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Friday, July 30, 2010

Pizza On The Patio...

... Mama Mia! That's what I thought when I took a big bite of this grilled pizza I made yesterday for a summer dinner on the patio. We were all in the mood for pizza but didn't want to get take-out & didn't want to turn the oven on, so I decided I would try to grill one on the bbq. I have never tried it. I love youtube. I found this video by UrbanGriller on how to grill a pizza on a gas grill. He made it look so simple and he's right, it was!
I happened to have 3 cans too (one was from the tomatoes) so I was set. I made my own dough. I've been making bread so long that I don't need a recipe for that. I eye-ball everything so I can't give you a recipe for it, but it's a basic yeast bread recipe. I buy yeast in the bulk section of the grocery store instead of those packets. The UrbanGriller used a box of dough mix and that looks like it works out great in the food processor, less mess than my way. To make the sauce I used a can of whole tomatoes, the tomatoes only, and I added a tsp of coursely ground fennel, salt & pepper. His recipe of just tomatoes & garlic was just too plain for me & my spicy family, but I tried it before adding the fennel. My favorite pizza is a plain cheese or Margarita pizza, tomatoes, cheese & basil. Honestly I will eat most any pizza, even anchovies, but if it has more than 3 toppings I don't really enjoy it as much, I like it simple. I used a long pan and made 1/2 of it Margarita and the other 1/2 pepperoni. I took heed to what UrbanGriller said about the pineapple, so I seeded the fresh tomatoes w/o squashing them, salted a little & let them sit in a collander to lose some of their juice while I made the dough & sauce. The fresh basil from pots around my patio came in handy. I made 2 pizzas. The first one was left on the pan the entire cook time, about 13 minutes. It didn't brown as much as I wished it did on the bottom, so while cooking the 2nd pizza I gingerly slid it off of the pan & let it crisp up directly on the grill for the last few minutes.We have a big bbq with 5 burners so by the time the last pizza was ready to go on the grill temp was about 600 degrees. It didn't take long for that one to bubble & brown. So yummy. Next time I will wait until it's that hot again, but it did work well like he said at about 350-400 degrees.
You should have seen the happiness on my son's face when we opened the grill to have our first peeks at it! With a huge smile he says with excitement "Get your camera Mom!" hahaha The guys say it was so good that they don't want to order pizza anymore. Even though that means I'll be doing the cooking, I think I have to agree. I'm keeping those cans for next time and I'm going to buy me some pizza pans! I may have to have a summer patio pizza party to experiment will lots of sauces & toppings! Want to come over for a slice?! I'd love to see what your favorite toppings are! A Big Shout Out goes to ChocolateDogStudio for including my art in her Etsy Treasury! Thanks so much! Also to Be In Style Fashion for the Style Award for my Sometimes Things are Just Black & White Blog! Thanks so much!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Drama Drama Drama!

... Here is a sneak peek of my "Drama Queen". She has caused me some drama too! Made me feel crazy! haha Do you remember, the story I posted about how this piece literally scared me one night while working on her, so much so that I had to bolt out of the room? I changed her expression a little & crown that previously had curled points, to this sweeter version. The curly crown made her really scary. I have worked on here in bit & pieces but haven't been able to stay still enough with her to finish her. This morning when I opened the door to my little studio she seemed to smile at me. She seemed sweet, not scary, like a "Happy Soul", so I picked her up and decided today was her day. She is a 12"x 12" on canvas with thick 1.5" sides like Concessions & Northwind. I have some more work to do on that crown, shadows, bits here & there. I hope to hope to finish her later this evening or in the wee hours of morning, if she causes no more drama! ;)

A Big Shout Out & Thank you! goes to LostSentiments, ChocolateDogStudio, & FriendlyFairies for including my art in their wonderful Etsy Treasuries! Just click on their names and you will be taken right to their shops. I just posted a new Black & White Collection on Sometimes Things Are Just Black & White and listed some new Aura Angel Greeting Cards in my shop.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's New ?...

