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Thursday, December 31, 2009


"Ka Boom" is what feels like happened to 2009! I can't believe how fast this year went by. I love painting Angels & just listed one today in my Etsy shop, but I truly am having so much fun painting these "Happy Souls". It has been therapeutic, they no longer scare me like they use to, but I am still not calling them clowns. haha I can make them as willy nilly & wonky as I like. I like that freedom. I have had quite a few tell me they make them smile. I listed some on Ebay this week, including "The Little Dare Devil" & "KA BOOM" I may list a lot more things next week to make room for 2010 so keep a weathered eye out. (ok yes that was pirate talk)
I am looking forward to putting this year to bed & waking up to a brand new one. I have a few resolutions I am hoping to keep this year. I also have a few things in the works and January is already getting busy. I may be showing at a gallery in Sacramento or Woodland, dear friends may be coming to visit for a few days, and my oldest son & I are working on a collaborative cooking blog. The Tree & The Apple. We will be doing lots of challenges, cooking, having food fights, & loads of fun. As silly & competitive as we both can be in the kitchen I am sure it's going to be a real "happy place", if not "happy" it will be definitely be interesting! haha

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A New "Happy Soul"

I hope you enjoy the new painting progression video. I had a load of fun making it. I actually did this one all by myself! A big shout out goes to Fashion Crochet Creations for including my painting in their wonderful Etsy Treasury!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heavenly Inspiration

This child is amazing & her story is touching.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Super Stars! A Recycle/Reuse Project

Sparkle, sparkle and so "green"! These were fun to make today & hang over my skating snowmen that are on my table. This Christmas Eve we are having the family dinner with the kids a la A Christmas Story. We are making oriental food. We are always up for an adventure and I love that about my family. I am making my Vegetarian Curry with Cashews & Banh Mi (Vietnamese pork meatball sandwiches), my special Egg Rolls taught to me by my friend Noi, Cucumber Sesame Salad & my own Red Ginger Noodle salad. I've never made Banh Mi before but I made the mayo for it already and it is fantastic. My son couldn't leave it alone & even ate it on toast, it's gone already! So it's fun that everyone is excited. I am grinding the pork for the meatballs so they should be nice & lean. I found the recipe in the new Bon Appetit Magazine . My oldest are bringing their famous crab dip & lemon squares. I don't know what my youngest is making yet. I bought red & white Striped Chinese cartons to serve the salads in & brand new chopsticks. The table will be fun. Both of my boys were eating with chopsticks when they were 2 years old and I plan on using those cute little panda bear chopsticks that I still have to teach my little JJ in the near future. My youngest son was once the center of attention when we popped into a little neighborhood Japanese restaurant in San Francisco, his blond hair almost white shining amid a sea of dark hair, sitting in his high chair, eating something most kids at his age wouldn't touch and with big boy chopsticks, he had the whole restaurant just going gaga over him. He was so cute.

These shiny stars are made of a recycled 2 liter soda bottle, fishing line, glue & glitter. Cut off the top & bottom of bottle. Then cut open the cylinder & cut into strips then squares. I got 12 squares from one bottle. I cut the stars freehand folk arty but you could use a pen & star template if you wanted them all the same. Using a needle make a hole & insert fishing line then tie a knot. Put glue on both sides of the star & cover with glitter. Shake off excess glitter & hang. I put a star on each end of the fishing line. Super easy & something you could do with kids. I think I'll be saving all my soda bottles to make stars for outdoors. I think they'd be great hanging from all my trees no matter what time of year it is!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Welcome To My Christmas Home

I have been enjoying The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes and I decided to participate myself. Please visit her blog to view her lovely home and others that are participating. There are quite a few so I haven't been able to visit them all yet. There is bundles of Christmas decorating ideas & I love getting a little glimpse into the Christmas Spirit of so many.
A little trick that I have used since buying an artificial tree is that I hang silver or gold ornaments as close as I can to the trunk before putting on our special ornaments. It makes the tree look like it has twice the lights! Thanks for visiting!

Music by John Morgan

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Boo Hoo & Something New

"New Beginnings"
I came down with a terrible cold or flu and I missed my Gallery opening last night in Sacramento. I was a crybaby yesterday because I was so upset even though I knew I was doing the right thing. I wouldn't want to pass this on to anyone. It's been one thing after another. If I had a regular job I probably would be fired by now for missing work. I am ready for a "new beginning" & ready for the new year. When I'm much better I am going downtown to see all the art hung & take pictures.
I am totally back up & running now. I listed new things today in my Etsy Shop so please stop by & check it out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

In Loving Memory...

Dec 11, 1959 - Nov 26, 2001
...of my brother Eddie. Happy Birthday Eddie. I love you forever & miss you terribly.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


This week it's been all about keeping warm. With a party tonight & gallery show on Saturday I have been squelching the urge to pull out my needles & yarn. Our electricity went out about 3am on Monday and it was turned back on about 11pm that night. The house is all electric so it's really miserable but we are so blessed that our power was restored & had water. Many in our area have wells so not only do they have still have no power, they have no water either. Photos & article. We are not strangers to snow, it's snowed a few times at our elevation, & have occasional power outages but this week was out of the norm.
Even though we were chilled to the bone & could see our breath when we talked while sitting on the couch Monday night, we had the most fun! The house glowed in candle light & I had my own private concert. My youngest son played the guitar while my hubby sang. I'm so lucky. When the power was booting back up it went on & off a few times and then our main heater quit working. Ugh. We don't know what's wrong with it yet. Fortunately we have a pellet stove in the fireplace but it doesn't heat the entire house so we are still cold. We still have snow in the yard & it was about 32 this morning. I can't believe how many things are breaking all at once around here. Very aggravating. One thing that isn't broken anymore is my computer! YEA!!! Santa stopped by yesterday! After the gallery show I am going to be doing a lot of catching up, listing new pieces and I will be catching up on you too!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm Off...

to take 3 paintings to hang at The Coffee Garden Gallery in Sacramento today for the 2nd Annual Swell Sister show is next Saturday. I had to take these pictures with my camera so sorry they aren't very good. Just wanted to give you a sneak peek. Also a picture of the magazine trees I made. Thank you Martha. I love folding paper! I was an oragami geek when I was little. They are covered in big fat silver glitter which doesn't show up well, again phone picture. If you know me you know what a thing I have for magazines (and jars) so magazine trees instead of throwing them out is partly me hanging on to them just a little longer! haha These are lots of fun to do and the directions can be found here . Hopefully my computer will be fixed soon or I'll have a brand new one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009



Monday, November 23, 2009

Color Color Color!

Oh I wish I could show you a picture! Hopefully I get the disk that I need to fix my computer today. If that doesn't fix it I'll have to ask Santa for a new one. I am working on my pieces for the gallery show next month. I have to get them finished in the next few days before Thanksgiving. The piece (angel) that I am working on started out to be creamy white & beiges, elegant, but that didn't last long! Now it's eye popping, fun & in living color! I've always been mesmerized by color. When I was little I used to love the NBC peacock. Ding dong ding - that tail of color would spread & I would think it was so beautiful! haha Actually watching a color tv was cool, ok, enough, I'm dating myself! Oh & opening a new box of 64 Crayola crack! The theme of the gallery show is "Gifts". I am doing 3 12 x 12 angels. One with a bird - gifts from the sky, another with seashells & pearls - gifts from the sea & the other with flowers & maybe fruit - gifts from the land. I have really been drawing a blank for this show which is why I have gotten such a late start. For some inspiration & a kick in the pants, I went to an "Artsy Fartsy" get together with my Swell Sisters on Saturday. Everyone took their pieces & paints, I took a pad of paper & pencil. They talked me into painting though. Everyone shared. A canvas, brushes & metallic Folk Art paints. I painted an angel with metallic paints & I have to say I really liked how it turned out. I didn't bring her home, I gave her to the Sister that shared her canvas. She was excited to have her, although it needed about 3 more coats of paint. I plan to buy some metallics to play with...after Christmas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Looking For A Geeky Friend

My computer is not operational at the moment and I know you miss me! haha I miss my computer & dropping on blogs for sure. Seriously how did we live without computers? What was life like before the Internet? It is hard to remember! After many attempts by my hubby & son's to fix it, new hard drive, new memory, new whatevers & doo ma jiggies, phone calls that cost money, it went to the geek squad. They wanted to charge $140 to load in a operating disk that was from someone else's computer (Windows wont load) and it cost $70 & 3 days for them to suggest that! No thanks. Hubby went & picked it up. We are now waiting on a disk from Dell that cost $10. We should have bought a new computer when it first started going out even suggested that we get one again yesterday. The expense to fix it, phone calls to Dell, trips to Frys, the time,... but the guys won't give it up. They are determined they gonna fix it & it will be better than new. I am keeping my fingers crossed & saying a little prayer. So I am using my son's computer (when he isn't using it) but I can't post any pictures or scan anything. Thanks for still coming to see me even though it has been a bit boring here lately! I have 5 new Tiny Mighty Angels paintings to list as soon as I'm back in business.

Big thanks & shout outs to Abbasgirl, Terraworks & Fluur's for featuring my art in their wonderful Etsy Treasuries! All of them look like front pages to me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Simple Project to Share...

