Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

The open-house at the boutique where I work BoMo...(short for Bohemian Modern) was my official kickoff to the holiday season.
Getting out the glitter and garland put me in the spirit as did dipping dozens of cherries in chocolate. I invented a new appetizer that everyone was into.... Curry Carrot Cashew with Endive. I'll work on the name... I made a couple dozen ornaments to decorate with as well as filled old jars and bottles with this gorgeous glitter that i acquired a few years ago. I have 3 big barrels of the stuff and its been used for many projects and art MFA exhibit, etc. Tomorrow is the opening reception for our painting show DULCE y GUAPO and then we are going up to MN on Tuesday for Thanksgiving with my family. I've spent Thanksgiving with Aaron's family for the past 7 years so we are looking forward to sharing the table with my peeps. Its just crazy to think that this time last year we were in Costa Rica starting this blog...and eating a roast chicken in the jungle and later catching a scorpion. wow. a lot has happened since then.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Why I haven't been blogging...

I feel like I've been writing blogs in my head and not sitting down to type. Lately I feel like I am running in too many directions and multi-tasking all along the way. Its all GOOD STUFF that I'm up to, its just A LOT. Multiple upcoming Holiday art/craft sales, decorating for an open house at work, catering the open house, yoga, canning pickles, taking Osa on long walks, baking at the Casbah market, endless laundry, etc. meanwhile Aaron and I have an art show that opens on Sunday that we are finishing working on and gearing up to cater as well.
He and I just decided that maybe in 2009 we can have evenings that are free. When we lived in California we didn't really know anyone so our nights were always all ours. I'm not really complaining. I just want to read a book and chill out. Soon, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hungry Cellar 10-25-08

A very special evening. Its thrilling to see the reward of days of planning, shopping, cooking, shlepping tables & chairs, ironing tablecloths, etc. take place before your very eyes. I love the way food and wine open up new possibilities for conversation, connection and resonance. Becca's words were thoughtful, provoking and revealing. Suzannah's music.....well, it sorta breaks my heart how beautiful it is. really. thanks for everyone's support. We've got a good thing going.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Recent Shooting: A photography exhibition

This weekend my photo show opened at the Percolator Gallery in Lawrence. I take photographs all the time but don't ever really consider it one of my mediums when I describe who I am/what I make. So it was great to team up with 2 other photographers and hang some pics on the wall. The opening was a festive event....lots of people showed up to share art, beer and conversation. Taking photos is a way to document existence. Shooting visual reminders of ordinary moments is my way to focus on the beauty that surrounds me and holds me up even when life snaps its scary jaws.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

mi familia

A couple weekends ago my parents and Haley came to visit. I love how much my parents and my niece are real pals. They really do get along famously. I had a big catering gig but they had agreed prior to their arrival that they would gladly pitch in and help out. I couldn't have done it without them. Well, of course i COULD have, but it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun or stress-free. Mom helped with all kinds of tasks...peeling pears, baking cookies, flower arranging, and most appreciated was the washing of numerous sinkfuls of dirty dishes. Dad trimmed and chopped vegetables, and ran errands to pick up rental stuff, bread, etc. Aaron filled in all the gaps. Haley DJ'd the entire operation. It was a great success.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hungry Cellar 9-13-08

A clandestine evening that began with a double rainbow over Massachusetts Street. Candelabras and conversation. A super-special-secret-supperclub. For those that were there, here is one of the three miniature panna cotta that survived the mishap in the walk-in. What a wonderful night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall is Falling

Lately the weather has been making me feel so happy. I love when I can wear knee-high smartwool socks and sweatshirts. It may not be quite that cool yet, but we're getting close. Time for red wine and bonfires. Sleeping with the windows open is lovely. Even Osa seems happier and extra snuggly. Just pausing to acknowledge the small, good things around me. Falling leaves, a full moon, and a happy home.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Settling In

We moved into our new apartment at 916 Kentucky St. Apt. #2 the first weekend in August. Needless to say, it was really hot. We had the moving truck rented for 4 hours, and with the help of our dear friends Spinny and Cory we did it! Its equally daunting
and encouraging to know that everything you own (save for my blue piano) fits into a 15 foot moving truck. We're still unpacking boxes but that part is actually enjoyable. We love our new space, we both have studios and lots of natural light. We looked at this spot over 6 years ago but it was in horrible condition and since has been completely renovated. It underlines the fact that we need to trust in the timing of things and that everything eventually comes full circle.

