Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oh Baby!

Check this out: Last month I designed an invite for Nancy's Baby Shower. The graphic below provides the gist of the design (you can view the whole thing here). Of course, it falls under my attempts to gain high accolades as a top bridal, baby shower invitation designer in Denver. However for the time being, I shall settle for this surprise...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE things that are mailed. Yet when I arrived at the shower, I found a new dimension to my happiness. Tricia commissioned a cake to be created following the design of the invite. The creator, the uber-talented Anna Rodgers, manipulated fondant like a crazy lady (and if you've seen Ace of Cakes you know how hard it can be). That's just the beginning folks, because I haven't gotten to the delicious yellow cake with lemon filling and fresh raspberries that hid beneath the lovely surface. Truly delightful (though my blurry photos barely grasp the beauty).

If you are in need of a pastry chef in the Denver-metro area, contact Anna! If you aren't - come up with an excuse to get a cake made. She would be happy to hear from you and you would have yourself a fine treat!

Anna Rodgers 303-709-9300
annrodgers@gmail.com

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sayonara Summer

Fall is here whole-heartedly. I snuggled in bed till 6:45 and told myself the time change will fix this “sleeping in” problem that I have cultivated. Today summer kissed us goodbye and gently woke sleepy CO to snow in some places and a chill that made riding the scooter to work unbearable. It felt like the passing of a torch one day too early; it felt like Winter skipped ahead in line.

Last week I met up with a friend at Potager for a glass of vino and some delicious snacks. Potager has a way of making you feel hip and satisfied, like your at a friend's house. We had a wonderful quiche accented with beets; a peach wrapped in pancetta with ricotta and herbs buried in the middle where the pit had once been. For dessert we shared strawberry shortcake with Lemon Verbena custard on a biscuit. It was all so yummy and delightful. Unfortunately, as all good things must come to an end, it was the final night of that menu. Potager changes it with the passing of season's and with the availability of produce from local farmers and their garden out back. I love, LOVE the idea of an eating establishment designed around this philosophy. I think this is the way food should be experienced and manipulated (not in some back alley warehouse adding natural flavors and colors). I am dedicated to supporting it, even if it's only a special treat once in a while.

Potager inspired me. As the cold air sneaks over the mountain peaks toward Denver, I've been thinking about how to salvage my own herbs for deep winter treats. Today, I finally clipped a fair amount of the Basil I had growing out back to make pesto. If I didn't get to it, the frost would sooner or later. Like most things cooking, the concept seemed to be more of a big deal until I did it - now for a lifetime of tweaking. I feel proud of my first attempt though, thanks to Better Homes & Gardens and some added spinach. Hopefully a night in the fridge will help it's flavor.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beantown

We were in Boston for a week visiting family and friends. Here are snippets of what I learned:

- Wood shingles are a requirement for structures by lakes (and add a hint of color).
- Those italians in the North End know how to make and market glorious treats on little more than notebook paper. But man, do they really need any pr? - Life is not moving as fast as you would think.

- Boats are kind of a big deal out there.

- Window shopping menus is a fine art.

- When you have the time, take the water taxi.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We Have All the Time in the World

(Louis Armstrong)
I have time this morning to lolly gag; to lay in bed and feel the soft warmth of the down. Denver is wrapped in a light Fall fog and I smell the coffee long before I roll out of my nest. The smell is like a promise that becomes more and more intriguing as I let go of dreams and accept the easy Sunday morning reality.

I love for days to begin like this: there is no rush, it’s easy, quiet and has a sense of peace. It’s about sipping coffee with two hands like in a Folgers commercial. In the backyard, I consider the weather and eye the red of certain tomatoes against their status yesterday. Gingy comes back to me again and again, conspiring for a pat and dropping hints about a great meandering walk. We are BFFs.

