Lou Ruvo Center by Frank Gehry- Las Vegas

The Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health is the brain child of Larry Ruvo- the owner of the largest distributor of wine and spirits in Las Vegas and Frank Gehry the California based, Toronto born architect.

I first went on a tour of this structure a year ago when the Living Arts Center, which is the organically shaped stainless steel structure, was still on the ground. It was surreal. It literally looked like a crane had dropped the metal pieces and crumpled them. Sited by Mr. Gehry as the worlds largest jigsaw puzzle this structure is five separate parts assembled by screws leaving no room for error. If you are familiar with Mr. Gehry’s work you will know that this is how he rolls.
This is what the inside of the Living Arts Center looks like- The beams are made to look like tree trunks:

The main medical building houses an impressive contemporary arts collection which is all for sale. Save for the sculpture located in the garden by Peter Alexander which was donated by Gehry, tiled Sugar and made of recycled glass.

I find it impressive how dedicated Mr. Gehry is to his work- all the seating in the center was designed by him as well as the lamps in the main lobby. Inspired by the crumpled papers he discarded on the floor while in the creative process of this project he designed the lamps to reflect this.

The center also houses the Maria Puck Cafe, named for Wolfgang's mother.

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Thai Curry Paste-

We love eating Thai and Indian curries. Dr. J is a bit obsessed with getting the spices down to a science and even has his own coffee grinder JUST for spices.
I find it extremely tedious to make curry pastes as they require a lot of ingredients and a ton of prep work. Not exactly a week night meal.
So here is our secret for having amazing homemade Thai meals, often.
We make a big batch (in this case quadrupling the recipe) and freeze it in tasty balls.
With the paste pre-made it is easy to sauté some veggies, add some tofu, shrimp, chicken or beef- add a can of coconut milk, a dash of cane sugar, hot sauce to taste and fresh herbs to garnish.
Here is the recipe to make a quadruple batch of:

Curry Paste
16 Red Chillies (we use dried and soak them in hot water for ten minutes)
16 cloves of garlic
4 tsp Cumin
4 tsp Coriander
8 stalks of Lemon Grass
3 shallots
2 thumbs sized pieces of ginger
2 thumb sized pieces of galangal (aka- white ginger)
4 tsp of shrimp paste
2 limes juiced with zest
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp pepper
Splash of Fish sauce
8 tablespoons Ketchup or tomato paste (we use Ketchup)
Cilantro to taste- we add a ton because we love it
All of these ingredient can be found at your Asian market.
Here are the dried peppers soaking (the bowl is made by MY NAME IS MUDD)

A quick, dry, pan fry gives the coriander and cumin a nice toasty taste

Lemon grass

Galangal Ginger- has a lovely sent- a bit earthy, piney, and pungent citrusy. It is a fantastic compliment to standard ginger. Also known as ‘white ginger’ here in North America it is much harder to grate or cut. This is what it looks like in its natural root state, peeled and grated. Apparently mixing it with lime juice in a tonic makes it work as an aphrodisiac.

Here you can see the difference in color of the two gingers in the bowl-

Add everything all together into a food processor and make it into a paste.
Although this picture doesn't make our curry balls look appetizing- the final results are tasty.

I imagine they can stay frozen for a few months- I wouldn't know though because we use them up quickly!


Toronto G20- Black Bloc- Photographs

I don't usually comment on politics because it is not polite to discuss money, religion or politics.  That is what I was taught that is what I am teaching my monkeys.
However, I have been consumed with this as my parents live a few subway stops from where it happened.
I am sad that a group of political activist caused damage to Toronto and gave our city a stained reputation. 

Torontonians would never make Toronto look bad, we love our city.

 These amazing photographs were taken by Oliver Lavery who's downtown office was not far from where all this took place:

Toronto and Canada in general are very liberal and encourage peaceful protesting- for it to have turned violent and destructive is completely out of character.