Monday, July 21, 2008


My friend Jen is a producer for Hallmark magazine. She just returned from the central coast of California where the magazine did a shoot at Mas Masumoto's peach farm. There was a celebration for the 40th birthday of the Sun Crest peach which is a variety that we in the midwest don't ever see, as they are tree ripened and do not travel this far. Jen came back full of stories and inspiration. She also came back with a box of peaches. Words do not describe these beautiful delicious gems. They taste like pure, sweet, sunshine. Ah, California.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Day of Cake

On the 4th of July one of my best friend's father and his twin brother celebrated their 70th birthday. I was asked to make a cake for the party. I made a coconut cream cake with lemon lime curd between the 3 layers, "frosted" it with lemony whipped cream, covered it with toasted coconut and decorated it with citrus colored zinnias from the Farmer's Market and fresh basil from the garden. While I was in the kitchen, Aaron was in the basement making his own cake....out of cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls which he painted. It barely fit in the car. Sparklers gave it a birthday candle effect and it was really awesome! Happy Birthday Twins and Happy Birthday America!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Climbing the Ladder

After a move across the country, there are pieces to fit back together in order to determine the new shape of our lives. We are thrilled to be back in Lawrence and although it is familiar and comfortable in many ways, we are commited to creating new challenges, habits and patterns. We didn't travel this far to land right in the spot we left. As we search for jobs and opportunities to set the pace and flow of funds, I have to face head on the reality that the only ladder I'm meant to climb is the one right here in front of me. Its an imaginary ladder of sorts but its all about me setting new standards for my art, and seeking ways to sustain a lifestyle built on integrity and expression of spirit and soul. The universe is pushing me to walk my talk and TRUST that when you are doing what you really need to be doing, opportunity knocks.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

the whole truth

Okay everybody, now that we've been back home for a couple weeks its time to tell the truth about WHY. Yes, we missed our families and friends. Yes, we want to contribute to the art community in the place we are from instead of being expats on the coast. Yes, we hope to actually stop renting in a year or so and buy a house which probably couldn't happen in California. Its true we almost didn't come back on account of the chiggers and the humidity. But the clincher? The icing on this cake? The midwest is the BEST place for pack rat junk collectors such as me. I've already gone to a handfull of flea markets and auctions and I am thrilled to be back at it. Keep in mind we haven't even moved into our place yet, so I've totally held back. Remember that phase I went through... wanting to be minimal? Was that really me? These pics are LOOKS like a treasure chest. We came across this joint in Oregon, and well......we walked away with nothing more than dirty hands from digging around. I swear.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Weather is a big obsession for my family in Minnesota. Conversations often begin with "I hope it rains today." Or, "I hope it doesn't rain today." There are many variations such as "I hope it rains today....a nice gentle rain". And on and on. I've been paying attention to the clouds lately. Maybe my cloud gazing is the residual after-effects of being the daughter of a woman who (according to my dad) has a crush on the automated weatherman robot on the radio. Being with my family this summer reinforced that my parents are obsessed with what falls from the sky. Here are some of my cloud pictures I took while on the road from the west to the midwest.

Monday, June 23, 2008

We're back where we began... yet beyond...

