songs with pictures

Nate Duval

The Small Stakes

Frida Clements

Mike King

I could loose several hours on You can search by band or designer or city or venue. It's so great. And there are so many examples of fantastic creativity there. Here are a couple of my favorites, both bands/musicians and designs. I think Sam might want to get me the Joanna Newsom poster for Christmas. Good thing he reads my blog. (not only do I love the design, but I ADORE her harp and poetry and crazy voice all together, which, strangely enough, I couldn't stand when I first heard several years ago. I guess it was kinda like a Rite of Spring phenomenon. Except I didn't hit anyone after that first listen.)

Does anybody collect gig posters out there? Any bands that get the best posters? Any designers to mention? I love that they're becoming more sought after, since music packaging is largely nonexistent. (except of course as collectible items) I heard a designer say once that we aren't so much experiencing the death of print, as much as the death of unnecessary print, and that's why what IS being printing is more the resurgence of screen printing and letterpress, with every piece slightly unique. I like that idea: to not do things as much, but when you do, make it GLORIOUS. I think these are pretty glorious.

Friday Food Share: buttery gender rolls

So this week Sam found me in the kitchen on our evening to cook for ourselves and our two meal swapper families, cranky and prominently displaying the crease between my eyebrows that he threatens will become permanent if I don't stop worrying. He knew I had a hard day, so he took the recipe from me, started cooking and asked me if I wanted to take a nap. Have I mentioned that he's crazy wonderful? So, dear blog reading friends, I did not cook any of this meal. It was DEEPLY satisfying, for more reasons than that fact (but I must say, not cooking didn't hurt). I found the recipe for the sweet potato/kale/pork sausage over here and the asparagus/parmesian/lemon zest right here. Each dish had a combo I never knew could be so grand: sweet potato and dijon mustard and parmesan and lemon zest. I never would have stumbled onto those mixtures myself. They seem kinda counter intuitive to me, and before you mustard phobes write that first dish off: Sam doesn't really like mustard either and LOVED it. He kept asking me if I thought it was my favorite dish ever (because I think it might be his).

So, Sam and I met on eharmony. You know that, right? But before Sam knew for sure that he needed to meet me in person and then marry me, I continued to virtually meet other people (because he was...even though I completely knew from eharmony's version of "hello"...I guess I didn't want to waste my "3 months for the price of one" deal). And for those of you who aren't familiar with the process, you go through a couple steps of guided questions before you can throw caution to the wind and just freely email each other. Well, one nice young man I "met" asked me what I thought of gender roles in one of those guided question sessions that only allowed a sentence answer in return. As the girl who single handedly held back the protests of a high school debate class full of southern bells when I delivered my thesis on why beauty pageants were destructive to society, I thought this question merited a deeper discussion than the 10 word max afforded. So I told him I liked my gender roles with butter...I never ended up hearing exactly what he meant by that question, because Sam started to catch on that we were meant for each other...

Fastforwarding to our fourth year of marriage, Sam and I certainly don't have it all figured out, but I am thankful every day to be with someone who deeply respects me and my gifts, believes in me more than I do myself quite often, and refuses to put me in a box. There are certainly ways we fit some traditional roles...he fixes stuff, I vacuum, but we each respect the other as the wonderfully mysterious, stereotype defying person we get to have a lifetime and more to know. It's a pretty grand reality for a girl from a little pocket of the traditional south, where in my experience, gender roles were often held as sacrosanct and deviations sometimes counted as downright blasphemy.

This week has been one of counting my blessings in that regard, not only for my dear husband, but for our thoughtful community of friends who make a point to live out their gifts, sometimes alongside and sometimes defying cultural norms (like our stay-at-home-dad friends who proudly and passionately are so engaged in their kid's education that they choose to homeschool) and specifically the examples of guy friends who valiantly protect the dignity of their female sisters. I am truly fortunate to be in such good company.

HANGING GARDEN at Holy Cross Church

I was completely mesmerized by Shinji Turner-Yamamoto's installation at Holy Cross church this past weekend. I think it very well might have been the most captivating installation I've ever visited in person.

Cincinnati is littered with these grand, old, forlorn and gorgeously decayed "deconsecrated" spaces. It's encouraging to see new life enter one of them. I actually got to speak with the artist about his process (he was there!) and thoughts behind the work. He talked about clearing the space out (it was being used for storage). Removing the bodies of birds that had evidently flown into the space without knowing how to get out, sweeping a thick layer of dust covering every surface, while collecting the gold powder that had eroded from the walls for use in other works of art.

