Sunday, April 20, 2014
happy easter friends! it's a gorgeous spring day here in virginia. we are excited to have our first picnic of the season and our first hike on the blue ridge for the season. around here we celebrate jesus and transformation by being in nature.
and sometimes i celebrate these things in the soul kitchen.
i have been wanting to make pink deviled eggs for years. a colorful easter picnic is the perfect time to make this happen.
i used the instructions from the kitchn. if you are going to make deviled eggs anyway, it's really just one more step (the "pickling" in the beet juice...mine were in their hot pink bath for 16 hours as the guidelines suggest).
i used my go-to deviled egg yolk mix (mayo, grainy dijon, turmeric, salt and pepper) and garnished with fresh dill.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
grace this week is all about the wonder and beauty of spring. she arrives suddenly but softly with color and light just at the moment hope is beginning to wane and we start to believe that life is just plain harsh.
she allows us to see with new eyes. to touch and feel our world. to experience our own rebirth that mirrors the thousand tiny births taking place each second around us.
for me, reconnecting with a familiar life: the first farm market of the season. there were easter egg radishes and pea tendrils. children laughed and played. organic farmers smiled even while telling tales of their hardest winter ever. the air smelled of kettle corn and pear blossoms.
grace, grace, grace.
Monday, April 7, 2014
thank you for finally showing up.
the magnolias are magnificent. (we found the perfect one with fuchsia petals for gypsy hill.)
thank you for garden shops and the color green.
thank you for wellies, puddles and cherry blossoms.
thank you for perfect afternoons at the flea market.
thank you for easter egg radishes with butter and pink salt.
thank you for rainy day naps with the pups and endless episodes of the paradise.
thank you for ranunculus and anemones in blue mason jars. when i look at them i catch my breath.
thank you for reminding me that all dark things end eventually and that light and colour and warmth and joy are always within our reach.
and for these words:
ten thousand flowers in spring,
the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer,
snow in winter.
if your mind is not clouded by unnecessary things
this is the best season of your life.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
i don't know if it is because spring is right around the corner (although it's snowing again today) or because of the full moon or what, but i am in serious full-on creating mode around here. painting, photography, image transfers, yoga, sketchbooking, you name it, i think i probably did it this weekend.
a need for a unique hostess gift for an upcoming dinner party (because really, she doesn't need eight bottles of wine) prompted me to pull out my inspiration files (i.e. pinterest) and get my terrarium mojo on. inspired by the amazing work of this company, i set about to create a few tiny beautiful worlds.
i picked up a few succulents for this project, although i think i will use air plants in future worlds.
i used jars i had around the house. you guys, we are swimming in jars because i refuse to throw them away (just like my grandma dee) and this was the perfect opportunity to give a few renewed purpose.
(please tell me you hoard jars too.)
i wanted to create the lovely layers like the inspiration. the bottom layer is a little over one inch of white sand. on top of that, a layer of this amazing recycled glass "gravel".
then a layer of purple aquarium gravel topped off with a few small black pebbles to weigh it all down.
then the plants in a layer of organic potting soil.
i wanted to include some fun and colorful ephemera to the landscape, like some rocks i painted (the images are decoupaged) and a quartz crystal. i softened it up with some chartreuse moss.
the buddha tiny world is for the dinner party hostess, who happens to be a yoga teacher.
can a project be fun and zen at the same time? because this was. i can't wait to make more.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
march, i love that (just like october and of course january) you feel like beginning to me.
march, i love that ideas and plans and dreams simmer with electric energy just beneath my surface. just like the fruits of the plum tree are growing and expanding but not yet visible as either bud or bloom.
march, i love you. let's do this.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
we are in the home stretch to spring! i really do like these transition weeks. goodbye winter. even though i love your crisp sunny days and coats and soup and stuff, i am ready to feel the warm grass on my bare feet.
you guys, i am addicted to image transfers. the block above is my first piece where i am partnering my images with bold color statements.
a sweet breakfast table while on the road. (red truck bakery, warrenton virginia)
yes. spring is coming.
my collection of vintage art supplies continues to expand. i see a giant collection photograph in the making.
the napping simon.
