March 31, 2010


Image from Maira Kalman's New York Times blog And the Pursuit of Happiness, 2006.

I’ve talked about Maira Kalman quite a bit on this blog. I love her illustrations and writing because it is evident that she views the world in a unique way – a way in which I, and millions of others, relate to and appreciate.

Last week I tuned into a webinar featuring Maira Kalman. She talked about her work, her process, and her inspiration. Below is a list of the key ideas that I gleaned from her talk.

Maira’s Pearls of Wisdom

Carry a sketchbook
Carry a camera
Dare to dream
It's ok to procrastinate

The title of the webinar was called "I Wake Up and Walk, First Reading the Obituaries," which is exactly what I did this morning.


March 30, 2010

March 30

Sonnet 30

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancell'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanish'd sight: 

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before. 

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

~William Shakespeare

March 27, 2010


 iPhone update Wet.O

March 26, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For...

My wish: I wish for time to...

You just might get your wish.

March 22, 2010

Coconut Carrot Ginger Soup

Click on the picture to view the entire page. 

Bon appétit!

March 21, 2010


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4 and some water...

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Top of the morning to you! It's a glorious day here in Belgium, and the sun feels wonderful on me. It's really warmed up here. So much so, that I have put away my heavy winter coat and opted for lighter jacket, but I am still layering.

My challenge from the universe to work without a computer continues. It's much harder than I thought, but I am finding ways to occupy my time. I have started to draw and use the watercolors I brought with me. Monday, I went to my little glass jar of 100 Ideas, and selected the following:

 # 26. Illustrate your grocery list

#11. Make a list of everything you buy in one week.

Taking my inspiration from Kate Bingaman-Burt's blog, Obessessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? I am illustrating all of the items that I buy with watercolors, my new pens and my new pad of watercolor paper that Mr. Wonderful bought me. My kitchen table has turned into a wreck, but it's so colorful! My illustrations from the past two days have been posted alread, so be sure to scroll down and check it out.

I've also started to knit this jumper. (Jumper = sweater in UK speak.) I have about 8 inches done so far. I have never knitted a sweater before so I might  have bitten off more than I can chew, but only time will tell. I had to start the sweater 7 times before I was pleased enough to continue. I didn't realize how much I dislike casting on! It's not the process of casting on that I detest so much, it's the counting! I am horrible at it! I keep losing my place. After the 6th time, I got the idea to insert a different color yarn at every 20th stitch, making the counting of the stitches much easier. Thus, a successful attempt on the 7th try. I've also learned a few ways to decrease stitches, work with circular needles, and follow a pattern. There is a lot of help on the internet and I keep going back to this website. On a related note, my mom has started to knit. That makes me happy.

I was hoping that I could knit the sweater and Tweet about it in "real time" using Twitter. But, sharing a computer makes this idea pretty difficult. I've also come to realize that it's not at all real. In fact, I am not sure about the good that technology does for me, doing without it for a few days makes me wonder... Do I really need it? There are plenty of experiences in my surroundings and everyday life to inspire. Doing without a computer has allowed me to tune into it more...  in "real time."

March 16, 2010

Stuff I Bought Today

Total for today:  21.70 €

March 15, 2010

What I Bought Today

 Total for today:  27.61 €

March 13, 2010

Watch Something Grow

Day 1
Also Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 7

March 12, 2010


12th of March

March 11, 2010


Creativa is happening in Brussels this weekend.

What is Creativa? Think of it as a big craft store with all of your creative making needs. A one stop shop!There wasn't much in the way of crafts, but everything that you could imagine you would need to create was there under one very convenient roof. It was a huge exposition hall filled with vendors from Europe selling fabric, notions, paper, paints, sewing machines, cutting materials, just to name a few. 

A few pics from today...

The Atomium
 Which happens to be very close to the expo.

Lace making demonstration, albeit blurry.
A craft expo in Belgium is not complete without one.

Imagine all of the lovely summer ethereal clothes one could make!
Loose thé  (tea)

 I wish you could have smelled this corner of the expo. It was heaven.

French style embroidery...
I love the simplicity of the red on natural whites and linens.

I walked away with a few new tools and loads of inspiration. 

