Each year, our marvelous Springfield Art Museum throws a party with a purpose, called “99x.” The purpose is that the museum raises money to restore permanent pieces for the next 99 years. So clever!
Both of us have been fortunate enough to put our creative crazy visions to work for the last two years. They don’t even check in on us! They trust us! Now that’s crazy.
Last year, the theme was “Gilded Glamour,” where we were inspired by John Frederick Kensett’s “Shore Landscape.” Stephanie was invited to create an interactive tableau, using the Newport Beach estate ”
My project was to paint an interpretation of one of the Newport estates, using ‘illuminated’ qualities. It was then turned into a 10-foot wall hanging that was displayed in the lobby of the museum.
It was such a magical, glowing night!
This year, though…was even better. The theme was “Cirque Americana,” where we celebrated Ben Messick and his clown paintings. Stephanie’s company Queen City Blooms was asked to help do a floral carousel-inspired centerpiece in the museum’s lobby, while I created an interactive tableau of a fortune teller.
We had *so* much fun. Already we’re talking about collaborating on a tableau together next year. With so many talented and amazing artists in the area, though, the competition is fierce!
Looking to add a bit of fortune, gold, and circus-inspired bling to your life? Keep reading!
The first time I remember seeing the depiction of Venus de Milo was in the movie “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen“. It left such an impression that when I saw the painting “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli, I was like, hey! It’s like that scene from the movie!
(Everything always comes back to the movies for us…)
Since that time as a 7-year-old, it remains a painting I still obsess over. Her imperfect and irregular body! Floating on a seashell! Mystery, jealousy, divine! I loved it as a little kid, I love it as a big kid.
Which might explain this recent art purchase by the talented Sarah Jones:
Made me wonder what other Venus-inspired treasures I could add to my collection…
The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time – Hands down, one of the best books ever published. It is so inspiring, and makes me want to have beautiful, sit-down dinners with my family on a nightly basis. With contributors like Tom Hanks and beautiful recipes for the whole family, this is one of those books that’s actually very rarely in my house because I loan it to everyone.
Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That?: Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips – Stephanie is one of Ina’s biggest fans. When we found out she was doing a book signing and Q&A in Kansas City, we left our babes at home and eagerly drove up to see her. It was my first real introduction to her, and oh what a charmer. I went home with this book and have tried almost every recipe in it. Every single one of her books is ten thumbs up.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses – this book is more about if you want to *start* a family (wink wink, nudge nudge). It’s a cookbook that’ll make you blush. I first read it while working at a cafe where we hosted an annual “Aphrodite’s Feast” romantic dinner. The courses all had aphrodisiac properties, and this book was our ultimate resource.
What are some of your well-loved and well-worn cookbooks, whether you create the recipes or just love the imagery? We’d love to hear!
Editors Sarah Rich, Wendy MacNaughton, Maria Popova, and Debbie Millman all write about the influence Cipe had on their own work, as well as her trailblazing efforts in a male-dominated field.
The true gems are in the gouache illustrations of Cipe’s family recipes. These were found at a book sale, all part of a private journal that Cipe created. Thank goodness Sarah Rich serendipitously came across it and shared it with the world. I’m so in love!
We’ve started a Pinterest Page of Original Influencers. Who else should be on that list? And what are you reading this weekend?