I made these Prayer Tile Trivets 6 or 7 years ago, as you can tell from the wear & tear on them! They are looking pretty awful, not sure why I didn't just throw them out last year,*pack rat*, so I thought I would make some new ones before Thanksgiving. My back is better but not 100%, so my hubby took me to the pharmacy for more back creme & Thanksgiving paper napkins to make some new trivets. I was really disappointed that the only Thanksgiving napkins they had were of extremely ugly turkeys. Hopefully I can find something better before Thanksgiving. If not, I may try printing a picture onto some tissue paper that may work just as well. I'm sure you could use a magazine picture or other paper, however, it just would be as flat. I am thinking I am going to use a piece of recycled wood instead of a tile. I am going to paint & distress the wood before applying the picture. They come in so handy with all the hot plates & dishes at dinner. To make one you simply pull the napkin layers apart leaving just the printed image that you want to adhere on your tile or piece of wood. Glue image to tile & let completely dry. Then you can antique, paint or whatever you'd like. Then over the top of it all write the prayer with permanent marker or paint pen, then spray with acrylic or coat over with Mod Podge. This would be a great project to do with kids as well. I didn't write the prayer that is on my tiles. I'm sorry I don't know who wrote it but I can bet whomever wrote it wouldn't mind me or you using it. It reads:
Our Heavenly Father,
Please bless the bounty that has been prepared before us. Bless those who are with us today and those who are not. Thank you Lord for all the many blessings that you have so graciously bestowed upon us. Thank you for giving your life so that we may have life. Father bless those who are less fortunate. Bless our children for they are our future, and bless our elders for they are our history. For all these things we ask in your holy name.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I Hope To Be Dancing... the next day or so. I'll be getting down like this lady when I do! My back is out and I have been hobbling around like I'm 90 for the last few days. It's awful. I hope this is the last of the bad luck me & my family have been stricken with lately. I miss painting, blogging, dropping on blogs, reading my favorite blogs & twittering! I have a gallery show next month & have no idea what I am painting for it yet and being out of commission is stressing me out more. However, (always a bright side)while immobile I did have some fun when I watched Ghost Town. I thought it was so funny! I even belly laughed a couple of times! The actors did a great job & it was worth the rental fee.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hanging On To My Hat!

It's windy today! No need to go outside. This is day 2 of organizing my studio that looks like a junk drawer turned upside down!

A big shout out to Sarah at Perebags for including my Cotton Field print in her wonderful Treasury. You can check her shop out here & the Treasury here!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Results Are In...

...the flu that took us down one by one was the H1N1 virus. It left each of us detached from life & dwarfed of ambition for over a week now. I appreciate all of your sweet comments. My hubby is last man standing and I really hope he doesn't get it. Yesterday it seemed that all were well and we had a big family birthday dinner party. It was a collaborative effort & everything was so delicious. My oldest son, whom by the way is missing his calling by not pursuing a culinary career, made huge meatballs just like his Gramma Joan used to make. So good. His cooking abilities make me proud. The party full of laughter which is just a good for you as chicken soup.

I finished the paper bag scrapbook of my grandson which I started in August for his Mommie's birthday. From ultrasound to his 1st birthday. I was relieved when she liked it. Scrapbooking is a messy undertaking for me & drives my neat freak hubby nuts. I know he will be glad that project is over & we have our coffee table back. I'm so visual that I have to spread everything all out so that I can see it all. If I had worked on it in my studio instead of the living room I would have been just a ghost around here. Luckily we didn't have any unexpected guests because I would not have been able to get all the mess under the couch cushion fast enough! hahhaha JUST KIDDING!!! hahaha

For the party one of the things I made was Tomato Jam. You may be thinking "Gross!" but no no my friend, it's so good & simple too! If you love tomatoes, salsas & sauces like I do this is a must try. On cornbread it's eye-rolling! I could put it on anything & like it. I made several batches playing with the recipe, so I'm going to share my favorite with you so you can run to your kitchen & make it. It would make a great gift too.

Campbell Jane's Tomato Jam
1 large can of Diced Tomatoes - do not drain
3/4 C onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 C sugar
3/4 C cider vinegar
1 Tbsp finely minced ginger 1 pinch of salt, nutmeg, red pepper flakes & cinnamon
1 tsp dry mustard
1 bay leaf

Put all ingredients in medium size sauce pot, stir thoroughly. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium low heat, slow bubbles, stirring occasionally until it is reduced to a jam consistency & tomatoes are ruby in color. Approx 2 hours. Put in clean jars. It will thicken further when refrigerated. (I buy ginger fresh, cut it into walnut size chunks then put in freezer to use when I need it. A walnut size piece minces down to 1 tbsp)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pardon The Interuption

My family has been sick with the flu. One by one we have been getting it. This weekend was my turn. I'll get back to blogging as soon as I can.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What Day Is It?!

