Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

My Zentangle Art Post Card

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Max does not like to have his picture taken.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

I haven't posted anything from Pinterest in a while and thought I should post this because it's so simple and it's so delicious.

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies is really easy to make.  I have never made brownies in a cast iron skillet before.  I have two skillets; one is just a regular one and the other is a griddle pan.  I rarely use them.  I thought this recipe would be a great start to get me to use my cast iron skillets more often.  So here it is.
These are the brownies before they were put in the oven

Here are the brownies after they have baked in the oven.  

Here is what happens when something looks super good and I am unsupervised!  Yummy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Diva Challenge #127

Diva Challenge #127
The challenge this week really was a challenge for me.  There were two new tangles to try of which I had never heard of before.  One was Cirquital and the other was Opus.  Since I had never done either of these tangles before I followed the link and then sketched them so I would have some idea of what they were.
Then I sat down and sketched my version on the challenge.  

I used the end of a frozen orange juice can for the large circle.  The rest were made with a ruler that had different sizes of circles.  I shaded with a Zentangle pencil I got in a kit and used a paper nub to smooth out the pencil marks.  I am not sure how I like this one but I have learned two new tangles in the process of the challenge.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

Black Eyed Susans

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Challenge #126 Stencil Fun

I have to say that I really loved this challenge because this time I actually had no struggle with this challenge, well sort of no challenge.  The only minor challenge was trying to decide which stencil to use.  I have six so far.  Five from here and one from here.  I have used them all numerous times and love them.  I have to order from the internet when ever I want either brand.  

So here is my entry for Challenge #126 Stencil Fun.
I didn't have any official Zentangle squares so I whipped out the ruler and measured this one to be sure it was the right size.  I did it in my sketch book as you can see.  My stencil was a series of heart stencils that had a circle in the middle.  I didn't use the whole stencil but enough to make it basically uniform.  
Since I hadn't intended to show the sketch book I took black squares (I had them on hand) and blocked the square off so that it would show better.
I thought using the stencil was super easy and left the creative part of my brain for what to put in and around the hearts and for coloring with watercolors.  I had fun doing this one.  I didn't want anything fancy, so I decided lines was the way to go.  Sometimes plain and simple are still pleasing to me eye.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Monday, July 08, 2013

Garden 2013

I think my first introduction to gardening came from both sets of my grandparents.  One side of the family were beef cattle farmers and the other lived in a smallish urban city and had two or three cherry tomato bushes in the front flower beds.  Later years in culinary school, I started getting the bug to garden.  I thought about it for a few years and finally planted some basil.  You have to start somewhere right?

Now we have seven small beds in half our back yard.  It's fenced off to keep the noisy dogs from getting into everything. First we had chicken wire, then white plastic fencing and now we had graduated to real metal fencing.  There is a mail box right outside the gate that is filled with our quick need gardening supplies such as clear plastic bags, hand spades, mini cutters, twist ties and gardening gloves.  It's our old mail box from a few years back.  I saw the idea on some garden show years ago and stored that idea away for another time.  
I would have hated to throw this box away so here it is.  It opens from both sides.  When mail started disappearing in our neighborhood, we opted for a locked mailbox.  This one got moved to the backyard for more use.
Here is the loaded down box.  It does come in handy.  Why should I store plastic bags for the yard under the kitchen sink when they are just as safe here and closer to the source where they will be used.
We decided that our water bill could not stand to be any higher than what it was.  I saw water barrels on a gardening show and decided we should give them a try.  We have five in all and are going to add two more if possible.Each one holds a different amount of water anywhere from 50 gallons and on up.  The down spout from the gutter empties into one main barrel which is then connected to all the others for overflow.  I have to say whatever it saves in our water bill, it sure takes it's toll on toting water back and forth to the garden.  If we had been smart we would have made our garden on the side of the house with the barrels.  The next garden will have more thought into it...I hope.  
We wanted to do some composting so here is the lone barrel.  We want to have one or two more but we are trying to decide where we can put them.  
Last year we had to order 1500 lady bugs to get rid of aphids.   We had stressed the plants by putting them too close together so we cut our tomato plants by half and they seem to be doing much better this year.  There are five plants in the bed.  They are loaded down with tomatoes this year.  Last year, it was touch and go.
This is bed #2.  There are potato plants in here as well as birdhouse gourds on a trellis.  Last year we had a hard time with the gourds not producing, but this year they are going crazy.  

Bed #3 has one tomato plant, one basil plant and the rest are green beans.  We eat a lot of green beans.  
In the foreground there are two containers loaded with carrots.  We tried them in the ground once and got the stubbiest little carrots so we decided two years ago to do them in pots.  It's worked really well this way so this might be the only way we get carrots.  They are taller than they ever have been.  So we shall see.
Beds #4&5 are both loaded with more green beans but the trellis has one penguin gourd plant. We tried sprouting others but they just never came up.  This one is going really well.  I will be excited to see happens to it as the summer goes on.
This is just another angle of the same beds above.  You can't see it but there is a little path between two small beds.  
This is bed #6.  It looks kind of strange because it has Jacob's Cattle beans (on the far end).  They are dried beans.  We plant them and leave them alone until fall.  They dry right in the bed and then when they are brown, I go collect them and pop them onto a cookie sheet and let them dry the rest of the way in the house.  Then when they are super hard, they go into a jar for eating this winter.  The other half of the bed has red potatoes and some really small bell pepper plants.  They are no doing so well so I am thinking we are not going to get bell peppers this year.  
Bed #7 is our lost bed.  Yes, I said lost.  We are not sure what this bed is supposed to be.  We had asparagus last year and left them alone.  This year only half the ferns came up.  We have never grown them before so I am not exactly what has happened.  The plants in the front are Boston Bib lettuce and some other mix that is going to see now.  This bed needs to be used better so I planted some kind of trumpet vine that hummingbirds will love and it will grow over it and give it some shade.  I think we are going to relocate the asparagus to some other bed because this one will be shady eventually.  I can grow more lettuce in this one, I think.
This is just a long planter where I used burlap when the coconut lining fell apart.  It works perfectly.  I have three that have the burlap lining.

So that is our city garden right now.  I think we are going to build the beds up and a few more boards in the fall.  I would like taller beds.  My back is killing me!  I will be back when we have more things from the garden to show.  

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


I have been experimenting with all the paper I have accumulated over this past year for the business.  I copied a pattern from Pinterest and have been trying to get it to work for what I want it for.  I finally finished the first prototype.  This is not a huge post but I did want you all who come and read, that I have not forgot about blogging.  

Yesterday I got a friend, Juanita, to put my Etsy shop on my Facebook page.  I am hoping that it will give my business more exposure and eventually more sales.  I don't think anyone with an Etsy shop would ever turn down more business!  I know I sure wouldn't.

Garden Update:  I picked our green bean plants within an inch of their life and thought I would skip two days and then see how the garden was going.  Much to my surprise, I picked at least another pound of beans.  I have to get those ready to give to my next door neighbor.  They are always so nice to us and I am in love with the dog, so they get some garden love.

So that's it for today.  Of course there will be a Wordless Wednesday picture for tomorrow.  Haven't decided what yet, but there will be one! 

The pattern for this mobile came from Pinterest

A picture of Quilled butterflies

These are what I made from looking at the photograph above.  I haven't done anything with these guys yet, but hopefully they will be used in a project for my business. I am trying to come up with new Quilled items to sell in my shop and to sell at craft show this fall for the Christmas shopping crowd. If you have any ideas you would like to see quilled or in a mobil, leave me a comment.