Monday, February 28, 2011

Dolan Geiman - Blog Tour week #3

I worship at the feet of Dolan Geiman, one of the guest artists in my book. Oh yeah, you all know how dramatic I am, but seriously, he is an artist who really has it going on. His work is authentic and completely engaging, pulls folks in hook line sinker; I mean who can't relate to the Americana meets hipster aesthetic. I love it!!

Which is probably why Bayou City Art Festival chose Dolan as their featured artist for 2011.  Whoah, little doggies, this is big and I am absolutely delighted for him! If you live in Houston, mark your calendar now.  If you aren't near Houston, check his website to see if he has any upcoming art fairs in a city near you. Or peruse his Etsy site for online offerings including very affordable reproductions.

Scoot on over to Dolan's Blog and enter to win a copy of the book plus an ephemera pack that you can use when working through the projects. Stuff that Dolan and I both use in our work. And I am betting you will find a fresh way to use in your work too.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Book Winner - week #2

Since we were having martinis (can you say gorgonzola olives?) it was only fitting to put all the entries in a hand painted brandy snifter.

John did the honors and the winner is...

If you could email me with your address I'll get the book out to you right away!
And the rest of you, stop back on Monday to hear about Week #3.

-Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More Squash love

If you read Elizabeth's post, you can see her preparing her amazing Blue Hubbard Squash Soup. And I gotta be honest here, those squash kinda scare me. They are frigging b-i-g!!! Like I don't know if I could manage that process or not, something about thick squash skin, super sharp knife, my usual distracted approach to cooking.....hmmm, not so much (sorry darling E, you know I adore you!)
So, for those of us looking for something easier, just scroll on down to read how I make Squash soup. And even if you think you won't like it, I bet you will.....

Just realized my Hipstamatic made these veggies green which they are not, tee, hee.

Buy a package of Root Vegetables from the store. I usually get them at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods where I can find organic veggies already peeled and cut up. I get one package of root veggies and one package of butternut squash.
Pre-heat oven to 400. 
Put all the veggies on a cooking sheet. Add chopped up onion, garlic, sweet potato, turnip, whatever you might want. Pour some olive oil over top, not so it's swimming, but enough so there is a nice glaze of coverage (you can do this part in a zip log bag if you want, just toss it all around). Salt & Pepper and make sure everything is well mixed.
Place in the oven and cook till fork tender, perhaps 20 minutes or so depending on how big the chunks of squash are.
Typically, we eat this as a side dish to Salmon or Roasted Chicken. So I usually making the soup on Day 2 using my leftovers.
Fill a medium/large saucepan about halfway with Chicken or Veggie Stock. Add your leftover veggies. Decide what flavor you want to use to punch it up. I often add a peeled/chopped up apple. I think Chipotle would be good, but I haven't tried it. Sometimes I don't add anything extra.
Allow it to cook for awhile and make sure all components are good and tender. Taste and adjust flavor as desired.
Then, using an immersion blender (or you can transfer to a regular blender) puree the entire mixture. If you want it creamy, add a dab of milk, cream, half & half, etc.
Depending on your own taste for creamy, chunky, etc. you can strain the soup. Sometimes the onions don't want to play nice with my immersion blender so I will often strain out those parts.
When serving, I like to drizzle a bit of artisan vinegar (mango is my fave) over the top. Serve with a crusty bread and you are good to go.
I think I know what I'm having for lunch today.....

Don't forget the book contest......and also Elizabeth's contest for original art!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Art & Book Give Away

