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Ahhh... sitting down after an exhausting day to eat great fresh food, made and served by a lovely lady, was a huge treat already.
But taking out my sketchbook and drawing the deli was the best treat I could give myself. An hour of joy. With the taste of Turkish Mezze in my mouth, the sound of Turkish television in the background, and admiring glances over my shoulder from the hostess.... what else could I wish for?
More food drawing in my current workshop 'Draw It Like It's hot
' now also, yay!
So check it out if you're a foodie, like me and click here to join me!
My best friend just gave birth to a baby girl, so I thought this pink page would be suitable to post today. (I made a special dinner with the theme 'pink' for her baby shower last weekend, just in time! That's what this page is about)
A bit too much Girliness? Well then, here's some Sunny Sunday Bliss for ya!
By: Koosje Koene,
Blog: Koosje Koene
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, coloured pencils
, self portrait
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This self Portrait Project is getting out of hand, and I like it!
Doing self portraits gives me the opportunity to try out many techniques, and it gives me a lot of practice on making a portrait that looks like me (so far I haven't succeeded many times, but I'm having a lot of fun anyway)
On this selfie, I got a response that it had a little bit of 'the Shining' feel to it. I thought, 'now there's a fun idea! I'll try a drawing based on that famous film still of Jack Nicholson's 'heeeeere's Johnny!'
So I did.
Then, I got the question what would be the next film?
And.... another idea was born: to bring a bit of extra challenge, and to add diversity in my self portraits (it is, after all, the same face over and over again).
On my Facebook Page, people have been suggesting film titles and characters, that I could use for my film-themed selfies.
So if you have a suggestion for me... bring it on!
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Learned Along the Way
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By: Mark Myers,
I made a discovery amidst my family’s unfortunate new reality. Since I am not a genius, I am sure most of you already knew what I just found out. However, it solved a long-standing conundrum for me.
I’ve been doing the dishes in my domicile for about a decade. There are two reasons and both pertain to my lovely wife. First, her hands get dry and cracked sometimes after she washes dishes. It isn’t a big deal to pitch in and do something, so I figured I could help AND save money on expensive lotions. The second reason is that she said I never looked sexier than when I’m elbow deep in soap suds. If that ain’t reason enough, I don’t know what is.
We have this long running argument about the necessity of some pots, pans, and utensils to the cooking process. I believe that she has an evil plan to soil every dish we own – thus my dirty kitchen apocalypse theory. She discounts my hypothesis and doesn’t seem to care anyway. I still maintain that chocolate chip cookies shouldn’t require seventeen items to make. Yet every time I smell them cooking, I know I have seventeen new items to wash.
All of that leads to today’s brilliant finding. She had been at the hospital with our youngest for two weeks. It has been a rough stretch with me playing Mr. Mom. Thanks to the generosity of others, I have yet to cook (a fact that makes my other daughters very happy since my culinary expertise doesn’t extend past piling things on bread.) I noticed during the last few days that I didn’t have many dishes to wash at all. Bonus!
We finally got to bring our sick baby home this week and, lo and behold, within an hour the sink was full of dirty dishes. Nothing could dampen the joy of the reunion, but I admit I was slightly peaved. So I playfully confronted the offender with the revival of my dirty kitchen apocalypse theory.
My lovely wife didn’t flinch, just laughed and waved me off.
“But I haven’t washed this many dishes in two weeks,” I complained to her back as she walked away.
“You have to cook to make dishes,” she replied over her shoulder.
Ahhh, so that explains it.
And off I go to fill the sink with suds, hoping she’ll take notice.
photo credit: Mysid (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
'Insalata di Arance'.
I remember reading this on the menu of a terriffic restaurant in Palermo in Sicily. It was a hot summer day and I was about to order a copious lunch involving fresh fish and pasta. As a side dish, 'orange salad', sounded refreshing and sweet.
This was the culinary discovery of the decade for me. The juicy orange slices were simply tossed onto a plate, a generous amount of olive oil poured over it, and sprinkled with course sea salt and chilli flakes. Quite a surprise and sensational for the taste buds! Since then, I've prepared it many times and enjoy eating it immensely, both because of the memory and the fabulous taste.
