Monday, June 29, 2009

mots et expressions...

translation: words and expressions

i have found someone to aid me in the french language. it is thrilling and scary at the same time. i pulled out one of my french books and this was in the first chapter (minus the necessary accents over many of the mots):

mots et expressions:
l'accouchement- (m.) (child)birth, delivery
chomer- to be unemployed; (here) to be idle
le controleur aerien/la controleuse acrienne- air traffic controller
craindre- to fear
l'ecran- screen
enceinte- pregnant
l'equipe- (f) team
etre de garde- to be on call
la grossesse- pregnancy
s'occuper (de)- to take care (of)
la sage-femme- midwife
le vol- flight

for reasons, some of which i have no direct answer for, most of these words are quite fitting for this moment in my life. as for all of the pregnant speak, that has nothing to do with me, except that i have 3 lovely friends who are pregnant and will have babies within the next month and a half. i have a feeling that "la grossesse" is one of those words where the french hit the nail on the head. then again, of this i cannot be certain.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

a little piece of france

Pan aux Raisins

Many moons ago, I lived in France.
I love France.
I cannot speak the language.
I adore it more and more everyday.

Whenever I found myself wandering the streets of France in the morning, I was likely to stop at a Patisserie to buy a Pan aux Raisins. I had not eaten once since I lived there, until this past weekend. For this reason, I would like to thank my friend who called the other morning to get me out of bed and to introduce me to a fine little bakery known as Rustica.

I only bought the one little goody sitting above, but she bought a little sample pack that I got to take a few nibbles of. Based off of this initial encounter, I would say with 99% certainty that nothing that they make is bad. But just to be sure, I am now dedicating more time to looking further into this. I'm going to do it merely to tell others what not to order there. It will be one little way to give back to the community.

I will go back to France again someday soon. Perhaps to live awhile. Perhaps to buy more Pan aux Raisins. But, until that day, Rustica will be the place I run to when I need a little piece of France. It's a wonderful place to be.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

coffee, dark chocolate and red wine... would think with such a gorgeous title that only good things would follow.


these are the things i was told to avoid.

some of my very favorite things.

what else is there in life, i ask?
(with a tearful eye* and a dramatic sigh)

. . .

i guess that's when i need to refer back to the photos from the weekend:

the celebration of a dear friend's birthday by sending his chinese lantern into the sky

{happy birthday today, dear friend!}

the almost rainforest-like quality of the hike up to maiden rock

the singing and the games until 5 a.m.

and to add to all of this, the celebration of my mum,
one of the coolest people ever.
we celebrated her day of birth with bruschetta and fresh berry pie, and more games of course.

there was coffee and booze on the side, but the with these photos, you'd never have known. maybe i won't miss them as much as think? who am i kidding. i can't completely cut them out. that's just silly. everything in moderation, right?

and really, when it comes right down to it, i realize that there are far worse fates than this.

far worse.

i am grateful for what i have and despite what my head tells me on my hard days, i live quite an enchanted life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Driven to tears:

This man in this truck saved a turtle's life.

It may seem like a small thing, but after braking and finally seeing the fully grown old turtle teeter to the side of the road I had to let out a little cry.

Turtle has clearly lived a long life and was unaware that his habitat was in the midst of a bustling intersection. He just had some place he had to be, and thanks to this truck driver, he got there.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

looking forward to this...

roughing it at the cabin.

i.e. making coffee outside the cozy cabin, so as not to wake the sleeping folk inside.

and to add to the rugged roughin-it outdoor experience, some 1%, which is actually less tough than the black coffee i drink at home. hmmm.

little surprises on hikes in the woods.

more roughing it.

i am prepared.

looking at the sailboats rather than sailing on them. aren't they beautiful when you can get a shot of them standing on solid ground?

hanging out on cliffs with friends.

it is bound to be a marvelous weekend.

and when i come back, i'm sure i'll have some new musings to share...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

half way point:

So far, I've gotten to see some lovely things today...