Kitty Cats! I made my first card set today with my "Faithful Feathered Feline Friends" and listed them in my Etsy Shop. I think these are so cute on these cards if I say so myself. I think they not only would make cute greeting cards but cute Christmas cards as well. I signed each little art print on the back so they could be kept & framed. I am working on 2 more card sets with my Aura Angels on them.Thank you so much SoInToIt for presenting me with the Versatile Blogger Award! The rules are that I am to disclose 7 things that you may not know & pass the award along. I had to really think about this because I have a lot in my Funky Facts About Me section at the bottom of this blog and seriously aren't I an open book? hahaha Ok here goes...
1. Some dolls, especially the really old fashioned dolls, can freak me out like ventriloquist dummies & clowns. (Yes I do paint strange Carnies/Clowns but call them "Happy Souls" & consider it self therapy! haha)
2. I can completely de-bone a chicken leaving it in one large flat piece in a matter of minutes.
3. If my reading glasses aren't on my nose they are used as a stylish headband. hahaha
4. I think I could win every Chopped challenge. hahaha
5. I've watched the movie Pretty Woman & Overboard so many times that I could probably recite the entire scripts.
6. I could never choose a favorite Beatle, then or now.
7. I am addicted to hot peppers.
I now pass this award to a few of my sweetest Followers Gloria, Artsyfartsyme, Graceful Moments, Alterity Buttons, SandyPetals , Poetic Artist & AyalaArt.

It's 3:00...

...and I'm still in my pajamas. I'm thinking of getting dressed. Later...maybe. It's so wrong it's right. hahaha

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ring Ring!

Who is it? ...Destiny?... I've been expecting your call .... LOL Ok I have been watching too much BOLT lately. I gotta say I am in love with that hamster Rhino! You can see a the little video of him on the left. I've been totally stealing his lines. I may not be ready for Last Comic Standing but I have come up with some pretty good ones lately using his lines. hahaha I am just discovering this movie because of my little JJ.
I'm not a cartoon person. Even as a child I didn't watch a lot of cartoons. As an adult I can appreciate the art of cartoons but still find them hard to endure. It amazes me that The Simpsons have been on as long as it has or is it still on? I can count on one hand how many times I've watched the show. I would have loved the show more if it was real actors but real actors couldn't get away with what a cartoon can. I get it. Are you gasping? What? No Disney movies? Yes that's right. Not into it. If I've watched them it's because the guys wanted to watch, even the oldest guy :) The cartoon world is magically tolerable & disgustingly exciting, "I'm disgusted, I disgust myself", says the cat in the movie Bolt & says me when I'm in Disneyland, the happiest place on earth! hahaha But the minute I snap back to reality buyer's remorse for any "souvenir" purchase quickly sets in. And those tidbits, basically papers *tickets, brochures, etc...* that I have to take home, swear I'll scrapbook, quickly get shoved in the bin or in a stack of stuff that's not to be touched in at least a couple of years. Mikey's lost him charm. Kind of like some of the contents of my purses that I have to lug around, until I switch to a new one, then it's left behind. Sometimes it's cool finding stuff that didn't make the transfer. Am I the only one who does this? Ok I'm gonna clean out all my purses after this post. hahaha So it may seem strange that my love of portraits & my big pushes of artistic encouragement with portraits are owed in part to my dad & an ex-Disney Art Director Walt Sorensen. My dad babysat while I was in Walt's class, and he refused to let me talk myself out of going to his class. Yes that was a big deal! My dad's support of my art has been much more encouraging than he knows and other people may realize.
I actually painted today! Felt good. This weekend I worked on some new bookmarks which I will be listing soon. I listed some Angels on paper on Ebay for a starting bid of $0.99! The first time I've done this. My advise from many was not to do this but I need to make room for new things. I need to paint more and space is limited. So I'm considering it a sale and I am trusting in the Lord. He can do what he will with me & my Angels! I am blessed. Ring Ring! Destiny? Are you waiting for a call? LOL