NPR rattles in the background and I mull word puzzles in my head and guess answers as they play the game on the radio. I have a strong showing for the early hour. Warm coffee refreshed in my mug, I go down to the office and journal. Now I'm listening to Billie Holiday Radio on Last.FM because I need to check out "I Cover the Waterfront". I haven't heard it before and I’m reading “The Song is You” by Arthur Phillips; he starts the book telling a story about that song and I need the context more than just knowing how Billie sounds. She fits nicely into my Sunday morning. Her music always feels like an old friend, my age and life experiences constantly changing my perception of the tunes. Before I used to listen to her music feeling like I was living in a fond memory waiting for life to happen. This morning, “Easy Living” feels like it was written just for these past few weekends, for life these days.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

NEXT!

I'm a texture girl myself. I like art that makes me want to reach out and touch it. I gravitate to paint pealing off old doors and colors built up in formations that negate the laws of gravity on the canvass.

Image created from a piece in D J Hamilton's Wise Words As Art exhibit

Watercolor seems so light and fragile; it demands a reasonable amount of letting go and feels so opposite to my ingrained chunky affinity. Tonight, inspired by art night held at NEXT Gallery, I made some peace with easy strokes and diluted color. I focused my elementary skills and novice watercolor paints on my newly purchased Strathmore cold press watercolor 140 lb. heavy weight, professional grade paper. I felt a bit more engaged blending colors and adding water the surface. JH let me borrow her fancy brush to feel the ease of a few strokes. It was huge and thick and yet could also create the finest point. It looked cool and I felt some strange element of magic working with it (like Harry Potter with a Nimbus 2000 - sorta). I was sad to give it back and return to my tiny pointed brush that could barely graduate from kindergarten let alone hold a reasonable drop of water and color. Still, I managed to let the colors flow over the page. I placed water on top to see how it was absorbed and how it found its' way into the crevices, creating a new type of texture to enjoy. It wasn't pretty but it was interesting.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two Years and Some Change

Is it me or is the History Channel obsessed with the end of the world? I got sucked in yesterday to some good old Armageddon propaganda combining Nostradamus Predictions with Mayan Prophecy and current political affairs. I'm not complaining because I buy in to a good end of the world theory but lately I feel like all it wants to talk about is "what will happen after you F*%kers disappear" (with shows like Life after People and Nostradamus Effect). Admittingly, it's better than keeping up with Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami (though I also spent a little time watching what is the new line between reality tv and soft porn), but I have to wonder what the History Channel is doing to the bolster the mixed up, lost souls who think the end of days are near?

Does the thought of having two years and some change inspire one to live these last days to the fullest? Does it compel us to get up off our couches, turn off the tv, and DO SOMETHING to improve our world in an attempt to change the future or does it drive us to further loose hope, boost tv ratings, get fat, and exploit it all because it doesn't matter anyway? I have to believe, it's reflected in the way a person lives life to begin with; such is life. If we had 50 more years, all the more reason to enjoy the ride...at least that's how I feel.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Seasons Change

(Expose)
Being gone for a week, I now notice the subtle early morning change in the air: it’s colder and darker. I didn't leave Denver this way when I packed my bags for Boston. Life was set to summer lovin' and lemonade but I have come home to school in session and yellow leaves. It's as if Summer checked out without saying goodbye. As September rolls in, I think about Fall sitting just around the corner with it's leafy fade and crunchy sounds. These warm days with fresh tomatoes and garden herbs will all be a distant memory soon.

So much can happen in a weeks time. Perhaps it is a good reminder that this ride is short and we should seize the moment for all it’s worth. That is what I keep telling myself to make sense of it all. It’s just so strange that life moves forward whether we count the days or loose track of time, whether we're on vacation or working too much. I find myself watching D more lovingly and kissing his cheek, holding his hand, or trying to tell him how great he is in my world. I don’t want him to ever wonder. Right now we are happily unanchored. We are enjoying our days and cherishing what we have. We laugh a lot. Soon, I feel, it will all get so busy and seem to have moved so fast.