(in the kitchen) – a little craving

olive tapanade

There’s an ongoing list of meals and recipes that stay on the mind and insist on being made. Ones that it’s all too easy to pick-up in a little jar with a nice label when it catches the eye. For me, there’s something really satisfying about knowing how a food comes together and what ingredients went into it.



Tapanade is one of these. After the promise to make this months ago  and  finally with an abundant supply of kalamata olive on hand, I was able to get to started on making  my first jar of tapanade.


I did look at a few recipes beforehand, but then opted to improvise with what I had on hand. Here is my short list: about a cup of olives, a couple of garlic cloves, a couple table spoons of capers, a handful of parsley, a few anchovies, a bit of olive oil to smooth the constancy and that’s really it . Everything goes into the food processor and gets pulsed until it reaches a smooth consistency.

olive tapanade

Like avocado on toast, tapanade is one of those super easy bites when time is short and there’s a while to go before a sit down meal. Hope you like it if you give it a try.

PS.: I’ve finally gotten a chance to make some updates to my workshop here.  I think I’ve got the majority of consolidation/reorganization in the the studio taken care  of now. I’m excited about the  new projects for this week!



(at the workbench) -a study in the life of a mushroom

Yesterday the last day of February and a leap day besides was filled with rain and I couldn’t help but feeling that April showers had arrived very early and March flowers might appear soon.

New England is certainly not know for early springs, but this year, fooling the senses with the sun shining warmly, the ground starting to soften and a not so little hope in the implausible.  So ton this first day of March (though temperatures are still below freezing as I write this),  thoughts of spring, gardens and flowers are easy.

Beside for a bit of foraging, it would be easy to get lost in a comfortable armchair with a stack of field guides and books reading up on these pretties.


I’ve been thinking about just what toadstools might crop up in the soil of  dreaming imagination; these are a few of the variety in the works I saw in my mind:


robin egg blue toadstools

robin egg blue toadstools (wip)






(at the workbench) – following along

After today, perhaps the thaw will be complete and their tracks will have melted away.


Which will leave me to imagine where there lives travel….



For now, I’ve had the chance to make a few more cast animal tracks. Right now the collection includes: cotton tail rabbit, elk, badger, muskrat, antelope, mountain lion, skunk, jack rabbit and a few others.



(glimpses) – cozying up

hand-carved red cap toadstool necklaces

After an almost entire thaw, we have had this snowy week of snow falls. After a quiet spring-like winter for the most part, it looked like we were nearly there. After a busy reorganization of my studio space this January, at last I feel like now I’m moving forward again.


I’ve been revisiting some nature studies I started last year and have some many ideas I’m eager to work through. I’ve pulled out my field guides, looked at old french champignon charts and scientific identification tables as I work through my studies  of toadstools and mushrooms deciding on what next to carve.


In the end I’m finding I’m even imagining a few little imagined foraging.  So in some ways, I’m grateful for quiet that a another snow storm brings.



(at the workbench) – warm mittens

I don’t think I could ever underestimate the power of small comforts. Warm mittens, blue skies, a good meal made even from a few ingredients  from an otherwise empty fridge. These little things matter.

If it were not for these quiet, but consistent reminders of the importance of living beautiful, ordinary moments, daily stressed might feel quite different.

dala horse brooch pin

These are among the little things I’ve been working on this past week. I have loved the process of painting each small vignette, though more time consuming that I might have projected, sitting quietly doing these different patterns is also a matter of living small comforts.

warm mittens brooch pin