He described the dead tree that supported the live one as a "current." I'm not sure whether he was envisioning electricity or air or water or just the abstract concept, but Sam commented earlier that being in the space gave him a feeling of being under water, looking up at sea level where the live tree emerged. I also felt like I was subterranean.

In a video I watched before I saw the piece, the Japanese born artist talked about savoring the wabi sabi nature of the old space's decay. As much wonder the beauty of that space had to have inspired and now continues to do so, there's no denying it's impermanence, the way it currently stands. And the imperfection inherent there can also be a source of beauty, to some eyes more meaningful than the day it first opened it's door, because we can now relate to it with in our own imperfect, impermanent bodies...embrace it as a deeper truth.

I love it when art can simultaneously show me the beauty and truth in another's culture, while reminding me of the depth of my own and subsequently build a connection. This piece seemed to cross so many cultural lines: in a christian place of worship, inspired by buddhist thought, people from all stripes (and those who'd rather not associate with any stripe at all) were drawn to it's beauty in context as hallowed ground.

As I experienced this piece and thought about the appreciation of impermanence and imperfection, the lines of a favorite poem by Wendell Berry came to mind, "Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years." But I love this poem too much to not quote the whole thing. Just. Can't. Do it. Luckily, I think it's words fit nicely with the wordless poignancy of Hanging Garden.

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front  (by Wendell Berry)

Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won't compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn't go.

Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.

FOOD SHARE FRIDAY:food as celebration

A dear friend managed to have both a birthday and a baby in the course of a week, so I decided it was time to take a shot at her favorite dessert: creme brulee.  I've always considered creme brulee one of those fancy desserts that are better left to the pros and those with torches, but since I have Sam by my side, we had the torch part covered and perhaps enthusiasm would make up for our inexperience. We consulted a couple sources. This was our primary recipe and we also checked out this video as the brulee was baking, which was a bit late to implement the main suggestions (next time we will try a spot of salt as she suggests, just to see), but we at least got the fruit part down. It was all surpassingly straight forward, even for a cooking novice like myself. I both saw and cooked with a real vanilla bean for the first time on this adventure. (I included a photo. you can't tell much about the bean, but it has dramatic lighting to help you catch it's artful nature. right. exactly.) We tried the brulee both 2 hours after refrigeration and a couple days after, and it's best texture was after a couple days. Oh, and the part about only torching after the brulee has been out of the fridge for 30 minutes is important. Otherwise it will crack your ramekins. (we learned this from experience...) But it was worth it for that yummy smooth vanilla mixed with the crunchy sugary top.

We also participated in our normal food share and made a french peasant chicken dish along with blanched green beans fresh from the market and toasted almonds and a baguette from the aforementioned market.

So I have a bit of an ulterior motive for including food on my blog. In addition to the potential of someone getting on here, adding their expertise and saying, "oh hunny that's not how you do that, try this, it's much easier/better," it's also a good way for me to more deeply savor food. I've always been one that must be conscientious of the way I eat for weight management (I never have had the eat-whatever-you-want, natural girlish figure that so many friends speak about missing now as adults). And I've found that the seasons when I struggle with this issue, instead of enjoying food too much, I'm usually not enjoying it enough...using it to divert my attention from life stresses, focusing on other things while eating, etc. When I receive food from a posture of gratitude, presence and even celebration I tend to naturally fall into nourishing habits and food becomes a joy instead of a source of guilt (even the occasional brulee).

Old-Fashioned Olfaction

I've realized that I often feel like I need some kind of VERY GOOD reason before I ever start to make art....a provocative and deeply insightful statement about contemporary society, a medium yet to be explored in art history's trajectory...I don't know, a funny joke to base it on, at least...

But then I remember the metaphor a teacher once gave in school about the necessity of having a fridge full of good ingredients before cooking a feast.  And I think I want this blog to be part of how I grocery shop: A record of collecting inspiration, savoring deep relationships and good food and purposeful living, exploring ideas and images...and then seeing what comes of it all, both in how this kind of living shapes me as a person and how it shapes my art. Of course, I don't need a blog for any of this, but what a fantastic opportunity to flesh these things out among community and maybe even spur another on to their own form of grocery shopping! (and what a nice little kick in the butt to do the things I want to do anyway, because someone might actually read!  Lordy, I'm such a people pleaser, but whatever works).

