Thursday, October 30, 2014

Breaking out of my rut.

Boy, have I been in a creative rut.  

That's not to say life hasn't been good, my summer was great, the kids started school, I still have a job, we are all healthy and goes on as normal but I have felt an utter lack of creativity.  

I'm very thankful for the job I have had for the past 8 years.  An oppotunity to work from home that fell in my lap when both my children were under 3 and I was unemployed and wondering what was next.  How good it is to work from home, my kids only in part time preschool, my schedule flexible enough that I can take them to the zoo or volunteer at school.  And yet...I never felt like I was really on the right path.

And so...several years ago I started painting.  I've even sold a canvas or two.
And I returned to jewelry making and did a little craft show circuit during the holidays to supplement my income.

 But lately I walk by my art table and feel no pull.  I pack my index cards and pens in my bag but they return home in the same condition.  The last art I created was in my travel journal that was stolen, along with many other possessions, on our last day of a lovely trip to Maui.  It's a story for another day, but perhaps having my journal stolen left a bitter taste in mouth.  With the holidays coming I at least need to start some jewelry making but I sit in front of my beautiful beads and stones, and...nothing.

And so it was one day while chatting with a friend we decided that over coffee, we would have a brainstorming session to see if we could figure out what our true paths are and how do we get there?

And we did meet over coffee and pear muffins.  My friend and I brainstormed and wrote out notes and encouraged each other.  There was such a positive energy about what we were doing.  We didn't walk away from the coffee shop with new jobs or new paths but we walked away feeling like we were working toward something better.  Not stagnant but moving.

Later that day I picked up a paintbrush and I felt hopeful, positive energy flowing all around me.  
Rut broken.

Paint Party Friday

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Green Emporer

In the 1976 my family moved to London for a year.  That summer before the London school year started, and the summer of 1977 after our sabbatical in London was over, my family and I lived in this VW Westfalia pop up top van.  It was a nomadic life moving from campground to campground.  We loved that VW, we named it the Green Emporer and would sing happy birthday to it every time the odometer reached a milestone number.  

Typical meal at a rest stop or campground.
We collected stickers at many of the towns we stopped in to stick to the back of the van.
My older brother was 10, I was 7 and my baby brother only a few months old.
Bath time.
Back home with California plates.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ICAD's...what happened?

#22 Sharpie

Boy, oh boy...not sure what happened to me over the summer but I fell off the ICAD train.  Here are two stragglers.

Friday, June 27, 2014

ICADS 15 - 21

Isn't life strange sometimes? I don't feel that I am doing anything different from last summer yet I struggle to find them time to keep up with this blog this year. Last year was easy, blog posts all the time...where does the time go?

I really love linking up with Paint Party Friday but I try to wait until I have actually painted! Since two of my index cards from this group were actually painted with acrylics and a brush, I'm happy to share.


#17 Acrylic, pencil, Micron on paper, my version of a Gustav Klimt piece

The face...she needs a little tweaking...but overall I am pleased and this was a fun exercise

Another Klimt inspired card for #19. Layers of Sharpie and colored pencil
#16 acrylic on paper

#20 Micron and Sharpies

#21 Micron and Sharpies

#15 Micron

#16 Pencil hedgehog doodles

Paint Party Friday



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

White Beans and Bacon with Crispy Sage

I'm not a meal planner so when it comes time to make a dinner I usually just look to see what I have and if I don't know what to make I turn to Google.  Last week I googled "white beans and bacon."  A few recipes came up but the one that caught my eye was a medieval recipe with a modern counterpart.  I was on my iPhone so I couldn't see the whole website but later realized it's a blog of recipes based on Game of Thrones books. 
How cool is that?
I didn't have all the ingredients handy so I checked my veggie garden
and here is my recipe based on the original. 
(see below for link to the original recipe and the cool blog called In At The Crossroads)
 4 cups cooked white beans* 
1 package nitrate free bacon, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 large kale leaves, tough stems removed and chopped
handful of sage leaves
Cooking oil
Cook bacon until crispy, set aside and drain most of bacon fat from pan. 
Reserve remaining bacon fat.
Add a tablespoon of oil, I use grapeseed for high heat cooking like this.
Heat oil then carefully add the sage leaves.  Do not leave the pan, once the sage leaves start to turn darker they need to be taken out of the oil, they can burn very quickly.  Set crispy sage on papertowel and lightly salt.  Set aside.
Add a bit more oil if needed, then saute onions and kale until soft.  Add garlic and saute for one minute more.  Add beans and bacon and a few tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat (optional, but it adds tons of flavor.)  Mix all in pan just until everything is heated back up.  Add pepper to taste, you shouldn't need any salt, the bacon should add more than enough.
Spoon onto plates then top with crispy sage.
I served mine with gluten free rolls.
Everyone in my family loved this, the kids went back for seconds and no leftovers!

*I always cook my own beans. Besides being much cheaper than canned, I am saving all the sodium and BPA's you get from canned beans.
Original recipe here

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ICAD's 8-14

Here are my second batch of ICADs for 2014.
As you can see I was in a doodle mood all week.
Watercolor & pen

Pen and pencil

Watercolor & pen

Watercolor, pen & colored pencil

Watercolor, pen & Uni POSCA white pen
Colored pencil & pen

Watercolor & colored pencil
 Join in the fun:

Summer of Color 2014. Week Two. Coral, Teal, Bright White

It's week two of Summer of Color 2014. 
Last week I wasn't thrilled with my art but this week I am quite happy.

Coral & Teal
with a Smudge, Splash or Pop of Bright White
Acrylic on paper

I used a gorgeous painting I found online for inspiration.
/Paint Party Friday