Posts in News & Events
Urbaca Exhibit
Studio Photo with Koi.jpg

If you happen to be in the Pearl District of Portland, stop by Urbaca for a facial, massage or some other yummy self nurturing thing. They are incredibly talented. And they serve wine and other drinks with your service. My art will exhibit there through the end of October. Photos here were taken at the First Thursday event. Urbaca celebrated 20 years of service. It was awesome. 

"Cakes of Color" : Natural Food Dyes :

  Exciting news: The first book of the 7 {squared} Collection is now published and available to order online. The limited edition signed books will be in the store here in 2 weeks. I will announce.

While the "Cakes of Color" core theme is all about the multi-sensory experience of color and food ... what is less clear is that adding food dye into the cakes is optional and more importantly, there are organic options of food dye available to make or buy. An astute friend and subscriber brought this to my attention today and it's the perfect blog topic.

I personally love to play with color in baking. Here are a few ways to incorporate it.


This article, 8 Ways to Make Organic Food Coloring is excellent. I really like how she introduces other options besides beets for red. For instance, pomegranate or raspberries. In the case of the red cake, either of these options will only enhance the undertones of the cake flavor. While beet juice works nicely to deepen a chocolate cake or add color to the frosting.

Organic Food Dye Online:

For the red cake you purchase organic food dye from India Tree. I've tried it and like it. You need to use a little more than non-organice food dye, but that's okay.

For color mixing, use India Tree's 3 color set. Blue and red for the lavender cake and yellow and blue for the green tea cake and blue with a tad of red for the blue velvet cake.

Here is a recent article on FDA certified color additives and influences in children and behavior. I believe food dyes have evolved a bit from what they were but we still have reason to feel better about organic food dyes from vegetable extracts.

I hope this helps ease troubled minds about adding color to your delicious cakes.

Brawling Night Cats

I have several processes in the works that are "oh so fun" - a series of animal collage murals, 7 small stack books for foodie and bunny lovers (3 nearly done), the paperback version of The Art of Daily Cultivation and more. So, here's the thing... Life keeps slowing down the kid who wants to stomp in puddles and get on with it. Sometimes life doesn't ring the door bell once, but in several succinct sonic booms.  This is when I need a hug a minute. What about you?

I found art during this time to be the thing — that beautiful daily apex between the life I own and the life I serve — that instantly relieved stress. Sometimes for just 5 or 10 minutes. But it calmed and restored without fail. Tickled again for this daily practice that continues to give (no matter what).

Elephant Mural in Progress

Next? An introduction between passion and patience -- time for that friendship to flourish. I did want to be introducing all kinds of new goodies by the end of Sept. to you. But October is more like it as the day job lightens and the night cats quiet down. Patience! Now there's a concept. I just want to play with my new toy—renewed passion through daily practice.

Thank you for your patience as well. And support as I've posted cakes on Facebook. ; D

Alison Gresik Interview: Hours for Art

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 6.18.24 PM Alison Gresik did such a fine job with this interview. I wanted to share. And if you can't read this… here are some of her tweets:

"Things grew out of the creative practice that balanced fears & exhaustion." @niyachristine on 365 Paintings project 

"How about some Russian Caravan tea with real cream and gobs of honey?" How @niyachristine coaxes herself to paint ~ 

"I was mostly managing my days vs. building my dreams." @niyachristine on the genesis of her 365 Paintings project.