Open House for Butterflies

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Open House for Butterflies is one of the loveliest works to come out of the magical eight-year collaboration between the beloved children’s authors Ruth Krauss (1901-1903) and Maurice Sendak (1928-2012). With illustrations by Sendak, and words by Krauss, Open House for Butterflies is sweet, funny, and oftentimes soul-stirring in its purity and simplicity. A gem.

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Hello hello!

A monthly post has become the norm. It makes me miss the days when I had time to post more thoughtfully and regularly. Every time I receive an email from a friend via this blog sharing a good bit from the internet, a note of encouragement, or simply to say hello, I feel incredibly encouraged and touched. Thank you all!

I’ve been working full-time for the past few months, and am beginning to feel the separation pangs from not being able to devote as much time on Earlyware and other personal projects. I did, however, manage to update the shop with some prints I developed recently.

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I hope you guys like them!

One more thing before signing off – an incredible ad for The Sunday Times created by London ad agency Grey, London, re-enacting art, film, and music icons in one seamless clip. Scary good.

 

Avocado

While mixing some watercolors today to determine color schemes for an upcoming stationery project, one part of the palate had some yellows, and greens, and browns, and the way they blended together made me think, “wow. that is the color of a perfectly ripe avocado.”

One thing led to another,

and I made this.

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In my life, everything just wonderfully ends up being food.

Rarely Occasional

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It’s easy to get absorbed in work; to get lost in your mind with projects, ideas, colors, words, and numbers. Times when the creative current from my mind to my fingers seems to flow effortlessly, as I knock down those projects and wrangle up every color and figure with my lasso of wit and brilliance, I can surface from that state with the booty of productivity.

But for those rare occasions, when ideas are as realized as unicorns, I like to take a walk outside. It’s good to look up at the big sky. To listen to the wind blow. To get some feeling back into my legs.

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These are some shots from one of those walks- did I say rare occasions? Oops, I meant to say rarely occasional– that I took yesterday at a park across the street. It was a beautiful day- the sky was magnificently blue, and a cool wind blew through my hair and against my eyelids.

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With a couple of the photos, I created illustrations of words, colors, lines, or shapes they inspired within me. It’s a fun practice, and a great way for me to get back on my creative track. Because after all that walking, really, shouldn’t I be able to run?

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Tea

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Susurrus, 2.

There are three things that I eat or drink every single day, without exception: 1. Water. 2. A frozen banana. 3. Tea. I’ve been drinking some incredible teas lately, and wanted to share some of them with you today. We can discuss frozen bananas next time.

Susurrus, 1 & 2

Susurrus, 1 & 2

I probably drink about twenty cups of tea throughout the day. The electric boiler in my kitchen is incessantly on, with large french presses ready to be refilled. Here are a few teas I’ve been enjoying –

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Caramel Ruby – This tea was created by mixing roasted green teas with a red rooibos tea. The resulting character is a sweet, smoky, caramel flavor from the rooibos, with the light body of a mild green tea. Its caramel tones make this tea fantastic with milk and honey, but the tea is still delicate enough to enjoy without.

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Milk Oolong – I was initially intrigued by this tea because it smelled like buttered popcorn. Once brewed, the rolled leaves unfurl, and the resulting cup has the aroma of sweet cream and tropical fruit, with a light flavor of milk with herbal notes.

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Assam – A great black tea, similar to an English Breakfast, but much more smoky and earthy. It’s like English Breakfast’s old and dirty grandpa. I like to steep this strong and enjoy with soy milk.

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Genmaicha – A traditional green tea with toasted rice. This one has little pieces of popcorn too. Light and easy to drink anytime, and also wonderful iced.

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I prefer loose leaf teas over bagged teas, mainly because loose leaf teas tend to be superior in quality. You can also have more control of its brewing methods, and all this lends to creating a terrific cup of tea. But there are many fantastic bagged teas I keep on hand as well, for hurried times when convenience is more of an issue. Here’s a few from my cupboard –

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Clockwise from bottom left

Harney & Sons White Peach – The white peach flavor is so delicate and sweet. I like to enjoy a cup after lunch. It also makes an incredibly refreshing iced tea, with some fresh mint leaves.

Peet’s Chai – Peet’s makes a good chai, spicier than others I’ve tried. I steep two bags and enjoy it with soy milk, agave, and a dash of cinnamon. I like my chai spicy!

Korean Barley – A traditional Korean tea of roasted barley. So common among Koreans, it’s often served in lieu of water at restaurants. I prefer it iced.

H&S Paris Tea – One of my all-time favorites. A black tea with Bergamot, vanilla, and citrus notes. With a little cream, there is nothing better. I can not praise this tea enough; I love it madly.

Enjoy!

“Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasure of company.”                                       – unknown

                                               

Winter Longings

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Paper Planes, 1.

There were thick clouds in the sky, a hard downpour of rain, and a chill in the air this morning. While still lingering in a nonsensical dream state seconds after waking up, I lied in bed and pictured myself holding Winter’s grey face with my hands, asking him to stay.

Winter longings.

I’ve been reading up on recipes from several food sites and blogs of long-simmered stews and luxurious braises to warm the wintered soul. Loved friends from snowy regions continually post photos of both the glorious and devastating aftermath of blizzards and snowstorms. I’d browse through them wistfully while sipping on some iced tea.

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Paper Planes, 3.

Winter in California has been a different story. For the most part, a much brighter, sunnier one. The days here are beautiful, there is no question, but for a soul who romanticizes over foggy mornings warmed by Paris tea lattes, cashmere socks and steel cut oatmeal topped with almonds, honey, and a puddle of cream, California’s hurried transition towards warmer temperatures has me sighing every early morning when I open my eyes to a full-on spectacular sunrise for the seventy-five degreed day.

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The cashmere socks are then peeled off. Silly feet.

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On much warmer mornings, I tend to go for cold breakfasts- smoothies, yogurt parfaits, cold cereal with sliced frozen bananas. This simple yogurt bowl is one of my favorites- cream-lined yogurt, a spoonful of chia seeds, a long drizzle of agave nectar. I used to regularly bring home low fat yogurt quite thoughtlessly, but not long ago I tried full fat for the first time, and it took me a while to get over all inner remorse for not having done so sooner. The flavor of full fat yogurt kindles my inner infantile taste for pure milk, and there is a very subtle hint of deep beef essence, a flavor I savor when eating rich bone marrow or full-bodied beef broth made from hours of boiling cows’ hooves and knees.

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I realize the likelihood that I may be completely alone on that last sentence, but I hope it didn’t turn you off.