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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!