Saturday, March 28, 2009

mmmm Dinner!

We have had a week of rain. It hasn't really been cold out but just wet and rainy. Tonight for dinner we decided to make a soup I made up a month or so ago. It is soooo easy and tasty, you will want it for leftovers the next day too!

Chicken Curry and Black Bean Soup

(recipe below)

(serves 4-6 people)
Approx 8 cups of water
1-2 boneless chicken breast
2-3 chk. bouion cubes
2 Med. carrots chopped
1 small - med. onion
1 can of Black Beans (15 oz.)
2 garlic cloves
curry powder to taste
pat of butter or margarine (or veg/canola oil if preferred)
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 cup or so of Rice wine vinegar
(optional) 15oz can of fat free chicken broth
Fill pot not quite 1/2 way with water and boil chicken whole for 5 - 10 min. Add curry powder to the water while chk is boiling. Chop all your veggies and then saute all (carrots, onion and garlic) in a pat of butter and sprinkle with curry powder and salt and pepper. Saute for only a few minutes until they begin to soften. Meanwhile remove Chk. from water. Add your veggies to the broth and then chop up your chicken and add it to the soup. Empty a drained can of black beans to the soup (and chicken broth is needed or desired). Depending upon desired about of soup you can add more water if needed. And last but not least add approx. 1 cup of Rice Wine Vinegar (this is what makes the soup)! Let it all simmer 20-40 min and serve with crackers or bread.
NOTE: To make this soup vegetarian substitute in tofu for chicken, veggie broth and veggie bouion cubes, add mushrooms for extra flavor...just that easy!

So today we had our dump truck of dirt delivered (pictures coming soon). It came about 9am this morning and I scrabbled to get shoes on London as we thought he might enjoy watching a huge dump truck dump dirt on our driveway- yipee. He was saying "DIRT" all funny.
Scott spent several hours outside in the nasty rain hauling wheel barrow after wheel barrow of dirt to our future garden spot. Meanwhile, I stayed inside with London working on these. There are 3 of them and they should be finished in the next day or so...little ACEO. I am thinking I will price them at $14 each instead of the normal $12...they were a lot of work (but I loved every minute of it!)

ACEO originals - "Little Spring - blue, green and red" in progress -or rather waiting to be polyurethaned. They will be in the shop soon :) OK now tomorrow is dedicated to TAXes...which I meant to start today- YUCKY.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Multiple Rainy Days

New piece that is almost done...they always look so much better once polyurethaned so keep an eye out. It will be finished later today but we are suppose to have a rainy weekend so I may not be able to get it photographed until next week.
Speaking of rain, we have had to delay our delivery of dirt for the garden. Hopefully we can get the garden going next weekend b/c the seeds planted indoors almost 6 weeks ago are ready to spread their roots and claim their chunk of the earth.
Now if you have children then you know all about being trapped indoors on rainy days. You know one rainy day here and there, no big deal, right? Well when the whole week is rainy, and you have a toddler who lives to play outside, then you have yourself a recipe for many tantrums. We have had to get a little creative this week so here are some shots of all the fun we have had while trapped inside.

This is one of my favorite things we did. London loves to color and for now he is still in diapers so we always have several large boxes waiting to go to the recycling center. Normally we just color at the table and it provides approx. 8 - 12 minutes of entertainment. Well tack on an extra 10 mins of fun when you can sit in a box and color. Almost as fun as drawing outside with chalk (almost).

Next we had the fortunate pleasure of getting the Toddler Water table delivered that I ordered online for London last week. Normally we will play with this outside as it requires your clothes get soaked and splashing in the house gets old for mommy. But it came the other day so we had to test it out (rain or shine). As you can see London started out fully dressed.
We played before naptime. When it was time to go down he did not put up a fight (score I wore him out...wrong). He actually never fell asleep but just played in his crib. I decided to be a nice mommy and keep the water table set up for him to play with after nap time which I think was the problem. He kept wanting more and more water and finally it was just a big mess on the kitchen floor so I had had enough. He watched me slowly empty one Nalgen bottle at a time. It was a slow and painful process until total meltdown while I tried to find somewhere to hide it. Ah the joys of being a mother...I acutally sat down and laughed at the whole situation. Needless to say we are waiting for the sunshine to come back out before we play with the water table (outside) again. Although the toys that came with it make for great bath fun!

