Art ♦ Painting ♦ Cooking ♦ Crochet ♦ Knitting ♦ Fashion ♦ Crafting ♦ Photography ♦ Humor ♦ Family

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dinner And A Show...

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Grand Opening!

Shenanagans my second shop is up and running! Well it's jogging anyway. haha I am trying to spread out my listings instead of throwing them all in there and then having to spend more money renewing the listings. So bookmark this shop and visit often! Come see what crafty things I get into. It's impossible to share it all with you on this blog. My sister called me the other day. I had just sat down for a minute with the hubby & the tv. She asked what I was doing and I said "nothing"! We all had a good laugh about that! I am always doing something. You would think I'd be a stick figure but alas I am not. haha
I like to cook too much to be a stick figure. I happened to see cabbage rolls on tv a few weeks ago. Wish I could tell you which show it was on but sorry I've forgotten. I had also forgotten how long it's been since I made cabbage rolls. It had to be at least 15 years, a ridiculous amount of time anyway, and I love them. I guess if ever I thought of them I would think of the process, then forget it as fast as the thought came to me. Boiling the cabbage, then stuffing, etc... Well who knew?! You don't have to boil the cabbage first! The minute the show was over I was determined to try them and I headed to the store for a fresh pretty head of cabbage. (I always have cabbage in the frig but it's not always pretty) Their secret? They cored the cabbage and then put the entire head in the freezer! Once frozen and then thawed, the full leaves just drop off, without tearing and they roll up fantastically. In my excitement over this I pulled the kitchen aid out and ground my own pork to go inside. Seasoned it up perfectly. Trying a tiny bit cooked in the microwave before I stuffed them. They were beautiful. So impressive looking that they, the humble cabbage roll, might be fit for company. The smell throughout the house was intoxicating. I couldn't wait to try them. I made garlic potatoes to go with them. I stuck my fork into one for my first bite. Bummer. There were no eyes rolling to the back of the heads. Apparently I didn't stew them long enough, the cabbage was not soft & tender, it was a little tough & chewy. We grabbed our knives and all ate them anyway, we all love cabbage no matter what, and the filling was yummy. I will try cooking them again like this soon, using the freezer method and taking care to stew them longer, after all the cabbage is raw not slightly cooked at the start. However, if the cabbage is still chewy next time I'll know the freezer thing really isn't a helpful hint, and it will be another 15 yrs or so before we have them again. hahaha

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


...that's what I call it. That's what I've been up to lately. You may have noticed I haven't been painting much. I've been playing with clay and crochet and I made a big decision to open a second Etsy shop for all my "shenanagans"and have been working on that. In this new shop I plan to sell some of my original crochet patterns, photographs, handmade beads, perfumes, etc... all the stuff I do when I'm not painting. I dont have anything listed yet. I will be getting together with a model in the next few days. As soon as I have some great photos I'll be ready for the grand opening!

A Big Shout Out & Thank you! goes to Graceful Moments, for featuring my art on her blog & CherieBosela, EllieLeesAttic, WhimsyFishArts for featuring my art in their great Etsy Treasuries. Click on their name to be taken right to their shops full of goodies!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Few Firsts

The first time I tried "Sticky Chicken".
It was a treat because we grill more than we fry. I sauteed 1 large (it was huge soft ball size) yellow onion, 1 large bell pepper, 3 stalks of celery, chopped in same size pieces, in a little olive oil. Once it was soft & starting to brown I removed it from the heat, seasoned with a little salt & pepper then set aside. Then I breaded some chicken tenders with a double coating of flour, pepper, garlic powder, pinch of cayenne & a tsp or so of Old Bay Seasoning & oregano, *I used these seasonings when I realized I was out of Cajun spice seasoning, or couldn't find it due to my extremely large stash of spices*. Then I fried the chicken tenders on high until golden brown but not done. I set the oven for 350 and melted 1/2 stick of butter. *I couldn't do it! I couldn't use an entire stick like the recipe called for after frying all the ingredients!* I put 1/2 the butter in a deep casserole dish, then the chicken, the veggies spread evenly on top, then a sprinkling of dried oregano, the juice of one lemon and drizzled the rest of the butter on top. I covered & baked it for 1/2 hour. It makes it's own gravy and the veggies get stuck to the sticky breading. Oh yum! It's usually cooked with thighs and legs so next time I'll try it that way. Then we can get all messy & sticky eating it with our fingers. A little unsweetened Southern cornbread baked in my cast iron skillet will be a must to go with it next time. The guys loved it so there will be a next time!

My first bracelets with my hand blended clay beads are now in my shop! I have a few more to list, one with faux jade and another with black beads that I think look like lava or asphalt. (I make one me and one for the shop, one for me, one for the shop!) I won't get them listed today because I have the photographs ready.
Big Shout Outs & Thank You's go to the CAST Team blog for featuring my photograph and EarthToGirl for featuring my art on her blog & in her Etsy Treasury and to Ayala Art for drawing my name to win your wonderful art! Yippee!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What's New?...

