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

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer of Color 2014. Week One. Aqua Blue, Yellow, Hot Pink.

Last year I participated in Summer of Color 2013 a handful of times.  This summer I am determined to keep up and post about every week.  This is week one and the colors are Aqua Blue, Yellow and a touch of Hot Pink. 
I thought a tropical fish would be fun and was thrilled to find a refernce photo of a yellow fish with a dash of hot pink on it.  I used watercolor, Sharpie, pencil and white gel pen.  I found this process quite difficult because I tried to make the fish as realistic as I could.  It would have been mush easier had a invented my own fish, I suppose. 
After days of layering on different mediums trying to get the right look this is about as good as it gets and my inner voice says "PUT THE PEN/BRUSH DOWN."
Here is the final result. I'm not one to bash my own work, my philosophy on confidence is that is you are not confident, fake it (this in itself is a form of confidence, no?) 
Anyway, before I ramble (further,) I think this is just "meh." 
It can only get better from here. 
See you next week.

I'm also linking up with Paint Party Fridays.

Paint Party Friday

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ICAD's 1-7 I've missed this!

It's summer but you wouldn't know it here!  We've got June gloom but it's not just foggy here on the coast, it's been downright cold.  Right now I am wearing long sleeves and a knit scarf!  I guess I should mention that there are kids in bathing suits running around my backyard playing in the sprinkler.  I don't know how they manage that, I guess "summer" means no school to them and they are not concerned about the sun shining.
I was excited to get back to doing Index-card-a-day.  If you have not heard of it, it's an art challenge but on by Tammy Garcia at Daisy Yellow.  Every day for two months we create art on an index card and share with fellow ICADers.  Last year I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  I carried around art supplies, I created cards at parties, on boats, at the golf course.  Such fun!
This has been a slow art year for me.  I know some people say, "I must create art every day."  I wish I was one of those people.  I love, love, love being creative but in my life it ebbs and flows.  Ideally I'd be able to create art any and all the time but art often takes a back seat to work, family and daily responsibilities.
That's why I love the index cards.  For the most part they are simple, usually quick and highly satisfying.  Here are my first 7, I have to admit I am feeling a bit rusty.  I'm not really a prompt follower (there are word prompts to follow for inspiration if you want,) but I followed a few this week to help get me started.
It will be fun to see where the journey this year takes me.
Day 1.  Prism.  Sharpie.
Day 2.  Yellow.  Colored pencil, Sharpie.

Day 3.  Watercolor, Sharpie, White Uni Posca pen

Day 4. Watercolor, Sharpie, White Uni Posca pen

Day 5.  Sharpie

Day 6. Sharpie

Day 7.  Sharpie.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A little bit of this and a little bit of that...and summer is starting!

First of all, my Hungarian fold art A is finally done and framed.  I love they way is looks. 
I'm hoping I can start on B soon.  See my process here 

My garden is growing so well!  I am harvesting zucchini, pattypan squash, kale, Hungarian wax peppers, green beans and herbs.  Soon I should have tons of tomatoes, radish and carrots to add to the list.  I've also found a volunteer vine of some sort, I think it's a melon...we will see.



Hungarian Wax Pepper and you can also see the big vine next to it which I think will be some kind of melon...or pumpkin?

I also planted a new rose bed.  This is a neglected area that gets strong afternoon sun, not a lot of water and has poor soil.  Unfortunately it's become our cats toilet more than anything else!  In an attempt to reclaim the area I though thorny rose bushes would do the trick.

  I have mostly hybrid tea roses in my garden so I was excited to plant 3 David Austin roses. They are so much nicer than that stinky patch of dirt.  I amended well with compost and so far the roses (and I) are pretty happy.  The cat is sort of bewildered...

As summer approaches I am gearing up my healthy eating and exercising.  One of my favorite new smoothies is based on a recipe from Harley Pasternak.

1/2 apple, cored
1/2 banana
5 almonds or cashews
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup greek yogurt
Enough milk to fill my blender cup - about 1/2 cup.  Can be any milk or milk substitute.

Blend and enjoy.  It tastes just like apple pie to me. 
Sometimes I also add a handful of spinach.  Just enough to add some greens but not enough to change the flavor.  Usually I can't even taste the spinach.

I've been really into mason jars.  Overnight oatmeal in a mason jar has become my staple breakfast, I don't have a picture but here is my go to recipe:

1/3 cup oats (not quick oats)
1 T chia seeds
1 T maple syrup
1/3 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk

Mix well and seal in a mason jar overnight.  In the morning I add some or all:
1/2 sliced banana
1 teaspoon raw cacao nibs
1 teaspoon chopped pecans

This is just my recipe but you can have fun creating your own.  There are hundreds of variations at your finger tips via Google.

I also chop salads up into large mason jars up to three days ahead and refrigerate.  I add protein like deli ham, hard boiled egg and the dressing when I am ready to eat.  I find it easier to make healthy choices for lunch when these are in the fridge ready to go.

 And last but not least, after months of neglecting my art, it's time to get the creative juices flowing because ICAD's and Summer of Color are starting! 
I loved the ICAD challenge last year.  See the roundup of what I did here.
And this year I am determined to keep up with Summer of Color, too.

Join me! 
Click below for more information: