Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The last few things

So I've given up on the blogging every day, but the "thing-a-day" is keeping me inspired to create and document nonetheless...

A couple nights ago, we made a dessert with some small puff pastries, topped with berries and whipping cream. No pics of that, but the next day I had this one lone puff pastry left and it looked rather sad all by itself.

I took some fresh spinach and sauteed it with some Dale's seasoning and sea salt on a cast iron pan, then topped it with some tomato/basil feta. Made a great second lunch.:)

Sierra and I were craving Sushi the day after our berry dessert. We scrounged up enough to make it work. Ingredients to keep on hand for Sushi: Nori wraps, Sushi rice and Sushi vinegar. The rest of it is personal preference...cucumbers, cream cheese (less traditional but delicious anyway), tilapia, tofu, lettuce and Mai Ploy hot/sour sauce are some favorites around here.

I thought I'd post this for the farmers out there, since I can use any tips and information possible! They look less leggy to me, but I'm new to starting from seed so who knows? The tops are filling out nicely and they've quit shooting upwards so fast. The window ledge gets sunlight from sunrise to almost sunset. I'll start putting them outside as soon as I transplant them to larger pots so I can start some more. There's a second tray of broccoli and my bell peppers are actually doing something finally!

Just after Eleutheros left a comment about waiting on them, I saw a spark of hope. Two sprouts are pushing up. So I'm continuing to keep them warm. Without a warming mat I had to get creative. Let's just say I'll have to replace the oven lightbulb soon.;)

Sierra made a really cool thing tonight; an ice cup! It was hollow and crunchy, like some movie set prop. I was properly impressed.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cooking seems to be my thing

It's the only thing I do most every day. Yet it seems boring to blog about creating meals or baking all the time. That's what I have for this day though.

Some oatmeal, raisin cookies (specifically, "vanishing oatmeal raisin cookies" from the Quaker oatmeal box. Thanks to La for inspiring that one) except I used Flax seed gel instead of eggs.
Flax seed gel makes a GREAT egg replacement and you can store the seeds for a very long time. You simply boil some seeds in water for a few minutes and it's instant goo.;)

...and a large pot of minestrone soup. All I could think while cutting up the miserable turnips from the grocery store, is how happy I'll be to use the veggies from my garden this summer.
Insert big, fat sigh here....

Lastly, I wrote in a journal. One of the many journals. I really wanted to write something about my Mom, since her death anniversary was on the 4th. But I didn't. I wrote while sitting at the park with Jalen and Sierra, on our way to run some errands for Trevor who left town yesterday. I already miss him.

He had his first Greyhound bus experience, but made it there safely in spite of the interesting people at the Johnson City station. I'll admit I was a bit nervous.

This page isn't what I wrote yesterday...I'll take an excerpt anyway. Isn't that how it works? I get to share what I want and hide the drivel. Or maybe it's all drivel...but it's MY drivel. So there.

This page was a wandering stream of thoughts, part of it says
"...passion surfaces occasionally
and gets pacified with
spilling like silky Darjeeling
over my mind..."

Lastly, here is the progress on my broccoli starts. They are doing fabulous, in their little window ledge. The bell peppers are struggling to sprout. I really need a warming mat to make it all work better but I'll keep mucking about with my seeds and pots and a sunny window ledge.

I continue to marvel at the power of a seed. A tiny thing that becomes so much food for us. I sat and stared at my wee broccoli sprouts and imagined the plant they will grow into, providing nutrition and satisfaction for our bodies. I really think there would be more happy people in the world if everyone just grew some food.:)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Spring update

I spent today in training for the company I make my income with.:) I work with some amazingly creative, talented and inspirational people. So it was about creating art on the face today and taking some silly photos of it all.....

Katie-Laine from Nashville, who loves making connections (and we seem to have quite a few between the two of us)...

Erin from Knoxville who's sunny disposition and colorful style always uplifts me....

...yet another crazy Knoxville chic (Amanda) grabbing a moment to be goofy while listening to the Sr. artist. We have way too much fun to call it work.

I decorated Amycake's box for her Fafi goodies, as well as my own. Lotsa fun. The quote on the side is the one I have on my business cards: "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or find it not." ~Emerson

Lastly, I created my own Fafi inspired graffiti "tag".

So that's what I've been creating today and unfortunately there was no way to get to a computer before now as we were on the road to Chattanooga last night and then in a hotel without access. Hopefully I can stay on track now!!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Start with an item from the thrift store....

...like this goofy little shadow box frame with some shells in it. Probably adorned someone's bathroom. I picked it up for a mere dollar. When tearing it apart I broke the glass and almost forgot to take a "before" picture (you may notice where the shells were already ripped off the paper underneath).

