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2/27/15

14. weekend to-do's




li:

  1. download the audio version of kim gordon's new memoir, girl in a band. i love listening to an autobiography when read by the author. there is something so compelling about hearing someone tell you their story in their own voice. i'm especially excited to hear one of my all-time favorite artists tell me hers.
  2. head to the mfa to view "back to fort scott", a series groundbreaking photographs taken by gordon parks for life magazine. the photos were never published and are, at last, being exhibited so that they can receive the attention they so richly deserve. you can read more about the photos and parks' career here.
  3. catch a damn good double feature at the brattle theater. this week they're celebrating the work of david lynch. i have a definite feeling it will be an event both wonderful and strange.
  4. snag the comfiest spot on the couch...because house of cards.

liz:

  1. sew it up! i have a few yards of some white linen fabric that i bought almost a year ago and it is about to be made into a tunic. after searching around a bit, i found a pattern that i'm set on and going to attempt to get my sewing skills back in check.
  2. practice, practice, practice. getting ready to play a gig with my band parks at atwoods in inman square on march 14th. it is our first gig at a small venue like this in quite some time, so we will be stripping things down and going more acoustic. definitely a show not to miss.
  3. shop loyal supply company. i'm visiting a friend next weekend and want to find the perfect gift. all of their offerings are carefully curated and well designed making it easy to find a beautiful and simple present for anyone on your list.


2/24/15

13. curried squash and carrot soup




we are always looking for healthy ways to warm up during the winter and this recipe is one of our favorites. with simple ingredients, this soup is a super flavorful meal for those sunday afternoons when you're craving something savory. it makes enough to serve four and still have some left over for lunch on monday!



 crocks by farmhouse pottery


1 pound of carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (about 7-8 large carrots)
1 package of pre-cut butternut squash (it will save you time and a headache)
1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped into large pieces
4 cups low-sodium chicken (or veggie) broth
1 1/2 teaspoon honey
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of allspice
salt to taste
shredded romano cheese and fresh parsley for garnish

in a large pot, heat olive oil and cook onions until translucent. pour broth into pot and add carrots, butternut squash and garlic. bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low. add all spices and stir well. simmer for about 40 minutes.

once the carrots and squash are soft (easy to mash with the back side of a spoon), remove from heat. transfer contents of the pot into a blender (you may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your blender). blend until smooth and creamy.

serve with a sprinkle of shredded romano cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.

voila! the perfect soup to warm you up on a cold wintery day!





rings by jennie kwon for of a kind and rebekah brooks








2/20/15

12. weekend to-do's





li:

  1. stay warm and comfy in my new sweater dress from brass. there may currently be subzero temperatures and snowbanks twice my size in boston, but i can still look pulled together for date night.
  2. reserve my tickets to see kazuo ishiguro speak at harvard book store next month. ishiguro wrote two of my all-time favorite novels, "never let me go" and "the remains of the day". i can't wait to hear him discuss his new book "the buried giant".
  3. bake some homemade bread. there is nothing better on a cold day than the scent of bread in the oven. since i will pretty much put miso in anything, this recipe sounds about perfect.
  4. participate in the new ica reads book club. this program connects contemporary literature with art currently being exhibited at the museum. i love the idea of a city-wide discussion and exploration of the themes that these works have in common.

liz:

  1. create some floral eye candy. i have been filling the house with flowers and plants in an attempt to keep things bright and cheery. i've been eyeing a pair of these mini ohkubo flower arrangement shears and plan on snagging a pair to help me create some new floral sculpture in the house.
  2. drink some craft beer. local brewery night shift brewing recently opened a new tap room in medford with tons of seating and free tours. their flavor combinations are clever and always tasty. can't wait to get a pint of their bean porter!
  3. start a new book. a thoughtful client gave me sarah thorton's book, "seven days in the art world" this past week. this collection of narratives is set in different cities all over the world and explores the institutions that make up our contemporary art world. going to cozy up on the sofa with a home-made earl grey tea latte and read up.

2/17/15

11. beard care


for help in offering some great beard care inspiration, we looked no further than li's magnificently groomed husband, andy. andy's been rocking a full beard since high school, so he's had time to perfect his routine over the years. read on for some of andy's favorite tips and products to keep your facial hair looking its best:




"as with any hygiene or grooming routine, you're faced with the decision of whether or not to be thrifty. i highly recommend spending a few extra bucks to get your beard care game in order.

