Monday, May 30, 2011

Time to slow down

The school year has come to a close and it sure did fly by.  Thinking about time - and it's ever increasing speed, I thought about two things.  The first was a conversation with my 12 year-old, who one night when I was tucking her in, said, "Mom, time is going by too fast. I wish it would just slow down."
I almost cried.  She's only 12.  If time is whipping by for her now, what will it feel like when she's my age? 

The second was at dinner several months ago.  My 9 year old was looking out the window, got up from the table, grabbed her camera and said, "I've got to take a picture."  Resisting the urge to tell her to return to the table and eat, I joined her outside.  She took several beautiful photos - that wouldn't wait until after dinner. 

In that moment, we both slowed time, and enjoyed that moment. 
Slow down and enjoy life.
It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast -
you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.

Enjoy the moment.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Recipe - Flank Steak Marinade

Another family favorite for summer-time grilling.  This is my go-to recipe for grilled flank steak.  This recipe came to me with no measurements from my mom, but was originally from my Great Aunt Jane and Great Uncle Fred.   It would also work well on flatiron steak.
Flank Steak Marinade
1 cup red wine
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 c olive oil
2-3 T chopped fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, pressed
black pepper, freshly ground

Mix all ingredients.  Put marinade and steak into a ziplock, seal tightly.  Marinate for several hours, up to 24. 
Drain and grill to your desired degree of doneness.

This marinade does a great job of imparting delicious flavors that enhance the steak.  It is a great one to serve to company.  I like to serve with crusty French bread, grilled vegetables and a bright summer salad, and of course a glass of wine.  One of the best!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quote of the Day-

Words to live by...

I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sunday Sculpture Series - Finale

This little rabbit peeks out from behind the boy on the turtle.

Natural Wonder, by Michele Moushe Dale, is available for $12,900.  Part of Lafayette's Art on the Street rotating sculpture gallery.  Natural Wonder is made of bronze, it measures 2'7" x 1'6" x 1'10".  It currently sits in Festival Plaza, at the corner of Public Road and Chester Street in Old Town Lafayette.
Dale is from Wisconsin, but has studied art in Illinois and Virgina and her works sit in several collections around the country.  Whimsical details like the rabbit in the back, or the other animals around the piece, make this sculpture a fabulous storytelling piece.  This suclptures symbolizes the connections we all share with nature. Dale's hope it to express how each person can build a sensitivity to natural ecology and improve our world.
This piece won't remain in its location long.  The change over from the 2010-2011 to the 2011-2012 Art on the Street is happening in the next two weeks.  All the current 12 sculptures will be removed and returned to their artists.  We are fortunate enough to be able to expand our program, and will be installing 16 new sculptures for the next year-long rotation.
I can't wait to show you the next set of sculptures!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday Sculpture Series

This piece, Sod Busters, is one of two final bronzes I will post from the 2010-2011 Art on the Street Sculpture walk in Lafayette, Colorado.  Local artist, William Tyree began his career in art after a full career in the field of engineering.  He began woodcarving and then moved into working in bronze.  He has been a bronze artist for 10 years.  Sod Busters took a year to carve from wood, and then another year to complete as a bronze sculpture. 
I find this piece so interesting, with its strong lines and element of power.  It is an historical piece for Lafayette, as well, as Lafayette was a farming and mining community in its early days.
Sod Busters, and the other 11 sculptures will be removed from their locations in the coming days.  They will be replaces with 16 new and exciting pieces as part of Lafayette's 2011-2012 Art on the Street.  I will be sure to share those pieces with you.
If you are interested in purchasing Sod Busters, or any one of our other pieces on display, you must act quickly.  Sod Busters costs $25,000 and can be purchased by contacting the Public Art Committee.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Recipe - Teriyaki Marinade

Well, this isn't your traditional teriyaki sauce.  But, trust me, it is delicious.  This one is a family favorite from my Aunt Kris.  We use it on beef, chicken, and pork.  It is a go-to recipe during grilling season.  And since it's a from scratch marinade, I know that there is no corn syrup, sugar or MSG involved.