Yup he tried to climb in... LOL

Lots of bath times...b/c bath's are fun! (do you see all the drawing he has done in the tub with his tub crayons- how can I not let him)?

London hanging out in our dog Alex's crate...yee haw

Granny and Grandaddy stopped by yesterday. London ran circles while singing and we all thought it was cute.

We are supposed to have 2 or 3 more days of this rainy stuff. Hopefully the sun will peek back out soon so this mommy does not go insane. tee hee :) We have a play date this morning and then we are all going to eat some of the best Thai food (from a resturant) around...hello Bo Thai! Yum

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunny days call for lots of Shade.

Original drawing on the wood...then comes the colored pencil and then fabric. I love mixing mediums and I think if my studio was not upstairs and I didn't have a "get into everything" toddler, I would be up there mixing messy mediums a lot more. ha

"I Wish you Over the Moon" - new original fabric/colored pencil piece in the shop now. I really love how she turned out. She is a little different then most of my girls with her short hair. Come see her in the shop Here.

"Green Patch II" - original fabric on wood piece in the shop now Here
Slightly different from the first green patch piece but just as lovely.
I have to say it has been beautiful around here lately. We are joining the pool again this summer but I am a little concerned with my (and London's since he is so young) sun exposure. I have been sun blocking up with my ultra sunblock (blue lizard) and yesterday we were out working on the garden and I helped Scott a little bit with a leaky faucet. Then when London got up later in the afternoon we went out to play with chalk. I actually got slightly sunburned right on my clavicle/chest area where I had my first spot of Basal cell skin cancer in Nov. I am freaking out. Is the best sunblock not enough to keep my skin lilly white (and just as importantly London's)? I usually wear my gigantic hat but just got caught up in the day yesterday. I will have to figure out something more then regularly sun blocking and wearing big hats...the sun can not get through to me. ugh

Look what we did on Saturday!

The elementary school down the street - which I am assuming is where London will go when he is old enough - had a Spring Fling Festival. Here is Scott and London going down the giant slide. My camera was being a bit poky so I didn't get any really good shots. This was the only inflatable London got on..he could have cared less about the others and really just wanted to run around in the empty gym- oooh fun. Then we went into the cafeteria and had hamburger and hot dog plates (chips and a drink) for $3 buck each..such a deal and a fun afternoon. I love when Scott gets to be home the whole weekend and we can hang as a family! yay

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Spring (and my brother's B-day)!

Gathering - Apples - original fabric on wood piece that sold right away (to one of my favorite ladies). Here she is sitting pretty on the georgous moss in my front yard. Prints are available in the shop now.
Well it is the first day of Spring and my brother's 34th birthday. It is strange to that my brother is younger then my hubby by like a year and a half. He is my big brother and he always will be and it is just strange for me to think of that.
It is also Friday and I am looking forward to a weekend with the family (my husband and London) home and working on the garden. We plan on ordering our dump truck of really good dirt next week, so this weekend the frame will be built. We have scratched the original spot we were going to put the garden due to the lack of full sun. And in true yard fashion (and just like the last house) we will be putting our garden smack in the middle of the front yard. I can't wait. My herb garden made it through the winter and I have been using my herbs to cook with as usual. So fantastic to be able to use them all year round! I love being able to grow things!

Here are a few things I have cooked up the past 2 nights...yummm!