The group of violent protesters who damaged Toronto's downtown yesterday is a group referred to as the Black Bloc whose tactics include having individuals wear black clothing, scarfs, balaclavas, or helmets to concealing their faces. 
The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity or creating the illusion of a larger group.The tactic was developed in the 1980s by anti-nuclear activist autonomists. Black blocs gained broader media attention outside Europe during the 1999 anti-WTO demonstrations, when a black bloc damaged property of GAP, Starbucks, Old Navy, and other retail locations in downtown Seattle.  [Yesterday] during the 2010 G20 Summit, a black bloc riot damaged an Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Adidas Store, Starbucks and many banking establishments in Toronto.
I don't usually use Wikipedia as an academically credible source of information but I have read dozens of articles and feel that this information is accurate and am therefore siting it here.

To see more of Oliver Lavery's photography check out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/oliverlavery/


Happy To Be Part Of All This

I enjoy blogging because of all the like minded, kindred spirits I meet, virtually.
I love the inspiration I gain from seeing your images, your thoughts, the books you read, the music you like, the artists you enjoy, the projects you do, your culinary endeavors, the things you make, how you parent, how you love, what you see and what you do.  The support of this community we are a part of is uplifting.
I saw these signs the other day at a sustainability building we visited. I though about how my blogger friends ‘get’ this kind of stuff and live it. 
Truly inspirational- I’m really enjoying this ride.

I'm am learning so much about myself through this experience.  I truly appreciate all of the comments you leave and the followers I have.  I always follow back so if I am not following you back it because I screwed up so let me know and I'll fix it.


this moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Decal Art

My home is a work in progress. I am always on the look out for the perfect something to go somewhere. I refuse to spend money to fill up spaces temporarily. I am anti settling in every aspect of my life. As a result we have some empty walls that are waiting for the perfect piece of art work.
I saw these decals on Etsy and they are described as the perfect temporary solution for ‘renters’ and ‘you don’t have to spend much to get a new look’. I don’t rent and would sell my soul for a piece of artwork, if only I could find the perfect one.

But regardless, when I saw these birds I thought they would look good on the empty wall of my staircase.
This is what my empty wall looked like:

When they arrived in the mail I was surprised at how much smaller they looked- isn’t that always the case!?

I didn’t realize how bad I am at deciphering the direction of shadowed birds until I started this project- Lucky for me my youngest monkey is really good at it.
The only assembly required is to place transfer tape (which they provide), cut it up and place the birds on the wall.  My walls are slightly textured so I also pressed down with a soft cloth as was suggested. 
My goal was to 'make them look like they were flying out the window'.
I am happy with the final results- until I sell my soul (or a monkey)  for the perfect work of art.

I really love the tree designs that they make as well- To check out the shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/walldecors


Flower Petal Printmaking

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. ~Claude Monet

We have a colorful array of flowers that grow in our garden.  I love drying flowers, making potpourri, eating flowers and making art with them.  Today we made some flower petal prints on white recycled cotton fabric.  Harvesting flower petals from our garden and using a piece of cardboard as the base we lay various petal designs onto the fabric. Folding the fabric in half we hammered the top piece staining both sides with petal dye.

It was fun experimenting with various flowers, amounts and patterns.
Here are the results of a bottom dye, pre-hammer, post hammer and top dye pattern.

Really easy and fun activity. 
Questions to consider while creating:
What is printmaking? Printmaking is a two dimensional type of art media that involves pressing a medium onto a support? 
What materials (medium) are we using to create? What types of flower/petals are we using? Do you remember what tree/bush/plant it came from?
What combination of colors can we make by overlapping out petals?


Not So Happily Ever After: Fallen Princess

Dina Goldstein is a Jewish, Vancouver based photographer. Her Fallen Princess series stages Disney and Fairy Tale princesses focusing on the grimy side of life, depicting woman in various situations including envrionmental disaster, cancer treatment, war, weight gain, overwhelmed motherhood and the price of eternal beauty.

In Ms. Goldstein’s words:
These works place Fairy Tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the Princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict. The ‘happily ever after’ is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues.

Do you love it? I do.
To see the rest of this series and to check out Ms. Goldstein’s Trackrecord and Gaza and Westbank project visit her website:

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