Who's ready to make something?

March 10, 2010

After a Nap

View from my window.

Beautiful weather we are having here in Belgium, though it is still cold. Our high today was about 40° Fahrenheit.


March 9, 2010

Last Night's Dinner

Creamy broccoli pasta

Two tart halves from Le Pain Quotidien

March 8, 2010

My Morning Latte

When I went to Amsterdam last month I was introduced to Monsieur Froth.
Monsieur Froth is a battery operated milk frother, and he was less expensive than his sleeker, better designed colleagues.

Compare 20€ and 35€ to Monsieur Froth's 2.95€ at Blokker.

Yup, that's what I said, and I adore his mustache.

It's really quite simple to use and makes my mornings so much better. Here's how we do it!

First, make your pot of espresso as usual.

Heat up cold milk in the microwave - about 1 minute to a minute and a half.

Turn Monsieur Froth on and let him go to work, keeping the whisk at the top of the milk. This cycles the air in, creating bubbles and froth. Work together for about two minutes.

Et voilà!
My morning latte!

March 6, 2010

Errand Day


I've been absent, but not by choice. I had an accident last Wednesday. In my morning rush, I spilled my latte on my beautiful MacBook Pro. I was ok, until I checked on it later that evening and got this \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ times infinity.

We carefully removed the effected keys off, working like a surgeon and nurse. We set it to dry for three days to no avail. A new keyboard will have to be ordered. Thinking about the void not having the computer will leave in my life, I set about to find an alternative. Currently I am working with a spare keyboard and mouse. It works, but is not ideal. At least I do not have to share with Jon as he researches and writes.

I took the MacBook Pro days off to become reaquainted with my iPhone. Thank goodness for that! I have really become attached to the Polaroid simulator ShakeItPhoto, and I like the effect much better than my regular photos.

So, what have I been up to?

Nothing much. Mr. Wonderful was in the hospital for day surgery last Thursday, and today was the dreaded errand day. Mr. Wonderful is ok, at home, resting and recuperating. But, I have to admit I was pretty scared there for a minute. Thankfully all is well.

Waiting for Mr. Wonderful to get out of post-op. I took the opportunity to take some art inspired pictures.

Mr. Wonderful's boots inspired by this painting* by Vincent Van Gogh.

A view out of the hospital window - inspired by this painting*, and this painting* by Edward Hopper.

**Please click on the links provided. They are links to information and the museums that actually own the artworks that inspire my photos.

Errand Day

As an American, I have to admit that I really loved shopping. But ever since I moved to Europe I've had a change of heart. Mr. Wonderful and I moved over here with two suitcases each. There wasn't too much that we were able to bring and we really had to think about what we needed versus what we wanted. Not a bad compromise for a year in Europe but the great thing about this is making peace with these decisions.

In Leuven, stores are closed on Sundays and all stores close at 6 pm during the week. That leaves one day - Saturday, to get all of your shopping done... for everyone. Usually, it's not fun to shop crowded streets and stores, but there are things we need: food, household items and medicine for Mr. Wonderful. So off I went today with my iPhone in hand, and made the best of it.

First stop was the pharmacy, but they aren't all open on Saturdays.

The weather was sunny, but cold - a perfect Belgian day!

The "old" Town Hall, c. 1440.

Saturdays there is a flower and fruit market near the old town hall.
I think I need some flowers.

Inspiration for a future post.


He has a military outfit on today!

Still looking for a pharmacy that is open, and running in and out of shops along the way, I venture over to the university library area.

"Totem" by Jan Fabre,
It's a giant beetle stabbed with a giant needle.

Leuven Train Station

Still no sight of an open pharmacy...

This is the city hall that I go to for all of my alien needs.

It's where all the magic happens.


An open pharmacy! The green light lets me know it's open.
Hooray for pain killers!

Acco: student book store and supplier in Leuven.

They have the best stock of art and office supplies.

An impromptu stop by the candy store...

Almost home!
St. Peter's Church, c. 1425.
(I live right behind here.)

My last stop:

No Flemish errand day is complete without a stop to HEMA.

*Click on the link and wait for the site to load, it's worth it. I promise.