Everything from rusty drain covers, to a behind the scene glimpse at Robert Rauschenberg's upcoming show at the Weisman, to a plant WITH the blood of a man running through the course of it's veins!!!!!!!!!! So happy to finally see it! Well, the petunia looks like any other petunia really. But just to reiterate, it does have human DNA in it, and furthermore it has to be destroyed at the end of the exhibit. Those two things make it all the more punk rock, and you just can't say that about many petunias.

I also got to have a studio visit and lunch with a wonderful friend. He always has some great work brewing and when he doesn't have work up on exhibit, I'm always happy to be able to catch up on the latest and greatest in his studio (tiny little stolen sneak peak in the top photo above his awesome red chair with a gnarly scar.)

And I have to say that even the view of my car being put back down after it was 3/4 of the way on the tow truck was quite lovely. I didn't really need that $20 that I used to pay off the kind tow truck driver man anyway.

Yes, quite a lovely day so far...

Sunday, June 14, 2009


how do we keep it all balanced?

our play
our minds
our work
our love
our friends
our family
our spirits
our world

it's a juggle, everyday
a balancing act

people come in and out of our lives and remind of us of certain priorities
they remind us what we once were passionate about
of what we need to regain focus on
and also, how far we've come

i enjoy the comings and goings
the balance
if only i can stop long enough to recognize that this is what it's all about

Saturday, June 13, 2009

the key to life...

dear baby stanton~

this is a key

to what?

i don't know

it's the key to imagination
a key to the future
a key that opens the door of wisdom

it can be used to open a gate
and explore with a curious mind
or to lock shut a door
where the monsters hide

it might work in india
or maybe in spain
who knows
it just may turn the ignition on a plane

it may be the key to your future home
or the key to a shelter on one of the many roads that you'll roam

it might be the key to the greatest thing you'll ever discover
but be ready
for it may show you something from which you will barely recover

perhaps it's the key to discovering the cure for cancer
or getting the world leaders to find a peaceful answer

it might be the key to a happy life
it might be the key to the door of your future wife

whatever it is that this key beholds
it is yours
and yours alone

with love~
~auntie j

Friday, June 12, 2009


living room idea:

too floral?

is your living room this cozy?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

looking out at The Rooftop

Pictured above :: The Rooftop

This little birdie, along with the trees, clouds and rooftop, found their way home just yesterday. The new owners had already cleared a spot for it. They even hung it up while the messenger gal was still there. It looks lovely in its new home.

So, here is my first post about an actual finished art piece of mine. Something I hope to share more of in this space.

I'm actually looking out at this rooftop right now, or rather I was when I started this blog earlier this eve.

I stare at it every time I sit down to write at this computer, or make a quick sketch at this table.

Of course, now there are beautiful, luscious green leaves getting in the way and the trees look nothing like they way they did in March and April, when everything was so beautifully bare and this piece was created. I guess I owe more gratitude to March and April than I ever thought I would...

***Please excuse the photo and the cropping for their imperfections

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

finally got a piece of the pie...

aw, board games.

love 'em.

this was not my trivial pursuit pie piece, though i did catch up!
in any given game, mine is usually the one looking a little more sparse.
trivia: not so much my strong suit.

though, give up i will not.

there is still something that draws me to it.
some sort of pull.
i guess i meet the criteria of that whole crazy repetition definition.

i do love my friends who hold all of the knowledge though, and the ones who just make up creative answers instead...