Aunt Kris's Teriyaki Marinade

1/3 cup white vinegar
2/3 cup soy sauce
3 T dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1-2 inches ginger, pressed

Mix all ingredients.  I press both my garlic and my ginger in a high quality garlic press.  There is virtually no need to peel either.  Add as much black pepper as you'd like

Marinate your meat for at least one hour (up to 6 hours) before grilling.  Keep in mind, the vinegar will act as a tenderizer and can change the texture of the chicken if it sits too long.

Drain, grill and enjoy.  Trust me, I know the combination sounds a bit odd, but it is delicious.
Grilled chicken, served with simple green beans, and couscous.  A perfect weeknight meal.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Collage - Hope

 Another house collage....
Using an old spring and an old hinge...some newspaper scraps...

This love is silent. 
-TS Eliot

The bit of text from an old book wraps around the edge.  It seems to complete the sentiment by saying... "and the time goes quickly."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Sculpture Series

Within Reach, by Colette Pitcher is a bronze sculpture of a small bear cub.  Weighing 150 pounds and measuring 4' x 3', this bear sits on the corner of the intersection of Chester and Public Road.  We have seen drivers stopped at the adjacent stop sign, glance over and wave at this friendly cub.  Pitcher loves sculpting Colorado wildlife and this whimsical bear has his goal just within reach.
This piece is for sale for $7,900, contact the Lafayette Public Art Committee for purchase details.
Within Reach will be in place for just a few more weeks, before the rotation is made and the current sculptures are removed to make way for the next cycle of art on loan.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Recipe - Homemade Pancakes

This recipe comes from my favorite cookbook, Passion for Good Food and Lively Kitchens, by my friend Lisa Maloney.  Unfortunately it's not published.  She put a collection of her favorite recipes together for friends and family and bound them together for a Christmas gift years ago.  Our copy is well-work and used almost weekly. 

One of our favorite recipes is this one:
Homemade Pancakes
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
2 T sugar
3/4 t salt
1 egg
2 T melted butter

Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, beat egg, add milk and melted butter.  Add wet ingredients to the dry, whisk gently.  Mix until just incorporated.  Do not over mix.

Heat griddle.  Cook over medium heat until bubbles form and stay open, then flip and cook until golden brown. 
Variation:  Add 2 T wheat germ to the dry ingredients.  Add a smidge more milk to the batter, as needed, after mixing.  The wheat germ will thicken the batter quite a bit.  I usually add 2 -3 T more milk.

These are our favorite pancakes.  Serve with real maple syrup and fresh berries.   And, if my kids happen to be making breakfast, they will also add a bit of Special Dark Chocolate Syrup and whipped cream.  It makes for the perfect "fancy breakfast."  Perfect for Mother's Day!  Mmmm.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thinking of Mom

I am a mom to two wonderful girls.  I am so happy to have that role in their lives and to have each of them as my daughters.  This weekend is Mother's Day. My girls take great care make a special day for me.  Unfortunately, I am not always so gracious.   Sometimes I am sad or mad or just plain frustrated. 
Mother's Day is a bittersweet holiday for me.  My mom died over 12 years ago.  Amid the Hallmark hoopla and the FTD flower ads and cooking shows about making mom breakfast and tv specials about great moms, I sometimes struggle.
Since I lost my mom, I have felt that I belong to an awful "club" of motherless daughters.  It was one that none of my friends belonged to (at the time, I was only 27).  It was something that people were uncomfortable to talk about, for fear they would make me sad.  And I was sad.   Losing my mom changed my life, as I am sure it changes each person's life in unique and different ways.
My mom and me, sometime in the fall of 1992, in the Colorado mountains
In many ways I am stronger, in some I am more vunerable.  In some ways I am more shut off and others more bold.  It is hard to describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it.  My life is divided into two halves:  life with mom, life without mom.  My life before included getting an education, getting married, becoming a homeowner, and teaching.   My life after includes becoming a mom, not teaching, opening a business, closing a business, volunteering (a lot) and finding my way.
Since that time, some of my friends have "joined" my club.  And I mourn with them.  I have met other people who lost a parent way too soon.  And on this weekend that celebrates motherhood, there is little to acknowledge the mothers who aren't here. So, I take a moment to pause.  I think about my mom.  I think about friends who are in my club. I take a moment to be sad.  I don't want a "sorry you don't have a mom" card.  I am not sure what I want - perhaps just a quiet moment to remember. (If you want to see some of my memories, look at this post)
So if you're a member of my club, I am sorry.  Be gentle with yourself.  It's okay to be sad, to remember, and it is also ok to be happy and celebrate.  She would have wanted that.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I am woman

