Hanging out in Berberati

This week, hanging out has been my main activity. It’s been wonderful! In the mornings I’ve been with Elise, who keeps the guest house running here, and in the afternoons I’ve been going over to Lisa’s house. Mornings with Elise have included going to the market, hanging out with her in the kitchen, and doing some jewelry-making together. She’s a natural story-teller and keeps…

Three weeks in Africa

Jay and I are in the Central African Republic for three weeks. It’s a business trip for Jay, as he works part-time for ICDI, a community development NGO. I get to tag along this time, and enjoy this beautiful country. So far, I’ve been hanging out with the cooks at the places we’re staying, reading, studying French, and doing some sketches. The porch of…

Day trip to the Alps

During the past few months I’ve been working on being content with where I am and what I’m doing right now… trying to focus on the present rather than always looking to the future for the next thing. I have to admit that’s a lot easier to do on days when we get to do this:

Randonnée Dégustative

On Sunday Jay and I participated in a 12k hike through vineyards and small villages, with 9 stops along the way where you could taste local products (about 20 wineries were represented, a couple cheese producers, jams, gingerbread, pottery, basket weaving, etc). It was one of those afternoons where I drove Jay crazy by saying about every two minutes how much I loooove France….

Favorite Things

After three years in France we finally splurged and bought macarons, just to see what all the fuss was about. They’re worth it—the vivid colors are matched by equally striking flavors. Here we had caramel, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, raspberry, apricot, and the green one was olive oil with caramelized balsamic vinegar tucked in the center.   hedgehog love.   best cat…best boy.

Gatehouse Renovations

Jay’s been continuing with the excavation, and he’s found some interesting things… The big stone being scooted out of the house is actually a stone sink. It had been used as fill, along with many other large stones. He also uncovered a very old brick floor, laid in a herringbone pattern. Neighbors have told us that the building used to be a stable. You…

Gatehouse Renovations: broken up floor

We live in the cutest little old stone cottage. But, adorable as it may be, has been needing a few renovations to turn it back into a family home. It most recently has been used as a dormitory, and before that the office of a publishing company. We took out a few walls to make a kitchen/dining/living area, but that left us with uneven…

Current Projects

Jay, my parents, and I visited Mont Saint-Michel last summer; here’s a memory of that trip that I finished up today. I used oil paints on Arches watercolor paper under the pastels…and realized why people generally use canvas for oils and paper for watercolors…the paper sucked my oil up faster than I could keep laying it down. I guess it’s a no-brainer but I…

Crafty USB Key

Here’s something my favorite artist in the world, Jay, made this week. Isn’t it clever?

Studio Visit: Blandine Desbois-Berthet

Today being a perfect fall day, Jay and I went on a bike ride on the “voie verte,” an old train track turned bike trail. I thought it would be pretty flat, since it was supposed to be on the old train line…but the section we did went off the original line, and was quite hilly. I think it was the hardest workout I’d…