Would you like to learn to draw your food, or how to illustrate a recipe?
It starts this Monday!
Click the logo for info and to enroll
Let's draw and illustrate like there's no tomorrow!
Or well. Actually, there sure is a tomorrow. Because that's when my online workshop
on illustrating recipes and drawing food is starting!
1. Keep it simple when you're drawing.
A recycled piece of cardboard, white paint and a black fineliner can get you a long way.
3. Draw your food to get a daily routine of making art.
You're eating every day anyway, right?
You can do it!
Like these three previous participants did for example:
|By Tina Johnson|
|By Cathy Levesque|
|By Kaiva Narbute|
There's so much more where all this came from.
Will you join my online class?
Blog: Secret Seed Society
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, Seed Agent News
, pancake day
, Shrove Tuesday
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Today is Pancake Day! Also called Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday if you take part in Lent. It’s traditionally a day to eat up all sorts of yummy things in your house that you are promising not to eat during Lent, like chocolate. It’s a long month if you’re giving up your junkiest habit so first of all you need to eat a shed-load of pancakes.
It’s strange people MAKE and EAT pancakes only one day a year.
HOW ODD?! Why only eat such a great food one day out of 365? We must change this silliness once and for all.
But how? …Time for a Seed Agent Mission.
WHAT IF?! We rename pancakes Flippers! Every time we make a pancake we call it a Flipper. Everytime we eat a pancake we call it Flipper. Everytime we see a pancake we call it a Flipper. Soon the world will call pancakes – Flippers!! And then we can eat Flippers ALL year round, and not just on Fat Tuesday.
There’s nothing that can’t be used to fill a flipper, sweet or savoury, hot or cold, the choice is yours Seed Agents! Try some veg-flippers! “Move along old-school lemon and sugar”, “Bye-bye gooey joys of chocolate”, “Hello pongy cheese, spinach and mushrooms!”
Have a go at making your own flippers here and experiment eating them with different fillings. Discover which one you like best!
Sometimes you need new shoes. Because on the trip you're on, you only brought superwarm winterboots and it turns out to be warm, with unexpected spring weather at your place of destination... and yeah it helps if they're brightly coloured and affordable too...
Sometimes you have a friend over. Who loves sweets. Who has
to have something sweet after dinner. What do you do if you don't have much time to bake, and don't eat sugar at all? Well... you dig into your cupboard to find some superfoods and some favourite flavours and chuck them all in the blender.
Maybe you noticed. Maybe you didn't. I went away for 3 weeks in February. I know, that's already a while ago, but I haven't gotten round to post my drawings I did during this vacation, and 'digital detox'. During which I caught my breath after juggling many, many projects at the same time.
Here on my blog, I have kept posting happily though: pre-scheduling is a life saver! So while traveling, there was no need to think about any online places, projects or work. Okay, I did check my email every now and then (because wifi appeared to be available everywhere I visited - even on far away beaches!)
So. Anyway. Even though I have been sitting on my butt for about three weeks, sipping coconut water straight from the fresh coconut, I didn't really sit still. If you know me just a little bit, you know I just can't.
Of course I took my art journal with me and drew every day. It was awesome to have so much time each day. Some days, I did elaborate drawings, other days I did more quick ones.
As the flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok takes about 13 hours, I started my first journal page while on the plane. Agreat way to spend the first hour of the long flight, before watching Last Vegas, Men in Black 3, trying to concentrate on a book, and trying to sleep.
I'll be finally scanned my journal pages to share them here. I hope you'll enjoy!
While trying to shake off the jet lag, we enjoyed the heat, a cooling iced coffee, and of course: the wonderful food! Both me and my husband love cooking (and eating), and are very eager to taste new things and learn about exotic kitchens. At home, we prepare Thai food often, but there's always more to learn! So I decided to add a little daily project to my art journal during our vacation: 'what we ate today'. This way I would document what we ate, and remember the taste of it, so we can try them out back home. Also, it would be a great way to use different techniques to illustrate food.
