Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday morning breakfast at La Note.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gocco Printing This Weekend at the^workshop

This Sat from 1-4 take Gocco Printing with me at the^workshop. Learn how to use this Japanese silk screening machine to make your own custom tea towels, patches and more!
Sign up today while there is still space, and go home Saturday with oodles of custom printed goodies!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quick and Easy Leek and Goat Cheese Tarts

I had some puff pastry in the freezer and decided to make these quick tarts.
3 leeks (the white part cut into thin strips) sauteed with several tblsp salted butter, a bit of white wine, and black pepper and rosemary to taste. If you keep the lid on while the leeks sautee, they become really creamy. Cut puff pastry into square and press into muffin tin (no need to grease if tin is non-stick). Add buttery leak mixture into each cup shaped tart. sprinkle with goat cheese and bake at 375 for about 20 min. They were delicious!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Paste Paper Class

Taught a Paste Paper class at Paper Source in Berkeley on Wednesday night. I actually did some paper myself, whereas I usually just instruct and watch. I made a handful of 8.5 x 11 sheets and liked these pink ones. I was kind of in a woodgrain as plaid mood. They'd be great for collage or paper dolls! Also good for book binding and crafts!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Available for purchase at my etsy shop here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Halloween Witches

More Halloween witches....

I definitely have the bug!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Something stirring...

My favorite holiday is Halloween, probably because its always been a huge holiday for my family.
My Mom is obsessed with all things spooky, black and orange. My Dad said that when he and my Mom were dating she made him gather up a bunch of dead leaves to scatter on their front lawn for Halloween night; that was just the beginning...
Since I was a kid my Mom always threw these massive Halloween parties, fancy dress required, and after some years of months of planning and preparation she finally decided people should bring a dish too. The night of, she would force my Dad (who's idea of participation was to watch TV in the dark) to turn off all the lights for atmosphere,while my brother and I hurried outside to put fresh glow sticks in all the monsters' eyes my Mom had been building since August.
Every year the theme was different. The back yard was once the gondola hollows from Phantom of the Opera, complete with boat and characters and fog rolling in from a series of machines strategically placed in the yard. Another year Aliens landed, a 15 foot spaceship with racing lights parked next to the deck. A skeletal version of Titanic is to be remembered along with a 15 foot dinner party which sat among other guests, Monica and Bill right after their scandal.
The whole neighborhood was involved. People would help starting mid August in the construction of mummies, vampires and the like. One neighbor even constructed a massive Ferris wheel made of PVC pipe that actually spun and was lighted with Halloween Xmas lights for a carnival themed scene. Much to my Father's horror, the PVC monstrosity sat naked in our back yard for several seasons after.
These parties have since ceased after me going to college, and my Mom's energy burning out from years of constructing almost everything on her own. While neighbors helped, the rest of my family (me included) sat spectator side, offering glasses of ice tea intermittently throughout the hot afternoon. Her enthusiasm and love for the holiday is catching and I still shriek with delight at the first sign of Fall decorations appearing in retail and craft stores many months too soon.
Now as a semi-adult, I enjoy carrying on certain traditions. A trip to the pumpkin patch, the opening night for Halloween items at Gaslight Emporium, and of course Halloween paper crafts that I usually make for my Mom. My Mom was my teacher and is my partner in crime when it comes to all things Halloween. Afterall, she's the only person I know who has a lifesized butler who looks like he came from the Addams Family at attention in her dining room all year round.

I have been gathering Halloween things for the past week, and made this paper doll today. I hope to teach some workshops on Halloween crafts, and pass on the bug to all who want to be bitten.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's for dinner?

I bought these beautiful beets to watercolor, but wound up cooking them instead. There was a recipe for goat cheese and beet tart from Martha (good luck finding it on her website, because I couldn't). The pate brisee recipe she has is wonderful and works for both savory and sweet pies and tarts. This dish turned our beautifully, and tastes pretty good too. The only odd thing is the purple beets are so shockingly magenta that when they hit the melting goat cheese, the dish turns hot pink. Slicing this up looks like left over birthday cake...not so appetizing.

Gotta love those Martha pics... I was seduced by these honey drizzled golden fritters in the current issue, little fried rosettes, honey and walnuts nestled in delicate folds. Mine don't look as dainty, but they are pretty delicious. They remind me of the loukoumades I would get from the Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church in the Oakland hills.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Monterey Bay Aquarium

So I'm about a week behind in my posts, but wanted to share some pics with you all from my visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Having grown up in the Bay Area, I've been to this aquarium a dozen or so times, but never realized how amazing it is until I became and adult (if you can call me that). My reason for going there is always the Jellies. They are truly breathtaking!
It doesn't matter how many people are crowded around the tanks, seeing those glowing ghostlike figures as they float in the dark is always a remarkable sight!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

watercolor melon

Another watercolor sketch. This one of a melon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I dropped in on Kate Weese's watercolor workshop yesterday and had so much fun. I could only stay an hour, and just didn't get enough! I picked out a couple of mangoes sitting on the table yesterday and stuck a post note on them "Do Not Eat, Want to H2O Color These."

I had the chance just now to sit down and paint the mangoes. I didn't have any watercolors here, so used gouache instead. I haven't watercolored before, but have used gouache a bit, and prefer it. I was also very interested in using salt which is one of the techniques Kate teaches in class.
I definitely could use some more practice, but I was pretty happy with the process. I need to learn patience and watercolor requires it, so it seems like a good thing to do right now.

Estate Sale Finds

Went to two estate sales today in Berkeley. One was off San Pablo on Ward St., and the other was off College and Parker on Etna. The one near College was in a Julia Morgan house that was very run down, but there was potential there for some good finds. They had lots of linens and some shoes from the 20's, and petticoats. Everything was very pretty dirty however. I picked up a few goodies at each, spending about $10 total.

I purchased some of the old View Master reels for my collection, two sets of cards, one long and thin with unusual pictures, and one called "Tom Thumb" because the cards are miniature. I also bought an old salve tin for my growing collection, an old blurry photograph of a couple walking, and that long metal thing by "omega" predates a calculator, but is this little hand held device that adds. You use a metal stylus to slide the numbers. I thought it was pretty interesting! Also, found a small mirror, worn around the edges, good for art projects.

Tomorrow I am off to the Alameda Point Antique Sale...1st Sunday of every month. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a good hunt. The quality is outstanding, and you can still find a good deal here and there. My fav is the Dollar Booth! This pick is from the dollar guy the last time I went to the show a couple of months ago.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I make banana bread quite often, and this double batch was for my boyfriend and I and the workshop and MJ. I went to the workshop this morning to drop in on a watercolor class. I got to play for a bit, but am wanting to do more soon. I brought some banana bread as my contribution, since they let me join in. And tonight I get to go to MJ's for a sleepover!!!!
Ok, so I'm a bit old for it, but that's exactly the point. It will be nice to just veg and watch movies and eat s'mores and wake up and have banana bread for breakfast, besides which MJ loves banana bread. The recipe I use started out from something I found on the web, but I've modified to my taste. The best part is that no mixer os required. All the ingredients can be mixed in a bowl. Here's the recipe...

4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted regular butter (with salt, which is a big no no in baking, but it works in this!)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg (beat before combining)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup flour
nuts optional

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix melted butter with bananas. Mash the bananas with a wooden spoon while mixing in butter.
Add sugar, egg, and vanilla and mix.
Sprinkle baking soda over indgredients and mix in.
Add flour last, and mix together until combined.

Pour mixture into buttered loaf pan and cook 1 hour.
Best to cool before slicing or serving.

This is especially delicious with butter hot out of the oven!