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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Free Form Fun...

... here's a little piece, a follow up really, or an addition to my recent post on Free Form study & a video by Milliande.  I had a lot of fun stepping out the box and doing a Mixed Media piece.  This type of study really gets my creative juices going! I used magazine paper, ink, acrylic paint, pencils, silver pen, & stamps.
I stared at the scribble...

and stared some more...until I saw this figure, this form...
then from there...
I created this paper piece in pencil & ink, using a brush with water to shadow with ink.
The fish is actually a portion of the scribble located on the page.
then ...
I scanned and digitally colored...
then to canvas...
(Listed on Ebay Here)
Hum... does Jaws still loom in my subconscious mind? haha
Kind of fun to see the progression of creation isn't it?!
I hope you try it, even if you aren't an artist, it will
be relaxing and put in you another world for a little while.
I don't work very often in mixed media & collage.
I had forgotten how fun it could be!  I covered the canvas in
random ripped magazine papers, painted, scraped, stamped, colored, & pasted.
I started another piece on canvas but haven't finished it or
enough of it to show you a picture. I will tell you that
there are cactus in it and now I am obsessing over cactus.
So stay tuned!
Click Here to see my previous post & Milliande's video. 
Wishing you a New Year full of creativity, peace & love!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fluffy Fluffy Fluffy...

...were the homemade marshmallows I made for Christmas!

If you haven't made homemade marshmallows, oh let me tell you! You have got to try it!
Heavily dust a baking pan with powdered sugar.
In mixing bowl add 3 packages of unflavored gelatin & 1/2 cup of water. Let sit to bloom while sugar boils.
In sauce pot add -
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup Karo Syrup
1/4 cup water
Cook on medium heat. You can stir to dissolve sugar. Once sugar starts to bubble around the edges, boil without stirring for 8 minutes - soft ball stage.  Remove from heat and slowly pour sugar into gelatin beating on low while pouring. Then beat on high for approx. 4 - 5 minutes until mixture no longer is getting fluffy, then add 1 Tbsp of vanilla.
 Beat on high until marshmallow candy is a little stringy pulling off sides of bowl. 
Pour into dusted pan then heavily dust top of candy with powdered sugar. 
Have a good scraper ready to get all the candy out of the bowl!  Let sit until candy can be handled & cut.  After cutting toss in powdered sugar to coat all sides so that each piece is not sticky.
I think I will make one more batch using all the left over candy canes that are on the tree.
 I am going to crush them up & add them to the boiling sugar.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing... a Very Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Peace & Love to all my faithful Followers & Friends.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

In Loving Memory...

...of my most beloved Aunt Judy.

After a ten month battle with cancer, she went to be with her Lord and Savior.  She will be spending Christmas and her Anniversary with the Lord and my Uncle David who went to Heaven in March.
She was a shining example all of my life of what a & faithful Christian Servant is and should be. Even though I can't be there with her today as she is laid to rest, I am there in spirit.
My love goes out to all my cousins (her "girls") and their families.
 I loved her very much and I will miss her very much.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Free Form and Fresh Eyes ...

...Thanks to Milliande! I was taking a break from work on a portrait commission today, when
I watched Milliande's wonderful Free Form Youtube video. I have been a subscriber of hers on Youtube, but honestly  & sadly so, I have only taken the time to watch one of her videos, and that was a long time ago. Now I regret all the fun I've missed & have to watch all her videos as soon as I can. I had to take time out to try her exercise, her "form play" would be just the thing to give me a "fresh eye" & get my creative juices flowing. A little "Right Mind" work. It was so fun to see what was created from a  random squiggles! Each one is like a little Meditation. Warning this may become an addiction!
This is her video and how you get started...
Here is my squiggle page...
Looking at it from all sides I pulled a few of these figures out...
Using pencil, ink, cream colored  & black acrylic paint these fun little creatures came to life...
I created 5 little pieces in all but here are 2 of them... 
Happy, Bubbly, Marshmellowy, is that a word? ... 
Rainy, Lazy, Curled up, Disconnected by Weather...
If you give this free form play a try,
please leave your link below.
I would love to see your Free Form Fun!
Show me your squiggles!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In Loving Memory... nephew Michael Caldwell.
Prayers for him are very much appreciated.
He will be missed immensely, more than he could have known.
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in despair, help is available 24 hours a day at

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pinterest Project...

