8 years

Jay and I celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary this past week. I tend to avoid public sentimentality…but I just have to say that it is so, so wonderful to get to share life with him. And honestly, it just keeps getting better. This Thanksgiving weekend, I am a very thankful girl.

We splurged and had lunch at this restaurant behind us (it would be much classier looking without the Twingo parked out front). It was the first time I’ve eaten at a restaurant in France that fit precisely that American ideal in my head of what a French restaurant “should” be like. The decor was so pretty and classic, the service staff incredibly on top of everything, and the food was beautiful, creative, and perfectly cooked. Wonderful.
We stayed at this charming B&B (which cost less than our lunch)…
the theme of the B&B was “la vie en rose” which could potentially be pretty scary, but they managed to restrain themselves to digestible quantities of pink,

visited the oldest chateau in Burgundy (there’s not a lot left to see…)

saw mysterious, orange-fruited trees (I’m so curious as to what they are…)
feasted our eyes on the last of this year’s hydrangeas,
and saw this strangely bumpy building…

(does anyone know what purpose these bumps would have served? Jay’s guess was to reduce cannon ball damage).

weekly art wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving!

In the celebration of bounty: a couple of little vegetable sketches.
Happy Thanksgiving!

garlic. pen & ink. 4.5″ by 6.5″

neighbor’s tomatoes. pen & ink, watercolor. 4.5″ by 6″. shop here

on the Ch√Ęteau table: November 17, 2010

This week my creative endeavors were limited to the kitchen, as we had lots of guests here to take care of. Here’s a sampling of this week’s cuisine:

beet salad with soft goat cheese and toasted walnuts,
savoy cabbage leaves stuffed with sausage,
poached pears…

with homemade caramel sauce,
roquette salad with grana padano cheese and toasted hazlenuts,
caramel-apple tartes (I’m really into this caramel sauce right now) (I bought an apple-peeler-corer-slicer gadget, which makes homemade apple tartes a breeze. I don’t like how uniform the apple pieces turn out…it takes some of the handmade feel out of it…but when making six at once on a tight time-schedule one must choose one’s battles),
savory orange & greek olive salad (it’s surprisingly good!)
and these amazing orange and white-chocolate cakes, made by guest chef Loise K. They tasted every bit as wonderful as they looked, which in this case was no small feat. Bravo!

weekly art wednesday: saint james’ way revisited and psalms illustration

Today’s my birthday, and it’s been so nice. Started off with birthday greetings over the phone from my parents, then waffles for breakfast with Jay and our friend Can (pronounced “Jon”) whom we met four years ago on the Saint James’ Way; he’s been visiting us these past few days. It’s been a week of catching up, reminiscing, late-night discussions, and the watching of BBC documentaries, Monty Python sketches (I’d never really seen them so the guys caught me up to speed a bit), and 80’s commercials on YouTube (gotta love John Denver).

The three of us at a pilgrim hostel back in 2006, somewhere in Spain. We randomly kept meeting Can throughout France and Spain—I mean we had completely absurd coincidences of running into him throughout two and a half months and a thousand miles…and the guys have kept in touch over the years.


I did a sketch each day (except for one) during our 73-day hike; this was one I did of Can’s semi-trusty bicycle, Bazou.


Then I had to do some work (menu planning & grocery shopping for the Chateau)…

And finished off the day with yummy home-made cake with friends. Sigh of contentment.

The piece I’m showing today for Weekly Art Wednesday is one that I finished up a few days ago, an illustration from the book of Psalms. I was planning on mailing it to our church in the States to participate in an evening of artistic expression of the Psalms, but unfortunately I didn’t finish it quickly enough to arrive on time, unless I wanted to spend over $100 to expedite it. That was just a little too steep for me.

I chose this passage because I liked the imagery and the story — I thought it would be enjoyable to make into a picture. And also because the idea of God directing us through overwhelming or difficult circumstances into a haven of peace is an idea that’s kind of been resonating with me throughout the past year or so.

I did these on 7″ by7″ wood panels, and used modeling paste, collage, acrylics, ink, and wax medium. shop here.

weekly art wednesday: bird on branch

Earlier this summer I got inspired to join the “daily art” movement, and create some kind of sketch or painting each day. I love the idea of it! But I know that given my super-irregular work schedule (and also my personality), there’s just no way that would last longer than say 9 days. SO, I’m going for a slightly looser version, and will shoot for doing something new each week, which I’ll post here on my blog and have for sale on my brand new Etsy shop. I’m calling this project “Weekly Art Wednesday;” so stay tuned and check out how I do with this little personal challenge each Wednesday!

Here’s this week’s piece…I know bird motifs are everywhere right now…but there’s a good reason for that—birds are just simply wonderful! I painted this today, so it’s fresh off my work table.
Sweet Little Bird, available for purchase here