So, its been awhile since we tapped out any stories. There have been many adventures since our last posting in April so here's the condensed version... Our dear friends Mel and Jen came to visit from Lawrence for a long weekend. In between picnicking on crab legs and cold white wine in the forest and cruising in a '66 Bonneville convertible to the coast, we had some heart to heart conversations that led to clarity. After much careful consideration and dissecting of options, Aaron and I decided we wanted to move back to the midwest. The nutshell answer or WHY? is that our families and community in Lawrence mean more to us than the jaw-dropping beauty and energy of the Golden State. So on May 2 we pulled away from our cottage in the woods and headed north. We camped out and had such a terrific journey from CA to OR. We got to Portland where we were thrilled to meet Ivan Lee Arthur Winters....all of six days old. Our friends Kjirsten and James are the proud new parents. We got to spend some special, quality time with our friends there...B&B, Matt & Britta, Jessie, etc. Aaron turned 30 and we celebrated with an over-the-top deliciously inspired feast at Toro Bravo. We came soooo close to just stopping the journey there and calling Portland home....but......we headed east and spent another week on the road. We hit hotsprings in Idaho and Montana, explored Yellowstone National Park, The Badlands, reconnected with an old friend from highschool, made perfect omelettes over the campfire in the cast iron skillet, visited vineyards, saw the most incredible double rainbow against a backdrop of mountains, spent one night camping on the side of the interstate after the Chinook's battery exploded, and on and on.......essentially we had a fantastic trip. We stopped for some 5 cent coffee and a lame piece of pie at Wall Drug, were mystified and bewildered by the Corn Palace in South Dakota, and surprised my parents in Minnesota right around dinner time. We stayed with them for 3 weeks, helping out with lots of gardening, front step building, tree trimming, planting, etc. We transplanted thousands of native prairie plants for my brother Kyle and got to spend some quality time with him and his lady Crystal. We also got to connect with my aunt and uncle, cousins, grandma, and some of my old minnesota friends. We had 2 sleepovers with my niece Haley and spent a little time with Lindsey and Will. All in all a good time. We arrived in Lawrence just in time to celebrate my 36th birthday and reconnect with many friends that night, as there were a couple of art openings happening downtown and it felt great to just jump into the stream of Lawrence life. We went to Hiawatha for a few days after that to visit Aaron's family which was to meet our new niece Willow Ann. So, things are taking shape & moving in new directions with more intention, ambition and inspiration than we've felt in awhile. This is beginning to feel like an annual holiday letter so before I delete it, I'm shooting it into the internet ether....more soon.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Around the Town

There are arguments you can make for posh places of leisure. You feel important as you lean into the marble topped bar to request a manhattan with sazurac. You surmise you look good as you glance in the mirror and notice the finacially stable inhabitants( you do not count yourself) of this swank place also looking good. You feign relaxation. You laugh and sip your fine cocktail and when the tab comes, you behave like everything is normal and you won't have to pawn your guitar in the morning before the bank opens. I have enjoyed a couple of drinks in the Chateau Marmont or the Standard rooftop because we all love to feel glamorous even if we know its a sucker's paradise.
Then there are the inspired spots in your neighborhood that feel like mother's milk. Comfortable as oatmeal and real as a BLT. We came across a couple of these nooks as we ran around Berkeley and Oakland this weekend. The first place aptly titled "The Pub" was a converted house filled with odds and ends of furniture that served inspired draft beer from around the area along with a couple of English classics to justify the pub thing. Common enough for a bar to serve beer, I know. However, they also sold antique, carved smoking pipes, cigarettte holders, cases, and other smoking ephemera from finer times-all under an old jewelry store counter. The kicker is you can buy single cigarettes that you roll yourself with a choice from several glass jars full of loose leaf tobacco ranging from turkey,england, amsterdam, and us. Say what you will about not smoking in a bar and I will agree with you most of the time, but being able to buy good tobacco and smoke it outside with your pint is part of a tradition I will not interfer with...
Mama Buzz is a lived- in, lightfilled 2 room cafe withmismatched tables and good art on the walls. There is a back covered patio and a counter with swivel stools, which goes a long way in my book, squeezed into the room opening to the street. The barkeep had a showing of quiet, sexy drawings of women from the soft glow seventies,which we loved. It's located amongst the slew of galleries that make up the downtown oakland scene so ya know it's jammin with sweaty beauties and freaky street people just following the crowd on certain evenings. We had passionfruit iced tea. What will you have?

