Tuesday, December 16, 2008


My sister made a 3 citrus marmalade for Christmas gifts this year; she asked me to make some paper tags for the jars she was giving to her office mates.  

I never pass up paper craft opportunities, especially when super great materials are provided for me to pick and choose from.   She even had the rivets.  So I came up with a Christmas-y red and creamy white shimmery tag with a cute citrus illustration that reminded me of snowflakes.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


This is what happens when I go through my mail and decide what to recycle or not.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Floral Arrangements in Japan...

Rosehips + Aoki(the green stuff)

Hibiscus pod, Lilly, Chrysanthemum

orchids, chysanthemums

My grandmother is a licensed teacher of the Ikenobou style of Ikebana (flower arranging).  These are some of the arrangements I made and she graded as A++ this fall.  I'm sure her grading was not biased... being her cute, sweet granddaughter and all...  ;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A completed pair!

It may have taken me until the very last day I was in Japan (finishing the thumb on the limousine bus on the way to Narita Airport), but my mittens were completed! And MacAroni got a kabuki tattoo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

summer and fall vacation

I`ve retreated to my secret lair deep in a secret cave in the pacific ocean, where I am preparing for winter by knitting mittens.
Actually, I don`t have a secret cave. I have left the farm in Elma, and I am in Japan until November. Hope to post my creations more regularly.
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

No Quiche

I was really excited about making a quiche today, but it didn't happen because we didn't have eggs.

We went by our local egg lady Arlene's place this afternoon but she wasn't home. I saw her chickens and they were twice as big as our chickens! Ours are only 4 months old... so they won't be laying eggs until October-ish.

Anyhow... Instead of my quiche with a ground almond crust... I made a Mediterranean dish (from Cyprus) called Afelia, which is a pork stew seasoned with onions, wine (of course my parent's home made stuff mmm), and cilantro (of course from the garden).

This dish was so easy and sooooo delicious.

1 lb pork loin...
1 onion sliced
1 1/4 c red wine
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 tsp raw sugar (that brown granular stuff)
olive oil

Cube the pork. Put the cubed pork in a bowl, pepper it, salt it (less that 1/4 tsp is enough!) and toss in most of the cilantro (Save 1 tsp of the cilantro to stir in at the end) and the sugar. Massage the seasonings into the pork and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so.

In a skillet with olive oil, brown the cubes. Don't worry about it being cooked through, it will finish cooking later. The brown color is the important part. Once brown, throw the pork in a pot with a tight lid(like a le creuset)on the lowest heat.

In the same skillet saute the onions with a pinch of salt until clear and starting to brown. Now, pour in the wine and bring to a boil. After the onion wine mixture comes to a boil, you can pour it into the pot with the pork. Cover with the lid and simmer for about an hour. Stir in the last bit of cilantro about 5 minutes before serving.

Easy right? Pork loin is hard to mess up to begin with. It is tender and such a great cut of meat. Cilantro (coriander) is a nice summery herb and is very refreshing. I used 1/2 a red onion and 1/2 a vidalia onion so the dish ended up with a gentle sweetness to it. This dish is typically served with bread and olives. I served the stew with white rice and a salad with a olive-lemon vinaigrette.

Yummy. Happy cooking.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stinky Cod Challenge

I'm getting accustomed to life in Elma now.  I wake up when the rooster crows (not really since all of our chickens are adolescents and we don't know their genders yet), and I'm in the outdoors by 8:30 in the morning.  I keep busy by weeding, feeding the chickens, planting flowers, collecting wood, shoveling loads of horse poop compost, and making dishes with moss and ferns to name a few things.  

I've taken on the chore of cooking on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For the most part it has been fun. Today I was given a challenge.  

"Can you do something with this stinky cod?"

Okay...  So I decided to make a spicy Japanese style curry stew and it came out really nice.  

Around lunch time I started by marinating the stinky cod in some milk, curry powder, tons of black pepper, and surprisingly Louisiana Hot Sauce.  

Around 5ish, I browned the non stinky cod and chopped up the rest of my ingredients: Onions, Celery, Carrots, Red Pepper, Potatoes, Parsley:
All of these ingredients were sauteed in the same pan that I browned the fish in.  I covered the veges with stock and cheated by adding the Japanese curry rue. 

After all the veges stewed in the curry, I added the non stinky cod to finish cooking for about 10 minutes until serving time.  I waited to add the cod 'til the end to keep it from breaking up too much.

The curry was accompanied with rice cooked with cardamon, peppercorn, zambe currant raisins, cloves, parsley and turmeric

The curry came out very spicy but delicious... I think I could have done without the Louisiana Hot Sauce, and I think my use of black pepper was a little excessive.  My goal was to get the stink out of the fish, and I succeeded.  I wish I had a glass of sweet Lassi but out in Elma such luxuries are hard to come by... actually I just didn't think to make it.

bon apetit!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

light between the branches.

uh, yeah. that IS a raccoon.

bright light

Oh the light fixtures at Bar 4. I'm in love.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

...friends with ninjas.