  1. you'll be happier
  2. you'll look better
  3. you probably won't spend that much more money in the long run

good clippers are essential. 
i like the peanut clippers from wahl. they are small, light and fit great in your hand. no cordless battery means that you get even performance every time you turn it on. 


replace your blades regularly. 
i've yet to be convinced there's anything more to "self-sharpening" other than a marketing gimmick. whatever you do, don't opt for the cheapest clippers you can find in the drugstore; you're only throwing your money away on an inferior product that doesn't work that well out of the box and will break in a couple of months.

detail work is best done with a razor. 
the best option for this is to go online. harry's has a stylish razor handle that accepts disposable blades. again, going with your local mass-retailer will hurt your wallet and your eyes. who wants to overpay for a razor that looks like it was designed by michael bay?

finish up your handy work with natural oils. 
there are so many to choose from, just experiment until you find one you like. i'm particularly fond of this one by fig & yarrow. i find that oil-based products help keep your beard looking even, shiny and well moisturized."


watch by throne watches, wallet by corter leather & cloth and frames by warby parker

thanks andy! 

guys, we hope you find these tips helpful in keeping that beard situation fresh and on point.


post shave elixir by herbivore botanicals and hair and scalp tonic by fig & yarrow







2/13/15

10. weekend to-do's



li:

  1. fly south for the weekend! i'm zipping up my cuyana weekender and heading to charleston, sc. i plan on taking lots of pictures. stay tuned for my upcoming travelogue!
  2. leave my puffy coat at home. warmer temps means i can lighten up on my outerwear situation. i plan to bring my favorite chunky knit cardigans from everlane. i love this sweater so much that i own it in two different colors.
  3. pack my rose empress elixir from flowerfolk herbal apothecary. flying always makes my skin feel dull and dehydrated. this all-natural serum is made with rosehip seed oil and instantly restores my glow.
  4. valentine's day dinner at husk. if chef sean brock's cookbook, heritage, is any indication, we are in for one amazing meal!

liz:

  1. venture out for pastries! i have been meaning to make a trip over to the forge baking company in somerville for quite sometime. their sister-stores, bloc 11 and diesel cafe, are staples as far as i'm concerned, so i have high hopes for this new venture. who knows, i might even pick up a chemex and make some delicious coffee to go along with my goodies. what better way to say i love you than with delicious coffee & baked goods?
  2. dinner with my valentine. river bar, a new local restaurant, has piqued my interest as a self proclaimed small, creative and lively bar. i can't wait to try the cardamaro smash and the grilled sirloin with roasted shallot jam. delicious!
  3. photograph the record amounts of snow in boston. i have been looking for an excuse to take my trusty film camera out on a little adventure. my grandma gave me a canon ae-1 when i was in high school and it is still ticking along nicely. for anyone interested in photographing with film, this camera is a great and reasonably priced starter. i like to pair it with this film since it has a nice fine grain and produces beautiful skin tones. perfect for capturing friends in the snow!






2/12/15

09. profile: christopher dipietro, painter


for our first profile feature, we had the opportunity to interview painter christopher dipietro and photograph his sunny studio. chris' work spans a diverse series of themes while retaining a cohesiveness in technique and palette. what became immediately evident to us while discussing his inspiration, was his passion for creating. he is incredibly focused, with a clear and strong vision.

chris holds his bfa from maryland institute college of art in baltimore, md. his work has been shown at the hallway gallery, now room 68 in provincetown. he also performs in the band quarterly with his partner, kristen drymala.



lovebird, 2013
oil and enamel on fabric-wrapped panel 11.75" x 12.5"



what are some unexpected everyday sources of inspiration?
listing a few: books, old post-cards, photography, natural light. also, working at the museum of fine arts, boston provides plenty of inspiration.

what themes or stories do you pursue in your work?
a common thread in my work is a kind of imagery that provides a good foil for my more formal, aesthetic, and painterly tendencies. when the images i choose to make have symbolic connotations or relate to my personal history in addition to this, then the picture tends to be strengthened by this relationship. for instance behind the roman nose (korea) is based on a picture of my grandfather, a korean war vet. i have returned to it again and again as an artifact of family history. i also have a long-term series going with "the end" paintings; a series of paintings of movie endings. most of my paintings have some form of graphic intervention; for instance, the geometric forms in the bird paintings, that disrupt the illusion in some way. i find this kind of pictorial tension beautiful, and satisfying to create. it can serve as a counterpoint to the illusion of space.