...  I think I will start posting the Pinterest projects I see & try after I do them. When I saw this leaf table runner posted on Pinterest  from Martha Stewarts's website I knew I had to make one.  Click HERE to see hers. Of course hers is perfectly pieced in pastel colors & neatly ironed. Mine's not ironed yet ( I just finished & took the photo with my phone - sorry)  but I'm not sure I'm going to iron it. I kind of like the little curling of the leaves and my home is woodsy so... I used 6 different earthy toned fabric scraps and I used a lot more leaves than Martha did.  This is a great way to use up your fabric scraps! I had to stop myself from adding more & more. I can see this used outside on the patio or for a picnic at the river, even as a cool curtain!   I laid out the leaves then hand stitched them together. Even hand stitching with a whip stitch, the entire project took only about 4 hours start to finish.  I made a pattern by drawing & cutting out a leaf shape on sturdy paper (junk mail actually) then used that to cut out my fabric pieces.  Then serged around all the edges.  The serger doesn't like to go in a circle or curves so I started at the point of the leaf then serged to the bottom and then did the other side, so it wasn't continuous sewing.  If you don't have a serger here is an alternate way to construct this runner would be to use your zigzag stitch & carefully stitch around the edges or to double your fabric with right sides together, stitch the leaf shape leaving a gap to turn the fabric. Constructing in that way, you could use 2 different fabrics to make it reversible but you will use more fabric and it will take a lot more time. I'm easily bored so I like speedy projects, instant gratification, if they take too long they usually become "UFO"s (unfinished objects) and I have plenty of those.   I have created 2 Boards on Pinterest for sewing.  One is "Feed The Machine" which has lots of free embroidery & embroidery ideas and the other is "Sew Loved".   Just click & follow! Stay tuned, more Pinterest Projects I try! I will be posting them in the future!

Monday, October 21, 2013


...I'm finally getting some patterns written up than I have been doing over the past year.
Triple Decker Crochet Cowl Neckwarmer Pattern
Thanks beautiful "NeNe" for modeling for me!
Quick & Easy! Make in an hour or so.
Great for Beginners & great for gifts!
Click HERE to purchase.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hot! Hot! Hot!

... I like it hot, hot, hot! I created a Pinterest Board for all my hot finds! Click Here to check it out &  Follow. I have quickly become a "Pin-addict". I love Pinterest and spend way too much time there!
Here's one of my recent concoctions, I mean recipes I am sharing and adding to my Board.

I'm calling it "Maui Ouiweee"  or "Kilauea in a Pineapple Patch" or "Make me Hula" hahaha
Please let me know what your favorite name is and if you try it, please let me know!  I may start working on my 2nd Hot Pepper cookbook.  I write them, do the art work, print them, bind them & give them away, ...who knows maybe one day I'll put one in a shop.
2 large Serrano peppers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp citric salt (I didn't have limes but if I did I'd have used 1/2 lime)
1 1/2 tbsp. srirracha
1 can of crushed pineapple
1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
I used the emersion blender on the peppers, garlic & tomatoes, then mixed into the crushed pineapple with remaining ingredients. It's hard to stop eating it!
Just listed some New Holiday Designed Embroidered Coasters in my Shenanagans Shop.  So far these are turning out to be "hot" items! You know I couldn't resist that. haha  
All joking aside I am pleasantly surprised how much people like these.  I have given them as gifts and have sold quite a few sets already. It makes me feel good when people like what I do, I get a little kindred spirit feeling.  I am working on some new cuff bracelets.  I'm such a "Plain Jane" that it's hard for me to go over the top and I've been told I need to go over the top with them! 
I'll post them when they are finished.
Create A Great Day!

Monday, September 30, 2013

On My Easel...

...Little Angels...A Pug & a Bulldog.
Finished the first layer today. 

 Feels good to paint! Woof!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Burning Down The House...

...My knitting needles could start a fire now! I am working on some new patterns was wishing I was much faster.  While on the phone with my Mom she  told me she saw the fastest knitter in the world on Knit & Crochet tv show, so as soon as we hung up I had to find her and see how she was knitting.  The 2010 fastest is Hazel Tindall just click on her name and watch her go! Another knitter to see is Miriam Tegels. They are so inspiring!  
About 2 years ago I taught myself the Continental method of knitting and got quite fast at knitting that way, however, if I was working in stockingnette pattern I was all thumbs when it came to the purl row and would revert back to the English/American style, how I initially learned to knit. So I was going back and forth between the 2 styles moving the yarn from one hand to another.  Then the other day while looking up the fastest knitter I discovered the Norwegian Purl method.  Now I can fly!  I wish I had learned about this method a lot sooner.   I came across this lovely Bee Hive Pattern on Pinterest & had it pinned on my "Hooked & Needled" Board. This was a Free Pattern from, just one of 52 weeks of dish cloth patterns!