"The Light"
11 x 14 Mixed Media

... It was Leonardo da Vinci that said “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Well I had really abandoned this piece last year and just "finished" it yesterday. So this one is not new to me. Yesterday it just cried out to me to complete it.
I'm a perfectionist in many ways and others not so much. I admit it and know it's not easy being this way. I know I can aggrevate some people to no end! hahaha Procrastination usually sets in too, I can't finish a project, and sometimes don't, just because I don't like how it's going at the time or know that something isn't exactly how I wish it to be, even if it's not noticeable. I know. I have a closet full of abandoned canvases. I could probably fill my whole house with abandoned craft projects that I never finished over the years, because of a tiny problem, some of which were entirely in my head, or because it became too challenging and I didn't think I could do it perfectly, so I gave up & put it down. This is exactly what happened at my previous attempts at jewelry making. I'm even worse when I sew, everything has to be perfect, stitches unwavering, all seams matching perfectly, it has to look like it's off the rack or I won't wear it, sell it, or give it away.

Anyway, there are 2 little defects in the linen canvas on this piece so that has kept me from working on it. I'm glad I picked it up and finished it regardless of the defects, which are not even noticeable from the front of the canvas, because I am happy how it turned out. It has already gotten 5 Stars on OvationTV and a few comments. I have it listed on Ebay. I wished photos did Him justice.
I have enjoyed making beads this week and I made lots of them! I made my first bracelet too! I designed something that I would wear. Something that is "me". A little gypsy, a little bohemian, a little jingley, a little funky yet not too far out. I especially love the faux turquoise beads on the bracelet like the one shown here which I will be listing for sale. I also made the cutest little mushrooms which I will share later because they haven't been baked. I bought big jump rings, which are working out ok with me, like a kid with big fat crayons. hahaha The faux jade was made with a tiny dab of green polymer clay mixed with about 6 times the amount of transparent polymer clay & a sprinkle of ground sage. Yep! Right out of your kitchen. I would advise to add a tiny dab at a time & mix it in a little at a time. It dries darker. I put glue on the eye pins before baking so they don't come out. I may have to open up another Etsy shop!
A Big Shout Out goes to Hannahcreations , CynArt & Mayasideas for including my art in their Etsy Treasuries! Thank you so much! Click on their names to be taken to their wonderful Etsy's Shops.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Little Word on Wednesday

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.
Romans 15: 13

Monday, August 9, 2010

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'...

...Clay that is! I've been playing with clay all day. Thank goodness polymer clay doesn't go bad because I haven't touched it a couple of years. I expected it to look like forgotten Playdough, all crusty & dry, but a few kneads between the fingers and it's like brand new! How does that work? I have an array of almost every color thanks to my sister. Crafty gifts are the best aren't they?! She is making beautiful jewelry now so I am making her some beads. I love making beads, sculpting faces, working with clay, but I don't enjoy making jewelry (or stained glass but that's another story!) I've tried to get into jewelry making but it doesn't take long before the supplies are on their way to my sister. I can't close a jump ring right to save my life. To be good at it you have to love it, invest time & practice, I don't love it enough to spend the time to practice at it. I love these little faux turquoise nuggets though! I am going to redo the holes before I bake them. They are a mixture of teal, light turquoise, tan, white & black. My favorite ring that I inherited from my husband's grandmother is a brilliant Alexandrite set in a gold Fleur de lis setting. The stone changes from cobalt blue to violet much like amethist. I can never predict what color it will be when I put it on. It's like an expensive mood ring. Anyway I'm going to make some beads inspired by that ring.
My sister has been telling me how nice Cold Porcelain Clay is to work with so I took a break earlier and ran out to purchase some baby oil. I also splurged on a bead roller at Michael's. It's so cool! I'm sharing this instructional video by Sangeeta Shah. She makes it look very easy, her flowers are amazing and her accent is adorable. She has some flower tutorials on her website. The porcelain clay is an air dry clay, no baking needed and it shrinks about 30%, so I am using eye pins instead of holes if I make beads with it. What I have in mind to make is an angel inspired by my clay jug I found in May. I can't wait to get started. I hope it turns out! A tip that my sister gave me is to let it rest for a day or so before using. If you make some too please share how yours turns out and what you made with it!

I'm so lucky! I won these beautiful earrings by Lisa at Alterity Button Jewelry in her give-a-way and received them this afternoon. I love her whimsical button jewelry and she is really making me want to pull out my sewing machines. You must see her adorable 40's sun dresses she plans to take to the beach. So cute! The earrings are beautifully constructed and they match my eyes. *lashing fluttering* Thanks so much Lisa!
A Big Shout Out & Thanks! goes to Schemata & Collagical for including my art in their Etsy Treasuries! Click on their names to be taken to their wonderful shops.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

In Loving Memory...

...of Noel Jackson.
One of my oldest & dearest friends.
Love you & miss you already.
I'll see you in Heaven my friend.
Though God brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he
does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.
Lamentations 3:32-33