Ingenuity and Innovation

I live a rather insulated life. I limit what I take in because it's all food to me, and I want to be nourished by food that will help me stay strong and productive. Thankfully I have an adorable husband who is a news junkie, and he lets me know when really cool stuff is out there that I need to see. Here are some of his latest finds that seem like really good nourishment to me. These are three innovations from the New York Times Magazine's 10th Annual Year in Ideas.
First, Trash Fashion, bio culture clothing. Making clothes out of a mat of green tea and sugar. I couldn't put enough exclamation points in there, so I won't put any. All the clothes we slaves to fashion (I live in Maine, so I don't need fashion) throw away every year is a pretty big problem. The second thing is the latest progress on wind power, which just makes me so grateful that the human brain never takes a rest. And the last thing is a brilliant innovation that is called emotional spell-check, which could be the innovation with the most positive impact in the whole list. At least I can think of a few times my life would have been made better this year if I and those I know had had this tool. I leave this year with a beautiful picture and my best wishes to everyone for a happy new year.


Another Moleskine Lover

These are drawings by Ana Maraz, an artist living in Slovenia, who has a nice blog, Talking to Volcano. I spent yesterday looking at my new Christmas books and exploring things online. I both love and am a little disturbed by the way I can keep grafting, on and networking from, different Flickr streams and blogs. I get to see so much art, interesting things people do, and amazing interiors...things I would not see in remote Maine! But then I get to a place where it is just overwhelming, and I realize I've spent hours in cyberspace. My plan for today is to get out into the snowstorm we are having. That will be the perfect antidote for too much time online.


Sketchbook Project Pages

Seems like quite a few people are hurrying to get this (Sketchbook Project) done by the January 15th deadline. I have many more pages to go, but I will get there in time. I would love to see other sketchbooks in progress. Go over to art house co-op and see about the pockets project. Maybe you might want to take the empty pockets pledge.


Feeling a little frazzled?

Holiday prep getting you down? Maybe you need a nap! Go over to this NYT illustrated article by Maira Kalman to get a quick infusion of humor and inspiration. Her newest book  And the Pursuit of Happiness looks great. Too late for the Christmas list, but I could always give myself a nice New Years gift.


Almost the Winter Solstice

I'm going to celebrate the winter solstice tomorrow night with a group of friends. We will talk about the special full moon, which also has an eclipse, which has not lined up in this way since 1500 and something, I am told! I celebrate with thinking about the return of light that is beginning now, and flowers, and gardening. Do you remember Margaret Roach, who wrote the beautiful A Way to Garden? She has this great gardening blog. I have always loved her writing. And that same voice comes through on her blog. I always force some amaryllis this time of year. They just bring such a festive air to the house...until February for heaven's sake!



Around our house decorating for Christmas is called "trimming the tree". It always goes along in fits and starts because this time of year is so busy. We've had our little dinky teeny tiny tree up for more than a week with just the lights on. But this morning we got the big box of vintage ornaments down from the attic and went to our work. I'd seen this branch decorated with ornaments idea from one of my Flickr friends so I did that too. I love the way it looks in the mellow morning sun. 


Ode to Home Dec Books

These are some of my favorite Home Dec books. I would not like to admit how many I own. There is always that new tantalizing one that I must have. I sometimes think about all the actual home decorating I could have done with all the money I've spent on these books! But seriously, what is it that's so attractive about these books? I love to peek into how other people live, and express this in their homes. But only when it feels exciting. What makes one home feel exciting and another not, to me? I guess when I think someone has disregarded convention or "rules", and gone for what they love and can't live without. That passion gets communicated in the way someone designs their living space. And I respond to that.



Look at these great moleskine sketchbook covers Sophie made out of plastic shopping bags! She saw how to make things like this on YouTube. The process seems simple enough, and I can imagine lots of great projects. What about place mats? Imagination is the greatest wealth we have. Sometimes it's been a great boon to not have the money to buy something I want. It forces me to come up with something even better that I make by hand. 


I've been looking at calendars.

I need a calendar for above my kitchen sink. I like these by Flora Douville. You can go over to her blog here, and then go to her shops from there.They come in French or English!  I usually like a calendar with a little bit of space to write in appointments, but I may just have to put that wish aside in favor of one of these lovely things.


Some New Work

Here are some paintings and drawings I've been working on the past few days. I'm really turning my focus toward work for a solo show I am doing next September. I have been working on pieces for this show since last January, but now I have to step up the effort to a new level. I started thinking about the show as "the drawing project", which I've written about here this year. The drawings have led me into more abstract work exploring the theme of bubbles and circles. I'm currently pushing that to see where it will take me.


More Baking Thoughts

Yeah, I'm still thinking about baking. I googled for "baking Blogs" and David Lebovitz  came up as the #1 baking blog. He wrote "The Sweet Life in Paris" (now on my Christmas list) among many other cookbooks. I just thought this Apricot, Almond and Lemon Bread looked so good. It looks like a brioche dough in this picture from David's blog. It has lots of eggs and some cheese in it, which makes it sound interesting. You can get the recipe for it by clicking on the link above. His blog looks useful, and pretty. If I make this I'll let you know how it turns out. By the way, I did make those Orange Fennel Almond Biscotti I blogged about last week, and they are really good, and not too much work. Get someone else to zest all the oranges and you'll be all set.


