First Snow

We saw our first snowflakes this afternoon, it’s not cold enough to stick but I just enjoy watching those fat flakes fall. I look forward to some more snow since we are now closer to the mountains.

Mike is making pot roast with mashed potatoes, I’m salivating over my laptop.

I spent quite a bit of my afternoon researching left-handed brush hand lettering. I need to find some good but economical (since I’m still very much a rookie) round watercolor brushes. I also plan to starting using my new Tombow Dual Grayscale brush pens. A Christmas gift for myself.

I bought some practice sheets from Random Olive. It seems like a good place to start but I might also look into an online class. Maybe on Skillshare.

Some inspiring leftie type designers that I’ve been following on Instagram: Winston Scully, Neil Secretario and Matt Vergotis.

Another goal for 2016: to spend a little bit of time with the things that “spark joy”. (Thank you, Marie Kondo!)


Ow, ow, ow…I’m sitting here trying to write this little piece on my blackberry foraging experience but this splinter in my right pinkie is not helping. I cannot seem to get it out. Ouch. The experience of being able to forage for berries within an urban setting is such a new one for me. I never grew up plucking berries, we had other fruit in Singapore but most are high on trees and there was never such a prolific harvest.

I still am not sure if the bounty of berries is worth some of these wounds. The logical side of me disagrees with my instinctive gatherer self, I guess.

One thing I noticed while picking the berries was the ripe aroma of the fruit. As I picked, it was as if the summer sunshine was further ripening these lovelies. It was subtle but it had set the wheels turning in my head, about what I should make with them.

Another thing I discovered while foraging is that I am quite a determined person. It is a possible coincidence that it happened to be dinner time and I was running on empty but those thorny branches were not going to keep me away from my dessert possibilities. I used broken sticks to tug at the fruit-laden branches. It was a good trick but most of the time, I found myself just gritting my teeth as I grabbed at the branches with my bare hands. I didn’t care how those thorns would get me, I was focused on the fruit. It made me think about how my ancestors approached this foraging experience. Hunger is a strong impetus that has endured through the centuries.

So today, I present you the result of my blackberry foraging experience – a blackberry-pineapple dump cake.

A very simple way to create a quick dessert of summer fruit. This recipe works well with peaches, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and nectarines. Preheat your oven to 350 deg F. Spray a 13 by 9″ baking pan with nonstick spray. Layer the bottom with a 20oz can of crushed pineapples (juice and all) and 2 cups of blackberries. Then sprinkle yellow cake mix evenly over the fruit. After that, sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar (packed) evenly. Lastly, drizzle 1/2 cup of melted butter over this. Bake for about 45 minutes. Try to get the melted butter drizzle as evenly as possible so that you won’t end up with dry bits of cake mix.

Delicious on its own, with some whipped cream or perhaps vanilla bean ice cream.


Blue Skies

 I love her but she is a such a tease!

O, Seattle, why do you do this? All I ask for, once a year, is to have a nice lovely summer. This past weekend felt like winter. Ok, a little spring-like but it was way too cold for almost July! Please, let the sun come out to play, please?

It was a busy weekend here at Scarlett. I cooked up a Thai food storm in the kitchen and got to spend time with my dear friends. I got to show off some of my cooking skills and recipes picked up from cooking school in Thailand. I did make an old favorite recipe – Fried Prawn Cakes – they were popular!

Today, we celebrated Father’s Day with dad and the rest of the gang with some brunch. It was delicious and always fun to get together and share food. There were fish & chips and creamy crab bisque.

Today’s bits:

How have I missed out on Juana Molina before? Take a listen if you like ambient, electronica and good vocals.

Allison Miller can really play those drums, I’m just sayin’.

I have cupcakes on my mind this week – I want some brown liners for these cupcakes that I’m planning to make.

I need more Cray-pas Oil Pastels for my new Taro Gomi book. I just want to color, doodle, scribble and did I mention, color.

[via Willi @ DigginFood] A tomato trellis makes so much more sense than a tomato cage. It’s hard to find a cage that is strong enough for plants with the larger fruit but if the weather in Seattle keeps up this way, I doubt that I will have to worry about it.

Flock Notecards

We arrived early for our dinner reservations tonight so we walked around and browsed the shops for a bit. We went in to a cute store and here’s what I came out with.

flock notecards

Flock notecards, designed by Eleanor Grosch, the brilliant mind responsible for Pushmepullyou Design.

Vintage Blooms

blumenfest poster

I found this new print for my office wall. I moved into this new office space in August and the bland walls were killing me. I wanted something to brighten up the spot and remind me of what I have grown to love – plants.

If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Lizi Boyd

lizi boyd papers

For a long time in my life, I never noticed the people behind a piece of work. Now, I can’t help myself.

I have a sheet of gift wrap (bottom left – Winterberry) that I’ve framed up and today, I learned that it is the work of Lizi Boyd. She is a talented illustrator and I absolutely enjoy her botanical wrapping paper.

New MoMA goodies

I received the new MoMA catalog this week and here are some of the things that I am now lusting after:

For Scarlett, clover dishes for cocktail snacks, bread box for the bread that is always lying around the counter and these cute red measuring spoons

moma aug 2007 homeware

For myself, this aptly named colorful wallet, this adorable red calculator and this Eames miniature bent ply chair in the shape of an elephant:

moma aug 2007 personal

It’s a pity my birthday is over. Maybe Santa will remember?

Leo Me

ja leo

My favorite month of the year is here again. Yay!

Work has been vigorous of late, to say the least but I am coping. It is such a refreshing change! Still, when the weekend rolls aroundI’m often conflicted between doing something fun and just resting. I know my body will soon protest if I push it too hard and it will teach me a lesson by letting me catch a bug or something.

Some interesting things this week:

  • My good friend K who moved away last year (god, time flies!) is visiting me tomorrow and I get to see her O, all grown up now.
  • We went to watch ‘Helvetica‘ last night and really enjoyed it. There were some really cool type folks there that we got to rub shoulders with.
  • We (K & I) whisked J away for a birthday lunch and got some much needed girlfriend giggle/chat time.

It looks like August is off to a really good start.

Image: Jonathan Adler’s Lion Chic Statuary

Nikki McClure + more

nikki mcclure save seed

I have long admired the work of Nikki McClure. Her beautiful pieces of work speak for themselves and what is more amazing is that the intricate images are paper cuts.

I bought this card for myself while I was out shopping at the small shops with my favorite girlfriends (K & J). It was a splendid afternoon without kids (for them) and we had such a fun time. I found this card at Retroactive Kids. Still very much a kid at heart, this store had cuteness that had me reeling. The store owner also told me that Nikki McClure has released a new book Collect Raindrops: Seasons Gathered that contains a great collection of her work.