Sunday, December 15, 2013


But first today, right now...
It is spectacular outside. 
 As you may have heard, last weekend Philadelphia had a surprise snow storm. It dumped on the city during the Eagles game. Which thankfully they won - quite handily as well. (For those of you reading who are not USians, the Eagles are the (American) Football team of Philadelphia.)
Then it snowed again on Tuesday and as of today it has not warmed up much at all. The white blanket of snow has stuck around. I bought a Christmas tree that had real icicles on it. Today we got another good blanket, which turned into freezing rain. 
 We had to go out to walk Pedro's dog, Mildred so I got to see all of the beautiful icicles.
 Rittenhouse Square 
 I hope this person isn't planning on going anywhere, the entire bicycle was covered in ice. 
Mildred wanted nothing to do with all of this mess. She tripped down the stairs, did her business right in front of the building, while Pedro and I discussed which way to go. As we finally decided to follow Mildred's lead, she finished, turned around and walked right up the stairs and poked her nose at the door knob. And that was that.

But October... 
October was spent in a mad panic trying to finish up work for my show at Press and very little Pedro time. But he was very patient and sweet about the whole thing. Sometimes when you are working so hard though, you do need a diversion. The garden provided a little bit of that.
The mustard greens went to seed again and this time I just let them grow where they wanted to. The result was a beautiful plateful.
I also had an abundance of Nasturtiums in the garden. One of Ellen Emlen's pickle recipes is for pickled Nasturtiums. It took a bit of figuring but it turns out that the pickled Nasturtiums are the seed pod, not the flower. They are also called Poor Man's Capers. Mrs. Emlen's recipe is actually a bit unhelpful. Put them in white wine vinegar (helpful) with such spices as you see fit (not helpful). 

Thank goodness for the interwebs.  I googled for a recipe and found several. It seems farely straight forward. Brine them first, then vinegar, then add a bayleaf. The recipe called for 2/3 cup of seeds. Not too difficult.
I have not tried them yet. I gave Melanie a jar as well and she hasn't tried them either. We'll see what happens.  Maybe I need to cook some fish or something...         

But the main push of course was the show. I made two new pieces that I am pretty happy with.
   Jacques helped.

I also showed some previous work which was nice to see again. With the generous help of Andy and Jonas, I installed the last week of October and the opening was October 31st.

I also enjoyed the generous hospitality of Melanie and Doug at their beautiful home.

Monday, December 9, 2013

We survived!

Yes, we did. And how could we not?  Look at this fabulous outfit!
Nice and visible, ya think? (It was also Sunday morning and all the hunters were probably in church.)

We walked "to the bridge" and admired the icicles.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Good Morning!
I'm in beautiful western Massachusetts picking up the work from my show.  It is currently 20°F outside. So. Really cold.
And we are going to go for a walk back there in that brush. It's hunting season so we will be donning a lot of neon and such. But then we will hit the Appalachian Trail which is also back there - no hunting allowed. 

Continuing the catch up posts:  In September...
I was in the mad throws of making work for my upcoming solo show at my friend Melanie's Gallery in North Adams, MA. It was  a busy September to say the least. 
Things were fine in the garden: 
Morning Glories like crazy.

The Nasturtiums were especially prolific this year. 
And, I think might have mentioned, the sunflowers were gorgeous. 

In the middle of September, an artist I met in Korea (back in 2008) Hanne Matthiesen, was in New York for a show of a cooperative she participates in: Art Money.  Pedro and I took the Megabus up for the day.    
This is the way to travel! Cheap and quick all the way into Manhattan. 
First we headed over to Hanne's show:  
The Art Money project is where artists make currency.  Each piece, no matter the status of the artist, is valued at 200 Danish Kroner, about $37. There are requirements such as size, signatures, numbering etc. And apparently the founder has made arrangements with some businesses in Denmark who will accept this as money.  More information can be found here:  
There was quite a crowd in the tiny little gallery. It was amazing to see so much work all in one place. We bought two pieces. 
After we left we tried to go to the Guggenheim to see an exhibit. But there was a huge line and we had to get back to the bus. But it was a really fun day.

Hanne came and stayed with me for the following week. We had fun showing her around Philadelphia and Hanne had some relaxing time sitting in the papazan on the porch.  We introduced her to some very American things including (vegetarian) Philly Cheese Steak. This, of course, required a more thorough introduction to what Cheez Whiz is:  being the good book artist that she is, she promptly started writing with the stuff!
This has to be the first can of this stuff I've ever bought. 

Then it was time to focus focus focus on my art show: 

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Wow - August - what happened in August? Oh, I did post some things....

So yes, in addition to the things I did post - there were some other things I wanted to post. More sunflowers for one thing:
 The sunflowers were unbelievable this year. I had so many fresh cut bouquets all the way through October. I'm planning on planting SO many sunflowers next year - I can't wait.

There was also one very confused amaryllis: 

There were some garden guests on the sunflowers:
 Praying Mantises are really cool - they actually turn their heads to watch you. This one camped out on the sunflower by porch for a week or two. I'm not sure what happened to it.

In other news, my farm share was abundant as ever, so I tried my hand a second time watermelon pickles. Way to sweet this time around. But we'll get it right eventually. I also spent considerable time getting ready for my class this fall. I've been teaching the usual book arts class, but I am also teaching the professional practices class for the grad students at my grad alma mater. It's a very small class (only 3) but they are really great. But most of August was taken up by Pedro. We spent a lot of time riding bikes to the river, sitting on the bank, eating yummy stuff and drinking his wine.  Pedro is a wine connoisseur. I've never seen so much wine in one place! It's always good and perfect for whatever the occasion is.

And the other two boys in my life? Oh they are fine, and they like Pedro...

My schedule has been nuts this fall. Two classes and preparing for a solo exhibition at my friend Melanie's Gallery! I pulled out my little 3x5 platten press and printed a bunch of labels for one project:
But... more on the exhibition prep in September.... 

At the moment the project du jour...
new bookshelves up for the artist books - just need to organize a bit further. 

And some progress was made stripping the windows: