Tuesday, February 28, 2006

self portrait tuesday

Why start now? With this picture? Well... the February SPT theme is intriguing. The ugly stuff, the stuff you don't talk about. I thought it could include the kind of silly stuff as well. This picture was taken when I was in bed, sick. It was about the fourth day I think and I was so tired of the whole thing. This prismacolor marker up the nose trick was about the best that I could do, parenting wise. It made my little girly laugh, and that was good. But really I was feeling lousy, pale, icky, unkempt, in pajamas for days, the kids running amok.
Ugh, thank goodness it's over.

I am going to used self portrait Tuesday as a way of getting over my terrible unease about being photographed. Posted by Picasa


I absolutely love this blog...mad organica. It's super funny.

Monday, February 20, 2006

long weekend

My son with his finger monster/ weiner-mobile hybrid creature

Scott has the day off and we are going to have a lovely day, I think. It's cold and sunny. He is off riding his bike to pick up coffee, and I'm making tea and we're going to have a morning meeting together. I love it when we can do this. I think we'll do projects for the first part of the day, and then go and watch the big California bicycle race thingy in the afternoon. I have some projects going on in my studio, and I need to do some ebay listings.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

fresh from the oven

I made this! It's so pretty!

This is what Scott has taken to calling "Meredith's Super Duper Tasty Bread", but really it is "Pain Ordinaire" and it's quite easy and...well..super duper tasty!

2 tsp (or one packet) dry yeast
1 1/3 c. water
3.5 c. unbleached flour (I use half white and half whole wheat)
1.5 tsp salt

1. Sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 cup of the water, warm. Leave for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve. While you're waiting, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and when the 5 minutes are up, pour the dissolved yeast into the well.

2. Use a wooden spoon to pull enough of the flour into the dissolved yeast to form a soft past. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it "sponge" until it's spongy looking and slightly expanded, this takes about 20 minutes.

3. Pour about half of the remaining water into the center of the well and mix in the flour from the sides of the bowl, mix everything up until you've formed a lovely firm, moist dough.

4. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead it until smooth, shiny, and elastic. Takes about ten minutes or less.

5. Put the dough back in the bowl (cleaned out) and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size. This takes 1.5-2 hours. Punch it down, and let it rest for ten minutes.

6. Shape the dough into a long loaf, about 14" long. Place the shaped loaf on a baking sheet that has been oiled a little bit, and lightly floured. Again with the covering and let it sit there for about 45 minutes until it's about doubled in size. This is called proofing.

7. Cut diagonal slashes across your bread with kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife, and pop it into a preheated, 425 degree over. Bake it until golden brown and hollow sounding. 30-45 minutes (ovens vary wildly) Posted by Picasa

indigo sky


The sky was truly this color! (photo taken in the target parking lot)

I've been quietly busy, trying to be sure I'm completely recovered.

Lots of paperwork, taxes, trying to scrounge up some sort of insurance coverage, etc.

Lots of bread baking, and crafty stuff with the kids. We made little clay creatures and a slew of valentines.

Spring and I are planning to start a sort of salon/networking group for women entrepeneurs, artists, and people with ideas brewing and need for input, contacts and encouragement. Tentative first meeting in mid-March. If you're in Northern Cali. and you're interested in something like that, let me know. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Paranormal Paramours

I'll have a piece in tonight's show at Boomerang in Petaluma.

Boomerang Gallery celebrates the opening of "Paranormal Paramours: An exhibition exploring the art of mystical romantic persuasion" with an artists' reception from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 11.

The group show runs through March 5 at Boomerang, 46 Kentucky St. in Petaluma.

These openings are always fun, and the Valentine's day show is my favorite.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


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outside the wild boars root

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

detail of study

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study for leda and the swan...not sure... Posted by Picasa

hooray! i'm not dead!

magnolias in january

I'm feeling very happy to just be alive on the planet today. I'm thankful for medicine and hot running water and warm sunny days in February (even though I can't go out in them due to one of the antibiotics I'm on). I'm so grateful that this wasn't as bad as it could have been, and I woke today with almost no pain.

Today I'll tidy my studio and paint, and the kids will come home after school and I can't wait to see them!

