January 31, 2011

When cooking at home,
in my wine-colored apron,
I fancy that I am like
the lovely Ms. Binoche
as Vianne Rocher
in Chocolat
(but shhh--
don't tell anyone!)

January 27, 2011

Glasser - Apply & Mirrorage:
my new favorite studio music.
Not so dancey that I can't concentrate,
but not so slow that I loose momentum.

January 25, 2011

January 24, 2011

It was cold and so windy that
our ears ached after only a few minutes.
But still worth it.

January 19, 2011

Making progress in the studio once more.
After a period
of frustrating inaction,
I am struck yet again
by how much of a gift it is
to simply be able
to move forward.

January 18, 2011

For this scene, imagine also:
some Sweet Potato Muffins (quickly devoured)
a little black cat, &
a lovely song playing.

January 17, 2011

Not everything about January
is pale and muted.


Xenia Houser's studio

January 13, 2011

January 10, 2011

A forecast of snow by midweek (fingers crossed).
A walk and cup of tea with a dear one.
Muffins from my Christmas-present cookbook.

I find that
in January's darkness
it helps
to make note of the things
(every few days)
that I am excited about.
Small things,
simple things,
but little pleasures just the same
that are points of light
in this
(at times)
bleak midwinter.

January 5, 2011

A winter wander.

We arrived just at sunset
and as usual,
it was the purple shadows
and coppery gilding
that I loved the best.


I hadn't even thought about it,
but when I examined last year's booklist
at this beginning of 2011
I realized that I had read
exactly 52 books
in 52 weeks
in 2010.
An accomplishment,
I think!

Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

-The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
-The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen
-The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
-Of Bees & Mist by Erik Setiawan
-A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé
-Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
-The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale
-A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
-Provenance by Laney Salisbury & Aly Sujo
-The Final Forest by William Dietrich

The last three are non-fiction; all 10 were very much enjoyed and thus highly recommended.

January 4, 2011

Over the holiday I woke up one morning
to a picture in the paper
of Trumpeter swans.
they spend several migratory months during the winter
in and around the farm fields up north of my home.
So we got in the car and drove,
hoping we'd be lucky to at least catch a glimpse
of these beautiful birds.
We first spotted a group of 10 or so,
and turned up a hill to get closer.
When we came over the rise,
to our amazement we found
a field on the other side
of what seemed like 100 swans.
They rooted peacefully
in the field before us,
even as a looming storm
crested over them
in waves of rain and hailstones.

These photographs do no do them justice.

January 3, 2011

A few small bits of what my Christmas looked like.

I was feeling sad
that the whole lovely thing was coming to an end,
and my Mum reminded me
that the holidays
are the blossom of the year,
and that you can't love something only when it blooms;
a reminder to me
that it is good to tend the year
lovingly and mindfully
until it's time for it to bloom again.

(She is a wise woman, my mother).

Here's to a wonderful 2011!


The shop is again open for business.