Mangia, Mangia!


An autumn vegetable feast we cooked up the other night:



This “recipe” (if you can call it that) is an amalgam of ideas from chefs far superior to me (my aunt Hopie and my old housemate Gabby). ¬†I cut carrots, red potatoes, sweet onion and beets into approximately equal sized pieces (tried to make the beets a bit smaller because they take longer to cook), doused the lot in extra virgin olive oil and added sea salt, pepper, ginger powder, paprika and dill and tossed them to coat well. ¬†Then I baked them at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes until they started to look a bit crispy (here they are on their way into the oven). ¬†This is a real RI winter diet! ¬†You can buy all of these veggies locally throughout the season.


And my all time most favorite dish, a caprese salad made with local tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil from my garden.  I top it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and cracked pepper and a bowl of homegrown/homemade pesto.  TRUE LOVE.

A Sense of Place

A good friend of mine let me snap some photos of her family home on Aquidneck Island one sunny day this fall because I was so excited about the spaces that I wanted to be able to share them on Hope State. ¬†There are a lot of fancy homes in this town that feel ¬†sterile and un-livable to me; something about an interior decorator swooping in from New York with ‘aesthetically pleasing’ antiques and knick-knacks to furnish a family’s home ¬†really creeps me out. ¬†To me, those objects lose all significance and are reduced to mere props in a showroom. ¬†Not this house. ¬†There was absolutely nothing impersonal about it. ¬†For lack of a better word, it was just incredibly real. ¬†Each object felt intentional and important because some member of the family had at one time brought it there. ¬†It was also a place of contrast: there were areas that were well loved and lived in (like couches that still had the impression of someone sitting on the cushions), and then there were dusty stacks of books and objects that looked as though they had been sitting there for a decade. ¬† Some corners and rooms were so dark your eyes had to adjust to them, while others seemed to be wall-less they were so bright. ¬†And amid incredible antiques and paintings were displays of the kind of sentimental objects that grandmothers keep around them to remind them of their family when they are alone: children’s drawings, family snapshots, old toys and embroidered pillows. ¬†My favorite room in any old house is almost always the kitchen: to me, this is where most living actually happens in a home. ¬†Suddenly evidence of everyday chores, like bottles of cleaning solution and a watering can, become apparent: it’s like peaking backstage.







Color back in June…

Sayles experimented using poppies in her arrangements this summer at Sayles Livingston Flowers, and I couldn’t resist snapping some shots while I worked. ¬†They shipped as closed buds and exploded into these vivid colors overnight. ¬†Although it’s a depressingly long way until any of us will be cutting poppies from our own gardens, don’t forget to singe the ends of the stems with a match after you cut them to keep the flowers happy! ¬†Even though they’re finicky and don’t last long, poppies are a great flower to grow in a cutting garden because the seed heads look just as interesting in an arrangement as the flowers do (see below, in the background).

A Curio Cabinet for a Studio

I just came back from my 5 year reunion at Miss Porter’s and am in total high school nostalgia mode, but I won’t torture you with reflections to that effect. ¬†What I will share is the amazing art studio I got to work in for four years! ¬†I don’t think I fully appreciated it at the time, probably in part because I hadn’t figured out just how much I am affected by my surroundings (let’s just say I’m kind of a nester), but Grier Torrence, my studio art teacher for 3 years, has done such a wonderful job collecting random objects and creating inspiring vignettes and still lives all about the room (those are his paintings on the wall in the second photo). ¬†I think creating your creative space is one of the most important parts of the artistic process. ¬† Hmmm, I tend to make my jewelry in front of the TV. ¬†I should work on that.