Monday, June 29, 2009


It is designtime again...that time twice a year where I frantically prepare to travel to the United States with my designs in hand. I leave on a jet plane tomorrow! I have been so looking forward to my trip to the South this July...even though the internet is a wonderful thing that can make miles seem more like inches...
it is always a joy to go back "home".

I will be attending the
Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market
July 8-11, 2009 to visit with my clients...and hopefully find some new ones! My portfolios are bursting at the seams...I have a ton of new designs, colors schemes, paintings...the list goes on.

I will not have much time to write during my trip...but surely I will see some of you while I am there?!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Cannot get enough of that golden tramonto (sunset) glow...
have a great weekend.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Giving back

Sunday evening we attended a very special community gathering. The priest of our little country church is retiring after fifty years of service. Can you believe that...for fifty years he has lived in the little house offered by the church and has given his life to the community. Just imagine the number of services and ceremonies he has many baptisms, first communions, weddings, many people have been touched by his presence.

"there is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life...happiness, freedom, and peace of mind...are always obtained by giving them to someone else." ~ Peyton Conway March

This has my mind racing...motivating me to find more ways to give back some of the wonderful I have received from others in this life.

On a lighter note, the Vescovo (Bishop) has not been able to find a replacement for the priest. So Sunday night he announced he will continue to lead some of the services, but when he needs a break, he is going to take one. Something else to keep in mind...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

For Daddy...

We are missing you here...but hope you have a wonderful father's day there...I will see you soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Waste Not...

I tend to have grand ideas about eating the recommended daily allowances of food each day. With that in mind, I gather all sorts of fruit when I go to the market. (Secretly...I think I purchase more for the look of the fruit bowl than the actual "eating" part.)

Are you like you sometimes accidentally end up with an abundance of overly ripe fruit? Here is something you might want to try over the weekend if you are in the same boat I was yesterday...June is my month for peaches, they are just so pretty. This is one of my favorite recipes my mother used to make for us in the summer. (Complete with her notes...and some peach juice!)

Thank goodness this household never tires of peach cobbler. Even the simplest of bakers, namely me, can make it. You may also substitute just about any fruit...cherries, strawberries, plums. If you happen to have a copy of my trusted hometown cookbook, Tea-Time at the Masters, you can find it there as well.

Waste not want not...buon appetito!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Can something that produces color this radiant really be called a weed?

Monday, June 15, 2009


Summer (l'estate) has officially begun here in Tuscany. This can usually be denoted by the heat and lack of breeze, but for us it has been the luck of dinner invitations. As I mentioned here, the Tuscans love to get together for large meals at long family style tables...if you can dine outside, even better...and this past weekend we were very fortunate to have our dance cards full.

On Friday night we received an invitation to a friend's house for "Latino in Giardino". We fueled ourselves with a spectacular buffet of antipasti, cold pastas, and arista to have the energy for the salsa dancing galore that followed in the garden.

Saturday night was in honor of the Gemini as we celebrated another set of birthdays with seems everyone here is a Gemini. In a picturesque setting of fields in the valley we roasted fresh fish in a brick wood-fed oven and had a delicious linguine con le cozze (mussels)...and as with most Italian parties, this one spontaneously erupted into dance late into the night.

As if we had not enjoyed ourselves enough, we were invited to the home of two Americans on Sunday night to visit with vacationing friends. Surrounded by fields and yet another serene view of our town in the distance, we sipped wine, dined on gourmet hamburgers (a nice change), and much to my delight...spoke in English all night.

Needless to say, we are fat, happy, feel blessed to be so full of friendship...and are now in need of a very long nap under an umbrella...happy Monday!

Friday, June 12, 2009


The olivi (olive trees) surrounding our house are bursting with buds. An explosion of flowers is on its way. I can only imagine if this is an indication of the amount of olives to come this fall.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case...but one can hope...and in thinking about it, I can almost taste the new oil now...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I was chatting with a six-year-old the other day while playing with Ciccia Maria. We were throwing a stick and watching her retrieve. At one point, as he picked up one of the last remaining dandelion heads, he asked "do you believe if you make a wish, it will come true?" Of course, I answered, we need to believe. Later on while sitting with his uncle, I recounted the story and he inquired, " you really believe?" The realistic side of my brain immediately wanted to answer, no. But, the other side of my brain...the one that usually wins...wanted to answer a resounding, YES. In this life we need to the small things, in the big things...we need to think that there can be more. So after a little thought, si, credo nei desideri, tanti desideri...yes, I believe in making wishes, lots of them...even some for you...and in hoping they come true...for all of us...and with dandelion heads this big, who wouldn't?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To the market

On my way to the market yesterday, I encountered this mamma and her two little ones ambling down the lane. Maybe they were on their way to the market as well?

Monday, June 8, 2009


This past Saturday I had the delightful opportunity to reveal the secrets of La Cucina Toscana to four lovely women. My friend, Benedetta, taught them how to prepare crostini neri (appetizer toast) a traditional Tuscan delicacy, pici (long Tuscan pasta) from scratch with a special sauce of bread crumbs and tomatoes, arista (pork loin) with a olive topping made directly from her olive grove, and cantucci (almond cookies) that were served for dessert with a nice glass of vin santo for dipping. They had so much fun preparing the meal, and I thoroughly enjoyed eating the fruits of their labor. Not sure I will be able to recreate her recipes, but I cannot wait to try some on my own at home.

Friday, June 5, 2009


I have always adored scarves…the perfect way to spruce up jeans and a t-shirt, but with this summer heat I need something else. While cleaning out some drawers this week, I came across various costume jewelry items that I never wear. What’s a girl to do when you absolutely love bits and pieces, but not always the whole package? Recycle!

So I used some of my broaches, beads, fishing line, silver wire and eccola...trendy statement necklaces for free!

So now I have a new obsession...and I bet you will too...soon. Try it, I dare you not to get hooked! Now onto my next victims...

Monday, June 1, 2009


I spend most of my time during the day doodling small things at the desk. I then transfer them to the computer and my work blossoms from there. I am fortunate enough to have a functioning office~studio within our house, but sometimes I just need to break out the paint and get messy.

A limonaia, literally translated as a place for the lemons, is the Tuscan version of a greenhouse, and most homes...from farmhouses to villas...have one attached to the house. During the winter, this lovely little room is the home to my beloved lemon and orange trees.
During the spring and summer months, when the weather permits, it transforms into my painting studio.

This past weekend I finally took the time to brush off the dust…and the spiders, and the scorpions...I even made a little seating area for when you come to visit.

With so much room, I think it's time to start creating something big…

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