Monday, June 8, 2009

bread, butter and begonias:

homemade bread : standing triumphantly

sage butter : dancing in the skillet
to accompany homemade ravioli : made by my dear friends (that was the envy of all italian grandmothers : )

sweet begonias : sitting pretty
picked up at the farmer's market

: : not really a huge common thread between the three, except that they all occurred in the last couple of days, they all put a smile on my face and honestly, a title with alliteration is just worth it.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

bike ride home

the whole weekend has been overcast and gray and full of rain.

i had been hoping for the sun to shine, to fuel all that i longed to accomplish. as it turns out, a great deal was achieved without That Lucky Old Sun. once i gave in and accepted all the enchantment that comes along with rain, we were old pals again.

i like that rain is falling once again tonight.

i don't want to close the shutters.

i want the cool air, the mist, the sound of the water falling to softly filter into the room.

tonight, the rain is exceptionally lovely...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

the great donut patch...

this is me paying homage to the donut.
the cake donut.
the one with the chocolate frosting.
you know who you are.
you lasted long enough for me to get a reasonably decent shot of you.
and then you were mine.
all mine.

and this is me celebrating the day that i finally made it down to mel-o-glaze bakery in *s. mpls! i've been wanting to do this for three or four years. and it's not laziness that has kept me from it, because i do wander down there from time to time, mostly to visit the old man and play some dominoes. it's actually more along the lines of self control. i've even driven past it a few times, on my way to other places of course, and not one time did i stop! but, when i woke up at 7:15 on my saturday morning off and it was raining, it just seemed like the thing to do was to go down to mel-0-glaze and try it on for size. it fits well on the first visit, but i'm just sayin that after a few, it might be a different story.

from the outside, the place looks adorable. this has previously been noted. the inside? it could use a little decorative touch. i for one would happily donate some artwork to a charitable cause such as a bakery, especially one so notorious, but i'm not sure what their plans are for the joint. perhaps that's just the way it is? does anyone know? at any rate, it really is almost more thoughtful of them to spend their time carefully tending to each and every circular piece of heaven than to pay attention to such minor details as decor. i mean, when you're jonezin for a cake, ambience only accounts for a certain small percentage. and if i was in charge of the facility? i'm not sure that i could stop handling them long enough to focus on anything else either. maybe that's why the outside looks good. they get far enough away from them to actually focus. i know. this sounds dirty.

but, i also must say that at some point yesterday, i happened to notice that some clever character coined the day "national donut day". i don't know who gets credit, but they have won my heart. i'm not sure why i didn't already have a similar day picked out?! a national wine day was created by some friends of mine while we were in france. perhaps a holiday should be built around everything sacred to a person's heart?!(insert background cheer noises) even though very few things are on the same pedestal as donuts and wine. not together though. and not necessarily in that order. my donut intake should never reach the height of my wine intake. that would just be absurd. (if you know claire, picture her adding a sound effect here.)

so, by now you've gathered that i have a passionate love for these little monsters of goodness, which leads me to the great donut patch. it was constructed by my urban family. (i'm not sure who gets the credit. i will give it to you if you remember, because i'm almost certain it wasn't me.) we gather for brunch quite frequently and every now and again we cook it at one of our houses rather than sticking to dining out and stimulating the economy like the socially responsible adults that we are.

one morning i brought a box of donuts.

does anyone else slow down when they use the word donut? and then when you think of so many of them together, does your heart sorta skip a beat? ~a~box~of~donuts~ sort of like that. i almost have to stop after i say the word sometimes because it literally makes me that happy. i'm not kidding.

anyway, i brought the box and i think my exuberant state of being got us all into discussing their exquisiteness and decision that the world would be a much better place if donut patches existed. you know, like the u-pick strawberry patches. i would finally know my life calling. i would be a donut farmer. i would grow them and harvest them and give them so much love they wouldn't even know what hit them! if they came directly from the earth, wouldn't that be incredible?

if you're starting to grow weary, i'm almost finished.

i just have to say that the thought of the great donut patch has entered my mind more times more than once since that day. and in turning it into the only reality that i know how, i did a little sketch. it's a quick 5 minute triptych, exploring the possibility of them growing in trees and mimicking that of fruit as well. it's not exactly the best introduction of my art that i could have made in this space, but then again, my first blog on here wasn't even closely related to my art. so, here it is. if any of you feel inspired to make a donut patch of your own, i'd really love to see it sometime.

