SNAPSHOT: November

The end of November has been about:

cowboy boots, a new leather and felt bag
church steeples, sleeping dog
wide brim fedora (Indiana Jones style), cupcake window shopping



Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about time with family and friends. And it's an entire day devoted to food. For someone who loves to cook, it's heaven. There is the food of course, but also the table. I really enjoy setting the stage and atmosphere for the meal. It's, first, about picking the table cloth. I have a wonderful vintage collection inherited from my mother and grandmothers so I bring them all out and pick the one that feels right for the day. The table cloth sets the tone and with just a few little special details like a pumpkin for a pop of color and it's done.
This year's table cloth was my mom's from the 60's. It has a beautiful blue ribbon sewn in pretty stripes across the cotton fabric. I wanted some contrast so the deep orange napkins and a tiny yellow pumpkin where a great way to break up all the blue. No need for elaborate flower arrangements. I just fill little jars with fresh herbs! The aroma fills the air around the table.
Starting the meal with champagne is a must! And this year, I made my first pumpkin pie. It was good.
 A few years ago, I learned from Thomas Keller how to roast a chicken the correct way; high heat and less time. I figured applying that technique to a turkey would result in an equally juicy bird. Turns out, it does! It took 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook our 13lb. bird and it tasted amazing. No drying out from being in the oven for too long. And don't forget to brine. 

 My gravy is made with the poached turkey gizzards, fresh herbs, white wine, and a hard boiled egg.
And finally, this moment! My mom and I sharing notes on lipstick. We have very similar coloring, so we tend to "borrow" each other's lipstick when we forget our own at home.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


SKETCHBOOK MONDAY: a technical drawing

A little drafted piece I've been working on; it incorporates lines, color and text to tell a story. From a distance it's pretty abstract, but the closer you get the more it reveals.
Ok, this is technically not a sketch. You got me.
Hope you had a lovely weekend sketching, or drawing!


SNAPSHOT: Unseasonably warm

This past weekend was unseasonably warm. Of course, the week before brought storm Sandy, the elections and a dusting a snow on the ground. But back to the lovely weekend we just had. I spent it on Nantucket with my friend Kate. We had some girl time catching up, enjoyed the stillness of the beautiful beaches, and strolled the lovely downtown. Look for the full post later this week, but until then, here are a few snapshots from this past week and weekend. Hope you had a great one.
fall grass at sunrise, the MFA
wrapped in a warm scarf to VOTE, snow, really, already?!
solo friday night stroll after dark, gray swede booties
cisco brewery, stormy sky
stillness on straight wharf, cliff walk


NEW WORK: Logo and a SURVEY!!

Cafe Awesome is a sweet little project I'm working on. The best part, the client is my 8 year old niece, Tari! Last week I received a very official email where she asks for my design services in creating a logo for her newest project, Cafe Awesome. The instructions were specific. The name of the cafe as well as a tag line that reads "It's Awesome!" was to be included. So I went to work.
Below are the results.  I don't have approval yet from my discerning client. Actually, she would love your help picking the winner. So let's VOTE! It's easy.

Just select your favorite in the survey column to the right of this post!

1, 2, or 3. You have till Monday so check them out and let Tari know your pick.
We are counting on you...

1. (below)

2. (below)
3. (Below)


IN CONSTRUCTION: Trillium Signage and Lighting

Exterior signage is up and the lights are on. Trillium Brewing is coming to life. No firm opening date yet, but as soon as I know I'll pass the information on to you. Looking forward to seeing you there!



On Sunday my girlfriend Alyson and I joined a small group of artists, drawing enthusiasts and novices for an intensive figure drawing workshop at the MFA. We arrived at 10:00 armed with charcoal and paper and went till 2:00. It was intense.
We started with 5 second interval poses. The model moved and kept moving and the seconds, we quickly realized, went by much too quickly. We learned that a good drawing starts with a single line that captures the longest gesture of a figure. 
I had taken figure drawing classes before, but I learned so much during this intensive workshop. Below are my drawings in order from the start of class to the last drawing I did. You can see the progress as you scroll down the page. At first they don't look like much. As Patrick said when I arrived home and showed him the first page in my sketchbook, "I could do that."
He's right. I believe anyone can draw. Like anything you have to be taut and most importantly you have to practice. And boy is it clear just how much practice I need.