The Blog Tour continues with a visit to Mystic Vixen, the wonderful blog of Elizabeth MacCrellish.  She and I have so much in common, mainly Squam (which is her creation!) and food and art (and music too, I might add, but more about that later). 
See, Elizabeth is a foodie who is also a cook and an artist. So when I decided to write a book combining ideas about food and art, it was a no-brainer to ask Elizabeth to contribute. In fact, other than my editor, Tonia Davenport, Elizabeth was the first guest artist to come to mind. Of course she tried to say 'no' because she is uber busy, but you know me, I simply couldn't take 'no' for an answer. Not from Elizabeth! I mean I did what I do best, I whined.....and she gave in, yippeee. 
Elizabeth made a lovely piece of art for the book plus contributed a kick butt recipe. Both the art and the recipe simply resonate with her gorgeous spirit. She is truly a Goddess, you know? That being confirmed by this week's two-fer give-away. 
1. Elizabeth is giving away her original artwork that appeared in the book. Yes, I repeat, she is giving away her original art from the book. How cool is that!?!? You can click on over here to enter your name. The drawing is on Friday.
2. And I am giving away a copy of the book and exclusive stencil. To enter for the book, simply leave a comment here and then re-post this Blog Entry on one of the Social Media options below - see those little links......that would make me really really happy (see, I'm starting to whine already) cause it helps me spread the word. Drawing at midnite central time on Friday.
And speaking of spreading the word......check out this blog by my new best friend (stalker) Amy. I heart her. Not just for talking so nice about my book but because she is so frigging funny. You will want to read every single one of her posts, she is really a good blogger.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bubbling over about Encaustics

Small encaustic - first layer is Wood Icing using my River Rock stencil. Hand colored the Wood Icing parts with soft pastel, then layered wax and tar. Finished off with oil stick into incised sections.
Just got back from Texas, where I took a 3 day encaustic workshop from Trish Seggebruch. Loved it.  Absolutely everything about it. 
Tar and torches and wax.
I also learned lots of new things that I will use in my other mixed media works and I will show you more over the coming days. 
Right now I am exhausted from the insane drive home. Ok, I know I just sat there while John did the work, but it was boring.
And I was fidgety. 
Blew thru the data limit on my phone by watching Netflix stuff. Geez, who knew? Had to increase my plan, ahem, which I was luckily able to backdate, the data increase I mean.
And you've got one more day to enter Susan Tuttle's contest for a signed copy of my book. Then a new contest will start. I hope you don't get bored with these give aways....

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tar but no feathers

So what am I doing with asphalt patch? Oh my, I am playing with

encaustics at a workshop taught by Trish Seggebruch. I can't tell you the last time I have had so much fun. This is exactly what I needed to get me over the winter doldrums.

It is so fun to see how Trish uses Wood Icing. We are sharing lots of ideas and Trish commented today that Wood Icing is so much more than just a texture medium; "it is magic in a jar", she says. And yes, of course I agree!

Tomorrow I will take pics of all my work plus hopefully some of the other peoples work too. Very talented folks and I have made new friends, plus re-connected with some old friends.
Plus I am very pleased with the pieces I've made thus far and that is unusual for me as I don't normally like work that I make during a class.

Don't forget to check out Ilka's Attic to enter for my book.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wax on Wax off

That phrase always makes me think of those clap on lights that were advertised many years ago. I never had one, so I don't even know if they worked, but the idea of it always cracked me up.
At any rate, today I am jumpin' up and down like a kid because I am starting a 3 day class with Trish Seggebruch Baldwin. Encaustics, baby! Yeah!!  Can't wait to show you the results.

And don't forget to pop on over to Susan Tuttle's blog for a chance to win my book.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Flavor for Mixed Media goes on a Blog Tour - Week #1

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
I am thrilled to announce that each week for the next fifteen weeks (yep, count 'em, 15!!) my book will be featured on a different blog. There will be lots of prizes - free books, art, etc. Each Blogger will do something a little different so I know it is going to be great fun. And now, drum roll please.........we begin week 1 with Ilka's Attic, the adorable and evocative Blog of Susan Tuttle.

I have "known" Susan for several years now. Nope, I've never met her in person, but I sense that we would get along quite well. I am hoping to catch up with her this fall when I travel to Maine; I dream that we will play with our cameras and she will taken a magical portrait of me (ha, no pressure, Susan) or maybe I'll even get to travel around the countryside with her. It seems to me she lives in an amazing spot, I sort of salivate over her photography.
Susan is getting ready to start another one of her Photoshop classes - this one is Photomanipulation 3 (it's ok if you haven't taken 1 or 2 because they aren't sequential). Anyhoo,  click here for more information and you can also sign up now 'cause registration is Open. I have taken Susan's classes before and they are excellent with an appropriate level of detail, great screen shots and everything you need to become proficient at Photoshop. She knows what she is doing and also has the ability to explain it in normal language which is very important to me.

