friday feast: kate lebo’s pie-losophy

“Making pie, I love the hunger and delight of the hands. You don’t have to touch cake, but you have to touch pie.” ~ Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo, the Pie Poet (photo by Christopher Nelson)

Sometimes you just gotta have pie.

That’s why I was positively giddy when I chanced upon Kate Lebo’s prose poem, “Lemon Meringue,” in the Summer 2013 issue of Gastronomica.

Kate’s been on my foodie radar for a couple of years now; I first saw her drool-inducing double crust fruit pies at, and earlier this year, Susan Rich shared Kate’s “Chocolate Cream Pie” at The Alchemist’s Kitchen.

Seeing “Lemon Meringue” made me want to find out more about this Seattle-based poet who loves shaping dough as much as crimping a good line of verse.

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Farida Dowler of Alkelda Dolls

red guitar (2)
Farida (pictured here on Orcas Island) lives in Seattle, Washington — land of evergreens, dreamy rain, good bookstores, coffee, music, and uncommonly gifted creative types.

On any given day, you might find musical storyteller and doll maker Farida Dowler training for a half marathon, homeschooling her daughter, writing and performing songs and stories, making Danish pancakes, or putting the finishing touches on a Pink Heart Fairy or Red Math Gnome.

Whether she’s picking guitar strings or embroidering french knots on fairy capes, Farida seems to thrive in an enchanted world of her own making — a kind and gentle one that harkens back to the days of wandering minstrels, exults in the magic of story, champions creativity and the imagination, and treasures the invaluable human connections that blossom in the name of art.

orange and bee
Orange Blossom Queen and Bee Boy (wooden trees and shrubs by The Enchanted Cupboard)

Her Mission Statement is:

I care about each doll I sew, and hope you will find a doll in the shop that you feel is yours.

One at a time, one of a kind, full of heart.

I like picturing Farida in her Seattle home, head bent over her work, humming to herself as she adeptly draws needle and thread through felt, creating a new violet or cherry blossom friend who’ll find her place displayed on a nature table, held in a child’s eager hand as an original story emerges, or peacefully resting on a writer’s desk, a friendly companion offering quiet inspiration.

blueberry and strawberry
Blueberry and Strawberry Dolls
two violets (2)
Dark and Light Purple Violet Root Children

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A sampler from the FEAST exhibit by Julie Paschkis and Joe Max Emminger

“Good Morning” (Julie Paschkis, 8.5″ x 10″)

Happy Monday!

Let’s start the week off in the best possible way by looking at several of the gorgeous paintings from FEAST, an art exhibit at the Grover Thurston Gallery in Seattle featuring the work of award-winning children’s author/illustrator Julie Paschkis and her husband Joe Max Emminger.

The September show includes separate paintings by Julie and Joe Max, as well as a number of collaborative pieces, most of which are related to the theme of food and feasting.

“Ever Together” (cut paper by Julie Paschkis, 12″ x 20″)

I’ve been a big fan of Julie’s work for years — she’s illustrated several of Janet Wong’s and Julie Larios’s poetry collections, as well as a number of folktales and picture book biographies. She’s known for her love of folk art and pattern (she also designs fabrics), and she likes to make bread and SOUP! 🙂

It’s such a treat to see Joe Max’s work; though I knew Julie was married to another artist, I hadn’t seen any of his paintings before. You lucky Seattle area peeps can sashay on over to see this wonderful exhibit in person. The rest of us can focus our appreciative gazes at the FEAST blog and the Grover Thurston Gallery website (whom you should contact directly if you’re interested in purchasing).

Julie’s gouache paintings are of various sizes. Joe Max’s paintings were rendered in acrylic and are 30″ by 44″. Collaborative pieces are all ink and gouache.

Enjoy this mini feast from FEAST!

“Summer Feast” (Joe Max Emminger)
“Hopeful Spring” (Joe Max Emminger)
“The Things We Leave Behind” (Joe Max Emminger)
“The Unseen Guest” (Julie Paschkis, 23″ x 16″)
“Canning” (Julie Paschkis, 15″ x 22″)
“Flow Blue” (Julie Paschkis, 8.5″ x 10″)
“Crunch” (Julie Paschkis, 16″ x 22″)
“Cat and Cake” (Joe Max Emminger and Julie Paschkis)
“Jug and Cherry” (Joe Max Emminger and Julie Paschkis)
from the Breadwall!

Amazing, right? I’d like to steal that piece of cake in “Crunch” right off the table. Love love love their work! I should also mention that if you attend the Closing Potluck Celebration on Saturday, September 29 (1-3 p.m.), you get to take home one of the bread pieces! (Click here if you’d like to make your own bread sculptures.)

Isn’t this Breadwall the coolest thing!?

* * *


Julie will be visiting Alphabet Soup soon to talk about her tasty new picture book, APPLE CAKE (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)!! Stay tuned ☺.

Have a fabulous week!

♥ Visit the FEAST blog.

♥ More about the exhibit at the Grover Thurston Gallery. Show runs through September 29, 2012.

♥ Julie’s official website is here. She blogs at Books Around the Table.


*FEAST images reproduced with permission, copyright © 2012 Joe Max Emminger and Julie Paschkis. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.