Tomorrow, I'll be adding more travel journal pages.
Procrastination. The word alone is intruiging to me. I can hardly pronounce it correctly, and still, I know very well how to do it. Procrastinating I mean, not the pronouncing.
I know nobody who doesn't procrastinate.
Nobody. I think people who claim they never procrastinate on anything, are not being honest.
I think stopping by at the procrastination station is perfectly normal and healthy. Or well, at least I tell myself. I just did a very, very good job on folding the laundry. Instead of uploading stuff for one of my upcoming online classes. In fact, this blogpost is partly procrastination.
The upside: procrastinating on one thing, sometimes leads to something good on something else that you may loath doing if that's all you need to do: doing the dishes, painting a wall, rearrange your living room interior, do grocery shopping, scrubbing the bathroom floor.... Other times it's just sort of paralyzing, and you're spending way too much time browsing through Facebook feed, Instagram art or get buried deeper and deeper into Pinterest.
Now here's the kind of 'productive procrastination' that I really like: making a drawing while putting off doing a drawing. I was working on an illustration that I promised to make for a friend. She's getting married, and we wanted to give her something personal during her bachelorette day. Once I started working on the illustrated cocktail recipe for her, it felt great to be making something personal, but before starting, it just looked like a big mountain to climb, an assignment for which I actually really didn't have any time in my schedule.
Once I planned some after-dinner drawing time, I did some doodling and sketching, but then got so intrigued by drawing orange peels.... this is what happened:
That's what I mean: a fun result of procrastination behaviour, right?
In the end, I managed to finish my sketches and make an illustration. During a round of cocktails (of course!) we gave it to the bride-to be and she's very happy with it! She will hang it on the kitchen wall.
On April 28, my 4-week online workshop 'Draw It Like It's Hot'
I wil show how to make stuff like the above, and much more!
It'll be great fun to work towards the final assignment along with your classmates: creating an illustrated recipe that will be published on the website theydrawandcook.com!
It's only $69
to enroll, so what are you waiting for? Click here to read more and join.
In San Antonio, on the TAYSHAS panel, Susan Schilling asked what we do when we are not writing.
We are, in our own ways, living.
Nina LaCour remakes whole rooms, top to bottom. Dana Reinhardt pursues the immediate results—the appreciable outcomes—of cooking. Andrew Smith has not, in fifteen years, missed a day of running—wherever he is, wherever he goes, he heads out into the weather. Blake Nelson learns as much as he can (in sometimes funny ways) about people.
When I am not writing (and most of the time, I am not writing), I do many things that I am not particularly good at. Building objects out of clay. Raising seedlings into buds. Dancing the tango with my husband. And, also, sometimes all-consumingly, turning my nearly 100-year-old house into a home.
This past November, I began a quest to refinish my kitchen. To replace the broken things. To up the ante on the colors. To generate new light and life. It was a fraught proposition from the get-go—famously horrific weather, disappointing contractors, a leaking roof, delays, unforeseen expenses.
This morning she stands. Whole at last, complete.
I am, when I am not writing, living.
It feels kind of weird to be sharing so many self portraits here. But you and I better get used to it, because there are yet a lot of pages to be filled in my current drawing journal and I'm not giving up the habit of drawing a self portrait each day!
Some days I really like the result, some days I don't. I notice that with some drawing tools, I find it easier than with others. It's a fun journney I'm taking.
I will leave it to you to decide if they're getting any better.
This bird thought he'd join his friends in the birdbath....
With the hardwood floors almost completed, it's just about time to paint the walls. The color is one I have never gravitated towards before however we are looking for something that will enhance the richness of the wood cabinets and hardwood floors. Currently the walls are white. We are looking for a golden shade
with a hint of Tuscany flavor, not too bright, not too yellow, not too orange-muted, yet rich in tone. Ok, so what's left you say? Here are two color swatches. We tried the Laura Ashley Gold 3 but against these colors and the walls it actually looked like it fell more into the tan family. Our kitchen and dining area are small and both colors look suitable, even in a smaller area.
