Friday, January 29, 2010

tomato recipe

Too hot to do a lot this week, here is a recipe that I like making, very simple a no brainer. I use the Piccollini truss tomatoes from the supermarket. (will try and save some seed and see if I can grow them) they are the sweetest tomatoes, sweeter even than the organic ones. I use a small pan only 2 of us, a drizzle of olive oil, cut all the tomatoes in half and place cut side up. Place a pinch of salt (organic if you have it) on each tomato and a pinch of brown sugar (I know tut tut, bad cook) but it gives a lovely caramel taste.

Heat on low for about 5 minutes then turn tomatoes over and press down with back of a fork, this squeezes some of the juice out. Whoops forgot, heat a further 5 mins add a splash of balsamic
Hard to get a photo of this part as it steams up my camera lens, but you get the picture.
And wella, lovely juicy tomatoes with a thick sauce, nice with steak, chicken, other meats of just on toast. Give it a try, did you know that cooked tomatoes are good for men's prostrate, they say its better than raw!
Birdhouse now in the garden looking out from the family room, I had a photo from the kitchen window but the darn thing keeps disappearing so I am giving up on it. Computor doing silly things today, maybe doesn't like the heat either.
Wow look at that found it, no the window is not dirty, cleaned them recently, its a wonder it didn't rain. I am giving up on this computor, going back to making another Teesha journal, found a sheet of dark cream watercolour paper, will try a different style decorating the journal.
Enjoy your weekend

Friday, January 22, 2010

What to do in a heatwave

When its hot and I try to do art, my arms stick to the pages so that was out. Next option was sewing, as I could set myself right under the air condition vent that's the option I took. I made two more of Ruth Rae inspired dresses, as friends and daughters have all put in orders and I want one to hang at home as well, so that was a start. We had 3 days in a row over 40 degrees.This little dress I used a tan thread (a darker brown might have been better) but Sunny liked this colour. Can you see my machine writing sloping up, if I don't have a line to follow this is what I do. You will see in some of my journal pages I do it too, because I haven't made a line to follow.
Close up of the pocket, I have added a lovely french china button I was given goes nice with the vintage laces and the touches of pink, the pink tulle under the button is very old and fragile so had to be careful and hand sewed it on.I try to make my dresses my own style, these stitched wings are my attempt at being different and the stitching around the edges I have designed to be like a vine with occasional flowers and leaves.Black stitching on this one stands out a lot better and see I got the machine writing straight, my little secret on how I did that.The black button is vintage of a maple leaf with bits cut out, behind it is a piece of ribbon embroidery I did on silk ages ago, hadn't done anything with it so chopped it up. Do you see the black vine and leaves around the edge of the pocket The stuffed heart inside the pocket has pearls sewn on in groups of 3.I think the wings look pretty good, I am proud of them, what do you think. I include my initials and the year in a little box at middle of back showing in the neckline. Woo hooooo ten minutes to go and three whole days off, catch you next week.
Remember the words TRANSPARENCY and EMERGENCE for 2010

This is what I did in the break

In the Christmas break I had this journal I had prepared which I managed to get almost finished. The journal was one that Teesha Moore very generously gave directions on making, go to Teesha Moore's website to get details. Teesha Moore also with her family organises and runs the wonderful Artfest retreats, to do one of her retreats is on my list of things I would love to do. This is my cover with the fold back flap showing. Flap closed and first two pages.
And flap open. Pages 3 and 4 pages 5 and 6 with flap closed and flap opened. Middle of journal
pages 7 and 8 with flap closed, these are my Australian pages
last 2 pages with flap closed, the flap has not been journaled yet
inside of flap showing back cover of the journal.
I tried not to think too much about the collage, used a lot of clip art Teesha Moore's, Art Chix, Lynne Perella paper and bits and pieces I cut out of magazines. I used the french Rives in 300gm instead of the Artistico that Teesha used the reason being that I liked the softness and flexibility of Rives. I used the Golden fluids to colour my pages and Pan Pastels to shade. I tried a variety of pens for text, the sharpie hi lighters are good but change colour with the background, they are transparent and also I found they took a long time to dry so had to wait to add other colours around the letters. The zig calligraphy pens where great for shaping your letters with the lovely chisel led ends, but also transparent. The Copic also good but still the same problem with transparency. I found the best for true colour was the Sharpie poster pens which I could only get on ebay, they don't come in chisel, great for thinner lettering. Unfortunately Sharpie have been discontinued. My preference for a white pen was Uniball sigma available in stationery shops, just a hint with this pen, write with pen vertically doesn't work very well on an angle. I would recommend you give this journal a go, because there aren't a lot of pages its not so daunting. As to the journaling I didn't want to think about what I wrote and concentrated on the lettering, I wrote quotes and poems I found on the internet and in books, don't look to close you are bound to find spelling mistakes, I know, now you are going to look for them. Entering this post has been a challenge, as there are problems on Internet Explorer and too impatient to download the thingy to fix it, I have used Mozilla Firefox. This site is interesting downloading the photo's was much quicker, but once they where downloaded to move them down the page I had to drag the photo onto the top of each photo until I reached where I wanted it to go, a bit of a long process, maybe there was another way but couldn't see one. Also when I went back to close up gaps and centre some of the text I lost the last photo, so if it turns up twice when I publish the post, it must have been hiding under one of the other photo's. To those readers in Australia, enjoy your Australia Day Festivities.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas over already

Where did the time go, I did mean to make an entry before closing the shop before Christmas, well you can see that didn't happen. I find it is so crazy leading up to Christmas what with fairs to participate in, all the shopping to do (food that doesn't get eaten, it was way to hot, next Christmas I hope to be more organised, plan a menu at least). Before Christmas I made a lot of my Christmas presents, I really enjoyed that and i think the recipients liked them. I bought Ruth Rae's book layered, tattered & stitched (lovely book) early December and then we got the Art Quilting Studio magazine in with more of Ruth Rae's work, I fell in love with her little dresses so made two of my sisters one each and the other one a wall hanging similar to Olivia Thomas's in same Art Quilting.
This little dress I put the pocket up to high and couldn't fit the heart in with out it obscuring the winged heart above, so made a note and put that in the pocket.And this one which was the first I made, the stuffed heart fitted in perfectly. You learn by your mistakes don't you!!!!I loved the quote on this one and it was so meaningful for my dear sister, "everything will be okay in the end", "if its not okay, its not the end".And these are the completed journals for my three older granddaughters, I also made thinner ones for three of the others using cornflake cartons to make the covers, they just love doing this sort of art.See that white birdhouse on top (not the best view) that was my Christmas present from my two daughters and son. This is on display at our Miss Johnson's Vintage and Handmade Market held last October, planning another one in July.

Now this is my meager last minute attempt at decorating the house for Christmas, I am attempting to minimize, John finished painting all this area and i think the minimal looks good.I brought these lovely little Churches and snow covered houses home from the shop.close up of the decorations on the table, plus brown paper wrapped gifts with string, for GrandchildrenThis is my Christmas tree this year, I bought it last Christmas, it has these real dainty little lights on the white branches.This is a present for my daughter, I got the idea from someones blog, wrap in french looking tea towel (cost less than nice paper) I always buy my daughters a Christmas decoration and attach to their present. This lovely little french heart with zinc leaves and red berries I got from a lovely French shop at Kalamunda called Needle in Provence, if you live in Perth have a look.My lovely granddaughters dressed up for a surprise party for Mum on the 2nd January.Little boy in our shop while his lovely Mum had a haircut next door, he has grown hasn't he. Hope this makes up for my lack of blogging, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and wish you the best for 2010.