So about these bottles...I let my appreciation for their designs and intricacies justify drawing this little collection. While I was drawing I day dreamt about a little indy perfume maker that repurposes vintage bottles for her/his potions (surely there's someone doing this). I thought about a fantastic book I read about 10 years ago now called The History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman and how it completely increased my capacity for wonder. For example, did you know that the sense of smell is subjective to the degree that there are tribes of people who would recoil at the idea of freshening one's breath with mint, but who routinely use animal feces by products as a hair tonic? ...Or that Napoleon asked Josephine not to bathe when he would be returning from war shortly, so he could enjoy her natural scent? This is one wild and crazy world we live in.

I brainstormed ideas of where these drawing could go...paired with details from vintage inspired anatomical paintings of respiratory systems? Something to connect science with romance? Plus other scent oriented imagery in some kind of salon style hung art collection ? Or something metaphoric, something about the body as a vessel? I wonder if this is kinda what it's like to try to guess what your kids might do when they grow up? Probably not. It would be okay if these guys stayed in my sketchbook/on this blog and just taught me a little more about what it's like to see and interpret with a pen...I don't think the analogy holds with kids. I'm not a parent, but just sayin.'

Anyway, thanks for reading. And how do you fill your fridge?

Stumbling on Sacred Ground

I accidentally found these images on a google search, looking for imagery for a design job. They were posted over at Wooster Collective and found in a neighborhood of Soho, New York.  I love it. I love that an artist on a mission in the middle of the night, graffitied a manhole into a mandela with their chosen medium of  petals and seeds and rocks, to be left for discovery by wandering pilgrims on foot and by web.

FRIDAY FOOD SHARE: Wabi Sabi cooking

So first of all, let me tell you that Sam made the yummy butternut squash and sun dried tomato soup AND the Kale/apple/almond salad with hazelnut vinaigrette dressing this week (he added some honey to Martha's recipe to offset the bitterness of the kale, which worked great). I think I might have peeled a couple shallots for the dressing, but other than that, it was all him and it was SO GOOD. The soup is a favorite of ours that we like to make in a big batch and freeze for the colder months.

My one contribution was the bread. We have a rosemary plant that is going crazy these days and the whole reason I wanted to try to grow rosemary this season was the memory of this fantastic bread we shared with friends last winter. So I tried my hand at making some, following everything in this recipe with the exception of halving the flour with wheat flour to make it slightly less, uh, white floury...(can I say more healthy? is bread with any white flour ever really healthy? Aren't people saying that wheat is really bad for you now too?  I don't know. I can't keep up.  anyway) But evidently white flour has more gluten than wheat (and come to find out gluten gives bread a thicker crust, which helps trap gases from yeast and therefore makes bread rise) I ended up making bread that was flat, unintentionally. And it looks great from above! Check it out! But kinda broke my heart at first..until i decided to take it as a small lesson on learning to embrace the process and imperfection. The fact that a couple loaves of unintentionally flat bread could shake my mood for a little bit means I do in fact need the lesson.

I just read some of Brigitte's beautiful thoughts on this over at Covet Chicago.  Perfectionism (or the illusion of it) keeps me from trying so many fantastic things.  It keeps me from experiencing way too many aspects of life.  If a lesson on letting go of it happens to crop up when I'm making food for neighbors, I'll take it....and they actually did too, with a smile even and gratitude. I hope to let this blog be an avenue to share much more bold examples of imperfection and failures than this...and I hope to use it as a challenge for myself to jump in and "fail fast," as my smart businessy entrepreneur friend likes to say. In the process, I hope to stumble into beauty. And inspire some imperfect beauty making from the friends who read along too.

Tucson Favorites

Last month Sam and I went to Tucson for a conference where Sam was presenting in his field of environmental engineering. It was a bit of a busy trip, so regretfully we didn't see too much of Tucson, but here are a couple highlights: making prickly pear cactus syrup and pancakes with Sam for a house full of internationals we were bunking up with for the conference....observing all sorts of fantastic flora and fauna that looked absolutely other worldly to my south eastern US eyes (and learning not to touch much of the flora, even if it looks soft, it's probably sharp-that part doesn't count as a favorite)...seeing my husband share some of his engineering superpowers with a bunch of other likeminded folks from around the world.


