city-scapes… hopefully I’ll get to share them soon! The main challenge is not getting distracted by all the other holiday and house things I feel like I should be doing. I can’t believe it’s already December 11th! I always get so busy this time of year that I don’t get to fully turn my attention to the holidays until, like, Christmas Eve. And this year there are house projects in the mix, too. We’ve been burning the midnight oil trying to get some of them done, though. Here’s our updated project list:
-build a new trellis
-put up chair rail and crown molding in living room (nope, still not done)
-re-tile the kitchen where the microwave/hood was removed (not to code)
-line blanket closet with cedar
-paint the bedroom
-remove the bathroom vanity
-paint the bathroom
-install new vanity
-build a shed
-insulate and sheetrock the attic
-level the yard
-garden!
You may notice that the bathroom vanity has been removed, but we haven’t gotten around to installing the new one yet. Yeah, that’s been a bummer. Turns out, the one we liked (and bought) has a plumbing mechanism that’s incompatible with our water hook-ups. And I thought that would be the easy part. Silly me.
Osama “‘Sama” Moore, 1993 – 2009
I had to say good-bye, long distance, to my kitty yesterday. While the entire bird population of Minneapolis and vicinity is surely heaving a great tweet of relief right now, we will miss him terribly. He was an avid hunter (despite our efforts to keep him leashed and belled), squirrel chaser, catnip mouse lover, and sunny-spot lounger, with an independent spirit and a regal manner. Still, he found lots of time for cuddling and lap-sitting, and purred loudly when content. He was born to a feral cat in the back alleys of Uptown, Minneapolis, but was taken in by a friend one January night when the temperature dipped to -20. She couldn’t keep him, and she knew I was dying for a cat, so she passed him on to me. He was named for a friend of my roommate at the time (long before I was aware of the terrorist of the same name, just to dispel any rumors) who told me the name means “lion” in Arabic. It seemed fitting at the time, and he certainly lived up to it. After a long and cushy life, he succumbed to kidney failure, probably the result of his mad lust for corn chips. We will cherish his memory.

yellow

12/08

It never did rain yesterday, but was cold and cozy anyway. After a day of painting prints in the studio, Dave and I decided to take on the bedroom, and painted it a sunny yellow. I’m still getting used to the color, but it’s wonderfully warm and rich, and I think it’ll look really nice with the dark wood furniture. It’s been pretty funny getting up to speed on all these home projects – we now own paint rollers and extenders, grout spreaders, a miter saw (!!!)… even real spackle. Gone are the days of using toothpaste to fill picture holes.

The paint we used is Mythic from our local Ace Hardware, and I love LOVE it. It’s totally non-toxic with no VOCs, has almost no smell, and goes on nice and thick. It dries fast, too, which is a bonus. Plus, their graphic design is fabulous. Check it out for your next DIY paint job!

yellow

12/08

cozy…

12/07

… that’s how I’m feeling today. I woke up to the surprising news that snow is expected in the area today (I know, I know, I’m getting a big eye-roll from my mother and most other midwesterners, but it’s pretty rare for the bay area) and I’m having my morning coffee, listening to Vivaldi on the radio and trying to keep my toes warm. I’m working on a new collection of prints today, which means I get to stay in my studio and sketch and paint while it rains outside. Sounds like a good day to me!

We were out of cereal this morning, so I decided to use up the leftover pumpkin from Thanksgiving pies by making my mother’s fabulous pumpkin bread. It’s actually her zucchini bread recipe (which I realized I promised to share in August and never did – oops!), modified for pumpkin, and it’s delicious. She makes huge quantities of it every year, along with cranberry-orange bread, and gives it to everyone she can think of. I wish I’d taken a picture of the pumpkins before I baked them, because they were so cute, but that kind of foresight has just been too much for me lately. Here’s the recipe:

Emily’s Pumpkin Bread

To prepare the pumpkin:
Use a small thumbelina or baking pumpkin, cut into quarters and cleaned of seeds. Turn pumpkin skin-side up in a baking dish. Boil water in a kettle and add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking dish. Cook for 2+ hours in a 350 oven, adding water as necessary, until pumpkin is soft and falls away from skin easily. Let cool and scoop out pumpkin. Process in a blender or food processor until smooth. Or you can just use the canned kind.

Ingredients:
3 eggs, well beaten
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. clove
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Mix iin the order given. Pour into greased loaf pans and bake 1 hour at 350 Makes 2 loaves.

… and breakfast!

While I’m at it (and on the cozy theme), here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving that I meant to upload last week. We had such a nice time, and a delicious feast. We cooked all day, as well as a good deal of prepping the night before, and I was struck by how fulfilling it was to take the time to really focus on preparing the food and making a beautiful meal. One good way to honor and give thanks for the food that we are lucky enough to have access to.