It’s Britney, Bitch!

And now for something entirely different …

Britney Spears Illustration holding award smiling close up
Happy 33rd Birthday Britney Jean Spears!

star graphic icon illustration yellow



woman needlepoint illustration made by azita houshiarMy little needlepoint lady is dancing like a twirling dervish because her heart is filled with and made buoyant with deep thankfulness! And guess what? Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. A day centered around food, family and giving thanks.

Often, when I think about true gratitude — the buoyancy of feeling deeply and sincerely thankful — this poem of e.e.cummings, one of my favorite poets, pops into my head. It encapsulates in a simple and gorgeously earnest way the soaring transcendental nature of spirituality and conscious gratefulness. I can’t in good conscience pass up the opportunity to share it with you here:

Click here for pretty praise and poetry!

Mustache Cafe!


This is an illustration inspired by an old black & white photo of my dear ol’ dad with a few of his mustachioed friends – snapped many moons ago in a cafe in Kermanshah, Iran.

Custom portraits make unique gifts for the holidays. To commission one, please do not hesitate to contact me! (View portfolio here.)




What is the good of prudence

Sometimessometimes you give up something you really want something kind of amazing because ultimately it is the prudent thing to do but you still keep brooding about it and can’t help but be a little blue about it and I’m not talking about chocolate and I’m not talking about matters of the heart

Happy Birthday Gloria Gaynor!

graphic illustration of I will Survive song's lyrics Gloria Gaynor bold

When I read on my favorite gossip site that today is Ms. Gloria Gaynor’s birthday, this song popped into my head and then I couldn’t resist the urge to make this post. This song! I’m telling you, I could listen to it on repeat. Again and again. It’ s not just chagrin d’amour that breaks the heart. The heart may break for many reasons. But then sometimes one survives. And then, sometimes one feels like singing. Like really belting one out.

Happy Birthday Gloria Gaynor! This song of yours is a keeper and no one else could have sung it but YOU!

What will be your verse?

madonna poster graffiti urban New York NYC city gritty pretty poster street art

“We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life but poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, ‘O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?’ Answer: that you are here; that life exists, that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

Robin Williams (RIP) in his role as private school English teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society



The Art of Faking Zen


These days when I’m feeling cross, anxious or blue, I think to myself: “I’m just a fish swimming in water.” And then, I just swim. It really helps. Thought I’d share.

YOU are a SUN with a thousand rays in your belly …

illustration woman sun drawing pablo picasso quote

I made this drawing, oh, a good number of years ago. Inspired by this Pablo Picasso quote:


“When you come right down to it, all you have is your self. Your self is a sun with a thousand rays in your belly. The rest is nothing.”

I love this quote.

“You self



with a 1000 rays

in your belly.”

Remember this. Go bask in your self. In the glory of yourself.

boos boos

ps This post itself inspired by @abstanfield!


I Run To Iran! :-)

Illustration collage sports car toy girl cute by Fig & Quince (Persian food blog)
At one point, I actually dreamed about driving from Europe to Iran! I’m taking the plane though!

“Where are you going? To Ghandahar?” — delivered in an incredulous tone armed with a figuratively raised eyebrow — is how an Iranian person might address someone who makes a fuss or takes a lot of things with them when going somewhere or on a trip.  I guess back when this phrase of speech started, Ghandahar was the furthest reaches of the earth one’s mind could comprehend. I’m not taking a lot of things with me, and I’m trying not to make a fuss, and I’m certainly not going to Ghandahar, but I am going to Iran. Finally. After 35 years! Well, you if you’re reading Fig & Quince, you already knew that. All told, I will be gone for two months, give or take … approximately … more or less. That sounds like a long time and maybe it will be too long and it’ll drag and maybe it’ll be entirely too brief. Time will tell!

I don’t know how actively I’ll have Internet access or, more accurately, how often I’ll have the time or opportunity or desire to get online. I mean, odds are, I’ll be stuffing my face with something delicious instead. But, whenever possible, I’d love to share some Norooz festivities and fun highlights of my travel with you.

I’ll keep in touch mostly via Facebook. I’m leaving in 24 hours (yikes!) so do “friend” me beforehand. You do want to be friends, don’t you? You might also find me on Twitter and Instagram. If we’re not following each other yet, let’s fix that. Find me so I can follow you back.

This trip was for the longest time a dream of mine and now it’s a reality. I’m excited to realize this dear ambition and I wish whatever yours is, it will come true as well. In its time. Under grace.

Happy Spring Lovely People! And Till soon!



Apple illustration icon graphic by Fig & Quince (Iranian food culture blog)

Chess Made

My little nephew has become smitten by playing chess. He wanted to play and there were no chess sets at hand. So my brother whipped up this chess set before you could say check mate. Pretty cool, no? Very charming in presence. Only flaw: even a sigh and the king and queen and all the horsemen and soldiers would be aflutter … all over the place.

ps I’m writing this post by email to test out the feature. Hope it comes out OK. If not, excuse the wonkiness.

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