Wow! I'm sorry it's been a week since I blogged. My computer is still acting up which makes it difficult to be on the computer for any length of time. We are now at our last option, wiping out the hard drive & if that doesn't work, new computer. I miss dropping on blogs & feel out of the loop with my favorites & Entrecard buddies.
I have been watching my little JJ for the kids while they move, so I haven't finished the Drama Queen painting or anything else on canvas. I promise I will post a pic as soon as I have it finished. Thank you all for your sweet comments. I painted over the creepy crown I had painted & I'm liking it much better. I know my paintings look easy but honestly some take days or weeks, but in this case it's just because I haven't been working on it very hard. I'm watching JJ tomorrow too. I will get to paint on Saturday while Hubby is at a Sharks game in San Jose. Go Sharks! JJ is getting quite the personality and keeps me laughing & running. I'm proud that he has such a sweet little heart. He loves to share everything. Everything is a "dog" or a "duck" too. When he was here the other day he was talking like crazy, all baby talk but truly carrying on a conversation. It was so cute & excruciating trying to hold in a belly laugh.
Saturday my son was in a Battle of the Bands at Club Retro and his band is moving up to the next battle! Hurray Even The Atlantic!
Big Thank You Shout out goes to Abbasgirl for including my Christ painting in her wonderful Etsy Treasury!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On A Mission

It's a beautiful day by my standards. I even have a sweatshirt on! It's chilly & gray. I hope it rains. I've been working in the backyard every morning & getting a lot done. No plantings just clean up. I started a small rock retaining wall around the patio in the circle of trees. It's almost finished. Really it's not a big wall, more like a big rock edging. I've been doing a little bit at a time so that I don't throw my back out. It was a nice weekend. Hope yours was too.

Last night I had the house to myself. Hubby was working. Son had band practice. I curled up in my Hubby's chair & sketched on a new freshly prepared canvas while a previously recorded "Pawn Stars" show played. I am hooked on that show. After I had it sketched out, which is something I don't do when I paint my Angels, I headed up to my tiny studio. Forgetting to turn some lights on. As I finished putting the 1st coat of paint on my new piece "Drama Queen" the phone rang. I scrambled around in the dark to find the phone, my son tells me he is spending the night out, then I make my way back to the studio. When I walked in room, the "Drama Queen" was waiting for me. I'm not kidding. Working up close to the piece I thought it was fun, from afar it was scary. I actually got the heebie geebies. So I went back downstairs, flipping on lights & kind of looking over my shoulder all the way. I haven't gone in there again yet & it's already noon. haha So my mission for today is to sweet'n this "Drama Queen" up a bit without losing it's personality.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally Finished!

I love this one. I wish I could get a better picture but it's too big for me to scan at home. This sweet one has sort of a double meaning for me. Concessions, as in Concession Stand, and concessions as in putting on a happy face when making concessions in our life that we don't always want to make. Hope you like it too!
Be happy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm So Tempted...

...bury myself into this chair in front of the computer & feast my eyes on art, and some clown art, but I won't do it. I don't want to see anything that may influence the pieces that I have swirling around in my head. Do not fear, I will get back to painting angels but I am having so much fun right now. I'm loving what I'm doing. After many oil pastel pieces, I finally picked up my brushes to put some clowns on canvas. Funny, I don't feel like these are "clowns". To me they seem to be just odd whimsical colorful characters whose sole job is to make people happy & to delight. This piece took me 3 days to complete. It's on 12"x12"x1.5" gallery wrapped canvas. I started on another late last night which I am calling "Concessions". It may take 3 days as well. Do you ever start a piece then think to yourself; "is this going to be worth the time?" "should I quit now or keep going?" I do, however, this is not the case for these pieces. I love these characters & enjoyed every moment spent creating them.

"North Wind"
Following the wind without any plans... that's me & I have a wonderful time wherever I end up. There is a little sadness on one side of the face & happiness on the other, depicting the emotions you often feel when it's time to move on.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Still Clowning Around...

I know that "clown art" is not the most marketable thing to do. Red Skelton didn't do too bad but he was a clown. I also know the goal of a full-time artist is to make a comfortable living. I'm trying to reach that goal. And I know that these take considerable time to create, perhaps I should spend that time more wisely. However, lack of marketability & time isn't stopping me. Just painting & creating things that may be profitable would crush my creative spirit. I can't do it. I bore too easily. I paint & create things I like. If you like it too that makes it even more awesome & rewarding. I can make a chicken last for at least 3 dinners! LOL

These little clown people are a little freedom for me to do something silly, get some" lowbrow" juices flowing, make something crazy, something out of the ordinary, unexpected and at the same time I am getting comfortable with a new medium, oil pastels. I think I'm getting better at using them. Learning to work color from light to dark. These little clowns are beginning not to scare me but make me happy. Life is a Circus enough, channel your inner clown!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On My Easel

Cirques Acts are now listed on Ebay. Click here to bid!

Little Swimmer's are now listed on Etsy. Click here to purchase!

Dreamy Angels are now listed on Ebay. Click here to bid!

I can't put the oil pastels down! I'm having so much fun with them. Here's a few ACEOs I've been working on. The "Little Swimmers" are currently listed in my Etsy Shop. I've had the circus in my head this summer & going to the Cirques du Soleil show only made it worse. I guess I am facing my fears of Clowns in my Cirques collection which is fun and a little creepy! Clowns scare me. I'm scaring myself! LOL

Friday, September 11, 2009

I've Got A...Pencil Full of Lead

And nothin's gonna bring me down!

