A random babbling on creative spirits-

Random babbling on the creative spirit~painting, sewing, baking, boys, an irresistable God and the next 200 feet~

Sunday, May 31, 2009

if I can dream it

If something lives in my heart, in my head, can it live in the world? Can it be made real and take wings? -

A small cozy cottage with a simple three bedroom/three bath, wrap around porch, overstuffed, slipcovered furniture in the sitting room; the heart of this home is the kitchen. Equiped with its six burner gas range, double oven, pot rack hanging with caseron pots and sprigs of drying herbs, the sense in this kitchen is of more than a house, it is home. The island chopping block with a deep well sink for pasta pots and washing vegetables is brimming with just picked early summer flavors; sweet lettuce, crisp asparagus and pungent onions. With the window overlooking the spring blooming flower beds and in the distance a peek at the blossoming fruit trees in the orchard, the sun can not resist turning its warmth inward to spread a morning ray over the counter tops. This is where you find me, taking the piping hot blueberry scones from the oven and adding them to a tray brimming with fresh coffee, fruit bowls and yogurt made from the goats milk on the farm. I take a moment to bask in the heat of this warming sun ray before picking up the tray of delectibles and pushing the side door open with my hip.

Just off the porch I step onto the path that meanders back to the converted barn. Built into the large barn doors is a smaller man-size door that allows my entry with the tasty breakfast fare into the expansive lower level studio. Several workshop attendees are already gently awake and beginning to work on their creations for the day. Catching a wisp of the fresh from the oven breakfast, the rest of the group begins to make their way down the spiral staircase from the loft overhead. Sleeping quarters built into the old hayloft serve as luxuriously simplistic nooks for eight sleepy overnighters; whether they be workshop participants or bed and breakfast registrants, the space serves as a delightful retreat that has been commended by all those lucky enough to happen upon its existence as a slice of heaven in the northwest. With the lower level converted to workshop space, the expansive building is put to great use hosting art retreats in all mediums and disciplines by passionate instructors coming from far and near.

Just off the backside of the studio barn sits a small pond redolent with duck, fish and frog. Alongside the pond is a small goat barn where two buck and six doe reside; three of which are due to kid any day. The chicken coop supplies daily eggs with which the succulent scones and hour-fresh-egg omelets are made.

Traveling back to the cottage I wander around the backside and stop at the brick wood fired oven to ensure that the temperature is right for the loaves of bread that are ready to go in. Lunch for the guests will include fresh bread just pulled from the hot stones, with goat cheese and asparagus quiche. Most of the baking happens out of this over with the pizzas being a hands down favorite. Guests thrill at creating their own masterpieces with dough and have even come up with a few of the current house favorites.
Taking a final sweep through the house to ensure things are at the ready for the next wave of hungry stomachs, and a check to the garden-peeking to make sure the Peter Rabbit visitor hasn't stollen any more dinner salad, I return to the studio to check on the guest instructor and students then head to the computer to continue writing my book. in love. trish
Blueberry Coffeecake Scones

1 c all purpose flour
1 c white whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c sugar or organic sucanat
1/2 c butter, chilled
2 eggs
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon zest
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl blend remaining ingredients and pour into the dry ingredient crumbles. The dough will be sticky. Gently incorporate the blueberries; if using frozen, do not thaw-simply blend in while still frozen. Place dough onto a greased baking sheet and pat into a 9" circle.

In another small bowl blend:

3/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 c butter, chilled
Pat this topping onto the blueberry scone dough. With a bread knife, score the circle into eight pie shaped wedges.Bake 30 minutes or until lightly brown and the center comes out clean when tested. Irresistable warm with fresh yogurt and a latte!

