Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Lady

I am calling my husband "My lord" lately and he, in return, is addressing me as "My lady."  We can blame this all on my new obsession with Downton Abbey.  Seriously though, how cool is it that I have a husband willing to play this game with me while we are seering steaks on the BBQ?

Surely the series is not for everyone but if you are a romantic at heart and love to take a trip into yesteryear, then I suggest you hook up to hulu or Netflix and get caught up quickly.  You might soon be craving tea and wishing for servant bells instead of the traditional ding dong door bell. 

I find that there are moments that the wording of the characters flow right into my heart and I promise myself to remember the words.  On this occassion, I grabbed a quote from a conversation between the two sisters and placed it to graphic.  So that I surely would not forget.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2013 Pantone Color Of The Year! Emerald 17-5641


and the complete color report which is a need
to visit link as the chart is interactive on the website.  Click it to go there :

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tra la la boom de ay...a mix up of medly in a child's mind

How on earth did I mix up the Tra La La Boom De Ay?  I will tell you:
Music has always grabbed me. When I was young I loved the Banana Splits show.
 The opening song was a Tra La La song.

Then the Dilly Sisters had their part there also by singing Tar-ra-ra-Boom-De-ay.

Somehow my mind mixed the two together and created a Tra La La Boom De Ay which has never gone away and remains the song in my head today.  In fact I like my version best

...and that is just what art is!

Taking a few concepts from a few different places and creating something new is art. It is something that my brain does on it's own and I don't have to try too hard at it. If you take a moment, you might see art trying to form in your own mind also. It is ok to look at other people's work and be inspired by it. When you are learning it is good to try and recreate just what they did but we should never take credit for it. You just use re-creation as a student to test your own skills while you are learning a new medium. Then you can take a few concepts or mediums to create your own work.

I think this is why we love Pinterest.   It isn't quite as hard as it seems and lurking inside of everyone is some form or art waiting to come out because that is how God created us.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Just Beclaws I love you....

Just a little note to send out before blessing the one I love with dinner and quality time.  Feel free to use it to bless someone you love too.  (For personal use only)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

JéVille and Confessions of a Novice with Wilton Decorating Tips

I hit the JéVille with my honey today and scored a bunch of Wilton Decorating Tips to add to my little collection at home.  At .25 cents each,  I decided I could give the doubles to the kids for their play and hide a good set away for myself. Once home, I began searching out what each tip would do and decided to keep a running chart to make playing with frosting easier and lots more fun. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner.  I suppose I thought it was a silly waste of time.  In reality,  searching through my Wilton tips each time I wanted to try a new style was the real time waster.   Here are my current Wilton Tips:

I have been really anticipating trying these Hydrangea Cupcakes from over at  Glorious Treats because they look like something I could handle.  I have learned from my past mistakes and now make sure that I not only have the correct ingredients but also the correct utensils.  In this case it would be the Wilton 2D, which I still do not have.  Sigh. On some projects you can get away with using a similar tip while on other projects it would be a let down to even try.
Then there is this Ombre Cake I have been coveting for over a year now:
(Made with a Wilton 21, my 22 will take on the task quite nicely!) 

If you head over to Wilton you will find everything you need to help you get started. 
It is easier than you think!  Here are some pictures of my VERY FIRST attempt at making fluffy cupcakes for my daughters 18th birthday:
It wasn't perfect but it was still so beautiful and I can assure you that the girls had no problems eating them up!

Someday soon I should blog about that wonderful and super, super easy frosting.  There is a secret to it that one of my friends once taught me.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Salmon Cakes...Not Patties...No Bread Added!

I did it!  I created a salmon patty that is baked, not fried, has no bread and tastes outta this world to me.

When I was young, we ate salmon patties often.  The thing I found distasteful about them was that they carried too much of a breaded flavor.  I came up with my own rendition that mixed traditional crab cakes and salmon patties minus the bread or crackers.  They came out moist, flavorful, held together really well and they were frugal gourmet to boot. 

2 14.74oz cans Chicken of the Sea Traditional Canned Salmon
1 bulb of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Cooking Olive Oil
1/4 cup of finely chopped Red Onion
1/3 cup of finely chopped celery with some baby leaves still attached (taken from the heart of the celery stalk)
1/3 cup of peeled, grated, then chopped Carrot
3 Eggs
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese (I just used the kind that comes in the green bottle)
Paprika to taste (I used about 3-4 Tablespoons)
Kosher Salt to taste ( I used about 3 Tablespoons)
Pepper to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon)
2 Tablespoons of Crushed Basil. 

