Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Martini Date Night Tablescape

Setting the table for date night...

Martini nights. Dark downtown lounges. Hidden bars with no signs, no names. Velvet curtains and piles of pillows.

 Haunting jazz filling every shadowed corner. 

Icy cold, big-as-a-plate, exotically flavored martinis in the wee hours of the night. 

Perched on a bar stool, sipping slowly, with the tip of a sexy stiletto swaying gently to the rhythm. 

Atmoshpere, music, THE drink, my hubby and of course, sexy shoes.

Capturing a little of that magic for our recent date night dinner. 
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch

Lemoncello four sack towels used as placemats available at erin go paint
Vintage linen damask napkins revived with lemon wedge print available at erin go paint

What to wear when you have a cold

Boost your immune system from the feet up with a little echinacea, the coneflower.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Inspiration in a Pumpkin Patch

I love visiting farms in the fall and in the last 2 weeks we've been to a few (and have had some amazing weather).... bright orange pumpkins piled high in the sun, crisp red apples, vibrant mums... russet, gold, burgundy, violet - all the colors exploding against the backdrop of soft, golden straw and an electric blue sky.

In settings like this my painting brain goes crazy, and a million ideas come rushing at me.  I don't know whether to run screaming for safety - or for my paintbrush.  Luckily, I was equipped with a camera and shot tons of photos for reference.

Not much sketching on site with a 4 year old along for the adventure.

But, yesterday afternoon I made use of craft time with her... and her great, big bag of crayons (which always give me a thrill) and sketched a pile of pumpkins with a handful of fall palette crayons.  She loved it.  And it was very satisfying to release some of the creative energy that had been building up.

Looking forward to working on some pumpkins with my watercolors.... coming soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What to wear... while you wait for a kidney stone to pass

  Lemon has been known to help break down calcium oxalate stones, and the vodka could take the edge off the pain... or at the very least, be a fun distraction while waiting and waiting. 

Not exactly Doctor's orders but, you'll look pretty dang cute wearing these to the ER.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Focus on the Joy

"No Gluten Necessary" watercolor & ink, 5x7, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

Its been said all publicity is good publicity as long as it gets the product or topic out there, in people's thoughts and conversations. I don't know... I get tired of the never-ending stream of articles that perpetuate the difficulties, the expense, and the nutritional deficiencies of following a gluten-free diet.

First, those of us that have celiac or gluten intolerance have no choice. And many of us choose to look at it in a positive light. As in we are no longer sick all day, every day. No diet is too hard when a complete turn around in health and energy is the result.

Second, I believe it scares off celiac newbies – Because there is a learning and adjustment curve, they struggle or stumble (which happens or happened to all of us) then read the negative stories and say “see, it is too hard!” Then give up on the diet – giving up their own health in the process. But a positive attitude and the willpower to stick it out go a long way. I have read of many people who find the gf diet too difficult to follow because they have to give up fast food --- not much nutrition in the fast food diet!

Third, it keeps people from being tested. They don't want to have a disease that is so difficult and expensive to manage. And the negative articles support their fear. They would love an easy pill to take and not to have to think about it. I know because I have met them in person and on forums. (again I ask, how big is the expense of chronic illness and pain?)

I am tired of the negative talk. I believe the authors of these pieces haven't spoken to celiacs that have had dramatic improvements in their health. People who feel joy that they now know what is wrong; they know the root cause and are truly enjoying the gluten free food they prepare and eat. People who have experimented and come up with delicious and tantalizing treats and feasts enjoyed by celiacs and non-celiacs alike. People who happily eat fresh, nutritionally packed, naturally gluten-free food. People who are truly empowered by creating good health by the foods that they choose to eat.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Artichoke Tablescape

Continuing to stretch my creative muscles I am participating in Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch again this week.

Its a great exercise for many reasons: using my product, creating something beautiful from what we already own, honing my product photography skills, and a 3dimensional artistic challenge.

Not to mention a wonderful excuse to buy fresh flowers and the end result is a lovely dining room or a special dinner with my husband.

A win-win activity.

This week I chose my artichoke towels as my jumping off point. Dug out the dishes that were intended to be our everyday but proved to be too easily chipped. Also dusted off the hand painted flutes (a wedding present from a dear college friend).  Creating a dinner palette of warm browns and refreshing greens.

Once again it was great fun and it even inspired my 4-year old daughter to create her own tablescape in the kitchen (while I was busy photographing) in anticipation of lunch.

Dishes Sango Splash
Placemats from Perch Home

Friday, October 1, 2010

Peacocks, Kidney Stones and Gluten Intolerance

"Peacock" watercolor on paper, 8x10, copyright Erin Rogers Pickering

A peculiar combination you say?  Not for me.
I am currently obsessed with finishing my peacock painting (#12 painting a week challenge) – and getting rid of a kidney stone, the appearance of which has greatly hindered my painting progress.

The Doctor informed me on Wednesday that the cause of my recent pains and problems was none other than a kidney stone.  Took me about 1 minute of google searching to find out the very real and common connection between kidney stones and celiac.  I may have been surprised by the kidney stone diagnosis – but was not at all surprised at the celiac connection.  Seems it all comes back to the same root cause.

If I understand correctly most kidney stones are calcium based.  They build up as a result of the body processing calcium inefficiently.  To absorb calcium efficiently, an adequate amount of vitamin D must be present.  Ah, there it is – my insufficient vitamin D thanks to malabsorption from gluten intolerance.  It's proving difficult to get it back in the range where it should be.  And, it invited the kidney stone in.

So I painted with lemon water for drinking on my left, and paint water for my brushes the right, and did my best not to confuse them... as the peacock eyed me warily.