Archive for March, 2008

Deadlines! Ack!

Monday, March 31st, 2008

I have spent yesterday and today back in the studio. I have had lots of fun and have made a huge mess. It is time to unveil the latest Twelve X Twelve piece. The theme was community. I have really stressed about this, but in the end, I like the piece that I did. It is simple and abstract, but illustrates the theme. It is titled, “Birds of a Feather.”

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Here is a detail:

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In my research for this, I found several sites on Flickr devoted to birds on a wire. There are thousands of photos. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to do a landscape or a cityscape. In the end, the ability to abstract a cityscape and use some of my commercial geometrics won.

It was also the deadline for submitting jpegs for Virginia Spiegels Collage Mania to benefit the American Cancer Society. The collages go on sale starting May 5th. Here are the ones I submitted. I don’t know if they will make the cut or not.

Kimono Collage:

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Cherry Blossom Pink:

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Bamboo Fence:

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I am exhausted. The house is a disaster. We have no clean clothes. There is no food in the house. We have to take our cars in for inspection and renew the registration tomorrow. I need a good night’s sleep so that I can get caught up with my life.

Sort of Back in the Studio

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

I am having a hard time getting my mojo back. I have some deadlines coming up really soon. I have not felt particularly motivated to be creative. The weather in Portland has ranged from sun breaks to snow to hail to pouring buckets of rain. Here is proof of the snow on our deck:

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Here are the plans that my son made for my veggie garden.

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The space is sort of a triangle which borders our neighbor’s fence. We are going to plant berries along the fence. There will be new steps on the right as this is on a lower level behind the house. Can’t wait for this to happen.

Here are some sneak peaks of things I have been doing in the studio. I painted some commercial fabric because I needed some darker tones. The fabric underneath is the original.

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Here is another sneak peak of something I have been working on.

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I am off to get my beauty sleep so that I can get lots of work done tomorrow.

I’ve Been Cooking

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Today is Mark & Jayme’s last day with us so we celebrated Stephanie’s birthday tonight. Her actual birthday is on Sunday.

This morning we awoke to slushy snow flurries. Can you see the snow? If you look closely, you can see two large vessels next to the garage. We picked those out yesterday. They will become a lovely fountain with bubbling water.

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Stephanie does not like regular cake with frosting. She loves pound cake. I made these pound cake cupcakes with chocolate chunks this morning.

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Mark, Jayme, Steph and the kids went on an excursion to the Pittock Mansion and a hike in Forest Park this afternoon. I cooked. For starters, I made artichokes.

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I tried to make foods that Stephanie loves. She requested salmon. I marinated it in an Asian marinade with mint.

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I made a fabulous rice pilaf with wild and brown rice, butternut squash, onion, apples, cumin, curry and dried cranberries. It was really good.

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Here is the Asian slaw with mint and stir fried sugar snap peas.

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Here are the wiped out adventurers, waiting for dinner.

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And, finally, the cupcakes served with ice cream, hot fudge sauce and a candle.

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I have enjoyed the week with family, but I am looking forward to getting back to my routine.

Good Family Times

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

I have been busy hanging out with Jayme and Mark, who arrived on Sunday. We had a nice Easter dinner on Sunday night. On Monday night, we ventured out to Le Pigeon, a newish and much talked about new restaurant in SE Portland. The chef has a big imagination and a quirky food sense. He loves to use organ meats in strange ways. We had four starters – one was foie gras on banana bread with grilled banana and peanuts. It sounds bizarre, but it was quite delicious. My favorite was grilled scallops with tongue and a slaw. For my main course, I had grilled Arctic Char, celeriac slaw and oysters. One of the desserts was a cornbread cake with maple ice cream and caramelized bacon bits. It was fun and adventurous, but I don’t plan to go back any time soon.

Yesterday, Mark did some planning for my my backyard kitchen garden. The plans look fantastic. I can’t wait for it to happen. I will take a photo of the plans tomorrow and post it. It is too late tonight. I went to the airport to pick up Steph, Jack and M & M, back from North Carolina. They were tired from a long travel day so I just dropped them at home.

I am feeling like such the computer geek. I have spent a lot of time this week updating my website. I still have more to do. I also want to update my blog links. They are very out of date. I also had a lot of other web work to do for SDA and the church youth web pages. So my day was spent in front of the computer. All I needed was a bag of
Skittles and I would not have had to come upstairs!!

The rest of the family had more fun than me. First, there was a scavenger hunt. Here are the lists of things to find.

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Mark took photos of the excursion for me.

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Mark & Jayme gave the kids some books. One was a cook book and so they decided to make a chocolate cake.

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Enjoying the fruits of their labors.

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To top off the day, everyone pitched in and made pizzas for our supper.

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It was a great day. I got lots of work done and still had my family around to entertain me.

Happy Easter

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

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Mr C and I attended Easter Vigil last night and since we have no family around this morning, we volunteered to help prepare and serve the Trinity Easter dinner to our friends from the community. I was also the official photographer so I thought I would share some with you. It was so much fun to do this – to work with other folks – to see the happy faces eating a plate full of warm food, warm and dry for a short time.

I helped slice pies and butter rolls.

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This is Cheryl and Melanie, my food prep partners. Melanie is new to art quilting. I think we have a lot in common – she likes using vintage Japanese fabrics and silk.

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Here are the men at work:

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Mr C is pretty handy in the kitchen. He sliced ham and layered it with fresh orange slices, cloves and pineapple before it went into the oven for heating.

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Here are some shots from around the kitchen.

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Here is the dining room:

Before:

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After:

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One of our guests wore her Easter bonnet:

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I took these shots of the courtyard through the windows:

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I had a wonderful Obama moment with the guest wearing this pin. He is an elderly black man who is so excited about Obama. I could really relate!!

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Now, we are waiting for Mark and Jayme to arrive from San Francisco. I am making grilled butterflied leg of lamb, rosemary roasted potatoes, roasted rainbow beets, green beans, and salad. No special dessert, but there is ice cream in the freezer.