Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No more excuses...

It's Tuesday afternoon, the baby is taking a much needed nap and the rain is falling, thunder is rumbling in the air... thunderstorms are magic for me.  They are therapeutic and calming, not to mention beautiful.  I'm drinking a coffee topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg and listening to music from Putumayo, "Music from the Coffee Lands."  The way I see it, if I love coffee so much, their music can only be equally enchanting and thus, I will enjoy my perfect afternoon, letting it be the soundtrack.  So far, I'm taken with this album and I foresee many more lovely mornings, afternoons, and evenings enjoyed to it's beautiful songs.  I also think that this music might be another reason why coffee is so amazing, do you think they sing to the coffee beans, chanting, "grow, grow, and be delicious?"  I believe it is possible.

Oh, and I'm making bagels, yes, bagels, from scratch.  It's a long story.

The story...

I am half way into the process of The Artist's Way and I have delighted with the changes and discoveries that have resulted in the journey of the creative, in living life more fully, in connecting my faith with my creativity... it's been remarkable.  I'd recommend it to anyone, even if you don't consider yourself creative or an artist, it will help focus on what matters and discard the frivolous and meaninglessness.

I have been aware for sometime that my town lacks any great bakeries, cafes, and coffee shops (all these things I feel are really necessary for a great town and places that inspire me.  It's obvious that I belong in Europe, where I have seen this great appreciation and art of fine baking and cafes...  and so I dream of the day, when it's my turn to peruse the shops and delight in their goods.  

Yesterday, I hit a breaking point.  I was in desperate need of an adventure and I, once again, became frustrated that when I googled, "bakeries," the first three were Walmart.  I immediately resolved that I would bake breads, why couldn't I?  I am a decent cook/baker and I welcome a challenge in my life.  Plus, I  must try new things and in the process, I could fail miserably, or succeed.   

Yesterday, I saw a friend of mine posted a picture of her first homemade bagels with the caption, "Homemade bagels, my first installment of make something that scares me."   This friend, posted a list of the items she was going to attempt and I was inspired to think of all the things that I lacked the courage to make.

So, today, I searched the cupboards and realized I did have ingredients to make these bagels and I did.  They were surprisingly easy, too easy... and right now they are baking away in the oven. The kitchen smells delicious.

Here is my list:
1. Croissants

2. Donuts, especially my favorites- the ones with chocolate icing and custard inside.

3. Egg rolls

4. Coconut Shrimp

5. Hush puppies

6. Crab cakes (I've made them once, but I want to master them.)

7. Homemade pasta (Tried this once and miserably failed.)

8. Danishes

9. Pound Cake

10. Coffee Cake

11. Watermelon Sorbet

12. Homemade Ice Cream

13. Fried Chicken (I know, I've never made it)

14. Creme Brulee

15. A Souffle

16. Applesauce

17. A turkey (Like the one on Thanksgiving)

18. Sweet & Sour Pork (Like the one my mom made)

19. Couq au vin

20. Roasted duck

21. Jams

22. Homemade Pickles

23. French Onion Soup

24. Lemon Poppy seed Muffins

There are many adventures to be had in my life, but right now, this is one (or many) that I can take and isn't that the point, of being adventurous wherever you may be?

What are the things that you say, "I want to do more of this?"  or "I want to try that."
In truth many times, I think we are stopping ourselves, granted I can't spend months traveling the world, right now, but I could make new dishes from the places I desire to visit, or brush up on my French, for when I do finally get to go, or listen to more world music, read more books, and write more thank you notes....

It's your turn... think about it, it might change your life...

Pictures and opinions on the bagels to follow.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

just because

"He says, She says"
New from Noted Cards

but a longing fulfilled is the tree of life...

I feel like today has been an exceptional day.  It has been an exceptional day. It has.

1.  My newest card, "No Remedy, " was featured on Red Bubble's page, which means that out of hundreds of new pieces that were added today, it was added to the featured gallery for all the people to see.  That made my day, right there.

2.  I received word that a $1400 dollar hospital bill was completely taken care of by the hospital's financial assistance program.  Praise God from whom all blessing flow!!

3.  While checking in on some of the blogs that I follow, namely, The English Muse, I am scrolling through a collection of inspiring photos and... what?  I see "No Remedy," and my name.  I pretty much freaked out, a lot. Why?  I've always had the support and encouragement of my friends and family, in my artistic endeavors, but I know I'm not alone in thinking about how great it would be to have strangers enjoy my art.  I know being mentioned in a blog is a far cry from the Louvre, but it's a big deal to me.  Today people are appreciating my art, not because it's mine, but because it's art. 

What can I say, the excitement is jumping up and down inside of me, good thing I had that massage today.  It's been an exceptional day and tomorrow, I celebrate my birthday.

A Cure

because sometimes, life can get so crazy...


because no other words are necessary,
Noted Cards found here.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Artist and Me

This week's artist date consisted of a visit to a sweet little bakery, indulging in some Southern Pecan coffee and some coconut macaroons, yes please.

Then I browsed through Ross and Marshalls for nearly two hours, picking up many items and then putting them back.  It's funny how much thought goes into spending money, making sure it is really, really worth the number on the price tag.  However, I did go home with these, which will look fabulous on my desk and will hold untold pieces of goodness.

They will soon be full of endless magazine cutouts and papers that will inspire.

Yeah, I'm pleased.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dear oil paints, I've missed you...

This is what I did today. I couldn't be more pleased.

A Hymn of the River, 2009.

Stay updated on my latest work here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More quality, less Whatever...

Hello again,

I took a little break from the Internet world, because this week in the Artist's Way was the reading deprivation exercise.  Avoid all reading except that which is absolutely necessary.   The theory is that as creative individuals, if we are are not feeling creative ourselves, we'll soak in the words/creativity of others, which can then stop us from creating ourselves.  So... by not filling the time with reading, you begin to think of all the other things you can do with your time and suddenly, you start DOING things, not just reading about doing them.  It worked, it really did. Here is a little of what I did instead...

1. Baked oatmeal scones.
2. Made a delicious quiche.
3. Organized the baby's room.
4. Caught up with entries in my Dear Hudson Baby journal.
5.   I made this.  My husband thinks it's silly, but he's a boy...
6. Bought some fantastic fabric.
7.  Made an apron, from this adorable pink and white checkered fabric, with little Eiffel Towers.

8.  Re-established my work room, after a week long battle with a leak and the maintenance department.
9.  Finished sewing some more giraffe toys, which will be making their debut soon.
10.  Started painting with oils again.

I have noticed that I get disappointed with myself when I spend so much time online.  I continuously think of all the things that I could have done.  After taking a break from the Internet I have realized that I don't enjoy it as much as I have before...  I suppose I am more aware of the things that benefit my life and the things that fill up my life.  I'd much rather actively benefit my life than just pass the time.  That is why we are turning the television off for the summer, once the season finales wrap up in the next few weeks, Au revoir TV.  I am looking forward to all the fun things we are going to do instead.

I am feeling great about the changes in my life and I am delighted to feel the ideas flowing, once again.