Have a great weekend!

Haiku Hello

Waiting for your call
Minutes pass by like raindrops
I am immo
bilephoto by radiofreesealab's

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back To Business!

Back from Las Vegas & So Cal. We got in late Tuesday night and I did absolutely nothing yesterday! We got on the road about 4am (not 3am) on Friday & pulled into Henderson about 2:45pm. We had a slow down because of heavy rain. Oh yeah! You know me and rain. It was great. I didn't mind a bit. Apparently in Nevada around Las Vegas they take planes up to salt the clouds to make the rain to cool it down some. California should do the same thing especially over big fire areas & on top of my house :) We got into our room, freshened up then met up with our friends. We drove downtown to meet with our friend's sister & brother-in-law & went then to Margaritaville. We had to wait to get in and people watching was as much fun as the dinner & volcano show! We met some usual characters that were walking by on the boulevard. I was so tired after dinner that when I got into the room & hit the bed I was out like a light in seconds.

The next morning we went to the Joker's Wild, a small casino down the street, for a bite to eat. We split a club sandwich & my hubby played a couple of Keno tickets while we ate & won $3. Like I said we aren't big gamblers and we kept so busy there was no time to gamble. Afterwards we of met up with our friends & went out to Lake Las Vegas. We hung around there for several hours visiting & window shopping. It was so hot. We spent longer than we thought there & had to rush back to the hotel to get ready for the big show.

In a couple of hours we all met at the Mirage. Let me just say that no matter where you live the travel & tickets would be worth it to go to the Cirque Du Soleil LoVe show! It was the most fantastic show I have ever seen. Even if you are not a Beatles fan you would enjoy this show. The first thing I said when it was over was "I want to see it again!" There are speakers in the head rest of your seat & on the seat in front of you, that combined with the acts on stage was amazing. Total sensory overload! At some points in the show it is impossible to see everything that is going on, which is why I would love to see it again and I wish all my friends & family could see it. It's truly an unforgettable experience!

The next day we took off for Murietta. We stayed there that night & the next day. I did all the cooking which was fun for me, hopefully fun for them & on Monday saw Julie & Julia the movie. We were escaping the heat. I read this book several years ago & I think they did a great job on the movie. I think Meryl Streep did Julia Child justice and the movie is worth a ticket to see in the theater. I hate going to the movie only to leave thinking I should have waited for it to be $1 in the video store. The guys liked it even though it could be labeled as a "chick flick".
I said back to business but I'm not exactly back to business, but I am back. I am working on a collage with our Cirques Soliel tickets and the different confetti that fell during the show, yep I put that right in my purse. Tomorrow I am watching my little JJ. He's spending the night. Then Saturday we are going to a jazz concert featuring Mindy Aber & Peter White. Busy busy lately. So come Monday I will really be back in business. I can't wait to paint!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What?! Wow!

Yes Wow! A blog award created to recognize me!! Can you think of anything sweeter than that? I can't right now!!! Please go to TJ's blog to read all about it and what she wrote. It's so beautiful. You will love TJ & her art too. She loves color as much as I do. Her pieces are whimsical eye candy. I will definitely be passing this along as soon as I get back next week.
We leave for Vegas at 3am in the morning. I very excited to spend time with friends that I dearly love. We don't really gamble but it's gonna be awfully tempting now after spending $600 at the Toyota dealership yesterday, just to see if we could re-coop that money. haha But ya know that saying What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas? Well I think what really happens is your money stays there & is the price you pay for your secrets to stay there too! LOL We took my car in for it's regular checkup (had a $100 off coupon for it too) & hubby wanted to get it checked out after my recent cross country trip. They said they found other things that needed fixing. Don't they always? I love my little Matrix though and will keep it until it is completely unfixable. Even though it's small, it's roomy, my 6 ft+ guys can sit in the back w/o their knees touching the back of the front seats, an entire drum kit fits in the back & it's fun to drive.

I've been working on this large painting all week. I still have lots of work to do on it. So far she's not an Angel. Maybe if I turn her into an Angel she'll come together? haha She started off like a Japanese Geisha, then morphed into a Spanish Senorita. A Bullfighter's bride? Her face has changed at least 5 times and I am in the process of changing it again. The shape, the eyes... Painting large canvases is a real challenge for me unless they are super large, those are fun. I prefer painting smaller pieces but I had the canvas so I thought I'd use it. I keep plugging along but really I'm getting to the point of giving up and starting something new instead of spending anymore time & paint on her.

Have a great holiday weekend! Peace & Love ;)

Monday, August 31, 2009

No Dinner Tonight!

