Speaking of Maira Kalman, I'm loving her Elements of Style movie, such an irreverent and wonderful addition to the illustrated edition. My favorite of the book's captions: "Be obscure clearly! Be wild of tongue in a way we can understand!" Who wouldn't want to pull their chair up to a table with conversationalists of that style...!
Tuesday, September 30
Today, in the poetry workshop I'm teaching, one of my students had the most wonderful description of a color: warm apple yellow. She was trying to portray the Nebraska sun setting behind farm fence posts (can you see it?) but, to test the description, I was thinking of all the possible ways to describe this color. I was thinking, is it like mustard? Or is it lighter? Like cream? Maybe even softer? There was simply no other way to describe the color--this apple was a perfectly unique specific shade. Poetry at its best.
Have you heard any brilliant descriptions of color lately?
(Braised apples with saffron and cider from Martha Stewart. Other yellowy sources: screenprint by Camilla Engman, The Yellow House by Van Gogh, No. 13 by Mark Rothko, illustration by Maira Kalman.)
Monday, September 29
One of my favorite foods in the whole wide world is the crepe. It can be savory, it can be sweet--it is all things. Generally, the way I like to make them is with a little butter, a little sugar and jam. Of course, they're luxurious but they also make for a wonderful meal in a pinch.
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup of flour
1/2 stick melted butter
jam of your choice
Whisk together eggs and milk and then flour and a pinch of salt. (Unlike stirring pancake batter, you want to be sure there are no lumps.) Heat a large skillet on medium high. Even if using non-stick pan, you'll want to oil the surface. With melted butter and pastry brush handy, spoon a large spoonful of batter into the center of the pan. Here's the tricky part at first: using the base of the ladle spread the batter out in a circular motion. The thinner you can spread the crepe, the better. Once you have the hang of this, you're set! Turn the crepe when the edges become golden brown. Cooking the second side, brush on butter lightly. Serve immediately. Spread a bit of jam and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar .
(Photo from here.)
Sunday, September 28
A brilliant list concept, 1001 Rules for My Unborn Son. Some of my favorites:
232. There is exactly one place where it is acceptable to wear gym clothes.
229. Write letters. On paper.
228. Be careful what you put in writing. You can't take it back.
223. Be a good diver.*
167. Always stop at a lemonade stand. Tip well.
154. Ask your mother to dance.
143. Be able to identify all of the trees on your block.
76. Memorize the Bill of Rights and your favorite poem.
66. Attend lots of weddings. Your friends will be there and the food is always good.
What rules do you have for your sons and daughters, too?
(*This summer, I started swimming again and it changed my whole world view. I even got up the guts to jump off the high(er) dive and it was--in a word--liberating.)
Saturday, September 27
My favorite fall scenes have a range of colors: rich chocolate brown, a hint of grey and lavender and a nice streak of orange. What do you think? Could this translate into a comfortable hometown October wedding? Maybe set in an orchard somewhere on the West coast?
Images Sources: Red Photo Co. via Snippet & Ink, caramel pumpkin pie from epicurious, candles from Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, bridesmaid sweater dresses from JCrew, panetonne from Martha Stewart, beribboned monogram (ahem, wink, wink) from Martha Stewart, zinc place tags from Cox & Cox, a garden love story from Martha Stewart, invites by Hammer Press, Molly Findlay.
Friday, September 26
What a fine day today is turning out to be.... Yesterday was a long one on this end but, wow, today--today has been full of so many exciting things. I've lined up a new job. S has a book contract for his memoir (!). And Ez at Creature Comforts (I just adore her taste and creativity) gave us a mention--many, many thanks!
More to come in my 101 list this weekend, more finds, more projects and hopefully a new recipe soon.... I hope you'll keep me posted on what you're imagining, enjoying and working on these days too!
Thursday, September 25
...to finally watch the Sex and the City movie. A silly indulgence, yes. Fun fashion, yes. The best part I swear: that version of Auld Lang Syne and the snowfall. If you haven't heard the version, you've just got to--so sentimental. I got the first twinge of wintry holiday excitement...look out!
77. Eat at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. And at Momfuku. And Alinea. And Asanebo. And Pierre Gagnaire. And....
78. Take a really, really long walk. Maybe in New Zealand. (Lola, let's do it!)
79. Get a studio organized. I'm dreaming of one of these...don't you think a good art table is underestimated? Such a wonderful thing! Loving Chenin Boutwell's shop and Laura's of Wren Handmade. I need to get my stuff together and get back to work making art objects!
80. A pragmatic green one: cut the number of catalogs we receive in half...!
Wednesday, September 24
82. Take a letterpress class.
83. Make a difference in a kid's life--or many kids!
84. Go on an arts & crafts tour with Nancy Crow.
85. Take ten minutes every day to wake up slowly.
86. Give S the gift of a wilderness trip of his choice. I'm guessing he would choose somewhere like this or this....
To be continued...!