I guess this was bound to happen

Frankenfood comes to France.

croissant tacos

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A fantastic find

The amazing Austin Kleon pointed me to Quotenik, which is an amazing site for quotes from creative people.

I LOVE this entry, from a poet I have long admired:

Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.

“Everything I Know About Writing Poetry,” in A Hundred White Daffodils (Saint Paul, MN: Graywolf Press, 1999), 141.

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Women getting their due, even if they ARE dead

Such a great initiative by the New York Times.

But I’m still gobsmacked at the women they missed out. Ida B. Wells? SYLVIA PLATH??

I guess “better late than never” really applies in this case.


Sylvia Plath

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Penguin love

This is great.

And this.

I agree with Robert Louis Stevenson: “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.”

cartoon penguin

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Increasing addiction

The travel sketchbook, or carnet de voyage, is HUGE in France. There are festivals devoted to them in lots of places. Artists come from all over Europe to show off their work. I’ve now been to two, and am booked for a third. It’s so inspiring to wander around, seeing hundreds of different kinds of work, gathering ideas, not to mention materials and samples at the shop!

Not all the photos below are very good, but they give a good flavor of the variety of sketchbooks on display.

Carnets de voyage

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Friend Alice and I (and Psychokitty, of course) went to Dresden in November. I had always wanted to see this city that was bombed to smithereens in the Second World War.

The city had a melancholy feel. Large parts of it were completely destroyed, and the historic parts have been built back in their original Baroque style. So something about it just felt fake, or like a ghost of its former self.

The Christmas market was being set up, but it didn’t open until after we left (good thing for the bank account!).

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After the Beast from the East arrived

Last week’s snowfall was impressive and beautiful, despite the near-impossibility of travel for a day.

Snow scene

Snow scene

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When you just need more color

I braced myself for a visit to Sennelier on a recent trip to Paris and bought myself a 48-pan watercolor palette. It was a bit of a production, as it involved ordering the plastic half-pans (mark this down, Francophiles, they are called “demi-godets”–you will thank me for this later) separately, also from Sennelier, but not from their website, which you can’t order from, but you can email them, and although they don’t reply, if you call them, they’ll act like you’ve lost your mind, since BIEN SÛR they got your email and have set aside the goods for you to pick up!

Ah, life in la belle France. . . .

It took me about half a day to insert the pans, find my tube watercolors, find a few paints in pans that I already had, figure out how I wanted to lay them out, etc., etc.

Then I had to make my key, since recreation and refilling is hopeless without one.

Et voilà.

My big palette


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What else can you do on a 4 1/2 hour commute?

Listened to podcasts until I felt sick.

And snapped this photo.

trees in snow

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Where I live

On a clear day, or clear-ish, the vista is simply magnificent.

Mont Blanc

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