Potato Post

Well we do live in Maine, so potatoes are a big deal. And these are pretty fantastic potatoes! Chase's Daily in Belfast has all kinds of varieties. And they are beautifully packaged and presented, of course. Because this is Chase's. We bought German Butterball Potatoes, and then had to make home fries for breakfast. I can't even describe how good.


Holiday Cheer

A friend is visiting this week, so we went up to Chases's for lunch yesterday, and did a little shopping and "driving around to look at the Lights". Remember that? We used to do that when I was a kid. We found some pretty impressive ones. Chase's has a new show of small works and some great amaryllis varieties for forcing if you are into that...which I am.


Sketchbook Project Pages

I've been doing pages for the Sketchbook Project every day this week. I'm letting the story of this book evolve intuitively. Many of the pages are being built on top of an old Progressive Spelling textbook I found a few years ago. I think the idea of progressively learning each day of my life is getting put into this work. I am constantly struck by how there is more and more intense learning for me with each passing year. I didn't expect that! And I like getting back to blue pen drawings and collage, which is a true love.


fineartistmade...a Maine thing

I was still thinking about cookies this morning. I thought...wouldn't it be cool if there were artists out there making special artist-made cookies? I don't know what I expected exactly. Maybe something sculptural, or along the lines of the anatomically correct gingerbread people we made one Christmas in a hilarious baking frenzy. But when I googled artist-made I got the nicest gift. This site and blog for fineartistmade, a Maine (proud!) duo of artist and photographer who make handcrafted furniture, kitchens, and baths. Oh my! You just have to go there and see what they do. Being the owner of an old, really old (1763) house in Maine I can really appreciate the genius they are bringing to their work. I think I found the people I want to renovate my creaky kitchen! I tried to bring over some pictures for you from their site, but they were too pixelated, so you will just have to trust me and get thee over to their site. In the meantime, maybe this picture of more cookies, from Alice Mendrich's cookbook Pure Dessert  and some beautiful spoons also made by hand in Maine (but I don't know by whom..sorry), and gorgeous Fog Linen, will suffice. There are two places I know of to get Fog Linen around here...Chelliswilson, a BEAUTIFUL shop in Portland, Maine, and Pod, another BEAUTIFUL shop in Brookline, MA. 


Thinking about cookies.

Go on over to brown's GENERAL, where these photos are from, to check out the recipes for Fennel, Orange, Nut Biscotti (a Martha Stewart recipe) and graham crackers (a Nancy Silverman recipe). Okay maybe graham crackers are not cookies, but they are good...especially if you coat them with dark chocolate! I think I'm going to try the Biscotti this weekend. I like anise seed. While you are at it, take a look at the gorgeous letterpress products these folks make at Brown Parcel Press. 


Warning: You will lose all track of time!

And I'm not kidding about that warning! These are just a tiny snack of what you will find on InsideInsideTumblr. Can't remember how I got here, but maybe through the wonderful Wary Meyers, which you can check out here. What I love about both these sites is that they are showing, and creating truly original home dec. The kind that gets me really interested. So much of what is out there is mass market stuff that is boring. Maybe that's harsh, but there you have it. I'd rather see someone's home that is uniquely their own. Why? Because homes people create from their truth are works of art. And you know how I am about that.


The Sketchbook Project

I finally have some time to devote to The Sketchbook Project...and a good thing too since the deadline for submitting sketchbooks is looming. So here is my start....I think. If you don't know about this yet, you can go here to find out. My theme is "a day in the life", which I figured could cover anything.


Artists Who Blog

Stephanie Levy, artist and author of the inspiring blog Artists Who Blog has been kind enough to post an interview with me on her blog today! Thank you Stephanie. I have always looked forward to these interesting posts full of beautiful photos and great peeks into other artist's lives. Check it out here. 


A Show This Weekend

This is work I'll be showing this weekend over at a holiday show and sale at Fort Andross in Brunswick, Maine. If you are in the area and feel like dropping by I'd enjoy seeing you. These are paintings on panels, some paintings on canvas, drawings, and altered vintage postcards. 


2 Constant Companions

These two books are my constant companions. New Perspectives In Drawing, and Paul Klee. I refer to them often to ground me in what it means to be fearless and to have skill. Paul Klee is a model to me for color and sensitive line. And of course for purely joyful surface design. New Perspectives reminds me that anything and everything is worthy of notice and capture in drawing. I am always interested in touchstones. What are yours?


More Moleskine Love

This moleskine is nearing the end. I have a new sketchbook all ready and waiting....a beautiful little Rag and Bone sketchbook. I'm a little mad at them for not making the big sketchbooks anymore, but I like the little ones too. Here is an interesting moleskine to look at. And this one is pretty cool too.


Foggy Meadow

Over at the meadow yesterday afternoon it felt like being in the hills of France or something. Look at this late afternoon light! It was foggy most of the day and I knew I'd get some photos that would show the essence of this place in autumn. I think of it as "Thanksgiving-y". 


Ephemeral Collage

To avoid working on a project I need to be working on today (does everybody do this?) I started playing around in my collage boxes. I made these "ephemeral collages". It's fun to play with all these great snippets and shapes, especially when I know they are just doodles. I'm going to keep making these until I get bored with it.



I'm never sure whether or not it is good to revisit an old riff in my work. Picasso said he was really in trouble when he started to mimic himself...or words to that effect. I've been working again on these "botanicals". I want to take them further than I did before. We'll see. Right now they are stalled. Oh, and it doesn't help that it is a really cold, grey day here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...