Monday, May 31, 2010

in the apothecary

bottled emotions
there are instructions
For safe use by adults (keep away from children).
do not ingest accidentally
Included: worry, grief, rage, bitterness, anxiety, sorrow, and panic. And joy.
Did I cover everything? I have a few more pretty little bottles. I think the knobs should have glitter or gold leaf or something. A work in progress...

Oh wait, I need to add 'fear', right? The biggest bottle. I fear oil in the Gulf most of all currently.

I saw something similar somewhere out there on the internet and was inspired to put my bottle collection to good use. (sorry to have lost the link)

I like to watch stop motion films~ CompostModern Interstitial

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Peony debris

peony debris and bowl of bullets with shard
A Japanese friend was visiting once and loved peonies so much that she scooped up the pile of petals from the table and took them back to Japan with her. 
the bird watcher's table with peonies
It increased my appreciation for their beauty so now I leave them until they turn brown.

Isamu Noguchi is eternally inspiring.

Listen to a Swedish group performing Japanese Boy~

Friday, May 28, 2010

coffee break

chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon
new cookbook
It all started with a cookbook I got, Good To the Grain by Kim Boyce. As a former pastry chef at a French restaurant (white flour! white sugar!), I have not had much use for whole grains in baking. This cookbook is clearly changing my mind. 
whole wheat flour and chunks of dark dark chocolate
These cookies were made entirely with whole wheat flour and are really delicious and the texture was not ruined by the lack of gluten as I had feared. Instead, there are many more layers of flavor (nutty, earthy) and a pleasant rich crunchiness. It didn't hurt that I used chopped 70% dark chocolate instead of chocolate chips.
Next up~ barley flour in: strawberry scones (as soon as the local berries are ready), barley crepes, and bird crackers.

This reminds me of my dad; he even used unnecessary quotation marks with "air" quotation marks. Oh, that makes me smile.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

bath windowsill ovals

small oval dish with tropical fish
Mr.Cranky was cleaning out the cupboards (!!!) and found four stacks of oval dishes up high and in the back.
These were from a short-lived majolica phase we had about twenty-five years ago.

perfect for an individual cassoulet (7" x 4 1/2" x 2")
 I put them up along the shower/tub windowsill.

A better storage solution, no?

I can always get them back when I need to make individual servings of Danish Fish Casserole. It has a terrible sounding name, but it's delicious!

Speaking of food, here is a photo essay from the book Hungry Planet, called What the World Eats. Fascinating.

Monday, May 24, 2010

birds & leaves catalog

rufous-sided towhee
I finished my Birds &  Leaves catalog (view images here).
best display ever
 I pretty much had to get the catalog done for the Simon Toney store because they were kind enough to BUILD A HOUSE (!) in their wonderful showroom to display my little guys.
the owl is inside
Simon Toney showroom
The image above is just a small fraction of the showroom. They make custom furniture and cabinets and whatever else you might want that can be made from beautiful pieces of wood. Bill (Toney) is a genius with color and David (Simon) has an infallible sense of form. Seriously, go see what they can do, they are so creative and talented. I will try to do a decent photo shoot of the showroom one of these days when I can get my daughter with the fabulous camera to come with me. Or take a tour right here.
vines insinuate through cracks
The showroom is at 105 SE Taylor in a great huge building with high ceilings, lots of light, and filled with things you will covet.

Scotland looks so beautiful; should I make some sheep?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

terrace clean-up

bone & skull vignette on the terrace wall
Tidying up the outdoor spaces (the sun came out!) I came across this little arrangement on the wall.

moss hedgehogs
A few of these fell from the roof. I captured them and now they are my new pets. Cute, eh?

wizened garden goblin 

Weeding the garden beds, I found a money plant growing from the mouth of this sculpture that has seen better days (the headdress is almost completely broken from numerous falls). It must have been very dark in the early days of this valiant little plant.

Festive home page.

Friday, May 14, 2010

a few new things

new, taller table
I call this the Bird Watcher's Table. It's a perfect place for a morning latte or afternoon tea. I simply added an extra round to the base of one of Mr. Cranky's log and slab tables to boost the height. This was inspired by our (temporary) acquisition of some nice bar stools when our son landed back at home for a couple of months with all his stuff.
view from the Bird Watcher's Table
Mr. Cranky puts bird seed out along the top of the wall every morning and they all come and feast for a bit. This morning I was up first, so no birds were out there yet.
chicken tractor in the making
Mr. Cranky is tired of losing a hen to coyotes and raccoons from time to time, so he is building a chicken tractor to protect them. I will miss seeing them in unexpected places, foraging and having dust baths, but it does seem necessary. They will still get to forage and eat bugs and scratch about.

These guys do neat projects; scroll down to the lost book project in particular.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

success and failure(s)

yup, I'm a poor  good speller
The second Mt. Rainier tile came out perfectly. I enjoyed carving the mountain so much that I made another Mt. Rainier tile along with the one made to replace the Mt. Ranier (wince, wince, wince). Now I have one to keep.
^ in case you forgot
And now for a tour of our shard piles:
Whew, that was exhausting, right?

Unicorns can be goofy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Vignettes from around the house

coffee table with sunflowers
Mr. Cranky made the tiles for this table in the early seventies. The table was made by our very talented friends, David Simon and Bill Toney (they have a store). The pitcher with a pair of birds was made by our friends from Astoria, Michael and Lorna Zametkin. The sunflowers were from Trader Joe's and wilted way too soon. 
nice birds
My son made this clay head in middle school ceramics class. I put the little crystal on the forehead and placed it with a small sculpture made by Mr. Cranky.

Since we are using our dog kennel for a baby chick house, maybe we need one of these.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sunflower progress

getting sunflowers ready to fire
Here are the sunflower pieces glazed and ready to fire. Clearly, I didn't think this process through thoroughly. Tracking each piece individually will be a challenge. Fortunately, I will be installing these on my own house so I think I'll put them up right from the tile setters. Can you imagine boxing and shipping these somewhere? I have been procrastinating for a good reason.  Mentally revising process...

French school lunch menu, case rested.