From My Sketchbook – Week 51

With Winter Storm Jonas slamming into New York City this past week, Manhattan was transformed into a winter wonderland and it’s inhabitants into snow bunnies.  

On the subway I saw everything from fur coats…

Quick sketch of woman in fur coat looking at her iphone

To watchman caps and feathery scarves…

Quick sketch of woman with knit cap and fur scarf

And even some short parkas with tights!

Quick sketch of woman in short parka

Meanwhile, I suited up as well…in my ankle-length down coat complete with its ginormous hood, and my cloche hat.   

Photo of Joana during Storm Jonas

And boy was I happy I did!


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Through the Lens of My Camera: Winter Storm Jonas

I headed down to Lincoln Center this afternoon for the first of two shows with New York City Ballet, only to learn that both had been cancelled due to Winter Storm Jonas.

Taking photos at Columbus Circle was a challenge since the wind was whipping snow into my face and camera…

Columbus Circle statue during Storm Jonas

Lanterns in Central Park during Winter Storm Jonas

So I headed home where I spent the afternoon gazing out the window at the few passersby.

Upper West Side pedestrians during Winter Storm Jonas

woman with multicolored snow gear

Though the storm showed no signs of letting up, in the early evening I went for a walk…into a city that was eerily quiet and magically transformed!

Central Park during Winter Storm Jonas

Sparkly street lights in Central Park during Winter Storm Jonas

snow covered tree with little lights during Storm Jonas

Parent and child walking in Winter Storm Jonas


Filed under nature, New York, New York City, photography

Friday’s Thought – On Innocence

Two cute girls bundled up against the cold

“Innocence is one of the most exciting things in the world.”

(Eartha Kitt)


Filed under Friday's Thought, New York City, photography, wisdom, wise quotes

My Favorite Things – A Quiet Afternoon at Home

My low-energy funk last week didn’t last too long.  Between rehearsing and performing shows with the New Jersey Symphony and the New York City Ballet, there hasn’t been much time to loll around this week.  And in addition to my musical work, I’ve also been busy at the drafting table.  Occupying my time is a fun multi-piece, custom jewelry design project for a new client.  Ironically, it’s the work that’s energized me and also given me a sense of calm and focus.

Today after walking home from Lincoln Center, I took time to brew a pot of Rooibos tea and enjoy one of my homemade Almond Flour Chocolate Oat Chip cookies with Orange (recipe follows below).  

afternoon tea

The light streaming into our apartment was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist taking some photos of my magnificent orchid.

My orchid in bloom

My orchid in bloom Jan 2016

And since I was enjoying being in the moment, I finished my afternoon tea hour by lighting one of my Lisn Japanese incense sticks

teapot with incense ribbon

Joana’s Flourless Chocolate Oat Chip Cookies with Orange


1 cup packed almond flour

scant 1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold Irish butter)

1/2 cup non-fat dry milk

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup candied orange peel

1 cup semi-sweet (or 70% or higher) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two baking sheets.  Combine the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, dried milk and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until fluffy.  Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until thoroughly blended.  Stir in the rolled oats, candied orange peel and chocolate chips.  Drop heaped teapsoonfuls on to the prepared baking sheets, spacing about an inch apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just browned on top.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.


Filed under My Favorite Things, New York, New York City, photography

From My Sketchbook – Week 50

I’ve had a serious case of the winter blahs this week.  When I got back from my vacation in Maine, I didn’t seem to be able to muster much energy to do much in the way of creative work.   Maybe it was the cold or the lack of sunlight and fresh air.  Whatever the case, I’m hoping that I can get my “mojo” back this coming week!

In the meantime, a few sketches from my subway and train travels last week…

Quick sketch of woman with wavy hair

Quick sketch of woman waiting against the subway station wall



Filed under art, drawing faces, Influences, New York, Pen Sketch, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, sketchbook, subway sketches, techniques

Friday’s Thought – On Love

winter berries

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand.”

(Mother Teresa)

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My Favorite Things – Icy Blues in the Dead of Winter

Looking at my pictures from my visit to Maine last week makes me feel like I went to the end of the earth.  And in a way, I guess I did.

The stillness of the place…

Kittery harbor view

Was surpassed only by its beauty.

Looking out to sea in Kittery, ME

Beaches were deserted…

Coast in York

Though the surf still put on a good show.

Ocean spray in Maine

(This could be the stairway to heaven!)

Rocky York coast

A solitary lighthouse stood proudly in the distance…

Lighthouse in York

And a gull helped keep watch.

Seagull on Maine coast

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Filed under Influences, My Favorite Things, nature, photography, travel, travel photography