Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beans, Bears, and Peanuckles... oh my!

Oh my… weeks sure do go by quickly! Here’s a super quick look at the highlights… 

I enjoy messing around with recipes and adding my own little twists. This week I wanted to use the last half of the bag of Royal Corona beans I had left from my last Rancho Gordo purchase. (Rancho Gordo is a purveyor of Heirloom beans… each variety that I have tried has been AMAZING! Definitely not your grocery store dried bean.) The Royal Cordona is a HUGE bean that is so yummy and creamy once cooked. I initially used this recipe (with minor adjustments) when I cooked a batch a couple of months ago. Now it was time to relook at the recipe and make a few changes that I had made note of the last time I made it, plus use some extra ingredients I had in the fridge. It’s fairly quick to put together… especially if you have an Instant Pot to cook the beans in! (I posted my version of the recipe in my recipe box for easy printing.) It was a FANTASTIC meal!

Shrimp with White Beans, Sausage, & Arugula

About mid week I got VERY HAPPY mail… I finally received my “reward” for a Kickstarter that I supported… BEARS vs. BABIES!!! I backed another fabulous game a couple of years ago by the same creators, called Exploding Kittens. I know this new game is going to be a big hit too. I coerced Norm to play a round with me, and even on the very first try it was a blast. I’m looking forward to playing in a couple of days with both of my daughters when they’re home for a brief visit! 

Fun in progress!

I was hoping to work on a LOT more art than I actually got to this week… but at least I took some time to work on the Diva Challenge #325 by guest blogger, Jessica Davies. She challenged us to play with the tangle, Peanuckle, by Molly Hollibaugh. This is a tangle that I have only used a couple of times, and I wanted to explore using it a bit differently than I had previously. I really enjoyed "Peanuckling aRound" with this exercise… Thank you, Jessica!

Diva Challenge #325, "Peanuckling aRound"

I used a Tombow Mono Drawing Pen for this tile that I received from Tombow to test. WOW! I used the 01 and boy did I love the feel of the tip as it tickled the tile... easily transitioning from very fine to slightly bolder lines as you can see in the texture of my tile. The pen weight felt a little lighter in my hand than the Micron. The ink is a deep black, and dries quickly to avoid smudging and streaking. The ink flowed steadily and it made it easy to achieve crisp, precise lines. I really like that the top of the pen (the cap) has the nib size embossed on it. I'll still be able to quickly see the size at a glance, even after months of use. I've always loved my Microns and Copic MultiLiners... now there is a NEW pen to add to the group of favorites!

I’m looking forward to the week ahead! I hope that your week brings you happy moments and time to create.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Catching up and finally back to art…

It’s been an interesting past few months… I’ve done some traveling to Tangle U in Florida plus additional time to explore and visit Norm’s mom, a family vacation at an amazing ranch in Arizona, and Southern Utah while my dad had surgery. We also moved our youngest daughter to a new place to live while at college, and dealt with a scary health situation that my husband had. Norm is still recovering, and hopefully he will be completely healed soon. 

Needless to say, besides the Tangle U portion (WHICH WAS AWESOME) of my traveling, I haven’t had a lot of time to create. The past couple of weeks I’ve been starting to steal bits of time here and there and it. feels. so. good! Here are some photos from some of these adventures… (I promise there is art in this post... just scroll quickly past these photos!)

Lovely location of this year's Tangle U
We enjoyed staying here!
A beautiful sunset to welcome us
Wonderful dinner out in Naples... Stone Crab!!!
Alligators near the road in the Everglades. HUGE!!
Lovely time together with relatives.
Celebrating Norm's birthday and enjoying dim sum.
Seeing a Perfect Circle at the Hollywood Bowl.
Family vacation in Arizona
We had such a wonderful time together!
Leila bravely holding the DEAD rattlesnake!
Cami and roommates
They're so much fun to be around!
Weekend in Santa Barbara. Celebrate Leila's birthday and see Boston at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
I love the scenery of my hometown. Southern Utah.
Lovely morning walk with my mom.
Another walk to see the petroglyphs...
They always leave me in awe...
More than a thousand years old. 
My furry son, Clark, turns 7.
Norm's poor leg... Blood infection/cellulitis. Definitely. not. fun. 

You made it! Now time for the art!

Last week I had the opportunity to perform my civic duty and wait ALL day at the courthouse to see if I would be called as a juror. I was prepared… I brought my sketchbook and pens/pencils. It was a lovely day! Uninterrupted art time is a pretty rare commodity! I played with Eni Oken’s technique for twisted ropes for the first time. I LOVED it! Twisty ropes are so organic. I enjoyed adding some mooka weaving in and out of it.

This week’s diva challenge #324 by guest blogger, Jessica Davies, is “Tangled Hearts.” I decided to explore the twisted ropes a bit more with a very loose heart shape and some additional mooka vines. I thought about my journey as I worked on this tile… about how your heart guides you in the direction you should take, yet many times you have distractions or pretty shiny things that mislead you towards a path that may direct you away from the truth of your heart. This is my “hearts journey," a reminder to focus on my path and stay true to my self/heart.

"Hearts Journey" Diva Challenge 324

My Inner Light girl has been patiently waiting for me to finish her for months. I was stuck for awhile as I considered how I could express/paint her inner glow and show her values/goals/mantras. I think I was a little afraid of finishing it and it not being what I had visualized in my mind. I finally forced myself past that barrier and started gluing the dimensional pieces down and added additional layers of color/shading/details… and then it happened… I had that moment when I looked at it and said… it’s done. Here she is preparing for her photo shoot in my lightbox. 

It’s wonderful to be back in this space, inspired by so many, and creating art.

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