Domestically Speaking: On Life

Happy Monday, my dears, and my profusest apologies for the lateness of this post. I experienced some major technical/technological dificulties over the weekend, so we are running a little bit behind. But, never fear! Pie finalists are being chosen as we speak, and a winner will be announced by the end of the week. In the meantime, please enjoy this last installment from the lovely Leslie Graff. Hasn't her visit been wonderful? I agree.

On creativity: I am a creative junkie. It is my one addiction. Creating in one form or another is kind of like one of Maslow’s basic needs to me. As a mom, painting is a mental salvation. It gives me that sense of completion, amidst the entropy of toys, laundry, lunch making, and dishes. For me, the creative groove is fickle though—it definitely comes and goes. I have learned to respect the nature of creativity. If I am not feeling it I have learned not to force it, because if I do the product is disastrous. So I’ve learned patience-- I wait out the funk and that good productive rhythm always comes back around.

My inspirations: I have a painting playlist that keeps my momentum through a painting session (kind of like workout music). It’s the perfect pace for me. Too fast or too slow kills it. I have also learned how to transfer a lot of the emotional energy of my relationships into my work. Trips and travels always inspire me to paint more.

On family life: As a mom of three boys-- life rocks and rolls. There is always a new mess being made somewhere in my house and most assuredly there are crumbs on my floor. My boys are my darlings, but mostly I am thwarting raids on the fridge for breakfast ice cream, reiterating the no snakes in the house rule, or chasing down a toddler who procured himself cake from the counter top with a lacrosse stick. We have daily casualties…glasses flushed down the toilet, Moroccan plates crashing off walls, paintings slashed with rulers during mock battles, but we roll with it. I promote a lot of good, old-fashioned fun in my house. New England is perfect for that. My town has no grocery store, one stoplight, two gas stations. My kids spend a lot of time creating, reading, playing, and catching fish at the town beach.

My home: From all my travels and living abroad, I am really taken with the warmth and hospitality of many other countries. I love how other places seem to relish the home more. I love being home and always want it to be a place others love to be. I have always been a domestic kind of girl. Ever since childhood, I have been known for baking treats. I taught a cooking class for other kids when I was eight and was known for bringing Tupperware containers of cupcakes to my high school and passing them out in the halls.

My style: People always ask ‘do you dress like that at home?’. The answer is no… well kind of. I do wear a lot of skirts, and I do wear aprons (mostly because I am messy when I cook). But at home I love to be barefoot. Sundays, parties, and pretty much any other excuse I can think of though you will catch me in heels. I don’t feel like the typical “crazy artist” (but maybe I am getting more that way) I like to think I blend in with the normal population. I am very sensory person I am always aware of things around me visually and textures especially. My brain never stops running and likes to make lateral connections and brainstorm. I have a reputation for crazy adventures and I always come home from a trip with at least one story.

Most delicious things I serve: Jordanian Mint Lemonade, Homemade Wheat Bread, Apple, Bacon, Almond Salad with a Sweet Vinaigrette on baby field greens from my garden, Moroccan Pan-Fried Chicken, Chocolate Poundcake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.

And that's that. A big and massive thanks to Leslie for sharing her life and her passion and her art with us this week. Remember that there are darling vintage-inspired aprons at Shabby Apple waiting for you to snatch them up! And check back here later this week for the perfect pie winner. In the meantime, we have more treats up our sleeves. Don't you worry.


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