Tuesday, March 30

The Joy of Eating

Sleep 'til you're hungry, eat 'til you're sleepy.
~Author Unknown
Words to live by...especially when you're a baby.

I had lunch with my friend and her baby today. He was such a texture kid. I watched him touch everything, take little nibbles, put it back, touch it some more and round and round it went. It's amazing to see the learning process in action and so funny to see all the expressions crossing his face, especially when he got hold of one of the lime wedges. Click to see them bigger.

Road Trip

I am not a country girl by any means but I love getting away and discovering people and places that are practically right under our noses. Have car will travel! My co-worker posted a notice about her parents antique shop in Rushville, MO called Treasures at the Y. And that was all the excuse I needed to get out of town. I found a pair of milk glass vases, some blue and white chevron fabric and red and white floral fabric while George picked up a Rallye matchbox car that he was ecstatic about. We drove through pot-holed country roads, passed by homes with confederate flags (okay, one home), got chased by a chihuahua and raced a train. It was a beautiful, rainy day and I can't wait to do it again.

Treasure Found

I just love estate sales, the thrill of the hunt, the absolute bargains and the glimpse of lives and stories that you may never know but are now connected to. I found a pair of illuminated Bibles (circa 1890s) in the basement of one home and thought, these will be great for a craft project. They are roughly 1,100 pages each, nearly five inches tall and filled with the most amazing illustrations, charts and study guides. One section of the book contained illustrations of all the plant and animal life mentioned in the Bible. The color pages were protected by thin sheets of tissue paper and I can't even begin to imagine the insane amount of time it must have taken to typeset this book without the technology we have today. It's all so fascinating.
Before you go yelling blasphemy about the further destruction of this beautiful book, time has taken its toll on them and the pages are so deteriorated they are practically falling apart at the touch. I'm going to scan in as many of the illustrations as I can and the rest will reused as craft material.

Even more engrossing about this find were the mementos found tucked between the pages of this gargantuan family Bible – funeral notices, news clippings, tin type photographs, pressed flowers and several locks of hair. The most heartbreaking thing I found was a poem about a childless home with a snippet of golden blonde hair and a small flower. I encourage you to click on these images for a better view, but especially the poem at the very bottom of this post. Absolutely heartbreaking.

Sunday, March 21

Her House

Always up for trying new restaurants close by, we headed out on the second day of spring, in the snow and up the hill to Chez Elle, a French crêperie and coffee house across the street from Blue Bird Bistro on Summit. Just went to their website and saw that they spell espresso, "expresso" which drives me crazy.

I have not heard much about the place so there weren't a lot of expectations. Overall, I really liked it. We sat on the left side of the restaurant in comfy leather chairs around a coffee table. Big picture windows let in beautiful mid-morning light and I wasn't too surprised to see a group of young women in the front knitting.

You order at the kitchen counter/window when you come in, get a number to be placed in the Eiffel Tower table displays, and serve yourself for the most part (they do bring your food to the table and check up on you). It's low key, laid back and cozy, a relaxing way to spend a cold, Sunday morning.

The crêpes were generously-sized and most in the $8 range. I ordered the Acropolis (roasted chicken, tomatoes, baby spinach, kalamata olives, feta, topped with tzatzki sauce) and it was twice the size of the everyone else's crêpes (don't worry, I finished it all by myself). The only thing that would have made it nicer is if they had sautéed the spinach a little.

Acropolis $7.95
Bonjour $6.95
The eclairs in the pastry case immediately caught our eye. Unfortunately, they came to the table with very little presentation. Each couple was sharing one, but they brought out two eclairs on one plate (the missing eclair was served to the next table). My suggestion for the chef: put them on a bit of waxed paper so you can easily move them to clean plates for service. All complaining aside, they were quite delicious.
The menu (click to see in more detail) and our order number.
Craig, the Birthday Boy....or should I say, Man.
1713 Summit
Kansas City, MO 64108

*They're closed on Mondays so don't even think about it!

Friday, March 19

Wine Wheel

This is a pictorial version of a wine aroma wheel I did a few years ago. My client didn't use it, but it's still one of my favorite pieces since illustration isn't exactly one of my stronger skills. Sketched in pencil, scanned in and colored in Photoshop.

The wine aroma wheel is a learning tool for novice wine drinkers to help them identify the different notes, flavors and aromas in wine. Think saddle leather, skunk, peaches, cloves, bacon, vanilla. Click on either image for a better look.

Thursday, March 18

I've been so busy lately that dinner is often an afterthought. Even though I'm not usually the one cooking it! But when you invite friends for dinner, you have to take a moment to sit, talk and relax and dinner becomes about more than just sustenance.
I picked up this pink linen tablecloth with scalloped edges at an estate sale a while ago, but never used it. It just hung in my closet, perfectly pressed. I always have to remind myself: things are meant to be used!
It isn't quite barbecue weather yet, but close enough. Food just tastes so much better grilled. On the menu: grilled ribeyes, onions, asparagus and jalapeños.
A must-have at every meal for me....hot sauce, the more the better.

Tuesday, March 16

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I love this kid's look. And the boatload of confidence to pull it off.
Even dogs drink beer on St. Patty's.
I will be out celebrating my husband's home country. 
Have a safe Irish Day!

R is for Rebecca

A handmade card for my very good friend, Rebecca, who always makes me the sweetest cards and even mails them. Made with felt, scraps of fabric and a couple of stickers. Happy Birthday R!

Saturday, March 13

Thursday, March 11

Urban Picnic Blog

I've been missing in action from the blog lately because I'm busy posting on the Urban Picnic blog! Check out event information, posts about participating restaurants, our sponsors and random ideas that keep inspired. Tickets are $45 BUT we are offering a special one week discount, March 15-21st, $35 each AND the first 300 people to purchase will be entered to win a trip to Napa (winery stay, lunch, dinner and 4 VIP wine tours, airfare not included). Don't miss it!

Wednesday, March 3

Fresh Air

I have to make these soon, what a great idea! I love the smell of fresh lavender, but instead of a pine tree, not my favorite motif, I'm thinking a bird or a heart or the letter "L". Get how-to instructions at design*sponge. Click here to buy dried lavender.