Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pittsburgh Foodie Pride

I have to give a little shout out to my home town which made the NY Times today for my favorite subject...FOOD! Restaurants in Pittsburgh have flourished beyond anything I imagined when I was an 18 year old and still living there.  And, although I will forever be an Eat n'Park girl (if you are a "burger" you know how the smiley face cookie can win you for life) but these new restaurants make me eager to visit my parents and do what we do best, eat!

Here's an excerpt about my favorite local spot (has nothing to do with the fact that the woman behind the taste used to babysit me and is the sister of my one of my besties from high school ;). But seriously, their food is amazing and 100% worth having if you are on the East Side or really anywhere in the city.

"Trevett and Sarah Hooper, husband and wife restaurateurs, were pioneers in 2007 when they opened Legume (1113 South Braddock Avenue; 412-371-1815;, one of the city’s first independently owned restaurants with a focus on local food. This spring, the popular 34-seat bistro, where Mr. Hooper is chef, will move to a larger space in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. In addition to buying from area farmers, he said he hopes to do more whole-animal cooking in the new space."

 And just in case you missed the link:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A little jump start

Nothing fancy...just some new bowls and glazes I've been working on and wanted to share. New work always holds a lot anticipation for me. And although I rarely create a "body of work" these days, smaller projects and sparks of inspiration are just as exciting. I know there's a group of you out there that have been asking for some updated pottery for your homes. I'll get cranking, I promise. These little guys were just the motivation I needed to jump start some production.

Oh! And to jump start your weekend a day early, here is a little Grace Potter to go with your morning cup of joe. I get to go hear this lady rock out tonight with my dear friend EAL. I think we're going to have to break out the short skirts for this one. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Butternut goodness

I've had a butternut squash sitting in my kitchen that I need to use very soon. Thank goodness I found this from Cannelle et Vanille. The weather is a little cooler this week, perfect for spring soups and roasted veggies! Yum and yum. Who wants to come over for dinner? Our kitchen table would love to see some long lost faces.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shades of gray

I went to a ground breaking yoga class today. It was the kind of yoga class that changes someones life.

 After 90 min of mantras, stretching, and cleansing myself of all toxins I walked out of the studio turning to my friend Ann bewildered and amazed at how I suddenly felt that all my problems had been solved. Thank god she felt the same way or else I would have felt nuts. A yoga class can't solve everything, can it? Well, today in Nashville, TN it did just that for both of us. 

Post yoga and lunch I immediately grabbed the pup for a walk around the lake. My sudden release of tension and anxiety needed a place to settle and I knew just the spot. I was in awe of how many shades of gray I ran into. With the temps in the mid 60's it seemed odd. Gray and warm don't often go hand in hand. But today was just a day of surprises.

I guess I have George Washington to thank. His birthday equaled my day off. And now I am in bed with the same dog staring out at an even grayer day as we approach dusk. And damn, does her golden fur look good against those muted colors.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

painting, potting, and priming for spring

That's the to do list for the long weekend. Today, I painted...

The last is my Jim Dine Valentine...his is way better. But it was fun to try and get the blotches to squirm and mix together. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Happy Friday! It's Spring!


The beautiful spring weather has gotten me thinking abut all the things I love doing in warmer weather. Yes I know, I'm a little schizophrenic about my weather cravings. One night I'm wearing my pj's inside out and doing the snow dance while the next I'm dreaming daffodils and sandals. It's ever changing and although I often want what I what I don't have this weekend the temps will be in the high 50's and low 60's, exactly what I'm craving! Perfect weather to bask in spring bounty.

Cooking and food have a tendency to dictate my seasonal cravings too.  Root vegetables and roasted chicken in the winter, steamed asparagus and fresh salmon in the spring. So this weekend I plan on visiting one if not more local farmers markets and beefing up on my local produce selection. Got any great spring recipes you want to share? I'd love to test them out. I've got a long weekend with George's birthday on Monday (hooray for school holidays), so a lot can happen in my little kitchen!

As one of my fav bloggers says, "you are what you eat"... and so is your season!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

From the desk of Nell

Rifle Paper Co.

For a girl that loves stationary let me just say that these portrait note cards are the best thing I've seen all month! How much fun are you having deciding which people in your life fit these illustrations? Go ahead, try...

For me there are some obvious ones: #1 Cutter, #3 Carly, #4 Ben, #7 Bayh,  #9 Chris, #12 Kristin, and of course #17 Emily (or maybe I am just channeling her elementary school years). For me... I secretly yearn to be #2. But, I think I more likely fall into #16.

I might just have to order some #2's for my secret stash. We all need an alternate personality when writing (love) letters. Right?

Monday, February 14, 2011

A little Jim Dine Valentine...

I love the work of Jim Dine, especially around Valentines day. He makes me want to make beautiful heart inspired cards and hand them out to all of the people I love. Like you...

But sometimes I don't think of it until the actual day of the Valentine. Shoot...sorry.

But....Happy Valentines Day! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I love teaching art and I love getting paid. However, when I watch this video, I want to throw it all to the wind, get into my car, and drive my very favorite highway...

Who's with me?

...oh crap, my car's in the shop. Can we take yours?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Did I mention?

How much I wish we had gotten snow like the rest of the freakin' country did. I mean seriously...

found at LGRAB much fun does that look?????

Answer: SO much fun.

Put a bird on it

little nest ring
As most of you know, I love birds. My nickname has been Bird since I was out of the womb. I'm not too sure why. Apparently I used to move my mouth like a baby bird when I wanted food? Or something about me waking up at odd hours of the morning never letting my parents sleep? Nevertheless, they gave me the name and Nell Bird, Bird, Birdlette was adopted very quickly. In honor of this second identity my parents, friends, and students have showered me with bird art since the beginning. I love it. And honestly, the fact that "birds" are uber trendy at the moment makes me even happier. Because now there are LOTS of bird things out there...all pf which I aim to own.

And even though it's poking fun, this kind of makes me love my collection even more...

If you haven't checked out Portlandia, it is pure genius. I know it makes fun of my beloved city but since when is it bad to laugh at yourself? And trust me, there is a lot of laughing in the show.

And psst...if you're looking for a present to buy me you could always consider this: 


Bird and Twiggy wallpaper. How awesome would that be in my bedroom?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
--Mary Oliver

The rain is hitting us hard here today, bringing the month of February in with a much needed cleanse.  Good for some silent reflection, hot tea, and homemade muffins. Maybe it's all those years in Portland but I  really love the rain.

 Time to get out that Mary Oliver book and just soak every word of it in. Believe it or not, she answers a lot of my questions.