"Untitled with Foxes #1"

For Christmas, Ben gave me a Wacom drawing tablet. I'd been oohing and ahhing over them for a while, but I seriously did not expect to find one under the tree. It was a nice surprise, to say the least. There may have even been a few happy tears on Christmas morning (well, and guilty tears about the crappy presents I gave to him... I mean, he DID need new pajama pants, but still.)

On account of our dying (now deceased) computer, I didn't get a chance to try the tablet until today. I know it'll take me a while to get used to the thing, but even after one day of drawing I can tell I'm hooked.


Adventures in Baking

I awoke this morning and entered my kitchen with three realizations:
- I am hungry (and not for my usual cereal)
- Those bananas are looking a little sad
- Those blueberries are looking a little sad!

Now, I am not the cook in this relationship. But with Ben's somewhat unaccommodating work schedule, I've been faced with two choices: flee from the kitchen in terror and retreat to takeout menus, or embrace this as an opportunity to experiment (and yes, make some errors) in cooking. This morning's realizations seemed like an awesome opportunity to concoct some muffins, so here is the recipe for my own little experiment, combining elements of various muffin recipes from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything (an awesome cookbook to own)...

Blueberry Banana Muffin Recipe
2 Cups flour (I used 1 Cup all-purpose and 1 Cup whole-wheat)
1/2 Cup sugar (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 Tablespoon melted butter (plus extra for greasing the tin)
2 overripe mashed bananas
1/4 Cup plain yogurt
1/4 Cup milk (I added this after everything was mixed since the batter looked too dry)
1 Cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Grease a 12 compartment muffin tin with butter.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Beat together the egg, butter, bananas, and yogurt.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spoon or spatula (you don't want to mix too much, the dry ingredients should be moistened but not totally smooth.) This is where I added a splash of milk (you can see from the second picture that my batter was too dry.) Stir in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin compartments. Sprinkle the tops with sugar (and cinnamon, if you like.)
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing them from the tin (in my case, I let all but one sit for 5 minutes.)

The verdict: Good tasting and a moderately healthier option than some other muffin recipes (with the use of whole wheat flour and yogurt). But, I think they could have stood to have a bit more sugar in them. Next time, I might also try adding some lemon zest to the batter and nixing the cinnamon on top. But all in all, a delicious and filling muffin.


Hello, Monday

Ugh. Mondays. Also, Benny has been sick the last few days so I've been trying extra hard not to catch what he has (we've even been sleeping in separate rooms like a 1940s married couple.) Last night he was like, "you know, I think I'm almost over this thing." So I figured what the heck, and moved back into our bedroom. Wouldn't you know it, this morning I awoke with a swollen throat and sniffles. Blergh!

Anyway, here's a little guest who stopped by this morning to say 'Happy Monday'...


New Bookboard Designs Featuring 'Dot' Landscapes

I recently started selling my work at Space and am relieved to find that most of my items were sold before the holidays. There's nothing quite like seeing my sad dwindling stock on display to put a fire under my seat and force me into productivity. Yesterday, I sat at Cafe Brasil for four hours, tediously drawing new designs for my bookboard jewelry. I really have a love-hate relationship with these items -- there's something quite lovely about getting lost in repetitive tiny little drawn details, but by the end of the day I'm pretty convinced that my eye prescription has changed a couple of points. The worst part is the walk home where everything has that weird Alice in Wonderland tunnel vision effect that comes with doing a lot of closeup work. But, I also loooove lining up all my new designs and seeing evidence of progress. It's pretty gratifying.

Also... how cool is it that the 'dot landscapes' sort of fit together to form one horizon!? That was entirely unintentional...



Challenge #1: Structure with 'Legs'

For the month of January, my sister Erika and I are challenging each other to complete a drawing every day... well, every other day (since we're alternating days). More about the challenge at our joint art blog, Arting Through Limbo

Challenge #1: Structure with 'Legs'