This collage was born of my fascination with inchies.  I made a bunch and wondered what to do with them.  Then I looked for a theme to unite a set of inchies and found I had a large number of them that were woman-oriented.   I set the collage - leaving space for a quotation.  I looked and looked.  I was not satisfied with the words I found.  I wanted something simple and came up with:  I am strong.

I am strong.
I can do anything
The words "I am strong" resonated with me - and I thought of the 70's woman's liberation anthem:  I am Woman, Hear me Roar.  The words from the song seemed to fit the images on the collage - with all the variety and dimension of being a woman.

I am woman
 The original collage was flat.  I built the base and continued the lyrics around the sides of the box.  I am thrilled with how this one looks. 

I am invincible
 It is perfect for Mother's Day!

I am wise

I am Woman
(an excerpt of the lyrics by Helen Reddy and Ray Burton)
I am woman, hear me roar

In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

Oh, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to
I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

Monday, May 2, 2011

Collage - Have Heart

Art Chix Studios is hosting a recycled art challenge on facebook - the deadline is today.  I thought I would put something together to enter in their challenge.  Then, I started looking at the pieces I had recently made.  Most of my art has at least one recycled component, usually more than one. One of my most recent collages- Have Heart, is a perfect example.

The chimney is made from a discarded clothes pin hinge.  I built the wood box, behind the canvas, with scrap wood from our shed.  The paper covering the house is a wrapper from a fine bottle of liquor - a friend gave me the wrapper, not the bottle, because he knew I liked interesting papers. (too bad I didn't get the bottle also!)

The "H" is from a yard sale scrabble game.   The foam core, that forms the house are scraps left over from my daughter's school project. The old buttons are from the button jar. The roof paper and the floral in the background are scraps from my paper box.

"Where there is love, there is life."

All in all, not bad for a piece of "recycled" art.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Sculpture Series

Sentinel in the snow. Photo by CA Crandall.

Sentinel, by Colorado artist Michael Hibner, is a 4' tall, by 4' wide composition of shapes.  Made of steel, this sculpture weighs 250 pounds.  His idea is to create a dynamic sculpture of form while exploring shapes, proportions, balance and scale.  I love the hard metal, the round of the circle, the openness at the top.  It would be a lovely garden focus. 

If you would like to see it in person, the sculpture sits on the NE corner of Public Road and Simpson Street.  You can take the whole tour of the sculptures before they are removed at the end of this month.  There are 12 that sit along Public Road in Old Town Lafayette, from Baseline Rd. to Kimbark St.

Ariel Dance
Hibner is a return artist.  His piece, Ariel Dance, was in the 2009-2010 Art on the Street Art Walk.

At the end of this month, Sentinel and the other 11 sculptures that are currently part of Lafayette's Art on the Street Art Walk will be replaced with 16 new sculptures on loan.  I will continue to profile each sculpture as part of my (sometimes) Sunday Series.
If you love one of the current pieces, they are all for sale.  Please contact the Lafayette Public Art Committee for purchase information.