I love this pattern and thought it would be a good one to try out this new purl method.  And WoW! I made this cloth in an hour using the Norwegian Purl & Continental knit stitch.   I love the scalloped edge at the beginning of the piece. The scalloped edge would be great for a scarf, bottom of a sweater or skirt.
The Hive Dishcloth
With US size 7 or 8 needles, co 26.
Row 1: Purl across.
Row 2: Knit across.
Row 3: Purl across.
Row 4: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 5: K1, {k3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back), k3} across to last st, k1.
Row 6: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 7: K1, {k3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back), k3} across to last st, k1.
Row 8: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 9: K1, {k3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back), k3} across to last st, k1.
Row 10: K1, {p3, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front), p3} across to last st, k1.
Row 11: Purl across.
Row 12: Knit across.
Row 13: Purl across.
Row 14: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Row 15: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back), k6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back)} across to last st, k1.
Row 16: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Row 17: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back), k6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back)} across to last st, k1.
Row 18: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Row 19: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in back), k6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in back)} across to last st, k1.
Row 20: K1, {slip 1 purlwise (yarn in front), p6, slip 2 purlwise (yarn in front)} across to last st, k1.
Rows 21-40 = Repeat Rows 1-20.
Row 41: Purl across.
Row 42: Knit across.
Row 43: Purl across.
Bind off knit-wise.
To edge left and right sides, crochet across on wrong side.
Finish off and weave in ends.  ( I slipped stitched around all sides to finish off.)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Couldn't Cut It...

...the designer jackets that is.  I purchased 2 beautiful designer blazer/jackets; a Ralph Lauren & a Calvin Klein with full intentions of cutting into them to reconstruct them into awesome steampunk creations with bussles and all but I couldn't do it. I'd pick up the scissors and then chicken out.  One was brand new never worn and the other was in pristine condition. They are a little too tight for me. boo So I listed them for the outrageously low price I bought them for.  If you'd like check them out click HERE
I have been unable to sit for long but when I am I have been embroidering, sewing, crocheting & knitting. I love these cuffs. I made one for me then thought I would share them. I plan to take a few to the wineries I am surrounded by & maybe a few to the shops that I have things in.

I made these with the delicious yarn I bought in a beautiful yarn shop in San Francisco.
I love the colors, all of my favorites, and they remind me of the wine country.  The yarn is 70% Merino wool & 30% silk so it feels really good to work with and feels really good on. I have some pretty lavender yarn & I may do some in lavender too, what do ya think?
I have been having fun making quilted embroidered coasters which started as a birthday present for a friend & Christmas presents. Yep I have started on Christmas! Have you? I made a few for my place and I love how they look so I listed some in my Etsy Shenanagans shop. The Sashiko Embroidered black coasters are the ones I made for my hubby and I have sold a few sets already! I have also sold a set of musical notes which I made for my guys.
I have to say that I really love the gypsy rose cowgirl boots & of course you know me & hot peppers! I plan on making a set of 8 of those for my hot & spicy dinner parties!
They make great gifts so I plan on doing a Giveaway and will post it in the next week or so. I'll figure it out. Let me know if you think that's a good idea and any pointers on doing a Giveaway would be a great help.
Create a great day!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hot off the Griddle...

...Just had to share this! I was craving hot water cornbread & I had a pot of kale and you know I have lots of garlic!...  These were so quick & easy, delicious & a little better for me than regular hot cornbread.  Crunchy & crispy on the outside, soft & creamy on the inside. Yum!

Crunchy Garlic Kale Cornbread Croquette
1 1/3 C boiling water
1 tsp salt
1 C cooked Kale (with all water squeezed out)
1 C Yellow Cornmeal
2 Cloves of Garlic
Oil for frying
Add cornmeal to boiling water & stir to remove lumps. Add salt, kale & garlic. Let sit for a few minutes to swell up.  Spoon into lightly oiled pan & fry until firm & golden brown.

My Custom Fit Slipper Pattern...

...Here is a little gift for you!  I made this slipper pattern and I love them. They are so easy to make, take little fabric and fit like a glove.   I hope you make some & enjoy them as much as I do!

Approx 1/2 yard of  main fabric & 1/2 yard for lining.
Print out pattern. Fold additional piece of paper in half & cut out.  Open up & place foot on pattern to check fit with your foot. Enlarge  or reduce if necessary making sure to leave a seam allowance. This pattern fits a 7 to 8.  I suggest making a practice slipper with muslin or scrap fabric to use as your own custom fit pattern in the future. (Right click on pattern & save to your desktop, then print.)

Cutting fabric on the bias will give you more stretch with heavier fabrics.
Staystitch around toe to check fit before sewing permanent seam.
Check fit again and adjust as necessary. *At this point you will have a pattern
for your own foot. You carefully take apart and trace to keep for future use.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Chop Chop Chop...

