Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cranberry Sauce

It's the first thing I always make for Thanksgiving dinner and it always feels like the official beginning of the holiday season to me.
I found this recipe in a 1994 issue of Bon Appetit and have made it ever since. I thought I'd share it with you.

Cranberry Sauce

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 12-oz package fresh cranberries (about 3 cups)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon thin orange peel strips

Combine first 3 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Mix in cranberries, cinnamon stick and orange peel. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool completely (sauce will thicken as it cools). Discard cinnamon stick. (Can be made up to 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.) 

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

Super easy. And so delicious. Enjoy!!


Monday, November 23, 2015

What a View!!

We spent last evening with friends at the Top Deck in Savannah, a rooftop bar/restaurant on River Street.
While the conversation was great, we all kept getting distracted by the stunning sunset and the freighters drifting by. I couldn't resist taking several photos!
There is something about commercial ships and ports that I love!
Just look at the sunlight on this ship!

The clouds were spectacular!

And the setting sun was bathing everything in a rosy light.
This is one of my favorite views in Savannah for sure! I don't think I'll ever get tired of it...
Monday is almost done here, but still I wish you a great evening and a fantastic Tuesday morning to those of you who will get there before us...


Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Mystery & Magic of Change

Change - it happens every moment of every day and it's definitely not always welcome in my life. Theoretically I like change just fine, but sometimes it's easier to like it in my mind than in my actual life.

But then I realized how many of the things I love to do aren't done unless I put them through a deliberate process of transformation. Like the felted slippers I make every year.
They go from being a ball of yarn to being knitted into giant socks. (Do you notice how Winslow isn't impressed in the photo below?!)
Then they go into the washing machine, which adds water and heat and friction...
 ... and when they come out: perfect!! (For anyone interested, this is the pattern I use, click on the link: Felted Slipper Socks. The $5 I paid for the pattern has been a very worthwhile investment!)
Another example of welcome change is baking. Yesterday I made bread and had a moment of marvel.
Add liquid to the dry ingredients and you get this:
Then add heat and the result is the most delicious bread! Again: perfect. Not lasting, but perfect at that moment.
It's really not much different from life, is it? Everything has to go through change in order to become more, different and a new version of "perfect in the moment." No matter how much I try to hold on sometimes, nothing ever stays the same. And really, when I think about my life and where it is now, that is perfect in itself. What I need to remember is that different does not automatically mean worse. In fact it can mean better and better and better!
Here are some beautiful flowers for you, gorgeous souls! Perfection in the moment!

Wishing you a peaceful Sunday!!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Studio

This last September we had a bunch of work done on our house. One of the rooms being updated was my studio. First, Daniel and I painted it -- finally after nine years in the house! And then we had the old carpet taken out and laminate flooring put in. It changed the whole feel of the room!
The nook with the bed has become very cozy - although you can see I still have to arrange more books around it.
We also put shelving up on the wall and I brought all my German books and my art books into my studio. Can you tell we love books?
Daniel painted an unfinished door for me to use as a table between the bookshelves and I propped it up on two storage cubes, where I can hide some of my painting mess and keep a bunch of file folders out of sight!
I have a nice corner for my easel and my new ikea storage cart makes it easy to have my supplies both at my drawing table or at the easel.
As you can probably see, I have no art up on the walls yet. That's very normal for me - some people like to finish all the decorating first. I like to just move in, have it feel good and then get to work with my art.
I'll probably take some time over the holidays to move in completely, but frankly with books and art supplies it's already close to perfect...
And when we have more guests than our guest room can hold, it's easy to break everything down and make this into a cozy bedroom. Well, once the extra books are off the bed...
With that said, I'm off to my studio to paint a little more. Now that our art show is over, I have all kinds of creative energy...

Wishing you a beautiful and happy Saturday!!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Creative Challenge - Calm

Today, I am participating in a creative challenge issued by the incredibly talented Veronica Roth. The topic is "calm," specifically chosen during these very tumultuous times in our beautiful world. It's hard to make sense of what's been happening lately!
One way I deal with the news as of late is to paint. And even though there's nothing really calm about my art, the act of creation itself is incredibly calming to my mind and soul. Both of these paintings are in the beginning stages, but I have started teasing a couple of animals from the colorful backgrounds. The top one is definitely easier to make out. Can you guess what the bottom one will be?
Another way I bring peace back into my heart is by creating cozy and beautiful spaces in our house. Don't you love that fabric bowl for my knitting my sister-in-law gave me? It makes me happy just to look at it! And speaking of knitting - it is balm for my soul and it always helps me calm my overactive mind. I always have a few knitting projects going - this one will be cute little baby hat.
And Elizabeth Gilbert's new book? It just arrived today and I cannot wait to start reading it!!

If you feel so inspired, head on over to Veronica's Blog for more inspiring and calming art.

Wishing you a calm and peaceful day!