Sunday, September 28, 2008

Honey Cake

Today, I made honey cake. I posted the recipe here.
It turned out really good. I used Virginia honey and instant Italian espresso coffee, the recipe calls for strong coffee, and organic flour and eggs from free range chickens. The cakes were baked in loaf pans and one got this strange shape on top, oval within a rectangle. The texture was really nice and the taste, okay, I cut up one of the cakes already, delicious. Try this, you'll like it and it'll lead to a sweet year ahead, so they say.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Toile-la-la purse for change

I had some of that cute toile print fabric left from the purse I made so I made a purse for change. I just posted it and a couple other new ones in Fritzi, my Etsy shop. I just love toile!! What is it about this type of print and me? Check out my shop and see what's new. I had a private sale yesterday when my friend J came by to do some shopping for gifts. It was fun to show her all of my totes and purses and get her reaction, which I must say was, POSITIVE! yay! An afternoon of sharing, drinking tea, eating banana bread, how perfect.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


As I approached the Victory Farms Market stall, where I sell organic produce on Thursday mornings, I was greeted by this beautiful table. We had gorgeous produce today and it was a very windy, chilly and rainy day. Far fewer folks came out to shop, but we still managed to sell out of a few things, like carrots, cucumbers and radishes. I brought home sweet potatoes, an eggplant and a butternut squash, which I've now baked. I'll use the eggplant to make my Thai spread, the squash to make a nice creamy soup, and I'll mash the sweet potatoes. What a yummy meal on a chilly night.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Design Class #2

I'm having the best time with my basic design class at VMFA studio school. These adult students are terrific! Guess what their assignment was?

Monday, September 22, 2008


This is so exciting. My son's book will out in the stores in the U.S. the first week of October! Skulls!
You can order from the usual sources but he hopes that you'll buy it at your local indie bookstore if there is still one in your area. He'll be doing some book signings, too. Go to Skull-a-day for updates on those. This is SO exciting!

My yard

With the coming of cooler weather, I've been enjoying sitting in my yard again. It's so peaceful. Though the view from my bench isn't much of a vista, that I get when I sit at the table and look east at a more open space with lots of trees, it is a quiet and restful yard. I put apple core into a place on my tree trunk where a small branch had been trimmed off. Squirrels come to get their treat. We haven't had many squirrels this summer because there've been a lot of hawks, but the ones that do come by really amuse me.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

We had sweet potatoes at the Farmers' Market yesterday so today I made a sweet potato pound cake using a recipe from our former CSA farmer, Caryn Phillips. This is a very delicious cake. I posted it here. You can get the recipe and see more photos of the process of getting from the potato to the cake. Enjoy.

6 Questions to ask!

I wish I could give attribution to this apple image. It came in one of those e-mails that one is supposed to forward, maybe it was called "cutting edge." I really like apples. Mom always said to eat an apple a day! (Mom is 94 now.) And the butterfly is such a lovely symbol that I thought I'd use this to link you to the 6 questions that you should ask yourself before you buy any product that is "PINK." You know, where if you send in 4 lids from a yogurt, a donation will be made to breast cancer research. The list of questions are very illuminating. Read them here.
Oh yes, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month: we're aware already! How about some Breast Cancer prevention!! Thanks for listening, please read the questions and pass this information along to others.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Black and white

Here are some images from the class that I taught last night at the VMFA studio school. It was such fun and the students, all adults, got into it quickly. They got some great results from their experimentation.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Purse for Change

Okay, here's a bit of self-marketing! I just added a couple of purses for change to Fritzi, my Etsy shop. I made so many last week that my neck hurt from bending over my sewing machine, I was like obsessed with making these. I loved every part of the process from choosing from my fabric stash, cutting out the pattern, choosing the combinations (what lining with what outer fabric,) choosing the buttons, and even ironing the seams. I'm giving myself a rest from it all, focusing on the class I'm teaching at the VMFA studio school. I have a piece in the studio school faculty exhibit, with a reception this Friday; if you're in the area, come on over.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Market Day

Three new produce items, or at least new to me, were available at our stall today. Celeriac, kabocha squash, and Chiapas tomatoes. The first is a root vegetable very popular in Germany and France. It used to be well known here but for some reason, fell out of favor. How odd? The tiny tomatoes as the first tomatoes. They're what existed before the little fruit went off to Europe to be cultivated and hybridized. I took a picture of the spring onions because they looked so lovely with all that white fringey-ness and it's fall and we have "spring" onions. Pretty cool. I'll put some recipes up on my Vox blog, in case you're in cooking mode and happen to have some celeriac or kabocha handy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Going Bananas!

We played this very fine game the other night, after eating some fine peach pie that Chuck had made. It's a game called Going Bananas. (Found Art confirmed the REAL name of the game for me: Bananagrams. Thanks!) The tiles come in a zippered pouch that looks like - a banana! Oh darn, I forgot to take a picture of it. It's like scrabble but with out a board, free form and you can rearrange your tiles if you see a better word or can use more tiles as you acquire them. It's a lot of fun. Noah carries it around with him and breaks it out at a moment's notice. Now I want my own Going Bananas! How about you?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Roving Spectacle InLight Nite

The students from the YAV workshop gathered at 1708Gallery for the First Friday InLight event. It was storming outside. We had the rains from hurricane Hannah in our town, but the teens were up for a walk in the rain. They WERE the Spectacle, along with a couple art cheerleaders and a group of hardy small children from the Visual Arts Center, lead by Sarah Hand. Fearless folks who lined the street got a treat from these wonderful teens with their art poles. A really fine night and the wet streets helped with the reflections. Great work everyone! See My Vox Blog for more photos.

YAV Roving Spectacle Workshop

Two weeks ago, I co-lead a workshop with my colleague Robert Walz. It was sponsored by Young Audiences of Virginia and we were charged with helping a group of teens to create something for the Roving Spectacle, a part of art happening held for the First Friday of September art opening. Well, we had a great time with these young artists. You can see some workshop photos on my VOX BLOG.
My little cousin Ryan came with me to the workshop and created his own art pole. Quite an undertaking for him and he did this beautiful piece, which his parents managed to get into their vehicle and take home to New Jersey. Good Job RY!

Saturday, September 06, 2008


There are a lot of features in this bag I created for a charity auction, which I don't do on my Fritzi shop bags, in order to keep the costs down. For this bag, I made an adjustable strap, have an inside pocket with a hook and loop closure, and the bag is reversible. The Toile is the outside BUT it can be reversed for the floral exterior. I included a matching Purse for Change. Also, this is new fabric. I wanted to have some pink for reference to cancer, and created it in honor of our cousin, who just finished her chemo. The name of the bag: Toile-la-la!