behind the roman nose (korea), 2014 
oil and enamel on canvas-wrapped panel, 11" x 14"


what kind of research do you do (if any) before starting a piece?
the process of painting is cumulative research in itself, and each work informs the next work. working from pre-existing images is more of a translation process so good, unique source material is important. the research in this case is more about digging and paying attention to common themes.

you are also an accomplished musician in the band quarterly. do you find this influences your visual art and vice versa? is one informed by the other, or do you look at them as separate entities?
i think they are fairly separate activities. every now and then, i will make a painting and use the title for a song, or vice versa, but i don't really think of either as an illustrative process. quarterly is with kristen, and as such, it exists in its own unique space. music is communication, whether recorded or performed, whereas i think of painting as crafting an object.

how has your work changed over time?
i think it has become stronger, and a little bolder. i don't let myself get away with anything that isn't fully realized, which is a convoluted way of saying half-assed. i think i've also been able to pursue several bodies of work at once and find the common links between them a little easier than in the past. craft has also become more important to me. i'm really concerned with clean finishes. the sides of my canvases are spotless.

what is the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
i have a letter from a teacher detailing at least thirty "do not..." types of advice. i think the best one was "do not take advice from people whose intentions you don't trust". needless to say i trusted him because i look at that letter often and that bit especially has served me well.

what is the best piece of creative advise you have to give?
it's basic, but if you write, play music or do anything creative it is vital to have a clean work space that is dedicated to that activity. cleanliness is even optional i suppose, but work with what you have, however small or otherwise imperfect. that's about half the battle right there.




 








if you are interested in purchasing any of chris' paintings or wish to inquire about a freelance design project, he can be reached via his website.



2/10/15

08. february playlist




while we were clearly feeling the love when compiling our february.15 playlist, we didn't want the typical saccharine mix. we chose to give equal time to songs of both infatuation and heartache. regardless of which ones you identify with, please enjoy this valentine from us to you.







2/6/15

07. weekend to-do's





li:

  1. get comfy. this has been the snowiest week in boston's history. i am, therefore, excited to be planning a quiet, cozy weekend at home. my go-to uniform for lazy days consists of a soft sweater and these pants from hanna andersson. they're basically sweatpants, but stylish enough to be worn in public. truly the best of both worlds.
  2. work on my guitar skills. i am an embarrassingly inconsistent student when it comes to the guitar. luckily, these leather picks from corter leather & cloth have me so intrigued that i can't wait to practice my scales.
  3. listen to the latest episode of invisibilia on npr. it's so nice have a new podcast to fill the dark, lonely space that was left after serial's season ended. invisibilia is an intriguing series about the invisible forces that shape human behavior. just three episodes in and i'm hooked!
  4. finish miranda july's fantastic new book "the first bad man". this novel is hilarious, moving and truly unique. i can't wait to see how it ends/will be sad to say goodbye.
liz:

  1. skillshare! i plan on digging into a few online photography classes and testing out new-found skills in my home studio. the lifestyle photography class by marte marie forsberg looks particularly interesting given the photographs we are hoping to share with you on this blog. Forsberg focuses on the art of capturing the beauty in simple, every day happenings in this quick 20 minute how-to course.
  2. craft a cocktail. i recently found a new favorite drink at rivergods in central square: the mark and stormy. this drink, while simple in ingredients, is complex in taste and hits the spot when you're in need of a bourbon drink with a little kick. 1 glass of ice, 1 bottle of ginger beer, 1 shot of makers mark and 1 lime wedge. delicious!
  3. wardrobe planning. i'm hoping my emerson fry spring look book comes in the mail this weekend. i am dying to grab one of their new tie up dresses in black linen as soon as they release it. this dress would be killer layered with a cardigan and boots for the winter and easily transform into a spring staple with simple sandals. i intend to really pare down my wardrobe this year and focus on having pieces that i really love. quality over quantity.  


2/3/15

06. warming winter cider





this spicy, citrus-infused cider is the perfect thing for a winter gathering. to prove this, we chose to test the recipe at our new year’s eve party. it was an especially chilly night in boston and our friends loved having something warm and delicious to greet them as they came in from the cold. serve it straight or with a shot of bourbon to make it extra festive.

1 gallon organic apple cider
2 oranges, sliced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into coin-sized pieces
5 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
10 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon whole cloves

place spices in a muslin seasoning bag or piece of cheesecloth. in slow cooker, combine cider, spices and oranges (blood oranges are especially striking and delicious). set slow cooker to high and let cook for about 3 hours, occasionally stirring and checking temperature.