Monday, April 29, 2013

Homemade Pretzels!

Sometimes my husband's cooking is so amazing the moment I see it I have to run back upstairs to get the camera.  Today was one of those days.  He had just yelled at me to come down and try the pretzels he made and this is what I saw when I came around the corner. I was torn between eating one immediately or documenting their perfectly browned softness.  Let's just say the photo shoot didn't last long.

If you would like the recipe you can find it here on King Arthur's website.  And a special thanks to our friend Amy for introducing us to this delicious recipe.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Last week my friend Christina and I took a walk and ended up sketching one of my favorite houses in the neighborhood.  I love sketching with Christina because she is a master at drawing architecture and I learn so much from studying her drawings and trying to emulate her.  You can see Christina's sketch on here blog here.  And check out her Italy sketches here and here (not to mention the beautiful Miffy!).

Monday, April 22, 2013


When we were walking at the Beavercreek Wetlands I kept coming across all these crazy, wonderful trees where the texture was amazing.  I especially love all of the holes, both natural and insect-made.  The beauty of some of these textures boggles my mind.  If you tried to make something like this it would be impossible.  It makes me a little sad that the size of these photos is limited to the blog because they look great blown up really big.  Maybe some day I will print them coffee-table book size...but for now the blog will have to do.

"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it." - Simone Weil

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Beavercreek Wetlands

A couple weeks ago my family took a trip to the Beavercreek wetlands and I had a great time photographing everything from board walks to cattails to jumping boys.  We visited both Siebenthaler fen and the Koogler wetlands and had perfect weather both days.  Both parks have nice boardwalks that form a loop trail that takes about half an hour to 45 minutes to walk.  If you are ever in Beavercreek, Ohio and have some time it is well worth a stop.

It was an especially nice time of year for me to go because there were a million dried pods to photograph.  It was a bit windy the day I took the two photos below and I had to snap quite a few pictures in the hopes that one would be in focus.  Lucky for me the wind gave me a break (which is more than I can say for two little boys!). 

When I noticed this smiley face head (below) on an antenna in the parking lot I snapped a quick photo not thinking too much about it.  But when I saw the similarity between this photo and the photo of the dried gall pod (second photo down in this blog), it made me laugh.  I love when fun, weird things like that made me feel lucky and charmed all day! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


I had never picked my hellebores for an arrangement until today.  I guess I never thought of them as a great flower for arrangements because their heads are always droopy and you never get to see the inside of the flower.  But boy was I wrong!  I totally love them as cut flowers!  Some of them still droop but they are fairly easy to manipulate and if you really feel the need you could always wire a head or two.

When I went to post these photos I realized what a difference the light makes.  I took the above photo today which was overcast and the below photos yesterday when it was sunny.  I like the joyous feeling the sun gives to those photos but I definitely prefer the no-shadow light of the above photo.  Either way I am super happy to have discovered these as cut flowers because I have a ton of them in my yard and they appear to be spreading without my doing anything to them!   

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Buddha Board Sumi-e Fish

A couple weeks ago I visited the studio of my friend Frank Satogata.  I met Frank at his art opening at the Xavier Gallery last month and we quickly discovered we both love sumi-e, or ink wash painting (check out his work here).  Frank offered to loan me his Buddha Board which is a board that you can paint on with water to practice your brushstrokes.  The water then evaporates and you can practice again and again.

After several weeks of sitting on my desk I finally pulled it out because I was going to have lunch with Frank and I needed to return it.  At first my attempts were feeble and hideous (no exaggeration here!).  I was trying to emulate the drawings I had done for Zen Kitty and it was not going well.  I then came across a picture of a fish on the internet and I started to loosen up.  As soon as I let go of trying to draw precisely and slowly, things began to happen.  I started trying to have longer, more fluid strokes and not worry so much about particulars.  After about an hour of playing with it I also realized that I liked the heavy quality that multiple strokes could have as in the fish above.

It is so satisfying to work at something over and over until you start to understand the medium.  I feel like I barely reached the tip of the iceberg but you could spend a lifetime working with these wonderful brushstrokes. It was also such a nice break from the computer. 

"The goal of ink and wash painting is not simply to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. To paint a horse, the ink wash painting artist must understand its temperament better than its muscles and bones. To paint a flower, there is no need to perfectly match its petals and colors, but it is essential to convey its liveliness and fragrance." - Wikipedia

At the end of an hour I thought to myself, "I'm going to have to buy me one of these Buddha Boards."  Little did I know my wish would come true quicker than I expected.  When I left the room this last image was starting to evaporate and I assumed when I got home it would be gone.  However when I got home I was surprised to find a faint image on the Buddha Board of this fish.  I rinsed it off in the shower and let it dry but it was still there.  I then realized that I had switched to using an old brush of mine toward the end because I wanted a bigger brush and that brush must have had old ink residue still in it.  Lesson  learned!  Always clean your brushes thoroughly! And Frank, your new Buddha Board just arrived and I will be bringing it over shortly.