Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Our bodies are built to walk 10 miles a day"

according to the bellman at the Hilton. And I did my share today! I strolled along the river walk 3 times today in between setting up my classroom for tomorrow - I'm sure I racked up over 10 miles and hopefully worked off all of the yummy food I ate.

It's Milwaukee's annual Downtown Dining Week - 40 of the city's restaurants offering 3-course lunch meals for $10 and 3-course gourmet dinners for $20. So for those of you in town for the Bead & Button Show, might I suggest...

Palms Bistro and Bar is in the heart of the Historic Third Ward district in a converted factory with very tall ceilings, local art hanging on the brick walls, and lots of window seating which spills out onto the street. I jotted down notes for my classes while I ate, and all the while took pictures of everything around me, including my food. I think the waitress and some of the other patrons at the Palms Bistro thought I was a food critic... note their poised smiles.

My 3 course lunch was a tomato basil mozzarella (sans the mozzarella) salad, Thai coleslaw with peanut sauce (which I can only eat when I am away from home because of my son's horribly serious allergy), 2 bite size Kobe beef burgers, and a freshly made, full-of-summer mixed berry sorbet - no dairy and so scrumptious. Better get walking.

Dinner was outside along the river at Water Buffalo (so named because it is at the corner of Water Street and Buffalo Street). Again tomatoes sounded good and their bruschetta is one of the best I've ever had - I order it every year and this time complemented it with some firey buffalo wings! 3 more miles.

Oooo - can you see how long and skinny my legs are already becoming? And that lump on my side is my camera bag - NOT a lopsided hip!

By the way, wandering in a city by yourself can be lonely, unless you have a camera. Dining by yourself can also be lonely, unless you have a good book! Luckily I had both! On my dinner trip, however, I forgot my book at the hotel, so popped into Borders and picked up one of the first books I happened upon - Proust was a Neuroscientist. All about the links between art and science of the brain... love his writing, witty and fascinating - I can't put it down.


Eclectic mix of old and new; friendly people, fabulous food - so fun to be here again!

A morning stroll along the River Walk took me into the Historic Third Ward - old brick factories converted into a thriving art scene with scrumptious restaurants, eclectic stores and a busy Public Market.

and if, by chance, you happen to stay up WAY too late drinking wine and chocolate martinis with Tracy and Janice and Chad, then a fabulously restorative hand crafted juice from The Green Cafe is a must. I chose Carrot Cake (carrot, orange, ginger, cinnamon).

A bit of humor to start the day!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

All my bags are packed

I'm ready to go...

So excited for the Bead & Button Show, the intense, creative explosion of color and beads! Fabulous walks along the river into the 3rd Ward. And seeing what crazy weather Milwaukee will throw at us this year. I look forward to reuniting with wonderful friends and meeting those I don't yet know. I teach a full load this year - 7 days with double classes on some days. Busy, not enough sleep, but oh so fun!

Yes, I'm excited. But being away from my boys for 10 days is really hard - I will miss them so much.

And I will miss my garden too - flowers are opening each day and some will come and go before I return. The spirea, lilac, columbine will be long gone. But new flowers will emerge.

I will miss looking out at my garden...

...and having my garden look in at me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Only one thing to do

when you are exhausted from packing. Grab a glass of wine and take a break!

Am loving Spanish red table wines lately - especially when they are under $10 a bottle. And the wine glass? I have quite a large collection, started over 25 years ago when I found a gorgeous hand blown one in Carmel and couldn't afford more than one. Each one has a story... special occasion, special trip, special gift. This one is from my Aunt Carolyn who always knows what I like... and boy does she have an amazing eye for color - but that is another story...

Monday, May 25, 2009

The boys got up early

and went for a long bike ride along the Sammamish River this morning. They were back home by 8:00 am. Yes, we are early risers. I wish I could've joined them, but need to pack, pack, pack (I have 8 70-pound boxes so far and more to go!). I opened the window to hear the bird song and smell the crisp, cool, misty morning air.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

On my walk to buy chocolate...

...I had to stop and admire the flowers.

I buy bars and bars of Theo chocolate to share with students at the Bead & Button Show. It's a tradition, started way back when I needed to appease the Shipping Gods (but that is another story!) and now some students are even placing their requests - Chai Tea, Bread and Chocolate, Fig Fennel, Cherry Almond... all Fair Trade, Organic, feel good chocolate!

Theo (that is short for Theobroma Cacao meaning Food of the Gods) Chocolate factory is in funky, artsy downtown Freemont - a hop skip and a jump from my dear friend Joie. So I parked at her house and she spontaneously joined me for a stroll down the hill. Yes, we had our cameras and found some fabulous flowers along the way.

Did I focus on Orange again? Silly me! Here is some purple to counteract - a clematis that opened up yesterday in my garden.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What a wonderful, colorful week!

Thank you to amazing color-guru Curious Girl - Lisa for igniting us with color during this last week! I met so many wonderful people with beautiful stories and gorgeous images - I want to travel with Arlene wearing one of her scarves, hang out by the sea with One Silent Winter, visit Kamana in her watery paradise, have a Harem Party and wear wild skirts with Kenda, go for a long walk with my dear friend Dagmar, the list goes on... AND, lucky me, I do get to see Marcia and her lovely creations next week!

I'm now completely in the mood for the Bead & Button Show and very excited to Dive Into Color ! I hope to see you there...

Friday, May 22, 2009


grass covered with dew
sun rays kissing my garden
I run outside... no time for shoes
to capture the light
before colors change

Drawing inspiration...

...and expanding the palette.

For those who were intrigued by the green Alchemilla leaf with water droplets - here is what the mature leaf looks like... with a little bling of course!

It has been a wonderful Color Week - thanks to Lisa and a blogworld full of colorful people!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Red Hot



And then there's Hot Pink

I just bought this new skirt

Think I'll wear it with this scarf

And these earrings

Nothing subtle here!

This Rugosa Rose bloomed just in time to celebrate pink. So heavenly fragrant, you can smell it in neighboring yards. I steep a handful of petals in vodka with a vanilla bean and a few cloves to make Rose Liqueur.

Still time to play along with Color Week! Visit Lisa for a list of sites to visit.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Did I ever tell you how much I love orange?!

hot, intense, firey

deep, rich, earthy

I have to admit that I made all my color posts for this week ahead of time - because this week I am neck deep in preparations for the Bead & Button Show: making bead soups, assembling kits, packing books and boxes... and colorizing metal for my Beads on Metal class. Once I started piling these up on my counter however (after a dose of vinegar and salt, then heat treating over my gas stove), they begged to be included in today's celebration of orange!

My camera didn't know whether to focus on the metal or the reflections of the trees beyond... so I let it take me where it wanted to go. As Claire says, 'the perspective changes when the heart and the eye seek out the light'.

This week is Color Week! Come play along...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


lush growth
nature's neutral
all shades of green

looking at a triad on the color wheel

that nature completes...

This week is color week! Click here to see more.