Friday, November 18, 2011

Great Trade

On Thanksgiving every year my family goes to Gabriola Island for the weekend. The artists there open their studios for a studio tour. One of the artists on the island is Tammy Hudgeon. She does really beautiful glass art and has now branched out into painting as well. I think she is an amazing glass artist but like her paintings even more. They speak to me!

This past Thanksgiving my crow proposed a trade with her. She had a painting that I really, really loved but the price was a little steep given our budget at the time. So, he proposed that I make her a necklace (she already has one that she bought at Slice of Life)  and then pay the difference for the painting. She went for it!

What with being sick, work, family etc it has taken me a little longer to finish than I expected but....(drum roll please) it is finally finished!!!!!

Here it is...

Tammy is currently inspired by horses, birds, blues, turquoises and the word "wild". So I tried to incorporate these. Luckily I love the same colours and have a large stash of beads of various kinds. I actually didn't have to go buy anything to make this. Everything was in my studio stash. Can you say pack rat? I used a vintage pill box for the main pendant. I glued a vintage bus token to it and then created a mini collage inside that says "unlock your wild" with a small skeleton key glued beside it. In amongst the beads I added word charms that say "dream" and "create" plus a charm of a horse pulling a stage, an angel's wing and a Buddha. I am really happy with how it turned out.

So, now to mail it. I didn't want to just wrap it in paper and send it off so I made a felt envelope with a bird on it. The bird is made out of a scrap of silk that my father brought back from Thailand for me many years ago. Seeing as how the name of my studio is Die, Adjust or Migrate putting a bird on the envelope made sense.

So, now all I need to do is pop it in the mailing envelope and get it to the post office. I have a few other packages to put together so will get those done today and do a post office run tomorrow. Hopefully I will feel well enough to do that!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to make fried green tomatoes

This one is for you, Daddy! As I have mentioned before, my dad was from Georgia. He knew how to make good ol' Southern food like nobody's business. Fried green tomatoes is my all time favourite Southern dish (closely followed by home made biscuits with honey, grits and fried chicken)

When we go to Gabriola for Thanksgiving we always stop at one of the local gardens to pick up green tomatoes. It is almost impossible to find proper green tomatoes at the veggie markets in town. The tomatoes have to be totally green - not even a speck of red on them!!! This year we got to go back into the greenhouse and hand pick the ones we wanted. We came home with two big bags - one for us and one for my sister to fry up. Yum!

So, here in 7 easy to make yummy, delish, scrumptious fried green tomatoes!

1. Slice the tomatoes thinly (but not too thin!). I usually cut them about 1/8" to 1/4". The thinner you cut, the crispier they will be when you fry them!

2. Lay them out on paper towel and salt well. Let paper towel absorb water from tomatoes. Put layer of paper towel on top and absorb water. Switch paper towels as needed. You want the tomatoes to be as water free as possible!

3. Dredge (or do the shake it method I use!) the tomatoes in flour (I added a touch of Seasoning Salt but this isn't necessary)

4. Let floured tomatoes sit on paper towels for a little while so that the flour really sets in.

5. Fry in fry pan using vegetable oil at medium heat (if you want them to be healthier I guess you could use olive oil but I just go with the cheap stuff) This photo only has 3 tomatoes in it but I usually put about 6-8 slices in at a time.

6. Fry for 5-8 minutes, turning as needed. The longer you fry, the crispier they will be.

7. Put onto paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Eat and sigh in satisfaction!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Are You House Proud?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. As I have packed box after box after seemingly never ending box, I have thought about each item. Why do we own it? What does it say about me? Is it something to keep or let go?

Aug 12 016
Do you ever ask yourself these questions? Do you ever feel like your life is being consumed by stuff? Lately I do. There are just so many things that we use on a daily basis but, more than that, so much stuff for my art and sewing. These are the hardest things for me to part with. As an artist, I never know when I will have an idea for something and want to pull out (insert essential item here) and create. How can I plan for creativity that hasn’t happened yet?

I have come to the conclusion that in the past few years I have cared less and less about taking care of our house and making it a place of comfort and relaxation. It has become just a stopping place not a resting place. I have been feeling a disconnect within my family lately. Like we are not together as a family but, rather, are just three people sharing one space. I am sure that part of it is due to our house being filled with boxes, my good egg spending every possible minute with friends rather than her parents (can’t really blame her – she is only 15!), my irritability with summer (I am so ready to be back into the routine of the school year) and the crow’s terrifically long hours at work these past 2 months. We simply aren’t spending enough (or any some days) time together.

I want this to change in the new house. I want to get back to the days when I was able to invite people over and feel proud about my home. I have become a decorating blog/website junkie lately. I keep seeing great ideas and bookmarking them. I am getting an image in my mind of how I want the new house to look but, more than that, how I want it to feel. I know that I can't make a lot of changes as we are renting but I know I want it to feel the way I feel when I look at pictures like this:



via shabby addict who got it via hiya papaya

via cottage and home decorating

via cottage and home decorating

via my house of giggles

I know that I can make this happen. And, in doing so, I know that the way our family lives together will change. The biggest change will be around dinnertime. Finally, after so many years we will have a space for a dining table and will be able to eat dinner together each night. I think that I am looking forward to this most of all. And I am thinking of splurging on some of these to make it just that much more special.

via cottage and vine's etsy shop

White Dishes....or Not?

I never used to like white dishes. They seemed so utilitarian. So plain. But it seems I am changing my mind. I have seen some wonderful photos of white dishes lately and they are calling out to me "Do this at your house!" I found some yesterday at Wonderbuck's for very reasonable prices. All of our dishes seem to be breaking. We've lost 2 bowls and 3 plates in the last few months. I have to admit that my Emile Henri plates and bowls have lived a good long life. I got them over 20 years ago and they do not owe me a thing! What we have now are a mix of various dishes in blue, green and hand me downs. I am going to start picking up white pieces when I see them and one day my dining table and cupboards might look like this!

White dishes
via 50's Housewife
White lamps

Craft show
via faded prairie

White furniture
via barn house

What do you think? White? Or not?


I was at Rubydog's Art House yesterday to pick up some things she had on hold for me and check out what I found...

Aug 25 005
Does this yell out Audrey Hepburn or what? My good egg is redoing her room in the new house like a black and white movie. Her inspiration is Breakfast at Tiffany's. We have been painting her furniture black and picking up black and white accessories. This phone cost me $5! What a steal! It just screams vintage - it is from the 60's - and still works. It is going to look awesome in her new room!

Flea Market Style

The last piece of mail I received before we left our old house were the last two copies of Flea Market Style. What a visual treat!


There are so many wonderful ideas in these two magazines that I honestly don't know where to start! I can hardly wait to get into our new house and start decorating. After three nights spent on a cot in my mother's living room, I am more than ready to get into the new house. We get the keys today at 5:15. Hurray!!!! Since it is a rental, I am limited in the changes I can make. We have been given the go ahead to paint if we like and to tear out old carpeting to show the hardwood underneath but that is about it. Everything else is going to take creativity to work with the bare bones of the place. I am so up for the challenge!

My New Home

I have decided to move my blog from typepad over to blogger. Just too many problems with my typepad account to make it worth spending the money each year! I will be pulling over posts from typepad over the coming days and weeks.