Don't forget to also click over to her blog to enter the contest for a free copy of my book - it will be signed by me and also includes the exclusive stencil that says "Savor Life's Flavor."  The contest runs till Friday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valley Ridge, woo hoo

I feel as though I am announcing teaching events nearly every day. I guess it is that time of year, when everyone is organizing and putting their programs together. Other than my application to CREATE (in Chicago, still haven't heard by the way), this is my final teaching announcement.

If you've been reading my blog for any period of time you have heard me gush on and on about Valley Ridge. I love it there. And I talked about it here and here and here.

This is my favorite photo. At least I think. It is a pretty place and lends itself to good shots.
Check out my class offering. It is a deviation for me, sort of all my favorite stuff in 3 days. It is going to be good. Really, really good. Come and play!!

Nice article from West Magazine

Monday, February 07, 2011

Malibu was made for Mixed Media

Oh my gosh, when Gina Armfield invited me to teach at Artinfusio I had to pick myself up off the floor. She sent me this innocent li'l email that said, "you wanna come to Malibu?" Truth be known, I was thinking to myself, does a bear poop in the woods? But I thought perhaps I should act like a professional and take the high ground, instead screaming like a little girl yesyesyes!! Even though I used to live in CA, I have somehow never been to Malibu and always wanted to go. 

Photo by Dan Blocker, used under a Creative Commons License
So now I have developed what I think is a pretty fantastic new 2 day class. We are going to cover so much ground and make such amazing paintings!!! Won't you come join us? Spots are extremely limited and I love that because it means we will all get to know each other, like really know each other. Plus make fantabulous art in one of the most inspired spots on earth.
Ahhhhh.......I can.not.wait.

Check it out HERE

Friday, February 04, 2011

Robert Genn - Passing the Light
This issue is about teaching and passing on ideas without fear. I love the way this man thinks.


Geez, I haven't known what day it is all week long. With all this snow and ice and businesses closed and kids off school - I am betwixt and befuddled.  I think my age is showing, ha, ha.

Been making arty centerpieces for a Chesterfield Arts fundraiser on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun and I had to stop myself because I do have real work to do.
Sadly, I don't get to wear the hats  because they will decorate tables and then be auctioned. I also donated a lovely piece of work to the event, I was a little sad to let it go.

And, I've been working on something arty to wear to the event. I think I mentioned this the other day but Oy vay has it been tough and I am a wee bit obsessed.

I first attempted to paint a sweater (yes, I realize now how stupid this was) and that didn't work out. At the time it seemed like a good idea, like that one time I started painting a rug. Till I realized when a yuck-yuck feeling it had (even with textile medium) and that I would never want to walk on it in bare feet. Yeah, well, same with the sweater, I wouldn't have worn it.

I made an artsy tie for John to wear and it turned out quite well and even looks like a real tie design with a lovely subtle pattern I created using multiple stencils.
I think I might have to make a little video about this, because it is a very cool way to use the stencils.

At any rate, for my own outfit, I have finally(!!)  decided I will wear a painted bangle bracelet with the dress I already have.  It is not quite finished yet, but I will share pictures once John and I are all dressed up tomorrow night.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Hello Sunshine

Finally. The sun shines. It seems especially bright with the snow.

One of the things that is fun about snow is observing the animal tracks each morning. For instance, today I noticed the tracks from a rather large deer that had apparently been standing right on my front porch! Oh how I would have loved to have seen him or her. I am guessing they come during the night when we are asleep. All the shades had been lowered last night to keep the warm in, but we have side windows by the front door and I can only imagine this creature peering in to see what we were doing or (more likely) to scope out possible food sources.

Some of Jasper's friends
And here are a few of our bird buddies who clamor over the buffet. That lady Cardinal is so adorable. She has been really puffed up with the cold weather and there are times when it appears she has a mohawk. She is very camera shy and I've been trying to catch a good picture of her for days. I had to belly crawl across the family room and shoot between a trunk and chair to get this shot. I will keep trying though. Happy Winter everyone; I don't mind being stuck indoors. I have everything I need here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Book Button fixed

For anyone who has tried to order the book off of Stencil Girl Products, I believe it is now fixed. Possibly the friggin' Blizzard Warning here in Missouri has created a white-out situation in my brain. So very sorry for the inconvenience.