So I've hesitated to jump into my food swapping tendencies on this blog, because I am certainly not comparable to all the wonderful chiefs crafting their food masterpieces and then giving their treasured original recipes with their beautifully styled food shots on their wonderfully scrumptious blogs....BUT! over the summer and now into the fall I've so thoroughly enjoyed a little experiment I've been practicing with a few neighbors. We each (3 families) cook one meal a week to share and disperse and in return, get 2 nights of wonderful meals delivered to our door. It's turned out to be a fantastic arrangement. It certainly helps that we all live within blocks of each other (though, admittedly, I still usually drive for my delivery because I'm usually running a teensy bit late. I'm working on that.) Sam (the love of my life--via neil clark warren) more often than not, comes to the kitchen at the nick of time to help pull off a wonderful cooking adventure.

This week was moussaka. We recently traveled to LA to visit my dear sister and fell in love with this wonderfully charming greek restaurant, where I had my first bite of moussaka. mmmm! So next on the food rotation was an attempt to make atleast something resembling this fantastic dish....and it was a hit!

We used this recipe as a base, excluding the process of frying beef in butter. I'm all about getting fat in the diet, but lordy, that's a bit much, even for me.  We also grilled the eggplant instead of frying and added 2 eggs to the béchamel sauce according to some of the comments below (we actually separated the eggs and beat the whites...which I guess had a souffle effect on the top layer, which summarily sank as I rushed it out of the oven to get to my hungry food swap pals after snapping a photo of their dinner right before covering it and bagging it up, just for you, dear 2 readers of my blog) I'd probably skip the egg separation next time...I'm way too rough for a successful souffle.

And as a side we just threw together the traditional greek salad, with dressing: olive oil + lemon juice + oregano.  Sam ventured into our garden to get the oregano. I was happy to learn it was still alive, but Sam also reported that it was so alive to be crowding some of our other plants. (he chose to express this by saying the oregano was "getting all up in our other plants' bidness"....I thought this was precious).

And what did we receive this week in the food swap? Oh how I wish I had pictures (and plates!) to share.  It was glorious. This wonderful salad (my personal favorite of the week, and so beautiful and so seasonal) + pesto pasta, and turkey chili, cornbread and fresh veggies. yum!


I recently listened to a podcast from one of my very favorite shows called radiolab.  Painter Chuck Close and Neuroscientist/author Oliver Sacks were both interviewed about their faceblindness, a condition that makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to recognize faces, even of loved ones. Both men had amazing perspectives and tactics for navigating the world with such a challenge. I was particularly struck by Close's story, remembering standing before one of his gigantic portraits in DC several years ago, with every detail of the man's face meticulously, maybe even neurotically recorded. It was brilliantly extreme. And now to learn that this man who spends his life pouring over the faces of person after person can't actually remember their likeness until he's able to record them in a two dimensional plane...I was floored.

I'm always mesmerized to hear stories of a person's disabilities being the path to their genius. There's something so very redemptive about it. And Close's story fit right in. He talks about how even when he was a kid he picked up art to divert attention from his physical disabilities and have a means of receiving attention apart from the sports he couldn't join.  So he started his art education at 8 and finally when he started making the work the world would know him by, it was born out of his struggles with face blindness. He often says that if he hadn't gone to yale he probably would have ended up in jail.

I've never read the gospel of thomas, but i recently heard a quote that rang true to his story, and I think to mine too: "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." One of my favorite art teachers Paige Williams would often encourage us with the axiom, "your passion is your edge," and those words seemed to clear a path for making my best work.  But it seems also true that your woundedness, your disability, your struggle can be your edge. Maybe those things aren't too far from your passion anyway, with all the ingredients of that which "is within" us mixing together like an intricate marinade for a delicious feast, if only we would have the guts to honestly face, to soak in it ...with dignity, patience and grace.

Why are there so many...

songs about rainbows? ...Not only does the thoughtful combination of color delight me; color in general, is a pretty fascinating topic.  For example, have you ever wondered why cultures that tend to spice up their foods also, generally speaking, often prefer the more saturated hues of the color spectrum, and in larger combinations?  ME TOO!  When I embarked on my journey to India 5 years ago, I went with the high hopes of basking in the reality that fashion icon Diana Vreeland first observed in the 60s, that hot pink was the navy blue of India....and I was not disappointed.