... I love chopping it's the best thing about cooking. Oh I love to slice & dice too. That's why I was so excited to see the huge bag of garlic my hubby brought home. I chopped & chopped & peeled & peeled! I keep a little bowl of water to dip my fingers in when they become too sticky.  I decided to make him some potato salad which he loves with lots of garlic & black olives, a little reward.  
I chopped until my heart was content!
Garlic Olive Potato Salad
6 boiled potatoes cubed
3 large cloves of garlic
1/2 Fresh Parsley - I used curly type
3/4 C Mayo
2 small red Bell Peppers
1 small White Onion
2 Stalks of Celery
I can of Jumbo Black Olives sliced
1 tbsp. dried basil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Hubby was happy! He loves garlic.  The whole house smelled like a wonderful garlic garden. 
I input the recipe into SparkPeople's Recipe Calculator and for 1/2 Cup Serving it has 152 calories. 
I put some whole cloves into olive oil & placed in the frig to use later and I will be using that oil when all the cloves are gone.
I decided to keep some unpeeled cloves in my cute garlic holder. It's so full when you lift the top they tumble out.  Doesn't it look like it's smiling? :)

So inspired by this gift of delicious stinky garlic; & my love of  chopping, slicing & dicing; I had to go paint this little ACEO...
"Love Stinks"
(To purchase this piece just click on the painting)
It may even smell like garlic! hahaha

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why Didn't I Think of It?...

... Nom Nom Nom! I feel silly!
My son invited me over for dinner a few weeks ago
 and served "Sushi Bake". (Did you just hear Angels singing? If it wasn't them it was me. haha)
He had told me about this recipe after a trip to San Diego where it was served at a party. I really didn't get it until I saw & tasted it!  Then I really did feel a little foolish that I had never thought of making something so simple! Especially as much as me & my family love sushi! It's hot outside today & we went to Hop Sing Palace (best Egg Fu Yung ever) for lunch in Old Folsom so Sushi Bake is perfect for a light & easy dinner.  The recipe calls for baking it; hence the name; but I actually popped it into the microwave for 10 minutes and it's just as good.  The recipe can be tweeked with anything that you like on top.  Tonight I substituted the recipe for 1 can of crab & 1/2 package of imitation crab and on one side of dish I used canned salmon.  Here is the recipe I normally use:
2 C uncooked short grain white Rice
approx. 1/2 jar Furikake Rice Seasoning
1 C Sour Cream
1 C Mayo
2 Tbsp Sirracha (can use more of less depending on how hot you like it)
Roasted Nori - individual pieces - **
2 cans of crab meat or 1 pkg of imitation crab shredded 
1 C cooked Shrimp chopped or baby shrimp
Tobiko ( orange tiny fish roe) approx. 1/4 c  aka Masago
2 Green onions sliced thinly
1 tbsp Sugar
approx. 1-2 tbsp Rice Vinegar to sprinkle over hot rice
9 x 13 baking dish 
 Cook rice.  Mix mayo, sour cream & srirracha. Reserve 1/2 c to use as topping sauce.  Add crab & shrimp to remaining sauce. When rice is cooked, fluff with 1/4 container of Furikake, sprinkle with sugar & vinegar.  Mix well. When cool enough press evenly into bottom of baking dish. Evenly spread crab & shrimp mixture over rice. Sprinkle again with even layer of Furikake. Then evenly spread or sprinkle on Tobiko. Top green onions. 
Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Serve warm or at room temp (it's good cold out of the frig the next day too)  
Spoon mixture into pieces of Nori & top w/ sauces if you like.

"Just Roll With It"
Click HERE to purchase my sushi art!

Dim Sum vs Sushi

Friday, August 2, 2013

Happy Dances...

... well they just make me Happy!
Chain, Chain, Chain...Chain of....
what's that guy cooking on his porch? hahaha

Friday, July 26, 2013


... are good for your heart.. and art!
Jelly Beans!
I heart the art of stop motion!
The eternal God is thy refuge,
 and underneath are the everlasting arms:
and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee;
 and shall say, Destroy them.
Deuteronomy 33:27 

Monday, July 15, 2013

1, 2, 3...Snap!...

... I embroidered out this free design I found at 
and put it in a frame late last night.
I changed the suggested color red to brown.
(yes my wall really is dark butterscotch)
All the designs I have sewn out from this site
 have been great except for the pizza slice; it was a little loopy & my embroidery foot kept getting stuck underneath the stitches. I was testing this one out to make a little case
 for my new camera but when it was finished I thought it would be great on the wall in the guys bathroom. 
It has a few puckers because I used a satin type fabric & I didn't pull the iron out. If I have time today
 I will do that but I thought it was so cute I'd share it. 
How many of us have a picture of ourselves as child in the bathroom? hahaha OhSnap!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Finished Clowning Around...

...I just finished a commission for newlywed performers. It is to be a wedding gift for two fun & talented people! He is a professional clown and she is a professional dancer in Las Vegas.  I had so much fun clowning around with them! It's an honor to be a part of the beginning of their life together.


I also listed a couple of ACEOs in my Etsy shop today.
Darla's her name, Dunk Tank's her Game!
I love her & had fun creating her.
Never stop clowning around & have a great Sunday!