Friday, May 29, 2009

wow this is fun stuff!

for me, they are enough in the creating; but the created is oh so satisfying as well! enjoy~ in love. trish.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


'it's hard to love someone when you're preoccupied with holding your world firmly in place. loving someone requires a certain amount of malleability, a willingness to be pulled along, at least occasionally, by another person's will.
no one ever got laid because they scheduled it in their day planner.'
the brilliant musings of molly wizenberg, A Homemade Life

An ending happened for me today. I don't know of a single ending that doesn't hurt. Can anyone out there counter for me?! I felt it coming. I saw the signs and sensed the incoming tidal shift. (see posts 'getting better every time' and 'don't throw it away'-) But I rested on how right it had been. I held my breath through the glimpses of doubt, wanting to remain steadfast to the rightness on which it had been built. A foolish grasping by some assessments, but a potential worthwhile investment if the return swings in ones' favor. Not the case for my tender heart: And that is to where the source of pain can be traced-those first few moments of oh so wonderful rightness. So much was invested so quickly on what has now frittered away to so little. I kiss it goodbye, this ending, this loss, with a heartbreaking ache and bittersweet whimper-recognizing the necessity of end, wistfully aching for the gift that had been-yet reassured that, in its fleeting existence, this blessing still holds a place among the possible. In seeking, some things truly can be found. Let there be another penny. Let me pick it up. in love. trish.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


love. trust. believe. Share. open. smile. talk. listen. touch. get up. feel. be. do. breathe. begin. begin again. stand still. move. hear. seek. find. explore. look outside. trust inside. flow. pray. play. laugh. walk away. hold on. experiment. grow. absorb. go slow. move fast. jump. learn. have faith. trust you. question. cut. paste. sew. brush. punch. form. make. imagine. dream.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


How do I find, how do I become found, if I am not looking? or, leaving space in which to be seen~in love. trish


worry. overthink. overwork. settle. accept second best. frown. accept good enough. stop listening. stop believing. stop trusting. stop loving. ignore. close your eyes. trust blindly. wear blinders. deafen the soul.
stop choosing. degrade. defeat. throw it away. cut ties. doubt yourself. stop asking why. sit. tell him no. ignore a tug. close doors. ignore the heart. lose faith. lose heart. shrink. choose safe. turn from inspiring. turn down. scowl. deaden the passion. ignore goosebumps. look to greener grass. seek outside yourself. stop learning. stop trying. stop failing. disbelieve. always believe. die inside. question your gut. believe your brain. lose self. try to see further than you can reach. go. not go. stop. allow.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Besides my fetish for ginger redheaded boys, my sons!, a ginger fetish rests heavily on the pungent rhizome as well. When I am not cooking or baking for the aforementioned boys, I love to pull one of the many incantations of this spicy reed to the counter and mix its hot-sweet spiciness into the dishes I am preparing. My current addiction is in the breakfast bowl. Spicy ginger granola has gone through many transformations since I discovered the original base recipe in an Eating Well magazine several years ago. The best way to eat it is with fresh yogurt-I tend to go with Nancy's Nonfat
Organic if I haven't created a batch myself (insert eye rolls here, I know....truly it is easy and so much better than the store version!) Milk is a tasty alternative as well-cold or warmed in the microwave! Experiment and find your personal favorite; and share them here so I can expand my repertoire!
Spicy Ginger Granola
5 c rolled oats- Bob's RedMill has a nice version
1/2c coconut-again, Bob's RedMill has a tasty unsweetened
1/2 c honey
1/2 c maple syrup
1 c dried fruit-I love Trader Joe's berry blend
1/2 c crystallized or dehydrated ginger, chopped to your liking
1 c almonds, chopped to your liking
In a saucepan over medium heat blend the honey and syrup until bubbling. Turn the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl blend oats and coconut. Once the honey blend is finished, pour over the blended oats and coconut. Pour this mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven, add the dried fruit, ginger and almonds and stir to blend. Return to oven and bake for another 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool on sheet then put into air tight container and eat it up within two weeks! Many variations of the granola can be concocted. Enjoy experimenting and finding your favorite.
More ginger to follow. It's all so good! in love. trish.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

