Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking forward.

Happy New Year's eve. 2016 sure flew by fast for us, and almost everyone we've talked to feels the same. How are you feeling? What surprised you this year? What inspired you? What have you accomplished? What about those resolutions you made at the start of the year? What are you looking forward to in the new year?

2017 is a blank slate, a chance to start afresh, and an opportunity to carry on all that was wonderful in 2016. As much as I am dreading January 20th, the new president and his administration of bigots, I still have hope. My hope is that human decency will win out, that we will choose respect, tolerance, courtesy, and consideration for our neighbors over hate and animosity. I pray we will have the courage to stand up for those who are different and people whose rights have been compromised, oppressed, or threatened. I am scared, but my fear compels me to raise an even more compassionate and sensitive child. She is my hope. She is our future.

Friday, December 30, 2016

December 2016 highlights

The baby's birthday kicks off our December full of celebrations. And what are celebrations without a little bit of baking? This month, we made oatmeal cranberry cookies,

loaves of milk bread,

a layered peaches and cream cake for the little one's birthday, (and then a pumpkin cheesecake too for her birthday party at Christmas!)

and we even made and decorated sugar cookies!

Winter is off to a cold start and turning the oven on brings warmth and great smells to the house! :) 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

November 2016 highlights

From left to right, first row:

~ We planted more than a dozen mammoth grey sunflower seeds but only one grew. After pulling it up and letting it dry, we harvested more than enough seeds to try again next year! Somehow I think the kiddo will be entertained by the enormous sunflowers and I can't wait for her to see them!

~ Purging! I decided that it was time to declutter the closet so I grabbed some trash bags and went straight to work sorting, tossing, and cleaning. It took me the whole afternoon, but it was worth it. It felt really good to downsize and rid myself of all the things I never wear anymore. Instead of lamenting how I never have anything to wear, my smaller wardrobe is actually filled with more options and things to mix and match! 

~ Jumbo sycamore leaf! We've been thinking of turning our front yard into an arboretum. Apart from the fact that we could use more privacy from our neighbors, it is just nice to have some more trees around. This year alone, we've planted 5 eastern red buds, 2 magnolias, and 2 witch hazels. Next year, the plan is to get some red maples and some evergreens. 

Middle row:

~ We stayed up to witness the super moon and boy was it magnificent!

~ We did not get to spend Thanksgiving with the family last year, so we were excited to be a part of this year's feast! I made this awesome wild rice stuffing with apples, dried apricots, cranberries and bacon. It was super yummy and looked like a bowl of shimmering jewels.

~ We made pumpkin pies as usual. This is the best pumpkin pie, and you can find the recipe here.

Bottom row:

~ Zach and I took the baby to her first art show in Chicago -- "Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis." This painting, "American Totem," (1960) gave me the chills. Lewis brilliantly depicted the racist, hate-filled, ignorant society of his day with abstracted figures and a klan member on the top. I cannot help but fear that history is haunting us. I cannot help but fear for my daughter's future. 

~ It was just another Saturday afternoon when we looked out the window and saw a giant hot air balloon attempting to land in our neighbor's yard! It was a funny and unexpected sight to behold!

~ Thanksgiving hand turkeys. We think this will be a Thanksgiving tradition for us, at least for the next couple of years!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

October 2016 highlights

My mom came to visit in mid-October, shortly after the baby turned 10 months old! They have not seen each other since January, so I was eager for my mom to see how much her granddaughter has grown!

My mom was only here for 3 weeks, but during that time, she got to witness the baby taking her first steps!

We all agree that having a child in the home makes you experience the everyday things in a new light. For example, I started obsessing about the weather and longing for nice days so we can play outside. I also started paying more attention to the different types of crispy leaves,

colorful leaves,

and spotting wooly worms.

We went to a pumpkin patch and picked out pumpkins to carve,

and, for someone who usually paid no attention to Halloween, we actually made an effort to dress the baby up in a costume!

Monday, December 26, 2016

September 2016 highlights

Zach painted a new street piece as part of a studio visit from the local art league. Robin Hood and Little John were some of his favorite characters as a little kid, so it was super fun to see them larger than life on a wall! Oodelally oodelally, golly what a day!

September was also all about preparing for the last gallery walk of the season. It is unlikely that we will keep a studio space downtown once we finish setting up the one at home, so Zach wanted to create a some new paintings to exhibit.

This is "Fragmentation," a series of 12 abstract assemblages. Each piece is collaged from previously "failed" paintings, each one bears a unique pattern, each one a blend of old and new.


I have to say, it is pretty amazing to see Zach's creativity at work. This was a particularly arduous series to put together yet he seems to have a way of channeling his frustrations into new creative outlets. Art, in his case, is always about solving a problem. You try, you experiment, you experience, and the results are all the better for the struggle. This also means that there are really no dead ends or impassable obstacles in art. Sometimes, all you need are some new perspectives and the willingness to "destroy" and start over.

p.s. "Fragmentation" is still on display at the studio downtown. If you'd like to stop by and see it sometime soon, send us an email!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Holidays!

From our family to yours,

wishes for a happy holiday season!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

August 2016 highlights

Having a baby has definitely made it challenging for us to travel. So this summer, in lieu of a big trip, we hung around, worked some more on the house, and we went to the State Fair!

The first time for me and the baby, and the first time in a loooooong time for Zach! It was an impromptu decision and we were hardly dressed appropriately for the heat. We stayed just long enough to spend too much money playing some games and eat some fried fair food.

We also took a short drive one evening to go see the Cameron Michael Moberg mural in Rensselaer, IN.

Our August was a quiet one. Mostly we were just trying to survive the heat and a teething, newly crawling baby! :)

Friday, December 23, 2016

July 2016 highlights

We bought a house at the end of April. A little ranch on top of a hill with plenty of space to garden and play. After working on the house for a few months, we were finally ready to move in July!

We loved having the wall of books at our old place and we decided we wanted one at the new house too. So Zach got to work, and for less than $200, he built this really neat shelf.

Earlier in June, Zach and I started our first in-ground garden. All our previous gardening experiences were limited to container gardening. It was a special treat to be able to put plants in the dirt! June is a little late to be starting a vegetable garden, but we did what we could ...

We grew, as usual, a variety of peppers and tomatoes. And since we had all this space to garden, we also grew shelling beans, okra, and squashes!

The book, Linocut for Artists and Designers, by Nick Morley (Linocut Boy) is published! Zach's works on clay and paper are featured. Here's a sneak peek, but if you'd like to buy a copy, go here.




Poor neglected blog.

Our poor neglected blog. We had a busy year and this blog should have been bustling with posts, but instead, we just left it sitting. 

As I write this, our daughter just turned one, we have been living at our new house for five months, our new bountiful garden is covered in snow, our new studio is in the process of being put together, and we are preparing to celebrate Christmas! Things have not slowed down one bit. I thought I'd put together monthly review/highlights posts to chronicle our favorite moments from each month. One month a day, from now to the end of the year. That's only 6 posts (starting from July) in one week. Surely I can do that, right? ;)

So bear with us while we regroup and rethink how to best utilize this space for 2017. If you are still reading, thank you so much. We appreciate you!

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Snow

I always look forward to the first snow fall of the season.

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