Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Favorite Shops

I have recently been spending a lot of time on Etsy, where I have my shop.  Good thing huh?  I'm part of a great team our fearless leader A'esha calls Madcap.  We have our own Facebook pages, blog, and twitter account.  And then one day she asked for suggestions, and I suggested, being a good team member, and she made me a team leader!  So one of my favorite places to shop these days is on Etsy. 

Which is where I found the following two photographers, on Etsy.  Now, being a photographer myself, I'm pretty picky and exacting.  And these two photographers can really create some beautiful images.  So I want to spread the word, because as a fellow artist, sometimes you have to live on a lot of kudos between the pesos!

The first shop I found is Dave Dilli Photography at http://www.etsy.com/shop/DaveDilliPhotography?ref=pr_shop_more.

Greeting Cards, Desert Sunsets Fine Art Photographs set of 4 Note Cards          7 x 10 Photograph - Arizona Four Peaks Pink Sunset Fine Art     Photograph, Matted, 7 x 10 Burrowing Owl Gaze

Above are just a few of the beautiful images Dave has created.  Dave lives in the desert southwest, so the majority of his work is of the gorgeous scenics you find only in that part of the country.  Beautiful, beautiful use of light and spectacular composition.  You really must check out his shop!

The next amazing photograhper I found is Larry Lynch at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Larry727?ref=pr_shop_more.

Cabin Light      Cades Cove Great Smoky Mountains National Park     Great Egret in Breeding Plumes at Sunset    

I just really, really like the way Larry sees the world and the images that intrigue him.  And his ability to capture that image and share it with all of us.... well it's just plain old excellent! 

So everyone hop over to these shops.  You won't be sorry!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Gutsy Easy Pasta Maindish Salad for the Summer

OK, so I whipped up this dish over the weekend for my hubby and me for dinner, over the weekend, and it was so easy and turned out so well, I thought I would share it.  It's easy, healthy, and appeals to many taste pallets.

So I started with one of those Betty Crocker Classic Suddenly Salad Mixes you find in the grocery store.  Cook the pasta a minute less than they say; it's healthier that way and won't fall apart on you when you make the salad.  I made the dressing as directed, but I added some fresh chopped flat Italian parsley from my garden, and whizzed it all up in my mini-Cuisinart, because I could! 

Now comes the good part!  In a medium mixing bowl I put some chunked up cooked chicken breast.  Then I grated in one carrot, and added some frozen white corn, frozen peas, canned white beans drained, chopped tomato, shredded Italian cheese, and sliced Kalamata olives.  Adjust the proportions to fit your own taste, but I was going for a variety of healthy goodies that would blend well and not over power each other.  And I also had them in my kitchen at the time!

Now add the dressing and mix well; then add the pasta and gently mix.  Chill well, the salad and yourself, and enjoy!  The colors in the salad are really nice and bright and you've just turned a basic box salad into a great meal!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Four new bracelets at Art by Andrea


Peyote Stitch

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wanna have fun with your dog?

I made spaghetti for dinner tonight, which could mean a lot of things in an American household.  I cook my pasta al dente, because it's healthier.  I also did a red sauce and a white sauce, sliced roasted chicken breast, and roasted crimini mushrooms and sliced sweet onions. YUM!

Now my fuzzy little white dog Stuie was quite interested in this whole affair, as you can imagine! So I pulled out an old trick I used to do with my big mastiff Shadow (the one in my avatar with me). I gave him the nearly empty jar of spaghetti sauce. Now Stuie, being white, got the white sauce. And he chased that blasted jar all over three rooms trying to get every bit of the sauce out of it, just wishing he had a longer tongue....

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Art Cards

One of the many creative endeavors I enjoy is making art cards for those near and dear to me.  I haven't actually bought a greeting card in so many years I've lost count!  The sentiments don't work for me; I think many of them are really lame, particularly birthday cards.  It all started....well, I guess I forget.  Except that my Mom has been making homemade cards since I was a very little girl.  And that was before people actually did stuff like that!  She made them on the shirt cardboards that came in my Dad's shirts from the drycleaners.  So perhaps this is genetic?  Works for me.

Here are two cards I made recently.  On both of them I have used Pergamano parchment paper, pierced, embossed, used white ink on the embossed areas prior to embossing, and then added some finishing details with Martha Stewart punches.  The fan on the left card was rather labor intensive, and it sat for awhile, until I decided it would make a wonderful Mother's Day card this year.  The card on the right was a get well card for a very special lady.  The floral design was traced in white ink and then embossed.  Next came the paper piercing, and then I added those great 3D butterflies. Thanks Martha!

I have more cards to share in the near future, so stay tuned to this bat channel!  And hopefully I will figure out some better lighting techniques which will show the details better.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A New Tree

We have a fabulous new tree; it's a 'Wolf Eyes' kousa dogwood.  I planted it because a neighbor chopped down a little sappling that my birds really loved; the little guys used the old sappling as a landing strip for one of our suet feeders.  And  my motto has always been, 'They chop one down.  I plant one, at least.'  And so, after much thought and deliberation, we decided to plant a kousa dogwood with a white flower.  And then we found this guy, that fit the bill, and had variegated leaves to boot!  Majorly cool.

I now have a large new garden area to landscape (major bummer yeah?).  But, I think I will just look at it and ponder the possibilites this year....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Delilah - our feisty little calico girl

The boys were just three and fourteen when we got Delilah and Samson.  Our family was in turmoil once again (another husband gone) and our beloved parakeet Ornin had just lost his battle with extreme old age.  The thought of two kittens romping around the house was just what this family of ours needed.

But it turned out to be a tough time to find kittens.  Go figure.  I guess we were on the wrong cycle or something.  I always thought cats were almost as prolific bunny rabbits!  But we finally found a local pet shop that had a large pen full of kittens, right near the front door.  And they were all blissfully sound asleep except for one very cute lone calico girl who was trying to climb out to me, and calling, "Take me! Take me!"  She was soooooo cute!  We were in love....

I could write a novel with all of our Delilah stories over the last 13 years.  She was a pissy little calico girl, bulimic at that, for many years.  A bit on the pudgy side too.  She swallowed a large amount of thread as a teenager and almost died, which surely did not help her longevity any.  But it did slowly improve her attitude toward the human race.  She came to like, love, and even need people, in her own way,  and we came to love all of her quirky little habits.  And she really was a gorgeous girl, and she looked great in Godiva!  She also loved snuggling into my youngest son's bed when he still had a mountain of stuffed animals, and washing us as if we were her children, and eating these very special Swedish ginger cookies (It took my mom a long time to wangle this authentic recipe out of a Swedish friend) in a most unladylike fashion.....

She was a wonderful girl!