*s. mpls. if you ever find yourself there, do not call me for directions. i will weave you in and out of so many wrong turns you won't even know what to do with yourself. i generally know where i'm going if you use the word generally loosely. it's embarrassing really. or atleast i should be embarrassed about it. my brain is in a thousand different places at once sometimes, well most of the time, so picking just one route and sticking to it is not my strongest characteristic. good thing i have patient friends. or atleast one who is willing to laugh with me the whole way there and the whole way back : )

Friday, June 5, 2009

one hundred percent cotton:

on a summer stroll
the cotton blanketed the earth

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

dear sweet summer...

strawberry u-pick patches

fresh tomatoes

fresh herbs

long weekend roadtrips

garden parties

barbeques with friends

hot sticky nights with only a fan for relief

breezes blowing through the curtains


icecream and popsicles

flea markets and yardsales

rocking chairs on front porches

drive-in movie theaters


bike rides


outdoor concerts

cold beer


sidewalk cafes

15 hours of sunlight



fresh cucumbers



days on the beach


learning to can tomatoes and make strawberry jam


laying under a sky full of stars

slow summernight strolls


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

larry rivers...

i got me a new art book!

he, larry rivers (r.i.p.), is one of my idols in the world of art right now. his combination of realism and expressionism and his ability to capture a face, or anything for that matter, with very few lines makes me weak at the knees. but, i honestly know very little about him. that will hopefully all change when i step foot into his world and see if it's love and not just lust ; ) i swear i'm just talking about his art, at this point. i'd love to get a book with more of his art in it, but they seem to be hard to come by in mpls. or, perhaps i'm just not trying hard enough. most likely that's the case, seeing as they have it at the downtown library. there are just a few obstacles in my way, for now. at any rate, i'll keep you posted on what made larry tick...

Monday, June 1, 2009

facing my fears:

...given that this blog's origins are being built on the goal to not only share my daily artistic inspiration, but to hopefully offer inspiration for others, I did not intend for my first post to contain a spider. At any rate, such is the case.

This large arachnid (please use shower head as reference) appeared in the bathroom this morning. As I was brushing my teeth, immediately my super-human-spider-radar honed in on his reflection in the mirror.

Spiders fill me with pure dread.

To be fair, I must admit that I have both a sordid and honorable history with these creatures, though most of my life and even more so nowadays, my intentions have dwelt purely from respect for these wonderful bug-eaters. In an effort to practice my respect
for them and face this particular fear (a la meme seconde), I tried to let everything go...

I left him alone.

I came back a few hours later to shower and found that he had moved a little closer to that specific area, and was still ceiling bound. I maintained a calm, cool and collected attitude as I stepped in. I was going to be adult about this. I made sure to keep a careful eye on him. After all, I was no fool.

He was getting closer and closer. Fear was mounting.

It didn't take me long to realize that the little bastard was heading directly for me. I was starting to panic. Almost frozen, I could not even muster the courage to do the "spider relocation project" that a dear friend once taught me. By this time, the only thing I could do was climb out of the claw-foot tub to gain more distance. I grabbed my towel and ran for my camera, my most frequently used artistic vehicle these days.
I got back within seconds and not only had he crawled over to the shower head, but he made is his way directly-above-the-spot-that-I-had-just-been-standing. Once he got there, he decided to go in for the landing. Only, instead of eating me alive, he wove his web to suicide. Before I knew it, the water overtook him and swept him away. Dread still lingered within. Shakily I wondered about the disaster that would have occurred if my super-human-spider-radar had not existed and he would have landed directly on me. But something even stronger quickly filled the place of fear. Sorrow overtook me. Surely my intentions were not for him to die. I think I had already proven that.

So, what can I take away from this one brief episode? Perhaps it's one of life's little ways of telling me to stop worrying. That since I do possess super-human-spider-radar, life will just take care of itself. Well, me not worrying is pretty much a long shot, but today however, I did face one of my fears.