I went shopping today to get some new tops for Vegas. Most of mine have paint on them. My son was my shopping buddy and I had a nice time even though I was doing something I hate. We even went into a gallery that we found. Our House Gallery in El Dorado Hills. I had no idea it was there but I don't get out much. They had some pretty interesting pieces. I did find a few tops so I'm ready to go. I hate the fun house mirrors in the dressing rooms which really aren't fun at all so I am going to bed with no dinner! haha but speaking of dinner...

If you follow my blog you know another passion of mine is cooking. Well here's a little something I made for dinner the other night that I thought I would share. It was looking so good that I took a picture of it! haha I buy thinly sliced rib-eye steaks at the Korean market. They call it Bulgogi meat. (mentioned on a previous post) One steak must be cut into 30 slices at least. It's almost shaved. If you don't have a Korean market nearby I'm sure your grocery butcher could slice something thinly for you if you wanted to try this. I marinated the thinly sliced beef in approx 3 tbsps of Top fish sauce for about 15 minutes. I browned finely sliced onion & 1/2 of a red bell pepper in about 2 tbsp of olive oil, (my pan was almost dry). When those were soft & golden I removed them, added 1 more tbsp of olive oil and cooked the meat. When it was almost done I added a handful of chopped fresh Thai basil (if you can't get Thai basil I'm sure regular fresh basil would be almost as good) & fresh cilantro with 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic. We ate this on white rice with a big squeeze of lime & chopped green onion. I cooked it outside on the bbq burner. It smelled so good I bet it drove the neighbors nuts. This recipe is definitely a keeper. The guys & I loved it and it was fast & easy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Only One Angel ?

Nope they aren't Angels but I think they are almost as sweet.
You know me & color... Well working with oil pastels I'm finding is a little challenging. I can't tell you how much paper I've wasted playing with them. Actually I don't feel it was wasted just the price of practice. I've gone through a bunch of it. I haven't really worked with them much so I've been having fun. If any of you have any tips on using oil pastels I'd love to hear them! I guess I am on a crayon/oil pastel kick for some reason. I listed these on Ebay today with a starting bid of only $0.99. They are soft & pretty. Look so much better in person. I think they would be really pretty framed, especially with a black mat. Click here to put your bid in! I have them listed for only 5 days because I will be out of town next Friday. I'm so excited, but not as excited as my Hubby is. We are going to Las Vegas to see the Circus Soliel LOVE Beatles show. He has wanted to see that since it opened. We are meeting friends there then driving to their house to visit for a day or so.

I went & played with my little JJ (the only Angel in this post) yesterday and had so much fun. His mom gave me a facial too so it was a really nice day. She got her license a few weeks ago. I'm very proud of her. I guess I was so relaxed that I could hardly keep my eyes open driving home. I hate that don't you? I got lots of slobbery kisses and loved every minute of it. He was playing the piano today at a friends house. I don't think there is any doubt that we are gonna have another musician in the house.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Little Word on Wednesday

Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nan Nanna Nan Nanna....

A silly page in one of my journals

My son is at the recording studio today. He was nervous because he is laying down the drum track without the entire band. He also plays the guitar & has written a beautiful song but he thinks it needs a little something. That got us talking & joking around about how many songs become hits that have "Nan Nanna Nan...", "doo doo doo" or "la la la la" in the lyrics. Everyone can sing that in the shower & it gets stuck in your head. Then I saw this video today on tv this morning. Another Nan Nanna Nan... song! The Care Bears On Fire I love how these cute baby girls used painting in their video! It was fun trying to name all the hit songs we knew with those lyrics. How many can you think of? Dang it! Now it's stuck in my head! Nan Nanna Nan Na.....

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tiny But Mighty

This sweet tiny but mighty little Angel's face changed about 4 times before she was finished. I love how she turned out & her sweet face. I wish a photo really captured the original. She's small measuring 5x5x.50 perfect for a little spot that needs some love. I listed her here. I have a few more of these small canvas that I plan to paint. They are so sweet.

Hubby & The Spotted Dogs are playing tonight in Auburn so I will have the house to myself. I'm not feeling all that terrific so I don't know if am going to use this quiet time for painting, collage, paper bag albums or just veg out in front of the tv.

I did another collage last night out of one of my many Gourmet magazines. I love them! Art & cooking, 2 of my biggest passions. I'm thinking I will hang them in my kitchen. I have little Italian glass tiles in my kitchen as a backsplash and they really look cool up against that. I feel a little guilty spending the time to make something for myself instead of something to sell. I have more Gourmet magazines than I'd like to admit so maybe when I've finished mine... I took photos of the process yesterday which I plan on posting soon or making a video out of, if I can get my son to help me with that. I have to tip my hat at Collage artists. Collage pieces are sometimes unappreciated or underrated in my opinion, which is sad because they are a big undertaking, no matter how organized you are, and a piece takes an enormous amount of thought & time. Not to mention the mess & space it takes, well for me anyway! I'm so visual I have to see it all. I usually struggle with composition on collage pieces, which is why I am loving this new project! You get what you get and make something out of it. Of course you still have to think about it but at the same time using what you just randomly cut out gives you a lot of freedom. The one that I completed last night isn't embelished yet but again I have all the recipe pieces around the edges. I want to do at least 2 or 3 more. I will post a picture when I get them all done & hung up.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It Wasn't Just Santa...