Taqueria Tremors

A city is like a vacuum cleaner attached to your wallet. If they could figure out how to charge you for breathing the air of the streets, the city planners would initiate oxygen maids making sure you had your ticket to breathe. no ticket. no air. no exceptions...Having said this, eating in an urban area can be easier on the bank book than say, putting gas in your car. This holds especially true in small, ethnic eateries. We found this little joint nestled next to the Triple Base Gallery in the Mission district. The music and smells wafting out the door hooked us like little puppies. It was then we saw the $1.50 tacos sign and we fell apart completely. This guy had a wheel shaped grill that was sectioned off for the various meats( pork, beef, chorizo) and the hub in the middle was a griddle for tortillas. Our man worked fast and before we could say," gracias, amigo," we had a paper plate filled with dripping street food... and sliced radishes to boot, for those of ya in the know. Bottled coca cola is a necessary companion in these scenarios. Places like these always feel a bit tattered and comfortable and jumping with happy eaters stuffing their faces and talking while chewing.Guilty as charged. Kendra even folded her plated in half and guided the left over salsa directly down her throat. I cannot think of a higher compliment.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Some of you know this about me: I have a list that I have kept since I was young that is a wish list of sorts. I update it from time to time but it consists of things I want to have, or things I want to do, as well as things I want to learn. Well one thing that never changes on the list is that I want to have a lemon tree. I love lemons. In fact, when my grandparents used to visit us from Arizona they would bring us boxes of lemons and I would take them quartered and sliced in a plastic bag to eat at lunch. Sour.
So I may not yet have my own lemon tree but I am getting close. We made some new friends last week and they invited us over to pick as many lemons as we need, whenever we need. We picked 98 meyer lemons the other day and have since made lemon cookies, rosemary lemonade, lemon sorbet, gin cocktails with lemons, preserved lemons and tonight I secured a recipe from my friend Jen for Limoncello. Italian style.
I love lemons.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring has sprung

Spring is in the air. Last night we walked around a really pretty neighborhood in Santa Cruz before going to an art opening. There were so many incredible flowering trees and shrubs and gorgeous blooms. The air smells positively sweet and we are anxiously awaiting the opening of thousands of fragrant jasmine buds that cover an area of our yard.
This morning we ate breakfast at our friends Maureen & Eddie's house and walked down to Pleasure Point to watch a surfing competition. Pretty amazing. I'm impressed....the waves are HUGE!!! We saw a pod of porpoise as well as sea lions. Its all still surreal. Then we went to a plant nursery not to far from our house...a farm called "Love Apple Farm". It was many things growing and ready to transplant, as well as things fully mature in the garden plots. HAPPY SPRING!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Family Ties

My parents and my 9 year old niece came out to visit. It was Haley's spring break and she and I were co-conspirators in making this trip happen. Even tho Aaron & I would be excited to have ANY friends and family visit us, for some reason my nieces above everyone else are who I really want to see out here. They left yesterday, and needless to say I really really really miss my family. SO, I decided to post a blog about our time together, not only to share a synopsis, but to lure our other loved ones to come out and share in the beauty. It was so AWESOME to be the ones to introduce Haley to the ocean for the first time. And she met the wondrous sea with enthusiasm. Tho it was only 47 degrees in the water, she convinced my dad and Aaron both to get wet. I took my shoes and socks off, but there was no way I was going deeper. Mom cheered us all on.
I put a lot of thought into how to construct our week together and I gotta say, it was all executed with good cheer and fun. From hikes in 2 of our favorite state parks to a boat ride around the Bay and under the Golden Gate bridge to a vegan meal at a secret cafe in Berkeley, I feel like our time was really solid. I gotta just say that Aaron makes such a stellar uncle. He painted a little mural on the ceiling for the sleep-outs in the Chinook, and helped Haley win 29 plastic jumping frogs at the arcade on the Santa Cruz boardwalk.
We feel so lucky to have had this time together...never before have I gotten to explore tidal pools with my parents, eat picnics in the redwood forest and on the beach, stop by roadside farm stands and buy artichokes and strawberries, stay in a great roadhouse inn within spitting distance of the ocean and all around have a truly memorable time. I feel grateful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

sour-dough, french, multi-grain or rye?