The cabinets and flooring are golden oak in color. The other color we thought of was a pale blue shade with a hint of turquoise (enhances the rich golden oak) however it might clash with our great room which is in a midtone muted evergreen shade.
What do you think? Your suggestions would be most helpful!
Melissa from The Inspired Room
posted a list of "20 Little Things"
that inspired her in Autumn. Since autumn is my favorite time of year, hear are my list of 20 little things:
1. Painting the kitchen and renovating (always autum projects)
2. Family gatherings
3. Crock pots of bubbly beef stew and fresh baked loaves of bread
4. Riding in an open topped convertible through Breads Hills, Michigan
5. Thick and cozy handmade sweaters
6. Teracott pots over flowing with Chrysanthemums
7. Paint chipped chairs and furniture
8. Hot Pumpkin pie
9. Candles scents of cinammon and berries
10. Thick warm blankets on a cold night
11. Gourds, squash and pumpkins
12. Fall festivals
13. A hot latte with a warm berry Stella
14. Flannel jackets and duck boots
15. Early morning mist
16. Apple cider
17. Bike rides around the lake, through the leaves
18. Knee high boots and skirts
19. Fresh fruit scones with marmalade
20. Fresh breezes through open windows!
by Maurie J. Manning
Before here and here... The kitchen and dining area before had white walls and blue and burgundy accents with linoleum flooring.
Now the walls are a warm maple cream with deep berry brick curtains and black and cream accents.
The project hasn't been without it's problems, namely the finishing of the hardwood floors. We had problems applying the polyurethane with the applicator the manufacturer recommended and had to strip the two coats we applied. Husband K did all the work including all the sanding between coats. Tips for applying polyurethane: lightly sand floor before applying 2-3 coats by hand with a brush. Allow to dry more than 16-24 hours. Sand and reapply additional coats.
The light fixture we wanted for over the island didn't come in black so I sanded it and sprayed it black to match the new black chandelier.
All the hardware was gold and we replaced it with a burnished brass. The chandelier is black with gold brushwork.
It's hard to capture the color of the walls however they are a beautiful warm maple cream and we couldn't be happier with the way they turned out. K also upgraded all the baseboards and added new corner pieces throughout the main floor.
We just love the new hardware! We'll replace the faucet with a new black one as soon as we can find the one we want.
The flooring continues down the full length of the hall to the upper bedrooms and is just beautiful. We plan to change the countertops to granite or granite like in the new year and we'll replace all the appliances with stainless steel or possibly black, still undecided yet.
New blinds for the windows (for under the drapery) will be ordered and I'll swap out the china in the cabinet for the cranberry Wedgewood "Bramble" from one of the other rooms.
We found the table cloth but I am still not sure if I like it, the pattern is quite large, but it has black it in. My husband says one can never have too many table cloths so live with it, see if it grows on you and purchase new ones as you find them. (What woman wouldn't love to hear her husband say this! :) I may even have one custom made if I can find a fabric I like. We've been searching for two oil paintings for each side of the china cabinet but still haven't found the ones we want.
Perhaps because it has been raining. Perhaps because the trees keep losing their leaves at a rapid, unstoppable clip. Perhaps because I have allowed myself back inside a novel I have trembled about for months.
Perhaps I don't know why, but the house is a different sort of quiet.
Yesterday, running outside with my camera between rain showers, I stopped and glanced toward the kitchen, so unpeopled just then, so still. No stacks of my son's homework on the table, my mother not there with her cup of tea.
This quiet is a new quiet. I'm learning to bend it toward me, finally.
Our kitchen before tiling the backsplash: cleaned up and looking a bit bare
So today I started on tiling our backsplashes. First the bathroom as there aren't any outlets to worry about and it's a small area to do.