Here are  a couple images of abundant color that I find compelling and poignant and beautiful.  The first is one from Chris Jordan, from his series covering the devastation of hurricane Katrina: an image that speaks both of overwhelming tragedy and hope of mythic proportion, jogging our collective memories of  a rainbow after another horrific flood. Next, Hans Hemmert's balloon tank that takes the adult reality of war and deflates it with children's play....swords will be turned into plowshares, tanks into party balloons. And last, the work of Haas&Hahn with the help of a team of thirty painters and Tintas Coral on homes in Dona Marta, Botafogo, Brazil; taking a marginalized neighborhood and making it a sacred space, a destination for those in search of beauty.

PEACH, GRAY HAIR, and your mother

The color peach and gray hair have both been on my mind lately.  (not to mention the growing strands of gray that increasingly grace my head, o natural, now that i'm the ripe old age of 32).  I couple months ago I read an article in the fashion section of the New York times about gray hair as a trend among hipsters and just recently in my hometown of Cincinnati caught sight of an early 20 something fashionista sporting a full head of gray locks.  The times article talked about the irony of teens and 20 somethings dying their hair gray when their mothers (and sometimes fathers) spend into the billions collectively  washing that gray right out.  Course, there's a handful of potential cultural influences, Japanese anime characters, the granny chic movement, and I would love to say a cultural shift toward embracing the aging process in general…but this seems like a long shot at this point…baby steps.

Way past flirting on the cultural edges like the gray hair trend, the color peach seems to be surpassing it's role as pink's ugly step sister, in the words of Heather Spriggs, a lifelong friend and color guru . I recently walked into Urban Outfitters to find it as the dominant color, both in display and clothing options…they were pretty unapologetic in their peachiness. But then a continued clash of aesthetic values rages on Heather's blog over peach's place in fashion and design. One reader told the author to "put her hands up and step away from the peach paint" as if she was about to commit style suicide!  Wow, people sure do get impassioned about their color choices…

But of course, it's not just about color.  It's never just that. It's all of what that color represents.  Like the aroma of your grandma's baking bread or the now pungent smell of your ex's perfume, color can take you back too. And to many folks in my generation, peach reminds us of our mother's decor, the peach + mint green or mauve and country blue options of the eighties.  We've hated peach ever since puberty and the need to differentiate from our parents.  But wait, the peach haters have kids now and some are even old enough to sense what we hate and subsequently embrace it. Maybe they also see their mother's distain for her gray hair. So they are now off to soak their head in silver dye.  What up with that?

In my opinion, a lot that is good and wholesome and intrinsic to being human….fascination with novelty and variety, need to differentiate from previous generations, the questioning of arbitrary rules, embracing change…all good stuff that helps us grow when balanced with some humility and intellectual depth.

Those last two points are key to me: humility to express ourselves without making our own rules to contradict the one's we're questioning (my mother used WAY too much peach, so therefore any amount of peach is WRONG. Never mind that incredible peachy, pink sunset)  And depth…so you see your mother dying out her gray hair and you decide to "go gray."  That's fun, but what if you looked a little deeper into why she does what she does and instead of only rebelling with your gray hair and baby face, decide to be a part of a culture that embraces aging and subsequently change society, instead of just your hair. And I bet gen. Y's have the guts to do just that. I like them; they're feisty.

new spaces


Welcome to my website!  It just so happens that in addition to working on this new virtual space, we've been busy making a brick and mortar home  (well, actually wood frame, to be specific) for Betty Hatchett Design Co. Here's a sneak peak of the progress. (that's little ole 6 ft tall me, for perspective). Many thanks to the strong, capable folks at DGM Transformations for the new walls. And of course to my multi talented husband, Sam, for trading the big, obstructive caller ties for the sleek cable, letting us appreciate the height of the space (just one among the many things he's done to give us exactly what we need). The exposed space along the bottom of the wall in the panoramic shot will be built in cabinets (a huge gift from my retired-engineer-turned-carpenter dad) I'm certainly lucky to be surrounded by so many supportive, fantastic folks in my life. I'll upload more photos of office progress, but in the mean time, it feels good to have a new home on the web!