Learning the proportions of the human body.

I assure you the model has all her limbs...not that you would know that from the drawings below.
Hm, not bad. Less is sometimes better.
Crazy alien head woman below.
Starting to understand proportion a bit better here.

And these are the final drawings above. Not bad. What do you think? Have you taken a figure drawing class lately. Would you ever take one if you haven't?


Drawing by hand

Every semester there is always one well intentioned student that asks, "Do I have to draw by hand?".  I first gasp, then take a sip of water to calm myself and wonder where it is they are getting the memo that not knowing how to draw by hand is an option?
In my calmest possible voice, I explain that hand drawing is the most visceral way an architect accesses and communicates ideas. Drawing is like breathing to us. It's immediate and is a way for us to communicate with our brain, directly. Sounds like science fiction. You'd think that would get them.
Maybe (very likely) I'm becoming a dinausaur, extinct in my thinking that a line on paper is like poetry, or music. Hmm, maybe that's were I've really gone wrong. If only it were more like a thousand images speeding by very quickly. Alas, it is not. It's just slow and meditative.
That may be so, but my drafting table stays, and so does my belief that to be an architect you still have to learn how to draw...by hand, slowly and painfully like the rest of us did. Yep, I'll keep fighting extinction one class at a time.



morning rituals, autumn sunshine
doggie love, big ears
decaf and sketching, charcoal
nerdery, breakfast for two


Drawing in the evenings

My easel has stood dormant for some time. A few years back I painted, often. But lately with all that's been going on at M.G studio I'm left with no time for that. But lately I've been feeling the itch.  I still need to carve out a corner of space in the house that feels like it's just for working on paintings or drawings. But until then, here's what's in the works.
I had an abandoned piece of cardboard lying around and thought, well, I can draw on that. So I did, with charcoal. It's still a work in progress, but I'm loving how it's just a manifestation of whatever comes to mind, unplanned. No surprise it has it's roots in architectural drawing.
The plan is to, every night, after dinner head to the easel for a couple of hours of work. It feels so luxurious to be able to take that time just for myself. Starting is the hard part, and that parts done!



A couple of days ago I posted about a great little project I've been working on. Well, construction is well underway and here are a few images and drawings of the details. It's a hot tub and landscape wall that doubles as stairs and a platform to get into the cedar tub. I wanted to keep the wall minimal and expose most of the cedar planks the tub is made out of. I love the contrast in materials and how well the composition sits in the landscape.



My good friends Rebecca and Chris (recently named one of Boston's Power Couples!) have a beautiful home. I'm lucky enough to be invited over often for lovely dinners and gatherings with friends. So when they asked me to design their latest home improvement project I was thrilled. Look for a post on construction progress later this week, but for now here are some sketched that will give you a little peak into the project.
Hope you had a great weekend! I spent some time sitting outside at a cafe sketching. It was lovely.


It's time to HIVE...

The Airstream project is finished!...and I can finally reveal all the details.
You may remember Graham and Lance from our joint open studio last february. They are the two owners of Hive (aka the Airstream). Hive is a mobile lounge that you can rent for events like weddings, private parties, or functions. It drives to wherever your fete is and opens up to reveal a fully stocked bar and lounge for your guest to hang out in. Isn't it an amazing idea? Check out Hive's website and definitely email or call for info if you are interested. I think I may throw a party just to have HIVE there!


IN CONSTRUCTION: Trillium Brewing Co.

 Yes, it's still not finished, but getting closer. After a lovely coffee at Barrington Coffee Company this weekend, we stopped by Trillium to see how things are going. I am in love with the bar top. It's made from 22ft. long wood beams that JC (the owner and my friend) salvaged from a demolition project nearby.   These beautiful old-growth wood has such character. A little tung oil rubbed in and the grain of the wood is now the star of this show.
Here are a few snapshots of the progress.



Is it really October already? Geesh, where do the days go? It feels as though fall is speeding by. I find myself wanting to hold on to these moments for as long as possible. So, in the spirit of remembering the little things of everyday life, here is a peak into what's been going on in my world. 
How is your October?...

i love surprises!, me and penny cruising
laughter, acrobat kat
penny on public transportation, how did i live before this iron came along?!
incognito grocery shopping, out in the open grocery shopping
my class, student work
kids, funny kid

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