Good morning, friends.
How are you doing? There's a weight over everything these days, isn't there. I live outside of Portland, Oregon and the steady simmering anxiety I've been feeling for months is now roiling and ugly. It's hard to know what to write here.
Well, the sun has found its way to our little woodland sanctuary. I may complain that I can't grow tomatoes worth a squat here but at the apex of summer, I'm rejoicing that we have shade surrounding us. The studio has been a blessing this season. Having a dedicated place to go to work has been life-saving and it is just so lovely in the mornings as the sun is rising and the light is warm and soft. I plan on posting a studio tour soon where I'll post before and after photos and what we spent on it. Given our budget, renovating the garage made the best sense to us and we're really happy with the results.
I've been trying to paint in the mornings first thing, before packing orders, cleaning, cooking, dog wrangling, email reading, and everything else that just seems to pile up. Otherwise it seems that painting is the very last thing I have time for. Right now I'm working on getting 20 new greeting card designs designed to release next month, including this pumpkin sunflower scene. When I'm sweating, I start thinking about fall.... Is it hot where you are? The heat makes me cranky so I've been huddling in front of a fan with the dogs watching The Great British Bake Off and Gardeners' World with Monty Don. My husband Bert works as a chaplain at a local hospital and he's been home for the last few days. He says he can tell when I'm anxious because I watch Monty Don and bake. He's right, I'm baking. A lot. I'm working my way through my friend Marcy's baking book called A Passion For Baking. It's my all-time favorite baking book and I trust her recipes completely. I've posted my illustrated version of her Blueberry scone here. This week we made her cinnamon bun scones and I added cinnamon chips and they were amazing.
We're grilling a lot too (and by we I mean Bert) which has been so nice. We've also made Chicken Tikka Masala because when your favorite blogger posts about it year after year after year, you finally have to see what the hubbub is about. (It's wonderful btw) We also make this chicken about once a week because it is so addictive. Are you grilling anything remarkable these days? Do you have favorite, go-to cookbooks that you can't live without?
My dad gave me Make The Bread, Buy The Butter and I love it. It is the perfect cross between interesting recipes and numbers crunching. As a family we're trying to be more economical with our food budget and she spells out what makes sense to make on your own (bagels, peanut butter, hummus) and what to buy (banh mi sammies, camembert cheese) but even then she isn't discouraging you to make camembert, she just illustrates the cost and the hassle involved. I'm excited to make my own mustard this week!
For everyone who read my post last week and then commented on Instagram- thank you! I am wondering if commenting here using Disqus is too cumbersome? Shopify doesn't have a way for me to reply to your comments (that I know of) unless I use an app so I'm still trying to figure this out. Anyway, whether you comment here or on Instagram, I thank you for being here. Have a great week, friends.