Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday's Quote

A few years ago, around the holidays, as I was getting to know my soon to be niece I asked her what she wanted from Santa for Christmas. When she replied with an indifferent, ‘I don’t know’ I thought maybe she didn’t hear me correctly and I started to ask her again. Luckily her mom was there to explain that in their house for the holidays no one makes a list of things they would like. Instead, ‘you get what you get, and you like it.’ In all honesty, my inner child took this harshly. I grew up making my own personal catalog [AKA – wish list] for  my mom to pass along to Santa. Needless to say, this concept was a bit lost on me.

Time passed and yet this ‘you get what you get, and you like it’ concept has stuck with me. It’s challenged me time and time again, and come to find out there are times when it’s a fairly wise approach for certain circumstances. It has even become a phrase that we use on a regular basis in our house.

When you don’t go around expecting things, it leaves a decent amount of room for pleasant surprises. Mind you, I do believe there are areas in life where it is important to have standards, to know what’s best for you and to not become a walking doormat, but when life throws you a curve ball, I challenge you to try and face it with a ‘you get what you get, and you like it’ attitude – even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Have a lovely weekend blog readers! 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fresh Ingredients

Some of the best dinners are the ones that are simple and require very little prep time. If you're in need of a quick dinner this week, try this Chardonnay and chicken berry salad. It's fresh, filling and healthy.

- 1/2 C Chardonnay Wine
- 1/4 C Lemon Juice
- 1/4 C Poppy Seed Dressing
- 4 Uncooked Chicken Tenders
- Assorted Berries (Strawberries, Raspberries and Blueberries)
- Blue Cheese or Goat Cheese
- Glazed Walnuts
- Spinach
- Balsamic Glaze

- Marinate the chicken in the Chardonnay wine, lemon juice and poppy seed dressing overnight. Either saute in pan or bake on 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken has cooked and cooled a bit, place on a bed of spinach with berries, cheese and glazed walnuts.
- Drizzle with a balsamic glaze and serve with your choice of bread [I chose a French Peasant bread].

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Have you ever had a vision of something in your head and for the life of you struggle to bring it to life? That my dear blog readers is how I spent a good portion of my studio time this weekend. I wiled away Saturday morning bringing new pieces to life while trying not to lose the mental image of the piece I had envisioned creating. It wasn't time I suppose.  

I had to remind myself that just because what I had envisioned and what actually came to life were two different things, does not mean I failed. Working with lace, ribbon, doilies, pearls and neutral tones still bring me great pleasure. The simplicity of an era I can't let go of. And if I enjoy them, maybe you will too. 

For the said vision in my head, I'll continue to have faith that it will make its appearance in due time. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday in Pictures

The heat is off. The windows wide open. Crickets, once again, are my lullaby as I drift off to sleep. All these sweet sights and sounds are a welcomed change of pace for a New York March. Happy sweet Monday!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday's Quote

If you're in need of a little quiet time, time to relax and just be, I'm right there with you. It has been one long week. As you take some time to rest over the weekend and gear up for what may be another busy week, I leave you with this. 

 'There is more to life than increasing its speed.' - Mahatma Gandhi 

Enjoy the weekend. Whatever the weather, whatever you have planned, be sure to set aside some time for you. 
...'till next week dear readers. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Sunday Drive

At the first hint of nice weather we run to the nearest body of water. And Sunday was that day. It was a clear, blue sky kind of day. Our Sunday drive to the lake turned into a bittersweet adventure. Being outside and  being able to smell the outdoors and sit by the lake was so close to heaven that it made me breathe that deep breath of relaxation you get on vacation. I even got to spend some time swinging on a swing. If the kids aren't using them, I am! 

Our route to the lake is one we've driven many times. Along the way there are plenty of quaint hotels and resorts, but there are also a couple that seem to have been all but forgotten. It has long been a dream of ours to purchase an old 'cabin camp' or 'cabin court' as they were once called. So with little traffic on the road and no real place to go, we pulled off and decided to scope out one of these properties. It was heartbreaking to see these once sweet little dutch inspired cottages sitting abandoned, in the truest definition of the term. 

Doors were left ajar giving us a glimpse of beds no longer providing someone a restful night's sleep. Books lined the shelves waiting to be picked up and read. Curtains still hung in the windows. The porches and roofs were collapsing under the pressure of the elements. 

It was ironic to me that what was once a place of rest and relaxation for those taking their 'Sunday drive' into the country, now sit, left uncared for, weathering the years with no tender loving care. The stories they hold, forgotten. 

Although there are many cottages and cabins that have had similar fates, being bypassed by bigger and supposedly better things, there still is a home in my heart for these places. And I believe, that with a little help, there is still a place for them now. Telling their story is one small step in bringing them back to life.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Natural Beauty

These burlap canvases have been staring me down for a good few months. They were on clearance at the craft store and although I had to have them, I had no clue what I would use them for. Around the holidays I had been playing around with a few designs, but nothing felt right. Burlap has such a natural, timelessness to it and it seemed only right that the elements used to create these pieces have the same kind of feel. 

As I was pulling supplies out today to work on a different art project, I stumbled upon these, quickly abandoned my original intentions and was able to rework my designs for these and assembled all the right elements. The stars aligned. Doilies, flat edge pearls and a couple of other whimsical touches were all that was needed to complete these natural beauties. As much as I love a traditional mixed-media piece with all those fabulous layers of paint, glue, paper and other found treasures, there is something about the simplicity of these that speak to me. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feeling Free

This morning was one of those mornings where I woke up feeling freer in spirit than I normally do. After having a downright awful day on Tuesday, I quickly took note of this lighter than air feeling. At first I truly questioned where it came from and thought maybe it's that buzzy feeling from my cold medicine. But no, I quickly realized it was the restorative effects of sleep, not just for the body, but for the mind and soul. It was as if my soul ventured out last night to some far and distant land to bring back that refreshed and calm feeling. In one word: blissful. 

I'm thrilled to report that this lasted throughout the day. I came home, raced for play clothes and began having a little fun. My waking dreams have been full of playing on the beach and this came screaming through as I was pulling things together for a quick stylized photo shoot with some of my muses.

Here's to wishing you find moments of calm, time to play and an encounter with bliss this week.

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Wandering Heart

As thoughts slowly turn towards spring, it has occurred to me that I’ll need to break out of this winter hibernation and join the rest of society in a bit more of a productive manner. Winter has provided me with a long overdue stretch of solitude that I’ve spent holed up in one place or another creating, reading and in deep thought struggling to find what will surround my heart with love. A sustainable love that comes from within, that gives a true sense of self, strength and purpose. It was there at one point, but my sense of self is evolving and at a rapid pace. 

This deep seeded need and love of all things creative has taken over my being. It’s been thrilling to discover, or shall I say, re-discover [after all it was there shining through in little ways all along]. As thrilling as it is though, there is a flip side. In throwing my hands up to the creative Gods and taking a leap of faith without knowing where it’s taking me, I’ve become terrified, frustrated and at times paralyzed by the not knowing. You see, for the past six months, there has been this unwritten, unspoken agreement with myself to drift for a while. See where the inner current goes. 

It was fun while it lasted, but the current is slowing down, letting me know what it is that will surround my heart with love. The love that makes it scream, ‘YES.’ Yes. That’s exactly what I need and want to fulfill my days. As I work towards this, a heartfelt thank you goes out to all of you who take time out of your busy days to pop over and sit with a cup of tea or coffee and even send me a thoughtful note. Your friendship keeps gently pushing me towards my ‘yes.’