Plantains are a favorite of mine and who new that a ripe plantain fried lightly in a little canola oil at home is better then almost any resturant I have had them in (close 2nd to The Sugar Shack in Ocean Isle)
Orange Ginger Chicken
2-4 chicken breast
2 cups of Orange Juice
Nub of Ginger (shredded with a cheese shredder)
2 cloves of Garlic (shredded)
Dash of salt and pepper
Maridnade the chicken for at least 20 mins in all the ingredients then chop up and saute. Serve with Fried plantains and Jasmine rice...excellent dinner! (and simple)

This was my experimental Meatloaf and wow was is tasty!
Cranberry Turkey Loaf
1 lb of lean Ground Turkey meat
1/2 can of cranberry sauce (with whole cranberries)
2 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 egg
3 pieces of honey wheat bread chopped
zest of one orange
nub of ginger shredded
handful of fresh sage chopped
Dash of sea salt and pepper
Mix it all up and put it in a lightly greased bread pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 min. Served with garlic smashed potoatoes, remainder of cranberry sauce and green beans.
It turned out so moist and yummy, we will be making this one again for sure.

My little artist. We spent several hours outside yesterday making puddles and drawing in them with chalk. I ordered a toddler water table for him last night and I am sure it will be many more hours of entertainment when it gets here. We are ready for summer and afternoons at the pool. Won't it be so fun this year now that he is a little bigger and a little more independant. Well we are off to play outside and enjoy today's sunshine :)

Spring is here...Yay!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Featuring "the paper bead girl" aka my friend Vicki!

About a year ago I met this wonderful customer of mine named Vicki. She bought a few pieces from me and quickly became a friend. We actually began chatting on the phone here and there about this fantastic idea/invention she had. Finally after a little push of incouragement I help Vicki go from being a buyer only to a proud shop owner. I am in no way taking much credit b/c for someone who was convinced she had no artist talent..she sure did! Her shop has been very successful and her invention (paper bead rolling tool) has been such a hit. I think she has really help others who enjoyed making paper beads but did not have a uniformed or quick way. Also, I think she has brought the art of making them to many people who never would have tried otherwise.
Vicki's etsy shop is HERE or watch a video of her showing off how to use her fabulous tool HERE
Thanks Vicki for being such a wonderful friend, etsian, facebook friend, supporter and customer of mine!

I always love these bowls and have almost bought them for myself several time (hee hee). I do not see them in her shop right now but I swiped a picture a few weeks ago as I have been meaning to feature her.

Here is her "Paper bead roller X 2" - she sells these things like hotcakes. I believe that she makes each and everyone of them (with a little help from her family) and they are patent don't go try to make your own, just order one from her for $16- What a deal!

Could this purse be any more unique and georgous. Really Vicki has out done herself. She has many other purse designs but this one is my personal favorite!

Here is a close up of a batch of beads she had made and are for sale. They are called Neopolitan and they totally make me think of Baskin Robins- LOL
I encourage all of you to hop on over to Vicki's shop and see all her goodies, you will not be disappointed!

I just put this one up in the shop. It is drawn in black and then digitally colored. I play around with photoshop here and there and am getting a little better. I think this print looks a little better in person. I am slightly obsessed with odd shaped images so I am sure there will be more of these.
She is called "The Looker"

I participated in a show this past Sat. I used to run a show called Starving Artist and I know that sometime you can put all the advertising out there to the world and sometimes the crowds still do not make it. Well, this show was very very slow as the weather was so crappy. It was about 40 degrees and raining cats and dogs. There was actually a 5 K that ran from there that morning and there were 150 think maybe 20 actually showed up to run. I had one good sale and made some good connections. Sometimes networking with other vendors or local folks with connections can make a slow show worth it. Anyway, here was my set up and I will do a little more research with the next show....I think when there is wine and cheese involved the crowd tends to buy more. And who doesn't like a glass of wine to sip on while sitting behind your table of art- ha ha.

Off to venture out in this rain...have a great Monday everyone!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting Ready!