Tools of the trade: trowel, pencil, tile adhesive
Tip: if you put some moisturizer on your hands before doing this kind of work it's easier to clean them afterwards
This kind of tiling is quite easy and so I'll mention how I did it in case it's helpful to anyone. First I placed the tiles where they would go to see how I should space them as I wasn't going to try to cut any of the tiny glass mosaic tiles.
Then I drew lines on the wall with pencil to mark where the tiles would be placed. This was mainly so I would apply the adhesive over the right area. I used pre-mixed adhesive and a notched trowel (it says adhesive trowel on the label so you know you're getting the right one).Sorry for the crummy photos - it's a dark and gloomy day today
After you spread on the adhesive, you drag the trowel over it at a 45 degree angle. What you are doing is making the adhesive all the same height. It's better to go a bit over the borders of where the tiles will be placed because you can clean up any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. If there weren't enough adhesive at the edges the tiles might not adhere properly.
Don't rush, the adhesive doesn't dry quickly so you have at least 30 minutes to futz around and be as much of a perfectionist as you want to be. Or make mistakes. Or have trouble getting behind the faucet and find you're getting a bit fractious.
Then at this stage I used a long wide quilting ruler (choose whatever you like) to press on the tiles and make sure they were even. Some excess adhesive might squeeze out but it's easy to wipe up. Pay attention to the ones on the corners and make sure they're straight.
The bathroom backsplash is almost done! Just need to let it dry 24 hours then do the grouting. If you want to see that step let me know because otherwise I might think I'm boring you with all this.
Then I did it all over again in the kitchen. It's a bit brighter in there so you can see the colour better.
Unfortunately I opened the box of tiles to start on the other side and discovered they were all dark smoky grey. So now I have to wait before finishing the kitchen...
I guess when I show that I could talk a bit about outlets... the only thing that really makes it tricky. So I think this is going well, but before trying it yourself you might want to wait and see how it turns out in the end - and remember I'm not an expert!!
Well, can't say I've had time for any art!!! The baby is starting to settle into some good sleeping patterns (Woohoo). But, she lost a lot of weight and wasn't gaining it back - she dropped a whole pound in her first week of life and then gained only 3 oz. back during her first month. It was very worrisome, to say the least. Nothing can tear you apart like the thought that your baby isn't thriving or is suffering in some way. But, praise God! Combining nursing and formula seemed to solve the issue - she's gained over a pound in the past week! She's got rosey cheeks and a sparkle in her eyes, now. She smiles and coos - so happy!
Another distraction is that we've officially put our house up for sale as of today. That has meant a lot of cleaning (me having to be a drill sargeant in making sure the kids pick up their messes), and finishing a few unfinished projects around the house. I recently repainted all the kitchen cabinets and put new hardware on the doors-n-drawers. So, at least I've gotten to paint something.
Yet another distraction was the recent Jesusita fire down in Santa Barbara. While that was about an hour away and our home was in no danger, it did come within a few miles of my husband's work. He had to be evacuated last Friday. The last thing we need is for him (primary breadwinner) to lose his place of employment. Praises (again) that his workplace was spared.
We'll see what happens as the school year comes to a close here soon. Maybe there'll be time to draw again soon.
So lately we've been doing lots of work on the house, mainly painting, and I've been trying out some new colours. When it came to the kitchen I wanted something very light. Our old kitchen had sliding doors out to the garden, as well as a large window and it was very bright. The new kitchen has a large window but only a single back door with a small window in it.
you can see the colour here, pretty subtle...
I liked the grey we used for the old kitchen, Benjamin Moore Titanium
, but I wanted something that would work well with the blue in our living room. So I picked a very pale, bluish/greenish Benjamin Moore colour called Dewdrop
. It has a sort of beach glass colour to it, but it's so pale it almost looks white. If you compare it to the trim you can see the colour. In the end I'm happy with it, it's subtle but my second choice was just a classic white kitchen so this has the same effect while having a hint of pretty colour.
Before and After
I wasn't planning to paint at all, the previous colour was a pale sandy-beige that was fine, but after doing the electrical work the walls were full of holes that we had to patch. Now I'm happy I did paint it as I love the way the kitchen feels now - more bright and airy, and it also feels more like ours. As you can see above, it's not much of a change but I like it!