Friday, February 14, 2014
in case you don't know, luca would like to remind you that a wire fox terrier won best in show at westminster this week.
that's right, top dog.
it snowed a bit this week. i'm trying to keep it all in perspective, but i am over this winter. more on the way tonight.
i love a good sale. and i could use a few rainbows.
new carnival letters for the gypsy hill meditation altar. because this girl likes a little funk with her serenity.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
the gypsy bed mr. parks made for me.
sometimes when i get homesick, he takes me for roadhouse steak and blues.
i really really like stripes. rainbow stripes, to be specific.
so....i ate a rainbow sprinkle donut immediately after yoga this week. just felt like i needed to confess.
other times when i get homesick, i have to paint it out.
i want all of these recycled sari and jute rugs.
a few incredibly talented muralists are painting richmond. this one is my favorite. (but of course i have not yet seen this one.)
Sunday, February 2, 2014
“i used to think i was the strangest person in the world but then i thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways i do. i would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. well, i hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true i'm here, and i'm just as strange as you.”
Friday, January 31, 2014
i am celebrating the end of january over here. because it was ridiculously cold. luckily, it was sunny most days despite the cold. this helped immensely.
it also helped that i spent a lot of time in the art studio playing with paint and stencils and drawing and such. i am taking mati rose's daring adventures in paint and i am loving it. i especially love the weekly assignments to seek out color.
even on a brutally cold day (you guys, it was no degrees out. NO degrees!) these happy prayer flags down the street kept smiling and waving.
learning new art techniques means more trips to the art store. hello happy place.
when the virginia winter gets to be too much for this california girl, i make myself a cup of super spicy mexican hot cocoa, languidly peruse frida kahlo's unbelievably beautiful diary and daydream of the sun and the color and the spirit of mexico.
i was doing a bit of organizing and ran across the little yellow cloth bag of mia's old winnie the pooh game pieces. a kind woman gave them to her while we were at a yard sale when mia was four or five (which was a good thing because i had no money to buy them at the time). there was never a board or instructions, mia just made up her own rules each time we played. these pieces are so old, they are made of wood and paper, absolutely no plastic. i love this happy colorful memory.
Monday, January 27, 2014
for me the only thing more comforting than wrapping my hands around a hot cup of soup when it's eight freaking degrees outside (this week in virginia we are between the second and third polar vortex of the season which are seriously testing this native californian's cold hardiness) is the actual making of the soup. i am one of those people who gets all zen when it comes to chopping and dicing and sauteing and caramelizing and simmering. i want to convince everyone to never ever ever eat canned soup again (because ew). plus i love it when the kitchen smells like love.
lentil soup is pretty much my all-time favorite. i also love a spicy spinach-white bean soup that i wrote about here. either one can be made vegan or vegetarian or animal by choosing vegetable or chicken broth or even adding in some chicken.
french lentil and potato soup
use organic ingredients if you can, even the olive oil, butter and broth
one tbsp. olive oil
one tbsp. butter
one sweet onion, finely sliced
six cloves garlic, finely diced
two carrots, diced
one-half to two lbs. potato, diced (any kind of potato, skin left on. i like sweet potato or fingerlings)
one cup french lentils, rinsed (green or puy lentils, they don't mush out like other lentils)
two 32 oz. cartons low sodium vegetable or chicken broth (or six-to-eight cups homemade stock)
two tsp. turmeric
one tbsp. herbes de provence
one tsp. roasted chili powder
one tsp. cumin
two bay leaves
salt and pepper
- heat olive oil and butter (you can use all oil if vegan) in large soup pot (you may need to add more, you want to cover the bottom surface of the pan
- caramelize onions on medium-low heat (about eight to ten minutes)
- turn heat up to medium-high
- add garlic and cook about three minutes
- there should be a tiny bit of oil still in the pan, if not add a bit along with the turmeric, hdp, chili powder and cumin; stir until spices are incorporated into onion-garlic-oil; season this layer liberally with salt and pepper
- add the carrots, lentils and potatoes and let them cook for a few minutes before you add stock (this is my favorite part, it's so pretty here because i used white, red and purple fingerling potatoes)
- add a bit of stock and carefully deglaze the pan
- add the rest of the stock, stopping at your desired spot on the stew-to-soup spectrum
- bring to a boil
- cover, reduce heat and simmer on low for twenty to thirty minutes
- potatoes and carrots should be soft, but lentils will still have a chewy bite to them
- salt and pepper to taste
curl up, get warm, feel loved.