Thursday, May 30, 2013

Problems

I had plans to post pictures for Wordless Wednesday and do posts but my desktop has been having problems.  We spent all of Memorial Day Monday, backing up, wiping  out and trying to reload things to the desktop.  Some things went well, and so not so much.  All the pics are on the desktop.  I am using hub's laptop so nothing is getting done for the time being.  I just wanted to leave a note to let you all know I wasn't trying to disappear for a year again; just until the desktop is squared away.  Hopefully things will be done soon.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday
This is an owl created by the artist Jo Corso.  She sat next to me in my Zentangle class.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tomato Smoothie

Mr. Hunter/Gatherer and I have been playing at being Mr. and Mrs. Farmer Brown for the last few years.  We have a nice sized backyard so we are able to have a garden, a deck, a little room for five water barrels and the three dogs.  Every year we either add a new water barrel or we add a new bed in the garden.  We aren't able to add to the garden this year but I have a feeling there will be a new water barrel for front lawn watering.

Our garden consists of six raised beds of different sizes and shapes.  We rotate our crops and we even try to compost as much as we can in our one compost barrel.  Composting is slow and some of our crops have suffered because we did not realize just how often we should be giving them extra nutrients.  One example of that, is our tomatoes. 

We love having slicing tomatoes for sandwiches but mostly we love those little Romas so we can either can or freeze them for later use.  Last year I didn't get very many from the eight plants we had.  We had bottom rot.  I have also seen it called BER (Bottom End Rot).  I pin loads of things on Pinterest on a daily basis and have seen a few home remedies for this, so this year I tried the Tomato Smoothie (this is my term).

For many months now I have been saving all the coffee grounds from my Espresso machine and my eggs from cooking on the weekends.  I have a small bowl by the coffee machine and save the "pucks" until the bowl gets full and then dump them all into a gallon freezer bag along with any eggs.  I keep the bag in the freezer so one, it won't stink and two, it takes a while to save up enough to make a Tomato Smoothie.  Here is how I did it...
 Here is the one gallon bag with the eggs and coffee grounds.  I thawed them out before I did the next step.  It took overnight before that whole bag thawed.  I had two bags saved up.

At first I tried putting everything into the dry grind pitcher for the Vita Mix thinking it would blend it down into a nice coffee/egg powder.  Nope. The grounds were too dense to let the machine do it's job. The Vita Mix put up a fight.  I didn't want to burn out the motor so I added water to loosen it up.  That was fine until I figured out I couldn't get the whole gallon bag into the smaller container. 
 What a mess!
 As you can see it was not a nice clean operation.  I deployed every tool in my arsenal to get the job done.  I had coffee splattered everywhere on my white cabinets.  Ugh!
 Finally, I switched to the larger pitcher and added way more water.  The contents of the blue bucket is two gallon bags beaten to a pulp which created a texture similar to a smoothie or a nice brownie mix.
 Farmer Brown went outside and stirred the mixture up and then poured it around the tomato plants.  We had to hurry because it was going to rain and we wanted that stuff to go to the roots.
 Here is the Tomato Smoothie poured on the ground.  Yummy!
 Then it was blended into the area around each of the plants.  It did rain but we won't know for a while if this worked.  I have never tried this before but if nothing else it made a nice liquid compost for the tomatoes and an odd blog post.  I will let you know as the summer goes on if this worked.  I am not sure how often we should be doing this but I have a new bag of eggs and coffee pucks started in the freezer.
 

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Art and Soul 2013

I found out about Art and Soul over a year ago.  I went with some friends to their vendor night and really wasn't that impressed.  I had no idea what the big deal was...until I attended this year.  I went to a site where I do business and they have a craft show alert that tells you all the craft shows and classes in your zip code.  For grins and giggles I keyed in my zip code and Art and Soul popped up.  I went to their site and read about all the classes they were having and decided there was one that I really wanted to take.  I had been doing this craft my whole life as many have.  So I signed up for the class and spent eight hours at a hotel conference room full of kindred spirits; crazed crafters wanting to know more about this new hot phenomenon...Zentangle.

Zentangle has been around for a while.  I have seen it on Pinterest and even created a board for it.  There are some really creative pictures on the board.  So taking the class helped me understand what the fuss was all about.  Many people who use Zentangle are scrapbookers and art journalers.  I am neither.  Well until now...

When I got home from the class, I could hardly wait to get some books and dive more into this following.  So I ordered four books from Amazon written by the woman who taught my class, Suzanne McNeill, CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher).  I looked for books that Suzanne wrote to give me a good start.  I ordered Zentangle Basics, Zentangle 2, Zentangle 3 and 8.  Suzanne has written eight books on Zentangle so far.  She mentioned at the class that 9 and 10 are in progress.  I am hoping I dropped enough hints to hubby about filling in the gaps.  We shall see!

I bought my first art journaling book, pens and watercolor pencils to get myself started.  I have been having such a great time.  It's so relaxing and doesn't have to make sense to anyone but me.  Here are my first efforts.


This is my very first Zentangle.  It's rough but it was so much fun.  There have been a ton more since class.  I can't post all of them now, so I will post bit by bit.
While I am not a huge fan of drawing owls, this was our second effort.  I got a bit carried away but I did learn some things.  Just as in cooking, sometimes, less is more.
This  our third project.  We used a punch in the middle of the card.  This is the front of the card.
This is the inside.  The color comes from watercolor pencils that the lady who sat next to me let me use.  She has been doing Zentangle for a while.  She had books that were well worn and she knew what she was doing.
 
So this is the beginning of art journaling that will turn into something else I am sure.  Well it already has but I will save that for another post.  If you are a chronic doodler, give this a try.  All those doodles that you have been doing your whole life, have been given names and put into books.  If you want to see some amazing pictures and you are on Pinterest, key in the word Zentangle and see what pops up.  You can find all kinds of beautiful applications for Zentangle besides on paper.  Just Google it and see what happens. You will be amazed and inspired.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wednesday, May 01, 2013