I really love my friends. My friend Denise Poon forwarded me this important ninja message. Leaving NY is going to be tough. Denise is a really creative fun person and here is her website: Denise Rules.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

a trip to the berkshires...

I really had no idea where the Berkshires were before the trip started this morning. For living in NYC for the last 7 years, I'm ashamed that I don't know more about east coast geography. I knew we were going North... which meant "Connecticut or something". WELL, we ended up going further than CT in to MA!

...the Berkshires... it is very touristy by looks of the boutiques and antique shoppes but tons of fun interesting things to do. Shopping for cowgirl clothes in Great Barrington... Norman Rockwell Museum...

The Shaker Village... A trillion little antique shops... A million garden shops... A kajillion cute country cottages... and clean country air. I am now designing my own cottage which will be the perfect mix of country cabin + NYC loft. I've started drafting the plans, and a model will soon follow.

Today I got to visit the Norman Rockwell Museum. In addition to a super interesting permanent collection of Rockwell's works, they had a special exhibit on graphic novelists/cartoonists. They also happened to have a cartooning workshop where Karen and I got a chance to do some drawing.
(See below)

drawings below by Karen:

In addition to the workshop, many of the graphic novelists whose works were displayed were at the museum for a book signing. We met a cartoonist Lauren Weinstein who put out a very funny book called "Girl Stories". Check it out!

When I got home I found a lovely photograph from my friend Andy below. He likes to freeze things, so I donated one of my toys that I will no longer need in my office. I knew the dino was too fragile to pack and ship to WA and that Andy would put him to good use. Bye bye Triceratops, Hello Iceratops! Thank you Andy!

It was SUCH a long but fantastic day.

Friday, April 11, 2008

... the day stretch.

Yesterday, Thursday April 10th... the first day in NYC that was warm enough for me to go sleeveless. Well, While in the sun it was warm enough to go sleeveless. How could I not smile on a day like yesterday? The management companies, co-op boards, and movers couldn't keep me down for long.

It was a perfect afternoon to meet up with a friend to walk, chat, and make up silly stories about the other park goers. It was a perfect afternoon to gnaw on ice cream sandwiches that were frozen so solid that they made crunching sounds. It was a perfect afternoon to jump off rocks and stairs, twirl around as if I were in a musical, and feel like a child again.

Although I captured mostly pinks and whites with my camera, Central Park was bursting with blues, yellows and greens as well. The cherry blossoms, magnolias, daffodils, narcissus, forsythia, and azaleas were all so beautiful ... and that is to name just a few obvious ones.

The big boulders radiated heat into the night as the sun set into the skyline of the West Side, making the day stretch just a little longer.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Eek-ez (yikes).

Who would ever know this creature was born out of a meal of fish and chips?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A View.

I love this view from Chinatown.
Courtesy of my friend Winnie.

You can just see the triangular tip of the chrystler building.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No More.

So officially, the Char Makes no more.

Becoming a jobless, homeless, wandering nomad for who knows how long in the near future seems much more serious and something I seriously need to address instead of creating art, food, and other such nonsense. How can I be thinking about creating anything through this period?
I should be planning for my future!
These last drawings say everything I have left in me to say.

SIKE! April fools. I'm excited about my travels. The Char Makes A Journey Series coming soon...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Easter Bunny.

I am a little disappointed that I haven't been the most productive creative person recently. However! ~this morning I was inspired. I created a text easter bunny in an e-mail. Then I remembered some of my favorite text pictures I used to make in my teens. Here goes:

| | |



monkey face


stick man

uh... That is all I could dredge up from the past for now.


Monday, March 17, 2008

The Discovery of a Gorilla Infestation.

A blue gorilla. Need I say more?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Yucky Looking Yum.

I conducted a cooking experiment last night. I had some left over red wine from the weekend and thus I was left with the perfect opportunity to try making "drunken pasta".

Below is my pasta boiling in wine: ...And this is my pasta looking like... (How do I put this?)... something that belongs on the inside of living creatures:

Despite it's visceral appearance, the pasta was pretty tasty. My drunken pasta was accompanied by baby mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, a bit of pesto, some Japanese style super thin sliced pork loin seasoned with my mom's blend of herbs de Provence, and parmesan cheese. Overall the pasta tasted rich and warming, but a little heavy because of the oil based pesto and red wine flavor. The acidity of a tomato based sauce or a variety of vegetables oven roasted with lemon zest would brighten the dish. This recipe would be one to perfect for cold winter nights.

Next time I would like to try using spicy Italian sausage or prosciutto instead of pork loin. Since the pasta itself is so flavorful, the pork loin just got lost. It would have been better as a separate dish. I may try putting a sachet of rosemary in the wine while boiling the pasta. I'm curious about how the pasta would taste if I had boiled it in a different wine. I look forward to continuing the drunken pasta experiment.

happy cooking. xoxo

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Time to sketch.

I always am pleased when I find the time to sit with my pencil and sketchbook.

Friday, February 1, 2008

a rodent situation.

The rat problem in NYC is getting to be so bad, people don't even notice them in areas like midtown where one typically wouldn't have seen rats in the open just months ago.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

a bye bye.

I said goodbye to my nephew Dora last night, and I think he understood.