Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Lazy Summer Morning

      It's a bright yellow morning here on Maui and yay!  I have a free day with no obligations with the exception of a "fit and tone" class late this afternoon.  So, I have started this day off with a strong cup of coffee and Jane Austen.  Doesn't seem to go hand n' hand.  Maybe I should have opted for a "spot of tea". Well, with book and coffee - outside I went to sit in the cool shade of my grapevine covered pergola.  The birds are chirping and butterflies are perusing the flowers as I am being transported back to 19th century England.

I want to read "the classics" in the next three years .... before I turn 60!

This beauty sits at my feet.  I love this geranium - tiny ruffled leaves with a firework display of purple flowers.  I bought it at Kula Nursery, upcountry Maui.  

     Back to reality! I have a watercolor class tomorrow and I am really behind on my painting.  I need to get going on this project or the teacher may scold me.  This is just a wash, the beginnings of what will hopefully be a nice painting of a Hawaiian church in Hana surrounded by Ti Leave plants.

I love to listen to French or French-like tunes (Pink Martini anyone?) on Pandora while I create.

I found some of my old drawings while sorting through my work.  I thought these were amusing because everyone seems to be sleeping.  Actually, the only one sleeping was my yellow lab, dearly departed Spencer.  The woman is looking down as she is reading and the Italian looking gentleman is being reflective.

     Next week, I plan on working on my Etsy shop Gilded Palm.  I am going to mark down some items that need to be sold and add some new things.  I'm planning on a whole new look and feel to the shop.  Maybe even a new shop banner.  Fingers crossed.....

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

(I wrote this blog piece several years ago on what would have been Julia's 99th birthday)

It is so quiet this bright Monday morning. All I can hear are the birds greeting a brand new day and my old chocolate lab, Caleb, out on the back porch snoring. Unlike my husband's nocturnal symphonies, I find comfort in the sallow, raspy breathing of my canine companion, my four-legged buddy, my child in a fur coat. I decided to grab a cup of joe (that would be Kona Joe) and get caught up in my blog reading. Yes, I am a blog follower focusing mainly on those that inspire me spiritually, physically and emotionally. This morning I zeroed in on domestic goddess and artist extrodinair, Susan Branch. She reminded her readers that today was Julia Child's birthday, she would have been ninety-nine.

I love Julia Child but it didn't come easy. Back in the day I preferred culinary advice from Naturalist, Euell Gibbons over the zany and somewhat deranged behemoth throwing pans and wielding knives (scary knives) on PBS every Saturday afternoon - the ever so flamboyant, Julie Child.

For you youngin's, this is Euell Gibbons with a box of Grape Nuts cereal which was suppose to be "good" for you ..... it was SO course and gravely, it scrapped every inch of your insides clean - even your mouth.

I digress ..... back to the Birthday Girl, Julia. I fell for Julia when I fell even harder for Paris on our first visit in 1992. Take a trip to Paris or any region of France, and experience palate nirvana. Fall in love with France and everything about it, you have to include Julia Child in the mix. She moved to Paris in 1948 with her husband, Paul, studied cooking at the famed Le Cordon Bleu, met Simone Beck and le rest est l' histoire, culinary history, that is.

But what I loved the most about Julia Child was not only her cooking but her spirit of adventure and risk. Several years ago, after decades of speculation, it was revealed she was actually a spy during WWII. A SPY! With all of her accomplishments, her zeal for life and food set in cook books and aired on television, she added "spy" to her resume and kept it secret until after her death. Soooo, Julia!

I read "My Life in France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme several years before Julie and Julia was released on film, furthering Julia's legacy and popularity. Once I opened my hard back copy, I was smitten. Occasionally, I will pull this book off the shelf and thumb though the pages looking for the black and white snapshots of her life, pulling myself into her past, imaging the life she led. My favorite is the photo of her and Paul in a tub full of bubbles. This was one of her annual Valentine cards, sent each year to family and friends in lieu of the Christmas cards she couldn't find time to send out. So Julia!

Happy Birthday, Julia Child. I can only imagine you have rallied up the heavenly hosts to help you prepare your birthday dinner of say ..... Agio Bouido, Jambon Farci et Braise with Choux de Bruxelles Etuves au Beurre followed by Tarte aux Peches or Crepes Suzette (listed not off the top of my head but actual recipes from my 1961 printing of Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I will don my pearl necklace in honor of you today.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Favorite Pins of the Week

I am admittedly a Pinterest "junkie".  I love visual whether it be in a book, movie, museum, nature or even a magazine.  Pinterest makes it so easy and convenient to put all of your visual loves in one place.  I decided to share a few of my favorite pins from this week's Pinterest pinning.  If you are interested in following me on Pinterest - there is a button on the side of this blog posting or a link above that will take you directly to moi.

Pinned on Makes Me Smile -

Pinned in Looking Back in Black and White u.k. google

Pinned in Femmes -

Pinned in Art - Van Gogh, Arles circa 1888 -

Pinned in Bed and Bath -
Pinned in Hommes -
Pinned to Reading List - This book has been sitting in my book case for years and I am finally reading it.  "The Olive Farm" finds itself in the genre of "expat buys old stone house and attempts to adjust (while refurbishing said stone house) to rural life in a foreign country".  Great read .... happy to have learned Carol Drinkwater has written more books about her Olive Farm.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tres Jolie on a Summer Day

I have been so neglectful of my blog with all of my daily business.  Effectively managing my time is something I have been slowly working on ..... making lists and scheduling time for "work" on my Etsy shop and blog.  So, until we meet again, here is a little something to whet your appetite.  Hope you enjoy this photo "daydream" montage!

It's a candlelit affair ....

with beautiful pink flowers

Jean-Honore Fragonard 1732-1806 Blindman’s Buff (Le Colin-Maillard) ca. 1775-80

and chandeliers dripping with crystals

Make sure to wear sparkly shoes

and a dress with lots of tulle.

Something wonderful is going to happen

Pull back the curtains

Grab your favorite accessory 
out the door -

This la fete is just for you!

Go ahead .....  blush! 
(Francois Boucher; jeune fille endormi)