...that kept me "being good", it was the rides! When I was a little girl living in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina my Mom would promise to takes us to the Pavillions & let us ride the carnival rides if we were good almost every weekend. I love these memories. This is a little ACEO just listed in my Etsy Shop.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quirky Night

Tonight was my monthly "QAG" meeting ( Quirky Art Group), a sub-group of the Swell Sister Society. I had so much fun. We did a journal project from Keri Smith. Collages with a catch. We had to tear out 15 or 20 pages (or as many as you can cut through) then pick a shape, I did approx 2x2 square, then cut your shape through all pages, no peeky. Then you had to collage with your cut out pieces only, no tearing, ripping or altering them. You get what you get. I used an old Gourmet magazine so mine came out with a little bit of a theme. The squares with recipes or writing is on the sides. Sister Juliana, a fantastic collage artist, brought Caran d' Ache crayons which now I have to have. They are like butter. The colors are great, they smear, blend & seem to just melt into the into paper. When you have all the paper glued to your canvas or wood, (I used wood) then you can embellish with crayon, ink, paint, whatever you want. Every time I get together with my Swell Sisters' I step outside my little box and I always have a big surge of creativity. I embellished mine with the crayons & black paint that I put in my henna bottle for a thin controllable line. I did some ACEOs last night using this wonderful little bottle. I'll take some pictures & post them. I think I am going to try this collage technique on some ACEOs and see how they turn out. So grab your old magazines & have some fun!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Plants, Pickles & My Little Peep

Ok I've got to brag a little. You gardeners out there are probably gonna laugh, but hey this is quite an accomplishment for me with my purple thumb! You have no idea really. Remember this post? I started these pickles from seeds and now look at them! I've already picked 2 pickles! They are the tiny pickling kind and are so yummy sliced up in my ice water. If you haven't tried that, you should it's so refreshing & good. I'm addicted to it. Cucumber in ice water - my drug of choice right now. I have a lot on the vine now so maybe I will get to pick a bunch @ once. I also planted some thyme, sage & oregano. I have no idea what I'm going to do with all the sage but the oregano I will be using to make my famous Chimichurri, which is olive oil, Italian parsley, oregano, garlic & jalapeno. I have some hollyhocks I planted in a little pot and have to figure out where to plant them in the yard. I love hollyhocks, their height & beauty, but best of all they grow no matter what, I can't kill them easily! Like the smiley rock I painted? I thought it was pretty funny. I thought it could make me feel better if my plants didn't grow. LOL I want to plant something that has big leaves so that I can play with concrete. I am itching to try this project I saw on youtube!

I haven't been able to create any art this past week while watching JJ but I've sure had a blast with him. I am was worried I wouldn't get to see him for a while and he came back today! So I will be gettin' busy tomorrow for sure. On Sunday my hubby & his band played at Windwalker Winery for their annual members' picnic. I took JJ with me & we stayed for a little while. He was so darn cute dancing to the music! It was a beautiful day and the drive up is so nice. I did sneak a taste of their Barbera and Oh My was it fantastic! This is the cutest age. It's hard not to kiss him constantly.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Nope not this "tuna surprise" that was actually breakfast the other day. haha Breakfast of Champions right?! I did not eat it out of the can, I did that purely for the photo. I had an uncontrollable craving for Kraft mac & cheese, then felt guilty coz I was going to eat mac & cheese -pretty much pure carbs so I added some protein to it. That makes sense right? haha The real surprise was a visit late this afternoon from some friends that just moved back from Texas. We got to meet their baby boy for the first time and he's 18 mo, so cute & sweet. Hard to believe that he is almost 2 already. Toward the end of their visit he goes up to his mom & says "hotdog hotdog" then turns around to everyone in the room and says "bye bye & heads for the door" hahaha I had made a big pot of chicken & dumplings but they didn't stay. I think they were going to have hotdogs. haha Sadly I missed my Swell Sister monthly meeting. We were to have a guest speaker tonight too. I missed last month too and was really looking forward to going & being with my art sista's. Just as I was getting ready to go our friends came by. So I'm a little bummed about missing the meeting - feeling out of the loop with everyone- but very glad I had the time with our friends tonight.

I need to apologize to my Entrecard bloggers for not dropping much & to you for not posting much lately. My computer is still not working right and it's been a few weeks. (I am saving this every few lines just in case it freezes up). The guys have determined that it is some nasty virus in our registry and we are going to have to wipe out the computer and start from scratch & hope that fixes it. We still have some back-up to do before we can erase everything though. Hopefully Hubby can do that next week and I can get back into the groove.

