I keep meaning to share this very clever new company on Etsy. It’s called Sweet Spot Bags.They put the latitude and longitude of your favorite spot in the world (yup, any location at all) on their bags. How neat is that? Here’s a photo of the one I ordered for my daughter. It’s blurry….but you can see more pix on their site.
They are custom made, so the bags take 10-14 days to get, but they are so cute, it’s worth the wait. IF you are looking for a cute lil grad gift, you should check them out. This one is pencil bag size. They also put a label inside the bag. They put the name of her university in there. So much fun!
I am always a fan of handmade and supporting artists before the big stores first. I thought these were just so clever…had to share!
EDIT! I just noticed that Sweet Spot Bags is having a 25% off sale! Use COUPON CODE: SPRINGSALE13
The other day I started a new art journal. I was due for a new one. Every time I begin a new journal, I tend to get overwhelmed by perfectionist tendencies. Something about the blank white page…the need to succeed and do “this” or “that” still takes over. I sit. And I stare at it. And I think about what I want the page to look like. And I get frustrated. And I sit some more. And I do nothing.
But I finally put pen to paper…and got going.
As you can see, I’m still fascinated by faces. Yup. I could draw them all day.
Back to the page beginnings tho…I keep telling myself to say no to the expectations. A lot of times when I don’t know what to do, I start by adding random paint for backgrounds. I used watercolors on these, then other mediums over it. Just the act of getting some color on the page, and moving your hands helps.
A close up…of my creepy girl. She is the one speaking the words on the page. I suppose.
I’ve used some Prismacolor pencils, and lots of Copics on these pages. Once I brought color to the pages…the inhibitions weakened. This page is in the works. But I can already see progress here. And the new page jitters are slipping away.
I cover these feelings and the joy of a new art journal a lot in my Art Journal E-Workshops. It seems like no matter how long you’ve faced the blank page (or canvas, or anything) there is hesitation. Wonder why that is? I’ll keep taking a dose of my own medicine….and just keep those hands moving. On the page. It makes me so happy. It fills me up and makes me complete.
Recently I discovered a great way to make broccoli. Roast it! It’s easy as can be. Truth be told, roasted broccoli isn’t something I would normally be excited about. But after trying it, I am loving it. I had to share it with you. Need a fresh and easy new side dish for dinner? Even if you are a mediocre broccoli fan-you gotta try this version. I bet you will like it.
The texture is different-it’s warm but still crunchy. The flavor is different, too. It’s simple and maybe that’s what I like about it. Not sure. I do know that I’m in love with it. I could eat a whole plate of it.
Chop washed broccoli into bite size pieces and put it on a cookie sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Really lightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Put in a 425 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. Toss it once during the roasting. It’ll be slightly browned and sizzling when it’s ready. If you like, add more sea salt before serving.
Thank you Shauna Niequist..it’s amazing! We have it a couple times a week…it’s that tasty.
Moving on now…I haven’t been painting that much lately and I miss it. I started this piece last week, and am looking forward to working on it more. I like how the color and form fall to the bottom. We’ll see where it goes.
The little girl in our family graduated from college this weekend! We knew it was inevitable. We saw it coming, got the information months ago, and yet nothing quite compares you for that day…that moment that your first born baby graduates from college. So emotional! We couldn’t be more proud of her.
Before we got to the highlight of the day, a few other things had to happen. The first one being The Drake Relays! Allie ran again this year, which was so exciting!
When you get seats up close, your daughter can see you and smile at ya. We liked that a lot.
She ran the 4×800 and her time was 2:21! Not a personal best for her, but really close to her personal best-so yay!
Here is her relay team. Such talented girls. They do a fantastic job for their school.
We went behind the scenes, and were able to track her down after the race, which was pretty neat. Mostly because I got this million dollar photo of her and her daddy. This look on her face is the culmination of four years of sweat, injuries, traveling, sleeping in strange hotels every weekend, challenging yourself, lifting weights, two a day practices….well, you get it. And there it is…all right there. She did it.
This whole picnic came together on the fly, but we all enjoyed ourselves anyway. I made Allie’s fav Chicken Tortellini (Grandma Joan’s recipe), sandwiches, goat cheese and mango chutney with crackers. Beth brought huge grapes and wine. I also made Catherine Hepburn Brownies, Blonde Brownies, and Ritzy Rolos.
After the picnic, we were off to commencement. Here’s the photo you only get to take once in your life. Just my luck, it was blurry!
We got some great shots after though. The fam…
Our crew. My Mom and Sis from Oklahoma City came for the weekend. Aunt Beth came too! Nice looking crew!
Allie and Austin posing for pix…
After graduation we all enjoyed a yummy dinner at downtown, at Gramercy. I forgot to take pix there but it was dark anyway. I did get a pic of Allie and her BFF, Alicia. Cutest and silliest girls!!
On Facebook the other day, folks were asking about her major etc. Allie majored in graphic design and minored in web design. She was the first in her class (design) to get a job.
What’s better than being a college grad? Being an employed college grad. She is working as a graphic designer in Des Moines, where she has been interning the last year. She worked really hard to get where she is. She is as happy as can be. Even though she is in Des Moines, she will always be a Husker at heart.
So, like I mentioned in at in my last post, made the Green Well Salad (p. 81) from fabulous new book, Bread & Wine. How was it? It was just what I wanted it to be. Not too light, not too heavy, delicious…rich but not too rich…just so great. I’ll definitely make it again.
Here is Shauna’s recipe.
Green Well Salad with Chicken
1 lb. mixed greens
2 onions, thinly slices
2 sliced pears
2 C. red grapes, halved
2 C. dried cherries, chopped if they are the big kind
1 C. walnuts, chopped
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1 T. maple syrup
1 T Dijon
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1/2 olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Caramelize the thinly sliced onion in butter over medium to low heat for 45 minutes or until a rich dark brown.
Spoon Dijon into jar with a lid. Add vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Shake well. Add oil. Shake again. Set aside. I used my Magic Bullet for this.
For the salad:
Toss the greens with half the vinaigrette, the add the rest of the ingredients, the rest of the dressing and toss again.
I added shredded chicken (from the deli section at my market) to make it more substantial. It was out main course.
Here are my cherries, pear and grapes…all ready and waiting…
Adding the goat cheese. See the chicken in the top left?
Time to serve! We also had a loaf of french bread.
There you go! A perfect salad for the upcoming Spring and Summer. Or anytime! I bet this would be tasty with sliced steak, too.