Monday, February 06, 2006

judiciary committee hearing

Oh man, I just turned on npr and there's going to be a senate judiciary committee hearing on domestic surveillance and presidential power. I get the feeling that it's going to be a farce, seeing as how the only witness is Alberto Gonzalez.

hello sunny sky

I'm back on my feet today, I think. Yesterday I even toddled out into the yard and planted some dahlias. I am feeling much better, but I'm going to take it slow and not push things. It will be sunny and warm today, and my modest goals for the day include getting dressed in real clothes (not pajamas), getting my final revisions sent off to my lovely design client, and starting my painting for the upcoming show at Boomerang. All of this with horizontal interludes of course.

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Take a look at Artnatomy, an online teaching tool about facial anatomy and expressions. It's super interesting and very well done...educational and fun at the same time, also neat to look at.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

here's hoping

I'm hoping that today will be my last day in bed. I'm getting better and better. My doctor came by to see me last night, and that was good. I've been up and about a bit, which feels wonderful...until it starts to hurt. Maybe I will even be able to finish my painting for the Paranormal Paramours show. It's due in four days.

Friday, February 03, 2006


You know what I think I need, is a penpal. Or two, or ten! Email, regular mail, I don't care!

monstertownart at gmail dot com



slippers that I made for Z a few years ago. hand felted from merino roving. Posted by Picasa

I love this guy

This is Sylvan's lego robot. It's so very cool. It has a mouth that spins around to be sad or happy, and the head comes off and it has propellors underneath so that it can fly and it opens up and there is a monkey inside at the controls. His body is a jail or cargo hold, and he is super duper awesome.

I'm feeling a little better each day, I'm so grateful for that. I spent yesterday sort of feeling the impact of this thing, and thinking about how someday I will get sick and I won't ever get better again. I can't remember ever having to spend so many days in bed, and it's strange.

Scott had to go back to work today, and the kids will be home in an hour. They don't have school on Fridays. I'm a little worried about how the day will go with them. I can't really be the mom today, I can't fix snacks or come running if something goes wrong. I have a headache and my leg hurts and I'm so tired. But really, it's better than yesterday, and I can feel it. Maybe I'll have them bring the lego bins into my room and we can listen to books on tape and play legos, or maybe draw. Zelia wants to start a blog called "musical cute", so maybe we'll work on that.

I wanted to make things yesterday, and I got my embroidery stuff out, but it wasn't coming together for me. I will try again today.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

the man i love

photo number one in my new collection of pictures of grown men on small bicycles

I just want to publicly thank my sweetheart for everything that he has done the past few days (and weeks and months and years). I have never felt so safe and cared for, and it means the world to me. He means the world to me.

wow, this is boring

I'm just beginning day 2 of bed rest (please let it be the last) and I am unhappy and bored. Scott took the kids to school, and now he's running to work to get some files so that he can work from home today, and be here if I need him. Staying in bed is not easy. I know I will heal up more quickly, but sheesh. It almost makes me want to take up knitting. The computer actually is making me feel a little nauseous. I'm getting anxious to make things. I might get out my embroidery stuff today, or do some needle felting.

I realize that I haven't talked much about feltmaking on this blog, and I probably ought to, because I know that people are interested in it, and I have been making felt for...wow, nearly ten years now. I've taught classes and stuff. When I can get out of bed, I'll take some photos of some of the stuff I've made, so that you can see it!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

not my month

(encaustic painting by me)

I managed to end January with a late night trip to the emergency room, and now I have to spend a few days in bed recuperating and taking powerful antibiotics. I had a little cut on my leg that somehow developed one of those new fangled resistant staph infections. Not good, but I got care for it quickly, and it's much much better. I'll spare you guys the details, because ewwww.

February's going to be better...I just know it.

baked goods

Before baking

Pie with bread

I hadn't baked bread in years, and this week we made bread twice, and pie too! I found a really excellent cookbook at the thrift store called "The Art of Bread" by Eric Treuille. It has lots of delicious looking recipes, but the thing that I like most about it is that it really explains (and fully illustrates with pretty color photos) every element of bread making, from the ingredients to the processes like mixing, kneading, and proofing. It was published by DK (of Eyewitness Books fame) and it's very obviously a DK book, clear and well illustrated.

This book can be had on Amazon for a mere 51 cents! A bargain!