I am babysitting JJ until Monday while Mom & Dad are in Las Vegas for a wedding so I won't be working too much on anything. I'm still in a painting funk and have been playing with paper. I have made some charms out of recycled magazines. I will be posting a picture in a few days. I think the charms are pretty cool if I say so myself. I will probably be listing them in my Artfire shop, as it's empty at the moment. If you follow my blog you know about my problem with magazines & jars. Well I needed to get rid of some magazines. Before I can do that I have to cut out all the words & pictures I like, only then can I place it in the bin. I have boxes of cut outs and going through them is fun & full of inspiration. I could collage until the cows come home. I love collage but don't do it often. I spread out and have it all over the place. I'm a messy collager/scrapper. I could use a bigger studio. I have to hand it to full-time collage artist & scrapbookers. It is so time consuming. I'm not sure people realize just how much. I certainly didn't before I started a few years ago. I haven't sold any of my collage pieces but maybe I will in the future. I dug into my box last year & made a Vision Board. That was fun and I would like to do that again soon. My mom swears that she was finding cut up bits & pieces of paper here & there 6 months after I moved out of the house. haha One thing I liked about my old job was flipping through a loan file & sticky notes, the paper. Now it's all paperless. I fell in love with paper when I was a kid while living in Japan. I used to do all kinds of origami and the gold sheet I could never fold. I'd save it. If I have some money of my own I'd buy yarn or paper with it. I've been having lots of fun with the eyelets I bought the other day. I love how they look in paper. So polished and hammering them is thrilling. I've never used them before so I am fighting the urge to eyelet everything! Kinda like that label maker you bought then had to label everything. hahaha I am also going to be working on an album that will have lots of altered pages that have been posted on my Altered Pages Altered Thoughts blog. I've had several inquiries about selling the pages so I thought it might be cool to put them in an album. Perhaps a paper bag album & have some of them on tags as well. We'll see.

A big shout out goes to Pieces of Paper for including my Feathered Feline Friend in their great Etsy Treasury. You can check it out here.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Sweet Sunday

You think it was the devil that made me make these devil food & fudge frosting cupcakes today or a sudden visit from the sweet tooth fairy? It's 100+ degrees outside and I have the oven on; baking something that we probably will eat just one of around here; so I'll have to share some. Can you freeze cupcakes? I made cupcakes for JJ's birthday a few weeks ago and that was probably the first time in over 5 or 6 years at the very least. I do love cake decorating and will make a cake once in a while but I'm not a big baker. I'm more of a cook, feel like a short order cook sometimes, but I don't mind. I love to cook almost as much as I love to paint & craft.

When my boys were growing up our Saturdays weren't cartoon filled mornings, it was Yan Can Cook, Julia Childs, Jacques Pepin, Burt Wolf and any other cooking or travel show that came on PBS, in the days long before the Food Network. Watching the Food Network is another story in itself. We are all Food Network/Travel Channel addicts. One son is like me, he loves to cook & is so good he could be a chef if he wanted to be; the other son is the baker in the family. He has the sweetest tooth I've ever seen, used to have to hide the sugar jar from him and rarely gains any weight. Now how is that fair?

I have a shelf that runs along the top of my entire studio which is 80% cookbooks. I can't pass one by at yard sales, thrift stores & bookstores. I have found some awesome cookbooks at thrift stores. My mom & sister will even pick them up for me sometimes when they find something special. I even have a few from the late 1800's which are fun to go through sometimes. I wrote & made a cookbook for Christmas presents several years ago. I keep small notebooks in the kitchen when I am cooking so that I can write down the recipes I create. I read the book Julie & Julia a few years ago and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. If you've seen it please tell me it's good!

I had visits with 2 friends this weekend. It was so nice. With one, we talked mostly about Art non-stop, and with the other we mostly talked about how great God is non-stop. So it's been a Sweet weekend! Hope yours was sweet too!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

In Piles of Paper...

That's where I've been the last few days. About every 6 months I go through this. I mess up everything I paint so I pull out all my paper, bits & pieces then dive into the big mess. However, yesterday I did paint some scrapbook paper bright colors then stamped it with copper & silver designs. I love paper. I've been busy making journals out of paper bags (that I bought last time I went through this) and out of old legal size envelopes. I made this little scrapbook for my son & put the pictures of him on our trip to South Carolina last April. I thought he was going to think it was cheesy but he loved it. He went to Michael's with me today, took off on his own & found stickers for it. I must say they did make it really cute and he even found them in the sale bin! Here are a few pictures. I won't bore you posting pictures of the whole thing, that might be like making you watch family home movies! I am working on a book with lots of Altered Pages that were shown in my other happy place: Altered Pages Altered Thoughts. I may list that one in my Artfire shop if it turns out, and if I can part with it, as well as some little journals or ACEO books.

A big shout out goes to KittyKent for featuring My Incorrigible Carnie in her wonderfully whimsical Etsy Treasury! See it here. Thanks Kitty Kent!