where I am at

This week is filled with many commitments, deadlines, 'To Do's' and 'must take care ofs'. I am tackling them all, one by one, a little bit here, a little bit there. I have pleasingly found my way around multitasking; even when my list for the week takes up two pages, I can walk into it calmly and with assurance that the final bullet point will receive a definitive line through it by the end of day on Friday. I think this calm comes with age-read 'maturity', and a gentler sense of what is necessary and pressing in a day. It comes with age, and perhaps being a woman-or more precisely, a mother! Hang ups over undone laundry, dusty coffee tables and muddy footprints on the entry rug just don't matter the way they did when I was a new cohabitant in a household sharing relationship. So what have I been up to? Where am I at in this week of doing and taking care of? Yes, baking cookies sits squarely on the 'to do' list. Maybe not a priority in your household, Keebler does a fine fudge stick after all, but here, with the teenage boys who can eat a package of Girl Scout cookies single handedly before their brothers come home to find evidence of their existence, I bake cookies. Cost effective, makes the house smell outrageous, and dang, they taste so good! Nothing like a homemade chocolate chip cookie. And a bonus; if you haven't gathered this fact yet, more than half the 'yum' for me happens in the making of what is needed or desired-Gotta bake! Gotta paint! Gotta garden! And even, gotta clean those windows! Sick, I know. Back to those cookies....
The cookie jar sat gaping open, it's interior filled with the hollow space of emptiness as I came through the door from a weekend away in Portland. It sat as simple proof that should I turn to open the frig, I would see a full pan of lasagna left sadly untouched on the center shelf. Cookies are so much more convenient, tasty, and do not require a plate or reheating in the microwave. Unless of coarse you desire that gooey, melty chocolate chip bite of cookie goodness....I digress. I knew cookie baking was on the top of my list for the first of the week. Pulling out the favorite recipe first thing Monday morning, I created the delectable morsels featured above. If your taste buds scream for a thin, chewy, gooey chocolate chip cookie, read on and set your oven to 300 degrees. These, quite simply, rock.
Gooey Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 c margarine
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla
1 c flour
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate chip cookies
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. If you have them, I recommend using silicone baking sheets; everything just bakes better on them! Otherwise, lightly spray two baking sheets in preparation for the dough. Melt the margarine and allow it to cool slightly. Add the sugars and vanilla and blend well. Add the flour, soda and salt, blend again. Dump the chips into the batter, incorporate and grab two cereal spoons. Place level spoonfuls onto baking sheets-I make a dozen/sheet. This recipe makes a mere 18-24 cookies depending on how large your spoonfuls are, so you may want to double the recipe! They are so easy to make that I stick with a single batch so they are just so yummy fresh with great regularity! Bake at 300 degrees for 14 minutes (yes, 14. really) and remove to a cooling rack. If you are using silicone sheets, slip the sheet onto the rack and allow to cool off the the cookie sheet to ensure no more baking happens. Enjoy! (note: the recipe does not have eggs. What does this mean you ask?! The batter can be eaten before baking without fear of any strange illnesses taking over your digestive system....mmmmm)
This is the way the recipe is made when the boys are consuming. I have made them for a dinner party-cookies never go out of style, and used 1/2 white whole wheat flour and 1/2 AP flour, a hunk of Valharone dark chocolate chopped into tasty hunks instead of the chips, and threw in a handful of dried cherries. OMG, try it....
Cookie baking ceremoniously crossed off the list....
Next, while not on the weekly list, always on the life list; painting.
I have been jazzed in the studio. No other way of putting it. Geeked. Jazzed. Thrilled. Impassioned. Maybe crazy even! Define it how you will, I can't get enough right now, thank the gods. Beginning in frustration, trying to move from my proverbial bright, multicolored blending of wax, my Karon suggested I hold myself to two colors. Gasp! Just two?! So it was with trepidation that I removed all colors from my palette, picked through my blocks of encaustic, set up four sets of 'only two!' and began. The first week, diazinone purple and celadon green. The second week, kings blue and raw umber. This week, I've allowed leeway; okay, I'm cheating! artistic license-I'm working in colored papers and burnt umber. And, I am stuck there. Well, not stuck, but loving what is happening! Freaking over the results that just two colors can produce. Next in the lineup? sap green and quinacridone magenta then dianthus pink and neutral while-it wont happen this week-I have more to do with the raw and king!-but it will come, and I'll show you their results as well!

