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Well, yeah.  It’s been a few weeks (or maybe months?) since I last posted about the creativity intervention.  You remember – I totally promised that I’d post on my creative endeavors once per week until my birthday (yikes! quickly approaching!) and that if I didn’t follow through on said promise, I’d have to give up my small fortune’s worth of artsy supplies and spend the rest of my life in sadness.  So… as you might have noticed, on the blogging front, I haven’t been keeping up with my creativity posting promise.  Boo to me.  But.  BUT… I have been working on a few projects and have been super busy on a BIG project that I’ll tell you more about in a minute.

First, I’ve been knitting some booties for my cousins who are expecting their Baby Maddie ANY DAY NOW, and have been trying to figure out a really easy (ppht! NOT!) difficult baby bootie pattern.

Every bootie comes out differently and really wonky, and the directions just don’t make any sense, so I might just try making my own pattern.  Soon to Be Baby Maddie may just be Toddler Maddie by the time she gets these things.

And I am knitting socks for my mum… uh… yah.

Not an easy task.  I apologize to my mum in advance if they come out funny and unwearable.  She may just have to use them as an iPod case or washcloth or something.  I did a few independent design projects here and there… and just started my new class at the SMFA in color theory.  Totally excited to start painting again.

But the big thing I’ve been busy with the last month and a half was a HUGE project, of which I’m enormously proud and am eager to share with you.  I just finished applying to graduate school for an MFA in graphic design/visual studies.  I applied to five schools, all over everywhere, in graphic design, visual design, visual studies and craft.  I don’t have a top choice–they’re all top choices, and I’d be thrilled to be accepted into any of the programs.  Going through all of my work and deciding which pieces were relevant/good/interesting/representative was not an easy task.  And talking about myself, clarifying my goals and vision, sharing my history and my inspirations and influences was kind of… weird.  But good at the same time.  Cleansing?  Clarifying?  Heartening?  Fulfilling? All of those things, and mostly deeply personal.  I’m really excited.  !!!!  And nervous.  And I can’t wait to hear back.  And even if I don’t get in, going through the process was already, two days out, so worth the work.  My portfolio is here:

So yes.  I have done some creative work since I last wrote.  And now that my applications are in I can fill my evenings and weekends with more paint, more knitting, more soap making, more art making and, AND, luckily for you (and me, because now I won’t have to give up my art supplies!) more BLOGGING!  And I can’t wait to share it with you all here.  It’s been weeks since I’ve shared–now what creative things have YOU been working on?


As loyal LPE readers well know, Anna and I have enjoyed learning how to bake a fine loaf of bread over the past few years. Usually, we knead, knead, knead away and go through several rising cycles to make a nice, dense sandwich loaf. But just a few weeks ago, a colleague of mine gave us a most special treat — a beautiful loaf of cranberry pecan bread and the recipe for how to make it.

Last weekend I finally tried the recipe. And it’s incredible. Here are the results:

Not bad, eh? Best part is that it’s the easiest loaf of bread I’ve ever made. Check out the recipe here.

Apparently, this recipe made the rounds about 3 years ago after being featured in the NYT and has been popular ever since. The two biggest differences between this and other simple bread recipes are: 1) the bread requires no kneading (but it has to rise for 12-18 hours) and 2) you bake it in a dutch oven so that you simulate baking in a steam oven. You can add all sorts of things to it (nuts, cheese, fruit, etc.), or, just keep it simple. And how cool does it look to have the flour pattern from the towels between which the dough rose on the outside?

So make yourself a loaf today. And invite us over. We’ll bring the soup.

In another installment of my new series, we feature a classic spot in Watertown that’s about 10 minutes from our house. We first saw this place just driving by and thought, “A new restaurant in an old steel car diner! Every one of those we’ve ever been to has been good.” It looks like this:

Just by the looks of it, you’d figure it would have good breakfast stuff, right? But would you guess they’d have a rockin’ gourmet dinner menu? And fantastic dessert? And good beer? And water in fancy bottles? Well let’s see…

Right on all counts! The whole classic old-school diner vibe is evident from the counter…

…to the menus, which feature images of old travel postcards from tourist traps of the U.S.A. (including… wait for it… Ogden, Utah! Which I’m thrilled about, because my Aunt and Uncle live there!). Here I am with a slightly more conventional San Francisco menu:

Anna and I like to go to the diner for just about any special occasion or, well, just about any occasion. Usually we try to sit in the fun circular booths. The last time we went it was super busy for a Sunday night, so we sat at the counter and watched one of the chefs turn out magic on the griddle. Highlights include their “kobe” beef burger, their Thanksgiving dinner plate, their sour cream pancakes, and their split pea soup:

When I try to be healthy, I order my favorite, the Asian chicken salad. Sometimes Anna likes to order it too:

Lately, Anna has been really into their Lime Rickeys, whose color reminds me of Ecto Cooler:

And we both are totally into their one-of-a-kind pointy cupcakes:

In short, the Deluxe Town Diner is the Best of Boston. It will make you happy. If you are in the Boston area, you must go soon. If you live somewhere else and ever come to visit us, chances are we will take you there.

EDIT: We were there on Saturday and the menus have changed! No more olde timey state postcards, now it’s some kind of painting that’s the same on them all. Oh well, farewell, Ogden menu, it was fun while it lasted.

Loyal friends and readers Jeff & Katie got engaged recently on a special New Year’s Eve Blue Moon evening, and they’ve started a lovely wedding blog at bluemoon wedding.

They have lots of neat tips and ideas on creating a special, one-of-a-kind wedding, and are sharing their plans and thoughts with their readers.  They’re also offering up their blog to advertising in order to make a few extra $$ to help subsidize the cost of their nuptials.  What a great idea!

Do you sell on Etsy?  Or have a small business venture?  Do you have good skills that might be helpful to the frugal bride and groom?  Consider checking them out and sharing in their sharing.

Congrats Jeff & Katie! Our best to you in the wedding planning and beyond!

It’s become somewhat of a ritual that in the first days of the new year I purchase a new planner.  In college I liked the spiral kind I could get from the bookstore that I would cover in clippings of outdoor magazine pictures and clear tape.  After I graduated I turned to the Moleskine, partly because I liked the feel of it and partly because, well frankly I thought it made me look smart or sophisticated… it is, after all, the Legendary Notebook.

Today I purchased my 2010 Moleskine Daily Planner:

There is something deeply satisfying about chucking the old year into the recycling bin and starting all fresh and clean, saying goodbye to all the mistakes, the missed opportunities, the things that just didn’t get done last year and having happy optimism about all the new ideas, new tasks, new goals that await in the minutes, days, and weeks to come.  And the smell is nice too.  Fresh pages of paper waiting for my lists and doodles.  Birthday reminders; plans for dinners and meetings; sticky notes and taped-in sketches.  Having this new year of planning doesn’t necessarily make me want to set goals (as I find I often don’t keep to them…) but just the thought of a clean slate of endless opportunities for new and exciting choices, lists, and events to come is exhilarating and uplifting and makes me want to start off the year with some gusto!


January 2010

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