Break apart the Garlic Bulb. Cut off the root end of each clove.  Lightly saute on setting 3 (low heat) until the skins pull back from the flesh. I go by the delicious smell.  When the scent is a delicate garlic flavor in the kitchen I know it is done.  Save the pan and oil for another step. Squeeze the end of the garlic and pop them out of the skins.  Discard skins.
If you are not accustomed to working with canned salmon, this part will...well, make you want to throw in the towel but DON'T.  Trust me.  De bone and break apart salmon, remove large skins as much as possible. Knead the salmon, small amounts at a time between your fingers, from one bowl to another. Break tiny bones by rolling with your fingers.  Be certain to get all of the sockets out. If it feels offensive in my hands it will feel offensive in the mouth.  Do not worry that some of the tiny soft bones remain as this will go undetected to the pallet.  It should look like very tossed canned tuna when done.

Finely chop Garlic, Red Onion, Celery, and peeled Carrots. (I use an old hand crank salsa maker to do this)

Return the Garlic, Red Onion, Celery, and Carrots to the pan and gently saute (I use heat setting 4) until lightly tender.  Keep the cover on the pan in between tossing to keep all of the wonderful flavors for your cakes.  I watch for a bit of an orange base to form in the mixture as this lets me know that it is done.  For me this takes about 8-10 minutes. Remember...gentle not hot.

While the mixture is sauteing, Add Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Basil and Parmesan Cheese to the Salmon and toss until it is well mixed together.  I use a large, shallow bowl and sprinkle the seasonings evenly over the top so that it mixes well.  When you think it is good, give it another quick toss.  Pretend you are Julia Child's.  Drink Wine if this helps. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Let the sauteed mixture cool for about 5 minutes then add it to the salmon mixture and toss very well. 

Add three Eggs to Salmon Mixture and blend well.

Using a 1/4 measuring cup, firmly pack and then shake out onto a baking sheet keeping the form.  You should get 14 cakes from this.  Don't smash them down. I use a seasoned baking sheet but if yours is not yet seasoned, then just a bit of oil to keep it from sticking.  Not too much as you don't want it to create a fried crust...unless you love that.

Here is the trick.  You will need to have a second baking sheet ready to use.  Place them into the oven for 10 minutes.  Pull them from the oven, flip them upside down onto a clean baking sheet and return them to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.  Pull them from the oven and place them back onto the first baking sheet and cover them with foil until they are ready to be served.  This keeps them moist and allows the flavors to infuse.  

Best Frugal Gourmet Salmon Cakes I have ever, ever tasted!  Next I will venture to create a double batch and freeze them.  I will also experiment with making mini sized scoops for hors d'oeuvres to freeze and have ready. 

I created a lemon and cayenne pepper sauce to top it off and while the flavor was complimentary, it can be better so I will hold off on sharing a sauce recipe until I fine tune this.  The cakes though...absolutely wonderful!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Out of the Fire.

It has been a terribly hard week here in Colorado with the monster fire that is comsuming our mountains.  It is impossible to express the swirling of emotions within us here. I woke from a restless night of sleep with the words "LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART" looming inside of my heart and then put it to art.  For now, it is all that my heart can speak because the emotions are so overwhelming.

I created my own rendition of the "Love Heart" with the tops of the heart coming together, representing two people leaning upon each other for support and rest.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crabby People

What is it about the summer time that causes the kids to get so flippin' grumpy with each other?  I made this after I'd had a full day of crabby and was fed up.  It is vintage seaside inspired and I am really loving my little crabby guy.  I made sure that it had a bleed (extra room around the edges) so that I could frame and hang it on the wall.  Feel free to use for personal use only.

I am hooking up with Rednesday over at:

Cherry World 1

Monday, June 11, 2012

JéVille Shopping / Recover Patio Furniture on The Cheap and in 15 minutes!

The sunny season has hit our area and it is time to enjoy the back patio once again. Upon inspection, I realized that our lawn furniture had finally hit an all time low in presentation. Prices of replacement cushions shocked me.  It would cost about $75-$100.00 to replace the cushions on the swing alone.

I told myself I would think of something...

and I did!

I set out to JéVille (My fancy word for Goodwill) to find something to create covers out of, 
possibly a large vintage drapery set.

A better idea came along quite by chance.

As I was searching, a few pillow shams popped out at me from the rack. They were king size and just the right measurements...IF I removed the seams! A little more searching uncovered other pieces to the set. I needed more and only had stay in the same color scheme to make it all dance together.
Once I was at home, I took everything outside and worked on the back patio to see if my idea would fall together. It was a GO, so the linens took a super hot bath in my machine then tumbled in the dryer...twice...on high setting. I decided if they fell apart from extreme cleaning conditions they would not hold up to the summer heat. Amazingly, they all come out beautifully. I then followed by ironing. 
I was careful to keep the seams, shown above, depending on the size of the cushion being covered. It took minutes to rip out the ruffle seam on the shams that needed more room for wider cushions. 

For 1.99 each and one of them were 50% off it was well worth the experiment.
Total price for recovering...$9.00 !

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jack LaLanne Episode #1

As I promised to myself,  I began with the free episodes of the vintage Jack LaLanne Exercise Series.  It was so easy and I don't know why I thought beginning exercise after my illness would be so difficult.  I really did put it off for months.   I love his words of wisdom that he shares as you exercise. I think the best part is that he begins with exercises for a body that is not used to much movement.  His videos make me happy.  On with the day now!