Friday, July 16, 2010

At Least Someone... using the bbq! I found this bold little guy under the cover staying cool. He seemed happy to let me take his picture, even waited for me while I ran and got my camera. I love how the stainless steel picks up so many colors when giving it a hit of saturation. We haven't been using the bbq as much as normally do this summer. I used the burners but have barely turned on the grill. It's too hot to cook inside today so I'm cleaning it up & firing it up for dinner. I made some of my favorite chimichurri sauce this morning. It's good on steak, chicken, fish...frog legs...! haha *No! I wouldn't!* The recipe below is one version of chimichurri that I love and the one I made today. I'm so glad planted lots of parsley & oregano this year. I plan to make many more batches of this sauce. Chimichurri is not just good for dinner, it makes a great gift or something special to take to a summer party.

Chimichurri Recipe

1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, trimmed of thick stems
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves (sub 2 teaspoons dried oregano but fresh is best)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 canned jalapeno peppers (sissy? start with one & add to control heat or seed 1st)
You can substitue 1 Tbsp of red pepper flakes but I don't like as much as the pickled peppers.

I throw everything in the blender & blend until smooth, however, you can finely chop everything to make it a little chunky. (I like it either way) Serve at room temperature.
A Big Shout Out goes to EllieLee , YouBadGirl, NimiJewelry & ZiBagz for featuring my art in their fabulous Etsy Treasuries! Check out their beautiful work & shops by clicking on their names.
Another Big Shout Out, more of a holler really, goes to Sandra Hemsworth, the Curator at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont, CA for inviting me to exhibit my artwork in their California Etsy Artist show in October! It's truly an honor!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Little Word on Wednesday

If it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently, if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:8

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Promises Promises!

I am really in a funk lately. I have made some videos, started a new blog, listed a few older pieces as prints in my Etsy shop , put together a few series for A Cake Dream ,(who will be putting my art on their Art Gallery Cookies!), made a few goodies for someone special, have some pieces in a gallery, & probably a few other things I can't think of right now so I've been sort of busy. I promise myself I'm going to paint, then don't do it, so because I'm not painting, I feel like I'm not getting anything done. Sales have been very slow lately even with all the wonderful exposure & attention people are generously giving me. It's a little discouraging so I guess subconsciously I think I need to do other things rather than paint? funk. I have been worrying a little that I may have to go back to life in a cubicle. I'm not usually one to worry. I tell other people not to worry so why am I doing it myself? funk. I'm spending way too much time thinking of things to do, things I should do, making lists of things to do & then not doing them. funk. Today I straightened up my studio a little but have created nothing again but a mess. A nice person on Etsy requested that I make greeting cards with my Angels on them (she was Christmas shopping in July & wished I had cards)and I have been working on that a little. I learned how to use a cutter, a gift that I hadn't used yet. I purchased pre-made white cards with envelopes, purchased new ink, yet I can't decide which ones to use, or how I am going to attach them in a nice way. funk. I have been pondering opening up a new Etsy shop for the "messes" I've been making. Pondering instead of doing. funk!
One of my artist "Sisters" shared this video and I couldn't help belly laughing! God gave us the rainbow so that we would remember his promise to never again destroy the earth by flood. Isn't it amazing that His promise, a simple rainbow, can still overwhelm us with emotion in this age where we think we've seen it all & are sometimes numb to our beautiful surroundings? Really who doesn't like rainbows? I think this funny guy was feeling the spirit of God whether he knew it or not. Have you felt like this before , just didn't video tape it, maybe held it inside? I know I have!

Big Shout Out goes to Molly Brogan for featuring my art on her blog. Click "here" to read.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The 1930's Fashionistas...

...almost had it right! Who knew they were already thinking of climate changes & cell phones?!

I wish my "skirts have disappeared entirely" & I could use one of those electric belts about now! LOL I found this crazy video while working on Sometimes Things Are Just Black & White.
Last Tuesday I DvR'd "Double Exposure" and finally watched it last night. I found it channel surfin' on Tuesday. I didn't know the show existed so I missed the first 3 episodes. Snap! I think I'm hooked. I'm looking forward to The Rachel Zoe Project too. And to think I couldn't imagine what I was gonna do without LOST & Saving Grace!
A BIG SHOUT OUT goes to Sarah at Christian Artist Street Team on Etsy for featuring my Sunflower Angel! Also to Allison Strine Designs for including my Angel In A Big Bow in her wonderful Etsy Treasury entitled "Why Can't We Just Get Along".
Tonight my youngest son is playing at The Boardwalk. I'll be heading to the show in a little while. Tomorrow is 2nd Saturday in Sacramento. I'll be at the Marco Fuoco Gallery and hope to gallery hop a bit.
Hope you make it a fun weekend too!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

That's Entertainment ! ?

Who's watching "Work of Art" with me? Are you loving this show? I wish I had the guts to try out for it just to play with all the free art supplies! I'm not comfortable when a camera is anywhere near me & have knee trembling fear of public speaking so being on a tv show is not in the cards for me. When I started showing my art & this blog I felt so vulnerable, putting myself out there like this, showing my underwear so to speak, not so easy for me, so I can't imagine how I could ever survive being on national tv. I have been known to surprise myself though, but it doesn't matter, I'd already be a goner! Last week's "A Shock To The System" challenge was just nasty. I would have definitely been eliminated, maybe for not eliminating? Eeee Uuuuu LOL Really Bravo? Your highly paid writers or judges couldn't think of a better challenge with so many different forms of art to chose from? You had to go to there? I'm thinking this challenge was a distasteful attempt to get ratings & water cooler fodder. Obviously the ladder worked coz here I am talking about it! The pieces the Contestants created weren't as shocking as Bravo picking "Shock Art" to "entertain" us with. Finding it offensive is part of it's purpose, which then qualifies it as art because you are offended by it. Right? Ok I get it but still...really Bravo? The guest artist, Andres Serrano wanted so badly for someone to poop on something that he appeared genuinely disappointed that they didn't. (Funny that Andres nor the judges mentioned the fact & seemed clueless that Miles had ejaculated on his piece) Yes, you read that right. Andres' claim to fame piece of art is a crucifix with Christ submerged in his own urine. I personally find it offensive, sacrilegious, but even so I can't argue that it's not art. True art or social commentary? What do you think? I will be very disappointed if Bravo keeps their challenges on the dark side. I'll still watch it, but not sure I'll still love it. Entertain me Bravo! It's not that hard! LOL
A Big Shout Out goes to CreativeCastaways for including my art in her wonderful Etsy Treasury! Thank you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

"Funny Business"

A Big Shout Out goes to SewSewBecky & RedLadyArts for featuring my art in their awesome Etsy Treasuries! Thank you so much. Please click on their names to visit their shops.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Oscar Meyer hot dogs on the grill, my homemade hot dog chili, coleslaw, corn on the cob, dill pickle potato salad, chips & homemade lentil dip (I added a little garlic, salt & pepper) and blueberry cobbler with french vanilla ice cream. What's on your plate today? Hope you are having a wonderful holiday!

Friday, July 2, 2010

There's No Such Thing... a bad photo. Well, ok, maybe there is, but I'm having fun learning to crop them before sending them to the bin. Just look how cropping these photos, one with bobbing strangers & one with lots of glare , are saved by a little cropping! I think the long skinny pictures would look cool on scrapbook pages. So crop away before you toss away! A Big Shout Out goes to As The Crackerhead Crumbles for including me & my art in their great list of Christmas in July feature! And WhatsHerName, SharingArt & TerraWorks for including
my art in their Etsy Treasuries. The support of me & my art is very much appreciated! Thank you! To visit their shops or blog just click on their names above.