The Best Artsy Cooksy Book Around!


A couple of months ago, I saw this recipe book over at Design Mom.  They Draw and Cook, both blog and recipe book, compiles artist-illustrated recipes from around the world.

Artistic cookbook

I quickly zipped over to check out the They Draw and Cook blog.  It is so, so, so cool! Then I bought two cookbooks.  Immediately. One was for myself, and the other was for someone else, anyone else, because I knew that this was going to be HOT.

Just a couple of days later, I received an ever thrilling brown box from UPS.  Inside were two cookbooks.  I hunkered down on my couch and was mesmerized. Page after page of drool-worthy art drew me in first, but the recipes are just as captivating!

They Draw and Cook

My daughter joined me for a while, and later, came back with this:

They Draw and CookShe went on to create food drawings for an ice cream shop, a taco stand, a bento box lunch business, a baked potato bar….  Basically, They Draw and Cook is quite inspiring!

Here are a couple more peeks inside:

They Draw and CookThey Draw and CookThey Draw and CookIllustrated RecipesThey Draw and CookThey Draw and Cook Recipe BookWhen I was wrapping the second They Draw and Cook to give away to a friend, I happened to flip through again, and read (for the first time) the profiles of the Salli Swindell and Nate Padavik.  Imagine my surprise when I found that Salli Swindell lives in the same small town that I do!  I’m hoping that I’ll run into her someday at the market, so I can hug her, tell her how much I love this book, and ask her for an interview. 🙂

If you’re interested in having this cookbook for yourself, you can order They Draw and Cook from the website.  There are also wonderful prints of some of the artwork, as well as other fun arsty-gifty-cooksy kinds of things.


52 Fridays: #10 – Georgia

I love what I know of Georgia, although admittedly, that is not a lot.  My impressions:  the red dirt, the mountains, the mist, the super hip city of Atlanta rising up in the midst of it.   As of this week, I know a little bit more, and it looks like there is a pretty cool art scene in this peach of a state!  I am particularly impressed with Troy Wandzel’s work – click on the picture to check out more for yourself!  Have fun, y’all.

studio on 31st

Studio on 31st from the Mirror Series by Troy Wandzel - Savannah

Georgia Painters

"Lively Chatter" by MarianneB Van Der Haar - Atlanta

Georgia potters

Wood Fired Chawan by Roger Jamison - Juliette

Coastal Georgia Art

The Beach (G) by Katherine Sandoz - Vernonburg

Georgia fiber artists

Wool Felt Pods by Sonja Yong James - Atlanta

Georgia sculptors

Miss Haricot Vert by Tom Haney - Atlanta

Atlanta Pottery

Bird Bowl by Katy McDougal - Atlanta

Georgia jewelers

Destiny Band by Dellas Thompson - Atlanta

Colorful city painting

"Kate Lives Here" by Cindy Batten - Marietta

Georgia painters

Watercolor World Map #6 by Jessica Durrant - Atlanta

Fascinating facts:

– Wesleyan College in Macon was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women.

– Stone Mountain near Atlanta is one of the largest single masses of exposed granite in the world.

– The sweetest onion, the Vidalia, can only be grown in the fields around Vidalia and Glennville.

Next Friday, friends, we hit Hawaii!  I’m so excited!  I’ve always wanted to go there…

See all the art in the 52 Fridays series here!

A Secret at the End of the Road


One day a long time ago, I was angry, fuming, sad and despairing.  That snowy morning, I crawled into my car and drove, making the first tracks along the way.  I left the highway, and crossed the narrow bridge over a wintery river, determined to follow the water as long as I could.  When the road veered away from the river, I parked and walked into the woods.    I don’t remember what I was upset about, or how I resolved my feelings. But I know that I walked and prayed and kicked rocks and cried.

I walked, and prayed and kicked rocks and cried and I found my secret place.  There was no sign to indicate where I was (although maybe there was a No Trespassing sign, come to think of it), and I wasn’t even sure how I’d gotten there.

I went in empty and left with treasure.  

Here are some bits of it.

These were taken last weekend when I shared my secret place with a few special people. (I did find my way back….)


One Resolution…


"I Will Achieve my Goals" by Decoylab

On New Year’s Eve, I had a grand list of resolutions and goals going in my journal.

  • weight loss
  • whole house organization, accompanied by charts, graphs and glossy photo “after” shots
  • monthly artistic assignments, blogged about regularly
  • more frequent dates with my kids
  • every other week brunch at our house with friends
  • sleepovers for the four older kids each weekend
  • read through the bible and journal
  • daily yoga
  • regular hiking on weekends
  • on, and on, and on.

Then I woke up on New Year’s Day with a kid hangover… The special cocktail: get up with a sick baby from three to seven, after waiting up for the oldest until almost one.  (I party like a rock star, I know).

The morning after, all these goals not only seemed ridiculous and unattainable, but repulsive. …They basically represented just the opposite of what I’d ever want to do with my life.  (Ah, the perspective of a sleep deprived woman…)

After some reflection and coffee (and then some more coffee), I saw clearly.  I realized in two hours what typically takes me two months to acknowledge.

to do list printables

"Owl To Do List" by Boy Girl Party

I was never going to do all that anyways.

I’d already suspected this, even yesterday, while I wrote on clean, new pages in my 2012 journal.  Something seemed off, but I pressed on anyhow.

The burblings of something important were trying to break through, however…  and they did, shining clearly through the fog!  This is something I know (and have even blogged about) but forget frequently.

Do what’s most important first.  Everything else will fall into place, or just fall off.

I am a deeply spiritual person; a Christian (although I am loathe to use that term for all the weird and sometimes well-deserved negative connotations).  In almost every way, my faith defines me… all of me (a creation) coming from the source of my creator, and all of me attempting to be headed toward that source as well.  My own creativity – coming from and headed toward my creator; my love for my family, the questions I have about life, my joy in natural beauty, my intrigue in and enjoyment of all kinds of people… all come from my source and my goal.  Even the yucky parts of me – my selfishness, despair, impatience, self-righteousness –  are at the very least being submitted for transformation and grace.

New Year's 2011So this is what’s most important to me.  And as important as it is, somehow, the ways in which I nurture this relationship with God – my faith – can get lost in the shuffle of dishes, packing lunches, napping, calorie counting, and even in more lofty endeavors; artwork, friendship, doing good works…

I’m excited about my new (and old) perspective:  I can’t do it all.  I’ll put this first.  

Jesus gave a teaching, addressing his audiences’ legitimate concerns about material things… clothing, food, anxieties about tomorrow.  He reminds them that he already knows all their needs and cares about them. The secret is that when he is in the center of their lives, everything else will fall into place.  (This is from Matthew chapter 6).

I’m counting on this.  It’s not that I’m abandoning hope of having a clean house, or dropping ten pounds, or making more art, or of brunching and hiking and slumber partying.  I’ve just remembered that these aren’t the things that belong at the center of my life. I get wacky when they are.

So now I have one New Year’s Resolution instead of 40.  It’s to nurture this relationship, and enjoy it and learn from it every day.  Whew!  That is really quite a relief.  I look forward to seeing what emerges in this pursuit.  I’m guessing more than I can hope for.