Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Nothing Ventured...

As long as all of the dye I hand painted on two shirts, a dress, and a scarf today doesn't wash out or transfer, you may just be looking at the completed ERMIE Summer 2010 capsule collection. I'm going to try to take photos and get the stuff up this weekend.

I hope the dye doesn't wash out- got a damn sunburn making these (but I was the dope who forgot to put sunscreen on my back & arms)!

Corner View: Summer

Wasn't sure what I was going to do for this post, then Hadley gave us this GIANT sunflower from her garden as a thank-you for taking her to LAX. Blogging problem solved. Thanks, Hadley!

It was so beautiful Monday night (when I wrote this & took these shots), we ate out on the back porch again. I made a simple meal of cheese ravioli (from Trader Joe's) tossed with roasted eggplant that I had prepared earlier in the day, fresh herbs from the garden, tomato sauce, & freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Cut up another cucumber from the garden and dressed it with a little fresh lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar and sea salt.

Happy Summer.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Woodcarving with Yo Takimoto

Above: Yo Takimoto

Above & below: My project.
It kind of resembles a little wooden hot dog bun, but I was happy with it. I didn't stab myself!

Left and Below: Tomory's beautiful bird he made.
He had not planned on making a bird!

The bird (Tomory's project) and his nest (My project).

Yo Takimoto took up woodcarving approximately 15 years ago to combat insomnia. It worked!

Yo now travels and teaches his method of woodcarving for a fee of $25 per person for a 3 hour workshop. I signed Tomory and I up for one of his classes this past Sunday organized through Tortoise in Venice.

You arrive to the workshop, and choose your wood from an assortment that Yo provides. Yo suggested we start out with softer wood since this was our first time attending his class. I chose a Japanese wood called Kiri and Tomory chose Bristlecone Pine. After a quick introduction on to how to safely use the carving tools (also provided for use during the class by Yo), you then proceed to carve, sand, and seal
(with beeswax or camellia oil) your project. The three hours fly by. Yo checks in with you periodically, offers suggestions and assistance.

Yo stresses that you carve without a goal in mind of the end product, that you let the wood tell you how to proceed. He says, "Most important is that you enjoy yourself."

It was so lovely to sit outdoors, listening to the wind in the trees, and to just make something for the pure experience of making it. At the end of the session, all the participants do a brief show and tell.

Yo has one more class this week before he returns to Japan for the summer- but he will be back in the fall. Tomory & I are already planning to attend another session in October!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Win/ win

Our first meal of the season eaten al fresco on our backyard patio.

I made a gazpacho with a cucumber, fresh tarragon, chives, basil and oregano from our garden (tomatoes were store bought- ours aren't ripe yet).

Tomory grilled some rib-eye steaks, asparagus, and onions.


****The winner of the Seattle Giveaway is: Marie !
Marie, Please email me (located under my profile) your mailing address.

Congratulations, and thank you all for reading, commenting, and your continued support.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Seattle: Food

The best meal we had in Seattle was at Black Bottle (first photo), a restaurant in Belltown.
They serve small plates there (actually the servings are are fairly sizeable) everything was good. Seriously. I'm not exaggerating.

If you happen to go -and you are a carnivore- get the Pork Belly with Kimchee. Trust me. Amazing. The "Broccoli Blasted " (pictured) is pretty great, too. We were shocked that the bill was so low- for a party of five, a couple of drinks each, and plenty of delicious food- (Beet Gratin, Artichoke salad, Wild Boar Ribs, Fried Chicken, Spiced Shrimp, Locally Made Sausages, Blasted Broccoli and two servings of the Pork Belly) the bill was about $160.00.

A very close second was Maekawa, in the International District. A bare bones Izakay
a place with super-friendly service...loved everything here as well. One dish we had this crazy football-shaped cheese and garlic stuffed deep-fried pork cutlet. So wrong, yet so right.

Of course we drank plenty of good coffee- a must in Seattle -especially when we visited. The sun made an appearance only 3/6 days we were there (I know I sound like a lame L.A. person saying this) and it was unseasonably cold there, too- it felt more like October than June. I needed coffee just to stay warm & awake! How did I ever make it growing up through winters in Iowa and Minnesota?

Also notable: nice pastries, quiche, sandwiches at Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle.

Sorry I didn't get more photos- my camera kept dying on me during our meals it seemed. And sometimes you just want to eat, you know?

** Almost forgot about Than Brothers ! We ate lunch at the West Seattle location 2 days in a row. I used to eat here often when I lived in Seattle- the Pho is not the best I've ever had, but they do a nice Vegetarian Pho with slices of fried tofu and mushrooms that I like- plus they give you free cream puffs that they make in-house with every order! Where else can you get free cream-puffs? I ask you...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Seattle Studio Visit: Debbie Bell

Deborah Bell
is another old friend of mine & artist that I reconnected with in Seattle on my trip. I always loved going to her beautiful home when I lived there. It was always filled with good energy, interesting and colorful objects and artwork. Debbie's studio is now based out of her home- she was gracious enough to let me snoop around & document a little of what I found (thank-you Debbie!).

Debbie will be having an opening for her new exhibition of paintings 7/1/10 at Grover / Thurston Gallery.

Please stop by and lend your support if you are in the Seattle area!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Seattle Give-A-Way!

A give away is in order to celebrate the milestone of recently surpassing 500 posts on my blog!

My Knit Album is a Japanese crafting book that I purchased in Seattle that I am giving away to one lucky reader.
This is such a pretty little book. The photographs in it are reminiscent of a TOAST catalog...full of interesting colors and patterns. Instructions on how to knit the projects featured in the book are written in Japanese, but if you have experience knitting, you may be able to decipher the illustrated diagrams.

I love that one of the models is an elderly woman- she is wearing the best outfits in the book.

I picked the book up at the Kinokuniya, which is attached to the grocery store Uwajimaya. Spent a couple of hours here on my trip...I could spend endless amounts of time (and money) in both stores.

In addition to the book, the winner will receive some tiny assorted notebooks, and washi masking tape.

You have until 12 midnight PST Sunday 6/27/10 to leave a comment under this post! I will draw the winner's name at random, and announce the winner on Monday 6/28/10. Good luck.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seattle Studio Visit: Debra Baxter

Deb is one of my oldest friends. We went to art school in Minneapolis together. My first full day in Seattle, I went to go see her studio. I have blogged about Debra's work many times before on my blog...the great thing about artists though, and Deb in particular, is that she is always hard at work on something, there is always something new to see.

I had fun snapping these photos in her studio last week.
Deb will be having a show in Reno, NV in the fall, and will be featured in Seattle Magazine around September.

Miss you already Deb!!