After a light sanding, Jalen helps me Gesso the pieces. That's been one of the best parts about "thing-a-day" so far. The two younger kiddos are right there with me, wanting to be involved in what I'm doing and experimenting with their own art too. This is why I don't like having my art corner in the garage during winter weather! We tend to neglect having materials available but "thing-a-day" inspired us to move it to a more comfortable location.

A little bit of acrylic paint is added.

The cubbies begin to get filled in.

A whole new look for the thrift store find!
Upper left corner contains a snakeskin from Milton Florida and a bone found at White Sands National Monument in Alamagordo NM. Upper right corner contains a deer vertabrae and sand dollar from Busby Island Alaska, in the Prince William Sound. Lower left are shells from the Pensacola Beach area (somewhere on Santa Rosa Island) and lower right is a bird nest from FL, some blue jay and various other feathers and a wooden egg that was my Mums. The paper that lines each box are leaf rubbings from leaves gathered one sunny day in Pensacola as I traipsed the streets with Izzy and Jalen. Oh, and the bundle of plants on the right is some creosote and mesquite from the NM desert that my friend Karin Curtain brought to the very first Live and Learn conference. It still smells wonderful.

I later drilled a few holes in the bottom to add some dangly bits...another day.

Then we moved on to the firepit project. After mixing some mortar and leveling our circle the kids helped me place a few stones.

I figured out that I really stink at mortaring uneven stones together. It's more solid than it was before....but I can't say it's any prettier.;)

While I was finishing up with the rough mortar job, Sierra started digging up some wild onions that grow prolifically in our yard this time of year and well into spring. You can see them to her right in a toy dump truck.

Inside, the bread we had made while art projecting, was cooling off.

Sierra and I chopped the wild onions into a stir fry and some sauteed mushrooms. A meal fit for a queen. An earthy queen anyway. We're using up the last of the wild blackberry jam made last summer. It makes me sad to see it going, but more determined to put up a lot more jam this year. It was a productive day, but you wouldn't know it by the mess I am surrounded by in the basement now. That's part of the trade off for doing what we prefer.....the things we don't prefer seem to sneak up on us.

All the busyness of today gave me more to blog about, which is good since the next two days will be a challenge. I'm leaving town for work training and Jalen needs to see the dentist first thing in the morning for an absessed tooth. Lotsa fun eh? I'll be lucky to get a pot of soup made tomorrow....

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Baking some art

Tadah! Yes, I made a birthday cake. No, it was not from a box mix, it was from scratch. In fact, I used the Chocolate Joy recipe from this cookbook I inherited from my mother.

That's an original Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1961, complete with the goody-two-shoes advice for the oh-so-proper wife/mom of the times. Interesting stuff that.

Ok, I didn't really make the whole cake. I had a wee helper in the form of a birthday boy who turned seven today.

He frosted it with intense concentration, topped it with some lovely skittle candy and lit it up!

It was a lovely cake.

Betcha thought that was my "thing-a-day" huh? Fooled you. I really did some art this time!

I made some ATC's for Jalen's birthday and then had so much fun I made a few extra, even some Valentine versions to give away.

The top three are the Valentine theme, second row is silver tissue and the bottom row are random happy colors. All are encaustic art (which is just a fancy was to say "crayon melt" in this case):)

Swirly pinks and reds

My favorite; "What's love got to do with it?"
Can you tell what kind of mood I'm in? Maybe I should have added some black. ;)

Friday, February 01, 2008


So I started with a brilliant plan to make some ATC's for Jalen. He turns seven tomorrow and we celebrated his birthday today. The art cards may still happen tomorrow, but today is over and I'm exhausted. Between the birthday and having some awesome friends hang out and then hit the grocery store, there will be no ATC creations for my first Thing-a-day.

I did create something. Sorta. I created the beginnings of a garden. A very large garden that will only exist in my mind for a bit longer. But I planted some inhabitants of the garden that we plan to eat. So it's not really so much of something I created today, but a baby step towards something I am creating.

I've never started Broccolli or Peppers from seed and I have no heating mat for them yet. So we'll see how they do. There's more to come, all a grand experiment for this amateur gardener.
I can smell spring around the corner, truly I can. Now if I wasn't sitting here freezing cold trying to keep my hands from getting stiff.:)

I'm throwing in an artsy image too...just fer fun.
My idea with doing the "Thing-a-day" project was to encourage myself to get back into the act of making art regularly. I created this image on Sierra last week, so it doesn't count for the project, but I wanted to put a pic here since it's plant related (kinda, sorta, maybe?).

Happy creating to all of you who signed up! I'm still figuring it all out too, but I assume we post a comment at the project site that links to our blogs? Off to find out (just in the nick of time too...it's almost midnight)!