Okay,cookies and art-moving through the list quite swiftly! Need it be added that the laundry, dusting and cleaning of the fingerprinted appliances has happened in the in between of all the rest?! Three more lines crossed out....
I moved into this house one year ago today. I sold my big house on the hill, tossed stuff, packed, found this house, went through the paperwork hoops and moved in in three weeks. A crazy, frantic, tear spilling three weeks. One year ago now. I am amazed at the time that has passed and the place I've come to. So good, so rich and so grounding. The universe works in mysterious ways...
But where is this little ditty on my 'to do' list you ask?! Part of the list is left in my head. The part that reads-'count your blessings', 'thank you lucky stars' and 'don't forget what your knees are for chicka'! This little musing is on that list. Settling in was a very important issue for me one year ago. I wanted a foundation of calm for myself as much as for the boys. With boxes shoulder high through the entire house, we were cutting sideways glides down the hallways to reach bathroom, bedroom and frig. Blessed with a few days of time to focus on the task at hand without distractions of job, other 'to dos' or even the boys underfoot (they returned to the final month of school after the frantic day and a half moving process), I began unpacking the packed. Not until I reached the box containing my cars did I smile and breath a calming sigh. It wasn't the cars in and of themselves, as much as the sense of place they allowed. For some reason the pulling of them from the box and establishing their spot in the new kitchen (they'd sat on the island just above the stove top in the other home) settled the frantic and solidified the sense of place that has stayed with me since that day. A tiny, $.99 collection of blessings. There for me daily as a reminder of the simple, good, peaceful tidbits in life.

And while all this doing is happening? Never forgetting the eating. Eating, sleeping, painting, writing...life! My lunch yesterday; everything come from my CSA(community supported agriculture) box! Can't beat that! Have you ever tried avocado with mango? Or, mango with tomato? Wow. Again, a simple delight. The sun helped; I ate on the deck...
A messy, huge salad, but oh so satisfying-no, I didn't share with the rooster! He's awfully cute though isn't he?!
Today? More painting. I have some rare ironing to tackle, and I promised Patrick I'd finish our game of Risk. He's wiping me off the map....in love. trish.

Monday, May 18, 2009

road trippin part II

I spent a wonderful 36 hours in Portland this weekend! The best part (not to discount the invaluable time spent talking my best friends ear off)? Doing a two hour demonstration of encaustic painting and signing my book for the full-house attendees! What a thrill to dip my toe back into the passionate, engaging world of sharing what I do, and to have such a fantastic crowd clamoring on the edges of their seats to absorb the scrumptuousness of the beeswax. I couldn't have prescribed a better return to sharing and caring about what my heart and soul are beating on me to do!
Looking forward to getting back down there again soon, and to scheduling more demonstrations and workshops in which to share the fever! If you have a group, or get a group together, and want to dip into the yummy world of encaustic painting, contact me! Let's paint~in love. trish

Friday, May 15, 2009

road trippin'

I am off on a roadtrip for the weekend! Heading south, in the beautiful sunny northwest spring, to do a demonstration at ArtMedia in Portland, and have some much needed girly fun with my bff! Could I want for any more!? If you are in the area, ArtMedia Beaverton, 2pm the 16th-lots of wax flying about.....and copies of my book on hand! See you all on Monday again. in love. trish

Thursday, May 14, 2009

yummy colors

coops and cribbage

AKA what are boys good for?! Don't get me wrong, that question goes way beyond my simple answer here, but I think boys are good for moving heavy things and playing games. In a nutshell. No cynicism; just plain fun! (more on the coop when the chickens arrive-isn't it adorable though?!)
Happy happy day :) Off to Seattle to do some gallery visiting and Happy Hour with friends. In the rain :0 never deterred....in love. trish

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

smarter not harder

Stop trying to create who you think you're supposed to be and just discover who you are. in love. trish

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Question to answer

I try to look at this question several times a year. It's helped me focus on my goals, set new standards to live up to and place the bar just a little bit higher. I find myself realizing the possibilities a bit more clearly when I review what I've answered over the months...Give it a try! Take out a notebook, write down the following question and contemplate the many answers that flood your mind. Don't stop at silly, impossible or crazy! If you can dream it, you can do it.
'What if you knew that a year from now you could be living the most creative, joyous and fulfilling life you could imagine? What would it be? What changes would you make to bring it about? How and where would you begin'? Start living it today. in love. trish

