Sunday, February 20, 2011

Grandma's Apron

I love this photo.  It's me, wearing one of my grandmother's aprons.  I have several of them, and I fondly remember playing dress up with them as a child.  Grandma kept the aprons in a drawer in the guest bedroom.  I loved to wear them and pretend to be grown up.  Such pretty, bright colors.  Time spent with grandma was always like summertime to me, even in winter.

My grandma is in this crew of "jolly workers" below, along with one great grandmother, several aunts and one uncle. 

I send my love to grandma.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Three Friends of Winter

Yun Bing, Chinese, 18th centruy
Yun Bing was a woman artist

The Pine tree, Bamboo, and the Plum tree...three friends of winter.  The pine, standing strong and tall and wise, shows its greenery in winter; the bamboo bends and yields but does not break; and the plum tree (a varietal) flowers in adverse conditions.  I saw each of these last night at the lantern viewing ceremony at the Lan Su Chinese Classical Garden, the culmination of the 2-week Chinese New Year.  The plum tree was indeed blooming, just a few small blossoms at the very top.  My spirits lifted to see them. 

The Three Friends of Winter are found in many Chinese (and other Asian) works of art, like the one shown above.  I've been captivated with this symbology since I first saw the stone mosaics on the ground, representing a plum blossom on cracked ice.  They remind me to take joy in the beauty and wisdom of each season, and to learn from nature.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Tao of Tea's Cranberry Orange herbal blend

Be sweet to yourself today!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Little VooDoo, Please

Standing in a line that wraps around the corner for VooDoo Doughnuts is like a rite of passage around here.  I had my induction last weekend, when I waited 45 minutes for my two minutes at the altar of fat and icing.

How were the doughnuts?  Like any fresh doughnut should be, sickeningly sweet, messy and lightly greasy. 

What did you have?  A half dozen: traditional yeast glazed, chocolate cake old-fashioned and maple blazer blunt.  The wacky menu is what VooDoo is all about. 

Was it worth it?  Totally.  The best part for me was the  line-waiting.  I saw folks from all walks of life, locals and tourists, and  imagined their life stories, one of my favorite pass times.

How do the doughnuts go with tea?  Quite fine!  I celebrated the birthday of a friend at the Chinese Classical Garden with a flight of old-growth teas and VooDoo doughnuts.

Happy weekend!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Dragon Dance

Chinese New Year is here!  I'm thinking in the color red.  The festivities last two weeks, and our Classical Chinese Garden in Portland has something special each day. I visited the garden with a friend yesterday to have tea and watch a Lion Dance. Here are some lovely photos from the day.

 I loved the reflection of the red lanterns on the water.

Each dragon is made of two dancers...these were very talented children! 
Both boys and girls, and I was so impressed with their strength and agility.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Flower Pins

I recently made this flower pin, using the tutorial by Wise CraftI love it, and I've had many compliments when I wear it.  It's a fun and easy project, and would be perfect for crafty tweens.  The possibilities for variation are endless, and it's a good way to use up those pretty scraps.