Popsicle Celebration Invitations!

My Little Tori's Graduations Celebration has come and gone but the requests on the invitations are still coming in so we will share them here for you to download and cut for yourselves. Since graduation season has passed, I have updated the invites to cover a basic slumber party as well as a summer celebration. You will just have to fill in the info on the back for yourself. Simple simple.

I would post a tut on how to add the sticks but it is super easy. Print out the four invitations on stock paper. Fill in the information prior to adding the stick. Cut out each of the four print outs but don't cut them in half. Fold them in half, cut out a slit with a knife, razor, or exact o and slide the stick into place. Glue together with a hot glue gun. We tried three different glues and the hot glue gun worked best. Tie off with your ribbon dazzle of choice.

Be certain that you do a print preview to make sure that the print out is within the printing lines for you printer.
Once your print preview is correct, do a test print to be certain your color settings are pleasing (this will save you ink wasted on mistakes).
Save the picture to your computer and do not print directly from right clicking off the blog because this adds odd tags on the paper bottom.
Be sure your print is set to LANDSCAPE

Check "Fit to Page" to adjust if it is not within boundaries.
Make sure "Fit to FRAME" is off if it is not within boundaries.
I originally printed at normal setting but they weren't as vibrant as shown so I did a reprint in Color Picture mode and they were gorgeous on stock paper!

Slumber Party Birthday Celebration!

Summer Celebration! (No Slumber Party)

I hope you enjoy them and would be really happy if you shared your celebrations with us also.  Please,  only personal use on these invitations.  It would make me sad to see that someone stole these to sell as a profit when I am offering them as a gift.  I can personalize your invites for $5.00, just contact me with the information.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tired People

Is it just me or does my Momma look like a movie star or model? She was neither. She is just my Mom and a totally cool one at that! I always admired my mother's soft curves and firm body. It is not a shape that you see much today when compared to the overly thin and muscular shape that is so popular now. This is what she terms her "Jack LaLanne Body." I deem it the "Marilyn Monroe" look.I woke up this morning with an idea to put together a little wake up routine to exercise my bumm, which seems to be going south on me. I started searching out exercises on good ol' youtube and wasn't really excited with the body tones offered today. Everyone wants the thin, muscle popping look these day. I don't. Bite me. I don't want it. If I am going to strive for something, it had best be what I want...right? So I pulled out pics of my Momma and remembered what she did to stay healthy and vivacious.
I came upon Jack LaLanne's website that was put together prior to his passing. I immediately fell in love with his happy attitude and found just the connection I needed to keep me moving towards creating the vision I have in my head.

I found plenty of gentle morning exercises to keep me going for quite a while. Super excited here!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Circles ~ Creative Stepping Stones

My instructor Betz hooked us on TED.  Every artsy person needs to know about TED.  It is like a nice glass of sweet tea for the thirsty creators heart.  If you are reading this, you are creative and will get something out of watching.  In this video, Tim Brown talks about PLAYING.  As adults some of us have to relearn this.  I know I did!  I have included a page of circles so that you can also give the circles project a go just to see where it might lead to.  Feel free to share your outcome if you dont have someone to play with at home. 
Click on the image to print.  Be sure to check your print preview for the necessary adjustments.

Gesture Drawing ~ Creative Stepping Stones

Summer School started up for me this last Friday.  It is almost sickening how fun my schooling has become and at moments I feel guilty for taking time away to learn to play because that is just what I am doing as I obtain my degree.

All of my instructors have been phenomenal but today I want to focus on Betz.  This is the second time I have taken one of her classes.  She is the master of unlocking the potential inside of us and it feels like such a gift that I have to pass it along so that others can ride the creative wave too.  This first week we are dabbling in drawing.  I wasn't feeling much either way about this subject since I felt I could not draw one lick but leave it to Betz to get a river of excitement flowing from learning a new medium.  Every artsy fartsy person needs artistic stepping stones and what I share with you truly are gifts that I am offering for you to GIVE TO YOURSELF.  It will take all of three minutes for you to use your arm and a little area of your brain to see what I am speaking of. 
I can't share every technique but do want to touch on some of the highlighted techniques we are utilizing this week.   The first is GESTURE DRAWING.  It is a technique that is used to train the arm to use movement and the eye to stop looking at the subject and focus on shape instead.  It is quick and usually lasts between thirty seconds to one minute so they term it Rapid Execution.  I found this little youtube demo to set an example. 

If you are new to this like me, you will not be good at it and you aren't supposed to be good at it either. These are exercises.  

Here are some models for you to give it a try if you don't want others to see what you are up to.  I promise though that this is a fun activity to do with others.

Betz has us doing 6 of these per day to get the gist of it all. A school pencil and any paper are fine to use.  If you do some, please feel free to share your first attempts or second or third.....