Monday, May 11, 2009

Getting better every time

Are you familiar with the statement, 'What you are seeking seeks you' or the other-'Be the person you want to attract in the world'? They are about finding the 'one' by being the one you are; the one you are designed to be; your authentic self. Being this person, your true design, will set you up for meeting the one designed to be with you.
Alright then, how does one dissect the facts of four incomplete relationships and a 'career path' that is fleeting and abstract at best? I would be lying if I said I wasn't comfortable with these facts because truly I am. I feel like these are all parts of me, unsettled, dimorphic parts, but all parts of me nonetheless. They have been invaluable learning opportunities, blessed discoveries of self and society and wonderful encounters in each of their moments. But I still come away stunned with the falling away of each one. Unsettled by the disturbance their end has left and dumbfounded by the disbelief that I did not see the 'not quite right' that ended the affair from the start. And, once I am able to step back from the ending of it all, I stand quizzically with one question each time: If I am so comfortable and feel assured that I am living my authentic path in life, how can it be that I have not stumbled across 'the one'? How can it be that I entered into, whole heartily and completely, another 'not right'? Is it a timing issue? Is it an 'open your eyes' issue? Is it a 'you are SO naive silly girl' issue?! Or, is it that my authentic self is honestly not fully realized yet? I am still in progress. I am still becoming. Can I have someone to 'become' alongside me? Is there a person out there that would grow authentically along with me? Are we designed to walk hand in hand alongside someone else on this circuitous path and become authentic together?
I believe we grow into our SELFs until our last breath. Seeking, growing, learning, loving and being each and every moment until we take our last step. I will hold fast to the assurance that I am walking my talk, seeking what is there to seek and being the one I want to attract in the world, and before the end of my path looms in the distance, I will grasp the hand of a soul meant to tread the steps alongside my own. And, I will not get tripped up by the road blocks I am deterred by in the meantime. believing. trusting. in love. always. trish

Sunday, May 10, 2009

oh so fab banana bread

Anyway you make it, plain, nut filled, chocolate chip laced or my fav, with crystallized ginger, this banana bread beats all the rest! The basic recipe comes to me by way of my sister-the ever loving Cooking Light subscriber! It's a good thing.
You can really do it up by making them in muffin tins or mini loaf pans and frosting with the cream cheese frosting once cooled. mmmmm....I served it this way last night at my girly party and it was a hit. Well, I liked it anyway! Happy Mother's Day baking! :) It's what I'd do...

Scrumptious Banana Bread
1 1/2 c mashed banana (I usually just use five-it's better with more!)
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 3/4 c flour
1/4 t cream of tartar
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the tins or one loaf pan to prepare. Mash the bananas in a bowl then add egg and white to incorporate. Add in oil then sugar, blending with whisk or mixer on low at each addition. Sift the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt into the wet ingredients and blend until just incorporated. Do not over blend or the flour will want to tighten up and create a tough loaf! If you are choosing to add yummies, this is the time to blend them it-a cup of chocolate chips or a bar of Valharone dark broken into small chunks is the bomb! I love crystallized ginger and will add about 1/4 cup chopped fine. Nuts always rule with banana bread as well. I like to toast and chop mine first-the fav being walnuts.
At this point I like to let it sit, if time allows, for about an hour. It seems to help with the blending of flavors and the absorption of moisture into the flour-making a tastier loaf all the way around! Pour batter into prepared pans and place on center rack of oven-45 minutes for loaf or about 25 for muffins or small tins. Check for done with a toothpick inserted in center coming out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting or you'll regret it! Hold out, don't get antsy, it's worth it!

Cream Cheese frosting
1 c cream cheese, softened
5 T butter, softened
2 T sour cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
Blend cream cheese, butter and sour cream until smooth. Add sugar, a bit at a time, and blend until smooth and creaming. Frost and eat!