Thursday, February 22, 2007

The SUN! For one day anyway.

We have finally named the trailer....The Peanut. There are a few reasons for this. #1. It is suggestively reminiscent of a peanut-y type shape. #2. Our bank rep who handled the loan on the trailer was named Ms. Pino but we came to (secretly) call her Peanut before the close of the deal. It is a sort of a tribut to Ms. Pino (Peanut) as well as an appropriate feeling term for our little home inside an aluminum shell. In less than a week now we will be rolling that Peanut down the highway headed South.

We spent some time out in the Peanut today and Billy performed a nap see how it worked out for him. He seemed quite content with the results even though it was only 35 degrees.

The weather is supposed to go to Hell again as of tomorrow so the party is over for now. I think it is supposed to remain in SUCK (sleet, wind, freezing rain and snow) mode right up until the day we leave. I cannot drive away from Winter soon enough or fast enough.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Chocolate. Snow. California Dreamin'.

Things are lookin' up a bit here in the heart of Winter. Can't really say why...but I feel like we have made the final turn in the curvy road we have been struggling on to a more straight pathway as of today. Of course it could all be an ILLUSION a la Doug Henning, but I am goin' with the vibe for now.

We started the day off with my Mom cheerfully crafting these sweet treats in celebration of V.D.

We have had our share of exercise keeping the driveway passable this week. Hopefully enough to even out the caloric score against the chocolate cupcakes. Billy McLane "Master Shoveler" was able to keep a bright attitude while laboring through the drifts. That's why we love him.

Billy has also been peeling off some pretty fine paintings this past week. He has done a really great series of the farmland and creek out back of my parents house. This new addition to that series is probably one the best he has done. I love the drifting snow done with the palette knife.

And another piece from when we were out in Big Sur, California. It is no small feat to capture this landscape successfully on canvas. If you have ever driven that coast line you know the saying 'larger than life' does not even come close to describing it. I love seeing it in's really better than a photo for me, much more atmospheric. This piece will be up on eBay as of tonight for auction. The snow piece above will go into the store.

I completed three jewelry pieces today which I have not had a chance to shoot pics of yet. It felt really good to be working with those materials again. I plan to stock my shop on with some of my new work starting this week. I will post here once I get it rolling.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Winter Storm Warning. Choke. Cough. Give Up.

I sit here writing to the background noise of snow blowers and plows scraping and huffing out on the frosty streets of the hood. I am constantly reminded of why I have so enjoyed being AWAY from Illinois for the past 7 winters. I have lost the ability to enjoy any aspect of Winter's "beauty" at this point. I am bedraggled and a real sourpuss.

So. Referring to the last post... I gave in and both chicken rugs were purchased. It's like getting kittens, you want them to have company and never feel lonely. Two chicken rugs are definitely better than one. I feel good knowing that I will soon be able to dig my bare toes into the plushy surface of my hen rugs. As soon as we reach Georgia. Georgia. Georgia. Georgia. It has become Shangri La in our minds. I don't care if it is laden with mosquitos and pig roasts in Georgia. For me it will be a heady paradise rife with laughter, tears of joy and hopefully huge slices of homemade peach pie.

I have been tinkering in the kitchen this past week or so out of boredom and deep, lustful feelings toward chocolate. The best result were these...

from a recipe found in Vegetarian Times Magazine.


2 oz. coarsely chopped pistachios or hazelnuts (about 1/2 cup)
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
1 cup puffed whole grain cereal ( I used Kashi Honey Wheat)
1/2 cup dried apricots, cranberries or cherries ( I used apricots)
1 tsp. orange zest, plus julienned zest for garnish

Line a couple of baking sheets with waxed paper.
Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium low heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Let them cool.
Melt 9 oz. of chocolate in a double boiler then stir in the remaining 3 oz. Stir in your dry ingredients.
Drop chocolate mixture in tablespoon sized clumps onto your baking sheets and then garnish with the orange zest.
Pop these in the fridge uncovered for 15 minutes to set. They store great in a container, chilled for up to a month. The magazine also suggests putting these in paper candy cups which would indeed be cute and a great way to display them for a party table.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

We Tried.

Well...we made an attempt at hanging out in the trailer today and had big plans to move some stuff into it and see how everything will fit and all that. Yah. For the record, 9 degrees is still not quite where it needs to be for leisurely trailer set up. We were in there just long enough to slop the new quilt on the bed and snap a pic or two before we peeled out. The inside of an aluminum tube is very cold in 9 degree weather. It has now officially been confirmed in case there was ever any question there.
It is looking more and more like set up will have to wait until we can reach greener, warmer pastures...or until we stop being big pussies about the cold. I think the green and warm will come much sooner than the cessation of pussy-ness.

I am off to purchase a much needed chicken rug for the wee bit of kitchen floor area we have from fabulous I still have not decided between the black chicken or the orange one. I really, truly feel I need BOTH chickens...but I must control and resist the urge to go down that road. There are not enough funds in the poultry rug kitty to maintain such a rich style of living.

I swear on my mittens and chapstick... the first day we hit 30 degrees I am in there for some serious set up. Until then, we remain somewhat defeated in the brutal grip of February 2007.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

We Got It!

Greetings from the coldest place on Planet Earth, Illinois. I say that with little or no's hard to be cheerful when it has been below zero for over a week unless you are an Eskimo born and bred for the frozen tundra lifestyle. Perhaps people living in this area of the country should consider cross breeding with penguins to ensure a more comfortable future. Anyway (drumroll please....) We bought our trailer! On the coldest day of the year (a wind chill factor of more than 30 below was kicking through the Mid West) we drove up into Wisconsin and picked it up. It is now firmly planted in a giant snow bank here in Illinois awaiting our departure. We had more snow today so I am quite sure the Airstream is probably more like an iceberg at this point than anything else. Al Gore has a lot of 'splainin' to do here man.

The trailer is killer and we can't wait to head to Georgia at the the end of the month. We have been holed up here painting and letting the boob tube suck on on brains for almost two months we are ready to hit the trail. I will post some pics once we hit temps in the teens and it is fit for humans to venture outside again.

Billy has been rocking his paintings since we arrived here...who knew he would be so inspired by barren, frozen corn fields and tree skeletons? He's amazing. I am trying to peddle the last of my vintage and get organized for our upcoming journey.

I'll be back soon with pictures and more of our upcoming plans. Until then be sure to check out Billy's new listings via the link to our store on the right here >>>>>>>>>>>