Sunday, February 28, 2010

Profile #3

I'm particularily fond of this profile. It is one I designed after a moulding I had seen around a painting at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison (referenced in my post on Nov. 16, 2009). This, along with the others shown, my dad created for me.

Get the flash player here:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm feeling the bug....

Up until now I haven't had much of an urge, desire to be inspired by the seed catalogs that have come in mail. Well, that all changed when my co-worker shared the "Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds" catalog with me the other day. What a glorious catalog to behold! and one that has a story that is inspiring in all of it's own..... Oh, what to purchase... Which would be more inspiring? Would it be the Moonshadow Hyacinth Bean or the Gherkin Spiny Burr (gourd shown above)? though perhaps the Delica Thorn (also a gourd (yes, I'm a sucker for those gourds!)) would be..... Hmmmm.... such choices there are! I definitely think the Tassel Flower (aka "Flora's Paintbrush" in Victorian times) would be a nice addition to my summer bouquets... Such a decision will need to be as the greenhouse at the farm is gearing up for the season.... So stay tuned and we'll both see what sprouts    :)

On a side note, I would love to travel and see the 'Seed Bank' in Petaluma, California. What an amazing place it sounds to be!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

George approved....

Cake seems to be the choice of baking lately. I think I've been trying a new recipe every week. Although the name, "Everyday Yogurt Cake", sounds a bit boring, the recipe below is perfect with freshly whipped cream and seasonal fruit. See what you think  :)

2 cups of flour, unbleached, all-purpose
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt or lowfat yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9" round cake pan and dust it with flour, knocking out any extra. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top of the cake is light golden and toothpick inserted into the center is clean, about 40 minutes. Let the cake cook in the pan for about 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right-side up on a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar, then slice and serve.

George, my dog, approved - he helped himself to the leftovers..... oops!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hand-finishing frame #1

Almost 34" long this frame is quite substantial. I love how it came together!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

All 22+ pounds worth....

This is one of Tilly's piglets. You'd think they would be cuddly because they are so cute, but instead they are surprisingly bristly - and especially squirmy - as you try to hold them. Right now they are gaining a bit over a pound a day!

(You can look back to my posting on January 19th, the day they were born at about 3 pounds each....)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Wonder of Wax

I realized the other day the amount of 'wax' I have going on in my art right now: the 'wax sealsignature I sign my work with, the 'cold wax medium' I use on my oil paintings over the varnish, the 'paste finishing wax' I am using on my hand-finished frames, and last, but not least, my latest exploration into the world of 'encaustic painting'. Curious at first, yet so right it feels, for my work to include this natural wonder in whatever it's form....

As you may know, beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees. It has been around and used for any number of purposes for over a thousand years. We are very fortunate these little worker bees are still around. They do more than make the world go around..... Thank you wax-making bees!!