I quit my job. I was working at a great natural foods market called New Leaf in a tiny mountain town near where we live. I was working in the delicatessen, doing prep work for the cooks as well as making sandwiches. I had high hopes for things going a certain way, a different way than they did. I mean I have so much experience making food....doing freelance catering, personal chef work etc. Not to mention my artistic ideas for creating cool signage, and making an overall positive contribution in whatever way I could. BUT needless to say this job did not turn out to be too rewarding other than a paycheck and the free food that I scored out of the compost and culls. I'll just sum it up by saying POOR MANAGEMENT. LOW MORALE. I left work feeling exhausted and drained. I cannot tell you how sick I am of making sandwiches. My last day someone ordered this disgusting combo: egg salad AND tuna salad mixed together with pepper jack cheese on a sweet roll. But I cheerfully assembled the order, wrapped it in white paper, cut it in half, wrapped it again in brown paper and handed it over with a smile and an "ENJOY".
Pictured here are some of the scrap papers with sandwich orders scrawled on them. We all had our own codes and abbreviations for writing down the orders. At the end of the day there would be a pile of these in a basket. The other picture is of all the plastic ties from the bread bags. I saved them the entire time I worked there. Each one stands for a loaf of bread that I parceled out into an array of sandwiches....the variety so individualized it is sort of maddening. I mean, really. But in certain ways I found it quite revealing. I swear, its a certain type that orders tuna salad with extra mayo, another type that orders BBQ beef with extra pepperoncini. And of course there are the "Fakin' Bacon" people who always want vegan aioli instead of mayo, lots of sprouts and invariably want something "on the side".
There was a guy who came in almost every day and would stare at the sandwich board and act indecisive but always end up with the same turkey pastrami and swiss on sprouted wheat, no onions, but everything else. For now I'm investing my time into my art and looking for some more inspiring options to make money. Now I can add "sandwich artist" to my resume.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chris Johanson Opening

We still feel new enough to the bay area that when we hear or read of something cool happening in San Francisco we think to ourselves,"if we were closer...." Well, it turns out, we are close. Close enough that if we didn't go to the said thing we really, really wanted to see or hear because we had to work in the morning or were just plain lazy, we would be those old people we swear we aren't becoming. So, upon finding out there would be a Chris Johanson opening downtown at the Jack Hanley Gallery( a mere hour and a half drive from door to door if the traffic's with you), we shook our sugar trees and made it happen. The art world was our oyster as I made a semi aggressive move onto a downtown street like any other urban trafficker enacts multiple times daily. Wrong! Johny Traffic Copper was there to make me pay for such an obviously violent act while the rest of the city waited calmly and obediently for lights to change, paychecks to come in, and class disparity to be resolved. So, ticket in hand, we rolled into a very hip happening. The crowd spilling out onto the sidewalk looked several years younger and a few degrees cooler than these two country bumpkins. Once inside, the smell of fresh interior wall paint and street sweat hit the olfactories hard enough to cause a shared glance amongst ourselves. Chris's work was hung up in the most intentionally frustrating way I've ever seen an art show hung. In what amounted to an elaborate but roughly hewn cattle loading shoot, the paintings and drawings were put up too close to get back from and-in the jammin' situation-there was little room to linger or turn back and you can forget about an untied shoelace. In certain places 2x4s ran their length at chest level and one had to duck under the drawings attached to these pieces of poorly painted wood and pop up on the other side to see a couple of drawings one had no hope of seeing very well. Johanson comes from the Beautiful Losers school which spawned Barry Mcgee and Margaret Kilgallen, so in this scene our man is a star. a celebrity. a VIP. a somebody. His work is that of an outsider's insider and full of dead on existentialism gleaned from skating and living amongst the daily grind of poverty and anonymity that used to define the urban art experience. It's as though he took all the mad ramblings of dudes you sit next to on the bus or avoid eye contact with on the street and whittled it all down to the bone. the funny bone. Then put it on paper in the simplest, most naive, most irreverent, most truthful manner. All of which is fine until you start selling wrinkled pieces of paper sack with five minute paintings on them for seven thouand dollars. Then and only then do I get confused about what matters and what's authentic and what's exploitation. Mostly, though, it made us consider the fragile equation of where you live affecting how you make your art about who or what you make your art for who comes to see your art and why both you or they bother with any of it... then, we walked down the block to Mi Lindo Yucatan and comforted our questions with brazos de reina and salbutes and negra modelos. We toasted to our bafflement with the art establishment and some soon to come clarity. this hole in the wall was so cool, the waitress didn't even let those high heeled, soy latte drinkin', couture wearin' marin county art groupie broads who are so used to getting their way in to pee in their bathroom. we drank to that, too.