Another Spent Sketchbook and Something Learned

Started December 13, 2015 • Ended January 21, 2017

This was one of those Strathmore 400 Series Sketchbooks with the wire binding that I prefer. It laid flat; was easy to draw in and was a pleasure to sketch in. It measures 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches making it easy to take along on the commute, but not too small to work within.

As I shoved it into and pulled it from backpacks, the cover started to get dog-eared so I encrusted it with stickers from various places. My family was put on alert to snag whatever stickers they came across. As the stickers got beat, I covered them with fresh ones. They did a fair job of holding the book together for the year+ of service.

The most important thing about this particular sketchbook is what I’ve learned from using it.

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Eggplant Parmesan and Polenta

Polenta and eggplant parmesan is cold weather comfort food at it’s finest. Creamy polenta paired with meaty eggplant topped with a spicy tomato gravy and mozzarella – it’s good stuff!

Any leftover eggplant can be layered in a small baking dish with gravy* and mozzarella. Leftover polenta can be reheated and topped with a fried egg for breakfast, or drizzled with maple syrup.

(* In South Philly tomato sauce = gravy!)  Continue reading

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Grocery Store


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Shopping Spree

Drawn on a subway and later inked at a YMCA

For the people who know me, this is going to sound crazy, but I miss working in art supply stores.

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Apple-Pear Braided Bread

Making braided breads is my Sunday morning hobby. Mix up the dough, drink coffee and catch up on the news while waiting for the it to rise. By the time the caffeine has kicked in, it’s assembly time, 30 minutes later there’s a fruit studded bread to devour!  Continue reading

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Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q-Grill

The Bomb Bomb Bar-B-Q-Grill has a glorious sign. Last night I happened to be traveling through the neighborhood, saw it illuminated, and took this shot.  Continue reading

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Mayor Kenney’s Kids

Mayor Jim Kenney visits students at Children’s Playhouse in South Philadelphia. The pre-K program is funded by the new, controversial soda tax that went into effect in Philadelphia on January 1st.

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Apple Bars

These are more like bars than a cake, they’re dense and chewy. Almost like an apple blondie, they’re sturdy – perfect for packing in a lunch box.  Continue reading

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All The World Loves A Lover

The phrase “All the world loves a lover” is taken from an essay on love by Ralph Waldo Emerson, meaning that people are always happy to see two people in love. Such was the case on Sunday when a man got down on one knee and proposed marriage to his girlfriend in the middle of the Mummer’s Parade on Broad Street. I can’t think of a nicer way to start off the new year, congratulations to the happy couple!

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A Long Time Ago About 4 Hours Away…

Windham Road Circa 1981This is another of The Photo Elective series of photographs that Tina, I and every other illustration major attending The Philadelphia College of Art were required to shoot, process and print. My guess is that the notion of the class was that it enabled the students to compose within the frame of the viewfinder and to learn a process. It was also handy for capturing one’s own reference photos rather than relying on the school’s picked over library. I think the real creativity of the course for the student was trying to figure out how to eat once a staggering sum of money was spent on 35mm SLR cameras, photographic supplies and processing gear. I recall the panic that swept the sophomore illustrators as they received the laundry list of pricey gear REQUIRED for the 1.5 credit course.

This isn’t fair! I’m not a photo major! I just want to paint pretty pictures!

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Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp Scampi was on the menu for New Year’s Eve. It had been a busy day, and I wanted to make something that was special and out of the ordinary, but easy. This fit the bill. In the time it takes to cook the linguine, the shrimp can be sautéed with the garlic, then tossed with the pasta. Add a salad and a good loaf of bread, and you’re all set.  Continue reading

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2017 Mummer’s Parade – Part Two

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2017 Mummer’s Parade!

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Counting Down…

May your New Year sparkle and shine!

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