When it does come time to renovate I'm not sure if we'll keep the original cabinets, probably we will but update the doors. I like the way they extend right up to the ceiling. The kitchen has a sort of 50s charm, but we could use more drawers and general storage. We would like to update the counter top, faucet, sink and add a tile backsplash. I do like the wood floor and it's larger than the galley kitchen we had before. Do I miss the renovated kitchen in our last house? I certainly do, but I still love our new house so it's ok!
Now that the house is sunnier I've been feeling more motivated to do lots of little decorating projects. My decorating budget is still non-existent, so stay posted for lots of easy changes you can do that cost next to nothing. Most of these involved things I had lying around already, so it helps if you already have things like leftover paint from other projects etc.
The first thing I've done is add more shelving in our kitchen. The wall over our table
was completely bare. When we moved into our house there was some wood left behind in the garage and I had found three more planks just like the ones I used to make shelves in the studio
All I did was a quick sand before priming and painting. So they are still a little bumpy but I like that look. These were installed with some inexpensive brackets from IKEA.
Originally I had planned to just put a bunch of stuff that was cluttering up our countertops on the shelves, but after I'd added a couple of ceramic pieces, I ended up gathering up the ones I had in the studio as well to have them all gathered in one place.
The bottom shelf is the more utilitarian shelf, with the regularly used salt and pepper, butter dish, napkins and coasters. We do use the ceramic planters to store things like garlic cloves but really I just think they look pretty..
Then at the bottom I added hooks for my collection of tea cups. What can I say I love granny decor whether it's chic or not!
Once again Winston and Roxxanne have met a challenge. You can find them in the Castle kitchen
today along with a most angry Queen Mellameen.
I mix, blend,
whip, stir, knead…
at your command.
Three layers stick
whenever we pick.
Violets on the Windowsill
purple for our blooms.
You make the air go blue
because of what the pans decided to do.
Write a bit.
the humor in all of it.
start again. Don’t quit.
© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012
Poem #8, National Poetry Month 2012
Cathy, at Merely Day By Day, is joining me in a poem a day this month. Other daily poem writers include Amy at The Poem Farm, Linda at TeacherDance, Donna at Mainely Write, Laura at Writing the World for Kids (daily haiku), Liz at Liz in Ink (daily haiku), Sara at Read Write Believe (daily haiku)...and YOU?
By: Hazel Mitchell,
Blog: Hazel Mitchell
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, little girl
, sketch for today
, Hazel Mitchell
, how to draw fast
, digital art
, Bird seed
, Add a tag
Half an hour goes quick. About half way I say that's enough on the outline
and work on getting the main subject into at least a rudimentary environment.
I had no idea the little girl was making seed cake until I drew the bird cage and then it was obvious.
Hmmmyum... this is a great quiche for parties, and whenever I make a large batch, I make sure to cut some pieces off and throw them in the freezer. They're great for a quick dinner!
I don't have a perfect recipe for it, because I always sort of throw it all together and follow my kitchen instinct :)
Put the dough on the bottom of a oven dish, spread a layer of grated cheese over it, then arrange the tomato slices next to each other, covering the layer of cheese. Chop quite some fresh basil and sprinkle it over the dish. Mix a few eggs with some pepper (you don't need salt -the cheese is salt enough!), chopped garlic and finely chopped onion and poor it over the dish. Make sure it divides well. then top it off with a nice layer of grated cheese and put this in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the cheese is goldenbrown.
If you can, leave it to cool and eat it the next day - it will taste even better! (cold or warm)
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It's a cliché, and I am guilty of using it a lot: simplicity is key.
It's just true. Sometimes, all you need is just a few things to make something really good.
Like when cooking, make sure your main ingredients are of great quality, you can't really go wrong. It's a fact that pumpkin and feta cheese just love each other and they will feast on your plate on a bed of lettuce.
Join me in the online workshop on drawing food and illustrating Recipes!
It starts March 3
That's this Monday!