Sunday, February 3, 2013

Everyday Art

January collage by Candied Sumire
January collage, a photo by Candied Sumire on Flickr.
I ordered a planner off of Amazon that I wanted but could not find locally. When I opened it I found I didn't like the artwork. I was complaining to my sister Fig when she said, "Why not cover it up with your own artwork?" This is my January collage and I will be doing my February one today. I'm actually really looking forward to it and it's made my planner really special!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I had a scone for breakfast today.  A freshly baked scone.  I got up twenty minutes late but I still was able to pop a batch of scones in the oven and have one to eat on the way to work.  This is because I baked refrigerated scones from a cardboard tube.  I am vacillating between feeling quite clever and feeling like a fraud.

I buy baked goods with some regularity if I’m not feeling too austere because I love baked goods and breakfast goodies in particular.  Yesterday while at the store I compared prices and realized that buying and baking the scones was cheaper and as it is finally cool here in the mornings (still far too hot all day) I bought some to bake this morning.  Somehow however I feel like a poser making scones from a cardboard tube when I don’t just buying them outright.

I like baking.  I like baking scones amongst other things.  I don’t like cleaning up after baking I admit and I sometimes begrudge the amount of time it takes – usually after the fact.  I will proudly present muffins to my husband only to have him say, “It’s eleven o’clock at night.  It’s a bit late for muffins don’t you think?”  My pride then falters a bit as I realize my evening has vanished and although I do have muffins to show for it I had other things planned as well.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I recently had a coaching session with Cat Caracelo and she said something that really changed the way I am approaching my days and hopefully this blog.  She told me that my act of creation starts now.

I love collecting information that I hope to read through and utilize "someday."  I have a studio that could use an organizational system or five.  I haven't gotten any of my writing published in years.  I have a tendency to think "Once I stop accumulating information and either utilize or discard what I have..." "Once my studio looks like something from 'Where Women Create'..." "Once I send something out to be published..." then I will be a real author, crafter, artist, creative.  I will be creating then whereas now I am just preparing to create.

Of course it's just changing the story I tell myself but that sort of change makes a difference.  I realized lots of blogs detail people learning to create, hammering out ideas, testing themselves.  I don't need to wait until I am "polished" before I share.

Yesterday as I biked home from work down a boulevard of gorgeous homes I smiled to myself.  My husband and I may have an apartment now, but I can enjoy the beauty of those homes and I can enjoy our vintage apartment, stifling as it is come summertime.  This is the now I am in and it is where the future is being created so I will try to value this time whatever it brings, appreciate the act of creation whether that's making dinner or making art, and strive to remember that even the beginning of things can be beautiful.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mariage Frères

I started my tin of Wedding Impérial tea from Mariage Frères right after the wedding and it's gone now which I think is a sign that I haven't posted in a while. I took a photo of it to share on here when I gushed about its delicious chocolaty carmely goodness but my photos are still terribly unfocused and I feel -- as dull as plain text is -- it is better than poor quality photos. (I must work on my atrophied photography skills.)

Is it strange that I was introduced to Mariage Frères while living in Osaka? They had this wonderful tea room in Shinsaibashi. My friend Aileen (who has lived in Paris) and I used to meet there for tea. It's a good thing Aileen was with me on my first visit or I probably would have been too overawed to enter on my own. Mariage Frères' teahouses are so elegant they seem to be only for nobility. However the wait staff was kind and the tea as well as the pastries were superlative.

I still feel exceedingly cultured when I sip my Mariage Frères' teas. I can even enjoy them without honey or milk which is the ultimate badge of sophistication in tea connoisseur circles.  I can’t wait until I can get out my Esprit de Noel again!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Wedding Memories

Bow by Candied Sumire
Bow, a photo by Candied Sumire on Flickr.
I am slowly getting the hang of this picture posting although obviously, from the "soft focus" look of this picture, not the actual picture taking.  I feel I ought to write about the wedding after all this build up.  (Can I say "all this" in reference to two posts total?)  The thing is, it's still such a blur... making this photo even more apropos.

There were friends there that I hadn't seen in ages that I spoke to for less than five minutes.  There was all of Mr. Dashing's family to meet.  My flowers left a spot on my gown that I couldn't stop thinking about or talking about to said friends and family, much to my consternation.  Looking back it didn't matter in the slightest.  It doesn't show up in a single picture.  In all the whirl of the day I guess it was something on which to focus.

I always thought the photographs from your wedding were so that you could remember the day but honestly I don't remember large parts of it.  The photographs are more to show me what happened.  This is why I find myself trying to blot the butter cream frosting off my fondant bow and save it forever.  It's not merely because I like arranging pretty mementos.  I remember removing the bow -- which the sweet ladies who helped out at my wedding put, erroneously, on top of the cake -- and putting it on the side where it belonged.  I thought as I was doing it how silly it was that it even mattered on my wedding day and it really didn't but I remember that moment well.  Much more clearly than I remember cutting the cake together mere moments later!

I may not remember the sweetest parts of the day but in the photos I am beaming and every day Mr. Dashing does something sweet so even if the moments blur together -- happiness shines through them all.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sumire Means Violet in Japanese

Spring Violets by Candied Sumire
Spring Violets, a photo by Candied Sumire on Flickr.
Perhaps some readers may wonder about my screen-name. Violets are one of my favorite flowers so I chose the name Sumire since it means violet (the flower, not the color) in Japanese. My mother wanted violets for her wedding bouquet but as she married in May they were already out of season. I would like them as well but my June wedding puts them even more out of season. I think this missed chance has always made violets a little melancholy to me but that has made them even more dear.

In order to not miss out on violets this year (I hope to press a few) I picked three on my way home. I felt quite nefarious doing it since, as I mentioned earlier, my mother always taught me not to pick flowers. To ease my conscience I picked a very few and left many behind. Once I had them home the collection of little glass bottles on my bureau called out to me, so I had to put the violets and some water in one.  In a few days I will get them in my flower press though, never fear!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Springing Forward

I apologize for disappearing for such a long stretch.  My "day job" was keeping me quite busy but when my position was eliminated Mr. Dashing offered me the opportunity to focus fully on my writing and art.  I can't imagine a happier downsized person than me.  I am still looking for work but I'm staying in my fields of art and writing rather than the clerical, secretarial and education related work that I did in the past.  I do still enjoy teaching but as teachers know, it leaves little time for anything else.  I do hope to volunteer in an educational program or two.

That is written in the future tense because just now I am being kept very busy planning a wedding, my wedding.  Mr. Dashing and I have been engaged for well over a year and at one time I believed that meant I'd get everything in order months and months ahead of time.  Alas, this was not to be.  So now I am frantically addressing envelopes and wrestling with the complexities of which flowers are in season and what they each mean... with the wedding less than two months away!