I have a booth in a craft sale on Saturday. It has been since Nov. 2007 since I have done any shows and it has been a lot of work getting ready. I think I am pretty organized so far but I may have to miss my father-in-laws birthday dinner on Friday night b/c there are so many things I can not do until last minute. I have to set up my display and figure out which pieces I will hang and then get them ready to hang and put a hanging tag on them. All of which I can not do until Mr. London is in bed.
Here are a few shots of my art taking over the living room. It looks messy and is mixed in with London's toys but for the most part everything is very organized. LOL
Baskets of work...I hope that some of these sell...Im running out of room! :)

The basket on top has all of my 8.5 x 11 prints in it and the cardboard box has my smaller prints and signs for my table (pens, tape, calculator..etc.)

I have probably almost 200 original and I am not bringing any of my really big pieces...too much to deal with. Plus I really think that people are willing to part with a few bucks here and there but not so much a few hundred. :)

Well, I will take some photos at the show and post those either here or on flicker.
Wish me luck!!!

(art mixed in with my mini trampoline and one of London's toys)

Monday, March 9, 2009

High Hopes...for an Alaskan visit

"Wedding Day" Original Fabric on Wood piece in the shop now.
I love making my own handmade wedding gifts when friends and family get hitched. Thought I would make one for the shop. Also, I have had many request (usually by the couple) in my etsy shop for an original wedding piece depicting them on their special day or as a happy couple. Don't know why but I just love making them!

"Lil Bacon" - Original Fabric on Wood piece in the shop and part of my Mod Kitchen Collection
We tend to eat turkey bacon here at my house for the occasional breakfast or BLT. This one is for all you Bacon Lovers out there!

London and I played together the other morning. I usually love weekends when the hubby is home and doesn't have to work. He snapped a few shots of us, doing what we do. London is playing with playdoh. We get out all of his letter magnets and punch then intot he playdoh for the reverse letter...Oh so fun.

Now..yes I am in my PJ and planting seeds in my seed starter. Many are popping up already and are just waiting for the dump truck of good dirt to arrive...oh and the warm weather.
I did plant 2 blackberry bushes and 2 raspberry plants yesterday. Going to order my blueberry bushes in a few weeks and we will be that much closer to wonderful homemade goodies!

I am getting ready for a show in Rock Hill on Sat. My etsy shop will be a bit bare for a few hours (all but my prints). Hoping to sell a bunch as I would love to be able to buy a plane ticket to go visit my sister in Alaska (she leaves in about a month to go back for 6 months). I rarely get to go on trips far far away and I just know I would love to visit Alaska. Once London was born and I quit my job we have been on a very tight budget. Keeping my fingers crossed that my plan works out...maybe I will get to go in August. I've got high HOPES!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My New ArtFire Studio

Well in looking to branch out a bit from etsy I have opened up an ArtFire Studio. I am just selling prints right now to start with. I may eventually sell some originals there as well. The site is still in Beta but is growing fast. They have some great features, one of them being the rapid cart. I have a link to it right here on my blog if you scroll down and look to the left. This means that you can buy prints directly from my ArtFire studio from my blog securely in about 30 seconds. I find that to be really cool! You can find my artfire shop Here. Feel free to come stop by, I am sure that I will throw in a few extras to my very first customer there!
We had a totally unexpected snowy night the other night (March 1st). Of course we had so much rain the few days before that the snow barely stuck out here. Scott and I ventured out late night after London had gone to bed to see how much was coming down. He did get the next day off of work but the roads were not bad out here at all - at least not compared to Charlotte.

We tried to collect snow to make Snow Cream with London in the morning but didn't really get enough to make any.

Scott and I on the front porch a little after Midnight.

It was quite chilly out and we kept capturing our breaths when trying to capture the snow.

"French Toast" - Original fabric on wood piece new in my Etsy shop now...part of my Mod Kitchen Collection. I am so pleased with the way this one turned out. Hoping someone snatches it up soon!
Alrighty, off to get the little man up and off we go outside to play in the sunshine and drawn with sidewalk chalk (a daily activity we enjoy).